The Upcoming Expansion: Mists of Ravenloft.
Some time ago, Standing Stone Games announced the upcoming expansion to Dungeons and Dragons Online titled: Mists of Ravenloft.
The news brought excited reactions from players because it was something we’d requested for some time. To hear that we had been listened to was cause to rejoice!
The following will discuss both the benefits and drawbacks of this upcoming expansion, and what it will mean for players.
*Disclaimer: Before I do, I want to make it very clear that I did not play the preview on the test server and this is solely my opinion based on the information given by Standing Stone Games on the DDO website. I have, however, heard VERY good things from friends that did play the test server! Also, I just noticed that Twitter account @DDOUnlimited has posted the release of another test weekend for Lamannia test server, so I may have another post on this next week!
**Further Disclaimer: This post will include very few pictures due to the lack of access to the content. See above disclaimer for update on test server status.
Here’s what’s included with the Ravenloft Standard Edition for $39.99:
- New Race: Aasimar
- Survivor Package (Astral Shards and a Supreme Resurrection Cake)
Before anyone that does not understand why such a short list of benefits is worth $39.99, I’d like to remind everyone that every package includes the Mists of Ravenloft expansion itself as well, and word has it this is a HUGE explorer area with twelve (12) quests and at least one (possibly two) raids!
I’d also like to point out that the expansion, new race, and iconic class will be available for DDO Points as of March 2018.
Don’t forget that you OWN the expansion, so even if you have and then drop a VIP account, you get to keep access to the entire area!
The Aasimar race: Very nice. They make great Clerics, Paladins, or any class that benefits from two added points of Wisdom. I’ve held a silent protest over the lack of Aasimar in game for years, and their recent addition has me gleeful!
I’m not sure what the race alone would cost in actual money, but the website claims that when the expansion is available for purchase using DDO points, the race will also be available for 1395 DDO Points.
As a final bonus, a pre-order of any bundle will include everything you see on these lists now, and the expansion launches December 5th (provided there are no delays)!
Survivor’s Package: Astral Shards and a Supreme Resurrection Cake. This will benefit new players the most as those of us that have played for longer than a year likely have plenty of both, but to have them cannot hurt!
Cost: For those tight on finances, $40 will seem a bit of a bitter pill to swallow. This is the most expensive expansion DDO has released to date (if memory serves) and, after the long wait and the built-up excitement, to learn you may not be able to afford the expansion may come as a severe disappointment.
When you have to choose between life expenses and a game expansion, the latter should always lose (though I am witness to opposite views in the gaming community). However, I was given a bit of advice by @DDOCentral on Twitter: Sell some old stuff to make the money and buy whichever you can afford! This is a good point, and if you want the expansion, may be a good solution.
One thing to remember is that one does not need the expansion to play DDO, and unless you’ve experienced it on the test server, you may never know the difference. If all else fails: stay calm, skip the expansion, and carry on.
Here’s what’s included in the Ravenloft Collector’s Edition for $79.99:
- Aasimar Race and Survivor Package
- 1 Character Slot
- Universal Tree: Vistani Knife Fighter
- Exclusive Barovian Outfit and Hat Cosmetic Armor
- Exclusive Cosmetic Pet: Black Cat Creature Companion
- Heroic Level Scarecrow Hireling
- 30 Day VIP Access Code (Account Specific)
At first, this bundle seems to be the most cost effective. Upon further review, however, the benefits seem to be a bit novelty. Aasimar race is cool, and one can always use more DDO points and Astral shards, but what about everything else?
Aasimar race: I’ve already spoken at length about this above.
Survival Package: Also see above.
Vistani Knife Fighter Universal Enhancement Tree: Though I know little of it, this tree seems to be a solid addition to the bundle, albeit I have no immediate interest.
Heroic Level Hireling: Scarecrow: A permanent hireling that can be summoned anywhere (except in public areas)? Yes, please! I have a 3rd level perma hire, and I can attest to its usefulness. Add in the fact that you can summon them in addition to whatever hires you purchase from the in-game vendors, the value just continues to rise!
30 Day VIP Access: My original thought on this was that it was a solid “con”. After further consideration, the codes can be given away, which changes the my whole outlook! This is awesome because it can be gifted, sold, traded, or raffled! I’ll talk more about this point later in the Ultimate Fan Bundle portion of this post.
Cons: (These are situational, and in such cases are no longer cons)
The Character slot: One. One character slot. That’s it? I understand that one slot can mean the world to someone that isn’t VIP or played a long time and already purchased a slew of them. However, this is literally the only occasion where I can see the benefit, otherwise it seems a bit lackluster.
Also: You can purchase character slots with 625 DDO points and, I’ll admit, I have a reasonable amount. I don’t fill them up with alts, so maybe my situation causes “boon blindness”.
Cosmetic Armor and Hat: Most players will agree with me that your character’s appearance is a solid second next to its effectiveness, however I know there are some out there that care deeply about their character’s appearance. For the latter type, this addition is a boon. For everyone else, this is a con.
Black Cat Creature Companion: (I know I’m going to get a lot of flack from one player in particular about this, but here is is) There are those that live and breathe for the virtual pets they can have in the game. I know of one personally (and you know who you are), and-again- for those people, this is a boon. In the grand scheme of the game, however, this is a con. To pay for something that doesn’t add anything to the game other than cosmetic bliss to DDO cat owners around the world: MEH.
