Co-op Entropy (My first plunge into SoD2 co-op)

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#1
First off, I must disclose that I've completed all legacies, and my current community of 12 members, has totally scavenged all three maps and are now sitting pretty at the Strip Mall in Drucker County. My outposts and base setup are arranged to be completely self-sufficient (excluding seed-planting and the occasional rationing of food). I have a mass stockpile of weapons, ammo, repair kits, mod kits, incendiaries, etc.

I'm going to try and break this down into two areas: (1) my general experience with 'volunteering' to help other players in SoD2, and (2) my impressions overall of how co-op was implemented.

1. General Experience

Most of the games I dropped into had players that genuinely needed help. They were either inexperienced, or just didn't have a good understanding of how to prioritize tasks, missions, facilities, etc. in general. I played some games relying on emotes alone, some with headset. I even ended up in someone's "Let's Play" stream. I need to make this clear, the majority of players I interacted with weren't assholes at all. They were open to help, and were very responsive whenever I offered direction.

2. Co-op Implementation

Tacked on. Yes. It definitely feels tacked on.

Start SoD2, loading... loading... load save, loading... loading... loading... use "volunteer" radio command, wait, use "enter game" radio command, loading... loading... loading... loading... loading... connection lost and get booted back to main menu, loading... loading... load save, loading... loading... loading... (repeat)

Here are some issues I have (apart from the horrendous load times):
  • There's no consistency to WHERE you end up if the connection is lost, or if you get booted by the host. One of those requires a lot more loading time.
  • There's no way to view the host's base management screen, resources, etc. Volunteers should at least be able to see it, to provide better advice to the host.
  • There's no way to view the host survivor's current health, stamina, etc. That would be a useful option, since many players still don't know what coffee or first aid kits do.
  • There's no 'Make Outpost?' emote.... there fuggin SHOULD BE. They already have the dialog for it.
  • Sync issues, sync issues, fuggin sync issues, goddamn sync issues... ::inhales:: ...SYNC ISSUES!
  • There's a glitch (still) where you lose all game audio until you restart the game.
  • I think the inventory commands (along the bottom of the screen) should be BIGGER in general. Maybe then, people would actually notice them. EVERY SINGLE HOST didn't know about RT to deposit items into the locker from a vehicle.
 
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Kedryn

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#2
  • There's no way to view the host's base management screen, resources, etc. Volunteers should at least be able to see it, to provide better advice to the host.
I have noticed that I am able to view their influence amount by hovering over a building or base that they can claim. This is the only situation I have found that allows that.

I've been playing with some streamers I was helping out by showing them things not explained very well by the game (like the RT/"t" deposit). I even got a mic so I could communicate better; the Xbox app 'invite to/join party' is great for communicating via mic in my case as I don't have to push anything to talk and it only turns my mic on when I'm actually talking.

I have also found that a client on PC will disconnect from the host if they alt-tab (and a host on PC will disconnect all clients if they alt-tab) unless playing in windowed mode. I end up switching to windowed mode and back when I want to alt-tab.
 
Joined
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#3
From what you've revealed it sounds as if Co-op had the same slapdash approach to feature and system design as the base game. Some of the stuff you've mentioned as not being possible is really telling of what seems to have been misaligned priorities. As Co-op was the big feature of the game it shouldn't feel tacked on at all.
 

Gmutant

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#4
From what you've revealed it sounds as if Co-op had the same slapdash approach to feature and system design as the base game. Some of the stuff you've mentioned as not being possible is really telling of what seems to have been misaligned priorities. As Co-op was the big feature of the game it shouldn't feel tacked on at all.
Do you suppose that is a consequence of the developers switching engines or them just completely dropping the ball?
 
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#5
Do you suppose that is a consequence of the developers switching engines or them just completely dropping the ball?
Switching engines likely had some effect, but I'm not really knowledgeable enough to do more than make uneducated guesses. I, like many others, can see the end result is sub-optimal but don't know enough about programing to really do more than basic theory-craft. Though, I can point out that others whom do have such knowledge have made observations marveling at how little they seem to know their own code. Make of that what you will.
 

QMJS

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#6
The engine change would not be a valid excuse for any of the problems. If you change the engine, you have to learn the new one and go back and check everything. When you find something not working right, you fix it. Some things may work properly, others will need some adjustment, and some will need to be completely redone.

