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Dungeons and Dragons Online

Touring DDO: Shadowfell Conspiracy's prison city

Betas, Fantasy, Dungeons and Dragons Online, Expansions, Previews, Free-to-Play

DDO Shadowfell Conspiracy takes to the streets of Wheloon
Take a formerly prosperous town, wall it up, and turn it into the region's largest prison. Then add a handful of adventurers who are sent in to rescue a kidnapped official while kicking all kinds of butt. If Dungeons and Dragon Online's Wheloon sounds a little like the 1981 movie Escape from New York, well, that's intentional.

Turbine's team wasn't afraid to put in a sly reference to John Carpenter's seminal prison film when the devs were constructing this new adventure area for DDO's Shadowfell Conspiracy expansion. The devs also weren't afraid to push the boundaries of what's been done and seen in the game up until now.

We took a tour of Wheloon's highlights and managed to escape that wretched place with a first-hand look at the sinister goings-on of this unusual penitentiary. It's all the purple you can stand and then some when you head over the wall into this town!

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DDO: Shadowfell Conspiracy screenshots highlight new dungeon

Fantasy, Galleries, Screenshots, Dungeons and Dragons Online, Expansions, News Items, Free-to-Play, Dungeons

DDO: Shadowfell Conspiracy  screenshots highlight new dungeon
What's more iconic to Dungeons & Dragons Online than dragons? Why, dungeons of course! And this latest batch of screenshots introduces players to the a new dungeon joining the game when the Shadowfell Conspiracies expansion launches in August. Dungeon-divers will have to plumb the depths of Friends in Low Places (yes, that is the name) to find ways to protect the citizens of Wheldon from the criminals who are planning to attack Harvest Hall, all while food supplies dwindle. Check out the 10 new images showcasing Friends in Low Places in the gallery below.

[Source: Turbine press release]

Dungeons & Dragons Online shows off A Lesson in Deception

Fantasy, Screenshots, Dungeons and Dragons Online, Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play, Dungeons

Someone deceived this woman into thinking a chest window was a good idea.
If you can't trust the mastermind behind a gathering of criminals, whom can you trust? Dungeons & Dragons Online seems to imply you can't trust the mysterious benefactor uniting the criminals of Wheloon in the upcoming Shadowfell Conspiracy expansion. Calling the dungeon A Lesson in Deception doesn't imply that you'll reach the end and find out that everything is perfectly awesome... even if you'll be doing most of the deceiving early on by posing as a new recruit and infiltrating this den of thieves.

If you're reading this and immediately want to get down and dirty with the infiltration of said thief-den, you're still going to have to wait. But you can examine several new screenshots showing off the dungeon, which looks to be ranging across quite a bit of territory in the city. So get ready to play cutpurse on August 19th and enjoy the preview until then.

[Source: Turbine Entertainment press release]

Dungeons & Dragons Online screenshots show off new monsters

Fantasy, Galleries, Screenshots, Dungeons and Dragons Online, Expansions, Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play

Hey, guys, want to get a pizza?  Or you could try and kill me, that's super cool too.
Just like its source material, Dungeons & Dragons Online is largely a game about killing new and interesting monsters across new and interesting landscapes. So the upcoming expansion Shadowfell Conspiracy really needs to have both. We've seen the landscapes, but now we're also getting a look at the monsters, some of which seem downright personable if you can get past the fact that they'll be trying to kill you. And if you look past the gore-soaked weapons. Maybe they're not all that personable after all.

The shots in the gallery below include some general gaming staples (griffons), some specific Dungeons & Dragons staples (beholders), and some things that look like nothing even vaguely familiar. And rest assured, you'll be finding ways to kill every single one of them. So take a look at the gallery if you can't wait until August 19th to see the new face of your enemy.

[Source: Turbine Entertainment press release]

DDO: Shadowfell Conspiracy shows the beauty of Stormhorn mountains

Fantasy, Galleries, Screenshots, Dungeons and Dragons Online, Expansions, Free-to-Play

DDO Shadowfell Conspiracy shows the beauty of Stormhorn mountains
Dungeons and Dragons Online: Shadowfell Conspiracy is exactly two months away today, so there's still some time to work up excitement over this Forgotten Realms-centric expansion to the game world. We've expanded our screenshot gallery to include 10 new vistas of the Stormhorn mountains, a wilderness area that will feature large in players' adventures. You can check out all of the beauty below:

One Shots: Do you always dress like that?

Screenshots, Dungeons and Dragons Online, Lineage 2, Lord of the Rings Online, Tabula Rasa, One Shots, Humor, Miscellaneous

One Shots Do you always dress like that
Here's a tip from your friendly One Shots coordinator: If you send in a screenshot from a game that hardly ever gets featured in this column, there's a better-than-average chance that I'm going to bump it right up to the top of the pack. Case in point: this groovy shot from Lineage II.

