Battlefront is Barely Multiplayer At All

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So these competitive multiplayer games now are the arcades? But instead of paying a quarter per life, it's the arcade membership fee ($60 up-front, $120 for the gold membership), the arcade monthly or annual subscription fee (XBox Live/PS+ if required) and $1.99 for skipping levels (microtransactions). It's a pretty interesting way of seeing it, if you think about it (I admit, I never thought it in this way before).

I get what is said about SW: Battlefront, ues, but I don't think you can lump all online multiplayer experiences under that umbrella. Especially Rocket League, from what I've seen, is capable of creating amazing multiplayer moments, friends and rivalries. It's anything but the meaningless action of SW:B.

That counts even more for more traditional, server-based multiplayer experiences. I remember my TF2 days fondly, I literally had rivalries there with a few players. Ahhh UKMD servers, I miss you...

I gradually came to realize that there is absolutely nothing social about today's online multiplayer experience.

The same has happened to MMOs as well, or at least WoW. Even when last I played in Mists of Pandaria, you had your raiding pick up groups, or PUGs, that would go into the entry-level content, only communicate for sake of downing the boss, and either succeed all the way to the end or fail and disband. Back in Wrath of the Lich King, some groups could do the end-game raid, Icecrown Citadel, on 10 man Normal just for Frost Badges without even using Ventrilo or Skype, so nothing new there.

That's not even looking at Looking For Raid, or LFR, where the game mechanics and number checks of boss encounters are greatly reduced, so that anyone can down Deathwing, Garrosh, or Archimonde, and Looking For Dungeon, or LFD, where it was no uncommon for not a word to be said during an entire run of randomly assembled strangers. Long before LFD, there was an uproar when Blizzard made battlegrounds no longer restricted to players on your server; the first cross realm anything came in The Burning Crusade, with "X-Realm" PVP battlegrounds groups. So again, nothing new there.

That's not to say I'm some crotchety old man who thinks those need to be removed; at least in LFR or LFD or a random BG you CAN talk to other people, via typing with your keyboard, even if they don't talk back. But Star Wars Battlefront, Rocket League and other more modern games don't even have that from what Yahtzee's shown in his videos. And success or failure still relies on teamwork in those circumstances, while Star Wars Battlefront just sounds like "a miasma of shouting and violence, like the foxes are holding a rave in the hen house".

I would say that a game is multiplayer as you make it, but realized that only applies if you have some way or need to communicate. If you're one of 20 mutes on your team, all running around like chickens with their heads cut off on their own little personal "mission", it really is single player.

Battlefront is literally "It's Star Wars! You like Star Wars right? Here, go shoot other people who also like Star Wars and were dumb enough to buy this game!"

No substance, no strategy, no teamwork, no depth, forgotten in a month.

Uh huh. And Destiny's raids require no coordination at all. Gotcha.

This constant hatred of all things multiplayer is getting annoying, dude.

SKBPinkie:
Uh huh. And Destiny's raids require no coordination at all. Gotcha.

This constant hatred of all things multiplayer is getting annoying, dude.

Agreed. I got the feeling that whoever wrote this (and yes, I know it is Yahtzee) hasn't played a multiplayer game in the last decade or so. Most multiplayer games since forever have been these kinds of silent affairs where you jump in, play your fill and get out, often without typing in a word in chat or using VoIP if that option exists.

I played CoD (the original, some 12 years ago) a lot back in the days and on a 32 person server it was unlikely that you saw more the three or four people typing in the chat at all. Sure, those looking for a place to hang could get a favorite server to play on and some of us ended up in clans with our own servers, but most players just sort of drifted by without ever being noticed as anything but targets or the people that targeted you. This is the irony of most action driven multiplayer, that it is often a rather solitary affair with a dozen or so individuals doing their thing without any regards to what the rest of them are doing. To get a proper "co-operative" experience you need to seek out those games that actively demand it, such as Red Orchestra/Rising Storm, and that's how it's always been.

