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
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.
For me , leading in kills was never a thing for me. I will get the same amount of xp for the quest as the leader in kills. To care so much about that to me is really pointless. It is like reaper wings, if you have enough rxp to get them, what does it matter if I have them? It is all for others to see. That is the only benefit for them, bragging rights. It is a shame that so many players put so much emphasis on things that really don't matter. So my advice, really not worth anything to be honest, is to have fun, play at your pace. There are plenty of players out there that play that way, don't feel excluded or left out because you don't lead in kills or have 200 past lives. Play your game and have fun with the money YOU spend on YOUR game, not what others want you to be or play like.


Well-known member
If you want to run higher reaper, and/or lead in kill counts then past lives are absolutely essential

Those things are nice and helpful, but very far from essential. I've done all of those with minimal PLs & RXP, once even zero with a 1st-life R10 tank. The rest of your post is great.

The absolutely essential piece is knowledge in the form of experience. DDO takes D&D's archaic and squirrelly rules and feeds them mutagens and steroids until they have great big large pointy .. things .. just aching to bite newbies in their innocent ignorance.

Without knowledge DDO becomes much harder. You're stuck because you don't know how to build or even how to judge other builds. Don't know which gear is worth getting or how hard it might be to fill out a posted gear set (or if you can skip and fill with CC gear). Etc..

Some, I'm sure, will say this is normal for MMOs. But, it's not -- not to the degree it matters in DDO. For most MMOs today, your "build" and gear is on rails. For action MMOs, it's usually twitch-practice that makes you better; gear and build are homogenized. Such a dependence on game-knowledge isn't necessarily a bad thing and might even be a boon to player retention. Action is short fun. I usually get tired of keeping my twitch twitchy and punt that style after 6M or so.


Well-known member
Another way to frame this: You notice your optimized build is not holding up next to some others doing a similar role. You know they have all the PLs and you don't. Are those PLs rather minimal, and thus you feel encouraged to keep working and working and working to better optimize because you should end up basically the same anyway. NO! Someone with all the PLs is not comparable and it would be unfair to compare.