I've played the game since it's release in 2011 on the PS3 and made a tons of videos and eventually gave up on the game simply because I sold my PS3/PS4. I'm downloading it for the PC for the first time because I miss the game and I'm surprised hardly anyone recommends it. Now, there is some p2w elements to it, so I won't sugar coat anything. I will give an honest approach to why I think you should play the game in order to fill that MMO craving.
Now I haven't played in a year or two so not aware of any recent changes but I've played a ton of the game, even gotten platinum on the PS version of the game.
- Holy Trinity: Healing, Tanking, Controller/CC/Battery as well as DPS for any of the powers which can be hot swapped. Example, if you've chosen an Ice Tank to play as, you can stance swap to a Ice DPS instead and the same goes for any of the powers.
- Character Creation: You build your super hero/villain to either be a flying tank, acrobatics healer, speedster controller, etc. The costumes are unlocked by obtaining certain achievements. I want to make a special note here because you can spend your entire time achievement hunting and learning about the lore in the process in order to complete costume sets which in return gives you skill points in order to become stronger. Let me reiterate this, you get to learn DC comic book lore during the process of achievement hunting.
- Solo'ing/Grouping Campaign: Lvls 1-30(not sure if they've increased this yet, but possibly they have) is basically your tutorial period. And it's length. I've beaten the campaign a dozen times in order to get the platinum and leveling is FUN! The art work and comic book style cut scenes are so interesting and fun to watch. It takes about 3 days for a first timer to get to lvl 30 and into the end game content. You will easily be rerolling or creating new characters and trying out new powers and combinations if you decide to give this game a chance. Another special note here–heck you don't even have to grind to be the best in this game, you can just replay the campaign just to revisit the story mode, it's that much fun to do. The really cool thing here is while you level you can nab these investigation orbs or other orbs all through out the leveling process to get achievements or if you complete a mission without dying you can achievements as well. so take your time and do a good job!
- PVP: While you level you can either get into the low level pvp(queue times may be longer for your class pvp however Legends pvp shouldn't be an issue). You can also get into Legends pvp and play the iconics. You either start with Robin or Harly Quinn and a few others which are all skill based and somewhat balanced. Some iconics may be stronger than others, it's been a while. But I've had the most fun playing this game mode because who doesn't want to play as Batman or Joker? I've done a lot of PvP in this game. Feel free to ask me questions.
- Open World/PvP: You can either choose to level in a pvp zone or a pve zone. Lots of rooftop battles take place in the open world which brings back so many memories traversing the cities and seeing a red dot ping on my radar and then investigating. I've beaten fresh lvl 30's as a lvl 12 many times. Sometimes grouped up, sometimes solo. But we used to hero gank fresh level 30's as lvl 12's.
- End Game: You will start with "Duo's" where you match up with another player or a friend and do simple but difficult missions taking down Bane opr Gorilla Grodd. It's been a while so I don't remember who exactly you fight but you will fight iconics in a mini raid sort of deal. Then there's 4 man groups. Same thing as campaign and duo's, you have achievements to complete by not dying or searching for orbs completing investigations.
- Raids: Raids are 8 man if memory serves me right. Typic ally 1 tank, 2 healers, 2 controllers, and 3 DPS'. These are smaller raids than what you're likely used to but this is actually a good thing, less time waiting in matchmaking. They are the end game content so expect more DC lore! You can learn a lot about DC playing this game. I have. DC is my favorite universe when before Marvel was my favorite.
- Targeting: Tab targeting. It makes sense here and it works.
- Game Mechanics: This is where the game is truly unique and fun. You can block! And you can break blocks! And you can combo basic attacks! Here's how it works. You tap a button to start your basic attack combo. Three taps will set you up for a final attack which is a hard attack that can be "blocked". Now when you are blocked doing a "hard attack" you get "block stunned". This puts you on your butt leaving you vulnerable to attack. You can skip the slow combo progression by going immediate into a "hard attack" to leap at another player. Again, if someone is "turtling" while you leap with a "hard attack" you will get "block stunned". Don't worry there's a counter to this also but you will learn this playing the tutorial. Feel free to ask questions.
- P2W Elements: Don't let this turn you off. It's an old game, so don't expect to be the best in the game when the game is almost 10 years old. It's subscription based and you will get ahead much faster being subscribed, this is common sense and is ok. I wouldn't expect anything less. A game has to make its money. But that doesn't mean you can't enjoy the multiple play throughs of the campaign. It's very well done and worth it for free alone. Now where you get into end game, you can buy "recharges" that allow you to do the weekly raids multiple times during the week. It's pay to progress further but the problem is, you can also do this for weekly pvp "Marks" which are currency for obtaining PVP gear. However, once a player gets a complete set of gear, there's nothing left to obtain to make you stronger gear wise. Skill points from achievements are the final grind once you've gotten all gear sets. This takes time and money can not be used for this, at least I don't think. They might have made changes.
The game is as traditional to the MMO genre as it gets with added unique game mechanics already described above. I feel the story deserves your attention. I feel the pvp deserves your attention. I believe the costume collection deserves your attention. If there's any MMO deserving your attention right now, it's this one. The graphics aren't stellar, but they still work and aren't dated since it's a comic book style video game; it's stylized.
I felt the need to create this post because I'm surprised its never recommended even when people try to resurrect even old MMO's like SWG. SWG was one my most memorable MMO's and I've tried playing it in its EMU status and it sucks. I've played ESO and GW2 and DCUO still blows both out of the water, imo. If you go into DCUO looking to play a game that will scratch that MMO itch, provide you with fun gameplay and lore, without trying to reach "endgame" and be the best at a game, then this game will easily scratch that itch.
I've been an active member of this sub for years. I've read the posts. I'm constantly checking for latest and greatest mmo's. I've played SWG, WoW, City of Heroes, SWTOR, SWGEMU, GW2, and ESO. None of those games kept my attention as much as DCUO has. It's a very special game and that's not entirely a bias position for me. I've been vocal to devs about the direction the game went so I've hated on the game before, but the game is still alive and ticking surprisingly. However it's likely way more active for consoles. I will be redownloading it for PC. If this post interests you then I will be down for grouping up just to level again. I won't get too serious into it since I've already done all that with my console toons, but I want to see what it's like for PC. Message me if interested in grouping.
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