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Community Spotlight: Would Any MMOG Make a Good Offline Game?

Posted by MikeB Thursday April 8 2010 at 3:31PM
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This week’s Community Spotlight focuses on the thread “Name an MMORPG you would play offline from level one to max.” by Ihmotepp. This is Ihmotepp’s second time being spotlighted, so congrats! In the thread, Ihmotepp wonders if there are any MMOGs out there that people feel they would enjoy as an offline game. Ihmotepp himself can’t say he’s played any so far, but he points to Star Wars: The Old Republic, which he thinks could also be a great single player game as it is essentially a “great big KOTOR.”
Here’s what Ihmotepp had to say:
“Normally, I don't play MMORPGs solo, ever.
I find the solo game play to be very similar to counting grains of sand at the beach, or maybe watching  clothes go around in a dryer. The quests dont' change the game world, and the combat is just whack whack whack.
So far, there isn't any game that's been released that I would say I'd play it offline ot max level. I'd be bored to tears, and this goes for my favorite MMORPGs like DaoC, EQ, or CoH.
However, I can say that although it's not released yet, and I haven't played it, TOR looks like I might actually want to play that game, if it was offline. I liked KOTOR, a single player game, and TOR looks like a great big KOTOR.
If that turns out the be the case, that it would be fun to play, EVEN OFFLINE, I believe it will be a smash hit.”
At first, most of our users appear to be confused at what Ihmotepp was getting at, but following a bit of explanation there were definitely some interesting responses.
Reijan and many others feel that MMOG’s wouldn’t make such great offline games:
“One big factor for me playing MMORPGs is that I can play with others. Otherwise, they would just be cheap RPGs with repeating content and boring grind (most of them). So no, I wouldn't enjoy playing any game offline from level one to max.”
Dhayes68 names LOTRO as a good candidate:
“LOTRO. Though for me its because of the IP. I love the client, wish they'd use it for something else. But with no meaningful pvp, no option to play antagonistic races/factions, and the storyline, it just feels more like an standalone rpg to me. Also, being a big fan of the IP, its kind of a downer to see heros running around everyhere. The Shire packed full of elves men dwarves. Armored mounted hobbits all over the place. Its just silly. For my preference I'd have liked the game to be standalone.”
Ghettobooste disagrees with the basic premise that MMOGs would make subpar singleplayer games:
Originally posted by Bigdavo

Without the multiplayer component MMOs are pretty much sub-par games, so the answer is no.
I disagree, if LOTRO, WOW, Vanguard or EQ2 were all just offline solo games they would be on par with Oblivion, at least. I think much better because of how much more depth they have, these games have so much more content than any offline game, and the character building is much more in depth as well. They could also make the graphics much better as well since it would be an offline game.”
Malickie along with luckturtz feel Age of Conan would make a great SRPG:
“Originally posted by luckturtz
AoC with a little adjustment would make a great offline rpg.
I was thinking the same thing, say they had made the game single player, it would most likely have a greater focus on story telling (more voice over etc..), which it already does to an extent. Really as is, AOC isn't much different than something like NWN2 in it's presentation. Tortage was basically a single player RPG to begin with. I love the Conan story, so I'd definitely play a decent single player RPG based on it. AOC to an extent is what you would get if you made a Bioware/Obsidian rpg into an MMO. I used to play a lot of the PW's for NWN1/2. AOC has always felt similar to them.”
This is a really interesting topic to me. For example, when the Torchlight MMOG comes out, will all of us who played the SRPG be able to say we essentially did just that, play an MMOG offline?  I guess that all depends on how different the MMO version is.
As for Age of Conan, I would agree with Malickie and luckturtz. Age of Conan pretty much starts off like a SRPG anyways, heck, the main Tortage storyline is pretty much a singleplayer RPG. If the storyline continued in the same manner throughout the rest of the game world, I don’t see why not.
If anything, I felt like the experience outside of Tortage was a bit of a rude awakening. Tortage wow’d me pretty good, and then it was just back to your typical conventional MMO gameplay. It was a bit jarring for sure.
What MMOG do you think would make a good offline RPG? Let us know in the comments below!
Yavin_Prime writes:

I think a few of them already feel like single player games (as mentioned). Funny thing is none of them are amazing single player games. All of them rely on other players to enhance the game and if you were alone in the game it'd probably get bland over a long period of time.

Games like Mass Effect, Fallout, Baulder's Gate and many others were designed to play with just one person. The characters and places draw you in and hold you there emotionaly. Now in my opinion if you twiek an MMO with some of those elements yes they could very well hold you in for hours (and balance enemies so a single person or NPC party could deal with them).

In my opinion though most MMOs would make rather bland single player games without some attention and conversion to a single player formula. These games are designed to keep you going for months while single player games are just trying to make you have fun as fast as possible and often end after no more then 40+ hours. 

