Author Topic: What other Co-op options do we have?  (Read 2198 times)

Offline Fanghawk

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What other Co-op options do we have?
« on: November 25, 2009, 11:36:03 AM »
It's been pretty rare that I get involved in multiplayer games, but ever since the fun co-op opportunities Left 4 Dead has provided, I've become a little more willing to share in some online experiences (especially with people I've actually become somewhat familiar with on forums like this :love:). So this brought me to wondering: while I'm certainly not finished with Left 4 Dead, I'm curious about other co-op opportunities we can take advantage of.

Here's my suggestion: the Synergy mod for Half-Life 2. Synergy is one of the "Valve recognized" game mods that can be downloaded directly from the Steam Store as long as you own an Orange Box compatible source game. It's the smallest addon available, coming in at around 300 mbs, but allows for a wide range of co-op experiences. It comes with a small selection of custom co-op missions to work through, but the really impressive feature of the mod is it's ability to mount other source games to its maplist (incluing Half-Life 2, Lost Coast, the episodes, Sin Episodes: Emergence, and even mods in the Sourcemods folder) and play through them with friends using Synergy's co-op system. This means not only can we enjoy classic Source maps like the original Ravenholm campaign or Episode 2's White Forest showdown, but with a little bit of coding using notepad, we can open up almost any map pack or mod from bobdog's extensive HL reviews for co-op. Stuck on Research and Development? Bring a friend! Having trouble on Strider Mountain? Call in a team to take the place down!

Synergy comes configured to play any OB Source game, City 7: Toronto Conflict, Minerva: Metastatsis, Rock 24, and Riot Act. I'm going to fiddle around with the config files to add more, and then if people are interested, we can enjoy the best of HL2's mapping community together.

But of course, there are many other co-op games available too. What would you be interested in?
« Last Edit: November 26, 2009, 01:06:38 AM by Little Bugger »

Offline bobdog

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Re: What other Co-op options do we have?
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2009, 12:10:00 PM »
That's a cool idea, and I must admit that I would be open to other co-op possibilities since playing L4D. Why, I might even like Strider Mountain!!  ;D

Offline Fanghawk

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Re: What other Co-op options do we have?
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2009, 01:57:30 PM »
I found a comprehensive list of co-op games for PC, if there are any options that we want to take advantage of. There's no shortage of genre variety in the list, which includes Rainbow Six (3, Vegas, and Vegas 2), the Diablo games, and even Total Annihilation. Keep an eye out for online co-op, since some games only allow for "couch" co-op. Some co-op mods are also included, like Sven Co-op for Half-Life and Doom 3: OpenCoop.

I've had a couple of opportunities to try out Synergy with Josh, and for the most part it's a fun experience. Co-op elements have been added to emphasize in-game teamwork. Player health drains rapidly compared to single-player mode, forcing you to depend on your teammates, while health and ammo can be shared to ensure that players don't fall behind. Death won't slow you down much though: as long as one teammate is alive, you'll respawn neaby within a few seconds. If the entire team is dead, the map will reset to the last autosave point (with no loading times, I might add!). Tweaks have been made to maps ensuring that if a player sets off a single-player event (ie, a door closing and locking when the player walks through) other teammates will be teleported ahead so they aren't trapped at an earlier point in the map. We tried out:

Lost Coast - A good starter map to practice on with 2-3 players. It's easy enough to breeze through even in single-player, but it's good for learning the ins and outs. I'm looking through bobdog's reviews for more complex single maps to try out... Mission Improbable perhaps?

Original Ravenholm Maps - It's very strange to play these maps in co-op after Left 4 Dead. Sure, Turtle Rock may have started programming the zombie game, but Valve's Ravenholm eerily plays like an L4D prototype. You have a foreboding environment, spawning zombies, enemies can be set on fire, and waiting for Grigori's cart is a basic cresendo event. It's still fun though, even though you'll get deja vu in more ways than one. (Remember the spinning-blade cart? Good times, good times.)

Our only real drawback was centered around our connection. Synergy, like other pre-L4D source games, has no lobby system, so games are joined by directly connecting to a public server or locally hosting a map. Public servers are fine if you're okay with 8-12 other people joining the game, and you run the risk of the map or mod you wish to play being unavailable. With a small group of friends, hosting the game would be preferrable, but the host must disable or edit ALL of their firewall settings for each program that has one. Also, if using a router, the host needs to forward the appropriate ports to allow other players access. The only way Josh and I could get started was when I connected directly to my modem to host the game, and even then he suffered some lag from what I suspect was my Canadian location, but could be caused by any number of factors. If we can co-ordinate schedules for future games, it would be ideal if we could either find a reliable server or a willing host.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2009, 02:07:30 PM by Little Bugger »