previewed on PC
Into the Darkness
Vermin scramble from sight as you approach an old wooden door, weak from age and thick with dust. Tearvi, your rogue, signals the group to stay back as she stealthily glides to the doors threshold and begins her inspection. A few tense seconds pass, when she signals back the all clear and steps aside to let you open the decaying door. As you open the door, the hinges give a load sqeek and a rush of stagnant decay filled air rushes past your face. You can sense the evil within this room. You can not see it, but you know it can see you as it lays in wait. You turn to your adventuring party and motion them forward into the cold darkness. As the light of the living is snuffed out as you enter the room, you think to yourself, "The old man was right after all, the dead do in fact walk among us."
An old friend
Those of us who are familiar with the world of Dungeons and Dragons will be bale to relate to such a situation and recall fond memories of games long past. The dice, the character sheets, and the ever present hazard of spilt soda all over the gaming table. This is only some of what made the grandfather of fantasy gaming great and long lasting as it is today. Now, thanks to Atari and Turbine Games, Dungeon and Dragons takes a turn down the unexplored path of PC gaming with Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach. Dungeons and Dragons Online (Dungeons and Dragons Online) is based on the most recent 3.5 rule set of D&D and set in the newest campaign world of Eberron, in which Stormreach is one of the greatest cities. Dungeons and Dragons Online will not be just another MMORPG where you run around, quest, grind, and farm. Dungeons and Dragons Online is going to take the MMORPG and turn it on its ear with new concepts and a groundbreaking playstyle which will appeal to many and drive even more insane with frustration.
Combat is now real time, unlike the turn based system of other MMO counterparts. Dungeons and Dragons Online becomes more of an action game when combat begins allowing you duck, dodge, jump, and block received attacks. There will be no more getting hit by an attack by a creature you ran from and already have a huge head start on. If you are out of melee range, then the attack will of course miss. You can also finally use terrain features as cover, which means no more getting killed by a fireball that hit you through a tree or rock.
Halflings arent Gnomes!
Currently there are five playable races. You have your standard human, elf, dwarf thing, then you have the return of the halflings. Finally, you have the Warforged, which is a race exclusive to the world of Eberron. The Warforged is a magical race of constructs, golems, that have been created by wizards for specific tasks and given exceptional skills and intelligence, they have, in one way or another, gained there in dependance. The Warforged will seem like the obvious choice of best race due to there amazing racial abilities, but remember, this is D&D. Every advantage comes at a price. Warforged can not be healed by normal means, nor can then use normal equipment as well as other hefty disadvantages.
These five races become any of nine classes, warrior, barbarian, paladin, ranger,rogues, bard, mage, sorcerer, and cleric. A mutliclassing system is also in place just as the real 3.5 D&D to allow versatility of characters. Currently the character level max is 10, however, this has caused a lot of MMO players to balk, but keep in mind, this isn't Everquest or World of Warcraft. This is Dungeons and Dragons, where level 20 is epic and usually the end of a chracters' adventuring career. Also, setting a lower level maximum allows for room for expansion.
Working for your keep...
Adventuring is the only way to gain experience in Dungeons and Dragons Online, and this is not in the form of running out to the closest monster and "grinding" your way to 10. Guess what, no dice, you only gain experience through "completed" missions! That level cap seems a bit further away now doesn't it? In addition, Dungeons and Dragons Online is not solo friendly, much like the real Dungeons and Dragons, it is unlikely you will survive even the easiest dungeon or mission by yourself. Dungeons and Dragons Online holds very close to the mechanical system of 3.5, therefore, it is unforgiving. Mages will only take a hit or two at first level because they only have 4 to 6 HPs. Dungeons and Dragons Online is built for groups, it is a social game, if you like to play MMO's the solo way, you will be extremely disappointed and aggravated.
Dungeons and Dragons Online is currently one of the most anticipated RPGMMOs scheduled for release. Preorders are on sale and the game is set to go live as of February 28. Check back with us soon for a detailed review of Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach.