DCUO Game Update 9 brings Role Optional Alerts and Team Buff

In Game Update 9: Assemble for Battle Heroes and Villains will have more opportunities to group up faster and get the team buff or to play Novice Raids, including all three Fortress of Solitude, the Batcave, and the Kahndaq, adjusted for players at your gear or skill level.
Official Statement:

Role Optional Alerts and the Team Buff

Two of the exciting features we’re rolling out for Game Update 9 are Role Optional Alerts and the Team Buff. We have metrics that show us who is queuing for what, how long they’re waiting, and a number of other really useful things. As I’m sure you know when you queue for a Duo, you tend to get in and are able to start playing right away. Alerts are a different story, especially for those of you queuing for the damage role.

It has nothing to do with Duos only requiring two people. It’s that they require any two people. As is common in a lot of MMOs, there is a population disparity between the different roles. There are as many players queuing for Damage as there are all the other roles combined. Healers are the least common, followed by Tanks, and finally Controllers. So the end result is Healers don’t wait long at all, but Damage tends to wait much longer.

All Alerts are now role optional. Generally it shouldn’t take much more than a few minutes for an Alert queue to pop regardless of your role, assuming there are enough people willing to play that Alert. When the matchmaking system tries to form a group out of the pool of queued players it tries to form a balanced group first. As minutes pass, the system becomes increasingly less picky about finding a specific role for a given group slot.

The Role Optional Alert

The Role Optional Alert feature is made possible by the Team Buff. Any time three or more players are grouped together, within range, and in line of sight of one another, they gain a bonus to compensate for roles missing from their group.

  • If your group is missing a Tank, every group member gains additional damage mitigation.
  • If you’re missing a Healer, group members gain a small amount of Health regeneration when they begin to take damage and gain a further health regeneration boost while holding the block button when health is at critical levels.
  • If your group is missing a Controller you will gain a small amount of additional power regeneration when your power begins dipping low.

The buffs are by no means a replacement for having the actual role in your group. But with some self reliance, it will provide you with enough of a boost to allow you to complete the Alert successfully. The Team Buff is not applied in PvP arenas, during Legends matches, nor will it function during Duels.

The end result of this is that wait times to get into an Alert should be dramatically decreased. Provided players are queued, you should be able to get into an instance in a matter of minutes, no matter your role.

Novice Raids

In an effort to let more players experience more of the game, we’re launching Novice Raid modes for Game Update 9. Novice Raids are far less demanding than the Expert Raids. They are intended to allow more casual players and random pickup groups a chance to experience some of our best content they might not otherwise be able to experience.

The combat rating requirement is just a little bit lower for Novice Raids so you can hit them a little sooner than you can the Expert version. The content, play flow, and boss fights are identical but the fights themselves are much more forgiving. That’s not to say they will be a complete cake walk! You’ll still need to learn and execute properly on the mechanics of the boss fights if you want to succeed.  Some may find Novice Raids are a great way to get some practice in while they are gearing up for the Expert versions.

Novice Raids do drop loot, however the loot will be of a lower item level. They also award the same badges, but you earn fewer of them. Novice Raids share the same lockout timer as Expert Raids, so you can’t earn loot and badges in both during the same week.

Some existing feats can be completed in either the Novice or Expert version of a Raid. However others such as the speed feats can only be completed in Expert mode. Finally we’ve also added new feats for completing the Expert version of a raid.

New Soder Colas plans available!

Plans for Soder Cola Prime and Soder Cola Max are now available for purchase from Research and Development vendors. These recover more Health and Power than a Soder Cola Extreme but provide no additional buff effect and require no Exobytes to make.


  • Seeds of Change: Hazmat Rhoades’ Quest VO is now playing correctly.


  • Fixed several issues with collections spawning in places only reachable by fliers.
  • Rose By Any Other Name: Raised multiple Investigations so they do not interpenetrate the ground.
  • Adjusted the spawn location of some collections in the Burnley District of Gotham.
  • Fixed a section where Paradox Reapers were spawning too close to a Gold Collection in Gotham.


  • Completing the bounty missions for Flash, Professor Zoom, Black Lightning, and Abrakadabra in Central City will now properly count towards the bounty feats.


  • Items purchased with Marks of Momentum can no longer be sold.


  • Storming the Ivory Tower: Powergirl will no longer keep players in combat after she is defeated.
  • The Hunt for Grodd: Flash will no longer get cold feet and refuse to enter the final room in Grodd’s Lair.
  • Shipping and Handling: Fixed issue where you could accidentally kill the first detective behind the first gate, and Catwoman would no longer respond.



  • Corrected an issue that could sometimes cause a fully charged Mega-Smash to only cause the damage of a 50% charged attack.
  • Corrected an issue with Home Run that prevented it from striking multiple targets.


  • Corrected an issue that would allow Focused Spin to be performed faster than intended and reduced the damage on a minimally charged Focused Spin.

One Handed:

  • Corrected an issue that would allow Focused Blast to be performed faster than intended and reduced the damage on a minimally charged Focused Blast.



  •      Damage caused by Electrogenesis and Electrocute is now properly split when affecting many targets.
  •      Damage caused by Electrogensis no longer stacks with itself.


  • Increased the cooldown and decreased damage and damage bonus for Neural Neutralizer.


  • Fan and Light Blast will now properly apply effects to players in healer stance.
  • Decreased the cooldown of Light Barrier slightly.


  • Decreased cooldown of Telekinetic Shield slightly.


  • Reduced the supercharge cost of Arbiter of Destiny to 50%.


  • Raid groups now have proper group functionality even when not in a raid region.

