Tuesday, November 20, 2012

DC Universe Online (Part Two)


DC Universe Online - Traits
Just like in Dragon Nest, there are no stat points for you to allocate when you level up in DCUO. What you do get, however, are a certain kind of points which I will name as "Trait" points.

There are two kinds of these trait points, power points and skill points. And the way you acquire them are a bit peculiar as well. For every even-numbered level you gain, you will acquire 1 power point while each odd-numbered level will award you with 1 skill point.

And since the level cap is set at 30, this will mean that you will ultimately have 15 power points and at least 15 skill points when you reach the level of 30. Why the "at least 15 skill points", you may ask? Well, that is because there is another way that you can acquire more skill points (through accomplishing feats).
DC Universe Online - Feats
Feats are actually some sort of challenges or tasks which you can do in the game and upon completing them, you will be awarded with a certain number of feat points (depending on the difficulty rating of the challenge/task).
RatingFeat Points
1 star10
2 star25
3 star50
And for every 100 feat points achieved, the player will then be awarded with a bonus skill point.

Power Trees & Skill Trees
DC Universe Online - Power TreesDC Universe Online - Skill Trees
Before I explain about "Power Trees" and "Skill Trees", do you still remember being asked to select the power and movement mode of your avatar during character creation? The reason I asked this is because the power and movement mode you've chosen then will affect the kind of traits that will appear in your power and skill trees.

For my own avatar, I had chosen "Mental" as my power and "Flight" as my movement mode. Hence, the traits that appeared in my power and skill trees were as shown in the pictures above (Telekinesis, Illusion and Flight). And if you wish to know more about the powers and movement modes available in DCUO, you can head on over to DC Universe Online - Powers and DC Universe Online - Movement Modes.

Anyway, as the name suggests, power points can only be used to learn traits found under the category of "Power Trees" and skill points to be used to learn traits found under the "Skill Trees". So this means that, for example, I can spend my 15 power points into learning traits found under "Telekinesis", "Illusion" and "Iconic Powers" in my "Power Trees".
DC Universe Online - Illusion TreeDC Universe Online - Iconic Powers
However, the system isn't made in such a way that you can grab "any" traits you like just like that. There are still certain requirements you would need to fulfill, like level and/or prerequisite traits, before you can learn the higher-tiered traits (basically traits in the same row are of the same tier but there are exceptions like in "Iconic Powers").
DC Universe Online - Dual Wield TreeDC Universe Online - Flight Tree
Likewise, these same restrictions holds true as well for skill points. But I guess you need not worry too much about them because the system basically blackens out those traits which you still cannot learn yet and will light them up once you could.
DC Universe Online - Resetting Traits
You also shouldn't need to worry about getting the wrong traits. In fact, I highly encourage you to try and test out whichever traits that you fancy for the worst that could possibly happen is that you've just secured a trip down to the Re-Spec device found at your faction's headquarters (JLA Watchtower for Heroes and Hall of Doom for Villains) and lost some cash (in-game money).

Just remember not to use it too often in a day as the cost will increase (by $150) every time you use it but drop slowly back a step once every 24 hours. For example, if you've used it 3 times on a certain day, you will need to wait for 3 days before the cost will return back to $500.

DC Universe Online - LoadoutsDC Universe Online - Control Loadouts
If you take a look at the loadouts, you can find two categories called "Damage" and "Control". And upon clicking on either one of it, you will find a familiar hotkey bar in which you can click and drag various traits (that you've picked up under the "Power Trees") onto.

So without me telling you what it is for, have you guessed it already? Yup! The loadouts is where you will visit in order to assign hotkeys to the traits (active skills) that you can use and cast during battles.
DC Universe Online - Gain Controller Role
As for why there are two categories available, that is so that you can customize the traits to use when your character assumes different roles. This switching of roles is only made available when your character reaches level 10 and can then be triggered by pressing "T".

As far as I know, every single avatar in DCUO can assume at least two roles, that of a damage dealer and one other role (Tank, Controller or Healer). For me, my second role is that of a controller because I've chosen "Mental" as my powers during character creation.
DC Universe Online - Damage RoleDC Universe Online - Control Role
To further explain the use of loadouts, take a look at the two pictures above. One shows my avatar being in the role of a damage dealer while the other shows me in controller mode.

And as you can see, the traits in hotkeys 1 to 6 are slightly different. This is because I have specified slightly different traits within the two individual loadouts, "Damage" and "Control". For example, in "Damage", I have hotkeyed traits which are more powerful and can deal more damage while, in "Control", I had traits which restores power (a.k.a. Mana) or does debuffs.
DC Universe Online - Consumables SlotDC Universe Online - Trinket Slot
As for hotkey slots 7 and 8, they are basically reserved for consumables (like recovery potions) and trinkets respectively. To equip the items onto these slots, you will need to access your inventory and place them in the slots as shown above.

Roles & How It Affects You
Having just touched on roles earlier in the article, I think its proper to give you a little more insight into how they affect you during battles. First and foremost, the roles that you can assume depends upon the power you chose during character creation in the following way.
  • Damage & Tank - Fire, Ice and Earth
  • Damage & Controller - Gadgets, Mental and Light
  • Damage & Healer - Sorcery, Nature and Electricity
Next, if we consider the "Damage" role as being "Neutral" (in effectiveness) towards all the other three roles, then the rest of the roles will have their effectiveness against one another in this order.

Tank > Controller > Healer > Tank

What this means is that a tank has a natural advantage when fighting against a controller, a controller will have an edge over a healer and a healer will stand a better chance against a tank. But of course, this edge can be increased or reduced by other factors like level difference, traits selection and skills in using their avatar to fight.
Mental Controller
Role Bonus
DC Universe Online - Controller Role Bonus
PVP Advantage
DC Universe Online - Controller PVP Advantage
Fire Tank
Role Bonus
DC Universe Online - Fire Tank Role Bonus
PVP Advantage
DC Universe Online - Tank PVP Advantage
As far as I know, the PVP advantage is role-dependent but the role bonus may somewhat differ between the powers. So for convenience-sake, I have attached the above four pictures to show you where to look for your avatar's role bonus and PVP advantage (which is basically just pressing "K" and looking into your power trees).

Finally, the last thing you would need to know about roles is how they affect the traits that you use in battles. And to know whether a trait gets affected by changes in roles, all you need to do is read its description.
DC Universe Online - Telekinesis
Let us take for example, Telekinesis. When I use this trait in Controller Mode, all those in my party (including myself) will gain a temporary buff that restores power (Mana) over time. However, when I use this same trait while in Damage Mode, the buff will no longer be available but in its place, I would get a temporary 35% increase in damage.

On a side note, the Power Interactions description found in Telekinesis merely means that when you use this trait to attack an enemy, you will temporarily inflict the status of "Dazed" upon the enemy (regardless of roles).
DC Universe Online - Psychic Resonance
And if you then hit this enemy with another trait like Psychic Resonance, you will deal much more damage to the enemy than usual (due to the interaction of powers).

Previous: DCUO (Part One)Next: DCUO (Part Three)