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MMORPG | Setting:Fantasy | Status:Final  (rel 02/28/06)  | Pub:Daybreak Games
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Interviews: Update One Interview

By Jon Wood on October 30, 2009

Update One Interview

Update One introduces a new high level adventure pack. Can you tell us a little bit about what players can expect from it, and is this something that players will have to buy separately through the DDO Store, or does it come for free?

Ian Currie:

The new adventure pack is called The Path of Inspiration. It's free to VIP players but also available via the DDO Store to everyone levels 16 and up. It contains 5 adventures and has a storyline unlike anything we've done before. Players will get to experience some unique gameplay in this adventure pack, including having to guard their 'will' from a creature that would steal it, and entering the dreams of a well known character wherein they'll fight some nifty creatures from the plane of nightmares. Some very rewarding loot awaits them at the end of the last quest where they'll also learn that the job of an adventurer is never quite finished.


What is the general purpose of the Veteran Status feature? Is it primarily meant as a way to skip the game's tutorial, or does it go beyond that?

Ian Currie:

Veteran Status gives players who create new characters the option to start at level 4, effectively bypassing not only the tutorial, but the first 3 levels of the game. Since many of our players have been through the early game several times, we thought it would be a great reward to allow experienced players starting new characters to get a jump start.

It's more than just a way to save a few hours on a new character. DDO has an incredibly deep and versatile character creation and advancement system that is true to the D&D rules. As players get to know the game better, they discover the joys of experimenting with different combinations of classes, spells, skills, feats and stats. With Veteran Status, players can quickly try out a new build concept and right away get to appreciate some of the synergies of these combinations.

With the addition of Epic Difficulty, will this just be a case of monster difficulty being ramped up to a higher degree, or will there be new challenges available for 20th level characters?

Ian Currie:

Both actually. Monsters are definitely tougher, but their abilities have also been adjusted so that many battles will require different tactics. Some epic adventures will throw a curve ball at the player just to keep them on their toes and make the experience different from what they were used to. That being said, the goal was to strike a balance between making the experience fresh and nostalgic at the same time. We've got some very cool rewards lined up and we're generally very excited about the epic series and see this as just one of several 'end game' avenues for us to explore as we further develop the game.


Is there a general rule of thumb when it comes to updates in terms of what content will be available to everyone and what content will only be available via purchase?

Ian Currie:

At the moment there is no hard rule and we plan to support both as long as it makes sense. For example, at the moment, we're working on some pretty cool free content that we think will have some very memorable moments and will rank up there with our very best.

What can you tell us about the upcoming reincarnation system? Will it allow players to completely re-vamp their characters? How often will they be able to do this? Is this going to be something available through the store, or a regular feature for the game?

Ian Currie:

There are three forms of Reincarnation. True Reincarnation is reserved for level 20 players who are attracted to the notion of creating a brand new, more powerful character. It's a big commitment though! You're effectively starting over, but you get to keep all your items and use extra points during character creation and receive what we call Past Life Feats - abilities that encapsulate the flavor of your past life.

Lesser Reincarnation gives players the opportunity to re-create their existing characters but revisit some of the decisions they made while levelling up with regard to ability points, feats, skills, enhancements etc. This comes in handy for correcting tiny regrets players may have about how they built their character. Often by the time you reach high levels you have a better understanding of how to play your character and most everyone has something they wish they had done differently.

Great Reincarnation is the same as Lesser except that it allows a player to upgrade an existing 28 point character to a 32 point character. Until now, players who had unlocked the ability to create 32 point characters (by playing their 28 point character) would have to start a brand new character to take advantage of it. Many players will really appreciate this feature as it will let them keep the character they have invested so much time into and upgrade them to the more powerful build type.

All forms of Reincarnation are limited to once a week per character.


Why won't this feature be released as a part of Update One as many players expected?

Ian Currie:

Reincarnation is a very complex feature with many moving parts and deals with the most precious entity in the game - player characters. Our testing revealed some issues that needed to be addressed and this ultimately meant the feature wouldn't be ready for public consumption within the time frame where we had hoped to release Update 1. Rather than delay the new adventure pack and other features that were ready, we decided that it would make a lot of sense to release the update without Reincarnation. We're working hard on the feature now and we'll release it as soon as we can.

Is calling this Update One rather than continuing with the module naming system that was previously in place simply an attempt to distance DDO Unlimted from DDO: Stormreach, or does it serve a greater purpose?

Ian Currie:

All the Stormreach releases were centered around new playable content, where the word 'module' is the typical D&D term used to describe add-on content. With the new business model, we felt that we needed to separate the notion of content modules from a release so that there would be less confusion. For example, we may want to do a release with more than one adventure pack, or one that contained only new features. Ultimately the term 'module' was dropped entirely and we went with 'updates' for planned releases and 'adventure packs' for purchasable new content.