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Posted: Dec 17th 2010 11:11PM DiscordSK said

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And no, I'm not a fan of CO and CoX, CoX is something I havn't played since the first week of CoV as for CO I quit that over a year ago out of sheer bordom. The thing is CO at least gave me a few months of play, by allowing me to make and play a whole stable of interesting and unique characters. A pyschic caster who took insperation from Whedon's TV shows, a gunner who was part Iron Man and part 50's superhero and a huge green hulk like character that probably infringed on a few copyrights.

DCUO gives me none of those options, I can sorta kinda make something similar but never to the degreen, like CoX or CO did, where I can point at the screen and say thats exactly what I wanted to play. Personally for me, thats pretty huge failure for a game claiming to allow me to be the next legend, because at best in DCUO you feel like a third or fourth string character who sits in the background and dies in the first few panels of the comic.

To close this up, when you finished the tutorial in CO you were treated to a parade in your honor, and while not the most satisfying game it never shied away from making your character appear like an awe inspiring figure in the universe. When I finished my storyline in DCUO, I was asked to join the Justice League in a blink and you can miss it momment by some random character and it was never mentioned again. This is NOT what I would have expected considering the buildup to the very momment.

Posted: Dec 18th 2010 2:45AM Lazy Thinker said

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@DiscordSK

First let me say that I'm responding to both of your most recent posts.

I can actually see where you're coming from with the Aion comparison. But there is at least one major difference that could and probably will make a considerable amount of difference. DCUO is created and supported by a much larger and richer company than Aion. And as a result there is much greater potential for evolution. MMOs are games that can and often do change and grow. I remember hearing from one of WoW's creative minds that it wasn't what WoW was when it launched, it's what it became over time. And interestingly enough WoW was also created and supported by a much larger and richer company than Aion just like DCUO.

You also seem to be basing your beliefs a little too much on your own personal opinions and preferences. For instance when you say "little to keep you playing for an extended period of time". But as far as I can tell you seem to be talking mainly from the point of view of the single player story mode. But there are other things for people to enjoy in the game such as exploration or simply traversing the environments with the movement modes. And of course there is PvP and other forms of interaction between players. Now you may not have any particular interest in any of that but I'd be willing to bet that there are a considerable number of other people who feel differently.

And this is all assuming of course that SOE isn't holding content back from the beta and saving it for the full release of the game.

In any case I understand that the game may not be your cup of tea and I respect that. But that doesn't necessarily mean that it will be the next Aion as you put it. Or at least not in the eyes of the general public and gaming community.

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Posted: Dec 18th 2010 5:45AM DiscordSK said

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@Lazy Thinker
Actually, they've already stated that this is it content wise for the immediate future, and we will be seeing new missions in the way or story arcs like the much hyped Green Lantern content. The game is "content complete". They've also said that in order to give players more to do at 30 they will be recycling more of the earlier missions and turning them into Duo and Solo level 30 missions. All this is by the way from the DCUO forums, stated by devs in posts that are easily accessable (Assuming you are in beta).

There is a hope to have a constant release of new content packs post launch in order to give people things to do, and if this is what you are refering to then so be it.. I personally don't see the point of hitting 30 in three days and then waiting the rest of the month for content that will in all likelyhood consist of a few hours of gameplay. PVP in DCUO is a bit of a mess in its current state, but thats a different thread entirely.

And this is in no way just my own personal opinion.. there is a 40 page and growing thread thats been commented on by numerous testers that this game seems to be lacking significantly in content, with little to do but recycle the same mission over and over again... something that will soon include daily versions of the city minibosses. I hate to make the comparison to WoW.. but given the time you spent working on your character when you hit max cap you had develeoped an attachment to him or her, and were much more likely to continue playing in order to maintain it. Here we have a three or four day leveling to max period and then just grind grind grind the same mission again and again. I really don't see the five, supposed, years spent designing the game from what I am playing.

NCSoft is not exactly what I would call a small company, MMO wise it has at the momment a much larger marketshare then SOE, and with 3000+ employees isn't exactly small fries. Aion had alot of money behind it, but the fact remains these are no longer the days of WoW launch. You have one shot to grab costumers and thats out of the gate, once you miss that window it becomes a matter of damage control and cutting costs. Customers have a much shorter attention span then they ever did, and a much longer memory when it comes to getting burned.

I am a fairly open minded gamer, I play pretty much everything and anything I can get my hands on and tend to be the one who stays with a title longer after my friends have left it. That being said it did come as a huge shock to me how much DCUO wasn't the game for me, I went into it with high expectations, SOE made bold claims how this was their way of apologising for SWG...
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Posted: Dec 18th 2010 9:11AM Lazy Thinker said

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@DiscordSK

I never said that NCSoft was small. Just not nearly as big as Sony.

