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Interview: Playing Factions in The Last of Us Remastered multiplayer

Not tried out TLOU multiplayer yet? Find out why Factions is a great place to start

The Last of Us Remastered launches next week in Europe. We’ll be revealing some upcoming DLC and streaming a basic introduction to the multiplayer mode, Factions, live later this week over on our Twitch channel. We plan to show off the new features for PS4 as well as give our primer for those not familiar with the mode on Thursday 24th July 24 at 7.30pm BST and 1.30am BST (Friday).

If you can’t watch Twitch stream we asked Erin Daly, Lead Multiplayer Designer, and Quentin Cobb, Game Designer a couple of questions about Factions multiplayer mode in the game. If you’re new to the world of Factions this is a great primer. If you’re a hardened survivor with a clan that never diminishes read on to hear about some exciting developments we were able to make in The Last of Us Remastered.

Why is the multiplayer mode called Factions?
Quentin Cobb: We wanted the online multiplayer to focus on the larger story of the player representing a faction (Fireflies or Hunters) and rebuilding their own clan in that faction. This grounds the online matches in a world where each player is fighting for the survival of their clan and therefore gives each match more weight and importance.

Erin Daly: The name Factions came from what we call the ‘metagame’. Instead of just earning XP and ranking up like most multiplayer games, when you start multiplayer you are put in charge of a small group of survivors trying to stay alive and grow their numbers. To make progress you must ally yourself with one of the major factions from the single player game – the Hunters, a rag-tag group of brutal killers, or the Fireflies, a more well-equipped resistance group that is still trying to find a cure for the infection.

As you progress, events will occur that put your survivors at risk and require you to complete missions during your multiplayer matches to keep them alive. You must survive for 12 weeks with either the Hunters or Fireflies to beat the metagame.

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What was the inspiration for Factions multiplayer?
Quentin Cobb: The inspiration really came from the combat encounters of the single player campaign. We wanted to mirror the slow pace and high lethality of those encounters while keeping a very similar crafting and scavenging system.

We did this by making every weapon very lethal, placing crafting items inside of item caches located in strategic parts of the map, having the player appear on the radar while sprinting and keeping ammo very scarce. This would lead to the players sneaking around the map, trying to get to item caches and picking the moment to attack very carefully and making their shots count. We also added a down state which would allow players to revive teammates.

All of these factors put an emphasis on stealth and teamwork which many shooters don’t achieve. This created a very unique experience which we feel makes our multiplayer special.

Erin Daly: As Quentin mentioned, the inspiration really came from trying to capture the slower pace, stealth, lethality, and consequence of combat in single player, something that is really challenging to do in a live multiplayer environment.

In most multiplayer shooters these days players sprint around at high speeds and spray bullets at anything that moves. To capture the feeling of combat in single player we had to slow the game down a lot, while still keeping the controls and player movement feeling responsive. By making the game fairly lethal, but giving players a higher level of awareness of their enemies, we were able to create some very tactical combat, especially when combined with the variety of craftable items like molotovs, nail bombs, and smoke bombs.

In general, players playing overly aggressively will usually find themselves at a disadvantage in The Last of Us. In the end it’s a game where your tactical decision-making matters more than your aiming reflexes.

We also needed to add some of our own unique elements to multiplayer that didn’t exist in single player. For this we build a new loadout system with a variety of survival skills, added some new guns, and added an in-game store where players can use parts they earn in combat to purchase additional ammo, weapon upgrades, and armor. Combined with the crafting system it offers a lot of on-the-fly tactical choices.

Another big addition was the revive system – when players take enough damage they go into a down state and can crawl around slowly while bleeding out. With only four players on each team it means every life matters and sticking with your team and keeping them alive is a very big part of the game. It also adds a lot of consequence to death, something we also wanted to capture from single player. Taking out one enemy is a big deal, as is losing one of your own team.

We’ve read a lot of feedback from players that they feel the MP game captured the feel of single player very well, which is something we’re really happy with.

How big is PS3 multiplayer community and how has it been?
Erin Daly: We have around 9,000 concurrent players at peak and the community has been very active. The community gives us a lot of feedback on our forums that we use to help balance and tweak Factions.

Any cool or funny community stories from people playing Factions?
Quentin Cobb: I would say the “Batman Shiv” is a cool story. People like to drop down from above an enemy and quickly turn around and shiv an enemy. This has become a very stylish way to shiv someone and I wish we could have gotten in some kind of stat to track when a player successfully pulls off a “Batman Shiv” to award them extra points!

