GU 43 Live Stream Preview
DC Universe Online has been pumping out large and fun updates for a long time now, and that shows no sign of stopping anytime soon. The Legends PvP mode has been really popular among players – who wouldn’t want to play as the big, famous, iconic heroes and villains they know after all? By using that as the starting point, the latest update, GU 43, is aimed at expanding the Legends gameplay to include PvE.
I was lucky enough to end a small press-only live stream showing off not only GU 43 and its features, but Legends PvE in action, as well as Deathstroke, the brand new Legends character that will be playable in both PvE and PvP legends modes. The live stream lasted about an hour and was ran by DCUO’s Senior Creative Director Jeans Anderson and Executive Producer Larry Liberty. it was a great preview for all that’s coming up soon.
Legends PvE Mode
The first thing they showed us was how the new Legends PvE mode will work. The team opened up the game with Deathstroke and explained that fans had been asking for a way to use Legends players in non PvP environments. As a gamer that prefers PvE personally, I can understand the frustration if, as a huge Batman fan for example, the only way I could actually play as the Caped Crusader is if I fought in a PvP Legends mode. This opens up a whole new range of opportunities for gameplay and adds even more diversity to an already extremely detailed and varied game.
Another one of the tenants of the Legends system that the team is trying to promote, as Liberty explained, is letting players “pick the Legends they want to play, rather than be forced.” All too often in other similar games, or certain parts of the storyline like the Iconic Visions and Origin storylines, it would force you into playing as a specific character, but that defeated a lot of the purpose. By being able to choose from a whole list of Legends characters, a lot of which can be earned through in-game currency, it opens up the mode tremendously.
Content will be on a 4-5 week, or roughly 1 month, rotation cycle. The first Legends PvE adventure will be a bit of a rehash with the “South Gotham Courthouse” but new events are expected to make their way into the rotation as early as Q1 2015. Free players will start out with access to either Robin as a hero, or Harley as a Villain. However, “Mark of Legends” currency can be used to purchase new Legends for use in either PvP or PvE.
And, it’s the same currency in both modes, so you don’t have to worry about earning marks in two different halves of the game (looking at you, Destiny). It shouldn’t really take too long to get new characters if you play relatively regularly, since you get about 5 marks per run and new characters can cost anywhere from 30-100 marks each. But you won’t be stuck playing as the same characters if you only want to try it out every now and then, because there will be special promotional opportunities as well – but there won’t be a ton to pick from, just enough to add variety.
After walking through the new Legends PvE mode, the team showed off what Deathstroke can do. Since DCUO is a class-based game with characters based entirely on their primary weapon, they had to get a little creative with how they portrayed Deathstroke’s versatility with different weapons. Instead of having the player swap between different weapons to use skills, Deathstroke is designed as a one-handed sword fighter with an acrobatic movement style. From there, he has different powers that activate and are animated to show other weapons and abilities.
For example, his basic attacks are with his one-handed sword. He also has an ability called Onslaught, which is a big leaping slash attack with his sword. But he also has a concussive grenade ability, as well as a Sniper Shot long-range attack that does bonus damage, and possibly even outright kill, enemies at below 35% health. His versatility and speed make him a very nice addition to the quickly growing roster of legends characters.
One of the other big focuses that they showed off for Legends PvE are the different types of feats and achievements that you can unlock. These give you special recognition and awards for fulfilling different types of team-ups (such as Batman & Robin or Joker & Harley Quinn) as you play through Legends PvE areas.
GU 43 Features
The updates with GU 43 don’t stop there, though. There will be a good deal of updates in other areas of the game as well, such as the normal balance tweaks and adjustments, updates to different skills and abilities, new loot drops, and more. Some new league bases, like The Trench, which is underwater themed, will make a debut as well.
One of the better updates is the change to arena reward rules. No longer can players simply login, stand at the entrance, and have the rest of the team carry them and get the same rewards. Now, it will require you to actually participate before you can qualify for some of the rewards. Sounds like a good change to me – pulling along others while you actually work to get through content is incredibly frustrating.
Overall, for just a free content update, GU 43 has a pretty great range of new content for players. Being forced to play in PvP just to try out the Legends mode to play as your favorite iconic hero or villain was unfortunate and didn’t apply to all players. The other minor updates from GU 43 aren’t as flashy as a new game mode or a new character, but they will go towards helping to make the game better overall.