Definitely not true of Battlefield 4. There's a massive amount of communication and teamwork involved and you are both literally and emotionally rewarded for it. I think Yahtzee if waxing a bit too much here. Now that the haze of starwars nostalgia has cleared I think we can all accept that this was a quickcash grab and doesn't qualify as much of a game at all. It even felt unfinished at launch obviously because they rushed it to eat off the movie hype before the nostalgia haze of that clears and we all realize its just another subpar starwars movie with idols shoved in to avoid fan lynching.

SKBPinkie:
Uh huh. And Destiny's raids require no coordination at all. Gotcha.

This constant hatred of all things multiplayer is getting annoying, dude.

I'm not so much annoyed that he doesn't like multiplayer, but rather confused that he keeps playing multiplayer games expecting a different outcome. There have to be enough other games coming out to review that he isn't forced into playing these games, right?

I don't even see a real criticism of multiplayer games here. If he doesn't want any form of social interaction in his games, that's fine, but hardly the fault of games that do have them. This is made all the more confusing by his apparent nostalgia for the "old days" of multiplayer which led to lasting friendships and rivalries...which he apparently never liked? Can you even be nostalgic for something you never even liked? I think his relationship with online games is a confused one.

What a sad, bitter, and deluded read. I kinda knew that going into this, knowing Yahtzee's opinion on multiplayer games, but it was honestly a lot worse than I expected.

Online shooters promise the same experience that the arcade does. You buy into a quick round of uncomplicated video game action, with very little promise of long-term investment but that hardly matters because you're just trying to kill time and the sound is being mostly drowned out by the masses all around you.

This sounds less like an Arcade, and more like playing Candy Crush on your phone at a bus stop before going in to work at a job you hate. Yeesh

You play, not because the game is inherently fun or to see the unfolding of a story that you're invested in, but only for the sake of getting the highest score, and seeing the little flashing message at the end saying that the manager has to give you a special prize now.

This is the most bizarre explanation for an arcade I've ever heard. Even when I was young, no one gave much of a damn about "getting the high score", it was because the games were fucking fun.

I remember competing against people or watching fighting game machines when there was a ton of buzz around them. Or teaming up with random strangers in Time Crisis 2, Area 51, or Metal Slug - And trying to get through the game or as far as possible with what little quarters we had. Or scrubbing it out a few times in King of Fighters or Street Fighter, getting destroyed by strangers at first until I got better and held my ground. There was a lot of interaction.

SKBPinkie:
Uh huh. And Destiny's raids require no coordination at all. Gotcha.

This constant hatred of all things multiplayer is getting annoying, dude.

Hey, you heard the man. "There is absolutely nothing social about today's online multiplayer experience."

Fat_Hippo:

I'm not so much annoyed that he doesn't like multiplayer, but rather confused that he keeps playing multiplayer games expecting a different outcome. There have to be enough other games coming out to review that he isn't forced into playing these games, right?

Perhaps reread the article? He clearly states he plays them for work related reasons.

Fat_Hippo:
I don't even see a real criticism of multiplayer games here. If he doesn't want any form of social interaction in his games, that's fine, but hardly the fault of games that do have them. This is made all the more confusing by his apparent nostalgia for the "old days" of multiplayer which led to lasting friendships and rivalries...which he apparently never liked? Can you even be nostalgic for something you never even liked? I think his relationship with online games is a confused one.

Again reread the article. I'm not seeing where he says he hates online interaction. He saying there is no such thing as interaction between players beyond kill opposing players and press X on objective.

This is what I get out of the article: The point is, while the game is ostensibly a team effort, there is no communication or co-ordination between teammates.

So you can't even communicate with your teammates over the network as you play? Did they take the problem of all the 12-year-old CoD players cursing at each other in the extreme opposite? And no single-player campaign or space combat, either? I feel less inclined to buy this with each time I hear about it. Then again, I don't remember much about the first Battlefront game, beyond shooting guys in Star Wars locales.

I feel like Yahtzee's piece of mind on "the multiplayer issue" is a bit too muddled with inconsistencies.

