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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » why not a 3-man grouping model?

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89 posts found
  Scot

Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/10/03
Posts: 5280

7/23/12 5:01:49 AM#61

It is very difficult to have more than one kind of PvE or PvP. If you have more than one type, then one will be seen as the best.

SWTOR's sign up 'battlefields' as opposed to the one you had to go to Illum was the winner. Looking at Lotro, Moria 3 mans were tougher than 6 mans, 6 mans won out. Even though finding a group was harder, 3mans where something you did (if at all) after you had a few 6mans under your belt. Then the 3 man arena in Mirkwood turned up and the Moria 3 and 6 mans fell out of favour. The Mirkwood arena was easier, the others got dropped.

So the easier path is always chossen. My objection to 3 man is that it is normally going to be chosen over 6 man if a game has both, it is easier to form a 3 man gorup. In the Lotro example they made the 3mans hard and that offset the problem, but making things hard so rarely gets done in EzMMO's. I cannot see Turbine doing that again, and doubt any other software house would.

So nothing against 3 man, it is just hard to run with 6 man + group content. If it is the easier option thats all people will play. I don't think there is an ideal group number, but variety is better if it can be balanced.

  dorugu

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/06/03
Posts: 143

7/23/12 5:25:05 AM#62

wonder if its possible to have the instance difficulty n loot table b dynamic so that it adapt after how many tht enters? after all its not certain yu can get  a group together (got a vague memory coh had tht waay back)

  Axehilt

Novice Member

Joined: 5/09/09
Posts: 7213

7/23/12 6:57:13 AM#63
Originally posted by Gaia_Hunter

In games like LoL and TF2 all you need to do is to bring yourself and your skill.

In games following the EQ mold your skill is just a part, probably not even the most important part - it is all about who you know and all the things you need to do to get in that raider guild. So bring a few dozen player or you get stuck.

There is a reason you starting to see LFR tools - but that is just a quick fix for the problem.

Since for me the most important thing about a game is the game play, I always disliked the drama and in fighting in guilds and the fact i would have go through that to enjoy the game play.

I don't mind socialization in games and in game communities - I just don't want them to be mandatory and i don't want to be completely dependant 

Well I still don't see the "games selling people as content" angle, but I do agree with what youv'e said here.

LFR is a step forward, but raiding's still raiding.  I'm not sure large-scale PVE content will ever appeal to me.  It's either too easy (GW2 spontaneous raids throughout world content), or the challenge is right but failure is frequent due to poor teammates.  The latter results in deciding between sticking with friends or ditching them to advance, which is a pretty terrible decision.

I think you can solve it for smaller-scale groups though, but giving players of similar skill the ability to find groups together and potentially befriend one another.

Some JRPGs have relationship/friendship status between characters.  I sort of wonder if that might not keep a pair of random pub PVE players playing together.  Basically it's a faction rating you have with every other character in the game, which enables better rewards or capabilities as you hit higher tiers (and the second tier would be hit at the end of your first dungeon together, giving you a reason to run that next group with someone you know rather than just ditching them.) 

 

  Gaia_Hunter

Elite Member

Joined: 5/04/12
Posts: 2621

7/23/12 3:09:50 PM#64
Originally posted by Axehilt
Originally posted by Gaia_Hunter

In games like LoL and TF2 all you need to do is to bring yourself and your skill.

In games following the EQ mold your skill is just a part, probably not even the most important part - it is all about who you know and all the things you need to do to get in that raider guild. So bring a few dozen player or you get stuck.

There is a reason you starting to see LFR tools - but that is just a quick fix for the problem.

Since for me the most important thing about a game is the game play, I always disliked the drama and in fighting in guilds and the fact i would have go through that to enjoy the game play.

I don't mind socialization in games and in game communities - I just don't want them to be mandatory and i don't want to be completely dependant 

Well I still don't see the "games selling people as content" angle, but I do agree with what youv'e said here.

