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Alter Ego: Issue #6 - Gargoyles' Gaze

Super-hero, Screenshots, MMO Industry, PvE, Free-to-Play, Comics, Roleplaying, DC Universe Online, Alter-Ego

Alter Ego: Issue #5 - Gargoyles' Gaze
Last time in Massively's DC Universe Online comic, Batman tasked Kid Critical with finding out what Bane's thugs are doing in Gotham City's East End.

As it turns out, the enforcers are offloading crates of the masked madman's venom at the Cape Carmine docks. Can The Kid stop them before Bane's strength-boosting street drug makes its way through Gotham's criminal underworld? Find out in Alter Ego: Issue #6 - Gargoyles' Gaze, after the break!

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Alter Ego: Issue #5 - Opportunity Knocks in DCUO

Super-hero, Galleries, Screenshots, MMO Industry, PvE, Free-to-Play, Comics, Roleplaying, DC Universe Online, Alter-Ego

Alter Ego Issue 5 - Opportunity Knocks
Previously in Massively's DC Universe Online comic, Kid Critical teamed up with Batwoman to rid Gotham of the Scarecrow and his hallucinogenic fear gas. Now, a new villain is filling the void, as the masked strongman Bane has set up shop in the city's East End and is terrorizing its citizens with an army of thugs powered by his rage-inducing venom.

Can The Kid and the Bat family put a stop to his nefarious plans? Find out in Alter Ego: Issue #5, after the cut!

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Alter Ego: Issue #4 - Kid Critical in the Scarecrow's Lair

Super-hero, Galleries, Screenshots, MMO Industry, PvE, Free-to-Play, Comics, Roleplaying, DC Universe Online, Alter-Ego, Dungeons

Alter Ego 4 - Kid Critical in the Scarecrow's Lair
Last time in Massively's DC Universe Online comic, Kid Critical helped Batman foil the Scarecrow's plan to turn Gotham's East End into a living nightmare. The mad scientist subsequently retreated to his lair beneath the city streets, where he managed to capture Batwoman and unleash his hellish fear gas on the pursuing Kid Critical.

Now, Batwoman and the Kid must join forces to survive Scarecrow's hallucinogenic traps -- not to mention his cheesy banter. Will they make it out of the Scarecrow's Lair with their sanity intact? Turn the page to find out!

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Alter Ego: Issue #3 - DCUO's Streets of Fear

Super-hero, Galleries, Screenshots, Lore, MMO Industry, PvE, Free-to-Play, Comics, Roleplaying, DC Universe Online, Alter-Ego

Alter Ego #3: DC Universe Online's Streets of Fear
Previously in Massively's DC Universe Online webcomic, Kid Critical suited up with a little help from Oracle and learned to harness his new exobyte powers after escaping from Brainiac's deadly harvester ship. Now, he must assist the Gotham vigilante known as Batman as he tracks the nefarious Scarecrow through the city's East End.

Can Kid Critical and the Bat family stop Scarecrow's deadly fear gas before it blankets the entire city? Find out in Alter Ego #3: Streets of Fear.

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Alter Ego: Issue #2 - Learning to fly in DC Universe Online

Super-hero, Galleries, Screenshots, Lore, MMO Industry, PvE, Free-to-Play, Comics, Roleplaying, DC Universe Online, Alter-Ego

Alter Ego Issue #2  Learning to fly in DC Universe Online
Last time in Massively's DC Universe Online webcomic, Kid Critical escaped from Brainiac's dastardly clutches and -- aided by the Man of Steel -- brought down one of the evil overlord's deadly harvester ships. But Brainiac still has designs on digitizing Earth and all its inhabitants. And both supervillains and petty criminals alike are leveraging the chaos to cause big trouble for the Justice League and its new exobyte-powered allies.

Now, Kid Critical returns home to Gotham City, struggling with his super powers and at the mercy of a mysterious hacker called Oracle. Will he master his exobytes in time to help save the city? Or will he end up as another grease spot on Gotham's mean streets? Find out in Alter Ego #2: Learning to Fly.

