View Full Version : ACU: Multiplayer - Communication, Sync Points, Gear Rewards, Clubs, improvements?!

12-17-2014, 12:40 AM
Hello everyone. I've found that aside from The ACU Companion App and AC Initiates, I've run into the most frustration about the game when it comes to Multiplayer. Some of the mechanics just seem poorly thought out, but maybe I'm missing something and someone has some tips.

First of all, communication on multiplayer missions (Co-Op, Heists etc..) seems lacking. I can't for the life of me understand why there isn't any text chat on the PC version! VOIP seems lacking as well - I've not run into a randomly-matched player who is using it as of yet. I see the UPlay overlay talks about voice chat... does it activate within ACU and broadcast to any player characters that are party of your group? Or do you have to have a premade "UPlay Friends"group for it to work? Regardless , it seems that so much of the multiplayer is dependent on working together yet we lack the tools to make this viable. The only two signals we have are "place a marker by aiming" and "Change the icon over your head to a countdown". This is very frustrating, especially considering that the markers you place on your map aren't visible to other players! This seems totally insufficient to deal with the wide range of player skill, aims, understanding etc.. to facilitate working together!

One of the biggest issues I've found in this regard is Sync Points! Revealing themselves only in Co-Op missions, and to those close enough to see them, these seem a really cumbersome mechanic - especially as they are so important, necessary to grant Skill points! . First of all, they're often completely out of the way compared to the normal "path" through the Co-Op objectives. A player who "runs off" away from the group seeking out Sync Points may be seen as not paying attention etc.. and thanks to the above there's few ways if any to tell your fellow players "I want to find/collect the Sync Points" and have them understand, especially if they don't know about their presence, or have already collected themselves and thus just want to finish. I am unsure - is it required that EVERY player in a Co Op mission touch a Sync Point themselves at least once to count as a capture? It doesn't SEEM that one player can tap a point and everyone receives the benefit. I try to use my "colored marker" if I can get close enough to point it properly, but that has a limited amount of success I've found. It seems like Sync Points are nearly totally at odds with the rest of the mission experience - you're supposed to often be racing to some swashbuckling act of heroism that requires time and teamwork, not poncing around trying to figure out how to get into a sewer or locked door out of the way to grab some widget away from the action.

Sync Points and CoOp missions as a whole seem to have really broken balance mechanics too. For instance, the earliest 2 Diamond and 3 Diamond Co-Op missions grant early gear classes - Handmade, Tailored, and perhaps a single Improved piece. This stands to reason they'd be undertaken by lower level players . However, I've found in a 3 Diamond Mission (Austrian Conspiracy perhaps?) that one of the Sync Points was exclusively behind a Master Lockpicking Level 3 Door! This seems insane to me, given that you need to have completed Sequence 9 just to unlock the ability to BUY Lv3 Locksmithing (and Sequence 5 for Lv2 along the way). This doesn't seem a proper barrier for such a low level mission - I spent quite some time not only waiting to get into the mission with a high-ranking player, but to convey to them "please unlock this door for me" through a sequence of "colored markers repeatedly hammering on the door's location" , hoping that someone would see, put two and two together and at least come over and try to figure out what I'm indicating, much less have the skill to open the door! This is all much more cumbersome than it has to be! Just the addition of a small chatbox would make things MUCH easier! Better balance of the rewards and elimination of the barriers (like locked doors the only way to enter to find Sync points) would help as well, but overall communication between players is the big issue.

