This fall, Turbine is launching another update to Dungeons and Dragons Online, Secrets of the Artificers, which is the 11th Update to the game since it launched its free to play model back in 2009. Aside from the normal quest pack that we usually get, we’re also getting two new raids for the game, and a new class. While the last few updates have had a bit of a horror theme to them, this one definitely has a full blown Steampunk feel.
I’m all for the new class, especially since it’s the first class we’re getting that is specific to the Eberron Campaign Setting, The Artificer. I’ve loved this class since I first read about it back when we were playing in Eberron, mainly because I love combining magic and technology. It’s no wonder that Techno-Mages from the Rifts RPG are some of my favorites to play and have as NPCs. In the setting the Artificer worked as a buffer for the Warforge class, but I’m thinking in the MMO it might cover the whole party. And with Crafting being in the game now, I also can’t help but wonder if the class itself might get some kind of bonus to making items or on items. Artificers are an interesting support class but I can see lots of solo builds coming out of it as well.
With the Artificers, House Cannith is also finally getting a substantial presence in Stormreach instead of the minor NPCs and lip service it had been getting. This is the house that created the Warforge in the first place, and is decidedly split on how to deal with what’s left-over of their creations from the last war. So players get a new explorable area to run around in and we get a new launching area for end-game quests as well, which I am more than ok with.
Right now on Lammania, they’ve dropped in the three quests and the adventure area, but the raids haven’t been made active yet. The adventure area is a Cannith Manufactury letting you explore and fight off two different forces as you do so. Schemes of the Enemies lets you negotiate with different factions, infiltrate the Manufactury and play with some of the Cannith toys, and unfortunately test out a new weapon while you have to be the target. Sounds like my kind of fun. Blown to Bits description reminds me a little bit of one o the quests or rather two of the quests from the last update, only instead of being the target of explosives, you get to deliver them. As the official description reads, how do you stop an invading force from turning a warehouse of Warforge into their own personal army? Explosives. Lots and Lots of explosives. Power Play is another one of those reversal quests. Early on in the game you spend most of your time destroying Cannith Crystals to turn off different powered devices or to get through doors, only one has you defending a crystal so that Korthos Island doesn’t completely freeze over, but Power Play has you restoring the power to the crystals, which is a little different.
Because of my computer situation I haven’t downloaded the new Lammania client to test these or preview them. The quests themselves seem a bit bland just from what I’m reading especially after all the flavor we had from the last few updates. I’m hoping there are some great NPCs and stories to go along with this, especially since the Warforge and any Favored Souls with the right religion might find themselves facing off against their own god, the Lord of Blades. At least there’s talk of it on the Lammania forums anyway.
We are getting some UI improvements, some of which let you see your other party members actual hit points and mana/power which I love in Lord of the Rings Online (LOTRO) and am glad to see coming over to DDO. Some raid bosses are going to get much harder to kill, some of which really needed it. I’m looking at you Stormreaver. When my wife can tank you as a Sorcerer with little to no healing, there’s an issue. Some of the starter area quests are getting a slight overhaul, which is nice, and we should be able to see the goggles our characters are wearing now, which is another step in the right direction as far as visibility. LOTRO really has me spoiled as far as showing off armor and having decorative sets now. DDO has a decorative option, the armors actual look and a helmet currently, whereas in LOTRO you can see it all. Sure it’s a cosmetic thing, but as I’m keeping more and more characters I’m getting pickier about how they look at end game, especially since they don’t change much at that point.
Overall this looks like a solid expansion. The added levels to the crafting, endgame content, and a new class makes my wallet hurt as a premium player, but VIP players should be liking what’s coming down the pipe.