The weekly discussion: Online multiplayer

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This week, let’s talk about online multiplayer! Almost every game features it now, sometimes there’s no point to including it, but there it is. Usually though, it’s a great way of adding competitive depth to the game.

Obviously it’s the FPSers that are the most popular for multiplayer, but as we like to deny trends at Digitally Downloaded, we’ve got a lot of different multiplayer fans around here. So, what are your favourite online multiplayer games, and why?

That is of course if you can take the time away from playing those games to drop by and say hi πŸ˜‰

Happy weekend gaming!

This is the bio under which all legacy articles are published (as in the 12,000-odd, before we moved to the new Website and platform). This is not a member of the DDNet Team. Please see the article's text for byline attribution.

  • I don't get to play local multiplayer much any more – both video games and physical games like board games. So my favourite online games are when the local multiplayer experience is recreated online.

    And that means online board games. So Ticket to Ride on the iPad, Fortune Street on the Wii and Pure Chess on the PS3. These are my favourite online multiplayer games πŸ˜€

  • Mario Kart has been literally the only series whose online multiplayer I've actually stuck with. And Half-Life 1's, if you want to count that. I can usually kill a few hours messing around in it if it's included, but I lose interest fast. Mario Kart stays fun and unpredictable…in other cases I either get good enough that it's no longer a challenge, or have no chance of ever getting good and so give up eventually. Mario Kart hits the sweet spot for me.

    I'd have loved Smash Brothers Brawl's, by the way…if it worked. Ever.

  • Yeah fighting games are frustrating online experiences. I like Dead or Alive 5, but especially in Australia where we don't have local servers, this is the kind of game genre where any lag at all is frustrating.

  • FPS games are usually my online go to games. I have Mario Kart Wii, but have only attempted it once or twice online, and not for very long.

    This generation it' really started with World at War on the Wii for me, then World at War's Zombies was the go to for a while on the PS3, then Black Ops for just a bit (not long), and then Modern Warfare 3 on the Wii.

    PAYDAY: The Heist got some good play-time from me on the PS3, and even some on the PC.

    So yeah, mainly FPSes, though Excitebots online was good fun, but didn't happen often enough.

  • I quite like the online RTS scene, although I've never really gotten to the skill level to match anyone else. I play FPS sometimes, but people are a little too serious every now and then. It's never really quite the same experience as playing with friends, since everyone is a lot more preoccupied with winning than in real life. Co-op online sounds like a good idea on paper, except a lot of the time there's not really any co-op, it's just two people playing the same level at the same time πŸ™

    Best online game I've ever played is something called Farragomate, it's a simple flash game where you make sentences out of randomly generated words and vote for the best. There's usually never anyone on the servers to get a good game going now, but it's an experience that's lots of fun and very hard to describe.

  • I don't really play that much online multiplayer. Most of the times I consider it an afterthought at best, some way to stretch the gameplay of a game I enjoyed, but not much more. I'm also wary of buying online-only games, since most of them tend to die fairly quickly and just don't give me enough value for my money. MMOs don't count, of course, but I don't play much of them any more. The one big notable exception is of course Frozen Synapse. I find myself returning now and again and still loving it.

  • The last FPS I spent much time with online was Quantum of Solace – the Bond license does great things for me. I tried with Goldeneye on PS3, but it was a dead community almost on release.

    It's not a FPS, but a similar theme game that I did spend a lot of time with online was Birds of Steel. That game was an underrated classic.

  • I agree with you with Co-op. Navi (Aviator) and I played Resident Evil 5 a while back, and I reckon he would have wished for the AI to replace me, lol.

    Did you ever play RUSE? If you like RTS games, that one is brilliant.

  • I totally forgot about my time with GoldenEye!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL, I even looked at it last night, after typing my comment out. Speaking of Quantum of Solace, I watched a trailer for it again last weekend (looking at the Bond games data), and it does look interesting, and the level designs look like they could be a lot of fun to play.

