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Dungeons & Dragons Online: A Look at Mod 8: Prisoners of Prophecy

SzarkSzark News ManagerAnna Regina, NSPosts: 4,420Member

News Manager Keith Cross recently had a chance to play through a guided tour of Module 8: Prisoners of Prophecy, the next content update for Dungeons and Dragons Online. During the tour he had the opportunity to take a look at some of the game's newest dungeons and try out the new hireling system.

Every few months, the folks at Turbine get ready to roll out another content update, or module, for Dungeons & Dragons Online (DDO). When this happens they call upon a small group of people in the games media to take a tour of what they’ve been working on. This time, as last time, I represented MMORPG.com on this trek through the continent of Xen’drik and the new content of Module 8: Prisoners of Prophecy.

We started by looking at the latest revamp of the starting area for new players. This is the second time that the DDO team has gone back to the beginning and done a complete makeover of the new player experience, and this time the changes are more drastic. Players start off on a once tropical island somewhere off the coast near Stormreach. The island has become besieged by a rather large white dragon who has altered the tropical climate to resemble the frozen lands where it’s kind normally dwell. The dragon is also the device that brings new players to this area, as it has taken to turning passing ships, on their way to Stormreach, into shipwrecks. As a survivor of one such wreck, you’re soon recruited to help stop this menace. You join up with some NPCs and they show you how to interact with the world, navigate it’s dungeons, and take care of pesky dragons.

Read A Look at Module 8: Prisoners of Prophecy.

Comments

  • megafluxmegamegafluxmega nasa, NYPosts: 138Member

    so...i know i should just read all the info i can find for the info but ill ask you instead: does this mean you can now have a single player experience in this game?

    i play A LOT, way more than 95% of the people out there, and i have to say that has kept me from playing this game. even if i could get people to play with me (real friends) i would out level them so fast it would be over in a weekend. much as i would love to play it, i cant see paying to play a game according to other peoples schedules.

  • PapadamPapadam Tampa bay, FLPosts: 2,102Member

    This sounds like a really huge update and I am tempted to try this game out again since when it comes to combat, quests and custmization there is no better MMO!

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

  • DarkRanger65DarkRanger65 Lathrop, CAPosts: 83Member

    Still no visable cloaks?!

    MMO Played-EQ, EQ2, WOW, DDO, GW, COH, Vanguard, WAR

    MMOs Playing-LOTRO

  • finnmacool1finnmacool1 Corona, CAPosts: 453Member

    I wasnt a big fan of the game when it launched but sounds like they have made some nice adjustments.

  • OzmodanOzmodan Hilliard, OHPosts: 7,183Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by megafluxmega


    so...i know i should just read all the info i can find for the info but ill ask you instead: does this mean you can now have a single player experience in this game?
    i play A LOT, way more than 95% of the people out there, and i have to say that has kept me from playing this game. even if i could get people to play with me (real friends) i would out level them so fast it would be over in a weekend. much as i would love to play it, i cant see paying to play a game according to other peoples schedules.

    I think you fail to consider that D&D was never designed to be a solo game.  You have to understand that GW owns the IP and Turbine pretty much has to follow that design.  Not sure how much leeway they have, but you just can't expect that solo play will be a staple of the game, just does not fit with the IP. 

     

  • danfromohdanfromoh Westerville, OHPosts: 18Member

    Hello,

    I have been playing since Beta.  Mainly because I have a core group in my guild that I have no problems grouping with and I can get join pug groups with ease.

    Answering a couple of your questions. 1. no to cloaks showing. yeah i wiish.  2.  The last mod has a great new area.  It could use a few more quests in my opinion. but that is wishful thinking. Probably because turbine is wrapped up in the lord of the rings game.  YES TURBINE PAY MORE ATTENTION TO DDO.

    This is still not a single player game.  Although some do try and make it though some though stuff solo.   And ddo did make some areas easy for solo.  The rental toons probably will make it ok for solo play up to high level dungeons but not raids.  For the power gamer in a post above.  You simply find a power gamer guild and join it.  Believe me, you are not alone in being a power gamer that plays ddo.   DDO has made some recent raids where u really have to farm it for the items you want (u cant just do once and be done).

    This game is still mostly  based on groups and friends. Although in the last couple of months our guild now has adult's parents join. Yes retired parents now play with their middle aged kids.   One was devoted wow player and has now dropped wow because he loves ddo better.  Another is a retired mom who was a pen and paper player and now plays ddo daily.

    DDO has its down side. and could use some more enchancements.  Like Druid and half orc on the horizon I believe.  But it is still the best fighting system out for a MMO and you don't get much of the annoying kid tying to challenge your toon like you do in other mmos (except in taverns where u can choose to fight other toons).

