The Conduits Online Mode: What It Needs to Succeed

A while back, High Voltage Software released the first trailer of the Conduit. With stunning graphics and action-packed gameplay, the game did, and still does, look like it’s going to live up to the hype. The Wii-specific first-person shooter is taking some risks. Sales for these “hardcore” games aren’t too appealing, which is why most developers aren’t attempting to make games that will really impress the hardcore gaming crowd. But High Voltage is trying to tap into that stubborn, brainwashed, Wii Play buying crowd know as the casuals. If High Voltage succeeds then they will be rewarded with a lot of cash (which they deserve) and more developers will start making better games now that High Voltage proved that there is a market out there for these types of games. But if they fail… well, I’d rather not talk about it.

Not to worry though, High Voltage will make this game right, if they don’t miss a few critical components to the game. One of those components being their online mode. Now, High Voltage teased us about this mode in the trailer. At the very end of the trailer, a man with a deep voice says, “Mr. Ford, deathmatch has been authorized.” Then whoever Mr. Ford is replies to that by saying, “about damn time.” High Voltage just recently confirmed the online deathmatch mode, but there are a few key factors that really make online multiplayer fun and not repetitive. This is where we come in, My Wii News is now going to discuss what the Conduit needs to do in order to have a successful, and more importantly, fun, Online Mode.

Lets get right into shall we?
First off, we will name the things that Conduit needs to be successful online but Nintendo probably won’t allow it. Voice chat, some people may disagree but the majority of online players these days love to have voice chat. Without it, you might as well be playing a whole bunch of AI controlled computers because you basically sit there in silence as you get this feeling of emptiness. Voice chat could easily be implemented if Nintendo would announce a mic during E3. Chances are, Nintendo will add some type of voice chat feature at E3 because they have been hinting at one for a while, but if they don’t, shame on you Nintendo! Although, the online wouldn’t necessarily fail without voice chat, it would severely punish these players who are in need of help from teammates and do not have enough time to scroll through a list of automated messages. (Medal of Honor anyone?) High Voltage really needs to push Nintendo to allow them to use this feature.

Another thing they would need is some kind of downloadable content (DLC). Games, sadly, do not stay fun forever, after you play the same map over and over again, it begins to become quite stale. But this is where DLC comes in. Once you start getting bored of whatever game your playing, you tend to slowly slip away from it, destined to never return. But then those clever developers release a new map pack and your back on that game and thinking, “why did I think this was getting boring?!” This is what we need. We need that sense of renewal but without a hard drive it is impossible. Which is why we really need Nintendo to announce one at this years E3. We already discussed the possibilities of a hard drive in this article, but the way things are looking, it seems like this may be Nintendo’s year to announce a hard drive, or at least fix this memory issue. If Nintendo in fact does announce some type of HDD, it is very likely that not only will High Voltage will take advantage of this, but all of the developers who are actually trying to make a real game on the Wii instead of Dogz 2. (*cough* ubisoft *cough*)

(click to enlarge)

Okay, now for the things that High Voltage can take care of themselves. What they really need to implement is some kind of leveling up system. No ranks, no exp, and no challenges= No Fun. If your not working toward some type of goal, whether it is to unlock some new gun, or to finally reach that next rank, you are going to get bored really quickly. Games like Halo and Call of Duty 4 for example have ranks and exp. With these things, people are always trying to reach the next rank which is what keeps it fun. In Call of Duty, there are challenges that you can complete for new types of weapon attachments or camo. This keeps the online mode steady, fun, and rewarding. Without anything like this, The Conduits online mode will fail.

There are other small things that keep online modes fun. Leader boards are one of them. Leader boards are are a good way to keep track of you skill level and are fun to people who love to climb their way to the top of it. Leader board can keep people immersed in the game and will make a lot of players happy because they have an efficient way to see where they and their friends rank. A lot of different game modes is also a really nice thing to have, such as capture the flag and king of the hill. It helps put strategy into the modes instead of just racking up as much kills as possible.