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Alter Ego: Issue #1 - Kid Critical in DC Universe Online

Super-hero, Galleries, Screenshots, Lore, MMO Industry, PvE, Free-to-Play, Comics, Roleplaying, DC Universe Online, Alter-Ego

Some intergalactic psychopath called Brainiac covets the Earth. He's trying to digitize the lot of us, see, only his exobyte technology has some... unforeseen side effects. At the risk of going all science whiz on you, I'll just say that these nanite exobyte gizmos transformed hundreds of humans into uber-powerful ubermensch. Mutants or even metahumans, if you'd prefer. We're superheroes, really, when you get right down to it.

It's a good thing, too, because Earth's real superheroes couldn't stop Brainiac. Superman, Batman, the Justice League, all of them failed. Even supervillains attempted to save mankind, for a time at least. Before long, though, they did what villains do: They leveraged chaos and exploited disorder for their own selfish ends.

So, yep, it's pretty much business as usual but for the meglomaniacal space invader bent on destroying both sides. Me, I'm just a soldier in this new war, one of a fortunate few gifted with the power of Brainiac's buggy exobytes. Before all this I was a nobody. A minor game critic or some such silliness. Now, my friends just call me the kid. You can call me Kid Critical.
Every two weeks, Kid Critical and his Alter Ego, mal-mannered game journo Jef Reahard, take you for a whirlwind tour of DC Universe Online. Join the dynamic duo as they explore PvE, PvP, story content, and more!

Alter-Ego: Spring has sprung

Super-hero, Events (In-Game), Patches, PvE, Opinion, Consoles, DC Universe Online, Alter-Ego

It's been a heck of a week for DC Universe Online. Not only did the team show off the sweet new trailer for Update 4, cool new screenshots, and the drop of the StationPass subscription price, but we've also gotten a surprise late-week patch with Update 3 going live on Thursday rather than on Tuesday like other releases. The patch notes are incredibly long and well-detailed, offering a variety of things from new content to a heaping helping of bug fixes for existing content, powers, and more.

With the good in DC Universe Online, of course, comes the bad. Certain powers seem to be having issues, a PvP-flag bug allowing players to drop their PvP flags on PvP servers cropped up (as of this writing, this is reportedly fixed), and chat appears to once again be a cornucopia of frustrating issues. However, rather than dwell on the things that are starting to crop up (and because we're not going to have a solid picture of just what's shaken out of this patch just yet), I thought instead I'd offer an overview of the new spring-themed event for those who are curious as to just what's going on and why this one might well be the best holiday event yet.

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Alter-Ego: What's in a name?

Super-hero, Opinion, Consoles, DC Universe Online, Alter-Ego

(AP Photo/DC Comics, Victor Ha)
While it is incredibly tempting to go off on a tear about the major decision announced this week to reboot the entire DC Comics universe, starting 52 new comics at issue #1 and essentially retconning every hero and villain we've known to date, this week's column isn't about that. After all, this isn't a comics site, and we've already heard from the DC Universe Online developers that the continuity in the game is separate from that of the overall DC Universe. (Considering how much we heard that noted in the recent chats, we wonder whether Sony Online Entertainment didn't know this major shake-up was on the way.) As such, I suspect we will see the game's storyline remain essentially intact, at least until the point at which we finally take down Brainiac once and for all. After that, it's anyone's guess. Depending on how the reboot works, it might well shake up the game's direction if the new comics are doing well with readers.

No, instead our superpowered game is getting its own different version of a restart in the promised upcoming MegaServer merges. While before we had multiple servers, each side will now have two -- one PvP and PvE for both PC and PS3 players -- giving us a total of four. Over this mad-scientist server-mashup, the issue of collisions looms. This week, we also found out that the merges will not only affect player names but league names as well, ensuring that there is plenty of confusion and concern on the part of the playerbase.

Will MegaServers be the bane or balm of DC Universe Online's population issues? What precisely are the facts and fallacies? Whom will this affect? Join me behind the break as I take a look at the overall situation!