  • toordtoord Sharn, FLPosts: 139Member
    Originally posted by Ozmodan

    Originally posted by megafluxmega


    so...i know i should just read all the info i can find for the info but ill ask you instead: does this mean you can now have a single player experience in this game?
    i play A LOT, way more than 95% of the people out there, and i have to say that has kept me from playing this game. even if i could get people to play with me (real friends) i would out level them so fast it would be over in a weekend. much as i would love to play it, i cant see paying to play a game according to other peoples schedules.

    I think you fail to consider that D&D was never designed to be a solo game.  You have to understand that GW owns the IP and Turbine pretty much has to follow that design.  Not sure how much leeway they have, but you just can't expect that solo play will be a staple of the game, just does not fit with the IP. 

     

    Quick correction: the owners of the D&D franchise/intellectual property is Wizards of The Coast, not Games Workshop.

    Peace.

  • toordtoord Sharn, FLPosts: 139Member
    Originally posted by megafluxmega


    so...i know i should just read all the info i can find for the info but ill ask you instead: does this mean you can now have a single player experience in this game?
    i play A LOT, way more than 95% of the people out there, and i have to say that has kept me from playing this game. even if i could get people to play with me (real friends) i would out level them so fast it would be over in a weekend. much as i would love to play it, i cant see paying to play a game according to other peoples schedules.

     

    DDO is obviously not the game for you. DDO was built around D&D, there's no concept of *solo* in the D&D lore thus DDO will alway be all about grouping. You can solo some upper level quests ... only if you are a pretty solid player (which makes it a more rewarding experience if you DO manage to solo a lvl 16-17 quest w/o cheating/exploits).

    Peace.

  • toordtoord Sharn, FLPosts: 139Member

    I played DDO for about a year-and-change and after doing everything there is to do (Greensteel items, all raids, 1750 favor, rolling a new 32-point build, etc) the game just became tedious. I left the game for couple of months and came back exclucively because of the previews of Mod 8.

    I've got to say that I'm fairly impressed. The new character creation environment is very, very intuitive and will help the novice player avoid creating gimped toons -- which *WAS* very easy to do in DDO if you didn't know what you were doing. The new tutorial zone, the new village and new wilderness zones are simply put top notch! Visually appealing, challenging and entertaining. Last night, I was able to create a brand new toon (an evasion pally), run all the new zones, wilderness areas and all the quests all by myself (granted, I'm by no means a new player). They added very nice (IMO) level-appropriate loot and quest rewards. The quests and the new Korthos Island wilderness zone were generally more challending than the ones in the Korthos village. There were about half-a-dozen groups looking for more lowbies to group with throughout the night (this definitely helps if you're a completely new player). I really like the new area ... a lot. I have maxxed out toons that are ready for the new high level content, but I was SO excited and pumped about the newbie area that I decided to give those high-level toons a much deserved rest.

    This *IS* what DDO should've been from the start, and even though I think Turbine has hit it in the "sweet spot" with Mod 8; however, I'm honestly worried that it might be too late for the game to gain any real traction to attract new and returning players.

    Peace.

  • Dr.RockDr.Rock SouthcoastPosts: 603Member
    Originally posted by toord


    You can solo some upper level quests ... only if you are a pretty solid player (which makes it a more rewarding experience if you DO manage to solo a lvl 16-17 quest w/o cheating/exploits).
     

    Agree

    The soloing is probably some of the best out there, dungeons play a lot different on your own. You do need to build a character with soloing in mind and be prepared to spend a lot of time and resources, for less rewards. But nothing like soloing an Elite quest for the challenge.

    So yep DDO has plenty of soloing, it just isn't spoon fed without challenge.

    Some people have soloed raid bosses, the fact the combat allows you to actively dodge and the game has some pretty decent physics, arrows actually have paths and can hit other players or mobs if they move in to its path, and scenery if you move out of the way (no  LoS check and then it homes in on you even through walls). So it doesn't have to be just a game of mob has y moves, I have x, x beats y, move on to next mob. With a bit of planning you can defeat mobs with challenge ratings well above your level, or the opposite.

  • SarrSarr WarsawPosts: 474Member Uncommon

    Hi guys. As a 'still not very experienced' player (max character level 5 , but I play more than one character), I want to address some topics which you spoke of - soloing in DDO and 'this is party game' thing. Why? Because I never had any problems with it :).

    You know, I solo very often. From various reasons - I'm not antisocial and love playing in groups. I just don't have much time to play, sometimes. I'm a former and long time Guild Wars, WoW, Ultima Online and many other MMOG player, and... DDO is totally owns these games for me ;). I even played WAR and can play it still, but I prefer DDO. WAR is no match to DDO, for me - even PVP doesn't impress me in WAR.

