State of the University

I just wanted to post a quick update as to what’s been going on with the University. I had real life intervene and less time to play DDO, so the guild on the Cannith server never got off the ground. And I’m sorry to say I was not very diligent about checking mail on the Dean accounts or PMs on the official forums. So for quite some time the University has been unofficially shelved. At this time I don’t have any definite plans on what to do with the University. I am however excited by Evennote on the Thelanis server starting a DDO Players Helping Players initiative, and plan to support that with the University resources and my available time. I am still open to suggestions on what to do with the University and will happily accept suggestion, help, other authors for blog posts, etc. But at this time I don’t think it would be wise to have the guilds recruiting until enough officers could be found to maintain order and provide help. There may be some future posts on this site about various topics that come up during DDOPHP Q&A sessions, but for now I don’t really have the time to try and un-shelve the University as a whole.

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Chat Box

Looking back, this is probably the first blog post I should have made. There are often people playing DDO at the same time you are that are willing to offer help and advice. But if you are a new player and have only re-sized the Chat Box and maybe moved it, you might not get any help or advice until you are a little more aware of how it works.

IS ANYBODY THERE?

The default Chat Box has 4 tabs, and starts you out on the General tab. Depending on where you are located and what you are doing, typing into it and reading from it can be useful, or just downright frustrating.  If you type something in the General tab and don’t get a response, it doesn’t mean everyone on the entire server is ignoring you. In fact, the General tab defaults to the general channel which is localized to your area. And there are lots of different areas. So what you type there is only available to be seen by those in the same area you are. And if they leave your area, they can no longer communicate with you in the general channel. However there are other reasons why someone might not see what you type there.

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Building up DDO U

I started a thread in the DDO forums on August 4th, located here :

https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthread.php/421716-DDO-University-What-is-is-etc

In an addendum to it (post #4), I ask what the next step should be. I have yet to receive any advice on the subject, so am by default going to try to build up the guild DDO University Cannith since I did get one volunteer to help run it. I have been rather busy with Real Life as of late, but am going to try to fit in an hour here and there to recruit students and staff for it, as well as run quests with new players using my Pickpocket Priest. There will be a server specific post in the DDO forums in the Cannith section that links to this blog entry (the link to which is provided at the bottom of this).

If you are interested in helping out run DDO U, or just helping new players out who join the University, then you will probably want to read the thread mentioned at the beginning of this and the blog post it links to (which should be below this one). Several follow ups to that post have mentioned establishing a chat channel, and I have decided to do so. If you want to join it, please PM me on the DDO forums, or send in game mail to the Dean toon listed on the Guilds page. But do consider making a low level toon and joining the guild. You could switch to it when you see an LFM for a low level quest and help out in guild chat while running the quest. Whether you become an officer or not is up to you. At this point the only duty an officer has is to recruit and help new players after insuring they have read the Code of Conduct which you will need to do, even if all you want to do is join the user chat channel.

If you are a new student on Cannith, welcome. We are trying to build the guild up as fast as we can. Hopefully we will have other students you can run quests with while you are online, but you should also run with people outside the University. There will be a chance that some helpful people will be in your group. If you don’t know about them already, be sure to read the blog post on LFMs. You can learn DDO as fast or as slow as you want to. For some people its just enjoyable to play your character up to a certain level and the delete it and start a toon (which is what some people call a character) that is a different class that you haven’t played yet. But at some point you will want to start reading up on the game. Hopefully we will have more contributors soon to the blog here on the University website so that you can read one every now and then to learn a little more about the game. But if you are in a hurry, be sure to check out the Wiki and other links in the Library under Other Resources. But mainly, have fun and enjoy DDO however you want to. If you stay with it, there’s a lot of richness in how you can build your toons, as well as lots of interesting quest, raids, wilderness areas and loot.

The DDO forums post that links to this blog entry is :

http://www.ddo.com/forums/showthread.php/422595-DDO-University-looking-for-volunteers-to-help-new-players

State of the University

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.

EDIT :

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 :

https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthread.php/421716-DDO-University-What-is-is-etc

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

“Invisibility is broken” myth

While what “broke” invisibility is mostly “fixed”, I thought I’d take the opportunity to explain what happened, as it has to do with a part of DDO most people are not very familiar with. This actually includes me, but I’m going to tackle it anyways and try later to check it against numerous posts made in the DDO forums by experts on the topic.

At the time of this post, we are using Update 18 Patch 2 (or just update 18.2). At some point before this time, a change was made to stealth mechanics that “broke invisibility”. What actually was broken was how stealth mechanics worked. Where many people had found ways of completing some quests quickly by bypassing fights using invisibility on the whole party, these strategies no longer worked. The obvious assumption was that invisibility was broken and that monsters could now “see” you, even if you were invisible. This however was not really the case. The break in the stealth mechanics had caught the invisible by surprise.

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Getting free Turbine Points

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

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Making your own stuff

Ever see a piece of loot in a chest, the Auction House, or at a pawn shop and think something like, “I could use that if it was a ring instead of a pair of gloves.” You might already be a higher level and moved on to better things before you see the ring you wanted. But in DDO there is no need to wait to find that ring you’re looking for, if you take the time to learn how to craft it.

There are many types of crafting in DDO. For a list of them, look at:

http://ddowiki.com/page/Crafting

Crafting can either be the creation of new magical items, or the upgrading of them. You first have to acquire the ingredients, and in the case of upgrading, the magical item to be upgraded. There are lots of different ingredients that can be acquired via quests, raids and wilderness areas. There are also challenges where the amount of ingredients are based on a score of how well you do in the limited time allotted. You may end up having to repeat your quest/raid/wilderness hunt/challenge, multiple times to get enough of an ingredient. You might also have to do different ones to get all the ingredients required. And all of this will be just to perform one crafting operation.But for this posting we’ll be focusing on Cannith Crafting, where you can use the magic on items from loot and end rewards to craft a lot of different things.

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