What are the new features for Factions in The Last of Us Remastered?
Erin Daly: Well, first off we are running the game at 1080p and targeting 60 fps. The power of the PS4 and some of our talented engineers were able to significantly improve the load times.

Quentin Cobb: On the gameplay side we made some important tweaks. The DLC map trophies now require five downs or executions and deaths don’t matter. We added eighteen new tips for new players.

If you’re a new player you’ll start with nine loadout points instead of 8. You’ll reach the max of 13 loadout points sooner as a result. All fifteen of our maps are in each playlist so the player pool will be consolidated. This means faster matchmaking and that you will have a greater variety of maps in each playlist! There’s a lot of great new stuff.

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What’s your absolute favorite new feature in Factions in the Remastered edition?
Quentin Cobb: Playing with the higher fps is by far my favorite feature. This improves gameplay dramatically and makes shooting much more precise! I find that gameplay in general is much more responsive and accurate.

Erin Daly: Yeah, agreed. Playing Factions running with higher fps is awesome. Everything feels much tighter and more precise, especially when it comes to gunplay. Players are really going to like it.

What are you looking forward to most in the Remastered version?
Quentin Cobb: I’m looking forward to playing Interrogation (my favorite game type) on all the new maps and recording and streaming my matches!

Erin Daly: Yeah, I’m excited to see what our community records and shares. We’ve seen some amazing content and look forward to watching what else get put out there.

I love getting trophies. Will I be able to collect any new trophies in the Remastered edition for Factions?
Quentin Cobb: Remastered will include all DLC trophies along with the original game trophies. No new trophies were added but 8 of them were changed to be easier to earn.

Will my The Last of Us Season Pass DLC content carry over?
Erin Daly: Yes, any weapons, survival skills, head items you have purchased on PS3 will carry over. You just need to go into your download list on PS4 and re-download them.

Will we be seeing anymore DLC for Factions?
Erin Daly: Remember those head items some of our more eagle eye forums members caught a glimpse of? We made it work and those will be coming out.

Quentin Cobb: Well…yes, we’re also currently hard at work finishing up some cool new DLC for Factions. We’ll talk about it more after The Last of Us Remastered releases on 30th July.

48 Comments
2 Author replies
1

Looking forward to this. Next Friday can’t come soon enough.

Eric Monacelli 22 July, 2014 @ 17:31
1.1

Yaaaaaaay! It’s coming very quickly.

2

Will this version be subject to the same censorship as the EU PS3 game?

Eric Monacelli 22 July, 2014 @ 17:31
2.1

The MP remains unchanged besides what’s outlined above.

murgolicious 22 July, 2014 @ 17:31
2.2

Yes, that has been confirmed a couple of days ago, unfortunately :(

Another question: Will a Grounded playthrough be required for the platinum?

KaneTheGoth 22 July, 2014 @ 17:31
2.3

If so PLEASE release DLC to add the content back in for the unaffected counties. The whole of EU shouldn’t be punished just because of a few countries with pathetic and controlling censorship rules.

Show more replies
2

Nice to hear the “without dying” DLC maps trophies have been changed, they didn’t encourage good team play and were overall unpleasant to achieve.

4

As an Xbox convert, I’m looking forward to next Wednesday and to have at least a half-decent (although I’m sure it’s excellent) multiplayer experience with sane trophies makes it any better. Are the controls remote play friendly (in terms of R and L and that rear touchpad)? I believe the missus would appreciate it greatly.

Please add a patch to uncensor the game for everyone that doesn’t live in Germany. It’s ridiculous!

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE remove the censorship!! .. it’s collective punishment and a disgusting practice, there literally is NO REASON for it. If there is at least be honest about it and tell us the reason? Maybe in germany but even there you guys just preemptively censored it without checking with the ratings board!! PLEASE take it out with a patch for the rest of EU!

I seriously canceled my preorder because of it and I was really looking forward to this game! I’m came from 360 so never got the chance to play it and only recently learned about the censorship but I CANNOT support such practices. ESPECIALLY when there is no reason to censor it and it’s just collective punishment for the laws of one single country!

Take and example from games like Wolfenstein, how come they didn’t do collective censorship!?

PLEASE PATCH IT .. I want to buy this game, but I won’t support censorship and I won’t import because it takes too long, customs costs too much and DLC won’t work with it!

Thank you for changing the DLC map trophies. No deaths was pretty much impossible for me. Can’t wait to play this on PS4.

Please uncensor the Multiplayer, or else I’m buying from USA.

8.1

The problem with buying from the USA = DLC does not work on EU accounts, import takes weeks if not months depending on site etc. and on top of that if the customs make trouble, depending on the country you’ll have to pay extra money!…. buying digital is no option for me, I buy ALL my big games physical and even if I did, still can’t use DLC on my main/EU account etc.

