The talk started with Kate Paiz giving us an overview of DDOís history since it launched two years ago to a lukewarm reception. There were a number of complaints from fans early on. There was no wilderness adventuring, the early game was a bit dull, many veteran D&D players werenít fond of the Eberron campaign setting which was relatively new at the time, and there were no dragons. To many, running around Eberron as a Warforged and not slaying dragons in the wilderness just didnít feel like D&D. The game received a lot of flak early on from nerds like me, because the promise of a persistent world with many different players all playing at the same time sounded like it would be the truest incarnation of D&D in an electronic game space that had yet to exist.
Over time it turned out that that flak was mostly undeserved. Weíre in a funny place in the MMO industry, where we have games from the earlier generations of MMOs which are still running and getting updates after being around for more than a decade. Yet if a new MMO doesnít do well immediately, people just assume the game is dead. In other areas of the gaming industry, games donít have that sort of longevity. They get shipped out the door, they get the spotlight for a few months or a year, and then they fade out, and itís on to the next big thing. MMOs have a much longer shelf life and are never truly finished; they are always a work in progress. My point is that it doesnít make sense to dismiss an MMO just because it doesnít have a spectacular launch. Judge an MMO based on how it is right now, not how it was.