Multiplayer. My personal plea to wolfire.

Anything related to Wolfire Games and/or its products
Garabaldi
Posts: 62
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2011 3:37 pm
Location: Canada

Re: Multiplayer. My personal plea to wolfire.

Post by Garabaldi » Thu Oct 27, 2011 3:16 pm

Lag is simply the result of poor netcode - more often than that, just a shitty clientside connection to the server, regardless of how good the netcode is. Lag is a consequence of online gaming, so there's no reason to get a defeatist attitude about it.

It seems like the simplest solution would be to only play with people that have a comparable ping . If each person is experiencing a delay of ~80ms, aren't they on equal footing?

Combat is M&B is also not as quick as it is in Overgrowth.. or is it? - M&B's combat is just as dependent on timing and responsiveness, if not more so.
Endoperez wrote:I cited facts.
I wouldn't go that far - you made an assessment on the role multiplayer had in encouraging people to buy and play Warband using the amount of traffic on a website - nothing about the number of units Warband sold can be determined from that data, and it's not enough to make any real assumptions about anything except the amount of traffic the Taleworlds website got after Warband's release. Keep in mind Warband is also a single example, and not definitive proof about the impact of multiplayer on the appeal of a game - Mount & Blade already offered something truly unique that no other game did or does, and that was a major reason for its initial success - people hardcore in to medieval history and warfare bought M&B because they finally found a game that could satisfy an itch not other game could scratch, but Warband appealed to a number of people who would have never considered playing it otherwise, simply based on its multiplayer component.
Ednoperez wrote:If the best time to chat is immediately after one of you loses, it easily leads to gloating and such.
And obviously the most sane thing to do is remove the chat function completely.

The fact that 1 person will almost always get demolished by 2 doesn't mean they always will - it means they almost always will - why doesn't that make sense? It seems like it should be really difficult for one person to take out two other human-controlled players by themselves - is that really that strange? You don't need long rounds either - Counter-Strike is still one of the most widely played online games in the world and yet its gameplay revolves around dying and then sitting out until the next round.

Overgrowth could do its own take on CTF, where each team is tasked with capturing something from the other team's base - then the gameplay doesn't have to be centered around fighting until everyone is dead, but around pursuing people form the other side while being simultaneously thrown around and attacked.

User avatar
Endoperez
Posts: 5668
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 7:41 am
Location: cold and dark and lovely Finland

Re: Multiplayer. My personal plea to wolfire.

Post by Endoperez » Thu Oct 27, 2011 6:25 pm

Polyoptics wrote:Firstly, if 1v1 footage exists, point me to it because that would really help this discussion!

Its possible that greater than 1v1 matches may not work, but we haven't seen anything to allude to this. There are currently too many unknowns to say in concrete that it will not work. However, I agree that it looks as if OG style play lends itself better to very small numbers of players, based on the limited information we have at this time.
I'm basing the info on the matches versus the AI. The players would need very good reflexes, since just a few good hits are enough to kill, especially if you fall down and the other guy gets a free hit or three. Or weapons are involved. Or he kicks you to a wall or a tree. Or successfully rabbit kicks you. Or you're playing as wolves.
Of course, if there's space to run away it takes longer, but as I said, that isn't about the combat any more, and could easily become a stealth game.
Garabaldi wrote:Combat is M&B is also not as quick as it is in Overgrowth.. or is it? - M&B's combat is just as dependent on timing and responsiveness, if not more so.
I only used the automatic blocking. I guess it might be, if one were to use the directional blocking, but I always found that a needlessly clumsy mechanic, so I didn't think people would like to play with it.
I wouldn't go that far - you made an assessment on the role multiplayer had in encouraging people to buy and play Warband using the amount of traffic on a website - nothing about the number of units Warband sold can be determined from that data, and it's not enough to make any real assumptions about anything except the amount of traffic the Taleworlds website got after Warband's release.
Yes, and that's why I used it to talk about community, not sales. I might've been a bit unclear on that in a later post, sorry about that. In the first post I specifically mentioned I had no numbers on the sales themselves.

The fact that 1 person will almost always get demolished by 2 doesn't mean they always will - it means they almost always will - why doesn't that make sense? It seems like it should be really difficult for one person to take out two other human-controlled players by themselves - is that really that strange? You don't need long rounds either - Counter-Strike is still one of the most widely played online games in the world and yet its gameplay revolves around dying and then sitting out until the next round.
There are lots of small differences. It's not just about deaths, it's about how being behind ends easily snowballs into you being left even further behind.

