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  1. #1
    Franchise Director ProducerRowan's Avatar
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    Default Holiday Producer's Letter

    Happy Winter Holidays!

    We’re coming to the end of 2013, and with that I’d like to capture some important moments from this year and give you insight into next.

    This year the DDO Team made a commitment to reduce bugs, increase quality and deliver the features we promised. We’re not 100% yet on all counts, but here are some points of success and failure.

    Critical Misses:
    • Mabar Festival. This event was loaded with more bugs and design flaws than we expected, and our best option was to close it early. Gargoyles are serious performance hogs, and the Vampires shouldn’t be permanently invisible. Expect us to take this back to the workshop and rebuild it before we re-introduce it.
    • Item duplication exploit. This was the result of another bug that we fixed. It’s an MMO classic and strangely made me nostalgic, but still has negative impacts on the game. Natural 1, ouch.



    Critical Hits:
    • Enhancements! This feature has been in development almost two years, so it’s great to see the light of day. From the feedback and activity we’re seeing most of you don’t actively hate it, which means a good number of people may actively accept it, and some players may secretly love the changes. The new enhancement structure makes it much easier for us to introduce new PREs, such as the Warpriest and Eldritch Knight.
    • Storm Horn Mountains. This adventure area is the largest we’ve ever built, and arguably the most beautiful. Our goal was also to recreate the experience of exploration in Dungeons & Dragons, complete with varied creatures and random encounters. I believe we succeeded.
    • Epic Reincarnation. Extending reincarnation creates new opportunities for you to customize and advance your characters. We view this as only one step along the path to create a stable and substantial endgame along with adding new level cap content, settling on a persistent level cap (30), and making endgame systems like items and advancement more robust.



    All this leads us to 2014, and the next set of key features we have planned for DDO. The features listed here are confirmed, meaning we’re committing to delivering them in 2014 (barring divine intervention or disaster).

    Our first update of the year introduces two level 30 raids in the dwarf ruins of Thunderholme. The adventure area covers 7 floors with multiple raid and group encounters, while the raids start with a mated pair of red dragons and culminate in a confrontation with Aurgloroasa the Sibilant Shade. In addition to these two raids, we’ve reserved the option to add a third later in the year.

    With the 40th Anniversary of Dungeons & Dragons, we’ll also be introducing a tribute to the classic Ed Greenwood module Haunted Halls of Eveningstar. This dungeon will have a version matching the published module, and an extended version using Ed’s unpublished notes that introduces you to Whisper’s Crypt. The Original Elminster (Ed) will provide the Dungeon Master voice and an optional author’s commentary around creating this beloved adventure.

    Thunderholme and Haunted Halls will both be free to VIPs.

    DDO’s second update of the year will be pirate-themed, with new Guild Airship models, layouts, decorations and amenities. We’ll also revisit Three Barrel Cove to extend it into Epic levels.

    The third update of the year will take you to Anauroch, the not-so-barren desert to the north of Cormyr. You will have the chance to battle the armies of Netheril and challenge a new enemy – the enigmatic Phaerimm.

    Our final update of 2014 will extend the level cap to 30, which is intended to be DDO’s “permanent” level cap and complete the Epic levels. With this update we’ll be looking at ways to complete and improve existing systems like Epic Destinies.


    I hear the initial comments already – wow Rowan, good stuff but what about [my favorite feature]! Remember that I’m only listing the features we’ve confirmed. There are many other ideas in process, only some of which will go into the game and out to live worlds.

    One concept that we’re working through (but not promising) is end-game items. Initial proposals for this had internal names like “Greensteel 2,” “Intelligent Weapons” and “Sentient Weapons.” (Yes, there are implications of difference between “Intelligent” and “Sentient” weapons, depending on the version of D&D.) Ultimately these are items that are acquired in the endgame, earn experience and advance with you, and could require you to sacrifice other equipment to them to develop their power. Design has barely begun on this, but it may release in multiple phases and include crafting elements.

    The team is also considering (but not promising) a range of additions, including scaling more content to Epic levels, adding new Classes or Iconics, adding new Enhancement paths or Epic Destinies, and possibly introducing player housing in Eberron.

    Please let us know what you’d like to see next year, and onward as we develop and improve Dungeons & Dragons Online.

  2. #2
    Community Member Chaimberland's Avatar
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    Awesome! Can't wait!

  3. #3
    Community Member Havok.cry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProducerRowan View Post

    DDO’s second update of the year will be pirate-themed, with new Guild Airship models, layouts, decorations and amenities. We’ll also revisit Three Barrel Cove to extend it into Epic levels.
    Best news in your letter. This makes me happy.

