The world is changed. I feel it in dungeons. I feel it in the raids. I smell it on my keyboard. Much that once was is lost,
for none now live who remember it…it being pre-update 14 end game. So let’s go back a few years when epic was epic and healers were needed.
How it was
So basically everyone had a main character that you logged on with and gave primary focus to when it came to gathering up and farming end game gear. Not that it’s any different now, but it was much more difficult back then to actually attain gear. Back then there were no epic levels, cap was 20 and BtA gear was few and far between. At cap you would run raids like Vault of Night 5 and 6 (not just 5) to give your main character a chance at some end game loot. Primarily most people were looking for a shard or an item drop that wasn’t epic yet, you had to craft it. Then it was off to another raid with your guild like Tower of Despair. Again it took group effort, communication and mental preparation to accomplish this raid and everyone was looking for rings that matched an item set specific for your class/spec. After that maybe you and your wrecking crew of level 20’s would hit up Hound and Vision. Then it was off to run a Shroud to continue grinding for a tier 3 greensteel weapon or item. Of course the goal was to run the Shroud to your 20th, 40th and even 60th completion to get the cleansing item to wear more than one greensteel item. None of those raids were easy and there was (like most games) a raid timer. 3 days you would have to wait after turning in your completion. Now don’t get me wrong I know it’s still a game mechanic, but something big happened, DDO introduced the Raid Timer Bypass Hourglass.
How it is
So now with a few turbine points a character can bypass the 3 day raid timer. Seems awesome right? At first it sure did. Everyone was running raids, gearing up, having fun raiding all day. After awhile people started running a full 20 completions in a single day. Seriously? I myself don’t even see LFMs for Caught in the web, Fall of Truth, or hell even Defiler of the Just now that the first week is over with. People in my guild ran Defiler right into the ground the first week. How stupid is that? I’m serious. Most games have a week timer on raids. It’s the mechanic that keeps a player hungry for more. That wait for the timer to end so you can get back in there with your guild or group and hopefully, with the blessing of the loot gods, finally drop that one item. Instead people are just buying up a crap ton of bypass timers and doing it in one day and never coming back. Then on top of that those same people complain on forums about how DDO has no end game.
I get that Turbine needs to make money off us to keep the game going. I understand that. There’s a lot of other things that come into play that has ruined end game for DDO, but there’s also things that have been implemented for no reason at all other than a revenue source (like the Shard Exchange). I know that this lone article won’t get Bypass Hourglass removed, but it is a major player in why raids and end game in DDO is a vacant hotel room in a ghost town. You may disagree with me on this, and that’s fine, you are probably saying something like, “it’s because of lag not the raid timer bypass hourglass”. Seems legit.
With an epic version of the Vale of Twilight adventure pack in the works for this year I will almost guarantee that players will have a fully crafted greensteel weapon by the end of the first week. Don’t shake your head, you know that’s true. The hardcore, play-all-day, DDO player will grind tooth and nail to get what he/she wants. My friend, Mike, had a fully crafted teir 3 Thunder-forged bow one week after update 21 released. If it means buying up 20 timer bypasses to do so, so be it. We need to get back to the way things were. I’m sorry, but we do. We need to stay hungry at cap again. I remember grinding for a month straight on many alts for the Shard of the Antique Greataxe. I ransacked that chest over and over so many times. When I finally got it, it made my Epic Antique Greataxe my prized end game weapon of choice. I still have a strong bond to that weapon to this day. Gear is only worth as much as the time put in. The Raid Timer Bypass Hourglass takes that effort, that struggle, and cheapens it. A new player experiencing epic levels for the first time will never understand the struggle. And maybe it doesn’t need to be exactly the same way it was. Nobody likes a massive grind but being fully geared in newly released raid gear on the day of release is fucking stupid. Take any other mmorpg and that just isn’t happening. Players are working for their drops, crafted gear, or whatever is set up as BiS end game gear.