DDO New player advice

Observations for newer players

As a follow-up to a recent post that offered with any luck some food for thought on DDO play experience for veterans of the game, i would be remiss if there wasn’t a companion piece aimed at gamers new to this well-established MMO.

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If i’m honest, this one is a little trickier for me since i’ve been playing DDO since 2006, so it’s far from new to me. Back then, Smuggler’s Rest was the starting zone, you could only have four enhancements, the level cap was 10, Threnal was endgame and ransacking the Giants’ Lair for a vorpal sword was considered a worthwhile investment of time – especially if someone used diplomacy on the chest first.

Perhaps my favorite gameplay aspect from this era, though, was the “go kart bug.” In order to proc this bug, you had to equip a throwing weapon, enter stealth mode, toggle auto-run and then /sit. Doing so allowed characters to slide around in the sitting position so it looked, not surprisingly, like you were driving an invisible go kart.

Ahh, those were the days.

“But I just started playing last week,” a new player might think. “What does any of that have to do with me?”

Touche, new player. Let me counter with a couple of things to justify my admittedly indulgent nostalgia moment.

First, consider this: every veteran you see wearing a Founder’s Helm or sporting a forum join date in the aughts was once in your Sage’s Shoes. They didn’t create an account, roll a toon and log in with complete knowledge of game systems and all the quests and puzzles. So take it with a grain of salt if you find yourself in a PUG and get surprised comments directed your way about your lack of knowledge on any particular thing. There’s still vast swaths of DDO that i have yet to experience, too. Heck, there’s a guy in my guild who just started playing about a month ago and already accomplished a few things i never have.

Founder's Helm: missed it by a couple of months. Drat.

Founder’s Helm: missed it by a couple of months. Drat.

Be willing to PUG and group with others

This is perhaps the best piece of general advice i can offer to a new player. Or any player for that matter. For many years, i played DDO primarily solo, to the point of exclusivity almost. There’s several reasons why that came about but i’ve since cottoned to grouping more and the difference is extraordinary.

First and foremost, quests will generally go much smoother, easier and quicker in a group. While it’s true that dungeon scaling will increase the number of mobs and so forth, a group of up to six toons is going to roll ahead much more effectively than a lone adventurer.

Beyond that, whether it’s a group of vets, newbs or a mix of the two, the opportunities to learn something are increased by the number of people in a group. A new player might even have something to teach a vet, as a few of my guild mates discovered recently regarding the viability of the toughness feat that i mentioned in the veteran companion piece to this post.

Likewise, it’s not uncommon for veteran players to have a leveling plan so there are quests they might not have run in years, or optionals they always skip by in the xp/min grindfest. Unless you find yourself in a zerg-at-all-costs group, you very well may end up (re)introducing these folks to parts of the game they largely forgot. And everyone may wind up sidetracked by a little something called “fun.”

Grouping is a great way to meet other players, get (and give!) advice, and accomplish more together than you could on your own. Check the social panel next time you’re on by clicking “O” or using the menu and see what groups are doing. It’s also worth noting that the grouping panel has a bit of a glitch right now. In order to make the most of it, you need to click the “Who” panel, wait a moment until it refreshes (you’ll see the list of names refresh) then go back to “Grouping.”

If you don’t see any groups in your level range, try posting a LFM yourself, and don’t be shy about putting in descriptions like “first time running” or whatever – that not only lets people know where you’re coming from but also might make it more inviting to other new players, who sometimes feel intimidated by joining a group of experienced players.

And if all else fails, leave the group public when you enter a dungeon. If you’re comfortable playing solo, great. And if someone wants to jump in while you’re in-progress then you’ve got yourself a party.

Listening is different than obeying

When it comes to quest mechanics, like puzzle-solving and so forth, this piece of advice doesn’t exactly apply. Likewise, in raid situations for example that require more tactics and coordination, it’s wise to heed what experienced players have to say. This kind of advice comes not only from their personal desire to avoid quest failure, but also serves you well going forward, so in the future if you run a particular raid again for example, you’ll be more aware of how things are handled by the player population.

What i’m suggesting here is the myriad comments and banter regarding things like character builds, gear, what quests to run and things of that nature.

i’ve played a lot of MMOs, and almost all of them lend themselves to minutiae analysis. A stat point here, a gear bonus there can make a big difference and DDO is no different – perhaps even more so because of the deep customization options the game is known for.

My advice here is very similar to how one ought to approach reading and/or watching the news. If you take the first thing you hear as the absolute truth, you’re going to end up with a very one-sided viewpoint. Better to get your information from several sources and make your own informed decisions. The DDO Wiki is a fantastic resource, and the official forums can also provide invaluable information as well. An Internet search for “ddo (whatever you want to know about)” typically steers towards the forums and a wealth of answers. Watch the date on posts though – an older one may be outdated now because of updates or changes to the game.

Player advice, even that which is thought out and has been researched by the advice-giver, can’t help but be filtered through the lens of their individual experience. The mechanics and math might very well make perfect sense on paper and even in practice, but despite all of that it still comes down to a person’s playstyle and what works for them.

i like to use the example of my pure fighter, Experimenta, who perhaps could squeeze out more DPS or defenses by selecting different feats or enhancements, twisting in different destiny abilities, or splashing another class. But so far, i haven’t encountered any insurmountable obstacles and in fact have received quite a few compliments on her survivability, damage-dealing and utility in healing, buffing and raising from the dead other party members.

At the end of the day though, when confronted with strict advice, the best thing to ask yourself is “am i having fun?” If you find yourself performing competently in quests, surviving boss fights and getting ahead, then congratulations – whatever you’re doing is working for you. Is there room for improvement? Sure there is, there always is. Finding those ways through your own efforts though is going to be much more rewarding and will sync up better with your own playstyle.

Don’t get discouraged

Listen, i’ve been there. We all have. Total party wipes, bad PUGS and not-so-friendly players happen.

But for every player that gets mad at the player who dies in a quest, there’s countless more like me who feel more like it’s our failure as a party member when someone else dies. Say what you will about the xp loss, and believe me on a multi-TR every bit of xp is precious, to me it’s really not that big of a deal.

Of course, i want to get ahead, level up and all that jazz. But speaking for myself, i’ve never quite understood the extreme hurry. What i enjoy most about MMOs is that there’s a bunch of other real people logged in, running around the shared environment, chatting and forming groups to tackle game content. Sharing ideas and tips, as well as joking around and meeting new people, is what sets online games apart and with that, you’re going to have both positive and negative experiences.

The trick is to take away something useful from all of them.

Just the other night, i experienced a discouraging situation running some quests for the first time. At first, for a moment i’ll admit i was pretty ticked off by the turn of events. But only for a moment. The next night, we tried again with some different people and tactics and found success. It certainly wasn’t worth ragequitting, causing drama or giving up. i didn’t feel the need to reroll my toon or make sweeping changes to the build. We just approached it a bit differently and that made all the difference.

