Jun 052015

Welcome to Level 22!
I have long believed that using Epic Destinies instead of epic classes was a miss. This is easy for me to say, sitting here in the comfort of my hindsight. I have no idea what the design goals were, so no way to know if EDs meet them or not.

But the entire epic system is a miss in my eyes. In fact, I would classify it as the biggest design error made in DDO.

It’s not that I hate Epic Destinies. They even have a basis in tabletop Dungeons & Dragons. Nonetheless, Epic Destinies do not feel like leveling. EDs feel like selecting enhancements from a heroic enhancement tree. Weird, temporary enhancements that you can swap about between quests, just because you want to.

I should point out that even though the term “Epic Destinies” exists in 4th Edition D&D, including some of the specific destinies that we have in DDO, they do not work in the same enhancement-like way that they do here. You still earned levels, your ED did not replace the leveling system, and you selected only one ever. Yes, you earned two or three feat-like powers while accomplishing your destiny, but the destiny is not about the powers. It is actually describing how your character will end. When you complete your destiny, you leave the world behind. For instance, an excerpt from the Fatesinger Epic Destiny:

When you complete your Destiny Quest, you unlock the fullness of the glorious work, each elusive note captured in the proper order, the music clear. For the first time, you can perform the Song of Heroes in its entirety. The song’s purity dissolves your form until you join the singers of yore in body and voice, blending your resonant tones with the rest of the chorus to carry the song forward into eternity.

See what I mean? One does not dissolve their form on a whim so that they can instead be an Exalted Angel.

Normally I like to balance my complaining with suggestions; thus I can tell myself that I am not just whining, I am providing constructive criticism! But in this case there is no point, the bus has left the station, the ship has sailed, the horse is out of the barn, the milk is spilled, and I have run out of cliches that mean it is too late to change Epic Destinies.

But it is.

Oh well.

And so we are left with a leveling process that often is not really leveling at all. Here is Beatifica “leveling” to 22:

Beatifical gains Epic Level 22!
Congratulations! You get to click here, once!

Notice that the entire process was so abbreviated that I was able to capture it in an animated gif. All of it. End-to-end.

Click here, press Finish
And now don’t you feel special!
Epic leveling

Sigh. Ah well, so be it. Maybe Beatifica will have more fun at level 23 (oh wait, no). Feat choices await at levels 24, 27 and 28, so there’s that. And I think something happens at level 26? I forget, but then truly, it is not very memorable.

Oh if only we had Epic Classes instead.

Oh well. Can’t get every design decision right, now can we?

Do you think EDs were the wrong choice too? Or am alone in my chagrin?

No one wants to be chagrined all by themselves.

🙂 😀 🙂

  8 Responses to “Epic Leveling. Or As I Like to Call It, Not Actually Leveling At All”

Comments (8)
  1. Good lord don’t change it now! 🙂 I’m 2 lives from my Epic Completionist!

  2. I completely agree. I just want Teo to be a great cleric. I loathe the trees that have little or nothing to do with her cleric abilities. Yes, she can get some benefits for other trees and twists can help. But ultimately I feel that moving onto the other spheres weaken her single-class status. We all discussed how last night how we just wanted xp to get out of whatever epic destiny that we were currently on. Leveling used to be so much more fun……I miss the days of having to visit specific trainers to level…..and we had walk uphill, in the snow while barefoot to prove our worth to those trainers.

  3. Being able switch between DESTINIES is definitely kinda ironic. I’m not a native English speaker but last time I checked, destiny was something that’s bound to happen to you so being able to change it by the click of a button seems slightly wrong. 🙂

    From a strictly metagaming perspective though, I kinda like the fact the my characters can switch the destinies because it means I don’t have to roll a new character to try out each destiny. I kinda like the fact that my wizard can be a draconic incarnate, a magister or a shiradi depending on the content I’m doing. I prefer having a smaller number of characters who can do more stuff to having a higher number of specialised characters.

    • You have the right idea about destinies being “bound to happen”, Geoff’s summary of 4e EDs would seem to agree.

  4. Right there with you Geoff.

  5. Count me epicly chagrined. The only reason I do epic quests really is to try to farm a piece of equipment or some favor so i can unlock the harper tree. But it does allow for differences of opinion to play in different ways.

    Would be cool if on lvl 20 you got a choice to choose the epic class path or the destinies path.

    If epic class you could select a grander version of a class that you already have …great cleric, master rogue, Mr. Ranger Sir, Holy Paladin, etc. and by doing so you locked in, but became ultra powerful in that one sphere gaining new higher spells and more feats or something…

    Would allow more choice, and since the leveling system is already in place it shouldn’t require too much of a programming shift, just a thought process to prevent over powering a class and balance…

    But as you say – we have ignored the wet paint sign and now we live with striped pants…

  6. Agreed completely. The classes have become far too homogenous and so much power being in destinies makes character leveling very blah. In hindsight, I would have far preferred continuing class levels past 20.

What do you think?

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