One nice thing about some online games such as DDO, is that they are free-to-play (often written as f2p) to some extent. It allows you to try out a game without investing money in an unknown. DDO actually can be played without spending a single penny, and ultimately allow you to have access to almost everything that a subscriber does. Just be warned that it is very time consuming to get to that point. Most players that stick with DDO will usually invest at least a little money in the game and become what is called a Premium player. But all player types can earn purchasing power by playing the game. ( A comparison table of player types is on the wiki at http://ddowiki.com/page/Account_comparisons.)
How do you go about getting closer to that goal of getting most of the things that subscribers do? You do it through purchases from the in game DDO Store using Turbine Points (abbreviated as TP). There are some items in the DDO store that are not given to any type of player for free. But VIP subscribers are given a 500 TP monthly allowance to help them in purchasing these things, though any type player can purchase them if desired. But the main thing that VIPs get for free is access to all the quest content that is not part of an expansion pack. For any other player, these adventure packs must be purchased in the DDO Store using Turbine Points. Or someone who has access to a pack can buy a time limited guest pass from the DDO Store and use it on you.
EARNING TURBINE POINTS
To earn Turbine Points you run quests. Each quest you complete successfully can earn you TP. If you open up your Adventure Compendium (by default the ‘L’ key, or on the main menu in the lower left corner), there are two tabs relevant to favor. The ADVENTURES tab has a column that lists the favor you have earned so far running each quest that you have completed. Every time you complete a quest on a higher difficulty setting, this number increases. Once you have completed a quest on the elite difficulty, you can no longer earn any more favor from that quest.
The other relevant tab is the PATRONS tab. Each quest you run is done on behalf of a particular patron. When you reach a certain number of favor points with that patron, the head of that organization will send you in game mail asking you to visit and give you some kind of reward (More details are availble at http://ddowiki.com/page/Favor). But this doesn’t get you TP. The number we are interested in is the total accumulated favor that is listed at the bottom. Every patron’s current favor points are added up to get this number. When this number reaches a number evenly divisible by 100, then you will receive in game mail telling you that you have been awarded 25 TP.
(NOTE : There is also a CHALLENGES tab in the Adventure Compendium. But most people do not try to accumulate favor from challenges, unless they are trying to earn favor with that patron. Access to challenges is via VIP subscription, challenge pack purchase, or the daily free Universal Challenge Token. See http://ddowiki.com/page/Challenges for more information.)
SERVER FARMING FOR TP
Besides the standard 25 TP per 100 favor points, there are other milestones that can be reach one time and one time only on each server. That is to say that you can log on to a server that you never, ever played on before and receive bonus TP when you reach those milestones. There is no way around the one time restriction. You can’t delete a character and reach the same bonus milestone again. You can’t play another character and reach that bonus milestone again. (Although any toon can reach a bonus milestone. You don’t have to do all your bonus milestones on one toon). Most people will only play on a server to the first 100 favor points. Along the way, there are bonus milestones that will help you accumulate a total of 125 TP when you reach your first ever 100 favor points on that server. Multiply that by eight servers and you have 1000 TP waiting for you via the typical server farm.
There are people who will create and delete toons strictly for the purpose of reaching 100 favor quickly for the standard 25 TP reward. They usually only do this when they have some other player who can open quests on elite for them, and possibly help complete them quickly. Since they plan to delete the toon anyways, they are not concerned about Experience points and thus the helper can be extremely over leveled compared to the quest. (Although this really isn’t necessary, just convenient.) It is rare to see someone use a toon to do enough quests solo to acheive 100 favor for the purposes of farming TP, unless they are a VIP and thus have the ability to unlock elite difficulty on their first run.
BUYING TURBINE POINTS
If you do continue to play DDO after trying it out, you might consider buying some Turbine Points to use in the DDO Store. Just a single purchase will upgrade you to Premium status. Other advantages are listed in the URL near the beginning of this post, but one key advantage is that you get two more toon slots for each server. The normal price of one additional character slot is 625 TP. So in addition to the TP you purchase, you are getting a 1250 TP value in the form of two toon slots the first time you purchase TP.
TP can be purchase in many places. The in game DDO Store has an ADD POINTS button in the upper left corner. You will be taken to a page with BUY NOW buttons for points packages. (Occasionally there is a sale where the BONUS POINTS value will increase temporarily). On the right side is a box where you can redeem point codes. These codes are either on cards purchased at your local retailer, or provided by Turbine via special offers and on their DDO Market website. (Do a google search on ddo market, or visit http://www.ddo.com and mouse over the STORE drop down menu).
There is also the option of becoming a temporary subscriber to try all the content out and accumulate 500 TP per month. When your subscription expires, you become a Premium player even if you have never purchased any TP. At that point you can spend your TP on things that you had access to as a VIP. But you cannot buy things you have access to as a VIP until your subscription expires or is canceled.