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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » The 'Group Play vs Solo Play in an MMO' Thread

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  User Deleted
1/04/10 8:19:07 AM#181

@ Cephus404
 

You're welcome to your opinion, that's not what I've found at all. The problem with MMOs is that they all give rewards designed to help the individual, never the group. There's no such thing as group XP, group gold, group gear or group weapons. Every individual is working to improve their personal character, some do it on their own, some band together in little groups of people what use each other for individual reward. Playing a co-dependent MMO isn't any better than being in a co-dependent relationship. The idea that using other people to get something you cannot get on your own makes a better community is absurd.

Opinions.... while it's true things of this nature can really only be assessed as empirical in nature, we can absolutely lend ourselves a better understanding of mechanics, and use what is empirical to conclude. While it isn't 'factual' by any means, it is absolutely founded. There is no problem with rewards being for the individual, despite there being options for group play. Individuals are the moving pieces inside of a group- and just like I can get under the hood of my car and tweak parts to increase the value of the whole. The interfacing is what's important. To dismiss that codependancy does not influence social interactions and promote positive social interactions at that... is very 1st degree. Everyone knows the most effective as well as effecient models are those that boast longevity. Companies prefer to retain employees than retrain recruits. Longevity is achieved through mutual interest and enjoyment- both to some degree. You can't achieve this otherwise. By requiring that social interfacing take place via multiple game mechanics, and that ultimate 'progression' is accomplished through social interactions, you absolutely promote community. I then think about the community in EQ1 and FFXI and I have my examples that support this logic train. I think about the community in WoW or PWI and the community:gameplay model fits this logic train as well.

In fact, the pro-soloer attitude is usually: leave us alone and go do whatever you want. I've never seen anyone argue that we ought to force groupers not to group, but the reverse is most certainly not true. Groupers routinely argue that people ought to be forced to group whether they want to or not, that people who solo ought to get out of MMOs entirely, etc. Without a doubt, groupers have been the most vocal assholes on MMORPG.com in just about every argument.

.... which is another way of saying 'i've zero desire to compromise what i'm doing so that a body that encompasses that which is external to self can gain'. To try and use reverse reasoning to support your original claim also breaks down. Of course you can't require that a grouper assume the same mindset! It's apples and oranges, of which the only common factor is they are both fruit (just like both groupers and soloers are both gamers). 'Without a doubt, solo'ist have been the most vocal...' see how this claim is easiliy reversed without sound justification? I'm a middle of the road kinda guy, and I would claim I've seen more stark negativity from the solo camp than from the groupers on these forums.

So you're arguing against human nature then? After all, *YOU* are not taking the path of least resistance, are you? So that automatically makes you an expert on what everyone else does?

That example was one that is typically spurred out of boredom by a specific breed of individual- that much I was hoping was evident. The example actually supported the claim, if one could properly read between the lines (keyword: 'unless'). To assume that people, as a rule, don't take the path of least resistance would be akin to claiming the law of entropy is faux. Finally, despite your final question in this paragraph being a troll, what if I was? What if Poster_153 on these forums *actually way* an expert? It would be lost on the reader, because of bias and stubborness. It's almost moot.

Mythology is full of heroes who take on tremendous tasks on their own, that's why they're heroes. Try again.

Mythology works, because the backdrop is one of impossible achievements, of epic proportions. To allow everyone to be a hero, even in an MMORPG where the mechanics would be 'collective soloing', the story, the lore, the *credibility* of the *impossible* breaks down when made available to the individual. When topics go from 'awe' to 'commonplace' you lose all sense of accomplishment perspective. Something suffers when you twist context and lore to fit your consumer's desires. No, no need to 'try again'. Perhaps one would consider things beyond the 1st degree.

I'd have no problem giving different paths to advancement that are equivalent, yet cater to the strengths and weaknesses of the particular playstyle in question. Neither should be inherently better than the other, both should allow access to the same rewards and similar content, etc. If you want to argue for that, I'm on your side. If you want to argue for artificial rewards built specifically to entice or bribe people to play one way instead of the other, you're on your own.

Again, equal doesn't mean identical. Grouping rewards, when properly tailored, should in all ways be superior to soloing rewards, when properly tailored. On this there really is no discussion- and it has been discussed well into completion with the effect of 'sum greater than parts'. If need-be, I'll link where a very in-depth discussion on the matter takes place. Lastly, I don't argue for persuasive measures- I support solid play, not marketing ploys.
 

