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Role-playing/Persistent World Online RPG
TEEN, Alcohol Reference, Blood, Violence
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Veteran online game developer Turbine Entertainment brings the classic tabletop fantasy game series to a subscription-based community in Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach. Set in the Eberron campaign created in 2004, the game launches with five playable races and the following nine classes: barbarian, bard, cleric, fighter, paladin, ranger, rogue, sorcerer, and wizard. As in most online role-playing games, players begin by customizing their character's name, gender, and basic appearance before entering a tutorial quest designed to familiarize them with the controls, interface, and style of play.
Unlike its genre contemporaries, such as World of WarCraft, Dungeons & Dragons Online does not feature large, persistent areas where thousands of players can freely roam and fight. The design focuses instead on instanced dungeons for small bands of adventurers, each accessed from a tavern or a small hub area. In true D&D fashion, a party will need to work together to disarm traps, solve puzzles, negotiate with characters, or fight a number of monsters. An off-screen Dungeon Master will describe new areas in detail, while combat takes an action-oriented approach. Players are free to jump, swim, climb, attack, block, and perform evasive tumbles in real time.
Potions, spells, and feats are accessed through icon-based toolbars, but magic users have a limited number of points to cast spells. To replenish lost health and spell points, party members must locate the one rest shrine located within each dungeon. Another distinguishing feature is how the game handles experience. Experience points are not earned by killing creatures, but rather for solving quests, allowing players some freedom in how they complete objectives. For its initial release, the game has a level cap of ten and carries a monthly fee of $14.95. The game also includes native support for voice communication via microphone, a first for the genre. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide