PvEvP - A Proposal
I'm not a big fan of PvP. Not Defiance in particular though it has more than it's share of issues, but in general straight-up competition isn't that thrilling as I suck and spend more time spawning than shooting people in the face. I think there are a number of content solutions Trion could offer that would boost content and offer fun distractions from running around to arkfalls and emergencies. Simple ones like 4-player non-team Deathmatches using the Arenas would be easy enough to rattle off so instead I bring you PvEvP...
My favorite online multiplayer shooters remain the Star Wars Battlefront series. You really got a level of scale in those plus for those of us who suck, bots to kill for an inflated sense of accomplishment. Here's how I would bring that same level of fun into Defiance with the least amount of additional coding...
Take all of the current (working) PvP maps and determine their max capacity for two teams. Let's take a big one, Freight Yard, as out example though the same principles apply to all of them. Let's put the cap at 36 players on that one though I think 48 could be easily handled. We'll say 36. That's 18 players per team. Rather than wait for 35 other people to show up as soon as a match is requested and one with 36 players isn't already running a new instance is created with 35 bots, E-Rep Regs on one side, the red E-Reps on the other. Match starts with normal delay allowing others to get in for the start.
After the match starts as more people select the map and there are slots open out of the 36 you enter the active match replacing a bot. If you leave the bot returns. You can invite friends if there are bots still on your team they join you replacing a bot. If a group joins they all stay together on the same team as long as that many bot slots are available to replace.
But wait, what about the E? That's the fun part! Sure my suckitude is serviced by opposing bots but this will be so much fun there won't be any and I'll be back to respawn city. So that's where the E comes in: a third team of bots from one enemy faction also vies to win, in the case of Freight Yard it would be to capture and defend points, but this works just as well as in team deathmatch. So in this Freight Yard example there would be two teams of humans/bots of 18 players plus 18 99ers let's say. Now that would be fun!
Or take the simpler example of Waterfront: 2 teams of 8 humans/bots joined by 8 blood-thirsty mutants! That would keep that map hopping. Or teams of 12 on Observatory with 12 raiders shouting, "That hurts!"
What work would be involved on Trion's programming team: AI routines to capture control points and decide whether to defend or go after another. That's it. On team deathmatch the AI is already there to kill all other players/friendlies. So capture and hold would require a half-dozen routines at most to be added to the various baddie variations. Like a Blacklung coming after your control point, he needs to know where to go and how long to stay in the capture area, whether to stay or retreat, and if captured what to do next.
Plus you'd have Blacklung's coming for your ass on Freight Yard. I'd love that!
So there you have it, a way to offer another instanced experience using existing assets with some AI and matchmaking/instance handling code. Sound like something doable?
I'd play that!