Sep 222015

Rage of Demons
Don’t get too excited. None of this is coming to DDO.

Once again, Wizards of the Coast (WotC) is bringing out a coordinated set of content across all of it’s properties. Once again, they are listing and promoting all of the ways that one can play that new content. Once again DDO is left off of the list.

Last year it was the Temple of Elemental Evil. WotC released content packs for tabletop Dungeons & Dragons, miniatures, and new board game in the D&D Adventure System. They also featured the game Neverwinter for those who play D&D on computer. Nary a peep about DDO, even though one entire DDO update was in fact the “Temple of Elemental Evil”.

This year the fall campaign is all about the “Rage of Demons”. There will be a new adventure. New miniatures. A new book by R. A. Salvatore. And of course, computer games:

Dungeons & Dragons fans will have more options than ever to enjoy the Rage of Demons storyline. The themes of treachery and discord in the Underdark are in Sword Coast Legends, the new CRPG (computer role-playing game) coming this fall on PC from n-Space and Digital Extremes. The epic campaign that drives Sword Coast Legends’ story forces players deep into the Underdark and continues well after launch with legendary adventurer Drizzt Do’Urden.

For fans of Neverwinter, the popular Dungeons & Dragons-based MMORPG will bring a new expansion – tentatively titled Neverwinter: Underdark – in 2015. The update will see adventurers travel with Drizzt to the drow city of Menzoberranzan during its demonic assault as well as experience a unique set of quests written by the creator of Drizzt, R.A. Salvatore. The expansion will initially be released on PC and will come out on the Xbox One at a later date.

Note the absence of DDO; not even a passing mention.

Maybe it is because DDO won’t have any Rage of Demons content? I can see a couple of scenarios, one where WotC didn’t even bother to instruct Turbine to create related content, and another where Turbine notes that they were left out of promotions last year anyway and choose to avoid the hassle of trying to comply. Except now that I’ve written them, only the first scenario makes any real sense. Regardless, last year Turbine complied like crazy and got nothing. So what’s the point?

This is not actually news, as the press release came out in May. But the campaign debuts this fall, and WotC has been on a twitter rampage, releasing new demons every couple of days.

I understand we are not shiny and new like Sword Coast Legends. And apparently, we don’t have the population of Neverwinter. But we are a Dungeons & Dragons game and we are playing our asses off. that should count, shouldn’t it?

“Rage of Demons is a huge storyline involving all expressions of Dungeons & Dragons, and we’re excited to bring players this story in concert with all of our partners,” said Nathan Stewart, Brand Director at Wizards of the Coast. “I can’t wait to see everyone interact with one of the world’s most recognizable fantasy characters: Drizzt Do’Urden. Descending into the depths won’t exactly be easy for him, and D&D fans will get their mettle tested just like Drizzt when they come face-to-face with all the demon lords.”

Except no, you are not working in concert with all your partners. And whatever else DDO may be, it is certainly an “expression of Dungeons & Dragons”. But an ignored expression. Are we the red-headed stepchild that gets locked up in the attic when company comes to visit?

Last year I twitter-confronted WotC about the lack of DDO and got a reply that was mealy-mouthed weaselspeak. This year I’m not even going to bother. I am trying to choose between “too depressed to bother” and “too annoyed to care”. Having a tough time making the call.

What do you think? Am I overreacting?


Like usual?

🙂 😀 🙂

  15 Responses to “Wizards of the Coast Ignores DDO in Annual Product Campaign. Again.”

Comments (15)
  1. Well, since they just sell us 12 months of subscription with 3 for free i guess we are sure DDO will continue 15 months more…

    Right? :/

  2. I think you make a fair point. WotC do appear to just ignore DDO.


  3. No, you are not overreacting. They suck.

  4. Makes you miss TSR just a bit more every time

  5. Perhaps their PR department wasn’t very good at DDO, since it’s not care-bear in leveling the way Neverwinter is (seriously, try it, it’s kind of sad, really) and there are hundreds of thousands of build choices instead of just twenty or thirty. And that embarrassment made them bitter, so in a fit of a petty young-monarch-style tantrum, they have simply decreed we don’t exist.

  6. DDO isn’t completely ignored, but we’re not actively promoted. Turbine have to take part of the responsibility here.

    I wrote about this the other day

    We don’t want WotC or anyone else dictating our development schedule, but it would have taken a relatively minor amount of development work to tie in our Underdark with the Rage of Demons storyline. Once upon a time there was the excuse that Eberron wasn’t part of Wizard’s primary focus (although I call shenanigans on that as it one of the strengths of D&D is the variety of campaign settings).

    Wizards can be doing a lot more. But Turbine have to play ball and engage in the storyline more. I’m happy that we’re getting more Shavarath and Epic Vale “demon” content, but there’s no excuse for DDO not throwing in a Rage of Demons tie-in that would allow Wizards and Tuebine to release a joint press release promoting the madness sweeping the Underdark in Dungeons and Dragons Online.

  7. DDO deserves love!
    Chunks of Spew will ride again.
    Barrelbane CrateSlayers will return.

  8. On the topic of Temple of Elemental Evil I am in total agreement. I mean, we got Wil Wheaton signed up as our DM for crying out loud!

