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An Early Look At DC Universe Online

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the with-x-ray-vision dept.

Games 60

Joystiq got the opportunity to spend some time playing an early version of Sony's DC Universe Online . Though the MMO won't be released for perhaps a year, the developers seem to have created a solid foundation for an entertaining and innovative game. GameDaily is running an interview with Marv Wolfman, a comic veteran who recently joined the DCUO team. From Joystiq: "DCUO is very much an action MMO, with few game mechanics decided by the roll of the algorithmic dice. The game controls much like most third-person action titles, with standard light and heavy (charge-sensitive) attacks, a jump action and an interact button (notably, used to pick up cars). Super moves are mapped to the same four face buttons (when using the PS3 gamepad; a keyboard and mouse will be compatible with the console version, too) and are activated using L2 and R2 toggles. In total, up to eight super moves are easily accessible at any given time. Our character could fire ice balls and freezing rays at opponents, melee them with blocks of ice, or conveniently freeze them inside larger blocks, for example. A simple targeting mode (accessed by holding R1) locks the game camera onto an opponent for focused attacks. ... DC Universe Online isn't trying to strictly clone today's success models. SOE is making genuine efforts to build what could be the best superhero game ever conceived, and we're excited to watch it grow."

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As an occasional EQ2 player . . . (4, Insightful)

geniusj (140174) | more than 5 years ago | (#26780521)

It'd be nice to see them have some sort of success again. Or anyone, really. It's depressing to see only one large player in the market. Bring on the innovation. Anyone. Please.

Re:As an occasional EQ2 player . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26783455)

This is one of the reasons why I play Atlantica Online [ndoorsgames.com] . It uses turn-based combat which is a very unique feature. For a free MMO, the quality is fantastic and, at least on my server (Macedon), the user base quite friendly/helpful/fun.

I'm hoping it will be a success to cause people to rethink how MMOs can be built.

Re:As an occasional EQ2 player . . . (2, Insightful)

Drogo007 (923906) | more than 5 years ago | (#26787311)

Define Success.

There's several MMOs out there that are surviving quite nicely. You don't need to have a multi-million-subscriber base to be successful. As long as the company can pay the bills and keep bringing new content to the players, I'd call it a success. By that definition there's probably a couple dozen successful MMOs out there.

Bad Analogy Time: Just because the Mom & Pop store on the corner doesn't have the revenues of Wal-Mart doesn't mean it's not a successful venture. As long as they make enough to pay the bills and fulfill whatever financial goals they have - who's to say they're not successful?

Re:As an occasional EQ2 player . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26797041)

LOL, yes. WoW must be super successful because it's a stagnant old game that refuses to change or innovate. That must be why more people are joining the game than leaving it.

And not to mention the fact that EQ1 is still successful and selling expansions. Not to mention EQ2, LotRO, CoH/V, and other MMOs. Of course, I appreciate you candid Sony lovefest.

Me? I'm not excited about DCUO (though their action model does sound like a good change) but I am looking forward to KotOR and the Star Trek MMO. Yes, that's right. The MMO market is anything but stagnant. Which is why I find your comment to be pretty silly claiming otherwise.

Sorry, but... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26780535)

Linux just isn't ready for the desktop yet. It may be ready for the web servers that you nerds use to distribute your TRON fanzines and personal Dungeons and Dragons web-sights across the world wide web, but the average computer user isn't going to spend months learning how to use a CLI and then hours compiling packages so that they can get a workable graphic interface to check their mail with, especially not when they already have a Windows machine that does its job perfectly well and is backed by a major corporation, as opposed to Linux which is only supported by a few unemployed nerds living in their mother's basement somewhere. The last thing I want is a level 5 dwarf (haha) providing me my OS.

Re:Sorry, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26780603)

I bet Superman could use Linux on the desktop, though. And Batman, he's pretty smart too, and rich, so he could support Linux development a lot more than Mark Shuttleworth. Martian Manhunter would probably rather use some Martian operating system, though, and I'm not sure Wonder Woman even uses computers.

Re:Sorry, but... (5, Funny)

Your.Master (1088569) | more than 5 years ago | (#26780659)

I imagine Superman to be nearly incapable of tolerating the relatively low fidelity and sampling/refresh of modern displays and sound systems.

He may be able to use voice commands on embedded devices without going insane. He might have a prop Windows machine as part of his "mild-mannered" persona. He might pretend to use machines at the Daily Planet, too, which statistically would also be Windows.

Batman also strikes me as a Windows guy. He's rich enough that free as in beer means nothing; his fashion sense shows us he's not part of Apple's target demographic; and he tries to pass himself off as totally mainstream (except hopelessly rich) in his non-superhero life. Alternatively, he might have commissioned his own custom BatOS which is not based on any existing design for an Operating System and somehow none of the people involved in its creation spoke up.

Spiderman is totally a Linux user. I don't think any reasonable person could question that. ...I'm out of my nerd-depth for other superheroes.

