Why can't we have both?

First of all where is the line that governs whether a game is singleplayer or multiplayer? The most common answer would be that a multiplayer requires more then one player, so two people playing at one time. Would that mean they would have to be playing together for it to be a multiplayer? Of course it would. Many people complain that playing an MMO is like playing a singleplayer game. In most circumstances this is due to the fact that there are not a lot of players around that area, or they just don't group a lot. However, even if a MMO is first and foremost a multiplayer game why does it always seem that the singleplayer sucks?

Every major objective in an MMO is generally achieved by teamwork, whether it be in a raid group fighting an instance, or a warband participating in PVP, or even in something more subtle such as using the AH to get gear/money. So with all the focus on the multiplayer side of things the solo stuff tends to suffer greatly. But why is this so? Many singleplayers nowadays have at least some form of multiplayer - this has now become normal. Its not often particularly great, but its just there to fill in space because it is expected. So in nearly all games that have both a singleplayer element and a multiplayer element one of these will inevitably stink. But why? Why can't we have more games that have a solid grounding on both aspects? Perhaps in the future of gaming, games will lose their 'singleplayer' or 'multiplayer' tag and all have both equally good. That will be something to look forward to.

BTW just endured my first week of Year12 which was pretty tough. All of a sudden I have a whole lot less time to do everything and right now I really have to do some homework, before doing my '500 words a day' and then get ready for my brother's uni friends to come over. Wish me luck. :)


Crimson Starfire said...

I think there will always be a line between single player and multi-player games. I know that you can have both, but often the game design is for one or the other. You either build a multi-player game that can be single player, or a single player that can be multi-player. It's rare you design for both at the same time.

The one advantage a single player game has over a multi-player one is 'time relative to the player'. This allows you to pause the world, or even slow/speed up time. Single player games also have the advantage of saving/loading. Do these three functions make much of a difference to game play? Hell yes they do! You can try riskier things without fear of loss and pause to take a break when the pressure is on (or when the phone rings). It's something you will never see in a multilayer game (except maybe Baldur's Gate 2 via LAN).

Oh man... Year 12. That's one year I'm glad I never have to repeat. Good luck with it mate, it will be the longest year of your life ;P

Chappo said...

Yeah, its going to be tough although apparently I only have 28 weeks of school this year so I reckon its gonna go like lightning, all the while being totally draining and impossibly difficult :P

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