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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » My epiphany on the irony of solo-favored mmos.

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81 posts found
  maplestone

Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 3109

1/09/13 7:49:34 AM#21
Originally posted by Loke666

Forcing anything is bad. Rewarding people for social interaction on the other hand is good.

Rewarding X == Punishing !X

It's unfortunate, but that's the perception that always seems to emerge.

  Malcanis

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/17/09
Posts: 3211

"A very special kind of stupidity"

1/09/13 7:59:49 AM#22
Originally posted by Enerzeal
Originally posted by Quirhid

The modern MMOs are "solo friendly" meaning they allow you to go solo,but it is rarely the most efficient form of advancement. Outside of few required quests & missions, or few tasty rewards, grouping is always the most effective form of engaging content.

Developers have only met a demand. That is all.

In my opinion everything is now catered to the solo gamer. In World of Warcraft the most played themepark game out there, at no point do I need another persons help. I'll queue solo for instances, and I'll grind solo through quests.

I do not have to wait for anyone to go take a shit, I don't have to wait for someone to eat, get home from work, nothing.

I will level faster than people in groups, just a fact, unless they are using some unintended technique such as aoe grinding massive monster groups.

One thing I like about EVE is that it makes very few concessions to the solo gamer. If you want to be the lone wolf type, then you are free to do so, but you'd better be aware that everyone else is free to group up and overpower you if they can.

Give me liberty or give me lasers

  nariusseldon

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 20226

1/09/13 11:55:29 AM#23
Originally posted by Enerzeal
Originally posted by Quirhid

The modern MMOs are "solo friendly" meaning they allow you to go solo,but it is rarely the most efficient form of advancement. Outside of few required quests & missions, or few tasty rewards, grouping is always the most effective form of engaging content.

Developers have only met a demand. That is all.

In my opinion everything is now catered to the solo gamer. In World of Warcraft the most played themepark game out there, at no point do I need another persons help. I'll queue solo for instances, and I'll grind solo through quests.

I do not have to wait for anyone to go take a shit, I don't have to wait for someone to eat, get home from work, nothing.

I will level faster than people in groups, just a fact, unless they are using some unintended technique such as aoe grinding massive monster groups.

But you can't go into the instanced without 4 other playres playing with you. That is not solo.

Do you want to wait for people to eat their lunch? It is a good thing that is out of the picture.

  Loktofeit

Novice Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12401

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ArcheAge, and Combat Arms

1/09/13 12:07:58 PM#24
Originally posted by Alberel
Originally posted by adam_nox

It occured to me that optional grouping, where solo play is either as rewarding, or as NET rewarding (minus hassle of putting together a group, etc), doesn't work because people who choose to slow thier own progression or go to great lengths to group up are usually immature, incompentant, or ill-mannered. 

This doesn't make much sense to me... the ones who voluntarily group tend to be the better members of the community from my experience. It's the ones who hate grouping but are forced to who tend to be the most immature or incompetent.

Makes sense.

When banding together is voluntary, people are joining up with others because they want to do the content with others. This is radically different from when people are banding together because other avenues to achieve a particular goal are too difficult or non-existent. In such a scenario, people are joining up with others because they want the reward of the content (loot, xp, rep, etc). In the first scenario, the person's goal and interest is the group unit. In the second scenario, the person's goal and interest is the reward, with the group unit simply being a means to that end.

 

"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

  Loktofeit

Novice Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12401

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ArcheAge, and Combat Arms

1/09/13 12:15:15 PM#25
Originally posted by Malcanis

One thing I like about EVE is that it makes very few concessions to the solo gamer. If you want to be the lone wolf type, then you are free to do so, but you'd better be aware that everyone else is free to group up and overpower you if they can.

