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DC Universe Online Beta

Creator: FlashJ December 9, 2010 2:00am
10 posts - page 1 of 1
FlashJ
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My Thoughts on DCUO



####
+ Pictures to Come
+ Massive new update just came out today as well, this review does not reflect any changes they made
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The NDA on DCUO was lifted today, so for those of you who have or have not been wondering where I've been for the last few weeks I've been hanging out with some of my favorite super heroes and mega villains! DCUO is still a long way from releasing and has some of the more common beta issues to resolve but at its core is a very solid, very polished Super Hero MMO.

Heroes n Villains


The character creation, although limited, does a satisfactory job of allowing you to customize the look of your hero or villain. Although the restraints can be somewhat limiting it appears they do a rather good job of ensuring your hero or villain looks the part. I find it rather difficult to make a horrible looking character.

Character customization is carried on throughout the game in a fun and expressive way. DCUO has seperated gear's stats from appearance. Once you have equipped an item the style of that item is added to your pool and you can may choose that style at anytime without removing the physical piece of gear from your character. So as long as you have collected the style for that gear slot, you can "wear" the style with any item you equip. Each item comes with 1 style that is added to your pool once equipped. There are many styles to choose from when you create your character that you get to keep but there are also many styles you can only find while playing.

Movement


There are 3 movement types in the game; Super Speed, Acrobatics and Flight. The most common and easiest to master is flight, the fastest possible is of course super speed and acrobatics you can climb anything and use a grappling system like Batman or Spiderman (yah i know spiderman is marvel). Over all every movement type is a lot of fun to play and includes numerous customizations that can be tweaked as you level. The mechanics of the movement are well thought out, smooth and fun to learn to master.

Combat


Combat can seem somewhat limited on the surface. You only have 8 slots and two of those are locked to specific item types (off-hand and consumable) effectively leaving you just 6 to customize. However, you have a separate action bar for each role type your class can play so for example a fire/brawler will be able to fill the role of Tank and Damage (DPS) and has two separate action bars called "load outs". However, disappointingly you cannot hot swap your load outs. You must be out of combat to do so. This makes it much more difficult to change roles on the fly as you must disengage. However, one of my favorite features of DCUO is how they didn't stick with one type of control system. They also included attack combos. R-Tap R-Tap R-Hold = X. The designers and programmers did a bang up job on this one. Almost every fighting style is easy to learn the combos and combos are much more effective than simply pounding the attack button(s). On their own each combat style would be considered simple or basic, but I think when you combine the two you have a really fun, robust and effective combat system. It's not like DCUO is the first to do this kind of system, but I feel they balanced complexity and game play very well.

Health and power are regenerated in different ways. During combat your health does not regenerate, but when out of combat it regenerates very quickly. If you need more health in combat you will need a skill, a consumable or someone who can heal others. When not in combat your super power regenerates very slowly, however when in combat, your weapon attack regenerates your super power much faster. This makes everyone very reliant on their weapon style during combat. You can't just sit back and wait for your super powers to regenerate, you need to fight to do that, even as a healer! It makes for very engaging, tactical and fun combat experiences. Weapon styles can be either melee or ranged so what you choose should suit your super power and the role you intend to play.

Specialization


Skills in DCUO are pretty deep as a whole, but again each skill is not overly complex on its own, they have just supplied so many areas to spec that it becomes engrossing. When creating your hero or villain you must choose a super power and combat style. These are two separate abilities you will spec as you level but you will also be able to spec your movement style and iconic powers as you progress through levels giving you 4 distinctly separate tree specs. 5 when you include each super power has two trees to choose from.

