DC Universe Online To Be Subscription Free!

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DC Universe Online To Be Subscription Free!

Post by Event Status on Mon Aug 31, 2009 7:48 pm

"Back at Gamescom, we were able to meet with Wes Yanagi of Sony Online Entertainment in order to take a look at the upcoming cross platform MMO DC Universe Online for PlayStation 3 and PC.DC Universe Online, Yanagi told us, was designed to be a fast-paced MMO experience from the very beginning of the development process, more in line with the action-style of God of War instead of World of Warcraft’s grind-heavy hotkey system. As he walked us through the character creation process, it was obvious that there’s a great amount of variation with which to customize your character; not only with regards to their appearance, but also how their powers manifest themselves in-game. When creating your avatar you have to select three variables to define your superhero characteristics in order to stand out from your fellow players.

* Power: This dictates, rather obviously, what type of superpower your hero will specialize in. Will your hero have super-strength like Doomsday, or will they be able to fire out rays of cosmic energy from his bare hands?

* Source: Where will your hero, or heroine, source their powers from? Could it be in the form of a ring like the Green Lantern, or a secret magical power conjured from the depths of Hell? That’s up to you to decide!

* Movement Power: This one’s fairly obvious. You can decide to fly like Superman, be athletic like Batman or run with superhuman speed like The Flash, among other options.
Another interesting feature with regards to your appearance comes in the form of dynamic co-ordination between your costume and the loot you acquire. When you collect a piece of equipment which would benefit your character; be it a new cowl, material or weapon, it’s automatically configured to match the rest of your outfit. The reasoning behind this, Yanagi tells us, is due to every character under level fifty in World of Warcraft having that ‘hobo’ look due to mismatching tunics and other equipped items. When you replace a piece of your costume with a newer acquisition, the older item is automatically stored in your lair, meaning at any point in the game, you can instantly relive what would essentially be your Golden or Silver Age if you so desire.

After you create your character, unique as they are in the DC Universe, you next need to choose your affiliation. If your personal aim is to one day become an honored member of the Justice League, you might shack up with the heroes. On the other hand, if your desires are more keyed towards personal gain and destruction, the Legion of Doom is probably better for you. Of course, you won’t start out as a member of one of these groups; instead, the higher you progress toward the level cap, the more superhero/villain co-op missions your respective agency will have you participate in. Basically, until you prove your worth to them as a credible asset, then it’s just going to be player factions for you.

The controls for the PlayStation 3 version can be mapped to either a DualShock 3, which was the demonstrated control method on hand here, or you can plug in a USB keyboard and mouse. This is a good feature, as there aren’t many titles on consoles that support the mouse/keyboard combination; not only that, but we were also informed the PC release will also have DualShock 3 support. It all sounds pretty impressive when you consider that it allows people to be able to play the way that feels most comfortable to them on either platform – if you’ve never played an MMO before, the Dual Shock option might be better, while more seasoned PC veterans might prefer to use the mouse/keyboard layout. For the DualShock layout, your abilities (like the aforementioned God of War) are mapped to the controller’s face buttons, with the L2 and R2 triggers switching between offensive and defensive layouts respectively. The currently selected mode, be it defensive or offensive, appears on your HUD at the bottom of the screen; this allows you to chain up your actions, switching back and forth between offensive and defensive actions, in order to kick some severe butt.

Missions take place either as a ‘case’ or ‘caper’ depending on your alignment, and the demonstration shown at Gamescom took place in S.T.A.R. Labs with the Joker and Harley Quinn giving the player character a mission to complete. It seemed that a virus of sorts had been unleashed during some form of experiment and ended up infecting the scientists who needed to be taken out as a result. As we watched Wes plow through enemy after enemy, it became clear that DCUO has certainly nailed the combat aspect for an adaptation of the DC Comics license. When Solomon Grundy, Lex Luthor and Bizarro turned up to help his player character take down a large mutant boss, it was certainly an interesting moment. The Joker then gave another mission to Wes; he was tasked to deliver the item to a specific drop off point in what’s known as a ‘FedEx’ mission. Delivery missions in most MMOs are relatively easy, but when Hal Jordan (the Green Lantern, for those of our readers who aren’t up with the current DC lingo) turns up to try and stop you, you know it’s not going to be a walk in the park. Needless to say, Mr. Luthor made short work of Hal and that was it for the end of the mission.

We knew going in that the game was still in the pre-alpha phase; despite this, the level of detail within the title was really quite impressive. If it weren’t for the fact that the game is clearly not finished, the visuals were looking good enough for it to even release tomorrow. Wrapping up our time with Yanagi, we had a couple more questions to ask him regarding DC Universe Online. Most importantly, we made sure to check in and see whether or not the title will be subscription-based or free to play. In a surprising move, Wes confirmed that not only will there be no subscription fee for DC Universe Online, but that the game will feature completely platform-open servers; this means the servers will be cross-compatible between the PS3 and PC versions, no matter where you play. While this is all well and good, Yanagi neglected to elaborate on the means through which the game will be making its money. Whether it ends up with a Free Realms-esque microtransaction service or a more Guild Wars-inspired system of free play supported by numerous paid expansions, we’ll do our best to keep you updated as time goes by."


link at http://www.onelastcontinue.com/10953/gamescom-2009-dc-universe-online-impressions/

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