When I logged into DDO the other week I found 3 guildies getting ready for A Relic Of A Sovereign Past on their lvl 14 TR’s (a bard, a monk and a wiz). Luckily I got asked to join them on my gimpy 1st life clonk. They put up an LFM for the last 2 spots and we got joined by 2 arties. Perfect!

Getting myself buffed up on the ship and heading out to the Anvil Forest in House K it suddenly strikes me: Anvil Forest, my ultimate favorite quest is there! I have to ask this group if they wanna join me in that quest. It’s such an awesome quest but hardly get’s any playtime because it’s a very slow quest. More about that later on but first lemme finish about the Relic quest.

It went very smooth, we had fun, chitchatted while fighting and running and before we know we’re at the end boss. We try to diplo him but fail, no worries, we just kill him then. 12k xp in the pocket, time to ask THE question.

“Guys, Made To Order is here as well and around the same lvl, would you mind giving that one a try with me?”  “Oh sure, we can do that, we’re only a little over level but that’s no problem.”


One of the arties has to leave, so we have room for another guildie. 5 of us and a pugger who seems to be enjoying the casual style we’re putting forth.

I haven’t ran MTO for a long while, mostly because it’s such a specific quest where you need a trapper and people who are willing to listen and DON’T ZERG.

MTO is the ultimate NO ZERG quest, it’s awesome. If you haven’t run that quest yet: I’ll try not to spoil too much, and you should give that quest a try!
Minor spoiler: This quest is planted with traps, think Undermine but differently.

At the entrance I try to warn the party. DON’T ZERG, keep with the group. Let the arti go first to detect, locate and disable the traps, when he says clear you can go. Don’t go with the arti. Stay back. Wait h…..


“Okay, whomever that was, that’s not how we’re supposed to do it. We’re just at the beginning so let’s recall, rebuff and restart.”

Take 2: At the entrance I try to warn the party. DON’T ZERG, keep with the group. Let the arti go first to detect, locate and disable the traps, when he says clear you can go. Don’t go with the arti. Stay back. Wait h…..


Ok, I exaggerated that a bit, but I think the trapper died about 10 times and I had 4 deaths, the others had deaths as well but I stopped counting. Only one or two tunnels in.  After death number toomany I released. “Did you just recall Ekei?”  “Why yes I did. This is awful guys. I have too many death penalties, no buffs and no sp.” “ Oh……ok, let’s all recall, rebuff and restart then.” I think they got the clue now: DON’T ZERG!
Stay behind the trapper, let him do his job and when clear you can go kill.

And low and behold, it seems to be working now. Surely the trapper still dies a few times. Being an arti it’s rough dancing between the traps trying to disarm them. But the group knows the drill now and we slowly work our way up to Arnold’s chamber. I love how the devs named the boss ARN-01D. After Arnold Schwarzenegger. Too funny.
In my younger days I used the tactic of pulling Arnold back to the rails instead of fighting him in his room. So I ask this group where to fight him. No discussion from my guildies: in his room! He’ll be dead before he even blinks. Lol. And so it happens, very easy end fight. Not like in my early DDO career when this could be a killer after struggling through all those trapped tunnels for hours.

We go through the 10 sealed doors to reach Haywire. The chicken hiding there in his room. We’ve gone through all this so give us your loot and xp! That’s another 9k xp and my ultimate favorite quest finished. Woot!

MTO: Made To Order. Or Might Trap Others, as my guildies tried to get each other killed in the traps. It was fun and I hope they didn’t mind me being bossy. I wanted that quest done properly!

DDO and Neverwinter

DDO and Neverwinter

I’ve been playing DDO since September 2009 (yes, I’m one of those “Free? I’m in!” cheapers) and love it deeply. DDO is the first MMO for me, so I had to learn everything about playing an MMO from scratch. But that was okay, if something hold’s my interest I want to learn all ins and outs, back and forth. So I’ve read many a forum thread, compendium page and other guides, educating myself.