Re:Sorry, but... (1)

drik00 (526104) | more than 5 years ago | (#26780795)

You're nuts... Batman would obviously be a Slackware guy, he wants control over everything. Spidey I can see as an Ubuntu user, nerdy enough to use Linux, but he doesn't have the OCD to want to tweak everything in his distro. Plus, I'd bet money he dual-boots.

J

Re:Sorry, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26780799)

You know superman calls his IT department several times a week to ask about Windows antivirus...

Batman is just crazy about developers developers developers developers. (Yes, for his BatOS.)

Re:Sorry, but... (1)

ImOnlySleeping (1135393) | more than 5 years ago | (#26781925)

Aquaman tops out at speak n spell.

Re:Sorry, but... (1)

kyliaar (192847) | more than 5 years ago | (#26784849)

He needs to use the shower version though.

Re:Sorry, but... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26783145)

Spiderman is totally a Linux user. I don't think any reasonable person could question that. ...I'm out of my nerd-depth for other superheroes.

And he's really good at surfing the Web...

Re:Sorry, but... (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 5 years ago | (#26783255)

Bruce Wayne would use a MAC and a Blackberry. Batman would be some *nix variant.

Re:Sorry, but... (1)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 5 years ago | (#26783337)

*BSD for it's security.... he would use it under a special Batman Source Distribution *badump chhhh*

Re:Sorry, but... (1)

LandDolphin (1202876) | more than 5 years ago | (#26790763)

The Original Poster called with with Bruce Wayne using Windows and Batman using his own personal OS.

Re:Sorry, but... (1)

Etrias (1121031) | more than 5 years ago | (#26783723)

The only thing that beats Superman is green kryptonite but it puts a twist in his tights when MS Word crashes when he's got a deadline to beat at the Daily Planet. Superman runs Windows.

Batman...as Bruce Wayne, he's so rich, he doesn't own a computer at all. He has other people do that for him. In fact, he's got someone who runs his Blackberry because he can't be bothered.

However, in the Bat Cave, Batman runs a Beowulf cluster running a custom BatBSD.

Spiderman runs Mac. Sorry, but as a photographer, I'm just thinking he's a Mac guy. Plus with all those pithy zingers he flings while he swings, he's just that hip.

Re:Sorry, but... (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#26784919)

Daredevil definitely uses Windows. It has much better accessibility support for the deaf and blind than other OS's (and more third party programs available for it).

Re:Sorry, but... (1)

Killjoy_NL (719667) | more than 5 years ago | (#26789273)

Totally agree on Spiderman, he made his own costume, his own webshooters.
He'd definitely roll his own distro :)

Underwhelmed (3, Insightful)

Jekler (626699) | more than 5 years ago | (#26780647)

Maybe this is a step in the right direction but I'm severely underwhelmed by what qualifies for "innovative" when it comes to games. I don't find WoW to be significantly more advanced than EQ1. Better graphics, sound, and animation but the gameplay is just as hollow and repetitive as any other MMO (all of them being a GUI on top of a landscape of random number generators). There's a lot of complaints about bots, but any game a bot can play is mind-numbingly simple, bots can't even play age-old board games like Go, Backgammon, or Chess very effectively. If a designer has done an even halfway decent job of designing an interactive 3D world, a bot shouldn't stand a chance at success. Anything in 3 dimensions should be far more complex than Go, because a 3d world itself can contain the complex board games. I think the designers forget about things like spatial awareness or presenting players with non-trivial decisions that require an understanding of morality, metaphor, or abstraction. Instead, every task in these damn MMOs is supremely suited to perfect repetition (e.g. use these skills in a certain order, on a certain number of creatures, repeat) and repetition is about the only thing computers/bots excel at.

Anyway, I just don't think this DC game is going to be as "innovative" as people believe. I'll be surprised if it's even 1% more advanced than WoW. I understand they're trying to do an action MMO thing, commendable, but I know somewhere down the line they're going to cave in and make the thing like DDO, all the drawbacks of a physics system combined with all the drawbacks of a dice-rolling system, none of the benefits of either.

Re:Underwhelmed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26780735)

The word "innovate" doesn't mean what it used to. Think minor, incremental or trivial change...

And I lose to the chess bot frequently, but I OWN WoW bots... >.>

Bots are hardly a metric (1)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 5 years ago | (#26781231)

Bots are hardly a metric, because:

A) _All_ that bots do is kill NPCs in a mindless loop. It's not like anyone made a bot which actually does quests for you or organizes a raiding guild or anything.

So basically you have _one_ aspect of the game which can be botted, the combat system. That's all. For most of us it's even the least interesting part of the game, we're in for the quests and social interaction actually.

So basically it seems to me that rejecting the whole game because the least important aspect of it can be botted, is on par with rejecting TV because a bot (PVR) can start and stop recording without your assistance.

B) If you actually made a game where combat is too complex for a bot, then it'll be too complex for the average human too. Most people lose badly to a chess program or even a Go program. If combat against an opponent was genuinely as complex and required such deep thinking as a Go match, 99% of the customers wouldn't even make it out of the newbie zone. They wouldn't survive the tutorial.