Gear


Of course there are also items you find and buy in game to further customize your characters stats and abilities. Common, rare and epic items are all available, some vanity items have also appeared in game. One of my Villains found an item that spawns a big huge bouncy ball with the super man S on it - ironically lots of fun to toss around and well, you can imagine the jokes. I never saw or found another one... :P

PvP PvE


There is plenty of PvP and PvE for everyone. If you live PvP, there is an open world of it along with arena style and team style pvp matches, you can even play as legendary heroes and villains in 'Legends'. If PvE is more your thing you can play on a PvE world and happily save/corrupt the world with nary a worry about your fellow players jumping you and there are plenty of team based instances and group quests to ensure lots of player interaction and reward. For the most part you are free to be as social or anti-social as you like. Most group missions can be passed over and no instances are really required either. You can, if you like, just follow the story as a single player. So no matter what your play style or social desires they appear to have done a pretty good job catering to them all.

Social Circles


The social aspects of the game are a little akward at this point so its hard to tell if its that or the nature of the game that keeps the chatter down but its pretty quiet on the global chats. There are people on and playing, and when people shout out to group up they usually get a response, but its odd how quiet the chat is in general. There are some annoying bugs with the chat right now tho so it may be the cause.

The Misses


There are many things missing from the game most noteably the ability to trade or use any kind of bank or auction house. These elements exist but do not work yet so I can't comment about them yet. Right now all you can do is sell the gear you find to the vendor. Another very big ommission is crafting. At this point I don't see any crafting being worked into the game but that's not to say its not coming. I don't have the time to spend reading up on the forums and keeping up with the latest greatest, just pulling time away from mobafire to explore the beta has been difficult. The game style would suit crafting so its something they could easily add in if they are so inclined. At this time there is also no clan/guild system in place but this I would expect to come in the near future.

Final Thoughts


Lastly I cannot comment on any end game as I have not reached the level 30 cap yet. Not due to lack of effort or difficulty getting there but because I have created and explored so many character types. There are so many combination of super power/fighting style/movement style/mentor that DCUO completely threw out the book on traditional classes, however they did so while remaining very true to traditional team combat roles. I think I created somewhere around 15 distinctly unique characters, and I still didn't get to try them all. Some of my fav's: Fire/Brawler, Ice/Hand Blast, Mental/One Handed, Nature/Staff but there are so many fun combinations it's almost hard to choose.

Over all I think this game has a very solid core and is looking really polished for a beta this early on. It shows promise in most of the key areas, story, character depth, PVP/PVE, graphics, game play, combat and movement control. If they keep the same level of quality and ease of use throughout the remaining components they will have a big success here.
"Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!"
DEWO
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Giev key or something for testin :)
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Thanks to jhoijhoi for the sig!
caucheka
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lol dewo.

i heard that it might be coming to consols for some reason, but we'll have to wait and see. it sounds similar to city of heroes/villains and i really loved that game.

i can't wait. although tbh i'd rather have marvel universe online hehe. i also heard that there was talk about making it but no dice. :(
I like things that make me feel stupid. - Ken Levine
Shrillex
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F2P is always win
FlashJ
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haha, if I had some kind of magical hookup to get you a beta key I would. Just a fluke I have one :P

I didn't play CoH very much as my system at the time was lacking the proper video card tech so I can't do much of a comparison unfortunately.

So far the game is slated for release on PC and PS3, not sure about X-Box but I hear rumors... also unclear if the pc and ps3 worlds will be the same or not. The beta worlds are seperate so i don't see why that would change in the final release.
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caucheka
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HAHA thats what i heard. so sweet, heres fingers crossed that its free, but i'm 99.9999% sure its pay per month :(
I like things that make me feel stupid. - Ken Levine
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Oh my bad. It's called Champions online thats going F2P. My bad.
caucheka
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we can still hope its gonna be free.
I like things that make me feel stupid. - Ken Levine
Matt
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I doubt it will be F2P, it's SOE with a big license, it'll probably at least start off as pay. Not to be a pessimist, but... :)

BTW if you have a PS3 and want to play this game really bad... I heard that Playstation Plus members are going to get free beta access soon. Technically it's not free if that's the only reason you signed up for PS Plus which has a monthly fee but, if you wanna play the game early then there you go.
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lol thanks for telling me matt sadly i no has ps3 plus.
I like things that make me feel stupid. - Ken Levine

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