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1/8/2013 6:15:17 AM
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The future of gaming with friends?

You know, I noticed something when I signed into Xbox LIVE today that hit me like a brick - I had barely talked to any of my online friends in months. And there's a reason why it saddened me... Going back to the "golden age" of online gaming (referring to Xbox LIVE), say, 2003 - 2008, I realized that I was in regular contact with nearly everyone on my LIVE friends list, whether it was in-game or using the dashboard. It seemed like every night, there were at least a handful of people online whom I was in touch with consistently, and in a matter of minutes I could be in a game, having a blast with my friends, both from real life and online. (Moreover, for perspective, I'm currently 21) To me, Halo 2 had the perfect formula. You could quickly interact with your friends, as well as other gamers, and communicate efficiently via the simple user interface provided in-game. It meant no fussing, hassling, or waiting. And I remember days in Halo 2 when everyone had a mic plugged in, ready to dish out strategy (or insults) to their teammates (or opponents). So what's changed? It seems that since the demise of Halo 2, Microsoft just hasn't gotten it right. Since the introduction of the NXE, the clunky interface of the friends system is slow, lacks innovation, and is just plain annoying to use. You're severely limited when it comes to communication, and interacting with your friends is a nightmare while in a game. To be fair, newer versions of games like CoD and Halo 4 seem to be getting the idea, by including the ability to quickly access your friends list in-game. But it stops there. You can't do much besides invite them to a game or look at their stats. So what's the answer? I think the winning formula here is a seamlessly integrated approach. We more than likely won't be seeing this on the current 360. Maybe I'm just nostalgic, and perhaps this issue just doesn't matter much to people anymore. But there is no excuse for the next generation Xbox console to not have friends tightly integrated into the overall gaming experience - something it has been lacking for years. [Edited on 01.07.2013 10:17 PM PST]
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  • I tend to abstain from using party chat when playing multiplayer. If I'm playing MP, chances are I'm playing with my friends anyway. I feel like party chat yields a higher tendency for lagging. Plus I enjoy hearing the other players rage after games.
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  • [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] Bearded Elf I guess so.[/quote] You make me laugh. I fancy your company.
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  • I have a group of friends who I've gamed with frequently for the past three or more years. As a consequence my friends list has reduced to about 10 close people.
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  • PC gaming killed that as well.
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  • [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] Felco1 I honestly prefer playing a single player game, and the only time I ever play a multi player game it will be with people I know IRL. I have no clue why, because I used to play Halo 3 with randoms all the time. People just stopped using mics I guess. People became too shy.[/quote] I feel the same. Though I didnt stop playing MP because people stopped talking.
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  • [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] I3 O O lVI E R [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] Bearded Elf [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] I3 O O lVI E R [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] Bearded Elf [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] I3 O O lVI E R I miss friends.[/quote]I feel you bro.[/quote] Wow! That's exactly what I originally posted! lul[/quote]Yeah man, good friends are hard to come by.[/quote] We're high.[/quote]I guess so.
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  • I honestly prefer playing a single player game, and the only time I ever play a multi player game it will be with people I know IRL. I have no clue why, because I used to play Halo 3 with randoms all the time. People just stopped using mics I guess. People became too shy.
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  • [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] Bearded Elf [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] I3 O O lVI E R [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] Bearded Elf [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] I3 O O lVI E R I miss friends.[/quote]I feel you bro.[/quote] Wow! That's exactly what I originally posted! lul[/quote]Yeah man, good friends are hard to come by.[/quote] You're high.
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  • [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] I3 O O lVI E R [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] Bearded Elf [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] I3 O O lVI E R I miss friends.[/quote]I feel you bro.[/quote] Wow! That's exactly what I originally posted! lul[/quote]Yeah man, good friends are hard to come by.
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  • [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] Bearded Elf [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] I3 O O lVI E R I miss friends.[/quote]I feel you bro.[/quote] What? That's not what I originally posted! lul
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  • [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] I3 O O lVI E R I miss friends.[/quote]I feel you bro.
