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Alter-Ego: Landing the perfect league

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!

Obviously the easiest way to find a league in DC Universe Online is the same tried-and-true method used in other MMOs: getting groups as you level up. With that said, since a lot of the game's overall population is already at endgame, this can prove to be tricky if you're out to run normal Alerts or basic PvE story instances. The easiest groups I continue to find across all levels and servers are groups hunting the iconic free-roaming world bosses such as Bizarro and Solomon Grundy. Lots of players will get into these groups and literally just run them all from start to finish in order to get achievements or to gain experience rapidly. As such, they can be a good place to meet lots of other people, and if you hit it off, perhaps even score a league invite. Even if you've taken down those bosses before and have your achievements, you may still want to join those groups now and then, if just to flesh out your friends list with potentials.

If you aren't able to find groups much at all, then the next step is to start looking around through in-game chat channel recruitment or other external means. The first thing you should consider when you're hunting a league to join is what time of day you tend to play most often. If you are primarily online during the early U.S. afternoons (11 a.m. to 5 p.m. or so), you might actually want to consider looking at EU-based groups. The time difference places you in the EU's evening, which means you'll be much more likely to have league-mates around when you like to play. If you play during the late afternoon in the Pacific timezone, you may want to look at a U.S. Eastern-based guild, since the addition of three hours puts Eastern U.S. groups in prime-time. If you play in the wee morning hours in the U.S., an Australian guild might be an option for you. There's no real point in joining a league, no matter how nice everyone is, if most of the members aren't going to be playing when you are.

For those on the hunt, there are a handful of great places to locate leagues that are recruiting. The most obvious ones are the aforementioned in-game channels and the DCUO PC and PS3 forums on the official website. The forums offer long threads with all manner of detail and information about the leagues that are recruiting. The nice thing about using the forums is that not only do they give you a bit of information about the group (more so than you'd pick up in /shout), but they offer posting history as well. This can help give you a bit more insight about the league by things the recruiter (often an officer) talks about. Similarly, you can also check the forums on DCUO Source or other game-specific fansites, which host a number of active recruiting threads.

Assuming you can't find a group that fits your needs through those methods, there are other options open. Looking at the DC Universe Online listings at sites like GuildPortal, Guild Launch, and others will give you the chance to find out a bit more about the leagues in question before you look into applying -- at least, assuming they've put enough information out!

If all the above options don't turn up a group that's just right for you, there are larger gaming communities that often create and run guilds in different games. These could be places like the general Penny Arcade community, a comic book site you belong to, The Older Gamers, Facebook discussion sections, or other sites you might not initially think of. As with any general communities, if you don't see a thread about the game already, make one! You might be surprised to find that friends you already know from another geeky internet locale also play DCUO as well. Additionally, I'd note that some forums require you to sign in to see posts, so don't dismiss an empty forum; there might be posts lurking just out of sight.

Finally, you already know about our super-cool Massively Overpowered league on Zero Hour, which is run by Larry (send a message to "Shaddoe" in game). However, much like Jell-O, there's always room for more. As such, if you're looking for more superheroes and supervillains to join your super-awesome league, be sure to leave a post below! Hopefully we can help some players find a good home, which will make DC Universe Online more fun for all of us.

Every week on Saturday, strip off the mask of your Alter-Ego and soar through the world of DC Universe Online with Krystalle, then catch up with Larry on Wednesdays as he showcases the superhero game on the Alter-Ego livestream. Send up a bat-signal to ping Krystalle or Larry with your burning questions. (Packages wrapped in green with a purple bow will be returned unopened.)

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