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#1 The Dude

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 08:02 PM

So, this new MMO from the people who brought you Everquest (etc) are coming along with a new MMORPG to destroy any remaining players of City of Heroes. Can it hold up against titan WoW? (doubtful) Will you play it? (I will be. Hawkman crossed with Batman 'cha.)
What are your thoughts?

The game, is pretty cool from what I've seen. You build your hero, obviously, and play an original Super Hero. During missions (Capers for Villains, I forget what the hero has. Probably crimefighting or something) you'll interact with the DC Universe heroes and villains, depending on which side your tread with. There'll be a starting point of being good or evil, though apparently the line can be crossed or hazy depending on how you play.
There's no 'sidekick' style, a la City of Heroes, and you'll eventually be equal with the DC Heroes/Villains! Let's all gangrape Superman. That's what I say.

On PlayStation Qore, it explained that when you get a certain far in the game, you'll be able to jump to hotspots where some major event is happening and help out. (Probably when you join Justice League?) There's a ton of major locations, and all the hundreds of concept art was drawn up by DC / Jim Lee. It's accurate, and cool.
The only draw back, at this point for me, is technical look of the game. While the battle system seems solid enough, the animations look choppy and PS2ish. I was expecting a bit more for a PC/PS3 title in this day and age.
Anyway, here's an article, for more info:

[hide=SDCC 08: DC Universe Online Super-Scoop]
We ask famed comic artist Jim Lee if this game sucks.
by Greg Miller

  July 23, 2008 - Cue the Super Friends starwipe and read the following with your best booming announcer voice: "Meanwhile, below the streets of San Diego, a famed comic book artist and Sony Online Entertainment plotted their San Diego Comic-Con assault."

Yes, just a few hours before the official start of Comic-Con, SOE and Jim Lee -- you know, the dude's who's cranked out defining images of Superman and Batman -- took over a San Diego bar to talk shop about DC Universe Online, an MMO the group is working on and Lee is executive creative director of.

Now, it was just last week that we brought you a Q&A sit down with SOE's John Blakely, but Lee, whose team of Wildstorm artists have been working on all of the game's concept art, has a bit of different perspective on things. Even the Q&A panel leading into our one-on-one time with Lee was full of brand new information such as clarification on just how you'll build your character.

If you've been following IGN's coverage of DCUO, then you already know that the game has you create a hero or a villain that will interact with the characters already established as comic book canon. It turns out that when you sit down to create your man or woman in tights, you'll be able to go the full MMO route and customize his or her power base (fire, ice, mental, etc.) and choose how he or she will move, but if you're new to the genre and a bit lazy, you can simply click on the icon of an established hero and get a similar base to build from. Click on the bat symbol, you'll get a martial artist.

As you build your character, you're obviously moving toward joining the Justice League of America or the Legion of Doom. It turns out that the story you'll be playing through will actually be anchored in these organizations coming to terms with the fact that there has been this influx of talent on the scene. You figure, when this game goes live, the DC Universe is suddenly going to get more crowded. Your story will involve that fact.

Although SOE wasn't dishing any specifics on the story, the reps did say that you'll be able to pause your own affairs and jump up into what they called an "Instant Action Match." This event could be something like a satellite crashing to Earth and you having to fight for it, or a bank heist. One example the team talked about was a battle between a set of heroes and a set of villains in the Tomb of Isis. The foes were at each other's throats until Black Adam showed up -- then, the two warring sides joined up to try and survive Captain Marvel's crrrrrrrrrrrrrrrazy man in black. Another example from the heat of battle came from when the game was being tested. Chris Cao, one of the producers on the game, hurled an ice ball at an opponent; the opponent caught it, charged it with electricity, and hurled it back to knock out the developer.

"This isn't rolling dice to see if you can hit the other guy," Cao said. "This is skill."

Even Ambush Bug is in the game.