  • Well, initially, I liked online FPS's. However, I'm starting to get weary of them; they're just too competitive. I feel like shallow, competitive online-multiplayer is all the rage nowadays. Now I slightly changed my interest to MMO's.

    My favorite online game at the moment is EVE Online, but I haven't touched in a while. It's such a very deep MMO. Heck, the combat is the least of your worries when you have to worry about other stuff. As for the social part, you hook up with players in a tribe known as "corporations," where you and colleagues perform activities such as minng, battling in PvE/PvP, and even simple ones like exploring. Because of the game's complexity and sometimes harsh environments, I'm certain there are a lot of friendly and mature players around.

    The only real stinker is dying in the game. It's a very huge deal, for you can lose your ship, skills, relations with contractors who assign missions, and many more. It doesn't help that it's possible to shift odds toward the unfavorable side due to any game glitches or lag. I know I'll be very unhappy and feel discouraged to continue if that were to happen. Anywho, I'll get around to continue playing it when I can find the time and money.

  • How far did you get into FFXI? I played it for around 30 hours and realised it was stealing my life. That game is a very slow grind at times, sadly.

  • I played the Dust FPS Beta for a bit, and I was rather impressed with the world of EVE. But I'm frightened to try EVE. I'm under the impression that it is a really serious time commitment, and I just don't have the time for that.

  • Furthest I ever made it was to Lvl. 14 I think. That was just in a 2-week trial, though. Leveling has gotten much easier lately, so I hear.

  • How much time you put in this game depends on how you'd want to play.

    One of the biggest time-eating parts of the game is the beginning, that is: learning how to play, learning how to engage in the game, and orienting yourself in the EVE Universe (i.e. finding out what you wanna do). I can't think of a game I've played in my life that is more anti-noob-friendly than EVE.

    Two sub-mechanics of the game that factor in a new player's slow start is the global "Marketplace" and "Skills". Skills is what makes EVE Online different from other MMORPG's: instead of refining your player's skills by leveling up after a battle, you have to learn them from books. This means two things. First thing, you are on your own to get these books most of the time, whether it's through the Marketplace or finding them by any other means. Second and very important thing, learning skills literally takes time. They can occupy from several minutes to several days (maybe even weeks for the ultra-advanced skills); you can think of it simply as a timer to count until you advance your skills. The time is still tracked if you're offline.

    After the beginning, you can do whatever you want.

    You can go the common route and join a corporation (kinda like guilds in other MMOs). There are corporations that are suitable for casual EVE players, and there are more committed ones that require players to give up part of their social life.

    So, yeah. The beginning takes a lot of time, and you can determine how long you want to play thereafter. No wonder why CCP gives 14-day trials to newcomers, it's almost like it's mandatory D:

  • Thanks for the write-up. Now the big question – dare I try it for myself? If I disappear for a couple of weeks, you all know where I've gone, lol.

  • Matt, I know you are into Atelier (proof that I'm a reader! ^^) but my stuff are Pokemon, Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Chrono Trigger, Kingdom Hearts. Yeah, a lot of SE stuff and I don't really classify myself as a hardcore. I tried playing Mistwalker's ASH but the Japanese is killing me. I wish they'd translate that. Hmm, what else, some Atlus games like Radiant Historia, or NIS' Disgaea and Nintendo's Fire Emblem (I like the SRPG genre as well) I always say that the reason I play JRPGs is to find a game that will rival the overall story of Final Fantasy VI, which to me is at the top of the JRPG genre when it comes to story.

    Can I count Zelda as RPG without the levelling up?

  • Hey, big-time Pokemon fan here too – I'm about 30 hours into Black 2 after two weeks of owning it πŸ˜›

    Let me know your FC and we can battle some time πŸ™‚

    I actually payed Ash too (I have some Japanese ability) and it's a lot of fun, it was a big pity they never localised that one.

    If you do have a PS3 (and if you like JRPGs it's essential) let me know – I can give you a dozen great JRPGs to try just off the top of my head πŸ˜€

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