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The Angry Roleplayer

The extensive rantings of a man about his games and the companies who make them.

Author: Mystik86

Why I Don't Like To Group

Posted by Mystik86 Thursday July 9 2009 at 5:00AM
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I thought of this earlier today as I was reading stuff on the site and wanted to get it out there.

There are a bunch of big reasons why I do not like to group up in MMOs, reasons which have actually made me quit games. First and foremost it makes me feel, as one player, weak. It makes me feel unheroic and very vulnerable. I like a challenge, don't get me wrong, but I also like to feel like I am a hero in posession of some truly unique skills, skills which can keep me alive no matter what. Many MMOs have content that you cannot solo as it's simply impossible to do so. Even non-group quests can be this tough when you're playing on your own (EQ2 had some difficult content to push through solo). LoTRO is a major culprit here I think as there are a bunch of things that become extremely difficult to do solo. I enjoy dungeons but LoTRO has dungeons you absolutely must have a full group for and it gets on my nerves.

Another big thing that ruins games for me is the constant need to group to get anything worthwhile. The best gear is almost always obtained through instance runs that require groups. This can happen over a single run or many runs depending on what you're trying to get. I'm not always in it for the gear, as I said I enjoy dungeons and would love to do more DDO style instances. It all goes back to my desire for more singleplayer quality content for solo players.

Finding groups can also be a big thing for me. It takes time to find one and once you do the fun doesn't end there. First you have to make sure the group is balanced usually the typical formation of a tank, healer, and a few damage dealers. After this you have to actually make sure your group is capable. PUGs (pick-up groups) can be a nightmare when it comes to making sure everyone can handle the task at hand. Sometimes a dungeon will require you to have already obtained certain gear to be able to weather the storm so to speak. Most of the time a PUG is lacking in skill, knowledge of the dungeon, proper gear and voice comms-things that can make or break a run.

I enjoy most games until the endgame content. Not because it's too hard (I spent 5 years in WoW and raided up until WotLK) but because it requires vast amounts of time and people to do. Raiding becomes a necessity and it gets old fast. You can only run a dungeon so many times before you realize it's the same old shit and you leave. I'm still a firm believer that a single hero could slay a dragon and as such I don't think we should have 20-40 skilled heroes needed to take the beast down.

I guess it really boils down to the risk and reward factor, and also the time spent to obtain the rewards. If it takes too long, too many people and is too dangerous it's not worth it and it gets boring.

Hyanmen writes:

I think this is a matter of perspective, but to me overcoming my weaknesses as a player is what makes it feel so rewarding in the end. If I'm not weak, winning becomes such a bore in the end, especially if I can't share it with my friends/other people. If I feel strong, rather than weak, overcoming challenges that felt impossible at first become meaningless.

But what truly makes me feel strong, is beating some mission/raid/whatever PvE challenge with less players than required. I have to earn my powers, and that's what really makes me feel strong in the end.

The system for finding groups can still be heavily improved, and the balance factor can also be changed to allow for a less demanding one, which makes looking for certain roles less frustrating. Why PUG's don't have the skill, is because they haven't been taught how to handle groups and PUG's. If they'd been taught how to group from the start, they'd be much better skilled people in general.

20-40 players is also silly to have at once, imo. It gets real fun when there's 6~12 players only and when you get to know each other and overcome challenges together, you feel more like a family than group of strangers in the internet. With 20-40 players you can't really get such a feeling, from what I've noticed. Usually I know maybe 25% of the players there, so it's like I was in some kind of mercenary group rather than having fun with my guild.

Thu Jul 09 2009 5:39AM Report
BlueCadwal writes:

I think you're blowing the grouping completely out of proportion.  Most games don't require you to group until higher levels.  Final Fantasy XI is one of the few exceptions out there.  Though a lot of games do have it so that one person can slay a few Dragons, but this is only at max level with tweaked out stats.

I've always been of the mindset that its great to know you're powerful, but what's the point if you can't show off in the process?  That's the benefit of groups.  You get people who get to see your amazing gear and see you dealing 500 damage each strike.  

In WoW whenever I played Rogue or Hunter I would always be watching my damage meters and 90% of the time I'd deal 25% more damage than my team mates and someone would usually compliment my aggro and dps management skills.  It's only because I kept my gear up to date in that game though.

When things get into massive groups, I usually view this more as working together as a nation for one goal.  It creates a sense of unity for me and reminds me that we're all on the same side.  Its a little tedious finding a raiding party sometimes, but at the end of the night I can say that I had fun at the very least.

Thu Jul 09 2009 1:17PM Report
Mystik86 writes:

Thanks for the responses. I do understand that if you're too strong, the challenge is gone and it becomes meaningless but I'm not looking to be the end-all be-all hero of the world. I love a challenge, but I like to be challenged as a solo player. Grouping for me has always been tedious and it feels like a waste of time. I get bored of it because I usually don't relate to people in the group.

I'm a roleplayer first and foremost and while I enjoy roleplaying with a large community of players, I like playing my role by myself most of the time. I'd like a game to be just as fun talking to NPCs as it is talking to players and the ability to take on challenging solo content while playing a role. Most games don't offer this...

Thu Jul 09 2009 3:46PM Report
Cryomatrix writes:

 I think what MMO's may want to do is just provide content for everyone. In EVE you needed to group to do certain functions and others it was fine to just solo. The point in hand is that, don't make group-required activities give the best gear and solo give the worst. Perhaps have it complementary if possible. But tough to do, i'm more for, the more time and effort you put in the more reward you get. 

Fri Jul 10 2009 12:45AM Report
hogscraper writes:

I'm with you in that I don't care for grouping. I enjoy participating in groups when there is a definite reward, like RVR, but for gear it always seemed pointless. 30 people fight for hours on end and ONE player gets an item? Complete waste of time. I'm that wierdo that ends up with every character slot filled with capped toons level wise but with nothing end game. I'd much rather level a new character with one or two people than bother with trying to deal with all the drama of giant raids. 

Mon Jul 13 2009 10:43PM Report

MMORPG.com writes:
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