Reader Johnny said he played this game back in 2007: "Behind me we can see the endgame, the Baium Raid Boss. Baium resides on the 13th floor of a the Tower of Insolence, a massive, non-instanced hunting ground with 13 fully accessible and monster-packed floors. The weapon I am holding is a Flaming Dragon Skull, an A-grade blunt weapon."

Be prepared for A-grade awesome screenshots and B-grade commentary as you forge on in this week's repository of player-submitted pictures!

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DDO screens bring us into a city prison

Fantasy, Galleries, Screenshots, Dungeons and Dragons Online, Expansions, Free-to-Play

DDO expansion screenies  see team email
We recently learned of the dark prison city of Wheloon that Dungeons and Dragons Online players will be entering when Shadowfell Conspiracy releases this August. Turbine sent us several new screenshots of the interior of Wheloon, showing us that the slammer isn't always the jovial, cheery place that the movies make it out to be.

Wheloon used to be a normal town, but when it became infested with Shar cultists, the King of Cormyr walled it off and turned it into a massive prison. As if it weren't already a place to actively avoid, the Shadowfell plane has opened up into Wheloon, inviting a bunch of nasty monsters to mix it up with hardened criminals. And yes, you'll be sent into the mix because that's what heroes do. Well, that and start up internet petitions.

A tale of Forgotten Realms: DDO's Update 18 and the Shadowfell Conspiracy

Fantasy, Dungeons and Dragons Online, Classes, Expansions, Patches, Previews, Free-to-Play, Races

A tale of Forgotten Realms DDO's Update 18 and the Shadowfell Conspiracy
Dungeons and Dragons Online's second expansion will not be like the first. In fact, Shadowfell Conspiracy might even be seen as a pseudo-sequel to DDO, a game-within-a-game that's offering players a fresh start in a favorite land. When the expansion hits on August 19th, players will be able to ignore all of DDO's Eberron content to start a new character at level 15 in the Forgotten Realms. Between the Forgotten Realms content that Turbine's added to the game in the past year and the new missions coming with Shadowfell Conspiracy, players could conceivably level solely in this setting.

It's obvious that Turbine's a little Forgotten-Realms-mad right now, although that's not a bad thing. The setting is a favorite among D&D fans, and while Eberron has its supporters, the studio obviously sees the Forgotten Realms as the future of this long-running MMO. While the expansion is still a couple of months away, today's Update 18: Disciples of Shadow update will serve as a prologue so that players can get started on their journey through this fresh land.

We sat down with DDO's team to talk about Update 18, the new races coming with Shadowfell Conspiracy, and the pre-purchase program that promises to give you head start. Read on, or else the wrath of the owl bear will be upon thee!

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The Turbine billing system has attained sentience (not really)

Fantasy, Dungeons and Dragons Online, Bugs, Business Models, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play

Turbine
We hope you've got a little extra money squirreled away in your bank account because the Turbine billing system is hungry. It seems that some players were charged a bit more than usual for their Dungeons and Dragons Online accounts this week, some of them as many as 100 times their normal VIP fee.

TurbineTolero took to the forums to clarify the issue:
This impacted a limited number of players after the maintenance work, and we have a list of the affected users. We're working with our partners to make sure that over charges are reversed. You do not need to contact us to receive help, but if you have any questions you are welcome to call or send a ticket (phone is 1-855-WBGAMES and tickets contact can be done via http://support.turbine.com).
Our sympathies extend to those affected more than passingly by the bug.

[Thanks to Marc for the tip!]

One Shots: Soggy beginnings

Screenshots, Dungeons and Dragons Online, Culture, One Shots, Star Wars: The Old Republic, RIFT, Miscellaneous

One Shots Soggy beginnings
Dungeons and Dragons Online newcomers and veterans alike are quite familiar with the waterlogged Sahuagin and all of their wacky antics. Basically think "level 1 mermaids from hell" and you're right with the rest of us. It's a good thing that the game doesn't have smell-o-vision because the tutorial would be reeking of a fishery, that's all I'm saying.

Reader Sharvis photographed his initial journey through the game and delivered this familiar image of an odd cellar. "Oh great, the Wavecrest Tavern's basement has flooded," he writes. "And who let the Sahuagin in? They're making everything look tacky again!"

We'll get the sump pump working while you check out the rest of today's player-submitted screenshots!

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Neverwinter Days: The DDO connection

Betas, Fantasy, Dungeons and Dragons Online, MMO Industry, Free-to-Play, Neverwinter, Neverwinter Days

Neverwinter Days The DDO connection
You know what's something I didn't think I'd be saying about Neverwinter prior to getting my hands on the beta? It shares way more in common with Dungeons & Dragons Online than I'd assumed.

