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DC Universe Online Interviews: Content Update 2 Roundtable Discussion Pt. 2

By Michael Bitton on March 28, 2011

When DC Universe launched in January, the team was already hard at work on the game’s first update, so its contents were more or less settled on. Update 2 offered the team their first opportunity to react to the situation on the ground in the live game as well as player feedback, and one of the first things they realized is that four man content is king in DC Universe Online. Chris explained that while eight man content is well and good, four man content has gotten the most mileage (due to the coordination involved and weekly timer), and so they intend to add more (in addition to new raids and such).  Update 2 serves to wrap up a lot of the stuff they had planned for launch (such as the Batcave), and going forward they want to focus much more on adding much more four man content.

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Speaking of raids, if you’re familiar with the DCUO storyline you’ll know that Brainiac is attempting to digitize everything and in order to do so he needs to control the different aspects of Earth. Being a technological being, the tech aspect is the easiest for him to control, and that is represented by the Batcave content. In the months ahead the team plans to explore the meta and magic aspects of Brainiac’s invasion, and Chris took this moment to let us know that the new raid content will also be accompanied by entirely new tiers of battlesuits, which is sure to excite the phat lewt hunter in all of us. Unfortunately, Chris was coy on exactly where they’ll be taking us next between the two, but if you’re looking for some hints check out the latest CG trailer as Chris notes the location featured in the trailer should offer some pretty telling hints. Considering that the trailer takes place in Superman’s Fortress of Solitude headquarters, I think you’d be pretty safe putting your bets on Metahumans as the next aspect of Brainiac’s invasion to be explored in the game.

Compared to other superhero MMOs in the space, DC Universe Online launched with a fairly pared down variation of powersets for players to select from, most notably, a lack of a “natural” powerset. In beta, testers referred to this as the “Might & Mastery” powerset, and it got a lot of traction on the forums. Chris noted that while they may have less powersets than some other games, they focus on the quality of their powersets as opposed to the quantity. New powersets have far reaching impact on the game and they are never simply a matter of doing a particle effect swap. With that said, Chris understands that the “Might & Mastery” type of thing is something other games have done, but they are really focused on doing something different than what other games have done or are doing, and to that end, it turns out that more players are looking for something more iconic (*coughlightpowerscough*), but ultimately it has to be different and it has to work within the scheme of their game and be included for the appropriate gameplay reasons. They’re working on a new power, but they simply aren’t ready to talk about it yet.

Wrapping things up, Chris took a few more questions, with some noteworthy topics including PvP exploits (Update 2 will feature the largest set of PvP exploit fixes to date) and the backlash stemming from missing their target release dates for updates, more specifically, launching Valentine’s Day content after Valentine’s Day, and now St. Patrick’s Day content after St. Patrick’s Day. I’ll let Chris explain it as only Chris can: “I think overall it’s interesting because there’s very few MMOs, in fact, I don’t know of any, that released content updates that fast after they launched, and the reason I say that is because it’s a very technically and creatively challenging thing to release true monthly content, right, not just fixes or tweaks, or every two months something else, right, and on a roughly monthly basis we’ve done it once, we’re doing it again here. Like I said, roughly we tried to hit with, in the Valentine’s Day case, it was part of the plan, that we thought, hey, we would hit, we would have it there, and it didn’t happen because of how complex these things are.

So, our options are to go more general with it as some other games have done and not try to hit those holidays, right, or to try to actually just present the stuff as we have planned. So, Spring and some of the other content updates that we have going out are a little more generalized and not tied to a holiday. The St. Patrick’s Day thing is more of a play on the flavor of the month and it’s more about Myxyztplk than anything else, and so, I mean, honestly, if, for players if the backlash is, no, you should be able to, a month after you launch launch a February update and have everything there and be good, I’d be like, cool, I think we got closer than anybody ever has and we’ve delivered more than anybody ever has immediately after launch in the series that we’ve done, and we’re going to continue to do that and we have done that, and so backlash or no I would ask them just out of sheer comparison, right, instead of saying, well, I mean I would love to get things instantly and to have updates every week, but unfortunately that’s not the reality of making these games and pushing it forward. We’re doing far better than the competition and doing real well for ourselves, so we want to keep doing that and keep that setup.”

No release date for Update 2 has been set, but be sure to stay tuned here at MMORPG.com as we’ll let you know as soon we find out!

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