Up For Debate - Coming to Multiplayer Games Late is Too Daunting

Written by Jon Sutton on Sat, Oct 21, 2017 1:59 PM
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With the advent of games as a service, we’re playing our favourite games for longer than ever before. On the one hand, that’s great, yet on the other, it means we’re missing out all sorts of other experiences while we’re frantically logging in to check our shiny new pauldrons. When we do finally get around to seeing what else is out there, it can be a monumentally daunting task to tackle one of these other games that have spent years growing into fan favourites.

As I’ve probably written far too often, one of my biggest obsessions over the past two years has been Rainbow Six Siege. Even back during the beta, it could be a daunting proposition to play, not exactly helped by the fact tutorials in Siege are essentially non-existent. Quite how it feels two years later when the map and Operator count has doubled, and the skill level has increased exponentially, I shudder to think. If I rocked up to Siege as a newbie now, I’m pretty sure I’d bounce right off after suffering repeated 30-second blitzkriegs from attacking teams.

What really got me thinking about this though was a press release I got emailed about Blizzard’s Hearthstone: Heroes of WarCraft. I put a fair chunk of hours into this around launch and had a bit of fun, but any thought of going back to it for a casual game swiftly evaporated when I read the PR blurb. It was just full of nonsensical jargon that would absolutely terrify new players, yet I imagine those intimately familiar with it are loving the Hallow’s End event. Layer on the need for constant card packs to stay competitive, and just keeping up with Hearthstone is an expensive and difficult proposition. Going in blind though, you’re probably going to get the floor wiped with you.

Whilst moaning about games have longer-term support is an oddity, there is ultimately only so much time and energy we have, and delving into something immeasurably deep is an intimidating process. Having fallen off the Counter-Strike bandwagon long before CSGO launched, I look at it now and know too much time has passed for me to dare try my skills on Aztec.

This is the reason why I look at DOTA 2 and just wonder how the heck is it earning new players. If it is. I can’t imagine the number of people wanting to start it up for the first time is overly huge, particularly considering the wealth of experienced players out there, but somebody must be doing it I guess.

From my point of view, I either get on-board with an online game at launch, or I never get on at all. This does mean I churn through my fair share of duds though, burning through the likes of Ghost Recon Wildlands before realising it’s perhaps not the long-term experience I was looking for.

How do you feel about multiplayer games, are you prepared to wait and see whether an online community takes off before committing? Is starting a new multiplayer game deep into its lifespan too daunting? Let us know your thoughts!

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08:09 Oct-23-2017

I play multi-player games with friends, and I try to stay away the games that try to coerce you into logging in every day as I don't have time for that, and I don't like coerced gaming anyway. It's just so daunting with how much you have to play to "git gud", and again, I don't have time for that.

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12:53 Oct-22-2017

I bought R6 Siege 3 months after launch and started playing. It was quite hard at the beginning but after a couple of weeks I adapted.

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06:39 Oct-22-2017

ghost recon wildlands is best war/combat games i've played so far and similar to farcry 3, you dropped behind enemy lines and pretty much every one you meet is a enemy, very very intense UNSCRIPT all out fighting scenes, massive open world

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20:39 Oct-21-2017

I rarely ever buy (or start playing in general) a multiplayer game 3 or more months after launch. I played Rainbow Six: Siege in all but one of the beta/technical tests and played it until it's first season was done. I honestly expected the player base to start dropping, and I haven't played it since, despite Ubisoft making a second season. Who knows if I'd be able to pick up my old skill again or not. I tried getting into LoL recently though, and damn is that game hard to get into. Everyone's skill is 100 times better than mine, and they get so upset about me sucking I've basically given up.

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20:42 Oct-21-2017

I do end up going through some duds as well though. One of the saddest examples was Titanfall, both 1 and 2. Both were, in my opinion, some of the greatest FPS games ever created, and yet in both examples the playerbase only really stuck around for 3 months, and I hung on long after it was mostly dead. Games like that make me sad. Great games dying because not enough attention or, as I believe was the case with Titanfall 2, too many other games releasing at the same time for it to catch on.

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18:37 Oct-21-2017

If there are people still playing then that is a plus. As said before jumping into a ghost town is one the worst things ever when buying games. Makes me think of all the people who bought Evolved or Brink.

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18:19 Oct-21-2017

I absolutely detest modern multi player games. There is no "casual" in multi player games now days. You either go in already skilled at that type of game's play style, or you get killed every 10 to 20 seconds which is absolutely no fun at all. Also add to that what the article said about starting late and having no upgrades available which everyone else already has, and that further widens the gap of unfairness to people wanting to give a game a try for the first time. So all of that is why I avoid multi player games like the plague. I just stick to games with good single player. Without a good single player mode a game is completely worthless to me.

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19:31 Oct-21-2017

multiplayer can also be co-op, so I wouldn't dis multiplayer as a whole(of course you are talking about the pvp part of it).

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21:05 Oct-21-2017

Yes... I guess that I should have specified. Co-op can be awesome. :D

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14:31 Oct-21-2017

Nope, NOT at all.
It's scary to buy a multiplayer game, just for it's player base to turn out to be dead...

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15:32 Oct-21-2017

Some do have player count websites or built-in statistics though.

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17:21 Oct-21-2017

true, true and I love those.

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14:24 Oct-21-2017

It depends.If you want to get into cs go/pubg/gta online/overwatch/fifa/rocketleague you can start even years after lauch dosent really matter,but I cant say that about games with huge skill gap where there are not too many "noobs" like in dota 2,starcraft 2 or rainbow six siege.Because in these games the playerbase...

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14:28 Oct-21-2017

..skill grows from year to year,and it's harder to get into.I play dota 2 since 2013 and i coldnt start fresh and i cant get my friends into it,if you look at The International 1 or 2 those "pro players" back then had no idea what they were doing.Same can be said about Rainbow Siege and starcraft 2

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