In case you didn't already know, Turbine recently announced that Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach has finally gone gold and will launch on February 28th (though it will be available on February 24th for those of you who have pre-ordered it). We've been following the game for a long time here on GameBanshee, so we wanted to sneak in one more interview before the game went live. Lucky for us, community manager Victor Wachter had some time to answer our questions. Here's what he had to say:
GB: Since we haven't spoken with you for several months, can you give us an update on how development is coming along on Dungeons & Dragons Online? How is beta testing coming along?
Victor: The beta is going really well. We’re getting tons of great feedback and we’re continuing to polish the game. It’s looking better and better every day. The team is focused on shoring up the game and getting ready for our February 28 release date.
GB: You recently started taking pre-orders for both standard and Limited Edition versions of Dungeons & Dragons Online. Can you give us an idea of what we can expect from the Limited Edition version? Are you planning on including some sort of headset with this edition?
Victor: Players who preorder DDO though will get a free in-game item (a +1 AC amulet), and will be able to begin playing the game on February 24. The Limited Edition includes Boots of Running for every character on your account, a double sided posted and a double sided Feats chart. Those interested in the preorder can find our more about it here.
GB: While we're on the topic of headsets, let's talk a bit about the game's integrated voice chat feature. How advanced will the feature be and what advantages will there be to using it?
Victor: The biggest improvement with DDO’s voice chat system is that it’s fully integrated into the game and the User Interface. This means players don’t have to set up a separate voice chat server in order to chat with their party-mates. In a game like DDO, with tactical combat and where a trap could be right around that next corner, having the ability to talk in real time with your party is a huge advantage.
GB: What can we expect in terms of multiclassing and prestige classes when the game launches?
Victor: The game won’t have prestige classes at launch, however multiclassing is in for launch. For those not familiar with the D&D rules, this means when you gain a level in DDO you can choose to advance in different classes. So if you start your character as a Cleric and then gain a level, you could choose to advance as a fighter. Your character would then have some abilities of a Cleric and some abilities of a Fighter. Players can advance in up to three classes with one character.
GB: When the game goes live, can you give us an estimate on how long you think it should take the average gamer to reach level 10 in D&D Online? Additionally, how many different character "slots" will be available to each account for multiple characters?
Victor: It’s really hard to judge how long it will take to “max out” a character since players vary so much in play style. I’m not sure there is any such thing as an “average” player!
GB: How much freedom will players have on the overall look of their character? Will we have access to a variety of clothing (for appearance only), equipment dyes, and perhaps even a way to change a character's face, hair, or body after character creation?
Victor: Character customization in DDO is very robust, allowing players to choose a variety of looks based on face, hair style/color, eye color, and of course choosing one of DDO’s five races (Human, Elf, Dwarf, Halfling, and Warforged). Characters customize in game is mostly through gaining items such as armor and weapons. Most of the wearable items in DDO are either armor or robes. We won’t have equipment dyes or the ability to change the look of your character after creation (other than wearables of course) however anything is possible after launch!