Saturday, January 16, 2021

A Hero Comes Along


Tipa's post on playing DCUO on the Switch reminded me the tenth anniversary celebrations had just started. In theory, I already knew that. I'd already logged in to pick up my freebies. I just got distracted.

What happened was, as soon as I arrived I remembered I'd never done the two event missions from the previous update, Long Live The legion. Since those seemed to be the only way to get a look inside the Legion Clubhouse and I had the vague feeling access for casuals with no hope of meeting the required combat rating might be rescinded when the next update dropped I thought I'd better get on with it.

I queued up as DPS and in less than thirty seconds I was grouped and in the instance. Unfortunately as far as sightseeing went my new group were already at the final boss. By the time I worked out who we were supposed to be fighting it was all over. I picked up my loot and skimmed around a few corridors but there didn't seem to be a lot to look at. Some corridors, mostly.

There was still the second event to try. It turned out to be a raid, which I should have expected because now I think about it the format for these updates is often one group instance and one raid. (And didn't they used to call these updates "Issues", in keeping with the comic book theme? Now they're Episodes, which presumably speaks to the influence of TV, where DC's been so successful in recent years). 

I queued up and once again it took less than half a minute. Probably more like fifteen seconds. This time I got in at the beginning so I saw the whole thing. Unfortunately, once again, there wasn't much to see. Just some cavernous space. We weren't in the Legion's headquarters, that's for sure.

Long Live The Legion!
There were several fights. I died (Sorry, got "knocked out") I think it was three times. Might have been four. Not many other people seemed to be getting K.O.'d but that was because they knew what they were doing. Every time I play I tell myself I should have made a character who stands at max range and channels beams of light or force or magic or whatever it is, like I see other people doing. I'd probably stay on my feet longer doing that instead of whacking raid mobs with a stick.

Not that it matters. I log in most updates and some holidays, pick up my freebies, do the open world repeatable quests once or twice, maybe the event instances if they sound interesting (Thematically interesting, that is. They're all pretty much going to be fights, I know that.)  

If I get anything for my base I go there and decorate for a while. That's probably how I spend most of my time in DCUO these days. Also it's good to see Krypto. He always seems so excited to see me.

There were a couple of base items in the rewards I got from the event instances so I spent a while trying to find somewhere to put them. The Legion symbol was easy. I put it behind the Legion conference table I got last time. The giant fountain was a bit of a poser, though. 

Let's be honest, my whole base is a mess. I got the basement one back when housing was first added and it's thematically appropriate for Batman types or maybe moody magic users. It really doesn't work for most of the furniture I get. I ought to go read up on how housing works in DCUO these days. I'm fairly sure you can have multiple bases. I definitely need one that's bright and breezy.

Come over here and say that!
While I was fiddling about with fountains and such I was thinking about that and about the ranged attacks and maybe having the wrong character and it occurred to me that one of the tenth anniversary gifts was a CR290 token. With that I could make a new character and blast them up to a level from where I could at least see current content, if not actually join in with it. Or, as Tipa explains:

"This is actually the perfect time to pick up DCUO. Daybreak is celebrating DCUO’s tenth anniversary this month, and one of the benefits is a free boost to the max level of 30 and enough gear for a combat rating of 290, as well as a free 75 skill points to spend however you like, and a leveled-up artifact of your choice. PlayStation and PC players get the same benefits, as well.

This won’t bring a new character up to the latest content (requiring a combat rating of 310 or better), but it’s not far from it, and a serious player could make up the difference fairly quickly."

And DCUO is generous with character slots. I have plenty left. I went to character creation to see what I could do with my new token which was when I realized I still have several others unused from previous events, letting me make characters that start at various CRs from 190 upwards.

I have no clue how I got this red mist around me. I have no idea how to make it go away.


There's a reason I haven't used them. I remembered what it was when I made my latest new character. It has nothing to do with the tokens. They work perfectly. It's my attitude that's faulty.

Every time I make a new character in any mmorpg with the intention of using one of these near-max-level bootstrappers the same thing happens. I get to the moment of truth, when I'd have to apply it, and I start to wonder if this is really the best time. 

I mean, something might come up, mightn't it? Somewhere down the line there could be an occasion when being able to make a fresh high-level character might be hugely to my advantage. Like... well, I don't know what like but it could happen. And what if it did and I'd used up my tokens on random characters I'm never going to play? Eh? Eh??

The upshot is that I have a load of these things in various games just waiting for the perfect moment. Which never comes. I only used the ones ANet handed out because they super-annoyingly gave them to us in one of the ultra-rare shared inventory slots so that if you don't use the token you can't use the slot for anything else. And even then I kept it for the best part of two years before I finally caved.

So, inevitably, what happened was that I spent the best part of an hour making a new character (Superhero games. So many options) and then I ended up logging her in without using a booster.

And while we're on the subject, why is it when you log your hero in, they never look like you thought they were going to? Is the lighting different in game? I swear I gave her a sun-yellow costume with flame-red boots but here she is in gold and orange. Worse, indoors it's shades of brown!

I knew I shouldn't have washed it on hot cycle.
I did at least skip the tutorial so she started at level four. Then I played her for long enough to get her to level eight and logged out. I even did the first solo instance. The thing is, I really like the first thirty levels of DCUO. I'd actually prefer the whole game to be like that rather than how it is. So there's not much incentive for me to skip it.

On the positive side, I did at least have the sense to make a character whose main powers are blasting people with rays from her hands. So long as I stick with that as I level her up and take the relevant options when I spend my points I could end up with someone who doesn't spend most of her missions running back from respawn.

All of that took so long I never got round to doing the new tenth anniversary content itself. It's something with the Anti-Monitor, I believe. I watched Crisis on Infinite Earths last year so I know who the Anti-Monitor is. 

I'm kidding. I've been steeped in this stuff for nearly sixty years. I know who everyone is. 

I'm kidding! I don't know who anyone is after about 1992!

Never mind. The new stuff will hang around for a few weeks yet. I'll get to it before it goes. But first I really need to do something about that base...

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