Up For Debate - How do you feel about specialist characters in multiplayer games?

Written by Chad Norton on Sun, Jul 25, 2021 5:00 PM
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Multiplayer games have been evolving for a long while now, recently hitting its peak with free-to-play hero shooters/Battle Royales or a mix of both. So with the genre rising, and some elements even moving over to other online games that aren’t necessarily F2P, how do you feel about specialist characters in multiplayer games?

We are, of course, referring to the idea that as a player, you’re no longer taking control of a single grunt who you can customize endlessly, but instead control a distinct character with special abilities unique to them. Games like the upcoming Battlefield 2042 or XDefiant, the recently released Valorant, or even older Call of Duty games.

And to be clear, it doesn’t have to be specifically specialist characters, as you can also include games that share similar traits. Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War for example (and by extension, Call of duty warzone too Call of Duty Warzone) is not a hero shooter where each character has unique abilities, but it does have unique characters to play as with unique stories and dialogue that have no impact on gameplay (theoretically that is, unless you buy a character skin because it helps you conceal yourself in darkness easier *cough* *cough*).

More specifically though, what do you like/dislike about them? How do they add to the overall gameplay experience? And how do they impact it negatively? There’s a lot of stuff to talk about when it comes to Specialist characters in multiplayer games, so let us know what works and what doesn’t for you!

What do you think? How do you feel about specialist characters in multiplayer games? Do they generally add or subtract from the overall gameplay experience? How can they improve or worsen gameplay? What examples are there of games that do it right and wrong? Let’s debate!

Do you enjoy Specialist characters in multiplayer games?

What do you like about Specialist characters?

Do you think Specialist characters mostly add or subtract to the overall gameplay?

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21:45 Jul-26-2021

This really depends on implementation. They can be great and add to the experience, making game even more fun. Or implementation can be bad it just sucks. Personally, I can appreciate both options, be it class based and specialists, or just everyone on same plain ground and everything just being down to your skill.

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09:18 Jul-26-2021

I grew up with Quake III Arena: no balancing, no skills, no stacks, no loadouts, nothing but you, your knowledge and your aim. Not a big fan of classes or specialist characters because the rebalancing simply never ends.

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11:22 Jul-29-2021

Quake III was balanced, it's just that the balanceling of pickup arena shooters is different to the load out military ones

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23:10 Jul-25-2021

I'm kinda divided. Sometimes it works. But what's lately the case in my opinion is that specialist characters are included just so you have another way to sell microtransactions. Unique characters with unique weapons, skills, skins, all different ways to monetize more.

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21:05 Jul-25-2021

If they give players tools to get easy no-skill kills then I don't like them. If they are some utilities that make for a more interesting and tactical play then I'm fine with them.

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19:57 Jul-25-2021

I love characters for unique dialogue. It's one of the best things about Apex. I love how different characters interact with each other.

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08:28 Jul-29-2021

Agree 100% It's a great way to fill out the universe, the lore, and tell the story. Adds depth and meaning to an otherwise repetitive experience. Still my favorite game.

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19:02 Jul-25-2021

Hate it.
There are games that benefit from it, sure, but for the most part it seems like devs just include some sort of "Hero Mechanic" because they have to. What makes games like CS (for example) so great, is that everyone has the exact same abilities and possibilities every single round.

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19:55 Jul-25-2021

Well, it's a great point you got there. For me the fact there are unique traits per class, makes the gameplay more unique too. :)

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