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Titanfall’s 6v6 player cap is nothing to worry about – opinion

Thursday, 9th January 2014 13:38 GMT By Dave Cook

Titanfall matches will be capped at 6v6, and it’s got many gamers cancelling pre-orders and spitting internet acid all over Respawn’s shooter. VG247′s Dave Cook explains why you really shouldn’t be worried.

”Is 64-player online somehow the new, mandatory standard thanks to Battlefield 4? Does a lower player-cap constitute a dip in quality? I’m not sure who made these rules up, but I’m pretty certain they don’t mean anything.”

Titanfall matches will be capped at 12 players. Respawn Entertainment’s rationale was that the figure simply “felt right,” when it was designing the shooter’s maps and match types.

The internet quickly sunk talons into the news and began tearing it apart with its beak, ripping the studio to shreds in the process. Others stuck by Respawn’s decision and figured that if the team says 6v6 feels fine, then they probably know best. Then there’s the view that with all of the Xbox One’s cloud processing and clout, Titanfall should be offering 32-64 players instead. As we should all know by now, more doesn’t necessarily mean ‘better.’

I feel the key issue here is that too many gamers are slamming Respawn without actually having played Titanfall. It’s a common problem that we see everyday, but what’s interesting is just how readily the public was to sing the shooter’s praises after it was revealed, and how now, many of those same fans have quickly turned their back on the project because of this news.

Opinions are to be respected of course, and I’d never call someone’s view wrong unless it involved something horribly controversial, but I’d also warn the Titanfall decriers against being too critical for fear of them missing out on a genuinely fun experience. This isn’t to say you’re wrong for being cautious, but to perhaps advise shooter fans to keep an open mind for the time being.

I played Titanfall last year on PC and I was blown away by it. You can find my hands-on impressions and interview with Respawn here. Put it this way: I’m a long-standing Call of Duty fan, but even I’m starting to grow tired of the series. What I felt when I stepped into that first multiplayer battle was that – at base level – Titanfall is a similar twitch shooter experience to Call of Duty. ‘So far, so familiar,’ I thought. But then I started double-jumping and doing the contextual free-running manoeuvres and that’s when it all started to make sense.

That verticality makes a huge difference to how you need to approach the twitch format. I put it up there with Quake 3: Arena’s jump pads in terms of trick-shotting and flexibility. If you had 64 players in a match you’d be gunned down every time you exposed yourself while running along walls or ejecting from your crippled Titan. It just wouldn’t be as much fun. There’s real scope here to make Titanfall an experience that rewards mastery of stunts and skill-shots. I just can’t see people being given enough room to make that happen with 32 enemies breathing down your neck.

Worried that the maps will feel under-populated? Don’t be. That’s what the cloud-AI troops are there for. I’ve seen people complain that they don’t want to fight against bots but purely human opponents, but if anything they keep the map feeling full and well, more like an actual warzone. I’ll concede that the AI enemies are easier to kill than the human pilots – offering less XP rewards per kill as a result – although I honestly didn’t notice while playing. The map felt busy and chaotic for the entire match.

The action is so mad and explosive that you won’t have time to complain anyway, what with warring dropships filling the skies over Angel City and you know, 30-foot mechs stomping about the place. Titanfall is neither boring nor quiet and the spawns are clever in that they move around with action hotspots so that you’re never too far from the apex of the fight. When skirmishes break out they erupt in a bevy of gunfire, flames and robotic sparks spewing across the environment, to the point that you probably won’t even care about lobby size.

What we need to remember here is that if Respawn – the developer actually making the game – feels that 6v6 fits its game, then who are we to argue without having played it first? Gamers don’t always know best. Is 64-player online somehow the new, mandatory standard thanks to Battlefield 4? Does a lower player-cap constitute a dip in quality? I’m not sure who made these rules up, but I’m pretty certain they don’t mean anything.

All I’m saying is; most of you seemed very excited about Titanfall before yesterday’s news, yet it seems to have spoiled the title for a lot of people without first giving the game a fair trial. I’ve talked about optimism on this site many times before, and how we shouldn’t be negative just for the sake of it, but this is one instance where I feel the critical gamers have missed a step. At least wait until the next round of hands-on previews before writing Titanfall off completely.

