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News & Features Discussion  » [Column] General: On MMOs Going Solo

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85 posts found
  jezf

Novice Member

Joined: 7/13/12
Posts: 1

9/27/12 3:36:25 AM#41

i feel the writer above who talked of managing real time to  play  games  causing  problems with grouping has the right  idea  about the causing  of  solo  content in  newer games,

i also  feel  that the  role  play aspect  of  games  now  has  diminished, due to  design restraints/game content.

i started out  with  Ultima Online way back when... there you had   personal housing/ crafting pus a huge world where you could play not  just  the  story line  but  your  own stories ( anyone remember  company of  Yew??)  doing  UO solo  was a very frustrating experience as  you  found you got to a certain  point then  didnt  progress.

modern MMO's alow for  people who  cant spend alot of time with  friends/social groups to  still play the game towards the story driven end game. It is still a better experience to bet part of a  guild or whatever , but  even the  biggest of them  still dont  have that  feel  that   certain  old games  had.

  Kaleston

Novice Member

Joined: 9/08/11
Posts: 176

9/27/12 3:46:17 AM#42

I think this trend goes hand in hand with age of gamers. Many gamers that started with MMOs some years ago grew up from students with lots of time and little money to grown ups with little time and (arguably) lots of money. This means industry shifts more towards casuality and solo play - you can jump in at any time and play as much as you like. I also think later trends of games going F2P is sign of this. Normal F2P games give you possibility of transfering money into "game time" giving you boost so that your time in game is more efficient.

To put it simple, many gamers these days want social gaming experience, but don't have enough time to dedicate to it fully.

  ojustaboo

Advanced Member

Joined: 11/19/09
Posts: 52

9/27/12 3:59:46 AM#43

As I see it, it's a situation that will never please everyone.

I'll give you a few examples of my mmo experience.

I came to DAOC very late, I had good fun for the first few weeks but then I found a problem. It ended up being less and less fun and more me getting told "go there", "do this" etc with little explanation on why (I wasn't learning). Being fairly new to a game and waiting 50 mins on a hillside before a battle starts is not much fun, getting shouted at for wanting to walk about a bit as I'm bored after 50 mins of doing nothing again doesn't make for fun, especially when comments are being made along the lines of "if he wants to be a idiot......"

Roll on a few years and I started lotro about a year after it was released. I wanted to do the book quests but many you needed to group up for. Great, no problems with that. It wasn't hard to find a group, but I never got a chance to learn how to play my class within a group, there was always too many people who would rush in, kill everything without a word being said.

Sometimes I could only be on for a couple of hours and it would take 45 mins to finally get a pug group together, then 5 mins after we finally got started someone would say " sorry, got to go now"

I joined a great kin. They were more than willing to help me with anything I needed help for but having one or two max level players blasting everything in sight, took away the fun and any challenge of me trying to do it.

If I did join a pug group for the book instances, they would fly through it at 100mph not giving me a second to view the areas the debs had put a lot of time into designing etc.

When Lotro made the first book soloable, it was really nice being able to take in the sights of the instances, having the time to actually read the text and get involved in the story.

Before it was soloable, I had a choice, get my kin to blast through for me, spend a whole evening trying to find people my level to do it with (and often people had no interest as they've done the book on their main) , and more often than not, I didn't find people hence had no choice but skip the book until a later date.

As pug groups tended to fly through anything without giving those wanting to learn the time of day, I found myself at end level without having the knowledge of how to play my class and it was grouping up with my kin doing end level instances where I finally got to learn my class properly.

Due to those experiences I do prefer to mainly solo to end level, then have great fun raiding with my kin.

But, I do feel its gone too much in that direction. I like a challenge and its one thing allowing things to be soloable for those that want them, but its another thing altogether making them so easy, it hardly matters what skill I use (then again some will complain its still too hard) .

Now that books are soloable, getting a group your level to attempt it has become virtually impossible. People who would have taken time out of their own  playing to help another player will now tell them that its easily soloable, hence grouping ends up harder.

