Why Dragon's Dogma never should have multiplayer.

#1 Posted by DarkbeatDK (1267 posts) -

I've been scrounging through Dragon's Dogma info for a while and whenever I look at forum or youtube comments, people always seems to complain that the game doesn't have multiplayer.

I don't blame people for coming to that conclusion. If you look at the game from a far, it looks quite similar to something like Monster Hunter, which is incredibly popular because of its multiplayer.

However, if you study the Pawn system and some of the problems that can occur from information overload, I think it'll become evident why it shouldn't have co-op and why it's a lot closer to Final Fantasy something like Skyrim.

As you might know, a Pawn is a NPC companion that you create in the game to support you during your quests and gains levels along with your character. As other players use your Pawn online and as you use theirs, the pawn doesn't get XP, but they do have a rating on the different monstertypes and quests in the game. When they come back they will then be able to help you with tips on where to go next and how to combat monsters.

Now, another player could do that too, but I actually think that it would ruin the sense of exploration and adventure that you get in the game world.

For instance, if I played a public co-op game where Naruto420 joined my world, he might tell me "Oh, if you go up here you have to fight the skeletons with fire magic, so you can get the Goblin Blade and 5000 gold". Sure, it's helpful information that another player can help you by telling you where to go and what to do, but in my opinion it actually breaks the immersion of the game and the personal joy of discovery.

It's the same problem Journey has. When another player joins my game, we can't communicate, but if they know the solutions to all the puzzles, they can just run through it, effectively lessening my experience with the game.

Of course, this is example is all assuming that the random player you meet is friendly. There are tons of things a malicious player could do to ruin the game for you if they wanted, including the ability to physically pick up other characters and throw them off cliffs, run away from the group and not help you in combat or even stealing loot.

Certainly, they could change the game to balance all that out, but then I think it would be way too similar to other games.

Dragon's Dogma "passive" online functionality is what helps set it apart and that is one of the major reasons I'm looking forward to play the game.

#2 Posted by drag (1223 posts) -

You could make the same argument for no game ever having co-op or multiplayer of any kind joining in the single-player experience ... because people can be bad at the game or mean to you over the internet, so get rid of it. Seems pretty backwards, you can just not play with people if you don't want to, and still let people who would enjoy it, enjoy it. I know I would be even more excited for this game if I could also bring a friend in and play along with them.

#3 Posted by MikkaQ (10284 posts) -

That's why I never play co-op with random people, just play with your friends.

#4 Posted by Welding (144 posts) -

... This happens with Monster Hunter and is just fine. In fact, it's what creates community.

Also yeah, just play stuff with friends if you dont like to have random internet Naruto420 guys ruin your game, I sure dont. XD

#5 Posted by James_Giant_Peach (751 posts) -

There probably are reasons the game shouldn't have multiplayer, but no, that's not one of them. If the game had multiplayer, I could happily choose to ignore public matches, and simply play with friends and learn and explore the world together. Which is what I imagine most players would do. We'd be getting a great co-op experience to share with friends, and could easily ignore griefers and randoms. There are malicious players in virtually every single multiplayer game, who try and ruin the experience for others, but that's no reason to remove multiplayer altogether.

Take Borderlands for example, there's an open-world loot-driven RPG that hugely benefited from co-op play. I joined up with a few buddies and we spent hours and hours going through that game together. As a solo experience it can't even compare to the fun I had in multiplayer. I could have jumped in with random players on that and encountered annoying players who wouldn't co-operate, or guys who knew where all the chests were and spoilt the fun for me, but I had the option not to.

I'm looking forward to the game and am excited for the Pawn system, but it's just one of those titles where co-op would seemingly work so damn well that its exclusion will continue to baffle me.

#6 Posted by HotSauceMagik (264 posts) -

Borderlands is a bad example. You can't pick people up or generally muck up the story of someone elses game in borderlands. Nor can you create a persona or generally choose what stuff to do or how to do it. Every single quest in Borderlands is offered to evey other person playing it and exactly NOTHING changes about those quests. A lot of the appeal of an RPG (or any subgenre such as action etc...) is creating your own story and becoming immersed in the world. Especially with human allies, that immersion can be broken so easily that it sort of soils the experience.

I'm generally glad that this game is single player only, save for one instance.

If it did the multiplayer like dark souls. No talking. Minimal gestures you can use and they can't interact with anyone in your world. Although that probably wouldn't be very much fun as it wouldn't be quick in and out sessions, and there probably would be little benefit to the "invading" player.

#7 Posted by MarkWahlberg (4601 posts) -

I didn't realize this was a common bitching point, I was just confused by the Pawn system. Maybe because it's Japanese, I should stop thinking of them as '3 dudes who roll with you' and more 'Pokemon except they're human'. People might be thinking more along Dark Souls lines in terms of any multiplayer, though.