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41 Comments

  1. monkeygourmet

    @Dave

    Does the 360 version have ‘Cloud AI’ troops?

    #1 7 months ago
  2. hives

    Tons of people played it on PAX and Gamescom. Everyone was like “This feels great, intense action, dynamic gameplay”. So… I guess there’s no way it will feel “empty” or something.

    People who hate this decision are weird. They have not even seen the maps :X If our characters actually move way faster than your average FPS character, then making it 6v6 is a wise decision.

    #2 7 months ago
  3. RandomTiger

    Still waiting for L4D 32 player co-op.

    #3 7 months ago
  4. Xbone

    I just dont get if there is enough room for 12players and bots, why not just replace bots with players? I cant get over the fact that is 6v6. I am wierd cause I want more then 6v6? Then fuk me, im wierd.

    #4 7 months ago
  5. diek.bauer

    Couldn’t agree more, Dave.

    #5 7 months ago
  6. Max Payne

    @4 Bots are not there to replace human players but for easy kill and ”grinding” to get your titan Faster.
    You also capture the objective by killing those AI instead of just standing in place and waiting bar to fill.

    #6 7 months ago
  7. Dimaco

    Ok, let’s be honest about this: all of this kinda sounds like an excuse. Just like xbone (lol) was pointing out, if the maps/gameplay are balanced for a 6v6 experience, then why fill up the arena with bots?
    Couldn’t it be like 10v10 or whatever else? Just, with all players?
    Then again, does that imply that the game will suck? Of course not.
    But let’s not be fooled, at least. Having to bring the game to 360 must’ve given the guys at Respawn some serious headaches.

    Furthermore, I have a good feeling about Titanfall 2… on PS4, with a serious amount of players and stuff, you know…
    ;-P

    #7 7 months ago
  8. gomersoul

    Is this game gonna be any different or better from any other shooter I’ve ever played? That’s the question that needs answering

    #8 7 months ago
  9. hives

    @8 – No. In every modern FPS you get mechs, parkour and jetpacks.

    #9 7 months ago
  10. Bomba Luigi

    “I didn’t play the Game but I know better what is good for it then these stupid Developers”

    #10 7 months ago
  11. Fin

    Fucking hell, you people really don’t understand the concept of balance, do you.

    Filling and arena with bots, and replacing the bots with players, are two totally, totally separate ideas.

    #11 7 months ago
  12. gomersoul

    @9 doesn’t make it any better though does it? It’s just mechwarrior 2014. Nothing near as exciting as people are hoping. But this 6 on 6 thing is poor, however you dress it up doesn’t matter. It is becoming less appealing the closer we get to release

    #12 7 months ago
  13. Dave Cook

    @12 “It’s just mechwarrior 2014.”

    No, it’s not.

    “But this 6 on 6 thing is poor”

    Why?

    “It is becoming less appealing the closer we get to release.”

    How?

    #13 7 months ago
  14. OlderGamer

    Ok folks, I think some of us are over looking something here.

    The fewer players in a game the more each player counts. A great player can dominate and a poor player can drag his/her team down. Imo that is bad. The average gamer is going to have no place to hide and will be unable to compete against a small teams/clans of 6 players. I believe that is why the game has bots, easy kills for less skilled players.

    This game could be amazingly fantastic for clans. But at the same time it could be equally bad for random matches. That happened in Mechassult(esp MA2). The experiences was so clan centric that random pugs couldn’t possibly compete against core groups of friends that reg game together.

    Pass your own judgement on the value of that focus. But when you set this game against a game like BF4, I can fully understand why many gamers are upset and losing interest. Imo, 6V6 will hold this game back.

    #14 7 months ago
  15. Fin

    “But this 6 on 6 thing is poor, however you dress it up doesn’t matter.”

    It’s true, I always judge MP games based on how many players they have.
    Like CounterStrike, it was traditionally 5v5, which is even less than 6v6, so it was automatically shit.

    Planetside, which has like 2000 or something, is the best game ever made.

    It’s science.

