DC Universe Online

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Matt Barton
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Looks like a spanking new MMO debuted today.

Anyone playing it? Love to read your thoughts.

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clok1966
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maybe
Bill Loguidice wrote:

So, how do you expand the market for MMOs? Right now they're a mostly PC and dedicated software phenomena. One way is to create an MMO that is playable on mobile, consoles and PC, and runs a thin client (i.e., mostly browser-based).

Free Realms is sorta like that, to a degree and its farily huge ( but they mesure subscribers different than P2P games do) its not the actual idea you are talking where the hardware is just he input and output and not the processing power, but its closer to that than most.

I really dont think we will ever see another 11 million game.. the market is to flooded. We are going to see hundreds of 1 million player games, not one big one. But who knows, while I sorta knock blizzard from time to time for never having original ideas, just using old ones and makeing them better, they did it with WoW, took MMORPGs to the next level.. I would guess it could be done again, but its hard to see withthe saturation we are getting now. And with the quality of F2Play games growing higher and higher.

Bill Loguidice
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Let's face it, the biggest

Let's face it, the biggest factor in the next big MMO craze is going to be luck, i.e., something intangible that we couldn't guess at. If there was a direct way to take some of the thunder away from WoW, it would have happened already. I still say that the best way to take some of the buzz away from WoW - and in fact the most likely way - is expansion of the market, rather than taking away enough from the leader. At some point there will be attrition, but like I said, I think it's at such a critical mass, losing any notable percentage of the user base is unlikely. As we know, being just good enough is sufficient to beat better. Ultima Online and EverQuest weren't quite good enough, whereas WoW got enough things right and had all the other factors in its favor to achieve massive and sustainable popularity. I see few parallels with what happened with Ultima Online and EverQuest and what could happen with WoW.

So, how do you expand the market for MMOs? Right now they're a mostly PC and dedicated software phenomena. One way is to create an MMO that is playable on mobile, consoles and PC, and runs a thin client (i.e., mostly browser-based). The lower the barrier to entry, the more likely you are to have people try it and reach that all important critical mass that thus far only WoW has attained. That is of course easier said than done, but theoretically the technology is very much in place to pull something like that off. Of course there ARE MMO's that ARE playable in browsers and cross-functional on the PC, Wii, PS3, etc., but they're small-time operations and don't have nearly the feature-set necessary. This would need the investment of a deep pocketed company, say like an Apple...

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Matt Barton
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I agree about all of WoW's

I agree about all of WoW's appeals, but there's no way it's going to be king forever. As I said, players just need to see a better game with richer graphics, a streamlined interface, and most likely some new way to interact with people. All of the stuff that people are saying about WoW was said about Everquest and probably Ultima Online as well. Imagine what they must have said about EQ--oh, come on, please, this is ULTIMA! What the hell is Everquest? Likewise, people must have felt terrible who had awesome characters, big guilds, and so on in EQ, but they did pick up and move on in droves. Some stayed--plenty enough to have a sustainable game. Again, it's not a question of WoW "dying" or going offline. It's just a question of some new game that draws in the millions and pulls the majority of the marketshare away from them. EQ had 3D graphics and such, but it also had much better co-op and the PVP wasn't such an issue. WoW improved on that yet again by upping the solo play and further streamlining the co-op. I'm sure whatever comes next will just take that to the next level, probably by eliminating the biggest problem with WoW and pretty much all MMORPGs--stupid, rude, or malicious players who ruin the experience.

I've been studying a lot of the social networking games and notice many ways that those concepts could be integrated into an MMO. One thing I've noticed is the abundance of passive co-op; people helping you indirectly because they get some benefit from it, too. On the other hand, they're usually very careful about not setting up the gameplay so that a novice or even malicious gamer can really do any harm to you at all. Sure, you'd rather have a great neighbor who really knew the game and was helping you out a lot, but even a "bad" neighbor can't help but benefit you in countless ways (many items are only available to people with X number of neighbors, for instance).

