May 31 2011
I started a new MMORPG this weekend, DC Universe Online. It’s like City of Heroes-lite (and was developed by the same company, Cryptic). I got to level 10 in essentially two standard days of very casual gaming. It looks like it’s got about 20 hours of gameplay to hit 30 (the max) and then there’s some other side things to do for additional richness and value, etc. It’s nowhere near as complex or expansive as CoH or Champions Online, much less WOW. All-in-all, I think I’ll finish it before my ‘free’ 30 days is up, and I’m ok with that. I was looking for something to really lose myself in over a long weekend, and this fit the bill perfectly, just easy enough to level up on my own, just hard enough that I didn’t feel I was coasting. I had to really use my MMORPG wits, but 5+ years of CoH have given me some awareness. For instance, I know not to do an AOE attack in a room full of baddies and then sit there and get pounded. Instead, I save that for when I’ve been working on three or four baddies and they’ve all been worn down a little. I pull that out and two drop immediately and I can mop of the remaining two without breaking a sweat.
I created a character called Bola Firebrand. She’s impulsive, not completely bright, but very, very formidable. They have the usual flight or superspeed travel powers (which you get right away at lvl 1) as well as my personal favorite, a hybrid called acrobatics. It’s like 3/4s super speed, but you can also climb literally anything (I sometimes find myself climbing things I didn’t intend to) and once at the top of a tall building, you can glide for a very long way like a poor man’s flying. It’s pretty cool.
Because it’s in the DC Universe, you get to meet Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, and a host of lesser DC heroes (Hawkman is apparently Native American, and the Martian dude has very good English for a furriner). This is a stripped down game with a big world and relatively few other players compared to CoH. I was easily able to solo as long as I used my head. They made it easy to get into the game and learn the controls without hitting you over the head “TRAINING MISSION” or “BIG, SLOPPY EXPOSITION.” The way they advertised this, I thought it was supposed to be a WOW-killer. As such, it’s clear that their audience was much different; PS3 players would had never played a MMORPG (and also those stray PC gamers who were comic book geeks or looking for a break from something else).
As a light summer diversion, I’m quite enjoying DC Universe Online.