But that's enough of that, right? You came to see what Jim Lee had to say, right? Well, before he sat down with us, Lee said that the game is going to do its best to tie into the current events of the DC Universe. World changing events will become part of the game, and DC Head Honcho Dan Dido has even assembled a list with Lee of characters in need of a kick in the pants -- those updated heroes and villains might make their debut in DCUO.

It sounds awesome, but what does Jim Lee have to say about all of this...

IGN: Jim, thank you for sitting down with us. Is this game going to suck?

Jim Lee: [Laughing] No. Definitely not. I've played it, and I can verify that it's awesome.

IGN: Why do you think it's awesome? I mean, you guys are definitely marching into territory that means so much to so many people, like myself.

Jim Lee: Well, because we have some amazing people working on the game -- and they're not just like ordinary amazing: these are the writers involved, the artists involved, they're all intimately familiar with the DC Universe and want the DC Universe to come to life. I think we've nailed it.

IGN: You say some interesting people --

Jim Lee: I can't say who! I can't say all the other cool interesting people we have involved.

IGN: But you're a huge name. I remember when the game was first announced -- "Jim Lee's getting into videogames, what's that all about?!" Why make the jump and do this?

Jim Lee: I've always been a big gamer and so it was more like how do they prevent me from working on this game, because when I heard they were going to make this MMO, I was like "Dude" -- this is my boss -- "Dude, you got to let me be involved in this game." So, I basically clawed my way into the project, and it's been awesome so far. I've just always been a big gamer, and to me, I wanted the game to reflect the DC Universe, and I think that's what we've accomplished.

IGN: What are the games you like to play?

Jim Lee: Right now, I like a lot of first-person shooter games like Call of Duty 4; EverQuest; EverQuest II; Mario Brawl [sic], I play that with my kids.

IGN: What are you pulling from them for this game?

Jim Lee: It's interesting. I'm play testing it over in Miramar, and there are a lot of Brawl-like elements where it's just throw right, you're not quite sure what you're doing but you know you're laying down some damage, bouncing around all over the place and, more importantly though, you're able to pick up items and chuck them at other people. It's just a very action-packed, dynamic game. If you think about being a superhero, you're dealing with characters that can move almost at the speed of light -- we don't have that in the game, but we have characters that run super-fast -- having that in the game, it really replicates what you think a superhero experience would be.

IGN: What's your typical day? How does this work into your schedule? You're really hands-on from everyone I talk to.

Jim Lee: Hours of interviews in the morning, I take a shower. [Laughter] Basically, I get up, probably spend like an hour or two doing e-mails, then I go in the office and deal with Wildstorm stuff, try to draw some pages, but I usually set aside like six hours of the day to just work on the videogame stuff during the day. Then, I do a little bit more at night. Most of that is actually approving things that people are working on or tweaking things that people have built. So, you can do this awesome concept art and it goes to a 3D modeler and they have to interpret it -- everyone has their own, unique style. It comes back to me, and I try to make sure that all of these different pieces that are being put together by different people match and look similar.

IGN: Is this your first foray into doing that -- having a 2D piece of art turn into this 3D -- ?

Jim Lee: I did a little bit on other games, but it was almost always at the last minute like "Hey, we want to introduce a new character. We've already got the game figured out; can you just take this character and we'll do a 3D turnaround on it." This is the first game where I've worked from the ground up. When I say the ground up, I'm talking about gameplay -- when you were saying like why this game's going to not suck: those were the kind of questions that were addressed before any concept art was drawn. That's the stuff I was really involved with. In fact, I went to Austin for a week for a mini-videogame boot camp and tried to learn a little of the lingo, some of the terminology and the tech that goes into it. It's like another foreign language.

IGN: Did any of it stick?

