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What if..

My MMO thoughts and desires for all to enjoy (or flame). Sometimes it may be worthless, others may be a diamond in the rough. I hope to spark, tickle or cause thoughtful conversation.

Author: Hathi

A Lantern Playable character - DCUO

Posted by Hathi Friday November 12 2010 at 9:06AM
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So the official word from SOE is that players using Green lantern like powers are not going to be available at launch. That "light" powers are not generic enough
Reason I doubt this is because GL is one of the few superheros that have entire corps dedicated to light powers. DC has expanded the lanterns into many different color spectrums of light. How many Wonder Woman varieties are there? Superman has a couple of relatives and a dog. 
I think it is design spin to give a chance for more income opportunities like expansions The Corps Wars or something.  
Another idea may be DCUO is trying to time its Green Lantern Corps with the highly anticipated Green Lantern Movie in June 2011. Get the public excited enough to play computer games with a GL. 
Is it possible to design a system where players can use green lantern like powers? As many fans of the comics already know, Green Lantern and those like him use a ring which projects light constructs to do the wielders bidding. Whether it is a constructed giant weapon, a wall, a force field or raw laser like blast, GL usually gets the job done one way or another. The constructs a GL  can make are limited only by their imaginations.
And that is where a gaming designer can be frustrated. How can you make a character balanced and enjoyable to play when there are no limits on what constructs they can create?
Limit your Constructs/ Power sets
MK vs. DC Universe - Green Lantern had a few limited constructs, more of his attacks were martial arts. IHO a person who wants to take on a green lantern like power set should expect to be a ranged type of gameplay. 
In the upcoming Green Lantern game that will be released based on the movie, news reports that this GL will have 12 constructs  - I am not sure what the constructs will be or their role, but I am hoping DCUO will give us more than 12 constructs to choose from.
 Traits for a Lantern
It is known players will customize their heroes with traits. For a Lantern like player these could be broken down .
Constructs as instant attack forms - It is the past design pattern for a lantern wielder. Constructs deliver instant damage to a target. That target can mitigate damage based on its stats. The lantern player clicks and a ranged animation occurs of a weapon. DCUO needs to break the mold!
Constructs as pets - a lantern should be able to create a light construct of a pet. The game design should let the lantern choose what type of pet he wants to wield. The art team just uses existing mobs and make  light shell constructs. The strategy for the lantern is determine which construct works best against which enemy.  Larger and more advanced constructs consume more energy to create and maintain. Stronger lanterns might be able to let the constructs act as true pets for awhile and follow the lantern around and as long as the lantern has enough power, the pet can attack others in melee while the lantern barrages from afar. Pet constructs can have system stats dependent on the lanterns level. A lvl 30 bear construct tears a lvl 10 wall construct down quickly.
Support / buff/ Debuff-  The iconic power of a Bubbler - the construct is like a force field, absorbs a certain amount of dmg before shattering. Perhaps like in past MMO games the FF is most efficient early on the fight and wanes as the battle ages. A lantern can also mend bones, heal and regenerate other lanterns in some instances. Like wise some lanterns can drain others.
Crowd Controller - A construct pet can be an energy cage, a suffocating sphere or gigantic chain on the victim. The victim would have to "kill" the pet to be able to freely move again. 
Hopefully SOE will take these all into consideration and really let players branch out and specialize!
Other thoughts considering a GL player type:
PhysX - can a construct be frozen? and be subsequently thrown? 
Performance - if 6 lanterns on a map throwing constructs everywhere will it lag the game? What about 15 lanterns?
Will there be a pvp resistance meter against direct effects of a GL player? Or can they be caged up every second?

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