After my last post - I headed back to the show floor and tried to find a way to kill time before speaking with Warner Bros. Interactive. I made my way back to Midway’s booth to see Lord of the Rings Online : Shadows of Angmar which is also being developed by Turbine - the same company who is doing Dungeons and Dragons Online. It’s a little disconcerting how close D&D online and LoTR online are, but that might not exactly be a bad things considering both seem to be good. There are many differences despite both games having similar mechanics.
LoTR does have one real interesting feature that D&D Online doesn't which comes in the form of battles that happen in the main world. D&D Online is exclusively instanced based combat - you get a quest - you get whisked away to where the quest takes place with your party - you do the quest isolated and you get returned. In LoTR, there are some quests with the same sort of mentality, but there are also quests where the major locations are layered based on your completion of certain quests. You might play a quest where a town comes under attack and half of it is burned to the ground. Every time you go to that town afterwards - the damage will still be done - but you’ll be able to interact with other players normally in the same game space rather then it being an isolated instanced area. They’re still figuring out the specifics - but this means that in addition to other regular instanced quests - they could also do major game world events that involve more then a small party of players.