DCUO Development Update - July 2021

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by Mepps, Jul 7, 2021.

  1. Mepps Sr. Community Manager

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    DEVELOPMENT UPDATE - JULY 2021

    Hello friends and allies. I am back today with your July 2021 Development Update, a detailed look at what the team has been up to and what's next for DC Universe Online.

    What follows are our plans laid out as transparently as possible based what we know or expect to be true - as of right now.

    Plans can always change.


    NEWS

    If you do not read this whole update, here's what you need to know:
    • Episode 41 will launch this August.
    • Episode 41 will be a non-traditional episode, with an emphasis on new features (alongside content)
    • New membership and access level details are here.
    With that said, let's catch up on what we have been working on.


    PREVIOUSLY ON DCUO: MAY-JUNE

    The last two months flew by quickly, but if you happened to be away or enjoying what everyone is calling "the outside," this will catch you up.

    Last we talked, Episode 40: World of Flashpoint had just launched. This episode surpassed expectations and brought in a ton of new and returning players. Overall, we are very happy with the episode and the format. We have some fine tuning to do on elites, and we'll use what we learned in upcoming episodes.

    In our game updates, the spring event returned with a buzz and the summer event stormed into the backyard BBQ scene shortly after. If you missed these, stop doing that. They will be back next year. We also celebrated Pride with free gifts, which will also return next year.

    The new Phase UI finally launched. Find your friends or the right phase for you. Open up your Map, select Switch Phase, review all of the phases available for the zone you are in, and then switch to whichever suits your needs. No more spamming for help or hoping to be able to phase where you want to go!

    New styles and rewards arrived with bonus weeks for World of Flashpoint and the Death of Superman (Streaky!). The new rewards are permanent even though the bonus week is over, so make sure to check them out. The Sixth Dimension Kryptonian Time Capsule also arrived with a ton of new Superman goodness.

    Finally, we rolled out an easier way for players to report cheating and toxic behavior that doesn't require the full support ticket process. All it takes is a quick email. We take both toxicity and cheating seriously and want our in-game experience with others to better reflect human values.


    PREVIOUSLY AT DIMENSIONAL INK: MAY-JUNE

    These months, all teams worked vigorously on Episode 41. We will get to specifics in a moment, but this next release has dominated our time.

    We were also hard at work finalizing new membership benefits for when episodes become free. More on that in a moment, too!

    You may remember from our last update that engineering had begun a major performance task related to how we handle text strings flying all around the servers. The team made nearly a thousand code changes, and we're looking forward to rolling these performance gains out with Episode 41.

    The teams also completed upgrades to our build infrastructure and hardware, meaning we can roll out new versions of the game (internally) faster, for more iteration and more time for quality assurance testing.

    Beyond Episode 41, the art and design teams kept pace with plans for the next Time Capsules, Resurgences, and Booster Bundles, as well as for the upcoming fall and winter seasonal events. So much to do and so little time!


    NEXT ON DCUO: JULY-SEPTEMBER

    Looking ahead, we will see continued bonus weeks with new rewards, a new Booster Bundle, a new Resurgence, Batman Day celebrations, and more.

    And of course free episodes, new membership benefits, and Episode 41: House of Legends!


    Episode 41: House of Legends

    New episode! Episode 41: House of Legends will launch this August!

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

    I expect that will sound worrisome to many, but I have two things I want to note upfront.
    • First, YES, there will still be content to play, rewards and gear to earn, and so on.
    • Second, YES, we will return to a raid-focused, traditional episode format for Episode 42 this fall.
    Please read on for everything we can share right now.


    In HOUSE OF LEGENDS, The Monitor has sent out a request for assistance - to Super Heroes and to Super-Villains - to gather together in his House of Legends to prepare for an imminent threat to the multiverse.

    While the looming threat is unclear, The Monitor's directions are not: train day and night, find new allies, and lift each other up. Everyone will be needed when the time comes.


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    House of Legends Concept Art - Training Room

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    House of Legends Concept Art - Archives


    New Headquarters: The House of Legends

    At the core of the episode will be the new shared hero and villain social hub or headquarters - the House of Legends. This hub will be like the Watchtower or Hall of Doom except conveniently smaller, packed with functionality, not confusing, and for both factions.

    At the core of the episode will be the new shared hero and villain social hub.