When it comes to Clubs, I also find a lack of opportunity for communication and sane tools for helping players find the Club for them. If you're going to put the very best gear behind Club requirements, especially competitions between Clubs, then there needs to be not only better communications options in game (typing and voice, with indicators that players are doing so etc..), but also selecting and understanding clubs. For instance the Browse Club feature is limited and cumbersome at best. You can browse by Country (which needs a memory feature and a quick scroll option. Its frustrating for someone who lives in the United States or United Kingdom to have to scroll all the way down to the bottom every time they wish to search.. Doing it once is understandable, but not every time you go out of the menu and back!) , by Favorite Multiplayer Activity and by Creed. The former isn't bad - a user will generally set their own preference, but a little more explanation of each option would be nice. Creed needs a little more information - the "focus" of a Club can either be Fun (mostly self explanatory) Completion (mostly self explanatory - join here if you want help in 100%ing the game) Club Competitions (somewhat explanatory.. but wouldn't those going for Completion also want to do the Club Competitions necessary to unlock everything?) and finally Immersion. It is the latter that needs the most explanation. I assume Immersion is "roleplay style", but in a game without much communication between players, what does this really mean? If it means the players prefer to act "lore centric" , doing the quests, getting involved in dynamic events etc... wouldn't many of the other players be doing that anyway? It would mean a lot more if there was prevalent text or even voice between players (ie immersion means players don't want to hear about someone yelling about out-of-game stuff while playing etc) but I don't see the point of the feature with the current system. We don't have the mechanics.

Overall, all of the current Club browsing filters could use some work, but what we really need is an improvement to the listing provided upon searching! User are given a list of Clubs and these show, in addition to Name, Tag, and Creed, - number of club members, how many club tasks have been completed, how old the club is since founding in days, the amount of COOP/Heists per player on average, and how many Club Competitions have been won. Why can't we filter by any of this information? First of all, it seems that the default browsing UI is exclusively on "newest founded" clubs. That means you scroll through all of the "1 day old" clubs first of all. It can quite some time to make it all the way to those with a week or two lifespan for instance, given how many Clubs have only a handful of members. Players are clearly going to be interested in clubs with a large membership, those who have won a competition, have X number of Club Missions complete etc... so why not let them be searched as well? Even the search by name and tag feature is borked - if you search for a string of characters, you'll see exactly one result that closely matches it . For instance, there are a great variety of clubs with the name "Nocturne" in them. Searching for "Nocturne" only shows the one club exactly name Nocturne! Searching for "Noc" does not help, because that's the Tag of "Nocturne" so that is what shows up again. I've taken to having to write down the Tag of interesting looking clubs on a post-it as a I browse through pages and pages of clubs, if I want to come back to them later. Otherwise, it would take me forever to get back to a club that is even 7, much less 14 or more days old! Many opportunity for simple improvements to these mechanics that could help with quality of life.

There are a lot of good features about ACU itself but I really think some mechanics could use some tweaking especially in the multiplayer aspects thereof. Now maybe I've missed some helpful feature and I'd be like to know about it, but from what I can see relatively simple changes could better the game enormously. Thanks.

12-17-2014, 01:52 AM
Geez. A "tl:dr" might have helped.

First of all, communication on multiplayer missions (Co-Op, Heists etc..) seems lacking. I can't for the life of me understand why there isn't any text chat on the PC version! VOIP seems lacking as well - I've not run into a randomly-matched player who is using it as of yet. I see the UPlay overlay talks about voice chat...

Agreed on the voice communication. It does not seem to be working or it may be affected by NAT issues. Whatever the reason, it's annoying. I'd like to use my mic in-game, but I've never been able to. I hope Patch 4 addresses this. If not, I wish Ubisoft would at least acknowledge the issue and explain how it's supposed to work.

But you're incorrect that placing markers isn't visible to other players. I do it all the time and I've seen other players do it. It's very helpful in lieu of voice or text chat.

One of the biggest issues I've found in this regard is Sync Points! Revealing themselves only in Co-Op missions, and to those close enough to see them, these seem a really cumbersome mechanic - especially as they are so important, necessary to grant Skill points! ...

Why are you trying to get the sync points in co-op with other players? Play the co-op missions and get the points by yourself. It is annoying when a player is trying to collect sync points and refuses leave the mission area after it's been completed, forcing us all to wait. You can get the sync points on your own by playing the co-op missions in solo mode, just like I did. It was really easy.

