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The second zone we were taken to looked at first like a maze crawling with a bunch of incidental monsters. When players first pop in, they'll be separated into the four corners of the maze and have to fight their way to the center to reconnect. Once they do, they'll meet up with four brutally tough bosses that need to be taken out. What makes these guys particularly vicious is that each has an aura that lends their own special ability to whatever monster happens to be in the area. One, for example, gives every creature a "Stoneskin" buff while another turns any weapon vorpal. Naturally keeping these four bosses together isn't even an option because they also give their special powers to each other.
In our battle, we ended up pulling a nasty Earth Elemental to one corner of the maze while our companions on the raid did likewise with the other three bosses. While the Earth Elemental seemed to shrug off even our most powerful blows, we did eventually beat it only to find that beating these bosses in combat wasn't enough. When one of these servants dies a blue ghostly figure rises from the corpse and makes its way back to the center of the maze where it comes back to life. Something about this seemed naggingly familiar. Finally we just came out and asked, "Is this Pac-Man?" The laughter we heard on the other end of the phone was all the answer we needed.
The third zone we saw was intriguing because every player appears there alone, locked in an isolated prison cell with glowing panels on the floor. The glowing panels are a puzzle that players have to solve to escape from the cells. Once they do, they'll have to make their way through the prison's corridors which house no monsters but are patrolled by a constant stream of unkillable flying blades called "bladestorms." The challenge in this level is for the players to make their way to the center of the area, get pure water from the fountain there and dodge the bladestorms to bring them to thirteen fountains in the prison cells the players just escaped from. At this point we were getting pretty good at picking up on the dev team's sense of humor so as we considered the activity of dodging deadly unkillable things to fill up watery niches in order to complete a level, the answer just came to us.
"Frogger, right?" More laughter.
Tributes to classic arcade games in a new Dungeons & Dragons raid instance? That's not what I'm paying a subscription for.
In more exciting news, they've also kicked up a new developer diary and the official DDO website has been updated with fifteen new wallpapers created from the game's many splash screens.