    Visit the Orrery of Worlds to teleport across our open world zones, hone your abilities in the state of the art training hall, mingle with iconic DC characters offering missions, and more.

    New characters in the House of Legends will include Tempus Fuginaut, The Monitor, and Harbinger.
    (Just as a side note, both the Watchtower and Hall of Doom will remain intact.)


    New System: Allies

    Expand your combat potential with the new system: Allies! Scour the universe(s) for the most elite and iconic DC characters, then enlist them as your allies. Doing so will allow you to summon them for assistance in battle.

    Scour the universe(s) for the most elite and iconic DC characters.



    At launch, the system will feature characters including Cyborg, The Flash, Zoom, Flashpoint Wonder Woman, and more. Collect your favorites and level up your multiversal connection with them to unlock powerful abilities and passive buffs. Leveling up will take Ally XP and other specific items, but please note this leveling or so-called breakthrough cannot fail.

    Each ally will have their own strengths that can make them especially suited to specific situations, types of content, and more. Make sure you know who to call!


    New UI: Revamped On Duty with Quick Play

    Get playing faster with the new Quick Play feature in the On Duty menu. With essentially a single selection, you can be queued for the latest episode, current events, or a curated selection of (almost) everything in the game all at once.

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    Work In Progress Mock-Up - On Duty UI - Final Version May Change Significantly

    You will not be forced to use Quick Play - existing On Duty functionality will remain - but we expect you will want to most of the time.

    Oh, and that last example might seem strange to you. Why in the world would you want to queue for (almost) everything in the game at once? Well, about that...


    New Approach to Past Content: Omnibus

    Play past content in an entirely new way. While episodes are (mostly) about end-game content, House of Legend's emphasis on systems has allowed us to look at the whole game - as in, at not-end-game, too.

    What do we define as not-end-game content? Anything you play for Source Marks instead of a unique episode currency. Put other ways, anything but our latest three episodes or anything but our latest year of content.

    Definitions out of the way, here's the big news:
    • Combat Rating Relevancy will be REMOVED FROM THE GAME. Period. Paragraph. Full stop.
    • Loot lockouts will be entirely removed from not-end-game content. Mic drop. Panderus out.
    Play the whole game. Earn rewards. A few more important notes:
    • Not-end-game content will always offer full Source Marks rewards.
    • Not-end-game content will stat clamp you down so the content isn't completely trivial.
    • End-game content will no longer reward Source Marks.
    Combat Rating Relevancy will be removed from the game.


    Now let me address those last two.

    You will not feel weak when you return to not-end-game content. In opening up the entire not-end-game to *literally* endless play, we strongly believe the experience will be more fun for everyone if the content plays somewhat similar to how it was designed.

    You will not be hurting for Source Marks. In opening up the entire not-end-game to *literally* limitless Source Marks rewards, we strongly believe these systems as a whole will make much more sense to everyone in the future if there is a clear divide between what rewards Source Marks and what does not.

    This is doubly so since this will allow us to, one more time, remove Combat Rating Relevancy from the game. (Note: content will still have minimum CR requirements; your characters will still progress through the game.)

    Finally, about that Omnibus. One of the Quick Play options in On Duty will be called Omnibus, and choosing it will queue you for a curated selection of (nearly) everything in the not-end-game that you are eligible to play.

    If you just want the next available group for Source Marks or for completing the new weekly Quick Play missions, smash the Quick Play button. If you want to play a specific piece of content, queue up for it and you will find a group faster from everyone else smashing the Quick Play button. The addition of Quick Play will mean all players will find each other faster.

    This will be a new era for DCUO. Join us.


    New Content Format: Save The Universe

    In case you forgot in the blitz of information above, House of Legends will also have content to play, in the form of Save The Universe. This system will present past content favorites up-leveled to end-game Combat Rating requirements, with the rewards to match.

    In the future, Save The Universe will return as a pseudo-seasonal event, but in House of Legends this content will be how you earn rewards, earn episode currency, and progress your characters.

    Three sets of Save The Universe content will cycle in and then out while this episode is the latest. The first set will feature up-leveled Superman content, the second up-leveled Batman content, and the third up-leveled Wonder Woman content.

    Save The Universe will present past content favorites up-leveled to end-game.


    Each set of content will feature normal and elite versions of an up-leveled solo/duo, alert, and raid. The original (not-up-leveled) content will serve as the lower level version of content for this episode. Any of the three versions will award the episode's unique currency.