I gave up on Battlefield games, it has all the systems in place for playing with other people, squads, friend invites, classes etc... but regardless of who you're with you'll still get shot in the head by someone miles away who either has a sniper rifle or a tank doing an impression of a sniper rifle, it always resulted in each person on teamspeak complaining about how they just died randomly while attempting to do cool things like actually play the game.
Counter Strike is still our teamwork oriented game of choice, Rocket League is a regular favorite, i like certain Call of Duty's for the map spawn rotating element of TDM which i find fun to navigate at 100mph, the player counts are more manageable than BF so you don't get as much wave on wave pleb action, but it's still not a game i play for any kind of teamwork.

yet another 30-something games critic going on and on about how much better the arcades were. the arcades are gone and honestly good riddance. so long as they remained the most popular format of gaming storytelling was kept in a cage in the corner of the game with little to no effec on the entirity of the experience. and it's not like the social experience has gone away from games. it has merely changed shape into something more efficient with a greater reach. just look at WoW or LoL or TF2

it's like when people who grew up in the 90s lament the lack of gaming magazines nowadays. they are called websites now and give you much cheaper access to more information which you can look at again without stocking your livingroom with garbage

CyanCat47:
yet another 30-something games critic going on and on about how much better the arcades were.

Did... did you read the article? At what point did he praise arcades and claim to miss them? If anything he berated them heavily by comparing them to his own highly negative view of today's multi-player experience.

OT: Interesting comparison to arcades. I haven't played enough multi-player games to try & claim that they're all as secretly lonesome but I've played a few and certainly felt that sense of "no strategy, just chaos" as people just play their own game without everyone playing as a team.

I'm mostly a single-player type, but I do have a Destiny Warlock in its forties, and spent a lot of time playing Left 4 Dead and the various Blizzard 'Craft games. Considering, I do have a bit of perspective on multiplayer gaming.

Yahtzee feels to me as though he's actively trying to isolate himself. The competitive streak of some players isn't something you have to take part in if you'd prefer not to, but a modicum of cooperation goes a long way. The problem is, despite the way these games are constructed, that isn't the norm. Lone Wolfing your way through Counter-Strike might be discouraged, it's still extremely common.

If you want to get a feel for the social aspect of multiplayer games, get a headset with a mic and bring a positive attitude. If you focus on the game alone and ooze your lack of care for the involvement of others, other players will feel that. I know I can't win 'em all, but I know every single game or match can be fun.

If you play with me online, you'll see I'm the type who cracks jokes and laughs, someone for whom the casual nature of the experience is important. I play to get my mind off things or to wind down after a long day at work, so performance is the least of my concerns. I'm pretty much the Anti-Rager; someone who laughs when he's killed, especially if the ragdoll breaks or my recent demise came from my own stupidity. I apologize when a planned assault goes to shit and do my best to assist my teammates.

Of course, I don't always find receptive players. Some people tell me to shut up. Others kind of key into my own vibes, a few matches being all that I need for a supposedly super-serious Destiny Raid to devolve (or evolve?) into four guys popping zingers or "Oh, snap!" moments.

If we make it through, we hoot and congratulate the lucky bastards who got rare drops. If we fail, we dust ourselves up and reminisce on the good times or the Raid's best bits.

All told, I've made some good friends online. The trick is just to stop muttering about "those damn pubbers" who break your immersion and to take the Kill-Death ratio to the proverbial waste basket.

Just freaking play the game. The rest will work itself out.

Destiny more or less feels like a single-player game to me, since you can do the main story by yourself without assistance from anyone else, same with Defiance. They feel more like single-player games wearing the clothes of an MMO.

Michael Prymula:
Destiny more or less feels like a single-player game to me, since you can do the main story by yourself without assistance from anyone else, same with Defiance. They feel more like single-player games wearing the clothes of an MMO.

Play the raids. It is most certainly not single player.

My experience of two CoD free weekends and various free team-based shooters: you aimlessly run around the same few maps shooting others before they can shoot you while trying not to shoot your teammates.

Gethsemani:

SKBPinkie:
Snip

Snippety

CyanCat47:
Snip

I'll edit this to be on the safe side :P I just found your "satire" heartwarming.

1981:
My experience of two CoD free weekends and various free team-based shooters: you aimlessly run around the same few maps shooting others before they can shoot you while trying not to shoot your teammates.

And it's okay if you feel that way; that was basically your experience with it. I could try and tell you that if you played with friends, it's entirely different. The issue comes with people like Yahtzee constantly telling us (for years at this point) that all multiplayer is basically the same as killing his dog. It's getting tiring to listen to.

