Dungeon and Dragons Online Module 8 Exclusive Tour

Greg "Darkgolem"
Stanley, Community Manager

Recently I had an opportunity to spend some time with href="http://ddo.tentonhammer.com/" target="_blank">Dungeons
Dragons Online (DDO) Executive Producer Kate Paiz and her
developers Ian Currie (Design Director), Steve Muray (Lead Systems
Designer) and Jesse Smith (Content Designer) in their newest upcoming
addition to Dungeons and Dragons Online, Module 8: Prisoners of
Prophecy.  And what a great addition to the game this module
is!  There are new quests, spells, character development,
monsters, exploration areas and equipment.  Even more
they have hirelings!  Hirelings are not what you might think
are.  They are not simply charmies or summoned monsters with a
longer duration, these hirelings are powerful, effective, and much more
than a simple target dummy that lasts a few seconds.

A New Start

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creation has been streamlined and simplified for new players.

Character development has been changed, streamlined for new
players.  When you start character development, you will note
dividing each step of character development.  First you decide
what general play style you will have (melee, arcane caster,
specialist, etc.), then you pick class, then a general build within
that class.  A general build is more of a specific build, so
you want a fighter, you might pick a sword and board type, or a
whirlwind fighter, or similar.  Then you do race, and finally
appearance.  If you’re a more experienced player,
you can still
customize your character.  There is no penalty or bonus for
choosing a template or customizing yourself, both get equal access to
feats, skill points, and so on.

Each time you level, you can choose to continue the path for the
template.  If you’re a whirlwind fighter, for
example, and choose
the tab to continue on this path when you level, then you will get the
next of the complex string of feats you need for that template
automatically.  You are not forced to do this however, and can
decide to start customizing your character if you prefer.

The whole point of this change is for new players who don’t
know the
rules for DDO.  They can start right up with a useful build
without fear or missing a feat or skill they need, while still allowing
old hands to make what they want for a character.

Good-Bye Smuggler's Rest

No longer do you go to Smuggler's Rest when you make a
It did not feel heroic to show up and go through the
style of questing.  Instead, you now appear as a castaway,
ship destroyed by a white dragon, you standing with other castaways in
the jungle (as it snows gently due to the white dragon’s
You end up going through a new beginning quest, a little less
formulaic, and with a party of npc’s to assist you, and to
provide some
of the functions of the game.  For example, a rogue in your
will unlock a door for you, unless you’re a rogue, in which
case you
can instead.  You fight some Sahuagin (much more preferable to
constant kobolds of the waterfront) and presumably move on to
Stormreach.  Theoretically, you could spend as much as 5 hours
doing various quests in this newbie area, or if interested in just
getting through, can do this much faster.

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A whole
bunch of quests have been added to Module 8.

Another note for the new player area, the objective screen and hint
screen are less in your face.  Remember all the hint boxes
appearing in your face as you move along?  No longer, instead
appear to the side of your screen as an exclamation point, which you
can choose to open (or not), and clear out at will.  Thank the
Silver Flame!!

Quests Redone, and New Quests For Everyone

A bunch of quests have been added to Module 8.  For one thing,
low level quests have been “repurposed”, meaning
higher difficulty and
changed somewhat, but still recognizable.  Some of the quests
were repurposed include The Low Road, and Goodblade’s quests.
addition, there are 2 other low level quests, most likely including the
replacement for Smuggler’s Cove.

Higher-level quests include 4 level 17 dungeons and 4 medium sized
landscapes (including specials, exploration, slayer quests and so
on).  One note about these high level quests.  These
awesome quests.  For example, on quest I did, called
“Enter the
Kobold” involves very powerful kobolds due to the effect of a
dragonshard nearby.  I won’t tell you what is at the
end, but just
so you know, you will love it.