    We will also seek to improve these instances and address bugs, and that will include the original instance, too. As we run Save The Universe in the future, this will be an ongoing opportunity to revisit and update past content.

    Save The Universe will not be brand-new content as seen in most episodes, but chances are you haven't played it in a while and that you have never played it like this.


    New Rewards

    Last but not least, rewards! All of the traditional episode rewards will be present in House of Legends. This will include gear, feats, and styles inspired by The Monitor and Tempus Fuginaut.


    This episode has been a massive undertaking. After all this work, I am personally looking forward to the new hub - curse you Hall of Doom - and not having relevancy or loot lockouts for most of the game. Oh, and Allies. And the wonderful potential Save The Universe will have in the future. And that Tempus Fuginaut gear suit...

    Okay - deep breath - that was a lot. Please visit this discussion thread on the official forums to let us know what intrigues you most, and make sure to hit us with your questions! We will reveal more about the new episode as we approach its launch.


    New Free, Premium, and Member Benefits

    New member benefits! As you know, episodes will become free with the launch of Episode 41. We have already stopped selling them.

    Why? We want everyone to be able to play with everyone else without barriers. This will be a fundamentally new vision for the game. While free episodes and membership are our focus here, all access levels will need to change to reach this new paradigm.

    I will begin with the changes that impact everyone and then work up to the grand finale of membership.


    Daily Login Rewards

    All players will have access to a new system for daily login rewards. Previously, daily login rewards were spread between independent systems like the vault or the stabilizer event. No more! These rewards will be folded into a simplified and expanded new system.

    Log in each day, open the daily login reward screen, claim your rewards. Simple.

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    Work In Progress Mock-Up - Daily Rewards UI - Final Version May Change Significantly

    These rewards will reset (and sometimes update) on a monthly cycle. Each day you log in during a cycle, you get to claim the next daily reward. Daily rewards will get bigger and better as you go.

    Some examples for daily rewards include a new daily currency (Fate) for a special vendor, Source Marks, Stabilizer Fragments, Artifact XP, Ally XP, or gear, with more to come. Daily rewards will be claimable once per account and most items will be account bound.

    Our target value for the standard daily login rewards will be at least $20, when you log in at least 20 days in a cycle.


    Access Changes for Everyone

    Changes for every access level will include:
    • Free episodes.
    • Standard daily login rewards (at least $20 in value when you log in at least 20 days per cycle).
    • Full access to lair and utility belt systems.
    • Cash cap increased from 2,000 to 50,000.
    • +7 additional inventory slots.
    • Promethium Lockboxes removed, their rewards distributed elsewhere.
    • Artifact XP items condensed to save inventory space.
    Access Changes for Premium

    Changes for the premium access level will include:
    • Cash cap increased from 3,000 to unlimited.
    Access Changes for Members

    Changes for membership will include:
    • Additional 3x bonus daily login rewards (at least $60 in value when you log in at least 20 days per cycle).
      • For daily login rewards, this means an extra three times the standard daily login rewards ($60 value) PLUS the standard daily login rewards everyone gets ($20 value), for a total of $80.
    • +50% bonus to timed drops of Artifact XP and Ally XP.
    • +7 (more) Inventory slots (28 from membership, 77 total)
    • +8 (more) Bank slots (32 from membership, 56 total)
    • +7 (more) Shared Bank slots (7 from membership, 16 total)
    For clarity, these additional benefits will be on top of what membership includes now and will still include:
    • 500 Daybreak Cash (PC) or Loyalty Points (consoles) monthly ($5 value)
    • 150 Replay Badges monthly ($5 value)
    • 10% discount on all Marketplace purchases
    • +10 Character slots (16 total)
    • +15 Broker slots (20 total)
    • Full access to all Powers, Shield (Weapon), and Skimming (Movement Mode)
    • Full access to mail, trade, and leagues
    • 1 free Item Restore monthly
    If you are just doing the straight math, you can see we have replaced the exclusivity of access to all episodes and the unlimited cash cap (less than $5 in value) with at least $60 in value from the bonus daily login rewards alone.

    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.

    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.


    Please visit this discussion thread on the official forums to ask questions and let us know what you think.


    NEXT AT DIMENSIONAL INK: JULY-SEPTEMBER

    Until August, most of our focus will still be Episode 41. The new systems here are significant and, as you have seen, game-changing. I would not be surprised if we do not hit our internal goal for our launch date based on the scope and complexity of these systems, but also I am surprised by how good things look and how far along we are right now.

