My wishlist for the Update 7 release notes...
New Playable Races:
Adventure as a brutish, tough Half-Orc, or as an otherwordly Aasimar.
Half-Orcs are available free to VIPs, and (two weeks after Update 7's release) for non-VIPs to purchase access to for 795 TP. Unlocking Aasimar is a reward for achieving 1500 favor, or can be purchased (on all servers) for 795 TP.
*Whilst half-orcs are compatible with 32 point builds, should you happen to have them unlocked, Aasimar are not, due to their inherently unbalanced stats.
*Half-orcs feature enhanced Strength, racial affinity with the Greataxe and Falchion, and can unlock (through enhancements) abilities that mimic a Barbarian's rage. They make excellent fighters and barbarians, but are versatile enough to perform well in most classes. Half-Orc Favored Souls may follow the Dragon Below, specialise in the Heavy Pick, and at level 20 may produce a fiery breath as an at-will ability (6 second cooldown, 5d12 damage, treated as a level 3 fire spell for purposes of Potency enhancements, etc)
*Aasimar feature enhanced Charisma and Wisdom, racial affinity with the Longsword, and make excellent Clerics, Paladins and Favored Souls. Through enhancements, they can unlock spell resistance, improved healing amplification, damage reduction, or they can enhance their combat prowess against Evil Outsiders.
New Adventure Packs:
The Blinding Light:
Sometimes, the greatest threat isn't the devil you know.
Journey to Shavarath's Archon areas, and unravel the deadly machinations of a fallen angel.
Discover how a great force of Light was corrupted - and redeem or destroy the Mad Archon before it's too late.
*Explore an expanded Amrath, and travel to all-new areas of the Devil Battlefield.
*Battle Eladrin, Ghaele and other archons - plus the infernal cultists manipulating them
*Defend uncorrupted archon soldiers from a combined demon and archon assault
*Prevent the Archon hordes from corrupting the Silver Flame itself
*Get a glimpse of the archons' corruption on your lower level characters in Hidden Agendas, an all-new free-to-play level 11 quest that leads into the main storyline of The Blinding Light
*Experience five all-new quests designed to challenge higher level players - three level 18 quests and two very challenging level 20 quests
*Battle through two new raids - storm the Bastion of Light and assassinate a corrupted Archon commander, in one level 18 raid, then storm the Refuge of the Mad Archon and end to its corruption once and for all in The Devil You Don't, a level 21 raid designed to pit your characters against the most difficult encounters yet in DDO's history.
*Craft amazing armor and weapons (including handwraps) in the Bastion of Light, then unlock their Epic versions in The Devil You Don't.
*Free to VIPs, otherwise 995 TP.
This adventure pack contains no new quests, but allows players access to the new Epic difficulty setting on Tempest's Spine, Stormcleave Outpost, Gwylan's Stand, Xorian Cypher, and Tear of Dhakaan. These quests remain free-to-play on Casual, Normal, Hard and Elite.
This adventure pack is free to VIPs, and 295 TP to other players.
New Prestige Enhancements:
Clerics can now train further as Radiant Servants, or they can take up the mantle (and weapon) of the Warpriest. (Silver Flame Exorcist coming later).
Sorcerers can now train as elemental savants. Plus, major overhauls of spell damage mechanics should make 'nuker' specs more potent, particularly at the uppermost levels.
Monks can now train as Henshin Mystics, or complete their training as Ninja Spies or Shintaos.
Pale Masters have learned a few more tricks, and Wizards with the Pale Master 3 enhancement can now prepare and cast Harm as though it was a level 6 Arcane spell.
Cleric Radiant Servant 3
Requires: Cleric level 18, RS2, Prayer of Life 3, Prayer of Incredible Life 3
Your mastery of positive energy continues to improve. Your caster level increases by a further 1 for all Conjuration-Healing spells. The casting time of your Mass Heal spell is reduced by 10% (from 5 to 4.5 seconds, or from 2.5 to 2.25 seconds quickened). You gain two more Turn Undead attempts per rest. Your Positive Energy Burst can now be targetted upon allies and foes instead of just yourself, and the effect will be centred upon the chosen target.
You may expend three Turn Undead attempts and 100SP to replicate the effects of Unyielding Sovereignty, even if you don't have the enhancement. This ability is on a 30 second cooldown.
Sorcerer Fire Savant 1
Requires: Sorc level 6, +20% Fire/Cold damage enhancement, +3% Fire/Cold spell crit chance enhancement, Maximize Spell
You have begun to tread a fiery path as a sorcerer.
