Sunday, 9 May 2010

Holy - Roll that Dice - Crap

I'm so surprised, I really am... I had a good old play session on DDO... and... well... it was good.... I KNOW!!! You're stunned, after my tearing it a new a-hole...

Let me explain, it's good, it's not brilliant... 7 out of 10 I'd score it so far (and I don't want to hear any "why so low" grumbles from you lot at the back!), DDO is a decent game, it had a couple of things last night which I came to grips with, that aren't even in WoW... I'll explain those in a moment, because they were great little twists on your standard MMO game play.

But first I have to show you this screen shot...

Looks fine doesn't it, looks like your standard NPC interaction... yes... well, no... read it... c'mon, I know most of you don't bother in MMO's and just look at quest helper, but look at that... that NPC is giving specific directions to where to go in text. There's no dotted line, no 'x' marking the spot, you got to follow his words. I thought that was brilliant, I actually dug out a biro and noted it down and off I went into the wilds.

The trouble was, his description didn't marry up to the way to go. Least it didn't for me, I ended up just climbing up and down paths at random, but I did end up making a rank of my level killing things on the way.

Once I got where i was going, there was a flashing marker to tell me it was the instance.

Sometimes, you just know that there's going to be spiders... I hate spiders, no sooner do you kick their ass in one MMO than they show up in another, they're almost as bad as those pesky harpies.

Inside the instance though I got to work out some insteresting puzzled, things that you just know Blizzard would have to take out of WoW to make it accessible to the lowest common denominator of player IQ.

It also showed off some lovely character animation, climbing ladders and more swimming around, diving under water and such, all rather excellent. The ladder climbing is the best I've seen in a game since Project I.G.I (which had the first actually great ladder climbing animation IMHO).

Too bad the climbing was somewhat let down by the small detail of my rather large shield sticking through the back of the ladder and my club being stuck under my arm pit...

You see, it's not the game itself, nor it's mechanics (for the most part) that cost DDO full marks, its these little details, which just make you think "what the heck just happened?".

There were also some great atmospheric and action features... below you can see some lovely Indiana Jones Style traps, a slashing blade and pikes moving in pseudo random order. Get a pike up your unblinking eye... fun fun fun!

And finally, one last thing, which had me grinning... the simplest trick in the book, see this scene below...

It's from just after the last (optional boss) has been taken down, the water rushes along and down this slope and unlike another MMO I can name, it actually interacts with you, it dragged me along and threw me towards the boss.

Such a simple thing, but something that (at my last visit) was totally missing from WOW... hands up who's stood in lava trails in the Burning Steppe and not thought... "WOW my feet ain't even warm".

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