Feb 122016

Update 30 Preview: Gnomes

I have to admit that I was … nervous? Jaded? Cynical? Some sort of combination? Yes, that was me, jaded/cynical/nervous, ready to be disappointed, and all regarding the Gnomes we are getting in DDO for update 30. I don’t know why I had such low expectations, but I did, expecting Gnomes that weren’t really Gnomes at all, just Halflings with a new face, in the way that Purple Dragon Knights are really Half-Orcs and Slaad are really Hezrou and … you understand. New skin on an old model. It seems to be cheaper and easier than creating all-new models.

But I was all a-fret for no reason. I have seen the Gnomes and they are uniquely Gnomic, unlike Halflings, unlike anything else at all as far as I can tell.

Comparing Gnomes and Halflings

Side-by-side comparison. Click for the animated version.

See? Differing geometry and poses. Gnome bodies are thinner, but more, they have different angles. It is not just the same thing in a different size.

They move differently too.

When a Halfling stops moving, they sort of post slightly rightward. Gnomes do this too, even more dramatically, except they pose leftward.

“But” I here you asking, anxiously, “how do they dance?”

Quite well. Energetic and imaginative. And uniquely. No one dances like a Gnome.


Gnome Dance

Gnome Dance. Click to see it in action!

Gnome Dance 2

Gnome Dance 2. Click to see Redbeard bust a move.


Creating Gnome Characters

There is a regular Gnome, and an Iconic Deep Gnome. Both have similar choices for facial structure, wild Gnomish hair styles and hipstery choices for facial fair. Male Deep Gnomes may have two different tattoos, in a variety of colors. Females have a variety of facial studs and piercings. I am not certain that all gnomes have the tattoos – it may have been just the Deep Gnomes? Nor am I certain which get the piercings. But some do, they are interesting, but I cannot access the Lamannia client at the moment to double check.

Gnomes faces seem very appealing to me. Not attractive, no they have gigantic Gnomic noses and a very pointed look. But it seems very real; in some ways the gnomes are the most real-looking of all the races.

Gnomes and Deep Gnomes both have Intelligence as a +2 stat and Strength at -2 [Edit: as pointed out by astute reader “Flying Head”, Deep Gnomes are +2 INT and +2 WIS, -2 STR and -2 CHA]. Gnomes have the Mark of Scribing, which in DDO gives the possessor a variety of illusionary spell-like abilities. Including an illusionary fire spell? I wonder, does actual Fire spellpower also work to increase the effect of an illusionary fire spell? That would be weird, wouldn’t it? It is only pretend fire.

But I digress.

As an INT-based race, one would immediately begin thinking of INT-based character builds. Wizard. Assassin. Artificer. Maybe an Intel Commando? Wizards and Artificers are not very popular right now, but maybe Turbine is packing in something new to offset this? Clearly they have Wizard in mind, the Iconic Deep Gnome levels as a Wizard and is given caster gear when he finishes Elminster’s 15-level tutorial.

Except, not that I can see. There is a spell power bonus, that will help. Maybe there is more, I only had a few minutes to check out the Deep Gnome and am not really doing it justice here in this super-brief overview. I don’t even remember if it had the same enhancement tree as a regular Gnome. I imagine not, I imagine whatever it is that Turbine thinks can make a Deep Gnome wizard competitive is in that tree which I completely forgot to inspect.

Nonetheless, I am thinking of an INT-based light repeater build that uses Mechanic and Harper trees to augment the Gnomic light weapon enhancements and allow all of that Intelligence to apply to attack and damage rolls. I’ve already built one on Lamannia, just to see if the various weapon enhancements stack, and yes they do! There are some good light repeating crossbows in the game – the Hellfire Crossbow, the Slaver’s Hand Crossbow, Needle, and especially the Epic Doublecross Bow: the build will be well-supported as it levels.

Sounds fun, doesn’t it?

🙂 😀 🙂

  18 Responses to “Update 30 Preview: Gnomes!”

Comments (18)
  1. Let the Gnomes take over Stormreach!

  2. Deep Gnomes get +2 INT, +2 WIS, -2 STR, -2 CHA.


    • Thanks Flying Head! Who seems to be … familiar? In an odd way? Nonetheless. I wonder if this means one can finally build a Mystic Theurge?

      Probably not. One hell of a smart cleric though. Or a very wise Wizard?

  3. Slaad are not re-skinned Hezrou, they are their own models. Confirmed by Kookie Kobold.

    • Dance a green one and then let’s talk

      • To be fair, copying or re-using dance animations is not quite the same as “re-skinning”…

      • Yes, the Slaad dance may be the same (similar?) but the rest of the movements and the body shape are different. How many different ways can some big, ugly misshapen thing dance?

        • No other creatures share dances. Also, it is not just the dance, I bring that up as the most definitive (because again, no other creatures share a dance). They also attack the same with the same slashy animation and pick up pieces of floor and throw them the same.

          They are the same. Go back and look at KK’s original quote. I can’t find it right now, but IIRC it said that the Slaad were a new “monster”, not a new “model”. And even if he meant “model”, he could be wrong.

          • my memory might have reformed what I thought I saw but I think the slaad also share the same stunned animation (sleepy kitty with paws over it’s eyes). was nice on Hezzy but looked awesome on slaad.

  4. Can’t wait to build my Gnome Barbarian! to hell with the penalty to STR!

  5. I’ve been gone from the planes of DDO for quite a while — this is actually getting me excited about returning! Gnomes! Gnomarific!!!

  6. Back in my November 27 post regarding gnomes I suggested avoiding the use of the Mark of Scribling but I must admit that I’m quite happy to see it. The choice to make it a part of the Eberron player race suggests that it will be powered to be a viable option. Did you know that there is room in the official lore of Eberron for a “next tier” in our current system? The mark of Scribling is listed as having Slay Living!
    And there is still the possibility of a vorpal quill or 2h pencil making an appearance; yay! Not to mention sticky notes for machine-gun fast scribing, paper weights,

  7. I know that this post isn’t about the fixes to the Crafting System that they broke with the last update, but, did you get a look at that? Thank you for any information that you may be able to pass along!

  8. Oh My Gnomeness!

    I’m not sure I’ll be able to hold out until Update 30…

    • After being unable to resist, I updated my Lamannia client … I may never play a non-gnome again!

      (Oh, and Turbine, sell me some of those hair styles for my non-gnomes; yes, the ones I may not play.)

  9. I still think they are too tall…

What do you think?

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