You cast fire spells at +1 caster level.
You may generate a Burning Hands spell effect without spending mana. This ability has a 6 second cooldown.
Sorcerer Fire Savant 2
Requires: Sorc level 12, Fire Savant 1, +40% Fire/Cold damage enhancement, +6% Fire/Cold spell crit chance enhancement, +0.25 Fire spell crit intensity enhancement, Empower Spell
Your Fire spells gain +2 to the DC to resist them.
You may generate a Scorching Ray spell effect without spending mana. This ability has a 6 second cooldown (which is independant of the cooldown for the Burning Hands ability)
Sorcerer Fire Savant 3
Requires: Sorc level 18, Fire Savant 2, +40% Fire/Cold damage enhancement, +9% Fire/Cold spell crit chance enhancement, +0.75 Fire spell crit intensity enhancement
Your Fire spells are cast at an additional +1 caster level.
Whenever you cast a fire spell, it deals an additional 10% damage. This damage is untyped (and as such ignores fire resistance and immunity). For example, a Delayed Blast Fireball crit that would have dealt 1830 damage instead deals 1830 fire damage and 183 untyped damage.
You may generate a Fireball spell effect without spending mana. This ability has a 6 second cooldown (which is independant of the cooldowns for the Burning Hands and Scorching Ray abilities)
Cleric Warpriest 1
Requires: Cleric level 6, Toughness, any one of Weapon Focus (any), Power Attack or Divine Might 1
Your divine training includes the ability to use weapons.
You gain +1 to hit with all martial weapons, and gain proficiency in the use of all of them.
After a vorpal strike, Conjuration-Healing spells cost you 10 less SP to cast for the next ten seconds. (This allows Cure Light Wounds to be cast for free, if no metamagic feats are applied to it).
Cleric Warpriest 2
Requires: Cleric level 12, Warpriest 1, Quicken Spell, any one of Divine Might 2, Improved Critical (any), Improved Two-Weapon Fighting, Improved Two-Handed Fighting
Your martial training continues to improve.
You gain 15hp. Design note: This is intended to partially compensate for Clerics having lower HP than traditional melee classes.
Your Divine Power spell costs no SP to cast.
On a vorpal strike, the weapon in your main hand deals an additional 50 light damage. Whenever this occurs, Conjuration-Healing spells you cast in the next 12 seconds cost 15 less SP.
Cleric Warpriest 3
Requires: Cleric level 18, Warpriest 2, any TWO of Divine Might 3, Improved Critical (any), Improved Two-Weapon Fighting, Improved Two-Handed Fighting, Toughness (taken a second time)
You gain a further 10HP, taking the total bonus to 25.
Your Divine Might ability (if you possess it) lasts for two minutes, not just one.
Whenever you cast a Conjuration-Healing spell and it results in a spell critical, you enter a 'Blessed' state for 20 seconds. While in this state, you gain DR 10/-, and any weapon you wield in your main hand in melee gains +10% double strike.
Warforged, rejoice: Wizards and Sorcerers can now cast Mass Reconstruct as a level 9 spell, and Reactivate Construct (a construct-only Raise Dead) as a level 6 spell.
Pale Masters in particular should be happy to see Vampiric Touch added as a level 3 arcane spell.
Changes to existing quests:
All Epic Dungeons and Raids:
Particularly brave, well equipped or foolish characters can now enter Epic dungeons upon attaining level 18, and Epic dungeons and raids now award XP. Characters under level 20 must 'flag' for Epics by first completing any two of Elite Shroud, Normal (or higher) Tower of Despair, Hard (or higher) Dreaming Dark, Hard (or higher) Stealer of Souls, or Normal (or higher) Accursed Ascension. Level 20 characters may enter Epics without flagging, as is presently the case.
Epic dungeons always award a set amount of XP, which does not decay with additional quest repetitions.
All Epic Dungeons and Raids:
Epic Ward no longer provides absolute protection against death effects. When a foe with Epic Ward would be slain outright by a death effect (including Implosion and Vorpal weapons), the foe survives, but suffers 250 damage and is stunned for two seconds. Red and purple named foes with Epic Ward remain completely immune to such effects.
Tower of Despair:
First General Horoth has decided that opera isn't for him, and has consumed the soul of his opera teacher. Whilst non-tanks may still benefit from wearing Boots of Anchoring, they are no longer (almost) mandatory for this raid. They are, however, still useful, and relics allowing their construction can also be found within the new quests in the Blinding Light adventure pack - where these boots will be needed again.
