Dungeons & Dragons: Daggerdale Announced

Let's hope it's more exciting than last year's Dungeons & Dragons: Dagenham, eh?

And now, some news of a thrilling new interactive adventure! Atari has announced Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance Daggerdale, a downloadable co-operative action RPG due out in 2011. Up to 4 players will be able to enjoy “riveting narrative” and “stunning levels” while battling the evil Rezlus and his Zhentarim, the Zhentarim being a black-hat organisation in the Forgotten Realms setting made up of evil wizards who basically want to conquer a big piece of the world and/or get rich or die trying. Announcement trailer follows, showing some combat. Yes! Combat.

Great, now I want to go and write a sci-fi story where every communicates via a flying robotic assistant known as a CommBat. Man.

I’m sure I won’t be the only person who was a little upset by 0:33 of this video. It’s like- orcs, orcs, ORCS, ORCS! ORCS! SO MANY ORCS! AND THEN oh right we see what actual combat looks like.


  1. sgt. grumbles says:

    Looks like Diablo 0.5.

  2. Dreamhacker says:

    Looks… retro? I also wonder what ruleset they are using.

    • Tuco says:

      Yeah, “ruleset”, that’s a good one.
      They are probably going just for a generic hack’n slash barely related to D&D setting.

    • CyberBrent says:

      Yeah I saw the headline and I thought it was a timely/exciting announcement, considering I’ve been playing the Infinity Engine games exclusively for a while now. I don’t really think that now…

    • Torgen says:

      When I saw the headline, I thought it was a Disney tie-in: “D&D Daggerdale! Play as Chip and Dale on a rollicking adventure!”

  3. trillex says:

    D&D? Good! Another Dark Alliance thing? No!

  4. Schaulustiger says:

    Great job, Atari! You own the license to use a sophisticated, turn-based ruleset and what are you doing? Making an uninspired and bland real-time action RPG that bears nearly no resemblance to D&D besides the FR setting *sigh*

    Oh wait, it’s an XBLA title, that explains a lot.

    • Lars Westergren says:

      How can you tell if it is “uninspired and bland” just from a few seconds of a trailer? Especially since trailers *always* just focus on cinematic action, no matter how the game plays.

    • pipman3000 says:

      nerd sense. that’s how

    • Schaulustiger says:

      First, they are using the Forgotten Realms ;-)

      But seriously: of course I cannot tell that much from this trailer, but if all they show is orcs and skeletons in an environment that seems directly taken from the Lord Of The Rings movie, I will not get my hopes up.
      Plus, my rant was mostly based on the genre. I haven’t had a healthy dose of D&D goodness since Neverwinter Nights 2. Give me a party-based, pauseable RPG with 4 gazillion spells and the rules that I fondly remember. That is what combat-D&D is all about!

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      Joshua says:

      Ya know, NWN2 was real time too :P.

    • -Spooky- says:

      The question is: Who cares? No need turn based style with hin a hack n slay. come on.

    • Schaulustiger says:

      I was one of the freaks who paused after every single round to issue new orders, so NWN2 played like a turn-based game for me :P Hell, I played every Infinity Engine game in quasi-turn-based mode, except for the walking parts.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      Yeah, if you want real rules you’d want to play Return to theTemple of Elemental Evil, which was put out by… Atari! Its fatal flaw? It’s impossibly difficult. Don’t play it on hardcore mode or you will have a very sad day when you inevitably horribly die because the Temple is NOT FAIR AT ALL.

    • Froibo says:

      Yeah I really can’t wait until Atari sells the D&D licence back to someone that can make something of the genre.

  5. Lars Westergren says:

    >a downloadable co-operative action RPG due out in 2011. Up to 4 players

    L4D&D? I’d play that.

    By the way, why is it always ancient evils that stir? Can’t we have some young, ambitious go-getting evil to battle for once?

  6. Jim Rossignol says:

    The Zhentarim were the baddies in the last D&D campaign i ran. Blimey, that was a long time ago.

    • Edgar the Peaceful says:

      Reminds me of Curse of the Azure Bonds – similarly, one of the last things I ran, sniff.

      Also – Bioware & Baldur’s Gate managed to perfectly grasp the AD&D aesthetic. Stop the WoWification of D&D! (Finger in the dyke, I know)

    • Neurotic says:

      Curse was the first FR novel I read. I never touched Dragon Lance again after that.