And up to today I’m still learning because every once in a while the DDO dev team change something or add new stuff. But I don’t mind, I love learning and playing it all!


A few months back I saw an ad for a new D&D game being released “soonish” , Neverwinter. And it was going for the F2P style. Me: “Free? I’m in!”

It had the “D&D” and “F2P” in it and so immediately grabbed my attention. I did a little exploring on the world-wide-webs but there wasn’t much to get excited about yet. “Soonish” wasn’t yet nearby so I didn’t need to learn all ins and outs immediately.

A while after that first spot, one of my guildies (I’ll call him Jayzee to keep him safe from flames and spears XD) mentioned Neverwinter while we were doing something in DDO. I said I’d seen the ad as well and also had some interest. We chatted about it some and about how he was very interested in trying out Neverwinter when it would be released.

(Jayzee is getting a bit tired of DDO. He has a huge D&D history and so learned DDO much faster than me. He’s hungry. He needs new food to keep his brain tickled.) ((<- That’s just my thought I’m sharing here, I’ve been playing with Jayzee for almost 3 years now and I think I have a little feeling of knowing him when it comes to DDO))

So hearing Jayzee has a big interest in Neverwinter my own feelings we’re again enlightend. I like to quest with Jayzee (and my other guildies of course) and knowing he would be playing Neverwinter made me feel at ease.


I’m a social gamer. I don’t like soloing, and I’ve sticked to DDO for over 3 years because I have a great group of guildies around me who always take me along on their ride if they have room for more. We have fun while questing, make jokes at each other because we know we can.

Knowing other guildies were interested in Neverwinter as well made me at ease because I knew I’d have company in there and didn’t need to solo it to learn the game. Or even had to go out again to find a guild in there that would fit me. I’ve had done that already after a few months of DDO when the original group I started with stopped playing and I went on a solo quest to find a nice home of friendly people. The thought of doing that again in Neverwinter had me scared a bit already.


It was halfway March already and I had kept a close eye on the Neverwinter progression. It was still in Closed Beta but a release date was getting closer, so I could tell between the lines. The Closed Beta was only accessible for players who bought a starter pack. Something like the DDO expansion pack you could buy for early access and exclusive extras.

But I didn’t want to invest in the game yet because I like to first see if I like the game enough to be worth spending money on, hence my love for F2P.
And there it was: a Closed Beta weekend for everyone who was able to grab a Beta Key. And grabbing hold of a Beta key wasn’t that hard, many gaming sites were giving keys away like candy. I knew Jayzee got a key and soon I had a key as well. Neverwinter was soon to be explored!

March the 22nd Friday evening it began, my first loggin at Neverwinter. Of course I had created my account before the official opening and had done a fair bit of reading on the forums. Learning new stuff again: Brain Tickle! I even downloaded the client before the opening so I wouldn’t lose time on that when they opened the World of Neverwinter 😉

I started off solo because I didn’t know Jayzee’s account/char name but I didn’t mind it that much. It was nice to just explore the world (waking up on a beach being thrown there by some Dragon who attacked something I was in/on and threatened the city. Anyone else get the reference??) by myself.

I followed the main story line and ran quest after quest with my Devoted Cleric (yes, I love divines, have several in DDO and so started off with one in Neverwinter). So much to see, so much to do. Everything was new and around every corner was more new! Learning char progression, how to set up the Hud, how to chat, how to fight. I was learning from scratch again and loved it. I think it was close to 2am when I logged off for the night. Where usually I try to log off between midnight and 1 am to get at least some decent sleep. Not this time.

