A Mild-Mannered Reporter: The super news of October

Not pictured: Spookies
October was a pretty big month. I don't mean that just because it was a month filled with all of the classic horror you could ever hope for, although that was certainly welcome. But October also saw two big superhero games ramping up and doing things in a big way, one for a console launch and one for a big fan-pleasing rally... which was pretty cool to see, all around.

That's not to say that the other superhero games available sat around and did nothing during October, but you couldn't match the energy surrounding City of Titans and DC Universe Online. Let's look back at the past month of capes and cowls.

City of Titans makes round oneThe Titanic jokes do make themselves...

Yes, I said round one. Read on.

Kickstarter projects are increasingly a strange form of performance art, fueling audience expectations through a combination of hope, promises, and potential white lies. They're like PBS telethons that produce results rather than boredom, probably because they don't hold the entire internet hostage while they try to raise money. And whether or not the team at Missing Worlds Media can actually deliver a good game, it certainly can put together a good fundraiser.

At this point we don't know what the game will look like from this team beyond some top-level design documents and the fact that it wants to be a descendent of City of Heroes. It's a drive from looking great to actually being great.

I've stated my apprehensions about Kickstarter before, and thus far most of my grim predictions about using it as the new way to fund MMOs have come true. We have yet to see an actual playable version of the many games listed in that article; several of them have been delayed, are looking to acquire more funding, or already have asked for more funding. It's not the sort of thing you can ignore.

This is a shame because I really want to take off my analyst hat and just be super-excited about the fact that City of Titans got funded. I want this to be the game that shows fan passion for certain games can extend quite a bit, and I want it to really knock people out of the park. I want to point to it and say that this is, in fact, what we hoped for when we wanted a CoH sequel.

Right now, it's an idea with a lot of money in the bank. Right now, I'm hopeful but also throttling my expectations. Right now, I'm asking them to put a game in front of me to play because play it I will, and I would love to be able to crow about how this is a game that proves you can potentially do this through Kickstarter.

Congratulations, guys. Make it count.

DC Universe Online goes cross-platform in the worst wayAt no point did you actually have to keep them seperated.

Can we all agree that DCUO managed to screw up cross-platform play really badly when it first launched? I sure hope so because that's a damn fact.

The whole point of a cross-platform game is that you can play with your friends in whatever form they'd like. Final Fantasy XIV doesn't limit me to playing alongside other players only on the PC. You can play on the console or on the PC and get the same experience, and if you feel the urge to play downstairs on the console instead of upstairs on the PC today, the game does not care. It's a shared environment and an actual shared game. DCUO, on the other hand, has always been two separate games: one for the consoles and one for the PC.

Something had to give, and give it did on consoles. PlayStation 4 users will get to play with PlayStation 3 players. And... that's it. Everything stops there. No, you can't use your PS4 to play on the PC servers; don't be ridiculous. Hang out here in the console zone.

I understand completely why completely new servers for the PS4 version weren't an option. But the end hope, for me, was that we wouldn't be saddled with this ridiculous server structure, not that another pointless restriction would be shoved in. As it stands, you still have to ask what platform someone plays the game on before you can be sure that you can play together, which is beyond dumb.

Oh, and all of the big graphic updates seem to be focused on making the game visually darker. That seems counterproductive.

Champions Online gets the most minor of tweaks

You could argue that no tweaks are ever really bad. They point to the fact that the game is still being developed, after all. But then you could remember that Champions Online supposedly had a new team working just on the game and improving it as a whole, and the net result of that has been the removal of Dodge functionality and a slight rearrangement of alerts.

So a little bad, yes.

As always, feedback is welcome in the comments or via mail to eliot@massively.com. Assuming that nothing more pans out for the month, you can expect me here for another recap in the beginning of December, same as always.

By day a mild-mannered reporter, Eliot Lefebvre spent years in City of Heroes before the world-shattering event that destroyed his home world. But he remains as intrepid as ever, traveling to other superheroic games and dispensing his unique brand of justice... or lack thereof.
This article was originally published on Massively.