Plus, the engine change was long enough ago that anything not fixed is just laziness or failure to understand the problem.
 
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Joined
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#8
was this game written from scratch? or, did they try to import bits of SOD as sort of a starting point?
I do believe they imported the game. Some of the bugs and jankiness are exact copies of stuff from SoD and I don't think UL would've produced the same bugs on a different engine if the game had been written on said engine from the ground up.

Of course, the same disclaimer about my extreamly limited programming knowledge applies here as well.
 
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#9
Even more UI issues in co-op...
  • That tether warning banner covers vehicle inventory slots, as well as the top half of character inventory. So if you're trying to grab stuff out of a car before tethering triggers— YOU CAN'T SEE WHAT YOU'RE DOING!
  • There's no voicechat indicator over co-op players. It only shows up when the survivor uses pre-recorded dialog.
  • It would be nice if volunteering would give you some indication of the situation you're about to be dropped into:
SoAndSo needs help with a Plague Heart...
[or]
SoAndSo wants company on a road trip...
[or]
SoAndSo will definitely get you killed if you join their game...
Maybe even give volunteers a 'ghost mode' so they can choose WHERE they spawn in the game. Instead of spawning right in the middle of a red-zed mosh pit with massive amounts of lag and de-sync.
 
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Just Too

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#10
I mostly play co op with my friends and help them out and pretty much neglect my own world. When me and my friends heard there was co op we got all excited and blah blah blah. When it finally came out we just grinded...well technically I was grinding for them but anywho at launch it was pretty....er clunky with the flashlight glitching and the cars and lag. Whenever I was playing co op and the screen freezes the game would think I'm still moving or something so it would throw me to the next area.

I recorded it when it happened and I edited it to be a bit more pleasurable to watch :sneaky: I'll probably move it to the "clean and funny" chat

 

Viperho

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#12
yes a read only version of host screen should be at least a priority. but really coop players should be allowed full access with permission from host if needed.
 

Vursuli

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#18
Here's a follow-up question for fun:

"In a game with no pause option, how do you handle bathroom breaks?"
I was in a game with someone from the forum, and I only mention this because I was operating under the assumption that we had established some trust based on this. We were at base, and to make sure I didn't hold up the group, I took a seat in the truck and told them "Watch out for me, I'll be right back."

Long story short, I came back from going number 1, to the truck on fire, my survivor still inside--almost dead. This was my first community, so I was a little disappointed that she almost died in such a pathetic way. But I was able to patch her up. The kicker was no one in the party seemed to care.

Bathroom breaks from then on out were handled by jumping on top of a truck or staying somewhere in base. Then pray you don't get tethered.

A Follow up question:
How SMOOTH is the co-op for everyone? Just like @Just Too , I also have a clip where I seamlessly trip and lose half my deep health bar. And with permadeath and blood plague, it's a huge turn off for playing multiplayer for me. It actually really upsets me at times because anytime the game freezes while in a truck, I just cringe because I don't know what's going to happen next.

I like playing my favorite character, I like my favorite character going to help strangers. But I'm always hesitant to do so.

edit: I'm not sure why the co-op experience is so chop, my other games work pretty great in multiplayer. I thought in the months after release that this would be smoothed out, but for me, it hasn't yet.
 

Terrafutan

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#19
edit: I'm not sure why the co-op experience is so chop, my other games work pretty great in multiplayer. I thought in the months after release that this would be smoothed out, but for me, it hasn't yet.
It's their co-op method of peer to peer that causes the issues. You join my game and you will have issues due to my latency and location. You join a mate in the same state and there shouldn't be too many issues I would think.

M$ were too cheap to supply the servers.
 
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#20
I do feel the need to follow up— since creating this thread, I have encountered my share of slapdicks in SoD2 co-op. Objectively, they've been rare... but their shenanigans are soooo basic and predictable:
  • Driving away just as you try to get in a vehicle
  • Driving around you, blaring the siren or horn to draw in zeds
  • Throwing grenades at you, followed by the laugh emote
It makes cleaning out their vehicle at base ('cuz they don't know the R1 feature) then promptly leaving their game all the more satisfying.
 
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