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Producer letter/January 2024

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A Look at 2024, The Year of the Dragon – Producer's Letter[edit]


Greetings Everyone!

Today I wanted to tell you about some of our plans for the year in Dungeons & Dragons Online. I hope you all had a fantastic 2023, and that you’re ready for even more adventures. I’m having a bit of adventure myself at the moment due to a winter storm, writing a draft of this Producer’s Letter in the dark by candlelight, with one of those old timey writing things ... a pen and some paper.

In a way it’s kind of thematically appropriate; it has me thinking about when I used to write D&D adventures by hand for my friends. It’s been nice to pause and reflect on those endearing D&D moments, because it is the 50th anniversary of Dungeons & Dragons! That’s half a century of people lovingly making their character builds, their campaigns, and playing with their friends. And yeah, sure, a lot of tools and technologies have changed in 50 years, but what hasn’t changed is the passion and creativity of everybody who loves D&D. That’s a huge reason why it has endured. As luck would have it, the 50th anniversary happens to fall on the lunar year of the Dragon! How fantastic is that? So that means we’re going to celebrate big. Dragon big!

I am pleased to announce that starting at DDO’s Anniversary in February we will be rolling out a yearlong celebration in honor of D&D’s 50th Anniversary! From free gifts to new features, each month during our Year of the Dragon celebration there will be something exciting for our players. Be sure to check in with us on February 7th when we will reveal what each month’s Year of the Dragon surprise will be! The fun starts during DDO's 18th anniversary on February 28th. As a hint to how this starts, the first surprise will be a dragon themed archetype. The “Year of the Dragon” celebration will last all the way until next year’s anniversary.

To help get your friends and family ready for the Year of the Dragon, I’m also pleased to announce the return of a special coupon code that can be used to get a ton of free quest packs! Use coupon code: FREEDDO2024. (Available through 11:59pm Eastern (-4 GMT) Sunday, February 11th 2024.)

Learn more about all the quest packs that this code grants and how to apply the code here!

In addition, we have lots of other excitement planned in 2024. Here’s an early sense of what those updates will entail:

By popular demand, our next major Expansion in the summer will take place in a fan favorite D&D location: Myth Drannor! It is among the more infamous places in the Forgotten Realms and we’re very excited to bring it to life! The level cap will increase to 34, and I’m looking forward to one of Myth Drannor’s hallmarks: Wild Magic areas. Myth Drannor is a place where opening yourself to chaos can allow you to tap into greater power. It’s that power that has attracted the Red Wizards of Thay. Players will need to explore both the ruins of Myth Drannor, and interfere with the plans of the Red Wizards. It’s the quintessential D&D and dungeon delving environment. Presale for the Expansion will start in June.

In addition to two quest packs this year and our Expansion, there will also be a Dynamic Event with quests to unlock. Dynamic Events differ from our seasonal festivals in that while they are limited time activities, they are focused heavily on serious story narrative and DDO canon, and some aspects of them don’t repeat once the DDO community has advanced the story. They’re also meant to have elements that let players experience the event together, with collaboration and peer information sharing. After reviewing feedback on the Illithid Invasion, this Dynamic Event will be inclusive of all character levels since the Illithid Invasion was fairly end game focused. It will take the place of our Hardcore season so that all players can participate. We're anticipating that the event will be some time in the fall, though Dynamic Events may not always be during fall going forward.

With the necessary Store infrastructure upgrades completed last year, we’ll also be looking to roll out the updates to the VIP program in the spring this year. We’ve made changes to the proposed rewards based on player feedback, and we’ll bring more information on the VIP program soon.

We’ll update Crystal Cove and Night Revels to support the higher-level cap, and Night Revels will also get a new dungeon this year.

2024 Roadmap.jpg

If you’re new to the game, or returning after a little break, I just want to take a quick moment to recap some of the more recent features and excitement that have been added to DDO for you to enjoy:

  • We took players behind the scenes of dungeon making, and even let them help us decide what to build, with a new dungeon called “Catastrophe”. It’s a free quest, and you can also watch the behind-the-scenes video episodes about the making of it on our YouTube Channel. We plan to be at PAX East again this year, and more information about that will be announced soon.
  • We’ve continued to expand our selection of Class Archetypes, adding Blightcaster, Dark Hunter, and Acolyte of the Skin. Archetypes have added some fresh play options, so we’re going to continue to add more types of them to the game in different ways. Some will be free, some will be paid, but all will bring new ways for people to shake up their character build dynamics.
  • Several pieces of long time DDO content received a sprucing up and higher-level treasures added to make them playable at broader level ranges, including the Chronoscope, Deception in Stormreach, and Attack on Stormreach.
  • Players recently worked together to successfully unlock a new set of tough dungeons in Sharn. While the live event is over, the quests that were unlocked are still available for everyone to play for free. These are some of the hardest quests we’ve had for a while, so see if your character has what it takes to best the Illithids there!
  • A new treasure modification feature was added to the game known as the Deck of Many Curses. The cards for it first appeared in our aforementioned challenging Illithid Invasion dungeons. During Festivult, a curse introduced the cards to more places in game, and we’re going to go ahead and keep the card drops in the Legendary sagas.

We have even more fun things planned in 2024, so check back with us regularly to see what’s new throughout the year! We’re so glad to have you with us, thanks for reading and we’ll see you in game!

Amanda “Tolero” Grow

Producer's letters