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Mists of Ravenloft coming to DDO

October 26th 2017.

Okay so there are two big things I am looking forward to right now.

#1. Season Two of Stranger Things on Netflix (which I will be binge watching tomorrow).

#2. Mists of Ravenloft being released on Dungeons and Dragons Online on December 5th.

So I have no doubt that Stranger Things Season 2 will be amazing, mindblowing, and I shall watch it again and again. (There is a tiny chance I will be disappointed and downcast as a result.)

But with Mists of Ravenloft I am looking forward to playing DDO again - I took a break from playing it from May to October, so I am happy to start playing again. This is something I do with DDO, which is hugely addictive, and I find it helps keep things balanced in my life. I will take long hiatuses from the game and not play it during an extended period of time.

During the past 15 months roughly I have been spending a lot of my "gaming time" playing Pokemon Go, but with winter coming and me disliking the idea of spending another winter outside playing Pokemon, this year I have decided to not play Pokemon and instead focus on playing various games indoors... where it is warm and cozy.

Games like...
  • Skyrim (and Skyrim Expanded Edition)
  • Oblivion
  • The Crew
  • Dungeons and Dragons Online
Part of this is fueled by the fact that I no longer have much time for pen and paper games (traditional D&D with dice, paper, etc) now that I have a baby boy and not much gaming time.

Thus what little gaming time I do have, I need to be using it in different ways.

So no more Pokemon Go during the Winter.

No more pen and paper D&D for me. Or at least not as often as before.

Hello, Dungeons and Dragons Online...

Now to be clear, I have been waiting for Ravenloft to be added to DDO for years. I made numerous suggestions years ago that various classic D&D modules should be added to the game, and it appears the producers of the game are finally listening.

They came out with a series of quests in Eveningstar - and the classic quest Haunted Halls of Eveningstar (aka HHoE).
After that success they came out with Temple of Elemental Evil (ToEE).

And now, finally... Ravenloft. The first big expansion of the game since Eveningstar.

Yours for $39.99.

Sigh.

As is usual, each expansion costs more than the original game. (DDO is currently free to play, but a lot of the more fun and interesting quests you need to buy access to.)

But whatever. It is Ravenloft. I am so paying for it when it comes out.

My only disappointment is that they didn't release it before Halloween. Instead we have to wait for December 5th.

Historical Context

Decades ago there was a computer game released by SSI called Ravenloft: Strahd's Possession. Followed by the sequel, Stone Prophet. Stone Prophet was my favourite of the two, but the beauty of the two games was that they were both awesome, and you could play characters through to the end of Ravenloft - and then use the same characters in Stone Prophet.

My one beef with those two games is that monsters never respawn. Both games could have been so much better with respawning monsters in the wilderness areas.

The new Ravenloft expansion will of course have a wilderness area - which I am going to have a lot of fun exploring.

Harry Potter vs Game of Thrones

I think George R. R. Martin was sitting in a movie theatre years ago, watching a Harry Potter film and thinking... "Heck, I could do better than this. Heck, it could even be R rated, and people would gobble it up."

And he was partially right.

Except he miscalculated something.

You see J. K. Rowling, the author of Harry Potter, had known for quite some time she was going to write 7 Harry Potter books in order to complete the storyline. Some, not all, of the books got progressively bigger. But the length of the books were reasonable and everything was plotted out ahead of time, and thus she was able to release books on a schedule that matched and suited the film schedule.

George R. R. Martin however, who is very long winded and has difficulty sticking to any kind of publishing schedule, probably will not publish the 6th and 7th books until 2018 and 2024 respectively. It is currently taking him about 5-6 years to publish 1 book.

Is he a chronic procrastinator? Maybe.

Maybe his ego is the problem. As a white male American, ego can be a huge problem. (It certainly is a problem for Donald Trump. Totally off topic.)

Perhaps he was looking at J. K. Rowling, a white female British author, and thought "If she can do it, I can do better." And he didn't have a clue how long it would take him to write books.

And it is true that Game of Thrones is stylistically and plot-wise better. Harry Potter has the more likeable characters, but suffers from a repetitive good wizards vs dark wizards trope.

As a financial success it is questionable which series has made more money... Harry Potter has toy sales... a huge abundance of toy sales and paraphernalia. Lets just check which series has made more so far.

...

"All told, Rowling created a $15 billion brand. While her net worth is a fraction of that, as it is estimated to be just less than $1 billion, that's still enough to make her the world's richest author. While Rowling's last Harry Potter book was released in 2007, she continues to earn royalties from book sales."

In contrast Game of Thrones popularity earns about $1.1+ billion per year. So when it is done it will have earned approx. $8.8+ billion in revenue. So that much money is certainly a lot, but it is nowhere near what the Harry Potter franchise has made.

And with more films coming out, the new Magical Creatures series, the Harry Potter franchise will continue to make money. The newest film made $812 million at the box office alone.

Game of Thrones meanwhile is working on five possible spinoff series. Which, if successful, could make HBO another $5.5 billion. Maybe. Hard to predict success rates and profits.

So HBO might eventually make $14.3 billion. Maybe. If. No guarantees.

By the time it does Harry Potter/Magical Creatures might be in the $16 to $20+ billion range.

So it is not a contest, but if it was then J. K. Rowling is definitely winning.

Notes

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 2 is currently filming and is expected to be released in 2018.

The 8th and final season of Game of Thrones is expected to be released in Summer 2018, after which fans will have to wait for the prequel spinoffs.

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