E3 this year wasn't as spectacular as many of us had hoped... However! This announcement made all the difference for me... I've been waiting for a game like this ever since I first played online team-matches... I love playing an online war, the problem is that mostly the maps are very limited, even the maps in Battlefield-games are in the end nothing compared to the size of a real battle...
Then Sony announced this: Massive Action Game ( projecttitle )
Now I know about half of you want to jump up shouting about lag and the amount of voicechat going on when there's 256 players running around in 1 map, but I think its actually pretty doable... No before you all grab your pitchforks and flares, let me tell you how this game could work really well and why I believe this could be one of the greatest things to ever happen to Friday Night Fights :-)
Little is known about this game, so literally ALL of this will be pure speculation, except for the fact that the makers of this game are co-operating with SOE ( Sony Online Entertainment )... Now this one fact is what gives me good faith in the netcode of this future game. SOE has years of experience connecting thousands upon thousands of players on the same server, some of their welknown franchises: Everquest, Everquest 2, Planetside etc. so for SOE, 256-players is in fact a joke, so they sure as hell will have the techincal possibilities of making this happen. ( I also believe that if people would use a cable rather then the wifi from the PS3, they'd have less lag as well ( sure as hell is the case for me, topspin3 is unplayable across wifi :p ) )
K by the time this game comes out, it'll prolly be the end of 2009, broadband is spreading like the plague, to the benifit of games like this of course.
But but but what about the voicechat? Sure 256 people in 1 room can make a hell of a lot of noise, and in the lobby, I guess there will be moments when it can't be avoided, but ingame, it will be purely the devs fault if this turns out to be the case! "But the dev can't help it if the players are spewing nonsense!" YES YES THEY CAN! They just have to make the voice-system work really well. Here's my idea of how voice-chat should be in this game to make the experience totally sweet...
Headset-Voicechat is limited to Squad-leaders, Sergeants and Commander.
Outrageous! you scream... No ABSOLUTELY necessary! In the trailer, if you look closely, you'll see that the squadmembers mostly communicate with body-language to eachother, I'd say, have the 'low soldier' squadmembers only speak to eachother across the speakers iso the headset, and only audable in a certain area around the player that is talking, just like the soldier would be talking in real life, the catch is that the enemy players will be able to hear this chit chat too ( since it's out in the open ) if they are close enough, so talking a lot will just result in a player dying a fuckload of times because the enemies with surround sound can find him in an instant if he talks too loud :-D
The commander, sergeants and squadleaders can have a specific com-channel across the headset for comunitacting tactical info to eachother and the squadleader should be able to use a different 'frequency' to command his squad and this should then only be audible across the headset and in the area around the player that is talking ( yeah talking in the frequency is also loud enough to get enemy attention )
I think this will create a very realistic atmosphere as I'm sure a true soldier in a warzone would be listening to any sounds he hears to decide upon his next actions...
Huge progressive multi-objective-maps
The multiplayer of Return To Castle Wolfenstein was on of the first MP-games to totally nail this concept... But then they perfected it in Enemy Territory and now the pinacle of this kind of maps is imho Enemy Territory: Quakewars. Anybody that has ever tried an objective-game in any of the above games knows what I'm talking about... Both factions should have different objectives that impact on the other team. EG: in QW you have to destroy a certain generator in order to get the shields of an alien building turned off, then you have to get in there, get documents out, and then get back across a quickly built brigde or so to saveguard the docs. While the other team will have to try to keep the generator running by repairing it, defending the docs and later on trying to get the docs back.
This is what we would need, but then on a bigger scale, as in 1/2 squads go and take a bridge, defend it while another squad gets vehicles and uses those to launch a forward attack across the bridge that is being held by their friendly squads, with the vehicle they can try to get close enough to the enemy base to deploy a covert-op-squad that can then try to infiltrate the enemy base or take up sniping positions to thin out the enemy resistance, in the mean time a batalion of tanks can make their way to the enemy base and start pounding the enemy with their cannons ( provided the enemy hasn't counter-attacked and taken the bridge by then ) and so on and so on...
In quakewars, maps can last for half an hour and more easily, if the teams are balanced, every centimeter of map will be fought over! This is what should be the case in MAG as well, and its all up to the dev to deliver us these brilliant maps!
ok now imagine this, a random player joins a server, goes into one team since the other is the dtoid army, the map starts, all is quiet, the enemy is ready to defend their base... silence falls over the map... then suddenly like a roar of thunder there is the dtoid army!
No rules, Great Army!
As 1 man the army storms forward, APC, infantry, bikes, tanks, jeeps all 1 huge mas of metalspitting madness! Bullets, rockets, flames, missiles, grenades everything just in 1 huge and massive attack! I bet we win every single match and leave the other players wishing they'll never see the dtoid army ravaging their server again :-D
The perfect game for Friday Night Fights, though it should be named Friday Night Stampede then :-)
Hope you guys will all join me on the server when this comes out because this will fucking ROCK! :-)