I do feel that in general mmos have been dumbed down too much over recent years.

I don't agree with those players who say they've paid the same as me so  just because I can devote hours to my gaming and they can't , they should be able to enjoy everything I enjoy. It doesn't work like that I real life and it doesn't work like that in a solo offline game.  If someone plays something like FF7, unless they put in the hours they will never get to the conclusion. If two people take piano lessons, pay the same but one puts in 100hrs practice a week and the other 1 hr, the one that puts in 1 hr might only have that one hour spare a week, but it would be unreasonable for them to presume they are entitled to play pieces as complicated as the person that puts in 100hrs a week can just because they both pay the same amount for their lessons.

And of course now we have mmos coming out almost every week, the markets flooded, a company needs to get their investment back and hardcore mmos players that would have been spread over two or three games are now spread over loads. The companies are only interested in profit etc hence will pander  to whatever gives them the most money and sadly that will not likely be what the hardcore mmo player wants.

All that said, I try other mmos but keep returning back to Lotro and a huge part of the reason is the friends and kin members I've got to meet over the years. I may solo my alts etc, but I still craft for others, they craft for me, it still feels to me like I'm in a huge game with other real life players.

 

  Palebane

Novice Member

Joined: 10/18/04
Posts: 3247

9/27/12 4:12:02 AM#44
For me, the only reason to play an online RPG rather than one of the outstanding single-player RPGs there are out there, is to meet other poeple. I may be in the minority, but when i play an online game, I'm looking to make new friends. Its really the only thing that sets these types of games apart from all the others, in my opinion. When the internet was new and the first few 3D online RPGs came out, it was so cool and innovative to be able to meet and talk to people who I otherwise would have never had the chance. I think most players take that for granted these days.

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

  daltanious

Elite Member

Joined: 4/19/08
Posts: 1853

9/27/12 4:40:29 AM#45
Originally posted by gravesworn
To me I dont understand why people want a solo mmorpg. There are plenty of rpgs, fps and other types of games that are solo. I like guild wars 2 when I bought it, but... I just havent logged in. My hope for mmorpgs is dwindling. Hopefully darkfall unholy wars will be a group based game like darkfall.

Thing are very simple. Quality. Never ever seen any regular rpg game being at par with wow, swtor, rift, ... Not even remotely. Skyrim is pure joke compared to best mmo's.

Also there is constant tweaking, upgrading, ... that do not occur with normal games.

I would never play game that i can not solo to max level. Simple as that. Another discussion is then endgame. There for sure you need socializing. 

But i do not see problem. There are so many instances that gives xp since much below max level that every1 can play and socialize.

And why I also love to solo questing ... simply. I have JOB. And many other things to do in life (said this i really play to much, but had also few sport injuries and old injuries waking up as years go up :-)). And have many times unpredictable time schedule. So no, trying for 2 weeks to get 5 people to get my warlock mount at the bottom of instance because at time i can play nobody is wake up or everybody is raiding is not fun at all.

Never understood why some gamers are so bothered with us that want to level solo. You have your group play if you want it, we have our solo play.

Besides as I have repeated many times ... if one want to socialize and make friends, leave keyboard and do this far from electornic gadgets. THAT is socializing. Chatting with completely unknown people, making "friends", ... can be added value, but that is all. I myself had many times a lot of fun just chatting, helping others with advices or helping with quests ... but this can not be main purpose. Imo of course.
  Wizardry

Elite Member

Joined: 8/27/04
Posts: 6831

Perhaps tomorrow will be better.

9/27/12 6:00:51 AM#46

There really is a simple asnwer.....

If the game is being labelled and sold as a MMORPG ,it should perform like one.So many are giving arguments based on THEM,well a game is not about the individual unless it is a sinmgle player game,it is about the entire server.

A MMO should not disguise itself as a MMO to attract people looking to play a MMO,then all of a sudden cater to those who want or should be playing something other than a MMO.

