Your typical party. But everybody gets Favored Soul wings, and we still know who's the Bard.
After playing now for a bit over two years (primarily with Monks), I’ve settled into what seems to be a fascinating synergy.
Hanging out in a good guild helps quite a bit. There’s sharing of resources, a common gaming experience where people aren’t surprised by unusual behavior or gameplay (beyond the occasional “Wow, I didn’t know you could do that!” moments as one of us learns something).
But the synergy I’m enjoying of late is the power inherent with a diverse set of characters and the abilities present to ensure that I can equip and enjoy any one of them in gameplay (even if the class isn’t quite my cup of tea).
We are nothing without community. That’s true in the virtual world as well as the real one. We can only play for free and solo for so long before we choose to incorporate more of ourselves with others in the game. Since the nature of the game is an “us versus them” fight, cooperation between players yields rewards. As many of us know, however, cooperation requires patience. You’re not going to get your Ring of the Stalker immediately. Other players may only want to farm one quest only a few times before they are quite bored or tired of it and wish to do something else.
I’m Catholic. We believe that God wants everyone, here on earth and in heaven, to “root” for each other. While He’s the guy that enacts all those good wishes and hopes into being, He takes requests. Those requests can come from those who watch over us as well as ourselves. We have our neighbors that watch over the neighborhood and report suspicious activity–and expect you to do the same for their house. My faith believes that those in heaven also watch over us in a similar way as we watch out for each other below. We call this “the Communion of Saints.” Not that all of us below are saintly–but we try to be, at the least, by watching out for each other.
The gaming world is like this when all is well, and has several levels. At a character level, each of my toons offers something to a party. My Rogue removes traps and unlocks doors. My Monks bring the mystical smackdown in various ways. My cleric keeps many hale and hearty throughout the adventure. NPCs throughout the Houses “watch” our work for them and offer us rewards for helping them through Favor.
My toons also aid each other. My artificer is now a high-level crafter and can now craft metalline and Vampirism weaponry. But she’s not one to venture into quests where special ingredients to do this are found. For that, she calls on my most powerful Monk to farm the place to get these items (And with ease. Watching five vampires go “poof” in a puff of Everything is Nothing to immediately complete the quest is a Crowning Moment of Funny.). In turn, my other toons hand over unusable loot for crunching into essences. My artificer also offers to help others in the guild in crafting unbound shards for their needs.
At the guild level, we schedule raids and flagging runs and quest chain runs for other guildies. We don’t schedule these just because our toons have a need, but because we like to socialize in chat. As we play, we catch up on a few things in our lives, mostly concentrate on game news and joke about. A favorite game we play internally of late is posting the soulstone of someone who died in a quest–“up for roll.” I recently had the misfortune of death and getting my stone posted to guild chat. Someone offered 2 platinum. I felt cheapened.
When misfortune hits the guild, we rally about to aid whoever needs it. Often these are gameplay matters–someone has a bad attitude or is violating a guild or game account rule. Sometimes its a matter of a real-life issue. We don’t try to counsel each other about these things, but we show support. The game is meant as a fun place. We want people to log in and take a load off, but we worry when someone is playing quite a bit when we in the guild know that there are bigger problems in their real world that might need attention.
So, I guess my point is to give thanks for the Communion of Toonage we share in DDO. Other games allow the nastier ways of interaction to cause interrupts in gameplay (“griefing”). Thankfully, we have a game universe that fosters cooperation and communication, should we choose do so.
In case I don’t post again beforehand, have a blessed and peaceful Christmas, a happy and safe New Year–and stop bothering the Mayans. The end of the 13th Bak’un is just like our millennium year. Hopefully the only thing that ends with December 21 is our indulgence in stupidity.