Re-Tiering DCUO

DCUO rolled out a major revamp of content tiers in this week's patch.  Four tiers' worth of currency tokens were condensed into one.  Strict "combat rating" (think gearscore) requirements remain on all endgame content, but there has been some redistribution of the content amongst several tiers - in some cases adding additional content to ensure that each tier is not too sparse.

For example, the game previously featured six "challenge" modes that upgrade leveling instances to level 30, along with two bonus challenges that were new content added in patches and offer increased difficulty.  This content could help you get your introductory item level 46 tier set, but you'd be looking at a long grind to get gear that still won't get you into most endgame content - including the solo content from the game's second DLC pack.  Meanwhile, once you'd upgraded your gear beyond this level, there was no reason to ever return.

With the revamp, all content awards the one type of currency, with increased awards as you hit the higher tiers.  The existing challenges were mostly placed on the first difficulty tier, while two additional tiers are filled out using the hardest of the old challenges and a handful of new challenges (based on leveling content that wasn't previously available as level 30 challenges).  There is also a once weekly award for clearing a tier one challenge. 

Five of the classic challenges sit in tier 1, while tier 2 is populated with the sixth classic challenge, the two patch challenges, and one new upgrade.  Four more new challenges occupy the third tier.  I elected to run the Meta wing for the weekly bonus, because you can beat Dr. Psycho to death relatively easily with a giant dumpster thing.
There are some problems with the progression - for instance, the zergable outdoor quests in South Gotham (all outdoor quests in DCUO are public quests) award five marks each (20 per day - enough for a T1 piece every other day), which is far faster than what you can get doing challenges.  These dailies were always a bit out of progression order, but it's more noticeable now that the currencies are fully interchangeable.  Also, unless I misunderstand, the higher tier gear requires more currency than the cap allows non-subscribers to carry unless you pay real money to make a one-time withdrawal from escrow. 

That aside, the new system definitely flattens and accelerates the progress curve somewhat.  I picked up three pieces of T1 gear (and one random ilvl 53 drop) in one evening by cashing in all my old marks and doing one round of daily quests.  Perhaps I will finally get enough gear to actually see most of the content I paid for? 

Aside: players display the last item appearance you collected unless you specify otherwise.  My character logged on wearing this atrocity of an outfit - you may or may not be able to see the Batman logo boxer shorts.