Really? Worst quest you ever ran. Well, my next one will be better. Hello.

Really? Worst quest you ever ran. Well, my next one will be better. Hello.

The right game for you

This one’s pretty simple. Is DDO the right game for you?

As i mentioned earlier, i’ve played a lot of MMOs over the years. Right now on my taskbar, there are shortcuts to Star Wars: The Old Republic, Guild Wars, Guild Wars 2, Star Trek Online, Marvel Heroes, The Secret World, The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot, Rift, Neverwinter Online, Final Fantasy XI, Final Fantasy XIV, World of Warcraft and Champions Online. Many others have come and gone from that taskbar over the years.

None of them i’ve invested as much time in, or enjoyed as much as, DDO. Maybe it’s just the D&D-ness of it, or the mechanics, or who knows what but i keep coming back to it because i enjoy it above all the others.

Even with that being said, i still take breaks from it here and there. A few weeks, a few months, but i always come back around. Which isn’t to say any of those other games aren’t great, too. At the same time, there’s more than a couple of those that i haven’t played in years, and some that i tried out for a few weeks and simply didn’t enjoy. Neverwinter is a prime example – i played that for about two days and just thought it was crap. In fact, i’m removing it from the taskbar right after i finish this sentence.

If you’ve delved into DDO, played for a bit and find yourself feeling unsatisfied consistently, there’s no shame in moving on. Any of these games will reward investments of time (and, often, money) and even some long-time DDO players seem to approach the game more as a chore or work than for what it is – a game meant to provide fun entertainment.

One of the coolest things about MMOs is that, even if you quit and uninstall the client, you could return years later and find your character still intact. If you’re reading this and played DDO many years ago, you will be happy to discover more than a few special items in your characters’ inventory were you to log back in today.

If you are a newer player, and wound up here after trying the game a bit and maybe having less-than-the-best experiences, i hope some of these observations might improve that.

TL;DR

For the DDO player who zergs through reading like they do through quests, here’s a few pointers to summarize what new players can do to make their play experience more positive, acclimate to the game, improve the community and with any luck have more fun.

  • Group up
    • Don’t be afraid to join PUGs
    • Post your own LFM
    • Leave quests open to public
  • Don’t feel obligated to obey
    • Listen to advice but make your own decisions
    • Find the playstyle that works for you
    • Learn to differentiate between mechanical advice and personal opinions
  • Don’t get discouraged
    • Character deaths happen
    • Quests and XP will always be there
    • Learn something new from every experience
  • Take a break
    • If you’re not having fun, don’t punish yourself
    • Try another game, maybe it’s not the right time and place for DDO and you
    • Been away? Log back in and see if changes make it better for you

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Thanks as always for visiting The Long Shot. If you enjoyed this or any other content you find here please follow/like/share.

Please share your thoughts and comments on this topic in the comments section – there’s a lot of perspectives out there and i’d like to hear yours!

As always, i appreciate each and every person that visits The Long Shot. It’s a great joy to share not only my own thoughts but also stories of science, technology and pop culture from my hometown Cleveland and the surrounding area. If you have anything you’d like to write about, please feel free to contact me or Take a Shot yourself and write about topics that interest you.

Follow @longshotist on Twitter for frequent shares of related articles and (hopefully) humorous nonsequiters.

Check out the articles i’ve written for The News-Herald.

Thanks for reading!

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DDO Devilish new updates

Putting the follow-up my observations for veteran DDO players meant as a companion piece aimed towards newer players, i’m taking a moment as always to examine what’s coming up as shared in the most recent Producer’s Letter.

Current DDO Executive Producer Severlin posted on the forums today what the team at Turbine has been up to as well as what players can expect in the next few months.

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First up, and something that is perhaps the most frequent topic of discussion and concern for players, is tacking the chronic lag problems in DDO. For me personally, lag hasn’t been a major issue at the level throngs of others have experienced, which frankly sound exceedingly frustrating. Once in a while, i’ll lag out, freeze up or go through some jaggy movement, but not to the extent of 30 minute or more lockdowns and TPK situations.

Nevertheless, working to make improvements in stability and performance is never time wasted. Part of this work, which Severlin shared, is a project to transfer game servers and hardware to a new data center. Sounds scary – i have trouble keeping track of the cords coming out of my desktop now – but overall a genuine goal geared towards making the game run smoother for everyone, which is something i can stand behind.

There’s already a few comments portending DOOOOOooooooom! based on this announcement, and there’s certainly the possibility of a few snags during the process, but upgrading hardware is ultimately a good thing. More power to you, Turbine.

Last week, the forums got a new category that already shows a healthy amount of engagement: the Warlock forum. This new class has been talked about for quite some time, and the official news from today’s producer letter is that it will arrive in-game in June’s Update 26.

A new class to discover is always exciting. The monk, artificer, favored soul and druid were all post-launch added classes and remain popular so i’m sure the warlock will also find its place in players’ hearts. Another spellcaster class, the warlock brings a sixth class to that category, leaving four in each of the other two (melee and specialist). This is something i do find somewhat odd. Even though warlock is distinct enough in flavor and mix of abilities, it is in the end another spellcasting class. And still no psionics, something i’ve been advocating for years and years, often dismissed as just another spellcaster with different spell names. Perhaps the warlock will provide a new framework for approaching class design that will usher in the age of psions in the future. Fingers crossed.

A star pact warlock. Hey, maybe we're get tieflings as a playable race (if so, the cool-looking ones please, not the humans with weird horns)

A star pact warlock. Hey, maybe we’re get tieflings as a playable race (if so, the cool-looking ones please, not the humans with weird horns)

In the meantime, i will most certainly be creating a warlock myself, and there’s no question on which pact i’ll choose – the Great Old Ones. From what is already shared on the forums, these otherworldly warlocks will have a focus on acid spells and crowd control with a little insta-kill mixed in. i would like to have seen radiance as their focus instead of acid, since it represents the light of the stars from which they draw their power. Maybe that will be implemented by the time they release? If my own contribution to the official feedback thread had any impact (or this post right here – please forward to developer Vargouille!). As for that crowd control part, Evard’s Black Tentacles would be a much-appreciated new spell.

The standout news from the letter is that, following Update 26 in June is another one, Update 27 in July. Just one month apart! Severlin reveals much more about this update, which will include a new adventure pack that focuses on the very popular and well-liked Shavarath storyline. Eberron content ftw.

Ready to head back to the Plane of Battle?

Ready to head back to the Plane of Battle?

