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"Single-player gaming is our focus."

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I do agree that there's another underserved niche, but that niche ('awesome MP with substantial content') isn't one that can overlap with 'awesome SP', to which you agree in your last paragraph: Given Null's post and the admission that tacked-on is a bad MP experience, then the choices are--

 

(1) Great MP built from the ground up with required lossy SP

(2) Bad MP built on top of great SP

(3) Great SP with no MP

 

#3 lacks the extra debugging/etc. complication Tim Cain talks about. The caveat is Null's implication that great MP+SP is possible only at a very high cost, something I'm not convinced KS can provide--but the entire point is rather moot in the case of PE: From the very beginning, Obsidian has reiterated that PE intends to be a great SP experience. Since PE is designed to be solidly single-player, there is no good ROI argument to try to build MP alongside it.

 

So in practical terms, one's best bet in finding a good co-op game is to aim for games not designed to be single-player.

 

I would disagree with #1 - I think it's easier to take a game made for MP and make it work well SP than to take a game made for SP and make it work well MP. (As long as you aren't talking about MMOs, most of which have fundamentally poor gameplay that would make a transition to SP impossible). If the core gameplay is fun, the social aspect would be icing on the cake, not the only reason to play.

 

And yes, I know it's going to be a single player game. My comment was more of a lament on the fact that nobody makes good co-op RPGs.

 

If I wanted to play with other people, I'd play tabletop games.

 

I do - I generally have two or three games going at any one time. Sadly, a number of the people I'd really like to play with are hundreds or thousands of miles away - so they simply can't participate.

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Diablo 1 had multiplayer (which was trash) but it's single player experience was awesome. I never liked the later games mostly because of the heavy emphasis on multiplayer gaming and farming and such. Put me way off of that game. Still love going back and playing Diablo 1 though.

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"Diablo 1 had multiplayer (which was trash)"

 

Why lie? The best part of Diablo 1 was its MP. Played it with my brother and it was awesome. It was maybe 1/4th the fun solo.


DWARVES IN PROJECT ETERNITY = VOLOURN HAS PLEDGED $250.

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I do agree that there's another underserved niche, but that niche ('awesome MP with substantial content') isn't one that can overlap with 'awesome SP', to which you agree in your last paragraph: Given Null's post and the admission that tacked-on is a bad MP experience, then the choices are--

 

(1) Great MP built from the ground up with required lossy SP

(2) Bad MP built on top of great SP

(3) Great SP with no MP

 

#3 lacks the extra debugging/etc. complication Tim Cain talks about. The caveat is Null's implication that great MP+SP is possible only at a very high cost, something I'm not convinced KS can provide--but the entire point is rather moot in the case of PE: From the very beginning, Obsidian has reiterated that PE intends to be a great SP experience. Since PE is designed to be solidly single-player, there is no good ROI argument to try to build MP alongside it.

 

So in practical terms, one's best bet in finding a good co-op game is to aim for games not designed to be single-player.

 

I would disagree with #1 - I think it's easier to take a game made for MP and make it work well SP than to take a game made for SP and make it work well MP. (As long as you aren't talking about MMOs, most of which have fundamentally poor gameplay that would make a transition to SP impossible). If the core gameplay is fun, the social aspect would be icing on the cake, not the only reason to play.

 

And yes, I know it's going to be a single player game. My comment was more of a lament on the fact that nobody makes good co-op RPGs.

 

#1 is how it is because of the assumption that SP is the base game (i.e. Project Eternity, context under which Null posted). But to be honest, if development is easier with a game built ground-up for MP but with 'decent' SP developed afterwards, why haven't more companies done so? I mean, there are a number of SP games with MP tacked on, yes, so that really begs the question...