Fortress of Solitude: The Power Core

  • The Avatar of Meta has strengthened and is no longer vulnerable until the Fortress’ defenses have been appropriately vanquished first.
  • Lex Luthor’s path has been adjusted so he is less likely to get distracted and stop helping the cause.

Fortress of Solitude: Sunstone Matrix

  • Superman and Lex Luthor will continue to attack others without taking sabbaticals at inappropriate times.

Research & Development: 

  • Fixed a number of issues causing crafting items not to display properly in the recipe list.
  • Recipes will now grey out if the player doesn’t have the required materials.
  • Fixed an issue that could sometimes display an incorrect quantity on hand when combining items.
  • Corrected certain tier I, II and III double stat mods that were adding a Combat Rating value that was lower than intended. Specifically this affected all Tier I, II and III mods of these types: Dominance/Might, Dominance/Precision, Health/Power, Restoration/Might, Restoration/Precision, Vitalization/Might and Vitalization/Precision.
  • Attempting to consume an R&D Recipe item for which you are not qualified will display an error dialog rather than a confirmation dialog.

User Interface:

  • Chat logs should once again display cash amounts.
  • Headlines: Entries in the Deeds->Headlines UI should no longer show a “movie” icon if there is no motion comic associated with that headline.
  • Mail: Stacks should now properly display their amounts.
  • The Watchtower 5v5 map is now an option when queuing for First Available in the On Duty menu for PvP.
  • Some stats will now be displayed in percentages (IE: “25 Critical Healing Chance” will now display as “2.5% Critical Healing Chance”).


  • Fixed a number of environmental issues throughout Metropolis and Gotham.
  • Hall of Doom: Some Tour Cams have been revamped with a more cinematic look.
  • JLA Watchtower: Some Tour Cams have been revamped with a more cinematic look.
  • Corrected the effects for Sorcery users that have blaster gloves equipped and use Rejuvenate or Condemn.
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6 Responses to DCUO Game Update 9 brings Role Optional Alerts and Team Buff

  1. Mark says:

    Has anyone ever been outside the Watch Tower, like in space?

    • Whistler225 says:

      I thought I was way back last September when I started playing, but to be honest I’m not positive. Maybe it was something I ate lol……

  2. Whistler225 says:

    you guys ought to consider making it a choice when you que….. wait for a matched group or go for first available with group buffs. This would force more casual users to learn what it means to play in PUGS and what they need to do to get the bonuses. Right now in my experience most of the time a group without a healer is screwed in anything above the novice alerts. Most DPS roles don’t understand their jobs. Tanking in particular is impossible in a PUG unless you get really really lucky and end up with one of the game’s ten healers lol…. I also think that group buffs should be changed. If you limit the bonus to when the group is together the group will never get it, because there’s ALWAYS somebody who’s new to the alert and runs all over the place getting killed every thirty seconds. He’s never in range or line of sight, and he’s usually the first one to get knocked out of a boss fight, which removes the buffs for everyone else trying to get the boss when the novice gets locked out of the fight. This is nearly instant death for any tank who can’t dole out DPS in tank mode (or who has suffered numerous knockouts and has a busted weapon from being the last one left in the boss area ten times or so). The first example of this that springs to mind is the Watchtower Containment Facility, in particular the Hacker boss fight. PUGS typically have at least one or two members who don’t know how to get through this fight (though it doesn’t take too long to figure that out if you can read), and I’ve sold off equipment I used in order to repair my gear just to finally get past this part…..

    Honestly I don’t think any of the T1 and above alerts should have been messed with…. now we have a ton of geared players who had the patience to play in a balanced group and a bunch who are like me and trying to get their gear, who are now stuck either shouting looking for a group, or never getting the practice of actually being able to play their chosen roles….. most leagues are too big to be of any real help and the rest are so small that there’s never more than 2 or 3 on at a time. It seems to me that end-game material should encourage the player to stick to their chosen role, not discourage it.

    Maybe even have an NPC for any role missing from a PUG…. if they load without a healer, have a watcher load that has the same level as the group (it would be nice if it was a little tougher than a typical watcher but we’re dreaming here anyway lol). That would also encourage proper role-play. I hate to sound like a crybaby and I know I do, but again it’s very difficult to learn to properly tank when you are forced into a DPS role. Not having a healer who understands where most of the mob damage is going effectively kills the most challenging role in the game to properly play.

    faster alert and PVP instances are nice, but I find it takes so much longer to complete an alert without the right kind of group that it would have been shorter to wait…..

  3. Whistler225 says:

    not to mention the fact that with a PUG, by the time I’ve completed an alert, the only thing I get out of it is the Marks because I had to sell everything else off just to repair my equipment. This forces me to go back and do the novice alerts just to earn enough money to play. Another drawback; the game should encourage progress but this puts a serious block on it.

    • highstylekyle says:

      im a controller who didnt know what he was doing and consequently had to burn through all my gear, money, and sodas waiting for a good healer to join the group. ever been in an alert for 3 hrs reopening instances again and again trying to beat the final boss on a daily? sooo lame. i blame the lack of roles besides dps, on dcuo not letting people how these jobs work, and why they are important and fun, during character creation. i learned most i know from people berating me during alerts, and now just this month, better guides have come out on this website (not sonys). i like new content coming out, but honestly the beginning of the game needs some help as far as educating newbies on how this all works.

      highstylekyle HL controller (30) T2/2.5

  4. Whistler225 says:

    oh and one more thing lol….. I’ve noticed that even if I select just my tank role when I que for an alert, I still have both available when I’m in. Minor thing but it would be nice if when a PUG DOES have a healer, that person was in that role. I’ve seen tons of healers in DPS mode during hard alerts……

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