Fans of "DC Universe Online" have a lot to get excited as Sony Online Entertainment prepares to debut its Home Turf downloadable content package worldwide on January 29. The package will allow players of all types -- heroes and villains alike -- to build either a one-level Hideout or two-story Lair, depending on their membership level, and decorate it any way they see fit.
After presenting an overview of the packages features earlier this week, CBR spoke with DCUO Creative Director Jens Andersen about the DLC, digging deeper into the customization options for Lairs and Hideouts alike, insight into the PvP match-ups and the free versus paid options.
CBR News: It's good to see the Home Turf downloadable content finally coming to "DC Universe Online." How will this open up what players can do in the game?
Jens Andersen: First of all, collecting and trading all of the various Home Turf items is going to be great fun for players. Then you have the Mainframe Abilities, like Orbital Strikes & Supply Drops, along with Henchmen and Sidekicks. The DLC also has high-end solo content at some of the most iconic locations in the cities. Players will find missions at Ace Chemicals, Stryker's Island, Steelworks and Arkham Asylum. It's going to be great fun.
Tell us about the differences between the Heroes and Villains settings for the Lairs/Hideouts.
As far as Player Bases go, they share all of the same options. But for the Home Turf content, there are two areas for villains and two for heroes. Heroes fight with Steel at Ace Chemicals and Stryker's Island. They help him take on T. O. Morrow, who leads the villains in their activities. Villain missions are located at Arkham Asylum and Steelworks. There are 10 missions at each area. Players will be granted one a day randomly. Once they complete 5 of those missions, they will be allowed to go inside the location to take on Morrow or Steel in a solo boss fight.
If you are Legendary or purchase the Home Turf DLC, you will have access to all of the content it has to offer -- including the Lair's Mainframe. But free players can enjoy their Hideout as a place to customize for their character. It's still a lot of fun, and I know our Free-to-Play players will enjoy the Home Turf items that everyone can earn and trade.
A Hideout allows you to collect Home Turf base items and use them to customize their new Base. A Lair is so much more. It includes a Mainframe and dispenser; in combination, these two features give players access to some powerful new upgrades for their character. Lairs also allow you to participate in PvP Lair Battles, a Hideout does not. Lairs also allow you to set up amenities like Brokers, Vendors and R&D stations. Hideouts don't include any of that. As far as Bases go, Lairs are full of powerful upgrades, but you can have fun hanging out in your Hideout.
How do the Player vs. Player match-ups work? Can you invite someone into your Lair/Hideout to battle? Is it random?
You certainly can duel other folks in your Lair if you want, but the PvP Lair battles use the queuing system. The matchmaking system chooses your opponent, and then which of the combatants Lairs the battle will take place in -- it could be yours or theirs. Then you duke it out in a best of 5 match. As each round ends, the players are transitioned to the next area in a really cool cinematic. It's been a blast testing these in-house.
We've seen the Decoration Mode, and it's very cool. Was it hard to put together, or relatively easy?
It was very hard to do. We had to build it from scratch. Something that seems simple when completed wasn't necessarily easy to make. We had to design it for the mouse and keyboard, as well as the controller. We've got a great system put together for launch, and we'll be refining it as the base system continues to grow in DCUO.
How do players acquire new items for your Lair/Hideout?
Home Turf base items are given out as rewards for completing content. You start seeing them at level 12, which is when you get access to a base. The items can be traded or sold on the Broker, so you can get them that way too.
Tell us about the daily quests and the rewards you can earn. We understand they have ties to what you might find in the Hall of Doom or Watchtower?
Actually, you will earn "Marks of War" (our current top tier mark) for completing the content. Each solo mission grants one Mark of War. Of course, you can convert these into Marks of Triumph at a vendor if you want. As far as ties to the Watchtower or Hall of Doom, yes they do, if you're looking to purchase various pieces of Tier Gear, which is sold at those locations.
Finally, as Creative Director of DCUO, can you tell us what your ideal Lair would be like?
My ideal Lair would be subterranean. I hate it when too much light comes through the windows and creates glare on my screen. It can really mess up your gameplay!