So if there's two enemies who stay together, you can't attack either without exposing yourself to an attack from the other. If you evade that, you didn't attack the guy you attacked previously. If one of them hits you, he can continue his attack. So the team with more players deals damage faster.
In Counter-Strike, if you can take few precise shots to kill from far away and enemy and then go away, they will have a hard time catching you. In Overgrowth, you have to get close to get the kill, so that is much harder. So you can't try to even the odds. If there are weapons, it might be possible since they're often instant kills. However, if there are two enemies with weapons and only one of you with weapon... the chances are still against you.
Getting hurt in Overgrowth makes it more difficult to hurt enemies since you flinch back or even fall down. However, NOT getting hurt also slows you down! Blocking slows both the attacker and the blocker, but the attacker more than the blocker. Dodging only slows down the blocker. In 2v1, this makes the two have an even bigger advantage.
Also, since the lone player can't get too close to the two, they can effectively deny him an area. Let's say there's some sort of capture point or weapon rack or whatever. The 2 can go there without the lone guy being able to do anything, because 1) he can't get close without getting creamed and 2) there's no way to attack from range.

I could be wrong. I've certainly never played 2v2 Overgrowth matches! :D I have noticed how hard 1v2 fights are even against the bots, though.

illogicalAlready
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Sep 10, 2011 8:31 pm

Re: Multiplayer. My personal plea to wolfire.

Post by illogicalAlready » Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:15 pm

Garabaldi wrote:
Ednoperez wrote:If the best time to chat is immediately after one of you loses, it easily leads to gloating and such.
And obviously the most sane thing to do is remove the chat function completely.
Isn't there already a greeting gesture in game? Could use similar emotes like that to communicate across language barriers, and would perhaps represent a level of language more befitting the animal theme too.

As for being outnumbered in combat, you do get one advantage in that you can simply wail on your enemies without first having to check whether that person is an ally or enemy. This applies more to games like Counter-Strike than Overgrowth, given the current nature of combat, but if you could pick up objects and use them to block weapons or throw those objects and weapons at enemies, and if swinging with weapons or sweeping a leg entailed a risk of friendly-fire, it could make the outcome of uneven fight less predictable. Since the combat system is incomplete these arguments will inevitably go nowhere though; the important thing is simply that Wolfire plan for the flow, pacing and strategy of PvP combat if they choose to do it. How to achieve this might be a more fruitful topic of discussion than what is currently being debated perhaps?

I think the strongest form of PvP multiplayer for Overgrowth would, as Garabaldi suggested, be more objective orientated like CTF, rather than a simple fight to the death or free for all (certainly good for training combat skills, but might stagnate after a while). You could also mix up each team's objectives to produce a wider variety of gameplay modes, like to kill the other team, to kill a special NPC the other team is guarding, to capture the 'flag', to reach position X (alive and/or with object Y), or even just to survive for Z minutes. That would give you modes like:
-Infiltration (one team trying to capture the 'flag' while the other simply has to survive and guard it)
-Assassination (one team trying to escort an NPC while the other team tries to kill it)
-Ambush (one team trying to reach a destination while the other team tries to kill them off)
-Races (both teams try to reach the destination first (either pure parkour mode/both teams fighting over one object that they need to carry over the finish line/or each team carrying an object to the finish line while trying to sabotage the other team (would work best if you could throw objects but not jump while carrying them).
-Hunt (one team (probably only 1/2 players) tries to stay alive while the other team, the majority, hunt them down)
...in addition to the more obvious deathmatch and CTF (and not even taking into account how the teams are organised).

User avatar
Endoperez
Posts: 5668
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 7:41 am
Location: cold and dark and lovely Finland

Re: Multiplayer. My personal plea to wolfire.

Post by Endoperez » Fri Oct 28, 2011 8:22 am

Developing capture the flag mode around the Overgrowth combat would be weird. Designing it would take time that I'd prefer to be spent on developing the combat mechanics themselves.

I feel like this is the kind of thing that should be left to modders. If the multiplayer can be made to work with low-enough lag, and supports custom levels with custom rules, CTF and whatever alternate objectives will be modded in.

Of course, even if the lag issues are nonexistent in 1v1, they could crop up in team modes.

User avatar
Count Roland
Posts: 2936
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2007 11:15 pm
Location: Galapagos Islands, rodeoin some turtles.
Contact:

Re: Multiplayer. My personal plea to wolfire.

