Dungeons & Dragons Online Preview

ActionTrip has put together a detailed hands-on preview of Turbine's Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach, after spending some firsthand time in the game's ongoing beta test. Check it out:
What this entails gameplay-wise is that the dungeons, as well as the combat, are more traditionally designed. A lot more factors go into the combat calculations, level progression is *much* slower and the design of the dungeons themselves is more reminiscent of the ones in tabletop games. The accent is more on secret passages, hidden traps and the adventure-like progression through the maze-like environments than it is on a sort of linear, turbo speed romp that you'd find in a game like WoW. It's sort of hard to pinpoint the exact differences here, but let's say that those of you who are heavy into the D&D scene will spot them right away. Another thing is that the mission design doesn't offer much room for soloing. For most of the tougher level 1 missions, it's highly advisable to have 3-4 people in your party (healer included). One of the things that the more traditional MMORPG players were complaining about in WoW is that getting to level 60 feels almost like rushing to level 60 by their standards. Rest assured that that is not the case in DDO: Stormreach. Sure the level cap is smaller, but by God, I've been playing the game for quite a bit of time, and I'm a long, long way off from level two. Yesterday I saw a paladin decked out in fancy-ass armor and he was level 7. My first thought was 'Get a life, you freak!'