And doubly so for the casual gamer who just wants to jump in some game after work and spend some time mindlessly mashing buttons. There are plenty of people who play a game precisely to _not_ use their head. What makes you think they'd want to learn a system that complex?

I still can't convince mom to learn her abilities in WoW beyond the level of "click on whatever ability has recharged", for example, because frankly that's not what she plays the game for. What makes you think she'd be interested in something with the complexity of chess or go?

Re:Bots are hardly a metric (1)

Jekler (626699) | more than 5 years ago | (#26782049)

"So basically you have _one_ aspect of the game which can be botted, the combat system. That's all. For most of us it's even the least interesting part of the game..." That's some circular logic. It's the least interesting part of the game because it's so repetitive that bots can do it for you. If it weren't repetitive, it wouldn't be the least interesting part of the game. I didn't reject WoW because "the least important part can be botted". I reject it, and most other MMOs, because they lack mental and emotional depth. The worlds are very broad, but all the diversity in the game is completely shallow. The games is as deep as the interface that lies on top of the random number generators. Any interaction between player and game is purely superficial, you don't ever actually change the game world. You can't be "the hero" or "the person who slew the lich", you're one of 3 million people who did exactly the same thing. It's like Meatwad getting to be the Moon Master and being the only one to beat all the levels. Him and everyone else that has a copy of the game. I reject it because all accomplishments in the game are inevitable, you don't need to get more skilled. It's not possible to ever lose at the game, at worst you can only experience temporal setbacks. If you can't lose, similarly, you can't win. Anything you do in the game is a function of the time spent playing. You don't have to get better, you need to play more. If you play the most, you'll be the best, practically guaranteed.

Bullshit (1)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 5 years ago | (#26782857)

"So basically you have _one_ aspect of the game which can be botted, the combat system. That's all. For most of us it's even the least interesting part of the game..." That's some circular logic. It's the least interesting part of the game because it's so repetitive that bots can do it for you. If it weren't repetitive, it wouldn't be the least interesting part of the game

No, it's not circular until you apply your own strawman in the loop. You seem to assume that everyone has the same tastes you do, plays for the exact same reasons and goals, and they need to be enlightened if they think otherwise.

Get this: if the combat system was that high on my list of priorities, I would play another game where it's better done. If I wanted something the complexity of Go, I'd still play Go. It's that simple. We play the games that match our tastes, don't warp the tastes to match some predestined game.

It's not like there aren't MMOs where you get more combat (e.g., Planetside), or games where more strategic thinking is involved (strategy games), or where you can change the world (e.g., by taking ownership of whole sectors like in Eve,) etc. Trust me, I know they exist. I still have MegaMek on my hard drive for a complex turn-based strategy game. If my priorities were that centered around combat, I already know where to go for that.

If you have different tastes, good for you, but spare me the bullshit postulates that everyone else likes or dislikes the same things you do, and for the same reasons.

Let me repeat it, in simpler words so maybe it gets through this time: No, I'm not playing MMOs for the combat. And if combat were the alpha and the omega and too complex even for a bot, I'd go play something else. Starting to comprehend yet?

Re:Bots are hardly a metric (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26783671)

Unfortunately I have to do this anonymously as i moded folks in the thread ... but if you want a combat system with all the varied effects of life join the military. You'll get all the spatial awareness and morally questionable acts you want in a combat situation. You'll only get one try but you do get to stand out and make a difference in the world, or turned into hamburger. Theres a reason people play games for fun and not go around hacking things up with a sword IRL.

http://triptronix.net/ishbadiddle/images/outsidecj0.jpg [triptronix.net]

Re:Bots are hardly a metric (2, Informative)

Jekler (626699) | more than 5 years ago | (#26784175)

I dunno where a whole lot of people get the idea that I want a combat system with all the variety of real life. Things can be simplified for a game without being repetitive. Currently, MMOs pretty much have a correct action to take at any given moment. There's an optimal order to use skills in and battles against the same type of creature will require the player to use the same skills in the same order. Thinking in terms of a tabletop RPG, there usually isn't a clear-cut correct choice, there's some give and take. You don't know exactly how a given creature is going to act so you can't fire off the same list of skills. In MMOs you don't make choices at all. It's classic game theory, there's a dominant choice and so everyone is going to always make that choice.

Re:Bots are hardly a metric (1)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 5 years ago | (#26789667)

Things can be simplified for a game without being repetitive.

Not in an MMO.

Thinking in terms of a tabletop RPG, there usually isn't a clear-cut correct choice, there's some give and take. You don't know exactly how a given creature is going to act so you can't fire off the same list of skills.

That's because in a tabletop RPG you have a DM who can create each new game uniquely. That quite frankly is simply not possible in an MMO - and most people wouldn't like it if it were. It would be a small niche game, like tabletop RPGs are. People like the familiar. People like knowing what x does, and that when encountering x, if you do z+y+f, you'll win the encounter. People don't like it if x did one thing yesterday, and does something different today. It's impossible to keep coming up with fresh content for people who play your game for (in some cases) an average of over 50 hours a week. Imagine trying to do that with a tabletop RPG as a DM. You'd never be able to keep up.