Post by Count Roland » Fri Oct 28, 2011 9:02 am

Mount and blade just isn't as fast paced, there aren't really parries, you depend on blocking and then attacking, meaning you basically just block or attack, you don't have to focus on blocking right after you've attacked or on dodging quickly. so certainly it's dependent on quick responses and timing, but over a shorter period of time that is less distorted by small changes in timing on the different machines (I hope that makes sense)

User avatar
Endoperez
Posts: 5668
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 7:41 am
Location: cold and dark and lovely Finland

Re: Multiplayer. My personal plea to wolfire.

Post by Endoperez » Fri Oct 28, 2011 9:26 am

I at least can't parse that at all. Aren't blocking and parrying pretty much the same thing? And if there are two enemies, wouldn't you have to be ready able to block right after attacking, just as in Overgrowth?

User avatar
Korban3
Posts: 4146
Joined: Tue May 31, 2011 9:14 pm
Location: 42nd St E, Hell

Re: Multiplayer. My personal plea to wolfire.

Post by Korban3 » Fri Oct 28, 2011 12:08 pm

I think he means that Mount and Blade has a back and forth combat that doesn't vary much. For instance, I attack but you've blocked it. So now you attack and I block it. Then I attack and you block. There are no counters, no throws, no little hazards to slam the block button for. It does have a very 1-2-1-2 fights.

User avatar
Ylvali
Posts: 122
Joined: Mon May 25, 2009 6:04 pm

Re: Multiplayer. My personal plea to wolfire.

Post by Ylvali » Sun Oct 30, 2011 4:33 pm

I play M&B multiplayer so let me state a few things.

Competitive dueling on fully manual settings in M&B is very fast paced, clearly comparable with OG. The system is a bit different, none the less it proves that you can have a very fast paced and complex melee fighting system working online. And you might as well have adjustable fighting speeds to adjust the gameplay if it's a little too fast.

The most advanced players use couch blocking techniques and feints which breaks up the 1-2-1-2 structure, especially if the players have different weapons. There is also specific challenges tied to fighting big battles where you navigate between fighting single opponents and coordinating strategy for the whole army. All in all, the idea that M&B has a block,attack,block pacing only concerns the most basic level of the system, where you don't use the more advanced moves. A good player just kills you if you do that. Anyway, the point is that timing is extremely tight in M&B and MP still works fine.

The multiplayer features in warband are very popular. Not only do the base game see constant heavy activity, the more popular mods themselves have enough dedicated multiplayers to form clans. That says a lot since you need a pretty large audience to have dedicated clans and events just for a vanilla game, when the mods start having them you know that the multiplayer crowd is large.

There is a different dynamic to the community of games that has competitive multiplayer. I don't doubt that most buyers are single players, but the MP crowd is usually more active in the forums and in modding. Since they communicate much more they also stir up relatively more creativity per person, and have a self interest in advertising the game (to get more people to play with) and work on balance issues through modding and feedback to the developers. There's nothing like a dedicated competitive MP crowd to keep a game alive for years, and a game kept alive is a game that keeps selling longer too.

I think working to improve the combat system would benefit from the relentless trial and error of countless duels between real human players, giving feedback about things like pacing, exploits, balance issues and the like. Rather than stand in conflict concerning development time, I think it would enable a much deeper analysis and quicker improvement.

User avatar
Korban3
Posts: 4146
Joined: Tue May 31, 2011 9:14 pm
Location: 42nd St E, Hell

Re: Multiplayer. My personal plea to wolfire.

Post by Korban3 » Sun Oct 30, 2011 10:43 pm

I see. I never played Warband, so I never went head to head. I just assumed the combat was similar to fighting the AI. Derp assumption is derp. I still see an issue with how fast fights can end in OG. Maybe if two really good combatants got together the blocks, throws and such would prolong a fight.
I did some observation of the AI and they are a good example because the AI is equally matched when unarmed or armed with the same weapons. So I dropped two rabbits in, and there were some weapons around. One usually got the spear while the second got a sword. They would duke it out and sometimes it ended in about 3-5 seconds. Other times, I got a good 1 or 2 minute deathmatch out of it, and the fights are already pretty cinematic when you step back and watch the AI rather than jump in there yourself. So I guess if players match themselves up well, they could get reasonable match length in a 1vs1.

User avatar
Ylvali
Posts: 122
Joined: Mon May 25, 2009 6:04 pm

Re: Multiplayer. My personal plea to wolfire.

Post by Ylvali » Mon Oct 31, 2011 5:12 am

Prolonging the fights is simply a matter of adjusting damage, speeds and other parameters. There is no reason to assume these parameters to be fixed, let the players find the best balance and set a good standard themselves.