Open-minded you say? No offense intended of course but I'm not exactly getting that vibe from you because your pessimism seems to be overpowering everything else. And besides, the language you're using does seem to be a bit on the absolute side.

Stuff like the thread that you mention guarantee's that SOE is extremely well aware of the content issue and are no doubt going to be busy doing everything they can to take care of it.

In any case there are other factors to take into account here, such as the often intense nature of the 7th Generation console wars. I am of course referring to the Sony fans, who could conceivably form a reliable user base for the game.

There is also the large following of the IP that is in play here. That could quite conceivably give the game some strong "legs". And the fact that it's a rare console MMO could also easily help it stand out. But perhaps the most important factor to take into account is Sony's stubbornness. The PS3 did have a very bad launch but Sony stuck with it and ultimately rode out the storm so to speak. They've done it before and they certainly could do it again.

And the waiting you refer to may not be as hard as you think. One could simply do a lot of stuff in the game then forgo renewing the subscription for a while, focusing on other stuff in the meantime (like having a life for example) and then perhaps jumping back in when a big expansion or two is released, possibly including a new city to play in.
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Posted: Dec 18th 2010 2:38PM DiscordSK said

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@Lazy Thinker
A console life cycle is in no way the same as an MMO's, aside from the Dreamcast in recent memory none have failed quite as spectacularly as this years crop of MMOs. The market is getting rather saturated at the momment and it seems to be coming down to whether you can or cannot hold a players attention. If you can't, he or she is much more likely to quit and move on.. something very different then even two years back where people continued to subscribe to games long after they had no interest in them.

The DCUO license will carry the game only so far, it being a PS3 title may in the end hurt it more then help it as that audiance has an even shorter attention span that PC gamers and are very opposed to the idea of subscription fees. So what you seem to be reading as "closed mindedness" is me simply saying "Well.. here we go again SOE". The game will NOT be a failure, it just will end up being a mediocre success just like Aion is. Can I predict the future? Do I have a crystal ball? No.. but I can sure as hell read patterns with the best of them and SOE really seems to be fumbling around in the dark with this one.
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Posted: Dec 18th 2010 3:06PM Lazy Thinker said

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@DiscordSK

Sorry, but most of your claims seem to be at least a bit tenuous at best. Your appraisal of the situation seems to be based at least partially on the fact that the game simply isn't your cup of tea. Which is of course not to say that there's anything wrong with that. And while I'm sure there are others who share your opinion I'd also be willing to bet that there are just as many, if not more, who don't.

And Sony seems to be pretty dead set on their idea of ten year console life cycles if the PS2 is any indication, and I believe I've already pointed out how stubborn Sony can be.

I also really don't think that it's wise to underestimate the fanboys and fangirls. This is of both the Sony and DC variety. And let me point out that I am not the one who brought the issue of open-mindedness to the table in the first place.

And all of this isn't even taking into account the upcoming DC Legends comic series.
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Posted: Dec 18th 2010 4:17PM Protoavis said

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@DiscordSK

I do believe the beta forums are viewable by anyone now that the NDA went poof, can't post without a valid beta testing account though.
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Posted: Dec 17th 2010 11:36PM Space Cobra said

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I like the game, but the problem I've always seen (besides the little depth or stuff to do while online besides questing), is that many CoH/CO people are coming into the game with reasonable expectations of what SuperHero MMOs are with their character creators and what one can creatively do with them (and the lack of power choices and sensibilities).

I see many people interested, but no long-term interest. However, I do see people taking a patient "wait and see" attitude that entails not subbing after the first month and holding off until the game gets more powers and expansions in-game.

Actually, I am also seeing lots of cues from Free Realms being applied here (Free Realms is also coming to the PS3 eventually). Not in gameplay, but in microtransactions and SOE's attitude toward it and even subscription implementation (I see cash cards as per Free Realms and Clone Wars). Just think of it as a more mature game with better fighting and PvP than the other previous games. There are many styles to collect, but you have to wait to collect them. I see microtransactions covering some of that initially (as well as other things).

Posted: Dec 18th 2010 7:47PM esarphie said

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There's good and bad to the DCUO game, and after spending a few months in beta, here's how I see it:

Good things - The environment, the cast, the voice acting, and the stories.

There's a lot to like about playing up through the game. The maps are really nice to run around in, even if the world currently consists of parts of two cities. The stories they give you are fun and interesting, even if the villain/hero versions are often way too similar and feel recycled. The voices of npcs are a great deal of fun, with plenty of stunt casting to entertain. But perhaps the best part of all is helping, talking to, and sometimes just running into all those great DC characters that have been with us for so long.

