Happy anniversary, DDO! I send big congratulations to the whole community and Turbine team on this, our third anniversary! I’d also like to say a huge thank you to all who play the game, as it is your love of the game that brings it to life and makes what we do as developers so rewarding. It has been a real pleasure working on the game up to this point, and we’ve been able to get so many great things accomplished in the last year – the whole Shavarath invasion storyline, the level cap increase to 16, and of course, the introduction of the Hirelings system! To read a full recap of our 18 free releases (!) to date, please click here. I’d love to know what your favorite feature or content of the last year is – I think I am torn between the amazing tent explosion and the hireling system – even though my main is a cleric, I also always like having a cleric buddy around, just to keep my back covered and to allow me to be a little more battle ready. I love those offensive cleric spells – there’s nothing like a little righteous vengeance!
I wanted to talk a little bit today about some of the features coming out with Module 9. We’ve put a ton of work into Module 9, and as you know, there are features that we can’t talk about yet (but I think we’re closing to announcing soon…) so, in addition to the sneak peeks on the Official Discussions forum, here for your reading pleasure are 5 changes / improvements that are coming in Module 9 (drum roll please):
To start off, we’ve made two changes that have been often requested by our players. The first is the shared bank tab. All subscribers will be able to open their bank, click on the new tab, and place items from your inventory that are bound to account inside this bank tab (bound to character items, mostly raid items, will not be transferable to this tab). Then any other characters on the account can login and pull any of those items into their inventory (note: each bank tab is shard specific – only characters on Argonnessen can reach the Argonnessen shared bank).
The second popular request was to combine the chat channels. In Mod9, all instances of a public area, like the Market, will be routed to the same general tab, and we’ve added an advice and trade channel to each of the public areas as well. You’ll even still be in the public general channel if you enter a dungeon in that area, like the Quickfoot Hideout in the Market. You can customize this in the Options Menu if you don’t want to still hear public chat in the private instance, but the option will now be open to you (and will default to include you in the larger community). This change should help players find groups, get advice and sell things during non-peak hours and just improve overall the general access to other people in the area.
We have also made some great enhancements to our combat system. First, we have updated the targeting system to help out newer players or those who are annoyed by the need to hit tab so often to keep monsters in their focus. When you are close to an object, like a monster, NPC, door, or lever, it will automatically show up in your focus orb as your soft target. In game, your soft target is marked with a light ring, its floating name, and a floating hit points bar, for monsters. As you walk around a space, your soft target changes as you get closer and farther from things. You can make any of the soft targets into a hard target by pressing the tab key or clicking on it, and you can use your old targeting reflexes anytime to achieve exactly the same results as before. If you don’t like the new targeting system, you can toggle it off and on anytime by pressing the G key. We’re very excited to see what you think about it, and look forward to your feedback when it comes out!
In addition to displaying the target’s hit points over their head, we’ve vastly improved the combat feedback system. Buffs (and debuffs) applied to your character will display over your head and damage you take will appear in red numerals (like -15) while healing will appear in green (+25). To help identify monster weaknesses and strengths, the damage they take will show up over their head with symbols displaying the damage type (fire, cold, etc.) and a corresponding color that shows the monster’s resistance to that particular damage type. The color types are: purple (weakness), orange (normal), and yellow (resistant). Floating damage can be turned off in the options menu.
Now, you already know that we are raising the level cap to 20 with this release, and we’ve been letting you know about a few exciting enhancements and abilities that will be coming. Check out the Official Discussions forum for a recap of what we’ve said already, and here is a preview of some of the spells that are going to be added in Mod9:
- Acid Spray (Level: Sor/Wiz 1) A cone of burning acid shoots forth, damaging targets in the area of the spray for 1d4 damage per caster level (max 5d4). A successful Reflex save reduces the damage by half.
