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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » why not try forced grouping? Or a mmorpg that focuses more in grouping than soloing

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186 posts found
  Banaghran

Novice Member

Joined: 1/17/12
Posts: 872

5/08/12 1:08:22 AM#121
Originally posted by Axehilt

This has nothing to do about a subjective opinion of good or bad (though personally I find depth good; it's most of why games are worth playing.)

We're talking about depth.  One activity is very shallow (travel).  The other activity is considerably deeper, and obviously includes the deepest element of the first activity (aggro radius).

The reason it's deeper is there's a sense of mastery to it.  Of decision-making.  Depth is essentially a measure of how long it takes to master something.  You could probably explain MMORPG travel to someone in 10 seconds and they'd have a pretty good sense of what to expect.  You definitely couldn't explain all the aspects of MMORPG dungeoning to someone in 10 seconds.

 

What is you point? As is said, there is no "typical" mmo that would fit your reasoning, apart from specs, there is not really much more to explain regarding combat to a typical player than you would need to explain travel, "teleport stone" and "portal", due to streamlinings and stuff in other areas, if you dont believe me, join a pug.

There is no inherent depth in one or the other, if the game does not support AND require it. 

Flame on!

:)

  UsualSuspect

Hard Core Member

Joined: 11/01/04
Posts: 1172

5/08/12 1:58:05 AM#122

The problem I'm seeing all through this thread is that people are using solo-style games as their only frame of reference for their opinions on grouping. I see quite a few posts where they say that the times they've grouped 'for instances or battlegrounds'... stop there! Instances and battlegrounds are the worst kind of group content and, generally, if those are in the game you're playing then grouping is nothing but an afterthought.

If all you have for reference is grouping in a solo-based game then your opinion doesn't really matter that much, as the game itself is flawed when it comes to community and grouping. Try a game where soloing is hard and grouping makes life easier, where people depend on each other, where you are remembered for your actions, where danger is around every corner and where classes are more than just the amount of dps they can provide. Then come back and make a comment.

  Adamantine

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/07/08
Posts: 3252

War is not the ultima ratio, but the ultima irratio - Willy Brandt

5/08/12 2:24:32 AM#123
Originally posted by UsualSuspect

The problem I'm seeing all through this thread is that people are using solo-style games as their only frame of reference for their opinions on grouping. [...]

+1

Again, I dont think "forced grouping" is a good idea. You should be able to do some things solo. Just not the big stuff, like dungeons and bossmobs.

  Vidir

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/14/04
Posts: 962

5/08/12 2:31:00 AM#124
Originally posted by nomatics856

These "solo" mmorpgs today are failing hard, and are nothing more but online action games than any thing else, a company needs to try something different by focusing more on grouping and less on soloing, not getting rid of soloing all together, but maybe go the EQ route were there are more benefits to grouping than soloing.

 

mmorpgs today if you solo, you get more exp per mobs, no fighting over loot, a faster way to level, if you group up, there is a exp shared pentaty, fighting over loot, etc etc.

 

I dont like how mmorpgs are going these days, in SWTOR I can take on 6-7 mobs and kill almost everything in one to two hits, and really its not even SWTOR fault, its how most mmorpgs are today, how is that fun? This is how these "mmorpgs" of today are becoming boring. Trying to balance soloing and grouping in one game is proving too difficult for these companys today. One side will cry nerf, one side will cry buff. Generally the solo crowd wins and the mobs become easier.

What we need is a mmorpg whos focus is on grouping seeing as its an "RPG" and "Online". Did companys seem to forget that RPGS were almost always about partying even in single player rpgs.  So what we need is a mmorpg that focuses on grouping but gives soloing options, like a couple classes that excel at soloing, like EQ did with the beastlord and necromancer.

There is not a singel game out ther now that does not try to force you to group sooner or later,and that is why people leav the games after the free month.

  User Deleted
5/08/12 2:40:28 AM#125
Originally posted by Vidir

There is not a singel game out ther now that does not try to force you to group sooner or later,and that is why people leav the games after the free month.

^This.

You have to realize a big % of players while enjoying online gaming, cannt or dont want to team up while playing for several reasons.

Any game where people are forced to team up its a fail on the long run. That is why so many people leave online games after the first month, after reachign the max they can while single playing.

  TacoShank

Novice Member

Joined: 4/03/12
Posts: 23

5/08/12 2:52:42 AM#126
Originally posted by EduardoASG
Originally posted by Vidir

There is not a singel game out ther now that does not try to force you to group sooner or later,and that is why people leav the games after the free month.