What's worse is when he generalizes and projects his opinion to every other game in the genre based on a couple bad incidents.

Gethsemani:

SKBPinkie:
[Not true]

[I agree. It's true.]

CyanCat47:
[I didn't read the article.]

Such co-ordination! I really should stop doing this, but... The irony, it burns!

And finally - if you're gonna quote someone, at least snip it spoilers if you don't want to include the whole thing. Just replacing what we've said with "Not true" kinda defeats the point of discussion. Or if you feel like what we've said is or isn't valid, explain why.

"Basically it becomes an on-the-nose satire of World War 1 battlefield strategy as wave after wave of plebs spawn, run to the front, and are cut down."

At least WW1 also had the Spanish Flu going on... So you could get cut down from both enemy activity AND disease, which mathematically makes it twice as interesting at least.

Given the apparent failure of Battlefront, can you blame them for wanting to resurrect single player games like 1313 and even possibly the pretty much finished but abandoned Darth Maul origin game?

I've actually been noticing this trend over the years too.

Back when we played DoD and other Half-Life creations, you needed a mic. It was required. No mic, no communication, and you felt left out. You felt useless, and you were just there to bog down the team while you pick up scraps of what everyone else said. If you had a mic, you could say, "Hey, guy in the church tower, look out." And spectate another player killing said church dude after you were killed.

Now-a-days, playing Co-op heavy games, it's more like, "Holy shit. A guy with a mic. A GUY WHO'S LISTENING TO ME! STEAM FRIEND! LOVE ME!! LOVE MEEEE!!!" Games like PD2, NS2, Killing Floor 2, Vermintide, Dirty Bomb. These are all games I'd love to play... But, nobody talks. Nobody works together. The "Social" aspect of multiplayer for these games have dropped dead unless you get lucky. (Especially for PD2, as nobody plays that now. It really is a shame, because it really is a great game, excluding the DLC.) I find it incredibly difficult to get into these games now without a dedicated group over Steam VOIP or TS3.

So... Now? I just play Space Engineers. Or XCOM. Actually, any XCOM Players wanna go up against a Long War Player? I also need to get back into Fallout.

IamLEAM1983:
[...]If you play with me online, you'll see I'm the type who cracks jokes and laughs, someone for whom the casual nature of the experience is important. I play to get my mind off things or to wind down after a long day at work, so performance is the least of my concerns. I'm pretty much the Anti-Rager; someone who laughs when he's killed, especially if the ragdoll breaks or my recent demise came from my own stupidity. I apologize when a planned assault goes to shit and do my best to assist my teammates.[...]

Edit: THIS, is the kind of person I look for when playing online games. Someone who doesn't take it seriously, still tries to succeed, and is a goddamn blast to be around. ~<3

Tohuvabohu:
What a sad, bitter, and deluded read. I kinda knew that going into this, knowing Yahtzee's opinion on multiplayer games, but it was honestly a lot worse than I expected.

I agree, this was poorly written. And uses an analogy that doesn't work. The only point I agree with is that certain online games have become less social. Pop on Xbox live to play Halo or whichever, and very few people are using mics. Or if they are, they're just not talking, and you get to hear the occasional cough or shuffling about.

I remember back in the halo 2/3 days, many more people talked and actually communicated. Of course you would get some man-childs, bigots, etc, but at least it felt like a social experience and there were always a few normal people. I do think party chat has contributed to the death of teammate communication. Now, if I am not directly playing with a real life friend, online multiplayer is just a lonely boring experience.

SKBPinkie:

Michael Prymula:
Destiny more or less feels like a single-player game to me, since you can do the main story by yourself without assistance from anyone else, same with Defiance. They feel more like single-player games wearing the clothes of an MMO.

Play the raids. It is most certainly not single player.

That's why I specifically said main story, and the raids are technically not part of it.

You'd be surprised how few people are actually into games that require multiplayer coordination.

Yes, Destiny raids are a wonderful example of a video game that forces you to talk to people and plan your strategies, but remember that under 20% of Destiny players have completed a raid. Most people just treat it like a Souls game: a fundamentally single-player experience where you can wave at other players as you pass by, or go into a dedicated PVP arena and get destroyed by them.

