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scottcr
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I'm a massive gamer. I love gaming. I've been a'gaming since I was about 5 years old.. I've enjoyed the greatest games of each generation right up to now. But one thing really leaves me cold.

online gaming.

I'm just not a fan.

I've got an xbox live account. I've bought 2 xboxes due to botched hack jobs and I've done my fair share of online gaming.

It's hard to describe my online experience. So far, they've all been hugely shallow. Everything since Ultima Online to Halo 2.

I'm concerned that market forces are pushing more and more games towards being online and, to be honest, I'd rather they didn't.

Right now, the game I'm enjoying the most is Zelda 4 swords with my mates. Every Tuesday, we meet for 4 hours and play through it. With a bowl of munchies before us, some glasses of coke or beer (depends on who's driving), it's always an enjoyable time. The same group have met occasionaly to play PGR2 or Splinter Cell online, and it's just no where NEAR the same.

I suppose I'm rambling a bit... had too mcuh to drink, but, the point is....

Online gaming is hugely over-rated. Gimme playing some shared screen tomfoolery with my mates any day!

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Sure it's not because you're rubbish at the games you play online? Halo 2 is immense fun if you're in a team of people that you know (well, by voice anyway, or just on the forum), or in a clan.

I'm glad it's going this way, as it gives you the option to play online, you don't have to go that way.

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thing is... as a married man with limited time for gaming, online play requires dedicated play time.

I just don't have the time to dedicate to these games to increase my ranking... and I'm not interested.

I can complete Halo, but online I get my ass handed to me...

I'd much rather play a an involved single player than a shallow multiplayer that demands a set aside chunk of time.

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But it's not a shallow multiplayer - only to you it is because you have other things vying for your attention. It's not about increasing your ranking; it's about working as a team, working together to find the best strategies, and just having fun.

In my eyes, you just haven't played in a small group of four in team training, with people you know. Or even a group of eight, in team training, where it gives you a random map and game mode, and hopefully you're all around the same skill level.

If I was on Live, I'd show you how good it can be...but I won't be for a while. :unsure:

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Playing games online is the biggest leap forward in gaming I have ever experienced. For me playing online is the most fun I have ever had with video games.

Its like having a games party at your house but without all the extra mouths to feed. Multiplayer > single player every time.

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Its like having a games party at your house but without all the extra mouths to feed. Multiplayer > single player every time.

Agreed

Xbox live is the single biggest achievment this gen for me. I love it, and i dont think i can go without it.

Halo2 multiplayer has me up till 3 am most nights

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thing is... as a married man with limited time for gaming, online play requires dedicated play time.

Ding-Ding-Ding-Ding-Ding!

We have a winner!

This, more than anything, will be the downfall of online gaming, particularly with the mass-market.

Some people only have so much time to dedicate to gaming full-stop and online requires far more commitment than many are able to give. Sure, you could spend Friday night being called "King of the Homo's" by some 17 year old boy as you struggle to come to terms with Blood Gulch the the constant rain of death that plagues you, or you could go into town with your mates and get drunk, have a laugh and meet lots of nice girls.

For many people with stunted or non-existent social lives or no other hobbies than gaming or teenage boys with nothing better to do with their time, online gaming has filled the void in their lives, providing them with "friends" and a competitive environment in which to play which is more than fair enough.

You want to get into it, but by the sounds of things you don't actually need it. You clearly have a very full life and you clearly have friends available for multiplayer fun around the same telly whenever you fancy it. You have everything you need.

Let Microsoft worry about selling Live to you, don't worry about selling Live to yourself.

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Online gaming is hugely over-rated. Gimme playing some shared screen tomfoolery with my mates any day!

Shared screen play with friends is fun but tbh i prefer the fullscreen live offers you and to team up with friends and take on players from around the world is great fun. But i do find live far more fun if you do have friends or relatives you can play with and find a game you actually like.

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.::: Online gaming is currently nothing more than distance-multiplayer. I'm still amazed people regard it as a seperate genre or as a holy grail. It's been here for ages and it's not revolutionizing anything.

