Standing Stone Games is testing the waters of the mini-expansion release with their other MMO, Dungeons & Dragons Online, with Executive Producer Rob Ciccolini announcing the D&D game will see one hit this year.
In a post to the DDO forums, Ciccolini posted in a producer's letter about some of the things DDO players can expect as the game celebrates 15 years. In the letter, Ciccolini talks about an updated Anniversary Event, as well as touched on the new raid called The Dryad and the Demigod, praising composer Bill Champagne's work creating a "musical raid." The raid marks the finale of the Fables of the Feywild expansion according to Ciccolini.
However, it's the mention of an upcoming "mini-expansion" is most interesting. The mini-expansion will come as the Classic Adventure: The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh. It's no secret that Standing Stone Games and their mini-expansion experiment last year drew the ire of players, especially those paying for VIP benefits in The Lord of the Rings Online, with many players questioning the value of both the content pack released as well as the benefits of being a VIP subscriber. Ciccolini briefly addressed this last week in an Q&A on the LotRO streaming channels last week. Ciccolini briefly mentions that in the team will have "more information" about what to expect from DDO's attempt at the mini-expansion.
Via the producer's letter:
"This summer will see the release of the first "mini-expansion" in Dungeons & Dragons Online in the form of the Classic Adventure: The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh! An evil Alchemist's mansion stands alone on a cliff and mysterious lights and hauntings have kept people away despite rumors of great treasure. What is the secret? Debuting alongside this classic adventure will be our next Universal Enhancement Tree called Horizon Walker, which focuses on marking and neutralizing extra-planar and other enemies with a bow. As we get closer to the release of Saltmarsh, we will have more information about what to expect from a DDO mini-expansion, the lessons that we learned from The Lord of the Rings Online’s first mini-expansion last year, and plans to give more value to VIPs."
No date or additional info about those lessons learned was mentioned, so it'll be interesting to see exactly how the team plans to revamp their mini-expansion formula to "give more value to VIPs" and players alike. This tracks with what Ciccolini said last week during his Q&A, with the DDO EP saying that the goal wasn't to "squeeze" VIP players for more money, and acknowledged that the team is looking for ways to ensure that players feel there is value in their VIP subs, especially as it pertains to future mini-expansions.
You can check out the full Producer's Letter on the DDO forums here.