Ark’s Free-To-Play Acclimatisation Guide for European DDO Players

This is about a week and a half too late, but still.

Dungeons and Dragons Online in Europe never went F2P. When the Codemasters-run servers finally went dark in August, a process began to transfer the players there to Turbine’s DDO server, Ghallanda. After two months trapped alongside General Zod in the Phantom Zone, last week European adventurers finally began to emerge blinkingly into a world at once familiar, but mysteriously altered. A Stormreach where the Silver Flame, once so welcoming, would slam the doors of the Catacombs in the faces of those who had repeatedly saved it from the antics of Archbishop Dryden.

Had everybody been replaced with Pod People? Sadly not, though that would make a pretty great adventure. It was F2P. This article will attempt to help new arrivals to make sense of the new laws of nature with which they must contend.

DDO Armonica The Warforged Welcome Wagon 550x403

Armonica the Warforged and his Welcome Wagon

Everybody who has gone through the convoluted process of getting a transferral code from Codemasters, and using it with Turbine to set their characters on their journey will have received 5250 Turbine Points.

Folks who have received this will fall into one of three categories.

1. People who were current subscribers to Codemasters DDO.

2. People who were past subscribers to Codemasters DDO, but who stopped playing at some point. The move to the US F2P servers has reignited their interest for whatever reason.

3. People who were past subscribers to Codemasters DDO, but who have already moved to the US servers, perhaps when F2P first launched.

The third group, amongst whom I numbered, need little advice from the likes of me, and we can simply rejoice in our windfall of points. The first two groups, however, may be looking at the new system, and feeling a little lost or confused. I’m going to do my best to help!

First of all, lets take a look at the different sorts of DDO account. The rule of three applies once more!

1. VIPs, otherwise known as Subscribers. Similar to how things worked in Europe, with some exceptions. They have access to all adventure packs, and all classes and races apart from Drow and Favoured Souls, which you can either buy, or earn with favour.

2. Free to play. These are people who have never spent any money on DDO. In spite of having been given a bunch of points and subscribing in Europe, all new European arrivals start in this category.

3. Premium. Standing between the darkness and the light, these are people who have either let their subscription lapse, or ever bought points.

This table breaks things down:

VIP

Premium Free
Monthly Fee Yes No No
Turbine Points

500/month
Store Purchase
Favor Reward
Store Purchase
Favor Reward
Store Purchase
Favor Reward
Classes & Races Basic & Premium Free
Favor Unlocked per Server
Buyable for All Servers

Basic Free
Favor Unlocked per Server
Buyable for All Servers
Basic Free
Favor Unlocked per Server
Buyable for All Servers
Geography All Included Free Stormreach & Vicinity

Stormreach & Vicinity
Adventure Packs All Included Free Some Free
Can Purchase Others
Some Free
Can Purchase Others

Base Character Slots 10 4 2
Shared Bank Slot Included Free

Can Purchase Can Purchase
Login Queue Priority High Standard
Chat Unlimited Unlimited Limited
Auctions Unlimited

Unlimited Limited
Mail Unlimited Unlimited Limited

Gold Storage Unlimited Unlimited Limited Based on Level
Until Level 12
Buyback History

40 Items 10 Items 10 Items
Auto Log Off Time 60 minutes 20 minutes

10 minutes
Leveling Unrestricted Unrestricted Unrestricted
Customer Service Full
Self-Service Online

Full For 45 Days
Self-Service Online
Self-Service Online
Compendium Read
Create/Edit
Read
Create/Edit

Read
Official Forums Read
Post
Read
Post
Read
Limited Posting

Beta Priority High Normal Normal

If you were happy to subscribe in Europe, you may want to consider continuing to do that again here. That will give you access to all adventure packs, and many other perks.

One major flaw in how we have been transferred is that you will have lost anything you unlocked via favour, so you will not currently have access to Drow, Favoured Souls, 32-point builds, or Veteran characters. You can unlock them going forward, of course, but it’ll have to be with a character reaching the particular favour level for the first time. Even subscribers won’t have access to these.

