‘Non-traditional’ DC Universe Online episode coming next month

    
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When DC Universe Online’s next patch arrives in August, don’t expect the same-old, same-old. Daybreak is going a bit of a different way with Episode 41: House of Legends, billing it as a “non-traditional” update.

“With this episode, we have taken a significant departure from the more traditional episode formats to focus on new features and game improvements,” the studio explained.

The cornerstone features of Episode 41 are a new shared hero and villain hub, a “quick play” feature on the On Duty menu, the removal of Combat Rating Relevancy, an Omnibus option to replay past content, a Save the Universe event, a revamped daily login rewards system, and the ability to recruit and summon allies from DC’s prostigious roster.

Daybreak also announced that it’s not going to be selling any more episodes, starting immediately. Subscription benefits are being increased to compensate for this change.

DC Universe Online is planning to launch on the PlayStation 5 in 2022.

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Schmidt.Capela

According to the announcement the game is also bringing enough revenue for the development team to be expanded.

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McGuffn

I wasn’t aware they still called the company Daybreak after getting sold. I find it amazing they’re keeping the sewage around as ballast.

EmberStar
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EmberStar

I don’t know DC comics very well. So I saw the title, and a picture of what looks like a gender-flip of Aquaman (Aqualady?) and my brain went in a weird direction about what the “non-traditional” theme of the next expansion would be. But it’s just about monetization, apparently. :/

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Schmidt.Capela

It is literally a gender-swapped version of Aquaman. Meet Aquawoman, who canonically exists as Earth-11’s version of Aquaman.

The image isn’t from the game, mind; as far as I can tell it’s from DC’s The Map of the Multiverse comic, and includes characters from various parallel dimensions.

The Weeb formerly known as Sray
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The Weeb formerly known as Sray

Honestly, breaking away from the paid episodes is the smartest move the game has made in years. Despite being “free to play” DCUO has long had the highest financial barrier to full entry of any MMORPG out there. Their ultimate episode pack cost well over $100 USD and was always at least 18 months out of date, requiring an interested player to purchase anywhere from 6 to 10 additional episodes at full price. A perspective customer could purchase the “complete editions” (whatever they’re being called at any given time) of ESO and FFXIV for the same cost or less than getting into the full content of DCUO.

Just wild speculation, but they’re either looking to move to a model more like WoW or FFXIX -$60 expansions released every 18 months or so with a bit of supplemental content released between- or else they’re going to really nickel and dime players to death. I’d like to think that they’re doing the former, but considering that consoles are their bread and butter, they’re probably planning on nickle-and-diming everyone while pushing subs like no one’s business: a quick look at the proposed changes makes me think that they’re planning on something similar to SWTOR’s monetization style (the quote “We want membership to be such an incredible deal that you feel a little silly playing without it, but not something that feels required to enjoy the game.” is a massive red flag for me).

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Bruno Brito

They’re taking escrow of the premium cap, and free2play has a 50k cash limit now. So i’m highly sure they’re making f2players happier all around.

probably their plan right now is to bring more players to the game.

The Weeb formerly known as Sray
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The Weeb formerly known as Sray

Obviously they do care about having a happy player base because happy players are more likely to be spending customers, but changing these restrictions wasn’t done out of charity. Making the game more appealing by removing a lot of the barriers to entry is fine and definitely a way to bring in new players, but it still leaves open the question of how are they planning on making money now that they’ve decided to stop selling their best selling items: the episode packs. Please note I said best selling, not most profitable: the episode packs have a ridiculously high attachment rate compared to virtually any other cash shop items, but virtually no one is spending money in their cash shop until they’ve caught up on owning at least a mid-sized chunk of the episode packs.

The removal cash limits for premium players suggest that they’ve got major cash sinks coming down the pipeline and that they’ll probably be selling “convenience items”. Additionally the removal of “not endgame” (their phrasing) loot lockouts suggests that loot prior to endgame is being significantly devalued; perhaps the ability to flat out buy in game styles for in-game cash, creating the need to grind for cash for new players? Seems like there’s too much cash floating about in the game for that to work, but at this point I’ve seen it happen too many times to be fooled: restrictions on game currencies don’t get lessened unless there’s some sort of new currency and/or system (and attached grind that can be alleviated/skipped with real money) that makes the previous one irrelevant.

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Bruno Brito

Daybreak also announced that it’s not going to be selling any more episodes, starting immediately. Subscription benefits are being increased to compensate for this change.

Interesting. This seems deceptively the most important part of the news. Does that imply either a focus on reworking the game or maintenance mode? If they plan on launching on the PS5, then probably not the latter.

This can be EG7 pumping money into the game and making the devs reconfigure their efforts to improve the base game itself? So many questions.

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Bruno Brito

My bad. I can’t edit my post but i decided to read the dev journal:

Daybreak also announced that it’s not going to be selling any more episodes, starting immediately. Subscription benefits are being increased to compensate for this change.

The wording in this is flawed: DBG is announcing that all episodes now are FREE for everyone, and they’re not selling them not because they will be discontinued but because the monetization will be different.

Episode 42 will be back to a more raidcentric focused episode. Even with CR being more irrelevant, i don’t think this game will ever become horizontal.

But i’ll want to test the new episode and changes, for sure. DCUO has a fun open world ( pretty limited, but fun ).