We sat down with DC Universe Online creative director SJ Mueller to chat about the game’s newest DLC addition, Amazon Fury Part III.
MMORPG.com: Can you give us a recap on the Amazon Fury story so far and where we’re at now with part III?
SJ: It’s such a long story, which is why we’re really excited to finally get to the end, because this finale has been a long time coming. It’s one of our most well received storylines in the game. I think part of that comes from the great talent of Susan Eisenberg and Michelle Forbes as Wonder Woman and Circe as the chemistry there is really awesome. They can stand toe-to-toe in power, but they’re also quite funny when they want to be.
In the new storyline, Ares and Hades, have basically abducted Hippolyta, queen of the Amazons (Wonder Woman’s mother), and they’ve been using her soul as a vessel to gather war and death energy from an Amazon ward they’ve created. Using that energy, they were prepared to take on Olympus, and that’s kind of where the story ended on the last part. Ares betrays his uncle, stabs Hades, sends him to the under Underworld, and he’s going to do it all on his own. But Circe, master of betrayal herself, steps in and says, “Hey. Remember me?” They have a bit of a romantic history there. And she’s like, “You know, I’m pretty good at this taking on gods thing, as you know. Let’s do this together” And he agrees, so Circe and Ares take Hippolyta’s soul to Olympus, and that’s where players step in in part three.
And there’s a little bit of a twist I wanted to talk about. We definitely tie a bow on that one. So what actually ends up happening is Typhon, the god of all monsters, this is pretty much the only guy who’s been able to go toe to toe with Zeus in a fight, has returned. He’s threatened all the gods, Hades, Zeus, Circe, Wonder Woman, everyone, our entire planet, including Gotham City, where the war has been taking place, and becomes a tremendous threat, and by tremendous, I mean both physically and figuratively. This guy is enormous and one of the coolest character models we’ve ever put into the game.
MMORPG.com: What got you guys back to doing large content releases for DCUO?
SJ: I think part of it is being able to deliver a full narrative experience and loot progression experience. In a monthly cadence it’d be just delivered a little bit at a time, a little bit at a time, sometimes it’d be different storylines that would overlap. It got a little confusing for players and they’d only get a month’s worth of progression and then they’d wait. It just didn’t feel right. So we decided to go back where you have these larger chunks, more in depth storylines, more in depth loot system.
Which we’ve expanded on quite a bit. We’ve added a lot to the loot system based on player feedback. We’ve reduced a lot of the randomness of getting the best gear and allowed them to earn stuff to slowly work towards that goal, instead of get nothing, get nothing, and then something. It’s more of a progression based loot system. And it allows us to tell bigger stories, too. Coming from a narrative background, that’s really exciting for me.
MMORPG.com: What sort of content will players find in Amazon Fury Part III?
SJ: Doing the big content drops like this allows us to do a little bit of everything, so everyone has something to do. Also, getting back to doing open world content. That’s something that was really tricky to do on the monthly cadence that we had. It’s much easier for us to add them in large content stuff. So, we have a big open world full of solo missions players can do, we have a scripted solo mission, we have a duo, a four player alert, and two eight player raids. It’s pretty much a nice swath of all the types of content we offer in DCUO.
MMORPG.com: Can you talk about some of the new locations and characters in the DLC?
SJ: We’re going to go back to Hades’ underworld and explore new areas there. He’s in the under-underworld, in the depths of Tartarus, and obviously, we’re going to go to Mt. Olympus, to Athena’s battlement, basically her headquarters. Hecate, the goddess of witchcraft’s workshop, and the garden of Ambrosia. So, obviously, that means were going to see Athena, Hecate, Medusa, even Hera, of course, Zeus, and as I mentioned before, Typhon, god of all monsters. So it’s just a whole bunch of new characters and they look incredible. We’ve got a great art team working on those.
I also wanted to mention that at the same time, we’re also going to be launching a new time capsule. We added those to the game a few months ago. It’s essentially a lockbox type thing that you get in game, and you can earn or purchase stabilizers to open them up and get all sorts of loot, gear, and styles, and stuff. We’re actually going to have a brand new one called the Amazon time capsule. So, it’s kind of themed off of the episode that we’re dropping. There’s a new style based off that theme. There’s a new trinket, which players, I think will be really excited to see. It’s adding a new look and a bonus functionality to Amazon Fury part three content. New emblems. Also the loot you can get from these time capsules, there’s a system in them you can upgrade to make them look even cooler, so you have two styles. We took what went really well with the first time capsule and tried to really focus on the things players received really well and tried to take it to the next level on the second one. That should be dropping at about the same time.