Dungeons & Dragons Online going free-to-play

Turbine reveals that upcoming expansion will introduce a free-to-play subscription system this summer.

When Turbine Inc. announced the start of the beta for Dungeons & Dragons Online's newest major upgrade, Eberron Unlimited, the developer also dropped a bombshell: The massively multiplayer online game will receive a free-to-play option for all its current and future players.

A glimpse of the new monk class. image credit: blogcdn.com

The upgrade, slated for this summer, will allow players to download and play the game free of charge, with revenue coming from microtransactions. Current subscribers will automatically be enrolled in its VIP program, which includes exclusive access to additional races, adventure packs, locales, and the upcoming monk class.

Moreover, current subscribers will get "priority access" in the closed beta of the new DDO Unlimited upgrade, which began today.

Players who choose the free-to-play plan are encouraged to buy additional content, such as potions, equipment, and adventure packs via the new DDO Store, which coincides with the release of the Eberron Unlimited upgrade. VIP customers will accrue Turbine points each month, which can be used at the store to purchase virtual goods.

DDO Unlimited will offer more than 100 updates, skills, quests, feats, and enhancements. It will also raise the level cap to 20, introduce the monk class, and add more than a dozen new dungeons.

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Discussion

65 comments
neonfrax2
neonfrax2

I played this game several months after launch, then eventually gave up on it, as it was quite dull even at high levels. Its possibly the worst online game ever and even at FREE, I highly doubt I'd play it.

sircyrus
sircyrus

Free-to-play, but not really, since you wont be able to do anything without buying all the goodies from the store. It's like putting up a sign, "Free car wash, only $2".

giu926
giu926

good news always wanted to play.It might kill some time XD

namdead01
namdead01

My favorite kind of MMO is the Free-to-play one. I understand why they want you too pay, but being a Teenager its kinda hard. So I'm hoping that D&D becomes Free I'll most likely be playing it :D

McDog3
McDog3

This seems to be becoming a trend among MMO's; free to play, but with tons of micro-trans type of stuff to bring in the dough. It's a pretty interesting concept and I for one welcome it. I enjoy playing some good MMO's every once in awhile but I don't play enough to have a monthly subscription pay itself off. This new strategy could bring in what every game company is looking for these days, the oh-so-elusive "casual gamer"....

fivecentfamily
fivecentfamily

This is great news. My wife and I played this obsessively when it first came out, and had to stop to regain some balance in life (plus, the fees were a bit steep). It might be fun to play this again more casually with the FtP option.

BlueApe
BlueApe

You can't play this type of games for free and have all the fun, at some point you will pay real money.

earlthecannibal
earlthecannibal

I wouldn't play this game if they gave me a new car...it's that bad! someone needs to create a game worthy of calling itself Dungeons and Dragons online, because this isnt it!

Rascaseal
Rascaseal

Free Play = Sounds Like Good!

Inconnux
Inconnux

This sounds like the long desperate gasp of a game that has failed to find a market.

Cataclysms
Cataclysms

Foe, the items you mentioned will all still be bought with gold in the game and won't have anything to do with Turbine Points. Turbine Points will be used for various other things like additional character customization options, more character slots, and adventure packs. Though there will be some convenience items like healing wands so if you are in a pinch in a dungeon you can buy them if you really want. Of course, there is one thing wrong with what GameSpot posted. Monks are not getting introduced. They were added months ago. Another class which hasn't been announced yet is getting added.

ZippyDSMLee
ZippyDSMLee

Free play= paying more yearly for your charatcer than a month to to month fee.... Here's a thought....why not have the subscription then allow people to buy a charatcer with double the stats and half the restrictions make it player customizable for 20-50$ so the game is not grindy and actually fun....

Quezakolt
Quezakolt

i guess this is going to die soon if they're going free-to-play..

adrianombonatto
adrianombonatto

UUUUHUUUUUUU!!!!!!!! Monk rules!!!!!!!!!!! Stormreach rules!!!!!!!! Free-play rules!!!!!!!!!!

FoeCrusher
FoeCrusher

I am unclear on how this micro transaction model works. Does that mean anytime I would want to buy something like a health potion or new weapons/armour I would have to use some sort of paypal transaction to top up my in game account? Does gold etc you find on monsters have little or no value at this point? Please enlighten me Foe

splattr
splattr

Coldfire, ever play DDO? There are health/mana potions along with the other buff potions, and you do down them like candy.

deadmanet
deadmanet

To those questioning the lvl 20 cap, it's really more due to each lvl being broken into sections. Current cap of 16 would be like lvl 64 in other mmos. And to Gamespot, check your facts(may be what you where told) the monk class is not new, it came out last module. It's just not part of the "free" option with the new upcoming switch to F2P, it'll cost ya.

nord1c
nord1c

Ouch - I just learned that the free-to play version will not be available for European players (which includes me....). Once again I can only stress that this caste system created by Codemasters does not pay the proper tribute to D&D inventors. Check out the article by article by Matt Martin at Gamesindustry.biz

nescgi
nescgi

My post was hidden because I mentioned RuneScape?

Wolf-5
Wolf-5

The game was ok in my opinion, and didn't like it enough to pay to play... with this going free... I Might go back to it.

player_leo
player_leo

Cool, another free to play MMO. If my computer is strong enough I think I'll give it a try.

