Digital Tabletop: DDO Update 15 – Song of Druid’s Deep

If you’re not a VIP player in Dungeons and Dragons Online, Update 15, the Song of Druid’s Deep quest pack will set you back 550 Turbine Points, roughly $6-7 depending on how many points you buy. The pack has four quests that come with it set for Level 17 for Heroic level quests, but also have an Epic level set at 23. This fills two gaps at the higher end of the game for Level 17 and more needed content for Epic level characters. Level 16 could still use a few more quests to help flesh it out a bit but at this point I’ll take anything for the poor TR’s so they don’t have to grind it out quite so much at the higher levels, at least for third lifers. I didn’t have too hard a time with my second life TR as far as hitting the Level 20 cap before Epic levels were introduced.

The new quests don’t follow the other Forgotten Realms quests as far as Favor goes, and they are a separate storyline from the Menace of the Underdark quest line. Instead of getting Purple Knight Favor, you’ll be earning it with the Harper’s. I did a run on Epic Normal and ended up with 25 favor with them and no reward. You’ll need 125 to get that first favor bump with them, and I’m pretty sure you’re not getting that with this set of quests. I’m betting we’re getting at least two more sets of quests that deal with the Harper’s. For those who may not be familiar with Forgotten Realms, the Harper’s have evolved from the elven created group to a group that sought balance and to stop evil and this revival was pushed by Elminster, the same mage that guides you through the Menace of the Underdark expansion. The Harper’s are the sworn enemies of the Zhentarim and the Red Wizards of Thay. The plot it doth thicken.

Druid’s Deep deals with a group of Druid’s, Rangers and other innocents that have been corrupted and your attempt to stop them. Outbreak starts the chain off, but you can do any of the first three in any order, but you have to do all three to get the fourth. Outbreak takes place in the field hospital that the Werewolf quest from Menace of the Underdark happened in, leading me to create a little amusing short. Some strange disease has been affecting people in and around town, and no, this time it’s not Lycanthropy. It’s not quite the same run as the Werewolf quest and there are a few neat optionals so it’s a clever re-use of the quest as opposed to Tanglerooting us all over again. Overgrowth is next in line having you investigate a Ranger Warden’s home, one that I swear wasn’t in town before the update, but I may have just missed it. It’s another basic run around and kill everything quest, which seems to plague the chain a bit. Outbreak was the only one to really require a trapper or lockpicker, and even then it’s for optionals and you could probably force through anyway for some of it. Thorn and Paw was probably the more interesting of the quests for me. You’re sent into some rustic caverns to figure out what’s imprisoned some bears and to root out the tainted or corrupted roots and their source to try and help stop what’s going on. There are some hidden optionals that you have to keep and eye out for and some neat deadfall traps as well as a neat mechanic to free the bears. For the most part though it’s another kill everything quest to advance but most of it is hidden behind trying to get around the corrupted branches. Druid’s Curse send you into a rather large wooded area to hunt down the person responsible for the disease and the corruption and has you fighting through a bunch of critters to advance. The layout is neat but it feels very basic. The bonus to the end of the chain is that you get to choose between commendations from Menace of the Underdark and the set you choose nets you 3 of them which can help get you that set of armor or gear you need from the good collector’s in Eveningstar. And it’s repeatable.

Overall, it’s a quick run with some needed Epic and Level 17 quests that are just ok. They were fun to play but felt pretty basic as far as DDO quests go. My expectations after the expansion are a bit higher. If I was Premium I wouldn’t feel too put out by the Turbine Point cost as the new quests are Epic Level which is harder to come by. The Monster Manual gets a bump in this update as well, but I think it’s hit or miss until we get more volumes in game. This update also sees the Menace of the Underdark Expansion released on the DDO Store. You can buy some parts of it piecemeal, but like I’d mentioned several times before, the best deal you can get is buying the expansion directly instead of off the DDO Store as it’s technically cheaper with the bonuses on top of content. The DDO Store version is just the content. At 4995 TP, that’ll run you about $49.99 for 5000 points which is what it would have cost directly, or you could have nabbed it off of Steam for half-price when they had that deal going. Still highly recommending the expansion either way. See you in the Forgotten Realms.

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