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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » For Those That Keep Missing The Point About Casuals and Soloers

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Novice Member

Joined: 6/12/09
Posts: 407

OP  7/11/09 7:32:41 AM#1

1. MMORPG doesn't necessarily mean groups & raids.  Countless people like to solo some, most, or all of the time in such games. Why they like to solo in an MMOG is irrelevant; they do, and they're willing to pay a subscription to do it.   Formal groups and raids are not the only way people socialize in these games, nor is it the only way to be a contributing member of the community.  Why talk us out of paying for and supporting the very genre you like to play? Why not, instead, find a way of accomodating us instead of alienating us?

2. Solo and casual does not mean "easy" content. Spending long hours at a sitting, several times a week, doesn't define "hard content" in a game; one can be facing a solo instance and it take several times to figure out how to beat it.  There could even be a time limit that makes it even harder to accomplish. If someone wants to equal "time" with "how hard something is", then if it takes 10 hours at a sitting for a powergamer to accomplish a task, then make it so it takes a sequence of 15 1-hr events for the soloer.   If it takes a group of five two hours to get reward X, make it so that the soloer has to spend at least 10 hrs (5x2) or more to get the same or an equivalent reward.

3. Most soloers and casuals are not asking that there be no raid or group areas of the game where soloers cannot survive; they're asking that equivalent "higher demand" solo (and small-increment time sequence) areas or instances be put into the game (like advanced solo instances) where investments of time can eventually bring in equivalent rewards, even  though it will take much, much longer in real time for the casual player or the soloer.

4. The casuals are not asking for an easy game, nor are they asking that the get equal rewards for the same time that ONE player in a group or a raid invests to get ONE item, but rather that if the soloer or casual puts in MORE accumulated time as the ENTIRE raid, then they should **eventually** have access to getting the same gear.  If time is effort, that's a LOT of effort. If time = "hard game", that's a hard game, even for a soloer or a casual.  The problem is **NOT** that we don't get items as fast, or easy's that we can't get them at all.

For whatever reason, when you **know** you cannot get to the best content (or equivalent "best content) and get the best rewards (or equivalent "best rewards", it takes the steam out of your desire to play the game. When you at least have access, the even if you don't ever actually acquire those items, it still exists as a goal in the game you **could** achieve, and that adds to the desire to keep playing. Also, you don't feel like the red-headed stepchild because the developers keep coding you out of the best content/rewards of all expansions.

There is only one reason, IMO, to not want to provide alternative advancement and reward scenarios to soloers and casuals based on longer overall commitments of time than entire group action or entire raids; and that is because some people need to be able to have exclusively superior rewards compared to others in order to enjoy a game. 


Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/11/06
Posts: 5468

7/11/09 7:41:29 AM#2

 It ain't always feasible.

If getting hawt lootz for entire group takes thousand manhours, yeah the devs could make it so casual/solo can get them too but would soloers be happy to do the whatever event/raid/instance for that long? Well, they'd get their chance for the hawt loot, so wish granted I guess... (I bet they wouldn't be happy about this even then though)

"Housing is standard in most mmo's."
- yolteotl79


Novice Member

Joined: 4/16/06
Posts: 897

7/11/09 7:42:30 AM#3


I would love to see this gaming model occur, but then I am a soloer.  But it makes sense to me, even addressing some of the concerns of the grouping supporters that if one can solo a game why would one ever group. In your example, you group if you want the items sooner. But soloers can still acquire the gear, or have access to challenging content, it just takes an investment of time. Let's hope we will see this happen some time.


Spotlight Poster

Joined: 10/28/08
Posts: 14557

7/11/09 8:55:12 AM#4

How about some concrete examples using man hours, or mobs killed, something of that nature. The problem is the Devil is in the Details.

I am an avid grouper. I refuse to play games that feel to solo friendly in the leveling phase. Rather than argue that one style is better than another, I will simply say I do not find these solo friendly games fun.

Examples of good grouping games would be EQ and DAoC, before any expansions. EQ being a little to much group centric even I will admit that, and DAoC being about as solo friendly as you can get before it's to solo friendly for me. I found WoW pre-max level and raiding, to be unacceptabley solo friendly, making grouping in the leveling phase no fun at all. Even the groups did not, IMO, function well to make the group significantly more powerful than the sum of the individual members, compared to EQ or DAoC, IMO of course.

I thought City of Heroes was a fun game, but a solo game, and for that reason although I grouped often, and did enjoy it for a while, it was unable to hold my attention for long. The scaling dungeons were one of the worst features. I want a serious obstacle to overcome, not something that suddenly become easier just so I can beat it. I also want to group because it's necessary, in other words, the world has a sense of danger, and wandering around alone can get you killed.