 

  Silvermink

Novice Member

Joined: 6/07/07
Posts: 289

1/04/10 10:58:24 AM#182
Originally posted by Josher
Originally posted by SuperXero89
, I still get more groups from levels 1 - 59 while playing EQ2 than I do in a game like WoW gives me zero reason to ever form a group until I'm level 80.

 

Why wouldn't you want to overcome all the bosses, dungeons and the quests associated with them on your way to 80?  Is reaching max level your only goal?  When you played Fallout3, Dragon Age or Mass Effect, did you skip all the side quests and ONLY stick to the main story?  

 

 

Most people do the side quests in single player games because that's where the rewards are. The main quest leads the story, the side quests give the gear. I like doing every quest, seeing all the locations, talking to every npc. My son skips everything that doesn't help him achieve the end. This applies to MMOs too. I like to group and run the dungeons and finish those quests. Getting gear myself rather than buying it on the AH. The ultimate rush is when in a friendly group, everyone passes on an item so you can use it. I also prefer EQ's way of selling items as it often allows you to haggle with the seller, or find rare similar items that the seller hasn't listed yet.

 

PS: Very well written posts SuperXero89. I agree completely.

  Cephus404

Novice Member

Joined: 2/27/08
Posts: 3697

1/04/10 4:42:11 PM#183
Originally posted by SuperXero89

In theory, the economy is based off of player interaction, but in actual practice those days are long gone.   In the modern mainstream MMORPG, company created trading  zones such as EQ's bazaar or player ordained trade zones such as East Commonlands have fallen by the wayside in favor of auction houses where the only player "interaction" is when one guy puts up his magic breastplate for 1 copper less than the other guy.  What little selling that is done outside of the auction house consists in a lot of ways of selling raid loot, which many players have no use for or other odds and ends which aren't often found on the broker.  Such exchanges are brief and done so rarely that it hardly constitues worthy player interaction.

I don't think those days are long gone at all.  Certainly it makes it a bit more difficult when players can open their own storefronts or use auction houses to sell their goods and never have to talk to another person, but I also see people posting things for sale directly in sales channels, which does promote individual contact between players.  It's not only unneeded gear and weapons for sale but crafted items, spell-casting, offers to craft for cash or trade, etc.  Any place where players interact is certainly interaction, there can be more interaction in a brief encounter to exchange goods than there can in hours of group play where nobody says a word to each other, they just move from mob to mob killing things.

You say there are "all kinds of ways" to interact with people other than forming groups to whack on mobs, yet other than the economy example, you fail to list any of them.  I'm not talking about sandbox MMORPGs where yous it in a cantina to listen to some chick in a bikini play the Star Wars theme or a game like EVE where you do...well, whatever it is you do in that game.  I'm talking about modern day mainstream MMORPGs such as Warhammer, World of Warcraft, Everquest 2, Lord of the Rings Online, and so on.  All of the mainstream MMORPGs of today include a very central theme --- a focus on combat.  Sure, there's tradeskilling, but it's largely only done to improve an individual's abilities in a combat situation.  Guilds are formed and friends are made entirely on the basis of providing an easier experience within the game world, a game world which revolves around combat.

Most, perhaps the vast majority of my MMO friends, I have never fought with, never grouped with, never had any combat-related interaction with whatsoever.  I've joined guilds, talked to people, helped people, spent tons of hours doing nothing but sitting in a public place offering free buffs and crafting services to guild members and heck, to all comers, and I get to meet and talk to tons of people.  Sometimes I never see them again.  Sometimes we hit it off and start talking regularly.  Occasionally we hit it off so well that we start talking about things outside of the game and may end up taking our friendship outside of the MMO realm.  Would you say that's not interaction?  The fact that many people don't do it doesn't mean it cannot be done, it just means that most people are more interested in playing the game for the sake of the game than they are in smelling the roses along the way.  Just imposing grouping on people won't change that, like I said, most groups have virtually no meaningful discussion going on, it's just kill a mob, move on, rinse, lather, repeat.