WoW does have decent solo play, but let's face it, that's not going to be enough for most people. They're going to want to run instances, and then raids (PVP is different and definitely not for everyone). That's when you have to confront assholes and idiots. If they're mean, stupid, or just plain suck, the whole experience will suck. That's awful for anyone. Even in most best case scenarios, you end up with a group who doesn't talk or really enjoy it; they're just there to get the experience and/or items.

In short, the next step for MMORPGs is to find some way so that nobody can ruin the experience for you, either intentionally or accidentally (i.e., by not being a good player). I'm not quite sure how that could be done at this point, but it's certainly possible.

Imagine an MMO where you could safely join any party or guild because you knew that no harm would come to you--in fact, nothing but benefits--even if they all sucked or were total assholes. That's something that would drive most people from WoW, all else being equal.

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clok1966
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its been said before there

its been said before there will be no WoW killer. Sadly i have to agree, WoW is not something that will ever be replicated. Not becuase somebody wont do it better, but becuase WoW was the one of those "good product, right time, right place" things. I think WoW's succes is such a combo of stuff. First, it runs on almost any hardware (well did , its slowely upgrading some old hardware out of use). Second the graphics are slightly cartoon like. Some will say this is a negative, some love it. Personaly I hated it when I started the game (EQ2 had just came out with amazing but pretty earth tone like grapahics), but the artists for Blizzard are GOOD, really good, they make amazing stuff with the restrictions they are handed (machine wise). I dont think you can find anybody who doesnt think they are creative art wise. Third, they did the one thing most other MMORPG's didnt (up to that point) they made the game SOLO friendly. MMORPGS are about groups, but if you ahve every played (or worked) with 5 other people, lining it up so all the times work out is a chore. Then put that in perspective, most online games have people from all time zones. Then even one more layer, our free time is very varied. So getting group that can play 2-4 hours can be tricky. The ability to not sit on your thumbs and go "PLAY"!!!! even when you dont have a group is a HUGE draw.
it has all the normal carrots, better gear, more levels, but it adds so many more. Titles, achievments, Vanity pets, Vanity mounts, Trinkets that can do silly stuff like make you into another character. Holiday quests, explorer experiance, tradeskills, Armour sets for several types of grinding (arena, HK, etc), faction reputation to build, ....
Basicly if you are sick of killing, you can go make stuff with tradeskills, you can go gather to sell in the Auction House, heck if you wanna be a gambler you can play the Auction house, buy low, sell high (there are people who make tons of money doing just this). They even got rid of the one thing most other games ahve when one high level player helps a low level. The low level if he choses to be "helped" can be.. he will still get some exp (reduced becuase of help from high level, but NOT TAKEN AWAY) and get the quest done.

Wow has simply taken all the mistakes the others before it made and fixed them the best it could. They have not had any problem fixing mistakes they made. Most MMORPG get in the rut of either stikcing to the "vision" to much it starts to happer gameplay, or they listen to the web boards and change stuff without thinking. Blizzard sorta stradles the line, they change alot often, and many times change it back. I almost think they keep changing it so people cant say nothing is ever fixed.
They also did one thing recently that I think most "old" one will follow suit with. THEY took all the OLD content and refreshed it. Once a game gets so old nobody except alts (new characters made by old players) goes throuhg all the stuff that was new at one time. By totally revamping all the old content they made it so people wanted to redo all th old levels. This has the side effect of making those players who have MAX leveled a character start over (the cycle continues, they may have done alll they can with the player they love and got bored, now they have to start all over!!!)

WoW is the only WoW, I simply cant see anything being that big again. We are to a saturation point, there are to many MMORPG's and more on the way. many are resorting to F2Play models to keep going. I do think this is the way of the future. Ask me to give you $15 a month just to play, I dont like it. Ask me to give you $30 a month (in little chunks instead of one big one) so I can level faster, sure .. Human nature strikes again!