    But DDO dropped the ball on this. We wasted the opportunity and I think our iteration of ToEE was rushed and unfinished. I believe that our release date for ToEE was set to coincide with WotC and we didn’t get so much as a mention in passing. Or do we really think that it’s just a coincidence that Wizards, Cryptic and Turbine all just happened to be working on ToEE at the same time? Assuming it wasn’t a coincidence, why did we not get our share of the publicity as the “classic” ToEE? Did WotC renege on their side of the agreement as Licensor or did Turbine not explicitly include a share of the publicity as part of the agreement?

    Turbine did an excellent job with Haunted Halls, and we revelled in some great narration from Ed Greenwood. ToEE was rushed. I’m happy to pick up orbs for a bit of background dialogue from Wil Wheaton about his early D&D experiences, but I want a lot more DM narration than that. The Temple has too many sprawling areas filled with absolute silence. Pointless rooms with nothing to interact with. Think for a moment what a good DM could do with those rooms. What we would have wanted would be something like “A large furnace sits cold at the centre of the room,once used to smith tools and weapons for the Temple.”. What we got was “……… “. Not so much as the sound of crickets to keep us company.

    We had a great opportunity to add in some classic elements. Have interactable doors in the Temple for a start. Add door spikes as consumables randomly dropped in breakables that we could use to spike a door closed to allow us mini-rests to make up for the lack of shrine. Allow us to “clear” areas of the temple to disable the constant respawns. Provide more engaging random encounters instead of the utterly meaningless “Rescue” encounters where your dialogue choices make absolutely no difference. Allow teleport orbs that let us navigate the spawling elemental nodes.

    It’s not beyond redemption. We have Haunted Halls. I would overhaul ToEE now the impetus to meet a release date has passed, and yes I would invite Wil Wheaton back to add a lot more DM dialogue to bring the place to life and add interesting mechanics and more things to do. I would add another classic module such as Tomb of Horrors but do it properly.

    With the next classic module, we want DDO to be recognised not only for what it is doing in relation to new developments in D&D, but for the continuation of it’s own dynamic and epic storylines, and proper recognition as the home of these great classic modules brought to life for new generations.

    • (Big)Free to VIP has, for me at least, always meant; “with edges shaved and fat trimmed” not Bad or poorly designed. Just less than what was possible or what the community might support at that time. I was sad to hear that we were to get Temple for “free”. It has from day one been my choice for The conversion of Module to Online.
      I wonder if a dev might estimate the price of all your ideas(excellent btw) fully implemented or even taken a step further where $inspiration$ allowed. Is there a minimum “price point” for a not free to VIP? I have NEVER payed or used a heart of any flavour. I don’t even know what they go for now-a-days but come on; our community prefers those to a once every 2yrs glossy, no holds barred release?
      Interesting, and yeah I know, they commented just the other day that there are No plans for such content in the future. 🙁

      Githyanki, Githzerai, planescape escape! 😉

      • Whoops! Apparently I lost my ref. To XP-stones where I was talking of hearts… Let’s place the blame solely with auto-incorrect…

  9. Neverwinter was very uninteresting when I tried it at launch. It kinda made me uneasy that it even was made. DDO as the stepchild in the attic indeed. Is there a way to view and compare the paid subscription between the two? DDO is the only game that scratches my gaming itch. I hate to see it shut out in this fashion. Thanks for calling attention to this, Geoff. ~ Willoe of Sarlona

  10. The only way WotC plays into DDO is that they have a Licensing Agreement with Turbine so that Turbine can use certain content like the Forgotten Realms and the stuff we play in Eveningstar. Therefore Turbine is limited in the available content that they can produce in the Forgotten realms setting by the said Licensing Agreement. A similar Agreement with Hasbro who owns the rights to the Table Top DnD limits the content put out under that said agreement. Turbine can produce whatever content they want as long as it abides with the agreements in place currently or in the future. The final decision is up to Turbine as to the content we see in DDO as they are the producers of the game. (However, this does not negate the fact that we may see more Forgotten realms content in the future. Although, it has been said on numerous DDO livecasts that the main focus is the Eberron gaming world.) Warner Brothers interactive entertainment is the publisher (and owner of the Turbine studios in Boston) and responsible for marketing and promoting the game thus having nothing to do with WotC. If you want to twitter confront someone I suggest Warner Brothers Interactive entertainment. Heck you could even go as far as making a page to make them do what we want.

    Bearing this in mind would naturally explain why we are seeing new Amarath storylines instead of the Rage of the demon content.

    Personally I enjoy the game and content. I rather like the fact that the game is not overly hyped, promoted, or just shoved in peoples faces. It’s nice to play a game that doesn’t have a ton of little 14 year olds with daddy’s credit card running around Stormreach thinking they are the shit.

  11. Did we offend WotC somewhere along the way?! Probably, but they could be a little more professional about the whole thing.

    (And we beat D&D:NW to an Underdark expansion by how many years??? DDO wasn’t even an FR game at that stage, ahahaahhahah 😛 )

  12. It is definitely disheartening to see this. Hopefully WoTC will eventually really recognize the value of DDO, but I’m not counting on it.

What do you think?

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