Bad things - Hotbar limitations, glitchy combos, nearly unusable "supercharge" powers, too short of a levelling process, and not much point to the repetitive endgame.

The hotbar system give you 6 slots to fill with abilities, plus once you get to "roles" you can build out different sets of 6 (so you'll have a hotbar when you're in "damage" mode and a different hotbar when you're in "tank" mode, for instance). Now, you can choose lots of powers from the two subsets of your chosen power field, plus equally as many from your movement power set... you just can't use them. You also can't change roles while "in combat" and nearby teammates fighting will put you "in combat", so functionally you are limited to 6. Ultimately, this means you get to choose a lot of powers you're not going to use without going into menus and rebuilding your hotbar between fights... and honestly, who does that? The other issue this raises is what point would raising a level cap serve? Sure you can add 10 more levels, and more powers to the power sets, but would you use them? Could you use them? I've got powers on characters that are "higher level" than others that I use, but they don't seem to pack as much punch, so I never slot them for use.

As for combos? Well, the basis for combat in the game is really the a-button, b-button, long and short button press method. So for different combos with your chosen weapon you might have to hold a, (which would be a left mouse-click on the pc) hold a, click a, hold a, to pull off some sort of combo smash with a build-up at the end. Unfortunately, there are a lot of opportunities for timing to miss and combo to hang, or start over without you realizing it, or whatever. I hear a lot of frustration, in-game, over combinations that people just can't seem to get to fire off when they need them because other combinations are too similar and it gets confused between the two.

The supercharge system is a bit odd. They recently changed it to not rely on individual hits and lengths of combos to refill the separate bar that is supercharge. Somehow, though, this made it so that you fill your supercharge bar up about once every two or three instances (before it was about two or three times per instance). The problem is that many powers require all or part of the supercharge bar to use. As it stands having more than one supercharge-reliant power in your hotbar is a complete waste of a slot (and with only 6 you really cannot afford to waste one). Hopefully this one will be adjusted back to where it was before in the near future.

Regarding levelling and such.... the process of getting your character up to level 30 is the best part of the game. You get new stories, new opportunities to help iconic heroes (or villains), and a steady stream of new locations to explore. The sad truth is, however, that this process takes about a week if you put a couple hours a day into the game, or a couple of days if you're one of those all-waking-hours gamers.

This gets you to "endgame"... two or three weeks after you started playing. Now you get to do three things... raids, duos, and pvp. Currently, there are about 5 of each, although two of the raids are not in the current build as they're being reworked. The raids are interesting, and for the most part, really group instances rather than multi-group raids. When you finish one, you get a few points to be spent on endgame armor.

Duos are just that, instances for two characters... unfortunately, they're instances you did earlier in the game as part of stories, and you're just tossed into them as a pair along with an extra mid-boss in the middle. When you do one of these 5 instances, you get a single point towards the purchase of armor.

And then, there's pvp... what's to say, it's a smash-fest, and tends to be the same handful of people all day and all night.

Now, the armor that you're doing all of this for consists of helmet, chest, gloves, boots, legs, and a back piece, which cost 40 points for the cheapest and 60 or so for the most expensive. So a full set is around 300 points... or 300 runs through one of the five duo instances. (Oh, all three activities give different types of points, for three different armor sets, in case you cared.)

When you've finished, you'll have armor. Special shiny armor. I'm not exactly sure what you're supposed to do with it then. But, did I mention it's shiny?

Here's where I become a buzzkill. As I write this, on a Saturday afternoon, there's almost no one playing in the DC beta. After a few waves of beta invites, and multitudes of pre-orders with access, they're currently sending out another mass beta invite, because no one is playing.

They've stated that they wanted players to zoom through the levelling, and that endgame was really where it's at. I'm not sure how that can work, though. Even if it wasn't limited to a handful of raids and a handful of repeated earlier content, even if they had 10,000 raids and 100,000 duo instances, the only reason to do them is to earn 3 suits of armor... and I'm not sure why you'd continue after you earned whichever you decided was best for each of your character's roles.

As it stands, the game is an awesome couple of weeks of sightseeing and fan-worshipping your way through some fun stories... then it ends.

Posted: Dec 18th 2010 11:26PM Yellowdancer said

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@esarphie

PS3 Beta servers are packed.
PC beta servers are empty mainly because the servers are down. :) They've been up and down all day.

