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Is DCUO a WoW Killer?

Posted on 14 January 2011 by nicolespag

To be honest I groan a little inside when I hear this question. The reason is because DCUO is not WoW. Not even close. Yes it’s an MMO, but for me it is an entirely different experience. When I think of WoW, I think of a slower paced game where questing, professions, grinding levels and raiding can easily suck away 12 hours of my day if I let it. With DCUO it’s a much more intense, fast paced action game that still has familiar elements of WoW (or any MMO really), but also something a bit different. After playing and loving Batman: Arkham Asylum, I was really excited to get my hands on DCUO. Batman: AA was truly the first superhero game that I not only liked, but loved. My thought was if DCUO could capture some the things I loved most about AA, then I should really enjoy DCUO. Well so far so good, between the quick quests, the collectible lore & gear, & the mini dungeons where you fight along side of a iconic superhero/villain, I’m hooked (I haven’t even had a chance to try the PVP yet, but I hear it’s great!). Sure there are some parts where the voice acting is a bit cheesy (and other voices that I’m blown away by) but at the heart of this game it makes me feel like I’m fighting for justice right a long side my childhood hero, Wonder Woman or creating mayhem with The Joker. So just like Batman: AA, it’s the comic book lore that has hooked me. I’ve never been a DC fangirl and honestly my only exposure to DC has been through TV, movies & now games, but this game makes me want to create toons on both sides and mentor every single hero & villain so I can go through all of the stories and quests (guess what, it’s actually an obtainable goal!) Currently there are 8 heroes and 7 villains to be inspired by (listed below) and if you take everyone of them to 30 it could mean an ton of great gaming & lore.

So what are some of my complaints? Well for one, if I do decide to create 15 toons the starting area for all of these characters is going to get old….quick. Unlike WoW where every race has a unique starting area, the heroes in DCUO do not. I’ve gone through the starting area 5 times so far (3 times in beta) and if you are a hero your guide is the Oracle and if you’re a villain it’s Calculator, other than that small difference everything else is the same. Granted the starting area is easy to go through (max 10-20 min) but I’d still like to have some variety. Maybe it’s not possible right now, but hopefully the developers will create multiple starting areas, heck just put me on a different Brainiac ship. My next issue would be the player interaction/communication: I’m sure this isn’t so bad on the PC but on the PS3 it’s downright painful. There is voice enabled in the game, but I’ve never really been one to just start chatting with random people in a game. There is text windows and the process just to create a tell is rather cumbersome. My solution will be to try and work out creating a vent channel in our existing WoW guild for those that would like to play DCUO, in addition to digging out my USB/Bluetooth Keyboard. I’ve also been seeing complaints about bugs, specifically one where you would fall through the world. I have yet to experience any bugs and from what I understand SOE put out a hotfix 2 out days after launch correcting a number of report bugs. There are aspects of the game that I find smooth and responsive (flying for instance) and others not so much (the menu & targeting system on the PS3). In the end, it’s more than I expected for a launch of a MMO.

What I’m really trying to do with DCUO (something I wasn’t able to do with Aion or Champions Online) is to hold the game on it’s own merits and what I find enjoyable. For someone that has played WoW for the last 5 years, who honestly wished at the time there was a MMO on a console, this is what I’ve been waiting for. Don’t get me wrong I still love WoW and will continue to play, but even with the release of Cataclysm, I’m simply looking for a different type of game to play. And because of it’s fast pace & easy stop & start play style, I actually do feel like I have a spot for both WoW & DCUO in my gaming lineup. Now I just have to decide does my wallet.

Still trying to decide if you want to play. Here are some questions I’ve received & things to consider.

Should I get the game on the PS3 or PC? For me this game shines on the PS3. Can you play it on the PC, of course but if I had to choose I’d pick PS3 every time. If PC is your only option & you are finding the flying a bit clunky, try and get your hands on a wired Xbox 360 controller. I’ve heard it works great with the game.

How much does it cost?
Honestly I’m not going to type out the cost because it is quite possible it might change. In fact I’m really holding out hope that SOE will do something special with the Playstation Plus members and give a discount or even free subscription (hey a girl can wish right?) For the most up-to-date information on the monthly fees for the game I’m going to direct you to DCUO’s website. It will be very interesting to see what happens on 2/11 when everyone’s free month will expire. I can tell you right now that I really want to mentor all of the heroes and villains so I will be renewing for at least 1 more month. Where the real test will be is with the expansions and additional content, will DCUO continue to add new mentors? I can only hope.