^This.

You have to realize a big % of players while enjoying online gaming, cannt or dont want to team up while playing for several reasons.

Any game where people are forced to team up its a fail on the long run. That is why so many people leave online games after the first month, after reachign the max they can while single playing.

What? Where are the stats on this? World of Warcraft still has 10 million people playing after 7 years, and it's the perfect example of a game that "forces you to team up". Once players hit the endgame it gets dang close to the definition of forced group play, at least if players want to stay relevant.

Explain to me how dungeons and raids don't invlove any group play, and how this isn't one of the main attractions for WoW.

  KyBo

Novice Member

Joined: 12/31/09
Posts: 143

5/08/12 4:08:16 AM#127

     I must disagree with the OP's overall premise here, and say that MMO's should move even further toward solo gaming.  Now, I'm sure that to the classical MMO purist, this might be the last thing you'd want, but unfortunately, the clasical MMO purists are now a fairly small cross-section of the total population of gamers.  In order to attract the most potential customers in the relatively competitive MMO market, a game must accommodate the widest selection of players, hence why new MMO's are attempting to cater to not only the veteran, group-oriented MMO player, but also to potential new players to the genre that grew up playing primarily solo console games.

     The trouble is, companies have yet to strike the right balance of pleasing solo players, while still offering group play.  This is mainly because they're still trying to incentivize group play to please old-school MMO gamers, tying endgame content almost exclusively to group-oriented content.  Once you've completely leveled up in most MMO's, you're forced into grouping for instances/raids to continue progressing. 

     This is where new MMO's fail.  The second that grouping is required to continue progressing, you've obviously lost the solo gamer.   Solo gamers don't have the time, or don't wish to take the time, to assemble a group of strangers every time they wish to progress.  This is much less of an issue with instanced PvP, so long as there are no population, balance, or gameplay issues that dissuade players from participating, and this is where the bulk of group oriented content should be focused. 

     In terms of PvE, however, having content that scales to the size of the group, or allowing players to have NPC's/pets/companion characters to aid them in endgame raids/instances, while still having the option of running them the traditional way, would allow MMO's to retain more solo-minded players, while still giving group oriented players the option of playing the way they like. 

     There are a lot of other things that must go into a formula for retaining both solo and group oriented players, but in the context of this thread, giving the maximum amount of options for players to enjoy the game will always be a far better strategy than forcing players into one style of play.  

  pierth

Novice Member

Joined: 4/14/06
Posts: 1514

5/08/12 4:44:09 AM#128
Originally posted by KyBo

     I must disagree with the OP's overall premise here, and say that MMO's should move even further toward solo gaming.  Now, I'm sure that to the classical MMO purist, this might be the last thing you'd want, but unfortunately, the clasical MMO purists are now a fairly small cross-section of the total population of gamers.  In order to attract the most potential customers in the relatively competitive MMO market, a game must accommodate the widest selection of players, hence why new MMO's are attempting to cater to not only the veteran, group-oriented MMO player, but also to potential new players to the genre that grew up playing primarily solo console games.

     The trouble is, companies have yet to strike the right balance of pleasing solo players, while still offering group play.  This is mainly because they're still trying to incentivize group play to please old-school MMO gamers, tying endgame content almost exclusively to group-oriented content.  Once you've completely leveled up in most MMO's, you're forced into grouping for instances/raids to continue progressing. 

     This is where new MMO's fail.  The second that grouping is required to continue progressing, you've obviously lost the solo gamer.   Solo gamers don't have the time, or don't wish to take the time, to assemble a group of strangers every time they wish to progress.  This is much less of an issue with instanced PvP, so long as there are no population, balance, or gameplay issues that dissuade players from participating, and this is where the bulk of group oriented content should be focused. 

     In terms of PvE, however, having content that scales to the size of the group, or allowing players to have NPC's/pets/companion characters to aid them in endgame raids/instances, while still having the option of running them the traditional way, would allow MMO's to retain more solo-minded players, while still giving group oriented players the option of playing the way they like. 

     There are a lot of other things that must go into a formula for retaining both solo and group oriented players, but in the context of this thread, giving the maximum amount of options for players to enjoy the game will always be a far better strategy than forcing players into one style of play.  

