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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Are MMORPG players really this anti-social?

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  Master10K

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/18/10
Posts: 3086

 
OP  9/28/12 7:18:27 AM#1

I ask this because lately, as I have been occasionally browsing the Guild Wars 2 sub-thread, I have been seeing the same complaints about the game being anti-social. With how the only player interactions those people have are when ressing one another, with the occasional "Thanks" in chat. And I have to wonder, is this the same game I have been playing.

 

One thing I can say is that I don't really have any isues socializing in the game. Like one time I came across a random player, whilst I was wandering about a zone. This player happened to make his character look kinda weird so I made a joke about it. We ended up up just questing together for a bit. After that chance encounter we've been doing dungeon runs together. It's not just in GW2 but other games that people complain about the lack of socializing, like when I used to play Rift. I remember how much I enjoyed sharing build ideas with random people, I was doing dungeons or 10-mans with. And in LOTRO, I made a bunch of friends just playing instruments in Bree.

 

So in the end I feel that this is just the vocal minority being loud as usual but I have to wonder, why so many MMORPG players that frequent forums and such, always complain that X game is anti-social when - well I cannot account for others but - I myself have rarely had any issues socializing in MMORPGs. It seems to me more like the players who complain are the anti-social ones and not the games in question. Because an MMO only really needs a decent community and enough downtime in-between active progresion, for socially-minded players to take advantage of.

  Loktofeit

Novice Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12401

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ArcheAge, and Combat Arms

9/28/12 7:37:30 AM#2
There's an unrealistic expectation among some MMO gamers that others should make the effort to interact with them. Some even go as far as wanting games changed to force others to have to be tethered to them in hopes that it will also force others to interact with them.

"And wikipedia is as accurate as Britannica. Wikipedia is very reliable. You would be hard pressed to find a more reliable source for these kinds of things." -fivoroth

  3-4thElf

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/03/12
Posts: 497

9/28/12 7:46:18 AM#3

MMO players are that anti-social. Which seems paradoxical since most of them strive to play social games.

I think it's human nature at its core. Players are kind of self absorbed, but they want to be recognized by their peers. 

There's a modern solution for this for players who like to be social and game with others. Find a good gaming guild / clan that matches your expectations. Most players in mmos seem perfectly find existing as some mere plebeian in a world shared with many others.

a yo ho ho

  Kyleran

Bitter Vet™

Joined: 9/13/06
Posts: 19396

Fools find no pleasure in understanding, but delight in airing their own opinions. Pvbs 18:2, NIV

9/28/12 7:47:21 AM#4
Originally posted by Master10Kecause an MMO only really needs a decent community and enough downtime in-between active progresion, for socially-minded players to take advantage of.

Well, I think this is one major reason for a decrease in socialization of modern MMORPG's, the shift to action oriented combat/encounters with very little downtime in between fights or activities does not provide many opportunities to socialize.

In early MMO's I made many friends while riding 10 minute boat rides from one place to another.  Or sitting in dungeons camping boss spawns for hours on a time, not much fun in terms of game mechanics, but sure gave us a bunch of time to socialize.

Even the combat was simplified, was easy to socialize via text chats when camp grinding with others, as opposed to today's "dancing with the stars" approach to dungeons and raids where people are too busy executing the dance steps to spend much time socializing. (and when not in them, they're out soloing alone and don't really have a need for company)

I think I remember reading that when SWG launched they had game mechanics that literally forced players to return and wait in line for medics to heal up some sort of lost stat, and the same may have been true for entertainers as well. (gave you some sort of bonus for spending time socializing)

So I think what is missing from modern MMO's is the opportunity for socializing.

Now to your other point about you having no issues socializing, you probably do well with social media tools such as facebook.  Some folks are naturally social, they'll sit down and share things with most anyone about anything, but other people require some common ground first before they'll open up, and I'll address that in a separate reply.

 

 

Arrogant, Condescending, Dismissive, Elitist, "Meany", you speak as if these are bad things?
Kyleran - Bitter Vet ™ since 2006
"This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon

  Pratt2112

Elite Member

Joined: 2/12/12
Posts: 1281

9/28/12 7:52:06 AM#5

Because, OP, what you're talking about is the exception, not the rule. I'm a very social person in MMOs as well - asking questions, cracking jokes, commenting on their names, asking if people want to group up (if we're both in the same area, etc) complimenting people on gear they've acquired, etc. I can say with absolute certainty that for every person who does respond to me, there are at least 10 who don't. They just ignore you.

You give one specific example of someone being social and you two ending up becoming acquaintances in-game. How many times does that not happen though? Not just in GW2, but in any newer MMO of the the last, say, 3 or 4 years? I'm gonna not really go out on a limb and say that, unless you have a knack for picking out the social folks in a crowd, anti-social behavior has been more common.

