Development Update: Artifacts!

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by Moja, Oct 20, 2017.

  1. Moja Developer


    Hey everyone! I’m Moja, Systems Designer for DC Universe Online. Today we’re excited to reveal the new Artifacts system!

    • Artifacts are powerful new items you can rank up and upgrade over time.
    • Players will get a new mission from John Constantine to collect powerful Artifacts from around the universe (level 20+).
    • Artifacts are upgraded with special items:
      • Nth Metal items are reagents used to fortify Artifacts to increase their Rank.
        • Nth Metal is found in the Vault, the Stabilizer event, and as rare drops from any NPC you defeat.
      • Catalysts are special items used for breaking through through certain Milestone Ranks.
        • You can find Catalysts in specific Duos, Alerts, and Raids.
    • Artifacts and the Artifacts system will continue to evolve in the future.
    Keep reading for more information on the new system!


    An Artifact is a new type of gear that you will slot into a new equipment slot, and that you can rank up and fortify to unlock powerful bonuses. Unlike other types of gear that you replace frequently as you advance in Combat Rating, Artifacts require a long term investment and grow with your character. Many Artifacts will also grant new Passive or Active abilities in addition to stats, and will provide new options for how you build or play your character.

    Obtaining Artifacts

    You will get your first Artifact by completing the new Artifacts Mission from John Constantine (available at level 20). Once completed, you can obtain additional Artifacts from Constantine in the Watchtower or Hall of Doom for Marks of Victory.

    Upgrading Artifacts

    In your inventory, we’ve added a new tab called Artifacts. Once you have an Artifact and some Nth Metal, you can combine the two to add Item Experience to the Artifact. Different kinds of Nth Metal are worth different amounts of Item Experience. Get enough Item Experience into your Artifact and it will increase in Rank. Each Rank gives a small, exponentially increasing stat boost. Every 20 Ranks is a Milestone Rank, which offer larger bonuses and require specific Catalysts to break through.

    Nth Metal

    Nth Metal is the core reagent for your Artifact. Once you’ve acquired your first Artifact, you’ll be able to find Nth Metal as a rare drop from defeating NPCs. In addition, you’ll be able to get large caches of Nth Metal by completing the Vault and the Stabilizer Event. Nth Metal comes in various qualities, with rarer, more refined pieces granting larger amounts of Item Experience when used to fortify your Artifact.


    Catalysts are special items required to break through Milestone Ranks. These can be acquired by completing specific Duos, Alerts, and Raids throughout DCUO. Each Milestone Rank requires a different and specific combination of Catalysts, which in turn should bring some traffic to the places where they’re found.

    Player Feedback

    With the Stats Revamp complete, we now have the ability to explore new possibilities in character growth and builds. Artifacts are the first step towards making that a reality. In addition, this system helps us address several concerns previously raised by our player community, including:

    • Variety in Stats and Builds
      • As new Artifacts come online, new passive and active abilities will tap into your stats in interesting and new ways.
        • For example, the Tetrahedron of Urgrund grants a group buff increasing Might by a percentage of your Health.
        • This lets players who have maxed out their role's primary stats in skill points to invest any additional points in ways that will continue to improve their core function, while also improving the performance of the group.
    • More Group Synergy
      • Artifacts can interact with each other to promote synergistic builds, both for individual players and the group as a whole. Work together, better!
        • For example, the Dilustel Refractor grants your group a Health buff based on your Dominance, which in turn improves the effect of the Tetrahedron of Urgrund.
    • Membership Value and the Vault
      • We are always looking for ways to improve the Vault and make Membership better. Since members can visit the vault daily, and since we have made it so a Vault run now grants a significant amount of Nth Metal to rank up your Artifacts, members can rank up their Artifacts faster.
    • Refreshing Content
      • High level players now have a reason to run specific pieces of lower level content: for Catalysts. This is a compelling reason to revisit past favorites for all players, regardless of level.
      • And, since most Catalysts are tradeable, this also creates a valuable resource that even lower level players can find and trade.
    • Continued Rewards
      • Nth Metal drops from NPCs with no restrictions or loot locks, no replays required. This is a resource that can always be found, even when you’ve finished your other content and missions, even if you are locked out.
    • Long-Term Investment
      • Artifacts are items that grow along with your character. Unlike normal gear that gets outgrown and replaced quickly as your character progresses, Artifacts will stick with you for a long time and continue to increase in power as you progress your character.
    The Future

    With this update, we’re laying the foundation. Artifacts will continue to expand in the future. Over time we will add new Artifacts, unlock new Artifact equipment slots, and increase the Rank caps with new Rank and Milestone bonuses to make your characters even more powerful!

