DC Universe Online

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These issues seem pretty reasonable, but considering that it's in the same market as WoW, I don't think anyone was expecting it to make much of an impact.

sounds like it is vindictus with pastel colored tights. I played that religiously for a good 3 months but your right you do get burned out quick. i think ill give it a try with its down to $20 and hopefully better by then.

Heres hoping the other Hack'n Slash MMO TERA will reward you for mook grinding.

I kinda figured it wouldn't be good. Sony Online Entertainment is a company that really shouldn't be making MMO's. The decisions that they make for expansions/updated engines/etc are always awful(this is coming from someone who played Star Wars Galaxies since launch and a good two years in Planetside, which both equally carry a lot of potential that is just put aside) they just seem to release too many online games.

I agree, mostly. I have one question, though: What is wrong with not rewarding combat (at least for a "good" character)?

Heroes, especially super heroes, don't just wander around beating random people up. They do missions, they thwart crimes, they battle supervillains... all of which can flow under questing (or hidden questing, like gaining a "significant" amount of XP for smacking someone whom you saw steal a purse). Ideally, a hero wants to cause as little damage as possible. Being a Hero should be its own reward (heh, get it?).

Villains (or other "evil" characters) should, more or less, ONLY gain XP by beating up random people. Because that's what villains do. They don't solve problems, they don't fetch things for other people... they kill, destroy and wreak havoc. The game should reward villainous characters accordingly.

Heroes do Great things, Villains just Break things.

Maybe I expect too much "RP" in my MMORPG... but if DC Universe didn't implement a system like that, I'd consider it a hugely missed opportunity to carve a unique niche.

Huh. I wonder if the DC license had something to do with the limitations...

The company (DC) probably had a bit of say in how things were designed, particularly in the game world and the character paths. I'd say it's reasonable to guess that they were responsible for the decision not to let you cross over between questlines, as well as constraining the possible locations and costume choices - either from a misguided attempt to keep the "DC universe" part of the game substantial, or for the purposes of further monetization through the release of additional hero questlines.

This game feels like the button-mashing edition of Champions Online.

With significantly less content and customization. Anyone who can not stand the silver-age feel of CO's writing can't really lay claim to the title "comic book fan" anyways.

2xDouble:
I agree, mostly. I have one question, though: What is wrong with not rewarding combat (at least for a "good" character)?

Heroes, especially super heroes, don't just wander around beating random people up. They do missions, they thwart crimes, they battle supervillains... all of which can flow under questing (or hidden questing, like gaining a "significant" amount of XP for smacking someone whom you saw steal a purse). Ideally, a hero wants to cause as little damage as possible. Being a Hero should be its own reward (heh, get it?).

Villains (or other "evil" characters) should, more or less, ONLY gain XP by beating up random people. Because that's what villains do. They don't solve problems, they don't fetch things for other people... they kill, destroy and wreak havoc. The game should reward villainous characters accordingly.

Heroes do Great things, Villains just Break things.

Maybe I expect too much "RP" in my MMORPG... but if DC Universe didn't implement a system like that, I'd consider it a hugely missed opportunity to carve a unique niche.

There's a system in place for doing stuff like that... there are minor encounters like certain Lvl1/Lvl5 Villains "fighting" against the police and you can either help the Villain or the police officer, there's some "heroes" showing off and people going all "ohh... you're so strong", you can beat em up as a villain... while flying around you can also see civillians trying to jump off a building saying things like "it doesn't make any sense anymore" etc. as a hero you can save em, as a villain you can "help" em by pushing em off it, you can also find people trying to break into certain buildings and you can beat em up for it etc.

There's also several feats for "Exploring Metropolis/Gotham", some of them also involve finding "Random Encounters"... you can see Superman standing on a building overlooking the city, you can find Green Lantern in a back alley or Metallo walking along the pier... if you're friendly they talk to you briefly and fly off/walk away, if you're hostile they "push you away" and do the same, there is quite some "small detail" in the world.

But that won't help much over the fact that you can be "done" with the game after but a few days/weeks of playing it while it took about ~5 years to develop.

