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Reader Comments (15)

Posted: Jan 12th 2011 7:17PM Mylamber said

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CoH really has nothing to worry about when it comes to DCUO. I played the beta, and honestly, it's made for the PS3. It's in no way going to impede upon the CoH fanbase. The play styles between the two games are as far apart as the east is from the west. Champions Online as well, the play is completely different. I love CoH and i'm so glad Cryptic/Paragon has made such a wonderful game.

Posted: Jan 13th 2011 12:28AM DancingCow said

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@Mylamber

Ditto.
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Posted: Jan 13th 2011 1:53PM Valdamar said

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@Tempes Magus
I agree with you that CoH's engine running so poorly is one thing that's very likely to drive players into the arms of DCUO - DCUO does run very smoothly, even on old hardware, while CoH still struggles on hardware that is way above the recommended specs from when it launched 7 years ago (I'm still annoyed with how badly GR has impacted my system performance in non-GR zones, even though I have Ultra Mode off, when the Devs said there would be no impact on existing users if they chose not to use the new graphical frills). I was very impressed with that aspect of DCUO when I beta-tested it.

I wouldn't be so quick to wish for DCUO's combat though - not til you've played it - it's a button-masher pure and simple, where your superpowers are of very low priority compared to the weapon/fighting style you picked - DCUO's combat has more in common with hack & slash games like Diablo/Torchlight/TitanQuest than any MMO I've ever played - sure, you can argue it's more action-orientated, but it's your character leaping around in action, as you don't have a lot of control over him other than continuing to mash that left mouse button (and occasionally holding it down).

It's not at all tactical or deep - quite the opposite - it's very shallow - left mouse button for melee attacks, right mouse button for considerably weaker ranged attacks (even if you select a bow as your weapon style, you do more damage in melee than ranged /boggle), and once you've put points into a powerset (all of which are either focused on healing, defensive or control powers) you can chuck a power in occasionally with the 1-6 keys (but nowhere near as often as you'd use those keys in a conventional MMO - which might be a godsend to some people, but after your index finger is hanging off from bashing the left mouse button continuously you might crave some added variety). Picking up objects can be useful though - hitting enemies with objects certainly seems to do more damage than any of your attacks/powers do.

Btw numbers still decide everything - DCUO's action-based combat is nothing like the combat in an FPS - sure, you don't have to target if you don't want to, but the game will still auto-target to determine who you hit (not always intelligently) - and you still have a stat for accuracy.

You can't really say "The difference in combat makes DCUO more realistic, more tactile and more intense. It's more fun in theory which just leaves implementation." when you haven't actually played it - that's just too much "in theory" and not enough practical experience - I have played DCUO and it's really nothing like what you're hoping for - Tabula Rasa had more action-based combat than what DCUO does (actually TR had more depth in its combat too) - it's very much a console button-masher fighting game, more akin to Marvel Ultimate Alliance than any MMO you've ever played - actually it has less depth and tactics in its combat than MUA, which to my mind is pretty much unforgivable in an MMO.
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Posted: Jan 12th 2011 7:35PM Halldorr said

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Agree completely with Mylamber. DCUO just FEELS like a console action game *shrugs*

Posted: Jan 12th 2011 7:46PM Germaximus said

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The console feel is exactly what i love about DCUO. What i hate about CoH and CO (they are cool games dont get me wrong) is that they play exactly like World of Warcraft or other similar games and the only thing it offers is a super hero theme.

At least in DCUO i actually feel like my character has super powers.

Posted: Jan 13th 2011 5:15PM Valdamar said

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@Tempes Magus
If DCUO was skill-based then maybe you'd be right. It's not - it requires less skill than an FPS or your conventional MMORPGs - you really need to play it before you start saying what it has or lacks :p

The only skill it really needs is counting how many times you left-click before you hold down the left button for a combo, but seeing as it counts the number of hits onscreen it's not that tough.
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Posted: Jan 12th 2011 8:23PM J Brad Hicks said

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Quick reminder of some relevant history:

At the heart of Jack Emmert's argument with Marvel, the one that he couldn't resolve, was his belief that more people want to play their own character who's equal to Wolverine, versus Marvel's belief that no, more people want to play as Wolverine. So Emmert's version of Marvel Universe Online got reskinned as Champions Online, and Marvel went on to fund ... Super Hero Squad Online. (And presumably another game some day.)

DCUO is betting that you'd rather eventually play, well, if not Batman, someone who looks exactly like Batman; if not Superman, someone who looks remarkably Kryptonian. From a purely economic aspect, they might be right: roleplaying your own character has always been a niche hobby. But it makes it, like SHSO, exactly the kind of game I'm not especially interested in playing.

Posted: Jan 12th 2011 8:32PM Brianna Royce said

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@J Brad Hicks SHSO and Marvel Universe Online are both in the works. SHSO will simply be out first (this year, in fact). Totally different markets.
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Posted: Jan 13th 2011 12:01PM Daemodand said

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@J Brad Hicks Marvel wasn't completely wrong. Just last night I saw yet another Wolverine clone in CoH, one of dozens I've seen over my years of play. There's definitely an audience that wants to play iconic characters.

Personally, I'd rather play the one and only Daemodand rather than Wolverine #10,678 (and be one of four "Wolverines" on any given team.)

