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Old 22-Jul-2008, 21:16   #1
patsu
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Since the MAG announcement in E3 2008, I thought the game sounded like Planetside, and it's still on the drawing board. According to the devs, they already have it up and running in some form: http://blog.us.playstation.com/2008/...t-look-at-mag/

At this point, I can't really grasp the scale. May be after I have played enough 60 player RFOM, I'll have a better sense.
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Old 22-Jul-2008, 21:20   #2
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It wouldn't be surprising if this has an MMO pricing structure.

You figure they have to dedicate some infrastructure to this.
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Old 22-Jul-2008, 21:34   #3
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I'm not seeing the need for MMO pricing; afterall, Resistance and Warhawk each have dedicated infrastructure as well, and certainly they're not charging for the opportunity. Remember that more players per round means just that... that's not the same as saying more players total.
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Old 22-Jul-2008, 21:40   #4
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Yes, comment 4 is also interesting:

Quote:
nbnz | July 22nd, 2008 at 12:11 pm

That is seriously in game? Wow (but how about a bigger version?)


Rade Stojsavljevic replied on July 22, 2008 at 12:32 pm
Yes, that’s an actual screenshot running on a PS3. The image was cropped to center on the action.
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Old 22-Jul-2008, 21:42   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl B View Post
I'm not seeing the need for MMO pricing; afterall, Resistance and Warhawk each have dedicated infrastructure as well, and certainly they're not charging for the opportunity. Remember that more players per round means just that... that's not the same as saying more players total.
We really don't know the details, but 256 players in a game might require more out of the server infrastructure. I doubt it, though. I seem to remember that people could host more than one BF2 64-person server on a single reasonably-powerful server.
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Old 22-Jul-2008, 21:50   #6
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Closest Sony/Zipper came to charging more for online was that they priced one of the SOCOM games at $50 at a time when all other SCEA-published titles were $40.

At the peak of SOCOM's popularity, they claimed at least tens of thousands online at once.

Of course, PS3 installed base being what it is, maybe the peak loads won't be as demanding.

But maybe being able to serve up to 256 clients in a game is more demanding than serving say 40 clients?
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Old 22-Jul-2008, 21:52   #7
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Closest Sony/Zipper came to charging more for online was that they priced one of the SOCOM games at $50 at a time when all other SCEA-published titles were $40.
Didn't SOCOM come with a headset, or was this $50 on top of all that?
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Old 22-Jul-2008, 22:19   #8
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I like to know how they intend to make 128 players work together. Most teambased MP games have far less players yet proper teamwork rarely happens. They seem assign a leader to every 8 man squad and one for every 8 squads. I doubt anyone is going to want they're told just because they have a squad leader, unless they can be forced to do it. And all of this would probably need a headset packed in with the game to make it happen.

Having said that, I do hope they can make it work. And I'll be very impressed if they do.
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Old 22-Jul-2008, 22:30   #9
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Yeah, I think so too. Even in 40 player RFOM objective games, I sometimes did not follow instructions because I was lost, dead, bored or I saw suspicious activities. I have doubts about AI command and control. They can be fooled by human players right ?

EDIT: If MAG is fully human controlled, then I think they may need incentives and rules to enforce discipline, just like in an Army. I wonder how Planetside turned out initially.
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Old 22-Jul-2008, 22:40   #10
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This seems like an awesome idea on paper but it's execution will be challenging and painful, to say the least. 128 players on each side working together? Not a chance in hell. Also, that'll be some amazing netcode to handle 256 concurrent players in a shooting genre (that requires good interoplation and hit detection). Executing this well will take lots and lots of QA work and will be very expensive.

If somehow they do pull it off, this will be the most amazing game of this generation.
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Old 22-Jul-2008, 22:57   #11
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I just thought of way to make it work if they allow us create our own 256 player war. Get the top 10 clans on ConsoleGaming to divide themselves over the squads. Each clan already has a leader so we'll only need to appoint the one's the command them. Everyone has a headset and is used to working together. Should be great fun.

Of course thats not a option for the average player.
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Old 22-Jul-2008, 22:59   #12
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Apparently they have pulled it off already, at least on the technical side. And from what I've read of how they set it up, I think it can work with that many players also. As for hit detection, I think the SPEs can handle that fine ... :P.

The biggest challenge on the PS3 will be to get people to talk to each other. But I guess including a headset with the game could help there.