The only way you're going to get what you're asking for is if you have the money to hire a full development team to build your own personal game and keep changing things in it every day to keep it simple yet not repetitive. I have no idea exactly how much money you'd need to accomplish that, but I'd wager it's larger than your annual wage by several orders of magnitude.

Re:Bots are hardly a metric (1)

drsquare (530038) | more than 5 years ago | (#26793903)

A) _All_ that bots do is kill NPCs in a mindless loop.

You don't think it's a bad thing that NPCs can be killed mindlessly by a simple bot?

So basically you have _one_ aspect of the game which can be botted, the combat system. That's all. For most of us it's even the least interesting part of the game, we're in for the quests and social interaction actually.

What is a quest except organised combat? Get the quest, turn on the bot that walks to the npc area, kills all the npcs, picks up the loot needed for the quest, returns to questgiver and gives him the items. Meanwhile you can have a bath.

Oh for crying out loud (4, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 5 years ago | (#26781545)

I get a bit tired of these ennui posts with regards to online games. "Oh they aren't as complex and varied as real life, they are so stupid." Please, come off it. They are designed to be fun, that's all.

As for your use of bots as a metric, that is a very silly one. For one, computer programs are EXTREMELY good at some of the games you mention. I can, for just $15, get a program for my computer that will play chess at the grand master level, should I wish it to (Chessmaster 11). That means that it'll beat the crap out of me, and just about anyone else out there. While there are players in the world who can play at that level and thus beat it reliably, they are few and far between. For most people in the world, the program can continually scale it's AI up to a level that is a challenge for them, and then to a level that they can't handle.

Now compare that to a WoW bot: The player moves their character to an area, gives the bots some basic parameters, and it then wanders around semi-randomly killing and looting monsters. They are screwed if they run in to another player, they can't fight with any efficiency. I've encountered glider bots before and they act as though I'm not there, unless I do something that the game identifies as aggressive. Then they proceed to treat me like a mob, which is useless and results in them begin dead in a hurry.

If this were taken in a chess world it's be like a program that shuffles around your pawns randomly. Yes such a thing is easy to make, doesn't mean the game is easy or that the program is any good at it.

WoW is extremely complex, as are other online games. There's a whole lot to it, including fighting against other humans. Especially when it comes to human interactions, you do get in to all sorts of complex situations. Some are related to game mechanics, like what do you do to counter various tactics. Others are related strategic considerations, like how to best deploy yourself to achieve an objective. Heck there's even social/moral considerations, like should I kill that low level guy or might he in fact have a level 80 druid character that will come and beat me up for an hour if I do? This is just all PvP (as in playing against other people) examples. There's plenty of PvE (as in playing against the computer) examples too. A spatial awareness one, since you mention it, would be a fight where dangerous goop spits out of the floor, and only part of the room is safe. You have to be aware of where you are and move as the safe zone changes, and do so while fighting the boss.

If you want a game that is as complex and varied as life itself, well then prepare to never be happy because it can't happen. Computers aren't that advanced, and there isn't the money to design and implement that sort of thing even if they were. However that doesn't mean that online games are a lot of fun.

Also the basic simplicity that leads to greater complexity is one of the things that a well designed game does right. Some of the all time classic games, computer and non-computer, are classic precisely because they are so simple at the base level but complex at the higher levels. Tetris or Go would be good examples. Not much to the basic rules, but a lifetime can be spent mastering them.

So that MMOs have simple aspects isn't a bad thing, it allows for players to get started easily. If you took someone new to WoW, or especially new to video games, handed them my login, put them up against other players, and said "go" they'd get overwhelmed. They'd have no idea what to do, how to play, and it'd all come too fast. However, strip out all but a couple basic abilities and have them go kill computer monsters that are highly predictable, well then can get started on that and learn.

There's plenty to good online games, if you are interested. However good ones, in particular WoW which is why it is so popular, also keep things very simple at the low levels. If all you want to do is some hack n' slash type gaming, but with friends in a persistent universe, well then it'll do that for you. If you want things that are more complex, well then go to it. There's lots there. You figure out the aspects of the game you like and the level at which yo wish to play it and do so.

WOW is very friendly but certainly not bottable (1)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 5 years ago | (#26781965)

for content that matters.

Yes you can bot killing things, that is not hard to do. Any game can be run by a bot if it just involves monitor player health/power and killing things in the local area.

WOW's entire progression is to get people into doing 5 man content, instances and raids. This is not the realm of bots. Comparing EQ1 with WOW gives EQ much more credit than it ever deserved.

Your quote is laughable "Instead, every task in these damn MMOs is supremely suited to perfect repetition (e.g. use these skills in a certain order, on a certain number of creatures, repeat) and repetition is about the only thing computers/bots excel at."

So is real life. Every task in real life is supremely suited to perfect repetition. Just like in real life extraordinary events will require something other than a bot and those who cannot operate otherwise usually suffer.