Another important aspect of that is that people can contribute individually to major group goals. A mission runner doesn't have to be tethered to a group to have their missions return cash to the corp coffers. A miner doesn't have to be in a group to contribute ore to the corps manufacturing efforts. A lot of the EVE gameplay is centered around collaborative efforts that allow players to complete tasks alone or together to further the group's ends. We also see a lot of that in EQ2 with the way player actions, alone or in a group, can contribute to the overall guild's goals. One step further and we have GW2, where completing goals with fellow guild members increases the returns for the guild unit, incentivizing (not forcing) the players within the guild to band together when doing activities in the game.

 

"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

  botrytis

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/04/05
Posts: 2555

1/09/13 12:20:28 PM#26

You can't force people to be social, period. No amount of forcing people to group together will force people to be social. I will use GW1 as an example. When the game forst came out, there were henchman you could use but the build they had were not that great and it forced people to play together - not really social at all but, people did end up being more social and this was how many of the guilds were formed in the game. When the 3rd chapter, Nightfall came out, Heros were introduced (which had builds you provide for them) this totally took out grouping because you could use all heros/henchman and get through. Yes, your guild still could make it social but you ended up meeting less people.

 

My 2nd example is Rift, if you want end game armor, you have to do 20 man dungeons, and this forced people to group. There was no social interaction at all - use this build with this equipment and listen for orders. I was social with some of my guild members but most did not want to do that at all.

 

People are solo-oriented. Games can force you to group, it doesn't mean people want to be social.

"In 50 years, when I talk to my grandchildren about these days, I'll make sure to mention what an accomplished MMO player I was. They are going to be so proud ..."
by Naqaj - 7/17/2013 MMORPG.com forum

  Arclan

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 1/29/07
Posts: 1443

"Ideas are worthless. The only currency that holds any weight is the ability and drive to execute."

1/09/13 1:04:41 PM#27


Originally posted by Novusod
 

 

 

 

Really wish some game would try mandatory  Forced grouping again. It has been a decade since a game really forced players to group up. No solo content at all so people like the OP don't even bother setting foot in this game.


OMG yes this would be awesome. The market is starved for this type of MMO.

Luckily, i don't need you to like me to enjoy video games. -nariusseldon.
In F2P I think it's more a case of the game's trying to play the player's. -laserit
video game company layoffs are twice the national average.

  Greyface

Novice Member

Joined: 5/23/04
Posts: 388

1/09/13 1:22:56 PM#28

Interesting post.

This problem is really a result of several deeper design flaws that are so widespread that no one even notices them anymore. 

Look at the way character progression works in 90% of MMOs.  Rewarding people who level in groups seems like a good way to encourage community, but it really only works in newer games.  In more seasoned games, the majority of players are going to be clustered toward the top of the levelling curve.  This leaves newer players/characters with limited options for grouping.  I remember when I decided to switch realms (i.e. factions) in DAoC.  The game was still pretty healthy at that time, but the newbie area was a ghost town. 

GW2 tried to address this by scaling player levels to the zone they're in.  The execution could use tweaking (high-level gear still makes the content trivial, for example), but I think it was a step in the right direction.  Another approach would be flattening the power curve -- UO, for example, didn't have a problem with empty low-level zones because there wasn't a huge difference between newer and more advanced characters.

Another problem is the forms the groups themselves take.  In most games, you need a tank and a healer for a group.  This leads to a catch 22: No one can get a group because there aren't any tanks/healers, no one plays a tank/healer because they're bad solo, everyone solos because they can't get a group. 

Multi-specs (in WoW and other games) are one way to address this, but in practice I'm not a fan.  Until max level, you're going to spend most of your time with a different set of abilities than the those you'll use in a group.  This means that most healers and tanks won't know what they're doing early on.  And that leads to a problem that dual specs can't solve: healers and tanks will take the lion's share of abuse when things don't go perfectly.  Besides solo-ability, this is probably the biggest reason why so few play these roles.

Personally, I'd prefer to see MMOs move beyond the trinity, and even beyond fixed groups.  Most games penalize you for helping another player/group by assigning ownership of mobs.  I like TSW's approach, where everyone who participated in a fight gets equal credit, even if there's no actual group.  It's preferable, I think, to dumbing down the difficulty so that everything is soloable.  I'm a fan of public quests as well.  WAR, Rift and GW2 all have their own version and (in my opinion) it's the best thing about all three games.

