Developer Turbine confirms its forthcoming update for Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach, Eberron Unlimited, will allow free-to-play access to the MMO. Based on the pen-and-paper role-playing game's Eberron campaign setting, DDO first launched in February 2006 with a $14.99 USD monthly subscription fee. The Eberron Unlimited update, scheduled for release sometime this summer, will shift the game toward a microtransactions-based business model now favored by current MMOs. Users can instead choose to spend their cash on additional premium content and items from the aptly named "DDO Store".
The DDO Store is a vendor within DDO Unlimited, where you can spend your hard-fought points or real, hard-earned dollars (if you wish) to enhance your gaming experience. While the best gear can still only be found by adventuring in-game, the store offers a bevy of convenience items, in addition to premium adventure packs, extra character slots, hirelings, potions, unique character customization, and much more than this page will allow us to list! Items in the DDO Store are purchased with Turbine Points.
Free content is widely available for low-level characters and becomes sparser as a character's level increases. However, additional premium adventure packs are available for purchase through the DDO Store. Once the adventure pack has been added to your account, it will be permanently available to all your characters.
Of course, the Eberron Unlimited update will also support new game features like the monk character class and higher level caps. DDO Unlimited looks to bill itself (pun not intended) as a relaunch for the game, as Turbine is offering players a chance at a sneak peek of the "new" DDO through a closed beta test.
Players who still choose keep their subscriptions will be honored as "DDO VIPs", and will be rewarded with exclusive benefits like a monthly Turbine Point allowance, priority access to servers, access to all classes and races, additional character slots, and shared bank slots. That's assuming you're still up for paying $14.99 each month to play DDO.