Roughly every year for the past three years, Tipa of West Karana has done a personal “MMO challenge” — she’s chosen an MMO she’s never played before and makes that her main game for the year. By her own admission, this has resulted in a pretty eclectic MMO history — she’s spent extended periods of time in Wizard101, EVE Online, Chronicles of Spellborn, and Star Trek Online. This seeming randomness belies the true strength of her MMO challenge — the richer, more fun gaming experience that comes with really, really engaging a game for an extended period of time.
I’d be a terrible choice to pick up this challenge. I have a crippling fear of MMO commitment, as exemplified by the fact that I’ve purchased or subscribed to over a dozen MMOs — SWG, EVE, WoW, CoV, WAR, Tabula Rasa, PotBS, CO, DDO, STO, AoC, APB, Global Agenda, GW — but have never played any of them for more than three consecutive months. I have never, ever, ever gotten to max level in any MMO; the concept of ‘end game’ exists only in theoretical sense. And beyond all of that, my professional and personal life just don’t give me the time for this kind of commitment.
But you know what? I’m doing it. I’m going to pick one of the new games that comes out this year, and I’m going to make it my main. Well, I’m going to try anyways.
The wording of Tipa’s challenge invitation seemed to implicitly focus on the ‘next generation’ MMOs coming out this year — Rift, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and Guild Wars 2. But she’d be the first to argue that this is explicitly not the focus of her challenge, and that any MMO, new or old, is fair game.
So I’m going with DC Universe Online.
Shocked moment of silence after the jump!
I know, right? That’s a completely crazy idea. There are alot of really awesome games coming out this year, and I know I’ll be picking up TOR when it ships. By way of comparison, DCUO has already been accused of being a shallow, terrible PS3-to-PC port. And new games aside, I’ve purchased several free-to-play MMOs, and I’ve got my lifetime subscription to STO to think about.
But I’ve got my reasons:
1) That damn awesome cinematic
Look guys, I know that basing a game choice on a cinematic is a terrible idea. But honestly, DCUO wasn’t even on the radar of my radar until I saw the cinematic trailer SoE released, so in that regard the trailer is at least a proximate cause for the choice I made.
2) Superheroes are sorta cool.
I’m rather agnostic on my choice of comic book universes — there’s just too much continuity for me to even think about ever seriously “getting into” comic books. But I do like superhero stories, especially when they’re new takes on old tropes. The Elseworld DC runs are some of my favorites, and I dig Astro City, too.
Previously, I had thought that a DC MMO would be a bad idea — it just didn’t seem like a good idea, making player characters having to share space with such heavy hitters as Superman and Batman. But Champions Online never really clicked for me, and City of Villains, while completely awesome, is starting to age. And you know — if there’s one thing that Justice League Unlimited has taught me, it’s that even in the DC universe, there are lots of minor heroes that help keep the world running.
3) It’s a safe bet.
And by ‘safe’, I mean ‘not likely to be canceled after six months.’ SOE keeps hard-up MMOs on life support well past their prime (I’m looking at you, Star Wars Galaxies.)The PS3 version of the game — one of the extremely few console MMOs out there — is going really well. And with the Green Lateran movie coming out this summer, the game will probably be around for a while yet.
4) Because no one else is playing it.
Lastly, it seems like no one in the MMO blogosphere is playing this game, at all. There are a few “well, it looks sort of fun” sentiments expressed, but on the whole, this seems to be the quiet before the storm, with many MMOers taking time off or sticking to known knowns before the release of Rifts, etcetc.
So you know — why the hell not?