Nerd Watching: Dragons in Cyberspace!
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!