Words about what's going on in the world of Dungeons and Dragons Online
land few and far between. It just never seemed to stealth its way past the haters when it came to what everyone and their mother thought an online D&D game should truly be about. And when Turbine focused on the machinations of dungeon delving (rather than the blisteringly wide-open scope of the franchise), too many folks thought that was somehow losing in a staring match against the entire enterprise's namesake. Most players failed their saving throw against feelings of betrayal.
has trucked ever onward, and they're now on Module 9. That's somewhat of a rough admittance, considering the plan was to release a module each and every month since its February 2006 launch. They should
have been on, like, Module 38 by now -- but the fact that they're not is a direct result of not having the subscription numbers to support such a sizeable and dedicated development staff, of course. There's enough money trickling in to keep this one's gills flapping in the open air, but I wonder just how much of The Lord of the Rings Online
sets aside for its Turbine brethren. Rampant speculation on my part.
But Module 9 is here, which cordially introduces players to the new plane of Shavarath, and vaguely alludes to "a number of new features" in the game, as well as a raised level cap, chat improvements, new feats and abilities, capstone enhancements, and the all-inclusive "much more." It appears as though they don't have the time or inclination to type up a very informative press release either. To boot, the last release notes
on the official site were from Module 7: The Way of the Monk, so website maintenance is lagging as well. The newest stuff you'll find is indeed on Module 9 -- a multi-part reveal for the inspiration behind the artwork of Shavarath.
These screens depict some of that end product. DDO
is three years old, and it can still mildly impress from time to time with its artful, architectural lighting choices and -- why not? -- its nice fireball effects.