The fact that the SECOND comment on this post is about the censorship says a LOT .. please .. PLEASE remove it ND&SCEE .. !! Just release a DLC/PATCH, maybe an option to turn it on and off. There is no reason to collectively punish us .. it’s EXTREMELY anti consumer, we pay more than our American counterparts and yet we get second class treatment. It’s insulting,

It’s like you’re giving us this great sales pitch. Then hug the American next to us, turn to us and give us a huge slap in the face followed by a middle finger. “Now who’s ready to buy our product …?” Well I’m not .. it’s an 18+ game, I won’t stand for collective punishment and censorship ..

I get that obviously you don’t want to spoil the content, but I would really like to know if those of us who bought the Season Pass on PS3 will be getting the upcoming DLC as part of the Season Pass?

left4bread3 22 July, 2014 @ 20:26
11

Guys you do realize that creating a US PSN account is super easy right? and you can download the game using funds from Amazon or other places avoiding import fees and getting it cheaper?

11.1

Most of us DO NOT want to buy AAA games digitally, I want my physical product. Not to mention that still creates problems with DLC on my main account, PS+ etc etc. And IF I would buy a AAA game digitally I want it on my MAIN account where I have all my other trophies, games etc.

I don’t care that it’s “easy” to make a US account. I don’t even know if we can play on EU servers with a US account/US version esp when EU lacks the blood animations etc.

We shouldn’t have to jump trough hoops so we can BUY a game as it should be in the first place.

left4bread3 22 July, 2014 @ 21:07
11.2

Oh go fudge yourself…

11.3

How? If you import the game from the US (does not takes months or weeks) when I import I shop at videogamesplus.ca and NOT IMPORT FEES. When you get the game simply make a new US account buy the DLC and download it. Log out of the US account and log into your normal account. You now have a uncensored Last of us with DLC on your main account it really is easy.

But I do agree we should not have to jump through all these loops to by pass censorship. How hard can it be to release a patch to uncensored the game for the rest of the EU. Just because Germany don’t allow it does not mean other country’s don’t. I am British and live in England. We are not under these censorships like Germany please uncensored our games thanks.

12

So, does my Factions rank (almost level 300) carry over to the PS4 version? That would be nice. Furthermore I hope there will be a new map pack, not just “cosmetic” items, at some point.
And while I will get Remastered at launch, I must say it sucks that Naughty Dog didn’t include ALL THE DLC, meaning new weapons, perks, hats, masks etc. because not everybody bought all that stuff on PS3 or had the season pass!

13

My particular region always had terribly long waits, the match making process cycling through multiple times before you got a game, quite often I’d just give up. Hopefully this has improved with the remaster as it was good fun once you actually got in.

14

Please make more Single Player DLC

CaptainSellers 22 July, 2014 @ 21:34
15

Are the multiplayer dlc trophies required for the plat? Or is the same 24 as with the PS3 version?

ShadowGandalf 22 July, 2014 @ 23:27
16

You say you’re changing the DLC trophy requirements for the no death trophies… but is that JUST for the PS4 version or will you change the PS3 version the same way? Playing a game with no deaths is pretty impossible for the average player…. especially if your team don’t care about healing you.

16.1

I’d like to know this as well. The only time I’ve earned any of them was either when I joined in the last few minutes of the game or when most of the enemy team quit the match, leaving only one or two enemies.

17

Eric, will we see any gameplay before release? It’s getting close and still nothing. I’m very much looking forward to it, but I would like to see how much it differs from the PS3 version.

The censorship of multiplayer is also annoying. Since Germany has a problem with violence, the rest of us get a watered down copy of the game. Either way, it will be fun. I was pleasantly surprised by how good it was. I wasn’t expecting much.

LeftMonocle 23 July, 2014 @ 07:26
18

Ruining our chances of getting an uncensored version of the Last of Us is really the worst thing Germany has ever done to Europe.

SerdarCiiraKk 23 July, 2014 @ 22:59
18.1

Did you forget WW1 and 2?

Gangrenous_Goose 23 July, 2014 @ 07:28
19

Didnt realize multiplayer was censored, that kinda blows

20

While it was great news for a few thousand people that wanted it this 180 over Freedom Wars is having a clear knock on effect elsewhere. Over 20% of the comments here are complaining about an entirely cosmetic feature being missing. I find it hard to believe that anyone allowed their purchasing decision be made for them by the lack of highly unrealistic head breakages.

