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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Demise of the MMO Communities

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148 posts found
  maplestone

Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 3109

6/25/13 11:36:33 PM#21
Originally posted by Jemcrystal
There are to many critics and trolls and no place for a decent gamer to separate themselves from the whiny crowd.

*quietly worries which bucket I fall into*

( there are an awful lot of broad statements made about gamers on this board and I have to admit I almost always look at them and think "I have absolutely no idea if you consider me part of the problem or part of the solution - asssuming I register as anything other than part of the background noise" )

  DMKano

Elite Member

Joined: 6/17/11
Posts: 6404

6/25/13 11:52:13 PM#22
Originally posted by Arclan

O.P., the dysfunctional communities of today are 100% a symptom of bad game design, aimed at maximizing cash shop sales.

When a decent game comes along, the community and customer loyalty will be there. Not sure how long til a game like that comes out. I wouldn't count on EQN, but I can still hope.

I disagree 100% - "the community" is largely a perception that varies from player to player, there is no good or bad community, there are helpful players in every game. There are also bad apples in every game.

What you see in global chat on a particular server does not represent the entire community of a game - and that is what many players use to gauge a community for entire games, its a very subjective and highly flawed analysis.

Bottom line - if you are looking for like minded players you can find them in almost any game, just don't expect them in global chat, many quality more mature guilds do not use global chat at all.

 

  jesad

Novice Member

Joined: 9/30/06
Posts: 733

Think of something witty and pretend that I typed it in this spot :)

6/26/13 4:44:06 AM#23
Originally posted by emistz

Is it just me or has there been a consistent decline in the community feel in MMOs since about 10 years ago?

Every time I log into pretty much any MMO I can see less and less community work and more and more individual people doing their own thing.  Basically people soloing the game, along with a thousand other people who are also soloing the game in the same server. 

I am not really sure what benefit you get from an MMO without group play, except of course I guess if it was a single player game you couldn't brag to others about your latest piece of epeen gear.

I remember the days when people would group just for the fun of doing things together.  These days unless there is a specific incentive to do so most people keep to themselves.

What do you think has brought this about?  A change in game culture? A change in culture as a whole where we have become more and more antisocial as a society? Or something else?

Wow, what a question.  You know I live to answer this kind of stuff.

So let's see, 10 years ago, that puts us at about 2003.  A year before City of Heroes.  I'd have to say then that it's probably you, because the community in that game was about as insanely social as one could ask for.

But let's say you weren't into the Super Hero thing, well that counts as point number 1. in our list of (5).

1. The number of genre specific MMO's increased to a number that the community could no longer support.  This splintered off the number of socially active people, who's numbers were fewer than the socially inept from the start, to the point where they could no longer find each other.

2. Gamer greed/mistrust or the "I gotta be the boss" syndrome.  Nothing killed the social community of the MMO more than the natural progression of the average player from follower to wanna be leader.  Game designs that supported the "guild a day" theory helped these people to form their own "green" or "tea" parties (metaphorically speaking) which were never large enough to really get anything done, but were just large enough to sap the socially active energy out of the bigger and more capable guilds.  This symptom later led to # 3.

3.  The "army of one" theory is where all of the players who used to be in the green or tea parties have now decided that they can do it better also.  In fact, they had learned so much about how these game worked now (which again is the fault of game design) that they could do 90% of it alone.  And for that other 10% that they couldn't, they'd either sell out for a short while by joining someone else's guild, or simply quit playing.  Around this time the only socializing going on was cyber and furry LOL.

4. Developer greed/desperation.  Game companies began to design games that, instead of teaching the player how to socialize, supported them in not socializing.  The reason for this was very simple.  If a player couldn't find a group to help them accomplish what they needed to accomplish they would just quit playing whatever game that was and go and play whatever game that they knew everyone else was playing.  I believe that this impulse was actually stronger than any genre, any depth of play, and any graphics because I have seen some pretty cheesy games (will not mention names) not only survive but flourish simply because of word of mouth advertising and ease of play.  With that kind of tone set, many other companies moved in the same direction in an attempt to meet their semi-annual, or annual operating budgets.

