The year was 2012. Dungeons and Dragons Online was preparing its adventurers for their next challenge. It’s very first expansion centered around a sexy big butt demon goddess. Update 14 would bring a great deal of changes to the game but it also introduced players to the very first version of the infamous Stone of Experience. A simple looking rock that has the powers of granting a single player a significant jump in levels. What once was just a promotional item is today a permanent part of the game.
The first stone
Basically any level 16 player in 2012 that pre-ordered Menace of the Underdark could speak to an NPC called Braddack Bouldershoulder. He would grant the eligible player a determined amount of Stones of Experience to use on its low-level alternate non-Druid class characters or other non-Druid class players on the same server (Druid was a new class at the time and not eligible for boosting). This amount was based on which edition of the expansion they purchased. It’s use was limited to once per account and per server. I immediately sent my level 10 Halfling rogue, Hamsterstyle, a stone. You had to be a minimum of level 8 to actually use the Stone of Experience at that time. After use the stone would then grant the user enough experience to reach a minimum level of 16. Why level 16 do you ask? So you can then immediately start questing the new free to play content of Update 13, Web of Chaos. Web of Chaos was the prequel to the U14 expansion and set the stage for the sassy goddess, Lolth.
So like I mentioned each eligible player received a determined amount of stones initially. After boosting Hamsterstyle I then looked for additional players on Argonnessen to give the stones to. Is it because I’m such a nice guy? Sort of? It’s because there was a bonus for using the stones. After I used the second stone on a random low-level player I received another free Stone of Experience in my mail box. The reason for this was because if you order the basic edition of the expansion you were only eligible for two stones initially. It would take the use of three stones total to get your bonus. What was that bonus? A super powerful, unstoppable, relentless Snow Panther cub! Ok, maybe it wasn’t that serious, but it was an exclusive creature companion.
As time went by the stones found their way into the DDO store late 2012 with the first Otto’s Irresistible box and a level 7-15 version of the stone was granted in Bigby’s Handy Box in 2013. Today we periodically see the current version of the Stone of Experience in Otto’s Irresistible Box found in the DDO store from time to time. I personally have a love-hate relationship with these stones, but that’s a story for another time.