    I play on DDO EU. My first character was Wizard - if you want to solo, this is a class for Pro Gamers ;). If you like challenge, there you go. Off course, with these new hirelings everything will be much easier (DDO EU will get Mod8 in 1-2 weeks, probably), but I 'm level 5 and solo even on Elite sometimes ;). And I don't see why I couldn't solo up to max level cap. But I love grouping even more, so there's no need.

    But when you play, for example, a Ranger... Soloing is like bread and butter to me :). It's fun, and challenging on higher difficulties (in DDO you can unlock difficulties from Solo up to Elite, and get better loot each time).

    Mod 8 to me looks awesome. But that's not all... Turbine officially revealed that they intend to revamp all the levels of experience. So, now we have starter area and revamped Harbor (lev 1-4 max), but in future, they will revamp areas for next levels. And so on. That's their plan. And showing how they improve quality now, I can't wait for future revamps, especially while they add high level content at the same time.

    So, don't think much, just come and play :). It IS different to WoW clones. But once you get it, you'll never need any WoW clones :). Turbine is probably most 'adventurous' and innovative MMO company out there, so be prepared for unexpected.

    PS: My friend is leaving WoW for DDO today :).

    image
    Polish D&D Online Portal http://www.ddopl.com
    Big Polish DDO Guild: http://my.ddo.com/guild-cannith-gildia_ddopl/
    Twitter: http://twitter.com/DDOpl
    Great DDO PodCast by Jerry & co. http://www.ddocast.com

  • toordtoord Sharn, FLPosts: 139Member

    Sarr,

    I usually solo n-h-e (normal-hard-elite) all harbor quests (even water works 1-3) and love the challenge on hard and the very close calls on elite. I can solo most lvl 4-6 quests in the market place and houses (and even necropolis). Around level 8 though, quests become very tough to solo and require you are well prepared (wands, scrolls, potions) and have a good plan and you know the quest very well (for instance, soloing Stormcleave at lvl 7 or 8) is doable but very tough and almost impossible if you've never done that quest before. And the higher the level, the more mobs and the smarter the AI you get. My maxxed out sorc can solo some Gianthold stuff even on elite ... but only because I've grinded those quests to death and can almost run in on auto-pilot :) Then in the Orchard you get nasty undead mobs of all sorts (and casters and clerics have the upperhand in this area) and you can technically solo *some* of them but you'd be lucky if you don't have to rez out and (hopefully you summoned a pet to keep the instance open for ya). The vale quests ... very tough to solo and have only heard a handfull of credible accounts of soloing them.

    I did play WAR (from open beta as a matter of fact), but that game is mindless compared to DDO. RvR is fun ... but when that's all you do all night long, day-after-day ... it just gets REALLY annoying and boring. So going back to DDO and more so with mod 8 coming was awesome.

     

    Peace.

  • JeroKaneJeroKane OsloPosts: 5,353Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by toord


    This *IS* what DDO should've been from the start, and even though I think Turbine has hit it in the "sweet spot" with Mod 8; however, I'm honestly worried that it might be too late for the game to gain any real traction to attract new and returning players.
    Peace.



     

    That is the BIG problem these days.

    There are too many polished MMO's to chose from atm and so many new ones launching every few months.

    You hardly get any second chances anymore. That's just a sad fact!

    Just look at Vanguard. Has come around nicely, but will never get enough subs anymore to really improve the game and add a big chunk of content through an expansion pack.

    Same with Age of Conan. Lost so many subs in the first 3 months. Now Gaute is gone and the new director on it. It seems the game is slowly steering in the right way. But it will never recover.

    Warhammer Online is now following the same faith if Mythic isn't going to come with some serious and miraclous patches. Or they going to lose a lot more subs then they think.

    With DDO, it was never about the gameplay. The game was quite polished and decent when it launched.

    It was the excessive instancing that ticked of most of the players. You had no connection with the gameworld due to all the loading screens and people spread out so much over all the various instances of the same small zone!

    Cheers

  • SarrSarr WarsawPosts: 474Member Uncommon

    That's ok Toord . I will have to check it at higher levels. But with these new hirelings, I think it will be much easier. The only problem which I had was the lack of healing. I bought many pots, and then it's great. But it's very expensive sometimes, if you play wizard. But now, you can take a healer with you, and this can change gameplay entirely.

    And if I need strong arm (tank), to just stay away from big damage dealers and blast them with spells, I can hire warrior / barbarian .

    I'm not that sceptiacal too. I think, at least in DDO EU, there is large number of newcomers. When Mod8 will come live on EU, I don't think opening new servers will be just 'wishfull thinking'.

    Firstly, I believe in the power of Community. If you love this game, just say it. Don't discourage anybody, because there's something you don't like (as everywhere). Others may love it .

