Dungeons & Dragons Online

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Dungeons & Dragons Online
Dungeons & Dragons Online Stormreach box.jpg
Original cover art
Developer(s)
  • Turbine (2006–2016)
  • Standing Stone Games (2016–present)
Publisher(s)Daybreak Game Company[a]
Designer(s)
  • Jason Booth
  • Dan Ogles
  • Cardell Kerr
  • Ken Troop
Platform(s)
ReleaseFebruary 28, 2006
Genre(s)Massively multiplayer online role-playing game
Mode(s)Multiplayer

Dungeons & Dragons Online is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) developed by Turbine for Microsoft Windows and OS X. The game was originally marketed as Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach. Upon switching to a hybrid free-to-play model it was renamed Dungeons & Dragons Online: Eberron Unlimited. The game was rebranded Dungeons & Dragons Online, with the introduction of Forgotten Realms-related content. Turbine developed Dungeons & Dragons Online as an online adaptation of Dungeons & Dragons (D&D), originally based loosely on the D&D 3.5 rule set. The game is set on the unexplored continent of Xen'drik within the Eberron campaign setting, and in the Kingdom of Cormyr within the Forgotten Realms campaign setting.[citation needed]

Gameplay[edit]

Quests are narrated by a Dungeon Master, with some voiceover work done by Dungeons & Dragon co-creators Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.[1]

Plot[edit]

Development[edit]

Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach was developed by Turbine over two years. The initial prototype and concept were created by Jason Booth, Dan Ogles, Cardell Kerr, Ken Troop, and Michael Sheidow, in coordination with Wizards of the Coast, the publisher of Dungeons & Dragons. Gary Gygax provided some narration before his death.[2]

Release[edit]

After testing was complete, a special head start event began on February 24 for those who pre-ordered, with the game opening to the public on February 28.[3] As of April 2008, there were less than 100,000 subscribers for the game.[4] In June 2009, Dungeons & Dragons Online reopened beta testing, in preparation for their new free-to-play subscription structure.[5]

The free-to-play business model was introduced with the Eberron Unlimited upgrade in the summer of 2009.[6] After the game went free-to-play, the company said subscriptions increased 40 percent by October 13, 2009.[7] Engadget noted pros and cons from a player's perspective with the change.[8]

A beta of the OS X version was released on December 17, 2012.[9]

Post-release modules[edit]

In-game screenshot detailing the 3D graphics

On June 9, 2009, the official D&D Online website announced that Dungeons & Dragons Online would convert to a subscriptionless "free to play" game for players in North America, under the new name Dungeons & Dragons Online: Eberron Unlimited. The level cap would be increased to level 20 and free users would have access to the majority of game content; some features would have to be purchased with Dungeons & Dragons Online points or unlocked through play. There would be VIP access with additional features available, as well as free DDO points. Closed beta registration opened on June 9, 2009. The game and contents were free to download on September 1 for VIP members and September 9 for the general North American public.[10]

On December 19, 2016, it was announced that Turbine would no longer develop the game, rather a new studio was formed under the name Standing Stone Games, the staff of whom would be ex-Turbine. The publishing of the game would transfer from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment to Daybreak Game Company. While a reason was not given for the transition, it was assured that the game would continue with new development.[11]

Expansions[edit]

  1. Turbine presented its first Menace of the Underdark expansion module at the PAX East convention in April 2012,[12] before releasing it in June.[13] The expansion increased the maximum character level and added the druid class.[14]
  2. The Shadowfell Conspiracy was announced in February 2013,[15] and released in August. It increased the maximum character level to 28, added 4 new races (iconic heroes) and new adventure pack located in Cormyr.
  3. With the Mists of Ravenloft, released in December 2017,[16] players venture to the lands of Barovia and ultimately fight Strahd von Zarovich. Additional features include the Aasimar race in two flavors, Vistani knife fighter, or Sentient weapons.
  4. The Masterminds of Sharn, announced during the 2018 Gen Con and released in May 2019,[17] sends players to Sharn, the City of Towers. It introduced two variants of the Tiefling race and a new fighting style: dual wielding crossbows.[18]
  5. In the Fables of the Feywild, announced in early 2020[19] and released in November 2020 players travel into the mystical plane of the Feywild. Apart from new adventures among the fey, the update also introduces two variants of the Shifter race, unicorn mounts, and a universal enhancement tree: the Feydark Illusionist.[20]
  6. In the mini-expansion released on August 4, 2021 players uncover The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh. The update also includes the Horizon Walker enhancement tree, granting new options to bow users.[21]
  7. Prehistoric dangers await on the Isle of Dread. The expansion released on June 22, 2022 increases the level cap to 32 and introduces two variants of the feline Tabaxi race.[22]
  8. In Vecna Unleashed, planned for Q2/2023, players will help Morgrave University neutralize the threat posed by Vecna.[23]