Addressing the portion I highlighted, there will never be enough content for solo players to solo through. This is why the most appropriate genre for them is single player games. They get the full game to solo to their hearts' content and then at the end they leave for the next title. It's the same behavior we see with solo players in MMOs, and won't be remedied in MMOs with extra solo content unless it's made to be the grindiest content possible (bringing even more complaints).

 

In addition, when you make all or the majority of content scale to solo players all you do is make it beneath a group-centered player's time. Solo-centric MMO players are the very lowest common denominator of MMOs- MMOs will never match the single player quality and experience of single player games and those that still continue to play MMOs when they know full well that these games are social in nature are only setting themselves up for a bland experience that could be better fulfilled in other genres.

  Quirhid

Elite Member

Joined: 1/28/05
Posts: 5356

I dare you to pin a label on me.

5/08/12 5:34:32 AM#129
Originally posted by UsualSuspect

The problem I'm seeing all through this thread is that people are using solo-style games as their only frame of reference for their opinions on grouping. I see quite a few posts where they say that the times they've grouped 'for instances or battlegrounds'... stop there! Instances and battlegrounds are the worst kind of group content and, generally, if those are in the game you're playing then grouping is nothing but an afterthought.

If all you have for reference is grouping in a solo-based game then your opinion doesn't really matter that much, as the game itself is flawed when it comes to community and grouping. Try a game where soloing is hard and grouping makes life easier, where people depend on each other, where you are remembered for your actions, where danger is around every corner and where classes are more than just the amount of dps they can provide. Then come back and make a comment.

I'm sorry I think your entire premise is skewed and therefore every argument you base on it will end up being teared apart. Instances and battlegrounds are not the worst type of group content and by no means are they an afterthought. I'm wondering what makes you think that. Neither are the games that have them "solo-based" - like there is such a division as "solo-based" and "multiplayer-based".

I get the feeling that the games you refer to as being "solo-based" are actually more like "solo friendly". Obviously these games have been specifically designed for multiplayer. Don't be a drama queen and claim otherwise.

 

Grouping makes life easier in nearly every game out there. Oftentimes grouping just is not very convenient which makes players think of soloing as a good alternative. If a game has strictly group roles and characters rely heavily on each other, you just make the game much more inconvenient. Nobody wants to wait for hours for someone to fill in a critical party role. No one cares to fill just one role throughout the whole game. Players do not accept this anymore.

That is why we see the shift towards flexible party roles, flexible classes and ways to make grouping much more accessible and effortless. Ways how GW2 promotes spontaneous grouping is what I'd like to see. That you're actually happy to see other people where you are, and you can join and leave as you will without any hassle. It is convenient - unlike forced grouping which is extremely inconvenient.

I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  Banaghran

Novice Member

Joined: 1/17/12
Posts: 872

5/08/12 5:44:04 AM#130
Originally posted by pierth

Addressing the portion I highlighted, there will never be enough content for solo players to solo through. This is why the most appropriate genre for them is single player games. They get the full game to solo to their hearts' content and then at the end they leave for the next title. It's the same behavior we see with solo players in MMOs, and won't be remedied in MMOs with extra solo content unless it's made to be the grindiest content possible (bringing even more complaints).

 

In addition, when you make all or the majority of content scale to solo players all you do is make it beneath a group-centered player's time. Solo-centric MMO players are the very lowest common denominator of MMOs- MMOs will never match the single player quality and experience of single player games and those that still continue to play MMOs when they know full well that these games are social in nature are only setting themselves up for a bland experience that could be better fulfilled in other genres.

 

And this, ladies and gentlemen is why we cannot have nice new games, because there is a significant portion of players very vocal with their opinions with, figuratively speaking, their heads up their hindquarters.

 Just to illustrate:

"grouping" does not in itself mean "social", see "raid finder"

"enough solo content" does not mean "complete the game"

"long solo content" does not mean "grindfest"

"scaling to soloers" does not mean "without advantage and challenge when grouping"

"players will leave when the soloing is over" is in no way more significant than "players will leave when the grouping content is over (and is the only thing in the game that lasts longer than 2 weeks)", which is actually happening right now

And ironically i dont even disagree with the point that "soloing raids" or any other content via some tools, chopping off the social aspect can be tricky, but this is not the fault of soloing and soloers, but lazy people or action gamers which got lost in this genre.

Flame on!

:)

 

 

  Warmaker

Novice Member

Joined: 5/04/07
Posts: 2233

5/08/12 5:48:42 AM#131

I like group play, but I do not want an MMORPG that blatantly forces it.  There are some times I want to strike it out solo, and there are alot more times I want to adventure with other players, even PUGs.

