Turbine produced a surprize announcement for DDO players at this year's Penny Arcade Expo. They had previously confirmed a new playable race - the half orc - for the forthcoming Update 7 patch (now confirmed for October). The big, unexpected reveal was that the same patch will ALSO add half-elves to the game.
This is the kind of clever move that Turbine has to be making with DDO's business model. Those of us who have gone the "Premium Free To Play" route literally only have to pay when Turbine adds something new that interests us. Half-Elves presumably did not take a ton of effort to implement - they're Elves with slightly less pointy ears and stats based at least somewhat on the pen and paper stats for the race. Even so, they're something new to add to the game, and people who don't care don't need to pay for them.
Camping Out At Low Levels
As is increasingly traditional, Turbine has welcomed the US holiday weekend with significant sales on both Turbine Points and store purchases. I've taken the opportunity to top off my balance and pick up the newest adventure packs.
In principle, I could use my newly refreshed point balance to buy up all of the remaining adventure packs in the game and still probably have enough points left to buy the two new races (pretty remarkable for a total of $100 spent on the game). In practice, there's no point in saving a dollar on some higher level quest pack that I might not need for months (if ever) and then not being able to pick up something that I actually want and would use right away.
In the mean time, I've been happily using my purchased Veteran Status to re-roll, experiment with new builds, and generally explore the low level content. The way character power scaling works under the DND rules literally breaks large numbers of character builds that are perfectly fun to play at lower levels. I've decided to embrace this rather than stress out about it, and have bought up basically all of the low level content in the game to give my army of alts the widest possible variety of options to visit.
I will probably get to the upper levels eventually - perhaps my latest character will be the one I stick with, and I do want to see the new Red Fens questline - but there's no real hurry. The value of the DDO free to play/freemium model is that I can take as long as I want (and even earn small amounts of Turbine Points while I'm doing it).