Can you believe Dungeons & Dragons Online turns six years old tomorrow? They grow up so fast. Turbine celebrates with the release date and extensive preorder bonuses for the massively multiplayer online role-playing game's world-hopping expansion pack, Menace of the Underdark.
In the six years since Dungeons & Dragons Online first launched (as Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach), we've see the game draw massive launch crowds, had those massive launch crowds dwindle, and then experience a massive upsurge thanks to the adoption of a free-to-play model. And here I was pretty sure it was going to die a violent, messy death.
But now it's been around for half a dozen years, and the first expansion pack is just months away. Game update 13: Web of Chaos launches today, leading up to the expansion's June 25 debut.
Not only does Menace of the Underdark introduce players to the popular Forgotten Realms setting, it introduces a new class -- the Druid -- and sees players delving into one of the greatest pen-and-paper RPG dungeons of all-time, the spider-infested Underdark.
The expansion features three new adventure packs, taking players into the Realms, leading them to the Underdark, and then plunging them into the Demonweb, where the Drow spider goddess Lolth likes to hang out. Hopefully their new Druid friends and the five-level cap increase (ding, 25!) will help them survive.
If not, there are always preorder bonuses. There are three versions of the game available for pre-purchase, each with its own set of bonus items. There's a lot to go over, so I borrowed the descriptions from the official announcement:
Menace of the Underdark Base Edition — $US29.99/£22.99/24,99€
Includes access to Adventure Packs and Epic Destinies, plus: - Lesser Tome of Learning (1 free tome per DDO game world)- Permanently increases experience earned by a character up to level 20. Provides +25% bonus to experience for first-time quest completions and +10% boost to other earned experience points. Stacks with other experience boosts and persists through all forms of reincarnation. - Pre-Purchase Bonus Item:
- Demonweb Spiderling Creature Companion - A tame little spider from Lolth's domain. Includes 3 tricks and a collar. Exclusively available with pre-purchase of Menace of the Underdark!
Menace of the Underdark Standard Edition — $US49.99/£39.99/44,99€
Includes access to Adventures Packs, Epic Destinies, the Druid class and Eveningstar Challenge Pack plus:
- Greater Tome of Learning (1 free tome per DDO game world): Permanently increases experience earned by a character up to level 20. Provides +50% bonus to experience for first-time quest completions and +20% boost to other earned experience points. Stacks with other experience boosts and persists through all forms of reincarnation. - 1000 Turbine Points - Veteran Status (lvl 4) - DDO Classics Adventure Pack bundle (Phiarlan Carnival, Attack on Stormreach, The Path of Inspiration, The Dreaming Dark) - Pre-Purchase Bonus Items!
- Demonweb Spiderling Creature Companion
- Druid's Wolf Pup Creature Companion - A grey wolf pup as commonly seen accompanying young Druids. Includes 4 tricks and a collar. Exclusively available with pre-purchase of Menace of the Underdark.
- Spider Cult mask cosmetic helmet- Change your helmet appearance to a mask like the one worn by Lolth's followers in Eberron and receive a stat bonus to character skills and poison resistance!
Menace of the Underdark Collector's Edition — $US79.99/£59.99/69,99€
This limited time offer includes access to Adventures Packs, Epic Destinies, the Druid class and Eveningstar Challenge Pack plus the following items that players can begin using immediately:
– Greater Tome of Learning (1 free tome per DDO game world) – Lesser Tome of Learning for all characters (1 free tome per character — forever) – 2000 Turbine Points – Veteran Status (lvl 7)- Start a new character at level 7! – Veteran Status (lvl 4)-Start a new character at level 4! – DDO Classics Adventure Pack bundle – DDO Epic Classics Adventure Pack bundle (Vault of Night, The Red Fens, Sentinels Stormreach, Devil Assault) – Pre-Purchase Bonus Items!
- Demonweb Spiderling Creature Companion
- Druid's Wolf Pup Creature Companion
- Elite Spider Cult mask cosmetic helmet
- Onyx Panther Cub Creature Companion - A rare dark panther cub from Faerun. Includes 4 tricks and a collar. Exclusively available with pre-purchase of Menace of the Underdark.
- Figurine of Wondrous Power: Onyx Panther - Summon this Level 20 Black Panther Hireling to assist you in Dungeon and Wilderness Adventures! (min level 18 to use)
To see all of that in web page format, hit up the official Menace of the Underdark preorder page, and flip through the gallery to check out some of the splendid bonus items available to the most committed Dungeons & Dragons Online players.
The plain Spider Mask. Bah.
The Elite Spider Mask. It bestows a more powerful stat bonus to player skills and poison resistance than the plain old crappy Spider Mask.
Oh my god, it's a baby Guenhwyvar!
Ew, a spider.
A Druid in the Fire Elemental state. I believe that's New Hampshire.
Druids get wolves, because they're druids. It's what they do.