Saturday afternoon I logged in again to continue the exploring. Already reached lvl 13 (wow, those levels go fast!!) and had heard from Jayzee and his char so I could contact him. Soon I found him ingame as well together with a rl friend of his and we grouped up to explore more together (we actually were very close in lvl range, think they reached 15 or so). We discussed many features and bugs we came across (Twas a Beta Weekend after all, had to give some feedback) ((although I left the giving of feedback to Jayzee because he is perfect with words, knows how to describe things well enough so everyone understands what it’s about. Not me, my English is just mediocre and enough to make myself understood but I don’t think I’m that good to write feedback myself)).
Alas, we played more Neverwinter that entire weekend and had a blast (well, I had a blast, but I think Jayzee had a blast too. His brain had fresh food to nom-nom).

The wait for official release began after that weekend without a date having called out for yet. The stress! We Want More!


When we returned our usual gaming to DDO we informed our guildies about our adventures and how Neverwinter would be a nice game to play besides DDO. Specifically with them if they had interest. And they had. Our stories made them curious as well and since Neverwinter will be F2P it’s not hard to just download the client and try it. Don’t like it: delete the game and continue where you left off. Some guildies were very scared of the D&D 4e style, but Jayzee managed to explain what Neverwinter had created and how it wasn’t as bad as some would think it would be.
And it isn’t I think. I don’t have a rich D&D history so I can only compare with the D&D 3.5 we have in DDO. Of course it’s different, Neverwinter has not that many options when it comes to character building, the main lines are set out and to be followed as set. But there is still enough room to flex a char as you would like it to be. And it’s still in Beta, nothing is set hard in stone and everything can be changed if the devs see fit.
Back in 2006 when DDO started, the game was much different from what it is today (so I heard and read from founders). A lot has changed and so I don’t stress myself over Neverwinter not being perfect yet. The game needs time to develop as time goes and players giving good feedback to the devs to work on.


Back in DDO it was back to playing the same stuff again. Questing for the levelling chars, raiding (FoT was still a work in progress for our guildies) for the endgame chars.
But we need new and shiny stuff in DDO to keep us going. We know the devs are working on it with a new expansion on the horizon for this summer. But sometimes you can’t ignore that nagging feeling of same old, been there done that, le sigh. At least I can’t. If there’s not much going on in the guild my interest starts to drop. I need fresh food too!

Low and behold,  at the beginning of April Neverwinter announced another Closed Beta weekend and an official Open Beta date!

The good part: Closed Beta weekend would be from April 22nd until April 24th and Open Beta would start at April 30th! (That day is easy to remember for me. For over 25 years we celebrate Queens-day on April 30th and this year our queen will give her crown to her oldest son Willem-Alexander. We will be celebrating Crowning-day this year at April 30th).

The sad part: Closed Beta weekend was just for founders who had bought a pack. A sort of Thank you to them for jumping in on the game-developing ride. Hardly any free keys were given out this time. I tried my best to get hold of one to have another Beta Weekend before Open Beta but I wasn’t lucky.

Until someone in my DDO Twitter feed saw my spamming of Neverwinter and said she had bought a founder pack but hadn’t been out testing Neverwinter yet.
 Oh, I forgot to mention, if you’d bought a founder pack you were given a friend-key as well. With this key you could bring along a friend into the Closed Beta’s to try out the game together.
She still had a friend-key and offered to give it to me. Me! I was so happy to get another chance to play Neverwinter before the Open Beta so I gladly accepted the gift!

I kept trying to get my hand on another key so I could give it to one of my guildies but still no luck.  But Bonnie was there so I wouldn’t be all alone. Even though I don’t know Bonnie that well (we only meet on twitter occasionally) I wouldn’t be alone and that set me at ease again.


I’m a social gamer. I need people to hang out with, talk to and quest with together to make a game utterly enjoyable for me. So Friday night I logged into Neverwinter again and soon got ingame contact with Bonnie. I decided to create a new character (you get 2 char slots to start with) so I could run together with Bonnie. I went for the Control Wizard this time while Bonnie took the Halfling Trickster Rogue route. I enjoyed being back into Neverwinter again. But while this was Bonnie’s first look inside the game, I already felt a bit “been there done that”. And that felt strange to me. Where in DDO, being my first MMO, I never had that feeling even after a year, I had it now only on the 2nd day.

