DC Universe Online Players Flock to PS3

| 18 Jul 2012 16:55
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SOE's John Smedley argues that free-to-play console gaming is "a business model of the future".

When DC Universe Online first arrived for both the PC and PlayStation 3 in 2011, it garnered respectable reviews (which is good) and a player base that quickly dropped off after a couple of months (which is bad). Sony Online Entertainment made the smart decision to redesign both versions of DCUO as free-to-play, and were proven right when its revenues soared ahead by 700%. What the developer didn't expect when reviewing the data afterwards was to see an uneven split of players between versions. According to SOE President John Smedley, 70% of all DCUO players prefer the PlayStation 3 version of a game readily available for free on both platforms.

"It's 70 per cent of the audience," Smedley said. "Free-to-play on PlayStation 3 is huge ... In fact, right now, it's us with DCUO and Free Realms and our friends at CCP with Dust 514 that are going to prove that this market really works."

The PC is generally considered to be the MMO platform of choice, but to Smedley, DCUO's figures aren't just a quirk of statistics. He believes that, thanks to the convenience of online console stores, free-to-play console titles are becoming a huge gaming market, and the DCUO players are backing him up. "There's a lot of people that go through that store and it's so easy to find and download these games that it's a great business model," Smedley continued. "We can put out thousand of items and it feels very frictionless. The remarkable thing is with a game like Free Realms where's there's literally thousands of items to buy it has to be a solid platform to begin with to support that. It's no small thing to be able to that. It's a business model of the future."

There's quite a bit of truth to Smedley's argument. Free-to-play MMOs generally last longer, obtain more revenue, and can gain a greater number of players in comparison to paid MMOs. As online-only console titles become more common, the trends seen on PC platforms will likely repeat themselves for console audiences. "Free-to-play is the ultimate of expression of a free market in video gaming," Smedley explained. "It's completely about quality, there's no purer way to see whether you have a good game or not than by saying 'this is free, do you want to play it?'"

Source: Games Industry International

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Nalgas D. Lemur:

At first I would try to get the max number of marks per day in DCUO, but I realized that would get old in a hurry and just did the dailies plus maybe a little more other stuff if I felt like it. It doesn't take that much longer in the end, and it feels a lot less tedious. I guess they've gotten rid of it at this point, but Vindictus also had that lame token system when I played before, so there was only so much you could do at a time in that game too.

they got rid of the tokens a LONG TIME ago, though all the level 60 (and one lvl 50 solo only mission) raids are limited to one successful run a day, or once a week (i think) in the case of the 24 man raids

I personally had more fun completing sets in DCUO and just collecting styles in general, just because of the sheer ridiculousness of the costumes you could put together, but that's a matter of taste. More games need to use that style/appearance system and let you wear eq for the stats but have the appearance of anything you've ever previously equipped at no cost, changing the color and everything. I can waste far too much time playing with that trying to make something even sillier than the last one. Heh.

hehe, i hear you there, i've spent HOURS in CoH's costume editor thing just making outfits, i donno though, even finishing a harder to find set didn't have the same feeling of accomplishment that finishing my Fiona's lvl 60 Titan set did, or hell, when my friend GAVE me the Chiulin (read: one of those set that is a royal pain to get).

i think that has to do with the amount of work that goes into getting the sets in Vin VS the random drops in DCUO, plus, the randomness kinda makes collecting pesky, and more grindy then it needs to be for a vanity item

Lunar Templar:
but yeah, that was another issue i had with DCUO, i go from Vindictus and its very twitch based 'you vill learn ze enemy's patter or YOU VILL SUFFER!!', to DCUO and >.> its 30 levels of 'k, block now, now attack, k, block again' easy mode, then having it sudden spike in difficulty. though DCUO has its 'cool down' issues to, they aren't bad, but they are there, and its annoying.

My problem going from Vindictus to DCUO was less that and more that it was loose and floaty in comparison. DCUO has very active, "actiony" combat...for an MMO. Vindictus just has very tight, responsive combat, period. I think I didn't mind the PVE enemies not being terribly bright early in the game in DCUO because I was playing on a PVP server, and anyone of any level can attack anyone else of the other faction. Even if you're only dealing with people of equal level, they're smarter and stronger than quest mobs, they're going to gang up on you, and they're going to be dicks about it, and you're going to have to learn how to deal with it much more quickly than playing unmolested. I get that a lot of people don't like stuff like that, but I feel like the game is missing a lot with that part taken out.