Here’s what is included in the Ravenloft Ultimate Fan Bundle for $129.99:
- Aasimar Race, Survivor Package, Character Slot, Universal Tree: Vistani Knife Fighter, Barovian Outfit Cosmetic, Character Slot, Black Cat Creature Companion, and the Heroic Level Scarecrow Hireling.
- Iconic Hero: Scourge of the Undead
- Exclusive Vampire Hunter Cosmetic Armor and Hat
- Exclusive Raven Creature Companion
- Weapon Aura
- Five Mirrors of Glamering
- Shared Storage (10 slots)
- 60 Day VIP Access Codes
Aasimar Race: Covered in the first package, see above for opinion.
Universal Enhancement Tree Vistani Knife Fighter: See Collector’s Edition thoughts.
Heroic and Iconic Hero Scarecrow Hirelings: These are the same as “Gold Seal” hirelings in that they can be summoned from anywhere in a dungeon, as well as used in combination with a regular hireling. Again, these hirelings are PERMANENT, which means when other hirelings (including the Gold Seals) expire, they are reminiscent of the Energizer Bunny: THEY KEEP ON GOING!
Shared Storage: Ten more slots with which to store your goodies in your shared bank is a very good thing! Whether you are a seasoned player or a total newb, moar storage is a good thing. The only situation where I can figure this can be a “con” is when someone has already purchased the maximum. However, if you have purchased the UFB, that typically means that you bought it for more than the shared storage. If not, then you wasted money on something you could have bought with DDO points, and- in that case- would have gotten more points for your money.
Survivor Package: Already covered in Standard Edition thoughts. Visit/ revisit as needed.
60 Day VIP Access Code: Originally placed in the “Cons” section, further consideration lead me to change my opinion. For VIP’s or those that have already purchased most/ all of the content, this does not provide any benefit at all. EXCEPT: These are codes you can sell/ gift/ trade/ or use on another account! This means that if you had someone that was interested in playing the game, you can give them this code.
If you wanted to recover some of the money you spent on the expansion, you could sell the code(s) for $10 (each if provided in two codes)!
If you wanted to try a game a friend played, and they wanted to try DDO, you could trade for a code from that game!
If you have multiple accounts, you could use it on that account to give yourself Premium Account status (and get all those benefits)!
If you stream you can hold a raffle for those points so that one of your viewers can benefit from the VIP status for a month (or two) as well as the Premium status after, which in turn makes you look like a hero!
Cost: Wow. $129.99 for this bundle is very steep! There are some that won’t think twice about the money spent here, but for me there isn’t a chance in hell this will be my purchase. If you read the Collector’s Edition bundle notes, you know my thoughts on cosmetics. And if you take out the cosmetics from this bundle, there isn’t really enough there to constitute a bundle upgrade.
Exclusive Cosmetic Armors and Hats and Pets: Cosmetics. Reference Collector’s Edition for previous mention.
Weapon Auras: This is just another cosmetic, and falls under the same thoughts as the others: MEH.
Five (5) Mirrors of Glamering: Again, cosmetics. MEH.
Seriously, why do game developers think their players are so hung up on cosmetics?
Don’t get me wrong, I know some players are, but honestly most aren’t; at least, that’s how it seems.
I know, I know, if you are one that loves cosmetics, you’re glaring at me as though I just spewed out a ritual for Asmodeus. You have the right to view me in such a manner, but then again, I also have the right to my opinions of cosmetics. To me, they’re time and money wasted.
My solution: I think the best way to handle cosmetics is to provide more DDO points, put all cosmetics into the DDO store, and allow us to buy them if/ when we feel the urge. That way, those of us that don’t want cosmetics can skip them entirely and use those points for something we do want.
Edit: I have been made aware of another benefit for the Ultimate Fan Bundle that is NOT in the above lists provided: +3 Racial Enhancement Tome, which (as I’ve been told) equates to 9 past lives worth of benefits. This brings the worth of this bundle up quite a bit, but whether this brings the value of this bundle up to its price is up to each individual person.
This doesn’t change original opinion about this bundle, but it may add enough value for others to make the jump.
My original opinion about these bundles was as dark and horrible as the realm DDO will bring to their game in a couple of weeks, but as you can see from this post: time has tempered my views. The bundles have some excellent features, especially the VIP codes, new race, more shared bank storage, and hirelings.
This also means that I have changed my mind about purchasing the expansion. I had settled on the “buy with DDO points” option, but
Which bundle should I get?
Which bundle will be ideal for you depends upon your situation.
If you are no nonsense, and just enjoy the game for what it is, you’ll probably be fine with the Standard Edition.
If you like a bit of flair, chances are the Collector’s Edition will suit you best.
If you’re all-in with cosmetics, then the Ultimate Fan Bundle will likely cause you to salivate.
“What do you plan to purchase?”
If the Collector’s and Ultimate bundles didn’t rely so much on cosmetics, then- for me- they might be a legitimate consideration. As it sits, I will purchase the standard, and get the iconic class as a separate DDO Point purchase.
Additional Edit: Regardless of which bundle you get, the fact that Ravenloft has come to DDO is amazing, and I hope it brings everybody an endless amount of enjoyment!
*Further Further Disclaimer: Since I was not able to get the test server up and running on my computer in time to play the Ravenloft content, any and all pictures provided here were stolen from the DDO website. I give no apologies!
*Additional Further Further Disclaimer Reminder: Again, I want to reiterate that any statements provided here are merely my opinions at the time of the original posting. Any additional or changed opinions at a later date will not be reflected in this page.
Thanks so much for your time and patience for this extended post. I know it is longer than I usually go, but there was a lot to cover! I hope you’ll visit again!