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Monday, March 06, 2006

DC Comics MMO Update

I've discussed the DC Comics MMO that SOE is working on previously, so I thought I would update you on some news.

I came across
this press release on Kotaku which states that famed comic book artist Jim Lee is going to be working on the game. Now my first reaction was just, "Oh, it's just a publicity thing. Grab a big comic book artist for the PR." But then the following things happened:

1. I remembered someone telling me a long time ago that Jim Lee was an EQ player. I searched long and hard and found
this old post I did on Curt Schilling, with a comment from Krones saying Jim Lee was an EQ player. So that's a big point in Lee's favor. (By the way Schilling is still doing a great job flying his EQII colors and representing his guild as you can see in this picture).

2. I searched a bit more and found that
Jim Lee did an EQ comic book. I've never actually seen or heard about the finished product, but another point for Lee's gaming cred.

3. I came across
this interview from a link on the always helpful and informative EQ2Daily News page. Now, if you read that interview, you will see that Jim Lee is not just working on this game, he's working really hard on it.

So, okay I am now convinced that Jim Lee is a great guy for the job and that he is honestly spending a lot of time on this game. I think that's great and I believe his talents will help the art of the finished project immensely.

But I'm still not sold on the concept. Remember, we're talking about three superhero MMO's. As I said in
this post, that just seems like a lot. I mean City of Heroes rocked when I played it. Okay it wasn't that deep a game, but I think it fit the genre well. Will superhero MMO's ever be more than a niche market? Well, I suppose a niche market is okay in this growing genre.

This isn't a game I'm personally really excited about playing. But on the other hand, I am absolutely intrigued by how they plan to design this game. The same thing goes for Brad McQuaid's Marvel MMO. Will it just be City of Heroes with a DC or Marvel setting and characters? I guess that would be kind of cool, but not really an earth-shattering thing. Or will they try to stick to more of an Everquest template? Will they introduce equipment that drops from mobs? I don't know that such a move would make sense.

They have a high bar to reach in terms of travel because CoH's travel powers were simply awesome. I've been trying to think of some other way I could improve on the game design of CoH and it's been hard. As I've said before, secret identities would be really cool though I'm not sure on how to implement that in a fun fashion.

Well, I'm quite curious about this game and the Sigil one so I'll be checking in on the progress from time to time.


Anonymous Gordon said...

As big a comics book fan that I am, I can't help but feel sceptical about these forthcoming comic book MMOs.

Fantasy is a true tried and tested genre for RPG games and the MMO was merely a natural extension of that and it all leaves me wondering just how well the style of play can extend to other influences.

Yes, CoH was a good game but I think one of the contributing factors was that it was set in a fictional universe, not a real one.

I read Batman because I want to be Batman swinging around Gothan City... not so I can be Jeff the superhero and occasionally see Batman lurking about.

But, at the end of the day, these things are all about the execution and not the concept. Just look at SWG.

5:17 AM  
Anonymous Scott Adams said...

I really loved CoH and played it from beta until I got into EQ2 beta. After that I never really looked back. It was a good game while I waited for a great game to come out.

I too am really leary of these other titles coming out. If you play a branded superhero game you'll want to BE Batman or be spiderman. And if everyone is Batman and Spiderman where is the immersion factor.

If you don't get to be your favorite comic here and can't play Silver Surfer for example you will feel cheated. Like I said I just don't see how they will pull this off.

7:32 AM  
Anonymous Fergle F Fergleson said...

Likewise, I'm pretty leery of this new crop of games. I'm just not sure I see what they "bring to the party".

However, if SOE's entry is included out-of-the-gate on the all-access-pass (or whatever they call it this week), then I would be inclined to give it a fair shake.

9:50 AM  
Blogger Mercurie said...

I personally like the idea of superhero MMOs. I haven't played City of Heroes, but it is on the short list of games I want to play. That having been said, I hve my doubts about a DC MMO. The problem is that it is already an established setting. The big names are already established...Batman, Superman, the Justice Society of America. I rather doubt that within the game that any player will be able to achieve that level of, for lack of a better term, superheroics. No matter what, you're never going to be Superman or Batman. If I'm going to play a DC MMO, I'd want to be Batman or Green Lantern, not just Captain Photon, one of a number of superheroes who work in their shadow.

11:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Totally understand about wanting to BE the character you read about... Im lucky i guess im a big Lantern fan... that would be easy to pull off in an MMO

8:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The thing is, superhero MMO would work best with the alterable environments of an FPS graphics engine. There are few problems I could foresee if they could find a graphics engine that permitted interactivity with the actual gameplay, so a wall could be defined as containing either pre-defined or unique structure and substance. Characters too might be of rare substance and structure: the best FPS graphical engines could handle this sort of thing.

Damage effects and visible effect from attacks might also vary: some buildings and characters would be immune or vulnerable to certain damage, and damage isn't always physically represented as "damage", but can have behavior effects on the target (making a wall into a golem, animating a skyscraper, psychically confusing a character, etc.)

The actual depth of gameplay could be such that global NPC behavior adjusts to present percieved situation based on both individual and categorical values. For example, a news reporter who is secretly working for Doctor Doom but also very loyal to their coworkers and job might beg a hero's help if Doctor Doom insists that they help kidnap their coworkers... and this as a part of natural game mechanisms, rather than a flimsy plot.

In fact, NPC AI can go so complex without breaking in handling stuff like why Doctor Doom would even ask for such a thing.

8:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, you all seem to forget that this is an MMO we're talking about. I would much rather create my own Superhero, a resemblance of Batman and Robin perhaps, and heve my hero interact with the current heroes.

If they work on what most MMOs lack (Story), then this game can turn out better than expected. Wouldn't it be great to join up with the Green Lantern and Hawkwoman, and have them in your personal Superhero League?

Problems like this can be solved by instancing areas, so you wouldn't have 12 Supermans flying around. I am really looking forward to this. the only thing I will regret is that I'm a MARVEL fan and not a DC fan

8:51 PM  
Blogger Kalen said...

The marvel MMO was canceled. i forget the date. sometime in febuary.

10:02 PM  
Anonymous free mmorpg said...

looks sooo cool :D

8:21 AM  
Anonymous viagra online said...

dude the idea of MMO's comic book sound to me like as a big and nice plan, and of course DC have the resources to do this, maybe in only a couple of month we can see this fabulous idea made true.

9:48 AM  

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