Multiplayer Is Fun, People Are Useless: Multiplayer Mishaps In Video Games

left4dead2coldstreamhighway

I get a fancy new game that has tremendous potential when I can get everyone in the group to work together for the common good. Well that dream died quick, guess you just gotta get used to the notion that a lot of people think they are very good when they aren’t, while others are simply asshats. For an industry that seem almost obsessed with the notion of multiplayer gameplay, they seem to have some very lofty and optimistic expectations of people, so I’m gonna share with you some tales of when my fun was stabbed repeatedly by mishaps in the multiplayer. STRAP IN.

Recently I’ve been having a go at the Monster Hunter 4 demo, it’s an unlimited plays demo with online play so it is kind of hard to resist. There are 3 monsters, the hardest of them only being available for those who choose the harder of two difficulties, denoting peoples general knowledge of how to play the game. You can’t be paired up online with people who are on a different difficulty so it is pretty safe to make the slight assumption that all the people you are going to meet are capable players looking to work together to turn a big hulking mass of muscle and teeth to mush. How nice that would be.

Why are lives in online the same as single player and pooled together between the players? You realise this means that I can be an untouchable god for 20 minutes and lose the whole damn thing because the guy over there refuses to heal, possibly not knowing how to. This makes people pressured when they lose, it makes a bad guy out of a lackluster player that brings out all my rage and fury when it is either the same guy every damn time, or it is everyone else once in a 4 player match. Worse is the somewhat common language barrier between players, if they weren’t gonna be compliant before how in gods name am I gonna work together with someone who understands nothing I say, in a game where good communication is a pretty big deal?

Another game I like playing multiplayer is Left 4 Dead 2, well I did a while ago but the hours put in are a testament to what for a decent while was my jam. One of the things I can really dig about the gameplay is that it is a very technical game for a single player, most enemies can be countered by a single person with skill rather than necessarily rely on people outright. Yeah having people by your side can be a boon or a detriment but I’m not chained to someone as my means of survival for the most part, bad players don’t bring the quality of play down anywhere near as much….usually.

I understand that having team attack in the game is important in some ways, it promotes careful positioning and promotes accuracy. However, some people are real dumb, like doesn’t stop firing the automatic shotgun till a guy is from 100 to downed dumb and then types a sad face and some weird squiggles that look, I dunno maybe Russian? I don’t play Expert difficulty not because I can’t play at such a high skill level but rather at such a high skill level I’m more afraid of my supposed allies than the screaming block of meat with arms that is the Tank.

I enjoy team options in a game, it suggests an opportunity for everyone to pitch in without necessarily being a hazard to their allies as we strive for victory. For such an itch I usually felt happy going to something like Mario Kart. Oh but nooo, Mario Kart 8 team battles are different than before, for some estranged reason they made it possible for your weapons to affect your own team members. Yes, that means that you can get blue shelled by your own teammates now. Why? Maybe someone had a mild aneurysm while designing that part of the game, followed by several others having mild aneurysms who then gave it the thumbs up. I should never have to be wary of my own teammates attacks to this degree, I fear 1st place more so than ever.

When designers are making these co-op modes it always seems to slip their mind that people have a habit of either not being as good as they think or will go mad with power and sabotage others. My brothers play Dota 2 and frankly I don’t ever want to touch the game or any other MOBA. I’m not a hater of the genre I just know that against a decent team one sour player can weigh heavily on our chances for victory and frankly I’m not as allergic to victory as some might believe, whoever is spreading these rumours is a filthy liar.

I just want to know that when I play a game with people I don’t have to rely on strangers to succeed. Yeah maybe you aren’t that good yet, however that likely means you shouldn’t be “warming up” with my blood or my patience as payment. In the hunts I had today of which I think was maybe 11 or more, I defeated the beast once, bloody once with a fantastic team that worked together and knew what they were doing. Considerate, smart people helped rescue me from a drought after consecutive runs of people being throwing away our lives, worse when they abandon after dying too much leaving us with 2 people on a 3 man scaled boss, that is a lot of health guys. Just make sure when you play with others you don’t bring down the groups chances of success or fun, developers you just stop shackling me to ze Germans cos I don’t speak it, turning them effectively into a bloody mime.

