BTW... here's a my FAQ on the game (based on the questions my friend asked):
Q: Why the hell you still playing this game after 3 years.
A: Before DDO, I was playing planetside... and had been bored by WoW. DDO's one of the few fantasy MMO's that has some FPS element to it. Positioning matters, speed matters, you can tumble through traps, jump in the back and take out spellcasters, evade fireballs and ray spells and the you in this is the player (though character attributes extend what you do). There's no 1.5 second global cooldown between when you act timer like most MMO's. On the character side, I liked D&D and the characters are quite a bit more complicated (total options) than most MMO's your grandma can play.... since it's based on 3.5 ed tabletop rules with a little bit of extra flavor from the Eberron setting.
Q: Can I be drizzt?
A: **** drizzt. Errr um... yeah... you can be drow and you can dual wield scimitars... though the drow mythology on Eberron is more along the lines of 1000 of years of being slaves to the giants that ruled their continent... not the Underdark you're used to... Not that the game prohibits making/playing drow one way or another.
Q: Do 6 year olds gank you and steal your stuff?
A: No and mostly no. DDO assigns loot for all players that have completed a quest to each person specifically. It is yours to keep and/or reassign. Even when you complete the highest level raids, if you don't receive a piece of raid loot, you still at least get a randomly rolled item from a better table than the raid's level. As to the ganking... that's sort of DDO's Achilles heel... all PvP is in bar brawls or between teams in an instance... and there's no loot for PvP'ing. That said, the PVE (player vs enemy) aspect has actual real (non-fetch) quests with a dungeon master's voice guiding you, multiple methods of completing most quests, and a large number of tiered quest sets. You get bonuses for killing all the monsters as well as finding objectives in the quest... or even for killing as few monsters as possible. Rogues/Rangers actually can interact with the quests by spotting traps and ambushes and disabling them in some cases.
Q: How much is there to do?
A: At release... it was kind of lacking... there were 10 D&D style levels and one raid. Now there are 16 levels and 8 raids (raids being 12 player instances dungeons whereas all quests have a 6 player limit). They've also added at least 3x if not more total quest size since the beginning. I should note the quests get bigger at higher levels as characters have more resources.
Q: Do I have to spend all my time walking from place to place? Can I get a flying mount like the ones in WoW?
A: Good news is... all the quest origination areas are well linked along with teleporters so most groups get put together without regard to where the people are before the quest starts since it's under a few minutes to get to any quest entrance. Bad news is... you don't need a flying mount for such a close knit set of areas so they don't exist.
Q: Hmmm... sounds very quest oriented and a bit compact... what if I want to solo and explore stuff?
A: At the start they did have a problem with both of these things and got told all about it by everyone. All the recent 2 years of "Module" additions to the game (they're currently working on #9) have added a number of explorer zones where XP is given out for finding and slaying rare named monsters as well as total monster kills as well as big landscapes/caves/dungeons/planes to explore. Most of the new quests begin inside these exploration zones. They've also recently added AI controlled hirelings that you can use to heal/kill/cast spells partially under your command to help you solo or fill out a party. They've added so many of these explorer zones, that you could now level a character to maximum without ever entering a quest.
Q: If I don't know every bit of 3rd ed D&D, can I play this game?
A: Screw you... go read all the damn books like a good nerd. Actually, they did add in character creation templates as well as in-game levelling guides for those new to the game so you can select a specific archetype and the game shows you what it would select for you - though you can always tell it to shutup and pick whatever you want.
Q: What's the best quest in the game?
A: Um... I'd say just for magnificence of it... the first red dragon raid they added. Freaky music... huge huge huge firebreathing red dragon... awesome level layout. It definitely beats the birds in WoW that they call dragons (Yes, I know WoW has 8000 types and sizes of dragons... some of which have a battlemech on top of them while they fly a spaceship and shoot lazers out their ass).
Q: What do they have in the future for the game?
A: The game's 3rd anniversary is the end of Feb '09 and they're supposed to announce something big big big that's been building for 6+ months. The Module 9 coming out end of Feb/early March also finishes the game out to 20 levels of experience matching the non-epic levels in D&D and taking the players into the outer planes of Shavarath where they'll fight devils and demons on their home stomping grounds. Half Orcs and Half Elf player races are slated for Module 10 last I heard.
Q: How close is this game to D&D tabletop proper?
A: I thought you hadn't read the books...?? The game tries to stay a strong basis on 3.5 ed rules... though I'd say Neverwinter Nights gets closer. Though I'll also say I never had much fun running Neverwinter Nights in multiplayer mode and all the really cool modules for it assumed single player. In the end, almost all of the monsters, classes, races, feats, skills, etc are pulled directly from D&D. Their implementation into the game sometimes varies to account for a more FPS smooth moving game than a turn-based tabletop game. Luckily the game gets constantly tweaked in many cases bringing it back to the pen and paper rules, but in others where that doesn't technically or balance wise work... it gets updated to match feedback or the developers desires.