Updated Fri, May 11, 2012 by jeffprime
Fans of DDO have a lot to look forward to with the upcoming release of DDO's first expansion, Menace of the Underdark. Closed beta for the new expansion starts today, but Ten Ton Hammer got a sneak peek of the new content that will have players rising to new levels with epic levels, all whilst traipsing across the hallowed lands of Forgotten Realms. Turbine's very own Ian Currie, Design Director, Erik Boyer, Senior Producer, and Leo Tan, Public Relations, showed us several things, but one aspect of the new expansion really caught our eyes, Epic Destinies.
The short answer is that Epic Destinies in DDO are epic enhancement trees that players can level up in to gain new abilities. Players will be able to open a new tab (naturally labeled "Epic Destinies") which will open up your Epic Destinies window. In this window, there will be two distinct tabs: Tree View and Map View.
The Epic Destinies are grouped into four distinct categories: arcane, primal, martial, and divine, and there are a grand total of ten Epic Destinies at the current time. They are:
The Epic Destinies do conform somewhat along class lines, but each one will have advantages that any class could use. The player's play style will the ultimate deciding factor on which Epic Destiny and specific abilities to take.
DDO players will be able to gain Epic Destinies once they hit level 20 and talk to a Fatespinner, an NPC trainer. From that point onward, their xp will be dumped into two separate pools: general xp, which goes towards increasing your epic level, and Epic Destiny xp, which goes towards increasing your levels in your Epic Destiny. Each of the ten Epic Destinies have five tiers of abilities in which you will spend action points accumulated from leveling that Epic Destiny. Each Epic Destiny has a grand total of 50 points of abilities to purchase, but you'll only get 24 total so a lot of decision making will have to go into your selection. The smaller icons at the bottom of an Epic Destiny tree are unlocked if you fully gain an entire tier of an Epic Destiny.
Once you hit level three in an Epic Destiny, you can choose to pick a different Epic Destiny to begin leveling in, but the new Epic Destiny must be picked from a linked Epic Destiny (as seen on the Map View tab). However, you can only have one active Epic Destiny at a time. Any previous Epic Destinies that a player has picked up will not be able to be used while that specific Epic Destiny is inactive. There is a way to get around this though by using Twists of Fate (as seen on the bottom right of the Tree View tab). DDO players will get Fate Points as they gain levels in Epic Destinies, which they can use to purchase Twists of Fate, which allows players to select an ability (tier level 1 or 2) of an inactive Epic Destiny and be able to use it. These Twists of Fate can be pulled down to a player's hotbar for easy use. Players will also be able to unlock the ability to pick higher tier level abilities by spending additional Fate Points.
The introduction of Epic Destinies will really give endgame players something to quest and strive for. DDO players will be able to unlock every single Epic Destiny, which means that you can adventure to gain fifty levels of Epic Destinies. Since you can't take every single ability, players will have to carefully consider what abilities to purchase. However, this isn't the end-all for Epic Destinies. Turbine states that more Epic Destinies will be coming out in the future, with three new ones already being worked on. All in all, Epic Destinies are really going to shake things up in DDO, not to mention that you'll be doing all this while adventuring in Faerun.
Our thanks to Ian Currie, Erik Boyer, and Leo Tan for giving us a sneak peek of the new Epic Destinies for DDO. Tune in tomorrow for a hands-on preview of the rest of the Menace of the Underdark expansion.