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View Full Version : Was Focusing On Single Player Really Worth It?



MrMeowPuss
05-22-2016, 04:33 PM
With Unity, multiplayer was removed so that Ubisoft could focus on the Single player which was the same for Syndicate. Aside from being able to crouch and the addition of the grappling hook, not much has changed. The story hasn't gotten any longer and although the AI is more aggressive, there isn't any real change to their behaviour (they still stand around for too long before atatcking and are so sluggish with their movement).

If they continue to not include MP (which was my favorite multiplayer mode of any franchise), then I would like to see

- A much better combat system with A.I that is a lot more nimble and responsive (something like Witcher 3)

- A much longer story mode that has more depth to it (the story should be at least 30 hours). On the topic of story mode, Ezio was lucky to have 3 games to full explore his story so having that for another character would be great. Both Edward and Arno's story could have gone much longer IMO since the ending for both was the beginning in another country. I also found the older centuries more appealing, although closer to modern day allows more feautes it makes AC less unique in a sense.

Do others agree or disagree on these points?

LoyalACFan
05-22-2016, 06:39 PM
Technically, Unity didn't remove multiplayer, they just did co-op instead. IMO the online features of Unity were a considerable contribution to its failure (the co-op as well as the companion app/Initiates/whatever) so I don't really agree with the premise of your argument that a focus on single-player gameplay was to blame.

But yeah, I actually agree with the points at the bottom. NPC AI is still the most embarrassingly out-of-date part of the franchise, and needs to be Priority #1 moving forward (not sure what you mean by using Witcher 3 as an example though). And yes, the story modes should generally be longer. The recent games especially have had a really out-of-balance ratio of main content:side content. Yes, of course story missions are harder, more complex, and more expensive to make, but it's the rock you build the rest of the game around, and Unity really seemed to forget that (Syndicate was better proportionally, I just didn't like the story).

phoenix-force411
05-22-2016, 10:06 PM
More sequences do not always mean a longer story nor an interesting story. I generally would prefer better and interesting story missions than boring and uninspired missions that are considered story missions. Co-op, in my opinion, was not a failure, but there needed to be more to it than just a handful of missions. A mission creator would have been a great addition that would have added more replay value. There just weren't enough content to keep co-op interesting. That 30 dollar season pass of Unity's was a complete failure from the beginning. They didn't even bother to add more Co-op missions besides two that are in Dead Kings that can't be played publicly.

The Enemy AI has been crap for a long time, and players mainly tolerate it now only, but I prefer what we have now to ACIII's psychic guards. AC can always go back to the Batman-like combat, but that pretty much makes stealth almost useless. AC has not found its good balance between combat and stealth yet.

LoyalACFan
05-23-2016, 11:13 PM
More sequences do not always mean a longer story nor an interesting story. I generally would prefer better and interesting story missions than boring and uninspired missions that are considered story missions. Co-op, in my opinion, was not a failure, but there needed to be more to it than just a handful of missions. A mission creator would have been a great addition that would have added more replay value. There just weren't enough content to keep co-op interesting. That 30 dollar season pass of Unity's was a complete failure from the beginning. They didn't even bother to add more Co-op missions besides two that are in Dead Kings that can't be played publicly.

The Enemy AI has been crap for a long time, and players mainly tolerate it now only, but I prefer what we have now to ACIII's psychic guards. AC can always go back to the Batman-like combat, but that pretty much makes stealth almost useless. AC has not found its good balance between combat and stealth yet.

Don't get me wrong, Syndicate's guard AI is a massive improvement over what we've seen in the past, but it's still not up to snuff with the industry standard for stealth games.

Assassin_M
05-24-2016, 02:37 AM
(not sure what you mean by using Witcher 3 as an example though).
It means anything Witcher III is good, aight? AC should learn from Witcher III's cat AI. Learn what? I don't know, just learn.

