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Dungeons & Dragons Online Becoming Free-to-play

by Nick Breckon, Jun 09, 2009 11:08am PDT

Turbine today announced that it will relaunch its MMO Dungeons & Dragons Online this summer as Dungeons & Dragons Online: Eberron Unlimited, a free-to-play version of the massive online game.

Players will be able to download and play the game at no cost, with a new DDO Store providing revenue in the form of content and item sales. Dungeon packs, character slots, potions, character customization, and hired goons will all be available for purchase with Turbine Points.

Turbine will also launch a "DDO VIP" program that will grant access to all premium content for a monthly price. Benefits include priority server access, 10 character slots, a shared bank, and a monthly pack of 500 Turbine Points to spent at the DDO Store.

Dungeons & Dragons Online was launched in February 2006. Turbine has since updated the title with eight modules.





Comments

18 Threads | 51 Comments



  • Here's what I remember from a month of beta and the first month of the game:

    * Combat's pretty dynamic. You can swing your sword as fast as you can click. You can actively block at the moment an enemy attacks; agile characters can literally backflip out of the way (in whichever direction you feel is safest).
    * Story-style quests. Quest zones are all instanced, narrated, and have a point beyond the defeat of enemies or the collection of randomly dropped items. The zone is persistent until you complete the quest or abandon it; leaving the area results in a severe XP reduction for completion, but you can leave, restock, and return if desperate.
    * Losing HP/mana hurts. You don't regenerate health or spellpoints. There are finite points in the quest zones where you can rest up; each can be used once. This results in rest-resource juggling (a little like L4D) where heavily injured characters might use a rest point, but others might "hold out" and come back to it if they get hurt further ahead. This system is where I found much of the difficulty and strategy.
    * D&D 3e-style character building. If you've played Neverwinter you'll recognize it; otherwise, be prepared to learn the difference between skills and feats, what armor check penalties are, etc. For me, this is a boon: I'm a numbers nerd (and a D&D gamemaster), and this is the only MMO where I know exactly what +2 strength gets me.

    The downsides I encountered at the time was that it was difficult to solo areas, and I found myself repeating quests over and over simply because that was where everyone was playing. I understand this has improved over time with the introduction of Solo difficulties for quests and other changes.

    DDO was probably my favorite MMO, but I have a stupidly high threshold for what it takes to get me to choose one game over others for months on end, and spend my gaming budget on continuing to play one game instead of buying new ones.

    I for one will be returning. I likely won't be a monthly subscriber, but they may get some microbucks out of me.