Inside Pulse 12

Digital Tabletop: Dungeons and Dragons Online – Update 7

I’m a bit behind on these, but having your laptop stolen when your house was broken into will do that to you. Thanks to my wife’s old desktop I’m still able to keep up with some things though, so I’m still trucking away in Dungeons and Dragons Online, and seeing as how we have a theme week going I thought I’d take a look back at the updates Turbine has rolled out for the Eberron-based MMO.

Update 7 was one of the first updates in awhile to give players be they VIP or free to play, a full blown free quest pack. It opened up a new area off the Marketplace that you could also get to through the Harbor, called the Lordsmarch Plaza which housed the Lordsmarch Palace as well. There are three free quests in this area, all for level 12-14 depending on your difficulty.

The first, Diplomatic Impunity, sets you into the wilds to investigate reports of the army of Droam, from the continent controlled by monsters, moving to attack the city of Stormreach, where most of the game is set. After alerting the Coin Lords of what’s going on you can move into the next quest in the chain, Frame Work. This one you’re moving into a Minotaur city to set it up to look like Droam has turned on the Stormreach monsters by planting evidence of a stony nature, turning a few Minotaurs to stone tying the carnage you are about to unleash there to the Medusa Ambassador. After wreaking havoc there you return to Lordsmarch to head into the last quest, Eyes of Stone, where you have to fight back the Droam forces in the palace and finally take out the Medusa there.

For a group of free quests, they are fantastically done. The jungle areas are well done and the palace has a great design. You also have an opportunity to infiltrate the Minotaur city without wiping out everyone if you’re stealthy, but where’s the fun in that? These are great quests that you never have to look for people to run which is great. There is no Epic available on these quests, which leads me into my next bit.

With this update, the price of the Devil Assault pack went up, but for a good reason, we got our first low level raid, the Chronoscope. Chronoscope takes the opportunity to transport new players back to a time long before free to play, when the Devils of Shavrath were invading the Marketplace, determined to bring down the tent. We’re in investigating the disappearance of Nat Gann, a performer whose family wants to know what happened to him, only some Tieflings have some other ideas. The raid at level is actually pretty hard, but it does get you into the whole idea of later raiding in the game, and the named items you can get out of chests and for an end reward are some of the best gear you’ll get for a level 5 character that can last well up to you hit level 10 and get better. The other beauty part of this raid is that a level 20 character can go in and pretty much solo the whole thing to gear up your lower characters. Both Devil Assault and Chronoscope come with the pack and both you can run Epic. Chronoscope alone makes this a must have quest pack for DDO.

Last but not least, this update is when we got two new races introduced into the game, the Half-Orc and the Half-Elf. I actually picked mine up in the race combo pack which is cheaper, and if you’re VIP you don’t have to pay at all. Half-Orc’s make for really destructive melee units. I love my Half-Orc Fighter. Half-Elves have a bonus feat at first level that ties into your stats so you basically gain a level of another class, or at least some great features of that class. Some of them can be expanded on with enhancements later, so say you make a Half-Elf Fighter and take the Cleric Diletentte Feat, then up it later through enhancements, you’re looking at a Full blown fighter with enough cleric levels to use Heal scrolls and self-heal which is a potent mix. Both are pretty balanced to each other, but can seem a bit over-powered compared to the other races besides the Warforged. All in all this was a great update and I bought everything from it right away.

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