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DC Universe Online Previews: Home Turf DLC Preview

By Michael Bitton on January 24, 2013

We recently had a chance to sit in for a livestream tour and roundtable discussion on DC Universe Online’s latest DLC pack, Home Turf. Home Turf, which is scheduled to go live on January 29th, primarily focuses on giving players the ability to create their own Lairs. You can say this is DCUO’s form of player housing, and it is, but it’s a bit more than that, too.  In addition to the basic idea of Lairs (which we’ll talk more about in a moment), Home Turf brings new options for PvP, character development, and new solo content for players to tackle.

Beginning at level 12, all players will gain access to the ability to create a Hideout, while those with the DLC unlocked will be given the ability to create a Lair. What’s the distinction? Hideouts only allow for decoration and serve the basic function of player housing, while Lairs will allow players to delve deeper into the system’s associated features.

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But before you can get your superheroic (or villainous) Martha Stewart on, you’re going to have to pick a location for your new digs. The game will actually features in-world locations in both Metropolis and Gotham that players can select as the address of their Lair and each address will have a cost associated with it based on its location. Want to set up your Lair on Arkham Island? You’re going to have to throw down some cash and even pay up with a number of Marks in order to unlock the location.  You’ll be able to physically visit that address in the game world and enter the Lair as you would any other enterable building in the game.

Once a location has been selected, you’ll want to pick a name and theme for your Lair. Home Turf will launch with three free themes and four premium themes that can be unlocked via Station Cash on the Marketplace. There are, of course, a bevy of theme-specific decorations to use in your Lair, and the really interesting bit is that SOE is focusing on creating a secondary market for these by making them only available through the player economy. You’re not going to be buying cool Mammoth statues on the Marketplace, instead, you’ll have to find it on your own or acquire it from other players. Decorations also exist as individual pieces, so you won’t be able to unlock that Mammoth statue and place 100 of them in your base unless you actually own 100 Mammoth statues.

 

While the simple notion of creating your own Lair and gussying it up is pretty cool – the feature gets more interesting once you delve deeper. To start, you can also place Amenities in your lair, such as a Soder Cola vendor or Auction station. Keep in mind that each amenity uses up a certain amount of power from your generator and you’ll effectively have to pay upkeep every month in order to keep your configuration of amenities running. If you want to have tons of amenities in your base, it’s certainly possible if you’ve got deep enough pockets!

And then there’s the Mainframe. Each Lair comes with a Mainframe that (when upgraded) offers players numerous passive and active power options to bring into battle. These can range from offensive abilities such as the Orbital Strike, to defensive abilities like Supply Drop. Even more interesting, players can also unlock the ability to call in Backup (or Henchmen, if you’re a villain) or even their very own Sidekick (or Accomplice, again, if you’re a villain). Henchmen (or Backup) are a trio of weaker allies that will fight alongside you and we were told even possess complex enough AI to be able to set up appropriate power combos and counters when necessary. Accomplices (and Sidekicks) are single characters that will assist you in battle and are generally tougher than a single Backup unit is. They also evolve in appearance as you upgrade them. Both of these ‘pet types’, if you want to call them that, will conform to the theme of your base, and can be configured to use a variety of weapon types. You can even select from specific Henchmen unit types, such as scientists, stone warriors, and more.

Finally, at least for Lairs, there is Lair PvP. Once you’ve got a Lair set up you can queue up for one-on-one Lair PvP. This will match you against other players looking for a Lair PvP match and then randomly choose who is invading and who is defending. The match will kick off with a brief cinematic featuring both the invader and defender closing in on each other for a fight and then you’re thrown right into the action. Matches aren’t decided in a single victory, though. Each match consists of a series of fights and winning each round comes with its own cinematic that changes depending on who won the last round. For example, if you’re invading the enemy’s base and manage to defeat him in the first round, the game will cut to a cinematic of you beating your opponent back further into his base where he’ll then recover and the fight continues. It’s all a pretty smooth and fluid transition. There will indeed be some form of reward for participating in Lair PvP, but we weren’t able to get all the details.

On the content side of things, Home Turf also introduces new solo content for players in four of the game’s most iconic locations:  Ace Chemicals, Stryker’s Island, Steelworks, and Arkham Asylum. Each of these locations will feature an array of new daily missions. Once you’ve completed five of these missions you’ll be able to enter a private instance at the above locations for a real throwdown with the game’s iconic characters.

 

If you’ve been itching for the chance to have your very own Lair in DC Universe Online, you’ll want to make sure you pick up the DLC when it launches on January 29th.

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