Diving into the Heart of Madness
The Heart of Madness, Update 24, is Dungeon and Dragons Online's most recent addition. There will be three Xoriat themed dungeons in Eberron, and one new free Wizards of the Coast dungeon based on the Tyranny of Dragons story line. There are also some great system updates, such as Weapon Auras, Monster Champions and newly upgraded Barbarian enhancement trees.
The first dungeon previewed was in the Sleeping Spell Inn, beginning with a quest titled Terminal Delirium. Here we find the Xorian forces awaiting us. This time you won't be building a spaceship out of furniture, instead you'll be doing the bidding of either the Lord of Eyes or the Lord of Stone. The choice of whom you wish to serve is yours, you have but to swear fealty. Each will have a different series of tasks for you to complete, for example fetch a balloon or complete a tile mirror puzzle. At the end you'll compete in an amazing Xorian Dance Battle. By using spells and distracting your opponent you can overcome your foe, but be wary of attacking them, as it will lower your dance score!
After having completed your dance battle, the next stop is the Museum of Stone in the Palace of Stone. Down a large flight of stairs we find the Stone Lord sitting upon his throne. He'll offer you a tour of his museum and the other wings of his Palace. One wing is filled with displays of seemingly boring stone and rocks. Angered by your lack of interest in his wing of stone, the Stone Lord decides to show you their true purpose, animating them and forcing you to fight your way through the wing, or be destroyed. There is also the Gallery of Motion, which features numerous rolling boulders, and the Halls of Reflections, where you find out the Lord of Stone has been creating Medusas. After all the wings have been completed you're invited to take a tour to the Summit of Glory. This room has pictures on the wall glorifying the Lord of Stone. Avatars of the Lord will start spawning, the paintings coming to life and trying to sacrifice you in a ritual to make the palace grander.
The third new quest in the Xoriat story line is called Fashion Madness. A finely decorated runway is constructed in the middle of Lordsmarch plaza. Glamorous elves of all types are showing off this seasons' hottest fashion, but unfortunately for these elves, The Mind Flayer Yualthoon isn't too impressed with their couture. He unleashes a horde of Taken all over the plaza, slaying elves and guests. The main goal is to survive the large pack of Taken and Yualthoon's onslaught.
Lastly the Mask of Deception, a quest free for all players, is to find the White Dragon Mask of the dragon cult. Recently the Cult of the Dragon has decided to stop worshiping the Dracolich. Instead they'd like to start an alliance with all living dragons. They are rumored to be holding the White Dragon Mask. By killing Cult members on the camp ground, you can acquire dragon masks that will allow you to temporarily become a "cult member". While in disguise you can poison other members, drink with them and other options that may have a positive effect for you in the future. In the depths of one of the dungeons, you'll come across the powerful White Dragon Mask. Be prepared to fight for it though, the cult won’t let you walk out of their stronghold untouched.
Aside from dungeons, Update 24 also has some other exciting features coming your way. There will be a few system updates, and new items added to the Store. Using the previously added item Mirror of Glamering, you are now able to add cosmetic auras to your weapons. They're also adding new effects that have never before been seen on previous weapons, just for this feature. Monster Champions are also being added in this update. Special monsters with crowns above their head can spawn in hard and elite difficulty dungeons. These special, randomly spawned monsters will have buffs to their strength and health points. They will also have randomized abilities and resistances that might require you to use different tactics to beat them than you normally would for that type of monster. For those that are playing Barbarians, there is a big buff coming. Enhancement trees and old abilities are getting an upgrade including newly added non-magical survival and damage abilities, such as healing yourself with regen, life leech and stacked weapon charges.
The Heart of Madness, Update 24 is packed full of content with four amazing dungeons, new cosmetic auras for weapons and shields, barbarian improvements and Monster Champions. If you'd like to play upon release, this update will be available to all VIP Members and for those who buy the Heart of Madness Pack. Also for the Free-to-Play crowd, the Mask of Deception will be available to everyone. Everything in this update has me pretty excited, especially since I've been dying to add a little more flare to my weapons. Hope to see you all in game!