Fixed group size is another trope that should be left behind.  Look at WoW:  each zone is intended for a solo player at a specific range of levels.  If you group up, going beyond your approved zone level is still a death sentence.  Even if you manage to survive, you still can't take quests or use the loot you get because everything is level-restricted.  I think it would be more fun, for example, to create a 25-player raid made up of 15th level characters and go to a 30th level zone.  Or stay in an on-level zone, and destroy it.  Who cares if it's not the way the developer intended the game to be played?  If people are playing together and having fun, everyone wins.  Anyone else remember level 1 Hogger raids?  

 

  azzamasin

Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/06/12
Posts: 2824

We live in a fantasy world, a world of illusion. The great task in life is to find reality.

1/09/13 1:29:35 PM#29
Asheron's Call was one of the First Big 3 that got the ball started for the MMO genre and it supported and incintivized solo play just as much or more so then any current MMO.  Food for thought.

If your idea of a Sandbox is open FFA Full Loot PvP, full crafted world with minimal support for anything combat then your sandbox ideas are bad! Sandbox means open world, non-linear gaming PERIOD!

  nariusseldon

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 20226

1/09/13 1:29:52 PM#30
Originally posted by Arclan

 


Originally posted by Novusod
 

 

 

 

 

Really wish some game would try mandatory  Forced grouping again. It has been a decade since a game really forced players to group up. No solo content at all so people like the OP don't even bother setting foot in this game.


 

OMG yes this would be awesome. The market is starved for this type of MMO.

MOre like this type of MMO will starve in the market.

  Loktofeit

Novice Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12401

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ArcheAge, and Combat Arms

1/09/13 1:38:55 PM#31
Originally posted by azzamasin
Asheron's Call was one of the First Big 3 that got the ball started for the MMO genre and it supported and incintivized solo play just as much or more so then any current MMO.  Food for thought.

A lot of the early MMOs were like that. For some reason the EQ crowd seems to think that EQ = everything MMOs were, and their view of how MMOs should be is colored by that assumption.

 

"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

  bunzaga

Novice Member

Joined: 10/25/10
Posts: 29

1/09/13 1:41:19 PM#32

I don't want to be egotistical, but for me, it is more about the level of competance, than anything else.

I do my best to 'learn my class', min/max and play at a high level, and it is annoying for me to group with people who aren't as... into the game as I am.  For example, a healer who wasn't paying attention, or the guy running after the ore node, instead of helping fight, or the tank who doesn't watch for adds, or DPSers who don't realize it's better to all focus on the same target or thinks it is fun to out-aggro the tank, or that dip shit who broke a crowd control mob, ending in the group being wiped.

Not to mention the long drawn out time it usually takes to group.  Back in my DAoC days, it would take a long time to form a proper roaming group.  We would have 7 people waiting around for that certain class which was missing (usually a skald or a healer).

Most 'good' groups require the use of TS3 ( after all they wouldn't be using Mumble or Vent if they're good right? ), which is a little bit of a hassle.

Add to this the fact that I have 4 kids, so I could get called away at any moment to handle a situation at home.

So yeah, I usually end up soloing most of  the time, unless I absolutely need a group.

  Arclan

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 1/29/07
Posts: 1443

"Ideas are worthless. The only currency that holds any weight is the ability and drive to execute."

1/09/13 1:48:13 PM#33


Originally posted by Greyface
I like TSW's approach, where everyone who participated in a fight gets equal credit, even if there's no actual group.  

Best approach! I should check out TSW. Now they just need to automatically randomize loot based on how much aggro each player generated (by damaging mob or healing its enemies, etc).

Luckily, i don't need you to like me to enjoy video games. -nariusseldon.
In F2P I think it's more a case of the game's trying to play the player's. -laserit
video game company layoffs are twice the national average.

  nariusseldon

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 20226

1/09/13 1:50:33 PM#34
Originally posted by Arclan

 


Originally posted by Greyface
I like TSW's approach, where everyone who participated in a fight gets equal credit, even if there's no actual group.  