The community itself reinforces this fact. What do you see people say, time and again, when someone says "where's the community?" or "why don't people talk"? They say "Join a social guild". Right? And that isn't even "the right answer" many times because, unless they need help with something, many people won't even talk to their guildmates.

Final Fantasy XI, Lineage 2, Asheron's Call 2, Anarchy Online (old-school).. even Shadowbane... In all those MMOs, I found the situation to be the inverse of how it is now. People not talking and being social was the exception. People being helpful was the norm. I would be out leveling in XI, on a new job or whatever, and people would run by, throw a full round of buffs on me, cheer me on and run off. Sometimes they'd even start up conversation with me.. "Are you new?", etc. They'd offer help, advice, etc. I had a list a mile long of friends in those games... every one of them was sparked by us being in a group or just from random conversation. XP parties were a stream of pleasant and fun conversation and banter - part of what made long-term xp parties so much fun. The un-social ones were the odd-balls.

Thanks, in part, to the way MMOs are designed now - where you can be a lone wolf and get by just fine - there simply is very little need to talk to others. In a number of "modern" MMOs I've played, most people don't talk because they're caught up in their own little world, doing their own thing, and they have no interest in talking to anyone else. I've known of people to disable all chat channels except for system messages and PMs in the event a GM was trying to get their attention because they didn't want to see all the chatter. 

I agree 100% with the idea that MMO gamers are largely anti-social these days. I've seen and experienced it far too many times myself to think or be convinced otherwise at this point. The odd person being super social and friendly just isn't much of a reason to think it's any different in GW2.

  Kyleran

Bitter Vet™

Joined: 9/13/06
Posts: 19396

Fools find no pleasure in understanding, but delight in airing their own opinions. Pvbs 18:2, NIV

9/28/12 7:58:07 AM#6
Originally posted by Loktofeit
There's an unrealistic expectation among some MMO gamers that others should make the effort to interact with them. Some even go as far as wanting games changed to force others to have to be tethered to them in hopes that it will also force others to interact with them.

Oh come now, I expected you to know better.  Programming in interdependency between players is a common, well accepted practice in most MMORPG's, though I'll grant recently most of this has been stripped away and these titles have suffered from it. (IMO of course)

While some folks are naturally social and willing to discuss anything with anyone at any time, another group of players (of which I am one) really can only relate to others in the context of the  current situation.

At work I'm considered a very social person, because I have the commonality of what we all share at the office. Yet in my personal life I'm more of a hermit, because few folks are odd enough to relate to me and what my interests are.

So I enjoy game mechanics which provide opportunities to bond with my fellow gamers.  EVE is perfect in this way, because at its core its always your corp/alliance against the rest of the universe, so it really permits me to form some strong social bonds quickly, but only from a gaming perspective.

I'm not one to stay with one guild/corp for long, I tend to socialize with folks who support my current gaming goals, when the goals switch I usually move on to a different group that is more supportive of my new efforts.

I realize of course that I'm an abberition, a minority for certain, but there actually are quite a few folks who are wired the same way and enjoyed the interdependency that was built into earlier MMO's.

I know other's loath this, they play MMO's for entirely different reason and its a shame that these things cost so much developers can't really create games that cater to all of our playstyles.

 

Arrogant, Condescending, Dismissive, Elitist, "Meany", you speak as if these are bad things?
Kyleran - Bitter Vet ™ since 2006
"This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon

  Talgen

Old School

Joined: 9/04/02
Posts: 410

This is just my opinion and should be viewed as just that, an opinion

9/28/12 8:01:02 AM#7
Go away, leave me alone.
  Talgen

Old School

Joined: 9/04/02
Posts: 410

This is just my opinion and should be viewed as just that, an opinion

9/28/12 8:03:51 AM#8
Game communityies are like real life, soon after a game is up, clicks tend to form, the same people talk aboutthe same stupid crap in general/chat/barrens/whatever -  And if you're not part of the 'it' crowd, you can quickly beomce the target of fierce attacks.  Emboldened by the air of anonymity, these atttacks are more agressive then they would be in real life.  This to me, after my 10+ years of MMO's experience, is why the social scene in games have now devolved to a auto-group of server wide events.
  wildtalent

Novice Member

Joined: 4/04/07
Posts: 381

9/28/12 8:09:45 AM#9

I wonder...

A lot of MMO players I know IRL often have bouts with major depression, myself included.  When dealing with those bouts, they often crave interactions with people but can't make themselves do it.  I wonder if that same paradigm affects the way we play these games too.  Just a thought I had when I read your post.

