Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Content of DCUO

After two weeks of DCUO, my main hero, the Green Armadillo, is sitting at level 18, out of the cap of 30.  I've also run two villain characters through the first story arc for their respective mentors on the PS3 side.  The content has been high quality, but I'm somewhat surprised to find myself running out of level-appropriate quests.

If the intent is to force me into group content to round out the exp curve, that is a potentially interesting design decision, albeit one that will leave me with no content to use on alts.  If the issue is that the game simply doesn't have enough content to go around, that would probably explain a fair amount of why it did not do well as a subscription title. 

A Tale of Two Cities
The non-instanced world of DCUO consists of the cities of Metropolis and Gotham, which, in the view of this biased Batman fan, is one city too many.  Catwoman has more personality than Wonder Woman, and Superman is such a generic boyscout that I thought a voice actor portraying a vendor was mocking me when they sneered that they could sell me stuff to help my fight for truth, justice, and the American Way, until I realized that Superman actually says that.  It's also not clear to me why the three Villain mentors would want to team up, other than defense against the Justice League, maybe there's more lore for this at higher levels.  Again, I am biased, but the Metropolis content is the stuff I do to try and get the exp I need to get back to Batman Universe Online.

Speaking of exp, the outdoor quests (all of which are effectively semi-public quests) go quicker than they sound (20 kills per objective is common) due to the fast paced combat, and the likelihood that other players are around to help.  That said, I am not receiving enough exp to be the listed level for the next questline when I finish each story arc.  I doubled back and completed all of the low level content that I have access to (each mentor has one exclusive questline for levels 3-5 that other characters can't get), and it looks like I will be up against higher level mobs very shortly unless I go digging for sidequests or start running PUG dungeons. 

Each quest arc ends in an "iconic" fight against a DC character.  Judging from the "feats" panel, I have completed 8 of 28 solo iconic fights, which was surprising given my level.  That said, it may be a bit concerning that I'm already more than halfway to the level cap, burning through all the content in the game on my first playthrough.  Moreover, it appears based on storyline and presence of opposite faction players in my quest areas that all of the content beyond the newbie area is mirrored for both factions - even switching sides may not help. 

Overall, I'm definitely not dissatisfied with what I've gotten from this game for my payment of $0.  That said, I'm not sure when that number will become non-zero; I have taken to hitting the cosmetic appearance vendor to sink excess cash so that I don't hit the currency cap (which is apparently very low), but it's not like I need the money for anything else thus far.  I would care about the character slot limit if I wanted to do more alts, but it looks like the unique content for each mentor is limited.  Perhaps I will pay for DLC eventually?  In any case, the content may be limited, but at least it's good, which is more than some games I've tried can say. 
Useful feature - the quest log can be sorted by quest type.

1 comment:

Bhagpuss said...

I'm the opposite. I've been a Superman fan since I was four years old. Bats is okay but I always found him a little heavy going. Consequently I've spent around 80% of my DCUO time in Metropolis. Gotham looks great but Metropolis is living the dream.

As for content, I found there was plenty back in beta when I got to the then level cap of 20. My highest Live character hasn't surpassed that, having reached 19 when I stopped playing (thanks to Rift). I certainly didn't need to do content in both cities to get my levels, either in beta or Live.

DCUO resembles Rift in that it seems to have most of it's content at the level cap. I was playing the other evening when someone said in chat that "its all Tutorial until the level cap. The game starts at 30". I wouldn't go that far, but DCUO's very definitely not a game based around leveling.