Or at least it is surprising to me, I know others have been following along more closely, perhaps it is less surprising to those who make the effort to remain informed. The main method of disbursing game news seems to have become a series of Twitch streams, and since I don’t watch Twitch I am no longer one of the informed.
But this is not about me, this is about Update 35, which is being applied even as we read and write this.
The big news of the update is the new race – Dragonborn. New abilities, new enhancements, a race seemingly built to be even more effective warlocks.
A new race really is pretty big news.
But that is not all. We also get two new quests and a new raid! New content is always welcome! This is my favorite part of the release. Yay for new content!
A new raid is pretty big news too.
There is also the usual assortment of enhancement changes and other related minor changes. They seem to be focusing their efforts on racial enhancement trees, converting various action boosts to Melee and Ranged power boosts, streamlining costs, that sort of thing.
Which makes sense when one considers the final big news.
Now one can buy a Heart of Blood and reincarnate one’s race. Hearts can be bought from the DDO Store, of course, but also by exchanging Tokens of the Twelve in game. That latter choice is a nice touch, circling back to the original reincarnation method, and finally – finally! – reusing an existing system and currency for something instead of creating yet another, which has normally been the case.
So, kudos for that.
As far as the racial reincarnation itself, it allows one to take three past lives in each race. Now that we are up to 10 races, that means one can live up to 30 more Heroic lives.
I am assuming Heroic, in that everything else about racial reincarnation seems to match the existing Heroic True Reincarnation. Maybe I am wrong, I did not get a chance to experiment on Lamannia so am unable to say definitively. Perhaps an astute reader can chime in.
One difference between Heroic reincarnation and Racial reincarnation is that you do not get all of your items stuffed into the TR bank when you consume a Heart of Blood. They stay in your inventory, just as they do today with an Epic Reincarnation.
Another difference is that there appears to be no racial equivalent to the Completionist. Which is okay, it takes a Feat slot to take advantage of Completionist and needing another would be … problematic.
One more possible difference is that Heroic reincarnation changes the number of experience points you need to level, while adding to the total points you can spend when you first build your character. It only does this on your first three reincarnations, but I am not seeing anything that indicates Racial reincarnation does this at all. I hope it does not. Again, maybe an astute reader who knows can provide an answer in the comments?
Which also means that it would be way more effective – way more – to knock out all of your Racial reincarnations before taking any Heroic reincarnations. You would need almost 30 million less XP? I forget what the difference is between level 20 when you have no past lives versus level 20 when you have three but I know it is very significant. Times thirty only makes it that much more significant. Hugely so.
But for most of us, that ship has sailed. No one who has already gotten Completionist and/or Epic Completionist is going to start over with a new character even at the cost of 30 million XP.
The past life feats are simpler this time. Your first past life gets you +1 in a skill. Your second past life gets you +1 in an attribute. The third past life gets you an extra point to spend in your racial enhancement tree.
Here is the list of past life skills and attributes that can be earned, by race, from the release notes:
- Warforged: +1 Repair, +1 Constitution
- Drow: +1 Search, +1 Intelligence
- Dwarf: +1 Balance, +1 Constitution
- Elf: +1 Spot, +1 Dexterity
- Gnome: +1 Use Magic Device, +1 Intelligence
- Halfling: +1 Move Silently, +1 Dexterity
- Half-elf: +1 Diplomacy, +1 Charisma
- Half-orc: +1 Intimidate, +1 Strength
- Human: +1 Haggle, +1 Wisdom
- Dragonborn: +1 Spellcraft, +1 Charisma
The details differ but the concept seems mostly to be the same as Heroic reincarnation. Gaining a past life feat in exchange for giving up your current life and starting over again at level 1.
Starting a character today and getting every reincarnation bonus would mean:
42 Heroic lives, three as each class
30 Heroic lives, three as each race
72 Heroic lives
36 Epic lives, three as each Epic Destiny
15 Iconic lives, three as each Iconic Class
51 Epic lives
Grand Total: 123 total lives *
* Treasured reader JonD has a plan where this can all be done in 72 “lives” (although he cannot save you any XP). See his math below, in the comments.
I can certainly see why giving players a reason to live out their past lives 30 more times is appealing to the game developers. It is a lot more to do, without adding anything: reuse of existing content, reuse of existing everything.
But it is not for me. Reuse is efficient but it is also repetitive, and I’ve reused/repeated all of that heroic content enough already. Plus I mainly play Halflings, including a Halfling-only guild that would boot whomever reincarnated into something else, even if only temporarily until that character returns as a Halfling again.
But mainly the problem is the repetition. Maybe if I only had one or two characters but I have 19, just on one server, and I’ve done all of this a lot of times already.
Something about the phrase “120 total lives” wears me out just by looking at it.
But that’s just me. What do you think about Racial reincarnation?
🙂 😀 🙂