Next you say you never raid and so that gear has no meaning for you, which is understandable as I have a level 80 on EQ2, and spend my time leveling alts, helping my guild, or harvesting.   I've never cared for that style of play and probably never will.  I could care less about the raid gear as I'll never need it for any raids, and as such, I simply want the best gear I can get for my playstyle.  Seeing that my playstyle happens to be the kind that enjoys running heroic dungeons, I want the best gear I can get out of the heroic dungeons.  Once I've done that, I feel as if I've done all I can do on my character.  At first glance, we don't seem all that different in that regard, but I do believe there's a subtle difference between the two of us.  Interestingly enough, you say raid gear is irrelevant to you because you have no desire to ever see raid content then you say, "all other aspects of the game should be available to anyone who plays the game."  Now I can only take this to mean you feel like you are entitled to the same gear and achievements (both in-game and personal) that a player who enjoys heroic content should obtain, but not gear or content from a raid. This puzzles me.  Why is it ok to exclude soloers from the  raiding players who experience the content and reap the great rewards of the endgame raid zones, but not exclude soloers from content and gear available to players who put forth the time and effort into getting a group together to explore and defeat dungeon encounters?  It's nothing more than an additional style of play.  MMORPG players need to stop thinking in terms of two distinct playstyles of "hardcore and casual" and moreso into three which would be "soloer, heroic dungeon runner, and raider."  A hardcore player doesn't have to be a raider any more than a casual player who only plays 10 hours a week has to be a soloer.

Playstyle isn't predacated on amount of time played, you can have hardcore soloers who play 80 hours a week and you can have casual groupers who get on 2 hours a week.  You're assuming that your take on "hero" is any more valid than the person who wants to run in and save the day as an individual instead in a group of people.  The fact is, raiding bores me to tears, I have no interest in doing it, I don't care about their gear and I think rewards for the sake of rewards are downright stupid.  I don't play endgame because I find the endgame to be so utterly absurd.  Every character I have that reaches end level either gets retired or sticks around for buffing services and helping others in the guild out.  Otherwise, I don't play them because there's no purpose, IMO, in doing so.

Lastly, you may not believe the "path to least resistance" is a legitimate excuse for a lack of grouping, but you're speaking to an MMORPG player who has seen it first hand.  As an Everquest 2 player since launch, I can recall a time way back in November of 2004 where the game was litered with content that could only be conquered by a group.  Any solo content the game had was relegated to a handful of small areas in every zone which offered abysmal XP rates.   Groups were everywhere, camp spots were just as common as heroic dungeon runs, and any soloing was an absolute afterthought.  Years later, I come back to find my MMORPG of choice a vastly different game, and not all for the bad.  It's a lot easier to level up now, and groups rarely come (depending on server) along until you're at least in your 60s or 70s.  The entire direction of the game changed at some point to reflect more of a WoW-style MMORPG than an Everquest or Final Fantasy XI style game.  The reason is nearly every mob in every single overland area is now a solo con, and almost everything sans dungeon runs that required a group in the past, can now be done solo.  Players don't group anymore because they have no reason to group.  If they can walk up to a mob and kill it in 5 seconds, there's little reason to spend 10 minutes searching for a couple other players to come help him.  That said, it's not like there are zero groups these days.  The way EQ2 is set up, there are various quests and mobs which drop  highly desirable loot which absolutely requires a group to run a dungeon to obtain.  They don't group strickly for the fun of it.  They group because they want something, and that's the only way you're going to get players to group together.  In theory, any game with a group option supports grouping, but unless the game mechanics have methods in place where grouping is encouraged or required in some small way, players will rarely utilize it.  Quite frankly, it can be a pain in the behind to get a group running, but at least for me, when I do get a group going or when a full group invites me, I enjoy myself twice as much as I do when I'm soloing.  Maybe this is a lot of the reason why even on the servers which are more dead, as rare as they do come, I still get more groups from levels 1 - 59 while playing EQ2 than I do in a game like WoW gives me zero reason to ever form a group until I'm level 80.

I'm saying that it's a really overused excuse.  It's an unwarranted assumption that there would be more people grouping if games just forced upon them and it simply doesn't hold water.  The point of these games is to have fun, people will choose the path which provides them whatever fun they are seeking in the game, be that soloing, grouping, raiding, PvP, PvE, or whatever.  Those people who have fun grouping are going to group regardless because that's where they derive their fun.  I wouldn't raid no matter how attractive a game made it because I don't have fun doing it.

Like I've said many times before, if you can kill mob X by yourself in 5 seconds, stop killing mob X, get a group and go kill mob Y that you can't.  Go find more difficult content to take on in a group, you'll find that the rewards are typically higher anyhow.  If the game you're playing doesn't allow you to go find hard enough mobs, complain to the developers.  It doesn't do any good to vent on here, the developers aren't listening here.  Get a ton of people who think the same as you and approach the game developers and lay out your concerns and a plan of action for solving the problem.  They'll either listen or they won't, it's their game and they make the rules, but at least you gave it a shot.  If you can get enough people to make your voices matter, you stand a good chance of succeeding.  If you can't... then you may have to face the reality that what you want is such a minority view that you'll never be catered to.