Dexter111:

Lorechaser:
I say this without meaning to be a jerk: Have you played any other superhero MMOs?

I'm up to something like 45 months in CoH, and have friends that have been continuously subscribed since launch. There are days when they (and sometimes I) literally do nothing but spend 2-3 hours creating new characters in the character creator on a typically unused server, or run costume contests to see what amazing things other people have done. They won't quit in the first 3 months maybe. But I think you are *tremendously* under-estimating the way a lot of us play superhero MMOs. Read Shamus' CO Let's Play, or CoH articles if you haven't - he talks about spending huge amounts of time in the creator.

Hell, at one point, many of us downloaded a stand alone version of the character creator, and played *that* for months.

Honestly, it's one of the things you might *think* is important and might even get you playing in the first place (hell I also sometimes spend 1-2 hours to make a char), but once you get playing it really is not all that important... You'll probably play a very good game even looking like a predefined gimp without any choices and might not give some with the "best character creator" another look (there's a reason Champions and soon likely Star Trek Online will become F2P, and it's not that they have such an amazing character creator)

Having a character that I've created, and that I feel I have been given a great deal of creative freedom over, is extremely important.

In the game Saint's Row 2, my character was a scrawny, dapper, mod-looking cockney fellow with an effeminate gait and slick dance moves. I might as well have drawn him from my imagination--he was uniquely mine, different even in morphology and animation than my friend's character. Now, if the game hadn't been fun, I wouldn't have kept playing it just because I liked the character I'd created in it. Nobody's suggesting a good character creator saves a bad game. However--and this is crucial for an MMO--having a character that feels personally yours keeps you invested in a game. I liked the mechanics Saint's Row 2, but if I'd been saddled with Generic McGangster, or even a less robust version of what I'd wanted to produce, I would have gotten bored with it and moved on before I'd even finished the campaign. Having a character I could get invested in is what made me stick with it for so long.

I would've moved on--and I wasn't even paying fifteen dollars a month for the privilege of playing.

2xDouble:
I agree, mostly. I have one question, though: What is wrong with not rewarding combat (at least for a "good" character)?

Heroes, especially super heroes, don't just wander around beating random people up. They do missions, they thwart crimes, they battle supervillains... all of which can flow under questing (or hidden questing, like gaining a "significant" amount of XP for smacking someone whom you saw steal a purse). Ideally, a hero wants to cause as little damage as possible. Being a Hero should be its own reward (heh, get it?).

Villains (or other "evil" characters) should, more or less, ONLY gain XP by beating up random people. Because that's what villains do. They don't solve problems, they don't fetch things for other people... they kill, destroy and wreak havoc. The game should reward villainous characters accordingly.

Heroes do Great things, Villains just Break things.

Maybe I expect too much "RP" in my MMORPG... but if DC Universe didn't implement a system like that, I'd consider it a hugely missed opportunity to carve a unique niche.

Plenty of superheroes wander around randomly beating up thugs and robots and stuff--it's their default state, what they do when there's no pressing crisis demanding their attention. They're cleaning dangerous elements off of the street, presumably to be put in jail off-camera.

Shamus Young:
1. Combat is not rewarded

Champions Online made this same mistake (which I discussed near the bottom of the page here) and I maintain that this is a grievous and foolhardy decision. Basically, fighting mooks is worthless for XP. In the parts of the game where quests are worth thousands of XP, Individual foes are worth two or three XP. (And often zero.) You can pummel guys for twenty minutes and make no visible progress towards the next level. This is terrible, because the action-oriented combat is the best part of this game. You might decide to sweep the streets just for fun, even if you don't have a quest telling you to do so. But the game doesn't really reward you for doing this, so if you're fighting for fun then you're no longer moving forward. Like Champions Online, this encourages players to ignore mooks whenever possible rather than fight them, because they're just a time-sink. Worse, all of this makes the game dangerously one-dimensional and dull.

Couldn't this be easily patched with some kind of "patrolling" mission players could easily opt into? It might take a trip to the local police station or whatever, but it would make for a mini-mission for the XP to allow the level grinding typical in such games.

