Dungeons and Dragons (DnD) is the ultimate RPG. Even those who dislike RPGs or videogames all together have heard of it. Not only are there DnD board games, but there are also a multitude of videogames available within the franchise, which leads me to Dungeons and Dragons Online (DDO). DDO is a MMORPG that was released back in 2006 by Turbine. As most fans will probably already be aware, the new expansion, Menace of the Underdark, will be released June 25.
As popular as DnD is, this expansion pack is sure to excite fans worldwide, as it is the first expansion pack since the game was released in 2006. As with most MMOs, pre-purchasing the game allows players to receive an array of different bonuses, including a Demonweb spiderling creature companion, the Druid's wolf-pup creature companion, an onyx panther cub creature companion, an elite spider cult mask cosmetic helmet, and a figurine of wonderous power: the onyx panther. Pre-purchasing the game certainly seems like a wise choice. Forking out $79.99 for the Limited Time Collector’s Edition will not be in everyone’s budget; however, the base game is a cheap and cheerful $29.99.
The main setting for DDO is a realm called Faerum where Baldur's Gate, Neverwinter Nights and a majority of the DnD books take place. The champions from Eberron are the realm's only hope. The world has become entangled in Lolth’s schemes. Heroes from all over will gather at Faerun where they will make the final stand against the Queen of Demonweb. Come face-to-face with the Underdark Drow and Lolth, their Queen and goddess, as you explore this vast, twisted and unfathomable world. Infiltrate the Drow stronghold of Sschindylryn—the city of portals—where Lolth's forces work to further her schemes.
As always, DDO: Menace of the Underdark will continue to be a free-to-play game. There will now be an alternate advancement system that players can use to advance their level 20+ character. The game will be separated into "heroic" advance (as now, except up to level 25) and "epic" destiny advancement, which will require players to run epic content to earn XP to spend on these special enhancements. They will be unlocked at level 20, but, unlike regular "heroic" advancement, you can progress your "epic" destinies indefinitely—even after you hit the new level cap of 25.
It looks like DDO is really hitting its stride with this new expansion, and includes lots of new content to please the fans. DDO players will now uncover bits of lore as they explore the lands found around the Forgotten Realms setting. This is similar to the setting Turbine used in Update 11, Secrets of the Artificers. As players find new lore items, fully voiced messages will describe information about the setting.
You can’t get much more fantasy than the obvious choice of Dungeons and Dragons, and the expansion pack has an amazing selection of new content for players to explore. The graphics of Menace of the Underdark are beautiful and, though they’re not amazing, there is a certain sense of awe about them that I find very inviting.
For those of you wanting to check out this exciting new expansion pack, Turbine have been holding a closed beta since May 14, so be sure the check the site regularly at http://underdark.ddo.com/for news of upcoming open betas.