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Old 11-15-2011, 11:54 AM   #16
lodestone
 
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Originally Posted by muckymucks View Post
Nice review. Thanks. I'm interesting in upgrading to Premium but is buying a card from Walmart the only way? I can't do it in-game?
You can buy "station cash" directly from SOE with a credit or debit card. Just make sure to spend at least $5 of it at the in-game shop to unlock your premium access.
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Old 11-16-2011, 08:48 PM   #17
Scribe81
 
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Originally Posted by muckymucks View Post
Nice review. Thanks. I'm interesting in upgrading to Premium but is buying a card from Walmart the only way? I can't do it in-game?
I went online and bought Fight for Light DLC. Why? Station cash price was 1100. $5 for 500 station cash. So you'd have to spend $15 to get it and be left with 400 station cash. Online through DC Universe website, $9.99.
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Old 11-17-2011, 08:36 AM   #18
Volfurious
 
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I am convinced to spend 5 bucks.
Good job. (No sarcasm.)
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Old 11-17-2011, 09:17 AM   #19
Lexinator
 
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Originally Posted by muckymucks View Post
Nice review. Thanks. I'm interesting in upgrading to Premium but is buying a card from Walmart the only way? I can't do it in-game?
You can do it in game, on the web site, or by buying a game card. I just suggested the Walmart card because it gives you extra Station Cash. So for $15 you get $20 worth of Station Cash.

Sony has a lot of Station Cash promotions as well, they have double and triple station cash promotions pretty regularly. This works great with the Walmart card.

If you use the card when the promotion hits, (and you can hold the card until it does)you get $40 or $60 dollars worth of Station Cash for just $15. This will let you play the game on your own terms, with extra character slots and whatever else you want, all for a price of a 1 month subscription. This is what I did and what I suggest others do.

If you have extra money to spend, and want things now before any promotions, just buy the Green Lantern DLC from the website for $10 (it's $11 worth of Station Cash in the game store for some reason, but $10 on their site).

I would rather use that money on awesome steam games. Seriously, a few bucks goes a long way on steam. I just bought the awesome Oblivion for chump change, and can't wait for the Christmas sale. Yes, I already had the game on my 360 but I coudln't help buying a PC copy for so cheap . I think I may be a steam addict.
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Old 11-17-2011, 02:13 PM   #20
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Started playing this game for a couple days after it went free, then spent the $5 for Premium (more than worth it, I can definitely see myself putting more money into it in the future, not on a subscription though). This is like... my dream-come-true mmo game I never thought I'd ever see. No mindless grinding, emphasis on story and side quests that make it feel like a real game and not work, none of that spending an entire week of playing just to advance one level bullcrap. It's an mmo that's actually fun. FUN. For me, anyway.

Question about the escrow system, if anyone knows: If I have 25k+ in my escrow and I buy and use one of those items from the cash shop, will it instantly transfer the money to me and temporarily increase my max limit to $25k? Or will my spending limit still be $2k and the money gets automatically siphoned out of my escrow into my wallet as I buy things?
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Old 11-17-2011, 04:02 PM   #21
Scribe81
 
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Originally Posted by Fandango View Post
Started playing this game for a couple days after it went free, then spent the $5 for Premium (more than worth it, I can definitely see myself putting more money into it in the future, not on a subscription though). This is like... my dream-come-true mmo game I never thought I'd ever see. No mindless grinding, emphasis on story and side quests that make it feel like a real game and not work, none of that spending an entire week of playing just to advance one level bullcrap. It's an mmo that's actually fun. FUN. For me, anyway.

Question about the escrow system, if anyone knows: If I have 25k+ in my escrow and I buy and use one of those items from the cash shop, will it instantly transfer the money to me and temporarily increase my max limit to $25k? Or will my spending limit still be $2k and the money gets automatically siphoned out of my escrow into my wallet as I buy things?
From what I read in the FTP forums on DC Universe.com, you get a fat dump of all the money. How this works if you sell stuff or quest and earn more money, I'm not sure, but I did read a Tech say that you'd get a dump of the money into your account, but once it dipped below 2K, you wouldn't be able to earn any higher.

