Fight for the Light download pack gives players the power of the emotional spectrum.

This weekend at SOE Fan Faire 2011, Jens Andersen announced that the first download pack (read: mini-expansion) for DCUO called Fight for the Light adds a new power source – the ability to create constructs from pure light, using the rings of the Green Lantern Corp. Well, that’s if you are a hero. If you’re inclination is a little more dastardly, you’ll wield the yellow light of fear used by the Sinestro Corp to beat up those pesky do-gooders. You will have to pay $9.99 Station Cash to download and access Fight for the Light on either your PC or PS3. No official release date was given but I’d look for Light powers to be available early this fall.

When the superhero MMO DCUO launched this Spring on the PC and PS3, comic book fans could finally run (or fly or jump) around in a fully realized representation of Metropolis or Gotham City. One of the most important decisions in creating your own super hero or villain was choosing the source of your power – with options like Ice, Fire, Nature or Gadgets informing your role in groups and how you killed the bad guys.

The Light power will work a little differently than the other power sources. Instead of just getting skills that perform a specific action when you level up, Light powers will give you the ability to manifest a certain construct and wield them like weapons or fighting styles. “With the Light powers, you collect constructs,” Andersen said. Examples of constructs I was able to see in the game so far are a chainsaw, or a plane going over, or a light whip, or a machine gun, or a green locomotive.

“When you activate one of those powers, you will go into chainsaw mode which has its own set of combos that you need to learn in order to unlock the abilities,” he continued. “When you activate machine gun, that mode has its own set of combos to learn so that you are almost form switching to pull of these different combos.”

If you have the button-mashing skillz, you’ll be able to chain combinations of moves with different constructs for some serious Kapow! action. “I can go into chainsaw mode, do a special combo, and if I’ve unlocked the light whip, I can hit the button at the right time and all of a sudden my guy goes into a flurry with the whip,” he said. “These constructs chain into each other and players will be able learn very deep and compelling combos to pull of the combat with the Light powers.”

There will also be slight differences in how your powers look and function depending on whether green or yellow is your favorite color. Green Lantern reservists (more on that later) might put an enemy into a baseball and hit him across the battlefield, while their Sinestro Corp counterparts will imprison enemies in a skull.

It sounds like the Light powers will be difficult to master, but, once you do so, it’ll be really fun to pull off some these combos. Like every other power source in DCUO, you can fulfill a DPS role with the Light powers but their specialty in groups is as a Controller. If the Light powers sounds like something you want to try out, players who’ve maxed out to level 30 will have the option of respeccing for free once they download the pack. Of course, you could always roll an alt who uses Light powers to level up in noob areas.

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The instanced content continues a storyline already begun in DCUO and answers the lore question of why there’s suddenly a whole bunch of Green Lanterns on Earth. “At launch, we had a storyline where something was going wrong with the Green Lantern and Sinestro Corp rings,” Andersen said. “The emotional spectrum was getting drained, they were basically becoming powerless. They tracked the problem back to Earth … Brainiac has set up a logic battery that’s siphoning the emotional spectrum off that’s causing all of the rings to fail. You get to work with Hal Jordan or Sinestro and go into Star Labs, defeat the Logic Lanterns [Brianiac has created] and basically bring the Corps back to life.”

(If any of this goes over your head, and you feel like you’d benefit from an overview of the Green Lantern story from the comics, I recommend you watch Moviebob’s excellent episodes of The Big Picture explaining all the intricacies of the lore, and where it went awry.)

In addition to an alert (alert = dungeon in DCUO) in S.T.A.R. Labs, you can also travel to Hal Jordan’s hometown of Coast City and help deal with an attack from the Red Lanterns of Rage on Farris Aircraft and defeat Atrocitus, the leader of the Red Lanterns himself. The final alert transports you to the Green Lantern’s home planet of Oa to deal with a massive prison break from the Science Cells that use green light constructs to keep galactic criminals at bay. Those cells have been weakened by Brainiac absorbing the power of the emotional spectrum and you have to help the Green Lanterns round up bad guys, or help them escape, you know if you are a jerk villain.

But wait a second, I thought there was only supposed to be one Green Lantern per sector of space. Why is there suddenly hundreds of PCs running around making light constructs and flashing their rings all over the place? “The rings have the power to deputize people in the comics, but we needed something more than that,” Andersen said in order to explain so many players wielding the rings’ power. “Because of what’s been happening in the DC universe, and how important the Corps have become to it, they might need to bolster their ranks at times for very serious threats. Every player can become a ‘reservist’ Lantern and what you’re getting is a reservist ring.” Like the Army reserve, you can be called upon to help when needed and fight for your Corp.

To be honest, that seems like a thin connection to the comic’s canon, but it’s no more far-fetched than the reason there are so many super powered players running around Metropolis and Gotham in DCUO to begin with. I suppose you have to suspend disbelief a bit when you’re leaping off buildings and blasting bad guys with fireballs while wearing questionable capes.

If you’re cheap, DCUO is also getting a free update that will add an alert to play at the Fortress of Solitude where you’ll fight beside Superman and Lex Luthor. The update will also add more items and features, like the ability to duel other players.

Even though I liked DCUO when it came out, it was hard for me to invest any time in a new MMO, but these new powers and features have certainly got me excited to jump back in. Rather than huge expansion packs every three years, SOE plans to keep smaller chunks of content like this flowing steadily. If they can keep up a healthy schedule, expect for DCUO to be around for a long time.

Fight for the Light covers Green Lanterns, great. What part of the DC canon would you like to see the developers add next?

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