My free trial of Dungeons and Dragons Online is now over. What have I to show for it? Well, after a few more sewer slogs, I was finally able to exit the Newbie Zone and explore the rest of the city. This has so far consisted of a huge tented bazaar, (which would have counted as a "city" in other electronic RPGs,) a desert island upon which kobolds roamed, and a wizard’s basement.
Now, I still don’t care for the game’s mouse-mapping. It’s basically just a normal mouse pointer, with a left-click meaning "Use" and a right-click meaning "Attack." I would much rather have the left click mean "Select" and the right-click mean "Walk." Then I could use my left hand to operate hotkeys instead of to drive my character around. Unfortunately, the game’s designers are so certain that we will all love this aspect of the interface that they’ve forbidden anybody to change this. You can remap any other keys, but not the mouse buttons. (Actually, if you have a mouse with extra buttons, you can remap those buttons.)
But I did notice a tip on the loading screen that said one can use a gamepad. So I dug up an old USB gamepad and plugged it in. I did have to manually map all the controls to the pad, but it ended up working pretty well. A useful tip-of-the-day! How about that? I’d encourage anyone who doesn’t like using the mouse to try it.
Here’s how I have it set up:
- Analog 1 – Walk forward, backward, left, right. Click to select.
- Analog 2 – Look up or down, turn left or right. Click to jump.
- D-Pad – Select next/last foe, select next/last shortcut bar.
- Buttons 1-4 – Activate shotcut slots 1-4
- Left bumper 1 – Shield
- Left bumper 2 – Push to talk
- Right bumper 1 – Use selected
- Right bumper 2 – Attack selected
- Start/Pause/Select – Next/last dialogue choice, end dialogue.
Unfortunately, some sort of bug seems to have surfaced that prevents some of the buttons from working while a window (such as the inventory) is open, and other buttons from working when no windows are open. Most inconvenient.
I still haven’t decided whether I like this game enough to buy the full version. Maybe I will, and maybe I won’t. It seems as though whenever someone tells me to "get this, and we’ll all play online, and it’ll be great," it never quite works that way. We’ll see.