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Welcome, New Hero (or Villian)
DC Universe Online is an interesting MMO, but it has a fairly simple tutorial that doesn't explain much about the game beyond the very basics, such as how to movie, how to perform basic attacks, and how to collect items. If you've ever played an MMO, you probably know this information already. This can be particularly frustarting in DCUO because the game doesn't work like most MMOs.
In this DC Universe onlien guide I'll help you, the DCUO newbie, become acquainted with the game. I'll run through the movement options and how combat works. If you want to know about classes, see my DC Universe Online class guide.
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The tutorial in DCUO will tell you how to get around, but it doesn't teach you much else. I'm not sure that the game every explicity tells you that movement can have a big impact on combat, but it does.
Each type of movement in the game - flight, acrobatics and super-speed - has a unique set of skills associated with it. The lowest tier of these is locked until level 9. You don't have to invest heavily in these abilities, by you'll find that some of the movement abilities you can purchase are powerful in combat, giving you the ability to charge into a battle or escape from a battle swiftly. I recommend taking a look at all of your movement abilities at level 9 so you can decide if they're important to your character.
Even if you don't decide to make movement a priority in your character build, keep in mind that other players might, particularly if you're on a PvP server. Characters with superspeed, for example, can blaze towards you in a blink and begin wrecking you. Flying characters have a dive-bombing charge attack. You must also consider the limits of your movement ability when questing. Some quests have areas that are only accessible by climbing buildings.
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The combat in DCUO is modelled off a console fighter. Instead of activating hotkey abilities, players fight using basic and combo attacks. The basic attacks, be they melee or ranged, are what is often known as "chip damage." They're activated simply by pressing one button, and are fast, but they don't pack much punch.
The main portion of combat comes via a sort of rock-paper-scissor systems. It involves blocks, leaping attacks, block breakers and interrupts.
Block - The simple block move only requires that you hold down your block button. If an opponent is using a combo on you that is suppsoed to knock you down, you will block it, take minimal damage and knock them down instead! Countered by a block breaker.
Block Breaker - A powerful attack that is meant to be used specifically against a player trying to block you. If you use it against someone blocking, you'll break through and stun them. Countered by an interrupt and in some cases a combo.
Interrupt- This is a lunge that usually lets you cover a small distance between you and your opponent quickly. It is mean to be used to interrupt an enemy who is charging up a big combo or a block breaker. Countered by blocking.
Combo - An attack that requires multiple button presses and does extra damage as well as placing an additional effect on the opponent, such as a stun. Countered by blocking.
Spell - A casted ability that is bound to a hotkey. If the ability has a cast time (the most powerful ones do) it can be countered by an interrupt.
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Conclusion and Tips
in PvE combat, most opponents attack using simple "chip damage" attacks. If they cast a spell or are using a combo, you usually are notified with a skull-and-arrow icon. This means you need to block, get away from the attack, or interrupt them.
In PvP combat, you'll need to pay close attention to what other players are doing and refer to the list of combat abilities above. As you gain new combos and powers through leveling, you'll need to read the description of each ability you buy. This will let you know if the power is a combo, block breaker, interrupt and etc.