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The Great Big Multiplayer Question Revisited

I’m sure some people are sick of discussing MP and will tell me to just wait patiently for the devs to address it, in which case I suggest you simply move to another thread lol. I’m not here to deliberately stoke the flames, but this is something I’m really interested (and invested) in, and every day we don’t hear anything is another day my imagination wanders and wonders what is holding it up. Not necessarily an MP version, but even news about the progress/status/plans would be nice.

My memory isn’t great, but I’m almost 100% sure the first time I saw Path of Exile in closed beta nearly 10 years ago, it was already a multiplayer experience. I’m not saying it was “done” or perfect, but it was built into the game as part of the infrastructure, so straight up during beta we were all testing an MP version of the game. This was in 2011, and PoE didn’t officially release until another TWO YEARS later. That means that those devs built MP into the game from the getgo, and tested with it, but still needed 2 years to get the game to a release state. Keep in mind that LE was originally supposed to release THIS year, so even in a good case scenario, you’d think plans would have included MP testing starting last year…

This makes me very concerned about the development status of this game. Now perhaps these developers are far far superior to the PoE ones ( :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:), but it still begs the question if it makes sense to continue to do this much beta “testing” (and make broad, sweeping changes to the game, based on it) without the multiplayer infrastructure built into the engine.

I am not a programmer/developer by any means but I have played and tested enough games over the past 30 years to know that the kind of MP they talked about during Kickstarter permeates EVERY facet of the game, whether every player “cares” about it or not. Just by pure logic, it makes no sense to me to follow this path of spending months at a time patching a version of the game that is likely to need wholesale changes to the INFRASTRUCTURE once MP is implemented. It’s like re-modeling your kitchen over and over when the plumbing isn’t even complete.

At this point, I would honestly be OK with the devs saying that the full MP they had hoped to deliver is just out of scope so they decided to scale it down. Or if it’s destined to just be an SP game, just come out and say it. The longer it sits in the “unknown” the more that fans like me will conjecture on what is or is not going on.

It’s been such a crappy year, maybe I’m just prone to negative thinking, so here’s hoping I am 100% wrong and next year will bring us the true MP experience those of us who Kickstarted were originally promised.

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Judd promised MP will be addressed by the end of this year. We’ve waited (coming to) 2 years. What is 2 more months? :wink:

Well written post!

I remember that we stressed that topic some weeks ago.

Mike stated this on the repeatedly resurrected Dev Blog on Multiplayer:

So we’re propably right in the next patch hump, so I don’t expect to read something in the next 2 weeks.

But since Mike stated that they want to open up on that topic, I really am keen to get some info!

What’s the state of MP? Common EHG, people are starving… :drooling_face: Give us some :meat_on_bone::bacon::sandwich::popcorn::green_salad:

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Yeah i am pretty sure we will hear at least something from the devs soon.

Since the post that RAW mentioned i am waiting for that news drop. The post was from before 0.7.9, so maybe we will get some infos after 0.7.10, who knows.

I can understand all the concerns, about MP been added so late. And i am pretty sure that even with the greatest of care and caution from the devs the MP patch will break the game pretty hard, until huge testing peroid from a bigger audience.

Nevertheless i am looking forward too enjoying and playing the game with all the great people i have met in this community!

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It is a concern if they didn’t design/test with MP in mind. But I have faith they won’t make such a colossal mistake. Matter of fact is they have a long way to go with optimization before tackling MP. If my computer is going nuts at the lowest graphics setting then I shudder to think what it’ll look like with multiple people firing off multiple spells. As it is I’m constantly afraid my computer is gonna blow up because the fan is going full throttle when I play this game. No way I’ll ever try MP without seeing major improvements to how the game handles resources (calculations graphics, etc).

I’m sure we’re all eager to get busy with breaking MP & making their servers cry…

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I’d argue that may be one of the best reasons to get this out testing in the “real world” asap. The longer you wait to find what could be game-breaking issues, the more it can come back to bite you in the long run. This might imply there’s something seriously (technically) deficient in the engine and it simply can’t support multiple users. (BTW I have similar issues with a RTX2080Ti where I have to play in the lowest settings or else the fan goes wild).

As to your first point, that’s one of my biggest questions. It’s clear there are design elements in the skills that seem to indicate they developed with MP in mind (heals and buffs for “companions,” etc.). So is it as simple as a switch that needs to be turned on in the existing code, or as complicated as an entirely different code base required, close to starting from scratch? Is there a full team separately working on this in secret, or do the main coders put it aside to focus on the regular patches? I know some of my questions can’t really be answered, but I can’t help wondering what’s going on.

Just checked, the post Raw referenced was from Aug 2, so it’s been over 2 months now…

You can’t test MP without fixing optimization problems. Being able to support a single player experience without lagging out and having computers bust out the fan at max speed is a prerequisite. There’s no two questions about it because you’re going to at least double the amount of calculations and processing required in a MP game.

If I remember correctly the Unity engine comes with a nice “agent-pathfinding-move-to-position-on-mouseclick” package and you could basically set up your own barebone top-down ARPG pretty quickly.