If you don’t want to subscribe then I would strongly suggest getting yourself up to Premium level. You can do this by buying the smallest point pack, $6.50 for 420 points, or you could consider just subscribing for a single month if you prefer. Either will get you to Premium, which will make the Auction House and mail properly usable, and bring you up to 4 character slots.

So, what should you spend your points on?

Unless you subscribe you’re very likely to not have anywhere near enough character slots right now, meaning you can’t get at all your existing characters. You can buy more with points. 595 points will get you an additional character slot on each server.

Even once you have enough character slots for your entire menagerie, you will only be able to play those who belong to races and classes that you have access to.

DDO Purchasable Classes
Favoured Soul:895
Monk: 995

DDO Purchasable Races
Drow: 995
Warforged: 795
Half-Orc: 1295
Half-Elf: 1195
Half-Orc/Half-Elf bundle: 1995
Half-Orc/Half-Elf/32 point builds : 2995

One other perk that I consider a must-have is the shared bank. Not only does it make transferring potions and the like between your characters much simpler, many items bind to account rather than to character, and the shared bank is the only way to transfer them between your characters. The mail system won’t work for them. The 20 slot shared bank costs 1495 points. Subscribers get it automatically.

On To The Adventure!

Right, you should now have access to all your characters. I hope you have some points left.

One of the most jarring things about becoming a Premium or F2P player is that an awful lot of the adventures that you will be used to having around will no longer be available to you. Don’t worry, there is actually a fairly generous selection of adventures which are totally free, and you can see a list of those here.

Even so, you are going to find launch-day staples such as Shan-To-Kor and the Catacombs are going to rudely refuse you access until you buy them. I consider the two I just mentioned to be must-haves, and they’re pretty cheap at 250 points each, but which adventure packs you want to prioritise will depend on your level and personal tastes.

The prices I’ve given above are the unmodified prices. However, there are almost always special deals going on with 20% discounts on a selection of adventures, and sometimes more on special occasions. In the shop you can access via the Turbine button in-game, you’ll see a “Today’s Deals” tab. I would suggest only buying the adventure packs that you absolutely need right now, and keep your eyes open on the deals for anything you think you’ll want in the future.

Biding your time has another benefit. As you play you will be acquiring additional Turbine points. Over time you’ll likely gain enough points for another adventure pack or two. I explained exactly how this works in my guide on how to play DDO for free. If you don’t want to, you need never spend another coin to play, and still have a great time.

Finally, I’d just like to welcome you all. I think F2P has, surprisingly, been very good for DDO. New content is coming out at least twice as fast as it used to. They even just added three new completely free adventures. I hope you have as much fun here as I do!

If you have any questions or aspects of the change you’d like me to add to this, please let me know in the comment section!

1 comment to Ark’s Free-To-Play Acclimatisation Guide for European DDO Players

  • Welcome to the EU DDO players! I saw Ark checking out characters in the Massively guild, OnedAwesome on Cannith. I also have a few characters on Ghallanda since that’s where my friends played back in the day.

    One tip: If you’re patent, Turbine has regular sales. You can find info on sales at http://www.ddo.com/ddostore/sales-a-promotions It’s not unusual to get some of the stuff 20-30% off of full price. There’s also less frequent 50% off sales; for example, Veteran Status (starting characters at level 4), some consumables, and a few high-level adventure packs are half off for today and tomorrow to celebrate Veteran’s Day here in the U.S. You can also get email newsletters with sale information, but those don’t always arrive. There are also sales on points where they double the “bonus” points you get; this is about 10%-40% extra depending on the “bundle” you pick. There’s also a current bonus where you can get 1111 points for US$11.11, which is a very good deal in points per dollar if you want to get Premium status.

    Note that Half-Orcs and Half-Elves were recently added, so don’t expect a sale on them anytime soon. Also, most people don’t worry about buying Drow. You can unlock them per server by earning 400 favor, which doesn’t take too long just playing.

    Good luck to all! :)

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