 

SP = all types of players, solo, any play time

 

MP = small groups with similar play expectation, 2-6, concurrent play times, and inability to do any other content if other partners are not present

 

MMO = any number of players solo onwards, similar play expectations (or not, if solo), concurrent play times or can do other content on own time

 

App games = extremely casual, 1-4+ players, any play time (turns), game doesn't proceed without other players (I think these are always pvp, not co-op, though)

 

I kind of wonder if the reason games are missing the co-op target is because many "MP" games shifted to the app space, which has a much, much broader target audience than MP CRPGs but is fundamentally different in that those games are all pvp. MMOs overlap the intended audience in that players can play together as they wish in highly crunchy settings (LotRO has a much better 'storyline' than virtually all other MMOs, though), but the persistent worlds allow players with different schedules to play solo if they wish, so it's far more flexible than a typical MP CRPG. The market may simply be far too small.

 

 

@Volourn: Don't discount the fact that half/most of the "fun" during MP is the socializing itself, independent of the game. That doesn't necessarily mean that the SP was poor or even that the "MP game" was good. Probably why a lot of people end up hanging around an MMO they no longer really 'play', but stick around only for the social aspect.


The KS Collector's Edition does not include the Collector's Book.

Which game hook brought you to Project Eternity and interests you the most?

PE will not have co-op/multiplayer, console, or tablet support (sources): [0] [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

Write your own romance mods because there won't be any in PE.

"But what is an evil? Is it like water or like a hedgehog or night or lumpy?" -(Digger)

"Most o' you wanderers are but a quarter moon away from lunacy at the best o' times." -Alvanhendar (Baldur's Gate 1)

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I would just like to point out that real-time tactical combat is a team sport.

No it isn't.

 

You are playing the game by yourself, one conscious being interacting with the artificial environment. That's not sport, and neither is it team work.

 

Each of the characters you control are just scripted AI that still requires your participation. And there's only one person actively participating. There's nothing team nor sport about that.

It seems you completely missed the point of my comment.

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To make a good multi-player RPG, design concessions must be made on the single player side of the game. This is especially true for titles with a lot of interactive dialogue and/or narrative delivered via text. George Ziets and I have had this conversation many times over the last few years, and it always boils down to one simple truth. Reading is not a team sport.

 

If you don't make those concessions, you end up with sub-par multiplayer. As much as I love the Baldur's Gate series, the multi-player aspect took a lot of patience (putting it mildly), as the design focus of those titles was the single player experience.

 

I do believe you can create an awesome multi-player experience with dialogue and choice and consequence, in my mind it would require a very large budget. I'll let you guys decide what that may or may not mean.

 

I think it's a shame you think that the multiplayer aspects of Baldur's Gate require a lot of patience. I have never once hated playing through those games with friends and family; in fact I had more fun playing in a group than playing alone. What makes multiplayer prospects in these IE games so wonderful is that you don't have to build it any differently than you would a single player experience, content wise (I defer to your judgement on code complexity, not being a game programmer myself). We all show up for a story and a challenge, and with y'all behind the wheel it's sure to deliver. I hope you guys either reconsider soon or seriously think about adding it to a sequel, if it happens.

 

The other thing I'm struggling with is this serious hate of multiplayer games in general. Why is everyone so dead set on having a single player only game? They are literally everywhere in the industry. What is wrong with wanting a game that tells a story like a single player experience, but being able to tackle the challenges it presents in a multiplayer format (which, by the way, the IE games are suited for in a practically ideal way)?

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I would just like to point out that real-time tactical combat is a team sport.

No it isn't.

 

You are playing the game by yourself, one conscious being interacting with the artificial environment. That's not sport, and neither is it team work.

 

Each of the characters you control are just scripted AI that still requires your participation. And there's only one person actively participating. There's nothing team nor sport about that.

 

 

Context clues, man. The games we are discussing, namely BG and BGII (I'm partial to them), were multiplayer. So... yea.

 

Also, many sports essentially are played "by yourself", or at least could be and not have anything changed, like Archery, the discus throw in track-and-field, and any sort of timed distance covering (like swimming, sprinting, etc). It's like correspondence chess, but with sticks and much shorter distances. And there is actually some debate about whether you need more than one person for a sport, though the most common definition of sport does indeed require more than one. But I contend if you can have single player games you can have single player sports.  :p

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To make a good multi-player RPG, design concessions must be made on the single player side of the game. This is especially true for titles with a lot of interactive dialogue and/or narrative delivered via text. George Ziets and I have had this conversation many times over the last few years, and it always boils down to one simple truth. Reading is not a team sport.

