What would you look for in an MP campaign?

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TL
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What would you look for in an MP campaign?

Post by TL »

I've experimented with making MP campaigns since back when they regained some measure of functionality. Although there are still sizable bugs in MP campaigns, workarounds seem to be possible.

However, I've noticed that not many players seem to be particularly interested. So far I've mostly focused on 1v1 competitive campaigns. I tend to prefer 1v1 games since they move faster and resolve more quickly; campaigns seem a logical method for allowing you to extend play while keeping it in nice, distinct, easily manageable chunks of game time. Of course this leads to balancing issues (whoever wins gets an advantage over the loser, which makes it easier for them to win next time, etc.) but there are all sorts of fun ways to offset this effect. It seems tough to get people excited about 1v1 campaigns, though.

I've considered making 1v1v1 or 2v2 campaigns, but considering that these games tend to take longer than 1v1 to begin with these seem to be pretty time-prohibitive, especially since it's much harder to coordinate reloads between more than 2 people. One possible fix might be to have each scenario end as soon as the first player dies; this both helps keep the campaign moving and further mitigates the winner's advantage, since they don't have time to milk XP. Is there any interest in this sort of campaign?

I should also point out that I really don't care especially much about story, only gameplay. I loves me pure fightin' campaigns. Do most players play campaigns purely for the story experience? Am I the only one interested in playing MP campaigns just for the sake of the unique gameplay? For that matter, is anyone else really interested in extending basic MP gameplay into campaigns, or are the people who would play MP campaigns generally looking for more off-the-wall goofing around type gameplay?
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Golbeeze
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Re: What would you look for in an MP campaign?

Post by Golbeeze »

I'd like a co-op multiplayer campaign. Preferably 2-4 players. No story needed for me!
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Re: What would you look for in an MP campaign?

Post by Viliam »

TL wrote:Do most players play campaigns purely for the story experience?
Instead of "purely", I would say "mostly". (You could get story experience by reading a book. Playing Wesnoth campaign combines the story experience with game mechanics.)

The story is the most important difference between playing a campaign, and playing a few local games against computer player(s).
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Re: What would you look for in an MP campaign?

Post by krotop »

4p is either too much, or too early for that sort of project in my opinion. You're basically talking of finding 4 people willing to spend tens of hours together. With real life interactions and timezones, this is really tough to handle. Well, some MMORPG manage to do that, but they are way bigger than our community, and their average addictivity is also probably higher (no proof or figures, just an intuition). You could say let's just save/load later, but even then it's not always easy to do that sort of game to the end.

Just my 2 cents on gaming theory but if you want to add short-term value and catch people to play a game, you have to make it look nice, with no bugs, polish art and a cool story. If you want to have them keep playing, you need to make it fun, with entertaining challenges and gameplay. Well, I feel like pointing the obvious now that I reread my message.
One possible fix might be to have each scenario end as soon as the first player dies
You mean that it ends only if player 1 dies, or as soon as a player dies ? Is your idea is to have 2 recruiting units but only 1 hero ?
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TL
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Re: What would you look for in an MP campaign?

Post by TL »

krotop wrote:
One possible fix might be to have each scenario end as soon as the first player dies
You mean that it ends only if player 1 dies, or as soon as a player dies ? Is your idea is to have 2 recruiting units but only 1 hero ?
As soon as any player dies, scenario ends and campaign moves on to the next battle. This addresses several potential problems in a 3p or 4p head-to-head competitive MP campaign:

1. Scenarios end more quickly, letting the group get through several scenarios in a more reasonable amount of time than if all scenarios played through to the very end.

2. It's unrealistic to expect a player whose leader dies early to wait around for an hour after they're gone defeated so that the group can move on to the next scenario and they can get back in.

3. The winning player/team can't sit around and milk XP out of remaining players, so they don't get quite such an overwhelming advantage in levels.
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Re: What would you look for in an MP campaign?

Post by MCP »

Uhh I don't really understand, Mabuse's SurvivalX are the creme of the crop for the multiplayer RPG style.

It's all about survival in the face of improbable odds! The shop is refined, the AI's are brutal, the map flows well, it's REALLY hard (giggidy), even on normal.

It's all about the gameplay. I mean castle cantar->evil dead->forbidden mountain. All good maps, and I'm not sure if there really is a story...
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jb
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Re: What would you look for in an MP campaign?

Post by jb »

Hey TL.

I've been hoping for an MP campaign for a long time. Specifically a Co-Op Campaign. Guys like Mythological and Rhuvaen both have started excellent projects, and helped fight trough the countless bugs of making it work. Strangely there was a time when an MP campaign would have been too good to be true, but now that it's possible the intereste level seemed to die.

