Turbine launched Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach (DDO) in 2006, relying loosely on the D&D tabletop 3.5 rule-set. The game initially had a claustrophobic feel. Gamers were seemingly locked in one endless city environment called Stormreach. Missing were the deserts, mountains, lakes, and oceans, thus making a very drab and boring experience.
That all changed when DDO went free-to-play with the launch of Dungeons & Dragons Online: Ebarron Unlimited. Players no longer start within the city, but rather on the shores of Eberron.
As for the actual game play, the title uses standard MMORPG mechanics (although the rule-set is turn-based). However, most encounter areas are loaded as miniature modules. An example is how the player's character takes on a quest within a cave. The character approaches the cave and selects the level of difficulty: solo, normal, hard, elite, and epic.
During character generation, DDO offers six races (humans, elves, dwarves, half-lings, Warforged, and Drow) and 11 classes (fighter, paladin, barbarian, ranger, monk, favored soul, rogue, bard, wizard, sorcerer, and cleric), as well as a handful of alignments.
Free-to-play gamers have access to a majority of the content, while this model thrives on micro-transactions. Gamers wanting VIP content can subscribe for $14.99 per month.