Hi to the new DDO players. If you are in game and have not joined Punch and Pie yet, check the roll call thread for the officer list! Mothra is my new low-level made specifically for grouping with the new players. If she's not on, you can send in-game mail to her if you have questions or need anything.
I wanted to give some ideas for places to go beyond the harbor once you hit 4ish. The following suggestions are free-to-play and offer something different from the endless kobold-filled sewers of the harbor.
For all of these, ensure you have someone with rogue skills for maximum enjoyment. Many of the traps stay on and don't just fire one time so in these cases a hyperactive barbarian is not a good rogue substitute.
With the new dungeon scaling mecahnic you should be able to enjoy these (with some level of challenge) with any size party. Hirelings like to die in traps, but you can issue them "stand your ground" orders should the rogue spot something or if you just want them to hang back for a while.
I'm not suggesting these are great xp/minute or great loot runs. These are quests that I think are fun to dungeon crawl not knowing what's next.
Please note that the leveling range to avoid a penalty is +/- 3 levels. If you are level 5 you may group with a level 2. Some low level characters may not be given permission to take the quest if its much over their level. If you are online and see anyone else in the guild on, just grab em and go. Most folks are in the 3-6 range so virtually all players should be able to group together for now.
These adventures ranges in level from 3 to about 7, so always check the quest level before you go. For new players, if its one level over your level you'll probably be fine on Normal difficulty with standard gear. But when you don't know what's coming next, you can always wipe, its the price you pay for exploration.
Marketplace - Redfang's Nesting Grounds - Neat map, lots of vertical movement, some layout puzzles, lots of traps including some mean tricks.
Marketplace - Freshen the Air - Considered a challenging adventure. It has a time-limit and involves dealing with troglodyte casters on perches or hard to reach places.
House Jorasco - Redwillow's Ruins - Long quest in an outdoor area that culminates in a confrontation with an army of giants. Challenging for its level, but easy to re-enter if you wipe. Its a good way to practice group play or crowd control techniques. The last part will be rough for a new group but thats what makes it fun. As far as I know its the earliest level you have the opportunity to fight giants anyway.
House Deneith - Depths of D* Series - Four quests, each named Depth of "Something Starting with D". Get them from the inn just inside House Deneith. These have an old-school D&D feel with a wide range of mobs arbitrarily dropped into rooms with no rhyme or reason, but you get to fight many different things.
House Kundarak - Ever-Full Flagon, Lair of Summoning - A mean and trap filled place that leads to a summoning room. Has some dirty tricks in it. This is one where you might end up dying at the end once you see what you are up against and have to come back prepared.
House Kundarak - Ever-Full Flagon, Ruined Halls - This one has always been funny to me. It's FILLED with stuff to break and everything you break has a monster in it (no explanation given). There is really no reason to break the stuff as it only slows down the completion but its hard not to, especially with two-handers.
House Kundarak - Ever-Full Flagon, Chamber of Insanity - Simple map with undead. Ghost-touch weapons or arcane magic will be helpful.
Seal of Shan-To-Kor - This is a cool quest chain with adventures level 3-5. Its great xp, and it has one rare loot item that people sometimes farm (a ring with permanent feather falling on it--without going into much detail the reason this is valuable is that its ring slot not foot slot and it has no level requirement). The overall loot table at the end is good and many people felt very strongly that this should have been F2P since its a defining low-level quest in the game. I really can't imagine not having access to this, so I'd suggest getting it with points when you can. You will need a pretty complete group and if its your first time, be psychologically ready to die at the very end after all your hard work getting there (although its much gentler now than it used to be).
Three Barrel Cove - Exploration Area with quests inside - This is a newer area (it was revamped a few mods ago). As such its very nicely done and the island is fun to explore. It has mountains, jungles, underwater areas, overlooks, and all the usual interesting landscape stuff. The village is essentially a pirate encampment, complete with Minotaurs in cumberbuns and frilly sailor shirts (if this happens to be your fetish, get ready for the night of your life).
This is NOT a great area strictly in terms of loot or xp/minute. This IS a great area for exploration game play and interesting adventures.
Every quest here is neat in its own way. Some are long sprawling and maze-like, some are very puzzle focused, some are "exploration" focused.
Tangleroot Gorge - About the same level as Three Barrel Cove. While this offers more xp and better loot, it is far less interesting and very repetitive. You'll want to run tangleroot eventually (since you'll need House Phiarlain favor) but to complete the very long quest chain in one sitting its going to be a fast zerg and you go into the same map about 7 times with different objectives.
Delera's Tomb - This is the place to get xp for level 5-7ish. The four part chain might get you almost 20k xp with optionals and difficulty bonuses and it can be done fast. Furtheremore, its possible to "farm" the last part to rack up even more xp. Any pick-up-group you join for Delera's is likely to be a fast group since this will be where experienced players are levelling up their latest builds. At the end there's some neat loot, including a guaranteed "Voice of the Master", added after Gygax's death, which gives you +5% xp when equipped. Experienced players or a good group are recommended, even though these can be zerged they can be quite tough if you don't know them. This is narrated by Gary Gygax himself. And I can truly say, with great respect to the man, I cannot imagine a night of him as the DM without much much beer.