Dungeons and Dragons Online - Gen Con Overview: Module 8
MMORPG.com Community Manager Richard Cox writes this preview article, giving you and overview of the interview and letting you know what to expect when the GenCon video hits the site! In our first preview article, Cox talks about the team's interview with Turbine about Module 8 in DDO.
The first interview of the day is with Kate Paiz, the Senior Producer for Dungeon & Dragons Online: Stormreach at Turbine. We filmed the interview as well, so this will pretty much just be an overview of what you can expect when you watch the video.
Primarily the interview was about what players can expect in Module 8. Mod 8 is centered around improving the new player experience. Turbine has revamped the early/starter parts of the game to include character creation, to make the game more accessible to new players. This includes people who are starting to play the game because friends of theirs are already playing as well as those completely new to the title. The changes are also geared toward helping to break those new players who aren't familiar with the D&D rules into the game more slowly than previously. Turbine had discovered that the game could be a little daunting for those who aren't familiar with the existing D&D rules.
With character creation, there are now templates to choose from. The templates are designed to help a new player better find the type of character that best suits their play style. When creating a new character the first thing you'll do is pick how you prefer to play, be it melee, ranged, support, etc. From there you pick one of the classes that fall within that play style and then you pick a subclass to further define your character. And last you pick your race. As always any race can be matched up with any class, but even though there are no restrictions in place to prevent it, some classes won't work as well with some races. For example, if you want to play a strength based melee class, Halfling wouldn't be your best race choice, but you're definitely more than welcome to create that character if you choose. Customization beyond that point is unchanged.
When you enter the game now (after mod 8) you start off as a survivor of a shipwreck on a tropical island. However, it will be instantly apparent that this isn't your typical tropical island, as the snow is a pretty definite give-away. Apparently, a white dragon has taken up residence on the island and has decided that she doesn't like ships coming or going from the island, hence your being a survivor from a shipwreck.
The new player tutorial and storyline will lead you through this island culminating in an epic battle with said dragon. Obviously a newly created level one character is no match for a dragon in the Dungeons & Dragons world. So to help with this, Turbine has added the 'new player party' system. As you're playing through the tutorial, NPC partymates will be added to help you out. This is done to slowly break new players into the game while still allowing them to experience a big battle with an epic foe early on in the game. Many more popup tips and helpful comments have been added throughout this area to help familiarize the player with how the game and their character works.
Another new addition coming in mod 8 is the Hirelings (name subject to change) system. This is basically a henchman system, which allows you to hire an NPC to join your party. These will be the same level as you and are commandable. They will fight with you automatically, but if you want them to do something like open a door or such, you have to tell them to do it. They provide help and allow you to play the game when all of your friends aren't online.