270: Crossplayer Is the Future

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I think the opposing co-op campaigns idea is a cool one. I believe Brink is doing that and it seemed like a cool system.

I also love co-op vs AI in games. I played through all of Borderlands with a buddy and it was great fun, and much more rewarding than playing the game alone.

That being said though single player can never be eliminated. Sometimes I just want to sit down by myself and go through a game at my own pace. If I want to play a turn based strategy game while eating dinner, moving my characters at my leisure, then I'm going to do it.

I would HATE coop play to be compulsory or standard in a game. A game which combines multiplayer and single player aspects beautifully for me is Demons' Souls.

Gralian:
Am i the only one who doesn't enjoy co-op games? It seems to have found a big rise in popularity recently in the gaming industry, but i just don't like it. I hate relying on others. I'm a lone wolf and i'd rather any failures be my own. I don't want to have to rely on others. I want my accomplishments to be my own. This is my challenge and no-one else's. I know it sounds a little selfish and perhaps downright misanthropic, but that's just how i feel. If i wanted to play with other people i'd go online for some comeptitive multiplayer, though even then, i don't go on multiplayer all that often. I tend to have a preconception that most people are douchebags, which leads me to favour the single player portion of games more often. But i think the key reason i have a bit of animosity towards multiplayer component of games these days is twofold:

1) Local co-op. What the hell happened to that? I used to play co-op games but with mates and even my dad now and then when i was a kid on the N64 on the couch. Why is it suddenly un-cool to include splitscreen? I can't put a game on to play with friends unless they're outside of my house with their own xbox and xbox live? Sometimes that just isn't an option. Some games still allow for this (Halo etc) but some games that are just begging for it (Why the fuck was this omitted in Transformers for example?) just don't have it and that really grinds my gears.

2) Single player content is gimped or reduced to make room for the multiplayer aspect. Back in the day the average length of a game was 10-15 hours or sometimes longer. Now they get around with about six hours for the campaign and everything else is spent doing the multiplayer. When i enjoy the single player aspect the most i don't expect to be given half-baked content in favour of something else. I have always felt multiplayer is the bit on the side for you to mess around with after the single player is over, not the other way around. I'd rather they just focus on an epic single player experience with the multiplayer aspect not being the focus or overshadowing it. Exceptions to this are when the game is explicitly designed for multiplayer. Battlefield: Bad Company 2 is a good example of this.

Lastly the biggest issue of crossplaying is the tendency to come across people with 'bad sportsmanship.' Anyone who's played Crackdown 2 and had some twat join the match just to kill you and throw quackers everywhere and then leave knows what i'm talking about. The kind of pricks that ruin a mission for you just because they can drop in and out with little to no consequences. It's a little known fact that mischief tends to be more fun than playing by the rules, so temptation for people to act like imps in others' games is very high. It's those kinds of people i try my damnedest to avoid and why i truly dislike co-op in lieu of a solid single player experience. Why do i like local co-op you ask? Because i am right beside my comrades, i can see them and they can see me. We're human beings. We're not a pair of avatars on the TV screen. I can't put my faith in someone i can't see to not screw it up for their own personal amusement.

THIS, THIS, and MORE THIS, Co-op is fine and all, but like the above post, I don't want co-op to be forced upon me. In a group of random people, it works out sometimes, but most of the time you're either stuck with noobs who wont listen, dicks, or people just fucking around, and that really, really draws away from the experience. Take Alien Swarm, whose sole purpose is co-op gameplay, and for that matter L4D, (I've played both extensively) there was usually 2 of us who knew what we were doing, the aforementioned noob who would run away from the group and get owned, and then the 4th person would either know whats up, be a loot/health whore, or on more then one occasion in each game joined, teamkilled us, and left. Done. End of story. I only play co-op with friends now, and, in the risk of sounding snobbish, Starcraft 2 I can only play with friends now because theirs so many people that don't know how to play, yeah it takes time and all of that, but worse off they wouldn't listen.

Basically my point is, Singleplayer is SINGLE for a reason, it only relies on YOU and your skill to get through the story, and then multiplayer is there to do whatever with whomever you want, like Counter-Strike and CSS, when you try and blend the two, you'll just end up diluting both experiences. I disagree with Yahtzee that a game should stand on Singleplayer alone, I'm fine with multiplayer-oriented games, but don't try and create one experience out of two distinct experiences.

Also WHERE THE HELL IS LOCAL CO-OP lol, I know its still around, (Looking forward to dead rising 2), but almost every game of the last generation of consoles, mainly because online wasn't as prevalent, you could get 3 friends together and play bond on the ps2, which resulted in hilarity and awesomeness, but now most of the time its either not there or limited somehow, and that makes me sad.