I've been lvl 30 for a week now and already have Tier 1 and some 2 gear. Just keep stacks of Soda Extremes on hand for when you need more money. You don't get full value, but you get to keep the money in your inventory. My escrow account is only like 1.2K. Of course, if you're trying to buy something off the broker, then yeah, you'll probably need to pay to empty out your escrow. So much of the useful gear at lvl 30 though is cannot trade or sell stuff, so I haven't actually found anything in the broker worth buying. Just my 2cents.
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Old 11-17-2011, 10:33 PM   #22
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Great review, just a couple questions though.

Are the communities any different from PC to PS3? I don't know if anyone here has tested both out or not, but the official DCUO forums themselves aren't all that friendly, but ive been mainly checking the PS3 forums because thats where I am planning to play the game.

I had heard the limitations on 2k cash was crippling for end game raids. Are people really willing to help you out at the Fortress of Solitude? It's supposedly one of the toughest raids in the game, and 2k doesn't even make a dent in the repairs sometimes. I can see myself trying hard to make sure I take full advantage of inventory slots to carry around as much wealth as possible for repairs, but I don't know if its enough, even at premium. What's your take on that? If I wanted to do Fortress of Solitude on a fairly regular basis, am I forced into getting a legendary sub/ paying for cash boosts?
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Old 11-18-2011, 01:24 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by mercnote View Post
What's your take on that? If I wanted to do Fortress of Solitude on a fairly regular basis, am I forced into getting a legendary sub/ paying for cash boosts?
Well, we usually beat fos3 in about 17-20 minutes. I think the current record is like 10 min with 0 deaths? Check the DCUO forums.

If it's your first time doing the raid, you will probably be hit pretty hard with the repair bills, I know I was. But after I learned the encounter, I don't even need to repair :-).

There is no point in subscribing. You can get escrow for cheaper when learning a new raid. Or you could check youtube and know the encounter before going in so you don't have to repair. Escrow is dirt cheap and throwing them $2 a month whenever I am learning a new raid isn't really that bad.

Do what others have suggested an buy SC cards from Wallyworld. Redeem them when there is a double promotion and you get enough escrow to last you years of raids, all for $15.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scribe81 View Post
From what I read in the FTP forums on DC Universe.com, you get a fat dump of all the money. How this works if you sell stuff or quest and earn more money, I'm not sure, but I did read a Tech say that you'd get a dump of the money into your account, but once it dipped below 2K, you wouldn't be able to earn any higher.
You still have the 2k limit but you also get bonus escrow money on top of that which is drained instead of your 2K limit. I did it once when learning fos raids. Don't really need it though, just learn the content before you go there and you will be fine.
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Old 11-20-2011, 05:49 PM   #24
Lexinator
 
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Originally Posted by IamThe1 View Post
Well, we usually beat fos3 in about 17-20 minutes. I think the current record is like 10 min with 0 deaths? Check the DCUO forums.
Yep. The raids aren't too hard, which makes it feel more like a game that you can enjoy instead of work. I would go as far as saying this game has the easiest raids out of every MMORPG out there. Yes, even easier than WoW. But that's part of the appeal.

Sometimes I miss the old EQ marathon/masochist raids, but I think I'm the only one that does
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Old 12-01-2011, 02:05 PM   #25
eddyisatrip
 
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Originally Posted by Lexinator View Post
Sometimes I miss the old EQ marathon/masochist raids, but I think I'm the only one that does
Nah, the six hour raids were fun.

On a different note, do you still play? I haven't seen you in like a week.
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Old 12-09-2011, 07:35 AM   #26
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On a different note, do you still play? I haven't seen you in like a week.
I still play. It is just that I have been super busy with Skyrim. That game is so addicting its ridiculous. I still haven't even beaten it yet! I got involved in some side quests that just took me away from the story. It all started with the Thieves guild, and led to the Dark Brotherhood stuff and now I am just joining every guild and doing every quest. My character is level capped and is having a blast going through just annihilating most things.

