Discussion in 'PC/Console Game Discussion' started by Hanzii, Feb 17, 2013.
I will edit Wikipedia and soon you WILL be the creator of the term. Take that, reality!
Buzzword-soundiness aside, "mingleplayer" is a pretty tantalyzing idea, isn't it? I can't decide if it's because it's a really great idea or because it evokes a sense of gee-whiz emergent-social-thing-that-happened novelty that I only really got a handful of times from MMOs, usually in their wild-and-wooly stages - which may or may not be something they can put in a bottle.
Of course per LK's points even some brilliant invisible matchmaking could still be a big deal.
You can't cite web forums, so good luck with that!
As long as I get cheevos for engaging in some mingle on mingle action, I'm legit with it.
No. I've been playing MMOs for years now, and have experienced all these kinds of random interactions. But just the same, i still enjoy spells of playing in these games by myself whenever i don't feel like grouping, and testing my own limits, along with facing the consequences of such trials. That means getting carried by some random high level benefactor when i get in trouble can be just as often nothing but an annoyance, instead of something to remember forever. And if you've ever played the MMOs you should be quite aware that these unasked for interactions can be point of conflict and area chat drama.
So really, to say that 'you want to play but yourself because you don't know any better and are shortsighted like that' is pretty shortsighted itself, and quite an arrogant presumption to make. If Bungie is heading that route i hope they at least have enough sense not to see it as some sort of next holy graal for gaming... because like you point out, the MMOs had that for decades now, and ironically enough the trend for them seem to be limiting opportunities for these interactions after finding out that no, players don't really love it as much as everyone thought they would.
The problem with the games you're talking about isn't necessarily that they involve other people, it's that they don't do anything to encourage people to care about anyone's play experience but their own. I think on the whole, people do in fact want to play with other people, they've just been taught through years of MMOs that there are a lot of jerks online with the ability to ruin your day if the game gives the slightest reward for it. But if there's no benefit to being an asshole, then the number of people being assholes goes down drastically. Guild Wars 2 is a great example of a game that gets this.
We eventually accepted the terribly awkward "Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game" so we'll also get used to "mingleplayer" if enough marketing guys say it.
If someone pulled off "all the appeal of singleplayer with seamless charming multiplayer experiences like you wish you had" I don't think they'd have to worry about people eyerolling the buzzword for it. But if one thinks about, say, mingleplayerizing Diablo III, you can imagine problems for people with different gameplay expectations and attitudes towards MP.
It's not grouping. Grouping implies a necessity of cooperation.
I promise you that I am not the one being short-sighted here, nor am I being arrogant. There are gameplay applications to these systems which cannot be easily predicted, but are not possible until the climate permits.
Also, MMOs haven't had it. MMOs have had a pale shadow of the potential of these kind of systems. But it's not the same thing, and assuming it is the same thing just proves that you can't envision any of the possibilities.
What, you mean like Journey?
I don't mean to come off as skeptical, but I'm not sure (having followed its reception casually) if people thought that kind of experience could carry over to more conventional/hardcore gaming.
What's your point?
My point is what I said above: I, sub-armchair asshole, don't know how to make mingleplayer work for Diablo or a shooter. Bungie may knock it out of the park and I'd be excited to see it. I do think saying "like Journey, obviously" skips a few steps.
Why couldn't you make a first-person Journey with guns? Not that that's what this game is going to be.
Ehh. Journey was an example of "all the appeal of singleplayer with seamless charming multiplayer experiences like you wish you had." I didn't know you required a design doc out of me.
Maybe one can. I don't have a PS3 and don't want to talk through my hat about Journey - I know people have misrepresented it as being artier than it is - but from what I've watched and read I figured the whole magically atmospheric, somewhat dreamlike puzzler/platformer seemed formally well suited to mingleplayer, as opposed to a hack and slash ARPG or a shooter where the challenge of enemies and the flow of gameplay are (ideally) closely calibrated to the player's power.
Is Dark Souls mingleplayer?
I believe it and Demons would qualify. It really is a shame that Dark Souls uses Gfwl and that it's so unreliable.
Rift, Warhammer, and GW2 have certainly tried "very easy cooperation" as part of the "massively multiplayer" aspect of their games. I haven't played Warhammer; Rift's was mostly just for the public events but the system worked pretty good once they ironed out the rewards kinks.
