Linked to MP time stamp of this video. From when I first backed this game, the problems described within for POE MP are things I wish LE would solve. For a start, the much lower power ceiling in LE would help. I’m looking forward to see MP release to be a good experience for social/casual groups.
its a bit hard, cause im okay with a casual couch co-op where I get less then single player so that I can play with friends.
But most people are not.
PoE has more problems then just “follow the fastest player”, most ARPG players are just unwilling to play in groups unless it is advantageous for them. Im not sure if LE can solve this problem.
Skill balance in LE is also perhaps not as bad as PoE, but its pretty close. until the game is balanced well, there is gonna be situations where player A of players A/B/C/D is doing 90% of the damage the party puts out just on his own because he is using some broken mechanic.
I am hopeful just because the devs seem to have the same mindset as me in terms of items and pick up and play MP, but I worry that many of the good intentions the devs have will be hurt by poor skill balance that leads to the ARPG players breaking the system.
I agree. I do think that most arpg MP is terrible these days, but what causes this?
My own take on it is complex. There are obviously the things you addressed, power instability, balance, etc.
I think though that it’s more fundamental than that. I like to go back to my early days of WoW, SwTor, Shaiya etc and look at why we partied & raided. First, there were instances that it was impossible to solo: dungeons & raid instances. Did we do these purely for the loot? I don’t think so. Most times you ran them you wouldn’t end up actually getting any loot, especially if you were in a Guild with a reward system in place. So why? I like to think most of the reasons we did those instances was for the self achievement in being able to say “I completed that”, or “I was part of that group”. The completion of the instance and the playing with others was almost more fulfilling than obtaining any meaningful loot.
To compare this to PoE (as looked at above), that feeling doesn’t seem to exist. It’s entirely about the XP, the currency, the loot, or an unlock. This is why people are content to hover near the back and let one uber guy clear the instance.
So, I think LE have to come up with some instances that aren’t able to be cleared by individuals, but instead need groups to clear. That would also necessitate some sort of functional public party finder for those who don’t have a guild or large group of friends.
That in itself is pretty straight forward to attempt. However, there are greater issues to solve. Those instances can’t contain special loot not obtainable by single players, else that would cause power creep and other problems due to exclusivity. So, those instances would have to rely purely on the motivation of being able to brag about completing them, rather than having BiS items drop from the bosses.
Another, possibly more complicated way of doing it would be to steal some ideas from the MMORPG world, and introducing more “party classes/skills”. Enable players to build into the traditional roles of Tank, Healer, Ranged & Melee DPS. Bring in coop skills, like healing of other players, shielding of other players, taunts, etc. This “quaint” system enables players to build toons designed to work best in raids or parties. In building those toons, players take more pride in their role in the group and how well they perform it. That, in turn, promotes them taking part in more groups to further their skills and reputation. Player X is known as a great tank - is it because of his BiS gear or because he is a good guy to play with who knows his stuff?
It’s all too easy in ARPG’s to “take the easy way” and make it all about drops, XP, or unlocks. This is what most of them do when making MP. It’s understandable, and it’s a lazy, easy way of introducing a new system without really having to do a ton of work. People will do the content then simply to “get things”. The hard part is to introduce content that people want to complete simply for the purpose of completing it.
Almost-completely agreed; way, way, way back in the days of Everquest (I know, showing my age here…) there were also end-game rewards gated behind group-focused adventures: Epic Equipment. These took multiple stages, lots of coordination and planning, and a healthy investment of time to complete, but were definitely an achievement. I wouldn’t mind either minor incremental bonuses for players who complete group-focused content, or epic top-end gear focused on role-split-group-play; allowing that coordination and planning to be well-rewarded is fine, even with gear, xp, and unlocks.
But you’re right, there also needs to be content that is group-only - Not group-focused, not carry-me-through, and not solo-able but more fun in a group - it should require a group to complete. Being able to select “Solo” versus “Group” at dungeon-entrances and other not-yet-released content would be a great start.
In addition to having some skills be focused on applying effects to other players, another idea for allowing this group-play to flourish involves conversion; in ARPGs, unlike MMOs, basically every player creates a character that is tanky-dps; you need to be able to survive the enemies (even the hard-hitting bosses) and do enough damage to kill them before you run out of whatever resource you’re using to survive - so almost-every group is going to be made up of characters that all behave this way (unless we get specialization-switching capabilities; but that’s a whole different topic)
But instance-based conversions can change that. Our tanks may want to give up damage for Threat and Survivability, healers might convert their DPS into HPS, and DPS might even opt to convert some of their survivability into more DPS to help their party out - since they won’t be getting hit as much; but at the end of the day, the group breaks up, and each character needs to be able to go back to doing normal content normally. With the doors/gates on Dungeons already providing a checkpoint before entering, I don’t think it would be that difficult to introduce once-per-run selectable conversions for group-play, in stead of just a “difficulty curve”
The devs have said before that they’re not intending to add any group-only content.
