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Reader Comments (13)

Posted: Jul 17th 2009 10:35AM Scopique said

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I agree, dead on, with your assessment of need for static groups. My friends and I have specific days and specific times we play together, which is more to accommodate everyone's real life schedules then anything else.

Of course, the pat reliance upon the class and level system in these games is really to blame. When players out-level one another, a "band-aid" mechanic is introduced that temporarily modifies the level and abilities of one player, either up or down. Skill-based systems (UO, Darkfall) and skill-independent (EVE) systems allow anyone to group with anyone else, technically, and remove this type of roadblock.

Posted: Jul 17th 2009 11:21AM (Unverified) said

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What about Baldur's Gate II, or Icewind Dale where co-op play was available?

Posted: Jul 17th 2009 11:31AM (Unverified) said

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Buldars Gate 1 2, Neverwinter Nights all of them, Scared 1 and 2, Diablo 1 2 3 , theres just to many to name. I think the question came from a console gamer and a console gamer tried to respond.

The question is why is a console gamer covering MMOs?

Posted: Jul 17th 2009 11:39AM (Unverified) said

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I think the comment on co-op rpgs was refering to recent offerings. All of the games you mentioned there (withe the exception of NWN2 that was released in 2006) are all 6+ years old now.

There have been no high quality co-op RPGs released recently within the last 2 years. Atleast not anything that comes to my mind for the PC.

With that said why can you not develop a solid rpg with a good story and make it co-op at the same time? Why must it be watered down to a MMO status story and gameplay?
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Posted: Jul 17th 2009 12:01PM (Unverified) said

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Ok, ya I suppose the advent of console gaming and the increased popularity has caused a decline in co-op RPG. So has piracy though, the need for an internet connection or MP element in games has cause them to turn to console.

Honestly though there are still other countries developing Co-Op RPG games. Nothing great but I can think of a minimum of 4 right now. I think the Co-Op rpgs games of late haven't been memorable Space Siege for example. Sacred 2 is recent. Theres at least two obscure german games that I can't think of off hand. All of these are recent.

They've never been exactly plentiful to begin with. So really there's no difference between now and previous times other than the aforementioned console gaming advent. Which has pushed the mainstream market towards more online things like MMOs.
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Posted: Jul 17th 2009 11:53AM Sente said

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The design of most of the MMOs out there certainly favour the static group and PUGs becomes an nuisance to avoid, if possible.

I am not sure that is intentional, but that is certainly how it plays out and is perhaps also how many of the developers may have experienced MMOs themselves.

I think City of Heroes/Villains is one of the few exceptions where PUGing or playing with friends but not in a static group works out reasonably well.

Posted: Jul 17th 2009 12:20PM (Unverified) said

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Fable II?

Posted: Jul 18th 2009 2:40PM kjhasdfjkhk said

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Even Fable 2 isn't true co-op, you can only enter someone else's game as a default "henchman" and cannot create or use your own character in someone else's game, which is ridiculous if you ask me.
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Posted: Jul 17th 2009 12:22PM deejrandom said

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Just to clarify an above statement: sacred 2 was just released on Consoles and released last year for the PC.

Besides just because a game is old, does not mean it isn't still played or playable. Heck both Neverwinter Night games have a pretty strong community surrounding them.

Action RPGs lend themselves to Coop more then Traditional ones, I think. At they seem more prevalent on the console: Too Human, Marvel Ultimate Alliance (With MUA 2 coming out soon.) All these games I consider high quality, though I know people might argue. (Such is life.)

One thing I don't like is the comment that seems to disregard console gamers talking about MMO's. Believe it or not, people can both play a console and *Still* play MMO's on their pc (and console, if they have one on there.) It isn't something that is some kind of fantasy: Most of my friends do both. Yet because I play MMO's I feel like I can comment on a..MMO. I think the writer probably has played a few and can comment on them as well.

Just saying ;)

Posted: Jul 18th 2009 2:38PM kjhasdfjkhk said

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Yes but for the simple fact that they are old means that often times, people who enjoy that genre of game have probably already played those games and have a taste for more.

I think the real issue here isn't so much of co-op RPGs for console as much as it is LOCAL co-op RPGs for console. Or local co-op for any game for that matter. I find it much harder to communicate online on console than in say, an MMO. Everything in an MMO is designed for communication. People use voice a lot still, yes, but there are specific channels designed for all kinds of talking...whispers, party chat, guild chat, different channels, etc. It's so much easier to communicate in a much larger world in a PC game than it is to communicate with even one person on consoles. What if one of the people doesn't have a headset? What if their headset is broken or the volume is messed up, or it's scratchy, or there is voice lag. The list of complications goes on. It's much easier to just type something which you are not able to do on console, and as far as voice goes, it's a lot easier to explain something to someone in person than it is over the internet. Console communication puts me off. Just look at xbox live, everyone on there is an annoying obnoxious racist homophobic 12 year old who exists for the sole purpose of ruining your play experience. Even people in MMOs on vent or something always seem to have a much higher level of politeness and helpfulness about everything. That's the reason MMOs will never work online. Not everyone has a mic, and even fewer people have keyboards. They need to include both with any console on release if they ever want MMOs to reach the mass market on console. And honestly, sometimes I would much rather play local co-op on the couch with a big screen than on the computer with a smaller screen in an uncomfortable chair, sitting at a desk for hours talking to someone I can't even see.
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Posted: Jul 18th 2009 3:09PM deejrandom said

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Um... I can see that with the ps2, gamecube..and maybe the ps3 (never used a ps3) but every xbox 360 comes with a headset and I actually communicate via voice on my 360 more then I do in an MMO on a PC. Also, I mean.. I am coming from 360 experience here, but if you have a USB keyboard you can hook it up (LIke I do.)

I find it funny that everyone on xbla is a racist homophobe, because as much as I've heard that, I have only come across that a couple of times. I've seen it more in world of warcraft (etc) then I have on xbox live.

But that is just my experience. I do agree that more RPGs need local coop though. I know Sacred 2 has it on the 360, not sure about the others.

Oh btw, I've played Final Fantasy XI on both my ps2 and 360. I've found all those open world communication issues work just fine on the game..so I'm assuming it could if other MMO's come to consoles.

I understand what your saying, btw, I just think alot of those issues are starting to go by the wayside. (I'm sure there will always be people wanting to get your goat in games, via voice or text, as long as there is multiplayer gaming though. Racist homophobe or not, heh.)

Posted: Jul 18th 2009 3:11PM deejrandom said

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Oh I forgot to touch on one thing: The simple fact they are old means nothing. Just like a good book and a good movie, old games are finding a new audience all the time, so old games shouldn't be discounted just for being old...in dog years. Because very few old games are *that* old, heh.

Posted: Jul 18th 2009 7:04PM (Unverified) said

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How much of your enjoyment of these games as part of a static group reflect your "MMO gamer archetype" and not perhaps the virtues of a static group over other ways of organizing people in MMOs? I frequently hear people comment of their WoW guilds that they dislike and even hate some of their fellow guild members but that they tolerate them in the interest of participating in the end game raid content. For these "achiever" types, the social aspect of the game is of less importance relative to the goals they've set out for themselves.

Maybe you're on to something in thinking that the MMOs you play with friends are not themselves the source of your commitment to them. However, I would think that the games do remain relevant, not only as a more or less well executed setting in which to adventure, but also as a focal point to attract people of a certain disposition.

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