Your enjoyment of your solo content should not hinge on whether or not you can compete with a player who runs heroic dungeons because, as you say, you are a solo player.  Solo players should be content with their content just as group players should be content with their heroic content.  I've never once stated I believe I should be able to reap the same rewards as a hardcore raider just by running a dungeon, and you shouldn't advocate reaping the rewards for conquering a dungeon as a solo player.  

I don't care about competing with anyone, I'm not playing an MMO to swing my e-peen around, I'm not strutting around like a peacock saying "look at my gear, aren't I cool?" I think people who do that have serious self-esteem problems.  If you want to have your higher-level content over there that I cannot take on by myself, fine by me.  What I have a problem with is the idea, proposed by lots of pro-groupers, that there should be content that soloers can *NEVER* take on under any circumstances, that there is gear, useful in normal play, that is forever denied to soloers.  We're not talking raid gear that's only useful in raids, we're talking about regular, everyday stuff that would be useful to all, but which groupers can have and soloers cannot.  That's blatantly unfair.  If you run that dungeon with your group at level 10 and I go in at level 20 and run the same dungeon myself, I ought to get the same rewards as you, period.

You preach that we should tolerate individuals with a different playstyle than our own, and I agree with that idea, but not with your delivery.  In your last paragraph you mention "Those who want to group can group, nobody is stopping them. However, they accept the good and the bad that goes along with grouping as a consequence of their playstyle choice. They picked it, they deal with it. If they don't like it, they can make another choice. "  I can't help but find this entirely hypocritical.  You want us to respect your playstyle, which I do, but you don't respect mine because you say if I don't like playing a game like WoW with no real groups until I'm at the level cap, I should simply seek to change my playstyle because my current playstyle kinda sucks.  I respect your ability to solo just as i respect a CoD's player to purchase a game in the CoD series simply to blow himself or herself up with grenades repeatedly.  It's different strokes for different folks, but your playstyle as you desire it, impeeds on my playstyle. You want equal rewards for everything no matter what style of play achieves it, yet you fail to reailze that if players have no incentive to group, no incentive to raid.  They won't group. They won't raid.  They will solo.  You will be happy.  I will not.  You will play.  I will not play.  Giving equal rewards for all playstyles is absolutely no way to achieve a balance in the varying styles of MMORPG gameplay as illustrated.  A game must strike a balance, giving players a reason to solo, a reason to group, and a reason to raid, in order to appeal to the largest portion of players out there.

How is it hypocritical?  I accept the good and the bad of soloing, I accept that I stand on my own, I have no one to back me up, I have to be a jack-of-all-trades because I don't have a tank attracting all the damage and a healer behind me patching me up.  I have to do all of those jobs myself.  If I didn't accept these things, I could pick another playstyle too.  That's reality.  My playstyle has nothing whatsoever to do with yours though.  If you can find a bunch of people who want to group, you can do that.  Go ahead.  All the soloers in the world will never stop your ability.  However, you're confusing ability with ease.  If there are only 5 people in a game of 50,000 people who want to group, then there's only a limited pool of people you can group with.  Sorry, that's reality.  Nobody has to bend over backwards to provide you with easy grouping to facilitate your playstyle.  You *CAN* group, nobody says you automatically must have easy access to tons of people who are willing to leap into a group with you.  If I was playing a game geared entirely toward grouping, where I couldn't solo, I'd make the decision not to play the game.  I can't sit around and whine that I can't solo, therefore the world is being unfair to me.  That's immature.  Deal with the reality that exists, not the reality you wish were true.

You speak of soloers being the largest portion of the MMORPG playerbase, and I say that the term "soloer" is a relatively broad category.  Based off of my beliefs, many hardcore grouping advocates would possibly label me a soloer, but as you can see, our outlook on the MMORPG genre is quite different.  You make the statement saying the majority of players in the MMORPG genre support your style of play, which as proven, is entirely baseless, and by allowing players of any sort to obtain gear that was once hard to earn, requiring hours of teamwork and dedication, you may end up loosing more players than you gain.  Just ask SOE.  The SWG Jedi grind was removed with the NGE among vast amounts of other changes, and players revolted because all their hard work went down to toilet in favor of giving everyone instant and equal access to all the content. As a result, the game lost thousands of subscribers, and most likely will never reach the same level of popularity it once had.  No, equal access for everyone has been tried before and has never worked, and simply illustrates that not all soloers, or group players, or raiders think exactly alike.  There has to be content for everyone and a reason for doing said content over other content.  An MMORPG can never be cater to every MMORPG player out there, but it can only hope to have just enough aspects from all the various playstyles inside of it to keep the largest number of players subscribed.

