If you’re fast approaching level 30 in SOE’s comic-inspired, action-based MMO we’ve knocked together a small guide just for you, outlining the transition between regular and “endgame” play. Part one was focused on the four playable character roles: Controller, Tank, Damage, and Healer; before reading this second half we strongly recommend backtracking through the previous article as there are several areas of overlap.
This time around we’re looking at how to get the best out of your equipment.
No matter how well you rack up combos, identify enemy tells or dodge attacks, at the end of the day player skill comes second place to the power of your equipment. Before a recent update, hitting level 30 meant that players could dive into Raids, Tier 1/2 Alerts and Duos straight after playing the narrative-driven, resulting in swarms of greenhorns permeating into the ranks of elite players and effectively ruining their experience.
Since then a new progressive stat titled “Item Level” has been added to the existing character sheet, producing an average number based on every piece of gear your hero/villain has equipped. For players to join queues for T2 (Tier Two) Alerts and Raids they now need to have an Item Level of 43 or higher. This may not seem much but in reality it requires a decent amount of Duo/T1 (Tier One) grinding in order to get strong enough gear. Though sometimes frustrating, this concept effectively separates the wheat from the chaff; those who are dedicated to DCUO will more than likely piece together the right gear, whilst those who aren’t ready yet are kept away until they are battle-worn enough to ascend the ladder.[drop2]So, when you hit level 30 and have decided on which role you wish to pursue, it’s time to start hitting the Duos (two-player dungeons) and T1 Alerts (advanced four-player dungeons.) Your goal in these instances is not to gain XP as you have been doing previously; Duos and Hard Alerts allow you to refine your playstyles, experience teamwork, and grab loot. Of course the latter is most important, if you don’t see an increase in your item level during the endgame you aren’t really going anywhere, which is the most likely cause of player abandonment.
DC Universe Online, like many other MMOs, has a “Need or Greed” loot sharing system. When an enemy is downed they may drop a piece of equipment (bosses drop loot every time) which is then contested for by the players, who each have three available options. Selecting “Need” will put you in a priority queue for the said item, “Greed” puts you in a secondary queue, and “Pass” excluding you from the running altogether.
If one or more players select “Need” the secondary queue is also excluded and each character left is given a random number out of 100, the highest being the winner. As the name of the system suggests, it categorizes players who need the item for actual usage, those who want it simply to sell it or auction it, and those who have no use for it whatsoever.
When deciding whether to need, greed, or pass, you will have a direct view of the item’s stats, including an indication of how it will affect your abilities. Each of the stats is displayed a red or green number, with stats in green showing an increase and those in red meaning it will decrease your abilities.
Simply put, all you need to do is check whether the item compliments your roll; if it does then select need, and if not choose one of the remaining options. The reason I put so much stress on the loot system is because there are plenty of players out there who will abuse it and ruin the game for others. A damager doesn’t need healing gear, a healer doesn’t need controller gear and so on; somewhere down the line those who take what they don’t really need will just toss away loot they’ve unjustly stripped from another’s hands.[drop]Enemies won’t always drop the loot you want, given that they are random after all. However, there is another way of securing better equipment; despite being more secure, this method requires hours of playtime with heavy doses of patience. Credits known as “Marks” are distributed to players for a number of in-game actions such as instances, solo quests and vault drops, “Marks of Triumph” being the first ones you should focus on. After accumulating at least forty-five Marks of Triumph they can be traded with Watchtower/Hall of Doom vendors for Tier 1 gear which easily outshines most of the loot found in dungeons. For some items such as body armour and helmets you could need fifty to sixty Marks and, given that a few hours of gameplay should yield ten, it can be a bit of a hike.
If PvE (Player vs. Environment) isn’t exactly your thing, hooking up with a League and developing a PvP (Player vs. Player) crack team is also an option upon hitting 30, though not quite as expansive or rewarding as dungeon scouring. In a similar fashion to the PvE endgame you will be able to bag Influence and various Marks in order to unlock the best battle suits, these ones tuned to enhance PvP stats such as Toughness and Dominance.
So there you have it. It’s unlikely that this bodged up player’s guide will sink any thoughts of bewilderment, though we hope the information provided will help you understand the various Endgame paths and concepts. Be sure to keep an eye out in future for more DCUO updates and a feature review of Lightning Strikes, the latest ten quid expansion.