Tower of Despair:
Heroes that slay Suulomades will now be rewarded for their efforts on all difficulty levels. Thanks, this one made it in to the real Update 7
The Black Abbot has accumulated quite a pile of regular treasure - enough to fill three additional chests - that he has kindly agreed to share with anyone that prevents his ascension into godhood.
The Warforged Titan raid encounter has been reworked significantly, to reward the participation of more players in defeating the Titan. In addition, this adventure pack now supports Epic difficulty, with Hiding in Plain Sight tuned to challenge newly level 20 characters (slightly easier than epic VON1), Slavers of the Shrieking Mines and Bring Me The Head of Ghola-Fan tuned to be comparable in difficulty to epic VON3, and the Twilight Forge and Titan Awakes raids tuned to be comparable in difficulty to Epic DQ2.
A new raid has been added to this area, Stirring the Hornets' Nest. A green dragon threatens Stormreach - and the only way to force her to retreat is to assault her nest and threaten her young.
Unlike other raids, this has a Devil Assault-style difficulty setting - on Normal difficulty it is a level 10 raid, on Hard, 16; on Elite, 22, and on Epic, 25.
A very powerful set of Monk handwraps has been added to the Tome of Untold Legends reward options, and a less powerful set has been added to the quest Inferno of the Damned. Epic versions of both are rumored to exist... somewhere...
The five quests and one raid in this pack are now available for play on Epic mode, and are tuned to be fiendishly difficult (at least as hard as Elite Tower+Suulo). In addition, the Orchard of the Macabre itself can also be accessed on Epic mode. Will you be the first to assemble a Tome of Epic Legends or to collect a set of Shreds of Golden Tapestry?
Arraetrikos' lieutenants have just received a new stash of Shards of Power, which they have decided to keep for safekeeping in a chest just outside a maze inside the Shroud. Rumors abound that a new Lieutenant has been recruited by the forces of Shavarrath - a fallen angel - and is working occasional shifts inside the Shroud.
Arraetrikos' chests in part 5 will now be better stocked on Hard and Elite difficulty. Elite adventurers have reported seeing additional chests behind a forcefield near the Altar of Devastation, and rumors abound of +3 tomes in these chests.
Heroes, beware! Arraetrikos's spells now scale up in damage (no longer just in save DC) when running the Shroud on Hard and Elite, and hardy and elite adventurers report that Harry has also remembered how to cast Greater Dispelling.
The Vault of Night:
A new armor crafter has set up business in Gianthold, and is particularly experienced in the crafting of red dragonscale armor. She isn't skilled enough to work Flawless Red Dragon Scales, but perhaps if you ask Velah politely, you might find some lesser quality red scales for her to work with.
As more and more heroes explore these ancient ruins and fall in battle against the dangers within, a few rather unique items have been accumulating into the hordes of various powerful denizens of this explorer area.
Stealer of Souls, Enter the Kobold, Prey on the Hunter, Monastery of the Scorpion:
Eldritch, Tempest and Sovereign runes found inside these quests are sick of being anonymous, and will now be identified. (They can still be traded whilst inside the chest, but remain bound-to-character once looted). On Elite only, they are instead bound-to-account upon being looted, and some of the more popular effects are more common on higher difficulty settings.
Additional named items, including a very powerful set of Monk handwraps, have been added to the additional chests Sor'Jek guards on Hard and Elite.
Gianthold Tor, Prison of the Planes, Madstone Crater, Crucible:
These quests are now available for play on Epic difficulty. Gianthold Tor is tuned to challenge extremely well equipped level 20 characters (tougher by far than Amrath content on Elite), and the other three are tuned to challenge other level 20 characters (comparable in difficulty to Hard or Elite Amrath).
Tempest's Spine, Stormcleave Outpost, Gwylan's Stand, Xorian Cypher and Tear of Dhakaan
These quests are also available for play on Epic difficulty. Although these quests remain free-to-play on Casual, Normal, Hard and Elite, Free and Premium players must purchase the new adventure pack Stormreach's Finest to play them on Epic. These quests are tuned to be among the easier Epic quests.
Sentinels of Stormreach:
Certain somewhat less-than-epic items masquerading as Epic items in this adventure pack have been reworked, and should now be somewhat more appealing.
