Monday, October 17, 2016

An-n-n-d One Hundred


{And no "TL/DR" summary, either.  You have been warned...}

This is it - post 100.  Woohoo!

*Crickets chirping*


*More crickets chirping*

I was having a hard time coming up with a "special" topic for this post.  I eventually came up with something, though I will admit it was not necessarily anything "special".  Then Geoff Hanna suggested in the comments section of my last post, that I do a "Top 100 things" I like about DDO.  Well, OK, that would be kind of 'special' and to have "100 things" for my 100th post is just nice symmetry, too.

But I think I'll just go with "100 things" as opposed to "top 100 things".  Simply because I may miss something rummaging around in all of that data that is the storehouse of knowledge I call my brain.

So, presented, in no particular order*, are 100 Things I like About DDO:
  1. It's D&D.  There are other, similar brands (a la "Pathfinder", et. al.), but they all 'sprout' from the same root - D&D.  Not that there is anything wrong (necessarily) with the other brands.
  2. Active Combat System (ACS).  DDOs ACS is the best combat system of any D&D-based MMO out there today (*cough* NWO *cough*).  The only other D&D-based computer games that matches it are not MMOs, but stand-alone PC games.  My favorite of those are NWN and NWN2.  Other MMOs do have an ACS, and most of them work well.  But unlike some other ACSs, you do not have to play the 'clickie cool-down' game.  For some MMOs, the only way to engage in combat is with 'hot-bars'
  3. You are not "Locked" into Combat, Once the Fighting Starts; You Can do Other Things, Like Disarm Traps.  Once again, NWO fails in comparison with this aspect of the ACS.  With NWO, once the fighting starts for your PARTY, you cannot do anything else, if you are in close proximity.  Well, I mean, you can run away, but you can't do things like disable traps or pull levers or other things like that.
  4. Character Customization.  So many choices.  Not just with looks, but with classes, skills, feats, and enhancements.  Some MMOs 'lock' you into specific roles, abilities, and/or stats based on the initial class you pick.  Again, for certain games, there is not necessarily anything wrong with that.  BUT if you want flexibility in how your character 'evolves', few games allow that like DDO.  (Although, ESO does do an excellent job of this as well - any character in ESO can wield any weapon or wear any armor.)
  5. It's Free-to-Play.  DDO was one of the (if not "the") first 'non-Asian' based games to adopt the F2P model.  You can literally play without spending any money.  However, I suggest you plop down about $20 and buy the "32-point build" option, shortly after (or even before) you start playing.  But that is up to you.  NWO does have DDO 'beat' in this one area, in that all NWO content is available to every player - F2P and subscription-based alike - free.  This does not mean that NWO is better than DDO, nor does it mean that DDO should adopt NWOs model.
  6. Quest Variety.  While you cannot get away from certain similarity between some quests (kill mobs; collect loot), not all quests are like that.  Some you can bypass fighting altogether, if you want.  Others have puzzles that must be solved, still others make you 'babysit' NPCs (NOOOOOO!!!!!!!  The most dreaded of all quest types:  Escort quests.).  Some are short, some are long, some are very long.
  7. Guilds of "One".  Guilds have certain benefits that non-guild players don't get.  But some games force you to have more than one account in order to have a guild.  LotRO used to have such a restriction - if your guild roster dropped below 8 (I think) accounts, your guild would be automatically disbanded, after a certain time frame (something like 60-days).  But they changed that.  Not everyone is comfortable playing with strangers.  Other games require you to be in a group of "x" many players in order to form a guild (NWO and STO), but once the guild is formed, the leader can kick everyone else out and have a guild of one, so what's the point of enforcing a stupid rule like that?
  8. Guilds of Much, Much More than "One".  I'm not sure what the guild roster cap is in DDO, but it's way up in the hundreds, if there is even one.  Some games limit the number of players in a guild to relatively low numbers.  That I just don't understand.
  9. True Reincarnation.  I have yet to do it, myself, but once you've reached "epic" levels, you can start all over again.  Why would you want to?  Well, there are bonuses for doing so.  And maybe you like playing at the lower levels where XP and leveling come fast.  No need to roll-up a new character, just take the one you have and begin again.
  10. Lesser Reincarnation.  Effectively the same as other games' "respec'ing".  Except, unlike some other games, you can change the way you look, too.
