Hands-on with Menace of the Underdark
Recently we had a chance to sit down and actually play the game for a little, experiencing some of the additions first-hand. While we couldn't go as deep as we would have liked, we got a taste, and came out with a few things we thought you might be interested in hearing about.
Though the coolest thing we found out was exactly how epic these Epic Destinies are. The Monk's highest-level Epic Destiny, for instance, unlocks the ability to punch people through time. Seriously. He/she punches an enemy so hard they disappear from the battlefield, re-appearing a little while later having taken a ton of damage. If that isn't epic, we don't know what is.
Each form comes with its own bonuses and synergies to the Druids other skills and abilities, too. The fire elemental form, for instance, gave the Druid more powerful fire spells, though it weakened his ice and water spells respectively. The wolf also had a few tricks up its sleeve, including a dash attack that let it effortlessly and almost instantly sprint massive distances.
The Rift Between Worlds and a special guest
The Demon Queen of Spiders, Lolth, is wreaking havoc on Eberron, and joining it with The Forgotten Realms universe through The Rift Between Worlds. We explored this area and got a glimpse at some of the new enemies wed have to face, but the coolest thing we ran into wasnt a foe at all, but a friend. Elminster Aumar, one of the most well-known D&D characters, saved us from enemies in the Rift, and though the character model was just a placeholder it was still a cool, somewhat surreal moment akin to meeting up with Luke Skywalker in a Star Wars MMO.
In fact, it literally looked like an entirely new world. We were told that the art team went as far as to remodel the trees and create new shaders and effects just to help convey the idea that you werent traveling between continents, but worlds. They did a great job, and though Eveningstar was filled with placeholder NPCs, it still felt like a fully-fleshed out area that was unlike anything in the rest of DDO.
A new red dragon
In keeping with D&Ds lore of having all dragons look unique, the red dragon we fought didnt share much in common visually with the other big, winged beasts in DDO. Instead, it had both its own look and its own gameplay style. Whereas many of DDOs bosses require you to essentially trick them into fighting fair (for fear of them spawning a bunch of nearly unkillable minions), this new guy fights his own battles, flying around the small arena and taking on both ranged and melee fighters alike, just how it should be.