My friend and I picked it up last Friday, and I hit level 30 (maximum level) Monday. Its a very difficult game to describe, but I can honestly say that its one of the most fun MMOs that I've ever played.
I'll start by saying the one thing that was worrying me. Safehouses, which are areas where you pick up quests, are the only areas really instanced. The cities, Metropolis and Gotham, are not. You'll see all of the heroes and villains on your server in these places. There is no "Gotham 1" or "Metropolis 37". One Gotham zone, and one Metropolis zone, with EVERYBODY in them.
When you create your character, you choose between three champions of your faction. For Heroes, this is Superman (Genetics), Batman (Gadgets), or Wonder Woman (Magic). For Villains, this is The Joker (Gadgets), Lex Luthor (Genetics), or Circe (Magic). Be careful in choosing them. They each represent a different role, and will be the way you unlock tier gear later on.
Every power has two roles, and there are four roles altogether (Tank, Healer, Damage, Control). Some of the classes are; Fire (Tank/Damage), Gadgets (Damage/Control), Sorcery (Damage/Healing), and many others (Nature, Mental, Ice, etc.). Each class has two trees to invest points (called "Power Points"...shocker, I know) in depending on what you want to do. You obtain some abilities that function as two different things depending on the "Loadout" you are in. Loadouts are your action bars for each role, and are a quick way to swap skill sets. You can only swap Loadouts outside of combat.
Example: I have the Gadgets power. One of my abilities is called "Sticky Grenade." I can use this ability to inflict damage, but it does two different things depending on whether I'm in my Damage or Control stance. In my Control stance, it will regenerate Power for the players around me over a set amount of time. In my Damage stance, it will allow for +% of damage for the rest of my combo. --> Combos are the amount of times that you consecutively hit the enemy within a time frame. Being stunned, knocked back, or anything like that will interrupt the combo.
Along with your normal powers and upgrades, at certain levels players get access to Iconic Powers. At first, these include; Freezing Breath, Amazonian Deflection, Triple Batarang Shot, etc. These are usable skills based from the dominant superheroes. Later on, you get access to direct stat boosting skills. These skills increase things like; +50 Defense +100 Toughness, +100 Health, +100% Weaponization, +10% Critical Strike, etc.
I should also note that no matter how many skills you get, you are only able to have six usable skills on your Loadout bar at any given time. It makes you sit down and really think about what you are going to be using.
Then there are your Weapon and Movement types. Some of the weapons include; Dual Pistols, Rifle, Hand Blast, Martial Arts, Brawling, Two-Handed, etc. The three movement types are Acrobatics, Flight, and Super Speed. In addition to skills obtained through the Power trees, there are Weapon and Movement trees to invest points (called "Skill Points") in. The Weapon tree allows access to upgraded combos, all new skills, and upgraded stats. The Movement tree allow access to upgraded movement, all new skills, and resistances.
Example: By talenting into the Rifle tree, you can unlock a Grenade Launcher that you can use by simply double clicking the right mouse button. This skill may not do a lot of damage, but it does have a chance of knocking players backwards, thus stunning casting times. Later, you can invest points in a talent that raises your base stats (Toughness, Dominance, etc.), or certain stats (Critical Strike, Critical Damage, Healing) by percentages. By talenting into the Acrobatics tree, you can unlock skills that allow you to rip another player to your character, or simply stun them for a second or two. You can also upgrade your Acrobatics to include a zip-line that allows for quicker ascents up buildings, or rocket-assisted flight. There is also the option to gain 10% Stun Resistance.
The combat is ruthless and demands your attention even if you are fighting NPCs. The last time I was killed that much by NPCs was when I first started the original EverQuest. The combat is real-time. You use the left mouse button for a melee attack , and the right for a ranged attack (I believe its just left = weak/right = strong for classes like Brawling, Martial Arts, Two-Handed). Spamming skills during combat is out of the question due to a limited Power pool. Just spamming skills and clicking will get you killed very quickly. The trick is to figure out a good combination that will allow you to take as little damage as possible, but still dish out some decent damage.
Example: For any easy NPC, my character begins with an attack that stuns the enemy, then throws a grenade, then attacks the enemy at range while it is recovering from the grenade blast. Rinse and repeat. For a harder NPC, I throw down a Warden Turret (obtained through the "Trap" power tree) that concentrates on controlling enemies as opposed to damaging them. By doing this, I am able to use skills that damage the enemy rather than burning most of my Power on controlling it myself.
