What Inspires You?


Or are you waiting for somebody else to save her because you’re still grinding for that Epic Destiny for more DPS? She’s not going to save herself, you know. (And if she does save herself, she’s not going to want you playing with her.)

Noticed that OurDDO and the DDO forums aren’t very active today.

I find that disturbing. The younger generation aren’t entirely adapting Cobainian or Meyerist philosophies, are they?

I mean, the gaming community can’t possibly be filled with players who wait to be entertained (and bitch when they think it sucks) or sit on their butts waiting for the world to change because they’re too indifferent to realize that the world requires their direct action for any change of significance to occur.

I’m older than most gamers. I’m also part of the last group of Baby Boomers (although my wife continues to try to label me as a “Generation X’er”). This gives me an insight into the past, a past where smartphones, personal computers and video games did not exist.

I’m also a big-picture person. That ability hasn’t gotten me rich or anything yet, but it does allow me to ask questions that others may not initially think of asking.

Today’s question is, as the post title asks, “What inspires you?”

I admit the question is very broad, so I’ll pop in some general directions to flesh out the idea.

What Inspires Your Builds?

As frequent readers have learned, I don’t typically solicit or adapt builds.

The closest I’ve done to adapting a build is the Shiradi Shuricannon, a build designed by someone else. Firewall noted that my build seems a little different than his original design, despite my attempts to actually replicate his build. I guess my individuality creeped into what became Szyncletica.

I tend to look at the game design and adapt a gameplay style based on a specific ability(s), class theme or game feature. My love of Monks empowers much of what I do here. They are a mystical class and I exploit that to the letter and to the role’s true nature.

Kiricletica is a generally stock Ninja Spy that leverages the stealth game mechanics. Ryncletica began my exploration into Ninja Spies, helped me define a kunoichi theme.

Syncletica favors Wind Stance while Lynncletica favored Earth. Ryncletica began to learn the benefits of Water Stance while Quintessica, back in the old days before Update 19, favored all the stances in an “Avatar” concept.

Do you find your ideas from reading the forums or blogs, or somewhere else? Do you generate your own builds? Do you share them?

What Inspires Your Gameplay?

Are you a player that simply grinds away? Do you design for power and performance or for more subtlety?

Do you even bother reading the “flavor text” of a quest? Do you appreciate or even care about the background story? I was jazzed on the “Storm Horns” quest chain and floored to see the Netherese again after enjoying them years before in a Neverwinter Nights expansion. And the wastes of Anauroch are coming to DDO soon for more Netheril antics.

The DDO forums are filled with build information. But most of these builds are based on exploiting the multiclassing options to increase combat prowess.

I’m not necessarily arguing for or against multiclassing here. I’m simply pointing out that multiclassing seems less used for anything other than increasing raw damage or sometimes defense.

Do you look at the game’s features itself to design characters? That is, look at the principles of spell power and magnify that information into a build? Or take the weakest weapon in the game and augment it to generate a powerful fighter?

Do you look at specific enemies and how to overcome them with a build or tactic?

Do you look to external sources such as TV or films? Most readers here know of my fondness towards anime and how two shows, Log Horizon and Sword Art Online, both with very different takes on the RPG game world, have inspired me to make new characters–and still do.

How about imposing conditions to your gameplay to limit what you can do to give a greater challenge? I did that with Kiricletica and her self-imposed challenge to sneak through the game with as few kills as she could.

What Do You Offer?

DDO is a game of cooperation and participation. Even if you choose to play the game completely without human players in your party, you’re still dependent on the resources of the stores to find items you may not be able to farm easily or otherwise attain at all.

Do you sell items not only for more cash for your characters, but also because you know that others may find your items useful?

If you like most of us, we often play with people we’ve come to know, either through a guild or frequent play time by association. If those friends were asked what you and your characters bring to the party, would their answer be more praise about you, the player, rather than general descriptions of your characters?

I’ll defer on what I bring to the game while I’m playing it. To-date, externally I’ve brought two game guides and this blog to reflect my thoughts on it. It’s rather self-serving to make this point on a blog post on this subject, but you see what I mean.

While not all of us can make a game guide, do you frequent the DDO forums to ask or offer advice to or from other players? Do you submit official bug reports when you find something amiss? Do you contribute to the DDO Wiki? Do you have your own blog?

Are you one of the brilliant souls that have generated respected game resources such as the DDO Character Planner or the Cannith Crafting Generator, or a smartphone app?

What do you do for your guild?

Do you help entertain, or wait to be entertained?

What Keeps You Coming Back to DDO?

As new games arrive, many players take off to spend time in those games. A few often find themselves returning to DDO. A common reason involves DDO’s versatility. The D&D character generation system is well-advanced here, with many 3.5e and 4.0 characters. Years of development have made dozens and dozens of quests and several raids. In short, DDO has more content, with more to come.

I’ve still not exhausted DDO. The world is vast and infinite. That’s not only in content, but the mechanics that give me freedom to try something new. And most of you know that I’m still playing Monks predominantly. I’ve only scratched the surface of other classes and what they have to offer.

At this rate, I’m likely to be one of the players that will be the last to switch off the lights on my drydocked guild airship when the world of DDO goes offline for the last time.

I keep writing here as a testament of the game’s inspiration to consider what I can do next with my characters. Lately, that idea’s extended into what I can do with other players, thanks to Stormreach Shadows, the stealth guide.

Far flashier games exist out there. Why are you still here, and happy to be here?

14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. James
    Oct 13, 2014 @ 13:53:37

    I’m here since it’s the only way I can play monks. NWN1 and NWN2 are essentially dead. World of Warcraft monks are not like D&D monks.The new neverwinter is inspiring but again they got no monks. Can you see a theme? heh. Granted I play on Thelanis since I got a guild I can do stuff with.