    • Edgar the Peaceful says:

      It was an early FR module first. Here ya go:
      link to acaeum.com

    • mondomau says:

      Yah, but the book was better. I have very fond memories of the Finders Stone Trilogy…

    • dadioflex says:

      “Curse was the first FR novel I read. I never touched Dragon Lance again after that.”

      I’m no D&D fiction nerd, but Forgotten Realms and Dragonlance are different shared worlds.

      I read the Dragons trilogy and pretty much vowed off ever reading any more in that setting, but I’ve read most of RA Salvatore’s Forgotten Realms stuff. The Hickman/Weis Dragonlance books are maudlin and painfully unfunny when they attempt humor, while Salvatore’s Forgotten Realms stuff, except for the giant squirrel!, is brainless romping nonsense, perfect to wind down with.

      IMO. Maybe it’s a boy/girl thing.

    • backcountry says:

      wrap my post in that orangish color.. ohhh yes…

    • utharda says:

      My wife and I recently started running a little campaign for our daughters. (They’re six.) Figured we’d simply the 4th edition rules a bunch, and they’d get to be imaginative and heroic, and learn some more math. First surprise, didn’t need to simplyfy the 4th edition rules. Second surprise, D&d is now pnp WoW. I was less than happy. :/

  7. WMain00 says:

    Cryptic are developing it, I believe….

    Take that as you wish.

    • derella says:

      I don’t think that it’s being made by Cryptic… They’re making Neverwinter Online or something like that.

    • bob_d says:

      This particular game appears to be by Bedlam studios. Cryptic are doing a different cooperative online D&D game… I guess Atari got the license, and dammit, they’re going to make full use of it – by having all their studios make a bunch of multiplayer D&D games.

  8. fionny says:

    That looks rubbish, if you cant make a trailer look good there is no hope!

  9. Okami says:

    This looks like a game that I’d only be willing to play on a console and even then only if it allows for offline coop. Mindless multiplayer hack’n’slashes are a blast if you sit on a comfy couch next to the other players – otherwise they’re just plain boring.

    • Gravidos says:

      Dungeons and Dragons: Heroes, save yourself some money. :P

  10. Dimsey says:

    If it’s anywhere near as good as the Dark Alliance games I’m in. They were a decent bit of co-op fun.

  11. Navagon says:

    So another Demon Stone then?

  12. abase says:


    Is this a primary marketing feature?

    • Sigh says:

      It got you. ;-)

    • thebigJ_A says:

      I’m as against the BEWBZ! style of marketting as anyone, but honestly here I think it’s you who has the problem. There’s literally one second of a lady shooting a bow, which doesn’t focus on the bosom area at all. You have to pause the video to even notice it. It’s an ordinarily-proportioned female not doing anything sexual and your first instinct is “TITS!”? Yeah… no.

  13. Alexander Norris says:

    riveting narrative

    Forgotten Realms

    Well, that’s off to a bad start.

  14. Kaira- says:

    So, if this is anywhere as cool as the Dark Alliance games, I’ll buy it on instant. Nothing beats four sweaty, greasy men on a couch, yelling to each other and just steamrolling through the game. Good times, good times…

    And no, I’m not posting too fast. Shut up, WordPress. I’ll take time how long it takes to post this, just to make you feel bad. 5 tries, 3 minutes.

  15. pipman3000 says:

    oh great another forgotten realms game.

    planescape, spelljammer, ravenloft, and dark sun were the only good d&d settings and if anyone disagrees i’ll fight you

    • Kaira- says:

      Eberron was here, haters gonna hate.


      And no, WordPress, I’m still not posting too fast.

      … just let me post.

      … please?

    • -Spooky- says:

      ´coz .. cash rulez everything around you. FR is the most used mainstream D&D setting ever. So what? Don´t like it, don´t play it .. anyway.

    • Fumarole says:

      Thinking about a Baldur’s Gate game set in Ravenloft makes me feel all tingly.

    • Edgar the Peaceful says:

      Mystara was the best: The Grand Duchy of Karameikos and the Black Eagle Barony specifically!

    • jeremypeel says:

      I thought Whizzhats of the Coast were discouraging use of Forgotten Realms as a setting in favour of Eberron?

