The Q & A
GirlGamersUK recently had the opportunity to ask a few questions of Kate Paiz, Senior Producer of Dungeons and Dragons Online: Eberron Unlimited. Here is what Kate had to say…
1. With the exception of the new pricing model, what changes does Eberron unlimited bring to the DDO experience?
DDO Unlimited is introducing a ton of new feature and content.Â On the content side, it has both a high level adventure pack and a low level one, as well as new free adventures to the game.Â Our high level content pack offers a large, hunting style wilderness on Shavarath, the Plane of Battle, along with story-based, hand-crafted adventures and a multi-part Raid that allow the players to infiltrate the ranks of the Devil army to try to end their invasion of Stormreach.Â Players will make new friends and encounter old enemies on Shavarath, and will get a chance to explore the blasted and crumbling land that reflects the thousand-year war that has been waging.
For new features, we have raised the level cap to 20, the natural D&D limit for the 3.5 edition.Â Because the D&D levels are so rich and packed with abilities, this is roughly equivalent to 80 levels for a more traditional MMO.Â There are a wide variety of new spells in levels 17 to 20, and weâ€™ve added others to the lower levels as well. One particularly cool one is Mordenkainenâ€™s Disjunction, which strips all the magical properties of the equipped gear of the enemy, reducing their power and effectiveness significantly.
We have also put in a ton of polish and smaller gameplay enhancements, more than we can talk about now, but two in particular that I really like are our combat targeting and feedback changes. We have updated the targeting system so that when you are close to an object, like a monster, NPC, door, or lever, it will automatically show up in your focus orb as your soft target.Â As you walk around a space or kill enemies in combat, your soft target changes, so that you can keep firing your bow or casting your favorite spell and know youâ€™ll be able to hit your enemies.
Our combat feedback changes have greatly improved the appearance of overhead damage notifications. Buffs (and debuffs) applied to your character will display over your head, as will damage and healing numbers.Â Monsters will also display damage over their head and, using different colors, will let you know what damage types they are vulnerable to or immune to, so you can quickly adjust your strategy to be more effective against them.
2. For players that have never played DDO Stormreach before, please describe the game.
DDO Unlimited is a free to play MMO that delivers heart-pounding game play featuring the industryâ€™s best combat system, a massive world with state-of-the-art graphics, and a rich set of features that until now could only be found in premium subscription-based MMOs.
The game is set in Eberron, a vast and dangerous online world that features the most advanced graphics in the industry and is stuffed with the legendary monsters, glorious treasures, devious traps, mind-bending puzzles and endless adventures from the worldâ€™s best known RPG.
Players will experience sophisticated systems found only in the best games including auctions, NPC hirelings, arena death matches, crafting, and powerful social tools for finding a group, forming a guild or planning an epic raid.Â The game features an extraordinary combat experience that requires players to fully engage in the battle by relying on their wits and reflexes in real time. You donâ€™t just click skills and watch the action from the sideline.
3. The new pricing model is taking DDO Eberron Unlimited into the realms of the “slightly less than premium” MMORPG’s. How will Eberron maintain its premium status?
Historically players have had to sacrifice quality when choosing a free to play game.Â DDO Unlimited changes that by delivering a full-featured, premium online experience that will redefine what it means to be â€˜free to play.â€™
4. The new player class, Favored Soul, and the increase in level cap to 20 are being included with the Module 9 update in Europe. Does this mean that when Eberron Unlimited comes to Europe there will be even more new content?
We are rolling out DDO Unlimited in North America first and will then discuss our plans for our international rollout in the future.Â For the time being, players in the EU will get all the new content that we add to the game as part of their monthly subscription.
5. Will it be possible players to experience the best of DDO without paying anything?
Yes â€“ we are focusing on providing players with options, and so players can gain Turbine Points to spend in the store by either buying them with a credit card or PayPal account, or by earning Favor (completing adventures) in game.Â Players can amass enough Turbine Points by playing the game to purchase premium races, classes, or adventure packs if they invest the time to do so.
6. Are there any plans to allow players to create their own quests ( as was popular with the pen and paper dungeons and dragons)
This is a feature our development team would love to bring to life for players, and it is definitely something we routinely discuss. It is, however, a huge feature, and we have no plans to launch a quest creation tool in the near future.
7. Is there any timescale for the new pricing plan to be launched across Europe?
Nothing that we can share right now.Â We look forward to sharing our plans in the future.
8. Can you reveal any of the plans you have for Eberron’s future?
We arenâ€™t going to be talking about anything specific right now but we will be announcing our next major content update after we launch in August.
GirlGamersUK would like say a big thankyou to Kate Paiz for answering our questions.