In GW2, I found everything works really well. You don't ever have to stop and talk to anyone, or click buttons to organize into a formal structure, to help them or have them help you. And the quests don't require formal acceptance/turn ins. You just run around and help the people you see. GW2 is designed in such a way that you don't, strictly speaking, need to communicate. Objectives are generally very obvious, both in terms of the immediate "what to do next" and with the enticement of what might be waiting "just over that hill". In that respect, players do enjoy a certain abstract form of communication and cooperation is easy. There's no problem with kill stealing, or being unable to loot because of some asshole. Arenanet took every worry from every FFA mud/mahmorpigah ever and took them out of the equation and then did a good job incentivizing you to "just go help that guy over there; you'll find it rewarding on a personal level".
I think the principles being chased in those titles are similar to the ones mingleplayer is chasing. The implementation could vary for a specific game trying to do mingleplayer, of course. I personally am encouraged to see these sorts of things attempted.
For Diablo, imagine a scenario where you were tasked with doing something awesome and epic (unlike in the actual game). Let's say your mission was to go into Arreat Crater where hordes of limitless demons were piling out of a location to create this wall of awesome demonhood that you had to break down. Now imagine that when you got to the crater, the game seamlessly pulled in like two dozen other players who were at that same location in the storyline and roughly the same level as you, with no need to click any invite buttons, the game just sorta merged your instance into a cluster and suddenly you were fighting alongside twenty other players to take down this goal.
That's how I imagine the concept would apply to Diablo, and thus make it a much more awesome game worthy of playing had it had the foresight or game mechanics to support this on a non-superficial level.
I'm gonna go play Diablo.
*Parts* of Dark Souls is mingleplayer. Specfically, the ghosts and messages are. It's a passive gameplay and feedback which is added to the world by the multiplayer presence of other games in your single player. Summoning and invading isn't quite the same thing, as at that point there is an active choice to engage from one side or the other.
Alright, just a few examples off the top of my head. Not promising these are the best ideas, more that they are seeds for something that could work.
-A 'call for help' mechanic which could potentially bring in other players briefly to help you out of a bad situation
-Believable backdrops in large scale conflicts; they don't affect your game state, but you can see them fighting their own enemies in the distance.
-Player corpses that appear in your game, from which you can retrieve weapons/ammo
Hack and Slash RPG
-A spell summon mechanic that literally pulls a player in for a few seconds, based on your level/spell level
-Sudden competition in a race to a chest
-Player-driven NPC missions, eg "This player has been terrorizing the town! Your games are temporarily synced, chase him off!"
Anyway, that's ten minutes of brainstorming from a relatively average (albeit successful) game designer. I'm quite sure that any quality design team or above average designer over the course of a game's development would very easily be able to come up with a plethora of mechanics which use passive network gameplay to enhance the experience for a traditional singleplayer experience.
In other news, data tends to back up my position:
I was tempted to post in this in the new xbox rumors thread but I think it will do more good here, where we are talking about potential future uses, rather than the good/bad axis.
That would actually be pretty badass if you had a Necromancer class that had a Summon spell that pulled in someone from another game instance to fight for you for like 2 minutes with attack power and defense buffs.
But it would be super disorienting for the guy being summoned, and a bit annoying getting pulled out of your game for 2 minutes.
It could of course be fixed by having it be a small popup somewhere, 'your being summoned, answer the call Y/N', and then reward the player being summoned with like triple XP or something for everything that gets killed, or money or whatever. The summons would be sent to multiple characters, the first to hit yes is who gets to come in and get rewarded.
It could just choose a player who happened to be in the same area and merge the two games temporarily. Some more enemies show up as does another player.
There are various ways to handle that: voluntary acceptance, could only be summoned to areas you've done in the past etc.
I could also see Mayor Plingle possibilities tied to an action-y game's implementation of dynamic difficulty adjustings. If a player's struggling through a section, instead of quietly making enemies fall over faster or be less accurate or whatnot, it could seamlessly draw in other players in the same area.
You are right, it would be terrible if implemented poorly. Thankfully, there's no guarantee of that.
This is why you should publish in peer-reviewed game designer journals so we can properly credit you.
It's funny, though, seeing an interpretation of a possible gameplay mechanic be so pessimistic by default.
Come on people, when someone makes a suggestion of something that hasn't been done before in gaming, you should be looking at how it could work, not why it can't.
Particularly given that it's Bungie.
I think that's symbolic that you'll be driving from the cockpit in this game as well.
SPACE PENIS: THE GAME
Finally, my chance to furiously crouch-hump the world!
In a world where teabagging is the main form of expression...
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