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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Solo Gamer or RPG Grouper?

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24 posts found
  UsualSuspect

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/01/04
Posts: 1219

 
OP  5/16/10 12:07:53 PM#1

I was just reading the big Solo vs Grouping thread and a thought occured to me that perhaps there are two factions here. I'm a grouper, personally, but that stems from my roleplay background. I've been playing tabletop games for the past 20 years, everything from Paranoia to Call of Cthulu and Cyberpunk. Whenever I play an MMO I look at my roleplay background of teaming with a group of other 'characters' or players and moving through the content. It just feels weird not to. That's why we have different classes, right? So we can interact with and help each other in different ways.

So I was wondering, is the solo gamer lacking this background? Do they prefer to solo because they come from a gamer background, where they play alone in single player games and have never encountered the need.. or desire.. to team up with others to overcome an encounter?

Obviously there are going to be people with a RPG background who likes to solo in MMO's, and vice-versa, but overall, how do the two compare?

  Sanguinelust

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/14/06
Posts: 817

broken

5/16/10 12:10:28 PM#2

I find that I get things done faster alone. I don't mind grouping for tough quests but i'd rather play alone for the most part.

  Shadewalker

Novice Member

Joined: 8/03/07
Posts: 299

5/16/10 12:21:13 PM#3

My own take on it is that soloing versus grouping is much more down to whether the player is looking to a computer game to provide a part of his social life. I don't see it being anything to do with whether you've role-played before or not.

As for me, I have done grouping and guilds in past games and years but these days I'm not interested in those sorts of commitments. I dip in and out of games for short play sessions between family and other commitments. I enjoy interacting with other players in lots of different ways but don't feel the need or desire to socialise in a game and prefer adventuring - which these days is largely quest-driven which is another factor - on my own or with a RL friend. I also have no intention of using  voicechat which seems to be increasingly necessary for a lot of groups and guilds.

  Torlin

Novice Member

Joined: 9/01/04
Posts: 59

5/16/10 12:24:54 PM#4

Since I have stopped being a hardcore MMO player and just delve into the big boys now and then; I do not keep up with my old group of friends from a couple years ago.  I also have been playing for about the past 15 years.  I just really hate how little I get done in real life when I play hardcore.  This leaves me going either the solo route or the PUG route unless I get in on the closed beta stage of an MMO which can hold my interest. (something ery difficult to do these days).

So all in all I guess I am saying that I hate missing out on the real content by not grouping, but can't stand the pugs that I need to participate in to get me there.   in the end I usually find myself ending up soloing for a few days before I quit all these free item shop MMOs.

  uquipu

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 11/14/09
Posts: 1538

5/16/10 12:30:14 PM#5

In WoW I solo and group.
.
Mostly I group with my guild, people I've known for a long time.

Well shave my back and call me an elf! -- Oghren

  qombi

Novice Member

Joined: 7/09/04
Posts: 1187

5/16/10 12:30:30 PM#6



Originally posted by Shadewalker
My own take on it is that soloing versus grouping is much more down to whether the player is looking to a computer game to provide a part of his social life. I don't see it being anything to do with whether you've role-played before or not.
As for me, I have done grouping and guilds in past games and years but these days I'm not interested in those sorts of commitments. I dip in and out of games for short play sessions between family and other commitments. I enjoy interacting with other players in lots of different ways but don't feel the need or desire to socialise in a game and prefer adventuring - which these days is largely quest-driven which is another factor - on my own or with a RL friend. I also have no intention of using  voicechat which seems to be increasingly necessary for a lot of groups and guilds.

Not trying to get a raise out of you but wouldn't you be better off with single player rpgs? They are all about story, quest, and playing by yourself. Not to mention why pay monthly to be online if you do not have the desire to group?

  Palebane

Novice Member

Joined: 10/18/04
Posts: 3247

5/16/10 12:42:13 PM#7

I'm a long-time, old school gamer. I played pen and paper D&D and came into online MMORPGs with Everquest. I used to play really hardcore (over 40 hours a week). With that much play time, I was able to make friends and establish relationships with other players for better or worse. I ended up grouping with the same players almost every day. There wasn't a lot of deviation in playstyles.