Besides, part of the concept of a super hero game is that you are fighting crime. It was kind of dumb in City of Heroes when I would run by purse snatchers because I was too high a level to get any experience or "influence." Often I would fight them anyway, because I'm a hero, dammit. That the game doesn't care is disappointing. It should hide low-level enemies from you so you don't waste your time and don't violate the character concept of being a super hero.

That all said, I think what they and Champions are trying to do is remove the grind from these games by making grinding pointless. All well and good, but the game needs to be a sandbox as well or else the monthly access fee will be tough to justify. maybe a patrolling mission isn't the way, but players patrolling can have an effect on the local crime rate which can earn them... something. I don't know what would be a good reward. But some kind of reward other than making playing its own reward is a good idea.

I had no real intention of playing this game before and I have even less now. I've played City of Heroes before, and tbh I prefer the fantasy MMO setting to the superhero one. Just personal preference.

I would add though that to the people saying "Well they could easily fix the no xp off combat problem", the question isn't "Could they fix it?" it is "Will they fix it?". Many MMO's have had easily fixable problems that the owners just never bothered addressing.

Also, an MMO you can complete in a week? Seriously? That is REALLY short. I mean even WoW which they've made silly easy to level should last more than a week with end game content and crafting and such.

Irridium:
Shame, I was hoping that it would be good.

And restricting quests to certain classes? Thats just stupid.

EDIT: Seems it may be a bug, or something.

Thay are not restricted to a certain class but your back ground does affect your opening quest line (there are 6 in total, 3 for heroes 3 fro villans). But after that everyone can do the same thing.

Elivercury:
I had no real intention of playing this game before and I have even less now. I've played City of Heroes before, and tbh I prefer the fantasy MMO setting to the superhero one. Just personal preference.

I would add though that to the people saying "Well they could easily fix the no xp off combat problem", the question isn't "Could they fix it?" it is "Will they fix it?". Many MMO's have had easily fixable problems that the owners just never bothered addressing.

Also, an MMO you can complete in a week? Seriously? That is REALLY short. I mean even WoW which they've made silly easy to level should last more than a week with end game content and crafting and such.

After playing the beta I can say that this game has way too many bad points, equaling (maybe even out numbering the good). The leveling system seems to be padded out too much and in some occations I was forced into following quest lines that gave me pointless items just so I could advance.

Bottom line is, it is an average game in an above average medium.

Is the game the BEST MMO EVER. no, not even close. But to me, it gave me something that I hadn't felt in an MMO in awhile, combat freedom. I don't mean over the top moves or combos. What I enjoyed is the fact that most CC can be broken/removed easily by yourself. Gone are the days where I would get stunned stay there 3+ sec of solid pounding. I can now break out of CC quickly if I know what I'm doing. Good times.

I predict this game will burn out quickly. Some of the problems I've mentioned - like the XP rewards and costume unlocks - are fixable. Others - like the need for more options - are expensive and time-consuming to address. I'm not predicting doom for DC Universe, but I am saying this game isn't about shake the world of online gaming. City of Heroes and Champions Online don't have anything to worry about. Which is a shame. Sony Online Entertainment made a fine product, but they cut corners in the wrong part of the game.

-Shamus Young

Sadly I couldn't agree more. This game is terribly limited considering how many years in development it was in, since the first conceptual art was released for the game on July 4, 2008 . I guess those cups of Starbucks coffee won't drink themselves.

The problems this game is currently experiencing are endless as you can see for yourselves on the DC Universe Online forums: http://forums.station.sony.com/dcuopc/forums/list.m

Do yourself a favor if you just have to play this game, wait 3 months (April 2011) it will be on sale by then. Chances are the current fee of $14.99 US per month will either be dropped or reduced. This game doesn't have a promising future.

I meant to respond to this yesterday (1 week mark), but just remembered to now. :P

Right now DCUO is in an interesting place, it's either going to be a massive slow-burn hit, or a complete flop. What it depends on is whether or not Sony keeps it's promises to release signifigant content additions every month. I think that around the 11th of next month (1 month after release) is going to be the telling point for this game, if Sony actually manages to release a substantial content expansion to keep people playing, then I think the game has hope and people will probably be paying month to month to see what they come up with next. Going by their hype, the game will be the most content rich game ever produced and set a new bar for other games to have to try and reach. On the other hand this might turn out to be the same "frequent expansion" hype we've seen from other MMOs, albiet more specific, if that's the case I expect the game to be REALLY hurting inside of about 90 days like a lot of similar MMOs that launched with too little content.

