Monday, 4 February 2013

Back To Base : DCUO

What would make you log back into an MMO you haven't bothered with for a while? Nostalgia? Bribery? Novelty? Sentiment? Boredom? I don't really do boredom, but any of the rest work on me and in the past week several old favorites have had a try at reeling me in again.

In Guild Wars I was back to check on my Anniversary presents. A couple of months too early as it turns out but my visit wasn't in vain - I found some still unopened  from last year.

My timing was better in Vanguard, where there were 60-slot chests waiting for everyone. Now I just need to rebuild my Qalian beach villa, not to mention the second home we paid subscribers are entitled to under the New Deal. I'm going to rebuild my Thestran hunting lodge. I'll get right on it just as soon as I can work out some means of keeping the rent paid when I only play once in a blue moon.

Can I get an appointment to view?
Most disappointing by far was my return to Argo. It wasn't there. Well, strictly speaking it is there until the first of March, when it closes down for good, but my client no longer patches so I can't log in. Our friends at Allaplaya, gaming subsidiary of everyone's favorite Megacorp PSS1, cry a few crocodile tears as they explain that, hey, no-one was playing Argo anyway and we got these shiny new games like Planetside2 and DCUO that you're rilly gonna love...

Think I'll keep my capes in the top drawer...
I'm very happy to say it appears Argo isn't vanishing altogether. It's a quirky, likeable MMO as I wrote a while back and one that I definitely wasn't done with. Like NeoSteam, another MMO I still miss, Argo will carry on in its homeland but as was sadly not the case for NeoSteam, it looks likely that Argo's new provider will make it available to all, no matter where in the world they happen to log in from.

It's my tail. Wanna make something of it?
I'll just have to try and make the effort to play it this time, before it does finally disappear for good. MMOs are odd beasts. Sometimes it's "use it or lose it" as it was for The Matrix Online or Lego Universe; other times worlds roll on seemingly forever despite the apparent lack of interest. It would be unkind to name names. If there's an old favorite you haven't visited since, well, you can't remember when, probably best not to leave it too long. Things are getting rough out there.

A Hero casts no shadow
The fourth in my flurry of re-visits certainly doesn't look to be in any danger of folding its tent right now. DCUO was a game that most observers felt had launched with the wrong payment model and it duly floundered as a subscription title. A deft F2P conversion, combined with server mergers that appear to have done what server mergers should, namely stabilize and concentrate the population, seem to have left the game in a good place.

As it happens, I do have a subscription. Rather, I have SOE's All Access which, along with the merciful removal of the mandatory PSS1 requirement (yes, them again), means I can slip into my cape any time I fancy. It also means that , as a Legendary member, I don't have to pay extra for the recent Home Turf DLC, which brings instanced housing in the form of lairs and bases. Of course, I only found that out after I'd wasted ten minutes fiddling with the Station Store trying to figure out how to buy it. Sometimes you just can't give your money away.

Table - check. Chandelier - check. Mirror - hmm, I got a clock.
I wasted a further fifteen minutes running through the tutorial on a new character. The only two characters I have in DCUO, a level 19 hero and a level 11 villain, are on a PvP server and much though I enjoyed the mayhem while I was playing regularly, for infrequent pleasure trips I really would like to be able to fly around gawping at Metropolis without three or four level 30 muscleboys introducing my face to the sidewalk every five minutes.


What I didn't notice was that you have to be level 12 before you get the mission that gives you your base. If I'd paid attention to Tipa I'd have know that. So, now I have a homeless level 3 Hero on a PvE server and level 19 on a PvP server who's too nervous to leave his  Art Deco lair.

I could get a bowling alley in here
At least his new base looks great. There's a lot of space, several floors, big windows (pity you can't see out), huge potential. I placed my three free pieces of furniture, which was quite the flashback to EQ2 circa 2005. I checked the broker to see what I could buy but it seems things you'd be embarrassed to throw in a skip go for six figures and my total fortune in DCUO is about $5k. I just hope the minimalist look is still in in Metropolis.

Do you take pocket lint? It's all I got.
The best thing was that I immediately remembered just how much I like DCUO. And a couple of fights reminded me just how bad I am at playing it. My "skills" will come back to me, I'm sure. I hope so because I need to do some Alerts so I can steal confiscate a sofa or two. Although judging by general chat I'd better brush up on my Russian or my Turkish before I join any groups. This on a North American server, I should add.


2 comments:

  1. You're about as bad as me with hopping around, hehe. I love to hop back into a game when an event goes live, maybe an expansion, changes to the game. Always renews things and causes me to get curious and log in. It is refreshing, an old game feels new again.

    Then again no matter what changes, some games really have to really have something enticing to bring me back. I can't remember the last time I logged into DAoC, I suppose if it went F2P I would do so in a heartbeat. Helps when they are F2P because I already have way too many subs, lol. Nostalgia is a big factor too, that probably has to be the biggest pull, it will eat at me for weeks.

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    1. I want to get to a loose schedule where I play one MMO for around 60% of my available time, a couple of others for maybe 30% between them and just drop in to visit a bunch more for very quick visits with the last 10%. That's what I tend to do when I'm a few months out from any major content releases (new MMOs or expansions) and it's definitely the most satisfying way to play.

      I'm just getting back to that now, I think, but anything new and good could put me right back where I've been for the last few months - enjoying myself too much in one game to find time for all the others.

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