How many servers are there & what are the names? All server names are based on DC Comics story arcs
PS3 Servers (as of 1/14/11)
Blood Will Run (PVP)
No Mans Land (PVP)
The Killing Joke (PVP)
Countdown (PVE)
Crisis (PVE)
Birthright (PVE)
Redemption (PVE)
Justice (PVE)

PC Servers (as of 1/14/11)
Cry for Blood (PVP)
Brave New World (PVE)
Darkness Falls (PVE)
Death & Glory (PVP)
New Frontier (PVE)
Public Enemies (PVP)
Virtue and Vice (PVE)
Zero Hour (PVE)

Updated: Thanks NerdMan :)
Who are the mentors?
Hero Mentors
Batman
Superman
Wonder Woman

Additional Inspired By
The Flash
Beast Boy
Green Arrow
Steel
Martian Manhunter

Villain Mentors
The Joker
Circe
Lex Luthor

Additional Inspired By
DeathStroke
Bane
Mr. Freeze
Catwoman

What are the “classes”?
Your Powers
Nature & Sorcery = Healing (Healer)
Mental & Gadget = Control
Fire & Ice = Defense (Tank)

What happens when you “die”?
Well you’re a superhero/villain so really you never die. You can get knocked out though and it is at this point someone can rescue you or you can wait till the countdown is over so you can flee to the nearest respawn point.

How do mobs work?
This is one of my favorite things in DCUO. Unlike WoW when you are trying to get a quest drop and some warlock tags it before you can even get near, in DCUO as long as you hit the mob at any time you will get credit for your quest. I found on a number of occasions that my competitiveness for mobs in WoW caused me to get a big angry at someone for ‘taking’ my kill only to find out that we both go the kill. After I realized this, I found myself waiting for other players to get a shot in so we would all get credit. Kind of makes you a nicer player if you ask me :)

Update: I found a great interview on Eurogamer with John Smedley, president of Sony Online Entertainment if your looking for more details of the future and the reasons behind some of the choices made in DCUO.

9 Comments For This Post

  1. Wonder Bra Says:

    Control and DPS are different roles fyi. :) Everyone can DPS as well as each other (in theory) regardless of power. Controllers are essentially buffers and debuffers. :) good review though.

  2. Scottyd Says:

    This is a great post. I agree with a lot of it. I am enjoying the game.

  3. nicolespag Says:

    haha nice name. Good to know about Control. I’ve primary been playing Nature & Fire so I really haven’t had much time with control. I would think they would be very useful for crowd control in an alert.

  4. Jeppy Says:

    Very early days yet as I missed out on the beta and just got the PC version yesterday.

    My initial thoughts are so far pretty positive. I am a huge fan of the DC universe and admit to some inner squees when iconic heroes appear.

    Having been somewhat disappointed by Champions Online I am hoping this experience remains positive and I have something to jump into when WoW annoys.

    I am also hooking up an Xbox controller :)

  5. Eskatun Says:

    Legends PVP is awesome especially AA think AV from WOW but in a much more enclosed space. You suit up as a hero or villain( you can mix and match), I play a villain but I legend pvp as the Huntress. It’s awesome and very balanced, I can’t speak for the Arena.

    For new players I recommend Totalhailbut’s DCUO beta video and the one he’s put out for live so far on his youtube channel http://www.youtube.com/user/TotalHalibut.( he also plays wow)

  6. NerdMan Says:

    There are only 6 mentors: Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Lex Luthor, The Joker, and Circe. The other heroes and villains you mentioned are simply premade templates that are influenced by select heroes and villains.

  7. nicolespag Says:

    ah tricky tricky! Thanks for that, I have to say I’m a bit disappointed that Catwoman can’t be my mentor now.

  8. Eskatun Says:

    Yeah, it’s Meta, Tech, Magic. Lex is the Meta to go against Superman, Joker’s tech v. Batty, and Circe to match Wonder Woman. But know each branch has a different starting place after Brianiac’s ship Batty and Joker in Gotham, LEx and Superman downtown Met.. and WW and Circe in Chinatown and you can change lines at about lvl 6, just check your journal.

  9. gatman Says:

    ok inly 5 mb extra this time whoooooooooooooot!!

1 Trackbacks For This Post

  1. NPC Comic - Poll Wrap Up: DCUO and MMOing in Public Says:

    [...] Whether or not you’re playing DCUO, I recommend checking out Nicole Spagnuolo’s write up on it. [...]

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