However for multiplayer this move-to-position-on-mousclick has to be run on the server and the clients merely mirror what the server does. The point is that there is no plug and play solution from the unity engine for this problem and it turns out that this problem is not trivial at all.
Just look at Path of Exile and how long (4? 5? years) it took them to get rid of the desync issues they had. (not unity but the point is you have to solve similar problems there)

There are several approaches from the unity-community to handle topdown mousecontrol for multiplayer properly but the last time I checked they all had some issues and were not good enough for a commercial product.

Of course I am just wildly speculating - I do not know why there is no multiplayer in the game yet - it is only my guess that they have problems for which unity does not offer a fast in-house solution.

Because the game has been balanced without multiplayer in mind, why would the devs allow you to have infinite Wraiths? How is that going to work in MP? it isn’t…so why isn’t Wraiths capped at 10?

What you say doesn’t make sense to me, because this is also not balanced SP and hence has nothing to do with MP specifically.

If you mean perfomance issues than I doubt that too, because it is the same model over and over again which is usually cheap in terms of performance.

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Yes, but in my experience it’s the number of calculations/procs that you can get with lots of minions that are the problem not necessarily the graphics. That might be partially ameliorated by having the server run the calculations rather than your pc, but maybe not.

I keep encountering one thread/topic after another where I have to bite my tongue because I feel like the discussion could be rendered irrelevant or at least be heavily affected if Multiplayer were part of the equation. So instead of making individual comments in each thread, I decided I’d just come back and bump this one.

I feel like this game is heading deeper and deeper into a focused “single player only” experience. Don’t get me wrong, it’s doing a really good job of it, but in some ways it may be doing too good a job - so. much so that switching direction to MP is going to be more and more difficult. A great example is Lizard’s analysis of the new Defense system. It’s a great topic and I must admit beyond my semi-casual player experience. But what’s clear is that is very much single player centric; this is not a dig on the analysis, as that’s all that is available to critique. Depending on how MP is implemented and what kind of attention it gets, the entire defense build/system might need to be very different. In a system where there are plenty of buffs, auras, heals, tanking, etc. - there would likely be big adjustments made to the offense/defense balance. Obviously SP builds still need to be fully capable, but it’s plausible that incorporating MP would make some skills or builds obsolete, too OP, or too underpowered.

The above comments on the Unity engine and difficulty of implementing MP are also not making me feel any better. I really hope the MP topic gets some attention very soon; the longer it lingers, the more I feel like we are heading for disappointment. As I said before, though, if that’s where it’s going I’d rather know sooner than later.

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MP should have been tested well before.

How do you know if skills, buff, team are balance or lag server if MP is not tested.

If all the skill are fixed before MP is implemented, then you will have to do a lot of work again for the skills to work for MP.

Look at PoE. MP is a joke, and it is pretty much a single player online game with trading.
But the player base is resigned or happy to play solo.

People who want proper MP have moved to others games.

If Last epoch wanted to be a a single game where you can play MP, ala PoE, or a proper MP experience, the dev should clarified to players so they will not be disappointed expecting a good experience with friends

If this is the case, I’d be very surprised. Till today I saw a lot of content and plans revolving around a mp mode. So I don’t think there’s an intention behind the current silence that points towards a renunciation of that plans.

But I share the concerns of @rittchard. There’s so much that might behave differently with mp in mind.

Hopefully there’s some news soon. I’m bursting :exploding_head:

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Below is the text from the original Kickstarter. It’s pretty ambitious, on top of this they talk about Ladders and “Cycles” (which I assume are similar to seasons). I’ve pretty much given up on pvp (which actually sounds pretty cool), but still hoping they can deliver on at least some of the original pve goals. And definitely would like to see MP be more than a single player online game with trading.

We know that many people really want to either play offline or online and not having your preferred play mode available could make a game unplayable. We want you to be able to play the way you want and with the people you want. We are building Last Epoch with cooperative and competitive online multiplayer, offline single, and LAN support. Form a party of up to five players online to take down the biggest baddest monsters in the timeline or face the terrors alone. The online experience will be crafted to prevent cheating of all sorts.

Battle other players lost in the infinite pathways of time by entering the Time-Lost Colosseum. Engage in duels, 2v2, 3v3, 5v5, and free for all combat as you vie for dominance in an arena discarded and forgotten by reality, the perfect battleground for warriors with nothing to lose. Earn cosmetic rewards that flaunt your skill in battle and grow your Pile of Skulls.

There are planned contents around mp publicized?

I’m referring to the old dev blogs. Content is I strong word in that regard. So let’s strip it.

If you take the blogs about multiplayer and bazar together, there’s a lot of information in it about the direction of MP.

They are outdated, I know. But I don’t think that “outdated” means that they skipped that element in favour if others.

I’m just positive and waiting for the news about the actual plans if how MP will be implemented (maybe also when… roughly…).

Arh alright. My biggest concern now is how much have the technical challenges they faced muted their aspirations for MP content. The dev blog was done at a time when they were sketching out their future vision of the game. I’m not sure how much have changed given their development experience with LE thus far. Which is why I agree with @rittchard we really need to hear more about MP sooner.

Eagerly looking forward to hearing EHG’s statement on MP that’s promised by end of the year.

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Just hope for the best. They said they’ll deliver and EHG always delivered in the past. If the MP mode is more stable then the chat everything is going to be fine :smiling_imp:.

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