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#456074 - 06/19/12 09:16 AM Dragon commander - cooperative multiplayer
Lar_q Offline



Registered: 12/07/06
Posts: 744
We got a mail today from Kevin who insists that you should be able to play in co-op in multiplayer combat, with one player controlling the dragon and the other handling the RTS part of combat. It's an interesting notion, so I'm curious if there's anybody else here who's looking for something like that ?

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#456077 - 06/19/12 10:11 AM Re: Dragon commander - cooperative multiplayer [Re: Lar_q]
Raze Offline


Registered: 03/10/03
Posts: 21144
Loc: Canada

If there is no AI/automatic setting for RTS stuff, then I'd try co-op multiplayer. However, I don't know anyone who plays RTS games, so would be reliant on online matchmaking.

I'd probably be better off with a single player difficulty level a notch below easy, though, rather than a co-op option. The few RTS games I've tried didn't go well (in a few games of L.E.D. Wars I don't think I lasted more than a couple minutes). On the other hand, if there is a game that can get me interested in mastering the RTS mechanic, it would be Dragon Commander (ie not being a fan of straight action RPGs, I would have given I of the Dragon a pass if not for being able to play as a dragon).

In general I'm not big on multiplayer games, so you may want to weight my opinions accordingly. The last game I played co-op with was Diablo 2, with my brother. Eventually our schedules got a little out of sync, and he kept playing with the same character when I couldn't play, so I fell behind enough that I quit, after a half-heated attempt to catch up (single player was boring).

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#456078 - 06/19/12 10:13 AM Re: Dragon commander - cooperative multiplayer [Re: Lar_q]
Lotrotk Offline

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Registered: 01/31/12
Posts: 344
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It's a great idea, one of the best! If you do so, make sure the RTS can signal the dragon what to do (by placing beacons etc). Maybe a little dragon support (flying minions not controlled by RTS player) can help.
But since the dragon knight would no longer 'command' the armies, it's no longer Dragon Commander isn't it? You're putting one of your generals in charge... unless you got the power to split your mid of course... just figure something out

But yes, you should definitely do this!

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#456080 - 06/19/12 12:07 PM Re: Dragon commander - cooperative multiplayer [Re: Lotrotk]
AlrikFassbauer Offline
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Registered: 03/10/03
Posts: 19610
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Sounds difficult to implement for me.
Which does not mean that I'm against it. I merely say that I see it as difficult to program, because I#ve never heard of such a thing so far.
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#456082 - 06/19/12 12:55 PM Re: Dragon commander - cooperative multiplayer [Re: AlrikFassbauer]
Lotrotk Offline

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Posts: 344
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Could become boring for dragon though. At E3 we were explained respawning is expensive. So the Dragon player is being forced to defensive mode, to wait unitl respawning is affordable once more. So the duration and costs of respawning sould be resceduled. Unless you can also command some minor flying units in the meantime.
==> It sounds like fun but it won't work on current gameplay settings.

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#456085 - 06/19/12 02:02 PM Re: Dragon commander - cooperative multiplayer [Re: Lotrotk]
Morbo Offline

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In AOE2 (one of the best/most simple RTS I still play) you have the option to play on the same color. So one could pay attention to the army, the other one to village/economy development. Oh yes if you didn't communicate well it was hilarious. But it just looked like 2 mouses were manipulating the same color.

so if it's possible I would implement it. (just to hear the conversations of 2 players argueing whether resources should go to army or village development)
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#456091 - 06/19/12 05:56 PM Re: Dragon commander - cooperative multiplayer [Re: Morbo]
Arokh Offline

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Registered: 04/22/11
Posts: 364
Loc: Bradford, United Kingdom
Its an idea but as Alrik pointed out I bet it is going to be difficult to implement. I suppose it could work but I think finding a suitable co-op player will be few and far between. Personally in my opinion if it does not take that long to put it into the game then do it but if not then I wouldn't waste resources on it.


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#456094 - 06/19/12 06:55 PM Re: Dragon commander - cooperative multiplayer [Re: Arokh]
Lotrotk Offline

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Why would it be so hard to implement then? Just disable Dragon control for RTS, disable RTS control for player Dragon, send dragon player's input to RTS player's dragon actions, send RTS player's input to Dragon player's RTS actions, done! It's not that different from serializing enemy movements, wich already works. I think the real challenge would be to balance the gameplay.
If DC will contain this feature however, it might be the first time in history to mix RTS & 3rd person action in co-op (I never heard of it before), another title next to genre mixture.
But don't let your lead designer create any tullip soap bubbles if you believe you can't do it.