LFR is a step forward, but raiding's still raiding.  I'm not sure large-scale PVE content will ever appeal to me.  It's either too easy (GW2 spontaneous raids throughout world content), or the challenge is right but failure is frequent due to poor teammates.  The latter results in deciding between sticking with friends or ditching them to advance, which is a pretty terrible decision.

I think you can solve it for smaller-scale groups though, but giving players of similar skill the ability to find groups together and potentially befriend one another.

Some JRPGs have relationship/friendship status between characters.  I sort of wonder if that might not keep a pair of random pub PVE players playing together.  Basically it's a faction rating you have with every other character in the game, which enables better rewards or capabilities as you hit higher tiers (and the second tier would be hit at the end of your first dungeon together, giving you a reason to run that next group with someone you know rather than just ditching them.) 

 

I meant in the context of forming guilds/raid groups/lists of contacts become game play. You don't do it (just) because it is people you like to socialize with, but because you need them to progress in the game.

Currently playing: GW2
Cooperative (semi cooperative)board games you should check: Pandemic, Sentinels of the Multiverse, Eldritch Horror, Descent 2.0,Level 7 Omega Protocol, Last Night on Earth

  rungard

Novice Member

Joined: 7/25/03
Posts: 1037

The Sandbox Foundation does not exist!

 
OP  7/23/12 3:17:44 PM#65
Originally posted by Scot

It is very difficult to have more than one kind of PvE or PvP. If you have more than one type, then one will be seen as the best.

SWTOR's sign up 'battlefields' as opposed to the one you had to go to Illum was the winner. Looking at Lotro, Moria 3 mans were tougher than 6 mans, 6 mans won out. Even though finding a group was harder, 3mans where something you did (if at all) after you had a few 6mans under your belt. Then the 3 man arena in Mirkwood turned up and the Moria 3 and 6 mans fell out of favour. The Mirkwood arena was easier, the others got dropped.

So the easier path is always chossen. My objection to 3 man is that it is normally going to be chosen over 6 man if a game has both, it is easier to form a 3 man gorup. In the Lotro example they made the 3mans hard and that offset the problem, but making things hard so rarely gets done in EzMMO's. I cannot see Turbine doing that again, and doubt any other software house would.

So nothing against 3 man, it is just hard to run with 6 man + group content. If it is the easier option thats all people will play. I don't think there is an ideal group number, but variety is better if it can be balanced.

 so in your experience, given that the game wasnt designed classwise for a 3 man group, that if another game focused on a 3 man group and additionally designed player classes around that group size, it would likely result in more challenging gameplay?

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 20129

7/23/12 4:42:27 PM#66
Originally posted by Scot

It is very difficult to have more than one kind of PvE or PvP. If you have more than one type, then one will be seen as the best.

SWTOR's sign up 'battlefields' as opposed to the one you had to go to Illum was the winner. Looking at Lotro, Moria 3 mans were tougher than 6 mans, 6 mans won out. Even though finding a group was harder, 3mans where something you did (if at all) after you had a few 6mans under your belt. Then the 3 man arena in Mirkwood turned up and the Moria 3 and 6 mans fell out of favour. The Mirkwood arena was easier, the others got dropped.

So the easier path is always chossen. My objection to 3 man is that it is normally going to be chosen over 6 man if a game has both, it is easier to form a 3 man gorup. In the Lotro example they made the 3mans hard and that offset the problem, but making things hard so rarely gets done in EzMMO's. I cannot see Turbine doing that again, and doubt any other software house would.

So nothing against 3 man, it is just hard to run with 6 man + group content. If it is the easier option thats all people will play. I don't think there is an ideal group number, but variety is better if it can be balanced.

It is hard by there are ways to get people into harder dungeons.

WOW did it by giving a HUGE incentive to finish random dungeons, and you have to wait 30 min if you quit. Some people still will quit when they randomly draw a tough dungeon .. but not all.

  centkin

Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/01/10
Posts: 826

7/23/12 6:08:00 PM#67

Actually, depending on how you set up the scaling -- a dungeon set up for anywhere from 2 to 8 players could be easiest with 8 players and hardest with 2 players.  It is not by default hardest with the maximum number of players.  Plus even if one were overly concerned people were going to tend to go for the lower numbers and you wanted the higher numbers you could just have 16% more drops per player with 8 players than it would be with 2 players and in that case people would flock to the higher numbered groups.

