Updated Mon, Feb 27, 2012 by jeffprime
Starting with Update 13 for Dungeons and Dragons Online, players will receive a slice of 6 year-old birthday cake to celebrate the sixth anniversary of DDO. But who wants to eat 6 year-old birthday cake, right? When a player clicks on his slice of cake, a genie will appear and tell you not to eat six year old cake, but he will trade you something for it. He will offer you items ranging from stacks of healing potions to a pork barrel (watch a pig explode on a barrel full of power and watch ham rain down!) to the item what most people will probably grab, a +2 tome.
The other major change coming in Update 13: Web of Chaos is the fact that certain quest chains and adventures will now show all named items as final rewards once the chain or adventure has been run three times. Now you’re guaranteed to get Carnifex after running Delera’s Tomb three times. This is a change that I’m very happy about as that I hate endless grinding for cool loot.
One last addition with Update 13 is that players can now start at level 7 with Veteran Status. This status can either be bought in the DDO store or gained for free if you accumulate 3000 favor.
After running through the contents of Update 13, Fernando talked to me about the eagerly anticipated Menace of the Underdark expansion. He showed me one of the shapeshifting abilities of the upcoming Druid class by turning me into a wolf. When a Druid shapeshifts into an animal form, additional abilities become available to them, but certain normal abilities are unusable while in wolf form. The player’s size changes with the shapeshift. Players will be able to perform most actions while in animal form, even though a dancing wolf looks pretty hilarious to me. The Druid class and the Eveningstar Challenge Pack are free for all VIPs.
The coolest part of the Faerun tidbits fed me was the look at some new dragons. Sadly, I wasn’t allowed to take any screenshots. However, Turbine has new models and new technology to make some really awesome custom dragons. They will be introducing a new dragon, the Green Dragon, and the sizes of the dragons run the gamut from what we’re accustomed to right now in DDO to truly huge dragons. The dragons we’ve been fighting so far are essentially teenage dragons, but now we get to rumble with some big boys!
The official release date for the Menace of the Underdark expansion is June 25th and comes in three editions. Most players will opt for the base edition, which has the expansion which comes with a pet and a Lesser Tome of Learning. Those with deeper pockets can opt for the standard edition, which has two pets and a Greater Tome of Learning. Players with the deepest pockets can grab the collector’s edition, which includes three pets, a Greater Tome of Learning, and the onyx panther figurine.
The Lesser Tome grants a 10% bonus to xp and a 25% bonus to xp the first time you complete a dungeon. The Greater Tome increases that percentage to 20% and 50% respectively. You will be able to upgrade Lesser Tomes to Greater Tomes in the DDO store. The xp bonus stacks with other bonuses. The Figurine of Wondrous Power: Onyx Panther will summon a level 20 creature that will fight in melee for you. This panther can always be summoned, but you must be level 18 to use it.
Overall, Dungeons and Dragons Online players have a lot to look forward to. Update 13: Web of Chaos launches today with a free adventure pack that includes a great boss fight and great voice acting. Grinding should be reduced with the change that certain quest chains and adventures will make all their named loot available the third time around. You should expect to see hordes of pets running around Stormreach as soon as players start getting their hands on them. Plus, with the coming of the Menace of the Underdark expansion, players can begin adventuring in Faerun, face off against cool new dragons, and shapeshift into woodland animals as a Druid. With dungeons, dragons, druids, Drow, and the Underdark, 2012 looks to be DDO's busiest year yet!