 

After graduating college and starting a family, my play times are down to basically 10 hours a week. I find it nearly impossible to get to know players (most of whom play the same small sporadic hours as me) these days. There is a different mentality among the majority of player these days. But also, I am much different than I was back then. My priorities have changed in life as well as in online games. I still prefer to group, but feel alienated and outcast as it seems like the hardcore players look down on me. And those that play casually such as myself don't have the time or energy to sustain online gaming relationships for the most part. I have a couple RL friends that play online games, but we almost never play together. We are either playing different games or are on different schedules. So, I feel almost forced into solo situations much of the time.

 

I'm not certain role playing has anything do with it. I always roleplay my characters whether I'm goruped or alone. As stated above, I prefer to group in multiplayer games, if nothing else just to feel I am getting my moneys worth, but I still enjoy many single player games.

Vault-Tec analysts have concluded that the odds of worldwide nuclear armaggeddon this decade are 17,143,762... to 1.

  Dibdabs

Hard Core Member

Joined: 5/29/08
Posts: 2463

5/16/10 12:44:59 PM#8
Originally posted by UsualSuspect

So I was wondering, is the solo gamer lacking this background? Do they prefer to solo because they come from a gamer background, where they play alone in single player games and have never encountered the need.. or desire.. to team up with others to overcome an encounter?

I've played tabletop RPGs even longer that you, and actually managed an RPG game store for a number of years, and because that I love interacting with a close-knit group of friends in an interesting RPG, be it the Greyhawk Campaign, Bushido, Palladium, Shadowrun, or whatever.  The problem lies in that not one single MMO, and I have played or tried loads of them, even resembles a real RPG game.  Everything is reduced to a mere token nod towards real roleplaying games - the player interaction and friendships, the creativity, the potential to totally and completely rewrite the planned evening's adventure on the fly to the complete surprise of an equally creative GM, the actual depth and degree of roleplaying, you name it.

I don't even class MMOs as RPGs, because in practice they're not much more than a first person shooter with a modicum of character progression and a fantasy front end pasted onto them.

  bopilop

Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/02/09
Posts: 14

no i cant spell

5/16/10 12:47:00 PM#9
Originally posted by Sanguinelust

I find that I get things done faster alone. I don't mind grouping for tough quests but i'd rather play alone for the most part.

I feel the same way..      Does that have anything to do with the creators of the games make them so easy to solo in?

 

Do you remember when classes in games were not balanced?  

do you remember  When your priest needed a group, and when the group needed you?    

not for the dungeon but to play in the open world.  

 

do you remember when fighting a = lvl monster was an even fight?   How many =lvl monsters can you solo now?

 

They are making games too easy now,  and they balance their classes so they can all solo the game...

 

Even though the games are made too easy people still feel the need to cheat.  its not cheating they allow it in this game.lol

 

 

    

  JSchindler

Novice Member

Joined: 5/15/10
Posts: 87

5/16/10 12:49:26 PM#10

I tend to solo. I enjoy grouping, but I very much dislike being required to group, especially if that involves a specific number of other players and/or a rigid mix of classes. I find that I spend more time building a group than doing stuff with it and I find that to be tedious in the extreme.

I was never a PnP player, closest I got was collecting Warhammer figurines but I never battled with them. I just enjoyed painting and, well, owning them. They're just kind of pretty.

As to why soloers play MMOs, it's pretty obvious. MMOs offer persistent worlds and, yes, other players. Just because we don't want to group up with them all the time doesn't mean that we don't want them to be there. Games are always more fun when there are other people around either as ally, enemy or hah just as window-dressing to make the game feel less artificial.

