PAX Look Forward
Penny Arcade Expo: Module 3 & PvP Preview
Dungeons and Dragons Online (DDO) is a good looking game and one that taxes a gamer’s skills and grasp of strategy. It has sometimes been described as a cross between a twitch and an RPG game in that players are able to dodge, hide behind objects and use skills such as tumble to avoid damage from spells and sharp objects.
The fans at PAX were treated to a sneak peek at the new PvP module on the horizon, and Module 3 – Demon Sands – a desert themed update which will increase the current content by about 30% and introduce a new Favor Reward for about 1,000 points which will open up a 7th character slot and provide 4 bonus stat points that can be applied to a single character. A powerful reward if one enjoys PvP.
“Combat is real time,” said James Jones, Executive Producer of D&D Online as he dodged my magic missiles yet again and thumbed his nose at me, before making me chase him around the tavern brawling area. Then I ran right into him and he had a nice little spell waiting for me, making my character a dancing fool.
In order to do PvP right, players will find that the power of some spells and skills may be tweaked. Resistances will also be re-balanced for PvP rather than PvE encounters. Although there is a free for all PvP area that any player can enter, the team based PvP maps will be instanced – like other DDO quests are.
Six different types of instances will be available to players when the Module is available. The indoor Death Match and Capture the Flag scenarios were shown at PAX. I was rather impressed by the detail and pretty graphics of the maps. The Death Match map I saw was similar to the internal courtyard area of a large castle with broad stairs, an upstairs gallery to blast your unwary opponent from, furniture and columns to dodge behind and surprise your opponents from.
The Capture the Flag scenario was even more elaborate, with a force field that tossed you up to the platform (if you could maneuver well enough to reach it) to capture the flag or you could climb ladders and run over skinny planks (and fall off them) if you could not.
Finally, in the works is a Dungeon Quest PvP environment which will have the added complication of monsters and traps besides the challenge of opposing team, all racing to complete the objective.
The release of Module 3 will be in October and increases the level cap to 12, but James tells me that a level 12 Water Works will be available in September with some really top level rewards. A bit of a challenge for level 10 players but a dungeon that can be defeated by a good group.
One thing DDO has done is maximized the use of the Z axis in all their maps, creating a true 3-D world. Who doesn’t love Feather Fall?
I questioned James also about the choice of Eberron and was told that it was recommended by Wizards of the Coast. The continent of Xen'drik had yet to have lore fleshed out and Turbine was basically given the ability to build their own world, including a new playable race – the Warforged.
Currently, the world that Turbine has built has been integrated into existing lore by Wizards and the world of Stormreach has crossed over to the Pen & Paper Realm.
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