  VirgoThree

Tipster

Joined: 12/09/03
Posts: 1222

FFXIV:ARR, Malboro Server, Scarlet Raven

7/23/12 6:22:44 PM#68

I think the best solution is variable grouping content. It should be scaleable to at least 2 through 6 (throwing a random number at the end). It could be difficult to balance or make unique but I would like the option to go in with none standard groups and still be fine.

 

  Scot

Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/10/03
Posts: 5280

7/24/12 4:28:40 AM#69
It is certainly easier to see 3 man working when there is no 6 man etc. But that then would make the MMO only for very small groups, in fact the smallest number you could call ‘a group.’
 
I don’t think it is too much to expect more than one group size in a MMO, we have all seen 6, 12 and mass groups in the same MMO. I would have thought it better to try to get the balance right there than give up and just go for 3 man. But I would not be against a 3 man game just because it is 3 man.
 
Penalties should play a part just like rewards, but nariusseldon MMO’s are only designed with carrot these days. It is all rewards no penalties, those MMO’s that penalise you in any way are the old MMO’s. The design culture has changed to instant gratification and no penalties.
 
In Rift I could change my warrior class into one which could rez players outside combat in a dungeon. In Swtor any player can rez another outside combat in a dungeon. You can swap your character half way through the operation. The one you used gets rewards up to that point, the new one gets the rest of the rewards. And it is only going to get easier, that’s something players don’t understand they think EzMMOde stops here.
  rungard

Novice Member

Joined: 7/25/03
Posts: 1037

The Sandbox Foundation does not exist!

 
OP  7/24/12 9:54:09 AM#70
Originally posted by Scot
It is certainly easier to see 3 man working when there is no 6 man etc. But that then would make the MMO only for very small groups, in fact the smallest number you could call ‘a group.’
 
I don’t think it is too much to expect more than one group size in a MMO, we have all seen 6, 12 and mass groups in the same MMO. I would have thought it better to try to get the balance right there than give up and just go for 3 man. But I would not be against a 3 man game just because it is 3 man.
 
Penalties should play a part just like rewards, but nariusseldon MMO’s are only designed with carrot these days. It is all rewards no penalties, those MMO’s that penalise you in any way are the old MMO’s. The design culture has changed to instant gratification and no penalties.
 
In Rift I could change my warrior class into one which could rez players outside combat in a dungeon. In Swtor any player can rez another outside combat in a dungeon. You can swap your character half way through the operation. The one you used gets rewards up to that point, the new one gets the rest of the rewards. And it is only going to get easier, that’s something players don’t understand they think EzMMOde stops here.

 no i would look at a 3 man as a unit, and you could have specific content made for 2 or 3 or 10 units if you wanted to, but at the core each unit would be made of 3 players and designed that way. so in a 2 unit dungeon, there are two different dependant paths which intertwine so two units can both work together and work apart ( i.e one group works its way to a switch, opening a door for the other group which opens the door for group 1 and both groups fight the boss...). You could do the same with three or even 10 units.

as for easy mode , its a self defeating cycle. lazy cannot be defeated so i guess there will be a niche longterm product for a company who understands this, and mmogarbage for everyone else which will make lots of bucks shortterm.

  Adamantine

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/07/08
Posts: 3345

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

7/24/12 10:01:07 AM#71
Originally posted by freston
Originally posted by Adamantine

Why not 1 man groups ? They are definitely easier to find than 3 man groups. This cannot be argued.

 

I raise the stakes: half a man instances.  Dungeons designed so that a single person must run two of them at the same time. Top that. (yeah , i know, one third of a man instances...)

I like your way of thinking ! :-D

  Axxar

Hard Core Member

Joined: 12/09/08
Posts: 2041

"See how I reward those who fail me!"

