While at E3 2015, we got to sit down with Jens Andersen, creative director for DC Universe Online, to chat more about the changes coming through the game’s pipeline, changes we can finally talk about today. Back in May, he spoke about how the switch from DLCs to episodes would help the game be more timely with the comics; one of those specifics was that the Bombshells would be making an appearance in DCUO This time, Andersen expounded on the addition of these period-inspired heroines. On top of that, he discussed two other things future game content is focusing on, one being The Black Lanterns and the other being something he’d only hint at related to upcoming base decorations.
Andersen expressed his excitement at having the Bombshells appear in game during the same time fans can read about them in the comics; the Bombshell versions of Wonder Woman, Catwoman (called The Countess), Harley, and Supergirl will debut in DCUO’s Episode 15 this August when the first issue of the series does. He noted that the devs got to read an early treatment of the comic and that even the location is included in the game. Ready to see the Russian Gulag turned Secret Munitions Factory? “Everything that is sort of happening in the background of that location [is something] that you might see later in the comic,” he said. The Bombshells Paradox is an eight-man operation.
However, Andersen emphasized that playing the game won’t give away spoilers for the comic series. He explained, “We don’t want to spoil the story, so what we did was used this thing we have in our game called the Nexus of Reality, which is this place that lets us go to all the different kinds of dimensions in time and space — all different parts of the multiverse.” And of course, Brainiac is notorious for messing with the timelines and origins to change the course of events, so even though the game has the same faces and themes as the Bombshell universe, the unfolding story will not be the same as what transpires in the comics. Basically, the devs turned the story on its head: The game’s story will have “a different twist on it that’s unique to DCUO.” As he put it, “It’s an altered reality of the Bombshell universe that you as the player are trying to undo.” Part of that story, he revealed, involves a magically cursed version of League of Assassins, including Bombshell Talia al Ghul.
With the change in how the content is delivered, some players will might wonder how the current trilogies will end. Halls of Power Part II was the last of the big trilogy releases. Andersen stated, “We’re not going to do full trilogy wrap-ups. With the new system it doesn’t make sense. […] There aren’t enough episodes in the month to do War of the Light Part III.” That doesn’t, however, mean the story lines won’t get their due. “We’re not going to leave people hanging as to what happened,” he explained. “We just have to continue the War of the Light storyline until we’re done telling it.” The team does plan on finishing out one trilogy before introducing episodes involving the next.
And just happens to be a part of those first episodes? Black Lanterns! In fact, Andersen clarified that War of the Light Part III is building towards Black Lanterns. Episode 15 includes Corrupted Zamaron, which deals with the Black Lanterns, Zamaron, and the corruption of the Star Sapphires’ power battery. Players will also be introduced to the Indigo tribe and a Corrupted Hawkgirl. Andersen also teased, “There are three other pieces of Black Lantern content that will be making their debut, too, later on in the year. One of those will have Nekron in it as well.”
As for other episode topics, Andersen said that a year’s worth of them are already mapped out. It is also possible that after the trilogies wrap up, there can still be more episodes involving characters from those arcs; however, each episode will have a self-contained story.
This is where Andersen gets a bit enigmatic. The third focus hadn’t been announced yet, but Andersen said, “It might have something to do with some of the base items I was talking about.” What base items are those? Andersen spoke about new base decorations will be released with each new episode as well as with the seasonal events, focusing his enthusiasm on props from the cathedral in the Sons of Trigon. He called those props amazing and described hanging skeletons and various kinds of broken wooden lattice bridges, and since base props can now be stacked on top of each other, players can get much more creative with their decorating. Although we tried to pin more specifics down, Andersen wouldn’t reveal anything more; he said that we’ll have to wait for more information.
Speaking of bases, Andersen also had a few words for the loss of PvP in them.
“It’s a shame that you try and do things that are fun and nice and good, and then people exploit it. They’ll take advantage of a weakness you may have not seen. And then affects everybody else because they get the attitude that they are forced to engage in that same behavior to keep up. So you have to completely hit it with a nerf bat or take it out.”
Will the battles be back later? Andersen would like to see them again, but the devs are still adjusting to the new plan and want to be sure they can react quickly to player feedback; he doesn’t want to overload the team with too many expectations when the team’s already got so much on its plate.