SWG died because of some really stupid decisions made by SOE, that's a whole thread in and of itself and has no place here.  However, whether you like it or not, WoW has proven that the MMO market is much, much larger than the few tens of thousands of people who played back in the UO/EQ days and the millions of people who represent potential dollars to MMO developers are primarily soloers, people who solo much, if not most of the time, who may jump into groups from time to time, but who really aren't hardcore groupers in any sense of the word.  That's the market you're playing in.  That's reality.  Nobody says you have to like it, only that you have to accept it.  The fact is, there doesn't have to be content for everyone, that's a fallacy.  There has to be content for groups that make developers money so they can keep putting these games out and keep them online.  That's what the MMO market is, it's a business, made up of companies that have to keep paying their programmers and their customer service people and paying their server fees and making a profit for their investors.  If you think for one second that making every single person that comes along happy is remotely important in *ANY* business, much less the MMO market, you're sorely mistaken.  Most successful MMOs are keeping the largest number of players subscribed, that's why they cater to soloers because that represents the largest number of players.  Niche games can get away with catering to fringe elements because they either don't have to worry about investors or don't care about hitting those big subscription numbers.  However, you're never going to convince a developer to make the game that you want posting on here.  Get 100k groupers together and go to a developer and propose a game.  Numbers count.  Rhetoric doesn't.

Played: UO, EQ, WoW, DDO, SWG, AO, CoH, EvE, TR, AoC, GW, GA, Aion, Allods, lots more
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Hope: None

  Cephus404

Novice Member

Joined: 2/27/08
Posts: 3697

1/04/10 5:27:40 PM#184
Originally posted by pojung

In fact, the pro-soloer attitude is usually: leave us alone and go do whatever you want. I've never seen anyone argue that we ought to force groupers not to group, but the reverse is most certainly not true. Groupers routinely argue that people ought to be forced to group whether they want to or not, that people who solo ought to get out of MMOs entirely, etc. Without a doubt, groupers have been the most vocal assholes on MMORPG.com in just about every argument.

.... which is another way of saying 'i've zero desire to compromise what i'm doing so that a body that encompasses that which is external to self can gain'. To try and use reverse reasoning to support your original claim also breaks down. Of course you can't require that a grouper assume the same mindset! It's apples and oranges, of which the only common factor is they are both fruit (just like both groupers and soloers are both gamers). 'Without a doubt, solo'ist have been the most vocal...' see how this claim is easiliy reversed without sound justification? I'm a middle of the road kinda guy, and I would claim I've seen more stark negativity from the solo camp than from the groupers on these forums.

See, that's the problem, you're not talking about compromise, you're talking about coersion.  You don't want to be able to group, you want to  be able to push other people, either through game mechanics or bribery, to group.  It's like playing a game where full-loot PvP is possible, but people have to turn on an option to engage in it.  You're more than welcome to engage in full-loot PvP with as many people who have opted in as you can find.  You cannot try to force others to opt-in in order to get special rewards or better advancement.  I don't think you understand this whole "compromise" thing.

So you're arguing against human nature then? After all, *YOU* are not taking the path of least resistance, are you? So that automatically makes you an expert on what everyone else does?

That example was one that is typically spurred out of boredom by a specific breed of individual- that much I was hoping was evident. The example actually supported the claim, if one could properly read between the lines (keyword: 'unless'). To assume that people, as a rule, don't take the path of least resistance would be akin to claiming the law of entropy is faux. Finally, despite your final question in this paragraph being a troll, what if I was? What if Poster_153 on these forums *actually way* an expert? It would be lost on the reader, because of bias and stubborness. It's almost moot.

It doesn't matter what path people choose to take, only that they have a choice.  If you cannot find people to group with, maybe the problem is that you hold a minimally popular playstyle.  Whose fault is that?

Mythology is full of heroes who take on tremendous tasks on their own, that's why they're heroes. Try again.

Mythology works, because the backdrop is one of impossible achievements, of epic proportions. To allow everyone to be a hero, even in an MMORPG where the mechanics would be 'collective soloing', the story, the lore, the *credibility* of the *impossible* breaks down when made available to the individual. When topics go from 'awe' to 'commonplace' you lose all sense of accomplishment perspective. Something suffers when you twist context and lore to fit your consumer's desires. No, no need to 'try again'. Perhaps one would consider things beyond the 1st degree.