This time around, players will discover more about the Archon’s battle with the armies of Shavarath and take an active role in the drama. Mysterious Remnants are involved (maybe they’ll start dropping in greater numbers. Please!) and it turns out they come from the Plane of Battle, which is where the action from three new dungeons and a new raid takes place.

Aside from these two updates, Sev addresses player feedback about problems with the DDO Store, with an announcement that it’s getting an overhaul for an improved experience. Later this summer, players will find a streamlined DDO Store which i’m sure means among other things it would be unavailable as often. Although, if i’m honest, sometimes i like when the DDO Store is down because it saves me from impulse shopping.

Finally, there is more news about the long-awaited increase in level cap from 28 to 30. The plan has been to make 30 a hard cap, and i haven’t heard any different in this regard. That being said, it’s entirely possible that a year from now it’ll get raised to 40 for all i know. That’s pretty much what MMOs do. On the other hand…

…the other thing MMOs do at endgame is provide difficult crafting systems for top end gear. To that end, one of the things in the works is an epic and extended version of the ever popular Thirteenth Eclipse raid. Yes, that’s what it’s actually called but it’s more widely known and affectionately referred to as The Shroud. Along with it is an updated and epic version of green steel crafting, probably the most popular crafting system in the game. The stuff you can make from green steel is tremendous, and an epic version should keep players busy and happy for quite some time.

Along with the epic Shroud is another new adventure pack related to the Vale of Twilight, too. MOAR new content is never a bad thing.

Overall, a pretty tidy new producer’s letter that seems to include a little something across the board. Performance-enhancing maintenance benefits everyone, and a new class will give builders something to tinker with, and slapdash players like me something to fumble through life with, too. Quote a bit of new content is on the horizon, all of it taking place in Eberron which gets two thumbs up in my book.

One thing i am curious about is Update 26. Other than the warlock, what else is there to this upcoming update? Severlin doesn’t mention anything, so i wonder if it’s just the new class and maybe some tweaks to enhancement trees and stuff? Perhaps there will be a new general tree or a third tree for the classes who have only had two for an overly long time. Or maybe a refinement pass on Cannith Crafting?

At least we won’t have long to wait to find out – June is just around the corner!

DDO Please play responsibly

Observations for veteran players

My time spent having fun playing DDO lately has improved considerably since joining The Unrepentant guild, and not just because it’s a very active guild that regularly runs a variety of content at all hours of the day.

The best aspect of running with these folks has been the terrific guild chat through the Mumble app, and all the engaging conversations that arise both in and out of game. Frequent topics include character builds, gear, playstyles and approach to the game, as well as a vigorous amount of banter and humor.

Because of the active nature of the guild, both in terms of questing and recruitment, there’s a fairly steady flow of applicants both veteran and fresh to DDO, and i’ve made a few observations to share that with any luck will provide a nice takeaway for both ends of the player spectrum. And since brevity is not my strong suit, i’ll cover vets here and new players in another post.

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All we need is just a little patience

To an old timey forum dweller like me, the topic of veteran attitudes towards new players is nothing new. It’s not my intention to admonish any long time players if i inadvertently describe traits that apply to anyone in particular. Based on what i’ve read over the years and my in-game experience in PUGs and guilds, the two extremes of vet player attitudes towards new players is either one of helpfulness or disregard.

The fulcrum upon which those two extremes rest is patience.

A patient vet, grouped up with a new player or even through the /advice channel in-game, takes the time to answer questions and offer tips and suggestions, realizing that the knowledge they’ve acquired is valuable and takes time to accumulate.

The impatient vet may very well take new player questions with disdain, feeling that they ought to take the time to find out the answers on their own through trial-and-error, the forum of the critically important wiki.

Whatever the approach though – either of these extremes or somewhere in the middle – the most important thing to keep in mind is the perspective of the new player. There’s a few recruits in the guild who are new to DDO in general, and i get the sense sometimes that even helpful advice can be overwhelming.

For example, one of the people i tend to play a lot with is new to DDO, but not games or specifically MMOs in general. So for him, learning the ropes is primarily just understanding the finer points of the game. A couple of times, i’ve detected a hint of frustration in his voice from vet players’ comments and tips regarding things like gear.

You need this!

After so many tips on suggested gear item (utility things like particular purpose named items for instance) i sensed that he maybe felt a bit stymied, noting that he only has so much bank space and has no room for all the things he “needs.” What helped more was that, in addition to tossing out suggestions for chase items, explanations were provided as to what/why/how these things could help. Most vet players have at least one toon that we’ve made some investment in, for practical things like increased bank and vault space. Even despite that, item management can get frustrating at times with all the loot that accumulates.

i’m not alone in having thrown out or sold more named items that a new player probably has in random lootgen clogging up their inventory space. Unless some random treasure is exceptionally amazing, more than likely it’s destined for the vendor. When it comes to gear i’m a snob and almost completely disregard stuff with less than a dark blue item border color.

By comparison, and especially until a new player understands just how much gear affects character performance, they might rarely ever swap anything out (Korthos gear in Gianthold?!) or hoard things that seem really useful and maybe not realize they’re doubling up on things or stacking unstackable bonuses and the like.

To sum up, it goes a long way to offer new players advice on useful gear that will benefit them at every level, or makes for great TR twink gear or would increase their build effectiveness. A motivated player might take time out of game to read up on things or research ways to improve. What a vet can do in-game though is invaluable, by explaining the reasoning behind their advice so that the new player doesn’t get overwhelmed or frustrated.

For the vet player there’s an upside, too. Helping new players acquire some of that useful, must-have gear provides an opportunity to maybe run some quests you might skip over or haven’t played in a long time. A lot of people skip over Tangleroot, which can net you a useful Visor of the Flesh Render Guards in addition to some pretty nice XP for the chain. Running it slower with a new player might be tedious, true, and that leads into the next topic.

Repetition is the mother of all learning

Another area where patience is a virtue is quest content. What i always try to keep in mind is that someone may be experiencing a quest for the first time. More than once, i’ve shared a laugh about how something like Water Works or STK used to be a huge undertaking back when we were new. To get through the entire WW chain in one session was a triumph.

Now, i rush through there by myself, under level, in about 30 minutes. Same with STK, Tangleroot, The Catacombs (hate you Crypt of Gerald Dryden) and several others. These can be tricky to run with new players, at least for me, because i certainly hope they get that sense of wonder and danger. When i first started playing DDO, we crept so cautiously along corridors, unsure of what lay ahead.

These days, with past lives and ship buffs that didn’t even exist then, plus knowledge from having run through these quests countless times, the fun comes more from seeing how the build responds to the content. Also, getting the drop on static mobs is a blast, often literally. In PnP it’s not uncommon to open a door, see a bunch of hobgoblins, roll for initiative and let the wizard toss a fireball and then clean up the mess; when you already know about the ambush around the corner you can fireball those sneaky monsters before they even know you’re there.

