What defines the quality of a multi-player shooter these days?
Is it graphics? Is it frame rate? or is it how easy or hard the game is?
If you strip mult-player gaming down to its core fundamentals it essentially is any game that lets you play with more than a single person. This can take the form of a dedicated Co-Op experience with a single buddy or the opposite side of extreme and be a massively multi-player game Ala’ World of Warcraft.
No matter what your preference of multi-player is ,its safe to say that playing with friends or strangers is an exciting feature in games these days.
Then why is it that there are legions of entitled players in the world redefining the minimum requirement of players to be involved in a multi-player experience ? Of course this argument has been making the rounds for years now and every time a Battlefield game gets launched on console you here the inevitable screams from the fan base saying ” sacrilege…Battlefield was meant to be played with 64 players on PC!”
Pop Quiz: Can anyone tell me the largest amount of players supported on XBOX360 and of course the name of said game? Stay tuned to the end of this article and Ill tell you 🙂
The latest argument has been kicked off with the announcement that the soon to be released game TITAN FALL will ship with a ” meager” offering of 6v6 head to head multi-player.
Respawn ( the games developers) have made a conscious design choice to limit the matches to 6 players on either team. This is of course supplemented with a healthy supply of AI troops populating the battlefield to create a sense of scale and give teams some cannon fodder to buff their self esteem.
The key wording here is that this was a pre-meditated design choice by the developers ; NOT a technical limitation ( Yes Battlefield games have a technical restriction on console folks). Shouldn’t we trust that these guys know there own game and have also play tested it while developing it?
I for one do not need Titan Fall to be a 64 players “Mech Fest” and am quite happy to fill that void by the AMAZING Battlefield 4 that I have installed on my console.
There is of course the whole issue of Game Balance to consider as well. When you start throwing in more players the dynamics of the game itself begin to buckle. Things like Map layout and design become crucial to whether or not the game becomes broken. Team Cohesion and synergy takes a back seat to random amounts of players running around a map like a BOT. Keep in mind that no game has successfully thrown an entire 32 man team into one squad or fire team. I cant even imagine using call outs with that large of a player count!
Large scale combat also adds fuel to the age old whining of Camping. When you create a map that supports large amounts of players you will always find players who are too lazy to walk a few feet in it; instead electing to set up camp on a rooftop or in a bush and wait for an unlucky player to stroll across his/her path.
More players in a multi-player game does not make it better it simply turns it into a different experience.
From a competitive gaming point of view ; I am actually very happy to hear that TITAN FALL will only be supporting 6v6 matches. This puts it squarely in our sights for a PRO selected title and will make facilitating tournaments that much easier. Teams will work together better and the intensity will ramp up thanks to our little AI friends.
Respawn entertainment has crafted a shooter with specific intent and is playing by its rules. IT IS NOT Battlefield 4 in Mechs but I applaud them for waiting to create an atmosphere akin to Dices shooter even if it is an illusion created with cloud powered AI troops.
Dwayne”EVO Knight” Morash
The maximum player count in that game was 50 players on a dedicated server that KAOS hosted