5. Voice operation programs.  I know I will catch some flack about being old for this one, but the honest truth of the matter is that no one really wants to sit and listen to you be drunk, be a racists, be a republican or a democrat, be an attention whore, or whatever other annoying thing you can think of all day long right there in their ear.  Typing was way cooler, and I am honestly happy to see a lot of people return to this way of playing.  To sum up why I believe typing was one of the keys to the more social aspects MMO play I offer this.

a. Typing makes you stop moving.  Not fighting something, jumping up to or down from something, or in general running around in circles like an idiot allows time for thought.  Thought allows time for all kinds of good stuff like tactics, teamwork, and even a little role-play.

b. Typing allows one to carry on multiple conversations simultaneously.  At best VOIP, when it is actually being used for something to do with the game and not to explain to a bunch of 13 year old's what a donkey punch is, is usually just one guy, or a few guys taking control of a situation (for better or worse) while everyone else touches the puppet head at their command.  This doesn't require social interaction, it requires being able to hit the right color button in order to get the treat.

c. Finally typing provides an anonymity that I really do believe is necessary in order to provide a comfortable place for a player to truly let loose.  The first moment I ever pop into someone's voice chat the very first feeling I get is that I'm going to have to be civil to this person no matter what kind of idiot or jerk they actually are.  Typing let's you let it all hang out because, yes, you are some anonymous name behind a keyboard, and no, in the overall scheme of things, you really don't matter. But for that few minutes to few days of time that you interact with that one idiot that you really hated, you provided that person, and they provided you with a whole story to tell, and having stories to tell plays a large role in the social interaction of an MMO.

It's a big picture kind of thing really.  One where you really can't rationally focus the blame in any one direction.  Of course game companies are going to try and do the thing that keeps them making money, and of course people are going to clamor for, and run towards that which is instantly gratifying and thus more pleasing.  The problem with all of that though is that we all know that accomplishing an easy task is not as nearly as satisfying as accomplishing a hard one, and yet we still go for easy.

The solution for this, in my opinion, was to go for the F2P model using the forced grouping model of the first games.  Instead the developers went for the "let em solo to the end" model while the pay to play model was still in effect, and now they are finding it difficult to reinforce the forced grouping model in their F2P games.

They'll get it together eventually.  Just gotta move the pieces around.

  GroovyFlower

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/12/11
Posts: 1252

Skyrim

6/26/13 6:06:50 AM#24
Originally posted by emistz

Is it just me or has there been a consistent decline in the community feel in MMOs since about 10 years ago?

Every time I log into pretty much any MMO I can see less and less community work and more and more individual people doing their own thing.  Basically people soloing the game, along with a thousand other people who are also soloing the game in the same server. 

I am not really sure what benefit you get from an MMO without group play, except of course I guess if it was a single player game you couldn't brag to others about your latest piece of epeen gear.

I remember the days when people would group just for the fun of doing things together.  These days unless there is a specific incentive to do so most people keep to themselves.

What do you think has brought this about?  A change in game culture? A change in culture as a whole where we have become more and more antisocial as a society? Or something else?

As soon you join a party to do a dungeon and they talk real life dumb or when someone make mistake start to yell your an idiot or wtf your doing moron and all the swearing and trash talk you eventually say to yourself im soloing i dont wanne play with these douchbags.

Also clans/guilds (not all but many) are no fun anymore they demand this demand that if its work its rediculous sometimes and funny thing is manytimes they make the mistakes or dont honor there rules or agreements.

Im play solo games becouse im done with mmo becouse of the aweful attitude these days generation.

I play mmo's sinds 1999 stopped in 2006 had burn out also at the time. Started playing again in 2008 AoC terible launch lasted 6weeks.

Then started again in 2009 darkfall for 2.5 years 2012 6 months GW2 .

And after i stopped i had it with mmo's terible communitys for me that is no fun anymore.

Now i play solo games and DayZ witch btw also have REALY terible community but that game give me opportunity to make idiots life a HELL by killing them and loot all there stuff and they have to start over again.

I wish all players a good mmo time, its lately just not for me.

  GroovyFlower

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/12/11
Posts: 1252

Skyrim

6/26/13 6:26:08 AM#25
Originally posted by DMKano
Originally posted by Arclan

O.P., the dysfunctional communities of today are 100% a symptom of bad game design, aimed at maximizing cash shop sales.