    After Episode 41's launch, the team will primarily shift on to Episode 42, planned for this fall. Between now and my next Development Update, we will get first looks at the Community Style Initiative's Blue Beetle gear style. Engineering will continue work on server performance and the PS5 client, art and design will wrap up work on the fall seasonal event and then begin work on the winter seasonal event, and then our 11th anniversary.


    NEXT ON DCUO: OCTOBER - THE FUTURE

    Looking further into the unknowable possibilities of time, I can say confidently that the fall, winter, and anniversary events will return and of course the Blue Beetle gear style will launch. Episode 42 will launch this fall, followed by Episode 43 and a PS5 client next year.

    We will also celebrate Wonder Woman's 80th anniversary this October. Can you believe she's 80? Get caught up on the decades you might have missed with DC's recommended reading list.

    I can also say we will be expanding our team because of your continued support, so if you have what it takes please check out the Dimensional Ink careers page for open positions as they are posted.

    We will be expanding our team because of your continued support.



    On a more personal note, the last year plus has been very difficult for everyone - for you, for me, for my team, for people everywhere. What we have been able to accomplish and the role DC Universe Online has been able to fill during this time has, in my opinion, been nothing short of wonderful.

    My hope is that whatever peace or release or community we found this last year will carry us forward, stronger, into better times.

    More on the future as we live it.


    CALENDAR

    If paragraphs are not your thing, maybe calendars are!

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    Thank you for reading this July 2021 Development Update. Please join the discussion below!

    Landon "Panderus" Falls
    Senior Producer
    DC Universe Online
    • Like x 57
  2. Mepps Sr. Community Manager

    • Like x 8
  3. Caroline Dedicated Player

    WOW!
    • Like x 2
  4. Kanniu Well-Known Player

    Uhhh that's a lot of words
    • Like x 1
  5. UnderworldSelene Well-Known Player

    Well, that's a lot to digest and unpack. :eek:
  6. Nukpana New Player

    It’s probably the first time you made me proud xD jkjk very nice features incoming ;) good stuff
    • Like x 1
  7. Psycho Tech Dedicated Player

    Holy what in the oh my goodness someone help me finish the sentence. Great job daybreak, you have now shackled my feet to the ground with your tempting offer, & im staying for sure now :D
    • Like x 2
  8. Zoe· Content Creator

    OMG OMG OMG. I haven't expected any of this, you guys are the absolute best. I love the new direction and everything. I can't wait for new episode too!! and the new iconics system!!
    • Like x 4
  9. TheRealDemon Dedicated Player

  10. zNot Dedicated Player

    I definetly like pretty much everything on this but i did expect abit more from the legendary membership perks considering that episodes being open/free and free-premium members getting a buff aswell but overall still very good news!
    • Like x 3
  11. Beastmaster Well-Known Player

    Omg the changes are a lil overwhelming
    • Like x 4
  12. Sword- New Player

    These are honestly some fantastic changes for the game, much needed to breathe some life back into the older content. Love the battle pass system, it feels good to have a reason to log every day. Great job guys, very happy with this update!
    • Like x 2
  13. Psycho Tech Dedicated Player

    You had me at the exit, im turning around now thx to all the awesome things. Thank you for making the game fun again
  14. Jaelia Well-Known Player

    Wow super excited to see how this all unfolds. Can’t wait for the next booster bundle :D love styles +1
  15. Zoe· Content Creator

    Mepps when can we expect to see it on test?
  16. TheRealDemon Dedicated Player

    "Collect your favorites and level up your multiversal connection with them to unlock powerful abilities and passive buffs"

    I'm quite curious about this new ally system. Like will the buffs and abilities be better then, or on par with artifacts?
  17. 9001BPM Steadfast Player

    Yes, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to. I do think incentivising lower content will be awesome for other players, but I don’t particularly want to be strong-armed into doing it after I get done with the latest episode stuff for the day. Unless I’m misinterpreting the information here?
  18. Psycho Tech Dedicated Player

    As long as my buddy Scarecrow is a ally, im happy.
  19. Ryazan Committed Player

    Teekl ally or riot.
    • Like x 6
  20. Mepps Sr. Community Manager

    Strong-arming is definitely the wrong phrase. You can still play however you want and do fine.
    • Like x 5