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Multiplayer: why? And how?

I couldn’t agree more.

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I think this is a really weird take.

RoR2, Terraria, Gunfire reborn etc, are all “Multiplayer” games, that are designed around being able to be played solo. The game scales with the numbers of players so that solo players dont get dicked on.

You are explaining a MMO, which is not the standard for multiplayer games. Multiplayer games have existed since I started playing games, and almost all of them are playable solo, and balanced around such an experience. Literally only MMOs are balanced around a pve experience that forces players to work together.

its interesting that you bring up this point, when things like PoE MP, and MMOs specifically are getting redesigned to move away from. Lost ark has 2 support classes neither one are required to beat any encounter, they just make it much easier. Where as you are not entering a FF14 dungeon without a healer full stop.

By forcing the player to adhere to “roles” you actually restrict what people are able to do, lets say I want to play with my 2 other friends bob and jim. Well I have decided I want to play the damage guy. So bob and jim need to pick tank and healer, if neither one of them want to play that I guess we just… dont play together? A game balanced around everyone being a stand alone who also offers minor synergy is a much better design then the trinity games of the past.

And when you talk about “meta” that is 100% gonna happen if they create party roles, then the meta and efficient strat is to straddle the trinity and if you deviate from it, you are doing it wrong.

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The purpose of MP is not to fulfill mmo fantasies and getting access to mp specific content. It’s just to play together with friends.

Support skills are designed in a way they always benefit you and your teammates while also providing offensive power. For example the consecrated ground of judgement damages enemies and heals you and allies. You don’t have to change your playstyle but can passively support your team.

Theres absolutely no need for dedicated roles. Just imagine you’re into healing 100% and sacrificed all your damage for it. You won’t be able to complete content in your own and will always rely on others. That’s exactly why in ARPGs devs try to not have the holy trinity. You can jump in and out of MP whenever you like. No restrictions.

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I have played the Vermintide series and I have to say I don’t really enjoy it because of its lack of depth in the classes. Each of the characters, despite having different careers (a.k.a. ‘classes’), doesn’t feel different enough from each other - most likely the fault of sharing the same passive skill tree and only having one unique career ability. The majority of the player’s agency in crafting unique builds comes from the legendary gear, which offers unique properties that alter or add certain mechanics.

I think this shallow class system is further deconstructed by the only form of endgame content in the Chaos Wastes, which removes all of the players gear - preventing the most integral portion of a players build.

However, this is just how I feel about the game. It is enjoyable for a couple of hours of fun with friends, but nothing worth investing into.

I have mentioned in my previous posts that I do not want the game to be impossible for solo players, just incredibly difficult to the point where it would actually incentivize group play.

What I am worried about with some of the recent Last Epoch updates is that support and tank roles will just be gimmicks - in the sense that they are technically offered as an illusion of choice but don’t actually offer any meaningful interactions in-game. Again, if the game can easily be played as a single player, fully capable of self-sustaining, what is the purpose of support abilities? Why would anyone use the targeted healing abilities if their party members are able to leech more life on attack than they would be able to heal with a spell?

You are correct in saying that these games offer multiplayer functionality. However, they do not fit the discussion being had.

  • Risk of Rain 2 and Gunfire Reborn are both rogue-lites featuring short game-play loops.

  • Sandbox games like Terraria and Minecraft serve as even worse examples. These casual genres feature far different gameplay loops than role-playing games.

  • Taking your examples further, FPS campaigns like Halo have multiplayer capabilities - but that does not make them similar to RPGs.

In each of the examples above, there is the circumstance of being ‘multiplayer’ only as far as there are other players. You could even argue that it takes co-operation to succeed in these games.

However, just like with each of these examples, my definitive point regarding Last Epoch being designed as a single or multiplayer game remains true. Each example you gave were games that were designed specifically as a single player. Having multiplayer functionality does not equate to being designed for multiplayer.

This is not the same as a game being designed for multiplayer.

In Risk of Rain 2, the difficulty scaling of having other players is entirely negligible when considering the benefits that multiplayer adds:

  • When one player dies, the game can still continue

  • Base damage output is multiplied by the number of players.

The game becomes easier the more players you have because, at its core, its difficulty was designed around being a single player game.

When considering the Halo campaign. Dying would typically cause you to restart from your previous checkpoint, but with another player you can respawn. Having a second player in the Halo campaign is practically an exploit. This is a product of the game being designed for single player.

