From the beginning, in every panel on the game, in its every appearance here at Comic-Con, there has been one question facing D.C. Universe Online
"When are you going to do light powers," Mark Anderson, the game's director, recalled on the Comic-Con floor. "'When am I gonna be a Lantern?"
Well, that time will come later this Australian winter with Fight for the Light, a premium expansion for D.C. Universe Online that will offer heroes and villains the chance to become a deputy member either of the Green Lantern Corps or the Sinestro Corps, and choose from among 24 light powers for each side, some of which should be seen to be believed. That video above, of the expansion's demonstration at Comic-Con, is a good place to start.
First, how "Fight for the Light" fits in with DCUO. It is a new series of alerts, and you will need a level 30 character to play them, Anderson said. It will be integrated with a character's story by offering him or her a deputy status with either Corps, and a ring with some powers and attributes pre-loaded on it.
Functionally, this means players will get two re-specification tokens, so that their 30-level attributes carry over (and, if they wish, revert after completing the alerts), and the initial light powers a player gets may be custom-chosen.
Conceptually, integrating the open-ended power of a Green Lantern power ring is easily understood as the biggest challenge. To answer this, DCUO has offered 24 highly creative manifestations of the light powers for each side, yellow or green. (Note: In that video, I say there are 32; that is incorrect). They deliver the same effect in terms of damage, shield, debuff, etc., but have different animations.
They also required the game to set up combos out of melee attacks and into a power. For example, I saw a Lantern generate two light chains for a melee attack; holding triangle at the end of the attack triggered a dramatic push attack - train tracks and a locomotive made of light, steamrollering the enemy.
Players can make giant hands appear to deliver a clapping smash attack, create a spike wall for a push attack with a little extra ouch, or even summon an Apache helicopter to strafe one's foes.
"With many of the other powers in the game, it's sort of fire-and-forget," Anderson said. "We wanted you to have more involvement. This is really about making you feel like a Lantern," Anderson said.
The expansion is still being refined by Sony Online Entertainment, with plans for release later in the year.