It comes down to co-op and lack of dedicated servers.
Outriders will finally be here next month after a couple of delays. It aims to deliver a full and complete experience with no MTXs or live service elements, and you can actually try it out now with a currently available demo across all platforms it’ll be launching on, sans Stadia. If you’ve been playing the demo, you may have also noticed there are a lot of frequent and short cutscenes to do small tasks, such as jumping across a bridge or climbing a ledge. It’s made many scratch their heads, but the game’s Lead Designer has the answer.
Speaking to Eurogamer, Piotr Nowakowski explained what was happening here. It’s largely there due to the co-op nature of the game coupled with the lack of dedicated servers for multiplayer. They had to find ways to bring all characters together in a co-op session that wasn’t disorienting. Some of the early play testers had issues with this, where one player would move on to a new sequence and leave the others confused. He gives an example below.
“I’m the person who’s triggering the travel, so I want to jump to the other side and start a battle on the opposite side. Let’s imagine one of my friends is next to the city, to Rift Town. The second one is travelling along the main path towards the enemies there. I cannot just go there and trigger three different areas, because it will not work in a game without dedicated servers.
“Second, if I will just trigger that transition, then the two others will be teleported. Then they will see, okay, where are we? Our idea – maybe it doesn’t work exactly as we wanted – but the idea was, okay, show all the players what’s happening, that we are jumping on the opposite side. So they see, okay!
“Same with the doors. Okay, we are entering that area. Our idea was to explain what’s going on. Plus, we just need to gather all the players and not separate them in different areas.”
He goes on to say that he understands it’s not a perfect solution, but felt it was better than leaving no transition signal. While Nowakowski also mentions they are continuing to work on possible solutions, it sounds like the design is pretty baked in, but we’ll see what they can come up with when the game launches on April 1st.