Re-imagining DDO

I love kings forest – it’s my favorite wilderness and when DDO became fantasy for me. I started playing when DDO launched as F2P and less then a week later I became (and remain) a VIP.

I stumbled through Macabre, marveled over the Vale and even with eyes wide followed 3 people out into the battlefield. Those were the days.

I since run slayer and rare like crazy – always working to be able to do it on my own and eventually without hirelings (before Epic levels when things were more of a challenge). But as nice and big as the Vale was and as gloomy and frightening as the Macabre is – they never made me feel like I played a true high fantasy game.

I don’t blame anything in particular, but I think it was the cyberpunk themed Music – the atmosphere that sounded more like pots and pans and old 50’s Sci Fi movies than fantasy.

Until Kings Forest and the Menace of the Underdark. That content pack is the revitalization of DDO into high fantasy to me. With classic Drow in fantasy armor, with the sound and atmosphere and dragons. Not just a fire dragon end boss – but lots of dragons. Green, white, black in wilderness areas (Epic Gianthold but still – Kings forest had a green dragon and it was cool. Underdark has a red dragon).

Up until about a week ago that remained my opinion – that other than MotU and ToEE – these two places had the greatest atmosphere and the most immersive feel. That was until I added 2 more monitors and started running DDO in 5760×1080.

kings forest 5760 1080

The Featured image is how my view used to be. 1920×1080. It’s not bad. In fact my 660 Ti spat out some really nice smooth frames, from playing DDO on max graphics to pretty much any other game. However expanding it to triple monitor, as you can see from the image above, opens up an entire world – a world that seem so spacious and incomprehensively big that it’s hard to image why the world can seem so different?

But it is.

At level 22 I ran Kings Forest and for the first time I noticed the gnarly tall trees in the periphery of my eye as I ran by and along with it – parallel and away, ran a Fox ; from me no doubt and my hireling Owlbear. At a point I was ambushed by Drow, normally I wouldn’t have noticed it until they were right ontop of me – now I saw their red piercing eyes on my side monitor as it flanked me. And I turned and started pew pewing.

underdark

In the underdark, at level 23, I marveled at the expanse of the cave system, seeing the glow from Salamanders and reeling from when purple worms that exploded out of the ground on my flank.

The Drow City

In the Drow city I stood at the top of the temple and gazed at the entire Drow city before me – one I had invaded, slayed the evil Drow and done the flagging quests so I could finally confront the head Mistress.

Gianthold

And now – level 25 – I am venturing into the depth of Gianthold so I can enter TOR and confront the dragons.

Marveling at the new sights and realizing just how small my world was all those years when I started running DDO on a 17″ monitor and 1680 back in 2009, upgraded with a grin to a 21″ Monitor and 1920 and now feel awestruck at 5760, running 3 23″ Monitors.

It’s DDO re-imagined and I’m doing it all with a new class (Warlock) to get that fresh feel of new-ness, just that one time I can enjoy it before everything becomes familiar and mundane again. Safe to say – once you go Triple, you’re not going back.

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