Lunar Templar:
i also TOTALLY, 300% hear you on the grind in Vin, i've pretty much given up on TRYING to get any of the highest level armors due to ether INSANE requirements (NOTHING NEEDS 90 OF ANY ONE ITEM >.<) or how ridiculously rare the drops are. but not like DCUO is much better, needing like 400+ marks, per set (i think, been awhile since i looked) and, can only get x amount of marks per day, and the better sets have less content to fork over said marks.

honestly >.> if i bust my ass farming mats for a set, i wanna be able to enjoy it, and i can't really say there was ever the same sense of pride for collecting a full set in DCUO like there was in Vindictus. it was always just 'on to the next set'.

At first I would try to get the max number of marks per day in DCUO, but I realized that would get old in a hurry and just did the dailies plus maybe a little more other stuff if I felt like it. It doesn't take that much longer in the end, and it feels a lot less tedious. I guess they've gotten rid of it at this point, but Vindictus also had that lame token system when I played before, so there was only so much you could do at a time in that game too.

I personally had more fun completing sets in DCUO and just collecting styles in general, just because of the sheer ridiculousness of the costumes you could put together, but that's a matter of taste. More games need to use that style/appearance system and let you wear eq for the stats but have the appearance of anything you've ever previously equipped at no cost, changing the color and everything. I can waste far too much time playing with that trying to make something even sillier than the last one. Heh.

Yeah, I think most people have covered this.

It's not because F2P MMO gaming is some sort of "big thing" on consoles. It's because yours is one of the only F2P MMOs on the PS3, and there are much better MMOs than your piece of trash on the PC. Sorry to burst your bubble, there, DCUO devs. >.>

Nalgas D. Lemur:

Lunar Templar:

Nalgas D. Lemur:
You'd be surprised how many people just suck at the game and don't even know how to block. A good fire tank is a pain in the ass to deal with, but there are a lot of dumbasses running around in that game, kind of like anything free-to-play with a low barrier to entry. I was a sorcery healer, and I eventually went melee for my PVP weapon just for entertainment value because a lot of people really didn't seem to know what to make of it when the healer was the one charging at them and punching them in the face and winning. Heh.

>.> actually .... it wouldn't. i play Vindictus as well as CoH and DFO (and have for a long time), trust me, i've seen LOTS of flavors of 'retard', particularly in Vindictus, any time i see a Spear Lann i automatically wanna deduct 300 IQ points, cause i don't trust them to make intelligent decisions in battle, at all.

I used to play Vindictus too, back when it was new, and I played Lann. That was the first MMO that I actually liked, because it had proper combat instead of "flail around in their general direction with auto-attack and then hit your number keys when the cooldowns wear off". Then I realized that it wasn't really an MMO because everything is completely instanced outside of the town, but it wouldn't work any other way. To keep the latency low enough for the super-tight brawler-style combat to work, you can't really have more people at a time than that. I kind of got bored of it because it had the typical Korean ultra-grind going on, but I still really think the combat in it is great. I liked trying to solo every challenge for each area (all the non-raid stuff, at least), like all the hard mode stuff, both for fun and to learn how to play better. Now there's a good way to learn attack patterns of bosses, the exact distance and timing of your dodges, and the hitboxes of various attacks. Heh.

ah so, you know what I'm talking about with the Spear Lanns then.

but yeah, that was another issue i had with DCUO, i go from Vindictus and its very twitch based 'you vill learn ze enemy's patter or YOU VILL SUFFER!!', to DCUO and >.> its 30 levels of 'k, block now, now attack, k, block again' easy mode, then having it sudden spike in difficulty. though DCUO has its 'cool down' issues to, they aren't bad, but they are there, and its annoying.

i hear you on Vins combat though, its pretty much my measuring stick for all the 'action MMOs' i play, also season 2, the instances are changing. from what i read they're gonna be WAY more open, in a monster hunter kinda way.