  2. FuzzyDuck81
    Oct 13, 2014 @ 16:11:59

    I generally like to build my characters by figuring out a general concept for them first, then working out what class(es) & abilities will mesh with it – so for one example, i wanted a greatsword-swinging robot, entirely melee that could heal itself & be about doing AoE stuff & basically not subtle in the slightest. Before the u23 changes where i reincarnated it into more of a “proper” paladin, it ended up as a blend of favoured soul, wizard & just a splash of paladin, using a combination of warpriest, eldtritch knight & just a touch of AoV, and was very capable, even if people looked at the level split & tended to think “oh, some freaky one-trick shiradi caster” 🙂

    • teachersyn
      Oct 13, 2014 @ 16:14:02

      When you make a build that NO ONE else understands, I think you’re doing It right. 🙂 A Monk wielding a maul might be one of these.

  3. Tom Aparo
    Oct 13, 2014 @ 17:48:22

    I think of a character or a hero and think about how their lives might be shaped, but with the parameters of the game in mind. I do a lot of soloing and never seem to have the time to play a set schedule. I have a monk on Thelanis and I manage to have fun though I certainly am no great gamer. With the soloing in mind I generally build for survivability and damage output.

    • teachersyn
      Oct 13, 2014 @ 20:35:58

      Logical considerations to do. I’m not saying that anyone should willfully make a combat-gimpy character just to fill some generic RP need or always be a go-getter party-seeking animal. We all have to play to fit our real life schedule. Thanks for sharing that.

  4. Tholgrin
    Oct 14, 2014 @ 02:19:59

    Speaking frankly, you’ve inspired me, along with EvenNote, to start my own blog. I have learned from the two of you that one does not need to be an “uber” player to share experiences and information.. as such, I hope my own perspectives help others. 🙂

  5. EvenNote
    Oct 14, 2014 @ 05:53:09

    Pretty much all of my toons started out as, “Hey, let’s give this a try and see what happens.” A few of them have tried to use builds from other people, but as happened with Szyn, some (well, usually, a LOT) of my personal taste ends up creeping in.

    What keeps me playing… lots of things. The friends I’ve made in DDO; I’ve been here almost four years and I’m still meeting people worthy of adding to my friends list, which sometimes gets filled because I’m still friends with the people from my very first guild and most of the friends in between. Sometimes I play just for stress relief; sometimes I’m supposed to be writing or editing something but I’m stuck and use DDO as an excuse to procrastinate. Tonight I spent several hours doing nothing but running around getting screenshots (new graphics card FTW), mostly in Underdark and High Road. And very often, I play simply because I want to, because I like the game.

    What I can offer… hmmm. Ingame, I just try to be the kind of person I’d want to group with – all welcome, no screaming/yelling/bossing around, use common courtesy, admit when I’m wrong and move on, don’t be greedy on loot rolls, don’t chew people out for making mistakes, DO acknowledge when somebody does something good, don’t treat party members like a bunch of second graders… yeah, starting to get into one of my pet peeve areas, think I’ll stop there. LOL

    • teachersyn
      Oct 14, 2014 @ 06:01:14

      Even, you’re one of the game’s shining examples of player contribution that makes DDO a great experience. And many of us aren’t logged on your server! If I haven’t said so, thank you for all that you do for the game community!

  6. DDOCentral
    Oct 14, 2014 @ 06:01:31

    Reblogged this on DDOCentral.

  7. grimorde
    Oct 14, 2014 @ 06:25:44

    What inspires your builds: anything & everything. I’ll either see a posted build that looks interesting & give it a try, attempt to fill a role required by the guild or just think of something weird & give it a try
    What inspires your gameplay: Completionist at the moment, I’m close to hitting it on my main character and I’d like to try for triple, but mainly because that gives me some kind of goal.
    What do you offer: not a great deal – the odd joke, some team support 😀
    Coming back to DDO: the people. If it wasn’t for my friends in the guild and my partner playing I would have probably stopped by now except for the odd hour a week.

  8. erdrique
    Oct 16, 2014 @ 10:28:53

    Nice and thoughtful blog!! I’m generally inspired to make new characters based on the classes and races I haven’t yet played and watching those other classes and races perform in game. For instance, I still don’t have an Artificer and I still have yet to roll up any of the Iconics. I will get there eventually but right now I’m just enjoying watching how they work from other players and by reading up on them. I also tend to stick to pure class builds, I just find this more flavorable to me. I tend to blog about my builds when I make a new one just to throw it out there.

    As for gameplay, I just really love to play DDO. I started playing DDO from nearly its launch with some friends and I still continue to play heavily today. I just enjoy the people in the game and I enjoy the quests, the atmosphere, and abilities within the game. Unfortunately, a number of the players I started with no longer play but I continue to meet more!!

    As for what I have to offer. Well, not sure how to answer that one. I do try to be light hearted in my groups and I do post for groups in the LFM panel as much as I can, with that said though I do solo a lot because I’m just doing quick runs prior to work or just prior to dinner. I am the guild leader for the Crypt Crawlers on Thelanis and I do alot of stuff for the guild (maintaining our guildportal website, sending out weekly newsletters to the guild members (active and inactive members), setting up a calendar, etc.). I also like to blog, nearly a blog every day, about one thing or another 🙂 and I have tried to be more active in the forums.

    As for coming back, I just love the game and enjoy it. The friendships I have made our long lasting and I look forward to logging in everyday 🙂

  9. longshotist
    Oct 16, 2014 @ 13:15:43

    Lot of great ideas to write about here; as usual another inspiring post. Thanks, man!

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