By - September 15, 2009 - 10 Comments

Nerd Watching: Dragons in Cyberspace!

Eberron Unlimited

This story is a bit odd coming from us, but it does fall within the Nerd Watching mandate of D&D industry and blog news. Last week the MMO Dungeons & Dragons Online switched over to a free to play model. The move also came with some substantial changes to the game, like a higher level cap and new class. Players can now access majority of the game for free but must use points to unlock certain races, classes, dungeons and items. These points can either be purchased with real money or earned as rewards in the game. The game is based off a modified 3.5 ruleset and is set on the continent of Xen’drik in the world of Eberron. The game features six races (Humans, Halflings, Dwarves, Elves and unlockable Warforged and Drow) and all of the PHB standard classes except for Druid and with the addition of the unlockable favored soul.

Ever in mind of my nerd watching duties, I decided to give the new DDO a try. I won’t be doing a full review, but here are some base impressions. The dungeons of DDO are fun. They have the standard hack and slash of most MMO dungeons, but also more to offer. The dungeons have ongoing narration from an etheral DM, traps and locks that that make a rogue a valuable asset to the party, portions of jumping or swimming exploration and puzzles that you as the must must figure out. If you go through the dungeons with some of your friends is almost feels like real D&D. The fun level drops as soon as you leave the dungeon. There doesn’t seem to be much to do inside of the towns. You gather quests to go to more dungeons and train at your class trainer. All the while you deal with a huge influx of people come to check out the new free MMO.

Frankly, I don’t know why the game needed to be an MMO. It seems like the Diablo model of a persistent character you take to small servers for group questing would have been a better fit. Still, if you can brave the towns the dungeons can be a lot of fun to play with your friends. You can’t go wrong for free, right?

DMG2 Preview content

Over the next week we’re going to be joining with a group of bloggers and podcasters to bring you the previews and reviews of the DMG2. You can find our materials as they come up on the video section of the site. There is quite a lot worth talking about in the DMG2! Below is a list of the participants in the DMG2 event, so keep your eyes on these sites:

The Tome Show – www.thetomeshow.com
Fist Full of Comics and Games – www.fistfullofcomics.com
Icosohedrophelia – d20.heardworld.com
Critical Hits – www.critical-hits.com
Geek Dad – www.wired.com/geekdad/
Chatty DM – www.chattydm.com
At-Will – 4eatwill.com

The 4th Power Project

Many of you are probably familiar with Dave Chalker over at Critical Hits, but you may not have heard about his latest endevour. In short, Dave is going to be doing a series of articles where he creates of a fusion of D&D 4e and d20 Modern. The goal is to bring 4e rules into a modern setting. The project is tenatively called the 4th Power Project and he will be sharing it with all of us under the Creative Commons. I think the project has great potential. 4e at its core really could be a universal system. I’m going to be watching it with great interest and I must say, Dave, you’re a brave man.

Have you tried DDO yet? What did you think? What are your hopes for 4e in a modern setting? Talk to us in the comments!

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Written by Nicholas

Nick DiPetrillo is the original author behind the games Arete and Zombie Murder Mystery available at http://games.dungeonmastering.com

Nick is no longer active with DungeonMastering.com, however he is an accomplished writer and published his first game in 2009.

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Leave a comment (10 comments so far) »

  1. Dave T. Game says:

    Thanks Nick! Here’s hoping I can pull it off!

  2. keith says:

    4e modern sounds like it would rock

  3. GroovyTaxi says:

    I was part of the free DDO beta test and I have to say it’s a good game for people who can’t afford MMOs such as WoW. I don’t really like the Eberron setting though (they should’ve went for something more classic in my opinion) and I have to agree that towns are a real pain. All you can do there is check your quests in and out and fight every gamer’s immortal enemy : lag. Some classes are also way too hard to learn compared to some other classes (warriors can one-shot everything at low levels, while mages can hardly kill a few rats without depleting their mana), but at least they indicate in when creating your character.

  4. The Reaper says:

    Does anyone remember the Amethyst setting from Goodman Games that was previewed in Free RPG day? Now that is a setting (or at least the best I have seen for 4e so far)! It makes me think of Resident Evil meets D&D, albeit the fact that Leon could be disabled easily, but it still is awesome!

  5. The Reaper says:

    By the way, I am Blackkyre, a lv 5 human favored soul on Ghallanda! Leveling in ddo is WAY more life-consuming than D&D, or, heck, even WoW! I mean it takes hours of gameplay just to get to lvl 2! Then again, if it was D&D, I would be so paragon level right now…..

    Random note: Healing makes the world go round, especially if it comes from a cleric! (Favored Souls take a close second though, and cast quickly, making them more combat casters!)

  6. DandDGuy says:

    its about time they maid that switch, I have went and signed up to DnD MMO Now that its free. Already releasing fourth ED 2 DMG wow that was fast. I am not saying any more about that one, we all know what my opinion is about that. Had some computer problems HD crashed recently got it back and it works fine now. anyone know of a good place to build a web site / Gaming blog site the name for the URL would “Arm Chair Geek.com” This is tentative right now and it is still in a planing phase.

  7. DandDGuy says:

    Eberron Unlimited DnD MMO Cool game you will need to download the grafix pac recommenced the fast down load easier and it gets you to the game faster. I have two characters now and Lev advancement is a little slow but its fun to play.

  8. DandDGuy says:

    Med Grafix is a 2hr Down Load Time, High Grafix Pac is a 4 Hr Download. to long to be waiting if you ask me, I want to play it now and not later. Download, Install, Make Character, Play in that order. it takes about half an hour and its a lot faster than 4 hrs wait to play a game.

  9. Stauffe says:

    What this DOESN’T tell you (and neither does the DDO site!)is that whilst for American’s it’s free to play, it’s not so for Europeans. That sucks like a Kobold’s mother.
    On another note, I’ve yet to see an online MMORPG that isn’t affected by chronic lag, though. Wonder which are the best and the worst?

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