Reception[edit]

IGN ranked Dungeons & Dragons Online No. 11 on their list of "The Top 11 Dungeons & Dragons Games of All Time" in 2014. The magazine described as the "first MMORPG to prove that free-to-play payment plans were viable alternatives to the then-dominant subscription model."[31] Robert Hold of the NPR gave it a positive review, although he said some of the exposition seemed obvious.[32]

Awards[edit]

  • Freebie Award: Best Free-to-play-MMORPG (2009) – RPGLand.com RPGs of the Year 2009[33]
  • Best Free to Play MMO (2009) – MMORPG.com 2009 Awards[34]
  • Best Free to Play Game (2009) – Tentonhammer.com Best of 2009 Awards[35]
  • Best Multiplayer Game – 2006 British Academy Video Games Awards[36]
  • Most Anticipated Game – 2005 MMORPG.COM Reader's Choice Awards[37]
  • Best Persistent World Game – IGN.com Best of 2006 Awards[38]
  • Nominee – Massively Multiplayer Game of the Year – 10th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards[39]
  • Third Prize, Best Graphics (Les JOL d'Or 2006)[40]
  • Third Prize – Public's Award (Les JOL d'Or 2006)[40]

Lawsuits[edit]

On August 24, 2009, Turbine, Inc. filed lawsuit against Atari claiming a breach of a licensing agreement for Dungeons & Dragons. The suit alleged six counts over six years, including consistent breaches of contract, a lack of promotion and distribution, and attempting to gain additional money from Turbine's licensing of the D&D properties. Furthermore, Turbine claimed that many of the maneuvers by Atari were designed to either undercut the upcoming launch of Dungeons & Dragons: Eberron Unlimited or help Atari launch its own competing MMO.[41] Atari filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, and also filed a separate complaint to recover money owed to Atari resulting from an independent third party audit of Turbine.[42] The case was settled out of court in 2011.[43]