When a decent game comes along, the community and customer loyalty will be there. Not sure how long til a game like that comes out. I wouldn't count on EQN, but I can still hope.

I disagree 100% - "the community" is largely a perception that varies from player to player, there is no good or bad community, there are helpful players in every game. There are also bad apples in every game.

What you see in global chat on a particular server does not represent the entire community of a game - and that is what many players use to gauge a community for entire games, its a very subjective and highly flawed analysis.

Bottom line - if you are looking for like minded players you can find them in almost any game, just don't expect them in global chat, many quality more mature guilds do not use global chat at all.

 

Ive played for many years and i quit mmo's becouse of my own experience with other players in the game which for me is reason why i eather play solo or quit that particular game.

That there are also good players nice players and helpfull sure im one of them and ive also meet a few for example in Darkfall but bottom line is majority wont stand up to the dominant trash douchebags ive had huge drama in clans where few idiots try make rules and i oppose them many in whispers support me but never dare saying anything to the douchebags thats why i dont believe soon gamers will change.

Also the cheating(darkfall) made me deside to stop playing mmo's and also almost DayZ which had many hackers, lucky almost gone now.

I solo and wont be missed i can live with that,  they dont want social nice and helpfull people, they want idiots:P

Thats my experience over the years.

  Loktofeit

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12405

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ArcheAge, and Combat Arms

6/26/13 6:37:31 AM#26
Originally posted by Shadowguy64
95% of my socializing in-game has been within my guild/party/raid. There's always exceptions, but I never felt the desire to chat with everyone I happen to see in game.

Most people are that way, especially in earlier MMOs that didn't have global chat.

 

I can't help but think the OP is trolling or has some additional agenda, because this has been asked and answered countless times already. Someone "On a journey to pro" surely knows how to use google, no?

"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

  User Deleted
6/26/13 6:38:30 AM#27

It's not just you. It's partially a generational thing. Kids these days don't want to make friends online, they want to stick to their real life social groups.

I haven't found a single guild worth joining/mentioning in the past 5+ years.

People blame it on "trolls", but I remember 10-20 years ago when trolls were just people who would grief you on a PvP server, then help you a second later. You could also crack a joke and expect people to have some kind of sense of humor.... but that's a different issue entirely.

Games used to be about having fun with people who you have never met, now games seem to be about using people to achieve an end. 

 

Even in GW2 where arenanet has gone through incredible lengths (except for the lack of a dungeon finder and guild finder like in Neverwinter) to prevent people from griefing and encourage helping others through rewards (well at least through resurrecting), I have yet to find a single guild on my server that is genuinely "good" in the old school sense.

What do I mean by the "old school sense"? People who treat you like a human being, go out of their way to help you and don't create a pretense to appease you so they can achieve more in the game.

 

TLDR: People used to play online to find friends, now they play online for the sake of playing online with friends they already have.

 

  TheHavok

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/13/04
Posts: 2435

"Free crack and everybody gets laid."

6/26/13 6:39:26 AM#28
Originally posted by emistz

Is it just me or has there been a consistent decline in the community feel in MMOs since about 10 years ago?

Every time I log into pretty much any MMO I can see less and less community work and more and more individual people doing their own thing.  Basically people soloing the game, along with a thousand other people who are also soloing the game in the same server. 

I am not really sure what benefit you get from an MMO without group play, except of course I guess if it was a single player game you couldn't brag to others about your latest piece of epeen gear.

I remember the days when people would group just for the fun of doing things together.  These days unless there is a specific incentive to do so most people keep to themselves.

What do you think has brought this about?  A change in game culture? A change in culture as a whole where we have become more and more antisocial as a society? Or something else?

Every single mmo i have played offers a strong incentive to group over playing solo.  I'd be surprised if there was an mmo that offered better rewards and incentives if you just played by yourself.

with that being said, I think the best mmo developers out there realize that forcing people to group 100% of the time to get anything done is not practical to a large portion of gamers, especially the 9 to 5 worker who has a family and other priorities in life. 