The problem being, lots of people couldn't care less about heroics.  If I'm playing Halo, I don't care about being a hero, I'm having a good time and that's all there is to it.  So long as it's fun, I keep playing.  If it stops being fun, I stop.  You're desperately trying to take your personal opinions and present them as fact.

I'd have no problem giving different paths to advancement that are equivalent, yet cater to the strengths and weaknesses of the particular playstyle in question. Neither should be inherently better than the other, both should allow access to the same rewards and similar content, etc. If you want to argue for that, I'm on your side. If you want to argue for artificial rewards built specifically to entice or bribe people to play one way instead of the other, you're on your own.

Again, equal doesn't mean identical. Grouping rewards, when properly tailored, should in all ways be superior to soloing rewards, when properly tailored. On this there really is no discussion- and it has been discussed well into completion with the effect of 'sum greater than parts'. If need-be, I'll link where a very in-depth discussion on the matter takes place. Lastly, I don't argue for persuasive measures- I support solid play, not marketing ploys.
 

Why?  Please describe, in detail, *WHY* group rewards should be superior for the exact same mobs.  I'm not saying that a group of level 10 characters shouldn't be able to take on level 20 content and get level 20 rewards, but that's not something that most games need to alter, it's already possible.  If it's not in your game, get a group of people together and talk to the developers and suggest a fix.  To suggest that killing mob X should magically reward 5 people for being present than it should reward 1 person is absurd and illogical.

 

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

  toddze

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/02/08
Posts: 2203

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

1/04/10 5:39:16 PM#185
Originally posted by riccrist

Group play is for weak players! Lol! ^^v

As for me, I'm more of a solo player and I just join groups if they are required.

 

No offense ment, but this is why solo and group content do not co-exist equally, and why grouping in a solo centric game sucks compared to grouping in a grouping game. Your grouping with people who do not want to group, but forced too. Thats why the game should be more solo centric or more group centric.

Waiting for:EQ-Next, ArcheAge (not so much anymore)
Now Playing: N/A
Worst MMO: FFXIV
Favorite MMO: FFXI

  SwampRob

Novice Member

Joined: 9/05/07
Posts: 1010

1/04/10 6:21:39 PM#186

While I am firmly in one camp, which one is irrelevant.

The problem is this:  if you make the game so that solo players can, thru solo play, access the best loot, you'll piss off group players.   They will feel that this lessens their accomplishments.    Whether it does or does not is also irrelevant; what's important is that doing this makes the group players feel slighted.

If you go the other way, and make the best loot only available through group play, you will piss off the soloers, who will feel that their way of play is being given the short stick.   Whether true or not, it's irrelevant; what' matters is that doing this makes the solo players feel slighted.

The only thing I feel that all MMOs should do (many don't), is to be up front about which way it is.   For example, I loathe that Wow does a bait and switch that lets you solo to the end and then forces you to group to get the best loot.    Wow is not the only MMO that does this, however.

 

 

 

*Sorry about the large font, my eyes aren't what they used to be.

  SuperXero89

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/16/09
Posts: 2610

1/05/10 2:37:35 AM#187
Originally posted by Cephus404
Playstyle isn't predacated on amount of time played, you can have hardcore soloers who play 80 hours a week and you can have casual groupers who get on 2 hours a week.  You're assuming that your take on "hero" is any more valid than the person who wants to run in and save the day as an individual instead in a group of people.  The fact is, raiding bores me to tears, I have no interest in doing it, I don't care about their gear and I think rewards for the sake of rewards are downright stupid.  I don't play endgame because I find the endgame to be so utterly absurd.  Every character I have that reaches end level either gets retired or sticks around for buffing services and helping others in the guild out.  Otherwise, I don't play them because there's no purpose, IMO, in doing so.

I believe I was the one to say the equivalent "playstyle isn't predcated on the amount of time played," so I'm not sure why you're lecturing me on a point that I made myself.  There's a lot more to be said for the playstyles of any individual other than the three simple categories of grouper, soloer, and raider, because as I said, I'd probably be considered a solo advocate by many even though I push for there to be some sort of group content in every MMORPG I play.  I would agree with you about the raiding aspect of MMORPGs,  but you have to understand that raiders are not simply forced into that single style of play.  Raiders often join groups for heroic content and solo just as often as they raid, and are about to tell me that gear they got from their raids doesn't benefit them greatly?  Again, this is a point I can give you legitimate proof of.  Try to measure your DPS geared as a soloer in a dungeon against a player geared in raid gear.  Depending on the game, you may be playing the very best DPS class in the game but could theoretically be out-parsed by a healer of all things.  As a player who enjoys heroic content, I would love to have the added advantages of raid gear, but I dislike raiding, so I will never see that gear.  I don't expect MMORPG developers to give me access to equally powerful gear because I wouldn't expect there would be a purpose for raiding at all if an individual could get the gear with half th effort.