  11. One Free Lesser Reincarnation, Per Character.  Think you screwed-up your build?  Well, have a "do over".
  12. Completionist Status.  True Reincarnate into each class and receive accolades from players and Devs...if you care about such things.  Also, you get 'bragging rights' and the "Completionist" title that carries with the "You've won DDO!" text.
  13. Triple Completionist.  Do "12" 3x and now you really have bragging rights, and the maximum benefits of True Reincarnating.
  14. Guild Airships.  Can be used for "fast travel" around Eberron.  Not so much in Forgotten Realms...yet.
  15. Guild Buffs.  Longer lasting than your run-of-the-mill buffs...assuming you have access to an airship.  Doesn't even have to be your guild's airship.
  16. "The Pit".  One of my favorite quests.  Usually you'll love it or hate it.  Very few players have a blasé opinion about this one.  Your 'Mario' skills will be put to the test.
  17. "Frame Work".  Another of my favorite quests, especially when going for "all the beef".  Make sure you read all the text of the local quest giver both before and after getting "all the beef".
  18. In-jokes, 'Easter Eggs', and Other References.  Plenty of pop culture references in the game; some obvious, some not.  Probably a lot of reference you have no idea where they come from, at all.  I very much doubt any one person has caught all of them.  I know I have not.
  19. Use of "The Wilhelm Scream".  Probably one of the most iconic of all multi-media sound effects, ever.  And DDO has it, too.  You probably know it, but may not know you know it.
  20. Still Going After 10-Years.  One of the most long-lived MMOs around.  And still putting out new content.
  21. Cosmetic Gear.  You can still wear your 'most effective' gear, and yet look like you're only wearing rags (or other armors/gear/weapons).  Not unique to DDO, but still cool.
  22. My Guildies.  Well, most of them, anyway (hehehe).
  23. Other "Famous" Players I am Acquainted with.  Like Geoff Hanna, Evennote, and Bonnie Bew, just to name a few.  And lest she chide me for not mentioning her, Grimorde ('cuz I totally would have - and have - chided her for not mentioning me.  Hehehe).
  24. In-game Memorial to a "Fallen Player".  I did not know him or her, but it's kind of nice to see something in-game for them anyway.  At least, it is my understanding that it is to a 'fallen player'.
  25. Special Events.  Like "Crystal Cove" and "Night Revels".  Though sometimes they do not stick around long enough.  Several MMOs have 'special events', too.  Been missing the 'Easter' event lately, though.  Mostly due to the lack of free tokens.  I mean, I know Turbine needs to make money and all, but only 3 per account?  Used to be at least 5 per character.  Took me 3 runs just to get the timing down.
  26. Cordovan.  Our DDO Community Manager.  He's a lot more patient than I would probably be.  But then, maybe he just counts to "10" a lot, and especially before responding to certain forumites.  Possibly 100...or even 1,000...
  27. 10th Anniversary Special Quest.  It was fun 'killing' Cordovan and the other Devs, even if Cordovan's doppelganger thought is was ", cool".
  28. Broccoli Bashers.  Loot available from "27", though we need a lower ML version, too.  Just sayin'...
  29. Players Helping Other Players.  Sadly, I've not seen as much of this lately, but you used to always see some higher level healer types hanging out in certain taverns, tossing out heals to incoming damaged players.  Even I haven't done it in a while, but then, last time I did hang out in a tavern, there were few 'incoming' damaged players.  Sometimes, though, there are players that will give away free things, like platinum, gear, pets, and other stuff.
  30. The Now Defunct "MyDDO" Blogging Page.  Back when I first started playing, DDO had a dedicated blogging page for every DDO player who wished to blog.  Sadly, it went away, but there were some very talented bloggers there, and that is where I "met" Evennote, Geoff Hanna, Bonnie Bew, Grimorde, Shindurza, Mizzaroo, LrdSlvrhnd, Teachersyn, and others.  KrisSonofpark had a real talent for story writing - I have no idea if he set-up his own blog or not after "MyDDO" closed up shop (so to speak).  Hopefully, he keeps writing - it would not surprise me if one day he had several books published and/or even made into major motion pictures.
  31. Free Give-aways.  Not always the most useful of items, but hey - free is free.
  32. Heroic Sagas.  It's about the only way my little one-man guild on Argo can gain any decent guild XP (renown).  Although, lately I've been feeling like I'm stuck in a time-loop...
  33. The Original Mabar (Event). Unfortunately, several instances of the 'raid' suffered from debilitating lag after the first year - didn't like that (obviously), but the event itself was fun.  Wish we could have made spectral dragonscale armor, though...even if it was only a cosmetic kit - it would have looked cool.