 

Best approach! I should check out TSW. Now they just need to automatically randomize loot based on how much aggro each player generated (by damaging mob or healing its enemies, etc).

Just random private loot like in WOW LFR or D3. You don't have to base that on anything. Since player A's loot won't impact player B .. there will be no dispute.

And players have the incentive to help kill faster to get more loot anyway.

  darkhalf357x

Elite Member

Joined: 1/25/12
Posts: 1124

I'm only playing the role chosen for me. Who you supposed to be?

1/09/13 2:07:43 PM#35

I have a love hate relationship with grouping.  When I'm in a group.  Its the most fun I have in an MMO.  My issue is the mechanic itself is fustrating.

If you play a game after launch and the starter (and mid) zones are empty.  How exactly am I supposed to group? The harsh reality is I either have to coordinate to play with someone else, or I have to sit and wait, or I have to skip the content all together.  Speaking as a gamer who is married and has a full work schedule I only get 3 hours a night to play.  I can tell you I do NOT feel like waiting for someone just to experience something.

I do like the LFG/LFR mechanic as it serves two purposes for me.  One I can queue and continue one with whatever it is that I am doing and then take part in the group dungeon when it is ready.  My experiences vary but for the most part it is amicable\friendly.  I DO care about the people I group with.  Even though I dont know them I dont want them to die and have many times given up my loot from rolls if it worked better for someone else.  I dont understand the point of being mean or selfish in those instances but I chalk it up to immaturity. 

Second purpose is it allows me to see the content (which is what I am most interested in).  Its fustrating that I can't complete a quest line or see specific content because I am unable to find a group when Im ready to run the instance.  I do like the idea of having different versions of the instances so solo people can run them at a higher difficulty but at least a means to complete.

I understand the  "MMOs are social and you should group" argument, but no one really is speaking to how that mechanic is supposed to work across all different play and lifestyles. Until the mechanic changes solo'ing will always remain a viable alternative.

  Painlezz

Novice Member

Joined: 5/30/11
Posts: 628

1/09/13 3:10:20 PM#36

Problem is simple...

 

A select few (sadly very small compared to the other group) want to "force" grouping on people... Ok...  But this same group also does NOT want Looking for Group / Group Finder tools... So basically they're saying they want to force people to group, not have any useful tools to help them find groups, and expect everyone to have friends or guilds lined up and waiting...

 

Guild Wars 2 and WoW have the two systems that are needed for modern MMO's and Grouping...

 

GW2 = Automatic grouping at all times... Allowing people to do more difficult content automatically if in the same area.  No fighting over spawns, no spamming eachother for groups...

WoW = Solid and functional group finder that allows you to run around questing, crafting, or whatever while waiting for a group to be formed.

 

SWTOR was an epic failure for group content because to had NO way to find a group outside of spamming LOCAL channels.  This means you not only had to spam chat, but you had to do it while sitting in a specific zone.

Many other games that did not release with a group finder tool suffer from the same problem.  Plus, by the time these games added the feature (LOTRO is a great example)... No one uses it.   New players join LOTRO, play for 20-30 levels solo, fire up the group finder tool in hopes of experiencing some group content, only to find hours have passed and no groups still.

 

Simply put, you can't force or require grouping (and expect the majority of players to enjoy it) if you don't provide a system that makes it easy.

  Arclan

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 1/29/07
Posts: 1443

"Ideas are worthless. The only currency that holds any weight is the ability and drive to execute."

1/09/13 4:16:57 PM#37


Originally posted by nariusseldon

Originally posted by Arclan  

Originally posted by Greyface I like TSW's approach, where everyone who participated in a fight gets equal credit, even if there's no actual group.  
  Best approach! I should check out TSW. Now they just need to automatically randomize loot based on how much aggro each player generated (by damaging mob or healing its enemies, etc).
Just random private loot like in WOW LFR or D3. You don't have to base that on anything. Since player A's loot won't impact player B .. there will be no dispute.

