With Update 8 still fresh in our minds, Sony Online Entertainment has announced yet another content drop for DC Universe Online, this time focusing on the endgame. As highlighted in our player guides titled “Beyond Level 30” (part 1, part 2) hitting DCUO’s level cap will beguile most players, especially those who aren’t MMO-savvy. Solo content is near enough done away with, making room for team-based content such as Duos, Alerts, and Raids, forcing players to refine their playstyle and adopt a number of advanced concepts.
SOE is looking to make the transition a lot less taxing on players with the inclusion of Novice Raids and Role Optional Alerts. As the name suggests, the former will allow endgame newbies to take part in the MMO social staple without having to accumulate as much advanced gear. All three raids, including Kahndaq, the Batcave, and Fortress of Solitude will retain their plot focus and core design with enemies being toned down and raid loot becoming less abundant.
The second, and more interesting, inclusion is the presence of Role Optional Alerts. Like any other MMO, DCUO’s matchmaking will always try to form balanced, sustainable groups of players, but for those who adopt a DPS (Damage-focused) playstyle, given their abundance, tend to wait much longer for a vacancy than Tanks, Controllers, and Healers. SOE will introduce a system in Update 9 which will dramatically speed up the matchmaking process through the use of “Team Buffs.”
Groups will be matched in a timely, non-focused manner. If your team happens to be missing one of the supporting roles, you will be compensated with a passive ability:
- If you don’t have a Tank, everyone will take less damage overall. That doesn’t mean you’re all tanks – you’ll have to work together to survive – but you’ll have a fighting chance.
- If you don’t have a Healer, any Controller or Damage character will trigger a small amount of regeneration when your health dips below a certain point. If you’re a Tank, you’ll always have some regeneration.
- If you don’t have a Controller, everyone will get varying amounts of additional power periodically.
A release date hasn’t been given, though we suspect Update 9 will hit sometime over the next few weeks.
Source: DCUO Official Site