That’s the Power of Love

Sinestro needs Hal Jordan's LUUURVE
Sinestro needs Hal Jordan’s LUUURVE

Team Spode kinda left GW2 and kinda went back to DC Universe Online over the past couple weeks. Apathy toward the upcoming GW2 expansion may have contributed. Many of the top Spodians had already finished all of the story and had grinded through the long process to make their marginally better endgame gear.

Personally, I liked my Asura engineer fine. I didn’t find the group content very compelling, and upgrades had long stopped dropping for me, so the gear progression I enjoy stopped happening. The story chapters felt tedious. Most importantly, my role in a party seemed ill-defined. I much prefer games where I know what’s expected of me. Many people enjoy the sort of wild mixture of roles in GW2. I liked choosing my turrets for the night and focusing on placement and all that — playing my own mini-game while everyone else played theirs. I wasn’t sure I ever actually contributed, though.

I’ve never really felt I contribute much to Team Spode. All of the rest of them are far more dedicated players; they dive in and pride themselves on being the best at whatever they do. When they had wrung all they could get out of GW2, DCUO had a new expansion ready to challenge them — New Genesis.

I believe they already had the Combat Rating (CR) to head right in. I’d been making steady progress doing dailies in Gotham Under Siege, but stopped soon after changing classes to Munitions. It just got boring, doing the same thing day after day. DCUO has a little chart that pops up after each fight that shows me exactly how little I contributed to the fight, so I had zero confidence that I could join a random group for gear, and I couldn’t even get through the solo instances you needed to progress.

It’s a lot easier to just log in to Neverwinter or, now, Final Fantasy XIV, a game where I actually play pretty decently. When the end of an instance comes and I am rated by the other people in the party, I usually do well. Sometimes I even get ALL the commendations. So where DCUO actively discourages me from playing, FFXIV actively encourages me.

BUT… I really love the Team Spode folks — FANTASTIC guys and gals. I will play whatever they play just so I can hang out with them.

And for their part, they will do whatever they can to make that happen. Because they are great people.

Past couple weeks have been spent, not doing what would be fun for them, but doing older content in which I could take part in order to get the upgrades I would need for the latest content. I’d started out at CR 108 or 109, which I’d largely previously achieved with their help. The target CR is 111. Last week, they got me to 110. This week, we did “Love and War”, a raid (I just lost what word they use for raids)… a raid that most of us had not been able to do previously, but now with all the new gear everyone else had gotten from the new expansion, was very achievable.

For comparison, the top CR in the raid was 137. The median CR of the Team Spode members (aside from me) was 127. A couple of random upgrades in LaW got me to 111, and once in New Genesis, I immediately bought a ring upgrade that got me to 112.

This was the first raid most of us had done since we last played DCUO seriously, and it was the first time I really had a chance to get to know the Munitions class in a raid environment. Clever Clara, Team Spode’s main controller, had switched to a damage spec. It was tough going, but I kept the power flowing and the superior Munitions crowd control powers helped a little, I think, to keep the damage received down a little.

Once in New Genesis, we did a public quest where you kill a bunch of trash mobs and then take on the miniboss that spawns. We did this a couple times for some minor upgrades.

So; I guess we’re back in DCUO. I really should do my part, log in, get some sort of DPS spec that will work for me, and do dailies for marks and gear. That is what I really ought to do. I don’t like feeling useless and being carried along. But I have to admit I have never felt “super” in DCUO, and that is probably its biggest failing with me. If I can’t even convince myself I am a superhero, then, what’s the point?

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5 thoughts on “That’s the Power of Love”

  1. I’d actually forgotten you were playing GW2. I wish you’d written more about your experience there. As a dedicated leveler like yourself I share your feelings on the lack of clear, obvious progress once you reach 80 and have your character in full exotics. The entire ethos of the game is to avoid any kind of gear grind and the Ascended gear tier itself, which absolutely is not necessary to do any of the content in the game, was hugely controversial when it was added very early on.

    It is, however, far and away the most alt-friendly MMORPG I’ve ever played. If you love making alts there could almost be no better set-up. Not only do all eight classes play remarkably differently from each other but each plays very, very differently depending on gear, trait, stat and weapon choice. Not only that but although there are no statistical difference between the races the animations and voice acting makes playing the same class in a different race almost as much of a leap as playing a different class altogether. It’s the only MMO where I have a hatful of characters at max level – seventeeen so far I think it is.

    I personally love the chaos of the combat. While I do love formalized roles, particularly healing, which is not something GW2 does at all, I also love the freeform, roiling anarchy of the big fights with scores of people. The 5-man dungeons and instances I can and do live without.

    DCUO, which I played and enjoyed as a normal leveling MMO in beta and for a few weeks after launch, sounds like an absolute nightmare from everything you’ve ever written about it. You never really sound for a moment as though you’re enjoying it either. I do wish they’d gone in another direction with it because I love the IP and I enjoyed the first 20 levels but I guess its been very successful as the hardcore grindfest its become. How that gameplay has anything at all to do with being a superhero beats me!

  2. Mostly I don’t know what’s going on when I play GW2. It’s largely an issue when I’m playing with people who are so far above me in competence that they’re playing a game I can only guess at. I imagine DCUO is the same way.

    DCUO, though, is the only one that actively seeks to humiliate me after every instance.

    I am a HUGE DC comics fan. DCUO should be right up my alley. And, the early game DOES make you seem super.

    I have no issue leveling classes and jobs in FFXIV — I log in most every night and do at least a little. Same with Neverwinter, and EQ and EQ2 before them. I’m not sure what I got from those games that I don’t get from GW2 and DCUO. I sure would like to be inspired to play at the same level as that of my friends.

    I get in various blogging funks, and that just happened to match when I played GW2 heavily. I did enjoy doing the world boss events :) I just stopped getting any upgrades from them, and they became pointless.

  3. I love Team Spode too. I miss playing with them in DCUO, but I’ve been so busy I’ve only had time for console games. Unfortunately, all my good stuff is on PC so even playing on PS4 wouldn’t be as fun. I’ll have to look into making my rounds back into DCUO

  4. I too was surprised you were in GW2. I would think you might like making a pure support build in it, and making sure fields get exploded upon. But it’s hard to gather just how much that helps.

    At any rate, I look forward to any posts on DCUO. I don’t play it, but your Team Spode posts have often brought a smile to the folks in my household.

    I really should give Neverwinter a try, just to play the places you’ve built.

  5. The fields stuff is actually pretty cool. I have a nice explosives combo which sets things on fire while it ‘splodes them. Engineer is actually pretty fun. I definitely don’t regret choosing the class.

    I don’t think I like being the support class in a group, any more.

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