As promised, I’m back to tell you more about that “big news” I mentioned in January. Now if you’re just joining the party, we announced that DDO is getting its very first expansion pack, Menace of the Underdark. Today I’m happy to announce that Menace of the Underdark will launch on June 25th! That’s right! We have the start of an all new major story line which will take us for the first time into the Forgotten Realms, we are raising the level cap into epic levels all the way to 25 and we are introducing the Druid class! And it’s all just four months away!
Before I get too distracted by all the expansion goodness I wanted to take a moment to say ‘Happy Birthday, DDO!’ It’s the 6th birthday for our game, and you are all invited to join the party! We know many good friends from DDO past and present will be by to celebrate, so we have arranged for all existing characters in DDO to get their very own slice of Six Year Old Cake. While that may not sound so tasty, there is a Djinni who will gladly take that cake off of your hands and grant you a “wish” in exchange – so long as that wish involves choosing one of the great prizes in his list including your choice of +2 ability tomes. So enjoy those cake slices and remind your friends to come get theirs as well. Now as cool as it is to get a magical wish-granting Djinni, there’s something else even cooler that’s starting today – our journey to the Forgotten Realms!
It all begins with Update 13: Web of Chaos which is available starting today! These free quests begin to unfold the series of events that will connect our Eberron world to Faerûn. Personally, I just can’t get enough of the final quest – I love the ending, but I won’t spoil it for you. You’ll just have to face the danger of the battle with the Spinner of Shadows and see it for yourself. We’ll also be starting bonus events from now until expansion to help players get their characters ready for the high level content, so watch for the announcements – the bonuses will get bigger and bigger the closer we get to launch day!
Today is also the start of our Menace of the Underdark pre-purchase program. That means you can buy the expansion starting today! Check out our Menace of the Underdark page to see the options available to players who pre-purchase the expansion. The bundles are designed for all types of players, from the casual player to the long-time DDO vet. We’ve even made some big features like the Druid class included with the VIP plan, so players who choose to subscribe can use them even if they don’t choose to buy the full expansion right away. I encourage you to check out our new MotU bundles FAQ which we’ve created to help cover questions you have about the pre-purchase offers.
My favorite thing about these pre-purchase bundles is that they all come loaded with cool stuff that you can use right away on your live characters! No waiting all the way until June to use those Tomes of Learning or play with your new Creature Companions! For those of us who love to True Reincarnate, the new XP tomes will be especially handy and (and they thankfully persist through TR , as all tomes will now do with the launch of U13).
We hope you will all enjoy collecting Creature Companions in our new cosmetic pet system. I’ll admit it: I was a little skeptical at first. But I was won over when I saw how cute and fun the creatures were that our artists started to make based on our myriad of existing D&D creatures. The first three are exclusively available through our pre-purchase program. It’s so hard to pick a favorite from these. I love the Wolf pup and I think he looks great with the collar. But I also get a kick out of telling my Underdark Spiderling to play dead - it’s like cathartic pay back for all those spider ambushes I’ve endured in my DDO adventures over the years. We’ll have tons of other pets available by the end of the year, but remember: if you love the Demonweb Spiderling, the Druid’s Wolf Pup, and the Onyx Panther Cub make sure that you pick up the expansion before June 24th, because these particular Companions are exclusive and won’t be in the store once pre-purchase ends!
There is so much great stuff coming with Menace of the Underdark that I can’t possibly cover it all here. In addition to the premium features we’ve already discussed, there will be a large number of technology upgrades, system updates and bug fixes which will improve the game experience for all of our players. For example, we are completely overhauling our enhancement system and filling out the PrEs for all classes! There will also be significant changes to help performance and reduce lag. We are releasing a lot of new information today, and we have plans for many more dev diaries and articles which will be posted in the coming months. Keep your eyes on DDO.com and the forums for more information.
Another important thing we are announcing today is that Update 14 will be coming this August! Just two months after Menace of the Underdark goes live, we are planning to release our first premium Forgotten Realms adventure pack. It introduces an all new story line and our second Epic level raid in the game. It’s a bit early to go into details on what will be in Update 14 and beyond, but I will plan another letter for the second half of the year to highlight more about what’s coming for your favorite MMO.
For anyone who prefers to buy Menace of the Underdark features a la carte using Turbine Points, these will be available for purchase in the DDO Store in August once Update 14 launches. To help you better decide how you will buy the expansion, we are announcing the U14 DDO Store prices today. Click here to read more. I can’t stress enough though that if you like the exclusives and bonus features we are announcing today, the only way to be sure you can get them is to pre-purchase by June 24th. The pre-purchase bundles are definitely going to be some of the best deals we will offer on the expansion.
In closing, I just want to say how excited we are to be working on this game and to get the opportunity to bring Forgotten Realms to life for our players. The support of our fans keeps us reaching for bigger and better things for DDO. We have been so gratified to see your excitement about our plans and we are working hard to make sure we deliver the biggest and best release in DDO’s history.
Thanks to all of our players for being a part of our game, and we’ll see you in Faerûn!