Sunday, August 17, 2008

SOE Fan Faire

Had a good time. Didn't get to meet Danya (she was there but I never crossed paths with her), did get to meet most of the rest of the people I was looking to meet. Was going to meet Tora and Jeremy for lunch or dinner, but Tora had a mess of a day and by the time we got in contact I was in the middle of the attendees-only dinner and presentations. By the time I was out of that it was 11pm and we had to head back home. Life's annoying like that.

Got a good look at DC Universe Online, the new superhero MMO Sony's doing. Looks good. The game itself looks a lot like CoH/CoV, but with more flexibility and fewer pointless restrictions. You don't have tightly-defined archetypes, for instance. Leveling up doesn't involve gaining new powers or replacing old abilities with newer ones. You get your powers, travel ability and such right off at the beginning, and as you level up your powers get more powerful and you refine your control over them letting you do more with them. So, for instance, if you made a Cyclops clone, at the beginning your eye-beams could only hit one target at a time. By the time you hit 20, they do more damage when they hit, your aim's better and you're starting to be able to for instance split the beam to hit more than one target at a time. But you don't have to shell out money (in whatever form) to get those improvements, they happen as your character gets more experienced. What you can do is use rewards you've gotten from defeating villains to buy additional equipment and boosts that you can equip, for instance extra armor for your costume (making you tougher) or a new visor to boost the power of your eye-beams even more by focusing them. And you can change those out, so while you may not have enough room to equip both the armor and the new visor at the same time you can swap between them at will depending on what's needed at the moment. And no, you can't play the major DC heroes like Superman and Batman. That's not because of any arbitrary trademark rule, but because those characters are already in the game. You interact with them, generally at first and then more and more personally as your character levels up and builds their reputation, until eventually you're no longer the new kid on the block but the established hero they call on when they need help. The evil side works similarly, and there's varying degrees of PvP so heroes can always fight villains. The exact rules are going to vary by server and area within the game, so you won't be forced to deal with constant PvP if you don't want to but the possibility's always going to be there if you do want to.

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