Eberron Soon Free to Explore in Turbine's D&D Online

abbotDungeons & Dragons Online, Turbine’s under-performing adaptation of the popular pen-and-paper game and its Eberron setting is going through changes when Dungeons & Dragons Online: Eberron Unlimited launches this summer. The relaunch converts the existing game – D&D Online: Stormreach from a subscription game to a free-to-play title. In addition to changing the business model, the game is also promising to increase the current level cap to 20 while including many features typically reserved for paid games like crafting, raiding and guilds.

Dungeons & Dragons Online uses a highly altered version of the 3rd Edition Dungeons & Dragons rules and includes many of the core classes players will recognize from the tabletop settings. For those unfamiliar, Eberron – the game’s setting, has a distinct magi-punk feel featuring Indiana Jones meets The Lord of the Rings style themes and locations. The game will not restrict player levels or play time and will also implement a new DDO Store feature for players to purchase dungeons packs, hirelings and equipment not available in the standard game. Additionally a new DDO Unlimited VIP account option gain server priority, more character slots and access to all premium content along with a stipend of 500 DDO Store credits each month for upgrades and alterations.

As a fan of D&D, I avoided the game once I discovered it was not going to accurately model the game it was licensed from, but this switch to a free-play mode might just convince me to take a crack at it. Considering the rumor that Atari might be considering using newly acquired Cryptic Studios to revamp their Neverwinter Nights franchise as an MMO could there be a fight for the D&D MMO on the horizon?

You can check out the full details in the press release after the jump. Those interested in offering to beta the new title can also apply here.

DUNGEONS & DRAGONS ONLINE®: EBERRON UNLIMITED

Free Digital Upgrade Introduces Unlimited Free Play and Raises Level Cap; Beta Begins Today

WESTWOOD, MA – June 9, 2009 – Turbine, Inc. announced today the start of the Beta program for Dungeons & Dragons Online®:  Eberron UnlimitedTM (DDO Unlimited), a free digital upgrade for Dungeons & Dragons Online®: StormreachTM. DDO Unlimited will raise the level cap and add major new content, as well as make the game free to play for everyone. The new DDO Unlimited delivers heart-pounding game play featuring the industry’s best combat system, a massive world with state-of-the-art graphics and gameplay, and a rich set of features that until now could only be found only in premium subscription-based MMOs.  Launching later this summer, DDO Unlimited will introduce an innovative new pricing model that allows players to download and play for free, purchasing adventure packs, items, and account services a la carte from the new DDO Store, or to subscribe to get unlimited access to all of the game’s content. Players interested in getting a sneak peak of the new DDO Unlimited can sign up for a chance to participate in the Beta program at http://www.ddo.com.

“Our team has spent years crafting DDO Unlimited into a powerhouse experience featuring cutting-edge graphics, a kick-ass combat system, high level content, and cutting-edge social tools.  Today marks a major milestone as we prepare to launch the world’s most exciting free MMO,” said Kate Paiz, Senior Producer.

“Turbine is blazing a new trail with an innovative new pricing structure that will deliver a new era of choice for the growing market of online gamers, and we are very excited to invite players to work with us in the DDO Unlimited Beta program as we redefine how people play and pay for MMOs,” added Fernando Paiz, Executive Producer.

DDO Unlimited delivers the best combat of any MMO and the most heart-pounding action this side of a keyboard, plus a lot more!

  • Brand New Content & Features – DDO Unlimited will deliver a new class, increase the level cap, introduce new adventure packs including a new 12 player raid, major combat improvements and more!
  • The Fiercest Combat – DDO Unlimited features an extraordinary and heart stopping combat experience that requires players to fully engage in the battle by relying on their wits and reflexes in real time. No more clicking skills and watching the action from the sideline.
  • Mind-blowing Visuals – Explore a vast and dangerous online world, featuring the most advanced graphics in the industry, that is stuffed with the legendary monsters, glorious treasures, devious traps, mind-bending puzzles and endless adventures from the world’s best known RPG.
  • Full-featured MMO – Experience sophisticated systems found only in the best games including auctions, arena death matches (Player versus Player), NPC hirelings, gambling, crafting, and powerful social tools for finding a group, forming a guild or planning an epic raid!
  • Easier Than Ever! – DDO Unlimited gets you playing in minutes instead of hours, using new proprietary Turbine technology. Creating a new character is incredibly simple with guides and templates that speed you through the process. Features an all-new new player experience that gives gamers their first taste of excitement quickly while teaching them how to play solo or with a group of fellow adventurers.

DDO Unlimited is based on the world-renowned DUNGEONS & DRAGONS® franchise of  Wizards of the Coast LLC, a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc.® (NYSE: HAS),  under license to Infogrames Entertainment S.A.®  Published by Atari, Inc.®, DDO has been enthusiastically received by many gaming critics, including The New York Times, PC Gamer, Game Informer and many more. For the latest information, please visit www.ddo.com.

About Turbine

Turbine, Inc. is the premier creator and operator of massive, persistent online worlds that foster powerful social gaming communities.  Turbine is the largest privately-held online gaming studio in North America and has created some of the world’s most popular and award-winning online games, including The Lord of the Rings OnlineTM, Dungeons & Dragons Online®: StormreachTM, and Asheron’s Call®.  For more information on Turbine, its products and services please visit www.turbine.com.

About Atari

New York-based Atari, Inc. develops interactive games for all platforms and is one of the largest third-party publishers of interactive entertainment software in the U.S. The Company’s 1,000+ titles include hard-core, genre-defining franchises such as The MatrixTM (Enter The Matrix and The Matrix: Path of Neo) and Test Drive®; and mass-market and children’s franchises such as Nickelodeon’s Blue’s CluesTM and Dora the ExplorerTM, and Dragon Ball Z®. Atari, Inc. is a majority-owned subsidiary of France-based Infogrames Entertainment SA (Euronext – ISIN: FR-0000052573), the largest interactive games publisher in Europe. For more information, visit www.atari.com.

About Hasbro

Hasbro (NYSE: HAS) is a worldwide leader in children’s and family leisure time entertainment products and services, including the design, manufacture and marketing of games and toys ranging from traditional to high-tech. Both internationally and in the U.S., its PLAYSKOOL, TONKA, MILTON BRADLEY, PARKER BROTHERS, TIGER and WIZARDS OF THE COAST brands and products provide the highest quality and most recognizable play experiences in the world.

About Wizards of the Coast

Wizards of the Coast LLC, a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE:HAS), is a worldwide leader in the trading card game and tabletop role-playing game categories, and a leading developer and publisher of game-based entertainment products. The company holds an exclusive patent on trading card games (TCGs) and their method of play and produces the premier trading card game, Magic: The Gathering®, among many other trading card games and family card and board games. Wizards is also a leading publisher of role-playing games, such as Dungeons & Dragons®, and publisher of fantasy series fiction with numerous New York Times best-sellers. For more information, visit the Wizards of the Coast website at www.wizards.com.

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1 Comment on Eberron Soon Free to Explore in Turbine's D&D Online

Jerry

On June 12, 2009 at 12:56 am

As an Eberron fan, you really owe it to yourself to check out Dungeons and Dragons Online. It’s an amazing game! Yeah, the 3.5 rules have been adapted to fit well into an active-combat-focused MMO, but there’s a ton of coolness that you are missing by not giving the game a chance! Now’s the time to rectify that oversight.