I'm saying that it's a really overused excuse.  It's an unwarranted assumption that there would be more people grouping if games just forced upon them and it simply doesn't hold water.  The point of these games is to have fun, people will choose the path which provides them whatever fun they are seeking in the game, be that soloing, grouping, raiding, PvP, PvE, or whatever.  Those people who have fun grouping are going to group regardless because that's where they derive their fun.  I wouldn't raid no matter how attractive a game made it because I don't have fun doing it.

It's an overused excuse I'd wager because many players, like me, have seen the effects of increased soloability in a game which was once dominated by heroic content -- for better or worse, we're not here to decide that.  You can ignore what I've witnessed with my own eyes, all you want, and quite frankly it's all too convenient.  I do agree that the purpose of these games is to have fun, and much of the fun (though not all) that I personally get from MMORPGs is the ability to take on heroic content.  Now, if I could get what would be basically the exact same rewards for soloing something, I would have absolutely no reason to go through the pains of finding a group.  It simply doesn't make sense why I would waste time finding 5 other players to take down mobs that take a single player five seconds to kill, and it makes even less sense that players would be willing to go through content which is markedly more difficult and time consuming when the reward is largely the same as anything that players can obtain through solo quests.  Sure, theoretically I "could" still group with players in a dungeon somewhere, but the fact that players have zero reason to go into a dungeon for any reason other than intrinsic satisfaction only impeeds my ability to start a group in the first place.

Like I've said many times before, if you can kill mob X by yourself in 5 seconds, stop killing mob X, get a group and go kill mob Y that you can't.  Go find more difficult content to take on in a group, you'll find that the rewards are typically higher anyhow.  If the game you're playing doesn't allow you to go find hard enough mobs, complain to the developers.  It doesn't do any good to vent on here, the developers aren't listening here.  Get a ton of people who think the same as you and approach the game developers and lay out your concerns and a plan of action for solving the problem.  They'll either listen or they won't, it's their game and they make the rules, but at least you gave it a shot.  If you can get enough people to make your voices matter, you stand a good chance of succeeding.  If you can't... then you may have to face the reality that what you want is such a minority view that you'll never be catered to.

As I said, there's no point in doing heroic content when the rewards are largely the same as solo content, which is what you seem to be advocating.  Typically, the rewards are higher, and that's as I personally believe an MMORPG should be.  Generally, MMORPGs with significant rewards for heroic content are MMORPGs that see more players grouping together, which is exactly the point.  The reward has to be there in order to get players to go through the effort of finding a group.  I love grouping with people, but it simply isn't feasible to form groups to obtain items that can be obtained by the actions of a single individual.  

I don't care about competing with anyone, I'm not playing an MMO to swing my e-peen around, I'm not strutting around like a peacock saying "look at my gear, aren't I cool?" I think people who do that have serious self-esteem problems.  If you want to have your higher-level content over there that I cannot take on by myself, fine by me.  What I have a problem with is the idea, proposed by lots of pro-groupers, that there should be content that soloers can *NEVER* take on under any circumstances, that there is gear, useful in normal play, that is forever denied to soloers.  We're not talking raid gear that's only useful in raids, we're talking about regular, everyday stuff that would be useful to all, but which groupers can have and soloers cannot.  That's blatantly unfair.  If you run that dungeon with your group at level 10 and I go in at level 20 and run the same dungeon myself, I ought to get the same rewards as you, period.

As I alluded to above, the idea that raid gear is only useful in raids is absolute nonsense.  Raiders don't simply confine themselves to raiding, as they often indulge in a plethora of content whether it be solo quests or heroic dungeons.  Their gear gives them a significant leg up on such content, much moreso than any advantage a player who runs heroic dungeons repeatedly has over a soloer.  As a player who prefers to stick with groups and not raid, I accept that I will never be able to blast through solo quests and heroic dungeons with the speed and strength of a raid geared player, but I accept that.  I do so because I acknowledge that heroic gear allows me to complete the content I prefer.  A group of players in heroic gear cannot simply blaze through a dungeon.  They may have to plan and strategize a bit, but it is possible to complete said dungeon with teh gear provided from heroic dungeons.  Likewise, any gear obtained by soloing is perfectly acceptable to use while soloing.  Solo loot is generally weaker than the other two types of loot not only because of the reason I've already listed but because an individual doesn't need the high stat counts, bonuses, or resist effects to go through solo content.  Mobs are more difficult to kill in heroic content and far more difficult to kill in raids, thus the additional stats are needed.  There's absolutely nothing that you cannot conquer within the confines of your current playstyle that the loot you receive doesn't allow you to do.