    #15 7 months ago
  16. OlderGamer

    I think, Fin, like you some gamers will love the concept. Makes it personal. But I think on a broader sense where the general masses are concerned, the game will miss its mark with 6v6.

    I will just wait for Destiny myself, different type of game tho. But still.

    #16 7 months ago
  17. Erthazus

    “Is 64-player online somehow the new, mandatory standard thanks to Battlefield 4? ”

    It’s a standard set by Battlefield 2, not Battlefield 3 or 4.

    In fact, no one asks 64 players for this game or even 32 because battle’s with mech’s can be a mess.
    But when your game has a multiplayer with 6vs6 players that is a Quake I-Quake II standard at best.

    @Fin, Counter-Strike was designed in 1999 at the era of Quake 3:arena and it was a decent design for a 6v6 game. In fact it was just a MOD and not a full release. It was fun back then when 32 players limit was a myth.

    #17 7 months ago
  18. Arcnail

    @14 does make a good point..

    I’ll just see what people say when it comes out.

    #18 7 months ago
  19. Fin

    @16

    I actually prefer bigger games myself (though not quite as big as Planetside), I just think it’s ridiculous to have a knee-jerk reaction to something as innocuous as player count.

    The game’s looked great so far. It still looks great. 12 players per game doesn’t change that. Halo was 4v4. CS 5v5. Gears 5v5.

    If you’re honestly letting a games playercount alone influence your purchase decision, before you’ve played the fuckin thing you’ve got issues.

    #19 7 months ago
  20. manamana

    100% what Dave say.

    #20 7 months ago
  21. Fin

    64 player is not a standard. Some games work better with more players, some games do not.

    A game being designed for a specific number of players is in no way a limitation.

    Does anyone look at L4D and think “fuck, if only they’d allowed 64 player teams”. No. They. Fucking. Don’t.

    Game design and balance has dictated this. Everyone needs to get over themselves.

    #21 7 months ago
  22. Erthazus

    Because L4D is a co-op game and has nothing to do with deathmatch or p vs p multiplayer. Anyway, 6vs6 will hold this game’s design.

    Maps are not going to be huge so in the end mechs will be like killstreaks sort of…

    #22 7 months ago
  23. OlderGamer

    Shooter isn’t my top game type. I pick one or two up a year depending on the game selection of releases and what my friends want to play. None of my friends will want a 6v6 game. They didn’t like Gears for the same reason. And Halo and CS are pretty dated at this point.

    Like I said, some folks will prolly like the game more with less players. But just as likely some folks will prolly shy away from it for the same reason. Personaly, friends aside? I won’t judge it till it comes out, but my gut tells me to pass. I am already getting Destiny this year, that could be more then enough for me. Time will tell.

    #23 7 months ago
  24. Erthazus

    +1 OG. Good stuff.

    #24 7 months ago
  25. Dragon

    @Dave,
    100% agreed. All testimonies for the game is probably based on 6vs6 battles, and those have been glowing and mentioned as quite fun.

    I cannot understand how now multiplayer fun is somehow restricted to 64vs64 and up. Sounds more like knee-jerk internet reaction.

    #25 7 months ago
  26. manamana

    I have an idea: lets keep bashing Respawn’s upcoming game! The more pre-orders are cancelled, the earlier EA (from pure greed) will launch it on PS4 :D

    #26 7 months ago
  27. hives

    @12 – Yes. I don’t think it’s “Mechwarrior 2014″ :P Do we have parkour in MW…? Or can we go out of mechs?

    It just amazes me how people can’t see how the combination of these 3 elements (parkour+jetpacks+mechs) could make gameplay feel really fresh, not to mention, dynamic and fast-paced. We never had a FPS with all 3 of these.

    And to all saying “It’s just (enter-fps-game-title) with mechs and jetpacks”… Seriously? You do realise every single game ever can be described like this? Witcher 3? It’s just Skyrim with better story and choices! Destiny? It’s just bigger Borderlands with more people and with no cell-shading! Watch Dogs? It’s just Assassin’s Creed in modern times with hacking! (…)

    #27 7 months ago
  28. Erthazus

    “We never had a FPS with all 3 of these.”

