DDO Update 10 Hands-On Preview

Updated Mon, Jun 20, 2011 by jeffprime

Turbine continues Dungeons and Dragons Online's descent into madness with new content with Update 10, which (conveniently) goes live today. Offered the chance to get a hands-on preview, I jumped at the opportunity and was run through the first adventure in the Reign of Madness adventure pack in addition to learning of the crafting update heading players’ way. My tour guides were Ian Currie (Design Director), Erik Boyer (Producer), and Fernando Paiz (Executive Producer).

Reign of Madness

Update 10 is primarily the Reign of Madness adventure pack. This series of adventures (level 17 and up) continues the madness-themed adventures, Harbinger of Madness, from Update 9. As we were starting up, I told the DDO team that I was looking forward to the new adventure as long as there were no beholders as that my entire party had been wiped a few times by a bad-ass beholder the night before. (We were eventually victorious). The response from the DDO team was a great deal of laughter and I was informed that not only would I be facing beholders, but there were, in fact, three new beholders in this adventure pack. Sighing with the certainty of failing my saves, I plunged into the adventure.

ddo update 10
You'll find yourself facing a ton of beholders like the new Fleshmender Beholder.

The overall theme of Reign of Madness is that the Tower of the Twelve is overtaken by forces from Xoriat, the plane of madness. To free the Tower from the grip of insanity, you’ll have to travel to Xoriat itself and turn powerful Xorian lords against one another. The quest begins with the Acute Delirium adventure.

ddo update 10
The evil mindflayer who possesses the scepter.

In Acute Delirium, the goal is to recover the Scepter of Belashyrra, a powerful artifact that can open portals between the world of Eberron and Xoriat. The hapless Rorry Malcanus has lost it somewhere in the Sleeping Spell Inn and it is up to you to recover it. Overall, this adventure is broken into four distinct parts and is incredibly imaginative.

First, the players look and attempt to recover the scepter. Once you enter the inn, you'll begin your search. Eventually, you’ll find the scepter within the grasp of a mindflayer, who you’ll chase throughout the inn. Poor souls who have been tainted by chaos will assault you. If you take too long in dealing with them, hideous floating eyeballs will erupt from them and attack you. After dispatching those doomed souls and killing the mindflayer, the scepter is there for you to take, but….

As soon as you go to grab the scepter, a treasure chest in the corner comes alive, rushes over, and swallows the scepter. This is no mere treasure chest, it’s a mimic! A mimic is a creature that can change its shape and disguise itself as an inanimate object, which is usually a chest. This marks the introduction of the mimic to DDO. You will then be forced to chase the mimic throughout the inn as he capers about taunting you as you chase him. You eventually corner him in the laundry room where he activates the scepter, which opens a portal to Xoriat. Your screen changes with an eerie red tinge to it and the perspective becomes slightly warped. As you look up to the ceiling, you see the ceiling break apart and the portal to Xoriat becomes clear. Next, a huge beholder comes down and swallows the mimic whole and returns to Xoriat.

ddo update 10
The mimic taunts you worse than the French guy in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

ddo update 10

ddo update 10

The mimic is a cruel, taunting creature.
Thus begins the second stage of the adventure. You have to travel to Xoriat, but the portal is high up past the ceiling. What to do? The voice of the DM informs you that you need to build an airship…an airship built from the materials from the inn. Since the properties of Xoriat are now flowing into the inn, natural law no longer exists.

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