This week, Turbine is set to release their latest Module update for Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach. JR "Razor" Sutich and I had the pleasure of getting a sneak peak of what is in store for the upcoming module.
Our tour begins outside the gates to the every taunting zone "The Twelve". I remember getting the chance to see this zone once during beta. The tower was immense, but the members of the Twelve were off living in a world above our meager comprehension. With this the Coin Lords decided to seal the gates. Here we are two years after the closing of the Twelve and the gates are opening once again. Apparently, The Twelve have realized that had erred and now are in desperate need of our help. So with my level 16 Paladin and JR's Ranger we are lead into the newly opened Tower of the Twelve. The dust had barely settled in on the new renovations including a tavern and vendor shop.
Oh you noticed that I mentioned level 16 characters, well with this module update once again the level cap has been raised to level 16 also affectionately known as rank 80. Not to mention the XP death penalties are no more. Also of note we learned that Solo XP amounts have increased from 50% to 80%, helping new adventures level faster. This is some great news as players are sure to re-roll toons in Module 7 to try out the Monk class.
So while we are in the Tower of the Twelve we learn about missing members of the Twelve and a little bit about the planes. Immediately, we head out towards the Vale of the Twilight which is one of the largest adventure zones in DDO. And I have to say one of the most spectacular zones. Having gone through some dark times with battling Undead and the Abbot, it is refreshing to wander around trees and butterflies. One of the things, Senior Producer Kate Paiz pointed out to us with the horizon. We were standing on a cliff staring out across the value and in the distance you could see the tree line. Now if you have played The Lord of the Rings Online you may have noticed this effect. The Vale of the Twilight is the first area to introduce the tech into DDO, and I have to say it really does look great. Now you may be say "butterflies" in DDO, this is an outrage, well let me be the first to tell you that you will come to appreciate them.
As with other adventure zones the Vale of the Twilight is riddled with explorer and slayer quests, along with a handful of dungeons. One key difference in Module 6 versus previous modules is you must complete a series of quests in the dungeons before you are flagged for the raid adventure. There is an important story being told here and you really need to make sure you understand what is happening or all. In a nutshell, once every three thousand years there is a perfect eclipse. This eclipse is of all thirteen moons and the aligning of the Vale and the nature plane Lammania. However, this time a powerful enemy Arraetrikos wants to make a slight change to the normal outcome and disrupt the conjunction and realign the Vale with his home plane of demons and devils, making himself more powerful in the process of course.
We popped in and out of several of the dungeons and getting a feel for new features, more powerful creatures such as bearded devils. Of course, the Troglodytes and Gnolls think they should help out the cause. We are introduced to several new tribes that like to worship demons and devils.
The dungeons are interesting in that you must find the dungeons while exploring the landscape of the Vale of Twilight. No NPC to send you to the dungeon. In each of the dungeons you are working on finding one of the missing members of the Twelve. Now I remember in my old Pen & Paper games, we always had to walk through a dungeon carrying a torch. This was a feature the developers always wanted to implement, well they grinded out the code and the content to make this happen and on enter the dungeon "Rainbow in the Dark" one member needs to carry a torch (well a scepter that has a light spell on it). I was the lucky one to pick up the scepter and off I went. Our party was fighting a group of rust monsters and I ran forward to fight the next one near me. All of the sudden I hear "Get back here! I can't see". Yep, I had gone too far with the light and our Wizard was in the dark. It was funny as all get out.