I haven’t actually played Destiny yet, although I have a feeling that, for the first time in a very long time, I might be willing to engage with a game that is made to be played as a multiplayer experience. The game will be “always online” which basically just means they want you to be online so they didn’t waste their money implementing tons of multiplayer stuff. I’m not certain if the game stops you from playing without an internet connection, but if it does, I’m sure it won’t for long.
Everything I’ve heard about the multiplayer experience in this game makes me reconsider my long-standing hatred of playing online in general. While playing COD or Halo against others online wasn’t fun for me just because those types of games don’t appeal strongly to me, playing games like Borderlands 2 online was still pretty disappointing in some respects, something that Bungie seems to be directly addressing in Destiny.
First off, one of the things that I absolutely hated when playing Borderlands 2 online was the fact that anyone could pick up ammo and what not that enemies dropped. Thanks to what I’m sure was a simple bit of code, the developers of Destiny fixed that little problem. This is a big deal for someone like me who likes to explore every little nook and cranny of an area to make sure I pick up everything.
“I’m a lot more likely to warm up to the idea of co-op play if I don’t have to think about it”
Secondly, co-op is limited to three-person teams that jump in at certain instances then leave–at least, that’s the impression I get from the trailers and alpha gameplay videos so far. Personally, that works a lot better than waiting in a lobby or loading up a multiplayer game versus a single player game.
What I’m trying to say is that I’m a lot more likely to warm up to the idea of co-op play if I don’t have to think about it, which is totally a minor thing to gripe about but it does affect how I approach multiplayer modes.
If I can be exploring a world on my own then have some (hopefully) evenly-matched players jump in to help me for an instance then pop out when it’s over, I would have no problem with that. The trouble I have is waiting to be loaded into a multiplayer server with four randoms that I’m basically married to unless I leave the server and load another one.
A few other random things about the multiplayer experience in Destiny are appealing to me, if only because they show a dedication to the main focus of the game which is a constantly-connected-yet-still-unique-to-you world.
For one, there’s no local multiplayer. Even though it seems like taking out a feature that was so big in Bungie’s other big franchise, Halo, would only upset people (although it looks like the developers aren’t opposed to adding it later), I appreciate the move. I think it shows a surprising commitment to a concept rather than to the demands of angry internet folk.
Secondly, in the face of so many other first-person shooters, you have to actually play the game before you can jump into the PvP servers. The developers are saying that the competitive multiplayer modes won’t be accessible until you’ve played “a couple of hours” of the main game in order to make sure you know what you’re getting into. You won’t have to do that for every character though; once you’ve played a those first few hours once, they assume you know what you’re doing.
“I think it’s a step in the right direction and it shows that developers are considering the problem and not just telling the public that it’s being handled”
I think that’s great. One of the biggest reasons I never even tried to get into competitive COD or Battlefield was the fact that I know there are just ridiculously good players out there playing with under-experienced players. I can’t handle losing that badly for so long just to be good at something that has–arguably–no real reward.
Even though I don’t think making players play for a bit before getting into PvP will completely eliminate that problem, I think it’s a step in the right direction and it shows that developers are considering the problem and not just telling the public that it’s being handled by their complicated match-making algorithms.
In the end, my opinion really isn’t valid until I play the game, but, seeing as how I’m going to wait for it to come out (September 9 2014), that might not be for a while. Though some people are already playing the alpha, competitive multiplayer doesn’t seem to have made an appearance yet and it looks like it probably won’t be seen until the actual release.