That brings me to my next point...Alerts, which are the instances of the game, are very hard. The one that sticks out in my head the most is Bludhaven. Bludhaven is the native home of Nightwing. Thanks to the invasion of Chemo, Bludhaven really doesn't exist anymore. The only thing left is a massive pile of rubble with hundreds of different mutated, irradiated monsters. I never really did a lot of Alerts until Bludhaven. The ones I did do, it was overkill (like being level 40 for Ragefire Chasm). There is a maximum of four players per Alert. The four slots are MEANT to be used for each role. I used MEANT in all Caps due to some people having the Death Knight syndrome (queuing as tank, but instancing as DPS). With each character having two roles, and abilities that do two different effects depending on the Loadout, its very easy to get a group going. Alerts are available at around level 7-9, with Area 51 being the first one. There are six or seven altogether (off the top of my head; Area 51, Bludhaven, OMAC, Oolong Island...)
At level 30, Duos and Raids become available. Throughout leveling, you'll encounter little instanced places. Some of these include; the JSA (Justice Society of America) building, Wayne Enterprises, a satellite taken over by Brainac, and many, MANY others. Duos basically takes a few of these, adds more content, adds way more difficulty, then allows two people to run through them together. You are able to queue up for these like you can for Alerts. Raids are exactly what they sound like. There are two raids open at the moment. One of the raids is the Batcave, and I can't remember the other one. Up to eight people can raid these locations. I've heard that they are extremely hard, and gearing for them is a definite necessity.
Here is the topic that everyone wants to know: "How is the PvP in this game?" In one word? Fantastic. In two words? F***ing fantastic. All of the classes seem to be balanced for the most part. There was a horrible bug that allowed for 300% damage if you had Flight and a two-weapon specialty for a while. They fixed that up rather fast though. There are two ways to PvP. There are the regular battlegrounds, which are 2v2, 4v4, or 8v8. Each battleground has a different playstyle (Team Deathmatch, King of the Hill, Capture the Flag). Then there is the Legends PvP. The battlegrounds are similar to regular PvP, but you get to play as iconic superheroes or villains instead. Most people start out with Robin or Harley Quinn, but you can unlock Batman, The Huntress, The Joker, Bane, and a few others. It adds a nice spice to PvP, and is very, VERY fun. Regular PvP and Legends PvP both become available at around level 9 or so. The World PvP is also ridiculously fun. I haven't seen so many people that are so active in the world since Dark Age of Camelot. There is stuff always going down in some area. Most of the time its in Metropolis, but there is one area in Gotham, Amusement Mile, which pretty much always has PvP going down.
While questing, you can pick up bounties for superheroes/villains. You get them starting at around level 12, and they continue to 30. These bounties allow you to take on people like The Flash, Powergirl, Bizzaro, Green Arrow and Black Canary, and a few others that were made up for the game (Full House, Enchanted Statue, etc.) There is a constant fight between the Heroes and Villains on how many bounties they have completed each day.
Oh, right! The customizing! Okay, you make your character the way you want him when you start. Right off the bat, there are ton of options for your chest, legs, head, everything. Throughout the game, you obtain other pieces of gear that have new "styles." When you equip the piece, you learn the style. You can lock your current costume to where you'll always see that, and there is a customization menu that you can use to see the new styles that you get, or you can go old school and unlock your costume, then equip the pieces as you get them...but you'll probably look ridiculous.
Speaking of gear, there are tokens that you collect for PvE and PvP gear. When you go into Legends PvP, you get Marks of Legend, which you use to purchase other characters to use in Legends PvP. When you complete Duos, or a few other instances, you collect Marks of ...something, and you use them to purchase lower tier gear. Raids will get you higher tier gear. I can't really specifically say how to get everything because I've only been 30 for like...a few days >.>
I'll make sure to update this thread as I gain new information. Come join me!
---------- Post added 2011-01-27 at 02:17 AM ----------
Oh yeah, I forgot to add that a lot of the problems with the game are very small.
1. The profanity filter works on a letter basis and not a word basis. If you type out a word like "amusement," it will censor s-e-m-e-n because it spells "semen" within the word. Its really stupid, and Sony has already claimed that they are working on it. They are going to fix up the current chat system, and add the ability to turn off the profanity filter.
2. The quest log (its referred to as your Journal.) Its horrible. There is no form of order to the quests and it makes locating specific ones a pain in the ass. Yet again, Sony has already said they are going to fix that.
3. The epic loot bug. There is a bug that occurs every now and then that prevents loot from being able to be rolled on by the group. Yes, it sucks. Yes, they are working on it.
I can't really remember anything else that bugs the hell out of me.
Last edited by Kankuri; 2011-01-26 at 09:07 PM.
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