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Exploring Eberron: Turbine's downtime and what's next for OnedAwesome

Rubi Bayer, @@rubi_

This week's Nights of Eberron was a hit, with one glaring exception. Poor Orvidos ran afoul of one of the lesser-known quirks in Dungeons and Dragons Online, and wound up spending some quality time with Jeets in the tutorial -- something he did NOT want to do. He has a point, by the way. Does anyone really want to listen to "Oi! Can you move? Speak to me!" more than once or twice? Aside from that little glitch, things went swimmingly as we took on Searing Heights.

In the rest of the Dungeons and Dragons Online world, the community was buzzing over Wednesday's server downtime and the subsequent account downgrades.

So what happened with that, and just as importantly, what's next for OnedAwesome? I've got news on both fronts, so follow along after the jump for all the details.

Delera's Tomb

I have to confess, last week's choice of Searing Heights was largely for the XP. It's a great area, and I love wilderness adventure areas for their variety -- especially for a group as large as OnedAwesome. You can choose to explore and find landmarks, hunt down rare encounters, kill normal foes, or take advantage of the quests scattered about. Each choice offers a generous amount of XP, and everyone can find a style of play that she or he likes.

So why was I so concerned with XP? My overall goal was to set us on the path to Delera's Tomb. For those of you unfamiliar with it, Delera's is one of the most popular lower-level Adventure Packs around, and with good reason. For starters, your DM during part of your adventures is none other than the late great Gary Gygax. After he passed away in 2008, a memorial was erected in Delera's Graveyard to honor him. The memorial wasn't the only thing added to remember him -- when you complete the Delera's Adventure Pack you'll be able to choose a handy little trinket called Voice of the Master. This item gives a permanent +5% XP boost as long as you have it equipped, and is one of the most useful items you can have at low levels.

Delera's tomb is a level 5-11 Adventure Pack, so it will be a bit of a challenge for lower-level players and newer members, but it will still be very doable. The full Adventure Pack is extremely lengthy, so we'll begin grouping right at 9:00. We'll meet in House Jorasco, where Derek Grospic stands at the entrance to Delera's. Derek is on the far east side of House Jorasco -- take a look at the map above -- and we'll be in district 3 as usual. The DDO Wiki has a good section on this Adventure Pack, so a look-through will help you know what to expect if you haven't been before. Finally, since most veteran players have been through Delera's more times than they can count, "tour guides" -- players willing to take newer players through at a slower pace -- would be more than welcome.

Server downtime

Moving on to news of the DDO world beyond OnedAwesome, if you tried to log in during the day Wednesday... well, it didn't work. The servers were down, leading to a lot of frustrated players. Once the problem was fixed, another issue cropped up: a large amount of premium players were suddenly downgraded to free status and could no longer access any of their paid content.

There is no doubt that this is an incredibly frustrating situation. You've spent your money, you've spent your time, there's even a shiny new bonus in game right now -- which I'll explore a little more in a moment -- and there you sit, locked out of everything you paid for. The longer it goes on, the more annoyed you get, and with very good cause.

However, it's good to take some time to set the frustration aside and think about what's going on in the Turbine offices. The most basic fact here is that Turbine wants you to spend money. Most of the staff are in this business for love of the game and are gamers just like you, but they most likely wouldn't do it if there were no paychecks. There's no way they're all kicking back with Starbucks and relaxing while something is seriously wrong and there are hordes of angry gamers at the door... figuratively speaking, of course.

So where do things stand now? Turbine's Tarrant has been keeping in touch regularly with the forum-goers, and his latest update sums it up pretty well: "This is a very frustrating issue, both on our side and yours. As soon as we have more information for you we will post it, but as of right now we don't have anything to update you with. We are working very hard to get this resolved as quickly as possible." It might be possible to slap a temporary patch on things to apply a bandage to the problem, but from the sounds of things, Turbine is anxious to do it right and solve the problem at the core rather than go for the easy fix and risk it happening again. We may not like the longer wait while they do this, but in the end it will be worth it if the issue never crops up again.

For those of you who can access everything you should be able to, Turbine has offered up a little thank-you gift for being so patient during the downtime: better loot until June 6th. It's a great perk, and hopefully the premium players who are shut out will be able to participate in this very soon.

We'll keep a close eye on the situation in the regular Massively coverage, of course, and I'll see you guys in Delera's on the Cannith server next Wednesday at 9PM EST!

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