EDIT : A link to the DDO forums post that links here is now provided at the bottom of the post.
On May 10th I semi-officially opened DDO U for business. Since then my time has been taken up by my Real Life, playing my main account for fun, and preparing as best I could to take the University main stream. I will be posting a link to this blog post on the DDO forums, and hope those who follow the link will poke around further and comment about posts, pages, this website, and the University concept in general. But I felt I needed to state where the University stands at this point and some thoughts on going forward.
I have taken some time to answer questions on various servers while playing my University toons. I have also conversed with other players who often help out via the advice channel and were curious about the University. I thought I’d first take some time to summarize what I discussed with them.
The University is not an ego trip on my part or meant to be the end all and be all of DDO websites, guilds, etc. Nor is it in any way meant to be competitive with any of the helpful players or good web resources that already exist. The guilds that are established on each server will probably just be an initial guild for new players until they find a guild that suits their playstyle, play hours, etc. I do have some thoughts that eventually it might house research toons of various players that test out game functionality and help update the DDO wiki. It is also meant to house toons of the staff who would be available to answer questions on the guild chat channels, as well as run quests with other guild members. I am seriously considering establishing a user chat channel on each of the servers so guild, former guild and non-guild members can interact. Rule seven of the University Code of Conduct is there for this purpose. At this point there is not going to be any consideration about renown and guild level. The guilds will be focused on education and community. Any airships and amenities we can buy will just be a bonus.
I have not had time to recruit staff to the University yet. I did not feel it would be fair to recruit students until there was sufficient staff that the guilds, guild chat channels, the website, etc were staffed well enough to justify it. This post is an appeal to the DDO community to help boot strap the process and a sort of State of the Union Address that I feel should be done from time to time to keep all members of the University apprised of its status and direction. If you would like to become staff at the University, please read the About page, the Code of Conduct page, and then find the Dean of the local Campus/guild listed on the Guilds page. Send the Dean in game mail and describe what kind of effort you would like to contribute in helping run the University. I hope I will have time to interview each applicant and I seriously doubt that I will turn anyone down, even if I cannot arrange an interview. I definitely need all the help I can get and hope that eventually the staff will share responsibility for running and administrating all aspects of the University.
Again the University is not about me. It is about the DDO community and enhancing it. There is a president account that the Dean toons belong to. Each Dean is the leader of the guild on that server. The president account at some point may be passed to another person. You are free to join a guild with any toon you may have, and are in no way required to become staff if you are an experienced player. I am just establishing the generic title of staff to designate anyone who has officer status in a guild, contributes to the website, etc. Anyone and everyone who is okay with abiding by the Code of Conduct is welcome to participate in the University as much or as little as they want to. You do not even have to be a University member to comment on this website’s blog posts and web pages.
Besides the Deans, I have built what I call a Pickpocket Preist on each of the servers. It is a level four helper toon with three levels of Cleric and one level of Rogue. It is appropriately geared to heal, do traps and turn undead. It is viable for all level two quests on elite difficulty and has been tested a bit on level four quests on elite. I have no idea if the build would be viable in end game, but they are meant to stay at level four forever. While experienced players can solo or duo low level quests on elite, new players lack the experience, the platinum to buy good gear/healing pots/etc, and often need both a healer and a trapper to round out their party. I will probably post the build here on the University website at some point in case other members would like to build similar toons, and perhaps level them up a bit more to help out in higher level quests.
Update 19 is due out on August 19th. It is likely to create a large influx of players both new and returning. Some new players will immediately purchase the Shadowfell expansion pack or wait a little while and purchase it within the first month. The addition of Iconic Heroes who start out at level 15 will create some interesting situations with players unfamiliar with the game. There is also the enhancement revamp, which will take most players, including me, time to get used to. My hope is that some people who join the University will step up to the challenge of being prepared to help, educate and research these.
That is all for now. If I can think of anything else, I will add an EDIT message at the top of the post, and a change log at the bottom. It has been fun establishing the University, and if it is not needed, wanted, useful, etc. at this time, it can always be shelved until later. I hope enough people do think it is a good idea and support it, get it going and growing, and use it to help keep DDO an enjoyable gaming experience. See you in game.
If you did not find this blog post through the DDO forums, you may want to check out the discussion going on there in the thread that points to this. The URL is :
Eventually most if not all of the discussions there will probably be brought to this website.
CHANGE LOG :
8/10/2013 Added link to forum post