I just want to commend SuoTempore for a great Reader’s Feature on the weekend. Thought provoking and a little controversial, just my cup of tea. I also agree with the points made, and honestly think that if people embraced the invasion element of the Souls games a bit more they would really enjoy it. Having played all the games in the series, including Demon’s Souls, some of my favourite moments have come from either being invaded or being an invader. And this is despite the fact that you could quite charitably compare my gaming ability to that of a drunken Mr Bean.
I think the first thing to remember when playing games is that your progression is utterly meaningless. What matters is that you enjoy and find value in the core experience. I’ve never thought to myself after playing football in the park, ‘Oh well that was pointless, I didn’t gain any XP or reach the rank of Master of Balls.’ With this mindset winning, losing, or dying becomes pretty irrelevant, and being invaded by a red-coloured knight with an axe the size of a house becomes an experience to savour.
I know the response to a lot of this is going to be, ‘Well, I’ve paid my money so I can play however I want.’ But I would disagree with this personally. If you partake in an online community then you have a duty to respect its rules and not do anything that adversely affects others. From Software clearly have a creative vision of what their community is going to be, and whilst many will never wish to venture into the terrifying arena of player vs. player, many others are sitting on the fence and I don’t see anything wrong with them being gently nudged to give the player vs. player elements a go. The offline mode is always there as an option.
That being said, let’s not pretend all online competitors are chivalrous souls. Many only care about winning rather than properly challenging themselves, and will happily prey on far less skilled or prepared players. I would love to see Dark Souls III have something like Monkey Assistant from TimeSplitters, in which the winning player was targeted by computer-controlled monkeys. Imagine seeing an invader themselves invaded by a gang of monkeys with AK-47s! Though From may have some trouble incorporating this into the game’s lore.
Red Barrel Baron
PS: One day I will be the Master of Balls!