3-Player Coop is in full swing and with it comes a flurry of highs and lows, excitement paired with despair, along with a new hurdles of challenges to overcome. I have been able to play a modest amount of 3-Player since the release on Monday and was able to clear all the non-Endless Corridor levels through pre-made teams as well as random-matchmaking.
This article will simply summarize my thoughts and impressions thus far as well as some advice moving forward. If you wish to read a more detailed article on preparing yourself for 3-Player Coop, you can find it HERE.
–video coming soon—
One of the best aspects of 3-Player Coop is the built in matchmaking system. A large barrier to the enjoyment of 2P mode was the difficulty in finding partner who had synergistic teams. As such, 3P being both a more solo-oriented experience by comparison helps you quickly find a match and actually get to playing.
While random matchmaking can be exciting and possibly amusing, it also has the tendency for troll-oriented teams (although I have managed to dodge all of those). This is because you are matched with two random players and do not see their teams until you actually enter the dungeon so you cannot preemptively dodge the match.
While there will always be players who want to be a meme or troll, this should hopefully die down as time goes on as the novelty does wear off.
To completely avoid this, you can simply create or join an existing pre-made room that will at least show all player’s teams in the lobby.
No unlocking progression system
One thing I found unusual with the current 3P dungeons was that all of them were immediately available provided you had sufficient stamina to enter.
For the most part, almost all challenging dungeons had to be unlocked by clearing easier content which did somewhat limit players to what they were able to tackle. This is most prominent for the new 3P Arena and the Absolute Annihilation difficulty dungeons where you need well developed teams to actually succeed.
It would have been nicer if the Cosmic Trinity dungeons had to be unlocked in order as it would at least cut down on the chance for a brand new player from entering.
Not everyone is a Wizard
Due to the fact that PAD has millions of players, you cannot expect everyone to be a wizard at matching, especially when under a 30-second timer and others watching.
One of the main appeals of PAD back in the day was it being a solo game that allowed you to take your time when puzzling through a dungeon and the shifts to coop has turned many people off. Furthermore, not everyone has perfectly crafted teams so there will be variance in the ones you do encounter.
What I mean by this is that there are countless players who do not have the optimal team and are simply working with the cards they have on hand and is not actually a form of trolling.
As such, you should extend a certain amount of understanding to those who are genuinely trying their best and doing your own part to help them.
Even though each player has their own team and are simply sharing the board with two other players, you can still do your own part to help out.
Depending on the type of team you are playing along with the current floor, you may or may not want to try and set up the board/hoard certain orbs for your partners. For example, if you are playing a tankier team, you have the capability to tank hits without healing. As such, you will be able to save the hearts for your injured/squishier allies. In addition, this type of generosity can help you stall out problematic situations.
Key times to stall are when someone is bound, their leader is swapped via Medjedra, or when you are trying to have a certain person fight a specific floor. I have done a modest amount of 3P Arena and there tends to be someone who runs the Guard Break awakening. This awakening enables that player (provided they have all 5 colours) to ignore defense and makes PreDRAs and to a certain extend, the Metatrons much easier. Thus, it would be in everyone’s best interest to try and have that player face the PreDRAs so there may be some dancing around on the Celestial floor beforehand.
Furthermore, if you do encounter easy spawns, there is no harm in actually stalling for actives because inherits take a small eternity to charge up.
Team diversity is valuable
All teams have their pros and cons and having some diversity between leaders used is actually advantageous. For example, Anubis is a fantastic 3P leader, but suffers from a lack of an HP multiplier and is often vulnerable to large single hits. However, he is able to quickly replenish his health along with being able to activate on most given boards for unparalleled burst damage.
By having both of these on your 3P team can lead to efficient progression as you can use Dark Metatron as a “meat shield” while having Anubis sweep floors without burning active skills.
Having three figurative glass cannons may be fun, but it can become a game of hot potato in which you all try to avoid getting killed from the large preemptive or first turn abilities.
30 seconds is not enough
30 seconds barely gives you enough time to count the possible number of combos on a board let alone think about what you need to do in a problematic situation.
If most of your PAD experience has been in solo mode, the 30 second timer may feel unfair as you may want to take your time to plan out each board. Personally, I have had the timer lapse and forfeited my turn as I was more used to the more forgiving timer in regular coop mode.
Perhaps having a total of 45 or 60 seconds would be nice, especially for match-made games or for the harder dungeons.
Option to spectate
I feel that if you do die in 3P, you should retain the option to spectate your teammates progression for the rest of the dungeon.
I managed to play and clear all the different difficulties on my Monday Twitch stream:
3-Player Coop brings a new layer of fun and excitement while introducing players to new mechanics. Despite the fact that PAD is being further pushed away from a solo adventure (although you can technically disconnect in 3P), the direction that 3P is going is healthy overall compared to the original coop experience.
This is because the dungeon are at least scaled/designed with coop in mind as current dungeons tend to be too easy in 2P and too challenging in solo.
Let me know what you think of 3P thus far.