About That 6v6 Titanfall
The Blankman asked us what we think of Vince Zampella’s Tweet that Titanfall will have a maximum player count of 6v6 due to AI considerations. I figure, as a game that most of us will be playing come March, the topic deserves its own post.
Perhaps a five years ago, ever-hungry for a greater social experience and thinking that more is always better, I might have been a little disappointed. But my thinking has changed. Gears of War 4v4 was outstanding and 5v5 in Gears 2 and 3 didn’t improve the gameplay. The only up side of allowing two more players was that more of us could play in a single room. However, the gaming experience itself was diluted. Similarly, while 32v32 Conquest BF4 is incredibly cinematic, I enjoy 16v16 Rush more if only because I am not constantly being killed by people whom I didn’t see or engage.
Smaller numbers also means less opportunity for gerbil-abusing, tin can and string “family connection” internet users whose penny pinching ways ruins everyone’s experience no matter how fat all others’ pipes to the dedicated server may be.
Thirdly, there is no doubt that Titanfall has the potential to offer an incredibly competitive experience, and it would be very surprising if Zampella wasn’t thinking about this as well. Team Fortress 2 came 9v9-ready out of the box, yet in all competitive gaming, teams were 6v6. The community chose that. The Halo community similarly discovered that 4v4 was more enjoyable and sustainable than greater numbers for that kind of play.
As for the effect on AI, I won’t have an opinion until I know to what extent the unmanned Titans are going to affect the playing field. That reason may simply be smoke and mirrors, utilized to generate more buzz. However, my take on the furor that is blazing through the forums is that people either don’t understand game design and the decisions developers must make to optimize fun and the gaming experience, or it is just the belching and boiling stench of Sony Fanbois’ Sour Grapes.