IN COH, if the group breaks up, just leave the dungeon and have it reset, then go back in and it's easier. I found that to be completely meh, and take all the excitement and danger out of the game. I remember being at the bottom of a dungeon in DAoC, and losing party members because they logged off, or were killed. You were screwed, and you knew it. That was fun.

So, lets' say we're playing your game design.

I am in a full group of 6 or 8, or whatever you game allows for a full group (I like 8 because it allows for members to come and go and still be viable as a group. One healer can join, even when the other healer is leaving in 10 minutes, and stuff like that).

We're past the early levels where you are just learning the game, and mostly playing solo anyway, usually about level 5-10 or somewhere in there.

I'm level 10, and so are you. I'm in a full group and you are playing solo. We're both heading to level 11 and we both need new gear because what we have is getting shabby, and we are both saving money to buy a mount.

What happens from there? How long does it take me to get to level 11, how long does it take you? How many mobs do I need to kill, how many do you need to kill? How many quests do I need to complete, how many do you need to complete? What sort of gear do I get, what sort of gear and money do you get?


Novice Member

Joined: 10/18/04
Posts: 3247

7/11/09 9:04:42 AM#5
Originally posted by Meleagar
Formal groups and raids are not the only way people socialize in these games, nor is it the only way to be a contributing member of the community.


Besides buying and selling goods, please explain how solo play does anything positive for an online multiplayer community.

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


Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/06/04
Posts: 1048

Now Playing: Rock Band 2
Waiting for: More hair metal

7/11/09 9:06:42 AM#6

Solo is inherantly easy due to a RPG nature. Different classes or skillsets all need to be balanced with one another so that even those most marginal of these can succeed. I dont know your game history, but no MMO has ever achieved balance so the curve must be reduced to compensate.


Novice Member

Joined: 2/29/08
Posts: 1328

7/11/09 9:56:43 AM#7


Killing mobs solo is repetitive and boring.   If games are made more like that gameplay, It will kill any life from mmo's.


Novice Member

Joined: 8/31/08
Posts: 2163

7/11/09 10:29:30 AM#8

Nice to see the old anti-solo dogma is still being trotted out at every occasion. It's still just as wrong as ever.

My favourite is the "soloing is EASY. grouping is HARD" one. The grouperazzis have yet to present a single argument that adequately supports this opinion no matter how many threads they screech it in, and as far as my experience runs (which is pretty far after ~4 years of raiding) the greater the group size, the less involving the gameplay is, the less abilities my character uses, and the less challenging it is on a personal level.

Then we have the "soloers are antisocial!" one which never really made sense to me when one considers how amazingly painful bad PUG groups can be and how one has a pervasive and irrational desire to shut oneself away from all of humanity after spending 4 hours in a vent channel having some moron whine about how his loot never drops or how the <insert class here> players aren't "doing their job" properly.

Add the always fun "soloing is dull!" opinions presented as thought it were gospel truth chipped in granite by the hand of Moses himself rather than a completely subjective (and minority) opinion.

Keep it up chaps, it's entertaining. I don't think anyone has trotted out the "if everyone can solo, it'll be impossible for non-soloers to get groups!" one, which is a shame 'cos that's an irony that is always fun to watch people beat their head against.

Playing: EVE, Final Fantasy 13, Uncharted 2, Need for Speed: Shift


Novice Member

Joined: 6/12/09
Posts: 407

OP  7/11/09 11:15:17 AM#9
Originally posted by Palebane
Originally posted by Meleagar
Formal groups and raids are not the only way people socialize in these games, nor is it the only way to be a contributing member of the community.


Besides buying and selling goods, please explain how solo play does anything positive for an online multiplayer community.


Apparently, in your mind, there are two aspects to contributing to such a community: formal combat groups, and contributing to the economy. If that is all you think human beings can contribute to an online community, I refer you to my thread about why MMOG communities are generally so pathetic.


Novice Member

Joined: 7/04/09
Posts: 72

...or should I?

7/11/09 11:27:23 AM#10

Good players will only group with people if they have to.

Or if they are lucky enough to find people who don't suck they can also enjoy small group play.

The upper echelon guild scene is one that is for a large part one that can provide you with an idiot-less experience but at the cost of a much greater sink of your time...

(Let me qualify...)


The problem is- with many mainstream mmos the average suck level rises to critical proportions forcing more and more people to crave more solo or small group content. There is a large gap between being a good player wanting solo/small group content and realizing there isn't enough and having to sac a stupid amount of your time and patience dealing with idiots to experience the "end game"... our choice is to deal with short bus all-stars or drop an absurd amount of time to play with people who are on the same level as we are. (Yes of course there are a few exceptions, but mind you my statements come from 12 years of gaming and trolling as an overall general sense).



Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/02/08
Posts: 2205

I am not a hater, I call it like I see it.