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  • I miss the old days before the stupid dashboard updates.
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  • [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] Hylebos Remember how Halo 2 revolutionized the way that gamers came together to play? What if Destiny does it again?[/quote]I truly hope that happens. It would be amazing if Bungie could again revolutionize the way we play.
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  • Remember how Halo 2 revolutionized the way that gamers came together to play? What if Destiny does it again?
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  • I miss the days of halo 3 where I could be with a group of 3 friends and we would join a custom match and I would make at least 5 more friends in which we would play customs on a regular basis. Nothing is going to beat what fun I had back then.
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  • Nearly every multiplayer game has splitscreen support. It's just trying to get people together that's the issue. On the XBL front, I agree with you. I only have 2 or so XBL friends I actually play with, let alone using a mic for regular matches. [Edited on 01.07.2013 11:05 PM PST]
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  • [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] ABotelho Party chat is what killed it. Seriously. In-game communication dramatically dropped when it was introduced. Games simply have to start blocking party chat. That way, teams of multiple individuals will have to use the in-game chat to communicate, forcing them to talk to the others players too.[/quote] Oh, piss off. Why should I be inconvenienced so you can maintain some BS commitment to a social atmosphere that never existed? How about we give the nostalgia circ­lejerk a rest of a minute and remember what Xbox live was really like during the "golden age", full of screaming little kids, racists, homophobes, bigots, and crackpots. Exactly the same as it is now. If that description doesn't match your experience then you probably belong to one of the groups mentioned above. Xbox live is a toxic hellhole, and it will always be a toxic hellhole, because that's the kind of environment that the target demographic for Xbox Live will always create no matter where they go. Get a paltalk account if you want to chat with random internet weirdos so desperately, I'm just here for the games. [Edited on 01.07.2013 11:01 PM PST]
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  • [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] ABotelho Party chat is what killed it. Seriously. In-game communication dramatically dropped when it was introduced. Games simply have to start blocking party chat. That way, teams of multiple individuals will have to use the in-game chat to communicate, forcing them to talk to the others players too.[/quote] I always immediately mute randoms, so it makes no difference to me.
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  • Agreed. The thing with Party Chat is this - if you're already playing with your friends, then you are going to be able to chat with them anyway (and if you don't want to be intruded upon, you have the option to make your game invite-only or closed). If not, then you're chatting with the random people you're playing with. In my opinion, Party Chat is a pointless feature that just uses precious bandwidth. I've never been a fan of it.
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  • [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] Mikelp_1 Back in the day, gaming with your friends was like publicly enjoying yourselves in a bar, but now it is like gathering a few people in your mom's basement.[/quote] I applaud your comparison.
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  • I think the problem is that Xbox LIVE parties ruined the idea of talking with random people all day. Back in the day, gaming with your friends was like publicly enjoying yourselves in a bar, but now it is like gathering a few people in your mom's basement.
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  • Party chat is what killed it. Seriously. In-game communication dramatically dropped when it was introduced. Games simply have to start blocking party chat. That way, teams of multiple individuals will have to use the in-game chat to communicate, forcing them to talk to the others players too. [Edited on 01.07.2013 10:38 PM PST]
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  • The most fun I had with my friends on Xbox was webcam uno with random players joining in between, add a little alcohol and it shortly becomes a good gaming night
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  • I've noticed the same thing. I honestly don't even log into LIVE anymore unless I intend on playing multiplayer and even then I find myself playing with friends in the same room more often than I do online. But you're right, the abundance of trash talkers and strategists has dropped in games like COD and Halo and it's very saddening. There was a time when I could sit in the same party/playlist for hours talking to people I didn't even know.
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  • I agree with this. There needs to be an in game "xbox live party". Similar to the XBL party, you would be able to chat with friends even if your are not in the same match. Also, up to 16 people in an xbl party, and more if microsoft increases the server capacity.
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  • I almost exclusively game alone. If no-one approaches me asking to game in a group, I normally play alone. I honestly prefer single player to multiplayer anyway.
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