  Shadewalker

Novice Member

Joined: 8/03/07
Posts: 299

5/16/10 12:49:53 PM#11
Originally posted by qombi

 Not trying to get a raise out of you but wouldn't you be better off with single player rpgs? They are all about story, quest, and playing by yourself. Not to mention why pay monthly to be online if you do not have the desire to group?

No, because they don't allow for the interraction that I stated I enjoy, I find single-player games very empty and lacking in atmosphere compared to a MMO. Also, an MMO is constantly evolving and last for years compared to a single player game which is done and dusted in a couple of weeks. I don't even bother with most of the single player games these days as they simply don't hold my interest.

I suspect that you belong to that strange breed that somehow defines multi-player as grouped combat, and regards grouping for combat as the only way in which people can interact with their fellow players. What has paying monthly to be online got to do with grouping? Yours is such a tired old argument, it really is time to move on from it.

  User Deleted
5/16/10 12:50:00 PM#12
Originally posted by UsualSuspect

I was just reading the big Solo vs Grouping thread and a thought occured to me that perhaps there are two factions here. I'm a grouper, personally, but that stems from my roleplay background. I've been playing tabletop games for the past 20 years, everything from Paranoia to Call of Cthulu and Cyberpunk. Whenever I play an MMO I look at my roleplay background of teaming with a group of other 'characters' or players and moving through the content. It just feels weird not to. That's why we have different classes, right? So we can interact with and help each other in different ways.

So I was wondering, is the solo gamer lacking this background? Do they prefer to solo because they come from a gamer background, where they play alone in single player games and have never encountered the need.. or desire.. to team up with others to overcome an encounter?

Obviously there are going to be people with a RPG background who likes to solo in MMO's, and vice-versa, but overall, how do the two compare?

I play mostly solo in games and I have a table top background. For me though I would probably fall into the PREFER to group category becasue I love to see the synergies that can be had with multiple players classes. Plus when its things like kill quests why would anyone want to solo when it would go that much faster?

The thing with grouping though, and the reason I play solo is that I also don't have the time (or want to waste the time) finding someone to group with especially given my experience with pug's in all my years of play. Sometimes I even hear others looking for a group for solo questing but don't bother because usually it just slows things down as they are generally newer MMO players needing lots of help(though I do go out of my way at other times).

On the other hand if I'm already in an area questing and see someone doing the same thing I'll ask if they want to group up. Usually its no response or just 'NO', but on occasion its yes and a great team is formed with someone being added to my friends list. 

I don't play to get my social fix, but also don't play to isolate myself. I just wish the grouping mechanics were more evolved, kinda like the spirit of PQ's in WAR but without having to be invited into 'exclusive' sub teams.

Old example of how I wanted to group: Playing Asheron's Call, I met someone out in the middle of nowhere, sparked up conversation and we went on to group for the rest of the day since we made a great team. Since there was no quests per se, we could just roam around killing stuff and never had to come to the point where "Well I'm done here gonna go hand in"

Recent example of why I play solo: I was playing Allods recently and a couple of my faction were running around with a banner (which allows you to attack anyone on the opposite side pvp flagged or not), and I thought cool! I will be a good addition to this small group with my buffs and such. I asked for an invite, and was told NO, and that I was a newb lemming for following them, and I should lrn2pl4y. 

I would love to see character matchmaking services in MMO's similar to dating sites actually lol. Not for relationships, but to find like minded players with a little more reliability.

So if this were a poll you could put me down for old tabletopper prefers to group.

  UsualSuspect

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/01/04
Posts: 1219

 
OP  5/16/10 1:12:29 PM#13
  • My own take on it is that soloing versus grouping is much more down to whether the player is looking to a computer game to provide a part of his social life. I don't see it being anything to do with whether you've role-played before or not.

That's an interesting comment which I think follows along the same vein as my original question. PnP games are very social (usually involving lots of joking around and munching of snacks) whereas single player games are exactly that. A solo experience. So if the player is looking for the game to provide a certain social aspect, I think they'd have played PnP's before or at least be a more open person.