 

If you don't make those concessions, you end up with sub-par multiplayer. As much as I love the Baldur's Gate series, the multi-player aspect took a lot of patience (putting it mildly), as the design focus of those titles was the single player experience.

 

I do believe you can create an awesome multi-player experience with dialogue and choice and consequence, in my mind it would require a very large budget. I'll let you guys decide what that may or may not mean.

I understand you don't have the budget for an MP experience, and I think many others understands this too. When I'm hoping or asking for a Multiplayer experience I am not expecting something grandiose or over-the-top. The IE games has a perfectly fine Multiplayer, a bit cranky but the concept of it is simple. It's basically Singleplayer with a friend or two. Many people whine about the IE games Multiplayer, about petty things really. Sure, there are some things that could be improved upon, but it's not necessarily "bad" that the IE games has the option. Multiplayer enriches any game and fulfills a greater potential. You get a larger audience instantly because you have a great selling point which people search the internet for and buys games for: Multiplayer.

 

Some people buy Baldur's Gate primarily because it has Multiplayer, and would never touch it if it hadn't. You know this I am sure.

 

There's actually 2 things about the Multiplayer of the IE games that really stand out:

1. As a Singleplayer experience, I can create an entire party of 6 for myself.

2. As a Multiplayer "Bedtime"/Narrative story. Now, this takes a lot of energy and time, I still had a blast with my friend. We made up our characters before starting, then created a couple of trials and errors until we got the right match. Then as we traversed the land we came up with various stories and narrated situations and happenings. Even stopped playing for some time and just read some in-game lore books. Out loud. Most of it out loud. If not out loud we checked with each other "Turn page?" or stated "Finished" when we had finished a page, and then we just waited for each other. We also made all the C&C decisions together. Though, this is my experience with it, and experiences are individual.

 

So what I am trying to say is, I disagree. Reading can be a team effort. Narration can be a team effort. Wait a minute... Multiplayer? Multiplayer = Team effort required. If you or your friend reads faster than the other and ignores the other as well, then maybe you should try a different game? Or incorporate it into your character and explain what's going on and what needs to be done.

 

From my perspective, there is only a single "problem" with the IE games Multiplayer, and that is the fact that you can't talk to people at the same time as your friend goes off and does other things (Player 1 looks for Quests, Player 2 goes to a merchant, doesn't work in the IE games as you'll constantly be interrupted by each other). You see, when 1 Player starts a Dialogue with a character, the game pauses for the other Player (and takes him to the same screen). It has nothing to do with consequence, but everything to do with choice. Though it isn't necessarily "bad" either, once we understood this "rule" we accepted it.

 

Parallell thought: So what would've happened if they added a Multiplayer to Dragon Age: Origins like the IE games? Nothing. The design decisions wouldn't have had to be any different. Just have a friend control Alistair or Morrigan or whoever you have in your party. The game would've been exactly the same, the only thing different would be the experience. Mass Effect? Same thing.

 

Finally: You say the design focus was Singleplayer in the IE games? Why am I even asking that question, of course it was! I know this. But what I wanted to point out was that if you were to consider (like, consider-consider) Multiplayer for Eternity you won't have to change your design focus whatsoever.

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Not to sound like a grumpy old man, but all-out single player is the way to go. Reconciling turnbased combat with multiplayer is doomed to fail, it's the reason why NWN et al are realtime with pause instead of proper turnbased. 

 

 

The other thing I'm struggling with is this serious hate of multiplayer games in general. Why is everyone so dead set on having a single player only game? They are literally everywhere in the industry. What is wrong with wanting a game that tells a story like a single player experience, but being able to tackle the challenges it presents in a multiplayer format (which, by the way, the IE games are suited for in a practically ideal way)?

