Are past lives overrated?

Are past lives overrated?​

As with many things in DDO, the answer is complicated, and depending on the day you will get two very different answers on the forums.

From many people who have gathered all of the past lives, you will hear that they are overrated and that player skill (both in how exactly you're running around the map/quest and in having the right feats and enhancements for that specific build) and gear are the main factors of being highly dangerous/useful in high reaper content.
From people who have gathered a few and felt that their game has gotten easier, you will usually hear that past lives contribute a ton.

In my experience of having played since '09 and having gotten all the completionist feats so far, is that it depends on what content are you running. Anything below level 20 I feel like a demi-god if I am running R1 or less, but after level 20 I have to pick and choose my gear carefully, or else I become mortal again. I have a first-life character sitting at level 32 and 'fully' geared it IS less powerful than my main when doing the same thing with the same gear but not by a lot. At cap, my gear gives me most of what makes my character dangerous or useful and my experience playing DDO is what lets me know that this specific combination of things from gear/feats/enhancements either stacks or doesn't stack or is useful or not all that useful based on my play style.

At the end of the day I just have to say that if all you want to do is run through lower-level content blowing it away with little effort, you can do that either by having a bunch of past lives or by lowering the difficulty. If you want to be useful at level cap, you mainly need a solid build and to spend the time to get the right/perfect gear for you. If you find that you want to ek out those final small bits of power at cap, then you have a long road ahead of you.

If you are a newer player, I advise that you just find out what you enjoy in DDO and do that. Too many people focus on past lives and turn DDO into a job/chore, then burn out and are never seen again.


Well-known member
This is just my experience, and ohters will find different ones, but as someone who plays both an iconic and class triple completionist, and only 10 lives away from epic completionist, and halfway through racials on Waterssong, and is also playing a first life toon on the side, the diference is large. I bring the same player knowledge to both toons, but I frequently kill poor Glory in comparison because she just can not take the beating Waterssong can even with the same class/gear mix. However, compared to my early days in ddo, the term frequently there has a different meaning entirely to me, back in the first days where I died multiple times on my squisy sorc in ever single quest. LOL And I tend to play reaper, so poor Glory probably isn't getting a fair shot and would like to divorce me. :) Also, it's fun to have a long term goal, and as I'm nearing the last of her racial and epic lives, I'm eyeing which toon I want to put on the treadmill next to have something to chase.


Well-known member
An individual past life isn't much but DDO is all about adding incremental bonuses until suddenly you hit the tipping point where you become overpowered. When you compare a first lifer to someone with all class, racial, epic, and iconic past lives there's a pretty big difference in stats.

Not all past lives matter the same to each build though so you can easily focus on just a few important ones and than the rest can come over time naturally as you play.
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New member
Past lives are not over rated. each type of toon will find massive gains to be had from past lives whether the extra hit points from barb, heal amp from pally, or a racial reincarnation giving stats and extra AP. DDO is about character development and how you go about it makes your toon unique. I would say try to sort out your prefered playstyle and focus in on those past lives that give you the greatest benefit for your desired play style.


Well-known member
On Sarlona my main (the only toon I TR) I have a few hundred past lives. All my other toons are first-life toons. I run all the same content with any of them, it's just easier with my main because of her past lives.

But those past lives took years to accrue.

You can certainly skip TR'ing in DDO and still enjoy the game.

If you were to decide to start gathering past lives, Epic past lives are probably the easiest and most powerful initially, they are easy to get fast, especially during the Halloween event. Racials are great but they require 3 per racial action point, so are slow to acquire. Having heroics are probably the weakest but once you get them all you get completionist which is great. Epic and Racial Completionist is very powerful too, but the required time commitment is high.

If you love the game and solo a lot, TRing can make soloing easier.
If you raid a lot, it is certainly viable to use a half dozen first-life toons to raid and not even worry about TRing.

It really depends on what you think is fun, and what works for your playstyle.

For a long time I avoided TRing and then once I did I decided to only focus on my main and have been casually building up her collection over the years.


Well-known member
Yeah, I'd def agree with this. Getting all those extra racial AP can make a huge difference, especially at level 1.

all said and done this was one of my favorite points of the reincarnation system, i am so glad that racial AP are a thing

...and that Arti1/Warlock is so effective :)
(i have very nice BTC warlock gear, so i went with that)


Well-known member
A few PLs can make a very big difference; eg. getting 3x PLs in general will permit your character to open quests on Elite & Reaper and you'll unlock 36p builds; eg. running PDK+PLD for your 1st 3 lives with a quick Divine Blessing EPL between each will net you 45 Healing Amp 9 PRR and a 30% runspeed action boost -- things are are rather generically useful on almost all future lives.

But, I don't think it's a case of a few is big and more is huge. It's more like the first 3~6 make the character feel solid and well-rounded. The next 3~6 (9~12 total) aren't nearly as big a difference in how the character feels to play.

