GB Feature: Dungeons & Dragons Online: Menace of the Underdark Preview

12 May 2012

Earlier this week I was treated to a guided tour of Turbine's upcoming Dungeons & Dragons Online: Menace of the Underdark expansion pack, and that means that we have a brand new hands-on preview ready for your reading enjoyment. What's more, I was also allowed to take a bevy of screenshots and record some of my own footage of Eveningstar and the druid's shapeshifting ability (the dire bear's dance animation isn't finalized yet!):



And a snip from the article itself:
Without question, the biggest surge in epic-level power for players will be obtained through the new Epic Destiny system. In this system, a player will speak with a Fatespinner NPC to initially choose from one of ten separate destiny trees that they'd like their character to gain experience toward (Eric assures me that more destinies will be offered after the expansion ships, too). Each of the destiny trees is geared toward a specific role or theme, but there is nothing stopping, say, a barbarian from picking the "Exalted Angel" destiny to gain access to an assortment of divine bonuses and abilities that might be more synergistic with their particular character build. As normal questing experience is accrued, it is divided between two pools - one for regular leveling and one for epic destiny leveling - with the latter awarding action points at certain intervals that can then be spent on the destiny tree that they currently have chosen.

At any time, a character can switch to another adjacent destiny that they've unlocked and begin advancing through it, with one major caveat: bonuses and abilities granted by a destiny can only be utilized when it's the active destiny. This roadblock can be circumvented through the use of fate points, however. By earning fate points, a player can unlock "Twists of Fate", which are essentially open slots that can house abilities from an alternate destiny. There are a total of three Twists of Fate available to a character, so ultimately you could have access to one entire destiny tree and a trio of abilities from other destinies. If a player goes that route, however, the three abilities they choose must be from the two lowest tiers on the destiny trees. Should they find that isn't sufficient, they can instead use their fate points to upgrade a previously unlocked Twist of Fate so that it can gain access to tier 3/4 and tier 5/6 abilities, though obviously this comes at the expense of having less total accessible abilities from other destinies.