i also TOTALLY, 300% hear you on the grind in Vin, i've pretty much given up on TRYING to get any of the highest level armors due to ether INSANE requirements (NOTHING NEEDS 90 OF ANY ONE ITEM >.<) or how ridiculously rare the drops are. but not like DCUO is much better, needing like 400+ marks, per set (i think, been awhile since i looked) and, can only get x amount of marks per day, and the better sets have less content to fork over said marks.

honestly >.> if i bust my ass farming mats for a set, i wanna be able to enjoy it, and i can't really say there was ever the same sense of pride for collecting a full set in DCUO like there was in Vindictus. it was always just 'on to the next set'.

Lunar Templar:

Nalgas D. Lemur:
You'd be surprised how many people just suck at the game and don't even know how to block. A good fire tank is a pain in the ass to deal with, but there are a lot of dumbasses running around in that game, kind of like anything free-to-play with a low barrier to entry. I was a sorcery healer, and I eventually went melee for my PVP weapon just for entertainment value because a lot of people really didn't seem to know what to make of it when the healer was the one charging at them and punching them in the face and winning. Heh.

>.> actually .... it wouldn't. i play Vindictus as well as CoH and DFO (and have for a long time), trust me, i've seen LOTS of flavors of 'retard', particularly in Vindictus, any time i see a Spear Lann i automatically wanna deduct 300 IQ points, cause i don't trust them to make intelligent decisions in battle, at all.

I used to play Vindictus too, back when it was new, and I played Lann. That was the first MMO that I actually liked, because it had proper combat instead of "flail around in their general direction with auto-attack and then hit your number keys when the cooldowns wear off". Then I realized that it wasn't really an MMO because everything is completely instanced outside of the town, but it wouldn't work any other way. To keep the latency low enough for the super-tight brawler-style combat to work, you can't really have more people at a time than that. I kind of got bored of it because it had the typical Korean ultra-grind going on, but I still really think the combat in it is great. I liked trying to solo every challenge for each area (all the non-raid stuff, at least), like all the hard mode stuff, both for fun and to learn how to play better. Now there's a good way to learn attack patterns of bosses, the exact distance and timing of your dodges, and the hitboxes of various attacks. Heh.

A-D.:

Lunar Templar:
well, good for them? i guess?

DCUO has some good ideas, but a shit end game, and getting there is WAY to easy, like 2 days with out even trying easy

Since i didnt wanna quote the whole textwalls in between as well im going with this one.

The leveling? 1 till 30? Thats the Tutorial of the Game. The real "leveling" starts from there, Raids, Instances, Collections, Feats, PvP all of that is the endgame. The whole level1-30 questline and such is essentially just there so you get everything explained, its not just the first mission.

Figured that was pretty common knowledge by now. Its not really a game you play for "leveling" till ya hit the max, the fun really starts once you are 30.

I'm aware, have been for some time, that doesn't mean i have some how become 'ok with it', not when that game basically pulls a 180 from a rather well written, story arc driven MMO, to 'raid->gear->higher level raid->higher level gear'. the 1-30 is fucking brilliant, the rest ... eh ...

And for the grind, well yeah i can see that problem, but Gear doesnt matter all that much, Feats are more important given they grant you Skillpoints which are the real important part. There's a world of difference between a fresh lvl30 and a lvl30 with 90+ Skillpoints, which ironically isnt gamebreaking in pvp either since the whole combat system works on rock-paper-scissor principle anyway. You block, i blockbreak, you blockbreak, i lunge, you attack, i block. Even the NPCs work like that, with overcharged attacks, block and lunges.

i had like, 45 or so skill points when i stopped, so I'm aware. (also, i don't PvP, like, ever) the problem with your example is though, none of the NPCs do any of that, nearly half as well as they should TILL you hit 30 and start in on the raids, alerts and dous, and by that time you have your habits set so your effectively forced to retrain your self, which is annoying as hell.

Vindictus trains the player far better,the learning curve is more gradual so that by the time you hit the high level content (assuming you haven't been leeching and actually playing) you should have the skills required to deal with the bosses (some of which can and will one shot your happy ass even with the best gear)

though, the story kind starts to suck and get pointless after awhile ....