Erebus
Erebus

"DDO Unlimited will offer more than 100 updates, skills, quests, feats, enhancements, and one large helping of fail."

demonoid42
demonoid42

Honestly, I hope this works out better than anyone could image; I would probably have never, ever, ever considered playing this on a subscription basis, but if it's FtP, I'm totally interested. The problem with monthly subscriptions is that you feel forced to play the game in order to justify paying the subscription, and, say you get busy at work or whatever, that's not always a good thing. Microtransactions are soooooooooooooooo much better to people who don't get in to it hardcore. (c:

BloodMist
BloodMist

Ugh, i hate micro transaction systems.In the long run if you really get into the game you'll just be spending a lot more money anyway unless you switch over.I guess it could be another form of a free trial, though without really giving you all the game could offer.

aura_enchanted
aura_enchanted

@ nord1c indeed gary gygax was a god walking amongst mere mortals. and i too tried to get the free trial but my bad dial-up (of the time) stopped me. now that i dont ill give it a whirl 4 sure.

aura_enchanted
aura_enchanted

bender say it for me kk? bender: hot diggidy dafodil! ive hoped and prayed for this momment to no end thx you wizards of the coast for making them see reason.. D&D now you and my pc shall be at peace!

nord1c
nord1c

D&D is no doubt the most archetypical fantasy role playing game ever. So seeing their MMO on the sidelines does not pay the credit to Gary Gygax (may he rest in peace) that he deserves. I tried to download the trial once but got frustrated along the way by verxy slow seeds. Yet the voices, advocating that the game has improved much since release are resparking my interest in the game, so I will look for a free trial now and if I still don't find a decent seed I will hook myself up with the free-to-play version in summer.

Dungeoncrawler1
Dungeoncrawler1

Will definately give it a go after it becomes free. Does it offer any content for solo gameplay?

Cybertori
Cybertori

This game has improved very much from launch - I really enjoyed my latest time with it. For anyone who likes an old-fashioned small-group dungeon crawl, no other game around does it better. I'm glad Turbine is making the effort to attract more players to this underappreciated game.

Will47
Will47

Never tried it, still don't plan to. D&D Online...dosn't D&D it's self waste enough of time???

DrogosIronfistcg
DrogosIronfistcg

I hate this game, I hate this game, I hate this game! Evrything that is wrong with EQ2, DDO did it in spades. There's nothing more that I would love to do but line up the DDO team and kill them slowly with paintballs and water deprivation. Its an absolutely horrid MMO.

ColdfireTrilogy
ColdfireTrilogy

Mega, ever play a D&D game, you dont down them like a traditional MMO .... you end up using them very sparingly, AND they aren't health/mana potions ... try high buff potions and trap detection, or skills that typically don't appear on certain classes, etc.

Megawizard
Megawizard

"Players who choose the free-to-play plan are encouraged to buy additional content, such as potions, equipment, and adventure packs via the new DDO Store, which coincides with the release of the Eberron Unlimited upgrade." POTIONS? Are they serious? XD

X-RS
X-RS

well, this is the way to go, with all the other mmos in developement/coming out.

silverthornne
silverthornne

Heh funny to see people who never played it bash it. I played DDO for about 4 months right after release and though it had its issues, it was far more enjoyable than any other MMO I ever played, including WoW. Mainly it was because of the dungeons, which played like dungeons. Rogue characters had to disarm traps and the party had to really work together. It was great, and I don't think any other MMO has been able to capture that again.

Warchief_Zuljin
Warchief_Zuljin

Nope, still won't touch it. All the races in it suck, and that's the only thing that matters in a MMO: your character. DDO has 5 human-like races, some with pointy ears, some short and fat, and some just average. Only 1 non-human race, and it's not Dragonborn. Pass. Oh, and if WoW became free to play, a game with an already childish player-base would become a cesspool of filth.

Zloth2
Zloth2

AngryFIngers - yep, cheap PCs and, more to the point, not much money going toward gaming. Maybe because they haven't got much money, maybe because they just don't care that much about gaming. The former are fine but having the latter come in and invade your game... that doesn't sound so fun.

Bobzfamily
Bobzfamily

@AngryFingers The graphics on DDO look no worse to me than WoW graphics. It's basically a couple years outdated 3d vs cartoon.

Bobzfamily
Bobzfamily

I'm likely going to try playing this game once it goes f2p this summer. As it is a group based game I'm just wondering if anybody else would like tot ry and arrange a group time for new players here from Gamespot.

cib3rn3t
cib3rn3t

AngryFingers Posted Jun 10, 2009 12:04 am GMT I never understood why people play lower quality MMOs...unless that is, they have a cheap PC. To play a game with crappy 3D graphics on my GeForce-pimped PC is a sin. I bet it is.

roflmuffins8
roflmuffins8

Now if only WoW could go follow suit and go free-to-play...

AngryFingers
AngryFingers

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

runstalker
runstalker

Never stuck with the game, but I have fond memories of some of the DDO dungeons. You really had to work together with the party. Lots of serious traps to disarm, like huge rooms filled with traps shooting flames. Yes, I recall some very good dungeons that actually felt like dungeons, not just fancy walls to contain a boring mob grind. The character movement was pretty satisfying too. Climbing ladders, swimming, etc. Performance was very good too. I may return to the game when it goes free.

athenian29
athenian29

Yesssssssss! Now I can finally get into a proper MMORPG!

Bobzfamily
Bobzfamily

This is actually good news for players and Turbine alike. they already have LOTRO going pretty good with a few hundred thousand active subscribers. Converting DDO to f2p is actually a good move. I might even try it now.

nescgi
nescgi

Free is interesting, nickel and diming me is not. RuneScape still appears to be the best free MMO to me. Edit - To those giving this the thumbs down, please tell me the name of a better game that will always be 100% free, no micro-transactions, no nag screens, just a banner ad AND gives you at least 2,000 hours of play, easily. Serious, I want to know. I will try it for sure.

jrabbit99
jrabbit99

i can't wait to download it!