MegaServers Breathe Life
I’ve long been a fan of SOE Austin’s DC Universe Online. But there’s no denying that the game suffered some serious setbacks when the PvP glitches were forcing the game’s competitive types to leave, and then more left while the network was down, and of course some left because the game just didn’t hold them anymore. Through it all, I kept trying to log in and enjoy my Villainy, but there wasn’t a lot of fun to be had when I never seemed to find a group for anything. By its nature, DCUO becomes a very group-centric game once you hit the cap. The open world experience ceases to be of much importance as most content shifts to instances (both PvP and PvE).
DC Universe needed to do something about its population, and it needed to do it quickly.
Enter The Mega Servers.
Mega Server is essentially a fancy name for shifting everyone across the board down into one large cluster of servers. PvE-active players are put in one phase of the world while PvP players are put in another, but by and large everyone is now together in the same “world” for DCUO. The only real segregation remaining is the difference between PS3 players and PC folks. The good news? From what we can tell over the past week or so the Mega Servers have certainly brought life back to the game.
The nature of DCUO’s end-game and having most players sitting at this precipice creates the problem where everyone just sort of sits around and waits to get into instances. The cities on each individual server had become bare, until the Mega Servers arrived. Metropolis and Gotham still remain just places where players level and “Feat Hunt”, but there’s once again actual players roving the streets. The police stations, bars, and Hall of Justice and Hall of Doom are all teeming with activity. And while I still don’t think DCUO’s world feels quite as populous as it did right at launch, it certainly feels like a place I want to be once more.
It feels alive again.
I’ve had some time to check out content that was previously hard to get into, all because there are finally enough folks to queue for Alerts, Raids, and PvP again without waiting for upwards of an hour. They pop up and let you in within minutes now, if not instantly. And I don’t feel like I’m stuck fighting the same four players each match in PvP either. In short, I can actually do stuff again in my short play-sessions.
In terms of new content, Update 3 and 4 have upped the ante in terms of alerts, raids, duos, and now even PvP. There’s an 8v8 match that takes place in the Fortress of Solitude: it’s basically a straight-up kill-as-many-as-you-can competition, which leads to sheer craziness as players try to gang up and take out healers first. There are some buffs and items in Supes’ bachelor pad that you can use to make the killing a little easier, but by and large the FoS is a straight up frag-fest… and that’s a good thing.
The new duos and alerts are being well-received as well. I especially dig the Green Lantern themed content. But as a player I’m itching to see the open world reinvigorated more. The SOE crew tells us that have plans for that, and I’m sure we’ll see hundreds of Lanterns running around when the new DLC drops, but my main concern is no longer about where are the people? The Mega Servers have made the people visible again. We’re together again. Now all we need is more to do.
Let me take control of the Daily Planet, Sony. Let me and my villainous brethren capture areas in the real world and earn bonuses and rewards for doing so. Please? The Mega Servers breathed life back into the instances. Now we need a plan to breathe longer lasting life into the main cities. Do it to it, gents. You’re on a roll.