7/11/09 11:45:29 AM#11

Oh boy I disagree so much with the OP that I could write a small novel over this post. But since I am limited in time I wont, Ill just say. Go play single player RPG's. Fable series is a good one for what you want.  The point of an MMO is to play with others not to solo.

Waiting for:EQ-Next, ArcheAge (not so much anymore)
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Favorite MMO: FFXI


Novice Member

Joined: 5/22/05
Posts: 443

We are always in our own company.

7/11/09 11:53:52 AM#12

I think people take the opinion os soloers to an extreme. For instance, people have insulted me just because I want to do a few missions alone. Just because I want to go out and play solo for a day or two.

The problem with playing Fable and such is that when we do want to group we can't. It's not an option. I enjoy solo, but I also enjoy grouping. My biggest reason for not grouping is that half the time the group falls apart mid-mission. Very rarely have I had an awesome group. The groups I have had that were awesome I'll remember for years to come. I still remember groups I was in pre-cu SWG back in 2005.


Basically, just because we solo doesn't mean we don't group or will never group. We just don't always want to group.


Bitter Vet™

Joined: 9/13/06
Posts: 20110

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

7/11/09 11:55:50 AM#13

Seems to me the OP missed the point.

Its not really possible to create a single game that caters well to both playstyles.

MMO Devs want maximum subs so they tend to try and compromise (see WOW) and look what happens, no one is happy.

(well, outside of the 5-12M people who play it I suppose) 

In my day MMORPG's were sooooo hard we fought our way through dungeons in the snow....uphill both ways.
Still currently "subscribed" to EVE, and only EVE!!!
"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


Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/11/06
Posts: 5468

7/11/09 12:02:10 PM#14

To have a good grouping experience, you kind of need to encourage doing it so that players won't be jerks to each other, and can function in a group in the first place.

Basically I see 2 trends right now. Solo MMO's where you solo most of the time and group sometimes. Problem is the group heavy endgame structure that doesn't continue the solo trend from low-midgame.

And forced grouping where you group most of the time and solo sometimes. Problems is the fact that players of this group are supposedly in a minority- so no company aims for this niche.

"Housing is standard in most mmo's."
- yolteotl79


Novice Member

Joined: 4/16/06
Posts: 897

7/11/09 12:11:52 PM#15
Originally posted by Palebane
Originally posted by Meleagar
Formal groups and raids are not the only way people socialize in these games, nor is it the only way to be a contributing member of the community.


Besides buying and selling goods, please explain how solo play does anything positive for an online multiplayer community.


I'm not playing to create an online community. I am playing to have fun. Yes, I am selfish that way but, hey, it's MY fifteen dollars.And what I hate about grouping is having to play my character to please others. If I don't have the optimum build for a tank( or whatever class), and the best gear, the raid group doesn't want me. Well, I am NOT creating my toon so someone else can tell me how to play it. And THAT is one of my main reasons for prefering to solo.

And please don't tell me to play a single player game. I like MMO's because they feel like living worlds, they theoretically have no end, they get updates and expansions, they have crafting and chat. No single player game feels the same.


Elite Member

Joined: 8/27/04
Posts: 8297

Perhaps tomorrow will be better.

7/11/09 12:28:44 PM#16

First of all you contradicted yourself in the first paragraph.You said you like to solo but then you like to socialize??umm how is that possible?

What game on the market can you actually solo in?For one you will miss out on at least 50% of the content if not more.So although you may hang out in a game solo there is no way on earth you can play "the game" solo.Why is that part so hard t ograsp for popel that want to solo?

yes i agree there is a huge misconception about solo and casual,as far as i am concerned ALL games are casual,there is nobody in the developers office that forces you to play more than you have to,so why so much grief over solo or casual in the first place?

Here is the shimmy,a MMORPG that is any good ,with a decent amount of content,will not cater to a solo player,so why bother?sure you have the choice but honestly why?

i can give an analogy that is the exact same thing.Lets just say you have no chance of ever becoming a rocket scientist.Well you have every right to continue to spend thousands of dollars in an education to try and become one,but why?is it that hard to sink into the brain that something that is not possible is just that"NOT possible".Like the OP says you have the right,but the FACTS are you are only fooling yourself.

SOLO=a totally mundane world witch ONLY the player lives in all by him/herself..NO interaction with anyone because that would not be solo anymore.To act without assistance.

casual=at your own leisure,play whenever you feel like it or have time,no game on earth forces anyone out of that mold,so i wish people would quit asking for something that ALREADY exists.Show little or no interest,that part alone contradicts gaming,why play something you have little to no interest in? lol obvious answer there.

Here is the real take from these type of whiners>>>>they want everything everyone else enjoys from a game but with less effort and less time.So in essence they have no problem with you earning everything you got,they just want the same handed to them with less effort and less time.

