Introduction to DDO's Stormreach Harbor
Arrival at Stormreach Harbor
After a smooth sail from Korthos Island, players disembark to find themselves standing on a dock beneath a bustling city. Dungeonraider remembers the first time he stood there.
After thirty years of playing pen and paper adventures and having to use my imagination to create scenes like this, seeing it with my own eyes took my breath away.
Standing at the foot of a grand tower, new adventurers often ask themselves, "What do I do now." The answer is simple: your options are virtually endless.
Take a moment to explore. Enjoy the sights (has that man fishing off the dock caught anything? Let's go ask him) and sounds (tooting barge horns, busy overhead cargo cranes; gnomish, of course).
Follow the dock to the city and you'll see Baudry Cartamon. Speak with him and he'll not only offer you some work, but he'll give you a storage bag. There is a small tavern up some stairs nearby, and on the way you can speak with Fitzpat the Fence to acquire a gem bag.
These storage bags are crucial gear you'll need to carry the many collectables and gems you'll find in your adventures in Stormreach and beyond.
Using the Stormreach Harbor Map
It's a good idea for new players to take a look around Stormreach Harbor before jumping into any quests.
Using the overhead map (press 'm') helps players navigate around and eventually memorize the layout of the harbor. Players should note the location of important vendors, taverns, and NPCs.
Players who familiarize themselves with the layout of the harbor first will find it easier to keep up with adventure groups once they are ready to join them for quests.
Eventually, players become familiar with where the 'quest-givers' are (the non-player characters who not only sign you up for an adventure but give you a reward when you've finished) and where the quest entrances themselves are located.
Important Places in Stormreach Harbor
The harbor is a place where other players tend to congregate. It's usually the busiest hub on any given day. That makes it a great place to find other adventurers to quest with. But before doing so, players need to know where a few key locations are. Each of the following locations described is specially marked on the overhead map feature. It's essential that players know and memorize these locations.
- Bank - Here is where players can store the items they don't wish to carry on their toon's person. There are initially twenty slots available and more bank space can be earned from completing certain quests or by purchasing additional space from the DDO Store. Every player eventually finds themselves getting short on space, both on their person and in their bank. Sell off stuff you never use and maintain your items so that you aren't burdened or unable to pick new things up.
- Auction House - Dungeons and Dragons has a competitive market system, and the auction house in the harbor will allow you to place items up for bid or to bid on items that have been put up for auction. You may only auction one item at a time and you can set how long you want it to be up for sale. Premium and VIP players may place more than one item at a time on the auction house.
- Taverns - There are two taverns in the harbor that provide item repair services and sell basic gear. More importantly, they are the likeliest place to find other low level adventurers. DDO Taverns are also a social place. Many Dungeons and Dragons players enjoy chatting with others in character or out of character. An easy way to chat with another player is to create a party and invite them to it. This makes a six person group chat that can be used even while outside dungeon adventures.
- Orien Lightning Post - A simple mailing systems allows players to mail wealth, items, or correspondence to other players by mail. The Orien Lightning Posts serve as DDO mailboxes and you will need to locate the one in the harbor. It is recommended for newer players to trade 'in person' only. A city as big as Stormreach is bound to have a few dishonest characters. The game has an easy-to-use player to player trade window for making trades with other players. This is the safest way to make a trade.
- Hireling Vendor - In the absence of other players and if you need a helper, hirelings are available for purchase from the vendor in the harbor (and other locations) or from the DDO Store. These indispensable companions aren't known to be brilliant adventurers, but dungeonraider guesses they try their best.
The Basics of Building a DDO Character
One of the primary objectives of Dungeons and Dragons is player advancement. Stormreach Harbor is a good place for players to get in the habit of choosing skills, feats, enhancements, equipment, and magical abilities to parallel what they are trying to build their character up to be.
A rogue, for example, doesn't need to buy strength items or train spell concentration. Rogues want to utilize abilities and resources that enable them to pick locks and find traps better.
DDO is somewhat unforgiving to players that haven't researched their character race and class before selecting skills, feats, and enhancements. Having to start over with a fresh character ("reroll") is a time-consuming and frustrating business.
This game is the kind where it's perfectly fine to jump in and learn by playing. Most new players aren't interested in reading about a world they could be experiencing firsthand. However, dungeonraider recommends getting involved in the DDO community.
The forums outside the game hold a treasure trove of questions and answers. Character races, classes, abilities, and reasons for playing them are all well-outlined there.
Players who are fortunate enough to have a guild or experienced player adopt them will also find many of the answers they need to make their DDO experience a successful and enjoyable one.
Players who plan to take their characters to high level pay-to-play adventures should take the time in finding an active guild. This often means running adventures with other players.
There are plenty of opportunities for players seeking adventure in Stormreach Harbor. But those opportunities dwindle as players progress to high level.
Dungeons and Dragons is a team-oriented game with higher level adventures that won't be overcome without teamwork from groups of well-designed "toons".