Friday, November 25, 2011

DC Universe online very initial impressions

I happened to be flicking through the Playstation store the other night to see what was new and what bargains were available when I spotted DC Universe.

Now previously you had to buy DCU physically with a free 60 (90?) day subscription. To continue required a subscription and handing over yet more money. If you didn't like it; tough you could trade it in but as you'd already used the free subscription code anyone buying it would have to pay again to actually play the game.

For some reason Sony didn't comprehend how truly insane this setup was until the game bombed. As such it's now available for free and to play for free with monies coming in from those who want extra abilities etc. Given its now free nature I thought it might be worth dipping my toe into the waters so I set it to download.

I thought it might take a while so I cued up the first episode of "Death in Paradise" on my DVR so as to finally get around to watching this series. Imagine my surprise when the game turned out to be only 122Mb and downloaded in about 8 minutes. I started it up and it checked for any updates yep update needed - um why? Surely the game I just downloaded should include any updates. Oh well the game exited and went to the standard PS3 game update screen and started to download 125Mb... wait that's larger than the initial game.

Ah well another 8 minutes later and I could start. Flashy title sequence and then the terms and conditions to play. Seriously people need to read these they're hilarious.

To draw attention to certain areas they've used ALL CAPS which means some entire paragraphs are formatted in that manner. One such important point is that virtual items aren't real. As such Sony can make any virtual item better, worse, or remove it entirely and by agreeing to the T&Cs you will take no recourse against Sony for this; that seems to include any items you paid for with real money. To translate into real world that's as if you bought a 52" Plasma screen and a week later they came to take it away and replace it with 24" CRT or just took it away totally.

Also to continue I also needed to be a fully paid up member of the Playstation Network (PSN) slight problem as membership is free. Anyway chuckles aside I hit Agree and gained a static backdrop with a bar below. Bottom left a 0% and bottom right a timer ticking upwards. About the 5 second mark the bar started filling up and completed at about 30 seconds. Yay ready to play

Oh wait another download this time the 0% gains a 15.009Mb next to it. Meh 15Mb isn't much. tick tick tick. Oh that's a comma it's 15,009Mb or 15Gb! Yeah um no. At my current rate that would take 16 hours to download and to add insult to injury it's an in-game process which means I can't set the PS3 to just download it and shutdown as I can with every other download nor can I do anything else with the PS3 while it performs this action.

So I quit the game and watched DiP which was reasonable. I'll try again tonight and see if it starts off from where it left off or whether it has to do it in one large block. If it's the latter then don't expect to see my frolicking in the DC Universe any time soon.

Update - It turns out it does resume so I carried on with the download over a period of time. When it finally finished I created a character tweaked them to my preferences and watched as the game seemed to completely lock up. A reboot later and at least it had saved my character (I'd have given up at that point if it hadn't). This time the game seemed to connect and I was place in a queue to start I was number 2000 and something with it dropping down by about 2-5 players a second so in theory a six-minute wait to even start playing. In theory because I simply wasn't prepared to wait that long twiddling my thumbs and watching the queue screen.

Guys if the wait is going to be that long stick in some sort of mini-game or tutorial that those waiting can engage with; don't expect us to just sit there looking at a static screen.