With Update 20, DDO will be rolling out four Hearts of Wood for reincarnation of your characters. Heroic True Reincarnation (which you already know as ‘TR’), Iconic True Reincarnation, Epic Reincarnation, and Lesser Reincarnation.
Changes to Reincarnation
As we are adding new forms of Reincarnation, we are being more specific about the names of Hearts of Wood. True Reincarnation is currently specific to Heroic levels 1-20, and is being renamed Heroic True Reincarnation (HTR). Iconic Heroes have their own progression from Level 15 to cap (currently 28) and they may also TR using the Iconic True Reincarnation Heart of Wood (ITR). As previously posted, Epic Reincarnation only impacts Epic levels above 20, since the "True" implies starting at level 1, this item is called Epic Reincarnation Heart of Wood (ER).
I am happy to say a new User Interface (UI) will be in place when you begin your Reincarnation, and Kruz will get the vacation time he's always wanted. Likewise, if your previous journey back from Kruz’s tree had you telling tall tales of your training on a boat, that experience will be relocated to a more ethereal zone that will eventually place you in the Hall of Heroes. This change is great for lore, but ultimately it gives the team a chance to simplify the script and improve the experience. The UI itself will also be more informative and give you some foresight into planning your next life’s Past Life (PL) feats. The free LR will be granted at character creation as a Heart of Wood instead of a gift from Kruz – this will cut down on a lot of player confusion regarding which LR they are consuming.
Goodbye Greater Reincarnation. If you have an account level upgrade for Champion builds (32 pt build), a Lesser Reincarnation will take the place of the Greater Reincarnation Heart of Wood. To apply the same benefit, take your 28 point [non-drow] character and use a LR Heart of Wood, your next build will start as a 32 pt build at level 1. (GR Hearts of Wood will be removed from the DDO Store and treasure drops but you may still use one, if you already have it, as a LR item.)
I am not going to go into detail here on Heroic True Reincarnation, except for context - at level 20 you may start a new character, gain additional stat points (up to 36, after your second life), and earn a class specific Past Life for the characters dominant class. The XP required to level will increase in successive lives as it does currently, but a significant change to the second and third tier XP curve will take effect: total XP required to level to 20 will be lower than it is on live today. For the third tier XP curve this is a huge player benefit at the final heroic levels. (XP Curve values are still in design discussion, but that said, the total XP required for first tier/first life level 1-20 will not change.) There are not a lot of changes to the Heroic Reincarnation experience, and they essentially don’t touch any Epic levels you may have gained before your decision to reincarnate.
To begin explaining the new reincarnation features, Iconic True Reincarnation is the simplest to compare to a Heroic True Reincarnation. Let’s start by stating what you cannot do with ITR: You cannot take an Epic and Iconic PL in the same life. When an Iconic build uses an Epic Reincarnation heart, and rolls from level cap back to 20, they get the same Epic PL that a non-prestige race would get; they do not get an Iconic PL. Iconics cannot go from level 15 to 20 and use the Heroic Reincarnation, they have to level to cap to earn any PL feats. When you reach level cap as an Iconic, you can choose to reincarnate your character to start again, or choose to reincarnate only your Epic levels.
Here’s what you can do with an Iconic build:
• Iconics can reincarnate at level cap (currently 28)
• Iconics can earn an Iconic PL as well as the Class PL from their dominant class. (Yes, you get both!)
• Iconics can Epic Reincarnate, Iconic True Reincarnate and use all LR Hearts of Wood.
• You can start a new life as an iconic race after a Heroic or Iconic True Reincarnation.
• An Iconic can reincarnate and start on the beach at level 1 as something else.
• Iconics can reincarnate at level cap and return to level 15 as another iconic.
• Iconics can Epic Reincarnate from level cap to level 20.
• Iconics always start at 32 build points in their first life. For their second life, an iconic will bump up to 34 build points; once they have more build points, however, they cannot auto-level to 15 with Elminster or Lord of Blades. They must manually train back to 15.
• Yes they do get the XP to take them to 15 regardless of the previous life.
Improvements to Lesser Reincarnation also impact Iconics! Not only is a Lesser Reincarnation an option for Iconics with Update 20, we have figured out how to allow you to Lesser Reincarnate your first level as an Iconic. This means the +1 and higher class change options that are available with Lesser Reincarnation will apply to Iconic characters, giving you even more character build choices.
There is one thing that LR and ER have in common, besides a TLA (Two Letter Acronym).
Both reincarnation types will clear your XP and grant back the XP needed to train your character back to your highest heroic level (with Epic Reincarnation your highest level is 20), all the while leaving any Epic Destiny and fate point earnings unscathed. The process that takes place behind the scenes of Epic Reincarnation is crafted to be safe and stable:
You will earn an Epic Past Life feat, chosen from available feats,
Clear your heroic and epic XP as well as Karma from the Epic Destiny Sphere you selected,
Grant back heroic XP - not altering the earned Epic Destinies.
The side effect of this method effectively grants a LR with your ER, as you can change the build you previously had, limited by your class progression. For sake of development time, we do not level you back to 20 on the path of your previous [custom] build, that said, if you find re-leveling 20 levels with each ER a deterrent, a "train me on the path of my previous build" option could be added - as an opt-in step in the new reincarnation zone - but is not currently planned for development.
To recap the basic of Epic Reincarnation:
Epic reincarnation requires being at level cap and "Karma points" (TBD) in an Epic Destiny Sphere.
As you level Epic Destinies, you gain karma toward Epic Reincarnation in your active Destiny Sphere (e.g. Arcane, Divine, Martial, Primal)
A character at level cap with enough karma can roll back their character, immediately train to level 20, then choose which Destiny and Sphere you want to progress in next.
You can optionally use a Heroic True Reincarnation to earn a Class [PL] feat and start at level 1, immediately after performing an Epic Reincarnation.
Rewards and Past Life feats:
We will be showing new PL feats in more detail on Lamannia during a short beta cycle. Epic and Iconic Past life feats behave a little differently than the granted feats of a Heroic Class PL.
Epic and Iconic Past Life feats grant a passive, always active, ability that stacks within like abilities, and a second ability that can be toggled on/off. Each of the PL options can be taken three times. For each Epic Sphere and the Iconic line, you may have one active ability enabled at a time.
In short, an Iconic and Epic could have 5 passive abilities stacking 3 or more times, and 5 abilities active at one time. You can switch which stance from a sphere is active during quests, so the 5 active out of 15 already earned is strategic and not locked down at quest start. BTW, there will not be an Epic Completionist feat at the launch of U20, but that doesn't rule out the possibility of it appearing in a future update.
Here is a possible example of a character with 2 Epic past lives and then a third in the same Epic Sphere:
Two Epic PL from the Martial Sphere, each gives +1AC, and the option to toggle either 10% Fortification or +1 to all Skills.
In the Third epic life, choose another Fortification PL from the Martial Sphere the build will have +3 to AC and 20% Fortification when that feat is toggled on.
In addition to the stacking abilities of the Epic PL feats, for every 4 Epic Past Lives earned you receive 1 fate point. That includes any Epic Sphere completions so it’s okay if you only took Martial Fortification at the end of your 3rd Epic life as the next Epic Life will earn you an additional fate point. Each fate point is granted based on your character achieving four more Epic Past Life feats.
We will have followup information and for a short time we will be replying to this thread with details as questions arise. Again, you will see the list of Epic PL feats when it is released to Lamannia, anything prior to that ... no promises. Thanks for taking the time to absorb this very long post on what I believe to be a really cool change to our Reincarnation system, as it continues to make DDO the most customizable character build system of any RPG or MMO out there.