Ureh
05-24-2016, 09:02 PM
I felt that the coop multiplayer hurt ACU's main story. I thought the Assassins/Templars story almost became a backdrop in that game because the main story was focused more on Arno exceeding his jurisdiction and a good portion of the screen time was allocated to the romance. The majority of the Assassin story - imo - became the coop missions. The times that Arno was supposed to be shown working with the Assassins ended up as coop missions (ex: Mirabeau's cremation, and saving the sacred texts was a coop mission.). I got the feeling that they wanted us - the coop players - to "write" our own Assassin-story, to create our own adventures with our teammates. To fill in the blanks that the main story didn't cover. We could also roleplay by choreographing awesome freeruning/parkour scenes, holding secret meetings in the den, and there would be a role for each playstyle (sneaky, bruiser, sniper, etc). I'm not sure how many players actually took advantage of all that? Last but not least, a lot of the historical events that the coop takes place in are several years apart and sometimes in the future (beyond the ending of the last story mission and some even further past Dead Kings, iirc, which is kinda confusing, I guess.). I think 1-2 of them take place almost as soon as Arno escapes the Bastille but the difficulty might prevent some players from tackling it chronologically. It would've been great if they showed a cutscene of Arno, fresh out of prison, at least talking himself into aiding the March or maybe Mericourt or an Assassin finding Arno, taking pity on him, then talking him into helping the cause. Instead it's just a narration from Bishop, then boom, you're in a mission. It's a multiplayer match, so I understand that they need to focus more on starting the mission asap then getting it over with quickly.

The multiplayer in the previous games didn't really affect their main stories as much which is a pretty good thing. This isn't to say that multiplayer in all game is bad or should be excluded for all time but in this case it didn't feel like it complimented the story or gameplay. I wanted more memories between Arno and Elise (Maybe some missions similar to ACB's Cristina, where Arno is thinking about Elise whenever they're separated so you can continue building on that relationship and flesh out Arno's background even more). I get that not every AC game should shine a ginormous floodlight on the Creed, the AvT conflict, TWCB. I mean... one of the most popular franchises, Elder Scrolls, hardly ever talks about the Elder Scrolls in their games! The AvT, Creed business would get old fast right? Maybe it already did?! I probably didn't make much sense but I guess what I'm trying to say is that they didn't focus on the single player story (ie romance) enough. Instead they were going off in several directions at the same time and kinda falling short on all ends.

Sorrosyss
05-24-2016, 09:47 PM
Multiplayer should return. But, it should be contained away from the story. With the ability to make your own character. Story has certainly taken a dive since AC3 - just my humble opinion though. Focusing on the single player has certainly not yielded much thus far - but I don't think that is so much to do with removing multiplayer resources, more other unrelated reasons.

I'm not going argue too much with you though OP, as my favoured two entries both had self contained multiplayer.

cawatrooper9
05-24-2016, 10:29 PM
I felt that the coop multiplayer hurt ACU's main story. I thought the Assassins/Templars story almost became a backdrop in that game because the main story was focused more on Arno exceeding his jurisdiction and a good portion of the screen time was allocated to the romance. The majority of the Assassin story - imo - became the coop missions. The times that Arno was supposed to be shown working with the Assassins ended up as coop missions (ex: Mirabeau's cremation, and saving the sacred texts was a coop mission.). I got the feeling that they wanted us - the coop players - to "write" our own Assassin-story, to create our own adventures with our teammates. To fill in the blanks that the main story didn't cover. We could also roleplay by choreographing awesome freeruning/parkour scenes, holding secret meetings in the den, and there would be a role for each playstyle (sneaky, bruiser, sniper, etc). I'm not sure how many players actually took advantage of all that? Last but not least, a lot of the historical events that the coop takes place in are several years apart and sometimes in the future (beyond the ending of the last story mission and some even further past Dead Kings, iirc, which is kinda confusing, I guess.). I think 1-2 of them take place almost as soon as Arno escapes the Bastille but the difficulty might prevent some players from tackling it chronologically. It would've been great if they showed a cutscene of Arno, fresh out of prison, at least talking himself into aiding the March or maybe Mericourt or an Assassin finding Arno, taking pity on him, then talking him into helping the cause. Instead it's just a narration from Bishop, then boom, you're in a mission. It's a multiplayer match, so I understand that they need to focus more on starting the mission asap then getting it over with quickly.