Michael Prymula:

SKBPinkie:

Michael Prymula:
Destiny more or less feels like a single-player game to me, since you can do the main story by yourself without assistance from anyone else, same with Defiance. They feel more like single-player games wearing the clothes of an MMO.

Play the raids. It is most certainly not single player.

That's why I specifically said main story, and the raids are technically not part of it.

Fair enough. It's just that most people who play that game are missing out some of the best stuff it has to offer by skipping the raids. Get a group of friends together if you can to check those out. And if you can't, there are tons of "sherpa" players on most LFG sites who are interested in guiding newer players with the raids.

That being said, the whole reason I kept playing Destiny (in spite of its major design flaws) is because I genuinely think that if one were to judge an FPS or action game by the controls (core mechanics / "feel"), it is one of the best games out there. So if you don't feel the same way, it is entirely possible that your appreciation of the game wouldn't really be affected a whole lot by the raids.

In certain instances this is a pretty accurate description of pvp multiplayer. Games like TF2, Battlefront (apparently), Red Orchestra, Counterstrike, and so forth are pretty damn chaotic and largely seem to lack any sort of strategy beyond run-there-and-shoot-whoever's-wearing-the-different-colored-uniform-than-you. However, not all multiplayer games are like that. If you want a multiplayer game that actually encourages more teamwork, I think you're better served looking at PvE multiplayer games. Games like Payday 2, Killing Floor 2, Vermintide all encourage people to actually work together and watch each other's backs because no one player can win a round on their own, and since you're not going to respawn immediately if you fuck up, you're not likely to last if you act like a self-important glory hound and ignore your team mates.

Now that's not to say PvE multiplayer games are guaranteed to have teamwork in them. You can certainly get players together who are just "there" and expect you to fill the space they'd otherwise use an NPC bot for. This definitely happens as the PvE games get older and the maps and objectives of the maps become increasingly well known, so more players know the "correct" course to take and they go through the motions with little to no communication with their team mates. But there's always at least some acknowledgement of your team mates and the necessity of you sticking together and helping one another; you're not just part of the noise and chaos around you in these games; you're in it together, and even if you both have the way the map goes down pat, with the numbers that you're up against being more than any one person could hope to take on, you're still going to need each other if you're going to make it to the end.

SKBPinkie:

Michael Prymula:

SKBPinkie:

Play the raids. It is most certainly not single player.

That's why I specifically said main story, and the raids are technically not part of it.

Fair enough. It's just that most people who play that game are missing out some of the best stuff it has to offer by skipping the raids. Get a group of friends together if you can to check those out. And if you can't, there are tons of "sherpa" players on most LFG sites who are interested in guiding newer players with the raids.

That being said, the whole reason I kept playing Destiny (in spite of its major design flaws) is because I genuinely think that if one were to judge an FPS or action game by the controls (core mechanics / "feel"), it is one of the best games out there. So if you don't feel the same way, it is entirely possible that your appreciation of the game wouldn't really be affected a whole lot by the raids.

I'm nowhere near skilled enough to be able to stand a chance in hell of beating any of those bosses, and frankly after seeing gameplay footage of them I don't even care, those raids look difficult for all the wrong reasons, and I hate the idea of being under that kind of pressure not to screw up due to playing with other people, it's just too stressful for my liking and I just don't see myself having any fun at all with raids, so i'm happier avoiding them.

Robyrt:
You'd be surprised how few people are actually into games that require multiplayer coordination.

Yes, Destiny raids are a wonderful example of a video game that forces you to talk to people and plan your strategies, but remember that under 20% of Destiny players have completed a raid. Most people just treat it like a Souls game: a fundamentally single-player experience where you can wave at other players as you pass by, or go into a dedicated PVP arena and get destroyed by them.

That's precisely why I haven't done raids, I don't like the idea of being forced to talk to strangers(and risk getting bitched at by them for screwing up).

If you think that a Doodle Jump machine is bad wait till you hear this: at Dave and Buster's I saw a Candy Crush Saga machine. Now that's what I call hell.

Yahtzee showing his ignorance of military history yet again.

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