Thanks to patient vets, Experimenta went from unrefined first-lifer to contributing member of EE parties

Thanks to patient vets, Experimenta went from unrefined first-lifer to contributing member of EE parties

But imagine you’re playing that quest with someone on their very first run. More than likely, keeping up is their challenge and learning the layout or solving puzzles is going right over their heads. There’s still a lot of content i’ve rarely or never touched, and when i get the opportunity to with a group, i often find myself wondering what the heck is going on. But i have been fortunate to play a lot lately with very helpful folks who take the time to explain things to me. A big part of DDO that’s different from other MMOs in my experience is repeating content. So i know, the next time i’m in a quest i’m not familiar with, i’ll be that much more on the ball. This is a potential hurdle for a new player, who might not yet have grasped that they’ll likely find themselves running a particular quest again. And again. And again…

Take it easy, man!

Grinding for XP and loot is the way of the MMO, and in DDO that translates into repeating quests. Some players have a plan they follow, and some (like me) play catch-as-catch-can and jump into anything without regard to bravery streaks, XP per minute, sagas or prepping wilderness areas. In the end, the results are the same: you reach the level cap and either hang out there or TR and start a new life…and do it all over again.

By that point your TR toon (or brand new first-lifer in some cases) has past lives, epic past lives, twink gear and most importantly quest knowledge that makes the trip that much easier.

Now, put yourself in the shoes of a new player who may not be aware of all those mechanics yet. They’re in your group, thinking that since everyone is the same level, they’re going to be about equally effective.

Next thing they know, they see characters one-shotting mobs, tanking toe-to-toe with bosses, watching a character with a wizard icon bust out a greatsword and dish out more DPS than their barbarian. What’s happening?

Statsinger is a first-life bard spellsinger in a static group. Neglible DPS but keeps the party buffed

Statsinger is a first-life bard spellsinger in a static group. Neglible DPS but keeps the party buffed. Several suggestions to go swashbuckler route but i’m sticking with support – you guys will thank me later!

Left standing there watching in awe or dismay, a new player might get discouraged and think they’re doing something wrong. This isn’t to say the vet player is to blame – after all, we’re playing our best just as they are. But here again, i think a little explanation goes a long way for a new player. Sometimes, all it takes is a simple tidbit that can make a huge difference. For example, i mentioned stacking bonuses earlier. Sometimes this gets overlooked or goes unnoticed by new players who probably turned off the hints feature and missed load screen tip #179

Between quests, they switch out a few items and all of a sudden performance increases dramatically. The same can be said of feats and enhancements, the bread and butter of any build. You thought Skill Focus: Swim would come in handy? Maybe if you’re a swim cleric but other than that…sorry mate. Better go talk to Lockania and then hit up Fred to change that out. Oh, you didn’t know about Lockania?

DDO, widely touted for its deep character customization, can yield some amazing creations as well as gimp builds, and a little constructive criticism can go a long way to help a newer player. Personally, i’m a bit more open-minded when it comes to builds as far as deeming something gimp or not, but regardless of the gulf of opinions, it is always more beneficial to explain your reasoning more than “that sucks” or “it’s a gimp build – reroll.” Character success in DDO boils down a lot to playstyle and finding what works for the individual, so offering build advice to a new player with the thought behind it not only helps them, it can help you too.

Here’s an example: in guild the other night we discussed the toughness feat, once considered auto-include for every character. It provides additional HP and unlocked the toughness enhancements for even MOAR HP. Since the enhancement revamp that introduced trees, it’s fallen off in popularity, but there’s still people who squeeze it in their build for various reasons. One of our newer members shared his perspective on it, pointing out that as a paladin he got more benefit from the feat. A couple of vets questioned how this was, themselves learning about Tenacious Defense that grants a 20% bonus to maximum hit points. As regards toughness, i think that’s only 6 extra HP at cap from the feat (very likely i could be wrong) so to me, not really worth it. The point is, people took the time to explain and discuss the pros and cons in a constructive way, and everyone learned something.

TL;DR

For the veteran DDO player who zergs through reading like they do through quests, here’s a few pointers to summarize what you can do to help new players acclimate to the game, improve the community and with any luck make your own experiences more fun.

  • Exercise patience
    • Respond to the /advice channel
    • Steer people to the forums and the wiki
    • Give reasoned responses to questions
  • Explain yourself
    • What your suggestions mean
    • Why is this or that piece of equipment useful/necessary
    • Be willing to run quests outside of your leveling plan to help players snag that loot
  • Let players experience a sense of wonder
    • Let them take the lead
    • Give advice through hints but let them participate in puzzle-solving, quest mechanics, etc.
    • Death isn’t the end of the quest (10% base XP loss isn’t the end of the world) and can make memorable stories
  • Maintain perspective
    • DDO grind is a somewhat different animal than other MMOs
    • Constructive criticism can lead to a little tweak that makes a big difference
    • Keep an open mind and remember what it was like when you were new

Play responsibly

If there’s any takeaway from these observations, it’s only that i hope players across the spectrum play DDO responsibly. It shouldn’t be a chore, or a frustrating task and that’s certainly not what i mean to say. Above all else, it’s a game and the primary purpose is to have fun. But being an MMO imparts a social aspect of real people interacting with each other. All of us who love the game hope it continues for years to come, and a big part of that is building and maintaining a healthy community and robust playerbase. If a new player repeatedly has negative experiences in-game, and therefore less fun, they’re just going to move on and the playerbase will dwindle.

That isn’t to say DDO’s future relies on the players alone. Marketing and advertising, and providing a great game experience, is the duty of Turbine and the development team. But what veteran players can do is leverage the experience and knowledge they’ve gained to help a newer player have a better game experience, too.

As a side bonus, patience and a willingness to guide new players means you’ll get to be a part of their characters’ milestones. Everyone remembers their first time facing Velah, or stepping inside epic quests or a raid and total party wipes. It happens. What you can do as a vet is be a positive part of new players’ stories that they’ll carry with them on their own journey to becoming a vet for someone else.

Check back soon for some observations aimed at a newer player, and what they can do to make for a more enjoyable and successful game experience.

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Thanks as always for visiting The Long Shot. If you enjoyed this or any other content you find here please follow/like/share.

Please share your thoughts and comments on this topic in the comments section – there’s a lot of perspectives out there and i’d like to hear yours!

As always, i appreciate each and every person that visits The Long Shot. It’s a great joy to share not only my own thoughts but also stories of science, technology and pop culture from my hometown Cleveland and the surrounding area. If you have anything you’d like to write about, please feel free to contact me or Take a Shot yourself and write about topics that interest you.

Follow @longshotist on Twitter for frequent shares of related articles and (hopefully) humorous nonsequiters.

