Monday, December 13, 2010

DCUO Character Creation

Since the DCUO Beta NDA has dropped I thought I would share some thoughts on the character creation process of the game. It's easy to forget that the only two super hero themed MMOs on the market were developed by one studio, Cryptic. One thing Cryptic is known for is their character creation and the huge amount of variety it offers players. So how does DCUO stack up with Champions Online and City of Heroes? Well let's take a look at what you will have to work with.

The first choice players will have to decide is whether male or female and then what build they want - Large, Medium or Small. For this example I chose male and medium build type. Next up is the real meat of the character creation process, the template selection. There are only two options to choose from, Custom and Inspired By.

In a Custom template players will be able to customize powers, movement mode, weapon and costume. The Inspired By option has some pre-made templates based off some of the heroes and villains found in the DC Universe.

The Inspired By option is a nice feature for players looking to get into the game quickly or for those who want to mimic their favorite DC character, but a quick scan of the available options will show two things - a limited number of templates to choose from and some questionable power and combat combinations. For example Superman has Ice powers and Brawling combat style, and the Flash has Fire powers and Brawling combat style. Neither of those makes any sort of sense, but it does highlight one of DCUO's shortcomings which I shall get to a bit later.

For demonstration purposes I chose Custom template. Next up players will need to decide if they are going to fight for the side of good or join the side of evil, I chose good.

The next choice I had to make was my character's personality. What ever players choose it has no affect on combat. What the personality does do is determine how a character stands still or walks around the game world, and frankly the choices suck. What's really missing is some sort of default or normal option instead of some of these absurd personality choices.

Since I chose a custom template I now need to chose my mentor. For the heroes it's Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. For the villains it's Lex Luthor, Joker and Circe. If you are wondering who Circe is then you're not alone, I have no idea either.

After choosing a mentor I now have the all important choice of which power I want to use. If you read the description it says that the power selection determines combat strategy and my role in groups. Here's the kicker, there are only six powers to choose from. Six. And the choices available are not all that great either. You have Fire, Gadgets, Ice, Mental, Nature and Sorcery. Even though there are only six powers to choose from, each power has two power trees that players will be able to spend points on when they level up.

The next step is skill choices, movement and weapon. Since there are only three movement options to choose from, I took flight as mine. Weapon choice determines combat style more than anything. One might get a different idea if they were to actually believe the description that is provided. There are only ten choices to choose from and it's nothing that hasn't been done already.

Since this post is turning out to be epic in length I'll try to summarize the rest as succinctly as possible. The rest of the character creation process involves a characters look and costume. There are quite a number of options to choose from in determining how you want your character to look. Even so, the shirt and pants options are not all that varied, there are a limited number of glove or hand choices and shoe options is just laughable. It's a good thing that DCUO is a loot based game like WoW or WAR because items can change the character's appearance.

So what is DCUO's biggest shortcoming you might ask? It's variety, it's the number of choices that players have, it's customization, DCUO just doesn't have enough of it all. Don't get me wrong, the game looks great, the combat is a lot of fun and the quests so far are pretty fun, but when compared to its other super hero brethren the character creation is sorely lacking.

Hopefully this was entertaining and informative enough for everyone.

Friday, December 10, 2010


I am not sure why, but for some reason I have this urge to try out some LOTRO f2p. I'm not sure where this sensation is coming from or why, but it's there for some reason. Despite my tone when I talk about the game, I don't hate it. I have my issues with LOTRO that have frustrated me over the years to the point that I quit because I grew tired of them.

I seriously doubt that the game has changed and I will suddenly fall back in love with it, but maybe I can learn to deal or overlook the shortcomings and just enjoy LOTRO for what it is. Maybe, I kind of like not having a MMO right now. Then again LOTRO is free...we shall see.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Thoughts Coming Soon On DCUO Beta.

I believe Massively and PCGamer have already posted up information about the DCUO beta, but I figured I would take some time to post about my thoughts as well. I will unfortunately have to get to it sometime this weekend, for some reason the client wants to update and download the whole 8.6gb of the game. Not sure why it want's to do that but I will have to wait till it's done in order to take some screenshots of the character creation process, the tutorial and then Gotham and Metropolis.

I wish I owned a full copy of Fraps so I could post video with some commentary, so for now screenshots with some detailed writing will have to sufice. I will share a quick thought about the game so far - it starts off with a bang but kind of fizzles once out of the tutorial. Also, if you are expecting Cryptic kind of customization then you will be slightly dissapointed.

That's it for now, I do plan on going into a bit more detail once I have let the client update itself.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Cataclysm of Man Hours Lost!

So I wonder how many man hours will be lost today around the world because of WoW's new expansion Cataclysm? And you know what else? Three Activision-Blizzard releases are going to account for the majority of the sales for the PC this year, very unfortunate.

I suspect that I am one of the few that will not be partaking in WoW's newest content, and I am perfectly fine with that. I did do the midnight launch for the Burning Crusade, eventually did pick up Wrath after a few months of release and as of right now I have little to no interest in getting Cataclysm or even playing WoW.

I have played so much WoW over the years that I am just burnt out on the game. It's a great game and does many things that I like and look for in a MMO, I've just played it a lot. But then maybe that's what the purpose of the 1.4 patch and the Cataclysm expansion are for. When you think about it, the recent changes to WoW are as close to a sequel without actually being a sequel.

Uh-oh, I think I have just talked myself into almost playing WoW again. So for the sake of my sanity, I will end this post with this statement: I hope Cataclysm is everything WoW players have wanted and I look forward to the myriad of blog posts about it!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Still A Sucker!

I know that I had intended to reduce my PC game purchases, but I am a sucker for sales, specially the ones on Steam. In case you didn't know, there are a ton of sales that go on after Thanksgiving, both retail and online, and it's kind of a big deal. I honestly don't remember purchasing so many games like I have this year, both during Steam's summer sale in June/July and just recently. And I do expect to be buying something hopefully if there is a holiday sale as well!

I did exercise some restraint during the Thanksgiving sales, mostly because I didn't want to buy a ton of product that I may or may not play. With that said, I did buy five games and only two games from Steam and one was not a digital purchase.

On Friday the 26th I purchased Burnout: Ultimate Edition from Steam and Sims 3 from the EAStore. On Saturday I went and ordered Splinter Cell Conviction from GoGamer because it was only ten bucks! But I did have to pay tax and shipping, still it was cheaper than when it was listed on Steam for sale a day later. Then on Monday, the last day of the Steam sale I picked up Dirt 2 for dirt cheap and Metro 2033, two games that I have been wanting to get for a very long time.

Frankly the only game that I could have done without is Burnout. It's a great game and I did want it, but it was more of a purchase based on the idea that it may not be at the sale price of fifteen bucks anytime soon. I could be wrong and it may be even cheaper next time, it has happened. Sims 3 was only fifteen which was great cause I wasn't about to pay full price for that, and Dirt 2 was only five bucks and Metro 2033 was only ten!

The game I was most excited to buy was Metro 2033 hands down. The game looks awesome and I have heard nothing but great things about it. Once my current addiction to Mass Effect dies down I will be moving on to Metro 2033.

I will say that there were a lot more than these five games that I was tempted to pick up. I am really looking forward to the Christmas holiday sales, hopefully I will be able to exercise the same restraint then like I did this last sale.