Daily Blog Challenge

Hey everybody! It’s been quite a while since I’ve updated on my personal blog. For those that have been checking back, I apologize for not writing on here as much as I would have liked. For some reason, I always feel like I have a lot to say and then just never really know how to put it on a page. This week, though, I hope that all changes. My good friends and fellow hosts of the MMOVoices Podcast, Cindy and Gavin, decided to go through with a Daily Blog Challenge. What this is is that every day at 1:00pm CST for the next week, everyone involved will write a blog post about whatever is on their mind at the time. Anything will do, and then you just need to post it to Twitter to show the others that you made your post. I’m sure plenty of heckling will be thrown in for those that don’t. So today, I figured I’d talk a bit about my return to DDO.

DDO (Dungeons and Dragons Online) was a game that I had originally  played during beta and when it first launched. Unfortunately, it quickly lost its luster with me. Something about it just didn’t set right at the beginning, and another part of me just couldn’t leave Everquest. My good friend Andrew played it from launch, but even having a friend there couldn’t keep me around. I came back about two years later to try again, and found myself in the same place I was the first time, this time unable to really leave WoW. I wanted to like DDO, I really did. But for some reason I just couldn’t. To this day I still don’t know why I couldn’t get into it, or what it was about the game that couldn’t hook me. I just couldn’t bring myself to want to give $15 per month to play another game.

Then last year Turbine pulled a fast one. DDO went free to play. Again, I gave it a shot. Again, I stopped playing after a couple of days. We even had a MMOVoices static group that was playing DDO and I was having a blast, but for some reason I never really clicked on the icon again after the group dissipated. For some reason that all changed in these past two weeks.

My buddy Andrew was in town for Christmas. He and his wife came over to join my wife and I for dinner, and we got to talking about gaming, and particularly DDO. Andrew was still playing the game and is the officer in his guild. He asked me to come back and give it another shot. I figured “why not.” I’m not really playing any MMO steadily right now, in fact the only game I’ve been playing regularly at all has been League of Legends (a post for another day).  So, for the first time in a while, I opened the DDO patcher with optimism. I’m really glad I did.

I first created a sorcerer on Khyber to play with Andrew. I could have picked up my monk, but it had been such a long time since I’d played, I figured it’d be best if I started from scratch. I was actually having fun. And then something else happened. Gavin was mentioning something on Twitter about a “Permadeath” Experiment in DDO. It couldn’t have come at a better time. The flame of my interest in DDO was just starting to light again, and the whole idea of playing with Permadeath rules intrigued me. So, I got the information and rolled a Favored Soul character on Thelanis, to play with the Sublime Permadeath Guild. It’s a guild whose members have to follow a strict set of rules about death. If your character dies, it’s dead forever. The only way around this is if you have a class that can ressurect you with you when you die, and they are actually able to cast it on you right then and there. And if you release from your body, too bad. Delete. That’s it.

Because of this ruleset, I’m back in hook, line and sinker. I haven’t felt this attached to a character in a long, long time. In fact, I haven’t really felt in touch or truly immersed in a character since my original Cleric in Everquest. On top of that, the guild members themselves are awesome. Everyone is friendly and is having a good time together. There are quite a few people who have been in the guild for years now, and have said outright that the Permadeath guild is one of the only things keeping them around. They love the adventure of it, and it almost makes DDO feel like the original Pen and Paper game, where permadeath is a normal way of life.

For the first time with DDO, I look forward to logging into the game. It’s a new feeling for a game that I’ve always wanted to like, but could never find a way to do so. I played Dungeons and Dragons in High School, and this game feels like it should mimic that experience, but with a GUI instead of just your imagination. And now I found the missing link. That one piece of the puzzle that was holding me back. Can I be sure that I’ll stick with the game for the long run? Who knows, but the immediate future is definitely certain.

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