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Dungeons & Dragons Online: Eberron Unlimited: Update 3 Preview

StraddenStradden Managing EditorHalifax, NSPosts: 6,696Member

MMORPG.com's own Jaime Skelton recently participated in a preview of Update 3 for Turbine's Dungeons and Dragons Online. Today, she files her report.

The free to play version of Dungeons and Dragons Online has been online for four months now, and millions of players have visited (and revisited) the world of Eberron. The re-envisioned MMO has gotten several awards since, including MMORPG.com's Best F2P MMO of 2009. "We're so excited by the way the game has been received by the press," said Fernando Paiz, DDO Unlimited's Executive Producer.

On February 3rd, Update 3 will go live on DDO's servers. This update is the first that has been designed after the free to play model began, as Updates 1 and 2 were mostly complete before the business model transition. Players will see a great response to their feedback to the new F2P model in this update, and some significant changes make Dungeons and Dragons Online even friendlier for the free-to-play player.

Read the Update 3 Preview.

Cheers,
Jon Wood
Managing Editor
MMORPG.com

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Comments

  • WickedjellyWickedjelly Yahoo, COPosts: 4,990Member

    Interesting read....thanks. 

    Good to see they're getting rid of the leveling sigils concept.

    1. For god's sake mmo gamers, enough with the analogies. They're unnecessary and your comparisons are terrible, dissimilar, and illogical.

    2. To posters feeling the need to state how f2p really isn't f2p: Players understand the concept. You aren't privy to some secret the rest are missing. You're embarrassing yourself.

    3. Yes, Cpt. Obvious, we're not industry experts. Now run along and let the big people use the forums for their purpose.

  • DoctorwhofanDoctorwhofan Honolulu, HIPosts: 72Member

    As a rule, I don't play on Lam. but alot of nice things are coming. 

    Yes, I am a gamer girl.
    Dungeons and Dragons Online: April 2006
    THELANIS: Guild: Merc's Only. Trissa, Kleo, Sousake, Mulder, Roselyn, Caboose, Kaname, Scully, Courwin, Oncoming, Lanarissa, Doomlord, Tnannet, Healbotatron, keitherland, Keatheran, Allura, Riversong, Johnsmith, Jennysmith
    I also play Star Trek Online and LotRO, on occasion.

  • DeeweDeewe Long Beach, CAPosts: 1,965Member

    Nice, to read.

     

    What I would see for DDO next:


    • Planar portal to acces to Forgotten Realms plane

    • Social clothing tab as in LotRo

    • Instanced players apartments and guild halls inside the NPC city

  • UsedManateeUsedManatee Houston, TXPosts: 161Member

     Thank you for the info, Jaime.  I had read the official site release, but this is far more detailed.  I am happy to hear the sigils are being removed (as a pre-order DDO subscriber who has come back to play a bit more, this was the biggest obstacle).  

    I am most confused by the need for the "casual" mode.  When I played before I was always with decent guild groups, so maybe I really don't know how Normal scales as the CR increases (?) but from what I've experienced in the last few years, with just a LITTLE bit of careful play, Normal mode is VERY solo-able - and with a decent hireling match-up now, even MORE so.  Anything easier than Normal designed for a group must be easy indeed.

    Any idea if a "Casual" dungeon will scale to the actual number of persons entering?  So if one goes in it is equal to the current "Solo" and if two go in it goes up a bit more, but even a full party never reaches "Normal" ?  (Can I put it another way: what the hell? Even ludicrously bad PUGs can destroy Normal level dungeons.  Are they expecting the Farmville crowd to be logging on to DDO?)

    --

    For anybody who didn't notice it, they did a restructure on points prices yesterday.  The VIP (full sub) account is now officially the worst deal in the game.  Buying points and claiming modules permanently is how I'll do it.  Forget about the XP potions and other timed consumables, but "owning" access account-wide to STK for about $2.50?  Yes please.

    How dare you present him with logic! Don't you understand? He fights epic fights, in epic games, with epic toons....eats epic food and takes epic dumps! He has more e..pic..icity...ness in his little finger than you have in your whole unepic body! - ChicagoCub

  • ThillianThillian BratislavaPosts: 3,143Member Uncommon

    This seems like a great update for free players, not so great for VIP players.

    REALITY CHECK

  • PostLarvalPostLarval Pacific Northwest, WAPosts: 54Member
    Originally posted by Thillian


    This seems like a great update for free players, not so great for VIP players.

    True, but I'll continue my VIP account, as DDO deserves my support.

    This game has held my interest longer than any other.