We see a common excuse like "I have no time for grouping".That is fine,MOST understand that,fact is a MMO is still a MMO,it shouldn't be catering to you a player who should not be in a MMO because you haven't the time to play one.

I used some analogies before and i will again.Sometimes people need to see the extreme to understand the logic.

Imagine there is a local kids baseball league.Now we all know what baseball is right?It is a TEAm sport,not a solo sport like Tennis or Badminton.Ok lets use that same analogy,i am very busy with life,i have no time,should Baseball change it's whole design to cater to me or others with no time?instead of 9 players aside we will change  it to one player each team.Then just like games we also need to change the mechanics to meet the new standard for baseball.

Baseball is Baseball,youi can NEVER use any argument to have it cater to YOU,if yo uwant to play a TEAM sport or a grouping game, but can't ,then you don't play Baseball ,is is as simple as that.Once you begin to make changes to BAseball to allow one player to form the whole team,it is no longer Baseball anymore.

 

http://www.youtube.com/user/Napolianboo#p/u/15/rCYLLQCNc1w
Samoan Diamond

  Aeolron

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/24/11
Posts: 664

Everyones a mmo vet these days :P

9/27/12 6:45:17 AM#47
@thorbrand

They NEVER had a appear offline I. Everquest , never. I miss the grouping aspects of mmorpgs, I am in my thirties with all the responsibilities of any other 30 plus person here and I would give anything to have a fresh new take on Everquest back from 1999 , because that was when a true mmorpg was born, today we have way to many rip offs. Want solo play? There's alot of single player RPGs because solo and mmorpgs should not go together.
  znaiika

Novice Member

Joined: 1/31/12
Posts: 203

9/27/12 6:54:16 AM#48

The main reason why solo? is you get more rewarded, loot, exp, etc. etc. etc. switch those arount and you get more people to group together.

Take Tera for example.

You get penalized for joining a group of people, everything is split, not even that, you also get to QQ about gear being dice rolled, and many times you get less loot for the time spend by grouping for DG or world bosses as if you would get if you would solo.

GW2 is actualy on the way to more group and solo friendly, you can jump in an event any time you'd like and play solo if you'd like, you don't get penalized for grouping or solo.

Only GW2 have two choices, solo or group and you don't get penalized either way.

 
  dais

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 4/18/06
Posts: 94

9/27/12 7:01:49 AM#49
Originally posted by Aerowyn
Originally posted by gravesworn
To me I dont understand why people want a solo mmorpg. There are plenty of rpgs, fps and other types of games that are solo. I like guild wars 2 when I bought it, but... I just havent logged in. My hope for mmorpgs is dwindling. Hopefully darkfall unholy wars will be a group based game like darkfall.

 

many of us have family, work, ect..I still want to enjoy mmos but don't have time to group most of the time and with my kids can't always commit a lot of consistent time grouping.. allowing me to enjoy the game with and without needing to group is ideal for me and many people.

I think this sums it up for quite a few gamers, and unfortunately I haven't found a title that really caters to us.  I came into MMOs years ago single and without kids, working part time.  I had tons of time to play mmos/raid/socialize etc.  Now I work 40+ hours, married, have young kids that need my attention more than a game.  I still want to play, and I still like playing with friends I have made along the way, but I don't have the time to commit for lengthy group events.  I was a tank forever, and I hated 15 minutes into a group dungeon/raid having to bail saying "Sorry, kids are hungry" etc.  Real life comes first, but I still like to game.  If I could find a game that's an MMO so I can still sociaize, but has MEANINGFUL progression at endgame for solo players I would be in heaven.  I say meaningful because too many games are like "You can go exploring and earn a title!  Hooray you!"  You hit a brick wall in most games if you are a solo player in end game.