I don't think this will be the most amazing game this generation though. But it will sure be groundbreaking and innovative. And it could be a lot of fun!
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Old 22-Jul-2008, 23:05   #13
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You only can talk to your squad of 8, I think your squad leader will communicate with a commander.
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Old 22-Jul-2008, 23:06   #14
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Not having a headset is not the reason people don't talk. People very often times don't want to talk for numerous reasons. Online people are shy I've come to find out...

It won't work. You can control a lot in a video game but you can't control the people and that is easily the biggest issue. The Battlefield 2 on PC had squads, had a commander with a top down RTS view, had abilities to point out goals, the other team, and tons of options. But that didn't help. Simply put the more people you have the more people who think they can win the match on their own.
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Old 22-Jul-2008, 23:12   #15
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Not having a headset is not the reason people don't talk. People very often times don't want to talk for numerous reasons. Online people are shy I've come to find out...

It won't work. You can control a lot in a video game but you can't control the people and that is easily the biggest issue. The Battlefield 2 on PC had squads, had a commander with a top down RTS view, had abilities to point out goals, the other team, and tons of options. But that didn't help. Simply put the more people you have the more people who think they can win the match on their own.
It depends heavily on map design and spawn design. BF2 allowed you to spawn at any captured base and on some of the bigger maps you wouldn't see a soul for miles. On the tighter maps, like Karkand, which was a smaller map, with spawns closer to the action, you just had a lot of attrition. And because you were fighting ON the objectives, even people looking just to get kills were helping the overall objective. As a result, it was one of the best maps in the game.
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Old 22-Jul-2008, 23:20   #16
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It depends heavily on map design and spawn design. BF2 allowed you to spawn at any captured base and on some of the bigger maps you wouldn't see a soul for miles. On the tighter maps, like Karkand, which was a smaller map, with spawns closer to the action, you just had a lot of attrition. And because you were fighting ON the objectives, even people looking just to get kills were helping the overall objective. As a result, it was one of the best maps in the game.
You seemed to have missed the point. I also know BF2 very well, having over 1000 hours on it. You could always put yourself into the action rather quickly in BF2 it was simply a matter of people placing themselves in positions trying to solo cap a base. Which granted worked sometimes but only because people were to busy doing the same thing elsewhere. So yes, you can force players into the objectives by forcefully placing them on it but that limits the variety of the game. We'll see where this goes but I don't see it being anything but impressive in scale. Some will like it though, some liked BF2... I hated it and still do to this day. Dedication to clan kicked me in the ass.
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Old 22-Jul-2008, 23:24   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skrying View Post
Not having a headset is not the reason people don't talk. People very often times don't want to talk for numerous reasons. Online people are shy I've come to find out...

It won't work. You can control a lot in a video game but you can't control the people and that is easily the biggest issue. The Battlefield 2 on PC had squads, had a commander with a top down RTS view, had abilities to point out goals, the other team, and tons of options. But that didn't help. Simply put the more people you have the more people who think they can win the match on their own.
In battlefield, I often played with friends and then it was fun but that's mainly due to the fact you're playing with friends but on a whole, it's very disorganized even with all the right potential pieces in place and in depth controls. Then as you add more players, the difficulty in balancing maps but ridiculous. Thus you had Karkand and Jallalabad (without vehicles) as the 2 most decently balanced maps. Now that I think about it map balancing will be another huge undertaking for the MAG team.
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Old 22-Jul-2008, 23:49   #18
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You seemed to have missed the point. I also know BF2 very well, having over 1000 hours on it. You could always put yourself into the action rather quickly in BF2 it was simply a matter of people placing themselves in positions trying to solo cap a base. Which granted worked sometimes but only because people were to busy doing the same thing elsewhere. So yes, you can force players into the objectives by forcefully placing them on it but that limits the variety of the game. We'll see where this goes but I don't see it being anything but impressive in scale. Some will like it though, some liked BF2... I hated it and still do to this day. Dedication to clan kicked me in the ass.
That's not what I'm saying; I'm saying that careful map creation, spawn placement can overcome many of these problems. Ideally, in a team-based shooter you'd want to:
1) Make it so a handful of people not contributing don't significantly impact the action. In BF2 someone who grabbed an uncommon vehicle and were useless with it (particularly a plane or chopper) could wreck a round. This includes making it so griefers can't impact the action significantly.
2) Make it so killing the enemy actually helps the team, because people will play your game like it's TDM, always. This is what BF2's reinforcement system does. In contrast, in ET/RTCW simply killing enemies accomplished nothing. BF2 was a lot more resilient to useless teammates than RTCW. BF:BC is even more resilient, since you're always limited to a smaller theater of a much bigger map.
3) Keep the action intense. Keep players from spreading apart too much. A squad-based spawn system helps here, as does map design that funnels you towards a handful of objectives at a time. BF:BC's 'spawn on any squad member' is better at this than BF2's 'spawn on squad leader or on any controlled objective'. BF:2142's 'portable spawnpoint' is also a good solution.
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Old 22-Jul-2008, 23:59   #19
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The problem is that everybody expects to be Rambo when they play ie no teamwork, if your in a decent clan then you already break it down into responsibilites/tasks and you are happy if your clan wins and not if you got a gazillion kills.
So you need to enforce this, like Insomniac says with R2 multiplayer, you get objectives and incentives to do them, which gives you better scores. Also you probably need to be "punished" if you do not follow your objectives.