Jim Lee: Oh, absolutely. Yeah, yeah. Honestly after every time I see these guys, I pick up a little bit more. Sometimes they're talking about stuff and you're like "What the hell are they talking about?" But a lot of that is like server-side technology and all that stuff. But in terms of gameplay -- having played a lot of these games and when you play these games and you're really into it you're always thinking like "Hey, they should do something like this in a superhero-type MMO" and [we've] tried to bring a lot of that stuff into this game.

IGN: From the play sessions that you've been able to have, can you give me examples of what's stood out?

Jim Lee: One of the coolest things that we just introduced is being able to run up the side of buildings. If you're a speedster, the way it's setup -- obviously you can't move so fast as to screw up the game balance between different kinds of characters -- but you do feel you're running through the cities really fast. You control it; you hit the wall; you go up the wall, dude; you go over the roof and come back down -- it's cool. I just wanted to do that for a while and all these NPCs were attacking me and I was like "Get away!" I just wanted to run around and explore, but that was not the case. Lex Luthor found me and killed me. That's the kind of stuff, and then flying around? Being able to fly to the top of these skyscrapers, land on the top and look around? It's really cool. It's just stuff that you don't really think about when you're drawing comic books. It definitely gives me a deeper appreciation of the world that we create in 2D.

IGN: How hard has this world right now been to create -- I mean, as far as integrating the DC Universe? There's such a long history.

Jim Lee: It's harder than you think. You think like, "Oh, Daily Planet." Well, what Daily Planet do we put in? The one from the comic book? Do the one with the holographic Daily Planet globe or do you one that's more copper-based? Do we do the one from the movies? Do we do the one from animation? There are all these different versions of all these characters -- even from the costumes. Does Batman have the pouches on his utility belt or does he have something more that looks like something from the '70s? Those are the decisions you have to make, and a lot of times it's easy because I've worked on these characters, but a lot of times it's hard because, like, I've never drawn Metamorpho before. "Hmm, what kind of texture is his leg going to be? How do we represent that in textures? How do we represent it in 3D?" So, there's a lot of stuff where decisions I would make if I was drawing that character in the book, I have to do that for the game's space but at a faster pace because we're producing so much of it.

IGN: When's the game coming out?

Jim Lee: When it's ready.

IGN: Gargh! I was hoping I could get you!

Jim Lee: I was so close to giving you a month and a year. Y'know what? We haven't been cutting any corners on this and it literally is a work of love for me. I specifically renewed my contract at DC to work on this game. I wanted the challenge. I wanted to do something really new. This has been all that and more. To me, I don't want to release a game that sucks, like you said. The goal is to make sure it's fun and that it reflects the DC Universe. That takes time.

IGN: What's your final rallying cry to fans? I mean, this is their first chance to play it at Comic-Con.

Jim Lee: Wow. Gosh. Try the speedster. Try all the different body types. We spent an inordinate of time trying to do all of these different silhouettes. When you see it, you're like "Ehh?," but a lot of time went into it and we're still even fine tuning it now. Years later. It is a tricky thing because we want to give people the variety of body types and everything, powers. We want it to be true to the DC Universe. It's tricky. It's a tricky process. It's been a great learning experience -- fun experience.

IGN: Jim, thank you so much.

Jim Lee: Hey, you're welcome, man. Thank you. [/hide]

Screenshots:
[hide=The Joker (What's the deal man, stop sucking your chin back!)]Posted Image[/hide]
[hide=The Batcave (What do we do now Batman?)]Posted Image[/hide]
[hide=Lex vs. Supe (Silly Lex, you need a bigger laser to hurt Superman.)]Posted Image[/hide]
[hide=Superman vs. Bizzaro]Posted Image[/hide]
[hide=Superman Gangrape! Just like I said!]Posted Image[/hide]
"Chill" -Gov'ner Arnold Schwarzenegger

#2 maladroithim

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 08:12 PM

I thought this had been cancelled?  There have been a lot of console MMOs announced and worked on etc and it's really sad to see that none of them launch.