      Or have they given up on that silly idea until someone finds a way to teleport Drizzt Do’Urden to the new world? (Clue: Use Planescape to do it.)

    • pipman3000 says:

      why not just make a drizzt game* already thats what his fanboys want after all. like everyone gets to play drizzt. everyone is drizzt, there’s no monsters like kobolds or something just tons of drizzts running around all over the place being drizzt,

      *Drizzts & Do’Urdens?

  16. Tunips says:

    A bit of wiki-ing tells me that no one has yet made a computer game based on the 4th Edition rules. This seems like an odd oversight. D&D gets turned into computer games. It has been this way since time immemorial.
    Maybe it’s because the 4th Ed rules are already too much like the MMO system that nobody feels the need.

    • Schaulustiger says:

      Cryptic’s “Neverwinter Online” will be the first game to use 4E rules.

    • pipman3000 says:

      4th ed is literally the closest d&d has ever gotten to being fun.

      seriously what were they thinking when they originally implemented race-based level restrictions back then? why would anyone play anything other then a human if they knew certain class/race combos could be stuck at level 5 forever. (why yes i played a half-elf cleric how did you know >:( )

    • megazver says:

      I believe there have been licensing issues with D&D that prevented anyone from making any 4e games. Seems that they have been resolved.

    • Arglebargle says:

      Yeah Pipman. I have different issues with D&D 4th ed., but the previous versions were all murky and haphazard mishmashes, with real poor rules designs. I tried playing NWN2 again a while ago….until I ran smack dab into those awful rules again. Just gave it up.

  17. MDevonB says:

    Oooo… Dungeons & Dragons: Daggerfall?

    Oh, wait, Daggerdale. Well this seems a lot less exciting then. D&D needs more Daedra.

    • geldonyetich says:

      My thoughts were yours up until the Daedra were mentioned. Not that their addition would be poor, but a D&D game with the scope of Daggerfall is the far bigger object of appeal.

  18. Aganazer says:

    You guys are nuts. This sounds awesome.

    Since its D&D its bound to have traps, lockpicking, and in depth character development. That alone puts it head and shoulders above any pop Diablo-like.

    • Fumarole says:

      I see you have played neither Dark Alliance nor Heroes.

    • Aganazer says:

      No, I’m not a console gamer, but I have played every D&D PC RPG since 1990.

    • Sarkhan Lol says:

      I agree, surely there’s no way a game based on the Dungeons and Dragons license could possibly be a bland, characterless, deplorable waste of money. And perhaps you’ve all failed to notice the promise of “stunning levels?” I mean, if you’re all too jaded to appreciate STUNNING then I just don’t know what to tell you.

    • Basilard says:

      LOL! in-depth character development, in D&D? a class-based RPG?

      God, kids these days will take anything wouldn’t they?

  19. Big Murray says:

    I believe this is strategically timed to make us all look at Dragon Age 2 and think “Hmm … maybe it doesn’t look so bad after all …”

  20. Hunam says:

    I’m just happy Atari even recall they have the D&D licence. Though now I’m sad because I recall Atari have the D&D licence :(

  21. ScubaMonster says:

    Am I the only one here who liked Dark Alliance? I thought it was fun like a Gauntlet type game. If it didn’t use the Baldur’s Gate name, nobody would have complained.

    Sometimes I get the image of PC gamers being bespectacled overweight guys scoffing at anything less than hardcore while being illuminated by their monitor glow.

    Some things are just fun. Relax a little.

    • Quintin Smith says:

      I thought co-op Dark Alliance was pretty good. Fighting back to back! Kicking ass! Fighting over loot! Yes.

    • Spacewalk says:

      I scoffed at Dark Alliance when I first heard about it but I sat down and played it for four hours straight and had to change my mind. It’s got rat killing so it’s basically not much different from any other RPG.

    • Vinraith says:

      I’m bespectacled, overweight, and quite enjoyed Dark Alliance (especially co-op) thank you very much. The reaction you’re seeing, however, is a result of there not having been a “proper” D&D RPG in quite awhile. Dark Alliance is fun, but there are plenty of games out there like it, and it doesn’t really need the D&D license to be the game it is.

