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Ninja Dance Mat

Multiplayer Respawn Times

8 posts in this topic

Games like super meat boy revel on the fact that in attempting to defeat a challenge you will fail over and over again. Part of why this game get away with it is by puting you instantly back into the action without any loading times, lessening the fustration.

 

In a multiplayer game the challenge is never ending, and defeat at the hands of the enemy happens often.

 

Why is it then that it is standard design to make players wait for a certian amout of time before they are able to respawn and get back into the action. The only multiplayer game that I know of that doesn't have respawn timers is the ever popular Call of Duty, and that might explain why it's so popular. The instant you die, press a button and your right back into the action again.

 

So, the question is, why do respawn timers exist in most multiplayer games, and don't they just fustrate the player?

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You make some good points there, and for general game design you're spot on.

 

However, I'm talking about a spefific type of multiplayer that ever AAA titile seems to have nowdays.

 

I'm not really talking about games in which you have a certian number of lives (or none at all as in permadeath), I talking about objective/kill based games where when you die you have to wait a certain amout of time before respawning.

 

Games like battlefield, assasins creed, medal of honor, team fortress, the list goes one, all penelize the player for dying this way.

 

You are right in that having to wait for a time if you die may place more enphisis on not getting killed, but doesn't it sacrifice gameplay enjoyment especialy for newer players who will be die far more that experienced better players?

Edited by Ninja Dance Mat
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You could also see it from the opposite view.

Some player risked a life to kill some enemy and gains nothing, not even a minor tactical advantage, because the enemy is instantly back and possibly even gets an advantage of instant teleporting back to his base for defense. If the attacker dies while trying it, he would have to walk back a long way, possibly leading to a stalemate. That I think is much more frustrating than a few seconds respawn time, which equalizes this a bit and enables a bit of free time to work on the main goal, like capturing the now undefended flag.

Edited by wintertime
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There are different reasons to do this.

 

In objective based game modes like capture the flag or modes where you have to hold some object or position then the respawn timer penalizes teams for dying. For example, if you respawn as soon as you die, how would the other team ever steal the flag in a capture the flag mode? How would they ever gain a tactical advantage when killing someone in a firefight if the players respawned instantly.

 

Generally in kill based modes the timer is non-existant or much shorter. The reasons for having one at all would be the same though, it penalizes you for dying allowing living players to rack up kills while you respawn.

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Thanks for the replies, I see now the game balance that respawn timers are implemented for.

 

Here's an idea, and I wonder if it's ever been implemented. Why not have the players activly doing something while they wait to respawn, this way waiting to respawn is still a disadvantage for the team, but it means that the player won't get impatient waiting to respawn. It's a bit vauge, and I supose that what kill cams and other visuals are for.

 

For example you could have an overhead map that you can call out enemies on or something like that. Something that contributes to the team, but not as much as if you were alive and on the field fighting.

 

It's been very illumanating, when you think about it there's no real difference between a respawn time, and a certian amout of time that it takes to run back into the battle.

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I've seen a system like that in Mashed and bomberman. They're free-for-all in 1-life rounds (last man standing), and dead players could still influence the result by hurling explosives at the live players from the edge of the screen.

I don't think I've ever seen an 'interactive' spectator mode like that in a shooter... But yeah it could be fun!
In a game like battlefield, piloting a spy UAV would fit into the game pretty well, letting you 'tag' enemies, etc...

In some strategy games in team battles, when your own army dies, you can still view the map and talk to allies, and can ask permission to control your allies units, which basically gives your remaining friend's army twice the micromanagement ability ;)
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What would you want to do for 10 seconds? Just curious.

 

I think the reason no one's done anything before is that the core game is shooting and having secondary behavior while waiting for 10 seconds would distract from rejoining the game. However, in a one-life type game like counterstrike I think being able to control drones or robots to enable you to spy on the enemy and provide your team intel would be interesting. Maybe requiring  the team to activate the drone though. Generally I find when playing games like this, players consider it cheating to provide intel while dead if you have visibility beyond your character's "eyes" into what's going on.

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