Can you explain how Path of Exile is becoming less individualistic? I left Path of Exile because it was specifically becoming more individualistic with the nerfs to aura and curse builds.

While I occasionally read the patch notes, I admit that I am not aware of any such detail.

The “support” classes in Lost Ark are laughable. You cannot honestly believe that those are customary support classes. That entire game is a prime example of arbitrary classes, where everything is DPS+.

See, that’s where I disagree. ARPGs such as Grim Dawn, Titan Quest, and (the greatest ARPG ever) Dungeon Siege 2 each allowed for 100% dedication to the healer role.

In each of these games, yes, you can absolutely play the game solo if you are skilled. You can play through methodically and tactfully defeat bosses.

In a party, each role is meaningful - it doesn’t feel like a gimmick when you utilize crowd-control mechanics in Grim Dawn of Titan Quest.

I don’t want to see Last Epoch’s roles be gimmicks. Support skills should be viable and beneficial.

Ill just leave it at Ive never heard anyone describe multiplayer as you have, and as such it feels too far off what is actually sold as “multiplayer” in both the market space and the community space that its just arguing semantics.

Thats my point, I worded my point about PoE wrong, but basically games are moving away from “Trinity” or dedicated roles, and the line between roles is more fuzzy. PoE is touted as a TERRIBLE multiplayer game exactly because if you dont play the meta multiplayer set up, you are doing it wrong. Nothing GGG can do can change that other then trying to nerf aura bots so they dont 10x your damage.

I played an MMO for a long time that had a single support, that support gave you such an outlandish damage buff that for any end game content it was a must have. Thats what is and will remain wrong with PoE multiplayer, No one wants to sit around waiting for an aurabot to show up.

Take a game like Lost ark or Guild wars 2. There is Tanky classes with CC, but they are not taunt bots that always have aggro. There is classes which can heal or offer buffs, but they dont just afk and make red bars go up either. The thing tying these games to LE is they are both action oriented, with dodge rolls, precise positioning and inputs required.

You can have meaningful roles that dont also completely make your character locked into only one facet of combat.

Like trust me, if you dont think that when LE multiplayer goes live we are going to see paladins rocking out and buffing everyone you are crazy. The difference is, the paladin will have more options then standing around doing nothing but existing as an aura.

And tanking basically has no use in an action game, just dont get hit : ^)

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Grinding Gear Games did nerf Aurabots - harshly.

Do you believe that removing Aura characters from Path of Exile is a good design choice? Do you believe that they negatively impacted the game?

No, because they did nerf them, but if you take a gander at the top party set ups, it still involves in aura bot.

But it means that if a party without an aura bot decided to play together, maybe they would be closer in power to the party with the aura bot. That really isnt the case even with the nerfs, but one can dream.

The idea should be that a playstyle like aura bot should exist, and should be playable. But it shouldnt be so strong that it warps the multiplayer sphere around it. Sadly they still are pretty much the defining feature of multiplayer, and there is no point in having a party unless you leverage it correctly by making everyone but the dealer be some kinda support user whos character ceases to be playable alone.

Being able to seamlessly from single player to party is the ideal gameplay for characters that devs should strive to balance around.

I think MP, like most things, has a vocal minority. Same type of thing as players that scream about how full pvp would be so successful (it isn’t).

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for me it’s not just a question of who can help me do this or this and be efficient but also just the fun to play with others

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This argument I see so often. Always someone will argue that the things we see on the forums the most is just voiced by the loud minority while the majority of people is not wanting to voice its opinion because of [whatever reasons].

We could dismiss every discussion on the forum with this argument, pretending that the the “losing side” always represents the silent majority against the loud minority of the “winning side”.

Without any official statistics this argument is never valid. Nobody can prove it right or wrong.

I’ve not counted the responses on this topic, but my subjective impression is that there are more people responding with an “I don’t care” / “I’m not interested” attitude than people that are pro MP.

Also it doesn’t really matter what “side” has the higher member count. MP is part of LE as is the classes and the skilltrees. It’s one of the basic design pillars. It’s not a feature that has just won a poll. It’s announced as a key feature of the game since the beginning.

The development of MP is affecting the overall development process of LE significantly. It eats up tons of resources and dev time. If forces EHG to completely overhaul their game just to make features work in an server authoritative environment that already work fine on the current live version. If there was no MP, LE might propably already have been released with all other roadmap features completely in.