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#456097 - 06/19/12 08:02 PM Re: Dragon commander - cooperative multiplayer [Re: Lotrotk]
Arhu Offline
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Registered: 03/10/03
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Co-Op Multiplayer? Yes, please.

Reminds me immediately of two games from the Golden Age of Amiga gaming, Silk Worm and SWIV, which featured a tank and a helicopter that could be controlled independently by two players in co-op mode (in single player you'd play only the heli or the tank).

I guess in DC the challenge would indeed be balancing, since Co-Op-MP has different requirements than competitive MP. I assume when you talk about Co-Op you think about two players playing against two other players, right? Would it be too much to ask for full Co-Op then, i.e. two players against the AI, or even two players in campaign mode?

As a matter of fact, my gaming pal is very much into real-time strategy, which I'm not too fond of, so I could take the Dragon part and we'd both be happy.
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#456114 - 06/20/12 08:50 AM Re: Dragon commander - cooperative multiplayer [Re: Arhu]
knightl Offline
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Registered: 03/20/10
Posts: 46
If it can be pulled off without removing anything from the game (Don't want a feature in and one out) then I would Love co-op so much!

Oh when im having this nerdgasm thinking of it, 2v2 on a late night with friends will make my year complete.
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#456117 - 06/20/12 12:20 PM Re: Dragon commander - cooperative multiplayer [Re: Lotrotk]
Stabbey Offline

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Registered: 01/03/09
Posts: 3447
Originally Posted By: Lotrotk
Why would it be so hard to implement then? Just disable Dragon control for RTS, disable RTS control for player Dragon, send dragon player's input to RTS player's dragon actions, send RTS player's input to Dragon player's RTS actions, done!


Oh, it's just THAT SIMPLE, is it?

No offense, but you do not have any idea what you are talking about. Co-op multiplayer adds on a ton of additional challenges for how to communicate between the two players, there are player management issues, matchmaking services, and all kinds of other stuff that I don't know enough about development to think of.

Plus you have players who are are either saddled with an accidentally terrible friend, or saddled with someone who is DELIBERATELY griefing.

"Why would it be so hard"?!


There was a game that did something like this, and it had many of the same issues.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Savage:_The_Battle_for_Newerth


Larian, PLEASE, do not waste time and money trying to implement cooperative multiplayer in the game. I fear that you will discover too late that there are actually not that many people out there who are looking for that, and it will take valuable resources away from polishing and developing a more solid base game.
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#456119 - 06/20/12 12:52 PM Re: Dragon commander - cooperative multiplayer [Re: Stabbey]
Joram Offline

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I agree with Stabbey . smile
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#456120 - 06/20/12 01:11 PM Re: Dragon commander - cooperative multiplayer [Re: Stabbey]
Lotrotk Offline

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Registered: 01/31/12
Posts: 344
Loc: global scope
Originally Posted By: Stabbey


Oh, it's just THAT SIMPLE, is it?

No offense, but you do not have any idea what you are talking about. Co-op multiplayer adds on a ton of additional challenges for how to communicate between the two players, there are player management issues, matchmaking services, and all kinds of other stuff that I don't know enough about development to think of.



Technically it shouldn't be that hard to implement co-op, now that 1vs1 is already working. Convince me if I'm mistaken (wich you haven't yet), always eager to learn.
I haven't spoken of player management. That's another story, yes. I don't want Larian to waste time on this neither if it's not gonna work. That's why it's a good idea to ask people. I'm in, and some folks on facebook as well.
Nice link by the way, never heard of RTS FPS co-op before.

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#456127 - 06/20/12 03:32 PM Re: Dragon commander - cooperative multiplayer [Re: Lotrotk]
Greever Offline
member

Registered: 08/19/08
Posts: 140
Let us worry about how long things will take to implement smile

You'd be surprised how easy it is to add new MP modes, once you have a solid networking framework.

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#456128 - 06/20/12 03:53 PM Re: Dragon commander - cooperative multiplayer [Re: Greever]
Arokh Offline

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Registered: 04/22/11
Posts: 364
Loc: Bradford, United Kingdom
Well if it is easy to do then yes it would be a nice feature but I still think that finding a suitable player will be few and far between. What you don't want to do is have a game that tries to do everything, have tons of features to please everyone then end up with an complicated end product that game reviewers will pick to pieces.

