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D&DO Module 7: The Subterrane

Mike Schramm

Yes, it's our old friend the Marketplace Tent, now completely destroyed, with a small hole in the middle leading to the Subterrane. The devs told us that there will be a world event to open up the entrance -- the Grandmasters of the Twelve have gathered at the ruined Marketplace Tent and face a barrier, and they'll need players' help to open it up (how that's done wasn't fully explained, but Turbine did say that, in order to balance out server population issues and other differences between the servers, they may be tweaking the quest per server). The server we played on, however, had already had the quests completed, so we jumped down into the instance after the devs, and checked out the new higher-level content.

Inside, you will find a huge cavern, and three different entrances to three different areas within the raid level. The first vortex we entered went, we were told, to the Undead Giant area, where huge skeletons rose from the ground to start beating down our little Monk with all their might. We were playing with just the three of us, but in the actual game, the instance will be open to a full twelve players at a time, and from the forces we met down there, players will need a full group to survive.

The other new enemies we saw down below (besides the fishmen) were "living spells," animate versions of various spells. A Finger of Death spell nabbed a few ability points from our Monk, while a Fireball spell beat on the devs' characters -- while the spells don't have a lot of form to them, they aren't any slouches in the damage and annoyance department.

With not much time, we moved ahead quickly to an area the devs called the "Treasure Room," where, when a lever was pulled, a platform fell out below us and we plunged through a long, deep cavern (past glowing circles in the air), into a room full of gold. We didn't have any time to grab it, though, as a few giant skeletons, one of them a boss, and a whole lot of spectres flew in to beat the life out of us.

The devs explained that during this battle, the boss would eventually throw players back up into the air, and that those glowing circles we had passed represented safe zones, so players would have to aim for those to avoid large amounts of damage. And here, our old friend Abundant Leap came back into play -- as we were thrown up in the air, one of the Monks with us did a quick Abundant Leap sideways before being hit by a trap, and suddenly he was safe in the middle of one of the circles. Seriously: best Monk ability ever.

After the Undead Giant area, we headed next to the Xoriat area, where we saw a few familiar D&D foes -- Beholders patrolled the caverns, while Mind Flayers stalked the party from all sides, and pools of acid threatened every step we took. The DDO team, we should say, takes great pleasure in the Beholders -- not only did we see a new type called a "mini-beholder" ("It's like a little dog," says Paiz, "you just want to love him and hold him and let him take your levels off of you."), but we were told that somewhere in the Xoriat area, there "may or may not be a room full of ancient Beholders" for players to discover, or, probably more wisely, avoid.

The final area we visited in the Subterrane was the Devil area, and here's where players will see some familiar devilish faces from the previous content, as well as get some hints on the next Module, when players will actually take the fight to the plane of Shavarath itself.

But what is a dungeon without raid bosses? We also got to take a look at two big boss fights that will challenge players inside this new high-level content.

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