One thing I should point out though:

@DarkbeatDK said:

For instance, if I played a public co-op game

This is never a good idea.

#8 Posted by bighat_logan (182 posts) -

because other people suck

#9 Edited by Karkarov (3075 posts) -

Honestly there are alot of reasons it doesn't have multiplayer. First off there is basic stuff like... how do we divy loot? Do you join their game or do they join yours or is it some third game world altogether? Can you do story missions? If you can how do you handle two guys at different points in the story? What about level restrictions (hell the level max is 200)? For that matter how about new game+ restrictions? How can you force the players to stay together since it is an open world game? Where are we hosting the multiplayer to begin with? How many players should we allow to team up and should it effect the number of Pawns?

There is just a metric ton of crap to consider. Those questions don't even begin to scratch the surface of things you have to look at and I took less than 2 minutes to come up with them.

Simply put this is an open world RPG game. Could it potentially have multiplayer? Sure. Does it really "need it"? Not so sure. Would it be easy to actually implement it? Somehow I don't think so unless it was very very restrictive.

EDIT: The Fable universe has also told me over and over that highly restrictive multiplayer in a semi open world RPG is also of middling fun factor.

#10 Posted by kriismarshall (2 posts) -

Pawn system is the worst idea ever. Don't want to play with my friends toons, i want to play along with them. All capcom needed to do was releace a decent monster hunter style game on xbox and ps3. Of which there are none that i am aware of. The implimentation would be as simple as it was in MH. Where you could either play single player (possibly with pawn-style aids for harder challanges) and online co-op Where you could team up and take the ur dragon and other bosses with friends. I had many hours of fun on MH For psp and i was dissapointed that there was no online co-op on them.. Although they have tried, a pawn will never Replace the experiance of a multiplayer co-op, working out tacts, gear and having the random behaviour of another player can not be immitated by ANY npc. You simply cant teach a pc to think like a human. It could have been possible but in my oppinion DD was released as an incomplete game.

#11 Posted by HH (609 posts) -

the immersion-breaker idea seems like a good reason to me.

the pawns have distinct movement patterns depending on their... inclination is it? anyway, if you have one that is a pioneer it will consistently scout out ahead of you, scrounging for items, while two others maybe walk behind you, this one example, alone, works great for creating the atmosphere of a party.

it is IMPOSSIBLE to get real players to RP this well with gamepads in their hands, whether they're friends or assholes it doesn't matter.

roleplaying games belong in a realm of fantasy, an illusion, it's what mmo's fail to achieve, and what games like dragon's dogma need to prioritize.

#12 Posted by MuttersomeTaxicab (668 posts) -

I, for one, really liked the pawn system. Then again, I really didn't have a significant point in which any of my pawns felt useless or exceedingly dumb. (I also didn't have super high expectations when I went in, either. Most of the time I'd just revive them when they went down and leave them to their devices.)

Given how absolutely shaky Dragon's Dogma already is in terms of framerate issues and a lot of shit going down on the screen, I can't fathom having two, three, or four players all going batshit insane in a room. I get that people want a Monster Hunter game in North America, but that shit already happened, remember? That one on the Wii? I bet that worked out real well for them.

But yeah, it's probably the same reason why Skyrim doesn't have multiplayer: it's a lot of time and resources to spend on something that might be a bit busted in the end, when that time and resources could have been used to flesh out the game world. And even then, Dragon's Dogma has a great late-to-end game, but man that middle bit is pretty fucked.

#13 Posted by cmblasko (1198 posts) -

In an instance like Dragon's Dogma, I will gladly trade immersion for fun with friends. Telling a friend about something cool that happened in a game isn't as fun as experiencing it with them.

#14 Posted by Demoskinos (14776 posts) -
@DarkbeatDK Well the other thing is like Dark Souls it justifies all of its online functionality in the narrative itself. It would be weird to have two arisen walking around the same reality.
#15 Posted by kriismarshall (2 posts) -

@cmblasko said:

In an instance like Dragon's Dogma, I will gladly trade immersion for fun with friends. Telling a friend about something cool that happened in a game isn't as fun as experiencing it with them.

agreed, :)

the wii is not something i have had the pleasure of wasting my money on tbh, the controls work perfectly for games such as mario kart, zelda and wii sports, but for games such as monster hunter...? really..?

nice try capcom but i prefer slaying monsters with D-pads, analog sticks and occasional button mashing, not waving my arms around like a complete lunatic...

#16 Edited by ArtisanBreads (3804 posts) -

If they don't add co-op they better let me command my pawns. Having a mage not casting what you wanted or what was appropriate got old. Honestly I think I should be able to totally customize them and bring them with me the whole time.

Didn't care for the job system that much, needs an overhaul IMO.

The game's combat is outstanding I just want some more control and freedom in creating a character and party.

I think a separate co-op mode or something could be the solution here.

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