    MO:UL ~ Bertiaux of Blabbity's Bevin ~ Guild of Writers ~ KI# 00 071 462
    LOTRO ~ Whytwulf of Rohan ~ Lore-Master Historian ~ Refugees of Gondolin
    DDO ~ Snok of Orien ~ Dwarf Barbarian ~ Mithral Workers Union XI
  • godzilr1godzilr1 scottsdale, AZPosts: 550Member Uncommon

    I've always liked the D&D game, though it never really captured me.  It doesnt have the great number of races and classes i need to find an MMO immersive, if they had it i wouldn't mind subscribing or paying for some of it.  The mana system just irritates me to no end.  I hate having to conserve my power until i find a shrine, though it does add the tactical side.

  • larrypsylarrypsy Laguna Woods, CAPosts: 34Member

    Perhaps I'll try again - I am a casual player and quit in frustration because I was unable to complete the quest where you had to protect a gem from 14 bandits.  In fact, I downloaded the game 2x and hope the new 3rd update will address this problem with an easier, casual mode.

  • UsedManateeUsedManatee Houston, TXPosts: 161Member
    Originally posted by larrypsy


    Perhaps I'll try again - I am a casual player and quit in frustration because I was unable to complete the quest where you had to protect a gem from 14 bandits.  In fact, I downloaded the game 2x and hope the new 3rd update will address this problem with an easier, casual mode.

    Larry if you do try it again, send me a PM on here and I"ll come on and help you with that quest.  Choose whatever server, I'll roll a new character if I have to.  I can show you how to solo that one on solo and normal mode in whatever class you want (even caster, solo'd it with a wiz a couple nights ago on Elite with a cheap fighter hireling, and it could be done without the hireling with charm person).  Once you're comfortable with the controls it should flow pretty easily.

    How dare you present him with logic! Don't you understand? He fights epic fights, in epic games, with epic toons....eats epic food and takes epic dumps! He has more e..pic..icity...ness in his little finger than you have in your whole unepic body! - ChicagoCub

  • UsedManateeUsedManatee Houston, TXPosts: 161Member
    Originally posted by godzilr1


      The mana system just irritates me to no end.  I hate having to conserve my power until i find a shrine, though it does add the tactical side.

    The mana system is one option out of two that would have both probably irritated you.  In pen and paper D&D you don't have mana (which your message seems to indicate you know) but you do have spell preparation.  No matter how you did it (generic mana pools vs. certain # of spells per circle prepared and ready to blow) you've got to expect they'd put a limit on how many spells could be cast before resting.  Personally I would be happy to see them convert over to setting very specific spell preparations.

     

    Also as for not having enough class variation, considering you can have either really great or really wrecked characters due to the flexibility of multiclassing, as well as a ton of choices in specialization through enhancement, I really don't think you're being fair here.  In that respect it has more "classes" than any MMO I can think of, as flexible as the player cares to make it.

    How dare you present him with logic! Don't you understand? He fights epic fights, in epic games, with epic toons....eats epic food and takes epic dumps! He has more e..pic..icity...ness in his little finger than you have in your whole unepic body! - ChicagoCub

  • DoctorwhofanDoctorwhofan Honolulu, HIPosts: 72Member
    Originally posted by PostLarval

    Originally posted by Thillian


    This seems like a great update for free players, not so great for VIP players.

    True, but I'll continue my VIP account, as DDO deserves my support.

    This game has held my interest longer than any other.



     

    Agreed.  With 20+ characters, it would cost too much at the beginning to get what I have right now.   And we have bills.

    Yes, I am a gamer girl.
    Dungeons and Dragons Online: April 2006
    THELANIS: Guild: Merc's Only. Trissa, Kleo, Sousake, Mulder, Roselyn, Caboose, Kaname, Scully, Courwin, Oncoming, Lanarissa, Doomlord, Tnannet, Healbotatron, keitherland, Keatheran, Allura, Riversong, Johnsmith, Jennysmith
    I also play Star Trek Online and LotRO, on occasion.

  • PapadamPapadam Tampa bay, FLPosts: 2,102Member

    I havent played DDO much lately but this update will bring me back! My biggest complaint about DDO is the lack of "casual" content after lvl 12 but now with some new quests and the casual difficulty this issue will be solved.

    I still have my VIP sub open since I want to support DDO because its a great game.

    If WoW = The Beatles
    and WAR = Led Zeppelin
    Then LotrO = Pink Floyd

  • ScotScot UKPosts: 5,769Member Uncommon

    They certainly seem to be upgrading the F2P content, must be due to all the players who are not putting any money into the game voicing their concern. :)

    I also noticed this gem:

    “Solo and small group players will also be pleased to find that solo difficulty has essentially been replaced by "casual difficulty."

    Will we be pleased? What difficulty level will they introduce next, “playerable by your three legged dog”? There must be someone out there who finds “casual difficulty” too hard, we need that persons cash, lets dumb the game down even more!