Ontario-based web services company Treehouse Avatar Technologies Inc. filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Turbine, Inc., which claimed Dungeons & Dragons Online had violated United States Patent No. 8,180,858 (Method And System For Presenting Data Over A Network Based On Network User Choices And Collecting Real-Time Data Related To Said Choices), which was awarded on May 15, 2012 to Treehouse's parent company WiLAN.[44][45] Turbine settled the lawsuit by licensing WiLAN's technology.[46][47][48]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The game was formerly published by Atari, Codemasters, and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Dungeons & Dragons Creators to Lend Voice to Stormreach". Wireless News. January 20, 2006. Archived from the original on June 11, 2014. Retrieved October 23, 2012. – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
  2. ^ More, Max; Vita-More, Natasha, eds. (2013). The Transhumanist Reader: Classical and Contemporary Essays on the Science, Technology, and Philosophy of the Human Future. John Wiley & Sons. p. 123. ISBN 978-1-118-55599-6.
  3. ^ Holt, Robert; Block, Melissa (February 28, 2006). "Dungeons and Dragons Makes Online Debut". All Things Considered. NPR. Archived from the original on June 11, 2014. Retrieved October 23, 2012. – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
  4. ^ Svensson, Peter (April 13, 2008). "A Game's New Role". Telegraph Herald. Dubuque. Archived from the original on June 11, 2014. Retrieved October 26, 2012. – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
  5. ^ Sposito, Sean (June 10, 2009). "Turbine offers new lure: free D&D play". The Boston Globe. Archived from the original on June 11, 2014. Retrieved October 30, 2012. – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
  6. ^ Fahey, Mike (June 9, 2009). "Dungeons And Dragons Online Goes Free". Kotaku. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  7. ^ Kuchera, Ben (October 13, 2009). "Dungeons and Dragons Online: behold the power of free". Ars Technica.
  8. ^ "The pros and cons of free to play Dungeons and Dragons Online". Engadget. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  9. ^ Olivetti, Justin (December 17, 2012). "Dungeons and Dragons Online releases Mac client info". Engadget. Verizon Media. Archived from the original on December 21, 2019. Retrieved December 21, 2019.
  10. ^ "Warcry.com Article". Massively.com. July 31, 2009. Archived from the original on February 2, 2014. Retrieved August 3, 2009.
  11. ^ Bree Royce (December 19, 2016). "Turbine Spins LOTRO and DDO Teams Out to New Studio, Using Daybreak as Publisher". Massively Overpowered. Retrieved December 20, 2016.
  12. ^ Bray, Hiawatha (April 6, 2012). "PAX East lets city show it can play the game". The Boston Globe. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved October 30, 2012. – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
  13. ^ VanOrd, Kevin (June 28, 2012). "Demons and Drow: Menace of the Underdark Arrives". GameSpot. Retrieved October 18, 2012.
  14. ^ Kohan, Topher (January 20, 2012). "Master User Week". St. Joseph News-Press. Retrieved October 26, 2012.
  15. ^ "DDO.com Forums". ddo.com. February 26, 2012. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  16. ^ Fort, Suzie (October 17, 2017). "Mists of Ravenloft PreOrders Begin, Packages in 3 Flavors". mmoRPG. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  17. ^ "Dungeons & Dragons Online's 'Masterminds of Sharn' Expansion Launches". MMOHuts. May 14, 2019. Retrieved May 16, 2019.
  18. ^ Olivetti, Justin (August 4, 2018). "Dungeons and Dragons Online announces Sharn: City of Towers expansion and Tiefling race". Massively Overpowered. Retrieved August 15, 2018.
  19. ^ Olivetti, Justin (January 22, 2020). "Dungeons and Dragons Online's 2020 roadmap includes Shifter race and Feywild expansion". Massively Overpowered. Retrieved January 23, 2020.
  20. ^ Weber, Steven (November 5, 2020). "Dungeons and Dragons Online - Fables of the Feywild Content is Available NOW". MMORPG.com. Retrieved November 7, 2020.
  21. ^ Winter, Jason (August 4, 2021). "Explore A Spooky Town And Face New Foes In DDO's Sinister Secret Of Saltmarsh Expansion". MMOBomb.com. Retrieved August 5, 2021.
  22. ^ Connor (June 22, 2022). "Dungeons & Dragons Online Adds New Tabaxi Race, Opens Pre-Orders For Isle Of Dread". MMO Fallout. Retrieved June 23, 2022.
  23. ^ Royce, Bree (January 27, 2023). "Dungeons and Dragons Online's 2023 roadmap includes a spring mini-expansion, Vecna Unleashed". Massively Overpowered. Retrieved January 29, 2023.
  24. ^ "Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach for PC". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
  25. ^ "Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach for PC Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
  26. ^ "Dungeons and Dragons Online". Eurogamer. September 18, 2009. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
  27. ^ "Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach - PC". GameSpot. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
  28. ^ "Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach for PC". GamesRadar. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
  29. ^ "Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach for PC". GameTrailers. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
  30. ^ "Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach - PC". IGN. Archived from the original on August 15, 2012. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
  31. ^ Johnson, Leif (February 5, 2014). "THE TOP 11 DUNGEONS & DRAGONS GAMES OF ALL-TIME". IGN. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  32. ^ Holt, Robert (February 28, 2006). "Dungeons & Dragons Makes Online Debut". NPR. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  33. ^ "RPGLand.com RPGs of the Year 2009". RPGLand.com. Retrieved January 17, 2010.
  34. ^ "MMORPG Best F2P MMO of 2009". MMORPG.com. January 6, 2010. Retrieved January 6, 2010.
  35. ^ "Ten Ton Hammer Best of 2009 Awards". Tentonhammer.com. Archived from the original on December 22, 2009. Retrieved December 25, 2009.
  36. ^ "British Academy Video Games Awards (Latest Winners and Nominees)". British Academy of Film and Television Arts. October 5, 2006. Archived from the original on April 3, 2007. Retrieved February 24, 2007.
  37. ^ "2005 Reader's Choice Award Winners". MMORPG.com. Retrieved February 24, 2007.
  38. ^ "Best of 2006: PC (Best Persistent World Game". IGN. Archived from the original on February 24, 2007. Retrieved February 24, 2007.
  39. ^ "10th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards". The Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on February 8, 2007. Retrieved March 1, 2007.
  40. ^ a b "Les JOL d'Or 2006". JeuxOnline. Retrieved March 5, 2007.
  41. ^ "Atari's Dungeons and Dragon's Lawsuit [Update]". IGN. November 2021.
  42. ^ "Atari Dismisses Turbine Lawsuit as "Frivolous"". The Escapist. September 3, 2009.
  43. ^ "The Convoluted Story of Atari, DDO, and Neverwinter". Purple Pawn. August 16, 2011. Retrieved March 25, 2014.
  44. ^ "Treehouse Sues Turbine over Patent Issued in 2012". gamepolitics.com. Archived from the original on October 14, 2012. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
  45. ^ "Patent US8180858 - Method and system for presenting data over a network based on network user ... - Google Patents". google.com.
  46. ^ James Fudge (November 25, 2013). "Turbine Settles Lawsuit with Treehouse Avatar Technologies". GamePolitics.com. Archived from the original on September 28, 2015. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
  47. ^ "Wi-Lan advances as unit ends patent dispute with Turbine". Proactiveinvestors NA. August 2, 2013.
  48. ^ "Turbine settles Treehouse Avatar Technologies lawsuit via partnership". Massively. Archived from the original on January 23, 2015. Retrieved January 23, 2015.

External links[edit]