Turbine recently gave us an opportunity to check out some of the new content coming to Dungeons & Dragons Online today with Update 18: Disciples of Shadow, which serves as a prequel to the upcoming Shadowfell Conspiracy expansion. We were also given the opportunity to learn a bit more about said expansion and even sample Shadowfell Conspiracy’s first quest: Shadow of a Doubt.
We jumped into our tour as one of the new Bladeforged Iconic Heroes included in the upcoming Shadowfell Conspiracy expansion. Players who pre-order the expansion will get to start playing the Bladeforged immediately. For those who haven’t been keeping track, Iconic Heroes give players a chance to jump into the game right at the beginning of the Forgotten Realms content at level 15. Each Iconic Hero represents the paragons of their respective races, and the Bladeforged is essentially a super Warforged. Iconics all have their own unique looks (including custom gear and new character create options) and even a couple of new abilities to round out the package.
The Bladeforged begins his adventures in the forge of the Lord of Blades, an area (and character) that should be familiar to players who have participated in the level 20 raid that takes place in the same room. Your basic Bladeforged will start as a preset level 15 Paladin, however, you can actually choose to customize each of those levels or forfeit the entire thing and choose from up to three other available classes.
Having gone over the basics of our new Bladeforged, we were then whisked away to Eveningstar, the central hub of DDO’s Forgotten Realms content. From here, we learned of rumors of prisoners who have escaped from Wheloon prison and we are tasked with securing them and bringing them back. The series of events to follow are meant to give players a sample of where Turbine intends to expand into as part of the Shadowfell Conspiracy expansion.
Our adventures next took us to the foothills of the Storm Horn Mountains, where we were tasked with capturing Shar clerics that have been attempting to convert the citizenry to their side. We followed the cultists into a series of caves and captured our targets for later interrogation in the prison city of Wheloon. While we didn’t get to see the next step in action, we were told that players would be tasked with escorting their new prisoners to Wheloon aboard a river barge, and it should be obvious that this task will end up a bit more complicated than it sounds.
Even though we didn’t get to tackle the river barge quest, we did have a chance to sample the conclusion of events, which involves acting out the interrogation of our Shar disciple prisoners. Things quickly go awry in our interrogation of the Shar cleric, though. The room darkens and we find ourselves under attack by shadows from the Shadowfell. These creatures creep along the floor in two dimensional form and then pop up as three dimensional creatures we have to fight off. Those who are found guilty and cast into the Wheloon city prison are there for life and as we exit the interrogation room we find ourselves in the middle of a prisoner revolt. The prisoners aren’t willing to find out their fate and are instead taking advantage of the Shadowfell attack.
We make our way through the town, saving the Dragon Knights and other folk from being attacked by the shadow monsters and eventually make our way to the prison gate in order to inform the gate captain of what is going on. In the interest of saving time, we skipped to the final boss of the dungeon, a Shadar-kai assassin. These assassins hail from the Shadowfell itself. The key difference, of course, is that these assassins are fully flesh and blood, unlike the only quasi-corporeal shadow creatures we had encountered up until this point.
If you find yourself jealous of how cool these Shadar-kai assassins are, you’ll be glad to know that they will also be available as one of the new playable Iconic Heroes coming with the Shadowfell Conspiracy expansion later this summer. Speaking of snazzy looking characters, it’s important to note that the iconic look for each of these heroes can be preserved by using a set of cosmetic armor provided to each hero class. In addition to the Bladeforged and Shadar-kai, players can also look forward to playing as the Purple Dragon Knight and Sun-elf Morninglord Iconic Heroes.
Update 18: Disciples of Shadow is now available on live servers and bumps the level cap up to level 25 in addition to the various new pieces of content. Turbine has also kicked off pre-orders for the upcoming Shadowfell Conspiracy expansion, which is set to go live on August 19, 2013, and this expansion will bump the level cap further to level 28. You can pick up the Standard Edition for $29.99 or the Collector’s Edition for $49.99. Details on the perks of both versions can be found over at the Shadowfell Conspiracy mini-site.