  Z3R01

Novice Member

Joined: 9/09/08
Posts: 2459

MMO gamer since 1997

9/28/12 8:11:03 AM#10

I wouldn't be anti-social 99% of the time If i ran into nice people in mmos. 

The majority I run into are complete asshats so I basically solo 100%, play with RL friends or get into those instant groups where no one needs to communicate and when its over you never see them again.

Playing: None

Waiting on: None

  karmath

Novice Member

Joined: 8/24/05
Posts: 843

9/28/12 8:12:57 AM#11

Themepark players yes.

Sandbox players no.

  Z3R01

Novice Member

Joined: 9/09/08
Posts: 2459

MMO gamer since 1997

9/28/12 8:13:43 AM#12
Originally posted by wildtalent

I wonder...

A lot of MMO players I know IRL often have bouts with major depression, myself included.  When dealing with those bouts, they often crave interactions with people but can't make themselves do it.  I wonder if that same paradigm affects the way we play these games too.  Just a thought I had when I read your post.

A great deal of gamers are socially stunted.

I can usually tell who a hardcore gamer is within the first 5 seconds of encountering them out in the world.

The inability to keep eye contact is usually the first sign.

Playing: None

Waiting on: None

  PsyMike3d

Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/01/11
Posts: 396

Sorry for my English xD

9/28/12 8:14:07 AM#13
Originally posted by Master10K

I ask this because lately, as I have been occasionally browsing the Guild Wars 2 sub-thread, I have been seeing the same complaints about the game being anti-social. With how the only player interactions those people have are when ressing one another, with the occasional "Thanks" in chat. And I have to wonder, is this the same game I have been playing.

 

One thing I can say is that I don't really have any isues socializing in the game. Like one time I came across a random player, whilst I was wandering about a zone. This player happened to make his character look kinda weird so I made a joke about it. We ended up up just questing together for a bit. After that chance encounter we've been doing dungeon runs together. It's not just in GW2 but other games that people complain about the lack of socializing, like when I used to play Rift. I remember how much I enjoyed sharing build ideas with random people, I was doing dungeons or 10-mans with. And in LOTRO, I made a bunch of friends just playing instruments in Bree.

 

So in the end I feel that this is just the vocal minority being loud as usual but I have to wonder, why so many MMORPG players that frequent forums and such, always complain that X game is anti-social when - well I cannot account for others but - I myself have rarely had any issues socializing in MMORPGs. It seems to me more like the players who complain are the anti-social ones and not the games in question. Because an MMO only really needs a decent community and enough downtime in-between active progresion, for socially-minded players to take advantage of.

Maybe because games are made anti-social..... If u try games like Darkfall Online, you will HAVE to be social and find an active guild, and not only a chatbox, in order to survive and do things really together(not like GW2)!

  Z3R01

Novice Member

Joined: 9/09/08
Posts: 2459

MMO gamer since 1997

9/28/12 8:14:38 AM#14
Originally posted by karmath

Themepark players yes.

Sandbox players no.

Bullshit

The majority of the players in games liek Eve or Dark fall farm solo and in Eves case they solo with multiple accounts.

Playing: None

Waiting on: None

  Loktofeit

Novice Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12401

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ArcheAge, and Combat Arms

9/28/12 8:15:49 AM#15
Originally posted by Kyleran
Originally posted by Loktofeit
There's an unrealistic expectation among some MMO gamers that others should make the effort to interact with them. Some even go as far as wanting games changed to force others to have to be tethered to them in hopes that it will also force others to interact with them.

Oh come now, I expected you to know better.  Programming in interdependency between players is a common, well accepted practice in most MMORPG's...

 

I never said it wasn't or shouldn't be. The issue I presented is that some people aren't social but want to be part of the social environment, so they want or, worse, expect the game mechanics to force others to interact with them.

Take dating for example. Some people go to clubs, bars and other social circles to meet others. Some go to those 5-minute date musical chairs things to meet others. Two very different types of people. The first type is social and outgoing. The second type wants to be social and doesn't know how to, so they seek outside catalysts to create the desired situation. Where MMOs are different is that others have their social circles and may not be playing to make new friends online. Just because the person isn't talking to you doesn't mean they aren't talking.

"And wikipedia is as accurate as Britannica. Wikipedia is very reliable. You would be hard pressed to find a more reliable source for these kinds of things." -fivoroth

  Quirhid

Elite Member

Joined: 1/28/05
Posts: 5676

Correcting wrongs on the Internet...

9/28/12 8:42:26 AM#16
Originally posted by Loktofeit
There's an unrealistic expectation among some MMO gamers that others should make the effort to interact with them. Some even go as far as wanting games changed to force others to have to be tethered to them in hopes that it will also force others to interact with them.

