The New Player Guide to DDO First Level Gear
Every so often I think to myself “How did I ever make it off of the starter area in DDO without my current set of knowledge? The answer to this is easy: the game pretty much gave me what I needed to survive.
What I didn’t know then, I now have set deep in my brain. The DDO starter area is not just a good way to get from levels 1-4 on a new character, for new players it’s also an undeniable absolute necessity. Why? Simple, it is a great way to teach new players how to play.
Tool tips, Lingo, and easy quests made just for beginners, make the starter island of Korthos an ideal place for new players to start their adventure. Another a bullet point, and one I consider to be the most important, to consider is gear.
For the sake of clarity, I want to express that this list will focus on gear for new players that is both useful, and easy to acquire. Any “Twink” gear is unlikely to be available to new players, and will thus be an obvious omission.
Here are 10 items from Korthos for new players that I highly recommend:
- Ember Weapons/ Eternal Wands/ Soren’s Handwraps: Let’s start with the first quest and the lovely weapons provided as end rewards: The large list of weapons presented have an added one point of fire damage. Eternal Wands have 50 charges that reset when you rest. Soren’s Handwraps for the Monk provide 1 additional point of acid damage. Granted, one point may not seem like much, but at the first few levels a big difference can be made with any amount of additional damage.
- Amulet of Inner Focus/ Amulet of the Brute: For casters, the Amulet of Inner Focus is a very nice boost to concentration, which will help maintain your casting if you get hit. The Amulet of the Brute is a boost to your Con (health), but at penalties to your Intelligence and Wisdom, so not as useful for most classes. The Barbarian makes the most use of this item.
- Spear Bane: All characters can do with more resistance to ranged damage, since archers are deadly at these levels. Another point for this item is that Sauhuagin are what you will come across most in Korthos, and they use spears. There are other choices for an end reward, but four points of damage resisted from every piercing attack, which- for new players- makes this item rather indispensable!
- Rugged Belt: What keeps characters alive in the game? Health, also known as Hit Points (HP). What is better than a level 1 belt that provides more HP? Very little. Get this early (I do this quest right after Heyton’s Rest), and equip it with all speed.
- Fintan’s Bite: Regardless of your build (unless you play a monk), at the first few levels you will probably need to swing a weapon at some point. While there are many decent choices for this quest’s end reward, Fintan’s Bite has the chance to provide an additional 15 points temporary HP that last for a minute. Unless you are a 2-handed wielder, this is a very powerful weapon at early levels. Though slated as to when you are able to run this quest, this weapon can make your early DDO life a whole lot easier.
- Anger’s Step: One of the biggest issues with early levels is the speed at which your character runs through a quest. These boots give two five minute “Expeditious Retreat” casts upon activation, which will help you keep up with the more experienced/ geared characters in your group. Or it will just make sure you don’t get the urge to bash your head against a brick wall due to the run speed. You can get these as an end reward from the quest “Sacrifices” out in the Korthos Island wilderness, and they provide a 25% boost to your speed. Run the quest twice, take these each time, and put them on your hotbar to avoid a boredom attack!
- Goggles of Insight: Much of the length of early level battles comes due to how often a character misses their target. In this sense, every little bit can help, and this is where the Goggles of Insight shine. As with additional damage, any amount of additional to-hit chance is a huge boon. Gained as an end reward from the quest “Necromancer’s Doom”, these goggles provide a passive +1 competence bonus to-hit, which stacks with weapon and other equipment bonuses (which I will talk about later in this blog), which-as a piece of starter gear- makes these goggles invaluable.
- Battered Helm: Finances for new players tends to be a large obstacle. Costs for repairs, upgraded equipment, and hirelings all eat away at a character’s funds. One thing that helps is to have the skill “Haggle”, which will bring players better prices when they sell equipment they deem no longer necessary. The quest “Stopping the Sauhuagin” is not just a fun quest, but provides a lot of experience. The best part of the quest, however, is the end reward. The Battered helm has two traits, but the one that brings a benefit to all players is the +1 to “Haggle”. No need to keep this item on, as there are plenty of good helms and hats to use, but put it on your hotbar and swap to it whenever you sell your extras and you’ll notice an increase in your available funds. [Screencap Unavailable]
- Feather Cloak: The “Redemption” quest is necessary to continue the Korthos storyline, but it also has an end reward that is a sleeper gem! After you’ve helped beat back the Sauhuagin invasion and kept Lars Heyton alive throughout, speak with Ursa (the quest giver) again to receive your end reward, and choose the Feather Cloak. Unless you’ve gotten your first Feather Fall item, the Feather Cloak fills a necessary void in your gear. Upon activation, it allows you a relaxed slow float to the floor rather than a breakneck fall at the speed of death. Place this on your gear hotbar, and get ready to use it in the next quest (and- most like- a lot of quests afterwards), for it makes the journey back to the gem-locked door much easier.
- Anger’s Gift/ Archivist’s Necklace: Misery’s Peak provides so much XP, it is worth how long it takes to run. Whether you’re with a group or solo, there’s just so much XP that to skip it is ludicrous! However, there’s another reason to run this quest, and again it’s the end reward. If you’re a caster, you’re going to want Archivist’s Necklace for the two mnemonic enhancements, as they’re a way to get some extra spell points when you run out. Regardless of your build, however, if you use Anger’s Step, it is best if you go with Anger’s Gift. Alone, Anger’s Gift provides +1 to Strength and a +1 resistance bonus to all Saving Throws. This item is part of a set, however, and together with Anger’s Step provides an untyped +2 bonus to-hit that stacks with the competence bonus provided by the Goggles of Insight! That’s a +3 to hit that doesn’t even include any bonuses from weapons! [Screencap Unavailable]
As newer players get more experienced at playing the game or just get better gear, these may fade out, but for your first character, or even just one you don’t want to “Twink” (use gear that is powerful and uncommon for the level).
If you have other advice for new or uninformed players on how to best gear up for the levels 1-5, or are a new player and have a question, let me know in the comments!
As usual, I appreciate the time you took out of your day to read this blog, and your continued readership! Hope you all have a great day, and that we’ll see you back here again soon!
*Disclaimer: Any/ all screenshots of the gear description in this blog were used from the DDO Wiki, all credit goes to them.