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Exploring DDO's Stormreach Marketplace
The Most Popular Adventure and Quest Zone
At the center of Stormreach, there is the Marketplace. All of Dungeons and Dragons Online's players will need to travel there if they hope to advance beyond low level. Many players are inclined to continue adventuring in the Harbor until they are level five or so. This is not a bad idea for newer players, but there are quests that are available to low level players within the Marketplace's expansive confines. There are also many other aspects of the marketplace that players should be aware of.
First, it's the center of a wheel with its spokes leading out to more quest hubs. These quest zones are known as Houses. For example, House Kundarak can be entered from the Marketplace's eastern end.
Just as importantly, as its name implies, you can buy needed goods at various tents and stands throughout this Stormreach City locale. There are many important items for sale here, including:
- Potions - Healing pots are one of the most important items players should carry while party or solo adventuring. If you're unable to get healed by a cleric, having these with you could save your life. They are expensive, as are all potions.
- Spell Components - Casters can replenish their magical supplies in the Marketplace. Inexpensive low level spell components are required to cast some low level spells.
- Weapons and Armor - There are many stands and shops located throughout this area of the city. Several have weapons and armor for sale.
The story line that starts in Stormreach Harbor continues into the Marketplace. This is a pattern that will continue throughout the game. That being the case, it's important for players to have some idea as to why they have found themselves weaponless and surrounded by hungry oozes in one of the many dungeons found here.
Finishing quest objectives not only yields rewards, but advances story lines that take players to new places they haven't been to yet. The story lines are very much like they were when Dungeons and Dragons was a pen and paper game. They are simple, well-written, and subtle. The player gets to be the focus of most stories in DDO. That's what the game has, and probably always will be, built around. Yet, there are many interesting NPCs in this game and many of these are found in the Marketplace. Find them, talk to them, and you will be given quests or important information that is needed to continually advance the story.
The marketplace quests available for free to play players are limited. Low level players can still advance to mid-levels without having to buy pay to play adventure packs. For players that want to explore more without paying real-life money, favor points are given to all players for completing quests. These points can be accumulated to purchase adventure packs available in DDO's Store. It isn't difficult to accumulate enough favor to buy a low level adventure pack in the Marketplace. This way, free to play players are able to own packs that are otherwise only attainable through pay to play options.
Free to Play (f2p) Quests in Stormreach Marketplace
For VIP, or Premium, players, and for high level experienced players, the Marketplace is a challenging adventure hub where some of the more difficult types of creatures are introduced, such as devils and giants. For free to play players, it is another good questing location to continue on from their adventures in Stormreach Harbor.
Following is a list of free to play quests in the Marketplace. The level of each quest is in parentheses.
- The Sunken Sewer (2) Cleverly designed dungeon, where having a rogue with the party is very beneficial. The final room's entrance is brilliantly designed, and players get to experience being trapped in a confined area with a bunch of high-damaging monsters, quite an exhilarating experience for those that survive.
- Missing in Action (2) Bring your wizard and rogue on this tough, low level quest. There are traps in this dungeon that can be managed at normal, or perhaps even hard, levels of difficulty, but they are difficult to avoid altogether. Both Missing in Action and The Sunken Sewer that are much more enjoyable if there's someone along that can disable traps.
- Redfang the Unruled (3) Spiders and scorpions are common in most underground DDO dungeons. Scorpions typically bite for more damage than spiders, but some spiders have webs and poison that can disable the unwary. There's no indication that spiders have any sort of real intelligence, but beware, a giant black widow might be waiting in the shadows to ensnare adventurers, and then other varieties of spiders will rush in to attack the helpless victim. This quest features both scorpions and spiders, in abundance.
- The Swiped Signet (3) For the most part, the enemies in this quest are human, but it's still surprisingly fun. The dungeon layout is interesting, there's a bit of something for all classes of toons, for those adventuring with others. It's nowhere near as difficult as the two level four quests listed beneath, but it's still a rather challenging adventure. Fortification is a skill that that helps players avoid critical damage from attackers that specialize in aimed blows, like rogues, and beginners would do well to find themselves a piece of equipment with at least light fortification, before entering this quest.
- Freshen the Air (4) Challenging quest received from a nobleman, who was unfortunate enough to have a troglodyte colony move into his basement.
- Proof is in the Poison (4) The most challenging free to play quest available in the Marketplace. Level 4? They must be joking. This quest will take some time to complete, so players should get a well-rounded party together and patiently advance through this tricky dungeon. The beginning of the quest, if attempted without the aid of someone who can disable traps, is a lesson in why it's so necessary to rely on players with diverse skills in DDO. With practice, and with a character with high jump skill and feather fall, this quest is very fun.
- Archer Point Defense (5) Clear the area of plotting bugbears, hobgoblins, and ogres. Players, especially those with low hit points, need to avoid contact with the dogs and wolves that these types of creatures employ. Their bites are damaging, and worse, they have the ability to knock players down, similar to the trip skill. Lying on the ground helpless when there are ogres nearby is a really bad idea.
- Gladewatch Outpost (6) Players must protect the Commander from raiding hordes of humanoids. Some hobgoblins possess magic that can cause serious damage to players without any sort of fire resistance. Staying with the Commander inside the Outpost as long as possible, and having both entrances carefully guarded, is the best way adventure parties can keep their charge safe. Once the Commander ventures outside the gates, healers need to be ready to assist players exposed to humanoid casters and archers.