Tuesday, January 23, 2018

I'm Gonna Buy Me A Dog : DCUO

Palawa Joko's deluded fans may think he's all that, what with his Awakened armies and his stolen Inquest tech, but he's a very minor player in the megalomaniac leagues. These past couple of weeks I've been taking time off between beating back Joko's hourly invasions to deal with a much greater threat.

The Anti-Monitor doesn't just want to conquer and rule. He's here to devour. His purpose is to destroy universes. According to the wiki he's "directly responsible for more deaths than any other known DC supervillain, having destroyed thousands of Universes."

Apparently he was first encountered in DC's 1985 mini-series "Crisis On Infinite Earths", which I not only bought and read but even reviewed at some length in one of the fanzines I was writing for at the time. I remember the piece I wrote but I don't remember him at all.

He's back now, looming over Metropolis, occasionally intoning threats in a booming, robotic monotone, while his endless minions attempt to convert the population into anti-matter. I've been zipping around on my flying discs trying, rather successfully, to put a crimp in his nefarious plans.

Once a week I've even met him face to face in a raid instance, where I and seven of my closest friends-I've-never-met-before have given him a surprisingly hard time, considering he eats universes for breakfast. You might not think a cosmic entity hundreds of feet tall, responsible for the deaths of Supergirl and The Flash, able to "effortlessly withstand blows from Superman" would be bothered by a slightly-built girl hitting him on the ankle with a stick but apparently you'd be wrong.

 The continued existence of the known universe aside, the reason I'm doing this is to get a dog. Krypto, to be precise.

I mentioned my intention to dognap the El family pet in a previous post and now I'm happy to report the deed is done. In the end I did put down a part-payment via the cash shop. The event runs another week, ending on January 31, so I would almost certainly have had time to earn the whole 140 Qwardian Crowns required before the clock ran out but why take the risk?

I was up to 112 QCs this morning but I decided to cough up the 540 Daybreak Cash required and buy another fifty. That's effectively my free monthly stipend for All Access membership, which I rarely spend, although I think Daybreak have just about the best in-game cash shop in MMOs.

It's full of things I could and would use, from good consumables like Tracking Scrolls to gorgeous Prestige Houses. There's also a very extensive range of player-designed housing and cosmetic items. Remember Player Studio? Well that turned out to be one of SOE's wild ideas that lasted.

DCUO isn't one of the games that benefits from the ingenuity of player-creators, presumably either for technical or, more likely, licensing reasons. It's a pity because it's a perfect setting for it, what with the limitless potential for costumes in a super-hero game and the well-developed and implemented addition of quality housing via the Base system.

Speaking of bases, mine is coming along nicely. Quite a lot of housing items drop from the reward crates of events and there are frequently free hand-outs with new releases and updates. It's not up to the standards of even one of my lesser domiciles in EQ2 yet, but it's beginning to feel quite like home.

The one thing I was really missing was a house pet. I love my house pets in EQ2. They wander about as though they own the place, flapping and buzzing and whirring. It makes the place feel lived in.

My DCUO base is a bit cavernous and forbidding but the addition of a cheerful, lively pet makes a big difference. And Krypto really fills the bill. A YouTuber named Torikumu put together a nice video showing all the hound's best moves, which saves me the trouble. I wonder where he got that cat at the end?

In a piece of very poor timing I bought the crate just fifteen minutes before the server came down for weekly maintenance so I had to scrabble a bit to get everything placed and working in time to take a few screenshots. I'm looking forward to getting back in to spend some quality time with the pooch.

I'm not much of a dog person but Krypto and I do have a lot of history. I followed his adventures when I was a small child. My very favorite comic, growing up, was The Legion of Super-Heroes, with Superboy a close second and Krypto featured regularly in both.

It's kind of incredible when I think about it. More than fifty years on, both Superboy and the LSH aren't just still around, they've moved further towards the core of the culture than anyone back then could conceivably have imagined possible.

The Anti-Monitor event has been a lot of fun and the rewards have been excellent. Krypto was one of the more costly items on the event vendor and well worth saving up for but there are a load more goodies there worth having. If I have any Qwardian Crowns left over at the end of the week I'll be spending them on a few upgrades.

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