DC: Universe - Catch All

They're all good, but Nightwing is pretty sweet. What's the deal with only 1 Green Lantern?!!

Michael Zenke wrote:

I know it's not a beta invite, but I'd just like to note how freaking badass our newest Wallpaper is.


Nice, I used the Black Adam one, now I am ready for some serious face violence.

I've been in Vent from 11pm EST -- sometimes earlier -- to 12 these past few nights. Join if you'd like.

We're all pretty happy with this article from Game Informer.

Michael Zenke wrote:

We're all pretty happy with this article from Game Informer.

I can see why. That's the most encouraging thing I've seen about the game in a while ... not that I've been following the game too terribly close, but ...

Michael Zenke wrote:

We're all pretty happy with this article from Game Informer.

That starts you off on the second page which is kind of confusing.

Michael Zenke wrote:

We're all pretty happy with this article from Game Informer.

If i had to say anything about the DC:U beta it would probably sound similar to this. Too bad i cant say if i am actually in or not. So cant confirm or deny whats written here.

Well the NDA was just lifted.

At first I didn't think much of DC Universe due to the character creator and tutorial being rather weak versus other superhero MMORPGs. Then I realized that it has more to do with you becoming the superhero/villain that you want to be. DCU starts badly, then becomes very good, and I have a feeling that by end game it is great.

In City of Heroes you know pretty much exactly who your character will be right out of the gate. With DCU you create a loose foundation for your character: my villain will be a fire user who uses a big hammer and travels via super speed. He will be known as Steam Tank, and I can give him a steam punkish costume. It's not a very good costume due to the limited costume set but I guess it gets the point across.

Your character starts out in a spaceship against the worst possible opponents for somebody who wants to feel like a super powered person, robots. It eases you through everything rather well, except every once in it a while it decides to tell you how to do things via voice commands and sometimes instead rather quick text messages. Your average player will not equip a single piece of equipment during this tutorial as they won't realize they have anything to equip. Your more advanced user will not equip the game's version of a healing potion due to their being no text message or explanation of what to do. As you are stuck inside of an eye blurringly repetitive alien spaceship you get no sense of whether your transportation power is cool or not, you only know that you must keep it on to get down the ridiculously long hallways that the robots need for some reason. Do you like trash mobs?Well even once you've got the hang of your powers, prepare for more trash mobs.

After what seems like way too long you're out of the tutorial, hurray! You just got through the worst part of DCU but don't worry, every single time you create a new character you will have to do every inch of it again! Whether it's a hero or a villain, it's nearly identical so that isn't going to save you either. In all truth I think it takes about 20-30 minutes but it's painful.

Now you've got to the good part of the game. That is unless you think that super speed is nauseating or that acrobatics is too bland or that you thought gadgets would be more bad-ass or that most of the weapons in the game feel weak, then back to the tutorial for you.

Enough dwelling on the awful tutorial. You arrive in a lair of some kind that has an easy to understand layout and several geek out moments as superheroes/villains of your DC past are around. You get a quest and off you go into a very well created version of Gotham or Metrolopolis. You're beating up henchman and are able to recognize the speed of your transportation power. You're patrolling a city and keeping citizens safe or scared.

Okay so the first quest is a defeat x number of guys and destroy x number of objects, things get better. Great quest lines that cumulate in you fighting some known character of the other side with help from your side. Everything you've done is leading up to these moments and boy do they deliver. Here are some of the fights: You and the Flash vs Gorilla Grodd, you and Parasite vs Powergirl, you and Batwoman vs Scarecrow...etc. These aren't simple beat-up boss fights, they have mechanics and tactics to them. That final mission of a quest chain feels like a comic book and it ends with a beautifully done comic book video. It's worth going through that horrible tutorial just to do one of these missions.

The game isn't all roses from this point, there are too many trash mobs in instances and the quests can be vague with the poor quest organizer. But I have to think about how easily this game could become great: allow skipping of the tutorial, less trash mobs in instances, show the user power trees and weapon trees during character creation, make the quest organizer actively track more then one quest.

I'm sure I'll run into some more issues but that's a pretty reasonable list for a game that won't be released for another two months. I have high hopes for DCU.

