DC Universe Online F2P – First Impressions

Earlier this year, I was privileged to gain access to the DCUO beta, and I have to say I enjoyed it thoroughly. It really met a lot of the things I look for in a video game for the purposes of de-stressing. It has the faced-paced, visceral, action-oriented combat I crave when I just want to beat the snot out of some idiot from work or school or whichever, has the simple to follow mission systems of an MMO so I feel like I’m accomplishing something, has rewards and cosmetic changes that let me really explore the look and feel of my character, and even allows for some fun superhero RP. When it launched, I couldn’t afford two pay-to-play MMOs, so I stuck with STO, and hoped to find work or something which would allow me to afford DCUO as well.

The gameplay is very simplistic, yet has a decent amount of depth to it. You have both melee and ranged attacks usually, with some power sets & abilities being better at one or the other; left mouse clicking is your primary melee, whereas right mouse clicking is either secondary melee or ranged attacks, depending on your weapon/attack set that you choose at character creation. I love how you can choose a specific hero or villain to mentor you; it really adds to the player’s personal back story, and ties the player into the DC world in a very interesting way.

On November 1st, DCUO launched it’s F2P model, and I am ecstatic; all the features I loved about the game are there. I had to re-create my toon, as they wiped the character servers at launch (makes sense, it’s standard procedure in the industry), and was able to pretty much use the same name, with only a slight tweak. In the 2 days since launching, there have been a few… issues, however. Not with the gameplay; the issues are with even getting into the game to play. The login server has already been taken down once today for “maintenance” that lasted longer than the one hour they were estimating originally, and when I am able to get to the character select screen to log into a character, I’m met with a huge wait-time. The last time I tried to play and got that far, I was 2055 in the login cue, and it’s disconnected me the last 6 times as soon as I reach the end of that cue. Mind you, the cue wait time was short, even at that high a number, but still; getting dropped as soon as I’m past the cue is rediculous, especially when the website insists that the server isn’t even full yet.

My advice to the DCUO teams is simple – you need more servers, especially login servers. You’ve got a good deal going with your F2P model, and I have items I want to buy when I can, but if I can’t even get into the game to play, what’s the point?

Aside from this rather huge gripe about the login issues, this game still rocks, and I don’t doubt that they’ll fix those login issues over the next week. I was able to play the game for a few hours yesterday; the game is sill awesome & on my top 10 favorite games list. I love the simplicity of the combat, and I’m actually considering buying a PS3 before I get an Xbox 360, just to play this game with my brother online (if I can’t get him to play on his PC with me).