Couple that to the fact that nothing done online is actually progressing or evolving and it's like everybody's turned looney.

Yeah, keep bitching about GT being the same shite again. MMORPGs have been the same since the MUD was invented, only sporting a nice graphical interface this time around.

I could go on like this for every genre. We're still deathmatching and co-op is like rediscovering an old friend.

Online could do more than just a simple multiplayer option imo, nobody is implementing different stuff though. We're only getting multiplayer and everybody is hailing it like the third coming of Christ.

Can somebody tell me what I'm missing?

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I think online gaming is great. I can't count the hours I've spent on PGR2 and Rainbow Six 3, and currently I'm enjoying myself massively with the Xbox Live Pro Evo 4 tournament SaintM is organising. The main reasons why I like online gaming is the competition and thrash talking, and you can just grab any game whenever you want and instantly get people to play with/against.

When organising off-line multiplayer bouts, you need to have some friends nearby who also have time and can show up at the same time and like gaming in general. Not easy if you're also having a fulltime job, a partner and a life away from the TV. It's much more hassle, and then you've got splitscreen too (which I can't handle).

Overrated? Definitely not. Maybe it's not everybody's cup of tea, but personally I think it's the way forward and it will only get better. Especially when the accessability of Xbox Live and the depth and immersion of more complex games like MMORPG's merge closer together. An online GTA? Where do I sign?

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On-line gaming is simply not worth the hassle that you're likely to be put up with. As mentioned, I'd rather play with people I know in some way rather than risk being shouted down as a FUCKING SH1TTY NOOOB!!! constantly.

The only on-line gaming I'd ever stuck with for any length of time was PSO, due to those who I played it with being real life friends about 2 miles from me, or the occasional spat with forumites (once or twice at that).

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Taking your Xbox online for me has to rank as one of my best gaming experiences in around 25 years of gaming.

Halo 2 - I can't touch the one player mode (and in fact haven't even bothered to finish it), and having four of you play it around a mates house gets boring because I've been spilt with its 16-player goodness.

OutRun 2 - Bloody superb. 8 of you racing through some wonderful scenery. It's so laid back that it's almost like a chat room with a game going on in the background. Wonderful.

I enjoy Live because I can pick up a game and play online for 5 minutes to get a quick fix, or five hours.

scottcr, most of us lot don't give a flying one about online rankings. We're just there to have fun.

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Ding-Ding-Ding-Ding-Ding!

We have a winner!

This, more than anything, will be the downfall of online gaming, particularly with the mass-market.

Indeedy. More and more developer friends of mine are looking back on their first online console games they've developed and saying "Right, can't wait to see the usage stats from Microsoft! We spent ages getting the Live feaures in, so hope that lots of people have used it!"

//stats arrive//

.... "Sooo ... 3% of the customers have used the Live features... that was wothwhile. Glad we spent all the dev time on that, rather than features that the majority will actually ever see ;) "

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For me, nothing will beat the initial joy of a brilliant single-player game, but following that you turn to the multiplayer, and it certainly doesn't disappoint. Halo 2 and PGR2 on Live, CS:S and Natural Selection on PC... great stuff.

Oh, and there's always co-op/split screen Halo 2/Timesplitters 2 sessions.

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Online gaming is quite often a poor second to offline with your mates all crowded around the room though. I just gave a friend who plays Halo 2 a lot with his flatmates a shot on Live and he sucked. He simply wasn't used to every little map exploit being exposed and used in days, and the sheer competitive nature.

He was used to setting up a new custom game trying out some different ways of playing and laying down house rules if necessary. Everyone I used to play against has gone onto Live and can't be hassled with playing on the same TV now. ;)

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Online Gaming, ...is a load of pash

I agree about the time issue but most single player games are 10-15hours+ each. Each to their own and all but for me Online gaming for me has always had a fascination ever since I saw a Quake online deathmatch. Yeah it has problems but what doesn't.