I see a lot of comments on these forums about people who don't want to group because of the so called idiots and nightmares of previous PUG's. Are they lacking in social ability or do they lack the patience to find the right people? I mean, in life we meet people we like and people we don't like, it's going to be the same in an MMO. Excluding yourself from a great social experience because of a few bad apples surely isn't a good idea?

  just2duh

Novice Member

Joined: 3/05/09
Posts: 1292

5/16/10 1:12:53 PM#14

 I used to like playing table top RPG's for the expirence, that sense of adventure, exploration, danger, and accomplishment, all wrapped up into one, was really something to just get lost in and let your imagination go wild (and smoke a lot of pot while you were at it haha). It was never really about the people we were playing it with, but moreless about playing the game.

 Now that we are no longer in the "dark ages" of gaming (lol), everything that any table top rpg offered and more is already setup and available at any given time, which kind of elminates the reason for having other people to begin with. 

 

 Where having others to play a table top with actually did help with that sense of immersion, I find quite the opposite when playing MMO's.

  It's hard to find people that take the game seriously (in a non-competitive sense), who actually enjoy the game for what it is, and interacting with the online community in these mmo's does absolutley nothing but ruin my enjoyment and that sense of immersion.

 RPG seems to no longer mean what it used to, instead of something to enjoy and "get lost" in, it's mostly all about who's the best and lolroflcopters. Nothing but meaningless competition or trivial bickering ammongst selfish and singleminded "children". None of which I ever wanted when playing an RPG.

 

 So, if you havn't guessed it by now, I am a soloist, and those are basically the reasons why - Game design and Community.

  Cephus404

Elite Member

Joined: 2/27/08
Posts: 3697

5/16/10 2:17:31 PM#15

I am an MMO soloer and I have an extensive RPG background, I started playing Chainmail in 1974, I played D&D from day 1, etc.  In fact, if I can get a group of friends or family together, I still play today, my family really likes playing things like Paranoia once in a while.

The reason I'm a soloer though is because the people who are playing MMOs, at least in my experience, are largely self-centered assholes.  With a PnP RPG, you know the people you're going to sit down and play with, you're friends, you know each other outside the game and interact on a regular basis.  You know they're not going to stab you in the back the second you start playing and if they prove to be jerks at the table, they can be removed.  That's just not the case in an MMO, there you take what you can get, in many games it's so hard to get a team together and takes so long that even if someone is a prick, it would take so much time to replace them that it's easier to just let them tag along.

I don't want to play with jerks, therefore I don't.  I don't see this having anything to do with my RPG background, it's a matter of circumstances:  friends playing together vs. strangers screwing each other over for loot.  I'll take the former, I pass on the latter.

Played: UO, EQ, WoW, DDO, SWG, AO, CoH, EvE, TR, AoC, GW, GA, Aion, Allods, lots more
Relatively Recently (Re)Played: HL2 (all), Halo (PC, all), Batman:AA; AC, ME, BS, DA, FO3, DS, Doom (all), LFD1&2, KOTOR, Portal 1&2, Blink, Elder Scrolls (all), lots more
Now Playing: None
Hope: None

  Cephus404

Elite Member

Joined: 2/27/08
Posts: 3697

5/16/10 2:27:32 PM#16
Originally posted by Dibdabs
Originally posted by UsualSuspect

So I was wondering, is the solo gamer lacking this background? Do they prefer to solo because they come from a gamer background, where they play alone in single player games and have never encountered the need.. or desire.. to team up with others to overcome an encounter?

I've played tabletop RPGs even longer that you, and actually managed an RPG game store for a number of years, and because that I love interacting with a close-knit group of friends in an interesting RPG, be it the Greyhawk Campaign, Bushido, Palladium, Shadowrun, or whatever.  The problem lies in that not one single MMO, and I have played or tried loads of them, even resembles a real RPG game.  Everything is reduced to a mere token nod towards real roleplaying games - the player interaction and friendships, the creativity, the potential to totally and completely rewrite the planned evening's adventure on the fly to the complete surprise of an equally creative GM, the actual depth and degree of roleplaying, you name it.

