Return to Gianthold Preview
The last time we ventured into Dungeons and Dragons Online it was to praise Turbine for their continued development of the Netherese storyline taking place in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting. But what about those players that longed for a reason to return to Eberron? Fret no more. Turbine has taken a fan favorite and expanded upon it. Update 17 will bring players the Return to Gianthold.
Since random encounters are just that, random, in the past I have had to take the word of Turbine about the fact they were working hard to improve encounters with dragons. I was finally able to witness the results of their labor firsthand. This big red beast flew onto the battlefield and took up arms against our group. Literally he stood up on his hind legs and threw some combinations at us. The dragon’s movement is something to behold. It finally looks right. Attacks are fluid and not disjointed. The animation is far ahead of any other dragon encounter in Eberron.
This update is not just a bolt on for the previous Gianthold content pack. Turbine has gone back and updated the graphics of the zone, they have also added in flavor items that players can find sprinkled throughout the landscape that are fully voiced much like Elminster’s Journals in the Forgotten Realms portion of the game. Players will finally have closure on storylines that Turbine has left open ended for years. The Stormreaver has returned to Gianthold and players will find that dragons are once again attacking. The giants have fallen prey to a pervasive magic that leaves them attacking anyone, even their would be saviors. Eventually the storyline will drive the players to Stormreaver’s chambers where they will find a challenging raid that will see their heroes square off with the dracolich The Truthful One. Even with the assistance of the Stormreaver, this raid proves far more involved than a simple tank and spank. At one point you will be required to kill four pairs of dragon and giant. Add management in this raid will be key.
Turbine also added in a new augment system with this update. Players will find gear for characters level 8-25 that will have augment slots. These augments slots will have a corresponding color. Based on the color of the slot players will be able to add gems of the same color (that suspiciously look like D20). For example this Ruby of Sovereign Frost can go into a red, orange, or purple slot. If slotted into a weapon it will add 1-10 cold damage per hit. Monster Manual Volume III will also be released in update 17 and this volume contains Hill Giants.
The best news of all is that if you already own Ruins of Gianthold these extras being added in with this update for that content pack will be free. The content update and is also free to VIP members. If you are a freemium player and do not already own Ruins of Gianthold in order to take part in the revamped wilderness area or the raid in update 17 you will have to purchase this content.
Are you looking forward to taking on a Dracolich? Do you think Turbine finally got dragon animations “right?” Let me know in the comments below. You can also find me on Twitter or friend me on Facebook.