I agree on that point.

One thing I will mention though is that the game having only 6 powers is not entirely accurate. Each power has TWO related trees that have a differant set of abillities. For example Ice includes Cryogenics (what you think of as Ice powers) and Storms which is wind control, Nature includes plant control (binding people with vines or piercing them with thorns and so on) or shapeshifting (turning into animals), etc... As a result there are basically 12 differant powers, each of which has roughly 12 differant abillities. By level 30 you have 15 power points and can fill one tree, and have space for 3 iconic powers. There are various ways of building characters jumping between the two trees you have access to however.

I'll also say that the fighting styles system means that all characters effectively have one of the "weaponmaster" power catagories from another Supers MMORPG. For example in Champions "Dual Blades" is a power catagory unto itself, in DC Universe Online it's a fighting style and can do a lot of the same things (albiet under a differant interface) and then you have powers in addition to that.

It is true however that in Champions Online there are a lot more stats, and the abillity to more or less select any power (within a few restrictions) from any catagory, allowing for some truely unique builds. In DCUO your kind of limited to what they would consider an Archetype now, or I guess two Archetypes stacked on top of each other.

The criticisms about costumes, content, and other things are all right on the money though. The big barrier is going to be content, the rest is correctible. If they can maintain this general quality and do the promised monthly releases, then it's a winner, otherwise it's going to be a train wreck not even Superman can prevent.

Shamus,

Well done as usual, but I have to point out that you missed one of the major drawbacks: it's Sony Online Entertainment. SOE is a company that has proved in the past that they will deliberately deceive their customers with bait-and-switch tactics (see "Trials of Obi-Wan"), gut everything good about a game (NGE) and destroy their existing, paying, player base if they think it might make them a quick buck.

Yes, my complaints with them do center largely around one game, SWG, but I've watched SOE ever since then, and I have to say that I don't think there has been a single MMO they've had their hands on in the last decade that they've managed well. There have been some games with great potential, but in the end they all become poorly handled resources; SOE (mis)management is pretty much death for any MMO as far as I'm concerned.

For example, a few years back, I was eagerly following a promising new MMO still in the design stages. But when I saw that Vanguard had changed into Sony's hands, I quickly swore it off, as having been burned from the SWG experience not much earlier, I had sworn that SOE would never get another cent of my money. In the forums, I was told I was being an idiot, that SOE was "just a publisher," and would not have any effect or control over the creative content of the game. Well, we can see how well that game turned out; I guess it doesn't necessarily take creative control to run a game into the ground.

The bottom line is that I've never regretted my decision to withold my hard-earned money from SOE; every project I've seen from them has only reinforced my knowledge that I made the right decision.

Shamus, SOE and John Smedley need to be added to your list of entities in the gaming community to be villified for their total lack of respect for their customers. As far as I'm concerned, they are every bit as evil and untrustworthy as EA and the others. I hope that you don't have to learn this the same way many of us have.

/rant

I've got to ask:

What happened to Experienced Points? I can't find any notes about it being cancelled or taking a break here or on Shamus' site, but it hasn't updated in two weeks either.

I am a fan of the game, but all of these problem still get in my way. I heard somewhere that there were four more abilities before it was released, but I haven't heard anything about them since. Also, I was unable to customize my character from the get go to my liking. the closest thing they had to a leather jacket was a "street" jacket that makes me look less like myself and one of those simpletons from jersey shore. Even basic things like hairstyle modification was crippled. There are about 20 hairstyles, 7 of which look the same. but facial hair isn't given it's own section, so there's a huge list of hairstyles+facial hair. Some of the bugs forced me to restart my character several times. When I started in brainiac's ship, I got disconnected and logged back in. unfortunately, I didn't get any mail from NPC's there on out. Also, I feel that we could use just a few more powers, like electric, earth, wind, or even light.

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