Check out the articles i’ve written for The News-Herald.

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WWE RAW 05-19-15 Results and Review

At WWE Payback, fans witnessed a spectacular event filled with surprising moments. John Cena managed to retain his United States Championship in the final chapter of the Cena and Rusev feud, Dolph Ziggler’s entire head became crimson red with blood in an era where blood is frowned upon, and a brief Shield reunion saw Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns hit their patented triple powerbomb on Randy Orton. What challenge awaits WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins? Was Ryback legitimately injured by Wyatt at last nights event? And with the recent announcement of the return of the Elimination Chamber Pay-Per-View, what matches will be set into place as the event approaches in two short weeks?

Once again, it is time to get RAW.

WWE RAW

RAW started with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon of The Authority in the ring together for the first time since Wrestlemania 31. They discussed how Seth Rollins is a great WWE World Heavyweight Champion before revealing the Intercontinental title on a podium in the ring. They discussed Daniel Bryan vacating the title last night and Triple H announced that a new champion will be crowned in an Elimination Chamber match before highlights were shown of the elimination chamber.

IC Title

Sheamus came out and tried to convince The Authority to simply hand the Intercontinental Championship to him. He claimed responsibility for ending Daniel Bryan’s Yes movement and claimed to have ended Bryan’s career.

Ryback came out and trash talked Sheamus while supporting Daniel Bryan. Stephanie McMahon announced that they will both be in the Elimination Chamber match in two weeks, and Triple H announced that Sheamus will take on Ryback right now as RAW went to commercial.

The match started immediately after the commercial break. Ryback instantly took control of the match with a flurry of offense, but Sheamus started to shift control of the match in his favor as RAW went to commercial.

RAW returned from the commercial break as Sheamus was still in control, but Ryback quickly made a comeback. He hit a series of offense on Sheamus inside of the ring before taking the action outside of the ring. The assault continued on the floor, as Ryback slammed Sheamus in the announce table and smashed him into the ring post the action spilled back into the ring.

Ryback began to have some issues with his eye and when the action was stopped so the referee could check Ryback’s eye, Sheamus took advantage of the situation and hit him with a Brogue Kick for the win.

This was a good opening segment but the match seemed to have a disappointing ending. I don’t mind having Sheamus take advantage of a situation, but having a powerhouse like Ryback stunned momentarily because of an issue with his eye is anything but believable. With that being said, I look forward to both the chamber match for the Intercontinental Championship and these two being involved in the match.

Renee Young interviewed Neville in the ring until Bo Dallas interrupted. Neville and Dallas talked back and forth King Barrett made his way to the ring.

Neville against Barrett was the scheduled match and Dallas joined the commentary team for the match. Barrett dominated the match as RAW went to commercial. When RAW came back from commercial, Neville was making a comeback until his knee buckled. He continues to show signs of injury as Barrett continued to exploit the injury. Taking advantage of the situation, Barrett hit Neville with the Bullhammer Elbow for the win.

The series of matches that these two have had has continued to impress me. I am hopeful that these two will be included in the Intercontinental Championship match. Neville could be a fresh young face in the Intercontinental Championship scene and he is a NXT star that the fans have really gotten behind since his debut.

After the match, Bo Dallas began to attack Neville, he attacked the injured knee, and wrapped it around the ring post several times.

With this attack and injury angle, I am probably wrong about my prediction for the Intercontinental Championship match. However, Neville vs. Dallas was a great feud in NXT and could translate into a great feud on Monday Night RAW. The fans can’t stand Dallas, and have embraced Neville since his main roster debut. This could be a classic case of good against evil.

After a commercial break, Rusev approached the ring a big giant Russian flag by himself. Fans chanted for Lana and Rusev said there would be no Lana tonight and that she needs to learn her place. Rusev said that he can speak for himself and that he did not quit at Payback and Cena did not beat him. He bragged about making Cena pass out in the ring. He called Cena out so that they could restart the match, but Lana came out instead.

Lana said she said that she’s been with Rusev every step of the way and that she thought Rusev would be the first man to make John Cena quit but she was wrong.

Lana explained that she was trying to protect Rusev because she cares about him, but Rusev said she was pathetic and disgusting. Lana said that she did the right thing for him and for them.

She explained that he was screaming “I Quit” in Bulgarian at the Payback Pay-Per-View. Rusev called her a liar and said that he doesn’t need Lana or anybody else. He called Lana weak and told her to go back where she came from as she headed to the back.

This was a good segment for the inevitable breakup of Rusev and Lana. The only question that I have now is: What’s next? Who will Rusev feud against next? And what superstar will Lana align herself with now that she is viewed as a favorite by fans? Only time will tell.

Bray Wyatt faced off against Dean Ambrose next. They locked up and Wyatt took it to the corner but was forced to back off. They locked up again and Wyatt slammed Ambrose. Ambrose began to take control and dropped an elbow. There was back and forth brawling, but Ambrose ran into Wyatt and went down.

Wyatt took Ambrose down with a headlock and hit a clothesline in the corner. Ambrose charged Wyatt in the corner and Wyatt went to the floor. Ambrose went for a dive but Wyatt stopped him. Wyatt suplexed Ambrose to the floor as RAW went to commercial.

As RAW came back from commercial Wyatt hit Ambrose with a headbutt., before throwing him out to the floor. They fought outside of the ring but made it back in just before being counted out. They brawled in the middle of the ring, and Ambrose managed to take control. Ambrose hit a bulldog and Wyatt rolled to the apron but Ambrose tied him up in the top rope and hit a dropkick.

After more back and forth, Ambrose blocked the Sister Abigail finisher. Ambrose dumped Wyatt over the top rope and dove out onto Wyatt and Ambrose both went for their finishing maneuvers but blocked each other.

After more back and forth, J&J Security came out and Joey Mercury distracted the referee while Jamie Noble pushed Ambrose off the top into Wyatt and Wyatt hit his Sister Abigail finisher for the win.

Wyatt and Ambrose have had a number of matches over the past year, and they have all been pretty good. This was a long match, that both casual and hardcore fans could enjoy. The finish of the match kept both Ambrose and Rollins strong while also creating the possibility of a feud between Ambrose and The Authority.

Triple H and Stephanie McMahon stood backstage watching, while Rollins stood onstage with J&J Security and waved back at Wyatt, who was posing over Ambrose.

WWE Tag Team Champions Kofi Kingston and Big E of The New Day came out for a championship match against Cesaro and Tyson Kidd. They explained how Woods is banned from ringside tonight before confirming that they will defend their championships against five other tag teams at Elimination Chamber.

Cesaro and Kidd came out next for the championship match. It started with Cesaro and Big E. Cesaro clotheslinined Kofi on the apron and lifting Big E for a suplex. Kidd tagged in and took out Big E as RAW went to commercial.