 

 

Nothing wrong with multiplayer games! Hardly a shortage of them on the market either. It's just that the multiplayer option doesn't work well within the framework of a story-driven RPG. As people have pointed out, you can't split off from the party and do your own thing (unless you completely abolish things like cut-scenes and turnbased combat), dialogue gets clunkier... there will inevitably be trade-offs, and I rather wouldn't have that. It's better to focus on one thing and do that thing right instead of attempting to do too much. Saying that it won't affect the game's design focus simply isn't true. Just look at Arcanum - they had to implement multiplayer in order to please the publisher, the multiplayer option was nigh unplayable and could of course only be done in multiplayer modules, the main module (one of the greatest RPG's to date) simply couldn't support multiplayer in any fashion. 

 

It's just a matter of genres. Some genres are just ace for multiplayer, the flavour of RPG we're debating here isn't. 

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The only reason for the co-op thing is to pull your love-intrest into something you consider one of the best experiences of your life.

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..... Did you people even play Mass Effect 3.  You would need to be a world class idiot to think that single player was not the focus of that game.  Yes it had a multiplayer option.  But that multiplayer was completely separate from the single player game, used the same mechanics of single player, and had absolutely no effect on the actual single player game.  What's that you had to do multiplayer to get the best resources or whatever?.....  Maybe, (and I say maybe with massive emphasis) but you didn't need the best you only needed "enough" to get the "good" endings.  Besides most of you whined like 5 year old's about the ending anyway.

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I'm always in the minority when I come to a forum because I despise multiuplayer games.  I wish there were more single player games being made, but alas, it's just not happening.  Even games where it makes no sense to have mutiplaer components get multiplayer.  I for one am glad and hope this stays truly single player only.

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I'm really happy that single player games are still around (although there are too few). Not all of us have the opportunity to play while being dependent on other people playing with/against you.

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Personally, I think at this point that multiplayer is made a design focus of a lot of games, and perhaps even those pitched as single-player, for the the real intended purpose of requiring a live connection to play the game. Of course, the publisher just heralds the game as multiplayer and consumers don't question it. But, behind closed doors the whole idea was nothing more than a cover for DRM.

Don't get me wrong, multiplayer makes a lot of sense and is the natural result of a world network of computing devices. It is only natural to want to play a racing game with a friend who's 2 states away since you got married. But, a large number of RPG and even action adventure settings have no need of multiplayer and would make little sense at all to have it.

The Legend of Zelda: Now with multiplayer!

See how much sense that doesn't make at all?

But... but... What about questing together?

Now you're just talking nonsense. Questing together works in MMO's because the quests are simple and straight forward, or dungeon focused. By comparison, imagine trying to play through the trial in NWN2 with multiple characters on multiple game clients; that's nonsense.

Edited by Luridis

Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt. - Julius Caesar

 

:facepalm: #define TRUE (!FALSE)

I ran across an article where the above statement was found in a release tarball. LOL! Who does something like this? Predictably, this oddity was found when the article's author tried to build said tarball and the compiler promptly went into cardiac arrest. If you're not a developer, imagine telling someone the literal meaning of up is "not down". Such nonsense makes computers, and developers... angry.

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I fail to comprehend hatred of the sheer aspect of multiplayer. As if the mere ability for a second person to partake of the same game is somehow bad.

 

The necessity to develop multiplayer support in the game's code and such, I get, and I understand that costs time and money and effort. So, a developer deciding not to do that, I fully understand. But people act as though the very option of "multiplayer" appearing on a game's menu is somehow destroying their gaming experience. As if you CAN'T play the game alone anymore? Or, if you DO play it with someone, you can't select a friend?

 

People do realize that Halo Matchmaking wasn't the origin of multiplayer support in a game, correct?

 

If Obsidian could snap their fingers, and PoE would be able to be played by multiple people, I'd find absolutely no reason for it not to be supported, whatsoever. Even if 90% of people just play it singleplayer, the option of having a friend join in and control someone else in your party isn't hurting anybody.

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Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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I fail to comprehend hatred of the sheer aspect of multiplayer. As if the mere ability for a second person to partake of the same game is somehow bad.

 

The necessity to develop multiplayer support in the game's code and such, I get, and I understand that costs time and money and effort. So, a developer deciding not to do that, I fully understand. But people act as though the very option of "multiplayer" appearing on a game's menu is somehow destroying their gaming experience. As if you CAN'T play the game alone anymore? Or, if you DO play it with someone, you can't select a friend?

