Delving into Origin Crisis
Yesterday, we had the chance to sit in with DC Universe Online’s Creative Director Jens Andersen to tour DCUO’s 7th DLC: Origin Crisis. The update has been available for the past week to those members of the DCUO community who are Legendary subscribers, but goes live today (May 14th) for all to purchase at the price of $9.99. Origin Crisis not only includes the brand new Quantum power set based on the manipulation of time and space, but also two new endgame raids, four new operations, and the all-new “Iconic Anomalies” which have you playing solo as either Bizzaro or the Huntress through a computer simulation of each character’s origin story. It’s lot of bang for the buck, and Jens gave us a nice overview of what the DLC brings to the table.
Origin Crisis is actually seven years in the making... you read that right. Jens said that the entire creative team (including Jim Lee) had this part of the DCUO story in mind very early in development, and it’s just taken them this long to work towards having all the pieces in place to let it happen in their own version of the DC Universe. Way back in DLC #2, the team set up the time paradox which would lead the story to DLC #7. That’s some forward thinking, right there! And this time paradox has it so that heroes and villains alike are trying to go through the Nexus to erase the origins of heroes and villains so that they never existed. You can imagine what that would lead to: a Gotham without crime or overrun by it. A Metropolis where Lex Luthor is actually a beacon of virtue and peace, or one where Superman isn’t around to keep Lex at bay.
The two new raids are likely to be the DLC’s most popular feature, according to Jens, outside of the new Quantum powers of course. One of them has players going into the Nexus itself to return Wonder Woman’s origin into the time-stream to keep her from being erased from existence. The other Jens was less detailed about, other than to say it has players going into the Paradox Wave, and that both raids are very difficult encounters, which will require players at Tier 4 to gear up a little before besting most likely.
How will they do this? Well, there are several ways. There are four new operations (four-man party content) with two for heroes and two for villains. In each you’ll be going to different versions of Gotham, Metropolis, and even Central City. In Gotham, for example, for the heroes you’ll face a Batman who’s evil. Lex mentored him after his parents were killed and turned him into a villain. You’ll go back in time and help him stay the course when his parents are killed, and not become a total millionaire douchebag.
But if you’re more into the solo play, or your friends aren’t around to do the Operations with? You can still get geared up for the new raids and operations by partaking in what SOE is calling “Iconic Anomalies”. They’re essentially computer simulations of events in time when the DC Universe’s heroes and villains were “born”. Like the “Legends PVP”, it’ll allow you to control iconic DC characters Bizzaro or Huntress, and fight through their origin story. They’re a solo affair, but offer tokens (Marks of Reality) which can be used to purchase the Tier 5 gear.
The only downer is that you have be of Combat Rating (gearscore) 84, which is essentially Tier 4 gear, to do these solo missions. So that means you have to spend time grinding out previous content with groups in order to gain access to high level solo content. Yeah, it doesn’t make much sense to me either. But DCUO’s endgame is built around the notion of a gear-treadmill, and you’ll either love that or hate that about your time at level 30. Chances are, if you’re still playing the game you’re already at or close to CR84. But if you were hoping to return to DCUO just to take part in this new content? You’ll have a rude awakening waiting for you as you must first grind through the old content and rank up before you can even access any of it. That’s my biggest qualm with DCUO’s post-launch content, honestly, but we don’t need to get into it much more here.
Overall, Origin Crisis seems like a really fantastic addition to the game for fans of DCUO. If you’re an active member of the game already and have worked your way through the Tier 4 content, you’re in for a real treat. Or maybe you haven’t played it a lot lately, and were waiting for a new power set to give it another go? If that’s the case, the mix controller powers of the Quantum set might be just what the doctor ordered. With teleporting, giant AOE balls of death, and some other crazy effects, it’s definitely a unique addition to the DCUO power pool.
Origin Crisis is live for all Legendary subscribers today, or purchasable for free players at $9.99. Will you be giving it a try?
Bill Murphy / Bill Murphy is the Managing Editor of MMORPG.com, RTSGuru.com, and lover of all things gaming. He's been playing and writing about MMOs and geekery since 2002, and you can harass him and his views on Twitter @thebillmurphy.