I wasn't bothered by having to do the tutorial for each character, but I do wish there was an option to skip it.

Bad first:
I've gotten to the endgame, and am really wishing there was more to it. I think a big part of the letdown is that there aren't many people, so it's really hard to get a decent group together to do the raid quests, and even then there's some issues with the queue and group systems in place. I can't count the number of times a queue dumped me into a broken raid (a raid that was started by another group, but abandoned when they couldn't get beat a boss) or gave me a group that's missing one of the classes (healer, tank, or controller). With the low server population, it can take hours for there to be enough people to queue up for something, and it starts even if not everyone decides to actually join. Sometimes I'd get into a raid an be the only person who showed up. It's even worse with the PVP queue; I've had 4v1 matches before, and the game does nothing to balance the teams unless someone else queues up, in which case they get dumped right in the middle of an all but lost match. It'd be really nice if the match waited until the teams were even before starting, or stopped the match if they suddenly became uneven. Another issue with the queue system is that you can either queue for a specific instance, or for all instances. There's no way to queue for the some, but not all.

There's very little to do solo once you reach the endgame. You can grind mobs hoping for some new costume pieces, or go back in an repeat the missions you've previously beaten (some of the early missions are limited based on your background: meta/magic/tech, you unfortunately don't open up the missions that weren't made for your background and some costume pieces only drop in certain missions, so if you can't do those missions, you won't get that costume piece). That's about it. There's a bunch of in game achievements called "Feats" that you can work on unlocking. Each feat gives 5 or 10 feat points, and every 25 feat points gives you an extra skill point, so this is worthwhile to do, but a good portion of the feats are nothing but grinds, and there's a big section of multiplayer feats, which runs afoul of the low beta population. You can also try to track down collections (there are three types: the mission collections are very easy to get as the clues are always in mission areas; location collections are on or around important landmarks; and the item collections are randomly scattered about) which give you extra costume pieces. There are races you can do, but there's no real point to redo them once you've already gotten a platinum.

Playing in PuGs is incredibly frustrating due to the grouping and queuing issues.

The power selection is pretty sparse though, and some of the power trees don't make a lot of sense. They borrow a bit from Guild Wars, where you take a limited number of skills with you, but they don't borrow enough, as you can't get enough power points to acquire all the powers you could have. I've been playing a gadget character, and haven't really minded that limitation because some of the skills in the gadget tree are crappy, or don't fit what I want my character to be. You can tell it's meant for a controller, and some of the button presses required for the skills aren't terribly easy to pull off with a mouse and keyboard.

There are only three character model options per gender. (These are not what the game calls them) Teenager (think Robin), Muscle man (think Superman), and Brute (think Bane) for men. For women there's short & busty, tall & busty, and very tall & busty. The back-arched-chest-out "hero pose" really calls attention to the fact that there are no average women in the DC Universe. There will be no sliders, and not even any other options until after launch as they would have to redo every costume piece to make sure there's no clipping issues.

End-game equipment requires a lot of grinding to get. Most of it requires a lot of PVP cash. To give you an idea of how much grinding it will take (IIRC): no piece costs less than 500 pvp cash. You get ~125 pvp cash for winning a Legends: Arena match, and ~25 if you lose.

The Good:
The game looks great, and has really captured the look and feel of the DC universe. Gotham especially is impressive. Playing this has really made me want to delve deeper in the DC universe.

The combat feels very good. PVE is still fun, as most of the skills and powers involve stunning and knocking down your enemies, meaning you can take on quite a few mobs at once, and every fight involves people getting knocked around

I haven't had much PVP experience, as I've been playing on the PVE server, where PVP is limited to the Legends Arena (pick a character that has a premade build like Robin or Harley Quinn, which is fun, but repetitive) and the PVP Arena (which I've only been able to get into once due to apparent lack of interest).

Mobs frequently respawn, and even non-groups players share credit for mission objectives (if someone rescues a civilian while you fight off the mob that threatens them, you both get credit for fighting the mob, and saving the civilian) so there's very little worry about camping or kill stealing.

The costume system is really neat (though it sorely needs a way to save a costume). As soon as you equip an item, you can use it cosmetically from then on out, regardless of what you're actually wearing.

