Fists of Fury

Before I launch into how my weekend in DCUO went, I should mention three pertinent, out-of-game revelations.

1) Through the end of the month, DCUO is running a special “legendary” pricing deal — sign up for the 3-month payment plan before March 1st, and the price drops from $41.99 to $29.99. My mind’s eye has always held the “$10 a month” sub fee in a special regard, as if it were the holy grail of game pricing. My subconscious probably perceives it as resting in a Goldilocks zone: “$15 is too much, and $5 feels too insignificant, but I can do $10 just fine.”

I know that this is a limited time deal, but being able realize this goal is a very nice feeling. Better yet, subscribing players can “lock in” this deal for as long as they stay with the game and keep the three-month subscription plan. This is absolutely perfect for my MMO challenge — I don’t have the disposable cash to currently get a lifetime sub, but $30 every three months is a-okay.

2) The first content patch for DCUO is coming out this Tuesday. The patch notes are quite impressive. There are some very Valentine’s-eseque minigames, so I suspect that the patch was delayed in order to push out some necessary improvements. From what I can tell, though, the list looks very nice a meaty, definitely a good sign toward fulfilling the promise of substantial monthly content releases.

3) A new cinematic trailer was released. It’s… well, you should watch it after watching the first one, and then we’ll talk.

Now — beneath the jump, my adventures continue!


Paging The Hurt Doctor

To date, I’ve been helping Wonder Woman fight Circe in a series of magic-related quest chains. These chains, while great fun, have taken me to only two of the half dozen plus districts of Metropolis. So this past week, I decided it was time to head out into the big ol’ world and help another superhero for a change. I received a report that something bad had happened at Metropolis General Hospital and took it as an opportunity to take off…

... and it was worse than expected.

Apparently, patients being held in the LexCorp-sponsored metahuman wing (WHAT COULD GO WRONG) had decided to take their health into their own hands and escape; when I arrived, a pitched battle between patients and LexCorp security guards was in the works.

The LexCorp guards hit hard, but they were much easier to handle than the beastimorphs and demons I had fought previously. In part, I think that this was because I stayed in my controller, versus DPS, mode. My damage output was decreased (I guess), but my control abilities seemed to last longer, giving me enough time to run and repeatedly punch some rent-a-cops. But it didn’t end there! Superman commissioned me to take the fight to the LexCorp agents stationed in the surrounding city blocks, preventing them from recapturing the former inmate-patients. In the process, destroyed plenty of purple-and-green Cobra-esque vehicles, which made me all giddy.

How very... paramilitary of you, Lex.

All the while, I really enjoyed hearing Superman (Adam Baldwin) and Luthor (James Marsters) spare off. At one point Luthor himself sent me a message, clearly displeased that I had sided with “the alien” against “humanity.” However, if there’s one thing I learned from all of the info spheres I’ve been collecting, its that Lex definitely doesn’t appear to have the best interests of humanity in mind — or, at the least, he has a funny definition of “best interests,” and maybe even “humanity.” It seems that his meta-human wing is overseen by one Edgar Cizko, a madman running murderous experiments on his charges.

Yeah, the man really is that short and unphotogenic.

Sure enough, the quest chain culminated with me heading into the hospital to confront Doctor Psycho and free Supergirl, who the Bad Doctor is apparently trying to get Kryptonian DNA from. This battle felt a little longer than the previous ones, in part because I had to defeat Psycho several times — he kept making multiple mental projections of himself and then running away!

Not really knowing anything about Dr. Psycho going into this mission (except for his run-ins with the Secret Six and his all-consuming hatred of Catman), I felt that the battles and the final comic book-esque cutscene did a very good job characterizing Dr. Psycho as a terrible misogynist with self-image issues. That he’s apparently a long-running foe of Wonder Woman came as no surprise. I mean, come on, who summons mental projections of three hot superchicks to fight his enemies?

srsly?


The Limits of Exploration

As I alluded to earlier, I’ve continued my quest to collect all of the info spheres that I can. For each quest chain, there appears to be blue “player briefs” set that is directly pertinent to the quest in question, and a green “investigation” set that is a collection of artifacts from the parties associated with the quest. Collecting the player briefs and investigations for this mission was really rewarding, as it let me get a sense of what was really going on in Metropolis General, not to mention the fact that finally getting to listen to Sup’s and Lex’s voices was a treat all in itself.

However, I’ve found that I start to obsess over getting all of the spheres pertinent to the current quest. This gives me a lot of background knowledge, I get to hear a half-dozen or dozen neat sound clips, and I get a good about of XP for my troubles. It also means that I will fly around for hours looking for that last damn blue sphere. And UNFAILINGLY it’ll be in a place I had already looked! I’ve decided to place a proscription on the time I spend looking — if after two hours of solid effort, I haven’t found that last sphere, I’ll look for a screen cap (not map!) of its location. I really like the sense of completion I get from exploring the world and finding all of these myself — but I have to balance that sense of accomplishment with the time I want to put into the game.


Conclusion

I continue to be extremely pleased with my purchase. Outside of the quest chains I continue to wax eloquent about, there are lots of other things I’ve done — I’ve gone on “alerts” instances with strangers, fought in a PvP event, and keep collecting my clothing. I’ll try to talk about those things next time, though the new content patch will probably keep me preoccupied. All said, the gameplay is light but fun, and — in my mind, at least — the voice acting really makes the game for me.

Here’s to the future.

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