High-Level Adventure Preparation
There are many activities in Dungeons and Dragons Online to keep players busy. It's easy to get caught up in one's own little world inside this massive fantasy world. Because low-level quests can be completed by solo adventurers, the inclination is to breeze through them at a breakneck pace, all in the interest of level advancement.
There aren't any set paths to follow, really—there are so many different ways to go about advancing in this game that what one player might find tantalizing, another might find ho-hum. This is because player characters are unique. They have abilities and traits that differ from the next person's character, and they have users that have objectives of their own.
There are also players that have purchased adventure packs or they're VIP members, and this can create another obstacle for players that aren't pay-to-play subscribers. That is, a VIP member can open the elite level of difficulty for any quest in the game. Free-to-play players cannot. This creates a need for players to build friendships with other DDO players, especially those ready to take the next steps: joining a guild and getting into some serious party adventuring.
Players who plan to adventure into higher levels, and probably spend real-world cash along the way to open locked adventures, want to plan for their character's future. Some players boast of attaining high levels alone, without help from other adventurers. If it's true, it's uncommon. Solo adventuring is missing the whole point of Dungeons and Dragons. Not to say it doesn't have its place in the game, but adventuring with others adds excitement and variety to an already exciting adventure game.
Here are 10 steps players can take to meet other players who plan to adventure with others and experience high-level DDO adventuring.
Basic Steps for Finding a Guild
1. Know how to communicate with others. There is a chat system in Dungeons and Dragons Online. It's key for players to know how to use it. When you send another player a personal message, it's called a tell. By using the forward-slash with the word tell, like so: /tell, players can add the name of the players they are wishing to communicate right after and then the message they wish to send. Like this: /tell telisar Hello. Doing that will send a message directly to the player Telisar that says, "Hello."
Why is it so important to know how to chat with others? Guild leaders sometimes advertise on the main chat channel in DDO. They will ask interested persons to contact them by personal message (using the tell system described above). They may want to ask the recruit a few questions or just chat with them to see what sort of guild member they might make. Whichever, it's crucial that players know how to reply to messages sent from other players.
The tell system is universal in DDO, and it's a great way to quiz other players about their guilds, too. For example, imagine a player is adventuring with a group of players he or she hasn't met before. While adventuring, the player meets another player that would make a good adventuring partner. The player can send a personal message to the other player, striking up a conversation. In many cases, adventure partners prove to be future guildmates, and it's a good way to get to know the people inside a guild before joining it.
2. Know what's expected from fellow members of an adventuring party. Higher-level players, in particular, have expectations when they choose to run adventures with others, the highest being that players stay together. It's very frustrating for players to have to search for an adventurer that's become separated from the rest of the party. Equally frustrating is running an adventure with someone who plans to destroy everything in his or her path single-handedly. An important step to finding a good guild is learning to take on dungeons as a team member instead of a team champion.
Many of the quests in DDO are designed to get adventure parties to work together to overcome obstacles. Players that take it upon themselves to get their fellow adventurers through a dungeon as quickly as possible are missing the DDO concept. Team games require a team effort. Guild leaders that see players working well with others will seek out such players to join their guilds.
3. Stay open to criticism and guidance. Since DDO has been around for over five years, the game has some experts. These experienced adventurers, especially those found in active guilds, are often willing to pass their knowledge along to newer players. They may even adopt certain players and help them with information and equipment that could seriously aid them on their own adventures. For example, a newer fighter could be employing a +3 great axe and feeling pretty good about the damage he or she is inflicting with it. But, an experienced player notices a +3 Seeker Great Axe of Pure Good available at the auction house. This experienced player might buy the axe and give it to the newer player, who had no idea of the benefits of using such a magical weapon. So, not only does the newer player gain an excellent new weapon, he or she learns about the magical crafting properties Seeker and Pure Good.
4. Make an effort to help other players. This is something many guilds look for when considering a recruit. Players that are willing to help new players with gear, advice, or quest aid are likely to draw interest from the more active guilds. It's a way that guilds keep new members involved and optimistic. If you've recently joined a guild and its members largely ignore you over an extended period of time, it's time to look for another guild. Likewise, if a player is a member of an outgoing guild and never takes any time to get to know other guild members or has no interest in adventuring with others, they could find themselves seeking out a new guild.
5. Be polite. Dungeons and Dragons Online has a community composed of players from all over the world. Some of them might struggle with English. There are Chinese, French, Brazilian, and many other language-based guilds. One should treat all other players with respect and patience. Players that are rude, insensitive, or sometimes even silly can find themselves viewed in a negative light by the DDO community. This is one set of gamers that police their game chat, and they do so with vigor. Players should use all public channels with a purpose. Additionally, players needn't overuse the guild chat channel once they join a guild; it's used for social interaction and guild member queries.
6. Locating a guild worth being in. The best way to find a guild a player will be comfortable with is to adventure with the guild's members. The best guild relations often happen by chance.
It's possible players will end up in a guild they aren't satisfied with, no matter the reputation of the guild. Some guilds have younger members; others have old tabletop gamers who have joined the online community. If you aren't making regular friends to share your adventure exploits, it's time to find a new guild and try again. It's never a happy circumstance when a player leaves a guild, but sadly, it's sometimes necessary for players that refuse to spend their time solo questing on an MMORPG like Dungeons and Dragons Online.
7. Adventure pack access. Players need to consider the other guild members' membership status. If the majority of the players in your guild are free to play and haven't any plans to purchase adventure packs, you won't find much in common if you're a VIP member. Higher-level guilds have more VIP members, and lower-level guilds are more apt to recruit newer players. That being said, most guilds are made up of a mix of VIPs and free-to-play players.
8. Can you hold your own in quests? Many newer players fall victim to bad character builds. High-level adventurers, for the most part, are running quests with toons built to maximize their feature attributes. If a player joins a party as a cleric, for example, and doesn't have a high wisdom score with a strong healing ability, the other players in the party are going to wonder why. Character builds are important in every aspect of DDO; indeed, they leave little room for error when taking on tough, high-level adventures.
One option for players that have made friends in a guild, but are playing an inadequate toon, is to delete and create the same character over again. A friend, who must be at least an officer in the guild, can invite the re-created toon back into the guild.
9. Guild Airships. This is normally only a consideration for high-level, experienced DDO players. There are certain powerful devices that advanced guilds might have on an expensive airship. Even on lesser airships, members expect leadership to keep the ship maintained. These ships offer players quicker travel and player boosts. If a player joins a guild and sees an empty airship and low membership activity, again, it's time to seek a new guild.
10. Guild Membership. Leadership struggles develop in guilds of all sizes. When joining a new guild, players should note hostile or aggressive language between any of its members. If the guild members aren't projecting a positive experience with their guild, there could be a problem with its leadership.
Guilds normally have one leader and one alternate. If neither of those two is active, the guild is probably going to see low activity or a mass exodus of its members in the future. For players that are striving for the ultimate goals in Dungeons and Dragons Online—a completion of the game's storyline and achieving player level 20—the most essential tool to get them there will be their adventurer friends and guildmates.
© 2012 Jason Marovich
Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on April 28, 2015:
Jason, I didn't know D&D was now available online. Times have changed. Great tips for those who are enthusiasts in the game. Voted up for interesting!
Jason Marovich (author) from United States on May 06, 2012:
You need to buy a Guild Charter from the DDO Store, if you aren't a VIP member. Press 'o' to open social panel and then click the Guild tab. There you can create your guild. (Also, the text command: create *your guild name*).
ninikins on May 06, 2012:
how do you start a guild?????