Home Editorial A note to the “pros” of Assassin’s Creed 3 multiplayer

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.

29 replies to this post
  1. Thanks for this article, Wing!
    This has been on my chest for a while, and also this came right on time, as I’ll be one of those “new noobs” who will probably use the gun just ’cause I’m an idiot.

  2. Good advice for this, or really any game with a multiplayer component.

    It pays more in the end to encourage people to get better, rather than decimating them time after time. After all, everyone is a neophyte at some point or another, but without the proper encouragement and an actual desire to improve, neophytes they will remain, to the detriment of everyone.

  3. I’m open for any newbies wanting to learn from Doctor Awesome. As long as I don’t find myself at the wrong end of their blade, by which I mean, they find themselves on the wrong end of my FIST, everybody can come to learn.

    Actually, I don’t mind being killed either as long as it’s for 300 points uncontested or more. Without oSB, of course. If you do happen to use a pointless oSB, I will take the time to give you extra personal lessons… in getting your face stabbed! Wish you had a SB now, DON’T YOU!

    In all seriousness though, I might get to play AC3 even with my current time schedule, I might record myself punching face again, and I might commentate it. Though that last point is much less likely than the other two.

    Hell, we could make a community project with Wing commentating over the various styles of gameplay by footage the users sent in!

  4. hatemail? people crying into their mics? well I guess something good has finally come of ubisoft shitting on their pc fans all these years.

  5. Implying voicehat won’t crash the game every time you try to use it and there won’t be a way to communicate again.

  6. Great article.And I see this all the time.I have noticed alot more new players joining these lobbies even surprisingly Brotherhood.I’m competitive but I do like playing with good sports,not rage quitters,haters of fun.Its a GAME and there never perfect.This particular game has reignited my passion for gaming.I cant wait for ACIII.

  7. I have purposely let new players, when unfairly put in games of all 30+ prestiges, kill/stun me for the very purpose of showing them that this game can be fun. I figure if they end up with 0 points and 14 deaths in their first 10 games they’ll probably never want to play again, and that’s a horrible way to grow the community.

    Great article WiNG, glad you’re classy enough to further the cause. :)

  8. ^ and I wasn’t “giving it to them”, I would run around a corner and then fastwalk towards them or whatever just to make them feel good and think that they caught me off guard.

    Because someone just standing there or being obvious might come off as trolling them, which would in turn hurt their interest in the game

  9. Honestly, what’s the point? There’s a tutorial to tell them to be stealthy and all. I often find that new players with the will to be stealthy blindspot me far more often than experienced players, simply because they fall out of the patterns 50+ players would use. For every map and area, there are certain points that offer the most tactical advantages and routes to walk between them, but some players probably don’t know about those and thus pick different ones.

    For instance, take the middle area on Souk – DM, where there’s a haystack in the corner, one herald group right next to it, two benches along the wall, a standing group a bit further away and another bench at the Chasebreaker building. You’ll basically always see people in the group with the herald, rarely on the bench opposing it, and almost never anywhere else. There’s a reason for that, it is very hard to LoS you in one of those two spots while you have great overview and they’re far enough away from the moving group path to allow for twitch SB. But a new player doesn’t know that, and will thus go into the other places, whichever is available. End of story, you have to congratulate him on a 550 point kill because you were too busy investigating the twitches of somebody in the herald group.

    I agree with you that experienced players have an edge on new ones, not purely out of skill, but because games at 50 or above turn into who knows the most exploitable bugs. Examples? Sure:

    - Players can’t be gently pushed, NPCs can.
    - For the first few seconds, a persona will ALWAYS be in the down position on a bench.
    - Locking exploit allows to pick a target out of a Morph crowd.
    - Poison can be administered by really briefly dropping out of high profile. The rate at which a practiced cheater can do this leads to effectively runby Poison kills.
    - There appears to be some kind of delay that allows to quickly get your target into a contested kill when they try to surprise stun you out of a crowd. I can’t come up with another reason for all of those honorable deaths when I know he couldn’t have identified me.
    - Standing up from a bench takes a tiny delay, allowing for timings to go through that wouldn’t if you had been standing. (Not really an exploit, but this should be fixed, methinks.)
    - When and only when a player persona steps into the well on Galata, a loud gushing noise can be heard at least across the entire Deathmatch radius. I’m not sure if the player himself can hear it.

    But aside from those issues which really wouldn’t have to be in the game but are anyway so they can be stealth fixed later in paid DLC, but only if you actually buy it, I think creative play outweighs experience. Given you don’t run around like a moron, at least.

  10. Heh… I totally agree. I remember when I helped write that “Bowling For Trolls” article with RudeOnion, we did it months into playing ACR MP, in the mindset that we knew we were frustrated and being critical of the dumb-ass players that we’ve all seen about the lobbies, firmly entrenched in their poor play.

    But now that AC3 is coming out, we’ll all be back on a even playing field, in terms of level. And as you said, it’s our experience that may give us an edge. So, I agree — we can use that to help others, so the poor play we criticize nowadays in ACB and ACR might be avoided, and a good time can be had by all in the long run.

    And if those poor players are still out there, months later, well, we can deal with them then. :P

  11. I’ve been playing since the day Brotherhood came, out, and played Revelations, hell, even watched your videos WiNG, but still suck. :(

  12. I try to help out people most of possible. But it’s to give people tips but people don’t follow them or just don’t care. Or follow the other youtuber example how to play. I am trying to teach to be different..I am came into this AC MP Community since ACB Beta so i am old LMAO

  13. When I don my mic it is always to positively reinforce great stealth kills by new players.

    I also attempt to encourage players that constantly remain in high profile to try alternate methods. A lot of sudden high profile kills I don’t see coming, so I let them know they could have gotten tons more points by sneaking up on me.

    Or I just let them walk into my traps and stun them. Constantly. If they won’t learn the easy way, maybe they’ll learn the hard way.

    I’m not the best by any means, but I think I’m pretty darn good, and I’m more than happy to do my part to help improve the player base.

  14. I don’t know why there aren’t tiered arenas in multiplayer games. How about a beginner’s area or something like that? Not everyone can pick up the game running after the tutorials. This article hilights exactly the reason I never play multiplayer – if you are not a pro you are not welcome anywhere. The article is a nice thought, but you know that is not the way it will be. There is no patience among MP players who are experienced for new players…and they complain about there not being enough good players. If I get crapped on from the moment I enter the arenas, why would I want to stick around?

  15. It’s boring… after 6 games the players winning everytime are level 50..not cause there good but because of all stupid powers.

    As a new player you either get killed non stop or give up.

    It’s not about skill just all the stupid powers you earn as you level up.

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