Its also experimented with a flexible new pricing structure thats been quite a success, to say the least. So while DC Universe Online continues to thrive like Superman under our yellow sun, or Lex Luthor after a nice, long bubble bath (all that armor from the future makes him pretty sore), allow us to recount just how much has been added since the games launch...
Free, Premium and Legendary
Legendary is the all-in, charge me $15 a month traditional subscription. Premium is what your account becomes once you spent a cumulative $5 on items, DLC, whatever. Free is free, and feels like a try before you buy sort of demo. Your character slots, inventory space, ability to form Leagues all increase as you ante up. Full breakdown here.
A real PvP system
Best of all, the Legends PvP system allows you to throw down as DCs most famous characters. Superman, Batman, the Joker, almost anybody. Its a simulation, like the X-Mens Danger Room, so you can even have a team of Bat-people or a squad of Supermen!
The Green Lantern Corps
Fight for Light also added more Lantern touches to the game, including missions set on Oa, the home planet of the Green Lantern Corps, and plenty of Lantern and Sinestro themed equipment.
Heroes and Villains working together?!
What could make Lex Luthor and Superman put aside their age-old rivalry and work together? The better question is who, and the answer would be Brainiac. This vicious threat from outer space was dead set on downloading all of humanity into a digital hive mind, and that didnt sit right with the good guys or the bad. Lex isnt about to share his oversized brain full of insidious knowledge with anyone!
Whats an MMO without a crafting system? DCUOs Research & Development allows good guys and crooks alike to fabricate potent items and powerful Equipment Mods. It also introduced item Sockets, and a clever system of stat bonuses for combining equipment with mods of matching colors. Stylish and powerful, just like the greatest DC heroes!
Light, Earth and Electricity powers
Light came from the aptly named Fight for the Light DLC, allowing Heroes and Villains to channel the powers of the Green Lantern and Sinestro for excellent crowd control capabilities. Electricity came with the Lightning Strikes expansion. Its great for direct damage or crowd control, and can also zap fallen friendlies back to life. Finally, Earth came from the Battle for Earth DLC. A versatile power, it can be used for tanking or dealing heavy direct damage.
Its fairly typical for MMOs to lock players out of high-level instances and raids for a day or two after completion it balances out the economy, and keeps players from flooding the market with high-end gear. That said, its sort of annoying when you want to run a raid but arent able to. Replay Badges alleviate this issue, by allowing players to purchase additional runs of Raids, Alerts, and Duos. Its fairly cheap, too, costing only a few dollars for a few unlocks. Legendary players get a bunch just for being a subscriber. All in all its a nice workaround to the typical lockout system.
More Iconic Locations
The Bat Cave and the Fortress of Solitude are now playable as raids and for PvP encounters, and Wonder Womans home of Themyscira, aka Paradise Island, has also been added. Central City, the Midwestern home of the Flash, has become the games third open-world urban location. While not as sprawling as the other cities, its still chock full of brand new quests.
Shields are light, agile weapons perfect for building up nasty combos. You can dash with them, toss them, and switch quickly between heavy and light combos.
Role-Optional Alerts will provide regen for a team with a healer, or a defense boost for a squad with no tank. This way, no team of villains or heroes is ever waiting on the bench for want of a certain class type.
Since DCUOs story has involved time travel from the get-go, you can bet it will be big part of ongoing plot. You know we havent seen the last of future Lex Luthor.
An Auction House
Maybe the developers just didnt like the idea of heroes and villains selling their capes and tights, but DCUO didnt have an auction house when it first launched. Pretty quickly, however, Brokers were introduced, bringing economic freedom to all. Selling with requires a small listing fee, and Brokers use a simple buyout system rather than bidding.
Its not so much whats in them as the tease of not knowing that gets to us. Thats probably what SOE is banking on. Luckily, these items are rare, and dont drop too often.
SOE All Access pass
If youre interested in subscribing to more than one SOE game, at $19 a month, All Access is the most cost effective way to do it. Also, before putting any money down, you can always check out the free-to-play portions of EQ II or Planetside before committing.
What will you fight for?
Just like the forces of good and evil, DC Universe Online grows more powerful with each passing day. Whether you're an MMO fan or not, why not take advantage of its free-to-play option and give it a whirl? And for more on MMOs, check out our list of the Best MMORPGs, Best Free MMORPGs, and Rift: everything Trion has added since launch.