As RAW came back from commercial, Big E had Cesaro in an abdominal stretch. Cesaro fought out but Big E hit a belly to belly suplex. Kidd and Kofi went back and forth as Kidd hit the Sharpshooter but Big E broke it up.

New Day ended up teaming on Kidd and wouldn’t stop so the referee ended the match.

Cesaro made the save and took out Big E. He went for the Cesaro Swing on Kingston but Xavier Woods came down as The New Day beat them down until Sin Cara and Kalisto made the save. Los Matadores came down and dove out onto Big E. The Ascension and The Prime Time Players also joined the brawl. Eventually, the ring was cleared out with only the Prime Time Players left standing.

The announcement of the title match made it obvious that The New Day wasn’t losing tonight, however, it was fun to see another match in this feud. In addition, I loved the way that they announced all of the teams in the match at Elimination Chamber. Rather than a formal announcement, each team made a run in during the segment and we got to see a bit of a preview of what will happen in just a few weeks.

As RAW came back from commercial WWE United States Champion John Cena came out for his open challenge. He talked about defeating Rusev at Payback and called the United States Championship “our championship.”

WWE NXT Champion Kevin Owens came out to the shock of the fans. Owens congratulated Cena and said everyone knows who Owens is and anyone that doesn’t isn’t worth his time. Owens took credit for the injuries that Sami Zayn has acquired over the past few weeks and hyped their match at NXT Takeover: Unstoppable on Wednesday. They went back and forth and eventually Owens said that while Cena is a veteran in WWE, Owens has been wrestling longer than Cena has. Owens turned down Cena’s challenge but then hit him with a cheap shot and a powerbomb to end the segment.

Owens_Cena

Owens has been a force to be reckoned with ever since he first competed on the independent circuit, and his main roster debut is definitely one that will make an impact. He took the biggest star of WWE down in his first ever RAW appearance, and not many people can say that. I remember on a few occasions I had the opportunity to see him when he competed in AIW in Cleveland for a mere $10-15 and didn’t go to the events he wrestled at, and as I watched him as an established cable star all I could think was “I could’ve watched him wrestle from less than 10 feet away.”

I guess that is a lesson learned, you never know when the big indy names will be called up to the WWE so you should take every opportunity to see your favorite stars.

Dolph Ziggler and Stardust fought in the next matchup. They went at it and Stardust took control as he stomped away at Ziggler. Stardust hit a clothesline on Ziggler for a two count. Stardust continued to take control until Ziggler hit the Zig Zag out of nowhere to win the match.

A quick throwaway match between the two stars, but if they were given more time they could have done so much more. Both wrestlers are very talented, but they simply were not given much time to showcase their skills in this specific match.

Cole interviewed Ziggler in the ring about his match against Sheamus at Payback. Cole also revealed that Ziggler gets a spot in the Intercontinental Title Elimination Chamber match. The match will now feature King Barrett, Ryback, Sheamus, R-Truth, Rusev, and Ziggler.

Lana suddenly made her way to the ring, she grabbed Ziggler and kissed him. Fans chant for another kiss and she kissed him again. Rusev came out and was furious. He yelled at Lana and she slapped him. Ziggler came from behind hit Rusev with a Zig Zag before leaving with Lana.

Kana Kisses Ziggler

Luke Harper and Erick Rowan faced off against Fandango and Zack Ryder as Harper started the match off with Fandango. Fandango hit Harper with a series of chops. Harper wrapped a headlock on Fandango. Fandango made a comeback and sent Harper to the floor. Fandango jumped out and Harper shoved him into the barrier. Harper tagged in Rowan and Rowan hit Fandango with a splash and a series of right hands.

Harper tagged back in and did the gator roll. Ryder was tagged in and hit some offense but Harper catched him and hit a sideslam before he tagged in Rowan. Harper knocked Fandango off the apron and Rowan hit a chokeslam for the win.

Harper_Rowan

I am happy that Harper and Rowan have reunited however I hope that this reunion lives up to their old days as a tag team. Rowan needs Harper a lot more than Harper needs Rowan. Harper can succeed on his own, Rowan’s singles career was lackluster to say the least. If they are more successful as a team, that is good for them. If they are not more successful, Harper needs to either revert to a singles star or find a new partner to team with.

Backstage Stephanie McMahon stopped the Bella Twins. She told them that what she said about Brie’s real life husband Daniel Bryan didn’t come off the right way but offered her sincere sympathies. MaMahon told Brie that she scheduled some counseling sessions for Brie and that she doesn’t think Brie is fit to accompany Nikki to the ring tonight.

Nikki Bella came out to the ring alone for a Divas Championship match against Naomi—who is accompanied by Tamina Snuka. Ring announcer Eden gave formal introductions before the match. Naomi hit a kick to the shoulder of Nikki, but she fought back and clotheslines Naomi over the top rope. Nikki jumped outside onto both Naomi and Tamina as RAW went to commercial.

As RAW came back from commercial, Nikki hit a series of clotheslines and a dropkick. Nikki hit a back drop as fans and tackled Naomi for a two count. Nikki went for her Rack Attack finisher but Tamina interfered in the match and the referee called for a disqualification.

This match was disappointing, as I hoped the villain Naomi would win the championship and bring some prestige to the championship. While the Bella Twins have improved over the years, they aren’t great wrestlers. Now-retired WWE Diva AJ Lee once cut a promo where she emphasized that being with talented superstars (Nikki’s real life boyfriend is John Cena, Brie Bella is married to Daniel Bryan) doesn’t make them talented, and I believe every word of that.

Naomi and Tamina attacked Nikki until came down to make the save. She cleared out the ring and raised the Divas Title.

Nikki got up and went to grab her title but Paige grabbed her and hit her Ram-Paige manuever. Paige skipped around the ring with the title as her music plays.

I hope that the return of Paige and Naomi’s recent push can lead to a glimmer of hope for the faltering Diva’s division. Perhaps with the men of NXT making their debuts on RAW in recent weeks, some of the women of NXT can also begin to make appearances.

Renee Young interviewed Kevin Owens backstage and Owens announced that he will face John Cena at WWE Elimination Chamber. This will be exciting, and with Owens being one of Triple H’s favorite NXT wrestlers, I wouldn’t be surprised if Owens earned a controversial victory over “The Champ.”

As RAW came back from the break, Stephanie McMahon, Triple H and Kane were in the ring. They introduced WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins for a celebration.

Triple H said Rollins has lived up to every claim he’s ever made and that he sees himself himself in Rollins. He said he felt goosebumps when Rollins used Triple H’s own Pedigree manuever to win at Payback.

Individual members of The Authority began to voice their praise for Rollins and a video package was played that showed highlights of Rollins’ career.