I logged on a few times to run the new stuff in CC, and I still log on when we raid, but until I beat (and am tired) of Skyrim, I will pretty much keep playing that. Oblivion GOTY took me about 400 hours to "beat", so I am expecting at least as much time for Skyrim, which is a much better game than it's predecessor.

Hell, I even bought an extra copy of Oblivion on the steam sale just because it was so cheap (and because I lost my old discs). So i may go through it again real quick after installing the mod that stops friggin rats from leveling with your character.

But like I said, I plan on playing DCUO for a while and will continue to do so. While The Old Republic beta really impressed me, I will not be playing that until the first few months are up. There are a few issues with the game that should get addressed fairly fast (within a few months) that I refuse to deal with. It is a triple A product, and something that I feel will consume me (and a lot of other players), and I don't want these little imperfections to sour me on the amazing game.

And even when I play TOR, I will still play DCUO, especially if they keep releasing interesting new content like they have been so far.
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Old 12-19-2011, 09:48 AM   #27
mattstone
 
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Originally Posted by Lexinator View Post
Preface:
I started playing this game just a few days ago and made the following post comparing the game to truly great free to play games like LotRO, DDO, and FE.

Now that I am level capped and raiding, I will bring you a full review of the game and not hold any punches. This is based on MY personal experience, as well as that of two friends that started playing a few hours after me.

I am also in an excellent raiding guild, and called on the opinions of the Lifetime subscribers and Legendary players.

Before we dive into the review, check out the F2P vs Subscriber matrix here.

The negatives (and how to get rid of most of them ):

One thing that I can't stress enough - you will need to spend $5 on the game to become a "premium" member. I bought the excellent Green Lantern DLC and that did the trick. The DLC gets you more raids and another power set! Don't kid yourself, while you can play for free the experience will be sub par, as you won't be able to trade items with players or use voice chat (and the game has a pretty bland chat interface otherwise). Once you start raiding, you absolutely need voice chat if it is your first time there.
Honestly, for a one time $5 purchase you get a game that a lot of people paid $50 for, and are subscribing to!

Spending $5 will also allow you to trade items with other players, get you more character slots and inventory slots, as well as increase your cash limit to 2000! This is very helpful when you need to repair.

Here is what I did: I bought a $15 SC card at Walmart since I also play EQ2X (used to play, I now switched to DCUO since it's not as limiting as EQ2X in the F2P department). I waited until SOE had a double points sale, and got roughly $40 worth of points for $15. Walmart gives you bonus points that also work with the promotion that SOE has.

After that is done you don't really have to spend another dime on the game again, although if more DLC comes out, I will snag that up as well (using this offer of course). If you get really lucky, SOE has triple Station Cash promotions as well .

Being a premium member you still have to deal with the "dreaded" escrow feature. I see a lot of myths about the 2000 cash limit on premium players. It works like this. You can earn millions of $cash, but only have access to 2000 of them at a time. The rest of the $cash you earn goes into your escrow account. You then have to pay real money (pennies) to get it out of escrow and into your inventory. Once you start raiding, repair bills get pretty hefty. What I used to do is keep "junk items" in my inventory just for this purpose. When I used up my 2K on repairs, I would sell off some of my spare items and have enough money for all my repairs. The limit is pretty much a non factor if you are smart about it.

However, after I joined a raiding guild that problem went away completely. 2000 is such a small amount that Legendary and Lifetime players will gladly just hand it over to you. I didn't even have to ask! I simply stated that I was F2P and they told me that they will cover my repair bills if I raid with them. That's it! They give you the cash to repair and you don't even have to carry junk items to sell! I also got two of my RL friends into the same guild and they have not had to pay for their repairs either.

------UPDATED-------

This is no longer the case. I am leaving this portion of the post here just because :-) (I will make the text gray to show you that it is an old part of the review). The updates are tagged with the: "Update -" tag.