  • SkuzSkuz WorcesterPosts: 1,034Member Uncommon

    I understand your "dumbing down" sentiments, but really, it doesn't affect the game for anyone but the player choosing the easier difficulty, I expect that it just serves to engage them & feed them into harder difficulty levels later once they have improved rather than get stuck & discouraged.

     

    After all we can't all be highly skilled dungeon crawlers, I consider myself experienced & skilled yet there are players who put my skills to shame, a good game can cater to both the elite & the lesser skilled, just because someone isn't very good at a game shouldn't necessariy mean they can't enjoy it if the game caters for it, after all I expect that lesser difficulty = lesser reward, so who loses out? nobody.

  • SarrSarr WarsawPosts: 466Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Skuz


    I understand your "dumbing down" sentiments, but really, it doesn't affect the game for anyone but the player choosing the easier difficulty, I expect that it just serves to engage them & feed them into harder difficulty levels later once they have improved rather than get stuck & discouraged.
     
    After all we can't all be highly skilled dungeon crawlers, I consider myself experienced & skilled yet there are players who put my skills to shame, a good game can cater to both the elite & the lesser skilled, just because someone isn't very good at a game shouldn't necessariy mean they can't enjoy it if the game caters for it, after all I expect that lesser difficulty = lesser reward, so who loses out? nobody.

     

    Wow, finally someone who has similar opinion . Well said. I'd like to add more, but you've said everything I wanted to. Agreed completely.

    Plus, I've played House Kundarak quest on Casual (and I consider myself rather good player), and it was really fun, not dumbed down from what I've seen. I've failed because I went in expecting easy run, and that I didn't need to prepare even a bit. I was wrong .

    Here's video from Lamannia, Casual difficulty:

    www.youtube.com/House_Kundarak_Quest

    image
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    Polish D&D Online Portal http://www.ddopl.com
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    Great DDO PodCast by Jerry & co. http://www.ddocast.com

  • sadeyxsadeyx leicesterPosts: 1,553Member

    wow! - Great changes..

    I really must get back into this game!

    I was worried that going F2P meant that DDO wouldnt probably receive as much attention, but it seems to be getting even more!  

    I dont even mind paying some money now that I can see improves are continuing.  Just hope they do EU server or something.  I've no issue playing with america's but sometimes it takes ages to find a group :(

  • OzmodanOzmodan Hilliard, OHPosts: 7,191Member Uncommon

    Turbine amazes me the amount of free content they throw into this game. 

  • DeeweDeewe Long Beach, CAPosts: 1,965Member
    Originally posted by godzilr1


    I've always liked the D&D game, though it never really captured me.  It doesnt have the great number of races and classes i need to find an MMO immersive, if they had it i wouldn't mind subscribing or paying for some of it.  The mana system just irritates me to no end.  I hate having to conserve my power until i find a shrine, though it does add the tactical side.

     

    While I agree with races, there isn't any MMO, to my knowledge, that has so many choices in terms of character "classes" (templates).

     

    Each class has many different feats and enhancements, leaving more room than a wowish clone. For example you can have 2 rogues of the same level standing one next to the other having a totally different build and purpose. 

     

    Now when you start digging into multiclassing there's quite no limit, such as most players can be lost in the process, not really knowing what to take at what level, or how to min/max specific type of characters.

     

    On top of that add the fact that the choice of a race can have a huge effect on your template with the races feats and enhancements.

     

    About power I think that system is much better than cast, cast cast., sit, eat food, rinse and repeat. Or a real PnP D&D system in which after you cast your 3 magic missiles you are left with your feather fall spell in front of a nasty mob, this because you only learn 3 MM.

  • sweetruinsweetruin Reviewer Denver, COPosts: 3Member

     I am very pleased to see that DDO is continuing to try and be the best game it can be. As someone who was online on Day 1 of "Head Start" access, I've returned to the game over and over throughout the years. Once F2P was announced, I was sure that it would be the death of DDO.

     I'm now once again a player, as a VIP, with several RL friends playing on both F2P and P2P accounts. Great article, thanks for the info!

    Game Reviewer, Game Player, Game Blogger - sensing the theme?

  • mindspatmindspat seattle, WAPosts: 1,367Member
    Originally posted by Scot


    They certainly seem to be upgrading the F2P content, must be due to all the players who are not putting any money into the game voicing their concern. :)
    I also noticed this gem:
    “Solo and small group players will also be pleased to find that solo difficulty has essentially been replaced by "casual difficulty."
    Will we be pleased? What difficulty level will they introduce next, “playerable by your three legged dog”? There must be someone out there who finds “casual difficulty” too hard, we need that persons cash, lets dumb the game down even more!



     

    Epic.  that is the difficulty that appears to be comming. 

    http://compendium.ddo.com/wiki/Weapon:Epic_Sword_of_Shadow

    On one hand there's a new difficulty geared towards players who have a hard time with video games yet on the other they're creating something crazy enough for players to potentially develop their characters into deities with some of this "epic" loot. 

