My first weekend with Bungie’s new shooter was underscored by a bevy of networking issues.
I continually received the ‘centipede’ error, despite opening my nat to allow both the PlayStation 4 and the game free access to the ports they required.
I tried putting my PS4 in a DMZ instead, when port forwarding failed. It, too, was unsuccessful.
Needless to say it appeared the problems were at my end. Still, I managed to hit level 8 in two short play sessions, played some co-op and multiplayer, and seemed to be having a good time despite some network problems.
That was until I attempted to join a fire team as a fourth player. Network problems? Suddenly they’re minor. How about being unable to join your friends because of game design? That’s just not on.
Since Mario Kart 64 and Goldeneye 007 in the late 90s, dedicated multiplayer games have always catered for large groups of friends by design. As a result, most players have a group. Some may be fortunate to have more gaming buddies, but my online posse is four players including yours truly.
Destiny, though, sees fit to thumb its nose at established playing groups by limiting co-op missions to three players.
My simple question is: ‘why’?
There is nothing I’ve seen or experienced so far that predicates a need to limit playing squads to three players.
Most of the time you’ll be joined by other fire teams and random players. I’d much rather they be my own friends.
It’s this fact alone – these public events – that boggle the mind. How can Destiny be any better than Borderlands or Warframe by excluding friends? To me, that’s just poor game design for a multiplayer shooter.
Destiny has smaller squads, but allows groups of them in a public space. Borderlands has a team of four in a vastly more open world. It is designed to be played with friends.
Consequently, being the fourth wheel turns Destiny into a single player experience, an issue I cannot ignore as I review what is supposed to be a multiplayer experience.
It’s not all bad news: Bungie has included a 6v6 multiplayer mode. We certainly had a blast playing that together. But it’s not the co-op PvE experience that we signed up for.
Until Bungie updates or changes its fire team settings, Warframe and Battlefield 4 will remain our go-to team shooters.
Which is rather sad. There’s no doubting that Destiny could be the better game.