  34. Wilderness Areas.  Don't feel like running a quest, but just want to go somewhere and explore and kill things?  No problem - there are several wilderness areas that will allow you to do just that.  And if you're in the level range of the area, you get XP, too.  In fact, someone once made a character that only ran in wilderness areas to see if one could go from level 1 to level 20 that way.  Yep.
  35. Stunning Graphics.  It may be 10-years old, but the graphics are still quite stunning.  One of the most stunning is the Storm Horns area.
  36. Rare, Named Loot Can Drop from Breakables.  Didn't use to be this way, but it is now.  Breakables can be like "mini-chests" and drop not only random loot, but rare, named loot as well.  Shindurza just recently got a Sun Blade from a breakable.
  37. Mimic Hunt (Event).  So far, it's been 'one time' only.  And while I do/did have some specific complaints about certain mechanics, the event itself was fun.  I think they should turn it on and leave it on, but remove the "frenzy" and "increasing chance of spawns on 'no spawn'" mechanics.  Just knowing that any given chest could be a mimic would be "fun".
  38. Collectible Cards (No Longer Available)/Card Gallery.  Unfortunately, cheaters have to ruin things for everyone.  This is why we can't have nice things anymore.
  39. Nice Soundtrack.  Certain areas have music playing in the background.  Granted, LotRO does a much better job, going so far as to allow players to actually play instruments in the game, but there is a reason for that.  Still, DDO's soundtrack is amazing.
  40. Adjustable "Point of View".  You can play with "first person" perspective, or a wide range of "third person" perspective, being able to zoom in and out.  Some MMOs just have a fixed PoV and you have to live with it.
  41. Optional "Mouse Look" play.  I happen to like "mouse look", so it's my default play-style.  Others, though, absolutely abhor it.  So you have the option of using it, or not.  NWO does not give you the option - "mouse look" is always enabled during play (though you can temporarily suspend it to interact with the UI).
  42. No "Friendly Fire" Damage.  Some people don't like this.  And I understand the reasoning.  However, the main reason I like it is that without it, there will always be that one...jerk, who will intentionally use it to kill his own party members ('cuz he thinks it's "funny" - it's not).  Many MMOs have adopted this for just such reasons.
  43. Fun with "Grease".  There is at least one 'exception' to "42", except it's not damage.  The "grease" spell will affect friend and foe alike...unless one has some type of immunity, like "freedom of movement".  Granted, most of the time it's not really funny (per se), but on occasion...  I've heard of several people who like to use it when running "Tempest Spine" and cause players to slide off the mountain.  So be careful when running that raid.
  44. All Classes Can Be Viable.  While, yes, there may be imbalance between classes, every class can still be viable.  Granted, certain classes may have a more difficult time in some quests, if running solo, but they can still run all the quests successfully.
  45. Multiple Play Styles Supported.  I touched on this in the "quest variety" item, but it deserves it's own entry.  There are several quests that can avoid combat altogether.  Not all quest can be run this way, as some quest have certain objectives like "Kill Boss.", but most have enough leeway to allow one to avoid a lot of combat, if they are stealthy enough.  Teachersyn, I believe, has a list he's compiled on his blog.
  46. Obtain Free TP Just by Running Quests and Gaining Favor.  You can obtain the virtual currency needed to buy items just by running quests.  You don't ever have to buy it.  That said, it will take some time to earn enough to buy store items, but if you are patient...
  47. Obtain Other Free Items by Running Quests and Gaining Favor.  Earn enough favor with the right faction, and you get access to more backpack and bank space.  While not exactly "free", it only costs in-game currency of platinum.  For backpack space, you also need a collapsed portable hole, but you can get these from random drops, buying off the auction house (admittedly, most likely at an incredibly over-inflated price, but sometimes good deals can be had), buying off the astral shard exchange (not recommended), or as another favor item.  Other favor items are:  unlock the Drow race (per server, not per account), a +2 tome of your choice, a key to Eveningstar, and others.
  48. Obtain Free TP by Killing Mobs, IF you have the Monster Manuals.  The MMs are free to subscribers, but must be bought for TP by non-subscribers, but they are not that expensive, and they go on-sale, from time-to-time.  You do need to kill a lot of mobs (usually) as well as different variations of the same type of mob.
