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It may be too late if you've already found these forums but....

It seems there's some issues with the cost of DDO that may be putting new players off sticking with the game.

A lot of this comes from new players not knowing what is a good buy for their first TP earned and what isn't - Many will make the mistake of buying the wrong thing {usually a quest pack that is rarely run rather than one that is popular}.

Look....You may have come to DDO thinking I'll give this a try, seen the costs involved and baulked but there are ways to minimise those costs.

I can't stress this enough: If you have $15 then subscribe for a month!
That's less than it would cost you to go to the Movies once that month unless you walk there and take your own food & drink!

This isn't about cost per se but give the game more than an hour or so - The starter area can be empty of players and even the Harbour and marketplace can feel deserted at times because this is an old game now and most of us are in other areas of the game but there are plenty of players about - The real problem here is that the General, Trade and Advice Chats are instance based and if you're in the starter area only other people in that area will see your question.
This game is instance based, quests are in many different instances and players in quests may be using Party Chat or Guild Chat or even not looking at Chat at all - If you have a question and don't get an answer ingame you can always check out the http://ddowiki.com/ or these forums for that matter.

Back to Money:
Your VIP Subscription will allow you entry to every lvl 1-19 quest and raid in the game so long as you maintain said subscription.
It will also allow you entry into most Lvl 20-30 Quests and Raids.
The ones it won't allow you entry to are from the two expansions DDO has had but these are not required content {nice to have but Black Friday and Christmas deals can bring the prices right down. These are I believe not available for TP on the DDOStore either, You have to go to http://store.turbine.com/store/turbi...emeid.29252200 to buy them - Again the prices dropped like 80% for Black Friday last year.}.

One other thing VIP does not give you access to is Epic Destinies {which are a must have once you hit Lvl 20} - These you can use earned TP to buy though.

Everything else in game can be paid for with TP {Turbine Points} which can be earned just by playing the game.
It has been done before where at least one person has never had VIP or bought Turbine Points with real money yet now owns the entire game. This was done through serious grinding of Quests and creating multiple throwaway characters to earn TP.
IF you are VIP however you don't need to worry about buying content {quest packs} or Shared Bank or any number of other things that come free to VIPs and can save up your earned TP.
At the end of your first month you can then decide whether you want to keep up your VIP and use your saved TP on other things such as Tomes to boost your stats or Cosmetics/Pets so your character looks better/has a pet or extra inventory tabs so you can carry more loot or any of a number of things.
You can drop VIP and spend that earned TP on one or two of the best, most popular packs like Vale of Twilight and Gianthold or The Necropolis Bundle.

Frankly I'd just keep VIP up if you like the game enough to stick with it past a month - By the end of your first year you should have earned an absolute tonne of TP {you get a free 500 every month with your VIP} just from playing the game regularly.
And $15 a month {less if you buy 3 months, 6 months or 12 months at a time} really is nothing comparative to the hours and hours of fun each month you'll get from playing this game.

You can also choose to spend a little or a lot extra each month buying more TP to get things faster - Tomes can be expensive on TP, especially if you have multiple characters you want to buy them for.
The smallest amount of TP you can buy is around 600 and costs around $8 - If you don't want to go VIP instantly then I'd definitely recommend this instead as it marks you as Premium rather than totally Free to Play and gives you a few bonuses like enhanced use of the In-game Auction House, extra Character slots and access to the basic Monster Manual which gives you the ability to earn more XP and TP while questing.

Remember also that the first month is the hardest - It's when your characters are at their weakest, it's when you're not sure yet if the game is for you, it's when you first see all the stuff you have to learn and the other stuff possibly buy.
It can seem daunting but it's worth it!

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Dungeons & Dragons Online is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game developed by Turbine, Inc.