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SYN_Vander

Suggestions to improve Co-op multiplayer gameplay

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Since BoS will share or be built upon RoF technology, I'm assuming that it will also have a co-op game mode.

For Rise of Flight I have created numerous missions, both for Dogfight and Co-op mode. After discussing with a lot of MP players I have 3 suggested changes that will greatly improve Co-op gameplay.

These are:

 

1) A single player should be able to start a co-op mission on a public server.

 

As of now, in RoF, a player can't start a mission by itself. When there are few players around this means he has to wait for someone else to join and this can take some time. So he leaves and 5 min later someone joins, see that nothing happens and leaves. And so on. If the first player could start the co-op the 2nd would see him still in the server and join so a snow-ball effect can happen. When the 2nd mission starts, there will be more players still in the server.

 

2) In the Mission Editor there should be an option for an aircraft that it will not spawn in the game if no player took it's slot. So a plane type: "Human" besides "AI", "Cooperative" and " Player" (for single player)

 

Currently, co-op doesn't properly support a large number of planes. If you create 75 co-op planes in a mission and when starting the mission only 2 players have joined, 73 AI planes will take-off and normally the game server can't handle this. There is a work-around for this (deleting planes that do not take-off) but it's very user unfriendly and also not fool proof.

 

3) The ability to have players jump in AI aircraft when the mission is running.

 

I think Loft already mentioned somewhere that this will not be in scope. For me it's the holy grail of Multiplayer since it will allow for a much more casual approach to multiplayer but you can still have realistic and diverse missions, unlike dogfight mode which is more rinse & repeat. I genuinely think it will attract a lot more player to Multiplayer which is also interesting from a marketing perspective ;)

Edited by SYN_Vander
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Fully agree with these suggestions if they are possible within the scope of the title.

 

One of the things that keeps a larger audience from enjoying the more complex and ultimately satisfying aspects of flight sims is, I think, the sometimes byzantine nature of how to get online and playing in a way that reflects their single player expectations but adds in the element of multiplayer. Dogfight style servers don't generally reflect that single player experience and so can be intimidating and not much fun for the new player.

 

Coop missions are great because they've got the single player elements (tasks to complete, wingmen to fly with, structure and story) but add in the excitement of having other real people flying the other aircraft. I think there has to be a premium put on allowing people to experience this type of gameplay easily and simply.

 

I think the biggest problem for people wanting to play this style is getting the mission started with players in the aircraft. As Vander said, unless you've got a bunch of regulars that agree to show up and play, you end up waiting around for someone to join before you can start. That's death for people who aren't involved in squadrons or regular groups and those are the people we want to buy the game and join the hobby.

 

A good compromise would be a 'floating spawn point' that would allow a player joining a co-op server already running to spawn in the air at a location relative to the squadron or flight group that they're joining, possibly with a brief one-time-only HUD indicator of where their group is located so they can rendezvous easily. That is, if the take the place of an AI aircraft isn't an option.

 

Possibly another solution could be that the game could briefly pause with a message that "Player X is joining the mission", one of the AI aircraft could be deleted and replaced by the player aircraft (with the same damage/used ammo, etc) and then the game could unpause and resume.

 

All this is to say that I think Vander's completely correct that the co-op mode of gameplay is what could really help to sell this game. Flight sims are hard enough for new players. I think the multiplayer experience for them really needs to be less about playing against other people and more about playing with them.

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Good discussion.

 

To preserve an income stream for the developers and publishers, I think a DF-style mode is important to have for the "casual flyer", as the UP guys so eloquently called it.

 

However, adding a few new features for coop-style mode would also greatly improve the playability of the campaign for more immersive and layered experiences. The ability to join a coop game in progress would be a very good enabler.

 

I am not so worried about total numbers of active planes that can/cannot be supported. What seems like a limitation now will evaporate over time as computational specs improve. But feature set limitations will always remain, so let's get an attractive feature set put together now.

 

Cheers,

4Shades

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A dynamic campaign in co-op would be awesome.   Make the number of player flyable aircraft scalable.   1-5  flyable planes with 50 AI,  5-10 player flyable with 40 AI,  etc.    Make it so you can start either in the air or on the ground. 

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I think that if BoS has an IL2 styke coop and df mode with an MDS at least it would be great.

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The ability to join a coop game in progress could be a mission option.

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Love the idead of being able to join once the mission has started.  Flying with our squadron coops, we would get our group of 6-8 together, takeoff and one might crash on takeoff and we'd all have to restart.  Gawd that got annoying, and the crashed pilot felt awful.  Yes, we should have practiced our takeoffs, but it happens.  It would have been great if they could just restart while the rest of us continued our takeoff or pattern over the field.  This might detract from the finality of a players death in a coop, but I think it's a better option than all of the restarts.

 

It would also be nice for that player that got on line one minute after you started the mission and you had to restart the mission again, and then have a crash on takeoff and restart again... yeah, joining a coop in progress would be great.

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The more options the better but please also have the option to turn them on or off in the game settings for the server .

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