In my opinion, the smartest devs offer fun things to do for people playing by themselves and who can only group up seldomly, but still have the best rewards and incentives through organized group play.

  aesperus

Elite Member

Joined: 1/04/05
Posts: 4847

6/26/13 6:50:44 AM#29
Originally posted by emistz

Is it just me or has there been a consistent decline in the community feel in MMOs since about 10 years ago?

Every time I log into pretty much any MMO I can see less and less community work and more and more individual people doing their own thing.  Basically people soloing the game, along with a thousand other people who are also soloing the game in the same server. 

I am not really sure what benefit you get from an MMO without group play, except of course I guess if it was a single player game you couldn't brag to others about your latest piece of epeen gear.

I remember the days when people would group just for the fun of doing things together.  These days unless there is a specific incentive to do so most people keep to themselves.

What do you think has brought this about?  A change in game culture? A change in culture as a whole where we have become more and more antisocial as a society? Or something else?

Thank the (not-so) new generation of instant-gratification gamers.

In older games, communities were smaller, and games often required grouping to achieve personal game. This forced people to work together for a common goal, or get pushed out by the community.

Now? Most games don't force co-dependancy, and most gamers (regardless of what they say online) don't actually seem to want it. Essentially people seem to be chasing this idea of 'games should give me community'; instead of realizing that in reality, the gamers make the community for themselves. Everyone now complains about there being no communities. And ironically, there are no communities because people are more busy complaining about it than building them.

There are a few examples of games that have pretty good communities (Eve and GW2 being a couple more recent examples). There are definitely others, but they are not in the majority.

  tommygunzII

Novice Member

Joined: 9/26/11
Posts: 322

6/26/13 7:33:28 AM#30

I wouldn't blame the players as much as I would blame the games. 

When you have what seems like hundreds of meaningless quests that require you to kill 6 of these or fetch this or run here. Then you have to make sure to grab all 5+ quests for that little area or you will be killing the same monsters you did 10 min ago. With all of this back and forth, do this do that kind of stuff it's almost a pain in the ass to get coordinated or in sync with someone, and this is common in the beginning of most MMO's.  

My first MMO was FFXI which had a great community at the time and was nothing like the above. It was rude to send someone a party or linkshell invite without asking first, much more rude to drop from a party without saying goodbye, and leaving without finding a replacement was frowned upon. Imagine my surprise when I try WoW for the first time in 2005. Ever since then almost every MMO has repeated the formula and people aren't forced to work together.  Now you see someone killing the same trash mobs as you, you invite em, kill mobs then leave party. To bad FFXI didn't rule the MMO world :)

 

 

  Shadanwolf

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/13/10
Posts: 1900

6/26/13 8:47:51 AM#31

I think its a trend in many societies to socialize less....face to face.Most of us could not name  many people who live in our neighborhood...or the last time we actually spoke with them.

I think that carries over to how we generally interact in mmog's.

  emistz

Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/26/11
Posts: 55

 
OP  6/26/13 11:30:16 AM#32
Originally posted by jesad
Originally posted by emistz

Is it just me or has there been a consistent decline in the community feel in MMOs since about 10 years ago?

Every time I log into pretty much any MMO I can see less and less community work and more and more individual people doing their own thing.  Basically people soloing the game, along with a thousand other people who are also soloing the game in the same server. 

I am not really sure what benefit you get from an MMO without group play, except of course I guess if it was a single player game you couldn't brag to others about your latest piece of epeen gear.

I remember the days when people would group just for the fun of doing things together.  These days unless there is a specific incentive to do so most people keep to themselves.

What do you think has brought this about?  A change in game culture? A change in culture as a whole where we have become more and more antisocial as a society? Or something else?

Wow, what a question.  You know I live to answer this kind of stuff.

So let's see, 10 years ago, that puts us at about 2003.  A year before City of Heroes.  I'd have to say then that it's probably you, because the community in that game was about as insanely social as one could ask for.

But let's say you weren't into the Super Hero thing, well that counts as point number 1. in our list of (5).

1. The number of genre specific MMO's increased to a number that the community could no longer support.  This splintered off the number of socially active people, who's numbers were fewer than the socially inept from the start, to the point where they could no longer find each other.

