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Pros vs Cons: The Witcher 3 Multiplayer – Part One

By Jon I in Series Articles

With CD Projekt Red’s recent announcement that Cyberpunk 2077 will feature multiplayer there is some talk about the possibility of The Witcher 3 receiving multiplayer features as well. We have seen disastrous results when some single player titles add multiplayer. We’ve also seen some across the board good implementations as well as mediocre ones. With not much to go on, gamers are struggling to gather themselves and define the pros and cons amongst each other for the title receiving multiplayer elements of any kind versus remaining a purely single player experience.

Pros:

Co-Operative Play: Just because a game is going to implement multiplayer features does not automatically mean that those features have to change the formula of the game. A co-op game mode separate but based on material from the single player experience  would be a great way of avoiding fan upset and still exploring new ways to play in The Witcher’s gameworld.

The Transferable Profile Option: Mass Effect 3 gave an interesting interpretation of the multiplayer experience for a single player RPG franchise in which they involved EMS points that had an effect on the single player when you returned to it. If a title went a little further with this concept, a transferable profile could be created allowing the player to unlock more equipment for their single player experience during a competitive multiplayer portion of the game and vice versa.

Open World Discovery: With such a massive open-world to discover, some players may sometimes find themselves needing something to keep them entertained when they take a break. Rather than having the player leave the game now they will be able to introduce new play to break up the slow parts of the title’s action as well as the possibility of enjoying the large open-world discovery with friends.

Persistent World: One way that could revolutionize the single player experience of an RPG title like The Witcher 3 would be the introduction of an online Persistent World that you could jump into at any time leaving your single player bubble and still existing in the same world alongside multiplayer buddies who are also in their own game as well as the middle ground virtual world.

Cons:

The Witch Hunt Against Single Player: Many gamers will speculate that The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt being released for PlayStation 4 and Xbox 720 is the prime reason why we see a multiplayer component being added to The Witcher series. If the title doesn’t live up to expectations, some players will undoubtedly end up viewing this as a scenario where the console game industry is warping an otherwise superior PC game into something that it’s not in order to achieve popularity and sales beyond what is currently being experienced. There is also a quite active consensus among a growing number of gamers that single player franchises are meant to stay such. One example of a game getting a lot of flak from fans for going multiplayer is SimCity by Maxis and EA.

Persistent World Problems: There are problems that arise when the theory of a persistent world is introduced to an online functioning game that is also trying to convey a powerful single player experience. Some of the issues introduced become limited resources, economy of items, how many people can see each other at once (usually depending on server limits), how each person gets their quest / storyline information and how it relates to the other gamers they are playing with’s experience accordingly are all issues that will have to be taken up if CD Projekt Red ever attempted such a Persistent addition to the multiplayer of The Witcher 3, leading it to be an unlikely route for them to take and a risky one if they did take it.

Conflicting Story Segments: If the game does take a co-op route, it could become annoying trying to play with friends who are not at the same part of the storyline as you. In this sense it will feel very outdated and like most games that take the co-op approach it will feel best when played with one partner throughout the entire game. If designed right for co-op, it would be considerably less fun in single player by yourself. However, Adam Badowski of CD Projekt Red has assured us that will not be the case with Cyberpunk 2077: “story-based RPG experience with amazing single player playthroughs, but we’re going to add multiplayer features” so we can expect it will not be the case with The Witcher 3 either.
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