The main thing that annoys me (and every other player) is that SOE wasn't ready for such a huge influx of players to the game, and their servers are going down and misbehaving all the time. The huge queue isn't helping things either. Having to wait 10 minutes to play, get DC'd and have to put up with the wait all over again is ridiculous. I hope that SOE does something about this and fast, as well as give us a small SC stipend to compensate for this ridiculous joke of a service. The sad thing is, you can't get around this. It is their servers and they are the only ones that can fix it. Thankfully they have said they are working on it (both hardware and software fixes/upgrades) and should have it resolved "soon".

Update - With a batch of new hotfixes, the game has not been going down for me or disconnecting me as much, if at all. I can now raid problem free and while there are still a few lag related problems, they have nearly all been ironed out. The best part is if you are now a premium member, your queue is almost non existent. I made a purely free to play account and it's still somewhat bad there. This is because premium and subscribers have been given queue priority. So there is another reason to spend a few bucks on the game. The premium queue is always less than 2-3 minutes for me, which is a big plus since it used to be up to 10 times as long!

------UPDATED-------

Other than those things, there really are no negatives to the game. SO to sum it up, you will need to spend at least $5 on the game to unlock premium (this is a one time purchase), you will have to be willing to work around the escrow limitation, and you have to put up with just shatty servers (which should hopefully get fixed soon).

The final thing that you can never do as a free or premium player is form your own guild, you are free to join one though. To bypass that, just have a Legendary or Lifetime player make one and give it to you.

The positives, or pretty much everything else:

As I have said in my earlier impressions, the game is great. It is an action game wrapped around with a crunchy MMORPG shell. The combat is a good mix of real time comboing, skill usage, and blocking, with interrupts thrown in for good measure. The combat is really a blast, and the best part is that even healing in the game requires you to be in the thick of things! My hat is off to SOE for this design. This is the only game (other than AoC) where I actually liked healing!

One of the things I really enjoyed was using the environment to my advantage. Just like in the comic books/cartoons your character can pick up a car, a vending machine or a barrel (among many other items), and use it as a weapon! You can also use such objects to hide from and tick off your enemies.

There are only 30 levels in the game, but that is just not accurate. It will take you a few days to reach the cap (earning skill points as you go), but once you get to 30 is when the real game begins. You can still earn points to improve your skills, weapons and abilities! In reality, it takes quite a while to "max" your character (about the same time as it would in WoW, maybe a bit longer, although not as long as in EQ2).

There is a ton of gear in the game - you have virtually limitless options to create a truly unique avatar that is really "you". There are also of course cosmetic options, so running into a similarly looking hero/villain is very rare. I absolutely love this as coming from WoW, where every class looks the same at late levels disappointing me.

The game has a great story and is fully voice acted, with cutscenes and other coolness. Other than a few side quests, the game is fully voiced over (and the voice acting is very well done for most of it). The Joker is absolutely phenomenal, voiced by the always awesome Mark Hamill. Lex Luthor, Oracle, Calculator and Batman get honorable mentions in the voice acting department as well.

The graphics are simply amazing. There is a lot of variety to the two cities (Metropolis and Gotham), and all heroes/villains are very well modeled. Simply stunning for an MMO if you have a PC that can handle it.

PvP is a blast! I can't say enough good things about it. Although not all powers are balanced out, so be careful. As a side note, some are actually designed to counter others. That's all well and good but within those there are a few clear winners. However, the combat is still skill based and if you time your blocks/lunges correctly you should win most of the time. I have taken out level 25-30's with a level 18-20 before so it is very possible to win when facing a higher level opponent.

Misc thoughts:

The download size is quite steep. 17GB total, however there are no updates after you get the game (as of this review) and you can play instantly. This is probably because the game has an obscene amount of voice over and high quality cut scenes.