The mission dialog continues playing even after you accept the mission or move on to another part of it, so you can get the back-story without having to read anything.

The voice acting (at least, what's not placeholder assets recorded by the game staff) is really good.

It's been awhile since the beta was last patched, so some of my complaints may have been addressed in a newer version, but I don't see how this will hold my interest past the first couple of months. It took 4-5 days to hit the level cap, and if there were enough people to consistently get a group together, probably another day or two to finish the raids that make up the PVE end game content. I'd really like for there to be more to do, because I really enjoyed the time spent in the game, and want more of the story. What's in there so far is really good, and it seems a shame that that's all there will be until an expansion gets put out.

I got a kick out of one of the hero vendors being a Detective Zenke.

Nice writeups guys.

Also of note: being invited into the Watchtower briefing room to be personally thanked by Batman was very cool. Sony did very well to get the voice cast they have. A lot of people reprising their roles from previous cartoons. Although it is funny to hear a disinterested male programmer's voice come out of Supergirl.

I've been playing DCUO since October, though I'm not at max level just wanted to toss my two cents in:

The game looks fantastic. I actually thought that the character creator was lacking until I realized that I just didn't make out the scroll bar that allowed you to view all the options. There are quite a lot of choices when putting together your hero/heroine and you really get a sense of "superheroness" when putting together your toon. When you actually get into the game, everything looks amazing. I really got into how much they got into all features they put in. Flying and seeing whole cities actually looks like you're flying over a city and looking down at skyscrappers and stadiums and beaches. I have never beat up so many life like gorillas.

The game plays a lot like a cross between Marvel Ultimate Alliance and Dynasty Warriors. There is a bit of grinding that needs to be done, but it never gets to the point where it feels like Final Fantasy Online. The differing powers and fighting styles offer a nice mix of range and close combat abilities. I do want to say that a little more guidance when picking abilities would be appreciated, but when you use some of the abilities (specifically fire) you really get that super hero feel (same goes for hand beams). The best part of the game so far is fighting against the heroes/villains and seeing how each boss has their abilities integrated into the fights. Bane won't try to range you... he'll rush in and try to pound and break you and if that doesn't work, he'll use his enhanced strength to bring down the room, just like he does in the comics. Also, when you get assistance from other comic heroes (not players, actual heroes), and they rush in with their own super powers, it's has an epic feel to have them actual do some fighting and not rushing in and out with a brief super ability applied.

Questing was fun, the amount I was able to do. I think this was the biggest issue for me, as a lot of the quests hadn't been added in when I was playing. I think that they need to work on the transitioning between new areas, but I'm sure that's something that can be accomplished when the full compliment of quests have been integrated. The quests that were available were fun, a little grindy, but kept me interested. Due to the nature of the game, most of the quests were "beat up X number of guys" or "deliver X number of items to point Y designated by the big glowing circle", but they offered interesting story lines, and eventually lead to boss instances.

I really have been happy to see what they have offered so far, some of the better things are how they made all the different modes of transportation (super speed, flight, acrobatics) interesting and although I thought flight would be a given, I really liked super speed a lot too. Acrobatics was ok but the other two stood out much more. The gear looks great as well, although remember, if you're planning on using a helmet or mask it doesn't matter too much what his actual face looks like. The game plays well and gives you exactly what you'd look for in a game based on DC comics, lots of beating up henchmen and epic boss fights. The fact that I happen to know most of the characters only adds to my intrigue in the game.

Stengah wrote:

Playing in PuGs is incredibly frustrating due to the grouping and queuing issues.

My biggest complaint.

Second is the character creator. Compared to the other similar games its very minimalistic.

ranalin wrote:
Stengah wrote:

Playing in PuGs is incredibly frustrating due to the grouping and queuing issues.

My biggest complaint.

Second is the character creator. Compared to the other similar games its very minimalistic.

Yeah, I understand why the costume choices are sort of limited, but there are some glaring absences. There's no super-strength power set. The descriptions of the power sets there are are very limited. There's no point during the tutorial where you can change anything either, so once you pick your power set and movement skill, you're stuck with them unless you remake your character. You can change your fighting skills for pretty cheap, but you don't learn that for a little bit.