The reason why EHG put so much work into it is not because a vocal minority would want a feature nobody really needs. They do so because they know it is a massive player magnet.

The repeatedly upcoming topics like this are meaningless to the dev process. The choice has been made years ago, the commitment of EHG is there. There will not be a Last Epoch without MP.

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I don’t think anyone would be on the side of no MP unless it was forced on people. Most people won’t care if it doesn’t affect them. My point was more about the “vocal” rather than the “minority”. It is just a phenomenon that is well known.

I also think you are wrong about being a “massive player magnet”. It won’t be. The reason to work on it is that it will draw in SOME people at the expense of none. There is no tradeoff when the implementation isn’t forcing people to participate. If they made the MP a requirement to play, you can be sure they would choose to not do it because they would take a net loss of players.

I guess you’ve not noticed any of the “does this game have MP yet, I’m waiting on buying it so I can play it with my friends” comments on discord then. They’re fairly frequent.

There’s always a trade off when you’re a developer choosing where to invest your scarce resources. As Raw said, if they had never intended to do MP they would likely have had all of their other features implemented by now due to the resources that MP has consumed.

You got any actual figures to back that claim up? 'Cause I can make one that says that if they required MP to play then there would be a massive net gain & mine would be easier to “back up” since there are several MP aRPG games already out that have massive player counts.

But yes, if MP was required there would certainly be some people who would choose not to play for whatever reason (usually an unstable internet), but as you said,

and

There will be some that won’t be able to have a connection on all the time, or even on enough to be able to log in (@Vekongnitoo springs to mind, he’s in the merchant marine I believe & is onboard ship for months at a time).

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I, and many other from this thread, would quit if MP were the required mode of play. I don’t mean logging in to a server to play, I mean being forced to play with others in a party. The VAST majority of players in aRPG’s play solo. Even in the games that do offer MP like PoE and D3. A lot of people just don’t like to play with others. Other players ruin the enjoyment for a lot of people. Just as with pvp, there will always be trolls that get off on ruining someone elses time. This is an extreme aversion to many people.

Once again, implementing MP in a way that makes it optional doesn’t threaten the current player base or those looking to play solo. That makes the only “risk” to EHG the potential profit. Will enough people join for the MP to make up the costs of labor and servers etc. There is no real risk of losing current customers from an optional MP though.

Trade is a different discussion, as some people may leave due to trade changing gearing/looting in a way they don’t like.

Not quite sure I see the relevance of that since nobody has brought it up? Though I suspect that more people would quit if they were required to wear full top hat & tails or white tie in order to play LE…
:confused:
That said, I think people wouldn’t say no if @Mike_Weicker wore white tie on a stream. Especially if it were on a really hot day with no aircon.

Have the devs ever said that either partying up or MP in general would not be optional?

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Last Epoch multiplayer?

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It certainly does feel that way… my friends and I are waiting!

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Same here… 3 of my other friends are waiting also and probably more.

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I, respectfully, disagree. In my opinion, ARPGs (I won’t speak to shoot & loot, as I don’t really play them much) are more about the lone hero wading through throngs of enemies to single-handedly save the world. Adding other players into the mix simply destroys that for me. I think this genre is ideal, perhaps even made for, solo play.

Not that I begrudge anyone their own preference for MP. I just don’t share it.

Depends a bit on how devs are developing their game. I enjoyed coop more in d3. I enjoy solo more in PoE. They are both considered arpgs. LE right now is perfect for solo since SSF is well balanced atm (in terms of getting your gear/build together). The devs can decide how their game should look like at the end. Ideal for them (on a financial standpoint) is to find a balance between making solo gameplay as rewarding/fun as coop to bring more players in.
But i think its wrong to say ‘‘genre x is meant to play way y’’. The player at the end can decide how he wants to play, but has to adapt to the devs game philosophy.

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I don’t disgree with anything you’ve said here. I was merely speaking from my own point of view. As I said, I don’t begrudge anyone their preference. I simply find ARPG games far more enjoyable as a solo experience.

My statement about being made for solo play is just my opinion based on story structure of most of the games I’ve played within the genre. The story tends to be about the lone hero, which is how I prefer to experience the game.

If people enjoy the game more with friends or strangers, more power to them. I want them to get the experience that they’re after, so long as the implementation doesn’t detract from MY ability to get the experience I’m after.

With proper implementation, there’s no reason the game cannot satisfy both party players and solo players, in my opinion. I want to see it do just that.

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