 

 

I think you answered it yourself. Time, money and effort that could have gone towards improving the single player experience would be directed towards adding a feature that's ill-suited to the genre. Like Luridis said about the trial in NWN2, some things just aren't meant for multiplayer.

 

The time, money and effort thing is of vital importance. These resources are always in short supply where game development is concerned, everybody knows that, and it's only natural to feel that resources spent on features you don't care for are resources wasted. 

 

I am trying to see the other side of the issue, I really am, but looking back on great games I've played (Arcanum, the Fallouts, Morrowind, Planescape etc) I just fail to see how multiplayer would have been any improvement to what these games were and the experience they were designed to convey. Yes, I omitted Baldur's Gate from that list, and that's because I've tried it in multiplayer. We eventually gave up on it and fired up Half-Life instead. 

 

Some games are meant to be played in multiplayer. Most FPS and RTS games do this wonderfully and are typically enhanced by the experience. Other games are best enjoyed in single player. It's inherent to their design. MMORPG's have quests involving collecting 10 buttered carrots and partying up to kill that big respawning ogre for a reason. It's what works in that environment. In a story-driven RPG you want a different flavour of quest design, and multiplayer support just cannot handle that, meaning that something's gotta give. And in that case, I'd rather it be the multiplayer option.    

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I fail to comprehend hatred of the sheer aspect of multiplayer.

 

Because MP is anti-content? (by necessity). 

 

MP is easy cash because the bulk of the content relies on other players. 

 

SP provides for detailed stories. 

 

Personally, SP>MP. I prefer a good tale.

 

The WoW/CoD crud has never, nor likely will ever, appeal to me because there is nothing of interest there. Stripped down, simplified, generic content infested with farmers/botters. Whatever it is, this isn't gaming. 

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Are you gonna throw rocks at me? What about now?

..

What about now?

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Multiplayer also adds constraints to the gameplay itself. It's not something you can just tack on. It has implications for all other systems and components in the game, from the UI to gameplay features to content. If it's in, you have to keep in mind it's in with everything else, and sometimes maybe do things in a way that's less than optimal for a single-player game.

 

It's similar in this way to, say, controller support -- another feature I'd rather do without.

 

Example: consider those interactive vignettes. "You stand before a waterfall with a pool" etc. How do you handle that in a multiplayer game? Which player gets the screen? What do the other players do while the one with the screen is pondering on it? If all the players get it, what do we do with options that fundamentally alter the scene? For example, what if one of the options is "[strength] Lever away the loose boulder, collapsing the cave on the inhabitants." How do you keep this synchronized across multiple players?

 

And that's just one, relatively minor (although extremely cool IMO) game feature. The whole thing would be like that, from the story, to the dialog system, to combat, to player/environment interaction, to the quest system. If you integrate it to the game, it will dilute the single-player experience. If you don't (e.g. make a separate PvP "arena" mode), you might as well make a separate game.

 

So, bad idea all around. Like full voice, or console ports, or controller support, this is a feature that would make the game actively worse, by diluting the core areas where it's strong, without adding much of value at all.

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I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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Multiplayer mode on this game is useless. 

My opinion. 


★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ I ' M ★  ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ B L A C K S T A R   ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 

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Now you're just talking nonsense. Questing together works in MMO's because the quests are simple and straight forward, or dungeon focused. By comparison, imagine trying to play through the trial in NWN2 with multiple characters on multiple game clients; that's nonsense.

 

I have done this...

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If Obsidian could snap their fingers, and PoE would be able to be played by multiple people, I'd find absolutely no reason for it not to be supported, whatsoever. Even if 90% of people just play it singleplayer, the option of having a friend join in and control someone else in your party isn't hurting anybody.

Stop trying to be logical and make sense Lephys you know it doesn't work.

 

This game clearly is not being designed for multiplayer at this point.  That said a RPG game designed for multiplayer from the ground up with this type of gameplay and story COULD work.  I found the story the best part of the Star Wars Old Republic MMO and there were plenty of other players involved there.  Sometimes one of them got their way and something I didn't want to happen did, and you know what.... tough.  That's part of what makes multiplayer fun, other people being able to influence your game.

