How many game updates does it take to keep a player interested in a
MMOG? Turbine believes that updating Dungeons
and Dragons Online: Eberron Unlimited
with something new every
month is a good start. It’s hard to argue against that. According to
DDO Executive Producer, Fernando Paiz, Turbine’s goal is to have
something new added to the game every month and a major content update
every other month. All updates will have some playable content, whether
purchasable through the DDO store or free to all players, while the
larger updates will also include new systems and features. The team has
already committed to six updates for the next year.
Ten Ton Hammer got together with the folks at Turbine for an in-game
tour of Update 2, otherwise known as The Dreaming Dark. It’s the first
content-only update, although it does include some bug fixes. The
Dreaming Dark adventure pack will be available to VIPs this Wednesday,
the 16th and it is targeted towards high level players. Non-VIPs will
be able to purchase the adventure pack Friday, the 18th of December.
The update is a continuation of The Path of Inspiration which was
released at the end of October of this year. The story over these two
modules was intended as a two parter, and we see the conclusion in The
The Isle of
Forgotten Dreams serves as a quest and merchant hub in The Dreaming
Dark adventure pack.
In case you missed it, in the last update a group from the city of Dar
Qat known as the Path of Inspiration was discovered as a front for the
Dreaming Dark—creatures from the Plane of Dreams. In the upcoming
update players will finally be able to face the Devourer of Dreams, the
leader of the Dreaming Dark, and put an end to their invasion of
Eberron. The update comes with five quests that will have players
playing through the story, unraveling the secrets of the adventure, and
learning of the whereabouts of the Devourer of Dreams.
To begin the tour we gathered up in the Inspired Quarter which was
revealed in the last adventure pack. This area will be remembered by
long-term DDO players, but it’s been changed since it was taken over by
the Path of Inspiration. Players may also remember Lord Gerald
Goodblade from the original launch of Stormreach. He has returned, this
time having discovered some curious artifacts, namely a broken
warforged titan which at one time was a raid boss for level 10
The first quest to the update took us through the memory of the broken
warforged titan as it remembered its last mission. As it turns out the
memory was that of a mission the titan performed for the Dreaming Dark
when they were fighting a war with the Giants thousands of years ago.
At that time the Stormreaver, a hero of the giants, defeated the titan
and placed an Interdiction Lens in place that prevented Dreaming Dark
creatures from travelling to Eberron. The Dreaming Dark won’t want you
to figure out the secret though, so they’ll try to stop you at every
turn throughout the memory.
Dreaming Dark attempts to block you from uncovering a dangerous secret
while playing through the memory of a broken warforged titan.
The entire instance feels quite like a dream or memory as you watch the
titan take on the giants, with an almost grayscale palette in many
areas and a blurred vision framing the screen through the quest. The
screen effects will change when the memory is as it should be, and when
it gets interrupted by the Dreaming Dark in their efforts to stop you.
All in all it makes for a surreal experience that’s a lot of fun to
Attempting not to spoil anything, the rest of the adventure pack has a
great story that involves seeking out the Interdiction Lens in an
effort to stop the Dreaming Dark. As mentioned earlier, players will
eventually face the Devourer of Dreams and have to defeat it in battle
in one of the most challenging fights yet. The only way players
will be able to finish the adventure is if they draw on their
previous experiences to defeat some of the bosses and if they have a
sharp mind to solve some of the particularly well-crafted puzzles. As
an extra incentive, psionic items are now unlocked so players will be
able to use the Dreamforge at the end of the quest series to unlock the
psionic powers of the crystals and items they have been collecting.
gravitational puzzles, players will face the Devourer of Dreams to
yield prized rewards.
It’s obvious that the development team has put a lot of thought into
the upcoming update. The final quest alone is a memorable one that will
have players literally defying gravity and solving puzzles that use the
entire playfield—on all three axes. Turbine has gone the extra mile in
this update to bring fresh ideas to the genre. Forget what you think
you know about MMOGs. You’ll be learning whole new tricks this time
around and only the most clever of players will solve some of the
So are these updates enough to keep players coming back? If
numbers are any indication, it’s a pretty clear ‘yes.’ Dungeons and Dragons Online: Eberron
continues to grow in population with more and more
active players and VIP members signing up every month. For Turbine,
“it’s reason to invest even more into the franchise,” states Paiz. “We
always had high hopes for what DDO Unlimited was going to do, and it’s
proving itself. We’re growing the team; we’re committing to six updates
next year; we have [the holiday events] going on now; and then we have
even more surprises coming up next year.” So it looks like DDO
Unlimited is going to be around for a while and players will continue
to see thoughtful, fun, often ingenious content come to their game.