MMORPG's are here to stay, in fact I think they are somewaht the way of the future, maybe not RPG's , but I see online shooters (FPS) finding some persistant world thing to make they draw in an even bigger crowd. Some way for the E-penis to be shown. I see alot of much smaller than WoW games thriving. The new Star Wars game is a bit Iffy, there are so many "romours" that all the money spent was on stuff like voice actors and not the game. That the game is far to "been there, done that" that it will not be a big success. I normally put it all off as haters.. but there is so much of it, i"m starting to think its true. It will be a huge success at launch im sure.. but will it be like all the others, sell a boatload of copies and fial to keep um subscribed? I think if it holds 1million subscribers in 6 months after launch it will be a success... nobody else has done that.

Personally i think the next "wowKiller" will be a game that didnt set out to do that. I knew every new MMORPG to come out says" we are not trying to compete with WoW, we think there can be a audiance for both games". it will be some game that is looking for a different nitch, somthing nobody thought would be as huge as it will be. Sombody just hopeing to get a peice of the pie, not 3/4 of it. And there is some speculation Blizzard may just kill itself, they do have a NEW MMORPG in the works, amybe they will kill off wow themselves with STARCRAFT ONLINE ?

I love WoW, I enjoy playing it as there is simply so much to do, you never have a dull moment. But there is a double edged sword, its a huge player base, wonderfull thing, but being so huge means alot more bad apples in the bunch. WoW is simply the most fun with some true freinds, but as its ONLINE getting that to happen can be difficult. So you end up playing with bad apples alot. This also seems to sour alot of new players, the player base is a bit eliteist nowdays as they ahve been playing the game so long.

Personally I just cant see a reason to play any other of the MMORPG's, wow has the most options, the best player base (and worst) the easist leveling, the most help on the web, its just simply the do all. its only real negative is the monthly fee.

Bill Loguidice
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I don't think anything has a

I don't think anything has a reasonable chance of toppling WoW or even coming close to WoW. It's too entrenched. Even free MMO's don't have anywhere near the same dedicated userbase, and that's telling. The only thing that has the potential to topple WoW in the forseeable future is another MMO from Bungie. So I think Bungie will be the one to decide when WoW gets toppled, not the competition. The difference between previous MMO leaders like Ultima Online and EverQuest was one of critical mass--they were extremely popular respective to their eras, but never achieved a critical commercial mass. WoW achieved that, and I believe it also has sufficient audio-visual appeal where something looking/sounding better is a non-factor--it's reached the minimum levels of appeal necessary to be acceptable indefinitely.

I think there's a certain psychology at play here too and Dr. Vergeer could probably speak to this much better than I could ever hope to, but I'll give it a go anyway. Playing MMO's properly is dependent upon a compulsive need to play, not dependent upon any whiz-bang mechanics or audio-visuals. Unlike other games where you get bored and you move on after a time, even if you get bored with an MMO, you're still psychologically obligated to play, particularly if there are others dependent upon you (aka, your Guild or Faction). There is also a certain herd mentality. So unless there's some compelling reason to switch to another MMO beyond the usual things that make people typically switch off one game to another (because they don't apply to an MMO), WoW has nothing to worry about. I think at this point the competition merely has to think about expanding the market rather than taking away. That to me is the only strategy that has any hope of working. The critical mass line has been crossed.

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Matt Barton
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WoW Killer in 2016

There's no way The Old Republic will topple WoW. The only thing that can topple it is another WoW but done so much better graphically or gameplay-wise that it's like our Chrome discussion--people will only move when it's just obvious that there's a clear and better alternative. Look at the history of it--Ultima Online (97) replaced by Everquest (99) replaced by WoW (2004). Note that we're looking at 2 years and 5 years between those two, so perhaps we need 12.5 years for the replacement. So if my math is correct (I'm being tongue in cheek here) we can expect a replacement in May of 2016.