Essentially the fun is in the details. And DCUO is pretty good at making its grind at least kinda fun, so you dont notice it that much, or at least dont get annoyed after 5 minutes.

yeah, I'll give you that, but :/ still running like, the same 4 or 5 raids over, and over, i have this problem with Vindictus as well, after a certain point, nothing but raid bosses, which, range from 'fucking awesome lets do that again!!'(Blood Lord, Titan, Echuluss) to '-.- fuck .... i have to do that again ...'(Thor, that golem who's name i forget, most the giant spiders ..)

Lunar Templar:
well, good for them? i guess?

DCUO has some good ideas, but a shit end game, and getting there is WAY to easy, like 2 days with out even trying easy

Since i didnt wanna quote the whole textwalls in between as well im going with this one.

The leveling? 1 till 30? Thats the Tutorial of the Game. The real "leveling" starts from there, Raids, Instances, Collections, Feats, PvP all of that is the endgame. The whole level1-30 questline and such is essentially just there so you get everything explained, its not just the first mission.

Figured that was pretty common knowledge by now. Its not really a game you play for "leveling" till ya hit the max, the fun really starts once you are 30.

And for the grind, well yeah i can see that problem, but Gear doesnt matter all that much, Feats are more important given they grant you Skillpoints which are the real important part. There's a world of difference between a fresh lvl30 and a lvl30 with 90+ Skillpoints, which ironically isnt gamebreaking in pvp either since the whole combat system works on rock-paper-scissor principle anyway. You block, i blockbreak, you blockbreak, i lunge, you attack, i block. Even the NPCs work like that, with overcharged attacks, block and lunges.

Essentially the fun is in the details. And DCUO is pretty good at making its grind at least kinda fun, so you dont notice it that much, or at least dont get annoyed after 5 minutes.

Nalgas D. Lemur:
]

Yeah, I meant you use soda for storing money, not for healing. You dump your cash into it until you have a dozen stacks of them, then go buy out an entire costume/skin/hairstyle vendor all at once. Doesn't get around the limit for using the auction house, but almost anything good/rare binds when you pick it up or equip it anyway, so it's mostly worthless, or was back when I was playing more.

yeah :/ i did that a few times to get full sets, not much help when somethings like, 10k though :/ they really need to remove that limit

You'd be surprised how many people just suck at the game and don't even know how to block. A good fire tank is a pain in the ass to deal with, but there are a lot of dumbasses running around in that game, kind of like anything free-to-play with a low barrier to entry. I was a sorcery healer, and I eventually went melee for my PVP weapon just for entertainment value because a lot of people really didn't seem to know what to make of it when the healer was the one charging at them and punching them in the face and winning. Heh.

>.> actually .... it wouldn't. i play Vindictus as well as CoH and DFO (and have for a long time), trust me, i've seen LOTS of flavors of 'retard', particularly in Vindictus, any time i see a Spear Lann i automatically wanna deduct 300 IQ points, cause i don't trust them to make intelligent decisions in battle, at all.

Lunar Templar:

Nalgas D. Lemur:

I also got into the PVP, so I had some variety in what I was doing. I like that you can usually just jump right into an arena by hitting "next available" without having to wait at all and get a quick break from PVE stuff or whatever else you're doing. There's also a really simple way to get around the money limit. Whenever you're close to it, you just buy a bunch of the highest level sodas (the healing items), because they're in almost every shop, they're high value, and they stack, so you can put a bunch of money into a single inventory slot. Not that it'll do you any good, since you're not playing anymore, but maybe someone else will see it...not that you ever really even need money for anything anyway, unless you're absolutely terrible at the game and die faster than it throws money at you to repair your stuff. Heh.

heh, i tried PvP in DCUO, but it didn't take, not really that big on PvP to begin with so no surprises there.

trust me, i had more soda's then i was every going to need, but that's not the point. I'm a costume part whore, and the market place had a bunch i needed to finish sets so i could get more points, and i had enough points to max out 2 weapons an working on a third when i stopped (and a fuck load of costume parts)

as for dieing, LOL, i was a fire tank :) i WRECKED shit, didn't get mine wrecked

Yeah, I meant you use soda for storing money, not for healing. You dump your cash into it until you have a dozen stacks of them, then go buy out an entire costume/skin/hairstyle vendor all at once. Doesn't get around the limit for using the auction house, but almost anything good/rare binds when you pick it up or equip it anyway, so it's mostly worthless, or was back when I was playing more.

