IMO the coop campaigns were all far too easy; for a mid-level player (around elo 1200-1300) like me they were no challenge at all. To make them more challenging for higher-level players while keeping them accessible to others I guess you could make the hard difficulty (much) harder while leaving the others as they are. Maybe this approach could be taken with some single player campaigns as well.
Another thing that I’m missing in coop so far are achievements; some DE campaigns had very creative and challenging achievements attached to them (e.g. The Kushluk Assassination, A Truly Roman Emperor) though I suppose they will be added after beta (if at all).
They’ve definitely adjusted them relative to the single player versions. My friend and I have lost the 4th co-op Suryavarman 4 times now, so I just had a go at it in single player to see how it compares, and did it easily first time. I didn’t feel like I was getting attacked anywhere near as much in the single player version. My friend is new to the game, so isn’t very good, but I think even if I could clone myself to be the other player, the co-op version would be harder than the single player version.
That’s not to say you aren’t right that the hardest level should be harder, but it may also apply to the single player versions. Elo 1200-1300 isn’t mid-level, 1300 is top 17% of ranked players, and will be a higher percentile than that of all players.
I think there needs to be a bit more balancing done on the coop, which isn’t surprising at this early stage. The 4th Khmer campaign was tough (coming from a 1650 player), and I needed a second attempt. 5th campaign, was dead easy though. Definitely don’t need the 500 gold tribute every few minutes.
My friend and I managed it (on the easiest difficulty) at the 6th attempt. The winning strategy was for me to play the Indians and basically leave him to die so I could give all my attention to making sure the castle was protected, and working my way along the other land mass to clean everything out. He hung on for long enough that by the time he died, I was pretty established and could take the islands out. Definitely much tougher than any of the previous Suryavarman scenarios.
I did notice one possible bug, in that after he was dead, he could spectate and see the whole map, and tell me things that I couldn’t otherwise see.
So the new PuP brings a bunch of changes to co-op:
Now you can see the pre-mission slides as if you were in single player
Now if you click on the player colour you can switch sides, ie.the lobby host isn’t forced to play in the first slot.
The new AI handicap option is available in the lobby settings so you have a way to make the missions easier/harder if that’s what you want
As of the new campaigns themselves, in Tariq your ally is always Saracens instead of Berbers, and in half of the Tamerlane missions your ally is not Tatars, so it’s pretty great to have more civ diversity in co-op.
I think another difficulty (hard difficulty) could be interesting for the co-op campaigns or make the difficult one more difficult. We have made the different campaigns and missions with a friend (we are 1000 – 1200 players), compare to the solo mode, it was practically “boring” for me.
I have the feeling that a second player have been added with the same population that the main player but without an improve of the ia so now human player(s) have the double of economy and army against the same enemy than the solo mode.
For example, in the Huns mission 6, in solo mode, we fight against 3 ia on our right side witch make wonders, so we need to rush against 3 armies and in parallel, on the left side we have to defend against the Teutonic ia, it’s quite difficult.
In co-op mode, against exactly the same enemies, my friend helped me quickly to defeat the violet ia then he defeated the Teutonic ia. During this time, I was free to rush the cyan ia without an enemy in my back so no stress. To finish, we attacked together the red ia, 1 vs 2, the ia was easily defeated.
An interesting and difficult mission became easy.
Maybe add population to the different ia and make them a little more aggressive ?
The other day I played my first Co-op scenario, Attila 1. The other player walled his base and eventually I had to escape to his base. The thing is, enemies didn’t attack the walls. They gathered beyond the walls and enemy archers shot us from the outside, but never they attacked the walls. Neither Persians, Scythians or Romans attacked the walls.
sorry to necro this thread but I have had some thoughts on co-op after finally being able to play it with my friend.
first off I wish the maps were larger (gigantic-let size) and that they increased the population. I understand making the maps larger is not easy but I do think balancing them for 200 pop would not be that big of a stretch seeing that is how the game is currently balanced.
another thing I would like to see is unique units that you can build in the mode would be a huge boon that is one cool thing about starcraft 2’s co-op is that you are able to break out of the normal playstyles and play with units that you are not normally able to.
Lastly I would love it if there was an addition of a continue button or some way to track how many of the maps you have completed been in the situation where I was playing with my friend and would be like ‘which mission did we do last?’ and would have to trial and error to find out.
I have really enjoyed co-op and I hope the team keeps putting out more co-op content for me it was the first time I had played some of those missions.
an Idea I had too was to add an ‘archon mode’ co-op where both players play as the same set of units.
But you know that it always was possible? Just create a lobby game and pick the same color as your friend. So, AoE had “archon mode” a long before SCII
I am aware of this what I am suggesting is to use that to make a co-op campaign were traditionally you would add more units or make a second faction for the second player to play. this way you dont have to do that work and can just play the existing single player experience.