These same people would argue,why do i have to goto school all year like everyone else,they should cater to me becuase i want to work and have less time.In real life many people are lucky to have things like money and security handed to them,but for the majority ,we have to work for everything we have.In gaming it is the same rule of thumb,those tha tare handed it the easy way are the cheats and RMT users and scripters/botters.
Samoan Diamond


Novice Member

Joined: 6/25/09
Posts: 122

7/11/09 12:29:54 PM#17

A point that I think is perhaps missing when people say "i just wanna solo sometimes" is that it's not just sometimes, and it's not just some content, it seems to always imply nearly every bit of content all the time or else /cry. As many have pointed out it's impossible to make a group based game that is also soloable, the compromise is to make everything easier and easier until one day we can just log on and insta-win. The amount of solo content in most MMO's is overwhelming. There is a trend, the long arc of MMO development is to release chanllenging group content and then to slowly patch it and tweak it until a lvl 1 noob can solo it. Players need to realize that risk = excitement and challening content = fun, if you don't care to, or don't have time to play with the group then be a crafter or something.


Advanced Member

Joined: 1/20/06
Posts: 500

7/11/09 12:30:25 PM#18
Originally posted by Meleagar

There is only one reason, IMO, to not want to provide alternative advancement and reward scenarios to soloers and casuals based on longer overall commitments of time than entire group action or entire raids; and that is because some people need to be able to have exclusively superior rewards compared to others in order to enjoy a game. 


To qualify I did read the rest of your post, but I will address the last part in this response. 

Adding a "soloer/casual" model in an MMO simply isnt that feasible.  The closest I have seen this done was in the now defunct Tabula Rasa.  Certain classes could solo instances and get those rewards.  The game failed in part due to this reason.  You had a bunch of people rolling certain elite solo classes and the diversity of the population was reduced as a result. 

The other reason is if anyone can solo to endgame content and get those rewards, most people will.  Period.  There will be no need for guilds, grouping or any other collaborative efforts on the part of that particular gaming community.  The result will be a failure to attract players that PREFER grouping to soloing.  You will then effectively have an MMO full of soloers. 

All this being said, I too love to solo and due to rl committments find myself playing alot more casually now.  However I do not expect an MMO to cater to me on every level.  MMO's are about communities and in my mind there are frankly far superior single player games out there I can play if I truly want to solo.  /shrug

To address thelast sentence specifically, couldnt this be turned around? 

the OP said:  "some people need to be able to have exclusively superior rewards compared to others in order to enjoy a game. "

And apparently the OP is one of them.  By clamouring for the same rewards as raiders the OP has basically admitted that obtaining those rewards are important to him/her.  If it wasn't this post wouldnt exist.  

Current Games: SWTOR, EVE Online


Advanced Member

Joined: 1/27/08
Posts: 341

7/11/09 12:31:07 PM#19

Frankly I've given up trying to explain to the "hardcore" crowd that solo content could easily be made alongside group content (and has been, in a few MMO's) with some thought and consideration, and that solo content =/= less "work".


Then again I never believed any MMO is work, or at least it's not supposed to be. I suppose some people take it to such a level of seriousness it becomes work and not a fun recreation any more.


And it's pointless to try to argue with them that solo players do like to interact with others, they just not might be able to 100% of their gaming time. They don't seem to get the fact that many such casuals are in guilds, do group up now and then, and like to do things with others but  don't enjoy it/can't - for a variety of reasons- on a regular all the time basis.


The MMO market has changed because the audience has changed - older MMO fans now have jobs and lives and can't spend 8 hours a day in front of a computer eating doritos and raiding. Younger audiences might have other things to do as well, who knows and who cares?  There's plenty of stuff for the hardcore groupers to do - almost every game I've played has raids to cater to them - so it's not like they've been completely forgotten and left in the dust. There has been compromise. Many games it is possible to solo to level cap, but the "best " of the content usually remains group-oriented.


Of course, trying to make this point to them is also useless. Just let them go about their whining while they continue to play the game anyway and do their raiding thing.


Spotlight Poster

Joined: 10/28/08
Posts: 14557

7/11/09 12:31:21 PM#20
Originally posted by Kyleran

Seems to me the OP missed the point.

Its not really possible to create a single game that caters well to both playstyles.

MMO Devs want maximum subs so they tend to try and compromise (see WOW) and look what happens, no one is happy.

(well, outside of the 5-12M people who play it I suppose) 


That is indeed the point. Solo players, for some odd reason, think if they change the rules for the entire server so they can solo, and they wander off  doing solo quests, that this does not affect my grouping game.

It does.

No, I do not see you, because you're on the other side of the zone. No, I am not competing with you or upset because you can level fast without a group. No, I don't want to force you to group with anyone.

But yes, I want rules taht make grouping fun, and if I can solo the game, the rules have changed to making grouping no longer fun. You can't change the rules on the entire server without affecting me too.

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