Forced Teamwork

A few months ago I was playing quite a bit of Nazi Zombies.  It has its issues, but I’m a bit of a sucker for anything cooperative and hey, it was nice to play CoD on a controller without people shooting back.  Lately though I just can’t bring myself to play that god awful excuse of a video game.  You want to know why I can’t be bothered to boot it up on old Xbox?  Forced teamwork.

Which dev at the CoD factory thought up this idea, and why the hell was it supported?  Different ways to encourage teamwork through abilities that favor group more than self are great, but why would anyone think that forcing it on someone is the way to go?  When Shangri-La came out a month or two ago their version of forced teamwork was the pack-a-punch machine.  Everyone had to spread out across the map and step on a specific stone all at once otherwise guess what, no pack-a-punch for you.

As if forcing people to work together in order to pack-a-punch wasn’t bad enough, in the new zombies Moon map, not only can you not pack-a-punch without forced teamwork, but you can’t buy several perks including juggernaut which is easily the most useful out of all of them.  What the fuck?!

Even though I don’t like CoD, I get why it was developed the way it is – skill equalizers aren’t fun but they sure do make the game more accessible, I understand that.  What I don’t get though is forced teamwork.  It never has and it never will work.  I’d kill to be able to see the average length of zombie games completed since they started rolling out the new forced teamwork scenarios because it’s definitely not higher than it was before.

I’d love to see the conversation that took place surrounding this idea:

Dev1: “So uhh you know, in order to get pack-a-punch we force everyone to stand on different squares scattered around the map at the same time”.

Dev2: “Gee Bob, do you really think that’s a great idea considering we’re basically forcing everyone to use mics and sound plus it’s pretty fucking tough to get past round 20 without using the pack-a-punch, especially in a game filled with randoms.

Dev1: “Good point Dave, but you know, that thought really never crossed my mind”

Dev2: “I’m sold!”

9 comments

  1. I think in some instances “Forced teamwork” can work well. Like in Bad Company 2, being rewarded points for dropping ammo boxes near people that need ammo, healing or reviving people as a medic, repairing your teams vehicles as an engie. Those to me feel like “You’re doing your job as a team mate and being rewarded!”, you want to do those things because it will actually help your team and you get points. That works to me. However in the example you gave that’s when you are really being forced to do something that won’t let you progress without the cooperation of your team (which probably aren’t incredibly helpful as is). Those little Everyone-Stand-In-These-Spots encounters just remind me of Zelda: Four Swords. They were appropriate in a game like that, but I feel that they don’t belong in something like Black Ops.

      (Quote)

  2. Dev1: “Good point Dave, but you know, that thought really never crossed my mind”

    Dev2: “I’m sold!”

    LOLOL

      (Quote)

  3. I think teamwork in general can ruin most games for me.

      (Quote)

  4. I get what you are saying here and I completely agree. In mini games like Nazi zombies I dont think they should force teamwork. I think Call of the dead did it fantastic where you turn the power on and pack a punch pops up at random places. No teamwork involved. I think they should have taken a note from the map

      (Quote)

  5. @alfff: That first scenario you describe isn’t even forced teamwork it’s simply the game giving you positive reinforcement for playing in a way to help the members of your team (which is something more games should do). A Nazi zombies equivalent might be some extra bonus for reviving somebody who has gone down (although such a bonus would be hard to come up with since people are likely to try and beat the system if it is something like points or ammo).

    Forced teamwork did ruin Shangri-La and Moon, one can only hope they learn from such bad choices in design.

      (Quote)

  6. that conversation bit had me rolling. the sad part is i can see it playing out that way.

      (Quote)

  7. Thanks for pointing this out so I don’t have to.

      (Quote)

  8. I don’t enjoy forced teamwork but sometimes, once in a blue moon I have a game with people with mics and a brain. The game rolls out like magic. I like your Dev conversation. It made me lol.

      (Quote)

  9. I know this is a old blog. But I have to agree 100%. Since the release of MW3 alot of my friends play that now. That being the case I cannot stand playing moon or shangri la due to the forced teamwork and how horrible it can be with randoms. That being said I used to enjoy playing those maps with friends since we had a plan and cooperation. One point in case is the shangri la Easter egg. I currently have every zombie trophy except that one. It is nearly impossible to get with randoms.

      (Quote)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>