I’m also a fan of MMOs (esp the old school ones). And I get the nostalgia over experiential group raiding contents in the past.
But I think the reason why ARPG MP were good (D2, old school POE) was never the same reason why MMOs were good. You’ve mentioned modern ARPGs being rewards focused, but I think that’s actually the core identity of an ARPG - the glorified slot machine.
My own analysis why social parties were sought in the ARPG examples I gave is because, unless you’re an elite gamer, it almost always felt safer to farm consistent xp and loot in a group than to try to at it solo. When the power gap was smaller, even a less well geared/experienced player joining the instance also helps to improve party safety somewhat. @Maelstromicus idea to steal MMO trinity class system might be an extension of this. But the potential downside being that parties will start expecting meta parties skills to be brought into these groups.
I don’t profess to have solid ideas how best to bring the ARPG MP experience forward. But the problem and what looks like success is very clear to me. I just hope the devs can find good solutions.
D2 was running with bots. I remember once a bot screwed up and dropped its Infinity in a Baal run and I grabbed it, person couldnt get it back anyway as they werent even there
PoE was running campaign good XP layouts in a group mowing mobs down for easy XP to over level and move on, sometimes people argued to keep it spicy but there was no real interaction going on there. if someone died ‘lol’ or ‘rip’ thats it
LE MP is going to be almost exactly like D3 but im sure they will be some weird Monolith leeching mechanics so you will always have someone in the game trying to leech XP/gear/progression
That’s going to be inevitable regardless of how LE’s MP is structured. I think most people would have a preference to be carried rather than carry unless they’re running a meta build.
I couldn’t disagree more (at least over a topic like a video game).
I play the game in order to chill and have something to do while I listen to an audio book or podcast.
Want to have great fun multiplayer, sounds good and I’m probably going to try it out every now and then.
But if at any point the game gets instances that can’t be cleared single player or if the game becomes balanced around multiplayer, then I’m out instantly.
The devs have confirmed and reiterated time and time again that they do not want or plan to have content that requires multiplayer to complete. Its been years of this same message so I dont think they are planning to change it anytime soon.
That’s the problem. Multiplayer will “fail” if there aren’t rewards beyond playing solo. It will be used only by the few people that have a friend group to play with.
On the other hand, if multiplayer does get any kind of advantage over solo, tons of players will leave because at that point they feel like the game has gated content behind multiplayer and they want to play solo.
There is no pleasing everyone here. Some people are going to be disappointed no matter what happens.
Yup. The devs do try to enthuse the MP-hopeful crowd (aka me) saying they would be adding MP only mechanics to bosses to make them more interesting in MP. But I suspect they will just be gimmicks and unlikely to motivate people to want to give MP a go.
When did they say that?
What I would see as middle ground would be either achievements and cosmetics that apply differently - i.e. you get unique cosmetics as a reward for killing Orobyss in a team at lvl 100. That way there is incentive that you cannot get that reward any other way, but overall the reward isnt power based so it doesnt matter to single players who dont want to play multiplayer.
Alternatively, have multiplayer content but which does not have exclusive rewards. i.e. it requires multiplayer to complete and may be a unique experience and have appropriate difficulty, but whatever practical rewards that affect player power are also available somewhere else in single player. And again, you could throw in exclusive multiplayer cosmetics etc as a bonus.
Many times. Mike’s favourite example is Diablo’s bone cage.
So like giving Orobyss another set of skills that can only roll if its a multiplayer session?
Other than bragging rights, I suppose that wouldnt be much of an incentive after a while?
Yup, I remember him mentioning that.
Do not underestimate the power of
the dark side e-peen.
When he described it, I don’t think the point he was making was so much as bragging rights. I think he just think such mechanics are “fun”, and people might just be drawn to experience it. I would admit, I’m skeptical myself.
You’re right though. Whether it’s fun or bragging rights, the novelty will wear after some time.
“Multiplayer will “fail” if there aren’t rewards beyond playing solo.”
I don’t think I agree with this statement - Path of Exile does the same sort of thing, in fact, you’re pretty much always at a disadvantage not playing in a party - the amount of item drops you get with a group are insanely staggering compared to playing by yourself.
The difference is that players who play by themselves have way to make content harder (‘juice their maps’) to get more significant rewards. I imagine the same will end up taking place here, once the developers iterate on their endgame content and smooth things over for that crowd.
Basically, I do think you’re right that some people may be turned away from the idea that playing with a group is the “best” way, but I don’t think it means that Multiplayer will fail or not be a popular thing for friends to do together. People play all the time in solo and groups in D2:R also.
Maybe it’s just because I’m old and crusty enough to remember a time when multiplayer first happened and we did it for its own sake, but IMO multiplayer should always be something people feel like they can participate in if they like playing with others and that’s where it ends. If the only reason somebody wants to play in a group is because they get something extra, then to me that just means they’re compelled to do something they may not even think is fun or enjoyable by FOMO.