Posts Tagged ‘DC Universe Online’

[DCUO] First Impressions

January 12, 2011

I managed to get in some game time in DC Universe Online last night and this afternoon. Above is a picture of Pid the Mentalist. He is flying somewhere over Metropolis. I have only played the game a very short time, maybe 4 hours including 20 mins. or so in the character creator. I have already formed some opinions of the game, but I will not give any “verdicts” this early. Anyway, here are some of my thoughts and findings regarding the game so far.

After downloading the game (which was no small feat as it seems like my firewall/antivirus software does not like these clients and I have a similar problem with WoW) I can fire up the LaunchPad software which sometimes works, and sometimes it does not. It seems like it locks up at the “initialization” step 1 out of every 3 times I try and log in.

Once in the game it looks very much like a console game from the start. The opening credits and splash screens remind me of Madden Football or CoD. The character creation process is pretty straight forward although the way the power systems work is a little odd. You pick your super power (in my case I selected mental powers) and then a fighting form. The fighting forms have little to no correlation to the super power. As a mentalist I assumed there should be a fighting form that utilized mind blasts or some such, but instead I could pick things like dual wielding swords or pistols. I wound up selecting hand rays as it was the only thing that was close to something I thought someone with mental powers would possess. After that you may customize your avatar a bit which is definitely more robust than a typical MMO, but not as flexible as Champions Online. In the end I settled for a hooded, arcane outfit with glowing eyes.

Once I picked my character name and selected “next,” I was thrust into a starter area that had some tutorial tips to help guide you through it. This area is all solo content and had a casual pace. The first thing I noticed is that you can’t move via the mouse buttons like I am used to, and you have to use the WASD or arrow keys for movement. There is also no mouse cursor, but rather the game is always inĀ  mouse-look mode. The left mouse button is for punching and the right is for ranged combat. The 1-9 keys are reserved for your super powers that you acquire as you gain levels. Ultimately it is very awkward to control with the mouse and keyboard as you need to keep your fingers on the movement keys, but then have to take them off to use super powers and use the block ability.

I managed to muddle my way through and after the tutorial area, I had already gained two levels. The game prompts you to select your new skills (no trainers, awesome!) and when you open up the powers and skills UI, there are some skill trees with available options. I have to say I am completely lost with how I should spend my points, but as it stands I am just picking things that allow me to do ranged combat.

The game’s graphics are pretty good and have that cell shaded look to them. Not quite as obvious as Champions, but there nonetheless. I don’t have the settings cranked up to full, but I will attempt to play with the settings later.

Once you complete the tutorial you are thrust into the game world. I chose Superman as my mentor, so I was placed in Metropolis. You start in the metropolis Police Station and are told to find a quest giver to get a quest. Along the way you find a kiosk that also gives a quest that requires you to tour various parts of the city and gives you a history lesson or colorful anecdote for each site. The game directs you into Metropolis proper and you go about doing your quests. They involve killing x mobs and destroying y whatevers. Often the quests will update on the fly and your mentor will chime in and tell you what the next step is.

The first quest line I ran through had me rescuing citizens from Gorilla Grod’s troops and stopping the contraptions that the evil primate had set up around the city from de-evolving the citizens into ape-like baddies. Ultimately the quest line has you rescue a super hero and the two of you take on Grod in a boss battle. This reminded me of boss battles in any number of console games like Arkham Asylum or something of that ilk. The very best part was at the end when Grod monologues before making an escape at which time he tells you and the other super hero that we will “Rue the day” that we meddled in his plans. That is some good comic book shtick right there.

Some other random things I noted:

  • The spawn rates for the mobs seemed adequate for the number of people playing.
  • Screen caps automatically hide the UI so you don’t have to.
  • Screen caps are saved as 4 MB bitmap files instead of much smaller jpg’s (so be careful).

All in all the game reminded me a lot of Champions Online with a different IP. I admit I have never played CoX so it may be similar to that too. The game did seem to lack a lot of in game guidance and I often felt kind of lost as far as what I should do with skill ups and gear and such. Following quests was easy enough with the mini-map.

I have not done any group content as of yet, and I don’t see anything in the game that helps facilitate people finding groups. I hope to do some of that in the future. I need to dig up my xbox controller too to see if the game is a little less awkward with that.

More to come in the weeks ahead.

-Pid

 

[DCUO] Midi-chlorians?

January 11, 2011

I can never resist an opportunity to take a crack at Georgie and his midi-chlorians. Anyway, I was planning on logging in to DC Universe Online (it shipped today in case you didn’t know) before work and create a character. Unfortunately due to the mechanic running behind, I didn’t get home early enough. I did manage to validate my account and opened up the game to watch the intro.

