D&D has been around forever and an age. I'm still not sure how I avoided playing tabletop D&D as a teenager. Of course, I even managed to avoid Tolkien as a teen, but as I've grown older, I've embraced my geekitude.
The newest update to the Dungeons & Dragons Online (DDO) went live for subscribers on September 1st. I think the subscription part of DDO has been around for several years before this update went out. There is something very new and cool with it though. DDO now has a free to play (f2p) component which went live on Wednesday, September 9th. You can register an account, download the game, and play for free. No credit card information needed.
There are some restrictions with f2p. You can't create certain classes (monk) or races (warforged) and your initial level cap will be 4. As quest rewards though, you can earn sigils of leveling to increase that cap. You can also earn Turbine Points (TP) to spend in the DDO store while questing. The DDO Store is an in-game store that you can enter at any time even while questing. There you spend TP to buy items such as potions, weapons, and expansions for questing. You can also buy TP while in the store but this will require a credit card number. Also, f2p accounts cannot post to the main and server sections of the DDO forum community. They are restricted to the f2p forums.
Playing the game: I found learning how to maneuver my avatar and use my skills and spells to be quite easy. The movement is smooth and the camera responsive. Graphics for DDO are outstanding and the customization of avatars broad. Each quest in DDO is like a private instance unlike in other MMPORPGs, which I loved immediately. The leveling system is different than to which I am accustomed. You must earn the experience points (xp) through quests only (not from simply killing non player characters, ie. NPCs). There are 5 ranks within each level. Once you've earned each of those ranks, you can go to your class trainer to increase your level. You also earn action points (AP) while questing which can be used to customize your avatar with additional enhancements.
I give the game two thumbs up and am thrilled to be playing. I might even get involved with the roleplaying evenings and events that occur on my server.
DDO Compendium: Playing and Support information
DDO Forums: The online DDO players community
My DDO: community where you can find additional questing information and look up avatars