For the most all games are the same. You can bot chess just fine thank you, last I heard a computer did just fine. Hence I don't think your argument is other than your bored and it is someone's fault other than your own.

Re:Underwhelmed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26782195)

bots can't even play age-old board games like Go, Backgammon, or Chess very effectively.

Bots can't play chess well? Why don't you go ask Gary Kasparov (only the highest ranked chess player ever) why he lost to IBM's deep blue. Even Chessmaster developed by Ubisoft will more than likely defeat over 98 percentile of human chess players.

Re:Underwhelmed (1)

Jekler (626699) | more than 5 years ago | (#26782437)

Deep Blue was not a bot, it was a supercomputer and massive storage system with special-purpose hardware designed specifically to play chess. Chessmaster isn't a bot, it's a chess application.

Bot - a computer program that automates a task, esp. one that works within the parameters of an existing application. (note: this probably does not include supercomputers or complete applications.)

I said "bot", I didn't say "computing grids can't play chess."

Actually, I'm just gonna give up. There's not really any point in discussing things with someone who actually thinks Deep Blue was a bot.

Re:Underwhelmed (1)

crenshawsgc (1228894) | more than 5 years ago | (#26782639)

He had a really good point. All you are doing is taking things out one more level of abstraction. For example, instead of having your chess "bot" get paramaters right from the application, just have it take captures of the board image and recognize the pieces. That is not a difficult task. Then, bolt on a chess-playing ai. Voila, bot, by your own definition.

Re:Underwhelmed (1)

drsquare (530038) | more than 5 years ago | (#26793917)

I think the main difference is in how simple it is to automate an MMO, and how difficult it is to automate chess.

Re:Underwhelmed (1)

BigHungryJoe (737554) | more than 5 years ago | (#26788349)

Just for the record, Kasparov only lost to Deep Blue because both times (including the rematch) he was trying to play "computer chess" instead of his own game of chess.

I'd like to see another rematch, now that Kasparov knows there isn't such a thing as "computer chess" anymore.

Re:Underwhelmed (1)

cmattdetzel (1067146) | more than 5 years ago | (#26797419)

Maybe this is a step in the right direction but I'm severely underwhelmed by what qualifies for "innovative" when it comes to games. ... Anything in 3 dimensions should be far more complex than Go, because a 3d world itself can contain the complex board games. I think the designers forget about things like spatial awareness or presenting players with non-trivial decisions that require an understanding of morality, metaphor, or abstraction. ...

I couldn't agree more. But this would mean game studios would have to start hiring people with *gasp* liberal arts degrees! In all seriousness, and to take your point further, three-dimensional MMOs offer greater artistic opportunities and pose greater challenges than your run-of-the-mill videogame. These worlds have the capacity to incorporate much of the ingenuity and creativity of the human experience - from art to music to the written word - but always manage to fall woefully short of the mark. I think the reason for this is fairly simple: games like this are massively expensive and have to recoup [or demonstrate the possibility to recoup] significant capital outlay in a relatively short period of time. It's not ars gratia artis. Would a game which incorporated the theatrical devices of Shakespeare, the rich descriptiveness of Henry James, and the subtleties of games like Go or Bridge into a real-time 3D environment be better [read: more engaging and less prone to bots/spammers] than WoW or its ilk? Probably. Would it sell? I doubt it, unless it offered something for those less attuned to subtlety and artifice.

I'm all for an action based MMORPG (3, Insightful)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 5 years ago | (#26780781)

There is a lot of room for super hero action MMORPGS. I used to look at the situation like the game Magic Carpet 2 where you could do a lot with destructible terrains. My favorite thing in Magic Carpet 2 was to summon a volcano, then tunnel a hole in it to fight someone inside. It is the scale of battling someone else at an epic level that really gives you a thrill. The problem will be balancing the thing for like PVP. Super heroes were never balanced which was painfully obvious the day Superman came to chat with Aquaman about how swimming isn't the same as flying.(just made that one up)

Anyway, I was in the run for making an action MMORPG there for a while, but I lost interest in the whole affair. I think another couple hundred hours of work and I could have released a Tekken style clone except instead of just 2 players, you could have 1500. I have very little interest in the artificial dice rolling of CRPGS anymore. The only reason the dice were in Dungeons and Dragons to begin with was they couldn't simulate an actual battle. Turns out computer games are good for simulating battles.

Bring on the action MMOGs! I'd even play PlanetSide 2.

Re:I'm all for an action based MMORPG (1)

Oriental_Hero (72624) | more than 5 years ago | (#26783195)

lol, I'd play Planetside 2 in a heartbeat!

the issue really is what is the point of making a game MM ie Massively Multiplayer.
There was a game called UltraCorps that was MMOspace strategy. But because you only interacted with those immediately around you, it meant only 3-4 ppl in reality. Of course, being successful bought it's own issues. If you thought having a war on 2 fronts was bad, try playing against 30 when you've conquered a few players/territories.