I might be talking rubbish as my experience of software development is business & database software rather than games. Even with that I don't know a right lot. However I stand by what I originally said, if it's really easy then yes please but put time and resources into the rest of the game if not.
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#456134 - 06/21/12 12:19 AM Re: Dragon commander - cooperative multiplayer [Re: Arokh]
pall Offline
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Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 221
I agree with Arokh on this. If this would be simple it would be good think to have. While not being developer myself but knowing life there would be complications, then it would drain you time and resources, and they players would not be happy and then.... It better to stay focused on one task at hand. Maybe after DC would become successful you could then, If there would be demand for it, could develop and release it as part of some expansion or something.


Edited by pall (06/21/12 12:19 AM)

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#456145 - 06/21/12 09:49 AM Re: Dragon commander - cooperative multiplayer [Re: pall]
AlrikFassbauer Offline
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Registered: 03/10/03
Posts: 19610
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From a programming standpoint I don't see it as that easy to implement. I agree with Stabbey here.
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#456254 - 06/27/12 01:25 PM Re: Dragon commander - cooperative multiplayer [Re: Greever]
Merendrious Offline
old hand

Registered: 06/13/03
Posts: 1057
Loc: Belgium-Vlaams Brabant
Alrik,

Originally Posted By: Greever
Let us worry about how long things will take to implement smile

You'd be surprised how easy it is to add new MP modes, once you have a solid networking framework.



Personally I don't do much co-op stuff, mainly due to lack of friends that play games. But I can see the potential and I guess lots of people are into co-op. It is an extra selling point, so I guess if you are going to implement it, dont do it afterwards, but before release, at least from a selling point of view.

All that grieving and stuff is only when you play with unknown people, but you can limit it to friends etc. I dont know what kind of MP already was planned.

co-op campaign (with drop in ability) could be cool too. But then things do get harder to implement I guess. It is hard to predict if it will be fun with the few info I have about the game.

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#456382 - 07/05/12 04:51 AM Re: Dragon commander - cooperative multiplayer [Re: Lar_q]
henryv Offline

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Registered: 09/18/11
Posts: 354
I'd like to point out a few for some replies in this thread. TL;DR below for those who doesn't like wall of text.

Some people disagree with the idea because they don't know any friend who are reliable on RTS or the other way around. I propose to integrate a matchmaking function wherein your skills, the skills of your enemies, the skills of your teammates are put into the equation. It will randomly find people to play with you.

A lot of frustrations that come from online with RTS aspects like DOTA/Heroes of Newerth/LoL are the teammates. That's why the game integrated matchmaking functions. I know HoN integrated this. I could suggest copying some stats from the aforementioned games such as APM (actions per minute), Kill:death ratio, Average time in battle, resources farmed,W:D ratio, etc. etc just to get the feeling of the other player's skill. You could also create some type of rankings like leaderboards. It increases their "bragging" rights. Who wouldn't want that?

I know this system has its faults. For example, an uber hardcore rank 1 gamer is teamed up with the lowest tier skilled player to accommodate the balance, but, in Dragon commander's case, I think the problem is remedied because only ONE player controls the RTS and ONE player control the dragon. They are two different apples. Meaning it's not like the games I've talked about earlier (HON/DOTA/LoL) wherein the players have the same roles (controlling the HERO).

I played HoN during its Beta stages, and they have faulty system with how you are teamed up with someone before (or doesn't have the matchmaking function). They improved it with patches. If you ran out of time implementing such, I think your only choice are future patches.

Sometimes the opposing players will put some "spy" on your team to feed the other team or be an informant to the other team. I quit HoN right after encountering numerous spies on my team. I hope you can address this issue.

With the reasoning I've said above, I'll agree with Stabbey. This is not simple as it looks to implement.

TL;DR The problem I found in implementing the system is looking for a GOOD teammate to fight with and, perhaps, the communication between them.

It is never a problem to play with a friend because you're doing it for bonding purposes, but with some random guy you've just met a second ago?

EDIT: Also, the biggest backlash I could think of is the monotonous actions the dragon will do. The RTS can make variety of decisions but the dragon can only breathe fire and fly. Being a dragon could be boring don't you think?

Perhaps this could be remedied via creating different dragon classes with different set of skills other than breathing fire, or the player has the option to play other units such as gatherers of gold, artillery, etc etc..




Edited by henryv (07/05/12 05:33 AM)
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