Other than having no in game $cash limit (including the ability to trade $cash to other players) and the ability to make your own guilds, there really is no point to subscribing. You get no monthly stipend, and the "free" DLC that you get is in no way worth $15/month. Do yourself a favor and buy a SC card at Walmart, wait for a promotion and redeem it for mad cash. In fact multiple guild members I spoke with are dropping Legendary status and going to premium starting next month unless SOE includes a stipend and a priority queue system with their subscription model.

In my opinion this is the best F2P model from any game.
Dungeons and Dragons Online and Lord of the Rings Online are a close second because you can get currency to buy things simply by playing.
FE is a close third because other than slowing you down (severely in some cases, to the point where you can't really group with subscribers) the game has a good model as well.

------UPDATED-------

I can't say this enough times. The queue times as of this review are ridiculous. Be prepared to wait, or have a copy of DDO or LotRO running in the background while you wait to play DCUO.

Update - The queue times are now very reasonable. If you are pure F2P (no money spent) they are all under 5 minutes. If you are a paid subscriber or premium member, the only times you have a queue is on the weekends.

------UPDATED-------

The game is best played with a controller. I personally tried an Xbox 360 and PS3 controllers, and know they work. One of my friends is playing with a Logitech pad and another with a PS2 controller going through an adapter! So the game can recognize most controllers without a problem.

The Fight for the Light (Green Lantern) DLC gives you access to the S.T.A.R. Labs, Coast City, and Sciencells Prison scenarios (all of which are just awesome), as well as a lot of gear.

The Lightning Strikes (Flash) DLC gives you a lot more than the previous Green Lantern DLC, while costing the same. It adds a whole new (instanced) city, with quests, gear, characters, dailies, bounties and a brand new Lighting power set. It still costs $10. The only caveat this DLC has is that it is geared for the higher level players (level capped with good gear), requiring a minimum of CR 53 to enter. You can not go there with a fresh character. You just CAN'T.

In my humble opinion if you could only get one DLC, get Lighting Strikes. It gives you a whole more bang for your buck and they said that there will be more content coming to the new city soon. Seeing as how it is already overloaded with content (compared to the Green Lantern DLC), that makes it an even better deal.

------UPDATED-------

Some people can log in to play while others can't. There is no reason for it - it just happens. I tried to group with my RL friends and one of them still can't log in. He is stuck at the loading screen every time, but was able to play yesterday.
The loading screen issue is actually the game putting you in another queue! Just stay at that screen and after 15 or so minutes (depending on the queue) you will get in! I can confirm this myself.


Update - This is no longer the case. There has not been a log in problem reported for ages. The loading screen fiasco was also fixed.

------UPDATED-------

I am sure I am forgetting a few things, I will add them as you guys ask me questions.
Just wanted to say thanks for the review. I had a little disagreement with you about your EQ2 post but this one is very good.

I tried the game because of your recommendation and am glad I did. I even bought the pack you suggested. Not bad for unlimited free playtime. Really hope they don't change anything about how F2P works.

Now that I have seen how F2P players are treated in this game, I am also a bit more disappointed with how Sony made things work in EQ2. I may even give Lord Of The Rings a try again.

You ever consider doing game reviews? I would gladly read your stuff.

Last edited by mattstone: 12-19-2011 at 09:52 AM.
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Old 01-04-2012, 02:01 PM   #28
JukeThem
 
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Originally Posted by mattstone View Post
Just wanted to say thanks for the review.

I tried the game because of your recommendation and am glad I did.
+1. Very good and detailed review. I went through a lot of crap here before I found something I like. It would be really helpful if all the ftp games had something like this clearly visible in their forums. -hint hint-
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Old 01-04-2012, 03:33 PM   #29
danjako43
 
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You're advertising. Paying 5 bucks makes the game no longer F2P since you PAID for something...

Seriously man.
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Old 01-04-2012, 07:51 PM   #30
JukeThem
 
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Originally Posted by danjako43 View Post
You're advertising. Paying 5 bucks makes the game no longer F2P since you PAID for something...

Seriously man.
Im advertising? I have been playing the game for free for a while. Just dropped some moola on the dlc like yesterday. The game is very playable for free but the extra powerset and other premium features are bad .
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