WARNING: Spoilers Ahead. Stop now if you don’t want to hear any as I will feel no remorse if you continue.

The intro movie was pretty awesome as far as MMORPG’s go. I was at no time tempted to Esc out of it. It seemed like some time in the future in an apocalyptic type setting. All hell was breaking loose and the good capes were going toe-to-toe with the bad ones. I was actually jonesing for some popcorn about halfway through it. We get to the end and it appears as if one of the heroes/villains triumphs and more or less is the last man/woman/thing standing. Then we realize that it gets worse because super duper, mega awesome, ultra powerful entity arrives on the scene and ultimately destroys the planet. The one person that survives the onslaught goes back in time with what is akin to “parasites” that contain the super powers of all the capes from the future to transfer the powers of tomorrow’s super heroes to today’s average Joe/Jo.

(cue painful wretching sound)

What a way to take a cool, engrossing video/intro and make it lame. The whole time all I could think of was midi-chlorians and how much of a dud the ending of this was. Really? That is the best you could come up with for a reason why all these new super heroes are appearing? Did we really need a reason? Ugh. Anyway, hopefully the game has a whole lot more awesome, a la the majority of the intro movie, and a lot less of the “suck.”

-Pid

Comic source: pvponline.com

DC Universe Online (Preloaded)

January 10, 2011

DC Universe Online is making its debut tomorrow. I have the game preloaded. I have a car appointment during the day, so I won’t be one of the first horses out of the gate, but I hope to be able to at least make my character before I get off to work. I think I am going to play one of the CC classes and of course have DPS as the alternate spec. I am heading into this with little to no pre-knowlege of the game, so I’ll be learning as I go. Feel free to drop any server info you have in the comments.

-Pid

DCUO a Couple of Thoughts

January 6, 2011

Clearly this post is just an excuse to post a pic of the wonder twins!

I read an article about DC Universe Online today in PCGamer and I am intrigued by a couple of things that are planned with this game. The game really wasn’t on my radar, but as I am trying to fill out some 2011 goals, I thought that trying this game out might be a good break from my normal fantasy style MMO’s. Anyway, here are some things I found interesting about the game:

  • You can play as both heroes and villains: I guess that makes sense, but I would have figured they would have added villains later as an expansion.
  • SOE is planning on having a fully fleshed out endgame when the game goes live to the point that half of the content at launch will be endgame content.
  • Piggybacking on the previous point, the intention is to have the time it takes to get to level cap take about 40 hours of game play. Even a casual gamer could reach level cap (which is 30) in 1-2 months. This is a bit of a disappointment for me as I like the leveling game and playing lots of alts.
  • Duos: Dynamic or otherwise, there are instances at level cap that only require two people to enter. This is awesome and I wish more games had something like this. Most games it is pointless to group with a friend or two to run quests, but you just don’t have enough people to run a dungeon w/o looking for more people. Often you can run lower level dungeons, but the rewards are … well, lower level. Apparently these “duos” are to train you to do the 4-man instances later, but I really hope they take off so that more games might copy the idea.
  • The 4-man instances are designed to take 1-2 hours to play through. This seems a little excessive and will prohibit the casual player (translation: me) from being able to do too many of these.
  • Raids are 8-man instances and the game will launch with 3. At least with only 8 people required to run a raid, small guilds and possibly PUGs will be able to run them.
  • Dual role system: Each character will have a DPS “spec” and another “spec” based on character generation. This is definitely a good thing. This way you will be able to solo in DPS role and then switch to whatever your other role is in order to form groups and whatnot. This will definitely eliminate the lack of Tank/Healer/CC characters because every character created is one of those three AND they can DPS as well.
  • Anyone can perform a resurrection: Well, if dungeons alerts will take 1-2 hours, it makes sense. This should eliminate having to run all the way back all the time when the stealthy character survives, but can’t revive anyone.
  • Instances will not have the same bosses each time: There are more bosses slotted for each instance than the number of boss encounters, so it will be somewhat random which one pops for each instance run. This should at the very least make the instances a little less “grindy” considering it appears that is what the focus of the game is going to be.

There is a lot more about the game that I still need to investigate, but this is a short list of some of the content that the game will offer. I don’t know how long I’ll be able to play a game that is so endgame focused and also has 1-2 hour instances (except the duos I forgot to mention they are designed to be shorter). It could be a great time though and at the very least, you might be able to punch a wonder twin and wipe that stupid grin off of their faces!

-Pid

Picture source: KryptonSite.com