Thu Apr 08 2010 5:38PM Report
Greyed writes:

Is there any MMO I would play offline?  Nope.  But then I can't think of many games that I play which are not multiplayer.  Single player games have pretty much bored me to tears at least a decade ago. 

The last 2 single player games I played, and finished?  COD4:MW (1, not 2) on the PC released in 2007.  Portal on the PC also in 2007Half-Life 2 on the PC released in 2004.

I prefer to play with other people, either in a cooperative or competitive setting; but not the two mixed.  I prefer to have my PvP games be strictly PvP and my PvE games strictly PvE.  Tired of the companies mixing the two.

It is no wonder I barely get any use out of my console as most single-player games aren't worth the time.

Thu Apr 08 2010 5:39PM Report
Yavin_Prime writes:

I also wanted to add the point that many offline games are starting to feel like MMOs without community. I've been playing Final Fantasy 13 and sadly I get bored fast because I feel as though I should be playing with someone. The game is honestly more repetative then most AAA mmos lol.

Thu Apr 08 2010 5:43PM Report
kjames423 writes:

guild wars probably. because of the heroes, the missions and the storyline is good.

Thu Apr 08 2010 5:55PM Report
Guintu writes:

At this time their arn't any gold MMO's that I'm playing because I find them all boring.  We'll have to see about APB, Star Wars: Old Republic...and a couple other see if their worthy. 

Thu Apr 08 2010 6:08PM Report
williwaw87 writes:

Guild Wars

Thu Apr 08 2010 7:57PM Report
Alberel writes:

If FFXI was converted into a SP RPG with a few tweaks to the levelling curve and allowing control of a full party rather than just one character I can imagine many people would enjoy that. In terms of world, depth and story it's one of the best MMOs out there. The story alone rivals the other console FFs and many would play it just for that.

Thu Apr 08 2010 8:16PM Report
Inktomi writes:

Champions Online. 

Thu Apr 08 2010 9:56PM Report
Blazz writes:

I keep forgetting Guild Wars - it was really fantastic. I loved that game so much - 'cept my computer kept turning off =( (overheating)

I specifically remember a part where we were roaming through a ruined part of the province (this was GW: Factions - the asian oriented one) - and monsters would come out of the ground, from inside the building and things like that.

I also remember just dying over and over in one place... probably because I wasn't "geared" and "skill-pointed" up to the proper level for the quest? But it was directly after a quest before that I did with relative ease...

Eh... that's when I stopped playing... but it had some really nice effects, and the ability to hire henchmen was a nice addition to the solo player. It was really fun. I would play it solo.

Fri Apr 09 2010 2:55AM Report
thaze writes:

DDO, of course.  I actually stopped playing that game because of the annoying goblin raid quest in stormreach.  The entire rest of the game to that point I went solo, And yes I went through them on higher difficulty settings.  All they'd need to do is tweak the AI of henchmen and it'd make a great title, like a crossover between Oblivion and NWN.

Fri Apr 09 2010 3:19AM Report
Vendegaar writes:

I play WoW SOLO - no groups, no guilds, no PvP, no Raids.  Offline would work well for me.

Soloing TO ME means playing a character without some level 80 supplying him/her with all the great stuff (Also known as TWINKING – and we ALL know what a TWINK is in real life, don’t we?)  Check it out on the web and see if you would WANT to be considered one of them.

Soloing means playing ONLY with things that are found during the game or what you can afford to buy in the Auction House with money actually EARNED by that character.  That makes the game more challenging – for me at least.  It is MANDATORY that the player knows all the strengths AND weaknesses of the character they are playing. 

You would be surprised what a PROPERLY PLAYED character can do with crappy equipment.  I have some troops that even by level 20 had NOT gotten all of their equipment converted to GREEN – much less BLUE or higher.  Just tonite I took a new level 20 combat rogue - dual wield Maces - through the Blood Elf quests on Bloodmist Isle. Got jumped by Matis and the assassin while he was fighting a pyromancer - and defeated them all - and lived - with over half of his hit-points left (One healing potion).

The whole concept of SOLOING is to act like SPECIAL FORCES – work around the edges – pull the enemy one or two at a time.  Hit and Run.  Jumping into the middle of a bunch of baddies is just suicide when you are alone – even for a Paladin.  While the Warrior has Charge ALL my Warriors carry Bows for pulling. 

The day of Banzai charges is over.  It didn’t work too well for the Japanese in WWII – why should it be any different today?  Dying with honor means just one thing – you are DEAD.  Personally, I DO NOT like the long walks back from the graveyard.

In group play there is a line of heavy-weight troops whose sole job is to keep the damage dealing baddies away from the ranged fire (Artillery) troops - In soloing, even the “Clothies” are NOT immune to face-to-face combat – it is the NORM.  I have a Mage level 49 - got there by SOLOING.