I'm not interested in a competitve 2v2 style. As someone said above, you're asking to spend dozens of hours with a group, I don't want to be at war with them. A long CoOp is kind of an intimate game you'd only play with good friends, I think.

As for story I agree with you, I just want good gameplay and puzzle-solving. No need to explain anythig other than the rules! :P Of course, I know many people play games for the story, not in spite of it, so it's probably important to have something coherent.

I think Rhuvaen's "Unnatural Winter" strikes just about the perfect chord in terms of size, scope, complexity, story, and twists. That's a model I'd like to see imitated and improved upon.

I also think the maps should be somewhat similar to the terrain found in offical competitive maps. That is, even if it's an all dwarf adventure, I'd like to see more than just a clump of hills. The map's terrain should be able to host any faction, even if that faction is not used in the story.

Well, good luck with your project!
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Re: What would you look for in an MP campaign?

Post by roadkill »

I would look for a self-reinforcing-handicap-system.

I play different things (not just wesnoth) in on-going formats with my wife alot.

One of the things that needs to be done with these is handicapping myself and boosting my wife. We don't really mind her getting obliterated in on-off games, but having to use a crippled force over & over becomes a stagnent for her.

The only way on-going campaigns work are with dedicated players & there could be large disparencies between players (infact the skill level could only be slightly uneven, which it will in most cases).

With slightly uneven skill levels campaigns just cease to be fun after the first game because it just gets harder for the weaker & easyier for the stronger. Without a handicapping system, but it takes alot of work for a handicap-system to not seem arbitrary and just ruins the feel of the campaign even more...

I don't think its possible to do in wesnoth (without a python capable dev spending alot of time on it & changing the games interface). But a map-based campaign is about the only thing I think might work.
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Re: What would you look for in an MP campaign?

Post by Skizzaltix »

I think that two player co-op campaigns are the way to go--The other advantage of this is that you can play them solo, too, and it doesn't get to be boring due to tremendous unit micro time ;)
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Re: What would you look for in an MP campaign?

Post by CIB »

Personally, I always wanted to have some co-op, story-based MP campaign and I mostly agree with jb. I think it might make sense to develop a system(and if it's just a subforum) to organize and coordinate the playing of longer campaigns, since it is hard to find players you can have fun with per-se, even harder getting a long game going.
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Re: What would you look for in an MP campaign?

Post by woodmouse »

Team mp campaigns, that would have different goals, game styles, etc. would be nice. :) I would LOVE those. :D
But I'm not good enough to make one. :( But I would LOVE to make a mp campaign with some people... Or actually, I would LOVE to make anything with some other people... I mean, it's boring to make some things alone.
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Re: What would you look for in an MP campaign?

Post by Skizzaltix »

You'll never get better if you don't try in the first place ;)
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Re: What would you look for in an MP campaign?

Post by woodmouse »

Skizzaltix wrote:You'll never get better if you don't try in the first place ;)
I know. And that's why I've been working a LOT on Battle Island. There is going to be SO many sorts of things... Well, it's a single mp scenario, but well. :lol: I'm learning a lot of making it. :lol:
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Re: What would you look for in an MP campaign?

Post by MCP »

CIB wrote:Personally, I always wanted to have some co-op, story-based MP campaign and I mostly agree with jb. I think it might make sense to develop a system(and if it's just a subforum) to organize and coordinate the playing of longer campaigns, since it is hard to find players you can have fun with per-se, even harder getting a long game going.
Again, survival extreme has the perfect setup. If you make a series of maps, don't require any information to travel from one scenario to the next other than scouts honor you beat the last one.
What does this solve?
1. Players coming/going.
2. Hero sucks/dies last scenario. Choose a new one, build it better, and whatever it takes.
2.1: When a new scenario begins and maybe some players left, replacement players are allowed, and they can choose whatever hero they want.
3. You can start at any part(map) of the MP campaign at any time.

How is it organized? Just number the maps:
MyMPC_1_[name1]
MyMPC_2_[name2]
...
MyMPC_N_[nameN]

Where nameX is the unique name for that scenario, such as 'When the Zombies come to the Ball'.
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Re: What would you look for in an MP campaign?

Post by CIB »

When I play a campaign, I usually develop a relationship to the units I often use throughout the campaign, especially those which have a story. The nice thing about MP campaigns is that you can develop a relationship to the other players similarly, but this experience requires the players not to change. There certainly are other uses for MP campaigns, but I care about this one most.
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