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E3 2013: Previewing Defiance's new DLC

Andrew Ross

Defiance broke my heart around this time last year. E3 2012 was the first and last time we saw players from Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC all playing the same game together. I personally haven't played the game since then, but I've kept up with the game news, except for the show. No spoilers in the comments, people! Now that I've gotten my hands on the new DLC that's incoming for the game, I know I'll be catching up with the series. During my Defiance appointment at E3, I had a nice little chat, saw some cute features, tested a new weapon and new vehicle, and killed some new enemies... you know, the usual ark hunter stuff.

But before covering the DLC, I had to ask what exactly happened last year with Microsoft and why PlayStation players can't play with their PC mates. I mean, just because one person wanted to duck out shouldn't mean everyone is punished, right? Well, apparently, Trion doesn't agree. Even though PC players can use a controller to play the game, having PS3 and PC on the same world might bring up the dreaded "keyboard vs. controller" argument. I know some of us still want to be friends with consolers, but I guess having one server for Microsoft and one server for everyone else does sound a bit odd.

Trion was quick to assure the press that it has heard the complaints about Defiance not having enough of an "MMO" feel. Granted, part of this may come from players being used to levels, auto-attacks, and grinding raids. To help address this, Trion is adding a new chat display that... well, actually looks like something you'd see in an MMO. Trion wants to try to guide players more towards group content as well, such as arkfalls.

As well, Trion's heard players complaints about replay value and has watched for what players seem to enjoy the most. Granted, the main idea was to create a game that is fun first, rather than a game that pressures you into continually playing it, and some players already seem to be investing time into earning some appearance items that time a bit to earn. At any rate, it seems the recent sieges are doing quite well, so there will be a new one for players to experience in the DLC. The new one features a new enemy from the show, the Volge. Nice, big, meaty targets to practice on! And they come with another new feature: turrets. Players can add resources to upgrade turrets, which automatically shoot nearby enemies. Players who upgrade turrets will get bonus points for the turrets' work.

Though we can't all play together, Trion does still try to make its games with consumer convenience in mind. For example, the new DLC comes with a new race from the show, the Castithans. For those worried about having to make a new character, stop right now because Trion will allow you to simply remake your character as a Castithan. You don't lose anything in the process either, so for those who originally chose a human or a slightly different human, you have another slightly different human to play!

Next, for those who enjoy multi-player mounts, Trion is adding a new four-person vehicle, and no, unlike the three-person one, this one is not limited to PvP. The four-person vehicle can be used in PvP and PvE and will include a mounted turret on the back (which was missing from my hands-on, sadly).

Of course, a meaty new DLC should have some new guns, right? Trion has added "charge" weapons. For some weapons, yes, that means holding down a button for your shot to become more powerful (Mega Man fans, rejoice!). However, some weapons do different things. One rifle, for example, fired multiple shots when fully charged, but once it's drained, the player needs to wait for the rifle to recharge to get that option back. The DLC also includes the first player-equipable melee weapons: the Castithan charge blade. The blade has a few quick strikes and can be charged for a more powerful slash attack, and you can do a downward smash with it while jumping. It doesn't sound like much, but it was oddly satisfying to run around with a sword while the people around me were shooting things up. I haven't played much of Defiance outside of demos, but when I first saw the sword, I was worried I'd be squishy and die pretty easily. I actually died a lot during previous demos. However, the sword must have done some good damage (or I was buffed more than I had been before) since I actually didn't die during combat this time in spite of a few close calls.

There's no word on when the DLC will be released, but Trion's putting the finishing touches on it and hopes to release it soon.

Massively's on the ground in Los Angeles during the week of June 10-13, bringing you all the best news from E3 2013. We're covering everything from WildStar and Elder Scrolls Online and ArcheAge to FFXIV's inbound revamp and TERA's latest update, so stay tuned!

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