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April brought the first content update to DUNGEONS & DRAGONS ONLINE™: Stormreach™ (DDO) -- the Dragon’s Vault module! The Dragon’s Vault module provides a variety of additional content, including 15 compelling dungeons and a new large-scale raid feature focusing on a vicious red dragon.
Developing the Dragon’s Vault
Developing the dragon has been a major undertaking for the Turbine team. We sat down with developer Jesse Kurlancheek for some insight into the process of putting the most iconic monster of them all into the game.
Jesse “devilmouse” Kurlancheek
Our mandate for developing the dragon was simple: "make it cool, we don't care how," We had free reign over the project, without the worries of keeping the assets extensible, re-useable, or any other "good developer" words.
A small group of us got together over the course of a few weeks to talk about what we wanted from the dragon in DDO. We had many requirements for the encounter: It had to make use of DDO's interactive environments, it had to allow both character and player skill to play a part in the fight, it had to look impressive, it had to be a true boss fight (it's a dragon after all), it had to support 12 players, along with a myriad of lesser goals.
We sketched out a variety of scenarios, in conversations and on whiteboards. Many were immediately thrown away for being "impossible to actually implement, what the heck are you even thinking?” Eventually the Dragon’s Vault bubbled to the top of the pile for both filling all of the above goals, as well as actually being as awesome as we wanted it to be.
New Quests in the Dragon’s Vault Module
The dragon is the star of the first module, but getting to him will involve delving into ancient mysteries, meeting past adventurers and battling a dark conspiracy hidden in Stormreach. The original adventurers who sought the Dragon’s Vault those years past are now being targeted for elimination by a secret conspiracy. It is up to you and your party to discover the means to enter yourself.
In an effort to force Phineas Hayward out of hiding, the warforged constructed in his factory have been contaminated and are now running amok. It falls to you to infiltrate the Hayward Foundry, defeat its defenses and take the facility back from the corrupted constructs.
Xen’drik’s greatest huntress is being pursued through the Jungle of Khyber by a planar outsider. She holds secrets about the Vault, but what other secret would bring her the attention of the deadly marut inevitable?
Mistress Orphne is trapped in the Prison of the Mind, where she has locked away her knowledge of the Vault. You and your party must travel into her very subconscious to retrieve her lost memories.
Ancient ruins have been found at the Stormvauld Mine… but the miners have been lost! Explore the depths below to rescue them and turn a profit off the precious stones waiting to be unearthed.