    You know, the biggest problem of DDO now is the lack of 'commercial' advertising. Seems like Atari's problems totally stopped it. Turbine, DDO developer, do what they can on gencons, on sites like this (mmorpg.com), but that's not paid space. So I think only Atari has the right to spend money advertising DDO. Or WotC, but I don't understand why they wouldn't do it if they could. License is license.

    DDO is great game already. The biggest problem is that people don't know about it, or think it's some WoW clone like WAR or LotrO. And finding out that it's totally different can be too hard for WoWers.

    So, this should be advertised, but WISELY. DDO has some clear, very strong points, and IS an original game. So whoever can advertise it, could interest people in the "DDO MMO way". In other words, show how this game is better than WoW clones and why we it has as dedicated player base, as it has. This really means something and I think, making DDO very popular is really doable... but needs some marketing investment.

    image
    Polish D&D Online Portal http://www.ddopl.com
    Big Polish DDO Guild: http://my.ddo.com/guild-cannith-gildia_ddopl/
    Twitter: http://twitter.com/DDOpl
    Great DDO PodCast by Jerry & co. http://www.ddocast.com

  • TaishiFoxTaishiFox NottinghamPosts: 670Member Uncommon

    Heh, its kinda ironic that I recently got back into this game and it already bares new content for us, awesome Well at least thats something to look forward to also, heh

    imageimage
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  • BonemaneBonemane Chicago, ILPosts: 353Member

    This makes me want to play this game.

  • todeswulftodeswulf Dallas, TXPosts: 715Member

    It's sad, it took so long for Turbine to repair what Ken Troop did to the game, now that it's ready...its just too late to gain any significant subscription base. Meanwhile LOTRO is doing astoundingly good, WAR nor AoC really affected it's sub base, and honestly I don't see anything in the works that will tear players away.  I think we will contine to see LOTRO make steady growth, while DDO sadly declines further.

  • SarrSarr WarsawPosts: 474Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by todeswulf


    It's sad, it took so long for Turbine to repair what Ken Troop did to the game, now that it's ready...its just too late to gain any significant subscription base. Meanwhile LOTRO is doing astoundingly good, WAR nor AoC really affected it's sub base, and honestly I don't see anything in the works that will tear players away.  I think we will contine to see LOTRO make steady growth, while DDO sadly declines further.

     

    I don't thinks so, because now it looks like Turbine brings more attention to DDO. Rember GenCon? DDO was main Turbine game there, LotrO was second. I don't say we'll see DDO instantly rising 'to power', but knowing that developers made a plan to revamp probably all of this game, it must mean something.

    There is Mod9 in the works even now, half-orcs coming together with half-elves, then druids. And there's this mysterious project Turbine keeps in secret development, called, nomen-omen, "Vast and Mysterious". All this, along with new Turbine staff and quality revamp going up from lowest levels, builds up an impression that something's changing.

    We'll see. DDO is a tricky and probably most advanced MMO out there, I don't think Turbine would want to lose such a gem. And they put it straight - DDO teams has grown since the start, and no one thinks about closing the project. Yeah, it looks like this for me now.

    image
    Polish D&D Online Portal http://www.ddopl.com
    Big Polish DDO Guild: http://my.ddo.com/guild-cannith-gildia_ddopl/
    Twitter: http://twitter.com/DDOpl
    Great DDO PodCast by Jerry & co. http://www.ddocast.com

  • mindspatmindspat seattle, WAPosts: 1,367Member

    This is the only game I've found that's been able to keep me interested besides the pre-cu version of Star Wars Galaxies.  Why this is might be due to the incredible level of dynamics that are availble to players when they work on created their characters.  The crafting is more of a loot/collection type of system, but that's realy no different then other MMO's besides DDO offering more options then A B or C, it's more like A through Z !!

    I liked the Realm Vs Realm in Warhammer, but the characters are so terribally generic that there's no option to customize them to your playstyle since you have to modify how you play to to suit them instead; want to play a Fighter who can cast spells - Multi class in ddo! WoW seemed like a simple Fetch 10 rat tails kind of environment and everything, including the playstyle, felt plain, and if you like PvE it's all about "pulling" a single mob so you can button mash on it - that's not strategy!  Age of Conan was broken beyond belief and suffered from horrendous game play issues.

    If anyone is a fan of strategy games and likes to be challenged with puzzles and dynamics then DDO is for them.  Nothing funner then to create a unique charactre multi classed by up to three different classes that can cast spells, shield block vs an attacker, roll out of the way of a fireball, avoid a trap, climb the latter then run and jump to grab a ledge while contending with Mobs while trying to hide in shadows to sneak past them - game play can be very intense!  The only downside to this game is that it was quite lackluster when it launched which is almost impossible to identify as it exists now. 

    p.s. The new area in the snow with the Frost Giants is fricken awesome!!

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