Many multiplayer games have already embraced the idea of “soft” asymmetry, where different characters have skills and playstyles that make them unique but the overall game mechanics are the same. Recently, more games have begun to experiment with “hard” asymmetry where not only are individual characters different, but the game offers completely separate modes that interact with each other but share none of the same mechanics: for instance, a shooter (Dust 514) paired with a space exploration MMO (EVE Online).
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46 COMMENTS

  1. Now we have DUSTNET which is the pinnacle of asymmetric play.
    For those unfamiliar, it's essentially an extremely stripped down CS:GO that only plays Dust II. Except, players using VR will instead be overlooking the soldiers and can control the environment with their hands.

  2. So… spies vs mercs from splinter cell is strong asymmetry?

    The vision I've had for awhile is a war game where you start as a field officer in a military and work your way up to general. And the more you do, the more troops you command so it has a gradual shift from strategic shooter like xcom to an rts. … but… such a game will probably never happen

  3. one thing i have to wonder why it hasent been made yet is an online tabletop game
    because think about it, imagine how much smoother a game of dnd would be where instead of having to manually do math for each attack you could just click fireball, drag where you want to throw it, and the game automatically said who made there saves and how much damage they took, giving more time to focus on the roleplay aspects, would even be rather simple to make it where you can make custom abilitys, put in a range, what to roll, what bonuses from stats or whatever to add, what saves to have what effect if they fail vs pass, and would allow for more complex mechanics that would simply be to cumbersome for normal pen and paper, such as a mana bar that regenerates some every turn and deals in higher numbers

    obviously not everything can be custom made with that system but thats why the dm would still be able to just edit peoples health and other values for when the system cant cover it

  4. Wouldn't that strong Asymmetry RPG he's referring to basically be Dungeons & Dragons in a Massive Multiplayer experience. Like Players could be monster hunters, mystery solvers, or just survivors in the wilderness, but then the other side is the "Dungeon Master" who is essential play a Fantasy Sim game, controlling monster spawns, diseases, buildings, etc?

  5. "Asymmetric multiplayer fosters teamwork"

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! gasp AAAAHHHH HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Try playing Overwatch Competitive and see if that asymmetric multiplayer "fosters teamwork"

  6. Kind of disappointed that he didn’t pay more direct attention to TF2, although I guess that makes sense. Tf2 truly does cater to so many play styles, all being able to beat all.

    On the base level we have casual players, most likely playing by every rules almost perfectly. These people also love expanding their scope and trying everything out. They’ll almost always join friendly parties if they know how they work. These can kill the tryhards with having clearer mind and caring more about racking up kills or exploring a map than pushing a team to victory, thus being more focused on deathifying the opponent, which includes the tryhard. They beat friendlies because they also have the will to ignore them. They can also kill war pigs because they know their strengths and weaknesses.

    Next up are the tryhards, players who’s sole focus is winning. They know their way around the game and usually have set weapon preferences. They kill any lollygaggers, including friendlies, and, as previously mentioned, their sole focus is on winning, so they’ll do anything to get a win. They beat casual players because they’re so competitive, making their care kill carelessness. They beat friendlies because they’re the worst. And they defeat war pigs because they’re smarter.

    Friendlies are just that, friendly. They won’t fight unless attacked, and even then rarely. They’re a joy. They go in groups and amass a following, but are easy pickings for those who A. Don’t understand the concept of friendlies. B. Take this as an opportunity for more kills and, after measuring the consequences morally and for reputation, decide to murderise them. or C. Mis-fire or accidental kill taunt. They beat casuals by converting. Tryhards by having them be blasted in chat. And warpigs by… Converting, again.

    Finally, we have the war pigs. They just think they’re better than they truly are and go in guns-a-blazing. They can beat casual players with the element of surprise. Tryhards because their guns-a-blazing kind of style pushes them down to just another opponent without any objective to complete but not die. And friendlies because they take the other way around.

    See, Tf2 supports all of these play styles because no matter what, you have a fighting chance. This makes the game a weak asymmetric, and that’s why it’s so strong.

  7. It's a boardgame rather than a videogame, but Vast (and the upcoming Root from the same publisher) is based heavily around this idea of the different players essentially playing different games while competing with each other. Plus there's Captain Sonar (team versus team) and Space Cadets (cooperative).

  8. A great newer asymmetrical experience was Resident Evil Revelations 2. This episodic adventure had one player controlling a classic gun toting grenade lobbing RE protagonist and the other (through couch co-op or online) running a support character that could spot enemy weaknesses or provide melee finishers.

    My wife, who is a long time fan of classic RE but sometimes struggles with modern shooter mechanics, was incredible support and it was exciting to play an RE game together that we weren't just trading off on.

  9. That bit about an MMO anyone can play..

    I'm imagining someone doing damage to a boss by playing Match-3 while fhgitn alongside someone using FPS mechanics and a dude spam clicking on the boss like clicker heroes

  10. At 6:02 and onward, what you’re talking about is actually a concept for a litRPG (literary RPG, though it’s branching out into other genres now) book series called Thousand Tales. You should check it out, it has an interesting blend of cool game mechanics, exciting moments, humor, and occasional philosophy (the amount depends on which book you read). It also is somewhat interesting in that it doesn’t really need to be read in order, as each book has a different main character and situation. One features one of the first players, who is a bit like a moderator in future books. Another features a woman who, after uploading (removing the uploader’s brain in order to connect it to the game for full immersion and immortality, provided the hardware doesn’t get destroyed) isn’t sure she likes being so separate from the real world, and then she pursues things along those lines. Then, the most philosophical of them all features a man who doesn’t like a lot of things about himself (indecisiveness, stage fright, etc) and chooses to remove them with help from the AI running the game. This quickly leads to problems, and the modifications are reverted. This causes a lot of internal debate with the main character, sometimes talking to the main AI as well. Oddly enough, (if i remember correctly) it features the strangest environment yet: a My Little Pony inspired game, although it actually isn’t simply incredibly goofy. Anyway, it’s a good series. The first book is called “Thousand Tales: How We Won The Game”.

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