Co-op is great. I hope this is a new era for it.

(I always thought Battlefield 2 should of been co-op)

I'm not sure on this, i'm really not.

I want Single Player left alone. I prefer to play by myself in games, not some guy coming along and fucking it up.

I wish people would stop talking about the future of gaming and how every damn thing is it, cross play is a neat concept but sometimes you really just want to play something nicely crafted alone and really so far the 2 dont work well together, you either get a single player game that lets you go coop or a multi player game that lets you play alone. Its a neat concept but I have my doubts about the execution.

Engarde:
This is a wonderful idea in theory, but it must be handled very carefully.

Let us, imagine for a moment, that you are playing amazing story blended action shooty game. You are loving amazing story blended action shooty game, the story well written and the characters compelling, the hordes of well written foes, let us say, aliens, move as a hivemind, together, flanking, rushing....when one of them starts tea bagging a fallen comrade.

Your immersion was just dealt such a blow that it could never recover. Every errant twitch or odd movement now shouts out to you as some idiot on the other side of the game ruining it for everyone.

This is why I am hesitant about crossplayer. There can always be someone to ruin it for you. But let us look at this on the other hand....

On a devious note, imagine this : you are playing as a wonderful character you have spent some time in, in a hardcore diablo-esque death is permanent kind of deal. Now, unfortunately, after a wonderfully written and staged drama, your character is captured as a slave to be carted of to the arena. Little do you know, your foes are all the same. Fighting for their characters very lives...the stakes would be high. The game tense....each one giving their all....oh, think of it....

It is for this reason I am both excited and hopeful, yet cynical and careful about crossplayer. Given the right guiding hands, this could be amazing....

This is mostly how I feel... minus the excited, hopeful parts.
The world could be amazingly crafted, the characters deep, the story draws you in like crazy.
All of that would be blown to hell, because the designer allows other people to populate the area, and in leaving it up to the players. You're always going to find the idiots who constantly try to pick fights, or teabag, or simply just stand around asking you where the tavern is.

The idea has potential, unfortunately the players stand a chance of kneecapping such potential. Or at least ruining the sense of immersion for other players, especially those who really take getting into a game seriously.

I want bots to come back. I don't like playing against real people lol.

I dont favour games that require a teammate (AI or Human) just to play the game, its fine as a Multi Player component, then I can elect to join a network and joing others in a game but often I just a game by myself and at my pace... if I want to sit and admire a specifically well rendered piece of masonary, I dont want some hyperactive organism yelling / typing obsenities at me in order to rush through the level so it can 'farm achievements quicker' ...or whatever such an organism classifies as 'srs bznss'.

One such game is Left 4 Dead, I shrugged at my dismay in requiring humans to actually get a decent go at the match (the bots were ... well they were good for AI but not enough to replace humans), and tried it anyways.
Damn it was a game I really wanted to like, I loved many aspects ..except the core requirment... teammates, had players sit in a queue for ages just so when the match started they could suicide thier character, shout 'PRO' and quit... to join a new queue.

... or shoot teammates.

... or votekick the first time you missed a shot.

... or votekick because you beat a teammate to the pills.

... or rage quit because not everyone used the speed run glitches.

... or you beat his score in the game.

... or wait till near the end of the campaign then molotov the entire team in the safe zone.

... etc etc etc.

In larger scale dedicated MP games, 1 out of 64 (BF 2 / 2142) is barely noticable, 1 out of 4 (L4D) is game ruined most the time.

That half the players either win or loose everytime is not entirely correct..

When stalemate in TF2, everybody looses :P
OT: Multiplayer story mode is usually always fun, except for in Borderlands, wich is utter shait..

....but....but.... I don't want other people in my games :(

I don't think mingleplayer will replace singleplayer as some people seem to be scaremongering about. Clearly there's a place for all these types of gameplay and long may it be so, new techs come and go and we should enjoy reaping the benefits of that development.

I can see it happening in 5-20 years when everything is contented at decent speeds, but until then most games will center around either or.

When things start centering around cloud based gaming (some players play the bad guys in a story some play good with AI backing either up). A example would be Fallout 3, have various gangs,ect be maned by players and then you can have mercenary teams and loners playing across a 20+ player zone. Each zone has its own randomness(slightly different spawning items,ect) but is built the same as the rest you max out as many players per serer as you can.

I dunno if I want these two worlds to merge.

I wouldn't like it if I was in the middle of a great story and all of a sudden some random internet douche starts running around calling everything "faggot."

