Ok so I've been playing dnd online since last night but mainly this morning. To summerise the game in a sentence is that it's almost exactly like pen and paper dnd rules. To add a little further to that I don't think they should have used them. Atleast not in the way they did. What would have been better is to take the ideas of each class and build a new system more at home in a mmorpg setting.
Some good things about dnd online though is that it will dynamically create areas much like Guild Wars when too many people are in one area. Missions are like instances in WoW or Guild Wars with only people in your group able to enter them.
Now for the bad.
All the movement is weird. Seriously weird. It almost feels like your lagged the whole time. I'm not sure exactly which game would best describe how it works but it kind of seems like they tried to tie in the characters animation to how you move. So if your strafing left and want to strafe back right you have to wait until your character is lined up for that animation. I'm not sure if that's exactly what it does but thats how it feels.
Combat is anoying. It is more anoying than Everquest 2 combat. To attack you have to constantly click your right mouse button near the mob and hope your attacking them or select the mob hit the attack icon twice on your action bar or select a monster then click on the auto attack button on their picture on the bottom right of the screen. Then you have to face the mob which is anoying as since the movement feels off as previously noted. Action bar and UI button pushes feel lagged too so your not sure if they have worked or not until a few seconds later.
There is no aggro management that I know of in the game and you spend a great deal of time running after mobs as they switch between targets when you eventually find combat in missions/quests zones.
Sure the game supports and encourages group formation but the gui for group formation is horrible. Especially when you consider that you do quests. The description that people can put in for their group on the default ui setting before the text gets cut off is maybe 8-10 characters. Even if you expand the window it expands every other column (Class, level, party leader) so you have to have a huge window to see a short sentence describing the group.
One option that would have come in handy is being able to get into groups by quest. Sort of like how in Guild Wars in order to get into a mission you goto a waiting area where you can form groups. Sure there doesn't need to be a waiting area but a chat/group window for that quest would make it alot easier to find and organise groups.
Some other quick things are.
Level progression has been modified with what seems like only 10 levels. 2nd level takes 10k xp but you get a few "action points" on your way there at points where you'd normally get levels 2 and 3. These seem to be like feats only your limited in your choices to class and race specific and enchancements to existing feats.
Shields now have damage reduction and the ever anoying dexterity modifiers from armour, shields and medium/heavy loads have been carried over.
Some of the coolest classes are missing which are the Druid and Monk :(
I don't think there is any trade skill system in the game at all.
I don't know but I hope that this game is like Guild Wars in it's pricing structure. Ie; buy and then don't pay for monthly fees because I really cannot see anyone paying by the month for it. I mean honestly pay by the month for what? To play a sinlge player coop game with other people. Hmm. That really sums up the game actually.
To summerise DnD Online feels like a single player rpg that forces you to play online and group with other people via a poor and anoying user interface and I assume will charge you by the month to do it. I'd give this one a miss.