    • malkav11 says:

      Dark Alliance was a lovely little local coop Diablo cloney sort of thing, quite enjoyable. With several differently themed spinoffs that were mostly also pretty fun (yes, even the objectively pretty bad Fallout one), except the Everquest spinoff, which was terribly balanced and dull as hell.

      But I’d much rather have another Baldur’s Gate (not a sequel, thank you, but a game of that sort) than another Dark Alliance, and this may not even be another Dark Alliance. Might be more akin to, say, Heroes, which was more Gauntlet than Diablo as far as I could tell.

  22. rebb says:

    D&D:DD, :D

    I hope they had better reasons to call it Daggerdale, other than the abbreviated form looking funny.

  23. omicron1 says:

    Dungeons and Dragons would be much more successful as a game, je pense, if they went about building an online multiplayer adaptation of the standard non-computer D&D experience. Y’know… with a DM and all. Take some inspiration from Sleep is Death, too.

    Elements for a successful dream game:
    * 3D reconstruction (procedural likely) of Eberron, and possibly other D&D realms. Let encounters take place anywhere the players decide to go!
    * 3D versions of all the equipment and monsters in the standard manuals. More could be added in expansions.
    * Simultaneous real-time motion – anyone can pause the game at any time to issue orders.
    * Written-on-the-fly or pre-written dialogue. Allow the DM to adjust his script as he goes.
    * Various helpful tools, such as a total challenge level calculator, for the DM.
    * Full voice and video chat
    * The option to implement pre-packaged encounters, dungeons, or cities; or build your own. (Again, procedural generation would work wonders here)

    Incidentally, am I the only person on Earth who remembers D&D:Dragonshard?

    • Big Murray says:

      Isn’t this what Neverwinter Nights was trying to be, including most of those features? And it ran into the same problem that means nobody’s ever tried it again … it’s very, very difficult to convincingly Dungeon Master a 3D environment on the fly. A DM should be all powerful, able to make anything happen and adapt what happens in the world as much as he wants/needs. When you have such huge limitations on you, it all falls down a bit.

    • Edgar the Peaceful says:

      I think it would have to be sold as a sort of ‘play aid’ rather than a game – that, perhaps, would lower expectations regarding pace etc.

  24. Pantsman says:

    That trailer would have seemed really cool if I had never played a video game before.

  25. Big Murray says:

    God dammit, didn’t we all have to register to get away from you?

  26. wiper says:

    You have to wonder, when naming an area, what sort of person picks ‘Daggerdale’. It was probably a perfectly nice valley until the map-scribing tosser decided to call it that, thus encouraging every ne’er-do-well to converge on the area.

    Weep for poor Daggerdale, and the powers of nominative determinism :(

    • ScubaMonster says:

      Yeah I thought Daggerdale sounded kind of awful. I guess maybe it’s somewhere in Forgotten Realms lore? Books or whatnot.

    • pipman3000 says:

      i was going to say there’s worse but i can’t actually think of something worse than daggerdale.

  27. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    Oh dear.. what a horrible name for a game. And that trailer.. it’s nice that they keep zooming up closely with overexcited camera movement so you can’t really see what things really look like.

    Needless to say, I’m not expecting much of this game.

  28. obo says:

    It’s Dynasty Warriors!

  29. ScubaMonster says:

    Yet again another D&D game not based on the 80’s cartoon!!

  30. Out Reach says:

    I attack the darkness.

  31. DigitalSignalX says:

    I’m currently replaying NWN diamond edition and it’s been a *long* time since I’ve played by the kosher D&D rules, so long that I think I appreciate Drakensang’s unique Base D6 to D20 rules even more now.

  32. TitusCrow says:

    Daggerdale comes from the original Forgotten Realms campaign, ran by Ed Greenwood in the 80s before it was adapted as a TSR ( at the time ) official game world setting. If I remember Elminster a very powerful mage who was the head of a group of hero’s who opposed the Zhentarim. There were many other factions good bad and mercenary who made up the rich landscape of the forgotten realms setting.

    Hmm… seems my 1st edition maps are now obsolite and near priceless the geography and nearly everything else was adjusted and redone for 3rd and 4th editions. I hope old Ed is not spinning in his grave as wee speak ( that’s if he is dead )

  33. Claw says:

    I never thought of myself as a graphics whore – I still consider Monkey Island 2 to be a beautiful game – but this looks like shit. Really.