Build + Gear is bigger and for newbies reading, it's not in the traditional MMO sense of "raid gear is OMG better". It's more about leveraging stacking bonuses from non-raid gear, ensuring you haven't left a defensive gap that will kill you (eg. forgetting deathblock), or missing a critical buff from gear (eg. true-seeing & ghost-touch for melee & ranged).


Well-known member
The past lives make you like a God for heroics. You just get so much MRR PRR healing AMp, DC, Hit points, spell points. Ability scores .. Its alot .. of stuff to benefit from. It scales down once you get to epics.


Dirgesinger Bard of Sarlona
I've always say you pay to play your way! Pay with either money or time, either way do what makes you happy. This is a game for us to enjoy not to struggle, though some like to be challenged lol. As someone who basically has all the past lives (missing 4 atm) I can tell ya there isnt a parade and their is players with less PLs then I who kill it in this game. Just have fun is priority number 1!
Like others have said, I find that the bonuses from past lives are really noticeable in heroics, which makes successive heroic lives a bit easier. Those little bonuses are definitely overshadowed by the power you gain from epic destinies and gear in epic/legendary levels, though. But even if past lives are not super important at end game, I think there's still a lot of value in reincarnating because of all the additional stuff you can pick up along the way in pursuit of those past life feats. Every life is a chance to try a new build or tweak your build, and you also accumulate DDO points (from favor), more (and sometimes better) gear, more experience with quests and gameplay, monster manual rewards, etc. I know I'll never have enough time in my life to reach completionist, but I'm still motivated to continue TRing and going after specific past lives, knowing that I get a little stronger and better at the game with each life.


One Badge of Honor achieved
As someone that has a very inconsistent time to play, soloing is what I do most of the time. And agree much with it
If you love the game and solo a lot, TRing can make soloing easier.

TRs make solo all non-raid content possible. So, don't agree that Past Lifes are overrated. To be honest, Past Lifes is THE feature that take DDO apart from most of the other MMORPGs in the market. Is because of that I always comeback after a long hiatus.


Grouchy Vet
It is true, past lives make soloing much easier. Though, I am still irate that open lock and disable are class locked skills in ddo. . .it would be nice if they changed that at some point.
That aside, I can't wait to finish up my three mains in their wheels. The bonuses are huge.


long live ROGUE
People are forgetting to compare the importance of sentient xp. Let's add that to the importance of gear. Unless it is raid gear (or long-term crafting like greensteel/LGS etc.), a lot of gear can be pulled together in a first-life run. Getting 100K sentient xp and solid rare filigree; that takes TIME. I can see a massive difference for my assassin with his loaded sentient drow dagger versus when he equips some other item.


Well-known member
If you want to run higher reaper, and/or lead in kill counts then past lives are absolutely essential. Let's take a quick look at a bow using character. Having 3 Ranger, 3 Monk, 3 Razorclaw, and 3 Epic Destiny Enchanted Weapon past lives gives you an extra 15 points of damage per hit. Having full Primal past lives basically nets a ton of toughness feats for free. Once you get into Epics, the difference between 2000 HPs and 1200 HPs on a ranged character is huge.

Now, none of this is needed to enjoy the game. You can play to your heart's content on Elite or R1 or raid on Epic Hard and never worry about a past life. Modern gear and set bonuses will give you a perfectly functioning character. Ultimately, past lives are like anything you collect, once you start you'll want more. And while it may seem daunting, you don't need to have every past life. Selective targeting on which lives will enhance the strengths and fill out the weaknesses of your build will pay huge dividends without burying you in the grind.


Well-known member
Past lives are like gravity. Gravity is by far the weakest force. But electricity cancels itself out at larger scales and the really strong nuclear forces only operate at extremely small domains. When you zoom in the universe is dominated by nuclear forces holding matter together and electrical forces creating solidity, chemistry, electricity. Zoom out and gravity dominates the fate of the universe.


Well-known member
I wish they would frontload racial AP because the FUN of spending AP every life is not overrated.


Well-known member
It does matter especially Racial Past lives because it goves you Racial Points which let's you fill out your Racial Board.

Just take a look at the Half orc racial board, basically if you have all your racial points and fill out the most pertinent parts of Horc racial tree you become literally twice the Barb as before. It's a massive DPS survivability increase.

Also, Reaper Points are HUGE depending upon which playstyle you're doing. You'll feel an enormous power increase as a melee as you fill out your Reaper board due to HP/MP/DS/prr/mrr gains, slightly less so as a DC caster but still essential as even 1 DC point counts, lesser still as other playstyles.


Well-known member
I am coming up on my 100th life on my main toon Villanova. It has been a slow and steady ride for me as I never really had the time to commit more than 4 hours a day. I do see a noticeable difference in her survivability. For me it was always about fun first, but also realizing that for me to have fun instead of being frustrated all the time with deaths and not being able to do quests alone when I don't have time for groups.
I would say past lives are a necessary evil if you want to be self sufficient.