Where modern multiplayer gaming went wrong.
I constantly try a lot of games, a lot of those games end up being multiplayer games. I have somewhat of a slight "problem" with current multiplayer games of this generation though, and this issue seems to be only getting worse.
I remember watching the battlefield 4 presentation during this years E3, the one in which multiple EA Staff members were playing the game. One player was playing as a commander, others where communicating game relevant info to each other. They worked as a team. As I was watching this thing, I couldn't stop thinking: NO ONE PLAYS LIKE THIS!
It was quite funny but frustrating at the same time. Sure, it "seemed" like the style of playing portrayed during the presentation is what modern combat games are intended to be played as, but that type of actual game focused interaction hardly ever happens anymore. The only way you will get to experience playing like that is by joining a clan and hoping you team up with players who commit to at least try play the game as intended.
To put things in perspective, imagine if yourself visiting your local basketball court. You decide that day you wanna play a couple of games with friends and unknowns. Everyone is ready to start the game, it's 5 vs 5 full court action. You start the game but as soon as the game starts, Johnny and Pedro start doing cartwheels around the court. Dave is singing loudly in your ear and jumping like a bunny rabbit. Others are talking in a corner. You say: what are you guys doing?!?! And the response is: I PAID 60 BUCKS FOR THIS GAME JUST LIKE YOU DID AND I CAN DO WHAT I WANT. And that's the mentality. Welcome to modern Gaming.
I remember back in the days of the PS2 era sometimes. When I played the absolute best online experiences, the greatest shooter I've ever played was Socom 2. That game, along with the absolute best MMO that I've played "Everquest Online Adventures" have set such a high standard for everything else I've played that they have basically ruined online gaming for me.
After witnessing the unveiling of the new Everquest Next game, I can honestly say right now that there is no mmo out there that will ever compare to that EQOA game. H-Hour is coming out so there is hope for Socom yet.
I often wonder what was so different about those 2 titles from current games that just cannot be replicated by anything out there. I've come to the conclusion that nothing is out there that's half as good as those games back in the day not because there isn't the skill out there available, it's just that the mindset of people and primarily developers has changed.
Publishers and dev's want as many people as possible to play their game, it makes sense. They want your money. In that need for everyone's money comes the high price of wanting to please everyone, which is impossible. And in wanting to please everyone, every game now has a completely toned down difficulty and a Jack of all trades approach to design.
I remember back in Socom 2 that when you died. You are dead, it's game over till the next round that was it. A lot of times you went out there just hoping you didn't end up dead, you had to team up a lot with others to actually be walking around at the end of the round and not watching others play. The game rules downright enforced team play. Playing a clan wars made your palms sweat.
In EQOA, when you went out there to explore you really explored. Enemies your level were actually dangerous and there wasn't "quest helper" mods for you to run on a ps2 to help you out. You preferably killed things in a team and were expected to play your role as best as possible. Due to this team based approach, excellent design which made the world feel like an actual world: you could walk from one end of the continent to the other without loading times, and other great decisions which enforced the style of play there hasn't been a game like it.
Today's games are just too centered on the current individualistic mentality that plagues todays society. If you look at the past 7-8 years, multiplayer games that have been highly successful money wise completely cater to an individualized style of play like World of Warcraft and Call of duty. Playing Wow for example is like playing a massively singleplayer game. You really don't need anyone for almost anything. Publishers know this.
SOE announced that that there will be 40 classes in their game you can "unlock" and you can combine abilities from one to the other. That along with the Landmark "make your own maps" and weapon gems and so on and so forth will basically guarantee that almost everyone you talk to is someone you won't play with again till their done doing all of that crap.
I sincerely think that if there is any hope for amazing multiplayer games whatsoever, it will have to come from indie devs. Big game companies think too much about their income to have the guts to make games like that anymore.
Today's definition of multiplayer basically means that they are other people who "interact with you" as you play, not necessarily that they are "playing" with you it seems.