Yeah yeah, they're both D&D games and MMOs, and there's bound to be similarities on a basic level. But what I'm talking about is more than that: an uncanny connection between the games and a deliberate design philosophy that both seem to share. As a player who's done a couple of tours of duty in DDO, I think I have enough experience to claim this.

Besides, everyone's already thinking about "the Dice Duel of 2013" as the papers are calling it. Two D&D MMOs will be facing off against each other, one with a new expansion and the other with a game launch, and both are gunning for the same piece of the pie. So let's deal with this situation now rather than later and look at why DDO and Neverwinter are more than kissing cousins.

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Eberron and beyond: Seven years of Dungeons and Dragons Online

Fantasy, Dungeons and Dragons Online, Free-to-Play, Anniversaries

Eberron and beyond 7 years of DDO
Dungeons and Dragons Online has always been a strange creature in the realm of MMOs. Ever since its launch, it decided to veer off in its own direction instead of following the rest of the pack. It brought back complicated character creation, somehow worked the arcane rules of D&D into an MMO format, and put a huge emphasis on group instanced content instead of world exploration.

Then when Turbine turned DDO into an experimental platform for a successful free-to-play model, suddenly the rest of the industry was following DDO instead. Virtually overnight, a small-teetering-on-extinction MMO became a modest hit well into its lifespan.

As DDO celebrates its seventh anniversary and looks back on the past year, let's look at how this odd duck of a game continues to surprise and delight gamers. Join us as we consider the journey that bridged the gap from last February to this one -- and see if, just maybe, DDO is calling you to roll its dice once more.

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Turbine announces Shadowfell Conspiracy expansion for DDO

Fantasy, Dungeons and Dragons Online, Expansions, News Items, Free-to-Play

Turbine announces Shadowfell Conspiracy expansion for DDO
In a post wishing Dungeons & Dragons Online a happy anniversary, Senior Producer Erik Boyer did more than just reminisce on how far the game has come in the last seven years. He touched on a new enhancement system and incoming changes to astral diamond shards before slipping in the announcement of DDO's second expansion, which will launch this summer.

Named Shadowfall Conspiracy, the expansion turns attention back toward the Forgotten Realms and will feature new regions, new quests, and an increased level cap (28). Players will also have faster access to the Forgotten Realms thanks to a new prestige character feature called Iconic Heroes that gets you into the action starting at level 15. More information on this feature will be available in the coming months.

Boyer concludes his remarks with a hint about the true reincarnation system that will be focused on later in the year and a promise that "this year is going to be another great year for DDO -- with a big, cool new storyline, new D&D monster varieties, and powerful new character abilities."

Leaderboard: DDO vs. Neverwinter

Fantasy, Dungeons and Dragons Online, MMO Industry, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Leaderboard, Neverwinter

Dungeons and Dragons Online - Beholder
By now you've probably had a chance to sample the new Neverwinter MMO, and if not then you've surely availed yourself of all our excellent textual and video coverage during the ongoing beta. You probably also know that Neverwinter marks the second official Dungeons and Dragons-based MMO to grace our favorite genre, the first being 2006's Dungeons and Dragons Online.

While it may not seem fair to pit a seven-year-old game against the new shiny, we're going to do it anyway because there's something to be said for age and experience. So, how about it? DDO vs. Neverwinter, 3.5 vs. 4th edition, Eberron vs. the Forgotten Realms, and Turbine vs. Cryptic. What say you Massively readers? Vote after the cut!

Ever wish that you could put to rest a long-standing MMO debate once and for all? Then welcome to the battle royal of Massively's Leaderboard, where two sides enter the pit o' judgment -- and only one leaves. Vote to make your opinion known, and see whether your choice tops the Leaderboard!

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DDO celebrates a birthday, shares Update 17 notes, and introduces new Augments

Fantasy, Dungeons and Dragons Online, Patches, News Items, Free-to-Play, Anniversaries

DDO celebrates a birthday, shares Update 17 notes, and revokes ghasts' ghoul status
Happy seventh birthday to Dungeons and Dragons Online! Like every good game, DDO is celebrating its anniversary-birthday-thing by giving out presents. Update 17 is live, a gift in its own right, and characters that were created before the patch will find that they've got a giftbox in their inventory.

But wait, there's more! Update 17 is a substantial patch. A whole slew of updates have been made to different bits of the game. On the DDO Store (and free to VIPs) is a new Monster Manual edition that features new deeds and objectives and two new Creature Companions. In what is arguably the most significant update, Restless Bats -- which don't exist and never have existed ever -- have been removed from the manual.

Augments, a new way to customize your equipment, have been added to the game. Items with augment slots can be, well, Augmented. Slotted Augments give their host item an additional effect for as long as they're slotted. People will be able to find named items with augment slots, pick augmentable items up from the DDO Store, or trust their luck to find one of the 5% of randomly generated items to have an augment slot. This system replaces the old Epic and Guild Augments. You can read up about Augments here.

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