2. Gamer greed/mistrust or the "I gotta be the boss" syndrome.  Nothing killed the social community of the MMO more than the natural progression of the average player from follower to wanna be leader.  Game designs that supported the "guild a day" theory helped these people to form their own "green" or "tea" parties (metaphorically speaking) which were never large enough to really get anything done, but were just large enough to sap the socially active energy out of the bigger and more capable guilds.  This symptom later led to # 3.

3.  The "army of one" theory is where all of the players who used to be in the green or tea parties have now decided that they can do it better also.  In fact, they had learned so much about how these game worked now (which again is the fault of game design) that they could do 90% of it alone.  And for that other 10% that they couldn't, they'd either sell out for a short while by joining someone else's guild, or simply quit playing.  Around this time the only socializing going on was cyber and furry LOL.

4. Developer greed/desperation.  Game companies began to design games that, instead of teaching the player how to socialize, supported them in not socializing.  The reason for this was very simple.  If a player couldn't find a group to help them accomplish what they needed to accomplish they would just quit playing whatever game that was and go and play whatever game that they knew everyone else was playing.  I believe that this impulse was actually stronger than any genre, any depth of play, and any graphics because I have seen some pretty cheesy games (will not mention names) not only survive but flourish simply because of word of mouth advertising and ease of play.  With that kind of tone set, many other companies moved in the same direction in an attempt to meet their semi-annual, or annual operating budgets.

5. Voice operation programs.  I know I will catch some flack about being old for this one, but the honest truth of the matter is that no one really wants to sit and listen to you be drunk, be a racists, be a republican or a democrat, be an attention whore, or whatever other annoying thing you can think of all day long right there in their ear.  Typing was way cooler, and I am honestly happy to see a lot of people return to this way of playing.  To sum up why I believe typing was one of the keys to the more social aspects MMO play I offer this.

a. Typing makes you stop moving.  Not fighting something, jumping up to or down from something, or in general running around in circles like an idiot allows time for thought.  Thought allows time for all kinds of good stuff like tactics, teamwork, and even a little role-play.

b. Typing allows one to carry on multiple conversations simultaneously.  At best VOIP, when it is actually being used for something to do with the game and not to explain to a bunch of 13 year old's what a donkey punch is, is usually just one guy, or a few guys taking control of a situation (for better or worse) while everyone else touches the puppet head at their command.  This doesn't require social interaction, it requires being able to hit the right color button in order to get the treat.

c. Finally typing provides an anonymity that I really do believe is necessary in order to provide a comfortable place for a player to truly let loose.  The first moment I ever pop into someone's voice chat the very first feeling I get is that I'm going to have to be civil to this person no matter what kind of idiot or jerk they actually are.  Typing let's you let it all hang out because, yes, you are some anonymous name behind a keyboard, and no, in the overall scheme of things, you really don't matter. But for that few minutes to few days of time that you interact with that one idiot that you really hated, you provided that person, and they provided you with a whole story to tell, and having stories to tell plays a large role in the social interaction of an MMO.

It's a big picture kind of thing really.  One where you really can't rationally focus the blame in any one direction.  Of course game companies are going to try and do the thing that keeps them making money, and of course people are going to clamor for, and run towards that which is instantly gratifying and thus more pleasing.  The problem with all of that though is that we all know that accomplishing an easy task is not as nearly as satisfying as accomplishing a hard one, and yet we still go for easy.

The solution for this, in my opinion, was to go for the F2P model using the forced grouping model of the first games.  Instead the developers went for the "let em solo to the end" model while the pay to play model was still in effect, and now they are finding it difficult to reinforce the forced grouping model in their F2P games.

They'll get it together eventually.  Just gotta move the pieces around.

I don't agree with everything you wrote, but that is a hell of an elaborate and thoughtful answer. 

Do you see this trend turning the corner any time soon as far as communities go?

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 20545

6/26/13 12:19:59 PM#33
Originally posted by jesad

The solution for this, in my opinion, was to go for the F2P model using the forced grouping model of the first games.  Instead the developers went for the "let em solo to the end" model while the pay to play model was still in effect, and now they are finding it difficult to reinforce the forced grouping model in their F2P games.

They'll get it together eventually.  Just gotta move the pieces around.

