Okay, I’ll admit it. I’m not a dwarf. I’m human. (Big shocker, there.) And being human means my moods are subject to change. With said changing moods comes a swing in what I find “fun.”
Everybody plays DDO for their own reasons, and their own goals. And the best part of a game with such tremendous versatility as DDO is that there’s no wrong way to play it. As far as I’m concerned, if you’re having fun, then you’re winning. Even if you wipe – although others might not share your chuckles, if you’re in a serious group. It’s always a good idea to know what kind of a group you’re with.
Some days, I’m one of those elite-only, high-speed blitzers with my monkleric (my TR buddy even took to renaming Abundant Step as “Redundant Step,” since Uncle Tubbs was already leaving everybody in the dust just on run speed alone) working on life number globzook because MOAR POWAR demands it.
Other days, I’m having a severe case of alt-itis and just want to explore something new, be it a class I haven’t finished through, a new tree I haven’t played yet, or some absurdly crazy build idea that’s “just for kicks.” Most recently, that crazy idea was to make a half-orc melee artificer/sorcerer Eldritch Knight via Veteran II status and try and not die on Misery’s Peak, just for giggles. (That idea was borne of the DDOracles’ server stats which showed there actually are roughly thirty half-orc sorcs and/or artis on my home Orien server.)
Does playing such a build count as “productive” time towards my mains’ power growth? Not in the slightest. And given the practically guaranteed need for repair money, pots, and the like, it probably won’t even out to a wash in my platinum bank when all is said and done. But if I’m in one of those silly, whimsical moods – it’ll still be fun, even if he does get turned into tusky face-paste.
Hmm, why does it have to be a “he,” anyway? The vast majority of my toons are male. Perhaps I should try this goofy experiment, tonight, while I still have the gap in my roster from Sporkface’s departure last week. I shall name her Squibbletooth of the Mighty Toenail and she shall have the closest thing to a Rufio haircut I can come up with on the character creation screen. And mutton chops, if they’ll let her! (I don’t even know what the half-orc hairstyles look like… I need to rectify this lack of horc-how.)
Yes, this will happen. But enough going off-topic.
When I’m having one of those less-than-serious nights, the last thing I want to worry about is maintaining my elite bravery bonus streak on a “main” or fine-tuning gear/point/what-have-you combinations for optimal performance. I just want to have fun. And yes, sometimes that (gasp!) means playing on a lower difficulty setting. Every now and then, I find it entertaining to “chill” and have that feeling of being a bad-arse super-hero without having to actually pay attention. I’m not going to aplogize for that. I, like many others, play DDO primarily to escape from the stresses of that irritating IRL Server. After a particularly grueling day, I don’t want to have to stress in-game, too.
Take my wizard, Varjek, for example – currently sitting in Eveningstar and closing in on level sixteen. He’s finally been able to solo quests – yes, on Normal, but that’s still an improvement – and has a zero Elite Streak. He also has a six-quest Proud As A Mo-Fo streak from me, because he couldn’t do that before. And I’ve come full circle from dreading playing my necromancer to grinning like an idiot every time I see that Finger of Death smoosh a rakshasa’s face into the paving stones.
The most important thing is that I’m having fun playing him. And that means I’m winning.
The guy standing next to Varjek at the repair stand with his 920th completion of Fire on Thunder Peak might laugh and mock at his build and equipment – or even my choice of a dwarf for a spellthrower in the first place – and that’s his right. If he’s having fun while working towards octuple completionist, then he’s winning, too.
DDO is a source of fun, and just because someone else doesn’t play the same way you do, doesn’t make them “wrong.” I once had someone tell me that if I wasn’t working on one toon, exclusively, that I was “stupid” and would never finish an Epic Elite raid.
…so what? Sure, it’d be fun to do, but I’m still having a blast waltzing to my own tune. (Or would that be waltzing to my own toon?) And if that means I don’t have a bravery bonus on an alt or goof-off character? Eh, whatevs. I’ll take a chuckle and a zero elite streak over getting riled up any day.
Edit: It happened! Okay, I had to cut a few letters to fit it in..