7/24/12 11:01:36 AM#72

There's multiple reasons for not having a 3-man group.

One is practical reasons. Most MMOs are setup with a trinity system where certain roles are required in a group - a tank, a healer and a number of damage dealers. Since by far most people are interested in the damage dealer role, having 3-man groups would in most MMOs cause crazy amount of waiting time for damage dealers to get groups.

Second is the genre's roots in old tabletop role-playing and CRPGs, most of which are designed for groups of 4 or more player characters.

There might be more, but those two are from the top of my head.

"Tiny clown, he got wet. I was talking to a psychic and I can't sleep in the ozone. There are too many different peanuts, looking sad.

  rungard

Novice Member

Joined: 7/25/03
Posts: 1037

The Sandbox Foundation does not exist!

 
OP  7/24/12 12:45:56 PM#73
Originally posted by Axxar

There's multiple reasons for not having a 3-man group.

One is practical reasons. Most MMOs are setup with a trinity system where certain roles are required in a group - a tank, a healer and a number of damage dealers. Since by far most people are interested in the damage dealer role, having 3-man groups would in most MMOs cause crazy amount of waiting time for damage dealers to get groups.

Second is the genre's roots in old tabletop role-playing and CRPGs, most of which are designed for groups of 4 or more player characters.

There might be more, but those two are from the top of my head.

 interesting. on your first point i disagree because damage dealing is not one of the trinity. It wasnt in everquest and it wasnt in dark age of camelot. Those games had dedicated crowd control classes.

if you go back to that model you have no dedicated dps role, and thus all are required to do that. Actually all were always required to do that. I dont accept wows model of tank/heal/dps as a superior model for the reasons you suggested.

what if all the classes were designed around tank/heal and crowd control where each class could perform any two of those three roles by design. All classes are and have always been designed to deal damage. Even a daoc midgard healer could deal some damage.

on your second point, most players dont know what came before wow, so i doubt that tabletop games would have any effect at all.

  rungard

Novice Member

Joined: 7/25/03
Posts: 1037

The Sandbox Foundation does not exist!

 
OP  7/24/12 1:22:16 PM#74

some more thoughts..

lets say we use the original trinity and we design out classes based on the ability to perform 2 roles of the three well and the third role not so well, though each class would do that in a unique way. Wed end up with well rounded classes like below:

paladin: good tank, good healer, poor crowd controller

monk: good tank, good healer, poor crowd controller

battlemage: good tank, good crowd conroller, poor healer

Ranger: good tank, good crowd controller, poor healer

druid: good healer, good crowd controller, poor tank

wizard: good healer, good crowd controller, poor tank

 

this is a simple model, but with pretty much any 3 players your bound to fill all the roles. All classes would have range abilities, ability to dps in multiple ways, and utility spells would be obtainable equally across the classes ( they would be the same for all players..i.e gate spells). i wouldnt have buffs in the game per say but each class would be equipped with a unique set of debuffs. I would also have a focus system so that each class could focus on one of the two roles they can do well, or even focus on the third role, though it would be genrally inferior. You would only be able to focus one at a time of course.

 

 

 

  Consequence

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/29/04
Posts: 358

7/24/12 4:15:55 PM#75
Originally posted by jmdeland
Originally posted by rungard

in an age where mmo's are supposed to be soloable, i cant figure out why they wouldnt at least try to make a mmo with a smaller group size. Its superior in every way.

MMOs are supposed to be soloable? Why not just play Skyrim or something then.

The most fond MMO memories I have are 72 man raids in Everquest.

I completely disagree that a smaller group size is superior or requires less specialists.

And some of my worst memories of any mmos were those esame exact 50+ person raids from everquest.

 

To each his own.

But, in recent years there have been polls done and they show that most players do NOT like large raids and prefer smaller group oriented content.

 

So why not appeal to both?

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 20129

7/24/12 4:47:44 PM#76

Originally posted by jmdeland
 

MMOs are supposed to be soloable? Why not just play Skyrim or something then.

The most fond MMO memories I have are 72 man raids in Everquest.