Of course they can't. It is a free market. If players don't like forced grouping games, they will jump ship for the alternative. A dev has little choice (unless he wants a small niche) to give what players want.

You don't think WOW is so solo-friend just because? Blizz saw EQ, and the complaints about forced grouping .. and decided to innovate.

What happened? Huge success. Because they created a play style many likes. As simple as that.

If the mainstream wants to solo and display the epleen in a city .. there is really nothing you can do to change that.

  SomeHuman

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/24/12
Posts: 287

6/26/13 12:28:23 PM#34

My two cents: I say yes, Emistz.

I almost posted the same question last night.  I logged into several mmo's (at least 5) asked around about guilds and grouping (new in most of the games i'm trying).  No interest.  I even helped a few people out with a run or something they were confused about, but after that it was: thanks, now I'm on my way.

I ultimately returned to an old game I'm bored with and chatted with some buddies, doing nothing in game.

Gaming since 1985; Online gaming since 1995; No End in Sight! My YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8POVoJ8fdOseuJ4U1ZX-oA

  emistz

Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/26/11
Posts: 55

 
OP  6/26/13 12:29:09 PM#35
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by jesad

The solution for this, in my opinion, was to go for the F2P model using the forced grouping model of the first games.  Instead the developers went for the "let em solo to the end" model while the pay to play model was still in effect, and now they are finding it difficult to reinforce the forced grouping model in their F2P games.

They'll get it together eventually.  Just gotta move the pieces around.

Of course they can't. It is a free market. If players don't like forced grouping games, they will jump ship for the alternative. A dev has little choice (unless he wants a small niche) to give what players want.

You don't think WOW is so solo-friend just because? Blizz saw EQ, and the complaints about forced grouping .. and decided to innovate.

What happened? Huge success. Because they created a play style many likes. As simple as that.

If the mainstream wants to solo and display the epleen in a city .. there is really nothing you can do to change that.

That gets us back to the initial question: Why do the mainstream want to solo on a mmorpg game and just interact with players to show their epeen/do stuff they're forced to do together?

It would seem to me that if you want a multiplayer experience it is because you want to interact with others.  Is it maybe the case that we have a lot of solo minded players playing mmos simply because there is not a single player version of the particular content that they like?

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 20545

6/26/13 12:43:56 PM#36
Originally posted by emistz
 

That gets us back to the initial question: Why do the mainstream want to solo on a mmorpg game and just interact with players to show their epeen/do stuff they're forced to do together?

It would seem to me that if you want a multiplayer experience it is because you want to interact with others.  Is it maybe the case that we have a lot of solo minded players playing mmos simply because there is not a single player version of the particular content that they like?

Why not? You are not them. How do you know solo then show-off and do some AH is not fun for them?

Who says a multiplayer experience has to interact in a group? Showing off is interaction. Trading in a AH in interaction. May not be interactions that you like, but these are interactions nevertheless.

And lastly, yes, i think you are right that some MMOs have content good as SP games (for some players). For example, i play STO like a SP game. Why? I like star trek and there is no star trek RPG with both ship & ground missions.

  MuffinStump

Novice Member

Joined: 8/06/03
Posts: 475

6/26/13 1:01:52 PM#37


Originally posted by emistz

Originally posted by nariusseldon

Originally posted by jesad The solution for this, in my opinion, was to go for the F2P model using the forced grouping model of the first games.  Instead the developers went for the "let em solo to the end" model while the pay to play model was still in effect, and now they are finding it difficult to reinforce the forced grouping model in their F2P games. They'll get it together eventually.  Just gotta move the pieces around.
Of course they can't. It is a free market. If players don't like forced grouping games, they will jump ship for the alternative. A dev has little choice (unless he wants a small niche) to give what players want. You don't think WOW is so solo-friend just because? Blizz saw EQ, and the complaints about forced grouping .. and decided to innovate. What happened? Huge success. Because they created a play style many likes. As simple as that. If the mainstream wants to solo and display the epleen in a city .. there is really nothing you can do to change that.
That gets us back to the initial question: Why do the mainstream want to solo on a mmorpg game and just interact with players to show their epeen/do stuff they're forced to do together?