There is a continuation of the overarching storyline of DDO. 
devil quest storyline is not being advanced right now, instead, the
story involving the Storm Reaver has been revisited. 
the Truthful One is bringing back an old, much beaten enemy, and you
need to deal with him.  Details won’t be gone into,
but you will
have further fights with dragons and giants ahead of you with Module 8.

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have been added to DDO.

A note for players, this is not a raid, because not everyone likes
raids.  These awesome quests are tough but the next raid will
in Module 9.

Hirelings are Here!

Hirelings will change the way questing works.  Here is a basic
idea of the mechanics behind a hireling.  First, hirelings are
hands down more formidable than summoned or charmed monsters. 
They do not have the “charmed” prism on their
heads, nor are they
dispellable or anything like that.  They also come with their
button bar.  This includes the standard types stuff (follow
stand still, interact or attack with what I have targeted, and so on),
but also has 4 special abilities, which are triggerable by command,
even when you are dead!

I can tell my cleric follower “heal me until I say
otherwise”, then if
I die, the cleric will pick up my soulstone and run to (if there is
one) a nearby resurrection shrine.  If I am not near a res
(and my hireling survives whatever killed me) I can tell my hireling to
raise me from the dead (one of this particular clerics abilities, along
with cure light wounds, heal and blade barrier).

The amount of versatility for these hirelings is amazing.  I
pick up my hireling’s soul stone, carry it to a resurrection
order them to resurrect, and so on.  What is more, let us say
come to complex area, such as “The Pit”, and my
follower doesn’t follow
me properly.  Rather than lose the follower, I can order the
follower to follow me, and since they can’t reach me, they
teleport to
my position.

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each have their own personalities.

Followers are not lost if you die and they do not have a
duration.  Instead, they will stay with you until you enter a
public area.  If a quest leads from one quest to another (such
some of the Waterworks quests), the follower will stay with
You can have enough hirelings to fill your party, so if you have a full
party, then you can have no hirelings.  If you are two people
short, then you can have 2 hirelings, and so on.

Individual hirelings have their own personalities.  For
one hireling (realistically enough) runs around breaking boxes if you
set them to do so.  Another hireling might have other
traits.  So you will want to find out what hirelings work best
your character.  And keep in mind that you can’t
have two of the
same hirelings, so there cannot be two of “Joe the
Barbarian” in the
same party.

I can’t say how much hirelings please me.  There are
things I like
(and dislike) with DDO, but for the hireling implementation, AI and
features, I have nothing but complete praise.  The only
with hirelings is that arcane casters and rogues are not coming with
Module 8: The Prisoners of Prophecy, because they are not quite done
yet (probably a good thing, considering how much damage a grease or
sleet storm spamming sorcerer could do).

Water, Spells and

Aside from the new dungeons, the new character creation and the awesome
hireling features, a lot of the “bread and butter”
features of a new
module for Dungeons and Dragons Online are included.

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A number of
 new spells have been added to the game.

Spells are included, such as Death Pact (where a cleric gets an
automatic raise dead if they die), Mass Protection from Energy and some
others for paladins and similar, are added to the game.  Not a
of new spells, but definitely some new spells.  The game
“under the hood” for DDO is getting an upgrade too,
meaning that Dx10
will now work for DDO.  Water and other effects are going to
even better!

Armor needs special mention.  Armor can now be made using the
eldritch device!  There are three different types of runes,
Tempest, Eldritch and Sovereign.  You collect these from
and use them to upgrade your armor semi-randomly.  There are
different types of buffs to the armor, each addressed by a specific
type of rune.  Each buff can be replaced by using a similar
of rune.  So if you're not happy with the buff granted by using
your Eldritch rune, then you can gather another Eldritch rune and use
it to replace the old buff.

There are a lot of new features with Module 8: The Prisoners of
Prophecy.  Not everything that is planned is coming with
8.  Half-Orcs and Half-Elves are planned, and later next year
Druids, and so on.  But the changes that come with Module 8
pretty noteworthy.  With hirelings, a new character creation
mechanism, and all these other features, you're getting a lot with this

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