  49. Obtain Other Free Items by Killing Mobs, IF you have the Monster Manuals.  You can also earn things like free pets via the MM system.  Evennote is still working on her pet rust monster.
  50. Free "Daily Dice" Items.  Again, not always the most desirable of things, but (almost) always some XP.  And free is free.  (Though I will admit that I liked it better when it was the "lotto".)
  51. "Steam" Not Required to Play.  You know, I should have listed this near the top.  (That one's just for you Geoff Hanna - hehehe.)
  52. The "Little Touches" in the Details.  Take a good look around at the details of the artwork.  Like finding bacon in the wok on your guild airship.  Mmm...bacon...
  53. Teleporters.  In Stromreach, most districts have a teleporter that let's you travel quickly to other parts of the City.  And they are usually found away from your airship towers, so if you belong to a guild and have an airship, you have two ways of quickly traveling inside of Stormreach.  Unfortunately, no teleporters in Forgotten Realms, though there are portals in certain areas.
  54. Changing Daylight.  In at least some areas of the game, day changes to night and night changes to day.  Not sure what kind of timing cycle it's on, but if you stay online long enough in the right places, you'll see it.  And things look different at night.
  55. Changing Weather.  It's not always clear skies and sunshine; you get the occasional rain.
  56. Snow!  And during certain festivals, some areas have snow.  (I like snow.)
  57. Festivult.  During the Festivult time of year (around Christmas), collect special gold, silver, and copper coins to turn in to the Festivult Jester and get some cookies, cakes, and jellies...and the chance at some named loot, too (rare, but it does happen...just not to me.  Hehehe.).  The cookies, cakes, and jellies gives anyone who uses them access to certain spells, like disintegrate.  Even non-arcane classes, like a straight-up fighter can use them.
  58. Excellent Voice-Over Work.  Some scripts are funny, as are some deliveries.  Some quests have "guest" DMs, like Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson, the co-creators of D&D.  Granted, many don't care for their particular DM'ing/voice over skills, but still - I imagine it was a great honor to have them step in and do them.  Oh, and Wil Wheaton also makes a guest DM appearance, too.  (I have mixed feeling about Mr. Wheaton; he can sometimes come across as a, but sometimes not.  His voice over work is nice, though, I will give him that.)
  59. Great Sound Effects.  There is one MMO that I just recently started playing (SWtOR) that has some sound effects that literally sound like someone just creating them with their voice (and no where near the level of excellence as when done by Michael Winslow).  Not so in DDO.
  60. Quest Instances Can Be Set to "Public" or "Private".  This is a relatively new feature.  It used to be that quest and wilderness instances were always private, meaning only people in your party could enter them (with you).  But that changed awhile back.  Now you can set it for 'public' too, meaning anyone can enter.
  61. Instances Stay Open for 5 Min.  If you leave the quest before it is completed, including involuntary leaving by being disconnected,   The quest instance will remain 'open' for 5 minutes to allow you to get back in.  After 5 minutes, if no one in the party is in the quest, it resets**.
  62. Hirelings No Longer Drop Your Soulstone When They Enter Water.  If you're 'soloing' (with a hire) and you die, your hireling (assuming they are still alive) can carry your soulstone.  They use to drop them when they entered water, which really sucked if the only rez shrine was located in an area beyond some water.  (In this case "water" means any 'liquid', like acid, lava, water, etc.)
  63. Unlimited Deaths.  In NWO, you get one 'free' death, where you can be revived.  On the second one, within a certain time limit, you must release.  In DDO, you can die 1,000+ times in the same quest.  I don't recommend it, mind you, but you can.  If you don't succeed, try, try, try, TRY, try...again.
  64. Free Rez Cake!  Each newly created character that runs through the 'beginners' area of Korthos can get one free rez cake.  There are a few "hoops" to jump through (metaphorically speaking) first, though.  Nothing hard, just a few 'preliminary' quests.
  65. Puzzles.  There are many types of puzzles in the game.  Some are variations on a theme.  Most of them have the 'solution' or at least a 'hint' in the general vicinity.  I like solving puzzles without having to refer to the DDOWiki, but some of them are quite difficult.
  66. Dretches.  They are a type of mob.  They go "Glarb!"  Who wouldn't like that?
