How to Play Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach

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In case you happen to like playing Dungeons & Dragons and have a PC, but do not have a group of gamers handy, Atari and Turbine teamed up to create Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach. One of the latest in a series of Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (or MMORPGs), DDO stands out not only because of its reputation but because of its unique combat system and interesting world filled with heroes and monsters. Want to get in on the fun?

  • Get the game. DDO is competitively priced at around $30 or, if you know someone who already has a copy, you can ask them nicely for the free 10-day trial that comes with the retail version.

  • Install the game and create an account.

  • Get started. The game will probably have to update itself, so you may want to grab a book while you're waiting. Updates are very small, so they download quickly, but there are lots of them (upwards of 8,000).

  • Head on in once the game has finished updating itself. The first thing you'll need to do is make a character.

  • Choose the class that suits you best. What suits your playing style? Warriors or spell casters? Rogues? Rangers? Everyone is unique, so there is no clear "best class." However, we can say that healer classes such as the Cleric start out with some of the best abilities. Why? Because historically, healer classes are the ones that nobody wants to play, so in order to make people want to play them, they start out with some of the best abilities.

  • Allocate your statistics. If you are picky, you can choose where to put your statistic points. Statistics are the stuff of your character's being: physical power, intelligence, perception, things like that. Each one has a specific use, but may be more or less important depending on how you play your character. Or if you like, you can use the pre-rolled stats.

  • Choose skills to complement your character's natural abilities and your play style. If you like to hack and slash, consider taking combat abilities. If you prefer to sneak around or talk your way out of problems, perhaps some stealth or diplomacy skills are in order. It is important to get an idea of what kind of character you want to be now, since changing later on is difficult!

  • Enter the world of the game once you are finished with your character. There will be a small introductory area that will teach you to move in, interact with and fight against the world you have entered. If this is your first time playing the game, we highly recommend you go through these tutorials. Even if it isn't your first time, doing these short quests is still in your interest as it will start your character off with a little experience and some equipment.

  • Head onto the boat after you are finished with the training area. This will take you to the Stormreach docks and the world at large!

  • Complete quests to gain experience and advance your skills. This is very important because, unlike most RPGs, killing monsters does not award you experience - with a few exceptions, of course. But the fact remains that completing quests will give you much greater experience than killing the monsters will. Also note that you can complete quests several times, albeit for gradually reduced experience points.

  • Go see a class trainer when you accumulate enough experience points to advance to the next level. Reaching another level is a momentous occasion. Savor it. If you like, you need not gain your second level in your own class; DDO allows you to take on a second class. This can be tremendously helpful if you wish to supplement your primary class with new abilities.

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