I don't even class MMOs as RPGs, because in practice they're not much more than a first person shooter with a modicum of character progression and a fantasy front end pasted onto them.

Excellent point.  I don't really think MMOs are role playing games either, a point I've made many times before.  They're only called RPGs because Square-Enix started calling their Final Fantasy games RPGs, even though they are little more than being dragged through an overblown story by the nose whether you want to go or not.  RPGs require freedom to go where you want and do what you want.  MMOs are pre-programmed to take you on a ride to the endgame.  Sure, you often have a choice how you get there, but you're going to get there eventually if you don't throw up your hands and stop playing.  Saying you are roleplaying in most MMOs is like saying your RPing Master Chief when you play Halo.  It's a pale, laughable shadow of real roleplaying games.

Played: UO, EQ, WoW, DDO, SWG, AO, CoH, EvE, TR, AoC, GW, GA, Aion, Allods, lots more
Relatively Recently (Re)Played: HL2 (all), Halo (PC, all), Batman:AA; AC, ME, BS, DA, FO3, DS, Doom (all), LFD1&2, KOTOR, Portal 1&2, Blink, Elder Scrolls (all), lots more
Now Playing: None
Hope: None

  Daywolf

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/09/06
Posts: 754

Woof!

5/16/10 3:48:26 PM#17
Originally posted by UsualSuspect

I was just reading the big Solo vs Grouping thread and a thought occured to me that perhaps there are two factions here. I'm a grouper, personally, but that stems from my roleplay background. I've been playing tabletop games for the past 20 years, everything from Paranoia to Call of Cthulu and Cyberpunk. Whenever I play an MMO I look at my roleplay background of teaming with a group of other 'characters' or players and moving through the content. It just feels weird not to. That's why we have different classes, right? So we can interact with and help each other in different ways.

So I was wondering, is the solo gamer lacking this background? Do they prefer to solo because they come from a gamer background, where they play alone in single player games and have never encountered the need.. or desire.. to team up with others to overcome an encounter?

Obviously there are going to be people with a RPG background who likes to solo in MMO's, and vice-versa, but overall, how do the two compare?

I think that there are three groups, really. You have solo, then multi and lastly massively-multi.
Solo prefers the off-line style of gaming.
Multi likes small groups where other players/groups cannot disturb them. Yes like PnP, though that still does not translate well to any video game.
Massive-multi, groups and shares the area with other groups.
Multi and massive-multi are much alike, but you will find multi liking instances where massive-multi may even, for instance, hope for other groups to be around so that working together (in their own areas) they can keep the mob population down to a manageable size as they hunt. So there may be similarities, but they are not the same.

M59, UO, EQ1, WWIIOL, PS, EnB, SL, SWG. MoM, EQ2, AO, SB, CoH, LOTRO, WoW, DDO+ f2p's, Demo’s & indie alpha's.

  Reklaw

Elite Member

Joined: 1/07/06
Posts: 6165

The adult I am takes care of most things real life. However my inner-child is a GAMER!!

5/16/10 4:06:09 PM#18
Originally posted by UsualSuspect
  • My own take on it is that soloing versus grouping is much more down to whether the player is looking to a computer game to provide a part of his social life. I don't see it being anything to do with whether you've role-played before or not.

That's an interesting comment which I think follows along the same vein as my original question. PnP games are very social (usually involving lots of joking around and munching of snacks) whereas single player games are exactly that. A solo experience. So if the player is looking for the game to provide a certain social aspect, I think they'd have played PnP's before or at least be a more open person.

I see a lot of comments on these forums about people who don't want to group because of the so called idiots and nightmares of previous PUG's. Are they lacking in social ability or do they lack the patience to find the right people? I mean, in life we meet people we like and people we don't like, it's going to be the same in an MMO. Excluding yourself from a great social experience because of a few bad apples surely isn't a good idea?

