|Yahoo Games' Chris Hudak takes a look at Turbine's forthcoming sure-to-be-a-blockbuster title, Dungeons and Dragons Online.|
The last thing Turbine (and their inspirational partners, Wizards of the Coast) wanted to do was to give the gaming world yet another generic, aimless, newbie-snubbing, player-griefing, stat-grinding MMORPG and stuff it into a vaguely D&D-ish skin. Lead designer Ken Troop likened the experience of MMORPG grief to having a gaggle of jerks barge into a tabletop D&D session, bellowing profanity and scattering the group's dice and figures.
No, the goal was always to give PC gamers a game that truly emulates the imaginative, transporting experience of the classic pen-and-paper RPG, complete with personality-rich locales, carefully balanced party-based adventure/combat, and a meaningful story. Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach, takes some promising, heroic strides down that noble, if nerdy, road.
Based on the 3.5 Edition Dungeons & Dragons rules (and set in the Wizards of the Coast campaign fantasy realm of Eberron), Stormreach is rooted in party-based exploration, in the vein of Guild Wars. It also aims to streamline the sometimes alienating experience of the first-time D&Der.