#3 Marcus

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 08:42 PM

I can't say I'd enjoy taking my original character through the DC universe knowing that he's a second rate hero among a legion of marketing monsters.  The problem with established universes is that a huge list of editors have to approve what each character says and I just can't picture Superman giving me quests to destroy kryptonite shipments and delivering cakes to Lex Luthor.
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#4 ryuudou

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 09:02 PM

I thought this had been cancelled?  There have been a lot of console MMOs announced and worked on etc and it's really sad to see that none of them launch.

If I remember correctly the Cit of Heroes guys were working on a Marvel MMO that got cancelled. Now they're working on Champions Online or something like that.


I don't think I'm going to get this though, as I've never been a fan of DC outside of Batman. Also, Joker looks terrible.

#5 Aten

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 09:08 PM

Those models......look really REALLY bad. Like, N64 bad.
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#6 headphonics

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 09:15 PM

Those models......look really REALLY bad. Like, N64 bad.

yeah no they don't.  they do look too GLOSSY though, and i think they fucked the muscles up for the most part.  it still seems like quite a bit more detail than most mmos, though.

#7 HL

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 09:17 PM

This game is going to be really really bad.

I guarantee it.

Those models......look really REALLY bad. Like, N64 bad.


I want your N64 if it could do graphics that good.

#8 Aten

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 09:33 PM

But it does look pretty awful tho
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#9 HL

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 09:34 PM

But it does look pretty awful tho


Not really?

It isn't Age of Conan or Crysis but maybe that is because they actually want people to play the game. By MMO standards (which usually use less intensive graphics so more people can play = more $) it is really good.

#10 Aten

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 09:37 PM

The Lexbot beaming supes looks really nice though. And is it just me, or did they use Christopher Reeves as supes model *_*
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#11 pburn

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 09:46 PM

This better be fucking good man. I hate paying $15 a month for shit but I am tired of level grinding shit, I couldn't even get passed level 17 in WoW. Plus Jim Lee is doing lots of shit for this. I honestly don't have much faith based on what I see tho.

@Gutts; Superman has always been drawn like that.
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#12 HL

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 09:53 PM

The Lexbot beaming supes looks really nice though. And is it just me, or did they use Christopher Reeves as supes model *_*


they didn't use Christopher Reeve as Superman's Model, Christopher Reeve was just Superman and looked exactly like him!

#13 Marcus

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 10:34 PM

Also, Joker looks terrible.


That's actually pretty accurate based on almost every comic Joker has appeared in.  He's supposed to be a rail thin guy with a massive chin, lime green hair, and a razor sharp smile.  Ledger's Joker wasn't even close to the comic book Joker.  Nolan did a real good job at creating a realistic psycho with clown paint but it was still pretty far off.

The character's models aren't bad in themselves it's just that they look like fucking plastic action figures.  Superman's leg in that last screenshot isn't even bending properly.
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#14 The Dude

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Posted 12 August 2008 - 11:30 PM

I really agree about the physical shape of the characters. To take that cake, the animations are really static. Like when Green Lantern is flying around in this one video, he kind of takes a tiny corner to turn instead of... turning. Like I said: PS2.

However from an MMO standpoint, it looks fun. You equip your skills (not just have a massive arsenal (from what I've seen)) and can travel almost anywhere on the DC Earth. Even places like Mad Hatter's Mansion. You will be lesser than Superman to start off, but as you grow, you'll eventually reach their level.
Also, Superman won't send you on missions persay.
I forgot to mention this. The cities will be kind of alive. People going to work, people driving around, walking about doing whatever... Not like your typical MMO where Dwarf 121234 sits on his chair all day. So, you can stop crimes, help citizens, and eventually save/destroy the world. The missions will be more oriented to where you are, and what you're doing.
Later in the game, you can jetison to key points in the world to swiftly save some sadelite technology before it falls into the wrong hands. And in major hero/villains battles, I'm guessing like Battle Grounds in WoW, you'll fight alongside Superman / Lex and face off against other heroes / villains.

