Sunday, January 30, 2011

Obsession

I have to say I am developing an unhealthy obsession with the thought processes of the DCUO community and the strange way that they seem to rationalise matters related to the game. This is the first such community that I have looked at from its inception and the memes are fascinating. As someone who has watched other communities for a while the way people's expectations change and warp.

The first thing I have seen is some sort of real dislike and spite between the PC and the PS3 community. There are a good few posters who blame any perceived problems with the game as the fault of it sharing its platform with the PS3. 'Sacrifices' have been made to accommodate the PS3 users. Its a remarkable example of a fault-and-blame culture where someone must be blamed for their dislikes and the remote and 'different' console gamers are an easy target. Its endemic of an inability just to accept the game for what it is. It has six power slots and two 'loadouts', it has a keyboard/mouse no-click interface which allows for these minimal on-screen options. Personally I find it quite refreshing and I can now why people press buttons rather than click in WoW. The game is what it is, and you have to either accept that or not.

Another swathe of posters seem to have a very fixed idea of what a MMORPG should be, regardless of genre. I've read some impassioned pleas for a crafting system of all things? I can absolutely guarantee that in no comic I have ever read, have I seen a superhero farming for materials to make consumables or even their own equipment! That said, I have never seen a hero wearing armour pieces for bonuses either, but that happens. One particular post goes on to say that without the immersion created by player housing, crafting and more people on the streets, this is no MMORPG. I sniggered. What next? Flight points? I'll put it this way, if Brainiac was trying to take over the world I wouldn't be out browsing the shops!

The first two are pretty weak really, but the third is more serious for the longevity of the game and the genre of games into the future, I think. DCUO is a standard monthly subscription game and SOE has 'promised' monthly updates for this money. Within the community however, there seems to be an ongoing shock that the game has the audacity to charge a monthly fee for the game. It feels, in my gut, like there is a sizeable portion of the community who are waiting for the moment they can scream 'told you so' when the game goes free to play. I feel that this issue will only explode further if SOE miss one of their monthly updates. They have already added a caveat that content needs to be approved for the PS3 but you would hope that they have content stocked away for months of releases. Somehow, I doubt it. And the utter shit storm that will follow will make Shaman/Paladin or Space Goats look like a walk in the park.

I remain your DCUO correspondent, reading the forums so you don't have to!

6 comments:

Fandomlife said...

There is a vast community of people who do not see why they should pay monthly for a game. It is alien and wrong. The popularity of WoW considering it has a monthly fee is, in many ways, an abherration.

This is even more true on the PS3. No game charges a monthly fee. It's ridiculously weird to these people. In fact, I don't see the game lasting on the PS3 in any great numbers because of this. Unless the content is particularly grand it's just not going to impress them paying a monthly fee.

Metaresearchboi said...

Yourr continued dedication and sacrifice is appreciated!

Vodkashok said...

I agree Ian. Its strange that whilst I have been happy over the years to pay my £8.99 for WoW *and* pay for expansions, I was actually a little shocked that DCUO was not running on a free-to-play + microtransactions model, especially with the platform crossover.

No doubt this plays into Dave's field of specialism, but despite my initial thoughts of ongoing content being 'as per WoW' even I am asking what is coming with the new monthly expansion and whether it is going to be worth it.

'Worth it' - such a funny phrase.

Vodkashok said...

I'm commenting on my comment because the new content patch has been announced for 15/02. And still people are complaining. This time its because in the press release thing they did not mention bug fixes - despite the community guy mentioning that they don't mentioned bug fixes in their PR material (who knew?) but that they are working on them too.

And there are people RAGING that this patch falls outside the paid content window and into the subscription window. RAGING that this content should have been given away for free as an incentive.

What I find so funny about it all is that these people bought the game KNOWING IT WAS A SUBSCRIPTION GAME. Is this just a manifestation of buyers regret writ large? Its not like it was an uninformed decision? Its bizarre...

Fandomlife said...

And you view of the update, assuming it's typical and happens monthly, put to the monthy outlay is?

Vodkashok said...

...coming in a blog post soon!

But, as I used to pay £9 a month for WoW, I am happy to pay that £9 a month for DCUO instead. Despite my still limited playtime it is still a very efficient money/joy ratio.

I ponder what my relationship would have been with the game if it had been microtransactional. Its a little less committed I think?

Of course, a free-to-play game would just have created an entire new sort of whining regarding 'buying success' - *sigh*