1. #1

    Fun while it lasted

    The surge in ranked MP popularity during the past month due to the free giveaway was a lot of fun while it lasted! Sadly, it appears that MP is back to being dead on PC again. =\

    Hopefully we see some new content this year or another giveaway...anything that prompts an influx of players old and new would be great. Despite its flaws, the live racing element of ranked MP is a good time.
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  2. #2
    I use to like multiplayer but I quit playing it because, well, I got tired of falling asleep waiting for someone else to join.
    It's not that people don't wan to play it, but they can't when no one else is there, so they leave and there's no one in there for the next person...

    I wonder if some kind of countdown timer would help... telling players something like "Next Multiplayer event starting in 15 minutes" would get more players to check in when the timer hits 0:00, thus finding more players in the MP start room. This would not need to activate unless there are no players in the room. Often when a group of player find others, they play several rounds before quitting.
    This countdown could also maybe be used to notify people when an event is currently underway and an ETA of when it might be finished, thus opening a window to join in rather than not even knowing if anyone else is playing.

    Of course figuring out a way to combine the various platforms would greatly improve the odds of finding others in MP.
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  3. #3
    You hit the nail on the head. I was going to start another post about ways to improve the MP experience but several features have already been requested in past threads and it seems they've largely gone unimplemented.

    That being said, in my opinion there are three major features that would greatly enhance MP popularity:

    1. Allow players to continue playing the game while queued for a MP match. This would solve the first issue you described: falling asleep waiting for someone else to join. You're absolutely correct - the current system relies on players randomly searching at the same time, which wouldn't be a problem except that the game locks you out of doing any other activity while you are searching. At the very least, players should still be able to go to the garage and work on customizations or open loot crates while waiting for the MP lobby to populate. Ideally, players would be able to run single-player tracks while waiting as well (for practice/fun but knowing that the run might be interrupted by the MP lobby).

    2. "Figure out a way to combine the various platforms would greatly improve the odds of finding others in MP". 100% yes. What you just described is known as cross-platform multiplayer. To my knowledge, the game currently has cross-platform support for LBs, but not live MP races. With this type of game, there is zero advantage to playing on any particular platform, which makes it an excellent candidate for cross-platform MP. Doing so naturally increases the pool of available competitors at any given time.

    3. This is less important, but if I had to guess I'd say that some number of players - especially those who are new to the game - probably find the difficulty of the track selection frustrating. I've seen complaints on both sides - those who complained that they could only select the 'boring' easy tracks, and those who commented that they could only select tracks with difficulties beyond their abilities.

    I'm of the opinion that the track selection should be based on some combination of the rank, level, and available bikes to the least experienced player in the lobby. Over the course of playing hundreds of MP matches, the worst offender in terms of fairness is only allowing selection of hard/extreme difficulty tracks when there are people in the lobby who have just started and only have the Squid unlocked! Throwing brand new players at a hard or extreme track with an underpowered bike is going to turn a lot of people away from MP.

    As far as the idea that beginner/easy tracks are 'boring', first of all, they are not boring races at all. I suspect the people making this complaint are upset that they were beat a couple times on the easier tracks by newbies because they made a few mistakes. Well, that's called leveling the playing field. The same thing has happened to me when I play my friends in private MP. Given their current skill level, they don't have a prayer of keeping up with me on a hard or an extreme track, but if I make a mistake on one of the easier tracks that's within their current abilities, they have a much better chance of blowing right past me and taking the race. Granted, a more experienced player with track knowledge is going to be consistently faster through the easier tracks in general, but at least it gives newer players a fighting chance.

    Just my observations from attempting to play ranked MP since release. As I've said, when it works the live racing element is a heck of a lotta fun. I don't think I'm alone in the group of riders that enjoys the live competition. As a developer myself I know very well that it is 'easier said than done', but I think that investing in these enhancements to MP has the potential to increase the game's popularity and player retention.
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