And players have the incentive to help kill faster to get more loot anyway.


If those games roll loot per player instead of per mob, I think that's pretty awesome too! Never knew that! So long as not too much loot is given out.

Re: the grouping issues, I think a lot of it can be solved by slowing down the pace at which players level. It's gotten out of hand.

Luckily, i don't need you to like me to enjoy video games. -nariusseldon.
In F2P I think it's more a case of the game's trying to play the player's. -laserit
video game company layoffs are twice the national average.

  Quirhid

Elite Member

Joined: 1/28/05
Posts: 5676

Correcting wrongs on the Internet...

1/09/13 4:23:49 PM#38
Originally posted by Malcanis
Originally posted by Enerzeal
Originally posted by Quirhid

One thing I like about EVE is that it makes very few concessions to the solo gamer. If you want to be the lone wolf type, then you are free to do so, but you'd better be aware that everyone else is free to group up and overpower you if they can.

That is possible in virtually any game that allows PvP.

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

  botrytis

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/04/05
Posts: 2555

1/09/13 4:45:09 PM#39
Originally posted by Arclan

 


Originally posted by Greyface
I like TSW's approach, where everyone who participated in a fight gets equal credit, even if there's no actual group.  

 

Best approach! I should check out TSW. Now they just need to automatically randomize loot based on how much aggro each player generated (by damaging mob or healing its enemies, etc).

GW2 has the same thing.

"In 50 years, when I talk to my grandchildren about these days, I'll make sure to mention what an accomplished MMO player I was. They are going to be so proud ..."
by Naqaj - 7/17/2013 MMORPG.com forum

  Cephus404

Novice Member

Joined: 2/27/08
Posts: 3697

1/09/13 7:17:45 PM#40
Originally posted by Alberel

What do players in PUGs have to do with the difference between players who voluntarily group and players who are forced to group? Most people in PUGs only do it because they are forced to do so to achieve certain goals; beyond those ends they solo exclusively. This means they fall into the first group I was talking about, which means what I said was correct. The players who group voluntarily tend to do so in isolated groups with the same people on a regular basis, because they're well aware that PUGs are almost exclusively formed of soloers with no desire to group, but feel forced to do so to complete certain content.

No, no they don't.  Everyone in a game groups voluntarily, nobody is holding a gun to their head and making them join a group.  That's why games like WoW came up with their LFG system, to allow people who wanted to group, specifically into PUGs, to do so more quickly and efficiently because people were complaining that it was too difficult and took too long.  The majority of groups going on in any game at any given time are PUGs, groups put together specifically to do certain content and then go their separate ways.  What you describe, where people form groups which will stay together for days or weeks on end, are extremely rare.

The OP was attributing immature behaviour to players who choose to group voluntarily. I was explaining that it is the opposite; it is usually soloers who feel forced to group for some reason that are a detriment to the experience of all in that group as they are usually excessively negative and just use the group as a means to an end. I thought this was obvious...

Which is everyone.  All you're saying is that a minuscule number of people are doing it "right" in your opinion, as opposed to the massive majority of everyone else, who actually keep the game afloat, who you think are doing it "wrong".  The vast majority of people who are going to have any kind of grouping experience in these games is going ot have it in PUGs because that's what the vast majority of people in these games play in.

Good for you, what does that have to do with the discussion in this thread? We're talking about behaviour of people in groups here... if you never group then how on earth could you have an input to this discussion?

Yet someone brought up end-game and the fact that much of end-game content is group-based.  So what?   The assertion was that people who have played solo have to learn how to play in a group.  No we don't.  In fact, a lot of us refuse to do so for the same reason we refused to play in groups the whole time we were leveling.  People in groups generally suck and they don't get any better after level-cap.

Why are you attacking me with snide remarks like that? It almost makes you sound like one of the immature players you're complaining about...

Why do you insist on taking everything as an attack?

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