Random Useless Notions on the Recent Expansion
The original idea behind this post was to be about gear for characters between the levels of 10 and 15, but with the acquisition of the newest DDO expansion “Mists of Ravenloft”, I figured something based on it would be most beneficial.
I had decided that I would stick with the basic bundle, as the majority of what was offered I considered “fluff”, by which I mean cosmetic items/ companions. The raven, the cat, the two outfits, and the weapon aura all gave little encouragement to spend extra money.
The benefits I was most interested in were the hirelings (levels 10 & 30), and the Aasimar race as a permanent fixture due to the purchase. The area was what mattered most, of course, but it is always nice to have another racial option as well as help for solo adventures in the form of extra bodies.
My choice did not matter in the end, as it was purchased for me as a gift, which still has me baffled. I was given the biggest bundle, and any/ all my protests were stifled.
So, Ultimate Fan Bundle codes “in hand”, I claimed my very own Ravenloft-based goodness though the way the bundle cosmetics were handled has me rather perplexed.
On to the core of the expansion, Ravenloft itself.
First off, I don’t recommend doing the quest to get to ravenloft alone on elite.
I tried this and was squashed in short order, thus I recommend the hard difficulty for non-elite solo players, even in heroics. Unless, of course, you’re one of the players that can solo Reaper modes with little to no issues.
Once you have gotten to Ravenloft, don’t be surprised by the fact that the wilderness is shown in its entirety on your map. Not sure if this is by design, or was just missed and will be missed later.
Also, the rumors are true: Ravenloft wilderness is an overwhelming expanse!
There are plenty of explorers and slayers, but the rares-which bring an “easter egg hunt” feel to every wilderness- have sparse spawn points, and the chance of no spawns could mean hours of your time wasted.
Still, some people (myself included) will enjoy the wilderness for those exact same reasons. For punishment, as they say, we are all gluttons.
I’m still torn on this idea. On one hand, it is new concept that may bring old players back, and new players to the fold. On the other, the intermittent chattering of a weapon that has only one of three (initial) personalities can grate on the nerves. Thankfully, you can mute the weapon’s voice if you do get perturbed.
The first time out in the wilderness brings with it a sweet reward in the form of a free Barovian weapon! This thing is sweet! It is silver, has a lot of properties that are great for hunting undead/ lycanthropes (werewolves, etc), and since it is named, can be used as sentient jewel fodder if you already have a better weapon! I could go on and on about this free item, but that perhaps is not the best course of action.
I have yet to test if you’re able to get a weapon in epics if you received one in heroics, so not sure if you should grab that heroic version or wait for the epic. If it considers heroic and epic versions seperate, like most wilderness areas, then you should be safe.
The one thing that I feel that the Devs got 100% right was the music. If you enjoy many forms of music, you will just love the Romani feel brought on by the expansion’s score. It is typical for me to play DDO with the music off or low because other music is preferred, however Ravenloft will continue to be the exception.
It is unfortunate that I have not been able to spend more time in this expansion, as I cannot really speak to this topic. I have gone through one quest, and a majority of the wilderness, but that is the extent of my experience. I shall leave this topic for other, more knowledgeable players.
The one thing I can say about the difficulty is that the initial quest borders on ludicrous.
I cannot express how delighted I am over the graphical nature of Ravenloft. Every visual aspect of the expansion has me impressed. Some of the creatures can look a bit cartoonish (Vargouille, I’m looking at you!), but that has more to do with D&D and its the nature of its creatures.
Is the expansion worth the $40 price point (basic bundle)? Yes, without a doubt. The Devs have outdone themselves with Ravenloft, and it was well worth the wait. Should you go out and get it right now if you have not already done so? Yes, without a doubt, though not at the cost of your ability to feed, clothe, and house yourself. As always, real life over virtual!