    Quote Originally Posted by ProducerRowan View Post
    The third update of the year will take you to Anauroch, the not-so-barren desert to the north of Cormyr. You will have the chance to battle the armies of Netheril and challenge a new enemy – the enigmatic Phaerimm.
    I wsh you would finish the story lines in ebberon, it is a far more interesting place than the forgotten realms. The forgotten realms are generic and unimaginative, full of every cliche 90% of fantasy authors have used for the last 100 years (or more). Ebberon on the other hand is a far more imaginative setting. You are doing the game an injustice by abandoning it. Not that my opinion will convince you.

    Quote Originally Posted by ProducerRowan View Post
    Our final update of 2014 will extend the level cap to 30, which is intended to be DDO’s “permanent” level cap and complete the Epic levels. With this update we’ll be looking at ways to complete and improve existing systems like Epic Destinies.
    in my honest opinion, this should be done earlier. Moving the level cap destabilizes the game. Move it earlier and then add in the raids, this way if continues to be unstable but then you spend the rest of the year stabilizing it. Otherwise you are going to have a rocky year.


    Quote Originally Posted by ProducerRowan View Post
    One concept that we’re working through (but not promising) is end-game items. Initial proposals for this had internal names like “Greensteel 2,” “Intelligent Weapons” and “Sentient Weapons.” (Yes, there are implications of difference between “Intelligent” and “Sentient” weapons, depending on the version of D&D.) Ultimately these are items that are acquired in the endgame, earn experience and advance with you, and could require you to sacrifice other equipment to them to develop their power. Design has barely begun on this, but it may release in multiple phases and include crafting elements.

    The team is also considering (but not promising) a range of additions, including scaling more content to Epic levels, adding new Classes or Iconics, adding new Enhancement paths or Epic Destinies, and possibly introducing player housing in Eberron.

    Please let us know what you’d like to see next year, and onward as we develop and improve Dungeons & Dragons Online.
    This sounds interesting. We shall see.
    Matt Walsh:
    But Truth is eternal, so it can never be old or new. It never ‘was’ or ‘will be.’ It just ‘is.’ It always ‘is.’

  4. #4
    Community Member Luxgolg's Avatar
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    What is happening to the lootgen?

  5. #5
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    Sentient weapons... omg. I-want-it.
    You guys are doing it right..still too bugs and some silly attempt of moneygrab like the number of CoV required for an ETR, but when the cap will be 30 with some cool endgame content, DDO will be a GREAT game

  6. #6
    Franchise Director ProducerRowan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luxgolg View Post
    What is happening to the lootgen?
    You should see more prefixes and suffixes back in the game with next week's patch.

    This is an ongoing process, we have more planned.

    Although I expect we'll live with Ghostbane memes for a long time.

  7. #7
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    Are players ever going to see "Capstones that are equal or better than Evasion" like we were told to expect during the Enhancement pass?

  8. #8
    Community Member voodoogroves's Avatar
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    Thanks for the update!

    Stormhorns are indeed pretty, but the epic-bandits-and-rats is immersion-killing. Any chance it can be run over by spellplagued mutants or dropped to a lower-heroic level as an option in the future? What you're doing w/ the Annuarwhatever is the right mapping of theme and scale; but you'll find many D&D players think you missed the mark with that measure in Stormhorns (and Wheloon)

    Excited to see more Eberron - but curious if it will be largely "Pirate" or have a more Eberron-specific flavor/fluff aside from what already exists?

    Fixing the cap at 30 (or whatever) is going to help you tremendously. Sooner is better.

    Will any of this content be lower-level?
    Ghallanda - now with fewer alts and more ghostbane

  9. #9
    Community Member voodoogroves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProducerRowan View Post
    You should see more prefixes and suffixes back in the game with next week's patch.

    This is an ongoing process, we have more planned.

    Although I expect we'll live with Ghostbane memes for a long time.
    Will the crafting systems be updated to the new models?
    Ghallanda - now with fewer alts and more ghostbane

  10. #10
    The Hatchery Mryal's Avatar
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    Happy Summer Holidays sir!

    Ok so, following what you did, my opinions on what went trought:

    -New Content : Awesome.Loved the new expansion,really well made.
    -Epic TR and Iconic TR: see, this is a good idea, but has flaws.Ways of obtaining hearts is horrible honestly, theres almost no difference between getting comms in hard or elite, and its a hell of a grind.However, the idea as a whole, is great.Specialy iconic TR, when iconics where first released they seemed silly to me.Now with the possibility of TRing em and TRing into em ive alredy bought bladeforged from store, so this is a marketing idea that worked out! (for me anyway).