The future of DCUO is so iffy. The game is good. The game is fun. The game has not earned the Price-tag in many people's eyes b/c of the limited content. It's going to come down to that first update. How much do we get every month? 2/3 hours of content a month is not going to cut it for most people.
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Posted: Dec 19th 2010 12:31AM esarphie said

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@Yellowdancer They've been close to empty for about two weeks, not just today. Although, today was especially barren; even after the servers were up for 3 hours straight, I couldn't find a single villain to duo with. I haven't been able to run a raid in over a week, just can't find enough people to fill a group. The "new and exciting" phase just doesn't last long enough, it needs about 3 times as much content as it has, if not more. Plus, there's the issue of what you're doing at level 30... I'm not sure grinding a set of armor is enough for years of play.
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Posted: Dec 19th 2010 8:10AM Lazy Thinker said

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@esarphie

It would seem that the idea of being able to level up fast isn't quite working because that also means that one would generally burn through the content way too fast and perhaps it ultimately makes the game too easy. It's kind of like the opposite issue of Final Fantasy XI's system. Hopefully SOE is being made very well aware of this and will take the time to make more content before releasing the game. It would probably also be a good idea to make it at least little bit harder to gain levels.

Do you agree?
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Posted: Dec 19th 2010 2:25PM DiscordSK said

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@Lazy Thinker
They are, they have been, and if dev commments and patch notes are any indication of what they seem to believe the solution is.. we're getting alot more repeatable versions of past intances and world bosses.

We're getting a ton more instances that we ran 1-30, turned into level 30 duoes and the wanted posted bosses are being converted into dailies, instead of giving us more of them.
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Posted: Dec 19th 2010 8:17PM esarphie said

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@Lazy Thinker Yes, slower levelling, and more content overall, especially at the end would be a big help, but there's one other huge issue, and that's the power system itself combined with the severely limited hotbar concept. Because you can only have 6 powers in a usable state, once you have a strong collection of 6 adding new ones really doesn't accomplish anything. Sure you might have a couple that swap out for a controller role, or healer or whatever, but I find that's about 2 powers, maybe 3.

Unless they add the ability to access a second hotbar during combat, adding more levels at a later date won't really accomplish much at all. There's just no obvious way to expand abilities, as it stands.
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Posted: Dec 19th 2010 8:48PM Lazy Thinker said

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@DiscordSK

Interesting.

But even so there is some very real reason to be more optimistic with regard to the fate of the game. Even if the game struggles initially there are a number of things that would seem to have a good chance of reinvigorating peoples interest in it further down the line. There's the upcoming Young Justice television show (looking really good by the way). There's the upcoming Green Lantern movie. There is of course the upcoming Batman movie and the upcoming Arkham City video game. Or there's also the next big comic book storyline. And of course there is the upcoming DC Legends comic book series. Or in other words virtually any piece of popular DC Media. And there is also the very real possibility of a cumulative effect of all this stuff.

And Sony is by all accounts highly unlikely to stop supporting the game if the whole experience with the PS3 is any indication. And on top of that as I said before it probably isn't a good idea to underestimate the fanboys and fangirls.

In any case I think that there is at least one thing that we can all agree on. It is certainly going to be interesting to see how things ultimately play out and to see who was ultimately right and who was ultimately wrong.
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Posted: Dec 19th 2010 9:02PM Lazy Thinker said

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@esarphie

Hmm.

I get the impression that the hotbar issue comes closer to being a personal pet peeve for some people rather than a serious universal issue.
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Posted: Dec 19th 2010 4:15PM Furdinand said

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It's funny how the main complaint is essentially that DCUO doesn't devour every moment of your waking life the way that WoW does.

At the end of the day, this game lets me hang out with Batman and beat up the Joker so I'm going to buy it.

Posted: Dec 19th 2010 8:21PM esarphie said

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There's a huge range between "devour(ing) every moment of your waking life the way that WoW does" and being totally devoid of content after a few weeks of moderate play.

The difference between the sort of experience you get for the level-up process, and the end-game in DCUO is gargantuan. You might buy the game, but after a month or two, unless they make some massive changes, you'll be done, even if you only play 8 hours a week or so.

Posted: Dec 19th 2010 8:55PM Lazy Thinker said

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@esarphie

By "done" I assume you mean done as in done with all available story missions as opposed to done actually playing the game in other ways.
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Posted: Dec 20th 2010 2:28AM DiscordSK said

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@Lazy Thinker
No.. he really means done, as in complete. Alot of the content is the same, or at best a mirror version of the other sides. You run the same instances regardless of being a hero or a villian, with some often minor cosmetic changes.

For example Queen Bee for Hero had me rescuing works, for villian it had me stealing information from them. Both cases just required me to get near them and click the action button.

While there are a handful of unique missions, they tend to be overshadowed very quickly by the "oh, I've done this before" feeling. So the second playthrough, for me, was a hell of alot less enjoyable then the first, even though I went from hero to villian and magic to meta. Even for that distinct of a shift, the changes were negligible.
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