Free vs Premium vs VIP
Have you ever wondered if it was a smarter buy to stop your VIP subscription and purchase all the packs outright, we’re breaking everything down right here!
- Free (f2p) is a player that has spent NO money in DDO. You get 2 character slots.
- Premium is a non-subscriber that HAS spent money in DDO. You get 4 character slots.
- VIP is a player that spends money every month as a subscriber. You get 10 character slots.
Breaking the Dollars Down
VIP annually is 12 months of $10 = $120.
We’re going to buy the highest tier points pack (usually at 5,000TP but occasionally 6,900TP) twice for 10,000TP (or 13,800TP) at a cost of $100. When you buy the 5,000TP pack for $50, each penny is worth a point. If you buy the lower-point packages, you’re spending more per TP (which can be as much as 6½ each at the lowest pack for instance).
We’re about to spend less than an annual subscription for a permanent VIPish account.
When middle class kids would hang out with mom, they learned how to stretch a dollar by watching the clearance racks. If you are patient, you’ll usually see at least one of the below go on sale each week. The sales are usually 20% or more off the normal price. The key here is patience.
Adventure Packs You’ll Use
Sharn Syndicate – 350TP (280TP on sale) TOP PICK!
Between this and the other f2p stuff, you’ll get enough Coin Lord favor for both extra backpack slots.
Delera’s Tomb – 750TP (600TP on sale)
Get your character to level 4 and run it through this on a solid XP grind, making sure it’s level 5 before you get it out of the 3 tombs (remember that you get XP bonuses for the first completion on each difficulty). It’s got some pretty damn good XP and you get the Voice of the Master which gives you +5% XP so long as you have it on, not to mention it’s a tribute to and narrated by E. Gary Gygax.
The Demon Sands – 850TP (680TP on sale)
Sands has great wilderness and loot, great XP and the Zawabi’s Revenge raid. You’ll run these quests over and over and spend so much time in the wilderness searching for bloodstones and spell storing rings, you’ll have sand in your boots and blisters on your toes.
The Ruins of Gainthold – 995TP (796TP on sale)
Gianthold. Dragonscale armor. Loads of XP. Good storyline. Reaver’s Fate raid. You could skip buying this pack, but it’s pretty damn nice.
The Necropolis part 4 – 850TP (680TP on sale) TOP PICK!
Part 4 includes the Orchard wilderness area and XP/loot for level 10 characters. Level 20s still run this because the loot and collectible items in here are great. Ascension Chamber raid. You’re going to want your 20 tap shreds to get your spiffy hats!
Reaver’s Reach – 350TP (280TP on sale) TOP PICK!
Dragontouched Armor with nice crafing and really cheap for what you get from it.
Path of Inspiration – 500TP (400TP on sale)
Good XP & really nice items. You’ll spend a good amount of time there. Excellent storyline.
The Vale of Twilight – 700TP (560TP on sale) TOP PICK!
Arguably one of the best wilderness areas with amazing loot. The Shroud raid is just amazing and item crafting is to die for… and if you act now, we’ll throw in not one, but TWO additional raids (Hound of Xoriat and Vision of Destruction)! Order in the next TEN MINUTES and we’ll throw in the Subterrane Central and East wilderness areas at no additional cost!
The Devils of Shavarath – 650TP (520TP on sale)
This is the place that level 20s fear going to. It’s got the raid that makes men of boys, Tower of Despair.
Adventure Packs You Can Do Without
The Ruins of Threnal – 550TP (440TP on sale)
About 4 hours of questing, good XP, get the Mantle of the Worldshaper (+5% XP, not stacking with Voice), tribute to & narrated by Dave Arneson.
Sorrowdusk Island – 400TP (320TP on sale)
This place is so randomly organized it’s frustrating.
Three Barrel Cove – 650TP (520TP on sale)
Quite expensive for no good reason. There are a couple missions out here, but the XP is meager and most skip it and come back to do it as favor… as far as skippable packs go, this is one of the better ones, but there’s so much lowbie content out there, it’s unnecessary.
Tangleroot Gorge – 550TP (440TP on sale)
Tangleroot is pretty popular and has a couple good items as end rewards such as a Death Ward clickie, +3 STR (ML5) and +3 DEX (ML5) bracers and a +50SP trinket. The XP is decent for the time spent there if you have someone experienced in the run, but it’s just redundant with other f2p content.
The Catacombs – 250TP (200TP on sale)
Aside from an eternal wand of healing (1-2 HP per click) or eternal wand of magic missile (at level 1 which = 1 missile at 1d4+1 damage), the loot from this SUCKS compared to how much time you put in to this. The cost isn’t that bad, but I don’t think it’s worth it. It’ll help get your favor up (with the help of Necropolis quests) which gives you slightly better city regeneration, but it’s not worth the time overall. Great story though, a lot of effort went in to it.
