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Development Update: Artifacts!

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.

Watch this livestream and/or 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!

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