Monday, July 31, 2017

DCUO: The Game Has Changed

If you've ever checked out my blog, you'll know that the one game I've been loyal to and have played for years is DC Universe Online.  I've been a player for 4 of the game's 5 year existence and I still have fun playing it.  I've played through tons of changes, added content, various leagues, etc.  Well this month, to quote the Joker, DCUO decided to "shake things up a little".

Introducing the stats revamp and let me tell you, it have changed the way people play this game SIGNIFICANTLY.  Check this out:

Now I've only had a chance to play with my main toon (as I usually do) and I've gone through the whole new stat redistribution so I'm going to try to take this piece by piece.

New Player Stats

The biggie here is the removal of the Combat Rating Differential.  How the game used to work is that your gear (and subsequently the CR you obtain by getting better gear) greatly affected how powerful your character was.  Gear is still important now, but with the CR Differential removed it's not as important as it used to be.  You need the higher CR to access the newer chapters of the game, but while you might qualify to enter content based on your CR you may find you might not quite be ready to actually play it.  More on that later.

New Skill Tree

THIS is where it gets really interesting.  In the previous iteration of the game your skill tree was tied directly to the weapons tree.  You used to put skill points into weapons just to unlock power buffs. Well that's gone now.  The weapons tree and the skills tree is now separate.  So that means you don't have to invest skill points into weapons you have no intention of using (you will have to though if you're focused on collecting styles for different weapons).  The skill tree now gives you a bit of focus and it's now a bit simpler.  It pretty much guides you to invest in skill trees based on your role.  It's simplified mostly for healers, controllers and tanks.  With DPS though it takes a bit of thought.  You have the options of focusing on your weapon, your superpowers or forming a balance between them. My healer has a DPS build and I chose a weapon focus (because controllers are really struggling now with their new role).  What I've found is while my DPS was pretty weak with the specs I had before the revamp, my new guy is kinda badass.  Of course, this all means that skill points are where it's at right now and the best players will be the ones with the most skill points.  Skill points were important before but now they're pretty much EVERYTHING.  I think the game has moved toward making sure people really go after those feats.  One of the first things I did when I saw my skill points needed to be reassigned was go after two race feats that I haven't attempted in years.  I actually got them!  LOL!

New Power Tree

More big changes here.  Playing the game from level 1 to level 30 no longer earns you power points which were necessary to assign powers for your character.  That's been replaces with a power tree that unlocks based on game progression.  Iconic powers used to cost one of those precious power points but now they're all in the skill tree.  Daybreak has been doing a lot of tweaking with the 1-30 mechanics before the revamp because they were trying to give new players a more rewarding intro to the game.  Hopefully this does it.  I'm kinda bummed that the weapon mastery got nerfed a bit though.

New NPC Stats

Another biggie.  It pretty much means that NPC progression is on par with your own.  As a direct result, NPCs from earlier content are no longer wimps to higher level character.  I get the feeling that the game devs looked at how the population of high level characters affected gameplay for lower level characters and decided that they really needed to limit the number of people getting "carried". I know up until now a lot lower level players have gotten undeserved feats as a result of this.  That said, here is where the recommended CR might not mean you're at the right level to complete the content.  If you were a player relying mostly on gear to get ahead you're going to have to go back to basics because as I said before, skill points are now everything.  This became obvious when I queued up for a raid I could easily do alone in 3 minutes before the revamp and it took the group a half hour (and that was with me doing more than 3 times the damage of the next best DPS in the raid).

Ability Balance & New Foundation

I wanna chalk this one up to minor issues and fixes.  Simply changing the powers to better mesh with the new revamp.

So are you playing?  What do YOU think of the stats revamp?  Let me know in the comments.