Oh yeah,a short Public Service Announcement: DON’T HIT THE MONSTER WHEN I’M MOUNTING IT, for goodness sake don’t just unload while someone gets a golden opportunity and throw it to the wind you pleb. I’d prefer the guy who didn’t even know how to work the mount than you guys, just…..chill on the action for a bit and lemme work.

What games have you played where it hinged on how well the team pulled through? Is there too much optimism in game development when hinging whole designs of classes or characters on others? What are some of your tales of woes on the front line that is co-operative play? Thanks for reading and I’ll see you later.

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  1. #1 by Junior on December 12, 2016 - 11:25 pm

    If my partner isn’t property I really do this during naptime or when they’s enjoying a film.

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  2. #2 by Art3mis on March 16, 2015 - 12:36 pm

    This is definitely an issue in MOBAs. I play Heroes of the Storm and in quick matches, you never know who you’re going to get matched with. It’s not necessarily the players fault that they suck though, I think a lot of it can be contributed to the match making process. The process itself should be changed so that it better puts together people of similar skill level (not like the time my team of rank 42s got matched with the rank 1, pro team Cloud9). However, as annoying as it can be when someone on your team doesn’t have any idea what they’re doing, people should learn to still be respectful. I’ve been on teams where one guy makes a lot of mistakes and is new, but my team still could have won, had they not spent the last 20 minutes of the game arguing in chat.

    The thing about MOBAs is, unless you have your own team already set up, then you can pretty much bet on being placed with people of various skill levels, some higher or lower than your own.

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    • #3 by Prof.mcstevie on March 16, 2015 - 8:50 pm

      There is definitely a balance that needs to be struck between both teaching players well and putting them with people of their own skill level. I suspect they may believe the fastest way to teach is to observe someone better, however that clearly isn’t fair on either parties when things go sour.

      Like

  3. #4 by Scott Batson on March 9, 2015 - 7:28 pm

    Nothing can be more annoying than relying on other people. I especially hate it when I am going for an achievement and no one wants to cooperate.
    However, the counter can be true too. Something like DOTA or LoL can be horrible for newcomers because the people playing are so unforgiving.

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    • #5 by Prof.mcstevie on March 11, 2015 - 8:22 pm

      I generally believe newcomers should be with OTHER newcomers, yes it can be helpful to have more experienced mentors but the likelihood is that in a high skill or even medium skill game a lack of knowledge makes you a dead player to them.

      If anything these games need to get their arses in gear and work on a better tutorial system.

      Like

  4. #6 by Jomar Payoyo on March 6, 2015 - 9:24 pm

    I, for one, really like the social/teamwork aspect of MOBAs. There’s pressure to perform and do your part but it can be a lot of fun if you know what you’re doing. Idno man, I just got tired of being able to handle things on my own in a game. It just isn’t as exciting to me anymore, compared to having to coordinate with other people. It takes some patience, but when things come together just right, it’s got nothing on even the most badass victories in games that reward individual skill more than teamwork.

    But that’s just me =P

    Of course, there are things developers can do to make it easier for players to be able to communicate with each other and learn to play the game well enough not to be a hindrance.

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    • #7 by Prof.mcstevie on March 6, 2015 - 10:27 pm

      I just get really overwhelmed by irritation and aggravation when something good we got got going is spoiled by people not picking up their slack or just being an ass. I love it when it comes together, hell I ended a session of Monster Hunter today with a fantastic group who felt really co-ordinated and skilled, but that match was the tail end of a consecutive 10 run failure streak due to the fault of people clearly not up to snuff for the advanced boss.

      Like

    • #8 by Jomar Payoyo on March 7, 2015 - 1:08 am

      mm, best of luck finding sessions like that then 🙂

      Like

  5. #9 by rainawareness on March 6, 2015 - 8:48 pm

    I said it before in one of my posts: The game needs to penalize bad players

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    • #10 by Prof.mcstevie on March 6, 2015 - 9:16 pm

      Not necessarily penalize all the time, more along the lines of educate and/or keep them with other bad players. Bad is a big term, someone may be bad for legitimate issues while others are just defiant and stupid.

      Like

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