    With new Artifacts, we may see new character builds, new group strategies, and new play styles emerge. With that said, we need your feedback to realize the full potential of Artifacts. What are you excited about? What Artifacts or abilities would you like to see in the future? Let us know what you think!
    • Like x 13
  2. Belthazur Dedicated Player

    The EXTREME DIRE Need for Additional Inventory Space is A MUST. Please make this happen
    • Like x 37
  3. Alrighty Then Loyal Player

    Will we be able to purchase catalysts in the Marketplace?
  4. Deus Ex Machina Committed Player

    As well as bank space.
    • Like x 20
  5. Fatal Star 10000 Post Club

    Ability specific artifacts that make certain powerset abilities stronger would be a neat addition
    • Like x 8
  6. loganbach New Player

    Yes, more bank and inventory slots are now a must. Also, how about increasing the limits on Exo's, complex, and simple's from 16 to 999. This will also free up bank/inventory spaces and may be easier than getting us more slots
    • Like x 21
  7. deadkill New Player

    how rare are Nth Metals? i don't want farm on test server just to see what my new stats will be.(sorry if u explained this in the livestream. i missed like half of i.)
  8. pitbullb3 Devoted Player

    Stabilizer event is no longer account bound?
    • Like x 3
  9. Deus Ex Machina Committed Player

    From a comics perspective that is an amazing idea. However, it doesn't translate well in game as people will probably shout for specific power sets depending on how much much stronger they are for different power sets. Also as Muzura said above we need loads of inventory space as it is just for these artifacts plus the Nth Metal and Catalysts. If we put power specific ones that's even more and I cringe to even imagine how much inventory space or bank space will be needed.
    • Like x 2
  10. Fatal Star 10000 Post Club

    Just ask for other items to stack higher so they use less space, these go to 999 so they don't use up too much. Maybe it's time to raise the cap on RnD components - in another thread though ;)
    • Like x 9
  11. Mohican378 Dedicated Player

    How much will the 100% guaranted catalysts that will be in the marketplace cost? You'd be better off telling us now and getting ahead of the inevitable forum meltdown over it.
    • Like x 5
  12. xpoipoix Well-Known Player

    The System looks awsome but we need more inventory and bank space or just turn every to 999 per stack
    • Like x 8
  13. willflynne 10000 Post Club

    Interesting system and refreshing to see that it comes from gameplay. I also like that it works with all tiers/levels of content, so for me it would give me the nudge I might need to finish out style sets I may have left alone through progression.

    One possible downside I can see would be the age-old concerns about higher CR players going into the lower tier content, especially if the high CR players are only going in there for Catalysts.
    • Like x 1
  14. Alrighty Then Loyal Player

    This is the perfect time to fix stacking to 999 for many objects.
    • Like x 11
  15. Tygerfyre Committed Player

    Another vote here for more inven and bank space, and more stacking of crafting materials. With the sheer number of items to craft (simple, complex. 3 exobits colors, 6 exobyte colors, various motes, focusing elements, interfaces, and so on), along with maintaining gear for 2 roles, pvp, and partial sets we might be holding onto till we finish feats, even a fully expanded bank and inven is getting tight.

    Putting all items to a max of 999 would probably solve it, without the need to actually code for more slots.

    Also, during the livestream, it was mentioned that as your artifact ranks up, there is a chance that you might fail to pass a milestone rank. Please keep those fail chances low, or even eliminate them entirely. Grinding is tough enough without then throwing away advancement on a roll of the dice.

    Suggestions for future artifacts:
    • Mother Box
    • Hawkman's Absorbascon
    • The Emerald Eye
    • Mobius Chair
    • Helm of Nabu (I know this one came up in the stream, but worth repeating)
    • The Medusa Mask (Psycho Pirate)
    • Sargon's Ruby of Life
    • The Spear of Destiny
    • H-Dials
    Lastly, please reduce the font size on the inventory tabs and bring back the base item inven. Alternately, move that tab's content somewhere else. Maybe integrate it with the League Hall inven by adding a switch to show your base items, or the League's.
    • Like x 1
  16. xpoipoix Well-Known Player

    Raise all stack sizes its needed we run out of space
    • Like x 7
  17. willflynne 10000 Post Club

    On the plus side, they did mention that a failure doesn't lose you anything but the Catalyst. You don't lose the Artifact or any of the XP you poured into it.

    I remember well the pain and frustration of losing a piece of armor due to a failed repair kit (especially when the kit was rated at something like 99.99997% success), and it was twice as bad if the item was something you could only get from the one time you ran the mission (no replaying). So it could be a lot worse.
    • Like x 1
  18. Savynaa Well-Known Player

    The first thing i have notified is the artifact for Dps is based on health so for Pfft players it is perfect for hybrid and WM it is bad :x.
  19. Fatal Star 10000 Post Club

    Eh, not really. WM players can either spec into might after prec and buff that way, or go into health and buff via artifact. Guess you have to choose which seems more valuable. I'd probably take the health for extra survival
    • Like x 1
  20. MrMigraine Devoted Player

    Very excited. The initial artifacts are a bit bland for my taste, but there is so much potential there!

    Some Mental/Controller-focused Artifact Ideas:

    Absorbascon: Control Effects Last 50% longer
    Brainiac 5's Force Field Belt: Shields last 50% longer (or take more damage)
    Grodd's Psychic Enhancer: Immunity to Mind Control
    Gravity Rod: Debuffs Last 50% Longer (or are more effective)

    (Notice how there aren't any Powerback Artifact effects in the above list? That's a hint ;) )
    • Like x 4