I'm hoping beyond hope that in the last great hope in the superhero MMO genre, Marvel Universe Online, they won't go the "everyone's Wolverine" route, nor the action/fighting game combat route, nor the console route. Call me an optimist. ;)
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Posted: Jan 12th 2011 8:53PM Luk said

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It is sad but true that COH is getting old, it is the most heroic super hero MMO out there, but time has not been kind to it. While CO has slowly lost its steam, DCUO has brought much more to the table than CO so COH has a lot to worry about it.
Iconic superheroes with voice overs, check.
Huge, beautifully rendered environments, check
Very engaging combat with console in mind, check
PS3 ready, check
PvP ready, check
Doesn't look too good for COH, maybe it is time for Paragon Studio to offer something more than just mere expansions. Anyone would consider playing COH again if it lowered its sub fee or went F2P?

Posted: Jan 13th 2011 9:46AM Abriael said

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@Luk I agree. The only big flaw DCUO has (and it's a flaw that has no bearing in the confrontation with City of Heroes) is that they didn't make their servers cross-platform.

It is, imho, quite a sizable problem that may not come to fruition immediately, but will be felt in the future. The console audience is more fluid than the PC audience. The average console gamer dedicates less time to a single game before moving to the next big thing (even because next big things come out more often on consoles). This means that on the PS3 servers people will probably have more trouble finding higher level peers as fewer will have the patience to get there. Also, when the game will grow old, i can easily see the PS3 servers turning into ghost towns as the game will get old.

The right choice would have been using the PS3 population numbers to boost the PC ones, and the more solid PC numbers as a foundation for the PS3 ones. everyone wins.
Especially considering that nowadays both machines can use the same control schemes (controller on PC and mouse/keyboard on PS3), so that disparity does not exist.
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Posted: Jan 13th 2011 12:26AM DancingCow said

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They're two very different games.

DCUO is good - I got to try it in beta. It definitely has its charms and it not being just another EQ/WOW clone is sooooo refreshing. But 90% of combat for me was executing a single weapon combo, though 2 others were occasionally useful. Most superpowers really weren't worth using and there's so very little variety in the powers available. So it ended up being pretty boring and repetitive.

Certain game mechanics discourage grouping for regular content eg. it's all easily solo-able and if you do group it then you have to roll and compete for loot, which you're guaranteed to get if solo.

Contrast that to CoH, with a more EQ'ish style of combat (i.e. click-to-target + a wide range abilities on cooldowns), interesting ways that powers interact with each other and a HUGE variety of classes/archetypes and powersets - and the only thing they have in common is basic theme, i.e. superhero.

Posted: Jan 13th 2011 10:35PM Valdamar said

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Like DancingCow says they're both very different games:

DCUO suits you better if you want a game that:
- is a lightweight console-style button-masher without much depth/complexity, but which at least lets you watch the action because it's so easy to play without paying attention to the UI at all
- runs smoothly on most PCs and looks like a superhero cartoon
- is not overly focused on character customisation (6 powersets, limited options at creation, eventually everyone will look like their mentor)
- focuses mainly on melee combat superheros with weaker ranged abilities across 10 fighting styles, but doesn't really let you fight using superpowers much
- has a large focus on PvP with solo-friendly PvE and not many reasons to team
- has a UI that is better suited to gamepads/consoles than PCs and can't really be customised much
- has the best voice acting I've ever heard
- lacks even a decent chat window; EverQuest had better a better chat system 11 years ago
- has lots of short task-style quests like in WoW-style MMOs that mostly take place in outdoor public zones (where respawn is so fast it's almost instantaneous), but occasionally take you into personal instances
- makes you feel like a sidekick to the signature heroes/villains
- doesn't give you much to do besides combat

CoH suits you better if you want a game that:
- is a more traditional PC MMO where you have full control over your character's actions but are somewhat enslaved to watching your action bars at times
- may be looking a bit long in the tooth, but has a Dev team dedicated to updating it (including graphically)
- is devoted to character customisation in every way possible, from costume appearance, to power appearance and power statistics/use, picking exactly what powers you want, combining hundreds of powersets in hundreds of different ways, custom-building a base/lair, etc. so you can get exactly the type of character you want to play
- focuses on combat with superpowers, whether melee or ranged or any combination of the two
- is more about PvE and casual teaming than PvP
- has a UI that is highly customisable and well suited to mouse+keyboard
- has no voice acting, but good quest writing
- has tons of social features and the best text-chat system in any MMO
- has longer quests that form part of an ongoing story, most of which take place in private instances, plus lets you write and publish your own quests
- makes you the hero that saves the world rather than a sidekick
- has 6 years worth of content so you won't run out of things to do for ages and has more things to do other than just endless combat.

So they're not at all alike - saying CoH has something to fear from DCUO is like saying EQ2/WoW/Lotro should fear losing players to Vindictus or the forthcoming Torchlight MMO - they're just not the same kinds of games at all.

Posted: Jan 14th 2011 5:01PM Mylamber said

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Well put Valdamar, That's really DCUO in a nutshell. When I want to button smash i'll play a single player game like Batman: Arkham Asylum. When I want to play a MMO, i'll play CoH. To me, DCUO does NOT play like an MMO.

Posted: Jan 17th 2011 12:16PM Daemodand said

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One idea did cross my mind: does DCUO become the new home of the CoH PvP 2.0 refugees? Seems PvPers are embracing it, and it may become a matter of CoH for carebears and DCUO for PvPers.

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