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Why RAGE Has No Deathmatch

This interview on Shacknews.com talks with Jason Kim, producer of RAGE, id's upcoming first-person shooter (which may well make this the first game from id Software that actually has someone with that title attached to the project). A topic that gets a lot of discussion is the decision that the game will have a cooperative multiplayer mode, but no competitive mode, which is a twist for the company that coined the term "deathmatch." Here's part of Jason's explanation:

So when we were pushing on the story, we thought, "People really love co-op; we love co-op." We don't want them to play the entire campaign with a buddy because you're just playing the same thing again with just another guy. And some people like that; some people are going to ask for that, and when this comes out they're going to say why didn't you make campaign mode completely playable with a co-op buddy? The reason why we did that is because there are nice story pockets for the co-op online experience; we call it Legends of the Wasteland.

This almost came about opportunistically because we knew we wanted to do co-op. So while we're putting this thing together and iterating through it we thought, "We should use these story elements because it's really interesting. It's a tall tale." You're being thrust into this little nugget of the story, and there are set parameters. We know what they did, but it was a legend. So now you're playing that role. You're not playing the story of the single-player campaign but it's something that complimented your success through the single-player campaign. So you're seeing what the other side was like. It's almost like when Valve came out with Blue Shift and you were able to play the police force.

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79. Re: Why RAGE Has No Deathmatch May 4, 2011, 13:27 descender
 
We are in agreement, I was just curious why you had written it off so early. It did come out a little harsh, I apologize.

For me, even in a competitive environment the fun comes from making other people lose, not so much from winning. Something like L4D-VS would be a good example. It's a partially competitive situation, where you can still "lose" as survivors, but the satisfaction of killing people as infected is enough to make you load up that next map. If you (and your teammates, very important) can't handle getting your butt kicked as survivor (and even infected against good teams) for a while, you have no chance of getting good at it.


I do remember hating some of the UT bots and calling them dicks when I used to play it with the auto-difficulty slider
 
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78. Re: Why RAGE Has No Deathmatch May 4, 2011, 13:16 Prez
 
Winning matters - it makes you feel good; i.e its FUN. I don't know many people who enjoy losing. I want to win, sure - but it's got nothing to do with my e-peen. Winning is fun; losing is not.

As far as online vs offline goes, if there was some way of people knowing who I actually was, and I gave a rat's ass about who they were, that would be a different story. But as it is, it's hard to care about impressing people you don't know. FWIW, I don't actually play against bots on the easiest level; I usually make them about medium to medium high difficulty.

Beyond that, bots aren't near the dicks that live people are.
 
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77. Re: Why RAGE Has No Deathmatch May 4, 2011, 10:07 descender
 
If you were just playing the game for fun, why would you care where your score ended up when you played online?

Because winning DOES matter to you, and losing IS embarassing... so you lowered the competition so you could win. It's fairly simple to follow.
 
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76. Re: Why RAGE Has No Deathmatch May 4, 2011, 08:19 Prez
 
descender wrote on May 3, 2011, 16:47:
If you would stop setting the UT3 bots so easy you would get better and wouldn't be embarrassed to play online.

It's not embarrassment that keeps me offline - what do I care about what anonymous strangers think of me? It's a lack of enjoyment. And how the hell would you know what I set my difficulty at? Are you my stalker?
 
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75. Re: Why RAGE Has No Deathmatch May 3, 2011, 16:49 descender
 
The skills don't work in conjunction at all, there are zero tactics to the fights other than hide when you are dying... what about co-op in Borderlands is fun? Rolling the cars around was fun for 5 minutes... end of fun.  
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74. Re: Why RAGE Has No Deathmatch May 3, 2011, 16:47 descender
 
If you would stop setting the UT3 bots so easy you would get better and wouldn't be embarrassed to play online.  
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73. Re: Why RAGE Has No Deathmatch May 3, 2011, 07:51 Prez
 
Competitive games, on the other hand, are typically played on a daily basis for years.

Not by me. After trying to become good at the original Tribes, Quake, and UT for about 18 months, and never making it past the middle of the server in ranking, never getting anywhere near a 1:1 kill/death ratio, I just basically decided competitive MP is not for me. I only play deathmatch (and then only occasionally) with bots, as in UT3, and I have MUCH more fun.

Things got a tad better with the introduction of team games with support classes, as in BF 1942's medic, but I still would die 8 to 10 times for every kill I might score, which is flatly not fulfilling for very long, even if I was able to help the team in other ways.

I play coop virtually every day, whether it's in Global Agenda, L4D, Borderlands, Killing Floor, Half-Life's Sven Coop, Doom 3 (with the coop mod), Swat 4, Half-Life 2 with Synergy, Rainbow Six, Ghost Recon, Joint Operations, Operation Flashpoint, Arma 1 and 2, C&C Red Alert 3, Supreme Commander, and most recently, Portal 2 and Sanctum. I haven't played a competitive MP game in at least 6 months, and pure Deathmatch in over 2 years.

Say what you will about Coop, but competitive MP is just too much effort for way too little fun for me.


 
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72. Re: Why RAGE Has No Deathmatch May 2, 2011, 23:42 Jerykk
 
You're missing the point. I play Borderlands because of the Coop. The loot and leveling are just the context. Coop makes any game more fun in my book.

While I agree that co-op can make certain games more fun, I still don't think it has the longevity of competitive multiplayer. How often do you play these co-op games? I assume it's not on a daily basis. Competitive games, on the other hand, are typically played on a daily basis for years.
 