Against the Demon Queen:
Lailat has recognized that pilgrims to her court require rest, and has installed an additional rest shrine in the entry hall of this dungeon. In addition, adventurers have reported seeing new Monk handwraps in the final chest of this dungeon, but they have only reported them on Elite and Epic difficulty.
On Epic difficulty, all quests (not the raid) have had their Epic Shard drop rate increased from 9% to 22%. Now, only one in five full parties (on average) will not see a Shard in their Epic Chest.
Lailat's treasure chests (other than the Epic Chest) are somewhat better stocked on Epic difficulty, and she is now guarding more of them.
Overhaul of Spell Enhancement Items
A major overhaul of spell enhancement items (such as Superior Potency 6 scepters) has taken place. Few existing items will have their effects changed, but many will have their names changed - allowing for new, more impressive items to be added. This is intended to allow arcane casters more capacity to excel at dealing extreme amounts of damage in short time periods, although melee party members will still be more suited to sustaining damage over long periods of time.
All currently existing Lesser Potency/Glaciation/etc items have been upgraded to 20%.
Items which offer a 20% boost to spells now have names like Minor Devotion 4.
30% boosts have names like Lesser Potency 3
40% boosts have names like Combustion 7
50% boosts have names like Improved Magnetism. So if you currently have a Superior Potency 6 item, it will be renamed Improved Potency 6, but will have all of its current effects.
60% boosts to spells are now available, and have names like Greater Magnetism 9
75% boosts to spells are now available, with names like Superior Potency 7
100% boosts to spells are available (on Epic items only), and quite appropriately have names like 'Epic Devotion 2'.
Edit for clarification - Just as Superior Potency 9 items currently do not exist in-game, many extremely powerful items that might seem possible under this new system will not be added to the game. Abilities like Epic Devotion 6 or Superior Potency 7 may only ever be available as extremely tough to acquire set bonuses for equipping multiple Epic named items.
Spell criticals now have a base effect of double damage, rather than one-and-a-half times base damage. Lore items have been slightly weakened to compensate. However, all characters (regardless of gear setup) will come out equal or ahead from this particular change.
In addition, spells which conjure persistent damage effects (such as Firewall, Bladebarrier and Acid Fog) now check for possible criticals each time they deal damage, rather than making only one check as the spell is cast. This will weaken crit Firewalls in particular, but Arcane casters gain other benefits to compensate them.
Lore items still grant an improved chance to score spell criticals, but no longer grant improved critical damage on spells.
Lesser Lore: +3% chance to crit
Lore: +6% chance to crit
Greater Lore: +9% chance to crit
Major Lore: +12% chance to crit
Superior Lore: +15% chance to crit
Epic Lore: +20% chance to crit
All existing Lore items change to the new item that matches their current name (so an existing Fire Lore item is changed to add only 6% to spell critical chance). Again to clarify, many items that may seem possible (such as Epic Arcane Lore) will not initially, and may never be available in-game.
The random loot tables will include Lesser through Major lore items for each element, plus Lesser Arcane Lore and Arcane Lore items. More powerful Lore items are reserved for raid loot, Epic items, and other very special named loot.
New Spell Critical Enhancers
New items can be found to enhance the damage spell criticals do further (as Lore items do on the present servers). As examples of what you might discover:
Lesser Fire Intensity: The spell damage multiplier on your Fire spells is increased by 0.25.
Arcane Intensity: The spell damage multiplier on all of your spells is increased by 0.50.
Greater Healing Intensity: The spell damage multiplier on your healing spells is increased by 0.75.
Major Healing Intensity: The spell damage multiplier on your healing spells is increased by 1.
Superior Acid Intensity: The spell damage multiplier on your acid spells is increased by 1.25.
Epic Lightning Intensity: The spell damage multiplier on your lightning spells is increased by 1.5.
The random loot tables will contain Lesser, Regular and Greater Arcane Intensity, plus Lesser through Major intensity items for individual elements, at varying minimum levels. Higher levels of Intensity are reserved for raid loot, Epic items and other very special named items.
These changes should allow elemental savants to deal truly devastating damage, outclassing melees in short damage bursts - however melees will still come out ahead over the long run.
Changes to Dungeon Scaling:
Enemy healing amplification and regeneration are now affected by Dungeon Scaling, making certain quests (like The Church and the Cult and Running with the Devils) more easily completed with smaller groups and possibly slightly harder than at present with larger ones.
New in the DDO store:
'Clickies' of several spells have been added to the DDO store. All clickies purchasable in this way can also be found in random loot chests in-game.