DC Universe Online: PvE Legends preview

PvE Legends, Deathstroke and more coming in update 43

DC Universe Online received some mighty big changes and additions today — a Legends PvE event, Deathstroke as a new Legends character, and some other features coming with Update 43. I was included in an online preview event hosted by DCUO’s senior creative director Jens Andersen, and executive producer Larry Liberty.

Let’s start with Legends mode. Legends has been strictly PvP until now. If you’re not familiar with DCUO, Legends is a simulation where you play as legendary heroes and villains in PvP matches — Batman, Harley Quinn, Bane and more. You earn these Legends characters by buying them with Marks of Legend or getting them through DLC. Andersen and Liberty told us that a huge amount of their players don’t PvP, so they aren’t getting the experience of stepping into the shoes of iconic characters and experiencing their power. They’re fixing that with PvE Legends where players pick the story they want to play.

PvE Legends is being treated as an event; while the PvE is permanent in the game, the PvE events are not — they change monthly. Each event will run about five weeks and have feats to achieve for each one. When the PvE launches, the first event will be South Gotham Courthouse, followed by League of Assassins Stronghold. You will be able to choose any of the Legends characters that you’ve unlocked with Marks of Legend (which are earned through Legends PvE and PvP), while other characters are released through DLC, are premium through the marketplace only, or are free. The cost of a Legends character costs 30 to 150 Marks, and you get five Marks for each completion of a Legends run. You’ll also get a base item when completing a Legends PvE level, and there are about 80 of them. Not to mention, you’ll get some prestige to go toward your league hall. It’s worth noting, if a Legend PvE event has a certain character in the story, that player will be restricted from being chosen. There will also be one free promo character every week for you to try out, though you won’t be able to earn the feats without buying/unlocking the character first.

With Legends PvE comes a new tab for it in the feats menu. We saw one for general Legends PvE feats and one for South Gotham Courthouse in particular. One example of a new feat is a team-up feat, where you complete the events as a certain character while another certain character is in your group. Each event is meant to be run multiple times as different characters to get credit for all of these feats, and this is one way to go about it. This can also allow two friends to go into an event with a strategy for completing team-up feats. Also, if you don’t get all of the feats completed during an event’s run, don’t worry — events will be recycled and repeated, probably annually.

As for new Legends characters, we were shown Deathstroke, a character players have been asking for for quite some time. Deathstroke is a 1-h character with sword attacks, but has so much more in his arsenal of abilities. Since there are not roles in Legends PvE, groups get all three buffs for the missing classes — tank, damage and controller. We saw Deathstroke run through some of the event (with god mode on) so we can see his skills in action. Deathstroke has a concussive grenade; a sniper shot (execute and vulnerable to interrupt); onslaught (leaping slash with sword); shock staff (leaps into air and associated with combo); backflip burst (hold range attack and transition into a grenade move with a rifle); and stealth.

dcuo undersea league hall

As for other additions to the game, more is coming with game update 43. Since SOE wanted to reinforce powers to let players be as effective with powers as weapon attacks — and be more power efficient as well — they are adding advanced mechanics to several powers, notably ice and nature. There’s also a new league hall theme — undersea. It is given to players for free with the update and costs 25k prestige to unlock. There are two undersea locations: trench and reef. Trench is dark and eerie, since it’s a deep-sea trench that fits villains perfectly. Reef, on the other hand, is tropical with beautiful coral and tropical fish swimming around.

Another change is that combat rating will be shown, bringing forth important stats on your gear that other players can see. This allows other players to see your combat rating and request a certain rating for groups — which is a blessing and a curse if you’re familiar with World of Warcraft’s gearscore. DCUO will also be reworking their arena reward rules to combat people just standing around in PvP matches. Participation thresholds are being added to institute minimums that you need to achieve to get consolation prizes. Lastly, players will be able to reset scenario content for group members. This is a feature that allows you to unlock loot locks in a raid run for a friend or teammate that is loot-locked. Instead of waiting for the raid to reset on Thursday, you can unlock it early so he can get loot.

There are a lot of changes that came with update 43, and DC Universe Online looks to be better because of them. PvE Legends is definitely the highlight, but there’s a lot of quality of life improvements that are coming in as well. What do you think of all the changes?