The rest of your complaints, with all due respect, are borderline pedantic. There are plenty of ways multiplayer can be improved but I wasn't expecting Ubisoft to absolutely nail co-op mode on the head given this is their first venture into cooperative online play (if you're excluding Wolf Pack, that is.) And who knows how Club Competitions will actually look once it's been released? I expect there will be a lot of additions soon. And I was able to find a club based in the USA with over 20 members fairly easily, so I don't see what the issue is.

12-17-2014, 06:04 AM
It is good to know it isn't just myself when it comes to voice comms. I'd still rather have the option of text communication as well, but if they fix voice then that would be helpful, especially if they improve it a bit (ie show who's speaking on your group UI etc) and have some sort of message announcing that even in random groups VOIP will be enabled and you can start talking to your other members.

With regards to the markers, I'm speaking about those that are set on the map screen itself and can be placed anywhere. That is to say, if I open my map while in Co Op, and drop my "normal" marker, the same one that I can drop on any point of interest while playing in single player, THAT market is not visible to other players. The "colored" marker, exclusive to multiplayer and linked to your player color for that match, IS visible I know - (blue, green, purple, gold). However you can't place one of those anywhere except where you can immediately see from the "aiming" display. Unlike the "normal" marker, you can't go anywhere on the map out of your line of sight an drop a colored marker (unless I've missed something?) on a far-away point such as a Sync Point. Instead, I have to get up close enough to what I want to mark and point at it with "aiming', which can be difficult during multiplayer at times. That's the difference I was speaking of - between "Map-set markers" and "multiplayer, colored markers" which can only be set via manually aiming while in game world. If this is incorrect, I'd be interested to know otherwise.

Why am I trying to gain Sync Points with other players? Well, because they're exclusively part of co-op missions and I'm hoping that I'll run into another player with Level 3 Lockpicking so I can acquire some of the Sync points that require it. ! If the intent as you say is only to hunt for them while playing the co-op missions solo, I consider that yet another problem with the game design, as it requires even a higher level of proficiency and gear in relation to the rewards granted! Furthermore, I don't find it "really easy" when some of the Sync Points require Level 3 Lockpicking to access, which I don't yet have (and won't have until MUCH farther into the game). If the idea is that you have to wait until Sequence 9+ to fully clear a 3-diamond Co Op mission, that seems wrong to me - especially if you're supposed to be doing it solo! This is my objection with the whole balance/reward issue, as I wrote about in more depth above, the entire setup is counter intuitive! You're supposed to play a Co-Op mission on solo mode lest you frustrate your group, at a much higher level/later in the game than it it indicates, to unlock equipment that is very low level for you, in order to fully complete the mission and receive all the rewards? That doesn't seem right!

As far as clubs, I don't know when you found your club or how long your spent looking, but I do feel that a few additional filters could save time and make it more accessible. I had to scroll through tons of clubs to find a few that took my interest. I am sure that when the Competitions arrive that will be an improvement, but I hope some of these other features are added a well.

I can certainly understand not getting perfection right off the bat, but it seems there are a lot of foreseeable design and mechanics issue as I described above that could be improved significantly. I hope Ubi is willing to do so

12-17-2014, 12:24 PM
TBH I didn't do a lot of the story at the begining and went round trying to clean up the map by removing cockades and chests but while my lockpicking was still level one I found some clothing (waist I think) gave me about 18 lockpicks (eventually 27) and with timing I was still opening level 3 chests by pressing the spacebar when the moving bar was 2 cm away from the unlock section. Most times it would take me 10 or 12 picks but on a few occasions I used 1 or 2 so just timimg. In fact when I levelled up to level 3 lockpicking I have missed the correct point more often as my timing hasn't adjusted ;) but I only have about 10 chest left if I can find them.