It seems that if you take your eyes off the game for a week or so, all kinds of interesting items pop up in your absence. For instance, a Ranger pass. And new content! Except not yet in reality, both are only in preview mode, yet still, all kinds of new information popping up all over the place.
Starting with Rangers. The newly-reworked version of the Deepwoods Sniper enhancement tree is available for preview in this forum thread. I will not bother to cut and paste it here, go look for yourself. But the tree looks quite interesting. In terms of design intent, we have Turbine developer Steelstar’s explanation here:
In the end, we see a character that chooses to take Deepwood Stalker as their main tree being a character that wants to switch between Melee and Ranged depending on the situation; the changes we want to make to the tree are the changes that will support that, especially in T5 and later Cores.
Tempest will be focused on melee, especially (one would assume) two-weapon fighting, since that is what Tempests do. Arcane Archer will focus on archery, because that is what Arcane Archers do. And Deepwood Sniper will support either, or both, or can enhance the abilities from the other two trees.
Which is fine, although it makes me wonder why this is the first enhancement tree to go public? If it is complementary to the other two, wouldn’t it be easier and simpler to debut the others first? Ah but I am not a Turbine developer. Severlin, on the other hand, is, and according to Severlin,
~ Tempest is coming soon. We plan to have it as part of U28.
~ Arcane Archer will follow in a patch sometime after U28, but before U29. The tree is extremely complicated in both design and implementation and we need extra time to give it the attention it needs.
And so that is that. Everything known about the upcoming Ranger pass, in the developer’s own words. Fascinating reading, if one can only skim (or better, skip) the bulk of the non-developer commentary. As always, the forums are an … interesting … zone where every opinion is strongly held and everyone who disagrees with said opinion is clearly an idiot who should never have been taught to log onto the internet.
But enough of that. On to the new content! The official DDO twitter account is featuring a few screenshots from the upcoming release. Here is the first “leak”:
— DDO Unlimited (@DDOUnlimited) September 12, 2015
At first glance, that frog-devil (is it a Slaad?) looks like it might be an all-new monster model. Except on closer review I think not; I think it is a Hezrou with a new skin. I hope it is a new model, new models rock! But I think probably not.
Another interesting development is the inclusion of the Rakshasa, as they are not devils at all, but rather demons. Aren’t Slaads also demons? I forget. Abishai are devils, for sure, meaning we have demons and devils appearing to to work together in the new update? That can’t last. Or maybe this is Turbine throwing us some kind of a red herring?
Speaking of Orthons, here is one now, dispatching an unfortunate female in a library of some type along with a brace of Abishai. The setting looks familiar, but I can’t place it. Harbormaster Zin’s old office? Clearly we are in for another round of Devils Attack Stormreach. You’d think they’d know better by now, but hey, they are devils, if they were brilliant strategists we’d all be in a world of hurt.
Or something like that.
— DDO Unlimited (@DDOUnlimited) September 13, 2015
Oh ho, what is this? An incubus? A cambion? A particularly stout Tiefling? This one does not look like a new model either, but rather another new skin for something we have already. Orthon? Half-orc? Speculate as you may, but one thing seems pretty clear: the attacker is in the Portable Hole, and the arcane-only lounge looks much the worse for wear.
So now we know. Rangers and Devils. Defending Stormreach, or attacking it, depending on which is which.
It could get a little bit sporty in here.
Update 28, coming soon to a download screen near you. If anything more comes to light on the update, I’ll let you know.
Probably. Unless I am on vacation again.
🙂 😀 🙂