For me, the best is an MMORPG that allows some soloing but encourages group play.  It is also tied to a decent community.

The best experience for me was with SWG until the NGE changes of late 2005.  I liked to solo at times, but I frequently grouped up with others.  It just felt more natural to play with others, not to mention the game and community on the servers were more social.  It was the last game I played where even random PUGs was a fun experience which, if you wanted to, ran for hours and hours together.  It was also the last MMORPG I played where veteran players readily took newbies under the wing to show them the ropes and generate excitement from the newbie.

So I'm somewhere in the middle, but group play needs to be encouraged (again, not forced).  And make MMORPGs "Massive Multiplayer Online" again.

"I have only two out of my company and 20 out of some other company. We need support, but it is almost suicide to try to get it here as we are swept by machine gun fire and a constant barrage is on us. I have no one on my left and only a few on my right. I will hold." (First Lieutenant Clifton B. Cates, US Marine Corps, Soissons, 19 July 1918)

  Icewhite

Made History

Joined: 7/11/11
Posts: 6495

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5/08/12 6:10:32 AM#132
Originally posted by UsualSuspect

The problem I'm seeing all through this thread is that people are using solo-style games as their only frame of reference for their opinions on grouping.

On the other hand, we've got some people who remember "forced grouping" being the single constant biggest complaint about EQ, and the results to the game's subs...and setting the stage for the rise of solo gaming as a developer goal to encourage in most of the games developed in the early 00's.

So...who's right?

Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  Khayotix

Novice Member

Joined: 11/02/08
Posts: 221

If I ever kill you, you'll be awake, you'll be facing me, and you'll be armed.

5/08/12 10:27:57 AM#133
Originally posted by Icewhite
Originally posted by UsualSuspect

The problem I'm seeing all through this thread is that people are using solo-style games as their only frame of reference for their opinions on grouping.

On the other hand, we've got some people who remember "forced grouping" being the single constant biggest complaint about EQ, and the results to the game's subs...and setting the stage for the rise of solo gaming as a developer goal to encourage in most of the games developed in the early 00's.

So...who's right?

Forced grouping didnt even put a dent in EQ Subscribers. EQ rose consistently with only one small dip near the top to 550,000 Subs and stayed there until WoW came out. WoW was the sole deterring factor of EQ Subs.

  Axehilt

Novice Member

Joined: 5/09/09
Posts: 7213

5/08/12 10:38:42 AM#134
Originally posted by Banaghran 

What is you point? As is said, there is no "typical" mmo that would fit your reasoning, apart from specs, there is not really much more to explain regarding combat to a typical player than you would need to explain travel, "teleport stone" and "portal", due to streamlinings and stuff in other areas, if you dont believe me, join a pug.

There is no inherent depth in one or the other, if the game does not support AND require it. 

Most people understand that traveling somewhere in a typical MMORPG (not counting fast travel) is extremely shallow whereas dungeons require considerably more mastery to perform (due to many more game mechanics being involved.)  Run a dungeon the second time and you almost certainly have learning left to do.  Travel a second time and there's really nothing left to learn.

If you want to pretend that's not the case, you're free to do so, but you're just plugging your ears.

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 17940

5/08/12 10:45:26 AM#135
Originally posted by Saryhl
 

Forced grouping didnt even put a dent in EQ Subscribers. EQ rose consistently with only one small dip near the top to 550,000 Subs and stayed there until WoW came out. WoW was the sole deterring factor of EQ Subs.

And WOW got rid of force grouping, and everyone jumped ship.

  User Deleted
5/08/12 10:50:53 AM#136
Originally posted by Axehilt
Originally posted by Banaghran 

What is you point? As is said, there is no "typical" mmo that would fit your reasoning, apart from specs, there is not really much more to explain regarding combat to a typical player than you would need to explain travel, "teleport stone" and "portal", due to streamlinings and stuff in other areas, if you dont believe me, join a pug.

There is no inherent depth in one or the other, if the game does not support AND require it. 

Most people understand that traveling somewhere in a typical MMORPG (not counting fast travel) is extremely shallow whereas dungeons require considerably more mastery to perform (due to many more game mechanics being involved.)  Run a dungeon the second time and you almost certainly have learning left to do.  Travel a second time and there's really nothing left to learn.

If you want to pretend that's not the case, you're free to do so, but you're just plugging your ears.

