Mr. Andersen Talks DCUO DLC6 - Home Turf
By Darren Henderson (DizzyPW), OnRPG Editor-in-Chief
Editor's Note: Some screenshots are taken from the private test server and are subject to change at launch.
Today Team SOE's Jens Andersen revealed to a limited number of press a preview of DC Universe Online's often teased but yet to be fully revealed DLC 6 featuring the Home Turf Lair update (a $9.99 purchase). Well now we have a much more fleshed out picture of what it will look like at launch. I'm here for you masses yearning to know first just what to expect from this new update but first it's a lot easier to understand the overarching concepts after watching this trailer revealing how the mainframe works.
As you can see your mainframe is your primary control panel for all things Lair from inviting players/Leagues to your secret base. This is a huge part of the fun factor of the lair as not only can you invite players over to fight in your lair (resulting in a bad ass sequence in which a lair specific cinematic to transition at the end of each round and push the battling players to a new part of the base), but you can also invite over your girlfriend that far exceeds your fashion sense to decorate your lair for you. Fish Tanks and paintings of ponies included assuming she can find them. Though a nifty feature that must be pointed out is that the UI smartly recognizes which location of the lair you have highlighted and will only show you items that can be placed there to save you time from scrolling through incompatible items to find one that fits. And with over 400 items to find at launch and more on the way, homebodies will be sure to spend hours getting their lair situated just right!
Which brings me to the next point. While the DLC may be a purchased item (no worries Legendary players, it's still free for you), the actually items you fill your lair with are all found by doing content within the game. Starting at level 12 you'll be able to access your lair and start randomly finding pieces of furniture and other items with utility just from playing the game. These items are fully tradeable to create a new element to the player driven economy. The only downside I have to say on the whole thing is that Sony Player Studios likely won't be making an appearance with DCUO Lairs for a long time if ever due to complications with the PS3 version contract. Really unfortunate really when the possibilities could be so endless. But at least SPS is on its way to Vanguard and Planetside 2 soon we can't cry too hard about it. Oh and as a side-note for those unfamiliar with DCUO, free players won't be fully left out as they can still collect and decorate non-functional pieces of decoration in their smaller version of the lair, the hide-out.
So what else is special? For one you won't have to worry about the front door of your lair looking like a revolving door at the Justice League. When you acquire the deed to purchase a lair you have to select the location in Arkham or Metropolis. These aren't instanced but in fact real locations in the game overworld and will be marked by large green columns of light. As a nice feature you can teleport to any of the Lairs (yes you can own multiple lairs!) you own in an instant. Just like the real world though, this purchase is all about location location location. If you choose to live in the inner-city close to the scumbag villains or do-good heroes with similar empty pockets, you're going to get your digs for cheap! If you want to upscale things to say Champion's Way, you're going to have to dig deeper and dish out some serious doe. And if you really have to impressive your homies with an iconic location like Arkham Asylum, expect to pay some cash shop currency in addition to a hefty sum of in-game currency. But that's worth it to get featured on Lifestyles of the Rich and Villainous isn't it you superstar?
Of course those seeking a more dreary base such as the sewers won't have to wait much longer as Andersen promised manhole entrances were in development and would be out in the near future. Also don't fret if you win the lotto and seek to upgrade your Lair to a more prominent position in the city as Lair relocation exists allowing you to keep the majority of your decorations intact as you move! You can even move decorations between lairs without having to physically go between them. How is that for convenience?
Once your city and location is chosen, you then can choose your overarching theme. At launch you can choose from a Deco Theme and Gothic Theme as well as the basic Dive Theme from the hide-out. There are also 4 themes that will be available for purchase at launch including my personal favorite, the Ancient Theme, ideal for people like V that enjoy building a museum out of their Lair. Next you can adjust the permanent fixture locations in your lair. Think of these are Wall Studs when hanging something heavy in your house. Pink fixtures allow you to play functional items like auction houses, soda machines, alchemy tables, brokers, sparring dummies, and such. The rest of the fixture points are for your furniture, though I was sad to discover that they have forcefully placed the positions in lairs to prevent my plans of building a fortress out of extinct mammal statues. Back to the drawing board...
I see your pitiful pillow fortress and raise you a mammoth and sabretooth!
Finally the Mainframe functions with power generators to enable the true features of the Lair including your orbital strike, supply drops, accomplices/sidekick and henchmen, and research modifications.
Orbital Strike offers a fire filled AoE explosion you can call in from space during battle to change the tides in your favor.
Supply Drops can offer temporary on the fly power buffs or heals to give you that edge you need to hold out.
Accomplices and Sidekicks offer your own decently powered helper to make you feel like you have a true protege. While henchmen are slightly weaker, they make up for it in numbers and coordination. They are also themed after whichever lair you use for added effect! This was the part that had me most excited as it's one of the closest features I've seen to the now cancelled game, Langrisser Schwarz.
Research Modifications can be inserted into your weapons and gear to offer powerful bonuses.
All of these abilities are reliant on your generators so you'll need to keep your generators filled up to keep your powers intact. You can also upgrade each feature to specialize your lair's powers to meet your personal preferences.
Now while lairs are a huge part of DLC 6, they aren't the only thing being packaged. Villains will gain access to the new locations Arkham Asylum and Steelworks while Heroes will get to visit Ace Chemicals and Striker's Island. Each location features 5 daily quests that, when completed, open up a conclusion style solo instance where your skills will be tested against iconic bosses in epic battles. Appropriately themed outfits will also be added to the game so be sure to check these places out if you want to upgrade your stagnant wardrobe!
All this will be available to players starting next Tuesday, the 29th, with the exception of PS3 EU players who will have to wait until the 30th.