So, one week after install, whats the conclusion regarding DCUO?
Well, because of the unique way my work hours fall, I haven't been able to play a lot this week but a few hours today took me to level 18 (maybe 19?) after a quick detour to Gotham to tackle Harley Quinn (who dropped my first Epic!) and Poison Ivy (although I bailed before I finished her off - more on that later) and the decimation of Circe's latest attempts to Take Over the World (tm). Pele now has a pretty decent slew of powers, making the differentiation on my Defence/Damage loadouts a bit better although I do need to practice some of them a little more. Equipment is coming and doing ... stuff. I haven't quite bothered with theorycrafting! (Like I ever do?!)
So, what don't I like? There are a couple of things that spring to mind. The first is that I am remarkably squishy - or at least thats how it feels. I think I need to learn to slow down and block/dodge more but sometimes I can maul four mobs and others I get reamed by two. Its strange. By no way, shape or form a game breaker though. The second is the nature of instances. The end of each quest chain ends in your own personal instance and they are a little fruity! Lots of less-than-simple pulls, mini-bosses, sub-quests and usually a multi-phase boss fight that are like a solo version of a WoW raid boss. Great eh? Remember my squishy-ness? Death happens in here and really, the only effective healing I can muster at the moment is good old Soda Cola (healing potions). When they run out, its a very quick journey to repair-ville. So, of course, you go and get your equipment healed, right? WRONG! Because if you do that, it resets the frigging instance! So you have to (a) not die, (b) suffer multiple resets or (c) fight on without equipment. Guess which one I chose? Yup, (c) and it doesn't make that much difference except in that Poison Ivy fight which was just beyond me!
What do I like? Well, I have become used to the different interface and I am beginning to really appreciate the difference. This isn't a traditional MMO (and by that, I mean a WoW-clone) and the departures are such that you need to think very differently. The fact that you can change your loadouts whenever and wherever you are means you can customise your interface on the fly, which removes the need for loads of different taskbars. This allows for a nice clean interface and that in turn allows you to appreciate what is a very very pretty game. Strangely, the difficulty of the game is also very pleasing. Back in Classic and TBC, WoW had elite encounters that you simply couldn't handle solo at the correct level. This formed a challenge that has been all but eliminated from the game by 'aided' elites and quirky mechanics which make them just boosted normal mobs. Being able to see an opponent - even a normal mob - and knowing that if you don't give it the respect it deserves, it will stunlock you, knock you about and knock you out is refreshing. The game demands your attention. Another thing that I like is whilst I have only relatively short amounts of time to play, I am still doing things all of the time. There is no grinding. There is no farming. There is no crafting. Its all about the action and the story. Thats very nice indeed.
There are some things that I have not done yet - I have yet to group with ANYONE and thus I have yet to do an Alert or a world boss. I'll readily admit that I cannot abide PUGing - it drives me to distraction. I will get there eventually, but I need to learn to play a little bit more.
So the verdict at the end of Week One? Its good, its tough and its pretty. Nice.