Assassin’s Creed 2 was, by all measures, a huge success. The game’s critical and consumer reception was tremendously positive, driving purchases to over 10 million units across all platforms. It was a sales achievement that rivaled the series’ original milestones. Chances are, if you’re a gamer, you walked at least a mile in Ezio Auditore’s trendy leather boots.
By the time Brotherhood rolled around, however, interest waned. Sales dipped 15% with AC:B’s release, and another 15% for Revelations. Synchronization rates were plummeting, most likely due to suspected franchise milking.
Whatever the reasons were for this drop-off,* interest in Assassin’s Creed 3 appears to have thrust sales projections back up into the stratosphere. Whether the majority of the increased hype comes from fans who abandoned Ezio after AC2, or from players wholly new to the franchise, there’s probably no way to tell.
All we know is there may be more than 3 million people who haven’t played the series since multiplayer was introduced. They don’t know anything about finding targets, luring out pursuers, or winning chases. They don’t know a single mother-loving thing about perks, streaks, or variety bonuses. They’re going to be eating poison and bullets for breakfast, lunch, and tea time.
In short, we are going to mop the floor with their limp, blood-stained corpses.
But the least we could do is be civil about it. Please?
Don’t get me wrong: I enjoy easy points as much as the next virtual
assassin Templar. But with Xbox Live, PSN, NintendoNet, and Steam UPlay full of absolute noobs, things are going to get ugly, fast. You’re going to see hatemail of unprecedented levels. Rage-quitting will skyrocket to century-defining highs. You might as well condition yourself to hearing people cry and scream over mic, because it’s gonna happen every single game.
But I implore this of you, the Assassin’s Creed multiplayer community: Teach, don’t taunt.
Sure, it’s easy to be on a high-horse, mocking newbs for their butt-hurt ways and taking sadistic glee in humiliating them (both in-game and on YouTube). But you’ve had years of experience. You know the ropes. These guys don’t even know there are ropes. And if you laugh them out of Assassin’s Creed multiplayer, they’re going to miss out on one of the most interesting multiplayer experiences currently available.
Help them see what this game can truly deliver. Offer insight, not insults.
You see, when I started making Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood commentary videos, what I really wanted was to elevate the level of gameplay.** I wanted to show the community that, when executed with calculation and patience, Brotherhood’s multiplayer could be a rewarding and yes, fair, experience. In other words, I wanted better competition… players who could learn from my mistakes (and their own) to expose the depth and breadth of this unique, competitive gaming platform.
I’d like to believe the prevalence of Assassin’s Creed tournaments, guides, and gameplay channels is evidence that it all worked. Sure, most of that’s not really because of me… but it is the direct result of players who, like me, worked to build a community that thrived on shared knowledge, mutual respect, and delicious, home-cooked meals.
Yes, I’ll concede that a few individuals might have regressed to chest-thumping, condescending, masturbatory self-congratulation. But at the end of the day, the reality is that nobody loves them and they’re going to die alone.
So, dear Templar, as you prepare to step back into your Animus machines this month, I encourage you to extend not one, but two hands to your fellow agents. In the first, wield a blade that rends the life from their simulated bodies. In the second, an invitation to learn, to excel, and to compete.
After all, it’s the only way we’re ever going to stop those damnable Assassins, right?
* Not that 7 million+ units is unimpressive.
** I also wanted to be Internet Famous, but that never panned out.