Monday, July 8, 2013

Monsters! Monsters! Monsters!!!

Beholder from DDO 
Apologies for the lack of updates. Seems I have only been able to update after holiday or on holiday break, but as we move deeper into summer I hope to get a chance to play more. My dwarf paladin joined a guild last night!!

Lately I have been reminiscing about my youth as I dusted off my old 1st edition D&D books from the garage, it brought back a lot of old memories, some of these memories are the reason I play D&D video games today, and fantasy themed games and mmos like World of Warcraft and Dark Age of Camelot.

I can vividly recall sitting in the front yard of my parent's house as a boy, as I attempted to DM adventures for my brother, cousin and junior high school buddies, later carrying the hobby into my high school years, even though it was mostly a secretive activity back then. The jocks and popular kids would have branded you a nerd or geek and never spoken to you had they realized you were a DM, running strange adventures, much the same way geeks had been ridiculed these days, until the mass media started cashing in on the geek lifestyle through super hero movies and other ways to make money off the masses.

Well, one thing I think is lacking in DDO and which would make the game more fun is to incorporate some of the old classic D&D monsters into the game. I can't speak about later editions of D&D as I never really played them, but at least from the classic first edition Monster Manual and from Monster Manual II, even though I have encountered some of these monsters and foes in the game, like kobolds, Bugbears and even the epic beholder, a lot more from these classic pages penned by Gary Gygax should be incorporated into the flavor of the game in my opinion.

Of course, some might argue that the initial problem was that DDO is set in Stormreach, therefore precluding a wide range of baddies from popping in,simply due to the nature of the setting. Fair enough, but now that DDO is being expanded into the Forgotten Realms and beyond with the new expansions, there is ample opportunities to populate the game with some more of these classic creatures.

The developers did incorporate a bestiary in game a while back, which I thought was a magnificent addition to the game. In one handy resource, a player can look at the creature he has encountered in game thus far, and see how many of these kinds of creatures he has slaughtered by himself or with a party. DDO wiki also has this list of creatures currently found in the game. I can tell you that I have already taken down a great number of zombies myself through my DDO travels in Stormreach. What was significantly satisfying playing those old D&D modules back in the day, was each brought its own flavor and style to the given campaign being run. For example, "The Lost City" adventure module by Tom Moldvay introduced banshees, Cynidiceans and Werefoxes, which was not uncommon given the theme of the module. DDO needs to be able to renew itself and adding classic D&D monsters into the mix will give new players an introduction to these creatures and will make long time players such as myself feel nostalgic therefore more attached to the game. It's a win, win!!