It would seem to me that if you want a multiplayer experience it is because you want to interact with others.  Is it maybe the case that we have a lot of solo minded players playing mmos simply because there is not a single player version of the particular content that they like?



..and there it is. The not-so-hidden solo vs. grouping debate skulking along with the 'whatever happened to community?' camouflage :P


  emistz

Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/26/11
Posts: 55

 
OP  6/26/13 4:43:45 PM#38
Originally posted by MuffinStump

 


Originally posted by emistz

Originally posted by nariusseldon

Originally posted by jesad The solution for this, in my opinion, was to go for the F2P model using the forced grouping model of the first games.  Instead the developers went for the "let em solo to the end" model while the pay to play model was still in effect, and now they are finding it difficult to reinforce the forced grouping model in their F2P games. They'll get it together eventually.  Just gotta move the pieces around.
Of course they can't. It is a free market. If players don't like forced grouping games, they will jump ship for the alternative. A dev has little choice (unless he wants a small niche) to give what players want. You don't think WOW is so solo-friend just because? Blizz saw EQ, and the complaints about forced grouping .. and decided to innovate. What happened? Huge success. Because they created a play style many likes. As simple as that. If the mainstream wants to solo and display the epleen in a city .. there is really nothing you can do to change that.
That gets us back to the initial question: Why do the mainstream want to solo on a mmorpg game and just interact with players to show their epeen/do stuff they're forced to do together?

 

It would seem to me that if you want a multiplayer experience it is because you want to interact with others.  Is it maybe the case that we have a lot of solo minded players playing mmos simply because there is not a single player version of the particular content that they like?


 


..and there it is. The not-so-hidden solo vs. grouping debate skulking along with the 'whatever happened to community?' camouflage :P

 

Not so much as a debate on the benefits of solo v. group play, but rather a discussion on why solo gameplay seems to predominate these days as opposed to group gameplay on mmorpgs which appeared to be the norm years ago.

I think you might be confused by the word community which has a couple of different meanings.

  Cephus404

Novice Member

Joined: 2/27/08
Posts: 3697

6/26/13 6:13:29 PM#39
Originally posted by emistz

Not so much as a debate on the benefits of solo v. group play, but rather a discussion on why solo gameplay seems to predominate these days as opposed to group gameplay on mmorpgs which appeared to be the norm years ago.

I think you might be confused by the word community which has a couple of different meanings.

Because years ago, when it was only the nerds that had access to the powerful computers and broadband connections, everyone had things in common outside of the game.  You could always be sure that any group you joined, everyone would have something to talk about.  Now, those days are gone, MMOs and all games are mainstream and people don't want to be stuck in a group with nothing to talk about.  Therefore, they either solo or, if forced to be in a group, don't say a word.  Soloing became prevalent because the games went mainstream and there's no way to ever put the genie back in the bottle.

Played: UO, EQ, WoW, DDO, SWG, AO, CoH, EvE, TR, AoC, GW, GA, Aion, Allods, lots more
Relatively Recently (Re)Played: HL2 (all), Halo (PC, all), Batman:AA; AC, ME, BS, DA, FO3, DS, Doom (all), LFD1&2, KOTOR, Portal 1&2, Blink, Elder Scrolls (all), lots more
Now Playing: None
Hope: None

  Torgrim

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 12/15/05
Posts: 2179

6/26/13 6:34:46 PM#40
Originally posted by jesad
Originally posted by emistz

Is it just me or has there been a consistent decline in the community feel in MMOs since about 10 years ago?

Every time I log into pretty much any MMO I can see less and less community work and more and more individual people doing their own thing.  Basically people soloing the game, along with a thousand other people who are also soloing the game in the same server. 

I am not really sure what benefit you get from an MMO without group play, except of course I guess if it was a single player game you couldn't brag to others about your latest piece of epeen gear.

I remember the days when people would group just for the fun of doing things together.  These days unless there is a specific incentive to do so most people keep to themselves.

What do you think has brought this about?  A change in game culture? A change in culture as a whole where we have become more and more antisocial as a society? Or something else?

Wow, what a question.  You know I live to answer this kind of stuff.

