Though it isn’t territory that the Zelda series has deeply explored, online and time-based multiplayer events have been seen in a number of successful games of late. Some of the more popular titles that have utilized this mechanic are Bloodborne and Destiny, but could the Legend of Zelda capitalize on this new trend? It’s expected the series would likely have new dungeons, battles, or other events that would be scheduled to occur worldwide at specific times and dates. This isn’t the norm for a Zelda game so whether it would be too out of place or if implemented correclty be a success is up for interpretation.

For this reason, the Zelda Dungeon Staff this week was asked to weigh in on the subject, should a Zelda title implement an online time-based event system? Don’t forget to give us your take on the idea in the comments!

Jon Lett – View Profile

I always thought that the idea of timely events in games was fascinating, particularly in games with online multiplayer, but implementing it into a Zelda game could prove quite difficult. It not only would require the players accepting the rather large change from past titles, but it would also mean that the single player would need to be willing to schedule themselves accordingly to meet an event that was actually worth it, or that some sort of online multiplayer element were to be added. Of course, Zelda has very rarely done something like this, but I could see people joining together for very short periods of time, similar to in Bloodborne, and fighting bosses that came up against you. It could actually work rather well, given the right internet connection, considering the boss would arrive at the same time for everyone. As for things other than bosses, I could see limited-time dungeons appearing for the sake of loot. Perhaps you could be offered a chance to enter a dungeon that will be closed very soon, and the further you go into the place, the better the loot gets, but you need to leave enough time to escape, because if you do not get out when the event ends, you lose all that you fought for. Realistically, players could really have fun with high-pressure events like this, as it would add some extra challenge to a Zelda game, and if multiplayer was implemented, it could bring players together for a large-scale cooperative effort that benefits everyone, and gives them a chance to work together for a time in a game that usually has you fighting alone. Maybe it is worth a try.

Kira Koneko – View Profile

This is almost an impossible to answer question for me because of the way that the Zelda titles are played and although would be possible but not without changing some major aspects of the games that I’m not sure I would want in future Zelda titles. There are many games that support online events, whether it be a specific boss or a specific battle or area that is only open at specific times. Many of which require larger than normal groups to be successful, but in my experience it is the rare game that can incorporate this well without ruining the overall impact on each individual player. To be able to make it work within the Zelda franchise might work if it focused on specific dungeons or bosses,similar to what they did with the Wolf Link amiibo unlocking a dungeon, however in most cases in other games, other players are involved in these timed events worldwide and I’m not sure that I would like seeing a ton of Link’s running around on my screen. If it was organized around just giving each player access to specific dungeons or bosses during limited times and not requiring it to need more people to beat, such as what is needed with a game like Destiny, that could be a pretty interesting adventure. The other thing that comes to mind however is that a game like Hyrule Warriors could probably benefit from something like this right now!

Alasyn Eletha – View Profile

Coming from a person with a tight schedule and has to constantly find a spare window to squeeze in just a bit of playing time, I find that this might be rather difficult for people like me. Admittedly, I think it would be interesting, and if the time limits were rather large or were to open again every couple of months, I’d be able to really get on board with it. As a completionist, I’d hate to miss the opportunity to complete something or collect an item or reward if I weren’t able to meet the time limit. With that said, I don’t think this should be something for a main Zelda title. Maybe a spinoff or a game like Tri Force Heroes. That way, Zelda fans could test out and enjoy a different experience but the game wouldn’t really be that crucial to the Zelda formula.

Alexis Anderson – View Profile

No? I’ve never thought of the series as in need of online time-based events, and quite frankly I don’t know what they’d entail. I think I might feel differently if the game had customizable avatars and the event wouldn’t just be a bunch of Links hacking away at an enemy– that would be pretty awkward. I’d also hate for these events to have content that one could only get by playing them, as it would force players to slot out time to play and the Zelda series has always been more of a casual pick-up-and-play-whenever-for-however-long-you’d-like kind of game. I like that pretty much all available content in Zelda is at my fingertips from the moment I sit down, I’d hate to wait until specific dates and times to access certain things. I presume that none of these events would be needed to complete the game’s story, but even so they would annoy me and likely those who’d want to 100% the game. Personally, I like my Zelda games to be solitary adventures. Having an online element would detract from the narrative and wrench me out from my immersion. Plus, I’m really not very good at video games despite my love for certain ones, so playing online is always a bit intimidating; I’d like for the Zelda series to remain offline.

Thomas Jacobs – View Profile

Very much no. As a single-player experience the series thrives on allowing the players to discover for themselves how to tackle puzzles, defeat bosses and find treasure. Of course, being able to share your findings offline was one of the core design ideas for the original game, but it was not implemented all that well. Designing parts of the game to be played specifically online with a lot of people at the same time, in specific time slots and have the content accessible for only a limited time would not only greatly limit the accessibility of the game but it also raises one big question: if you are Link… who are all those hundreds of other green-clad guys running around? Plus, the series already dabbled in this with Ancient Stone Tablets, and we all remember how that went. You don’t? Exactly my point.

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