(The UI is very limited right now, so I'm not sure how to get it to take prettier pictures, but everything looks better in-game than it does in these screenshots)





Also: the capes in this game are really well done. They move like capes ought to.

Atomicvideohead wrote:

Your guy looks a bit like the current Blue Beetle. IS that on purpose?

Your impressions are making me want to play this guys -- on the PS3 no less. Did we go over what the GWJ tentative format split is going to be?

Nope. In all the hero games I've played I tend to go for a tech character, and blue is my favorite color. As for the costume, that 's the set I have the most of that I like the looks of best (everything but the shoulderpads and the helmet are from the same set in the Stryker's & Arkham pics).

Your guy looks a bit like the current Blue Beetle. IS that on purpose?

Your impressions are making me want to play this guys -- on the PS3 no less. Did we go over what the GWJ tentative format split is going to be?


Woot! Finally got an invite!

What times are the servers up? I tried to get on this morning and there was no server listed.

I couldn't get on last night, either. Then I got a MASSIVE update (8.3GB) that downloaded overnight, so I don't know what happens next.

The game has a lot of promise. It is a little bit of a clickfest. No, I am not going to go buy a ps3 controller for my PC to play it.

I think one of the problems that cause a bit of confusion is power and skill identity. Its something that plagues all the sandbox mmo's and the super hero ones in particular. Fantasy archetypes are much more recognizable than superhero ones. People recognize and can easily identify with a mage, knight or thief but fire, gadgets and magic ring powers could be anything.

That being said, the powers I have used on 3 different characters have been satisfying. Its just a surprise when dual handguns has a bunch of melee range powers to start off with and staff powers have a variety of range abilities.

You get used to it but I am wondering if they shouldn't have seperated out powers from weapon skills. I think it may have been better to choose your weapon and then the element or style of the power you choose dictates what element type the damage does and what spell effects are generated by your weapon attacks. In other words, a fire hand blast would hurl a fire ball and an electric hand blast would throw a lightning bolt. But, a fire staff would swing a fire imbued staff and not hurl fireballs.

That being said, I really enjoy the ranged part of combat. This is especially awesome when combined with the 3d nature of the environments, travel powers and combat. I know I am noty the only one thinking this is how the basics of a Shadowrun game should be. If the Agency is like the ranged combat in DCUO (sans the clicky combos) I am sold. (not like I wasn't sold before...)

The melee aspects of combat are ok, but it seems like somebody slapped Dynasty Warriors onto Borderlands. That kind of repetitiveness gives me concerns for longevity in an MMO.

I think this system will work great in the next EQ. (I have no inside info on what the plans are for EQ next) I think it will work with tanks and melee dps being more combo focused. And I think it will help differentiate ranged dps much more because you can incorporate things like acrobatics to rangers and mess with line of sight issues so classes with lobbing spells, rain spells and chain spells will have real and interesting uses.

the only thing that continues to nag is the abysmal targeting function. Tab has never worked so poorly.
I'm finding an archer needs almost nothing else besides his bow.

Do we have a tentative breakdown of platforms? I'm currently deciding between a new tower or snagging a PS3, and DCUO might be the final weight on either side.

Havent decided if i'm going to get in at launch or not yet. I'm sure i'll pick it up eventually though and when i do it'll be for PC.

I'm on the fence too but it will definitely be PC if I snag it.

I have it pre-ordered for the PC.

So, it looks like I'm gonna be going PC + controller. Have you guys tried that set up before?

January 11th is the release date in case yall hadn't heard.

the game forced a re-spec yesterday. They've tweaked quite a bit, all for the positive it seems to me.

Atomicvideohead wrote:

So, it looks like I'm gonna be going PC + controller. Have you guys tried that set up before?

I've been sticking with the keyboard and mouse. Although its a Merc keyboard, so there's a separate keypad. Maybe that makes it more like a controller. I would think a controller would work well, since they seemed to have expected everyone to use one.

So, it looks like I'm gonna be going PC + controller. Have you guys tried that set up before?

I've played primarily with a controller. I've switched between an xbox 360 controller and a logitech cordless rumblepad 2 and they both worked well.