Really interesting. I like the idea of playing a single player campaign (say, Halo) in which a level contained enemies controlled by other players online. The only problem is that there would be no reason for all the players controlling enemies to not simultaneously charge the single-player guy. How can he survive!

I can see it working in a slightly different situation though, and maybe this is what the devs in the article were referring to: imagine you are playing a single player game in which your character is a lone wolf, a third party trying to survive during a war between two other races. Maybe you're an undercover marine or brit trying to assassinate some middle eastern terrorist leader say, and to get to him you must make your way through the streets, strife with civil war between the locals.

But these locals are actually real players playing an online deathmatch game. To them, as you wander the level, you always look like an enemy avatar - or maybe the match is a free-for-all and you look like just another enemy online. (And in real life, that's probably what you would be in that situation.) They try to kill you all the same, but they're not ganging up on you - they don't even know you're experiencing a single player game.

I think it could work, and could be really fun. Even more so if there were huge maps with a bunch of players on each side, big enough to sustain a reasonable single player level. What do you guys think?

DojiStar:
"Crossplay" is an unfortunate choice of terminology. I was initially horrified to click on this article's link because it sounds like anime or game cosplayers dressing up as characters of the opposite gender. Nothing wrong with that, I just don't want to see any more Sailor Moons with hairy legs and arms.

Perhaps "asymmetric multiplayer" or something.

Yeah ... when I saw the title I was like "Ahhh what? Are you going to get more 'points' in a videogame if you crossplay characters? I'm in." <.<

On a serious note, it sounds like a good idea but I don't see how it's fundamentally feasible in the long term ... or as videogaming becomes more endemic to populations around the world.

Personally, I just want better games.

But this does seem to be the enw trend, and I'm not disappointed for it.

I would love to see more games come across this way. I love the way L4D and L4D2 play :)

This is not going to take off.

Imagine you introduce your sister/dad/aunt/stereotypical none leet gamer to bioshock. They have persevered with the controls, have stopped getting stuck in the corner looking at the roof and are now dodging and aiming a bit. Loving the experience.

This is possible. Now imagine it but the AI is replaced with 14 year olds who play 5 hours a day calling you a noob everytime they spawn camp you. You won't play for long. The jump from single player to vs is often a brutal step. In an accessable game the AI will be no where near as competent as a player. Replacing the AI with players will cut out a large group of players who don't want to/can't compete at a certain level.

Co-op has been around for years. Halo/quake/Gears all had co-op. Army of two is a blast with friends. This "crossplay" seems a pipe dream to me. Hoarde mode is as close as we'll get. I hated nazi zombies btw. Im not interested.

what I liked about Borderlands is it's kinda coop or not coop game(and Brink looks to be the thing we wanted Borderlands to be). Best MP mode I know is Fragile Alliance from Kane and Lynch 2, where you decide what you play on the go, you wanna teamkill for profit? go ahead. You wanna cooperate? do that!

WanderingFool:
...and that was the same thing I thought of... though it doesnt really bother me that much, but with humans as actual enemies, what would happen if they keep killing you? you get annoyed and stop playing, just like if it was a normal MP game. Im not sure if everybody is aware of this, but people are idiots and jack-offs. Im just not that sure I would want them in my story driven game. Now if there were certain parts, like you desribec in you second example, sure, that would be intense.

This could be handled by gradually increasing the the human:AI ratio. In the beginning of the game most of your enemies are AI controlled to make sure the difficulty fits. As you progress you run into more and more human players, seeing how they are probably more skilled. To make sure the latter is true you could limit level access to only those levels that you've already completed in single player yourself. I for one wouldn't want to have access to story elements that i haven't been exposed to before anyway. I'd just spoil it for myself.

Or you completely base the difficulty on the human:AI ratio. On easy all enemies are AI controlled, and on very hard everyone is human.

DojiStar:
"Crossplay" is an unfortunate choice of terminology. I was initially horrified to click on this article's link because it sounds like anime or game cosplayers dressing up as characters of the opposite gender. Nothing wrong with that, I just don't want to see any more Sailor Moons with hairy legs and arms.

Perhaps "asymmetric multiplayer" or something.

It doesn't just sound like cross-gender cosplay, it is the term used for that and has been for years. Poor choice of words indeed.

I thought crossplaying was like cosplaying but boys dress like girl characters and vice versa. -_- Little disappointed, because some boys make very cute girls ^^.

I guess on topic (still feeling disappointed) I love co op with friends, but when I try co-op with strangers most people seem to like to go off and do their own thing whether it is sc2 or L4D.

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