With Turbine developers at our side, we dove into the madness surrounding Dungeons & Dragons Online's Update 10 and emerged with enough sanity to share our experiences.
The Sane Asylum features some recurring characters, such as Durk the Deranged and Fred the Mindflayer. From what the team told me, owing to the growing influence of Xoriat, the Asylum is now used by the insane to drive sane prisoners crazy. Fred, being one of the least insane mindflayers, is a key victim and must be rescued from his prison. After dealing with some receptionists and orderlies who need a good lesson in proper manners, further areas were revealed after we downed a Nightmare enemy. Our characters changed to a ghostly translucent model, and new pathways opened up. We soon made our way to the asylum cells. Inside one of them, we found a secret passage with a treasure chest at the bottom, watched over (literally) but some creepy giant eye terrain. The team mentioned that these textures were to emphasize the Lord of Eyes, the master of Xoriat, and his increasing corruption of the world.
Teleporting forward, the team took me through a battle between twin beholder enemies named “The Right Eye” and “The Wrong Eye.” The two tag-team out, and defeating them involved one of several strategies – either everyone focusing on one side at a time, or splitting a group into two to take down both at the same time. However, there is an entirely different path to take as well; instead of fighting the beholders, a party can attempt to solve a multi-layered random puzzle near Fred. The puzzle changes every time the adventure is attempted, but completing it awards good experience and a chest, and allows a party to forgo a tough fight!
At this point we exited the Asylum and headed back to the Tower of the Twelve. The team mentioned that Update 10 allowed them a chance to update the Tower of the Twelve a bit as they spoke about the last two quests. The third quest involved getting help from the Lord of Eyes' nemesis, the Lord of Stone, ruler of creatures like medusas and gargoyles. The quests would also change the tower as the Lord of Eyes takes over. The final quest would involve defeating the Lord of Eyes using the power of the Lord of Stone.
And thus ended my Update 10 tour! Players can look forward to the continuation of the storylines they've played so far, as well as interesting new mechanics, enemies, gear and encounters. The insanity caused by Xoriat made for a creative twist to the normal questing I've seen in other games. The update is now live for free for VIP members, and will be available for purchase in the DDO Store starting June 24.
Paul "LockeColeMA Cleveland, Staff Writer