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View Full Version : Why was there a Multiplayer Beta?



najzere
01-02-2011, 08:50 PM
Of the many things that were requested to be fixed or were suggested for making the game better when we were playing the Beta, it seems that absolutely nothing was changed. Even something very small, that a huge amount of people hated, like being able to mute all microphones wasn't fixed. Why bother with a Beta at all? Just to gauge server load and optimize your match-making algorithms? Just say that next time, instead of fooling people into pre-ordering based on the notion they would be helping to make the multiplayer a better experience.

Besides the unbelievable mute thing still being there, nothing was done to address the complaints about having no recourse against pursuers you spot, constant runners/climbers or the way match-making is based on a grindable level instead of actual skill. There are still people assassinating right through smoke bombs, assassinating people climbing above them with no animation, and people being pulled back onto rooftops in mid-jump from an assassination. On top of that, it still makes no sense to put three contracts out on the leader and force the last place players to go after a target competing against two other players. This benefits no one except the mid-level players who inevitably take the lead near the end of the session, unless the leader gets way too far ahead.

I just find it hard to believe that over a three week Beta with a message board chock full of complaints, suggestions, positive and negative feedback and bug reports that in every single instance the development team decided the best course was to keep everything exactly the way it was. Surely it came down to money and time—although some of the things requested were very simple—but I know I don't appreciate the developers totally ignoring everything but the game-breaking bugs their customers brought to their attention.

As I said during the Beta, replayability for the multiplayer is going to be very low for me, due to the mechanics of match-making putting me with players not in my skill level and the mechanics of the game artificially stunting skilled players while coddling mediocre ones. I thought I could bear with the multiplayer at least long enough to get my platinum trophy like I got for Assassin's Creed II, but at level 27 I'm looking at a very long slough through a boring grindfest that is making the journey seem less and less worth it.

P.S. Great job on the single-player campaign as usual. Can't wait to see what you have in store for AC3.

najzere
01-02-2011, 08:50 PM
Of the many things that were requested to be fixed or were suggested for making the game better when we were playing the Beta, it seems that absolutely nothing was changed. Even something very small, that a huge amount of people hated, like being able to mute all microphones wasn't fixed. Why bother with a Beta at all? Just to gauge server load and optimize your match-making algorithms? Just say that next time, instead of fooling people into pre-ordering based on the notion they would be helping to make the multiplayer a better experience.

Besides the unbelievable mute thing still being there, nothing was done to address the complaints about having no recourse against pursuers you spot, constant runners/climbers or the way match-making is based on a grindable level instead of actual skill. There are still people assassinating right through smoke bombs, assassinating people climbing above them with no animation, and people being pulled back onto rooftops in mid-jump from an assassination. On top of that, it still makes no sense to put three contracts out on the leader and force the last place players to go after a target competing against two other players. This benefits no one except the mid-level players who inevitably take the lead near the end of the session, unless the leader gets way too far ahead.

I just find it hard to believe that over a three week Beta with a message board chock full of complaints, suggestions, positive and negative feedback and bug reports that in every single instance the development team decided the best course was to keep everything exactly the way it was. Surely it came down to money and time—although some of the things requested were very simple—but I know I don't appreciate the developers totally ignoring everything but the game-breaking bugs their customers brought to their attention.

As I said during the Beta, replayability for the multiplayer is going to be very low for me, due to the mechanics of match-making putting me with players not in my skill level and the mechanics of the game artificially stunting skilled players while coddling mediocre ones. I thought I could bear with the multiplayer at least long enough to get my platinum trophy like I got for Assassin's Creed II, but at level 27 I'm looking at a very long slough through a boring grindfest that is making the journey seem less and less worth it.

P.S. Great job on the single-player campaign as usual. Can't wait to see what you have in store for AC3.

Avl521
01-02-2011, 09:29 PM
I wasn't in the Beta so I wouldn't know about this issue.
But IF it's true that they changed nothing even after all the feedback then I second this.

