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Reader Comments (26)

Posted: Jan 16th 2011 2:22PM Valdamar said

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I guess at least he's being frank with us - I give him credit for that.

>> "That's what we've had in MMOs, and I don't necessarily think that it's fair to gamers, especially gamers who have growing families or ones who want to play other games. In DCUO, I want to entertain you. We've designed the entire thing for 5-7 hours a week. You'll get a piece of raid gear every single week if you raid for a few hours. It's meant to be fun while you're playing it, and at the same time it frees you up to do other things."

>>"If your readers are asking if this game is going to dominate their playlives for years and years and they're going to sink all their time into it? I'm going to say no, because I built it not to do that. I built it to be fun every time you come back and to give you lots of reasons to come back."

I'd probably be more sympathetic if I actually had much fun while playing it. But at least now I understand a lot of their design decisions (short levelling curve, lack of customisation, button-mashing combat).

I just object to paying £10/$15 a month for such simplistic gameplay when it's only designed to entertain me for 28 hours a month at most - not when I've been paying that same monthly fee for other MMOs that entertain me for 100 hours per month. It's a question of value. It probably makes sense to Chris because he thinks DCUO has such high quality gameplay - I don't, so it makes no sense to me and seems like dreadful value in gaming terms. Also DCUO doesn't really have any in-game elements that could really foster any kind of community, so that's another reason why a lot of people play MMOs thrown out with the bath water as well.

I guess if you do want to pay a second sub for another MMO to supplement your main MMO, maybe something like WoW, then at least you won't forget how to play DCUO when you come back to it (because it's so simplistic). That is really the only good thing I can say about the combat system.

>>"An example is the vaults. Every day you can go in to the vault and try to score some cool loot. It equalizes it, it democratizes loot"

For those who don't know what the vault is because they haven't played DCUO, let me explain. It's a room full of balls - some large, some small, some massive - that bounce around inside a room decorated like some kind of carnival building. Inside are crates that you can smash for money and the like, and one of the crates might have an item in it. There's no fights in there, and the whole thing might take you 5 minutes to do at most. The ball physics are novel for the first run, not so much for the second and thereafter - in fact they're a bit annoying, knocking you around but not with any predictable force based on the size of the ball

I wouldn't really call The Vault a reason to play DCUO every day - not unless you like playing a one-armed bandit style slot machine once per day, but once only, for some virtual item that is usually trash. The monthly content had better be very good, because the vault certainly isn't a strong reason to log in every day and pay $15/£10 a month for the privilege.

>> "I'm going to let players get a chance to play a little, raid a little, and get some gear and the like before we push them back a little and take the next step."

I'm not really impressed with this either. Basically the players have no real control over progression - it doesn't really matter if you win or lose on the raids, form a story perspective, because Chris will decide when it makes sense according to their business plan to let you progress. Maybe I'm too cynical, but I wouldn't be shocked if the next phase was planned for 1 month and 1 day after the game's launch, just to make sure those early adopters re-up their sub. SOE will basically use raid progression as the breadcrumb trail to keep players subscribing - instead of releasing it like an expansion and letting players progress at their own pace.

Not impressed tbh - I'm not looking for a supplementary MMO - I'm looking for a single main MMO to devote myself too, with full community features, more things to do than just combat, depth, longevity and lots of variety in content. I guess DCUO isn't for me (but then I already knew that).

Posted: Jan 16th 2011 8:10PM Lucifon said

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I think at the end of the day the game has been tailored for the console. Infact thats exactly what makes it so refreshing and appealing to me playing this on the PS3. The combat works perfectly on a gamepad and being able to lie in bed with my ps3 pad on my HD tele playing an MMO is great fun.

I've got one level 17 and another level 11, and having an absolute blast. Group questing with friends is so much fun. The game is just overall fun to play, some of the instances are brilliant. My buddies are all saying the same, they're loving it. I can see me having this subbed for a good few months, something I havnt done with an mmo in years. It just feels fresh, its not trying to be another WoW clone.

Slight Offtopic : I see alot of good talk of Rift and I checked out the beta for a couple of hours to find a pretty enjoyable polished experience. But already that was enough for me, just felt like another *rolls eyes* fantasy hotbar mash MMO which I know in myself I'd be bored of in a few days playtime.

Back Ontopic : I hope the AH hits soon, i've got aloada items banked up waiting to be sold. Also money is stacking up with nothing really good to spend it on. Most of the top level items require PVP marks to buy. The hair shop has a ton of stuff though....might go on a spending spree.

Posted: Jan 16th 2011 10:14PM Owlcat said

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While I am enjoying the game I find it troubling how he goes on about how great the power system is while dismissing the calls for a "might" powerset. Some of DC's iconic heros don't even fit in thier power system and they are telling us its fine the way it is? Comeon. Smells like he's trying to sell himself on the wonderful power system. Maybe a decision came from higher up the corp chain?
It IS a good system, but needs more powers! You can't even make a Superman or Power Girl type hero with it!

This game will only survive because Champions Online is the clown of superhero games and City of X is old and stale.

Posted: Jan 17th 2011 2:57AM Yukon Sam said

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"You've got to ask: Is it housing I want, or a cooler feature and a better thing to do raiding, PvP-wise, or general gameplay-wise?"

That's easy. Housing. Without community, your game is dead in the water, and a well-designed housing system is one of the best ways to build community.

Raids come, raids go, PvP wears thin, but if you can get players invested, they may stick around after the next great thing launches.

You want a virtual world? Or just another forgettable button-masher?

Listen to your players. Collectively, we've been at this a hell of a lot longer than you.

Posted: Jan 17th 2011 11:58AM Valdamar said

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@Yukon Sam
I'm not sure how housing builds community, when in most MMOs it tends to be instanced and thus just takes players out of general population while they're in it.

If Cao wants to build community in DCUO then the first thing he needs to do is fix the horrible chat system. The original EverQuest - the first ever full 3D MMO - had a better chat system than DCUO does almost 12 years later - that's pretty damning - especially as EverQuest was SOE's debut MMO and DCUO is like their 5th or 6th in-house MMO. You think they'd know how to do something as basic as implement a good chat system by now.

It's pretty basic stuff that the foundation stone for building community in an MMO is to make it as easy as possible for the players to communicate with each other. Of course the next step is to make sure an MMO has plenty of content that players can do together, to give them opportunities/reasons to meet up and talk to each other - DCUO falls at that hurdle too.

Posted: Jan 17th 2011 12:18PM Valdamar said

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Looking back at my comments on this and on part one I realise it looks like I'm willing DCUO to fail. I'm not. I don't want DCUO to fail, even though I'm unwilling to pay for it in its current state. I like the DC Universe and I hope the game survives and improves to the point where it's a much better experience on PC than it is now - and hopefully gets enough new content that it doesn't look so thin and shallow compared to almost every other launch MMO in existence.

But one thing may always stand in my way of ever enjoying DCUO, no matter how much content/depth gets added to it - I'll never like DCUO's combat controls/gameplay as they are now - and hearing from Chris Cao that the combat gameplay was the main focus of DCUO's development for 4-5 years just leaves me astonished (am I in the minority here?).

But, as we've seen with SWG and EQ2, SOE are quite willing to rip out a combat system and change it overnight to something completely different, in a bid to win new subscribers (regardless of how current subscribers feel) - which is something I've always lambasted them for - so it's rather ironic that, in DCUO's case, I'm actually rooting for that to happen.

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