Scheduled to release on Wednesday, October 28th, Update One is the first major update To Dungeons and Dragons Online since Eberron Unlimited went live in September. Turbine has shifted away from calling these updates modules to simply referring to them as "updates," in an attempt to help distinguish between software changes and new features. Players will see smaller additions and changes to the game between each major update as well, so that new content can be constantly added to the game rather than spread out over longer spans.
The focus of this update is on high level players, and there are plenty of treats in store. One of these special treats is known as Veteran Status. Earned by characters who have garnered at least 1,000 favor, Veteran status allows players to start new characters who will enter the game at level four and begin their adventures in the Stormreach Marketplace, bypassing many of the early low-level quests - and yes, it is retroactive. Players who have not reached 1,000 favor but would like to purchase this status may do so in the DDO Store. This allows players to bring new custom characters easily into the game, and makes it easier to tinker with new builds, particularly multi-class builds.
With Update One also comes a brand new difficulty setting - Epic. Designed to allow players to revisit old favorites redone for the level cap, Epic Dungeons not only allow players to re-experience the challenge of these areas on a newer, harder difficulty designed exclusively for level 20s, but also allow players to gain new, Epic versions of the items that dropped there before.
The first area to receive an Epic difficulty is the Demon Sands Adventure Pack. Several areas in this Adventure Pack - including the raid on Queen Lailat - can now be played in Epic difficulty, and the designers have made it so that players can quickly get into the climatic battles of these areas. Defeating these adventures will reward rare scrolls, seals, and shards which can be used to upgrade older loot from these areas into new versions designed for maximum level characters. In addition, special tokens will drop that will be tradeable for Epic Augment Crystals, permanently add new effects to these items, or even True Reincarnation Tokens. These later tokens will be of use when Reincarnation enters the game, which will allow players to experience a "true reroll," and will be particularly valuable for players wanting to restart a favorite character.
There is, of course, a new Adventure Pack waiting for players too. Designed for players of levels 17 to 19, The Path of Inspiration offers five new adventures with fun new challenges, and is part one of a two part series. Long time players of DDO will remember the area of the old Harbor, which has been sealed off for quite some time. The Coin Lords have allowed a group from the city of Dar Qat, who follow the mysterious Path of Inspiration, to take up residence there. But everything is not as it seems in the Inspired Quarter, and players will soon find themselves digging deep into the cult's true nature.
I got to play through parts of the new adventure pack, and there are a lot of exciting things to see that I don't want to spoil. I can tell you, however, that players will be seeing some old friends like Jeets Shimis again. Expect to delve into both the lands of dreams and nightmares as you confront the Dreaming Dark. Besides facing a new threat, there are new puzzles, tricks, and secrets to be discovered. It will do players well to be creative in their thinking.
One last thing to mention - besides a set of fixes and tweaks, the beloved 32 point character build will now be available for purchase in the DDO store. This is a great option for newer players who may not have the favor required to use it, but are willing to buy it and save themselves the hours of favor grinding. With all of these great changes and additions coming to DDO in this update, there's a lot to look forward to!