To chain from this, might as well give my hopes and dreams…
I loved L4D, I stopped playing it at the time for one reason alone… I did not have the time to run the entire campaign through from start to finish by that point, and not being able to play with the same people regularly enough meant that I was relying on randoms in a game where teamwork was vital.
So, as a somewhat casual but invested gamer, I’d like to see the format of the game take from Evolve’s story telling ethos, which is to say that I can play hundreds of Co-op games, and over those experiences start to piece together the story of the world and history. These games should ideally be balanced and crafted around 20-30 minutes long, allowing people to play between 1-3 games in a session before then having to quit for another day.
If the narrative experience requires multiple chapters, as per the L4D games, then it’d be great if they could be run through by a team, but also don’t need to be. i.e. if I’ve reached chapter 2 of campaign 1, then I should be able to in the future search for other people looking to hop in at that chapter and carry on exploring the story from the point I left it off.
It would be remiss of me if I didn’t give a shout out to the solo players that would want to also do this exploration with bots, or use “offline” mode to explore and test the different weapons and variables available to them.
If I had a preference I’d love to see written characters (though probably more than just 4 to choose from) that bring different narrative experiences during co-op, but I’d love it if we could essentially make our own characters for PvP. I think if I had a game where I was levelling up my account, unlocking perks (as per my post before), upgrades, whatever and these were applicable to both PvP and PvE modes I’d have an even better reason to keep coming back to the game.
I am generally with people that would prefer to see this as something that went beyond just zombies, in to something darker, or more fantastical in its horror. I think you do this so well but, I’m also ok with Zombies.
But my primary thing, more than anything, is about that game experience as someone that can only put in around an hour a day, 4 or 5 days a week. Experiences need to be short enough to fit a couple of games in, and/or not be a situation where you can die and then just feel like you’ve wasted your time. I don’t think hero shooter stuff is great, I don’t mind it but I would definitely prefer the game to be focused on team vs team rather than group of heroes vs group of (evil) heroes, but giving the ability to personalise, and tune, individual play-styles a little would be a great way to encourage more playing to find that right combination of perks/upgrades etc.
I know more hardcore people will have more of an opinion on PvP, especially when it comes to wanting to make it a competitive experience, personally I just hope that in general online play you continue to explore balancing options that help a group of solo queuing randoms from just getting trounced by partied groups. I really appreciated what you were doing in Evolve, even though it’s likely that was a much more complicated beast that balancing between two equal sized (but still asymmetrical) teams would be.
whispers Is it too early to say how interesting it would be at some point in such a game’s lifecycle to have a mode where an extra person can join as the “evil” player in co-op to fulfil an AI director style role? I know this isn’t a unique thing in games, I’m sure it got floated by L4D fans at the time, and it treads close to the whole 4v1 thing, but I’ve always enjoyed the merging of a quintessentially single player experience with a multi-player one against each other.
Edit: @MaddCow I think I basically want to see L4D but with elements taken from Hunt Showdown, Evolve and Natural Selection. This says more about me than what constitutes a good game though!