Should I still be paying monthly fees for games? Part 1 – DC Universe Online
MMOs, OnLive and PlayStation Plus. Between those three I’m spending a little over £200 a year, which sounds okay until I realise half of it is DC Universe Online, whose best rate is £50 per 180 days. When put in that context; one game for a year or a hundred (OnLive and Plus together will easily give you a hundred games to play), I wonder why the hell I keep playing. I tell myself it’s the people, since there are some very real friends I only ever speak to in that game, but is that enough? In terms of the game itself, it’s hard not to feel its evolution is too slow. Glacial even. All the peppy Jens Anderson YouTube videos in the world can’t mask the underlying problems: There are still connection issues two years on, the graphics haven’t changed much, the underwhelming DLC is overpriced, etc.
So what do I think DCUO needs? It needs something as drastic as World of Warcraft’s Cataclysm; a complete redesign of the game’s largest spaces with a new main enemy to go along with it. That would also provide the opportunity for more differentiated content for player origins? What the hell does that mean? It means I think it should matter more whether your mentor is Batman or Superman, Circe or Joker, affecting where you start. Presently, there are six mentors, comprised of three hero/villain pairings, but only two cities (Central City doesn’t count; there are bigger raids).
Generally the combat feels good, but I’d like to see dual wielding introduced. Not only would that allow the classic sword and shield combo, but I also love the idea of using a sword and pistol at the same time.
At the very least, the animations for quest givers need to be redone, moving away from the two second emote loops we see today. Honestly, conversations look like the NPCs are juggling invisible balls and the animation for “writhing in agony” (used mostly for Batwoman… in-joke) is the very definition of janky.
Obviously I don’t actually expect SOE to implement every change I’ve listed, but I do want them to be a bit more ambitious with their budget than they’ve proven to date. While I still haven’t cancelled my subscription, I think it’s fair to say I’d like to have gotten a little more for my £300, or whatever I’ve spent on DCUO so far.