    Of whats still to come : Ha, 3bc, never did that.Looking forward to buying when it comes on epic.Same for lv 30 raids, and the whole idea of epic items that upgrade as you level...Very interesting.Consider making them interact with your past lives?

    My things that id like to see:
    Reavers Refuge on epic.
    Revamp of the old shard/seal/scroll epic items.This is a must, please.They just get even more outdated as new updates come, and they are much rarer than all the new stuff.
    Better ways to get commendations of valor.

    Lastly.I wanna be VIP.But the payment options for beign VIP are horrible.The ones trought myaccount or throught DDO online market are not the same as for buying TP in DDO Store, wich uses a far better company.Why not let people buy VIP months trought TP? OR just buy VIP months directly from DDO Store.
    Give every person a gun and the richest man is the one that sells crutches

  11. #11
    Community Member jasonchrist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Havok.cry View Post

    I wsh you would finish the story lines in ebberon
    You are doing the game an injustice by abandoning it.
    I don't agree with everything he said, but I think these statements should really be considered.

  12. #12
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    Another year of no Gnomes?

    Come on, it's the last basic race. Release an Iconic Hero of either a Gnome Artificer or Gnome Illusionist to make up for some of the cost for this last free race.

    It's not really D&D when Gnomes aren't a playable race and Goblins aren't being killed.

    PS, can we kill goblins next year?
    Last edited by oradafu; 12-03-2013 at 10:33 AM.

  13. #13
    Community Member Arianka's Avatar
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    how about another race or 2? many clamoring for gnomes...meh, i don't care about them.

    i would like to see aasimars and tieflings as player races tho.


    how about the long-promised quality of life patch the guy before u promised? that would be nice.

  14. #14
    Franchise Director ProducerRowan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oradafu View Post
    Another year of no Gnomes?
    An active discussion around here. We want it, the challenge is fitting it into the art schedule.

  15. #15
    The Hatchery CThruTheEgo's Avatar
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    I am now giddy at the thought of epic 3BC.
    Totally Bass Ackwards ~ int based/heavy armored pure tempest<>The Count of Monte Cristo ~ dps/CC/survivability focused pure swashbuckler<>Santa's Little Slayer ~ dragonmarked elf centered kensai<>Hassan's Assassin ~ 76 DC/dps/survivability focused human assassin<>Dubbell O'Seven ~ casting/ranged WF artificer

  16. #16
    Community Member Lauf's Avatar
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    Love the news, it sounds awesome! a lot to look forward to.

    as for your hits and misses, allow me to direct your attention to this thread:
    https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthrea...ng-a-character

    the current number of vcoms required for hearts is completely out of whack, and is eating at what is in its core a good new TR system.

  17. #17
    Forum Turtle
    2014 DDO Players Council
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    My group laughed at my love of the three barrel cove quests, and now I predict they're going to stop laughing and start wanting me to run them with them again. With the exception of three toad tobias and the trog/Garl thing which came across as pretty generic, they were different and imaginative and not the same 'run through ordinary dungeon and kill things). I particularly loved Prove Your Worth and The Scoundrel's Run (TURTLE!).
    Turtel, Turtley Wrath, Tortoisse, Waterssong, Victerr Creed, Utahraptor, Velocaraptor, Minddancer, Loggerhead, Matamata, Sulcata, Ticerratops, Sierrann, Hankx, Shartelhane

    Member of Highlords of Malkier! Help channel, everyone welcome in this channel!

  18. #18
    Community Member Cetus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProducerRowan View Post
    Happy Winter Holidays!

    We’re coming to the end of 2013, and with that I’d like to capture some important moments from this year and give you insight into next.

    This year the DDO Team made a commitment to reduce bugs, increase quality and deliver the features we promised. We’re not 100% yet on all counts, but here are some points of success and failure.

    Critical Misses:
    • Mabar Festival. This event was loaded with more bugs and design flaws than we expected, and our best option was to close it early. Gargoyles are serious performance hogs, and the Vampires shouldn’t be permanently invisible. Expect us to take this back to the workshop and rebuild it before we re-introduce it.
    • Item duplication exploit. This was the result of another bug that we fixed. It’s an MMO classic and strangely made me nostalgic, but still has negative impacts on the game. Natural 1, ouch.