In any case, the next WoW will be another generic fantasy title with some kind of amazing graphics and even more streamlined interface. You'll be looking at it compared to WoW and be able to see a noticeable increase in quality.

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Rowdy Rob
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WoW: The game that can't be killed!
clok1966 wrote:

Of course online games are about the social aspect so it just doesnt work well if a singel "hero" can take on anything. So I understand the design of it. But the problem with a SUPER HERO game is you just dont feel that super later, you always need help. And again, it wouldnt be a good game if you could solo it all, MMORPG are not Singel player games.

That's an excellent point, Clok. The whole point of being a superhero is the fact that you stand out from ordinary people, but if you're just another hero in a sea of heroes, I would guess that you'd feel rather ordinary after a while, and figure that you might as well go back to WoW. The basic premise, as you pointed out, doesn't bode well for long-term playability.

It's weird that, with so many MMOs out there right now, no game seems to be able to top WoW! How come no other game can replicate and definitively improve upon WoW after so many attempts?!?! Is it the game "WoW" itself, or is it the fact that WoW has developed an addictive SOCIAL niche within the game that's difficult to crack? After all, leaving WoW would not only mean leaving all your in-game accomplishments and work behind, but also your "friends" behind as well!

It sounds like "Star Wars: The Old Republic" is the last hope for any serious competition for WoW. After spending many an hour playing the solo "Knights of the Old Republic" game, I'm somewhat looking forward to "The Old Republic," even though I'm somewhat MMO-averse.

clok1966
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I did a very poorly worded

I did a very poorly worded and spelled review on it here about a month ago when the NDA was lifted. I was in Beta and played it up till about 2 weeks ago on an off. I was a big fan of City of Hero's when it came out. It was somewhat different then the standard Fantasy or Sci_fi MMORPG. In the base sence they are all the same, fireball=laser blast=Superman Punch, and heal=instant med pack=empathy healing. Nothing new under the sun and so on. But the SUPER HERO games where a bit more fast action, and flying, superfast running, jumping over buildings was kinda fun. And they did get the superhero part down in the early levels, plow into 10 thugs and take um down, it was quite a rush. But thats where the games start to lose the hero and start blending in with all the rest. After those first 10 or so levels you really have to group to take on anything but straglers. Joe Baddazz hero should not have to worry about 2 guys with guns, he is a hero! I understand Super villans being a worry, but the henchmen?

Of course online games are about the social aspect so it just doesnt work well if a singel "hero" can take on anything. So I understand the design of it. But the problem with a SUPER HERO game is you just dont feel that super later, you always need help. And again, it wouldnt be a good game if you could solo it all, MMORPG are not Singel player games.

As for DC Online- Its very pretty, they did a great job of getting the gritty city down. I felt like I was in a back alley in a BATMAN Comic. Well done I say! And haveing NAME BRAND hero's, Superman, batman, etc give you missions or evening joinging you on some (tutorial you fight with one) is pretty cool and adds a little "ohh and ahh" to the game.

But (the negative) if you ahve played City Of Hero's or Champions Online (soon to be F2Play) you have played DC Online. Its the same game, they all are, with some small tweeks and changes. Personally DC is by far the best looking, but for gameplay I tend to think City of Hero's is the best still. DC is fun in the same way as the rest, and the Name brand hero's is a nice touch.

I cant see it being succesfull any more than any of the other crop of MMOPG's that have came out Post WoW, Name brand can only carry you so far, as STO, and SWG has shown. The PS3 version as has a chacne to be succesfull as one of the first modern console MMORPG ... (FF online and Everquest online whre both out earlier but didnt do that well).

Not a bad game at all.

Bill Loguidice
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I had the free beta on the

I had the free beta on the PS3, but never got around to trying it, unfortunately. It's definitely promising with that license, but pricing seems a bit much: http://www.dcuniverseonline.com/pricing/ . I'd rather see them offer a free version and just cripple the thing until you're hooked. I think free is the way to go unless someone can come up with something so compelling people are willing to forgo something like WoW.

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