I completely disagree that a smaller group size is superior or requires less specialists.

There is no AH on SKYRIM. You can show off your gear in SKYRIM to other players. There are MANY reasons to play a MMO beyong large groups.

ANd smaller group is easier to co-ordinate and easier to build & balance content for.

 

  Disdena

Novice Member

Joined: 3/05/10
Posts: 1098

7/24/12 6:42:17 PM#77
Originally posted by rungard

 interesting. on your first point i disagree because damage dealing is not one of the trinity. It wasnt in everquest and it wasnt in dark age of camelot. Those games had dedicated crowd control classes.

if you go back to that model you have no dedicated dps role, and thus all are required to do that. Actually all were always required to do that. I dont accept wows model of tank/heal/dps as a superior model for the reasons you suggested.

what if all the classes were designed around tank/heal and crowd control where each class could perform any two of those three roles by design. All classes are and have always been designed to deal damage. Even a daoc midgard healer could deal some damage.

Are you thinking of a different Everquest than I am? Maybe that Lords of Everquest RTS game, or Champions of Norrath on PS2? Because no way in hell was there an Everquest MMO where everyone was expected to do damage. Try telling a Cleric to stop medding and get some swings in with his mace. Unheard of. Furthermore, crowd control was never a third arm of a trinity in that game.

If you tried to grind out levels in a dungeon against red mobs in a group with no tank, you had virtually no chance of survival. The mob would head for your healer and kill them, followed by everyone else.

If you tried to grind out levels in a dungeon against red mobs in a group with no healer, you had virtually no chance of survival. If the tank or tanks managed to survive even one fight, there would be an overly long recovery time while they rested, and there'd be no way to keep up with the spawns.

If you tried to grind out levels in a dungeon against red mobs in a group with no dedicated damage classes, you had virtually no chance of survival. The length of the fights would drag on, depleting the healer(s)' mana and ensuring a long fight followed by a long recovery time, and again you'd be unable to keep up with spawns and would die to repops.

Grinding out levels against reds was the default mode of gameplay, and it happened all the time with no bard or enchanter in the group. It simply meant being a little more careful, having a bit of trouble breaking the camp initially, and then having the puller zone with a bad pull when it happened.

You can wish to your heart's content that someone would design a Tank/Heal/CC Trinity game, but you can't possibly go on claiming that EQ was that game.

  Vynt

Hard Core Member

Joined: 9/19/04
Posts: 599

7/24/12 7:04:11 PM#78
Originally posted by rungard
Originally posted by Axxar

There's multiple reasons for not having a 3-man group.

One is practical reasons. Most MMOs are setup with a trinity system where certain roles are required in a group - a tank, a healer and a number of damage dealers. Since by far most people are interested in the damage dealer role, having 3-man groups would in most MMOs cause crazy amount of waiting time for damage dealers to get groups.

Second is the genre's roots in old tabletop role-playing and CRPGs, most of which are designed for groups of 4 or more player characters.

There might be more, but those two are from the top of my head.

 interesting. on your first point i disagree because damage dealing is not one of the trinity. It wasnt in everquest and it wasnt in dark age of camelot. Those games had dedicated crowd control classes.

if you go back to that model you have no dedicated dps role, and thus all are required to do that. Actually all were always required to do that. I dont accept wows model of tank/heal/dps as a superior model for the reasons you suggested.

what if all the classes were designed around tank/heal and crowd control where each class could perform any two of those three roles by design. All classes are and have always been designed to deal damage. Even a daoc midgard healer could deal some damage.

on your second point, most players dont know what came before wow, so i doubt that tabletop games would have any effect at all.

EQ and daoc definitely had dedicated dps, but they usually did a little extra.

Funny thing is, neither were really a "trinity" system, but utilized 4 areas, healer, tank, dps, support (varied from cc, slows, debuffs, buffs). Without that dedicated support, most serious groups were screwed. Imagine an EQ group without an enchanter late game, or bard or shaman, heh.