You'd be surprised how many people just suck at the game and don't even know how to block. A good fire tank is a pain in the ass to deal with, but there are a lot of dumbasses running around in that game, kind of like anything free-to-play with a low barrier to entry. I was a sorcery healer, and I eventually went melee for my PVP weapon just for entertainment value because a lot of people really didn't seem to know what to make of it when the healer was the one charging at them and punching them in the face and winning. Heh.

Huh...really?

I got the game for free at work when it went F2P. I played it but it lacked serious players (I.e: Players only gather at the spawn point and did nothing, others danced, others challenged newbies just for kicks, etc). Mind you, there weren't even that many players at the time.
When I decided to go check a quest, the instructions didn't seem specific enough and I spent like 30 minutes killing endless enemies until I realized I was done about 25 minutes ago.
Also, very few players were available to do those quests that require you to be with someone else. And if they were, they either weren't paying attention or didn't know how to play properly. And mind you, I was a newb too!

Alright, so maybe it was just me. But I really wasn't that impressed with the game. I was rooting for it too but it didn't catch my interest.

I'd argue the reason is that it's the only free MMO on either console and there are much better MMO's on the PC. F2P or otherwise.

I'd be willing to bet it's PS3 subscription base isn't nearly as large as pretty much any other successful PC MMO sub-base.

Nalgas D. Lemur:

I also got into the PVP, so I had some variety in what I was doing. I like that you can usually just jump right into an arena by hitting "next available" without having to wait at all and get a quick break from PVE stuff or whatever else you're doing. There's also a really simple way to get around the money limit. Whenever you're close to it, you just buy a bunch of the highest level sodas (the healing items), because they're in almost every shop, they're high value, and they stack, so you can put a bunch of money into a single inventory slot. Not that it'll do you any good, since you're not playing anymore, but maybe someone else will see it...not that you ever really even need money for anything anyway, unless you're absolutely terrible at the game and die faster than it throws money at you to repair your stuff. Heh.

heh, i tried PvP in DCUO, but it didn't take, not really that big on PvP to begin with so no surprises there.

trust me, i had more soda's then i was every going to need, but that's not the point. I'm a costume part whore, and the market place had a bunch i needed to finish sets so i could get more points, and i had enough points to max out 2 weapons an working on a third when i stopped (and a fuck load of costume parts)

as for dieing, LOL, i was a fire tank :) i WRECKED shit, didn't get mine wrecked

+1 to the 'only free-to-play available'.

Also the more hack 'n slash focused you get, the better something gets on the consoles. There's a lot of movement more focused to a thumbstick kind of set up and you don't need a crud load of keys or menus for this particular MMO

Lunar Templar:

Nalgas D. Lemur:

Lunar Templar:
DCUO has some good ideas, but a shit end game, and getting there is WAY to easy, like 2 days with out even trying easy

The thing is, aside from the story arcs as you level up (which are actually pretty well done in terms of presentation, especially if you know and like any of the characters involved and the stories in the comics the stuff is based off), the end game is the game. There's a lot of different stuff to do once you hit the level cap, which does indeed only take a couple days if you're playing a decent amount each day, but it isn't necessarily the same stuff as what you start out doing initially. I could definitely see people who expect that phase of the game to last indefinitely being disappointed if they aren't into any of the other stuff.

which was the problem i had, the story arcs where great, and, for a short time i THOUGH i'd found a replacement for City of Heroes (which i've pretty much given up leaving at this point, I'm a lifer for that one) with its very well done arcs, then ... i got the the end game, and found, its only raids. good raids mind you, i ran a few, they're fun, but :/ yeah.