- Chain Missiles (Level: Sor/Wiz 3) A missile of magical energy darts forth and unerringly strikes its target inflicting 1d4+1 force damage. For every 2 caster levels beyond first you gain an additional missile, up to 10 missiles. After striking your target, the missiles explode outwards, striking other creatures near the primary target.
- Prismatic Spray (Level: Sor/Wiz 7) A brilliant cone of multicolored light projects from your finger, blinding weak targets and producing one or more random effects.
- Repair Critical Damage, Mass (Level: Sor/Wiz 8) Transmutes the structure of living construct allies to repair 4d8 +1 per caster level damage.
- Meteor Swarm (Level: Sor/Wiz 9) Causes four 2-foot-diameter spheres to spring forth and streak in straight lines toward a target, leaving fiery trails of sparks. The meteors explode on impact, dealing fire damage to targets in the area. Unlike most other projectile spells, the caster can arc these meteors if they have no target selected.
- Mordenkainen’s Disjunction (Level: Sor/Wiz 9) A powerful force disrupts magical effects on the target, removing ongoing spells that have been cast on a target. You must make a caster level check of 1d20 + your caster level (no maximum) versus 11 + the spell's caster level to remove a spell effect, and your target must make a Will save for each equipped item or all magical properties on them are temporarily disabled.
- Power Word: Kill (Level: Sor/Wiz 9) A single word of power is uttered, instantly killing a target creature with 300 or fewer hit points.
- Wail of the Banshee (Level: Sor/Wiz 9) A terrible scream kills creatures who hear it. A successful Fortitude save negates this effect.
- Summon Monster IX (Level: Clr 9, Sor/Wiz 9) Summons a hezrou to fight for you for a brief time. Casting this spell locks out casting any other Summon Monster spell for 5 minutes.
- Energy Drain (Level: Clr 9, Sor/Wiz 9) A black ray of crackling negative energy suppresses the life force of any living creature it strikes, granting an enemy 2d4 negative levels. If the target has as many negative levels as its hit dice or levels, it dies. Each negative level gives a creature a -1 penalty on attack rolls, saves, skill checks, ability checks, and effective level. Negative levels stack.
- True Resurrection (Level: Clr 9) Resurrects the target, restores all of the target's hit points, and preserves current spell points.
- Heal, Mass (Level: Clr 9) Casts Heal on multiple targets. Channels powerful positive energy into allies to wipe away injury and afflictions, restore 10 hit points per caster level (max 250hp), and remove ability damage and the conditions blinded, confused, dazed, dazzled, deafened, diseased, exhausted, fatigued, feebleminded, insanity, nauseated, and poisoned. Against undead this spell acts as Harm. Undead who make a successful Will save reduce the damage by half.
- Implosion (Level: Clr 9) You create a destructive resonance field around you, causing nearby corporeal enemies to collapse in upon themselves, killing them instantly. A successful Fortitude save negates this effect. Every few seconds, an enemy within your aura will be affected by this spell, but you are free to perform other actions while it is active.
We’ve also talked a lot about taking the fight to save Xen’drik to the Devils on their home plane of Shavarath. The Plane of Battle hosts a large wilderness, several dungeons, and a multi-part raid that pits players against a new Pit Fiend, General Horoth, and his spectral shadows, fiends that are feared by devil and mortal alike. Here is a sneak peek into the people and places of Shavarath, the Plane of Battle:
Amrath is the fortress of the Arcanaloth and currently the only safe place in Shavarath.
General Horoth is feared and respected by denizens of Shavarath as a warrior and a leader.
The Arcanaloth have agreed to provide the allies of The Twelve the resources they need to quest into the lands of Shavarath.
There are a lot of great features coming in Module 9 – we know you are eager for it, and we very much appreciate your patience and understanding as we work to make the release the best we can! Feel free to join us over in the Official Discussion forum to talk about Module 9 features! Again, thanks for all of your support over the past three years and I’ll see you in game!
Kate Paiz, Sr. Producer