DC Universe Online February Update - The Cat that got the Cream
By Stephen Boyd, OnRPG Journalist.
It was hard to go into work this morning. Not because I had to get up at six in the morning and walk the dog first, but because I knew that the *ahem* Valentine's Day update for DC Universe was finally coming.
One fidgety work day later and I was on my way home. I raced through the door and checked the PC. Yes, update complete!! Excited, I logged in and instantly noticed things were different. Logging in took about 10 seconds and my communicator had tasty new missions to run.
The first? Oracle had news that Catwoman had been spotted in Gotham and Willy the Snitch had the lowdown on her movements. And so the game was afoot. My first task was to track down the Feline Fatale herself; apparently Willy had heard she was seen in the Otisburg district of Gotham.
So off I flew to Otisburg and suddenly, my minimap lit up with dozens of green diamonds, signifying the presence of a vast battalion of heroes all searching for Ms Selina Kyle.
While it was fantastic to see the zone so busy with players, the only drawback was every time I got within a whisker of Catwoman, she had already spoken to a hero and then disappeared. After a few close calls, I managed to corner her and progress to the next stage of the mission.
Catwoman then tells you that the Gotham Museum has taken possession of some rare Egyptian Gems. Rare Egyptian Cat themed Gems at that. What is a girl to do? She promptly vanishes into the Gotham night and you are left to track her to the Museum and attempt to retrieve these cursed gems and rescue the hapless curators and guards that have been transformed by the artefacts.
These four gems have to be restored to the statues they belong to in order to break the curse and lift the spell. Queue four miniboss encounters and an army of Jaguar Warriors, Tiger Lords and Cheetah Ladies. Each of the bosses has their own gimmick; one releasing a vicious stun/knockdown, one with a nasty area of effect blast, and so on. One cute little touch was upon battling the Lion bestiamorphs you free a pack of Lion Cubs that then follow you around and assist as much as they can. If the adult cat people are guards and curators, I can only assume that there was a school field trip visiting the museum that got changed into the cubs. I certainly hope the parents red the waiver they signed to go on that field trip!
These fights do not really deviate much from the norm in DC Universe Online and I found them fairly easy to run through solo. Once you have defeated the bosses and restored the gems, Catwoman becomes possessed by the Cat spirits and, in a nice little touch, you must defeat her nine times to complete the encounter.
Finishing the battle and releasing Gotham's premier cat-burglar from the thrall of the cat demons nets you a couple of Marks of Allegiance to purchase your Tier One armour and a few nice loot drops along the way.
There are also two new Collections to complete during this mission. One is an audio log from Catwoman describing some of the finest ‘trinkets' she has purloined in the past. The other is by the Museum Director describing the history of the cursed gems. Completing both of these Collections nets you enough Feat reward points to get you well on the way to an additional Skill Point for your character.
Along with new content, two new armour types are also available for players. While I did not see any of this new armour drop in the missions and instances I ran today, I did hear from a League member (Guildy for you old school MMOers out there) That he had received to parts of the Cat Burglar outfit while roaming Gotham. While two new armour sets may not be a lot, all new clothing items are great to see and will help to add a little more personalisation and individuality to the populous of Dc Universe Online.
While the new content is more than welcome, I would have liked to see some more group specific missions added in this update. As I mentioned in one of my earlier features on DCUO, once you reach level 30, all the missions you have run previously in the game open up with higher level enemies and thus a ramped up difficulty curve. These level 30 missions are solo only and can be quite testing. Allowing groups to enter them would perhaps have given the game a little more of an MMO flavour, something DC Universe is still lacking, in my opinion.
There have been a few multiplayer additions in the February Issue of Content.
Booster Gold, that lovable rogue and the voice of the exploration missions early in the game, has fallen for the embodiment of love herself, the goddess Aphrodite.
He implores you to travel to The Temple of Aphrodite and involve yourself and three teammates in the battle between two avatars of Aphrodite; Scorn and Devotion.
Here you must collect hearts and defeat the enemy cherubs that will try to stop you. And for little fat guys in nappies, they are kinda tough.
Along with this four player mission a new Duo has been introduced as you and your sidekick take on the Venom enhanced monster that broke the Batman's back, Bane.
Along with content, this update carried with it a hefty patch that has resolved many of the issues that plagued the heroes and villains battling it out on the streets of Gotham and Metropolis.
While the game certainly seemed to be running better after patching, I think I will withhold judgement on the effectiveness of the fixes until I have been in a few more successful instances.