Hello DCUO! You already know our next major content launch is Starro the Conqueror, a new major reoccurring event. You also know the event is launching this April. But who is Starro? What is he doing in DC Universe Online? And what is a "major event?" If you don't yet know the answers to these questions, you're in for a treat.
Since the Justice League movie is coming out later this year, DC’s seminal super group has been at the forefront of my mind. The very first villain that the Justice League faced was none other than Starro. He began as a typical Silver Age villainous threat, but has since morphed into something far more deadly. Starro is an unfathomable alien intelligence. It doesn’t kill or fight, it just simply conquers. Resistance crumbles as people see their friends and family absorbed into the Starro hive mind. Now I can’t wait to face off against him in DCUO!
Here to tell you more about major events, we have DCUO's Lead Producer Leah "Katnikov" Bowers, and here to share more about the event's story and content, we have Creative Director SJ "NerdOfPrey" Mueller. Leah, SJ, take it away!
Jack "Jackster" Emmert
Austin Studio CEO
DC Universe Online
Thanks Jack. Hello all! My name is Leah "Katnikov" Bowers and I’m the Lead Producer on DCUO. I’ve been here for seemingly forever. I started way back in ye olden days of 2009, and they haven’t kicked me out of the building yet! I'm here to share with you information on such interesting topics as, “Why are we just hearing from you now?” and “Why are we about to be invaded by a giant starfish?” Answer: I’m shy, and I'm generally afraid of aquatic space beasts. That may be the answer to question one, two, or both!
I'm really here to take this opportunity to talk about major events. The team is really excited about taking the game and our content in this new direction, but at the same time we all know new things can be confusing, especially when you don't have all the information. So, here's a bit about how major events came to be and, more importantly, why.
When we started planning 2017, we were embarking into new territory. A lot had changed recently, and a lot more change was planned. Our mantra here is to constantly try new things, so we had time capsules, open episodes, new types of updates to our seasonal events, new progression concepts, new STATS and membership benefits in the works, and, of course, our first large episode since dissolving the monthly episodes. It was an exciting time, seeing how you all engaged with us, and being open to letting us explore and try out these new ideas.
We wanted to provide a new type of content, a bridge for what we saw as a gap between our larger episodes and our relatively smaller seasonal events.
This sparked a new initiative, major events! We wanted to provide a new type of content, a bridge for what we saw as a gap between our larger episodes and our relatively smaller seasonal events. We wanted content that would reach out across the entire spectrum of players, at all different points in the game from new to CR190 veterans, and be really fun and engaging for everyone. We wanted to build content for you that is more dynamic than the seasonal events, easier for us to add to and bring back at different times, and that also still reached most players.
You saw a bit of this with the Anti-Monitor "Anti-versary" event (as the team officially REFUSED to name it, but hey, Mepps asked me to write this, so that's what it's called, okay?). That event was just the start, a step in the direction of major events, which Starro will more fully realize.
Another huge benefit from my perspective as producer is that these major events allow us to continue to test out new ideas and functionality, for both content and systems, as we explore new types of features and new kinds of rewards and progression. We can try something in one event without impacting the core progression that comes through episodes, and expand on it or undo it in the next event, depending on if it was successful or not. In this way, Starro is just one more step in that direction. We have so many plans for systems and progression after the stats revamp is complete. So. Many. Plans. But that's another story for another time.
The anniversary event was just the start, a step in the direction of major events, which Starro will more fully realize.
Things you should know: major events currently will have a run time of about two months, we plan to eventually have a stable full of these with which to choose from and re-release when appropriate, and, of course, the first of these is Starro the Conqueror. To tell you more about the Starro story and content, I will turn the mic over to NerdOfPrey. Thanks for reading!
Leah "Katnikov" Bowers
DC Universe Online
New Event: Starro the Conqueror
Thanks Leah. For those of you who don't know, I am SJ "NerdOfPrey" Mueller, your Creative Director. I'm here to talk to you about Starro, and anyone who knows DC Comics knows that Starro is awesome on so many levels. The team has really gone above and beyond to knock this first major event out of the park, so let me get right into it.
Okay, Starro is a race of gigantic intergalactic starfish with incredible powers from outerspace. Read it again. That might have seemed a little redundant but, look, it was merited: GIANT STARFISH. FROM OUTERSPACE.
This particular Starro in our particular story was left behind on Earth, long ago, and bided its time at the bottom of the arctic until, one fateful day, it floated into a dwelling at the bottom of the sea. Drawn to the warmth and energy, the tiny, tiny Starro latched onto a window. What did his disturbing, twitchy eyeball see? Well, dozens and dozens of Atlantean Researchers, busily at work investigating sea change on the ocean floor. It's not clear how, exactly, but this Starro was able to find its way inside, and…well, what came next is too grisly to speak of here.
