Watch Dogs

How I would change “Play as Anyone” to get it closer to it’s potential for playstyle variety and ability synergy

So I understand talking about Play as Anyone on this sub is a risky thing, it's, shall we say, controversial?

So I should probably preface this that, play as anyone is a system Ubisoft invested a lot of time and money into, so it will be back, it doesn't necessarily need to be back in the form of Watch Dogs (even if personally I really dig legion and think it's very well suited to the profiler/ctOS premise of the franchise)

I've played legion for like 100 hours now, and I think I've worked out what my biggest issue with "play as anyone" is

It's anyONE

There are certain character types who are just kind of invalid, because of how limited their skillsets are

Meanwhile there are also characters who are maybe too skilled at other stuff, why can everyone off the street do parkour and drive like a pro?

Most characters in Legion are simultaneously too viable at too many things to be interesting while not viable enough to be worth playing when compared to more specialised characters like the hitmen and hackers who are just kind of objectively better than the rest

A human statue sounds fun, they can evade pursuits, cool, only in order to be pursued I probably need to have been doing a mission with some stealth/combat encounters, that my human statue is useless at, because he only comes with the pose, no other abilities

Then, in an attempt to make every character viable in legion, they gave the player the option to buy OP upgrades like hijacking and betraying CT drones, which becomes so powerful it practically invalidates the whole game as a means of completely clearing out a restricted area quickly and without any risk of detection or death, you can even summon your own CT drones from those pads you normally summon cargo drones from, which are usually close to restricted areas, so theres an infinite supply

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The system as is essentially gives no reason to not just play a spy, the character with a silenced pistol for stealth, a gun jamming watch for combat, and a cool car for driving, they are an all-rounder capable of everything and therefore give no meaningful incentive to do anything else

Legion offers a huge variety of playstyles to experiment with, then actively disincentivises experimenting with it

Likewise, getaway drivers sound cool, but again only useful in a very specific instance where in order to need one I already need to be chased, and at that point, I can't swap characters

So heres my wild idea

Equip multiple operatives at once which you can seamlessly swap between in combat or otherwise equip one operative with multiple skillsets

in terms of a story reason, let's say Skye Larson's AI/Daybreak tech has been improved since Legion so that it doesn't horribly damage the original brain, so now Dedsec can download and upload specific aspects of a person through the optik

Now your random civilian off the street can learn gun fu or how to play guitar

by recruiting civilians, you get their looks and personality and own skills, but you can also slot their skills into other operatives you've got and vice versa, adding much more potential for customisation and synergy and bring out more of that variety that the system is able to give

Consider the following combinations

  • Anarchist + Football Hooligan + Janitor
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The anarchist's bat and gas makes them ideal for melee combat, combined with the rally cry to add more NPC's into the fray. If you start to get overwhelmed by enemies with this fairly high risk melee combat assault playstyle, you can quickly get into your specialised car and drive away without getting bothered by pesky chase drones

  • Glass Cannon + Spy + War Correspondant

The glass cannon perk is an interesting idea but it's almost specifically suited for stealth, something the spy is already good at because of their silenced pistol, by combining the 2 you increase your odds of a successful stealth infilitration while increasing the tension of getting spotted since now you'll die easier. Combine this with the war correspondants drone for recon and you have just made an ideal stealth combination.

  • Hitman + Albion Vendetta + Hacker

Albion vendetta is another mostly useless perk which is overshadowed by other characters just having more powerful guns which fill people with holes indiscriminantly. By giving this perk to the hitman you've already given this combat heavy character a specific context where they are the most useful, while the viral hacks would allow you to temporarily jam or disrupt the whole room for a swift gunkata rampage

In Conclusion…

This kind of system would give the player an exponential increase in options to experiment with while allowing the devs to make each individual character less viable and more unique, which to me at least, is the exact thing that play as anyone should strive to do

Importantly it also has the potential for that team effort concept in the story, where multiple members of Dedsec are always necessary to pull off an objective and really get that theme of strength in numbers across in the actual gameplay

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This kind of synergy is the sort of thing I was hoping would be possible in Online, but then they decided to make Online a looter shooter without any loot where dps is held above all else and the only character you'll ever need is a hobo with an lmg

TLDR: Equip multiple operatives or operative skillsets at once to give the player more options for character traits boosting eachother in interesting ways to craft unique playstyles with different strengths and weaknesses for unique gameplay experiences, while pushing that concept of Dedsec being a cohesive group rather than one person working at a time

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