Dungeons & Dragons Online Update

We get a brief update on this upcoming online role-playing game from Turbine CEO Jeffrey Anderson.


At a recent Atari press event, we had the opportunity to sit down with Turbine Software CEO Jeffrey Anderson to get an update on the forthcoming massively multiplayer game Dungeons & Dragons Online. Though the studio is currently supporting both Asheron's Call and Asheron's Call 2, and it is also developing Middle-Earth Online for release next year, the team is also currently in the design and documentation stages of D&D Online.

According to Anderson, Dungeons & Dragons Online will emphasize "the three Cs: content, combat, and community." The new game will be the first to use an all-new fantasy world conceived for the recently released 3.5 Edition Dungeons & Dragons world. You'll be able to create characters from four main races--humans, halflings, dwarves, and elves--and Turbine intends to implement all the standard 3.5 Edition character classes, such as barbarians, sorcerers, and rogues.

However, Anderson explained that although Dungeons & Dragons will take place in a persistent online world, just as Turbine's other games have, the game won't emphasize huge, sprawling worlds with thousands of players, but rather smaller worlds with a few hundred players who will be able to have a real impact on their worlds. Anderson suggested that one way this might occur would be for players to complete an important quest or defeat an exceptionally powerful enemy, after which their local town might add the players' emblem to a flag and raise it all across town.

By creating these smaller worlds, Turbine will let players feel like they can have a real impact on the game's world, and it will also let them better acquaint themselves with other players, who they'll likely see on a regular basis. Anderson went on to describe the way that towns will work in the game. They'll be meeting places for players to regroup after tough battles, but they won't be required stopping points to sell off heavy backpacks full of loot.

Anderson went on to describe the game's combat, which will take into account the actual 3.5 Edition rule set, as well as canonical Dungeons & Dragons features such as skills and feats. Though he didn't go into much detail, Anderson stated that Turbine wishes to create combat that will depend more on player skill and group tactics than sitting back and watching your characters and their enemies automatically exchange blows.

While Dungeons & Dragons Online is still in the design stages, it should go into full production soon. The game is currently scheduled for release in 2005.

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