The big question is, are the gamers ready for this kind enforced game style.
We did some exercises in the army with MILES gear and those where actually fun, so it could work, but then again many people love to see that highest kill score.....

As for the netcode, I don't see why you can segment it, ie squads 1-4 is on one side of the map, there is no need for them to get the all the updates of whats happening on the other side of the map etc.
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Old 23-Jul-2008, 00:22   #20
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Most clans don't have 128 players. They could probably fill up a few squads, but even that might not be enough to win, because much will depend on the other players. They might as well flip a coin to determine which side wins, as its going to be extremely difficult to have an effect on the outcome.
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Old 23-Jul-2008, 00:39   #21
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I wonder how are they going to display battles with 256 players in one huge environment. I suspect this could be a strategy based game with not so fancy visuals

edit: I take it back. Just seen the blog.....wow if it turns out to be very good looking, a shooter at core with 256 people at once with no technical problems!
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Old 23-Jul-2008, 01:21   #22
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I think it was SOCOM2 or 3 and this was $50 just for the game, no headset bundled like the original game.


Anyone been watching Generation Kill on HBO? The story follows one unit (not sure how big it is) and so far, that one unit will back another unit, have specific missions like clearing out a town or holding a bridge. They're not ever showing some huge battle, just a gun fight with a few dozen men on each side shooting.

Maybe the game will only show you a small part of the map at a time, with only so many players and the rest of the players making up the 256 players are far enough away that you have to really try to get to them and it's not easy to do without encountering enemy fire.

Unless it's more of a historic type of scenario where the battle lines are clearly established as opposed to an urban combat scenario of a video game where soldiers on different sides don't try to hold positions.

It would be cool if you can have some coordination of different kinds of units, like ground units calling in air strikes, maybe some soldiers targeting ground targets for cruise missiles. Or maybe even have Predators controlled remotely for recon or assassination attempts.
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Old 23-Jul-2008, 15:03   #23
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The only way i can see this happening is huge levels .

This game will have to be installed to the hardrive imo to decrease loading times and maps will easily have to be bigger than 4-6 cod 4 maps .

Each side has squads of 8 or so ( i think bigger than that and its hard to orgnize) will start at certian areas of the maps and there will be a few hard points on the map to defend for both sides . This way there is a constant flow to a few areas but there is enough distance and spawn area for smaller fights to break out.

Don't see this game working well though ... but i'd love to be surprised
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Old 23-Jul-2008, 15:28   #24
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I don't see the point of this game. 256 people means my presence is 1/256th of the experience. How much difference do I make? Nothing! It'll just boil down to me doing my thing while others do their thing. If you break things down into parties with objectives, how much difference does it make? If I'm in a party of 8 versus another party of 8, how is this principally different from a 16 player game? And if they actually have 256 people altogether in a huge melee, it'll just be a confusing mess. Compared to the Agency where it's Me and a few others in a challenge, and everything we do counts...well, I know which is more likely to get my attention!
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Old 23-Jul-2008, 15:48   #25
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... not to forget the DC Universe MMO game.

I really like the Planetside review here http://pc.ign.com/articles/422/422895p1.html

I think it highlights the many challenges of FPS MMO very well. I'd be very interested to see how the designers solve these issues. According to the reviewer, the experience can be unique and fun but they sound very rare due to complications.
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