For me, this isn’t day 1. I splashed out on the Ellie Edition a year ago and was happy with that. I can’t really justify paying £40 for that same game again just for an increase in resolution and frame rate. I would have hope that with a full rebuilding of the game for some changes to SP, notably fixing bugs and dodgy design. Stealth games with psychic enemies who can somehow “sense” you crouched behind a table two rooms away are never fun.

KaneTheGoth 23 July, 2014 @ 12:48
20.1

It’s not “just a cosmetic feature”; it’s the ethos behind it. The censors in one country (at most 2), wanted certain parts cut, and due to this the ENTIRE EU region now has the edited version, as Sony/ND didn’t want to release 2 versions across Europe. If the community is shown to be accepting of this form of behaviour we’ll no doubt receive censored versions the next time Germany don’t want people seeing certain scenes.

21

+1 for calling you out on the censorship.

You had a whole year to correct your mistakes and show some respect to a huge, huge portion of your fanbase.

Instead you choose to treat the entire EU/PAL region with continued contempt.

Note the wording too “The MP remains unchanged”. You’re too afraid to even use the word ‘censorship’.

It’s pathetic, to be honest.

21.1

They are not afraid, this is clear misinformation for people who don’t know about the censorship.

SerdarCiiraKk 23 July, 2014 @ 23:00
21.2

I had an option to turn the gore on and off..

21.3

@SerdarCiiraKk
There’s no such option for the MP.

22

Censored MP again. Not interested Sony.

23

Avoid the Multiplayer. Its the worst ever. I played at the beginning, it was fun, but since DLC came out its horrible. I wont touch it again.

Ghost_Draven 23 July, 2014 @ 13:27
24

Me and 7 friends in my local area all cancelled our pre-orders on the PS3 version cos of the cencorship, we then pitched together and imported 1 copy from USA instead which we’ve circulated amongst ourselves and friends, counting over 20 people now, who don’t want to pay for cencored products. We’re adults, all in our 30’s, don’t treat us like kids because Germany’s old-fashioned fear of video-game violence.

The weirdest thing about Germany being so stuck up on games, is that when I buy horror and splatter films, Germany usually has the least cut versions, so why do they do this to games?
Anyways, skipping this unless word of ‘uncencorship patch’ comes my way

And you know the real kicker? I don’t even like the Multiplayer of this game, and would not even give it another shot on PS4, but I will never knowingly pay for a cencored product

24.1

Do you remember if you played multiplayer on eu servers when you bought the us version? That is my biggest problem atm because if i can’t play with my friends who have eu version.

24.2

Does the US version of the game work on EU servers when playing from EU? This is the biggest problem because i can get the US version easily but if i can’t play with my friends it’s going to suck…

24.3

Sorry for spamming too much, i was trying to write that other comment for all but i accidentally replied to you again -_-

25

If you import the game from the US (does not takes months or weeks) when I import I shop at videogamesplus.ca and there is NO IMPORT FEES. When you get the game simply make a new US account buy the DLC and download it. Log out of the US account and log into your normal account. You now have a uncensored Last of us with DLC on your main account it really is easy.

But I do agree we should not have to jump through all these loops to by pass censorship. How hard can it be to release a patch to uncensored the game for the rest of the EU. Just because Germany don’t allow it does not mean other country’s don’t. I am British and live in England. We are not under these censorships like Germany please uncensored our games thanks.

26

The MP sucks strong in this game. The next DLC better brings co-op.

solarwind12 23 July, 2014 @ 23:08
27

Shame that the thread went the way it did, but i guess it’s best to just go dark than skip or ignore the elephant..
So it’s getting on to three years come November since Drake last had a outing/adventure, there is one in works i hear but next year?, prob the end of, thats a long wait, wish the writers would of done a journey to centre of earth type, possibilities would of been unlimited, like the film/book, but with a treasure to find (or not) at the end, maybe even get a German goose called Gertrude just for fun to accompany the gang.. or was it Austrian?..
Anyways i will be picking TLoU remastered up, am just about over the shock of chapter2 from launch ps3 version, though as i may of mentioned one or two times (lol) i would dearly love to see a dlc prequel describing/showing the time during outbreak, even how this real fungus evolved from insects to humans, that would be RE4 like awesome to behold.

28

Does the US version of the game work on EU servers when playing from EU? This is the biggest problem because i can get the US version easily but if i can’t play with my friends it’s going to suck…

Please uncensor game for UK

PlayMarcoPolo 29 July, 2014 @ 19:54
30

The Rank that we have in PS3 that Rank should go over in The Last Of Us Remastered……??????

Please update the game to remove censorship in EU and regions that don’t need it, i.e. New Zealand

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