Maybe my MMO knowledge and skills had grown with my +3 years of DDO history. I had fun, don’t get me wrong, but I wanted to speed up more than I had thought I would. I felt like zerging where in my DDO guild I’m known as the flower sniffer and local photographer.

Next Saturday afternoon I logged into Neverwinter again to progress my wizard some more, soloing a lot of the quests while Bonnie tried out other classes to get a feeling of them all. Sunday I logged back to my cleric to progress her some more and see some new content.

But I was alone, and I didn’t feel like questing so much. I just ran around taking screenshots, watching chat and explore the game on itself (I created a channel to see how it worked, it worked!).

I also followed the German devs, they were streaming live gameplay and it was very fun to watch them play and answering all sorts of questions on the stream-chat. That’s how I learned about a get-together for the German players Sunday evening at 7pm. I decided to go check it out for the fun. But the devs didn’t come so it was just a bit of fooling and dancing from the German players and me watching them.

Following ingame chat again I saw another gathering, this time for a founders photo moment from the last Closed Beta players. Again I headed out to where the party was and just stood there and watched everyone going about and standing on the steps for the perfect picture to be taken. It was fun but it wasn’t as much fun without my friend-guildies around.

So around 10pm, after the picture gathering I decided to log off and log into DDO again to see what my guildies were up to. They had room for more on their lowbie TR train so I jumped in and enjoyed the company before heading to bed.


And now the waiting begins. April 30 will be the next milestone in my gaming experience. I can’t wait to start a new journey in Neverwinter, for reals this time. All previously created characters in Neverwinter will be deleted before the Open Beta, starting from scratch again but now for realz.

Hopefully with a nice chunk of guildies to enhance my joy, I need them around because I am a social gamer. And because I love them.  Yup.

But as I said before, Neverwinter won’t replace DDO, I think the 2 will go together very well. At first Neverwinter might have the overhand because it’s all new and shiny but in time it’ll settle down and hopefully become a static part of my gaming evenings as is DDO currently and will be.

14 days and the Daily Dice

When the Daily Dice made their appearence into DDO i have mixed feelings about them. But i think i’m leaning towards like mostly, because hey, it’s free and it gives goodies!

From day 1 on i decided to keep track of my rolls and winnings, so here comes my list:

  • Day – roll – reward
  • 1 – 13 – 1000 plat and 1 Astral Shard (AS)
  • 2 – 15 – 1012 plat
  • 3 – 58 – 10 lesser water essences
  • 4 – 47 – 4 greater divine essences
  • 5 – 31 – 1 phoenix tavern purchase order and 2 AS
  • 6 – 25 – 1015 plat
  • 7 – 22 – 1034 plat
  • 8 – 74 – Major Memnonic pot
  • 9 – 40 – 1 sweet whitecap
  • 10 – 10 – 1100 plat and 1 AS
  • 11 – 96 – 15 AS
  • 12 – 43 – 1 sweet whitecap
  • 13 – 21 – 1064 plat
  • 14 – 76 – Major Memnonic pot

So after 14 days of rolling (Free Silver rolls, i don’t pay for a higher chance of luck) my feelings stay mixed. While it’s all free, there is some pretty crap in the winnings. I mean, Sweet Whitecap? Phoenix Tavern Order? Really? REALLY?? Even the essences bug the hell out of me. But it’s free so i can’t really complain about it can i? And the income of AS is a very nice addition.

Since there’s a good chance of winning Maj Mem pots i only roll on chars who have a good blue bar to make use of that pot of magical spellpoints.

Daily Dice, since it’s free i don’t mind it being there, i’ll take the free roll thank you!

My own little corner

With all this talking on twitter and the soon to be dead MyDDO, i’ve decided to export my current MyDDO page to a newly created WordPress site: Mari’s Madness. Not that it will increase the amount of blogs i’ll post, but just in case i feel like posting something i have this corner to vent my thoughts