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Alter-Ego: Update 3 and more in store

Super-hero, Galleries, Screenshots, News Items, Opinion, Consoles, DC Universe Online, Alter-Ego

Good things are on the horizon in DC Universe Online, heroes, and villains! After having the chance to sit in on a roundtable discussion with Jens Andersen, Mark Anderson, and Lorin Jameson on Thursday, I am confident that the team in charge of the game's development is taking a good hard look at all the feedback it's been receiving from players. Aside from getting a chance to hear more about the soon-to-be-released Update 3, we were able to get a handful of answers for some burning questions that players have been asking about recently -- and some screenshots in the gallery below to give you a sneak peek!

Additionally, we managed to get a hint of things to come, as we're certain anyone who was watching Thursday night's DC Universe Online stickam chat noticed. For those who didn't make it, don't worry -- I'll be running down several interesting points from that event too since it meshes well with the roundtable discussion. All you have to do to get the super-scoop is join me behind the break!

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Alter-Ego: Only doom in the hall

Super-hero, Opinion, Consoles, DC Universe Online, Alter-Ego

Just after my column went live last week, we saw the Sony Online Entertainment servers start to come back online. Those of us who consider DC Universe Online our MMO home were able to once again get our hero or villain on and meet up with friends we'd been relegated to catching up with on Facebook. (Don't get me wrong, Facebook is fine for what it is, but it can't compare with getting to bash virtual superhero or supervillain heads in alongside your league-mates!)

As I mentioned last week, the restoration also came with a nice variety of goodies. With the added outage time tacked onto the 30 days, everyone was awarded 45 days of free play time, which isn't too shabby. I'd also note that the 45 days free applies to all Sony Online Entertainment game accounts you might have -- whether or not they were active at the time of the outage. This offers DC Universe Online players who may have opted to cancel after the first month the perfect chance to log in and check out the content updates that have gone live since launch, without having to spend a dime.

The real question is this: What type of future might we see for DCUO in the aftermath of the outages, especially with so many players screaming that they were leaving? Join me behind the break as I look at our first week back on the mean streets.

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Alter-Ego: In blackest night, no pilot's light, awaits the city frights

Super-hero, Lore, Consoles, DC Universe Online, Alter-Ego

Another week passes when those of us who want to get back to stomping around in DC Universe Online are left to our own devices. Meanwhile, Sony is continuing to work toward restoring its service as the days of the longest large-network MMO outage tick by. (We are, after all, all about the MMOs here at Massively!) Since last week's column, Sony Online Entertainment has announced that not only will subscribers be getting the free month plus a day for each day the network is down along with the Batmask, but there will be additional goodies as well.

For DC Universe Online players, that means the previously mentioned Batman and new Two-Face inspired masks (no word on whether this will be one mask per side or both masks for both sides) and 30 Marks of Distinction. Station subscribers will also get 500 Station Cash, and Lifetime subscribers get 10 additional Marks of Distinction. (For those not familiar, Marks of Distinction are what you need to get Tier 2 raiding gear.) Personally, I think the marks are a wise choice of bonus since locked out players re essentially losing the chance to run dailies and raiding, both of which involve timers. The amount is also especially wise -- it's a good portion based on outage time but isn't so huge that people can immediately jump into lots of T2 gear. The cheapest piece (back-slot) would take all 40 marks a Lifetime subscriber had.

Meanwhile, as SOE remains locked in its security and networking cocoon, we're left on our own to hunt down other DC Comics entertainment. As I'm also a player cut off from running around and then using this column to write about things I'm experiencing in the game, this week I figured I'd once again diverge from the game to the larger DC Comics universe and take a look at a few cool DC things to come.

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Alter-Ego: Ways to get your DC Comics fill -- free!

Super-hero, Opinion, Consoles, DC Universe Online, Alter-Ego

As we already know, Sony's PSN servers have been offline for well over two weeks at this point, and Sony Online Entertainment's PC networks followed suit earlier this week due to the same hack. We also know that all DC Universe Online players will be receiving a month's free subscription time plus one additional day for every day the network is down in addition to a funky-looking Batman-inspired mask. The topic of the overall network breach is so big that it's crossed from gaming news to mainstream media -- the U.S. government has called Sony on the carpet about the loss of personal data, and Australia is planning to add new privacy laws due to the breach.