It is MANDATORY that the character is SELF-SUFFICENT in order to solo effectively.  They MUST have their own healing capabilities – Potions and bandages, food and drink that restore and even buff stats are NECESSITIES.

The character must have a different attitude about specing items and talents - Stamina is a must. Hitpoints mean life.  No longer can the character specialize in maximum damage at the expense of Life. He/She no longer has a bunch of heavy-weights to keep them alive.

Remember that you are NOT part of a gaggle of troops where there is a healer whose primary – if not SOLE job – is to keep YOUR character alive.  YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN.  This is MUCH more difficult since Blizzard, in their infinite wisdom, (Note touch of sarcasm) NERFED the use of potions to where a player cannot take multiple potions in a fight – not even a healing AND a mana potion - It is one or the other. 

It appears that Blizzard is AGAINST a person playing solo.  If or when they make it IMPOSSIBLE I will cancel my two accounts – not that they will notice.

Fri Apr 09 2010 3:40AM Report
timrha writes:

I agree with Alberel comments about FFXI.  The story lines (there are many) are very engaging.  The game make it feel as though you are a major player in the story line including your character in cutscenes.

Fri Apr 09 2010 7:51AM Report
Benedikt writes:

i agree with dhayes that i would play lotro as an offline game, for ip, storyline and beautiful sceneries

also i would play vg offline, not as a rpg tho, but as a casual logical game - would play only crafting and diplomacy minigames :)

another game i would probably play offline is wurm online, as an ultimate crafting game :)

Fri Apr 09 2010 8:20AM Report
swyftty2 writes:

the answer to this is clear , clear eyes.  no lol  the one sort of mmo that should be offline anyhow is guildwars.  it already has the npc team making ability to provide you with back up and has a very set story line.   I can't wait for diablo 3 on that note.   no release date yet, just rumors of a time area it could be released in.

but like diablo, guildwars has what it takes, it would just need a better item drop rate solo play.

Fri Apr 09 2010 8:32AM Report
Lydon writes:

Guild Wars of course.

Fri Apr 09 2010 8:48AM Report
ragnawind writes:

I agree with Alberel and timrha. Final Fantasy XI would make a good single player game, especially since they are going to close down all the Final Fantasy XI servers within a year of Final Fantasy XIV coming out, most likely. I heard they were already merging servers in XI in preparation for XIV. They could just convert it to a single player game and release that and the Add-Ons for single player use, without the internet required. They would make for a great game. It would also, keep one of the numbered Final Fantasy games from going completely extinct.

Fri Apr 09 2010 11:30AM Report
Nifa writes:

I agree with both LoTRO and SW:ToR (when it's released).  I think that both, given the storylines, have the potential to be great offline games.

Fri Apr 09 2010 11:50AM Report
Dwarvish writes:

Guild Wars!!  I actualy did all the missions in all campaigns solo so I guess that qualifies.  Great storyline and I kinda got attatched to my favorite heros/henchmen.

Fri Apr 09 2010 5:29PM Report
uncus writes:

LOTRO, DDO, & Fallen Earth would all make great Offline games!  Of the three, DDO would be the most difficult - lacking an Auction House would make it tough to get good weapons/gear.  Maybe offline, but with an online AH?

Sat Apr 10 2010 11:01AM Report
zenaphex writes:

I think it would be good to see offline versions for the ability to create machinima with. As long as there are options to customize and control things.

Tue Apr 13 2010 7:37PM Report
Baromen writes:

I don't see why a company wouldn't adapt their game for offline play when they are closing the doors.


Picture this:

You have your own copy of "offline EverQuest."  You have the ability to select which expantions you want included in this game instance.  You fire it up, invite a few friends (who have their own persistent online characters to bring with them) and you're off doing group content with your buddies. 

If this was included with some sort of dev tools to you could do things like give everyone the key to a dungeon or change someone's level temporarily to get  a different perspective etc it would be outstanding.

Now that they have bots (or whatever they are calling them) couldn't you basically program a group and go off and do all sorts of quests for years and years?

I don't think it would work with every game, but I think EQ is a great example of a game that would be fantastic due to it's many many MANY years of content  that most current players haven't even heard about let alone enjoyed.  Having the ability to host a server in the same fashion as hosting a Battlefield room would make it pretty fun for people to join in and experience what it's like to play one of the titles that changed the world even after the servers go dark.

I also can't imagine myself not buying a copy no matter what the cost just so I could go back and see and do all the old quests and experience the game content I never got a chance to finish from the old days.  I also know of a bunch of guys I used to run with that would hop on IMMEDIATELY.

Fri May 21 2010 3:16PM Report
Baromen writes:

you inspired me to write a manifesto about how much I'd love a copy of EQ that I could enjoy by myself (or with friends)

Fri May 21 2010 5:23PM Report writes:
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