Menace of the Underdark is the first real expansion for Dungeons & Dragons Online and offers players a great deal of content that expands the mythos of the online game even further. At PAX East this weekend, I had a chance to sit down with Executive Producer Fernando Paiz as he walked me through some of the new additions players will see in this expansion.
Starting right where “Update 13: Web of Chaos” ends, players have the ability to explore new worlds while fending off the minions of the Spider Queen Lolth, one of the most powerful goddesses in the Dungeons & Dragons universe. The new worlds include the gloomy Demonweb Pits, the Underdark, and the expansive Faerun, each one with its own amount of detail and charm. The town of Eveningstar in Faerun will essentially be the game’s hub, so Paiz hopes to make it as lively and as it can be with as many different characters, quests, and interactions as possible.
During the demo, I was also introduced to new monsters such as giant minotaurs, spiders, and a green dragon that towers over you in battle. There are far bigger dragons, each differing in color and having its own name, Paiz promised, that will make an appearance in the game. The ones I saw were simply a sneak peek at the expansive new bestiary that includes the legendary Drow.
While the combat remains mainly unchanged, the game’s previous level cap of 20 has been increased to 25, letting players who have completed their main game continue their adventures even further. However, you will need to be at least level 16 to star the expansion. Paiz mentioned as well that the game will open up new bonuses and spells that new players can have access to so that everyone can benefit from starting this expansion.
One of the most anticipated features of Menace of the Underdark is the inclusion of the premium character class: the Druid, a shape-shifter that can transform into different forms, each with its own advantages and attacks. The demo only had the swift wolf form readily available, but others will include the bear and elemental. Players can then develop their forms even further, turning into their more powerful versions such as the white wolf.
Despite not being a completely finished version, the game I saw looked very promising and “expansive.” Paiz hopes to improve its graphics and textures further such as including individual blades of grass in the fields of Faerun to not only make the game look better, but to create a sense of inclusion and wonder when players dive into the Forgotten Worlds.
You can pre-order the game now and get access to early content too such as creature companions. Look for the Menace of the Underdark expansion when it launches on June 25.