By: Larry Liberty - Executive Producer, DCUO
I’m pleased to announce DC Universe Online’s next DLC Pack – Hand of Fate! This marks our fifth DLC Pack, and it is unlike anything we’ve offered to date. It brings a whole new type of gameplay designed from the ground up to draw players out into our iconic, open-world cities, Gotham City and Metropolis. Featuring loads of side missions and a whole new type of group mission we call Operations, Hand of Fate will enrich our massive open world areas in unexpected ways, deepening and enlivening the game as players encounter not just the world and its challenges, but each other along the way. We are also excited to introduce Utility Belt Attachments. This handy item greatly expands loadout options and makes it viable to use more trinkets, toys, and consumables – ultimately opening the door to more fun and deeper tactics. Personally, I could never justify keeping a toy equipped when I played, no matter how fun it was, but now it’s easy to have one at the ready. Read on for details!
Hand of Fate
I don’t want to share too much yet about the backstory for Hand of Fate, but it will pit Doctor Fate and his heroic supporters against the evil sorcerer Felix Faust and his villainous cohorts in a classic tale of magic and mystery. Even as the world reels from Brainiac’s invasion, other forces are moving, and dangerous plots are afoot. And when there’s magic involved, anything can happen.
Operations, our new group missions, are what make the open-world magic possible. You can think of Operations as Raids or Alerts that can be set in the open-world, but they’re more than that. For example, while on an Operation, up to eight players will be queued up in a starting instance to defeat a challenge alongside their iconic ally. After they win this challenge, they will go out into the open-world to take on the next stage of the operation. Players can split up in smaller groups to accomplish certain objectives, but they will find others require the entire group working as a team. In short, you and your friends will be able to tackle more and more varied content than ever before – in the open world! You’ll probably find the new map UI from Game Update 17 extremely useful here!
Why Operations? We wanted to take high level players back out to Gotham and Metropolis, our most iconic and, by far, biggest locations, and add more excitement and activity all across the cityscapes. When the team first started talking about this, I had visions of new players being drawn to witness an epic battle between 8 top-tier players and a powerful boss, witnessing the high-level splendor firsthand, just like in the comics.
There’s more to it, though. Players don’t have to just watch. They can choose to get involved, and that’s the type of emergent experience that I think will set DCUO and Hand of Fate apart. Especially on PvP phases, I expect this to create fireworks, awesome battles, and real strategy and competition in the open world. Along with that, one nice surprise for villains is that more than ever, villainous content will truly be villainous! It’s from the perspective of the villains. I know that’s been a touchy subject with many of our villains, forced to work long and hard alongside heroes in defeating Brainiac. Your pleas have not fallen on deaf ears! You get to be evil.
Along with Operations, Hand of Fate will feature roughly 60 side missions. Let me repeat that. 60 missions. These are similar to the Level 1-30 content that a lot of our players really enjoyed and have been asking for again. These missions are fun and add depth to the narrative and world, and of course offer their own rewards. I think players will really enjoy the everyday variety and challenges side missions have to offer.
Utility Belt Attachments
Last but certainly not least, I wanted to offer a little more information on Utility Belt Attachments. This feature is a useful and fun upgrade for players in all aspects of the game. There will be a variety of Utility Belts – offering anywhere from two to four Utility Compartments or Slots. The slots themselves can vary – some will only accept certain kinds of items, though the rarest will include Wild Card slots that allow you to equip any kind of trinket or consumable. Depending on the belt, you can equip offensive and defensive consumables, toys, or trinkets. As I mentioned earlier, most belts have pre-defined slots, encouraging balanced loadouts. One of the benefits of this is that it will actually make sense for more players to make use of toys. Toys have always been fun to play around with, but were not something that you could generally use much on Live (I normally use a more sensible trinket that offers the best combat benefit). With the additional capacity offered by Utility Compartments, I expect to see a lot more people using Toys (Dice, Balls, etc.) and Pets. These really do make the game more fun.
With that, I’ll say goodbye. Remember to look for more information on Hand of Fate as we get closer to launch in the second half of September. We’ll have a lot more to share.
DC Universe Online