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Columns: DCUO Weekly #4: The Potential of Powers

By William Murphy on August 26, 2010

DCUO Weekly #4: The Potential of Powers

Another week, another chance to speculate about what we’re going to see in DC Universe Online when it releases come November. This week, it looks like a good time to talk a little about the powers we’ll all get to pick from before we rove out into Metropolis or Gotham this fall. DCUO seems to be in a bit of a tricky situation. With two hero games released before it, each with a long list of available power selections, SOE’s game needs to match or at least come close to its predecessors. From what we have been able to glean from interviews, videos and the like, one can expect most of the DC Universe’s major and minor heroes to be represented in some form or another.

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With that in mind, I’ve gone ahead and created a list of power sets I’d like to see available in the final game. Some have been confirmed officially, while others might just be conjecture on my part. Here’s the list, as I see it. I’m sure we’ll know the full list soon enough. Feel free to offer your insights and hopes for the game’s powers in the comments below!

Fire: This one’s self-explanatory; though if you really need a hero to base it off of how about… Fire (otherwise known as Green Fury).

Ice: Mr. Freeze’s modus operandi, ice will likely be a power set that has quit a bit of crowd control worked into it. Though I’m fairly certain that unlike Champions Online, you won’t have any heroes or villains sliding around with Ice as a travel method.


Earth: Think Poison Ivy, and you won’t be far off with this one. Again, I’m expecting this power set to have an emphasis on crowd control, and probably DOTs… maybe even a few heals for good measure?

Wind: The lesser known hero Red Tornado is not a guy you want to tick off. He can create cyclones that are powerful enough to effect even Superman. Wind might sound like a lame Captain Planet hero, but some serious damaging and crowd control implications are there.

Water: Aquaman always gets flack as a useless hero on land. And I’m assuming that if a water-like power set is included in DCUO it will be more along the lines of having a hero/villain capable of shooting and manipulating water towards his or her enemies.

Electric: Livewire comes to mind here. Pretty self-explanatory, and I’m hoping that the developers have put some thought into having the power set be effected by water, or perhaps more damaging to enemies that rely on metal armor.


Light: Come on… Green Lantern, Sinestro. What seems like a pretty ridiculous basis for superpowers, has some seriously cool implications for DCUO. I long to make my own member of the GLC, and while that probably won’t be possible, one hopes that they’ll at least have some powers in place that might let me fake it.

Mental: Telekinesis is Martian Manhunter’s favorite hobby, and I’m betting there will be quite a few players who flock to this power set for its many potential support capabilities.

Atomic: I’m not sure I would separate this from Fire, and it remains to be seen if it’s sort of included with that power set, but the idea of being a walking nuclear weapon as a villain is a pretty powerful notion.

Martial Arts: Batman, Nightwing, Robin, Black Canary. Sure it seems farfetched that a guy in tights with Bruce Lee skills could stand up to any of the above-mentioned superpowers, but these are comic books people. Let your mind go a little and take solace in the fact that it’s just plain cool.


Dual Pistols: I included this one on here because well, we’ve seen it in the trailers. What’s more is that it appears players will be able to apply their other powers to the guns themselves. As in if you have ice powers, you can shoot ice out of the dual guns. That has implications for other power combinations which we’ll get to in a minute.

Sorcery: Sargon is DC Comics’ answer to Dr. Strange, and let’s not forget about Etrigan the Demon’s magical prowess either. DCUO is most definitely going to have some sorcery thrown in for good measure.

Shapeshifting: This one has been confirmed via the developer videos, and it seems like it’s going to work in a sort of “role-shifting” capacity. Meaning the gorilla form will allow a player to act as more of a tanker, while the wolf form will be more of a damage output form. It’ll be interesting to see what other forms SOE is planning on let players take on.


As we near closer and closer to the launch date, I’m starting to find myself wondering just when we’ll be given more concrete info on all the facets in DCUO. I’d love to see some of the above powers in action, and find out more about how you select and assign your powers to a character. Will it work something like Champions Online where you can mix and match from different sets, and more so will those powers you mix and match effect each other? Will I be able to combine fire powers with wind and become the scourge of California as I set the entire dry Northwest coast ablaze?

Time will tell, and there’s not much more time we have to wait before we find out.


William Murphy / Bill is the Managing Editor of MMORPG.com, and lover of all things gaming. He's been playing and writing about MMOs and geekery since 2002. Be sure to follow him on Twitter for all of his pointless rambling.