  67. Climbable Ladders.  In some MMOs (*cough* NWO *cough*) ladders are just part of the scenery and you can't climb them. person came up with THAT idea?
  68. Brokers.  Brokers are shops that buy only specific types of loot.  They give better prices than regular vendors and have the added advantage of allowing other players to buy stuff sold to them.  Unfortunately, they seem to have fallen out of style with many of the current player base.  They are still there, but either newer players don't know about them, or the play-base as a whole just don't care that much anymore.  Which is too bad.  Still, if you are looking for a specific type of equipment, check the brokers - you might find it and most likely it would be cheaper than the AH.  Some of them are in more out-of-the-way places, though.  Maybe if they were easier to find...
  69. Color-Coded 'Markers'.  A yellow chalice on the map or over someone's head indicates a quest you can run.  Red chalices or those with a TP symbol are quests in a pack that you don't own (for the F2P*** players).  Most quest entrances are marked with a yellow swirl.  Color coding help you identify things quickly...if you know the code, of course.
  70. F2P Quests at Nearly Every Level of Play.  Some "F2P" MMOs are only 'free' up to a certain level point (for WoW, I believe it is level 20?).  DDO has a wide variety of F2P quests spanning nearly all levels, including 'epic' and 'legen-{...wait for it...}dary; legendary' levels.  They even have a F2P raid.
  71. "Rudolph" Winter Wolves.  During the winter months (with respect to the Northern hemisphere), winter wolves can be found wearing red noses and antlers.
  72. Pumpkin Covered Graveyard.  During the Halloween season, Delera's graveyard is decked out with pumpkins (and Jack-o-lanterns?).
  73. Pumpkin "Grenades".  You can buy and hurl pumpkin 'grenades' at players.  Players struck with these 'grenades' spawn a pumpkin on their head.  You can only buy the 'grenades' during the Halloween event, but you can use them year-'round.
  74. Skull "Grenades".  Just like pumpkin 'grenades', only a skull is spawned instead.
  75. Permanent "Feather Falling" Items.  Allows you to jump or fall from great heights, and float down like a feather.  In most places, this will save your life.  But there are a few where you'll still die anyway.
  76. Cosmetic Armor for Females.  'Cuz, you know - BOOBS!  Although, when it comes to Half-Orcs...
  77. Can Play Using a Gamepad.  I don't use them, but some people do.  You can set-up your key-binds to the controller buttons.
  78. Beholder Artwork.  They are much, much different than originally depicted back in 1975.  Did you know that the Beholder is an original D&D monster, not based on any mythology?
  79. Beholder Sounds.  Nothing like running a quest and hearing that low rumbling-like growl of a Beholder...and then the 'pew-pew' of certain attacks.
  80. Killing Beholders.  I like killing beholders, and there are plenty of them, though some you can't kill.
  81. Gelatinous Cubes.  Every time I see one, I can't help but yell out the warning of "CUBE!"  Nasty little, er, that is, BIG buggers.  I hate oozes and slimes, but like cubes.  Go figure.
  82. Various Cosmetic Pets' "Play Dead" Animations.  "Erk!"  'Specially the cubes.
  83. Various Cosmetic Pets' "Dance" Animations.  "Gator!"  'Cept they need to be on a loop and not end until the owner-character moves (just like character dances).
  84. Good List of Character Emotes.  I like emotes, even if I don't use them much.  Would like to have more than just 2 dances, though.  In NWO, all races have the same dances, but there are like 10 different dances.  DDO just has 2 unique dances for each race.  And sometimes, between genders in the same race.
  85. Mini Invisible† Stalker Cosmetic Pet.  My favorite of the cosmetic pets.  If you don't get the joke, there's little I can do.  You can see any cosmetic gear you put on them, though.  About the only down-side is you can't really distinguish between their different emotes.
  86. "High-End" System not Required.  Of course, part of that has to do with the age of the game.  Still, even at launch the system requirements were reasonable.
  87. "High-End" Systems Supported.  Even though you don't have to have a high-end system to run DDO, you can.  I'm not sure what the top-end resolution is, but I know it's way beyond 1920x1080p.  I've seen some nice screen-shots of 4k resolution game-play.  Of course, since I don't have 4k resolution...
  88. Re-Arrangeable UI.  Not all MMOs are as flexible in their allowing the players to place UI elements where they want.  There is still improvement to the UI that could be done, but overall, it's not bad.
  89. Active Targeting.  You can actively select your target focus.  NWO does not have this feature, though they do have what I call a "semi-active" targeting.  If you hold down the "Ctrl" key, your camera will follow the current target and be the recipient of your direct attacks. It's somewhat clumsy, IMO.