As The Authority continued to praise Rollins, Dean Ambrose came out and demanded another title shot, but Rollins reminded him that he is at the back of the line with Roman Reigns and Randy Orton. Ambrose said that he is a notorious line jumper and will get a title shot or else. Stephanie McMahon said that Ambrose doesn’t deserve a shot.

MaMahon said that Rollins won’t be intimidated by Ambrose’s threats. Rollins swung at Ambrose but Ambrose took the action to the corner, and Rollins and Ambrose tumbled to the floor. Ambrose sent Joey Mercury of J&J Security into the barricade. Rollins came back but was dropped over the announce table. Ambrose revealed a stack of cinderblocks, similar to the ones that Rollins used on him months ago.

Ambrose went to hit Rollins with a steel chair but McMahon told him to stop. She promised Ambrose a title shot if he released Rollins. He did and The Authority attacked, but he fought them off and ended up in the ring with Kane. The Authority began to beat Ambrose down in the ring and Rollins hit the Pedigree on Ambrose as RAW went off the air with Rollins standing over Ambrose.

Ambrose Rollins

This was a good segment, and it was a nice change from the usual main event match. Ambrose proved that he can main event at Payback, and he is being put into a situation that a wrestler his size would’ve never been put into years ago. The business has evolved over the years, fans used to like seeing powerhouses like Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warrior. However, in the modern era the fans like a more well-rounded wrestler than is a hybrid of many different styles. I look forward to the main event of the Elimination Chamber between Ambrose and Rollins.

Notes

 

  • There has yet to be a single explanation of why Luke Harper and Erick Rowan have reunited, and its been bothering me.
  • I am happy to see the return of the Lucha Dragons tag team, and I hope with all of these teams feuding that the tag team division will experience a rebirth.
  • For the first time in years, I am genuinely interested in John Cena segments. This Championship Open has me excited because you never know who will show up, and Cena puts over the younger talent. Just under a year ago, you would’ve never seen someone drop Cena onto the mat in their RAW debut.
  • With the return of Paige, I hope that the Diva’s division also gets a much-needed spark.
  • Rollins against Ambrose is a WWE World Heavyweight Championship match that is worth every penny, but what is ironic is that as little as 5-10 years ago WWE would’ve never promoted a main event like this. WWE is beginning to evolve and the smaller guys are beginning to prove themselves as main event guys, and that’s a good thing.

You can tweet me at my Twitter handle @TimmySimko for further discussion of this episode’s RAW.

I will not be reviewing next week’s episode of RAW due to prior commitments, however, I do recommend watching next week’s RAW as it will be the last RAW before the Elimination Chamber event. I will be back to review the Pay-Per-View event on May 31.

WWE Payback Results and Review

By Long Shot contributor Tim Simko

On last week’s RAW, the final stop on the road to Payback was made. The Authority’s leader Triple H made his return after a brief absence, Daniel Bryan was forced to relinquish his Intercontinental Championship due to injury, and it was announced that if Seth Rollins loses his championship that Kane may lose his job. What will happen on tonight’s Pay-Per View event? Will we see a new Intercontinental Champion crowned? Will Kane lose his position as WWE’s Director of Operations? Will tonight be the night Lana embraces the adulation and praise of the fans?

It is time for Payback.

payback-2015

In the preshow event, R-Truth faced off against Stardust. The match saw plenty of back and forth as both superstars hit a series of slaps and arm drags. Stardust managed to take control of the match, but Truth fought back and managed to get the pin after a series of punches.

This was a nice bonus match, it was a way to give more to the fans in the preshow. These preshows have typically been nothing but repetitive video segments and lackluster reviews of the matches so any time I can see an additional match I am a happy customer.

The Ascension fought against “Macho Mandow” Damien Sandow and Curtis Axel in the next match on the pre-show. Axel managed to hit the signature moves of Hulk Hogan including the finger point and the big boot before hitting a leg drop for a two count. Both Ascension members managed to isolate Axel as Viktor of The Ascension had Axel in a headlock, but Axel managed to escape and Sandow tagged in and slammed Viktor for a top rope elbow drop. Konnor of The Ascension managed to knock Sandow down before he tagged into the match to hit the Fall of Man tag team finisher on Sandow for the win.

Sandow Axel

Again, this was another fun preshow match. The tribute by Sandow and Axel is pure gold, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this led to the two becoming legitimate tag team championship contenders in the future. Axel is a third generation wrestler, and Sandow has honed his craft for over a decade. These two could make this gimmick work and run with it.

The first official match of the Pay-Per-View was Dolph Ziggler against Sheamus. Both men made their way to the ring as footage of their “Kiss Me Arse” match last month was shown.

Ziggler was in control early in the match as Sheamus showed signs of a possible knee injury. Sheamus tried to regain control but Ziggler worked in some offense and took control of the match once again. At one point, Ziggler wiped Sheamus’ face all over his “arse” in retribution for what happened at last month’s Extreme Rules Pay-Per-View. Ziggler managed to hit a famouser for a two count before Sheamus started to gain control. Sheamus hit Ziggler hard and Ziggler began to bleed. The match was stopped temporarily as officials checked the cut. Once the match resumed, Sheamus hit a brogue kick for a three count.

This was interesting to see, as Ziggler has been given much opportunity to shine in the past few Pay-Per-View events. Just six months ago, he was a former Intercontinental Champion and was the sole survivor of one of the biggest Survivor Series tag team matches in the event’s history. Since then, not much has been done with Ziggler. With these strong showings, I am hopeful that they will start to promote Ziggler as a top guy. As for Sheamus, I find it confusing that he could dominate other talent for weeks at a time on RAW yet look weak on a Pay-Per-View. It is definitely questionable booking.

A backstage segment was shown where Kane and Rollins argued about tonight’s main event. They both bring up that if Rollins loses, Kane will no longer be Director of Operations. It wasn’t a memorable segment, but it was a necessary one that helped reiterate the stipulation for tonight’s main event.

The New Day came out one-by-one and they each addressed the fans in Baltimore. As the fans chanted “New Day sucks!,” they proceeded to trash talk the Baltimore Orioles.

Cesaro and Tyson Kidd came out, accompanied by Natalya, for the two-out-of-three falls WWE Tag Team championship match. Big E and Kofi Kingston represented The New Day in this match.

The New Day was in control, but Cesaro and Kidd began to make a comeback. Cesaro hit the Cesaro Swing as Kidd hit a dropkick for the first fall of the match.

The New Day managed to isolate Kidd with a series of double-teaming before they managed to score the second fall of the match. With both teams 1-1 in the match, the next fall would win the match.

Cesaro New Day

There was a series of fast paced back and forth. After awhile, Xavier Woods, who wasn’t legally in the match, jumped in when the referee had his back turned and rolled Cesaro up for the final fall. The New Day are still the tag team champions.