As a long-time SOE gamer, I understand the frustration, trust me. I am concerned about my personal data being out there, have signed up for credit monitoring, and filed fraud alerts with the three major bureaus just to be safe. Still, rather than devoting yet another post here on Massively to the security breach, I thought it would be better to instead borrow a page from Karen's great Guild Counsel posting from earlier this week so I can offer up some different DC Comics-related things to do while the game is offline. At least one of the suggestions is both free and time-sensitive, so be sure to join me after the break as soon as you can!

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Alter-Ego: Landing the perfect league

Super-hero, Guilds, Endgame, Opinion, Consoles, DC Universe Online, Alter-Ego

One of the things that people tend to like about DC Universe Online is the fact that it's an extremely solo-friendly game. If you're just out to enjoy the PvE storyline as you level up, the majority of the content can be done without your ever needing to speak to another person. However, if you're playing solo, you're really missing a lot of the best parts of the game. Even when leveling up, there are Arenas, tough bosses running around in the open world, and more that really require some extra hands in the fight. There's also the rather obvious point in playing an MMO: It's ultimately all about getting a chance to play the game with other people. If you're only interested in a single-player game, Batman: Arkham Asylum or any of a number of other cool DC Universe-based games are readily available. Better yet, they don't require a subscription fee.

The problem with remaining isolated really comes when you hit endgame. As with many MMOs, DC Universe Online's endgame changes the way the game itself is played. At level 30, the PvE content turns into group-required progression through the pursuit of tier raiding gear. Players who remain solo and want to continue a PvE path will find it difficult to progress, thereby turning a fun game into a waiting game as they queue for instances that may or may not ever pop. As a case in point, I've recently jumped to the Villain side to see how the other half lives, and I'm also looking around for an active league to join. This got me to thinking about the best places to do just that and a couple of important considerations to keep in mind. So if you're on the hunt for a new home for your DC Universe Online characters -- or are looking to find more people to join your league -- then join me after the break!

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Alter-Ego: Featuring Feats

Super-hero, PvE, Opinion, Consoles, DC Universe Online, Alter-Ego

With its tie to the PS3 as well as the emergence of achievement systems in other MMOGs, the presence of achievements in DC Universe Online probably doesn't come as much of a surprise. With that said, unless you've taken the time to poke around in the Feat section, you may not be aware just how many there are for players to complete. You also may not be aware that completing feats doesn't just get you bragging rights; it also grants you additional skill points to improve your character. Whether you're the type that enjoys exploring the open world, prefers soloing, or gets into PvP matches and beats the snot out of other players, there's a little something for everyone in terms of things to unlock.

And if you happen to be on a realm where getting a group is a bit tricky and you simply love running around in the world of DC comics, feats give you something to pursue while you're waiting for friends to log in or for a group instance to pop. Additionally, in looking through the rather in-depth feat listings, you might be surprised to realize just how much lateral content you missed while you were following the main storyline for your side. From hunting iconic characters, roaming the world, and completing missions at high-speed onward to sillier things like breaking hundreds of barrels, there are tons of opportunities to further enrich your experience in DC Universe Online.

So if you've been looking for something new to try or simply want a way to continue improving your character after you hit level cap, then join me behind the break. I'll be taking a look at the many different feat types available in-game as well as offering some tips and tricks I've picked up from my own feat-mad achievement-chasing sessions.

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Alter-Ego: Looking at the state of the game

Super-hero, Opinion, Consoles, DC Universe Online, Alter-Ego

One of the most common questions I get every week in the comments for Alter-Ego is whether or not I think people should come play DC Universe Online. Obviously, I personally like the game, else I wouldn't still be playing and writing a column about it. I freely and openly admit my bias there. I'm a comic geek, so I've played every superhero MMO that's come out to date. While I love aspects of all of them, I currently prefer DC Universe Online for the fact that I get to run around with some of my favorite heroes and take down villains that I've known all my life.

So with my bias openly stated, I'd like to counterbalance it with this: As a veteran MMO player, I also won't put up with things I think are absolute crap for very long. Much like everyone else, I have a life to attend to outside of MMOs, I had to shell out for a copy of the game, and I pay my own subscription each month. I get just as irked when I feel as if I'm not getting value for that dollar as anyone else does. With that in mind, let's take a look at DC Universe Online from launch to current day, and I'll toss out my thoughts on picking up the game afterward.

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