Couldn't have said it better myself.

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

  SneakyRussian

Advanced Member

Joined: 9/27/12
Posts: 56

9/28/12 8:46:00 AM#17
Originally posted by Loktofeit
There's an unrealistic expectation among some MMO gamers that others should make the effort to interact with them. Some even go as far as wanting games changed to force others to have to be tethered to them in hopes that it will also force others to interact with them.

I don't agree.

 

The issue at hand is that previous titles, that have claimed to be better, such as EQ, DAOC, Shadowbane, UO, etc etc had far less anti-social behavior going on because you couldn't zerg everything with 100s of random people. You also eventually had to group to do certain content. Not all content mind you, but certain bits.

 

People are, quite frankly, used to working together towards a common goal. This involved social interactions, and was the basis behind what an MMO was pre-2005. What you're seeing is the reaction to ArenaNet's experiment of anti-social gaming. I don't necesarrily agree that it is automatically a bad thing, but I do agree that it is a problem to some extent.

  Loktofeit

Novice Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12401

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ArcheAge, and Combat Arms

9/28/12 8:52:15 AM#18
Originally posted by SneakyRussian
Originally posted by Loktofeit
There's an unrealistic expectation among some MMO gamers that others should make the effort to interact with them. Some even go as far as wanting games changed to force others to have to be tethered to them in hopes that it will also force others to interact with them.

I don't agree.

 

The issue at hand is that previous titles, that have claimed to be better, such as EQ, DAOC, Shadowbane, UO, etc etc had far less anti-social behavior going on because you couldn't zerg everything with 100s of random people. You also eventually had to group to do certain content. Not all content mind you, but certain bits.

 

People are, quite frankly, used to working together towards a common goal. This involved social interactions, and was the basis behind what an MMO was pre-2005. What you're seeing is the reaction to ArenaNet's experiment of anti-social gaming. I don't necesarrily agree that it is automatically a bad thing, but I do agree that it is a problem to some extent.

I loved that you put UO and Shadowbane in there. Thank you.

Does EVE fall under "etc, etc"?

 

"And wikipedia is as accurate as Britannica. Wikipedia is very reliable. You would be hard pressed to find a more reliable source for these kinds of things." -fivoroth

  karmath

Novice Member

Joined: 8/24/05
Posts: 843

9/28/12 8:56:15 AM#19
Originally posted by Z3R01
Originally posted by karmath

Themepark players yes.

Sandbox players no.

Bullshit

The majority of the players in games liek Eve or Dark fall farm solo and in Eves case they solo with multiple accounts.

I would love to see someone solo defending a holding in Darkfall. It would be zerged in a instant.

  Flute

Novice Member

Joined: 1/21/07
Posts: 432

9/28/12 9:09:36 AM#20
Originally posted by 3-4thElf

MMO players are that anti-social. Which seems paradoxical since most of them strive to play social games.

I think it's human nature at its core. Players are kind of self absorbed, but they want to be recognized by their peers. 

There's a modern solution for this for players who like to be social and game with others. Find a good gaming guild / clan that matches your expectations. Most players in mmos seem perfectly find existing as some mere plebeian in a world shared with many others.

I think a lot of the treadmill games have fostered anti-social behaviour, by for example giving you a place in a dungeon simply because the computer gave you one, rather than because you met up with a group of friends, decided to go to the dungeon, and did so.  Some people really do seem to play MMOs as if everyone else were simply a very well-written AI, rather than actual people.

 

That's fine, just that playstyle often jars for socially orientated gamers.  I don't play a game simply to complete the content, I play it to enjoy myself, which to me means having an enjoyable and social gaming time.  Without people, to me it's meaningless pixels.  You guessed it - I play very few FPS/solo computer games.  But while I prefer to gossip in a game, take time to read the quests, and actually spend time doing social things, there is nothing wrong with players who simply want to consume content, running dungeon after randon dungeon to get to 90 wihtout pausing to even say hello.  The best social gameplay I have experienced in any mmo was SW:G before the changes to cantinas, I still miss my dancer friends.

 

However some games force social interaction, by not having systems that provide a "soft" option.  In games like Darkfall, if you don't socialize, you typically won't be in a clan, won't have access to a player city, and won't be involved in massive battles.  You could go to them as a solo player, but chances are that both sides will nuke you just in case you are a spy!  Same thing in EVE Online - the game can be played incredibly solo, without ever speaking to anyone.  But if you want to get involved in 0.0 nullsec soverignty based gameplay, you're going to need to be social to some extent.  It's perhaps an interesting point that the free for all pvp games out there are often much more socially complex, I am not sure if that is because they often have more older gamers, or if there is simply more on the line so people are more interested in assessing and mitigating the risks.  

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