 

I don't get it when people try to compare a singleplayer game experiance with that of a MMORPG experiance, regardless their playstyle, I often feel that unexperianced people into games can make such comment, but keep seeing these type of comments from what I think should be experianced players.

Secondly, yes I group allot less then I used to due to the underlined highlighted part, but it has nothing to do with lack of patient or lacking social skills, in fact I treath my ingame players just as I do with real life people, I want to get to know them, which takes patients and in fact shows social skills, instead of using PUGS which doesn't need any social skill at all other then jumping in when needed. I am not saying I don't WANT to group, I just take my time to find the right people to group with, tho most of my ingame time is spend solo. But here is the thing solo to me doesn't mean playing a game like a singleplayer game, it just means that I occasionally group but am about 60/70% of hte time doing things on my own. But to accomplish things I still need to rely on other people, may it be for trade, may it be for joking around, may it be for crafting purpose, you see grouping is just a minor thing in MMORPG as to me MMORPG are about the freedom they "should" provide for any type of playstyle.

I also will admit that I am getting abit tired of people asuming that grouping is the only social part of a MMORPG, the way most people play these games apart from clans or guilds I would even go as far as saying that grouping is the least social part of these games. As said it's different when guilded or in a clan, but random pugs aint a social part, especially when entering such a pug where none speaks or just hops in and leaves with out saying a word, unfortunaly that is my experiance with most pugs I entered the last couple of years, obviously there are exceptions of entering a great pug that goes beyond just getting the "job" done and actually group to have fun with others.

 

  LadyDanger

Novice Member

Joined: 8/18/05
Posts: 11

5/16/10 6:07:22 PM#19
Originally posted by Reklaw


I also will admit that I am getting abit tired of people asuming that grouping is the only social part of a MMORPG, the way most people play these games apart from clans or guilds I would even go as far as saying that grouping is the least social part of these games. As said it's different when guilded or in a clan, but random pugs aint a social part, especially when entering such a pug where none speaks or just hops in and leaves with out saying a word, unfortunaly that is my experiance with most pugs I entered the last couple of years, obviously there are exceptions of entering a great pug that goes beyond just getting the "job" done and actually group to have fun with others.

 

This is spot on, I don't know how many PUG's I've joined and felt used and like not a person just an NPC or something there as a means to an end.. so many groups are ANTI-social that it can put people off grouping at all... I don't use teamspeak or other voice chat programs because I like to BE my character, (a bit like casual roleplay) and my voice I can't change, nor can I make myself sound a certain way IRL I just am who I am, plus I am somewhat intoverted and have a soft voice which doesn't carry well. So with games using voicechat so much more groups are even more depressing!

And yes joining guilds and finding regular groups is fine but when my play hours are a lot later and more erratic then most people it can be really hard.. though that's what I would prefer to soloing all the time.

I find myself soloing mostly in MMO's just because of my hours, my RL kids who are young and often need me after their bedtimes,. I just don't feel it's fair to a group to AFK for 10-15 mins and then feel guilty about it.. or If I have to suddenly leave. I just don't want to be THAT person I used to hate back when i had no kids or life and playing EQ1 when a key person in the group would afk for a long time and ruin the night.

The social aspect of an MMO though is key to me because I still love chatting, interacting, helping others, groups optional when possible, crafting and player economy, seeing other toons and their armor, player housing, fashions, names, etc.. all that makes a very dynamic and lively world I want to be a part of. A single player game has none of that .. and I am not a roleplayer except just casual banter etc..

  Illius

Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/12/06
Posts: 3907

I intend to live forever -- So far so good!

5/16/10 6:22:42 PM#20

I have never played P&P style table top games and yet I still pick group oriented games over solo ones.  I've been gaming for close to 20 years now.

No required quests! And if I decide I want to be an assassin-cartographer-dancer-pastry chef who lives only to stalk and kill interior decorators, then that's who I want to be, even if it takes me four years to max all the skills and everyone else thinks I'm freaking nuts. -Madimorga-

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