Same with daoc, no speed, ugh, but doable, no cc? lol forget it. In daoc's case, the cc class was usually combined with another function, healer for heals, sorc for some dps, bard, well never had a bard be main healer and cc, but loved the speed . Loved the large groups in daoc, allowed to really mix and match, and really didnt even need a "trinity" like group. Went without tanks quite often. There was a lot of flexibility, even if some people tried to pigeon hole the "perfect" group.

 

I kind of hate these smaller groups that have come out. Some now have 4, just too low for my tastes, 5 was ok, but I really like 6+, loved the 8 in daoc. I do like big raids, but I can understand it being too much with 40+ for a lot of people, but plenty like 20, 25 people, and that would be fine, 3 groups of 8, or 4 of 6, nice 24 man raid, 

It just seems the bigger groups had more diversity and dynamic of interplay, so lowering the number would make it bland. I understand the fun of playing with a couple buddies, but I would get bored if that was at most I could group with.

  rungard

Novice Member

Joined: 7/25/03
Posts: 1037

The Sandbox Foundation does not exist!

 
OP  7/24/12 7:17:26 PM#79

when did you start playing eq?

 

I played a cleric from day one in eq. I would always help out when necessary, but sure, there were times when medding was more important.   Perhaps i didnt have to play as hard as you because we always had an enchanter and often a bard....of course i also played the game at the appropiate level ( whites, oranges, "light" reds), and i also played for fun back then.. grinding didnt actually occur to me back then...

The cleric could do alot more than Cheal. I certainly could.

i could understand if you were doing a raid, sure you need to focus on your corse skills ( which is why i hated raiding), but in normal grouping i never had an issue helping out.

 i also played a hiealer in daoc for a very long time and my job was to heal and cc (midgard healer was required to do both, unlike the other realms)..so sure in that one it was harder since you were doing two roles already to get a few smacks in.

Daoc also had the tank heal cc trinity. damage was just filler.

  jmdeland

Novice Member

Joined: 7/15/12
Posts: 4

7/24/12 8:02:47 PM#80
Originally posted by Consequence
Originally posted by jmdeland
Originally posted by rungard

in an age where mmo's are supposed to be soloable, i cant figure out why they wouldnt at least try to make a mmo with a smaller group size. Its superior in every way.

MMOs are supposed to be soloable? Why not just play Skyrim or something then.

The most fond MMO memories I have are 72 man raids in Everquest.

I completely disagree that a smaller group size is superior or requires less specialists.

And some of my worst memories of any mmos were those esame exact 50+ person raids from everquest.

 

To each his own.

But, in recent years there have been polls done and they show that most players do NOT like large raids and prefer smaller group oriented content.

 

So why not appeal to both?

Oh I absolutely agree, there should be content for all styles of play. Also, I played alot with the same group of very organized raiders, so the level of chaos in say - a pickup Rallos Zek raid - was never there, everyone knew their role.

I actually gave this thought the other day and I hate to keep referring to Everquest but it was the community that I was most involved in.  I ENJOYED farming my shards for Vex Thal (etc. etc.) because during those long boring ass camps I formed relationships with other players some of which I'm still in touch with today. I despise the fact that quest items drop like 100% of the time now. There is very little sense of accomplishment. Teamwork and social aspects of MMOs were what originally drew me into these games and I haven't been able to find that sense of community in a great while, again that is only what appeals to me personally.

People that don't have the time to spend on succeeding to the perceived "highest level" would complain of unattainable items and how zones shouldn't be locked out for some people instead of just being happy with what they could do. Unfortunately, we are largely a community of spoiled brats. If earning it takes too much "work" then it should be given to us or made mind-numbingly easy and this mindset is beoming ever so apparent outside of gaming as well. This is why they can't design a game that appeals to all playstyles.

I guess I was just bewildered by the guy that said MMOs should be soloable. Should there be solo content? Absolutely! There should also be small group and large group content available to those that wish to use it (please not a recycled "heroic" version of the same crap). There NEEDS to be items and zones that are unavailable to the person that can only play a few hours a week, in my opinion.

 

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