    Yes. Probably never had. But how much parkour is done n the game and how much it is fast paced?

    this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ayaBHJeEpbw is fast-paced.

    #28 7 months ago
  29. pocketads

    Don’t understand all the constant negativity, and I don’t just mean about this game. We are into a new generation and should be excited. Dave I imagine you must get really pissed off!

    Anyway rant over, key thing your missing here is balance, the ai can’t bring in mechs. Have 16/ 32/64 death dealing robots stomping around would need massive maps which ruins the balance when not in a mech. Don’t see how everyone is missing that.

    I for one can’t wait. If it turns out that the game is terrible then please all feel free to let rip, but Christ lets have a bit of positivity for a change!

    #29 7 months ago
  30. Dave Cook

    @22 “mechs will be like killstreaks sort of”

    False. They are easily killed by anti-Titan weapons in your third gun slot. I was worried about mechs being overpowered too, but they’re really not. Work together and whip out your anti-Titan guns and you can cripple a mech in moments.

    I know because I had it happen to me at gamescom.

    #30 7 months ago
  31. CyberMarco

    To sum up the comments…

    http://i.imgur.com/x8hC5Qs.jpg

    #31 7 months ago
  32. manamana

    ^ heh, well not all of them, though.

    #32 7 months ago
  33. TheBlackHole

    @22
    “Because L4D is a co-op game and has nothing to do with deathmatch or p vs p multiplayer.”

    No, there was no PvP multiplayer in L4D… oh, wait a minute.

    @23
    “Halo and CS are pretty dated at this point.”

    Halo has 16-player big team battle. It’s WAY less popular than 4v4, and always has been.

    #33 7 months ago
  34. Bomba Luigi

    Maybe the People who don’t like the Concept should just play something else or buy it for PC and wait for the Modders.

    #34 7 months ago
  35. Harrow

    Proof will be in the puddin

    It all comes down to design and thoughs guys know how to make good honest mp fun. Player count doesn’t matter at all. L4D was mentioned one of my favorite games of all time unlimited fun because the design was beautiful and near perfect execution. I then look to BF3 (PC32 v 32) some of dice’s greatest level and game design.

    Then I look at BF4 pushing aside the bugs, fatal crashes and incomplete game. The level design in most part was beyond shocking probably two or three of the MP levels were any good and levelution bollocks completely not thought out. Numbers are nothing design is everything.

    I think the only thing that worries me about titanfall is the fact its tied to EA.

    #35 7 months ago
  36. Fin

    @31

    Goddamn, so true.

    #36 7 months ago
  37. salarta

    I’m probably late to this, but I just now realized while looking at the picture used at the top that the woman in it has a miraculously form-fitting leather jacket. Not every day you see a leather jacket provide a view of the distinct curvature of a woman’s breasts.

    #37 7 months ago
  38. gomersoul

    @dave if this 6v6 thing really isn’t an issue then you wouldn’t have to write to defend it would you? It might turn out to be good but I don’t have high hopes for it

    #38 7 months ago
  39. Legendaryboss

    Get over it, is all i can say.

    #39 7 months ago
  40. bradk825

    I didn’t even blink at 6v6, I guess that’s about what I was expecting, and I don’t really see why it’s a concern.

    One of the things I prefer about COD over BF4 is how much I matter in each game. I am 1/6th of the team, not 1/16th or so. My own performance has a genuine impact on the success or failure of the team and I just don’t feel that when I play Battlefield. I feel like I could fuck around and do nothing the whole match and it won’t really matter in the end. Large scale battle has a certain appeal… for a while.

    I am still quite excited for Titanfall. It represents something fresh in the shooter genre that I’ve been waiting for. Same goes for Destiny and that’s just 3 players.

    #40 7 months ago
  41. Stilvan

    Honestly six players on a team is a little too intimate for my taste. If say I’m hammered and having a laugh in BF4 nobody notices. With six players it’s going to be like running LFD in WoW. My concern is that since each player has so much influence on the outcome, there will be additional pressure to perform and choose the right loadout / perks whatever. This turns what could have been a fun game into a high pressure competitive environment. I don’t turn to games for that.

    #41 7 months ago

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