Sunday, July 25, 2010

DC Universe Online

You'd probably not know this from my posts here over the past two and a half years but I'm a huge geek.  I grew up in the 70's and 80's playing Dungeons and Dragons and I started collecting comic books in 1979.  By the time I graduated High School I had about 20,000 comics in my collection but stopped collecting for about 10 years shortly after.  I started collecting comic books again in 2001 and stopped again in 2003 or 2004 because by that time they had just grown so expensive and I had philosophical differences with the literary devices creative teams were using more and more often.  The dreaded story-arc!  A story-arc is usually six issues long and features five issues of dramatic lead-up to the final issue in the arc.  The main plot usually climaxes in a finale in just a few pages, which in my mind is a tremendous let down.  There's also the issue that creative teams move around entirely too much these days.  In the "old days" creative teams would spend years on a title developing the characters and multiple plot lines, but it's not unusual now to see creative teams on one title for as little as four to six months and rarely on the same title for more than a year.  It leads to disjointed title and character development as every new team that comes in seeks to put their own spin on things.  I really detest it.  And I detest even more the cheapness which both Marvel and DC use "death" now.  Characters die and the emotion wrapped up in that event is completely lost because we all know they'll be back in short order.

I still consider myself to be a tremendous comic fan, holding Thor, Batman, Daredevil, Iron-man, the X-men (Nightcrawler, Wolverine and Cyclops were always my favorites), and Superman as my favorites but certainly not the only heroes I loved to follow.  Suffice to say I'm a huge fan of the genre yet that hasn't exactly carried over into my gaming.  I've generally steered clear of super-hero based MMOs and games, having never played City of Heroes/Villains or Champions online (though I did play Champions with paper and pencil back in the day).  I have been following, somewhat, the DC Universe MMO and Marvel's deal announced last year but DC Universe Online is only one of the two that is close to release and unfortunately it's been developed by SOE.  I've vowed never again play an SOE developed game so despite the awesomeness that is the latest game trailer I'm going to have to put a lot of thought into whether I want to go back on that vow or now before I try DCUO.

So what about the other two best known Hero-based MMOs?  Why haven't I ever played those?  Hero based MMOs don't follow the typical model found in most Fantasy based  MMOs these days.  Hero based MMOs feature plenty of PVE but are shy of content that makes the PVP aspects meaningful.  Perhaps I'm mistaken but my impression is that PVP in the hero-based MMOs are mindless and really serve no purpose, which I think is a travesty.   In any event that's the prime concern I have with DCUO as well.  Questing is fine but at the end of the day I get most of my enjoyment from going head to head with others, and I don't really want that to be meaningless.  It'll be interesting to see how things unfold as DCUO gets closer to release in November.