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Superheroes without lairs just aren’t cool. That’s why Sony Online Entertainment is upping hero credibility in DC Universe Online with its latest content update, Home Turf.
Launching on PC and PlayStation 3 on Jan. 29 (Jan. 30 on the European Ps3), Home Turf lets gamers live out their dream of buying, decorating, and even defending their lairs. The update provides several real estate options throughout Gotham City and Metropolis, including Arkham Asylum and Metropolis General Hospital.
Home Turf is a single-player focused expansion for DCUO. Players can only interact with your base if you purposely engage PVP combat (which does not carry over into the open world in PVP servers) or grant friends access to your lair. The new missions are peculiarly solo-combat focused, but they do introduce more active enemies in locations that were largely empty previously. Mostly, Home Turf is all about giving characters a piece of Gotham or Metropolis to call their own, and that’s a feature that’s long been missing from the DCUO experience.
Customizing your new lair plays a lot like The Sims. When you activate the design console, you can place items on various glowing circles (known as attach points) throughout the room. But item placement isn’t limited to these spots, so players can cover their hideaways with various wall-hangings, stationary items, and even vendors for item repairs and depositing your money in your virtual bank account without sticking to the assigned locations. Attach points are very useful during player-versus-player lair battles, however, as only items placed in fixed positions will show up when someone invades your home.
Like earlier DCUO updates after the game went free-to-play in 2011, Home Turf offers a slightly different experience for paying and freemium subscribers. Players who bought DCUO at launch or continue to pay will have access to a few more mechanics than those who do not.
Legendary and Subscriber features:
- Players can customize and upgrade various nonplayer “sidekicks” and “henchmen” to help them fight through missions.
- Heroes and villains can battle it out in five-round fights inside their lairs. Each round throws the combatants to a different part of the room.
- A new orbital strike mechanic lets gamers call in a powerful offensive attack that can help even the odds in PVP combat.
- Gamers no longer have to slog all the way to the various hero and villain headquarters to repair equipment, check their in-game bank accounts, or sell items at auction.
Free player features:
- Players can customize smaller hideouts throughout the city but cannot utilize the henchmen, orbital strike, or vender items available in full-sized lairs.
Available for all players:
- Arkham Asylum, Ace Chemicals, Stryker Island, and Steel Works now have daily instances where players defend their territory from attacking heroes and villains.
- New missions designed for experienced players are primarily single-player.
- Lair and hideout entrances conform to wherever the player set up shop. If your base is in a sewer, you’ll always enter and exit through the sewers.
- Bases come in a variety of designs including art deco and gothic. Two designs are free for all players, the other four are purchasable through the in-game shop.
- New permissions settings let players connect with friends and guild through their bases so they don’t have to meet up on the world map or in the often hectic faction headquarters.
- Lair items are single-use. If you want to put a lot of statues in your base, you’ll need to track them down or buy them at auction.