|This article is about the genre that focuses on "connection" and asynchronous multiplayer features. For other uses of the term "strand", see Strand (disambiguation).|
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The "Social Strand System" encompasses Death Stranding's conceptual focus on "connection", and asynchronous multiplayer features. As a consequence of this system's deep integration within the game's mechanics and philosophy, Hideo Kojima has referred to Death Stranding as being of a new genre he has coined "strand" (in addition to being of the action genre).
Throughout their individual journeys, players may connect with one another in various ways across the Social Strand System. Likes can be given to players who leave behind helpful equipment and signs, or create useful constructs such as lockers, safe houses, and bridges. When in a desperate situation while in battle, players may call upon others for help in their struggle. Kojima has emphasized that players are never alone while on their journey.
The exact mechanics of the Social Strand System have yet to be researched in fine detail.
Each player accumulates "likes" which come from NPCs or other players.
Effects of Likes
The more likes a player accumulates, the more that player can see and use structures made by other players.
Selecting the "Bridge Links" tab in the cuff menus will open a list of players who you have interacted with, or have interacted with you in some fashion, and whose items and structures have appeared in your game world.
Strand Contracts can be formed between players in the Bridge Links menu, and dissolved at will. Forming a Strand Contract with another player is akin to "favoriting" or "friending" another player; both players will receive more Likes, and the likelihood of seeing that player's items, structures, footpaths etc. in your own game world is greatly increased. As the player's Porter Grade improves, players will be able to make more Strand Contracts.
Structures built in one player's world can show up and be used in another player's world. The rules determining if a structure shows up in another player's world appears to have to do with each player's number of likes and the strength of their "connection".
If Sam dies, he enters The Seam, where the player can guide Sam's soul back to his body and restore him to life. During this time, the floating bodies of other players can also be seen, and the player can guide themselves to 'touch' the other players and increase their connection levels before returning to Sam. Currently, the nature of this mechanic is not well understood.
- On February 13, 2018, Kojima Productions registered trademarks for "Social Strand System" and "Strand Game".
- Kojima has stated that "Social Strand System" is his name for the perceived genre-defying aspects of Death Stranding, similar to his use of "Tactical Espionage Action" before the then-genre-defying aspects of Metal Gear came to be commonly categorized as the "stealth genre".
- ^ Twitter · @HIDEO_KOJIMA_EN – "[...] DS is not a stealth game. [...] By incorporating with the concept of connection(strand), it's totally brand new genre called action game/strand game(social strand system)."
- ^ Twitter · @trademark_bot – "Registered trademarks (JA)"
- ^ Twitter · @HIDEO_KOJIMA_EN – "[...] Calling it as Social Strand System is similar case when I called Tactical Espionage Action before it was categorized as Stealth Game."