The DDO stress test is over and I find myself blankly staring at my notebook pondering what I will do with my spare cycles. Due to the non-disclosure agreement that was agreed to by me and all of the other participants, I am not allowed to go into detail about the game. I will however point a few things out for those of you wondering what it is all about.
I’m not a D&D fan. I have never played the pen and paper version, nor the board games or even the electronic versions. DDO has been my first experience with the genre. The DDO world is an immersive and entertaining one, rich with content and attractive to see and hear. Being that this was a stress test, one cannot hold against it any server issues that occurred. I will say that the developers were the most responsive I have ever seen to server crashes. Not only did they quickly resolve issues (I don’t recall being unable to play for more than an hour or two at a time), but they constantly posted updates and information about progress and server status. Not only did this let us know that they cared, but it allowed the testers to plan their time more efficiently.
In the past I have tested many Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPG), such as World of Warcraft and City of Heroes. The involvement and feedback from the developers of DDO stands far above others in the genre.
The game itself plays well and is very much like other MMORPG titles. I can best describe it as a mix between WoW, Asheron’s Call 2 and Ultima Online. The quests a straightforward but immersive and the story is compelling enough to keep your interest, although it doesn’t stand out from the crowd.
Another stellar aspect of the game is its community. It’s rare to see such dedicated yet friendly players. People are willing to help each other, even if it doesn’t benefit them directly. Higher ranked players took time, even from the limited timetable of the stress test to assist their juniors. This is a good sign as nothing determines a MMORPG’s long term success more than its community. After all, who wants to spend the better part of their life leveling up a fictional “you” in a world filled with people you disdain as much as those who live in the real one?