Shan-to-Kor – 250TP (200TP on sale)
STK is a pretty good pack with appropriate XP. You’ll get a chance at The Ring of Feathers, a ML2 FF ring… not too shabby. The quest chain end rewards are also not too bad here either.
Devil Assualt – 350TP
150TP for a single mission? C’mon. The loot sucks and the XP isn’t that great.
The Necropolis part 1 – 250TP (200TP on sale)
The Necropolis part 2 – 350TP (280TP on sale)
The Necropolis part 3 – 350TP (280TP on sale)
Nec 1-3 are good and offer decent XP, but you can get better XP in the Orchard… the only real thing you get here is the ability to increase your Silver Flame amulet into a really spiffy item at the very end. It takes a LOT of work and is worth it in the end. Missions are clean, well designed and fun. Top picks out of all the “Do Without” category.
The Restless Isles – 600TP (480TP on sale)
Must confusing effing place in the game. Storyline is shit and makes no sense. There’s no order to the layout and gameplay is not there. It does have the Titan raid, but even that’s not great. The wilderness is awful, missions suck and you’ll /death to get back to civilization quicker than you’ll realize.
The Vault of Night – 800TP (640TP on sale)
I get that this was the shizzy back in the day, but just because my dad’s generation drove a Nova doesn’t mean I have to think it’s hot today. If you want the red dragonscale armor and don’t mind spending about 6 months trying to get it… literally… then go ahead.
Sentinels of Stormreach – 450TP (360TP on sale)
While pirate zombies are damn cool, you just don’t need to buy more low-level stuff.
Phiarlan Carnival – 450TP (360TP on sale)
Nice stuff, epic-able, but there’s just too much f2p stuff to justify another purchase.
The Dreaming Dark – 450TP (360TP on sale)
You can continue the story from the Inspired Quarter above if you’d like. You can unlock the hidden potential of the items you pulled from the Mindsunder Chest at the end, but it’s a heck of a grind. Most of the unlocked items are not worth it, but a couple are really great.
Other Account Options
Warforged Race – 595TP (476TP on sale)
While you may want to drive a toaster (Scion xB), playing them is not always a good idea. They do get some benefits but are hard to heal by clerics and end up being shunned because of this reason unless they have their own potions.
Monk Class – 795TP (636TP on sale)
Many say this is the most complex class to play. It’s a matter of taste.
Drow Race unlock – 795TP (636TP on sale)
How hard is it to get the favor, honestly? This is a great race so when you get your favor, play it then… it’s not necessary to purchase.
Favored Soul Class unlock – 795TP (636TP on sale)
The FvS is the sorc of clerics. Souls get TONS of SP and better combat ability but sacrifice easy spell swaps and number of spells at each level, but if you find your cleric constantly oom and know what spells to pick when, give it a shot. Also obtainable as an unlock at 2,500 favor. Healing will not be as potent if you sacrifice WIS.
Veteran Status – 1,495TP (1,196TP on sale)
Handy, but are you really not able to work up to 1,000 favor on a character?
Shared Vault – 1,495TP (1,196TP on sale) TOP PICK!
Unless you want to make another account on another computer to trade items to and then trade them to your alt or mail them from one to another, you’ll need this.
+10 capacity in shared vault – 995TP (796TP on sale) TOP PICK!
See above. Pretty damn necessary.
One extra character slot – 595TP (476TP on sale) TOP PICK!
These are on sale pretty often. Very handy since the storage options suck in the game so you can have extra mules.
For all the packs you’ll ever need, you can total 5,995TP or 4,796TP if you wait for sales. You can manage to skip Gianthold and Sands in favor of f2p content if you want for a total of 4,150TP or 3,320TP on sale. In terms of account options, get yourself the Shared Vault, +10 capacity and 4 extra slots (for a total of 8) at a cost of 4,870TP or 3,896TP on sale. Assuming you didn’t buy GH and Sands, your total will be 7,216TP on sale and that’ll leave you more than 2,500TP to spend on extras like hair styles/colors, spirit cakes and more. If you’d like extra storyline and loot options, get GH and Sands for a total of 8,692TP.
If you get the 6,900 points deal on the occasion it rolls around and get one less character slot, omit GH and Sands, you can do the entire thing for $50 USD.
Now you’ll have a permanent VIPish account at no monthly cost with TONS of enjoyment for $100 USD straight up. Don’t forget that you get more TP for every 100 favor you earn.
Want to own everything in the game to have a true lifetime VIP account? It’ll cost ya a total of 19,515TP or 15,612TP assuming you buy everything on sale (as of July 2010).
Before You Ask
If you downgrade your VIP account to f2p, it’ll automatically keep you VIP for the rest of the billing period you’ve already purchased and leave you with a premium account.