Things escalated. More Starros were born, or formed, or made. At this point, things are getting crazy, and we’ve ALL got to take a stand. We’re talking about core, planet-survival here, and this is where the world needs you.
Let's talk content. We have open-world missions, a duo, an alert, a raid, and a members-only, end-game version of the raid. Here goes!
Central City Starro Deluge (Open World Missions)
Hundreds, possibly thousands, of Starro spores are swimming ashore in Central City and attacking the citizens. S.T.A.R. Labs and LexCorp are of course on the scene to assist (and research and whatever else LexCorp does, because that’s what they do). They need your help. Get out there and save some people.
Starro: Spreading Spores (2-player Duo)
Starro’s spores are spreading across the world, seeking out powerful Earthlings and creatures to mind-control. You have to stop these these heroes and villains before they can return to and strengthen the Starro main forces. There are many different locations calling for assistance, so you won't know exactly where you are headed each time you queue up.
Starro: Invasion (4-player Alert)
Starro’s invasion continues, its tentacles and spores reaching some of the most powerful beings on Earth, with a taste seemingly for Kryptonians, magic-users, and even the JSA. Like the duo, here you also won't know exactly who is calling for assistance each time you head out.
Starro: The Threat Below (8-player Raid)
Based on the reports coming in from the above rescue missions, the Justice League is certain that the invasion in Central City all began in the sea, and some time ago. This is suspicious, since one of the league's members is a pretty prominent, well-known, and powerful, you know, King-of-the-Seven-Seas. The clues lead back to that same alien starfish discovered in the Atlantean Research Outpost in the arctic, and now it's up to you to investigate.
Now, let's be clear about a few things. This raid takes place on an ALL NEW Atlantean Research Outpost map. It is infested with Starros and creepy beyond anything I frankly asked for. The art team outdid themselves here.
ALSO, there are TWO versions of this raid. One is designed to be accessible to and available to everyone in the game level 10 and up. The other version is for MEMBERS only, and is designed for players at the end-game (minimum Combat Rating 166/Suggested Combat Rating 175).
Now, I know you're asking about rewards, so lets get to it.
First we have this ridiculously cool gear set inspired by a different version of “Starro the Conqueror” -- a humanoid alien that was actually able to control Starro (from the R.E.B.E.L.S. run in 2009). This gear set will scale to your Combat Rating, and max out near the top of the game, but will not replace your hard-earned Amazon Fury III vendor gear. Excellent for alts, catching up, filling in spots (it’s OK, we won’t judge if your boots are green), and for the style feats. It also comes with a set bonus when you have completed all the styles, which grants extra currency in the event.
On top of that, one of my all-time favorite one-off styles, we have Starro spores attaching to various parts of your body (a belt, back, two face items, and shoulders). But don’t worry, THESE spores are safe to wear. We think. Probably. In that vein, we also have a bunch of cool (and still probably safe, if disturbing) base items themed after the event. Oh, and new Omnipotence items that scale to your combat rating (rings, utility belt, and face), new auras, and tons of new feats.
So good they needed their own section. We appreciate our members, and we wanted to do more to really demonstrate that, so this major event has some special rewards for you (in addition to access to the Tier 8 version of the event's raid). We have added new Membership Treasure Chests! These chests will spawn at the end of the duo, alert, and the everyone-version of the raid. Everyone will get a treasure box from the chest, but only members can open it. Inside these boxes, you will find some seriously good stuff:
- Motes to upgrade the Starro the Conqueror set. The upgraded/enhanced version has a set bonus that offers a damage bonus ONLY in the Starro event content!
- Extra R&D components to create items of omnipotence, including a special new Starro mask with a Face Mod Socket. The one and only socketed mask in the game!
- Collections to acquire new auras, including a special one only for Members.
- T8 Face Slot Mods that can be used in the new Starro mask (found only in the end-game version of the raid).
- Special base items.
- Feats associated with the special items above.
- Titles associated with the feats above, including my favorite: The Conqueror.
Just to sum up, that means in addition to the content itself (that everyone gets), members get additional content (an end-game version of the raid), items and feats found only in that raid, AND additional rewards (in treasure chests found in the rest of the event's instanced content).
I can't wait for everyone to see and play Starro the Conqueror, and speaking of that, I think Mepps has some news about where and when to tune in tomorrow.
SJ "NerdOfPrey" Mueller
DC Universe Online
Livestream and More
NerdOfPrey is right. As a final note on the way out, make sure you tune in TOMORROW (March 10) for a Starro livestream. We will be playing and walking you through the content in more depth with several members of the development team. The stream starts at 12PM PT, March 10, over on http://www.twitch.tv/dcuniverseonline.
Questions? Comments? Join the discussion on the official forums.