     

     

  • Justarius1Justarius1 Phoenix, AZPosts: 381Member

    Such a shame, to me, that the game went F2P.  With the addition of the item shop and the ability to "buy" in game advantages with real life money, I just left and never looked back.  Maybe someday - especially considering the recent lawsuits involved with Hasbro, WoTC and Atari having rights to future D&D games... maybe someday we'll see a regular good 'ol properly done sub-fee 4th edition D&D online game.  Now THAT I would play.  And pay for, gladly.  (Heck, I pay for D&D insider and that's $10 a month - it's Wizards of the Coasts 4th edition D&D DM and gamer tools.)

    I know everyone likes to gush about how going F2P "saved" DDO and perhaps it did, but I guess I'm just one of those people in the minority that doesn't feel like paying F2P - er, I mean "Pay to Prosper" games like DDO.

    image

  • sadeyxsadeyx leicesterPosts: 1,553Member
    Originally posted by Justarius1


    Such a shame, to me, that the game went F2P. 

     

     What? you refuse to play out of principle ?  Strange that.. most people play a game because they enjoy it.  I played on p2p and played f2p.. I honestly cant see whats changed much, apart from having more friends, better graphics, better combat, more stuff to do.. and oddly, less lag (graphical and network)

    Its not just that f2p has saved DDO and brought many more new players, its also improved in ways that it couldnt have on the p2p model.

    So your reason is highly dubious... and anyone here can pick through your argument.

    what your ineffect saying is that you'll only play a game if its rediculously over priced and doesnt get updated. lol.

  • sadeyxsadeyx leicesterPosts: 1,553Member
    Originally posted by Scot


    I also noticed this gem:
    “Solo and small group players will also be pleased to find that solo difficulty has essentially been replaced by "casual difficulty."
    Will we be pleased? What difficulty level will they introduce next, “playerable by your three legged dog”? There must be someone out there who finds “casual difficulty” too hard, we need that persons cash, lets dumb the game down even more!

     

    Im not actually sure what this means...  I took it to mean that solo was being made more challenging!  It specifically says that the new casual difficulty will be for solo AND small group...    so if a difficulty was once meant for one person, and is now meant for 1 person or a small group... that indicates to me that solo is being given some added challenge.

     

    In any case, if they are making it easier your saying this is a bad thing?..  I dont understand how.  More and more players want to be able to log on and do something on their own.. its the way of the mmo industry.  I certainly dont have time in my life to stand waiting hours to get a group.

  • RokurgeptaRokurgepta wallington, NJPosts: 2,136Member
    Originally posted by sadeyx

    Originally posted by Scot


    I also noticed this gem:
    “Solo and small group players will also be pleased to find that solo difficulty has essentially been replaced by "casual difficulty."
    Will we be pleased? What difficulty level will they introduce next, “playerable by your three legged dog”? There must be someone out there who finds “casual difficulty” too hard, we need that persons cash, lets dumb the game down even more!

     

    Im not actually sure what this means...  I took it to mean that solo was being made more challenging!  It specifically says that the new casual difficulty will be for solo AND small group...    so if a difficulty was once meant for one person, and is now meant for 1 person or a small group... that indicates to me that solo is being given some added challenge.

     

    In any case, if they are making it easier your saying this is a bad thing?..  I dont understand how.  More and more players want to be able to log on and do something on their own.. its the way of the mmo industry.  I certainly dont have time in my life to stand waiting hours to get a group.



     

    With dungeon scaling casual with one person will be the old solo mode. They are not adding difficulty to solo, basicly now you can take friends on the old solo so anyone can waltz through what used to be a harder and more thought provoking MMO.

     

    Making it easier can be a bad thing. DDO used to be a challenge and for those who like a challenge the game was fun.Now finding the fun and challenge is not the same. Its still fun for m, but not the way it used to be. Not every game has to cater to the same I want to solo crowd. DDO used to be group focused, now it the same antisocial game as many others. Easy to solo so people fail to learn group dynamics and fail easy quests at higher levels, leading them to complain about normal difficulty being too hard leading to casual difficulty. What is next? Log in and get your end reward? Raid loot in the DDO store? Soon your Credit Card will allow you to buy a multi timed True Rezzed fully raid gearded level 20(I am kidding, I hope) .

  • uncusuncus Fonda, NYPosts: 528Member

    I'm guessing that "Casual" was added because "Solo" didn't allow you to use hirelings.  This way a caster without charm person or a non-selfhealing type can do the "Solo" missions more easily.

    "Epic" only refers to levels above 20, correct?  So it would only be available on dungeons with a normal CR of 18+ ?

     

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