As you said the single player was Brilliant as it has been with AC.
I enjoy the multiplayer a lot as well. Don't know if I'll go all the way to level 50 though.
I'll just try to meet the requirements for the Platinum too and if I still enjoy it then I'll try to reach level 50.

oO_ShadowFox_Oo
01-02-2011, 10:09 PM
Criticism and feedback given about gameplay choices and mechanics during a beta are always second course.

They surely do give the developers a great insight into how the initial feedback to their product is and how they can go about changing it in future course, but the primary function of releasing a BETA is to pump an otherwise unattainable amount of gameplay hours into a gameplay environment.

These stress tests allow the team to get to a point where practically all UNINTENTIONAL faults are highlighted, and possibly removed with sufficient time.

This leads to an overall higher quality of software product being released.

I am with you 100% on all comments made regarding the faults of the game, but there is no way the majority of them could have been changed. Changing most of the ones you have listed would have required reprogramming and then a several brand new layers of testing to ensure the changes were bug free.

The levelling up system relates alot to the current COD trend, with upgrades and skills lending to the shelf life extension of the game. While not optimal for long-term matchmaking, it's a design choice, which is not something that is being considered for change during a beta.

But I disagree with the issue you state with higher placed players (during a match) being more frequently handed out as contracts to more players.

Before I tell you why, I'd also first say that this was never going to be something that was tested in beta. It was a gameplay choice that was changing would have taken too much time to replace.

Anyway, IMO it places more pressure on the leader and focusses attention away from lower players. This allows the playing field to be levelled and for players who may have received an initial bad opening streak to recover. It also allows truly talented players to shine, as more attention on you = a greater chance to use your skills to earn points.

It also means that higher ranked players, competing for 1st place, will have a greater chance of targeting each other. This means that the leaders are directly competing against each other more-so than any other system. This also means that it opens the game up for others to move INTO that position and challenge for the lead.

But sheer balance issues things like smoke not functioning correctly and the timing durations/range of certain abilities are definitely items of feedback that should be taken on board.

Though these things could have been pushed back until the first patch, so there may still be change to be found!

Still though. This is the best multiplayer experience I have had since Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory and I can't put it down!!!

najzere
01-04-2011, 08:44 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by oO_ShadowFox_Oo (http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/5251069024/m/9311001209?r=3921011209#3921011209):
Changing most of the ones you have listed would have required reprogramming and then a several brand new layers of testing to ensure the changes were bug free. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

How quickly the game was released following the Beta goes to show what their intentions were toward making any fixes. Like I said, it came down to time and money, and I'm sure they wanted a holiday season release. I hope they released the Beta as soon as they could instead of waiting until the last minute to build up sales hype, because if the Beta had come out over the summer, they would have had more time to better balance the multiplayer.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by oO_ShadowFox_Oo (http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/5251069024/m/9311001209?r=3921011209#3921011209):
Anyway, IMO it places more pressure on the leader and focusses attention away from lower players. This allows the playing field to be levelled and for players who may have received an initial bad opening streak to recover. It also allows truly talented players to shine, as more attention on you = a greater chance to use your skills to earn points.

It also means that higher ranked players, competing for 1st place, will have a greater chance of targeting each other. This means that the leaders are directly competing against each other more-so than any other system. This also means that it opens the game up for others to move INTO that position and challenge for the lead. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I could argue about this all day long. As someone who often has to endure the last half of the session with three contracts on him, all I can say is it severely limits the enjoyment I get out of the session. I would much rather the contracts always be one pursuer and one target, and have the top guys going after each other if you want that sort of competition.

The real problem is the long term match-making, which I went in depth about during the Beta. In a few months when everyone's level 50 and you have virtually no hope of getting into a room with decent players, I don't see many skilled people sticking around. It's a shame they didn't take a cue from successful multiplayer games like fighting games and StarCraft, where your rating is based on skill rather than accumulating experience points.