    Critical Hits:
    • Enhancements! This feature has been in development almost two years, so it’s great to see the light of day. From the feedback and activity we’re seeing most of you don’t actively hate it, which means a good number of people may actively accept it, and some players may secretly love the changes. The new enhancement structure makes it much easier for us to introduce new PREs, such as the Warpriest and Eldritch Knight.
    • Storm Horn Mountains. This adventure area is the largest we’ve ever built, and arguably the most beautiful. Our goal was also to recreate the experience of exploration in Dungeons & Dragons, complete with varied creatures and random encounters. I believe we succeeded.
    • Epic Reincarnation. Extending reincarnation creates new opportunities for you to customize and advance your characters. We view this as only one step along the path to create a stable and substantial endgame along with adding new level cap content, settling on a persistent level cap (30), and making endgame systems like items and advancement more robust.



    All this leads us to 2014, and the next set of key features we have planned for DDO. The features listed here are confirmed, meaning we’re committing to delivering them in 2014 (barring divine intervention or disaster).

    Our first update of the year introduces two level 30 raids in the dwarf ruins of Thunderholme. The adventure area covers 7 floors with multiple raid and group encounters, while the raids start with a mated pair of red dragons and culminate in a confrontation with Aurgloroasa the Sibilant Shade. In addition to these two raids, we’ve reserved the option to add a third later in the year.

    With the 40th Anniversary of Dungeons & Dragons, we’ll also be introducing a tribute to the classic Ed Greenwood module Haunted Halls of Eveningstar. This dungeon will have a version matching the published module, and an extended version using Ed’s unpublished notes that introduces you to Whisper’s Crypt. The Original Elminster (Ed) will provide the Dungeon Master voice and an optional author’s commentary around creating this beloved adventure.

    Thunderholme and Haunted Halls will both be free to VIPs.

    DDO’s second update of the year will be pirate-themed, with new Guild Airship models, layouts, decorations and amenities. We’ll also revisit Three Barrel Cove to extend it into Epic levels.

    The third update of the year will take you to Anauroch, the not-so-barren desert to the north of Cormyr. You will have the chance to battle the armies of Netheril and challenge a new enemy – the enigmatic Phaerimm.

    Our final update of 2014 will extend the level cap to 30, which is intended to be DDO’s “permanent” level cap and complete the Epic levels. With this update we’ll be looking at ways to complete and improve existing systems like Epic Destinies.


    I hear the initial comments already – wow Rowan, good stuff but what about [my favorite feature]! Remember that I’m only listing the features we’ve confirmed. There are many other ideas in process, only some of which will go into the game and out to live worlds.

    One concept that we’re working through (but not promising) is end-game items. Initial proposals for this had internal names like “Greensteel 2,” “Intelligent Weapons” and “Sentient Weapons.” (Yes, there are implications of difference between “Intelligent” and “Sentient” weapons, depending on the version of D&D.) Ultimately these are items that are acquired in the endgame, earn experience and advance with you, and could require you to sacrifice other equipment to them to develop their power. Design has barely begun on this, but it may release in multiple phases and include crafting elements.

    The team is also considering (but not promising) a range of additions, including scaling more content to Epic levels, adding new Classes or Iconics, adding new Enhancement paths or Epic Destinies, and possibly introducing player housing in Eberron.

    Please let us know what you’d like to see next year, and onward as we develop and improve Dungeons & Dragons Online.
    So only 3 raids planned for the whole year?
    Cetus Heroic Lives: #32/32 | Epic Completionist: #20/24 | Iconic Lives: #6/6
    Cetusz - Pure Sorcerer: Heroic Lives: #24/24 | Epic Lives: #6/12 | Iconic Lives: #1/3
    YouTube Channel HERE
    Argonnessen's DEGENERATE MATTER

  19. #19
    Community Member Arianka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProducerRowan View Post
    An active discussion around here. We want it, the challenge is fitting it into the art schedule.
    MAKE the "artists" work a LOT of OT then.

    prob solved.

  20. #20
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    Hello Producer Rowan

    First of all - these Changes sounds awesome.

    Second of all: What I would love to see in game:

    First: Much more epic end game content including many raids. While 2 sounds very nice, I am strongly raising my voice for the third one you mentioned. If you then add another two - three in 2015, we will have our complete raid scene back.

    I STRONGLY suggest to make at least some of the raid drop crafting stuff like Shroud does. Or turn Shroud epic. That would be like Christmas.

    Second: I would really apreticiate player housing. I will pay for it. If you let me put my named items from various raids and other content on walls of my home as trophies, I will love you. And I am willing to pay immoral amount of money for that.

    Third: Either return back to more Ebberon content (Mournlands please!!!) or even better.... and i know this is just my wish that wont happen, but I would pay even 200 bucks for such expansion.... Sigil. We will be level 30.... What other place but Sigil is there to conquer?

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