  Azaron_Nightblade

Elite Member

Joined: 9/27/12
Posts: 1295

9/27/12 7:30:42 AM#50

"In other words, why does the expanded playerbase of gamers want options that allow them to not interact with others in games that were originally designed with teamwork and socialization in mind?"

 

That one's very simple, sometimes you just don't want to deal with other people and do your own thing.

Or you want play briefy before heading out and can't commit to doing something in group ,usually activities that take time, and if you're unlucky finding a group can take longer than the time you have to play =P

Adding solo content also isn't that new, AFAIK Anarchy Online and City of Heroes pretty much pioneered "instancing", where all your missions were easily soloable. While still having other group content.

My SWTOR referral link for those wanting to give the game a try. (Newbies get a welcome package while returning players get a few account upgrades to help with their preferred status.)

  Azaron_Nightblade

Elite Member

Joined: 9/27/12
Posts: 1295

9/27/12 7:38:01 AM#51

Dais, some games actually added soloable endgame stuff, City of Heroes recently did this for their "Incarnate" stuff.

To get the abilities you can either join "Trials", which take a lot of players or you can run the soloable Incarnate story arcs and repeatable missions, which give you the same stuff as the Trials, just in much smaller amounts because the Devs still wanted to give players an incentive to group.

Sadly the game's now being killed off by NCsoft, even though it was still profitable it didn't fit into the company's future "vision"

Leading to their instant firing of Paragon Studios' 80 Developers/employees

http://www.change.org/petitions/ncsoft-keep-ncsoft-from-shutting-down-city-of-heroes

My SWTOR referral link for those wanting to give the game a try. (Newbies get a welcome package while returning players get a few account upgrades to help with their preferred status.)

  User Deleted
9/27/12 7:43:00 AM#52

What if WoW had servers like there is PvP ,RP etc but also Solo and MMO versions.

Solo players in one server,why not? there they can play with same minded folks,or do they ,or what they want ?

 

Edit:What a super hit it could be,someone writing on trade channel "LFG dungeon of DOOM "

Anonymous666 - €$#& nooob this is solo server,you broke my immersion,reported.

OoUnnamedoO - Deal with it! someone duel him and give him a lesson! and then ignore him like we have ignored eveybody on this server,well nobody hears this but anyways!

XxSomebodyxX  - IMO he is MMO &%@! scum spy!

NotYourMom - ROLFMAO TSUNG! wrong server %@!% go search your team somewhere else and get a %$"! Dirge life.

etc...

  znaiika

Novice Member

Joined: 1/31/12
Posts: 203

9/27/12 8:19:09 AM#53
Originally posted by Azaron_Nightblade

Sadly the game's now being killed off by NCsoft, even though it was still profitable it didn't fit into the company's future "vision"

 

NCsoft didn't killed anything, they just implemented event system, scale system and individual reward system, and it is a blast.

This is the future of the gaming industry.

Mob spawn based on how many players are participating, you get scaled down to around npcs level and you get rewarded individualy, that is what did the trick. 

If Tera had this system? they wouldn't had to merge it's servers, I love Teras combat system.

  Azaron_Nightblade

Elite Member

Joined: 9/27/12
Posts: 1295

9/27/12 8:52:30 AM#54
Originally posted by znaiika
Originally posted by Azaron_Nightblade

Sadly the game's now being killed off by NCsoft, even though it was still profitable it didn't fit into the company's future "vision"

 

NCsoft didn't killed anything, they just implemented scale system and individual reward system, and it is a blast.

This is the future of the gaming industry.

Mob spawn based on how many players are participating, you get scaled down to around npcs level and you get rewarded individualy, that is what did the trick. 

If Tera had this system? they wouldn't had to merge it's servers, I love Teras combat system.

All features inspired and further polished up from their original City of Heroes. Which I also love in GW2.

I haven't tried TERA yet, but I plan to this weekend (picked it up on Amazon during the promotion, so I can try it just so I can experience the combat system).