the 'run raid, get gear, run more raids for better gear' grind isn't for me. (hence why i keep gravitating back to CoH, you can get a good IO setup up for around 150 mill, which is less then it sounds) that, and only being able to have 2K on hand is a bull shit move, granted it never really gets in the way when buying gear, and granted, CoH has a cash limit for premium players to, some where in the neighbor hood of 500,000,000 or so, maybe more >.> i've never had enough to hit that cap, it just bugs the crap out of me to have 75k+ i can't touch for some bull shit reason

I also got into the PVP, so I had some variety in what I was doing. I like that you can usually just jump right into an arena by hitting "next available" without having to wait at all and get a quick break from PVE stuff or whatever else you're doing. There's also a really simple way to get around the money limit. Whenever you're close to it, you just buy a bunch of the highest level sodas (the healing items), because they're in almost every shop, they're high value, and they stack, so you can put a bunch of money into a single inventory slot. Not that it'll do you any good, since you're not playing anymore, but maybe someone else will see it...not that you ever really even need money for anything anyway, unless you're absolutely terrible at the game and die faster than it throws money at you to repair your stuff. Heh.

Nalgas D. Lemur:

Lunar Templar:
DCUO has some good ideas, but a shit end game, and getting there is WAY to easy, like 2 days with out even trying easy

The thing is, aside from the story arcs as you level up (which are actually pretty well done in terms of presentation, especially if you know and like any of the characters involved and the stories in the comics the stuff is based off), the end game is the game. There's a lot of different stuff to do once you hit the level cap, which does indeed only take a couple days if you're playing a decent amount each day, but it isn't necessarily the same stuff as what you start out doing initially. I could definitely see people who expect that phase of the game to last indefinitely being disappointed if they aren't into any of the other stuff.

which was the problem i had, the story arcs where great, and, for a short time i THOUGH i'd found a replacement for City of Heroes (which i've pretty much given up leaving at this point, I'm a lifer for that one) with its very well done arcs, then ... i got the the end game, and found, its only raids. good raids mind you, i ran a few, they're fun, but :/ yeah.

the 'run raid, get gear, run more raids for better gear' grind isn't for me. (hence why i keep gravitating back to CoH, you can get a good IO setup up for around 150 mill, which is less then it sounds) that, and only being able to have 2K on hand is a bull shit move, granted it never really gets in the way when buying gear, and granted, CoH has a cash limit for premium players to, some where in the neighbor hood of 500,000,000 or so, maybe more >.> i've never had enough to hit that cap, it just bugs the crap out of me to have 75k+ i can't touch for some bull shit reason

Irridium:
Another good reason to play it on the PS3 is because the PC interface is really, really bad.

You mean the PC interface is the PS3 interface, or at least it was originally. They've fixed it somewhat over time to make it kind of sort of accommodate a keyboard and mouse, but it still has some fairly obvious console-isms going on. It's at least usable now compared to before though.

Lunar Templar:
DCUO has some good ideas, but a shit end game, and getting there is WAY to easy, like 2 days with out even trying easy

The thing is, aside from the story arcs as you level up (which are actually pretty well done in terms of presentation, especially if you know and like any of the characters involved and the stories in the comics the stuff is based off), the end game is the game. There's a lot of different stuff to do once you hit the level cap, which does indeed only take a couple days if you're playing a decent amount each day, but it isn't necessarily the same stuff as what you start out doing initially. I could definitely see people who expect that phase of the game to last indefinitely being disappointed if they aren't into any of the other stuff.

well, good for them? i guess?

DCUO has some good ideas, but a shit end game, and getting there is WAY to easy, like 2 days with out even trying easy

I don't think it's so much the payment model as it is having a previously established fanbase, a vast world players WANT to explore, decent PvP, and an endless supply of quests.

Inovation doesn't seem to stick with MMOs

Another good reason to play it on the PS3 is because the PC interface is really, really bad.

Well, that's what I'd do, at least. If I cared to download the whole game again. Which I don't.

Worgen:
I would argue that this is because its pretty much the only mmo in town for consoles, well the only free one at any rate. And it has to compete with more than a few free pc mmos, I tried playing it and didn't enjoy it much so I quickly moved on.

Also this.

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