Sony Online Entertainment’s yearly fan festival, SOE Live, might be celebrating the Year of EverQuest (it's the original game's 15th year and EverQuest 2's 10th) in Las Vegas this year, but the sizable MMO community who have traded their cloaks for the capes of DCU Online, playable now on PC, PS3 and PS4, got more than their fair share of welcome news at the event as well.
The biggest news for fans of the DC Universe's iconic heroes is that classic characters like Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman are breaking out of the PvP modes they’ve been playable in and into select adventures within the game's story mode. Starting with some of the game's earliest missions, the DC heroes will become playable in a mode called “Legends PvE” as long as two conditions are met.
The first is that the hero has to make sense in the context of the mission; that is, the playable hero is not present in any form elsewhere in the mission. Secondly, the player's account will need to have that iconic character unlocked in their account either by in-game or extra-game missions or commerce. Those players who are aligned with the villain faction will not be left out either, as the evil counterparts to the heroes will be playable as long as the above conditions are met as well.
The DCUO developers also announced a major revision to how new content is delivered in-game: no longer will all types of updates be lumped into a single, theme-specific DLC pack. To provide flexibility in development, each new type of content (playable DC heroes, story content and new powers) will instead be delivered as soon as they are completed. It means fans get content faster and more frequently, and developers don’t have to sit on completed work to wait for it to fit with a larger pack.
With this new system announced, the developers presenting at SOE were able to announce a litany of upcoming content:
New Iconic heroes and villains:
-Blue Lantern Kyle Rayner (announced to be in this fall's Game Update #41)
-Red Lantern Guy Gardner
In addition to a cosmetic option to the flying movement power that grants you Mr. Miracle-style skimmers to zoom around on, three new Power Sets were announced each 'inspired' by a DCU character.
-Munitions, inspired by Sgt. Rock, will grant your character access to a wide range of military hardware including explosives and flamethrowers.
-Atomics, inspired by Firestorm (but with an inverted power-set, as classic Firestorm cannot effect biological matter), can heal with cellular manipulation or do persistent poison-like damage.
-Experimental Serums, inspired by Bane, will allow your player to become a juicer; augmenting your basic grappling moves with chemicals that will make a human tank.
On the topic of story content, some details were revealed about the upcoming second parts of the three concurrent DLC trilogies running now.
-War of the Light Part 2 will take the players to more of the lantern worlds including Zamaron (home of the Star Sapphires) and expand the story to include more of the Emotional Spectrum’s 'Torch Bearing' characters and the deputies that where introduced in the instant classic comic book epic, including Larfleeze, Orange Lantern Lex Luthor, and Star Sapphire Wonder Woman.
-Amazon Fury Part 2 will dive deeper into Wonder Woman's mythological underpinnings as the potential true perpetrators behind the Amazon attack of Gotham are revealed to be the gods Hades and Ares. However the end of this part of presentation teased the return of DCUO uber-bad Brainiac.
-Halls of Power Part 2, the furthest out piece of story content teased only the coming of Orion and visits to key Fourth World locations.
After these three trilogies have run their course, a new DLC trilogy will launch and it will concern all things Kryptonian and involve not just Superman, but Superboy, Supergirl, Power Girl, Zod, Doomsday and even Krypto!
In other game news and notes, the long awaited console-friendly UI revamp is closing in on completion, the more 'grindy' Feat unlocks will now be account-bound rather then character-bound to save players time, League Halls soon can feature venders and teleporters, the game's loot system will be revamped completely to take some of the randomness out, issues with stability on PS4 in relation to disconnects with the PlayStation Network are soon to be resolved and future story content will provide an option for a harder difficultly level on raids and a new 'Hoard' mode.