The WWE’s tag team division is starting to reignite after being neglected by the WWE for many years. With teams such as The New Day, Cesaro and Tyson Kidd, The Lucha Dragons, and even teams such as The Ascension and Macho Mandow/Curtis Axel, there is so much potential for many new feuds in the future. Perhaps one day we could see a feud that is as memorable as the Hardy Boyz, Dudley Boyz, and Edge and Christian.

The next match was Ryback against Bray Wyatt. Ryback used his strength to overpower Wyatt early on in the match.

Wyatt regained control by tackling Ryback. He brought Ryback to the floor and continued to attack him. Wyatt dived off the apron and flipped onto Ryback on the floor, as Ryback screamed in pain.

Ryback managed to hit Wyatt with a big splash off the top rope for a two count.

Wyatt went for Sister Abigail, but Ryback reversed it into a Shellshock attempt.

Wyatt managed to escape before throwing Ryback into a turnbuckle with the padding exposed, before hitting his Sister Abigail finisher for the win.

Bray Wyatt

This was a good show of brawn against brains as the powerhouse Ryback fought against the methodical Wyatt. Ryback is stronger than Wyatt, but Wyatt used his cunning and strategy to take control of the match. Ryback looked like he may have been legitimately injured, but I hope that he was just that good of an actor.

The next match was John Cena against Rusev for the WWE United States Championship in an “I Quit” match.

Rusev offered Cena the option to quit now and Cena answered by attacking Rusev.

Soon Rusev was in control. The fans chanted “We Want Lana” and it bothered Rusev so much that he forced Lana to sit in a folding chair on the opposite side of the ring.

The referee asked Cena twice if he wanted to quit. Cena knocked the microphone away the first time and the second time he said no. The third time Cena ignored it again.

Both men refused to quit, as Cena hit Rusev with an Attitude Adjustment into the stage and Cena was suplexed into a steel barricade.

Rusev choked Cena with The Accolade until Cena passed out. Rusev began to celebrate but he didn’t win the match since Cena didn’t say “I Quit.”

Rusev went to further attack Cena, but Cena reversed it into an STF. Rusev began to scream in Russian, and Lana grabbed the microphone and told the referee that Rusev quit. John Cena is still the United States Champion.

Cena Retains

Some people continue to hate John Cena, but I enjoy seeing him in this role. I can’t remember the last time that the United States Championship was given this kind of attention, and with matches like this in addition to the weekly open challenges the United States Championship will become more and more prestigious as time goes on.

Byron Saxton told The New Day backstage that they will defend their tag team championship in the first ever Elimination Tag Team Title Match at the Elimination Chamber Pay-Per-View. This is an interesting concept, even more captivating if it is actually held in the chamber itself. I am intrigued by this, and I wonder if this will take place between two or three tag teams.

The Bella Twins faced off against Naomi and Tamina Snuka.

Naomi managed to take control of the match against Nikki Bella, before Nikki managed to fight back and tag in her sister Brie.

Tamina and Naomi managed to isolate Brie and take control of the match before Brie tagged in Nikki. Nikki took control of Naomi but Naomi managed to drop Nikki off of the top rope for the win.

While the Divas division is beginning to take footsteps in the right direction, they are far from bringing it to the level where it should be. Hopefully, Paige can make her return soon and NXT can call up some divas to the main roster. I am also curious to see if Eva Marie’s training with Brian Kendrick will make her a credible wrestler when she returns. Only time will tell.

Backstage Rusev screamed at Lana in Russian and told her to get out. A simple segment, but it was a great way to tease their inevitable break up.

King Barrett against Neville was the next match. As the match started, Barrett began to dominate the match.

Neville began to gain some offense, as he hit a big dive onto Barrett on the floor. Neville rolled back into the ring but Barrett let the referee count him out. He pretended to walk away but came back and attacked Neville.

Neville won the match, but the conclusion was disappointing. I hope they continue this feud as the ending was inconclusive and these two have potential for a blockbuster match. I can’t quite explain why, but I am hopeful that these two will end up competing against each other for the now-vacant Intercontinental Championship. Both men have shown much potential in recent weeks and a title match will only bring more attention to their feud.

The main event was the final match of the Pay-Per-View, as WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins defended his championship against Roman Reigns, Randy Orton, and Dean Ambrose. WWE announcer Eden did formal introductions before the match.

All four guys immediately went outside of the ring at the start of the match and took out J&J Security. They then continued to fight outside of the ring.

Ambrose and Reigns teamed up against Rollins, but Kane got himself involved in the match to even the odds.

Ambrose went for his Dirty Deeds finisher but Kane got involved again and chokeslammed Ambrose in the middle of the ring. Rollins tried to take advantage and pin Ambrose but Ambrose kicked out at two.

Kane tried to interfere again but Orton and Reigns stopped him. Orton took out Reigns and went after Rollins and Ambrose in the ring. He knocked Ambrose out of the ring and started fighting Rollins.

On the floor, former Shield members Ambrose, Rollins, and Reigns reunited for their signature Triple Powerbomb on Orton through the table. Rollins tried to do their old fist pose but Reigns and Ambrose stared him down before beating him up.

Reigns and Ambrose stood in the ring before shaking hands, hugging and saying that the loser buys beers. Went one on one in the ring before everyone got involved again. Orton RKO-ed everyone as the crowd went crazy. Orton went to RKO Rollins but Rollins pushed him into Kane, Orton RKO-ed Kane and turned around to try to RKO Rollins. Rollins reversed the RKO and hits Orton withTriple H’s Pedigree for the win.

This was a great main event with a few memorable moments. The Triple Powerbomb was great to watch, as The Shield was one of the greatest groups in WWE history. I was happy to see it one more time, but I was sad knowing that that era is now over. While I am happy that each man has found success as a singles competitor, I will always miss seeing The Shield as a group.

Notes

  • With the tag team division becoming a priority, I hope to see teams such as The Ascension and Damien Sandow/Curtis Axel enter the mix.
  • In addition, where are the Lucha Dragons? They captivated the audience as a tag team in their matches on RAW and then disappeared just as quickly.
  • I hope that Ryback’s injuries was simply an act, I would hate to hear that he is legitimately injured from his match.
  • The Triple Powerbomb was my favorite part of the entire night. I’m sure I will end up replaying that a dozen times on the WWE Network.
  • With Seth Rollins’ curb stomp finisher unofficially banned, it appears that WWE is struggling to find a new finishing maneuver for Rollins. He uses a DDT on RAW, used the RKO at Extreme Rules, and used Triple H’s Pedigree tonight. Only time will tell if they find something permanent for him. I only wish WWE would bring back the Curb Stomp.