DDO Update 20: The past lives of robots and vampires

Justin Olivetti
J. Olivetti|11.06.13

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DDO Update 20: The past lives of robots and vampires
DDO Update 20 does vampires and robots in equal measure
With two Forgotten Realms-themed expansions under its belt, Dungeons and Dragons Online might look like a game that's focused on this popular setting while sweeping its "other" world of Eberron under the rug. However, Update 20 shows that Turbine has love for both worlds and the playerbase spread across them.

DDO's Update 20 has three important features on the docket: an Eberron dungeon, a Forgotten Realms dungeon, and changes to the reincarnation system and enhancement tree. This looks to be a good update for the thrifty subset, as all of its content is coming to the community free of charge.

This update's coming next Tuesday, November 12th, so forge ahead and prepare yourself for the adventures to come.

DDO Update 20 does vampires and robots in equal measure
Eberron: Brothers of the Forge

The Eberron dungeon is a CR 28 delve called Brothers of the Forge. It's here that players will reconnect with a familiar Warforged friend to return to the place that made him what he is in order to rescue a friend. The adventure takes you deep into the Mournlands to the Warforged Indoctrination Center, a place that pumped out all of those Warforged that fought in the last great war.

This is the first time that players will be visiting the Mournlands, a region that was nuked by a magical event a while back. The magical factory definitely draws upon Eberron's more science-fiction aesthetic, right down to all of the constructs that you fight off. You'll want to keep an eye out for useful artifacts during your exploration, as well as golems that you can repair to help you out.

You'll find out a lot about the backstory of the Warforged here, especially how these intelligent machines were trained to be brutal warriors. You'll also uncover the mystery of your Warforged's friend, but Turbine was coy with revealing it to us.

DDO Update 20 does vampires and robots in equal measure
Forgotten Realms: A Study in Sable

Take a mixture of murder mystery and classic vampire lore, and you'll be right at home with A Study in Sable. This CR 26 adventure throws players into a lavish mansion where all is not as it appears. Several guests have come under the influence of a vampire wizard, and it's only through exploration and detective work that you can snap them out of it.

Each run through this adventure will vary, as Turbine's randomized the order that the mansion opens up for you. Eventually, you'll explore places such as the attic, cellar, hedge maze (hello, The Shining!), and the crypt that holds the titular vampire. There's even a Scooby Doo-like secret door in the mansion's library that must be opened.

All your investigations will eventually lead to a confrontation with Lord Sable, a fight that will be considerably more difficult if he still holds guests in his thrall. Even with them out of the way -- either through questing or face-smashing -- you'll find the boss encounter impossible if you don't find a way to get some light in the chamber. This is old-school vampirism, kids, where light burns instead of giving the vamps an opportunity to pose all sparkle-like.

DDO Update 20 does vampires and robots in equal measure
Your key to the Hall of Heroes

Turbine is giving players more avenues to enrich their characters and explore the world. One place will feature strongly in both, the Hall of Heroes. This is an easily accessible building that serves two functions: it's a passageway between the Eberron and Forgotten Realms campaigns, and it has a room dedicated to reincarnation.

Reincarnation is getting a face-lift in addition to a couple of new types. A new UI will walk the player gaining special abilities by sacrificing a few levels. In addition to the two types of reincarnation currently in the game, Update 20 is adding Epic Reincarnation (where you go from level 28 back to level 20) and Iconic Reincarnation (where iconic characters go from level 28 to level 15). This UI comes with a screen that allows players to choose the perks that they'll carry into their next life.

We asked about the controversy revolving around the proposed changes to how players will get their true hearts of wood for reincarnation. Turbine said that while they were originally going to remove this as a reward from a level 20 quest, the team decided to let it be. For those looking to earn, not buy, epic and iconic hearts of wood, there will be a variety of quests that can be undertaken to do so.

Players will log in next Tuesday to find a beefier enhancement screen as well. The team's added a fifth level for each tree, although players will be limited to accessing this level in only one of their trees. One change that we were shown was melee attacks for casters.

From vampires to post-apocalyptic war training centers, Update 20 is certainly keeping things interesting in all of its worlds.

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