Perhaps its the games.. if their was an Online MarioKart or F-zero I'm sure we'd find you online more ;)

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I guess I'm just not a multiplayer person myself. I play offline multiplayer at whatever is in vogue with my mates, and have dabbled with onine games on the PC and a mates Xbox, but I find it simply fails to hold my attention for more than 15 minutes or so. probably the best online multiplayer experience I had was at UT2k4 with a bunch of RLLMUKers shortly after the game came out, with voice comms it was a great laugh, even though I sucked something awful and I still swear the game is really just a glorified cursor wielding pogo contest, but soon enough uni comittments got in the way and I never felt the urge to go back.

I agree with chyuhx when he says online is just an extension of standard multiplayer while everyone else pretends it's the holy grail. I just can't be bothered with it at all. I guess I'm just not that competitive a person.

That said, I greatly enjoyed some co-op games, like Halo legendary co-op, and Four Swords on the Gamecube, and I wish there where more games of this sort.

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Ding-Ding-Ding-Ding-Ding!

We have a winner!

This, more than anything, will be the downfall of online gaming, particularly with the mass-market.

Some people only have so much time to dedicate to gaming full-stop and online requires far more commitment than many are able to give.

Let's turn that round on it's head for a second, because I definately think it's an interesting, if perhaps incorrect point of view.

In my experience the online service has given certain friends of mine the ability to start enjoying videogames again, especially those who have children and limited time.

Where once we could be assured that at least once a week we could all meet up and play some Goldeneye etc. as my friends got older, had kids and moved away, this became no longer possible.

Except now - we play every Tuesday. Two live in London, another is a work mate, and another lives nearby but has a small child and can't leave the house. Suddenly - after years in the gaming wilderness, we're all chatting and shooting again. Sure, it's not the sofa, but it's either that or nothing.

Besides, online isn't just about playing strangers (although that can be fun). It might be about beating world rankings (downloading ghosts) or grabbing new levels to prolong the enjoyment. Online is fundamentally an excellent gaming addition, with potential for some great new play experiences (see Pandora Tommorow).

Crickey - I used to be a cynic as well.

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I go to LAN / system link parties a few times a year, and play a lot of split-screen multiplayer games at home. Co-op and team games with your fellow players in the same room are infinitely better than against some randoms online. I don't bother with online gaming any more, the novelty wore off many years ago.

That said, I'm probably going to buy WoW soon. ;)

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it's online multiplayer, sure, but it's the extra challenge that makes it worth it. whenever i had mates round, sure there were great levellers like pro evo, streetfighter, games that everyone owned and had played a lot and as such were at a similar level to me.

stick on monkey ball, though, and play monkey target, and while they're enjoying themselves i'd win every time. it was my game, i'd played it the most. on live you're pitting your skills against other people who own the game and have played it as often - more often than not, even more - than you have. you can't really compare it to offline multiplayer in that sense - it's less sociable, but a whole lot more challenging, and that's what i like best about it.

except when i get my ass kicked. which is most of the time, admittedly.

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I can't say internet play interests me. I did consider Live for a while, but it really is the slam talk aspect which I neither have the time or the patience for. That being said I've never been much of a multiplayer fan, beat em ups can be fun, but on the whole they're a very distant second to the single player mode.

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Part of the problem for me is the utter dominance of FPS games online. 90% of the time, they're a competition of commitment, not skill and where's the fun in that? That's not to say that I've not had some great times playing FPS's online - Halo 2 hits the right spots fairly often, Counterstrike can leave me in elation - but it's thanks to a level I've achieved in those particular games/maps rather than my abilities as a games player, which often feel so distant from the my opponents that I question why I'm playing games at all.

Something like Pro Evo has been a far better experience. Halo 2 has not had a look in since I bought it. Same with PGR2 Cat and Mouse and regular races. There's a far great equality and the better players are not given an edge to the extent that FPS pros do. And the extent of their skill isn't so destroying of the experience as it is in an FPS. But I guess that's as much to do with the nature of the game.

My hope is that Halo2 will be a high water mark in FPS online gameing and we can't start looking forward to a broadening of online genres.

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I'm married with kids and the time necessary to play an on-line shooter to just be able to enjoy it (and not just be fodder to other players) is beyond me.

On the other hand playing WoW now and FFXI before it - I somehow find the time ;)

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