My SWTOR referral link for those wanting to give the game a try. (Newbies get a welcome package while returning players get a few account upgrades to help with their preferred status.)

  thorwood

Novice Member

Joined: 10/04/07
Posts: 485

9/27/12 9:10:35 AM#55

There is a market for solo play.  

The development costs are a lot  lower if developers can use graphics, landscapes and dungeons from a group or raid based game.  They just need to scale it  for solo play and tweak the quest and gameplay for solo play.

The game company may also be able to reduce lost income due to piracy if the solo game requires some sort of server registration or  server content.

Whether or not the developers can provide an enjoyable experience for both group and solo play on the same server is something the developers would need to work through.

 

In most games, solo players are playing cripple-ware  as there is no solo content to make their character as strong as a group  dungeon runner.  The solo player is denied access to dungeons or the opportunity to explore the dungeons.  This makes the end game boring and repetive for solo play.

Group dungeon runners and raiders may be disenfranchised if solo players won similar rewards .  It would erode their feeling of being elite.  A separate server for solo play may be one option for implementing the game without disenfranchising either group players or solo players.

  Icewhite

Made History

Joined: 7/11/11
Posts: 6495

Pink, it's like red but not quite.

9/27/12 9:20:54 AM#56
Originally posted by Suzie_Ford
There is a subtle but distinct trend in the MMO industry towards the “solofication” or “single-playerization” of the MMORPG.

Not subtle.  That kind of $$$ is not in the least bit subtle.

 

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.

  CerebralM

Novice Member

Joined: 7/11/04
Posts: 21

9/27/12 9:38:34 AM#57
Alot of these posts are really insightful. I mean... in a crowded marketplace... you create a group centric game. The people who play that game are going to be more socially oriented and coorperative because they want to work with other people. +++ for that.
  jayarte

Novice Member

Joined: 8/21/09
Posts: 450

9/27/12 9:50:14 AM#58
Originally posted by Sovrath

Whoa! +1 for  "No Exit". Great play.

good article, we need more columns by Victor.

My thoughts exactly.  I enjoyed this article immensely.  What a refreshing change to have a writer who takes note of the fact that games don't exist in a vacuum (something I've said so many times on this forum).  Extremely well written, thoughtful and thought-provoking.  I'm not one for hyperbole, but I've reading enjoyed this more than just about anything else I can remember on mmorpg.com.

 

Regarding the topic, I agree that I would like to see options for both solo play and group play.  The same person might want different things at different times (I know I do), and different people want different things from their gameplay.  Some want to socialise and connect with other players, enjoying the satisfaction of excellent teamwork and the feeling of forging new friendships.  Others, perhaps because they get enough socialising through work and other leisure activities, or perhaps because they are more of a loner-type personality, would rather play through the game mostly or solely solo.  And, as I said,  some of us want different things at different times.

 

More from Victor, please.

 

p.s.  I never in my wildest dreams imagined a column-writer on mmorpg.com quoting Sartre \o/

  gilgamesh9

Novice Member

Joined: 5/20/10
Posts: 137

9/27/12 10:40:04 AM#59
I solo plenty in GW2, but I never avoid a chance to assist or follow a fellow traveller when we're going the same way -- which is still grouping, but it's organic, not forced.  No stupid invites or feeling trapped with a bunch of yahoos.  This is the way it should be.
  lugnutusa

Novice Member

Joined: 4/17/12
Posts: 8

9/27/12 11:07:23 AM#60

"As someone who came into MMORPGs during the infancy of World of Warcraft"

Well, there's your problem.

As others have stated, older MMO's catered to both styles pretty well.

I'm an Asheron's Call veteran, playing from 1999 to 2004.  The majority of my time was spent either going it alone, or working with one or two close friends.  Large groups were for party-based level grinding or big quest dungeons (many of which could also be done solo if you were high enough level).

The thing is, if I'm forced to group with others to progress, then my enjoyment of the game comes at the whim of others.  I have to find people who want to do the same content I'm doing, and that isn't always as easy as it seems.

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