A good thing that Medal of Honor: Heroes 2 left out was friends codes. Nobody has ever liked them and nobody will, a stupid decision by Nintendo. But EA found a way around this with their online system that allowed gamers to use their own gamertag of some sorts and made it alot easier for the players to find their friends and add them. If High Voltage could make a system kind of like this then that would be awesome.
A decent matchmaking system is crucial for online games. Everyone remembers Gears of War and the horrible host advantages. The host was able to kick any player, and the host always had a much better connection then the other players. The host had absolutely no lag which gave the host a huge advantage over any competitor he faced. The Conduit needs to follow a Halo or Call of Duty style matchmaking system. Even Epic Games has noticed this problem and has confirmed that Gears of War 2 will feature a Halo style matchmaking system.

Finally, High Voltage really needs to design good multiplayer maps with an array of different environments. Playing in the same type of environment over and over again gets boring. Every map will look and feel the same, people will get bored and they will stop playing. In Call of Duty 4, they have a good amount of different environments. Everything from desert, to woodland, the inside of buildings, and with the new DLC, a chinatown, a broadcast room, and even a assault training hangar. The maps don’t get boring, and most importantly, the game stays fun.

If High Voltage follows these guidelines and continue doing the great job that they are doing already, The Conduit will be an awesome game that all Wii owners must buy. Hopefully The Conduit will get it right, and if they do, you guys know that I’ll be standing in line on launch day.

Discuss this article below or take it to the forums, check out the trailer if you haven’t already, and keep checking back to My Wii News for more Wii and Conduit info!

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  • By martin, June 4, 2008 @ 8:57 am

    I’m going to buy this game for launch. Great article, this could be a genuinely great title if done to the full. They need to get moving on with Red Steel 2. If nintendo had much sense, they’d of released the virtual console game Goldeneye with wii online multiplayer! Keeping my eye on this Conduit game, fingers crossed.

  • By Carlos Eduardo, June 4, 2008 @ 9:45 am

    I agree!

    The Conduit have a huge potencial, with nice graphics and if it is good as High Voltage is talking, we will have a example of how is a really nice game Wii.

    I’m waiting for more news about the multiplayer mode, with no friend codes and DLC, surely!

  • By st3v4nt, June 4, 2008 @ 10:57 am

    All I can say to conduit developer: high voltage is just make it happen, I’m not really going to use it online (due to the net connection still unreliable here at my place), but I already play COD 4 and experiencing COD 3 on wii like any other console could really create, just show how intuitive FPS should played on wii through wiimote in great detail like COD 4 and sophisticated like MP3 perhaps conduit will worth every hard penny I earn.

  • By adam, June 4, 2008 @ 2:16 pm

    forget online, what about 4 player splitscreen action, if the game doesnt hav offline multiplayer than im not buying it !

  • By Dan, June 5, 2008 @ 11:20 am

    Completely agree. Online mode is a must! Medal of Honor 2: Heroes made a great job. Mimicking most of it would be great, such as choosing a server (yeah, joining something random sucks). This game could be legendary on the Wii if they do it right. Oh please, pleasE! Cross your finger, avid gamers, hehe.

  • By Ben says 3ll0h!!!, August 28, 2008 @ 7:33 pm

    Yeah I agree with you adam. MOHH2 left out split screen that the previous medal game for the wii had. (granted it wasnt a break of greatness) The conduit has everything everyone wants and apparently nintendo power seeing it was their number 2 most wanted game this year. (next to mad world of course) but im happy for wiispeak and wii motion plus which is gunna make this game great. and one last cool thing (because its a “hardcore” game) would be some good ol buttin crashin fun on the classic controller seeing a ssbb has it!!! I SAY, GOOD FOR YOU HIGH VOLTAGE!!!

  • By peterc, October 7, 2008 @ 11:09 pm

    Yup. Online multiplayer is the make or break for me on this game.

    If it can’t match Call of Duty online, I’m simply not interested.

    People will rent it but that’s all.

    Would be a crazy waste to not have great online. That’s what FPS’s are all about these days.

    If Nintendo is the publisher it would be great if they could do a good job online. At the moment nintendo online sucks. Mario Kart is the only decent online game. So I dunno, this seems like a chance for nintendo to prove a point: they do value online lay and understand the value of it.

    It’s not enough to toss down a few maps and leave it at that. There needs to be new maps, support for getting experience, perks etc. Good matchup system. NO LAG!!!

  • By gary, May 12, 2009 @ 8:23 pm

    Are both of those gun pictures guns from te conduit? Because the second one looks like it is from Modern Warfare?

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