The guy in the PS Qore video said this hopefully will be out by the end of the year. As for payment method, they're undecided, and still researching what people want to pay/will pay/how.

The character models animate like ass, but it looks like a really nice MMO, and I'll definitely be playing for 3 months until I get bored (As in all MMOs)
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#15 Liman

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 12:00 AM

The graphics kinda remind me of limbo of the lost, especially The Joker one.
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#16 Marcus

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 12:03 AM

i'm just confused how power will actually be measured.  the dc universe is pretty diverse in terms of power levels (flash can circumnavigate the globe literally in the blink of an eye and superman can flick objects into orbit) so it's going to be kind of difficult to transfer this power to players.  unless they pull a Freedom Force by having dozens of objects laying around, it's going to be kind of lame to play SUPER STRONG MAN when there isn't a car or submarine for him to throw at people.
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#17 The Dude

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 12:08 AM

I did see a super strong man pick up a car. You might be on to something with that. I've only seen Flash a bit, and the footage made it seem like his 'speed' was all just for attacking? Who knows. I know it'll be fun to be a flyer, with a gun or batarang.
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#18 Marcus

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 12:24 AM

and to add to that confusion is balance of powers between supers and non supers.  if superman wanted to, he could kick the shit out of batman's rogue gallery.  joker doesn't stand a chance in a one-on-one fight with powergirl and wonder woman would just squash any mortal.  unless EVERYONE in the game has "super endurance" as a base power, it can't be possible to play "sherlock holmes XVII the second greatest detective (next to batman)" when another player's "ubermensch the guy who's like superman but totally original plz don't steal" could destroy you in a second.

if this game is successful in balancing out the powers (maybe have separate servers for powers and non-powers but that wouldn't work in a Justice League-esque scenario) then I for one will be amazed.  I will actually write these guys a postcard telling them how godly they are for making sense of DC's tangled mess of continuity and bullshit.
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#19 ryuudou

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 01:19 AM

That's actually pretty accurate based on almost every comic Joker has appeared in.  He's supposed to be a rail thin guy with a massive chin, lime green hair, and a razor sharp smile.  Ledger's Joker wasn't even close to the comic book Joker.  Nolan did a real good job at creating a realistic psycho with clown paint but it was still pretty far off.

The character's models aren't bad in themselves it's just that they look like fucking plastic action figures.  Superman's leg in that last screenshot isn't even bending properly.


I know it's close to what the comic version of Joker looks like, but to me the model just looks way too stiff and the arms and head look like they aren't attached properly. Although looking at the other screens it seems like all the models look a little weird.

I forgot to mention this. The cities will be kind of alive. People going to work, people driving around, walking about doing whatever... Not like your typical MMO where Dwarf 121234 sits on his chair all day. So, you can stop crimes, help citizens, and eventually save/destroy the world. The missions will be more oriented to where you are, and what you're doing.
Later in the game, you can jetison to key points in the world to swiftly save some sadelite technology before it falls into the wrong hands. And in major hero/villains battles, I'm guessing like Battle Grounds in WoW, you'll fight alongside Superman / Lex and face off against other heroes / villains.

I wonder how dynamic all this really is going to be though. And are crimefighting and civilian saving missions going to be instanced or anything to prevent some idiot from jumping in at the last second and stealing the credit? Also I don't see "destroy the world" missions panning out too well. Perhaps they could do a more balance of power approach where a city/region can be controlled by one of the factions.

#20 HL

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 02:50 AM

I'm just confused how power will actually be measured.  the dc universe is pretty diverse in terms of power levels (flash can circumnavigate the globe literally in the blink of an eye is literally unkillable no matter what and superman can flick objects into orbit)


fix'd.

Very true tho. DC universe is wayyyyy crazy with power. You got Batman who has none to Flash who might as well be a god.




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