Planetside being a FPS MMO really had something extra for the scale that came with a MMO. You had all the various parts of a military campaign, from artillery to heavy armour, to gunships and bombers. The other thing was that because of the network of bases providing functionality (like radar, or extra vehicles/equipment) for the entire network, this encouraged commando raids behind enemy lines to cripple said benefits. So on a good night we had armoured columns (troop carriers and tanks) with air cover from reaver gunships and mosquito air scouts, along with artillery and liberator bombers softening the target and galaxy dropships to do hot drops (2 Max suits, 6+ infantry and 1 vehicle). Plus the stealth/commando raids on network benefits. And that's not even considering the defender's options and having counter artillery or counter air screens etc.

I don't see where the MMO part of an RPG has a similar effect. There is no strategic level that is added with the scaling up to an MMO. It's just the same tactical situation that you could easily play in Diablo. Raids for instance just appear to be more in each tactical slot be it Tank, DPS, Healer etc.

However, I can see Super Teams in the DC Online having a better draw/reasoning behind it. But it's scarcely much above tactical...

Re:I'm all for an action based MMORPG (1)

Delwin (599872) | more than 5 years ago | (#26783205)

Latency is still the killer of action MMO's. Any twitch game will be destroyed by even a minor spike in latency and you've got geometric progression issues with adding more players to it.

Disappointing (2, Interesting)

Dreen (1349993) | more than 5 years ago | (#26780787)

Its the RPG element that would be the most awesome thing in superhero MMO. Being able to start as normal human and develop your unique powers in a very individual way!

Also, I would finally be able to be a SuperDentist! Normal people fear dentists, IMAGINE how they would fear the SUPERDENTIST!

Didn't SuperDentist get fed to a plant? (1)

leftie (667677) | more than 5 years ago | (#26780875)

I seem to recall seeing SuperDentist looking like plant food to Seymore and Audrey II?

"FEED ME SEYMORE!"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGRN39oifsE [youtube.com]

I dont care DIRECTLY (1)

moniker127 (1290002) | more than 5 years ago | (#26781161)

I'm not much of a comic book fan, but I do like MMOs, and if it steals market share from wow, then Its okay by me. If no one does anything, wow will continue to dominate the mmo landscape for decades to come.

This game is certain to fail (1)

WCMI92 (592436) | more than 5 years ago | (#26781933)

SOE has been foundering for quite some time, and not just because of the Star Wars Galaxies NGE debacle (which cost them 200,000 subscribers). They also have shot themselves in the foot with EQ/EQ2 subscribers by opening up RMT stores (cash for items you can't get ingame) after promising that RMT wouldn't exist on any but the "Station Exchange" servers.

DCMMO is essentially seen internally at SOE as the "save the company" project. This is THE game that must achieve huge success so as to save the jobs of debris like John Smedley and Chris Cao.

So, senior SOE managers have taken to MICROmanaging this game's development. The effect has been a revolving door Dev team. They can't keep one. They are on at least their third producer and Lead Dev. They have been in such dire straits that the last two have been recycled from the grade D- Star Wars Galaxies NGE team. And I can tell you from experience, those guys would do well to thread their shoelaces properly, much less develop a decent game.

If you want a new superhero game, I suggest following Cryptic's "Champions Online". Cryptic has the experience, and the talent, to produce a good game in this genre. SOE hasn't accomplished anything but acquiring a deserved reputation for piss poor quality, and continual betrayal of their players.

Re:This game is certain to fail (2, Informative)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 5 years ago | (#26782181)

Ya I won't touch any MMO from Sony these days. They seem to have a team of people dedicated to fucking up their products. Galaxies is an excellent example. I actually left long before their new game content because even back then, they seemed intent on breaking their game. I really liked the idea overall, and it had some cool stuff. First MMO I'd ever seen where housing was actually useful, and not just a random place to store your shit. You could build whole player cities that would appear on the world map and everything.

However they seemed to be determined to take out anything that was fun or useful, and ignore anything that was problematic. For example their response to cheating was the most erratic you've ever seen.

In one case, some players found a way to exploit the militia system to gain experience in game. Now this matters like not at all the experience (or was it called skill, I can't remember) was very easy to get. You didn't spend hardly any time leveling. However Sony immediately removed the militia feature. So no long could militia members flag people causing trouble and run them out of the city (or shoot them if they didn't leave). This of course lead to tons of people who wanted to cause trouble doing so without recourse. So they were willing to make the game much worse for many people, to stop a cheat that had essentially no impact on those that didn't use it.

However then in another case people figured out a way to produce items far past the game's intended limits. This made them effectively invincible in PvP combat. This took Sony weeks to even acknowledge the existence of, longer to actually stop, and they never actually removed the items even at the time I left nor banned the players. Likewise players that figured out ways to cheat at shoot at things from longer ranges weren't banned.

However the militia system was never fixed and reinstated, while all this went on.

