Turbine on the future of Dungeons & Dragons Online

Still crazy after all these years.
Dungeons & Dragons Online is not one of the biggest titles on the market, but it was one of the first major subscription games in the west to make the switch to free-to-play. It’s also one of two games based on the original tabletop roleplaying franchise, which makes it a bit of an oddity in that few IPs have more than one licensed title active in the MMO space.

We had the opportunity to ask the design team behind the scenes at Turbine a few brief questions about where the game is and what it’s doing in the future, and we got answers from senior systems designer John Cataldo. Jump on down below for more information on the setting, the further development of the game, and what players can expect to see next.

Massively Overpowered: What sort of pressures does the design team face being the older of two games based on the same IP on the market?

Cataldo: Being older and closer to the pen and paper version of D&D presents both challenges and opportunities. The graphics aren’t as shiny, but most of a decade of development means there’s an enormous number of quests and an outrageously large number of character builds available. To my knowledge there’s no MMO out there that offers as much character customization and variety as DDO, which is partially based on following traditional tabletop D&D and also just from so many years of adding new build options over the years, both up to higher Epic levels and broadly across character classes, races, feats, and prestige options. These are some of the greatest strengths of DDO while also presenting large challenges. Consequently we do invest a lot of development time working to make these different builds fun and balanced for different kinds of players.

The game has increasingly stepped away from its original setting of Eberron; is this part of the license with Wizards of the Coast or is it just about expanding focus?

I think everyone on the DDO teams enjoys and respects the roots of the game in Eberron, and that setting provides some things we maybe wouldn’t have done in other places, such as Warforged and possibly Artificers, and storylines around many, many cool Eberron characters, like the Lord of Blades, Lady Vol, the various Houses, and even Xen’drik’s unique type of kobolds. At the same time, there’s so many wonderful D&D settings that we’d love to visit more of them. We’ve had a lot of discussions about where we’d like to go, and every setting and plane of existence has its fans here at Turbine.

What’s the next big update that players can look forward to in the future?

Be afraid. Be horrified. Be fiendish and eldritch. Warlocks are coming!

Thanks for speaking with us!

Previous articleSkySaga starts alpha 4, unveils new website
Next articleAllods Online looks for approval on Steam Greenlight

No posts to display

oldest most liked
Inline Feedback
View all comments