Travelling in many an mmo is indeed pretty shallow, but then so are the dungeons. Perhaps trying to make more dynamic, player driven worlds, where travelling can be interesting, instead of trying to cut the world out altogether would be an idea.

 

Nah forget it, let's just shovel in more piss poor dungeons and add an extra 1,000,000 hit points to the next boss and throw in some phat lootz. That's interesting, honest.

  Axehilt

Novice Member

Joined: 5/09/09
Posts: 7213

5/08/12 10:50:53 AM#137
Originally posted by Saryhl

Forced grouping didnt even put a dent in EQ Subscribers. EQ rose consistently with only one small dip near the top to 550,000 Subs and stayed there until WoW came out. WoW was the sole deterring factor of EQ Subs.

Um, your graph shows EQ choosing Path A which results in x Subscribers.

It doesn't show "the dent" because the dent isn't what happened.  There was an alternate Path B which resulted in a greater number of z Subscribers, and the difference between the two potential subscriber counts is the dent.

But while we can't really predict alternate futures well, we can observe a ton of data pointing to the relevance of Self-determination theory in regards to game design.  Most importantly: the inclusion of more autonomy, in the form of MMORPG soloability.  The biggest example being WOW.

So it's easy to state with confidence that a lack of soloability hurt early MMORPGs.  Of course hindsight is 20/20 and maybe we can't blame those designers for making mistakes with limited information at the time.  But there's a clear trend of the most successful games in the industry adhering to the above theory, while others struggle.

  Khayotix

Novice Member

Joined: 11/02/08
Posts: 221

If I ever kill you, you'll be awake, you'll be facing me, and you'll be armed.

5/08/12 10:53:06 AM#138
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by Saryhl
 

Forced grouping didnt even put a dent in EQ Subscribers. EQ rose consistently with only one small dip near the top to 550,000 Subs and stayed there until WoW came out. WoW was the sole deterring factor of EQ Subs.

And WOW got rid of force grouping, and everyone jumped ship.

WoW was just easier, it upgraded alot of systems came out with some others that helped players along like a quest log. It was the natural evolution of adding innovations to the game. it wasnt forced grouping.WoW was not Solo Oriented at first, it struck a balance. Mostly still in favor of Grouping with dungeons and Elites. Quests were bountiful that took more than one or 2 players. It has long since changed with the advent of Wrath of the Lich King removing most all heroic mobs and making dungeons facerolly.  And again look at every MMO since then all Solo oriented. all failures. Solo = Failed MMO. Get your facts straight.

  Khayotix

Novice Member

Joined: 11/02/08
Posts: 221

If I ever kill you, you'll be awake, you'll be facing me, and you'll be armed.

5/08/12 10:58:40 AM#139
Originally posted by Axehilt
Originally posted by Saryhl

Forced grouping didnt even put a dent in EQ Subscribers. EQ rose consistently with only one small dip near the top to 550,000 Subs and stayed there until WoW came out. WoW was the sole deterring factor of EQ Subs.

Um, your graph shows EQ choosing Path A which results in x Subscribers.

It doesn't show "the dent" because the dent isn't what happened.  There was an alternate Path B which resulted in a greater number of z Subscribers, and the difference between the two potential subscriber counts is the dent.

But while we can't really predict alternate futures well, we can observe a ton of data pointing to the relevance of Self-determination theory in regards to game design.  Most importantly: the inclusion of more autonomy, in the form of MMORPG soloability.  The biggest example being WOW.

So it's easy to state with confidence that a lack of soloability hurt early MMORPGs.  Of course hindsight is 20/20 and maybe we can't blame those designers for making mistakes with limited information at the time.  But there's a clear trend of the most successful games in the industry adhering to the above theory, while others struggle.

The most successful Games in the MMORPG Industry? WoW is the Only Successful game in the MMORPG industry right now,  by industry standards since its incarnation. No game since has been successful by those same standards. Read these forums every day and you will hear people screaming this game is a failure, no this game, yea this game too. No game has been able to use Solo play to rise to the top. Not Even WoW. As my post above this states. Classic WoW was still more than 50% group oriented. They softened it up, but did not do away with needing groups til much later. MMO's are NOT SOLO games, that isnt what they are about. plain and simple.

  Mathizsias

Novice Member

Joined: 7/19/06
Posts: 16

5/08/12 11:13:04 AM#140

Because MMO's are like this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skinner_box

Which will breed individualism over altruism, which is basically what has been destroying western soceity since the middle ages.

 

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