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To Co-op Or Not To Co-op? That Is No Question

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To Co-op Or Not To Co-op? That Is No Question

Unread postby icycalm » 15 Sep 2014 19:10

Via Steam messaging:

Surth wrote:Yo, I've been wanting to buy Divinity: Original Sin at some point in the next month or so, and I've been wondering about something that I'd rather not google for fear of inadvertently spoiling other parts of the game for myself: Is the game appreciably better when played with multiple persons, to the point where you would give it a lower score for solo than for co-op? I'm asking because generally I don't see too much appeal in a co-op RPG - I know Baldurs Gate 2 had the option, but I feel like it will just always make conversations with NPCs etc. really awkward. But on the other hand, from what I've know about the game (through the thread in the Online forum, mostly), it seems to be built around co-op, so maybe the game has some kind of really elegant solution to this?


...

I don't think you are very good at appreciating games. Much like the rest of the LTC guys, though they seem to be about 100 times worse than you -- and that's why none of you ever really play games with anyone else, or are so uncooperative when you do. You are somewhere on the fence between LTC and Insomnia, so your understanding and appreciation of games is also somewhere inbetween (which is why you texted me and we are talking now, in contrast to Mikey and everyone else, who would never even dream of doing so).

Your question sounds to me more or less the same as if someone asked me "Is breakfast cereal better with milk or without?" I'd feel like an idiot even giving you an answer. The sad truth of the matter is that you are not alone in going around asking such an utterly idiotic question. In fact the vast majority of players are already convinced that the answer is "No" and do not even bother to ask. It doesn't even occur to them -- so in this sense you are well above the average. That's not exactly saying much, though, considering how abysmally low the average is.

Another thing your question betrays is an extremely low estimation of your Steam friends -- both the LTC ones, and the randoms, since you say that handling conversations etc. in CRPGs would be "awkward" with them. And in this you are right. When your co-players are weeaboos like Truhan who seem to have a pathological fear of so much as uttering a word to another person, it would indeed be "awkward" to try to play 100-hour CRPGs with them, to put it mildly (the semantically accurate word would be "impossible"). But is that really a problem of the weeaboos or the game in question, or is it your fault for not having better friends, and for not being proactive in trying to find them?

In short, whoever plays a videogame -- regardless of genre -- without the maximum number of allowable players is an UTTER IMBECILE -- and I say this knowing full well that plenty of Insomnia readers do it too, to the point of avoiding to play with us when I invite them to do so. They probably have social issues and anxieties, etc. You just have to try a lot of people and weed out the "awkward" ones, in your language. It takes time and effort and patience (and it also of course requires you yourself to not be "awkward" in the first place), and that's what I've been doing for the past couple of years in the Online forum, to great success (just look at how many games we've cleared together as a group so far). As I told you earlier, you are welcome to join us when you want and can afford to, but from my little experience playing with you and from the above communication I fear you might end up being one of the "awkward" ones yourself -- though since you are, like I said, somewhere on the fence between Insomnia and the complete irremediable "awkwardness" of LTC, you have at least a shot of fixing the problem and integrating yourself successfully into our group (which is why I contacted you and invited you to join us in the first place).

Finally, I need to also mention that it is of course POSSIBLE for a game to be released at some point that allows co-op but is better enjoyed solo (or allows, e.g. four people but is best enjoyed with three, et cetera), but so far in my 25+ years of gaming I have not encountered one, so when this groundbreaking event happens I'll be sure to let everyone know in a lengthy review of the game. 16-player Serious Sam 3 is a candidate for this (which we will be trying eventually, when we can put together a full team for it), as would be a Far Cry 2-type game that allowed co-op (which is probably why Far Cry 3 and 4 allow it only in a limited manner, and not throughout the entire campaign).

I'll write more about the above in an article regarding my decision to start a clan, and it will be publicly viewable because it will describe the clan's ideology, so look for it when it's up. Until then, you might want to experiment with multiplayer gaming and see whether all the stuff I am telling you seems true to you or not. But if you try to do this with retarded internet shut-ins, I can guarantee you will fail, so pick carefully who you try it with, and remember we are always here for you if you want to give us another try. Good luck.
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icycalm
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Unread postby icycalm » 15 Sep 2014 19:14

And btw, on the specific case of Original Sin, here's the tl;dr answer:

Played solo it is a tactics game. Played co-op with four people it is an RPG. Played with any mixture inbetween it is a mixture of tactics and RPG. Decide what kind of game you want to play, and proceed accordingly. If you understand the Tree of Gaming, however, and therefore the fact that RPGs are immeasurably higher on it that mere tactics games, there is only one way to go, and that is with a full party of four people, even if it takes modding the game to do so.
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Unread postby icycalm » 15 Sep 2014 19:26

Just consider that in order to fill out my party for Path of Exile, I was willing to go on the LTC IRC to basically beg people to join us. I was willing to start sending friend invites to random Select Button people on Steam. That's how much I value playing a game with a full team.

Of course none of those approaches panned out, so I learned my lesson (which I already knew, but I learned it even better this time -- repetition being the mother of learning, and all that). But the fact that I was willing to go that far in order to get a full party together should suffice to make you understand how I feel about the issue. And I even regret continuing to play with a 5/6 party. I am glad we ended up dying so I can start the game over and do it properly this time.
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icycalm
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Unread postby icycalm » 15 Sep 2014 19:56

And here's a problem that people can take for homework.

Why is Divinity: Original Sin a tactics game when played solo and an RPG when played with a full team? Aren't there still tactics involved in the game when played with a full team?

Part of the answer can be found in my RPG essay, if you read it carefully and fully understand it. The other part has to do with the genealogy of genres, which I haven't explained yet.

The full answer will be in my Divinity: Original Sin review, but you can start thinking about it now and then compare your thoughts with my explanation when you read it.

Or you can post the answer here right now, if you think you've figured it out.
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Unread postby icycalm » 19 Sep 2014 04:16

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKibedMw0bQ

36-minute video of me and the guys playing the game. Whoever watches this video and still decides to play the game alone, deserves... well, he deserves to play the game alone.

(And by the way, that's the official Insomnia YouTube channel. It's still under construction, though, but should be ready within a few days.)
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icycalm
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