 

So Lephys you are basically correct.  There is nothing wrong with multiplayer, at all.  I will say they do need to build for it from the start though, so maybe with the sequel?

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If the game (or expansion) end up with a good toolset, then multiplayer would be kind of great. I wouldn't use it in single player, but I'd probably join people in other quests if there's a NWN type of community making modules for the game.

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I will say they do need to build for it from the start though, so maybe with the sequel?

 

This isn't a bad idea at all. If the focus from the beginning is to create a game with multiplayer capability, this could be a good selling point for a sequel.

 

Note: I'm not suggesting an MMO type thing here, but more along the lines of what the IE games offered or perhaps NWN: the opportunity to either play the game with a friend or two, or the ability to set up your own server with your own module. I personally would probably never use that functionality but no harm in it being there if the devs plan for it and can still deliver a great single player experience as well.

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I appreciate the responses. However, as I suspected, people seem to be automatically jumping to the conclusion that multiplayer = extra gamplay stuff. Rustypup talks about the bulk of content relying on other players. Junta talks about how the sheer fact that two people are in the same game somehow inherently dilutes the game itself.

 

I don't know how to clarify what it is I'm saying. The world "multiplayer" might commonly dredge up a bunch of thoughts of heavily multiplayer-based shooters and entire multiplayer aspects of various games, but all it fundamentally means is "more than one player is interacting with this game, instead of just one player doing so."

 

Has anyone ever played the Secret of Mana? It was an old SNES action-RPG that had multiplayer support. Player two could grab the 2nd controller, and control another character, instead of the AI doing so. That's it. Same game, same literally everything else. Just... now there are two players, instead of one. You weren't forced to have strangers break into your home and join the game with the other controller, or worry about additional characters popping into existence and ruining the game balance, loot-sharing, etc.

 

I know this is going to sound really crazy, but utilizing online capability to be able to do this with your friend on his own computer at a different location, rather than on your very same computer, does not mean you MUST play with a bunch of random people online, or that people have to join random sessions and just put up with one another. The game doesn't have to have a bunch of servers that host sessions and stuff. The ONLY difference is that the game has to handle multiple clients. Host & Join.

 

I realize that that's extra work to implement, and that it's not really the most beneficial addition to a game like a cRPG. The only feasible use of such a thing would be "my friend and I want to play through this game together, and he'll control one other party member while I control another."

 

So, no, I don't think it's a priority. But, nor do I think it's somehow inherently ridiculous and pointless. Hence my conditional "if." IF it were just in the game, why would that be preposterous? Like, people are retarded if they want to co-op such a game? Not have a whole separate multiplayer arena, or have 2 people making double the choices, and extra characters, etc. Just "I want to play this with a friend."

 

Basically, in an ideal world, where implementing that doesn't cost anything extra, what reason would there be for not having that in there? Thus, in reality, where it DOES cost extra and probably isn't worth the cost (not because it's detrimental, but because it's very so small of a benefit, in the grand scheme of things, versus the cost associated), I understand that that's a good reason not to put it into the game.

 

This is why I asked about people's sentiments regarding its mere existence in the game, rather than the decision of whether or not to spend the time and resources to put it in. Everyone's acting as though the sheer idea of two people interacting with the same game is somehow preposterous, even if it was free. Like it would hurt the game. "Oh great, my friend COULD connect to me and join in my game, should I decide to set that up... NOW THE GAME'S RUINED!"

 

So, there. I've explained myself, and I'm sorry for being interested in people's perspectives on things. But there's really no need to twist my words into some debate about whether or not we should put it in the game or not. I was simply asking a question about people's sentiments regarding the very idea of multiplayer capability in the game.

 

If you think that's a dumb question, feel free to not-answer and consider me a moron. I really don't mind. Telling me to stop trying to be logical, however, isn't really doing anyone any good (for example).

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Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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I've no desire for a multiplayer game and wouldn't back one, I see nothing wrong with having a purely single player experience, after all there are masses of multiplayer games on the market.

  • Like 5

Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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