The fighting system isn't done yet either, we don't know how long the average singleplayer fight will be in the finished product yet.

One minute is a pretty long fight in M&B, a duel/melee typically lasts half a minute or less. Two hits and you're dead, unless you chose a server with high HP/low damage settings. In a battle it's a bit longer because people are much more careful about dying. But sometimes you kill someone in a few seconds too, for example if you manage to get a couched lance hit when charging on a horse, or reverse if someone manages to meet that charge with a pike. Or if you get a clean headshot with a bow and some other cases. Those are one hit kills.

Multiplayer is always very different from singleplayer in all games. You can never make an AI good enough to max out the possibilities of a gaming system, this fact also makes the players adapt their own playstyle to beat the AI instead of making the most possible out of the fighting mechanics. MP provokes more innovative and varied fighting because the other player adapt to changes like the AI can never hope to do. This is the main reason I want multiplayer, I want to see what can really be done with OG:s fighting system when taken all the way. No AI could ever hope to do that.

User avatar
Endoperez
Posts: 5668
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 7:41 am
Location: cold and dark and lovely Finland

Re: Multiplayer. My personal plea to wolfire.

Post by Endoperez » Mon Oct 31, 2011 12:15 pm

Ylvali wrote:The fighting system isn't done yet either, we don't know how long the average singleplayer fight will be in the finished product yet.

...

Multiplayer is always very different from singleplayer in all games.
But what if a system honed for good multiplayer is less fun in single-player, or the AI can't handle it? I mean, obviously having both would be best (since even if someone never plays multiplayer the singleplayer is still good), but since they are different, one or the other is likely to get more focus.

I'm not saying you're wrong or anything. I guess I'm just a bít more cynical about game development and Wolfire's resources than other people.

User avatar
Untadaike
Posts: 1660
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2009 7:46 pm
Contact:

Re: Multiplayer. My personal plea to wolfire.

Post by Untadaike » Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:16 pm

It doesn't really matter what we say here. Ideally, Wolfire can make a multiplayer system, perhaps a coop mode. Not sure why anyone would rather have a game with less features. It doesn't really matter if it's unattainable. We can dream. Or wish upon a star. Or any of that other Disney stuff. Like subsidizing.

Eiren
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2011 12:29 am

Re: Multiplayer. My personal plea to wolfire.

Post by Eiren » Thu Dec 08, 2011 8:56 am

I would like multiplayer as well. I'm just theorizing, but if the procedural animation causes problems with latency, I'm all for canned animation on the multiplayer portion. The game also needs a throw that isn't attached to a counter, a throw that only works against somebody blocking, and can be broken by them pressing attack. That way the Rock Paper Scissors mechanic will be complete. A less overpowered jump attack would help too. Maybe slowmotion on dodges, knockouts, etc... would allow the game a chance to sync players. That way latency would be less of an issue. Hell maybe there could be slowmotion any time the game feels it needs to sync, which could be annoying, but not as annoying as lag.

User avatar
ShinyGem
Posts: 200
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2011 9:47 pm
Location: In A Store Near You!

Re: Multiplayer. My personal plea to wolfire.

Post by ShinyGem » Thu Dec 08, 2011 9:26 am

I just wanted to say, I play Mount and Blade Warband online with a unstable 180-220 ping, still do fine, even topped scoreboards many times. Sometimes it's annoying but nothing game breaking or rage quitting. You get used to the delay.

User avatar
Endoperez
Posts: 5668
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 7:41 am
Location: cold and dark and lovely Finland

Re: Multiplayer. My personal plea to wolfire.

Post by Endoperez » Thu Dec 08, 2011 12:58 pm

Eiren wrote:I would like multiplayer as well. I'm just theorizing, but if the procedural animation causes problems with latency, I'm all for canned animation on the multiplayer portion. The game also needs a throw that isn't attached to a counter, a throw that only works against somebody blocking, and can be broken by them pressing attack. That way the Rock Paper Scissors mechanic will be complete. A less overpowered jump attack would help too. Maybe slowmotion on dodges, knockouts, etc... would allow the game a chance to sync players. That way latency would be less of an issue. Hell maybe there could be slowmotion any time the game feels it needs to sync, which could be annoying, but not as annoying as lag.

I'm sorry, but you're asking that the developers make a second game. Overhauling the whole combat system and keeping two different fighting systems working in each patch would be a nightmare.

Post Reply