A Look Ahead - Producer's Letter January 2020
We are entering a new decade with grand plans for Dungeons & Dragons Online, and I am writing today to share some of our ideas with you. The past decade-plus has been an amazing adventure, and we thank you for being a part of it.
We're kicking off 2020 with a bit of polish and refresh to two of DDO's most historic adventure packs: The Catacombs and Delera's Tomb! Both of these adventures will get Epic versions in our next game update, which also features the previously-announced Alchemist class. The Alchemist mixes and matches spells to create powerful reactions that help allies and incinerate foes. Expect Update 45 to arrive in February!
Season One of the Hardcore League was met with enthusiasm and excitement, so we're making it a recurring event! In Season Two, Mortality will be replaced by DDO's classic foe Arraetrikos, who will empower new Champions with devilish powers. Expect future seasons to test your skill in how you build and play characters, in addition to new rewards! You will read more about these changes as we near future seasons.
2020 will also bring a long-standing community request to the game: a 64-bit client. The 64-bit client can improve the overall performance of the game for many, and we look forward to its release later this year. We also have user interface improvements planned for the Shared Account Bank to make it easier to store, sort, and access the items you've collected. Other quality of life improvements are in the planning stages as well, and we'll talk more about it later this year.
Spring will bring a new adventure pack set in Stormreach, where the Gatekeepers need your help to determine the fate of some missing acolytes in the Cerulean Hills, and investigate the sudden appearance of a strange hut in the Harbor. In the summer, we're considering a new adventure pack in addition to some Legendary versions of well-known raids, but we want to keep that unannounced for now.
As we gaze further into the second half of the year, we are thrilled to share news about our next expansion, which will see players travel into the mystical plane of the Feywild! Joining characters on their trip will be our next new player character race: the Shifter, capable of temporarily embracing their bestial aspects to rend enemies and survive. Another thing we can say today about our upcoming Feywild expansion is that you will need to learn new, powerful ways to overcome challenge, and doing so will gain you the experience necessary to push past level 30 for the first time in DDO history.
We have other surprises in store for 2020 as well, but the above is a high-level road map of our current schedule. As always, the road map can change, and we will endeavor to let you know how things are going as plans become realities. We are very thankful for your support of this game for more than a decade, and we are thrilled to embark on a new decade of adventure with you.
Isle of Dread is not currently planned for 2020. We are still investigating the possibility of eventually adapting it to DDO but it is not currently on our schedule.
We are quite a ways out from being prepared to announce specifics on our plans for character progression past level 30. What we are willing to say at this point, however, is that one of our goals is to NOT increase the amount of XP required to complete an Epic Reincarnation.
Internally we have gone through a few different drafts of the specifics of how we are going to implement this. We believe that what we have settled on currently is the structure of what we'll be putting together, however, work has just begun on actually implementing this and it remains to be seen what unforeseen issue will occur that will require us to pivot and alter course on specifics. The point is, we are ready to announce that we are increasing the level cap with the release of our next expansion pack but are not yet ready to give specifics on the structure.
This is not meant to be vague or uncertain. We are increasing the level cap. We are simply not yet at the stage in development where it is ready for full public details. Much like the feywild content itself. We are going to release an expansion pack that takes players to the Feywild. We have, internally, mapped out a design document detailing what players will do there and rough layouts of both the narrative and quest design but have only just begun implementing said pieces and aren't ready to speak more on the feature other than to let you all know ahead of time that the feature is planned and coming.
Don't mistake this clarification for me attempting to dissuade you all from telling us what your priorities and concerns with the upcoming features are. Please do give feedback on the side effects that you are concerned about with anything announced in the letter. We are actively listening and reviewing player concerns and priorities with our own internal concerns and priorities. The overall goal is to continue to build on and grow DDO for the foreseeable future. The producers letter simply lays out the bullet points of our roadmap towards that goal in 2020.