My gosh, what a week! I've got to start by sending a huge congratulations to Jerry Snook of DDOcast, who is closing down his long-running podcast. If that doesn't sound like something to celebrate, then you have not heard Jerry's news: he's been hired by Turbine and today's episode of DDOcast will be the last. Jerry, you deserve it and we at Massively are thrilled for you (and your new coworker!)

OnedAwesome, Massively's Dungeons and Dragons Online guild is continuing to work with a floating schedule, scheduling groups and quests as various schedules permit. This has opened us up quite a bit to players who could not previously join on Wednesday night. Want to see what we're up to? Join our forums and check out the scheduling forum to see what's going on. As always, you can send an in-game tell or mail to Rubialina, Aunwiira, or Tebraen to add a character to the guild.

It's been a busy week in other areas of DDO-land as well, and I still want to focus on character stats a bit, so follow along after the jump and lets get started!
Ethereal Keys fixed, now let's try it again!

First and foremost, I'm happy to pass along the news that Turbine has begun compensating players who lost Ethereal Keys during last week's Endless Night preview. Senior Community Specialist Tolero made the announcement yesterday: "We have completed our research on the unexpected issues some players encountered entering the second phase of the October 20th preview of the Mabar event. Players who were impacted by the bug will be contacted via the email address on their account regarding their Summoning Chamber keys. Please ensure that your account contact information is up to date, and be sure to check any mail filters you may have. We apologize for the inconvenience, and appreciate your participation in the preview!"

If you were affected by the bug, it's time to start checking your email folders. You should have one that tells you you're being given 50 Turbine Points for each key lost. "These points were granted as compensation because you may have lost or been unable to fully utilize 2 Ethereal Key(s) during the October 20th Preview of the Endless Night Mabar Festival," the email explains. Thanks to Turbine for taking care of that just in time for the "real" festival.

That's right, the festival is up and running now until the 31st! The Compendium has a great festival guide, including a very valuable piece of information: monster levels in Delera's Graveyard. While it's kind of a given that a level three character shouldn't go tearing after a red-named Vampire Lord with sword drawn, the others can be a bit confusing if you're not in the know. Check out the guide and images to know who to tackle, and enjoy the festival!

Character creation and stats

This is something I've been wanting to pursue for a while now, but other things keep getting in the way. Building an effective DDO character is a process that is simultaneously a lot of fun and a bit complicated. If you're familiar with DnD you have a bit of a head start thanks to a basic understanding of the races and classes.

But what if you're not? What if you open character creation and get overwhelmed trying to figure out the most effective class and race combination while at the same time looking for something you enjoy playing? So many players jumped into DDO because it was free and sounded like a great game, which makes t this scenario very common.

It's not something I can cover in a couple hundred words, so I'm looking forward to spending the next few weeks exploring the characteristics of the classes and races, as well as how to build something that you like and is effective. The whole thing is in part a process of trial and error, so plan on the possibility of creating and trashing more than one character as you get a feel for what you do and do not like.

You can help minimize that in several ways. Start with the DDO wiki newbie guide, which is an incredible resource. It, much like character creation, can be a tiny bit overwhelming, so start by familiarizing yourself with the basics of classes and races. Each entry here is a short description, but it goes way beyond "dwarf strong, elf pretty." The individual entries each contain a link to a much more detailed page, so if you see something that appeals, check out the link.

You'll find racial traits, feats, background, and much more for the races. Class entries will give you weapon proficiency, skills, and a clear and simple advancement table. (As simple as anything in DDO can get, at any rate.) Use that guide as the foundation for the next few weeks, and if it's still a little confusing, never fear, because we're going to delve into it together throughout November.

We'll begin next week by exploring the classes of DDO in more detail, particularly that tricky question for the caster-lovers among you: Wizard or Sorcerer? I'll see you all next week!

This article was originally published on Massively.