A Word on Online Co-op Multiplayer

  • Now i don't want to come off as the old guy who remembers the days of traveling uphill both ways in the snow with his original Xbox just for a LAN party but i have noticed a phenomenon when playing online games that i feel warrants commenting on (Beside everyone on XBL telling me they smoke in the group finder). Now let me preface this by saying i was really into playing online with the 360 but, for whatever reason, my passion for it simmered out before the current gen systems came out and this is based on my observations on XBL im not sure if this phenomenon is true on other online platforms.

    So as Seinfeld never said, "whats the deal with the online community?" and I am not talking about people being rude or mean that's part and parcel for playing online. What i am talking about specifically is how a bunch of gamer seem to be in a giant rush. I have joined several random groups wherein someone loses their top because the group isn't moving fast enough for them. To give you an example: I was playing Sea of Thieves when one member of the party became irate when we went five minutes without setting a mission. He's exact words were "I am not here to waste my time." Now i love video games, I've been playing them since i was 4 years old, but they are time wasters, much like reading a book or watching a movie. They are fun and a great way to waste time but we're not curing cancer here people, we are playing games, so why would we tarnish the experience by adding time guidelines to it? It's like those people who go on vacation and plan every step in a color-coded itinerary. Fun should never be experienced in 2 hour mandated blocks.

    Surprisingly enough i have experienced this several times on XBL, with many different gamers, it's like Gol D. Roger hid the secret to his treasure at the end of some random Multiplayer game and these people are determined to find it. Is this fun for people? To find the most efficient means of playing a game and grinding it out till the fun metric is depleted? The reason i think this is worth mentioning is that i don't remember this attitude when i was younger, this rush to play a game the most efficient way possible, to get the loot and move on, this go go go mentality where anyone who falls behind gets left behind and may his gamer score be forfeit. For me Multiplayer has rarely been about being the best at it, it's about chilling out and having fun, and it's about creating those moments you talk about with friends later, it's about teaming up with a bunch of randos and finding that you all seem to click.

    It's here i feel i should mention that the young gentlemen in the above example had mentioned earlier in the session that he was going to be a senior in high school after this summer break, so he had plenty of time to waste, but maybe that's the thing. Maybe since, as my younger brother put it this last May, I'm closer to 40 than 30 now (Thanks, Bro) this is just a mentality of the times. Maybe, but I'd still like to know where it came from, what spawned this need to rush through a game without enjoying it? or maybe they do enjoy it and i just don't get it.

    At the end of the day everyone should enjoy games how they want and play them how they want, I'm not trying to "throw shade" on any body's play style it just struck me as weird and i though maybe i'd bring it up here as a topic of discussion.
    Should gamers slow down and smell the nonexistent roses or should games be played fast and be put away when they've reached their maximum fun value? Rant over.

    L and R, Allies.


  • This is the exact reason I couldn't get into destiny. The raids just became about getting through as fast as possible. There was no sense of discovery. I have just resigned myself to the fact that I am simply not an online gamer...

    but man those halo LAN parties were something else. honestly some of the best gaming memories of my life

  • @zrail Watching Damiani playing FFXIV the other day with some new dungeon content, I saw him mix between getting frustrated at his party to slow down to give him time to reapply buffs and manage his mp and "hurry up and pull". Mind you, that particular dungeon had strict time limits and according to him was lategame advanced content, so nobody there should've been "taking it easy" I guess, but still was funny to hear him get annoyed both ways. Some people just have less patience I guess.

    I definitely remember playing MMOs and running into those people who were playing to become the top players, grind the hardest and fastest, get all the best gear, become the strongest PvP players, etc. I think it is just some people being more competitive by nature than others. Situation you cited about with Sea of Thieves just sounds like a gamer who wants to strive for the best getting unfortunately matched with people there to chill and have fun. Neither are really wrong in their aspirations. They each just need different people to play beside to get what they want out of the experience.

    I've also heard many, many people lately who get this attitude that they need to play every new big video games and are blasting through games at lightspeed in hopes of being able to finish one before the next comes out shortly after, and that definitely seems like the worst way to experience games personally. I'd rather let stuff fall to the wayside than rush myself through every experience, not even seeing the majority of what's there to enjoy. Of course there's also people who aren't trying to play everything, just they have very limited time in their lives to play games, so when they play they want to be hitting beat after beat at a reasonable click to get the most out of their free time, and for those people I offer my sympathies.

    Personally, I'll always be the type who takes it easy though, unless the game itself calls for otherwise.

  • Global Moderator

    This is a very interesting topic which I have been thinking about now and then.

    Those Halo 2 LAN weekend parties are some of my dearest coop memories.

    Regarding the stress, this is something I recognise from playing online. Especially from my World of Warcraft days where I played on a extremely high level. It was always a rush to max level and get "pre BiS gear" by grinding dungeons. I would like to think that I had decent patient with waiting for new people, but I also got annoyed when we died on simple things etc. One of the main "problems" that I blame is how accessible it all became. In the early days of WoW you had to spend a long time in chat channels screaming for people, making your way over to the instance and when you then wiped you wouldnt want to give up. As time went on and introduction of dungeon finder etc it was so easy to just leave and re queue and get a new group quickly. People then just wanted their tokens or what ever from completion and move on. Also when you had completed an instance 20 times you kinda just wanted to get through. - Yet this is no excuse what so ever to behave like an a-hole and shout at other people.

    I think in general as well, society have become more stressed, more the pressure that you "have" to consume a billion things at once or else you "are not good enough" or "missing out". In general I dont play much with randoms anymore as I try to avoid OP's said example. I think if you play online you unfortunately gotta expect anykind of people.

  • @mango said in A Word on Online Co-op Multiplayer:

    I have just resigned myself to the fact that I am simply not an online gamer...

    Yeah, I've about reached that point myself, it's just annoying. I remember loving playing online, even with randos, my glasses may have become rather rose-tinted though.

    @mbun said in A Word on Online Co-op Multiplayer:

    Situation you cited about with Sea of Thieves just sounds like a gamer who wants to strive for the best getting unfortunately matched with people there to chill and have fun.

    Maybe but i was more commenting on his weird need for speed. I am sure everyone who plays online is used to those "Type A" personalities, they've been apart of the landscape, so to speak, for awhile. His immediacy is what alarmed me and what also makes me think it was more him trying to fit as much fun into his little free time that he had. Which i can respect.

    @lotias said in A Word on Online Co-op Multiplayer:

    introduction of dungeon finder etc it was so easy to just leave and re queue and get a new group quickly

    I HATE these things, but they do make grouping up so much easier. But i do think you're right, i can't count the number of times I've grouped up with people, we go through the mission/quest/etc, no one says a word, and then we all leave. It strikes me as weird every time, like when teachers used to force you to group up with people in class for an assignment except now you can be sure that at least 2 of those classmates are gonna do the assignment again for a better grade.

    Love the LAN love and i have to agree, some of my best memories

  • Global Moderator

    @zrail said in A Word on Online Co-op Multiplayer:

    we go through the mission/quest/etc, no one says a word, and then we all leave.

    Yeah, this was kinda the norm at the end of my WoW days. You just ran through as fast as you could and didnt speak again. In the earlier days I have had so many funny conversations in the group chat and laughed at when we died to silly or unlucky pulls etc. later on people were just grumpy and left right away.