The event that caused me to leave was when the city I was in fell under attack by cheaters. We tried to mount a defense, but they were invincible. Well someone actually got a hold of a CSR who came out, saw this, and told the cheaters to stop and that their accounts had been marked and that if they did it again, they'd be out. Well, a couple hours later the cheaters were back. The same CSR was gotten a hold of... And he wouldn't do anything. I logged off and canceled my account.

That's what I mean by "people dedicated to fucking up their products." They'll screw over large parts of the player base for little reason, but then refuse to deal with real problems.

Between that and me Everquest experience, I've written SOE off. Unless I have a friend tell me that one of their games is an awesome, must play title, I'm not going to even give them a look. I've just no faith in them as a company.

Re:This game is certain to fail (2, Informative)

Remus Shepherd (32833) | more than 5 years ago | (#26782741)

Interesting. Someone needs to mod you up.

I won't touch a Sony MMO either after bad experiences with their prior games. They're competent programmers, but incompetent managers, and they seem to have palpable hatred for their users.

If you want to play a good superhero game, try City of Heroes. It's a fantastic game and it keeps getting better, with 2-4 new content releases a year for free. The CoH team have made it their goal to produce what the players want to see. It's sad that catering to the users is such a novel concept for an MMO.

Champions Online has some of the developers from CoH working on it, so it's worth watching. We'll see if they can make lightning strike twice.

Re:This game is certain to fail (1)

praetorblue (1395623) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786193)

> If you want to play a good superhero game, try City of Heroes.

Agreed. The free content releases keep it fresh and exciting. I don't see anything these new super-hero MMOs are planning that CoH doesn't already have, and has already polished.

Re:This game is certain to fail (2, Informative)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 5 years ago | (#26790271)

I don't see anything these new super-hero MMOs are planning that CoH doesn't already have, and has already polished.

Well, according to someone I was playing with in CoH, Champions Online is going with an entirely new powers system. For starters, there are no archetypes or classes. So you can pick and choose exactly what powers you want. However, there are "better" powers, and "lesser" powers, and you have to use the lesser powers... a LOT... to build up to use the better powers. He described it as a mad click-fest of clicking the lesser powers over 30 times, and several times a second to be able to use the better ones. (Yuck!) Also, it's first and foremost being developed for consoles, and you know what that means for the PC version. Granted, this is all just stuff I got second-hand from someone who said he's playing the beta, so take it as you like.

That said, CoH rocks. I dare you to find me ANY online game that lets you do the extreme stuff you can in CoH. (My stone tanker made my druid in WoW very jealous, back when I used to play him...) And yet they do a good job of keeping it all balanced.

Re:This game is certain to fail (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#26784679)

What really sucks about Sony is that, even when they do have a decent product to begin with, they inevitably screw it up by constantly changing it and tinkering around with it. Galaxies is a great example. It started out mediocre and ended up an absolute disaster (after they nerfed it and reinvented it several times, each time only adding to player frustration without bothering to fix the existing glitches and adding even more new ones).

Console-tied MMOs (2, Insightful)

aapold (753705) | more than 5 years ago | (#26782747)

What is it with the trend towards designing MMOs with consoles in mind? Age of Conan supposedly was made with the idea of porting it to consoles... Champions Online is being co-developed for Xbox 360 and now this one as well, with the PS3 controller. Hell its even spreading to non MMOs, now Witcher is going to be redone for consoles, and they're having to scrap the combat system and redo it for controllers..

I think designing around such a model is going to hinder somewhat what you can allow in a game. But the console market is just a holy grail out there, everyone thinks if they can just combine the rampant success of World of Warcraft and apply that to the larger console market, they'll be crapping gold bricks for years to come...

Basically such interaction is going to mean being limited to certain numbers of active powers that you load onto buttons of the controller (whether or not it is an actual controller or they are mapped to keyboard keys) at a time (or adding a mortal-combat style combos to activate them), and having chat geared sharply to voice chat. Now, look, while I know voice chat has a big role in things like parties, raids, etc, general chat is not it. The idea of something like a barrens voice chat is just an abomination. You take out the focus of a text chat and it really hinders an important element IMO...

Re:Console-tied MMOs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26783363)

Consoles have always been a desirable platform to put a computer game on. Ultima III was ported to the NES. Why? Because it's an opportunity to sell more copies.

Re:Console-tied MMOs (2, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#26784843)

Because the first developer to actually produce a WoW-level success on a console *WILL* be crapping out gold bricks. Right now, unlike with PC MMO's, there isn't much in the way of competition for console MMO's. The first developer to produce a halfway decent one will probably get mad crazy rich almost overnight. I'm just surprised more developers aren't trying. The fact that the KOTOR MMO is going to be PC-only absolutely astounds me (considering that the VAST majority of the KOTOR sales were on the Xbox, not the PC). There is WAY more potential to make serious bank on a console MMO right now than on even the best PC-only MMO, and you wouldn't have to face down a bunch of juggernauts like WoW to do it.

Re:Console-tied MMOs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26785249)

You neglect to mention the fact that a KOTOR MMO goes against the spirit of what makes that franchise so good. It's going to suck, and suck it hard.