The multiplayer in the previous games didn't really affect their main stories as much which is a pretty good thing. This isn't to say that multiplayer in all game is bad or should be excluded for all time but in this case it didn't feel like it complimented the story or gameplay. I wanted more memories between Arno and Elise (Maybe some missions similar to ACB's Cristina, where Arno is thinking about Elise whenever they're separated so you can continue building on that relationship and flesh out Arno's background even more). I get that not every AC game should shine a ginormous floodlight on the Creed, the AvT conflict, TWCB. I mean... one of the most popular franchises, Elder Scrolls, hardly ever talks about the Elder Scrolls in their games! The AvT, Creed business would get old fast right? Maybe it already did?! I probably didn't make much sense but I guess what I'm trying to say is that they didn't focus on the single player story (ie romance) enough. Instead they were going off in several directions at the same time and kinda falling short on all ends.


Those are some great points, and I'd totally agree. I'll also add that the multiplayer is cited as being a huge contributing factor to Unity's *ahem* technical issues.

MrMeowPuss
05-25-2016, 07:35 AM
Technically, Unity didn't remove multiplayer, they just did co-op instead. IMO the online features of Unity were a considerable contribution to its failure (the co-op as well as the companion app/Initiates/whatever) so I don't really agree with the premise of your argument that a focus on single-player gameplay was to blame.

Yeah what I meant is competitive multiplayer. I felt like it had become a big part of the series and many people bought the AC games just for the MP.


But yeah, I actually agree with the points at the bottom. NPC AI is still the most embarrassingly out-of-date part of the franchise, and needs to be Priority #1 moving forward (not sure what you mean by using Witcher 3 as an example though). And yes, the story modes should generally be longer. The recent games especially have had a really out-of-balance ratio of main content:side content. Yes, of course story missions are harder, more complex, and more expensive to make, but it's the rock you build the rest of the game around, and Unity really seemed to forget that (Syndicate was better proportionally, I just didn't like the story).

The A.I in W3 always had me on feet and to me seemed more realistic. In AC they move so slowly to attack and they take so long to actually make a move at a high level. For me if they are aa high level opponent, they should be attacking almost non stop and not giving you a chance to rest. The harder the A.I, the more reason to stay stealhy IMO.


It means anything Witcher III is good, aight? AC should learn from Witcher III's cat AI. Learn what? I don't know, just learn.

I believe the Witcher 3 was in production for roughly 4-5 years. Most AC games are developed for around 3 years as they have multiple studios working on games simultaneously. A lot of people claim the regular release cycles are what hate the AC games but I reckon it's just lazy developers.

The quality of the W3 is something all game developers should look up to. The side content was so good that it felt like additional dlc. For games like AC, the jack the ripper content is dlc but in Witcher it would be more like your standard side quests. The W3 definitely has its faults but it does a lot of stuff right, more than AC. Don't get me wrong, I've actually played every main AC game since the first one and love the series, I just know it could be so much more.


Multiplayer should return. But, it should be contained away from the story. With the ability to make your own character. Story has certainly taken a dive since AC3 - just my humble opinion though. Focusing on the single player has certainly not yielded much thus far - but I don't think that is so much to do with removing multiplayer resources, more other unrelated reasons.

I'm not going argue too much with you though OP, as my favoured two entries both had self contained multiplayer.

Why thank you for sparing me from your argument :p a lot of people have suggested ubisoft release a stand alone multiplayer game which would be a great idea!

SpiritOfNevaeh
05-25-2016, 10:59 PM
Multiplayer should return. But, it should be contained away from the story. With the ability to make your own character. Story has certainly taken a dive since AC3 - just my humble opinion though. Focusing on the single player has certainly not yielded much thus far - but I don't think that is so much to do with removing multiplayer resources, more other unrelated reasons.

I'm not going argue too much with you though OP, as my favoured two entries both had self contained multiplayer.

I second this.

AC3 was my favorite AC MP :)