So let's see, 10 years ago, that puts us at about 2003.  A year before City of Heroes.  I'd have to say then that it's probably you, because the community in that game was about as insanely social as one could ask for.

But let's say you weren't into the Super Hero thing, well that counts as point number 1. in our list of (5).

1. The number of genre specific MMO's increased to a number that the community could no longer support.  This splintered off the number of socially active people, who's numbers were fewer than the socially inept from the start, to the point where they could no longer find each other.

2. Gamer greed/mistrust or the "I gotta be the boss" syndrome.  Nothing killed the social community of the MMO more than the natural progression of the average player from follower to wanna be leader.  Game designs that supported the "guild a day" theory helped these people to form their own "green" or "tea" parties (metaphorically speaking) which were never large enough to really get anything done, but were just large enough to sap the socially active energy out of the bigger and more capable guilds.  This symptom later led to # 3.

3.  The "army of one" theory is where all of the players who used to be in the green or tea parties have now decided that they can do it better also.  In fact, they had learned so much about how these game worked now (which again is the fault of game design) that they could do 90% of it alone.  And for that other 10% that they couldn't, they'd either sell out for a short while by joining someone else's guild, or simply quit playing.  Around this time the only socializing going on was cyber and furry LOL.

4. Developer greed/desperation.  Game companies began to design games that, instead of teaching the player how to socialize, supported them in not socializing.  The reason for this was very simple.  If a player couldn't find a group to help them accomplish what they needed to accomplish they would just quit playing whatever game that was and go and play whatever game that they knew everyone else was playing.  I believe that this impulse was actually stronger than any genre, any depth of play, and any graphics because I have seen some pretty cheesy games (will not mention names) not only survive but flourish simply because of word of mouth advertising and ease of play.  With that kind of tone set, many other companies moved in the same direction in an attempt to meet their semi-annual, or annual operating budgets.

5. Voice operation programs.  I know I will catch some flack about being old for this one, but the honest truth of the matter is that no one really wants to sit and listen to you be drunk, be a racists, be a republican or a democrat, be an attention whore, or whatever other annoying thing you can think of all day long right there in their ear.  Typing was way cooler, and I am honestly happy to see a lot of people return to this way of playing.  To sum up why I believe typing was one of the keys to the more social aspects MMO play I offer this.

a. Typing makes you stop moving.  Not fighting something, jumping up to or down from something, or in general running around in circles like an idiot allows time for thought.  Thought allows time for all kinds of good stuff like tactics, teamwork, and even a little role-play.

b. Typing allows one to carry on multiple conversations simultaneously.  At best VOIP, when it is actually being used for something to do with the game and not to explain to a bunch of 13 year old's what a donkey punch is, is usually just one guy, or a few guys taking control of a situation (for better or worse) while everyone else touches the puppet head at their command.  This doesn't require social interaction, it requires being able to hit the right color button in order to get the treat.

c. Finally typing provides an anonymity that I really do believe is necessary in order to provide a comfortable place for a player to truly let loose.  The first moment I ever pop into someone's voice chat the very first feeling I get is that I'm going to have to be civil to this person no matter what kind of idiot or jerk they actually are.  Typing let's you let it all hang out because, yes, you are some anonymous name behind a keyboard, and no, in the overall scheme of things, you really don't matter. But for that few minutes to few days of time that you interact with that one idiot that you really hated, you provided that person, and they provided you with a whole story to tell, and having stories to tell plays a large role in the social interaction of an MMO.

It's a big picture kind of thing really.  One where you really can't rationally focus the blame in any one direction.  Of course game companies are going to try and do the thing that keeps them making money, and of course people are going to clamor for, and run towards that which is instantly gratifying and thus more pleasing.  The problem with all of that though is that we all know that accomplishing an easy task is not as nearly as satisfying as accomplishing a hard one, and yet we still go for easy.

The solution for this, in my opinion, was to go for the F2P model using the forced grouping model of the first games.  Instead the developers went for the "let em solo to the end" model while the pay to play model was still in effect, and now they are finding it difficult to reinforce the forced grouping model in their F2P games.

They'll get it together eventually.  Just gotta move the pieces around.

 

This was a really interesting read, I salute you

If it's not broken, you are not innovating.

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