MMOs are huge gathering places and big places make me nervous.
Raiding is a commitment. I don’t really like it and I’m not particularly gear hungry. Guilds are a great function in an MMO. I’ve been in large and small guilds, but I prefer super small guilds consisting of the normal size of groups. Dungeons and instances are great, especially for lore and content. I love doing instances, but I’m not big on the PUG. Luckily, instances usually take a group and I can sometimes muster up enough people for that.
So why am I still playing MMOs? I love crafting and I love the economy of games. Trading is about the only time I interact with people I don’t know and I honestly enjoy it. I love mastering the auction house and learning prices. I like the act of crafting and it makes me feel immersed to buy things from another person to make my goods. That’s never a bother. Also, I love the little stuff like fishing and collecting. Maybe my priorities are wonky.
Since I started playing MMOs I’ve played with one or two people that I know in real life. This small group can usually get the job done. Either we’re the right mix of archetypes to successfully complete something at the normal level, or we can level (but not out-level) a quest or instance to complete later. This group understands my habits and is totally okay when I beeline to a stream or pond. If there’s fishing to be had, I will have it.
I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything by doing these things. In fact, I really appreciate when games cater to smaller groups. AoC’s villas were a great break from even playing with those two dudes I know. The destiny quests were fun and entertaining as well. CoH/V’s missions scaled to level and number of heroes or villains in the team. Not to mention, the mentoring and leveling pact functions were perfect for someone like me. Recently, I started playing LotRO which was pretty small group friendly until around level 20. The fellowship quests and epic quests are demanding more in the fellowship at that level. That’s fine and I understand that. But it’s good to know that LotRO has 3-mans and will introduce those crafting instances. Those features will probably keep me paying and playing for a few more months, at least.
Clearly, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a small group or near solo experience in MMOs. But do others players get annoyed with these types? I know there’s a lot of people that think we miss out on things and sometimes we’re stereotyped as lazy, a gaggle of losers, or just plain bitchy. Personally, I don’t dislike people and I love that all those avatars are contributing to an economy. Is it wrong that I don’t want to socialize in a game?
Or maybe I should just man up and PUG. Thoughts?