  90. Optional Manual Targeting.  You can turn "auto-target" on and off.  I find it handy to sometimes turn it off and manually target items.  But I usually leave it on.  With it off, your ranged attacks will follow your mouse reticle, not the focus ring (in the case of a soft target).
  91. Adjustable Chat Font Sizes.  DDO uses real font sizes (i.e. 10-pt, 12-pt, etc.) and not just text scaling, like NWO.  The difference?  The scaled text does not always 'fit' in the chat window (I'm always tweaking the width in NWO to see entire words).  As "blind" as I am, I do wish they supported larger fonts sizes.  You would think 20-pt font would be large enough for would be wrong.
  92. Adjustable Font Colors.  There are a variety of different type of text, each with a default color, but can be customized to any color you like.  The only real 'downside' is that the choices are given on a continuous gradient color bar, making it hard to select a specific color.  Then again, you can select an "in-between" color that might not otherwise be available.
  93. Adjustable NPC Text (Names/Titles) Colors.  By default, bosses are red-named; mini-bosses are orange-named.  These two colors can look very much alike.  But LrdSlvrhnd changed his mini-boss color to green, and he can easily distinguish between them.  I followed suit and do the same.
  94. Adjustable Combat Damage Colors.  DDO is incredibly flexible in it's UI options.  Someone mentioned to me (I think it was Shindurza) that they changed the default "kill-shot" color to a light blue.  I have done the same and it really stands out, so you can always tell if your character got the kill-shot.  IMO it makes it quicker to see when the mob is dead, which can be important in a target-rich environment - especially when "soloing".
  95. Adjustable Dice Color/Style.  DDO displays animated D20s and %Ds; you can change the dice colors, too.  Not as many choices as the text colors, but still plenty to choose from.  My ranger uses green dice.
  96. Unique Icons for Player/Mob Interactions.  For instance, "bluff" has a specific icon that appears over a mob's head when successful.  So do "diplomacy" and "Intimidate".  Spells do too.  I suppose I should say "mostly unique" as some spells/effects do share icons.  "Deathward" and "Epic Resistance" come to mind off hand.
  97. Swimming.  You can't swim in NWO, which limits some quest locations.  DDO has lots of quests where swimming is required.  Now, I prefer to have an "underwater action" item over spending precious skill points in "swimming", but that might just be me.
  98. Underwater Combat.  There is, as far as I know, only one quest in DDO that allows you to perform underwater combat.  And you actually have to do it from inside of a bubble††, but it's still pretty cool.
  99. Specific Bugs.  You would not normally think that someone would actually like bugs in games.  And you would be right.  But there are a couple of bugs that are just plain cool.  The "I'm not in a bubble" bug for item 98 is one of them.  Other people like the giant-sized icons that occasionally appear over giants' heads.  Or the "bunny-hopping" giant in Gianthold.
  100. IT'S FUN TO PLAY!  Yes, yes, I suppose this really should have been way up there in the single digits.  But I tell you, it's not easy coming up with 100 things of anything.  You try it.
So there we have it - "100 things I like about DDO".  It's not necessarily the "top" 100 things, but as I said, finding 100 things of anything can be difficult.  So from that respect, I suppose you could call it the "top 100 things", if you like.  I certainly won't stop you.

* Though the ones near the top are probably the best things I like about DDO.

** There are also certain quests that, under certain conditions, will reset prior to the 5 minute timer elapsing.  One condition, I believe, is if the entrance to the quest in question is inside of another quest, such as VoN 3b.  Another seems to be if it is located in a wilderness area and you summon a 'hireling' in the wilderness instance.

*** There are actual 3 tiers of players:  F2P, "Premium", and VIP (subscribers).  A "premium" player is one who has bought at least one of a qualify-able item via "real money" and not just through 'free TP' in the DDO store.  They don't have some of the restrictions put on 'true' F2P players, but none of the benefits of VIP.  I lump them in with F2P.  But once you are premium, you will always be premium...unless you go VIP.

† You actually can kinda, sorta see your pet's reflection in a mirror.  At least, I can see mine.

†† Unless you get the "I have no bubble" bug, in which case count yourself lucky, for you will see some truly amazing and vibrant artwork that is otherwise muted by the bubble.

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