Preview: DC Universe Online's Home Turf Expansion Introduces Lairs and One-v-One PvP

Have you ever wanted to sneak inside a superhero’s (or super-villain’s) lair? Jens Andersen, Creative Director for DC Universe Online, led us on a quick virtual tour of the game's upcoming DLC, Home Turf.

Have you ever wanted to sneak inside a superheroÂ’s (or super-villainÂ’s) lair? We had the chance to peer inside the digs of Eel Milk, the super-villain character belonging to DC Universe Online Creative Director, Jens Andersen, as he led us on a quick virtual tour of DCUOÂ’s upcoming DLC, Home Turf.

[video]http://video.tentonhammer.com/DC_Universe/DCUO_HomeTurfMainframe_FNL.flv...

As you may have guessed, Home Turf introduces player housing to DC Universe Online. And, as player housing goes, itÂ’s pretty cool stuff. WeÂ’ll touch on a few of the highlights we learned about on the tour:

Lairs in General

  • Your lair will truly feel like itÂ’s your place. Rather than having a single door through which all players access their housing, Home TurfÂ’s setup lets you choose the location of your lair from numerous points on the map. Each has an associated cost, and the better the location (or the more iconic), the higher the cost. IsnÂ’t that the way with real estate?
  • DonÂ’t like where you live, you can relocate. It costs some in-game cash to move, but your items travel with you.
  • You can select a theme for your lair. The DLC comes with two: Deco and Gothic. Four additional themes will be available on the marketplace.
  • Lairs are available to players who purchased the expansion (or have legendary status) starting at level 12.

DC Universe Online lair

Decorating

  • There are hundreds of decorative items (props) available for pimping out your lair. “IÂ’d say there are over 400,” said Jensen, “and thatÂ’s a conservative estimate.” There are 18 different distinct prop styles launching with Home Turf, with more planned to be added after launch.
  • Prop items are only available in-game or through player-to-player transactions. You canÂ’t buy them with Station Cash on the Marketplace.
  • Lair location points

  • Each lair comes with attachment points, which allow you to place certain items in specific spots. When you select an attachment point, your item list is filtered to display which items will work in that location. (Click a ceiling attachment point, and youÂ’ll see a list of ceiling-related items, for instance.) Attachment points make relocating simple--if you move your lair, all of your props will migrate to associated attachment points in your new crib.
  • Attachment points help thwart exploits in the one v. one PvP that comes with lairs. (More on this in a moment.) “We didnÂ’t want people making couch forts,” said Jensen.
  • ThereÂ’s a handy search feature for items to help you locate what youÂ’re looking for quickly, rather than scanning through dozens of items in your inventory.
  • Not all items are strictly decorative--you can also add convenience items such as vendors, sparring partners, and auction house access.
  • Lairs come with a color option that lets you tint them as you see fit.

The Mainframe

  • ”The Mainframe is the heart of the lair,” said Jensen. Through the Mainframe, you can set up access permissions.
  • You upgrade your Mainframe generator, which powers your lair, to gain access to a variety of passive and active powers youÂ’ll bring into battle.
  • You can call in Backup (or Henchmen, if youÂ’re a villain) to help you defend your lair--groups of weaker “pet” NPCs to fight at your side. Backup/Henchmen look different depending on the lair theme youÂ’ve selected, and each time you buy a new theme you gain access to that type. You also gain access to an upgradeable Sidekick/Accomplice. TheyÂ’re stronger than the Backup/Henchmen groups but, well...there can be only one.

One-versus-One PvP

  • The highlight of lairs is the option to queue up for one-versus-one PvP battles. YouÂ’ll be randomly matched, and the system will place you in the position of either invading an enemy lair, or defending your own.
  • Matches consist of more than one fight. After one battle is complete, youÂ’ll transition to another area of the lair for the next phase of the fight. Each transition includes a cinematic to further immerse you in the action.
  • You and your enemy can interact with the items inside a lair, just as you would in the world outside. But donÂ’t worry about broken stuff--your items will respawn, fully repaired, in their intended location after a battle.

Additional New Content

Home Turf isnÂ’t just about lairs--thereÂ’s also some cool new content coming to Ace Chemicals and StrykerÂ’s Island (for villains) and Arkham Asylum and Steel Works (for heroes). Each faction will be able to go to those locations for a daily mission. After completing five dailies, players will gain access to a solo instance where theyÂ’ll do battle against iconic bosses.

The digital expansion launches January 29th on PC, and January 30th on PS3. ItÂ’s a free download for Legendary members, and will be available for purchase to free and premium players via the DCUniverseOnline.com website, the PlayStation Network, or the in-game Marketplace.

About the Author

Karen is H.D.i.C. (Head Druid in Charge) at EQHammer. She likes chocolate chip pancakes, warm hugs, gaming so late that it's early, and rooting things and covering them with bees. Don't read her Ten Ton Hammer column every Tuesday. Or the EQHammer one every Thursday, either.
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