Well..... Maybe (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 5 years ago | (#26791539)

I agree with the premise that since there's no competition you are going to get 100% of the people who want to play. However the question is, how many people is that? What I mean is consoles do not seem like they are a particularly large market for MMOs. I think developers may find that there aren't a whole lot of people interested in those kind of games that are console only or console primary gamers. There's also the issue of how many people are actually hooked up to the net with their consoles and able to play. Certainly a whole hell of a lot more than last generation (when it was next to none) but it isn't the near 100% of computer owners.

As a simple example I have a friend that plays console and PC games, he's got a 360 and a reasonable PC. He's a tech guy, so no problems with hooking things up and such. However, while his PC is on the Internet, his 360 isn't. He just doesn't see the need.

Now I don't know how the market is for MMOs on consoles, I'm just saying that we can't just assume that since there's no competition that the first game out there will sell tons. It may well not be the case. They may discover that despite being the only game in town, they are just selling something that the majority of console owners aren't interested in buying.

Re:Console-tied MMOs (1)

k-macjapan (1271084) | more than 5 years ago | (#26792953)

The only reason I would want to play a console mmo is if it was a console only mmo. My reason for this is the rampant fucking cheating in pc versions of mmo's. I played ffxi for years and was a co-leader of one of the strongest HNM shells on all servers. So I experienced first hand the cheating that went on. Claim bots, spell cast bots, you name it. I would love to play a mmo where no one had an advantage over the guy next to him. Alas that is a pipe dream and I know it.

Re:Console-tied MMOs (2, Insightful)

drsquare (530038) | more than 5 years ago | (#26793993)

What is it with the trend towards designing MMOs with consoles in mind?

A bigger market + lower possibility for bots/exploits = massive profits.

everyone thinks if they can just combine the rampant success of World of Warcraft and apply that to the larger console market, they'll be crapping gold bricks for years to come...

I think the Halo developers had a similar idea of combining the rampant success of PC FPSes with the larger console market, and last I looked, Halo shits gold bricks. Whoever makes the first good console MMO will utterly rake it in.

Basically such interaction is going to mean being limited to certain numbers of active powers that you load onto buttons of the controller (whether or not it is an actual controller or they are mapped to keyboard keys) at a time (or adding a mortal-combat style combos to activate them), and having chat geared sharply to voice chat. Now, look, while I know voice chat has a big role in things like parties, raids, etc, general chat is not it. The idea of something like a barrens voice chat is just an abomination. You take out the focus of a text chat and it really hinders an important element IMO...

Yeah, everyone says things like that about every genre that ends up being developed on consoles. There are still hardcore PC gamers who say that the FPS will never work on a console due to the controller not being as good as mouse and keyboard. But for some reason the developers can't seem to hear such complaints over the noise of their fleet of Bugattis and Ferraris.

Read the headline? (1)

RazorSharp (1418697) | more than 5 years ago | (#26844397)

Obviously you didn't even both with the summary, which mentions keyboard and mouse support for PS3. Furthermore, most WoW players use voice-chat through third-party programs.

Why it will fail... (1)

grapeape (137008) | more than 5 years ago | (#26785607)

DC Universe online is a nice idea, many are looking forward to a challenger to CoH in the genre but as attractive as the DC license is, its also their biggest problem to overcome. Most casual players are going to be disappointed that they cant even play a minor character in the real DC Unvierse. How many will be happy with the "Dial H for Hero" version of the DC Universe? My guess is that not many will be satisfied, since most gamers picking it up off the shelf will see familiar characters on the cover and expect that they can play as them. Star Wars Galaxies had the same problem earlier on and had to basically gimp the game because everyone wanted to be a jedi, its still struggling.

Champions Online is also coming out soon and will start off with no expectations since like City of Heroes it has no license, it also benefits from a decades long following in the RPG community. Two different strategies, it will be interesting to see which has more success.

Re:Why it will fail... (2, Insightful)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 5 years ago | (#26790375)

Honestly, based on what I've heard so far, I don't think either of them will do better than City of Heroes. The downfall for both of them will be making them for consoles. I'm sorry, but MMOs just do NOT lend themselves well to consoles at all. You're much too restricted on what type of combat and powers system you can use.

"Sony's" (0, Troll)

SupremoMan (912191) | more than 5 years ago | (#26785747)

Stopped reading right there. If these guys are doing it, I want nothing to do with it. I'm sure many others feel the same way.

Re:"Sony's" (1)

RazorSharp (1418697) | more than 5 years ago | (#26844417)

Stopped reading right there. If these guys are doing it, I want nothing to do with it. I'm sure many others feel the same way.

Yes, the competition is so much more respectable.

Will it have alternate universes? (1)

Gizzmonic (412910) | more than 5 years ago | (#26786161)

I want to go to Earth-2 and Qward. That would be truly awesome. Wolfman did a great job with Crisis on Infinite Earths, it kicked the shit out of John's confusing rush job sequel, Infinite Crisis. It's a great injustice that Wolfman is now working around Johns' script, but I'm sure he can wring some goodness out of it.

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