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71. Re: Why RAGE Has No Deathmatch May 2, 2011, 23:38 Prez
 
You're missing the point. I play Borderlands because of the Coop. The loot and leveling are just the context. Coop makes any game more fun in my book.  
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70. Re: Why RAGE Has No Deathmatch May 2, 2011, 20:32 Jerykk
 
I play Borderlands for the loot and leveling IN COOP.

But if there were no loot or leveling, you wouldn't be playing at all, right?
 
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69. Re: Why RAGE Has No Deathmatch May 2, 2011, 20:17 Prez
 
Jerykk wrote on May 2, 2011, 15:17:
When you say you find people, do you mean personal friends? Or random strangers? If L4D didn't have the competitive Versus mode, I'm pretty sure the playerbase would be practically non-existent by this point.

As for Borderlands, would you still be playing it if it didn't have loot and leveling? If not, then co-op isn't really the reason why you're still playing it now.

I play both with friends and family (my kids) and random strangers. It's not hard at all to find someone to go through the campaigns with. It's easy as pie actually. I play Borderlands for the loot and leveling IN COOP. I don't ever touch it in single player, so yeah, I play it for the coop.
 
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68. Re: Why RAGE Has No Deathmatch May 2, 2011, 15:34 Jackplug
 
No deathmatch, goodbye id youve lost your way and now you will pay...  
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67. Re: Why RAGE Has No Deathmatch May 2, 2011, 15:19 yuastnav
 
Steele Johnson wrote on May 2, 2011, 10:30:
[...] Everyone loves co-op!

That's a lie. I'd rather have a REAL multiplayer instead of coop.
Besides, you need friends for coop and that sucks. ): *forever alone*
 
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66. Re: Why RAGE Has No Deathmatch May 2, 2011, 15:17 Jerykk
 
I have no trouble finding people to play coop with in L4D, and that's over 2 years old. I still play Borderlands coop with different people all the time, and that game is way older than a month.

When you say you find people, do you mean personal friends? Or random strangers? If L4D didn't have the competitive Versus mode, I'm pretty sure the playerbase would be practically non-existent by this point.

As for Borderlands, would you still be playing it if it didn't have loot and leveling? If not, then co-op isn't really the reason why you're still playing it now.
 
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65. Re: Why RAGE Has No Deathmatch May 2, 2011, 14:06 Prez
 
Jerykk wrote on May 2, 2011, 12:13:
Co-op doesn't exactly have much substance. Nobody is going to play co-op for more than a month because it simply doesn't have the depth needed to do that. Conversely, people still play Q3 over a decade after its release.

I have no trouble finding people to play coop with in L4D, and that's over 2 years old. I still play Borderlands coop with different people all the time, and that game is way older than a month.

As far as your claim of coop not having substance, I believe you are mistaking the lack of the kind of substance that interests you and actually being devoid of any substance whatsoever. If the "substance" you are looking for is to compete against unpredictable opponents in dynamic matches of skill, then sure, you'll probably find coop leaves you cold. Conversely, competitive MP generally leaves me cold because it offers nothing that I'm looking for in a game.

 
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64. Re: Why RAGE Has No Deathmatch May 2, 2011, 12:16 descender
 
Yeah, and they have no desire for you to play the same game for 10 years. they want your money, not longevity...  
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63. Re: Why RAGE Has No Deathmatch May 2, 2011, 12:13 Jerykk
 
Co-op doesn't exactly have much substance. Nobody is going to play co-op for more than a month because it simply doesn't have the depth needed to do that. Conversely, people still play Q3 over a decade after its release.

I don't really understand how people can argue that co-op has any depth whatsoever. It doesn't. You're fighting against AI. Stupid AI that doesn't learn or evolve. If you want to work with other players, play team deathmatch or CTF or any other team-based multiplayer mode. It will have exponentially more depth than co-op and will give you reason to expand your skills. It's one thing to dislike competitive multiplayer. It's another to try to argue that it has less substance than co-op.

This comment was edited on May 2, 2011, 12:20.
 
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62. Re: Why RAGE Has No Deathmatch May 2, 2011, 10:30 Steele Johnson
 
I definitely support this decision. Deathmatch is tired, so I'd rather they focus on something with a lot more substance. Everyone loves co-op!  
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61. Re: Why RAGE Has No Deathmatch May 2, 2011, 09:24 Pankin
 
Sepharo wrote on May 1, 2011, 19:12:
Being bad at twitch shooters has nothing to do with age (at least not in your age ranges).

How can you all be so willing to self diagnose yourself with atrophied mental capacities?

"Well, I wish I could play this fast game but my poor mind is too slow."

Changes in preference are a different matter.

<shaky voice> Whatdidja say there, sonny? Speak up, my batteries are low. You whipper-snapper.
 
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60. Re: Why RAGE Has No Deathmatch May 2, 2011, 09:23 Verno
 
InBlack wrote on May 2, 2011, 04:39:
Co-Op is for people who have no SKILLZ. Actually it makes perfect business sense to concentrate on Co-op, since most people have very little or no SKILLZ or lack the patience needed to actually get some.

I think it's more about how the newer generations of gamer prefer a much larger venue for deathmatch. Call of Duty is a great example, they want a more chaotic environment with a ton of opponents. I don't like it as much as the older style of deathmatch but unfortunately gamers like me don't buy 10 million copies of their games either.
 
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