 

How is it hypocritical?  I accept the good and the bad of soloing, I accept that I stand on my own, I have no one to back me up, I have to be a jack-of-all-trades because I don't have a tank attracting all the damage and a healer behind me patching me up.  I have to do all of those jobs myself.  If I didn't accept these things, I could pick another playstyle too.  That's reality.  My playstyle has nothing whatsoever to do with yours though.  If you can find a bunch of people who want to group, you can do that.  Go ahead.  All the soloers in the world will never stop your ability.  However, you're confusing ability with ease.  If there are only 5 people in a game of 50,000 people who want to group, then there's only a limited pool of people you can group with.  Sorry, that's reality.  Nobody has to bend over backwards to provide you with easy grouping to facilitate your playstyle.  You *CAN* group, nobody says you automatically must have easy access to tons of people who are willing to leap into a group with you.  If I was playing a game geared entirely toward grouping, where I couldn't solo, I'd make the decision not to play the game.  I can't sit around and whine that I can't solo, therefore the world is being unfair to me.  That's immature.  Deal with the reality that exists, not the reality you wish were true.

You say "my playstyle has nothing whatsoever to do with yours," which is laughably false.  I have given you examples of the contrary, and I can't help that you continue to ignore them.  If you want to get cute and say that the "ability" to form a group is simply having an /invite command, build into the game, you have a point, but I would hope you understand my meaning behind my usage of the word "ability."  Increased focus on solo content, impedes my "ability" to form a group.  Equal rewards all but destroys it.  As has been proven countless times, players will not group unless they have solid reason to do so. I can form a group if I so choose, but there's no reason to go through the effort to fight through difficult content for rewards that can be obtained by soloing, nor is there a reason to group up for the solo quests themselves.  My ability to group with other players has little effect on your ability to solo.  Unless you're playing the original Everquest, most every MMORPG of note allows you to solo and solo fairly well, which has no bearing on the group content.   Group content in modern MMORPGs is mostly all tucked away into dungeons and specific quest instances. What does affect group content, however, is rewards.  I cannot advocate your ability to obtain the same gear as someone who runs heroics any more than I can advocate myself to be given raid gear for running dungeons repeatedly.  

You talk about accepting consquences of playstyle.  I'm fully aware that many MMORPGs have an increased focus on solo content, and I'm not entirely opposed to solo content.  The days of having nothing to do in an MMORPG other than run in circles while flashing your LFG tag are thankfully long gone, but I realize that the efficiency of playstyles largely hinge on game mechanics.  MMORPG developers have to give players a "reason" to take part in all aspects of the game's content.  It's the player's own choice to decide what aspects of the game to delve into.  Theoretically, the only players who get 100% out of what they put into MMORPGs are the raiders, but as you say, there are consequences to every playstyle.  Just as I accept the fact that I will never have the gear of a raider or even that I will be constantly compared to raid toons (as many raiders run heroic content and post their DPS in group chat), you must accept one addition consequence of your own playstyle, that being that you may not be able to obtain the same rewards as an indivual who runs heroic content or a raider who raids.  As a player who participates in heroic content, I understand I will never see most raid gear, and to make up for it, I surround myself with like minded players, so gear is never an issue.  In the environment I surround myself within, I'm not expected to find the best gear for my toon.  I'm not expected to raid five days a week.  I'm simply expected to log in, chat, and be helpful to my guild mates (most of them lower level) in any way that I can given that I'm one of the few members of the guild at the level cap.

SWG died because of some really stupid decisions made by SOE, that's a whole thread in and of itself and has no place here.  However, whether you like it or not, WoW has proven that the MMO market is much, much larger than the few tens of thousands of people who played back in the UO/EQ days and the millions of people who represent potential dollars to MMO developers are primarily soloers, people who solo much, if not most of the time, who may jump into groups from time to time, but who really aren't hardcore groupers in any sense of the word.  That's the market you're playing in.  That's reality.  Nobody says you have to like it, only that you have to accept it.  The fact is, there doesn't have to be content for everyone, that's a fallacy.  There has to be content for groups that make developers money so they can keep putting these games out and keep them online.  That's what the MMO market is, it's a business, made up of companies that have to keep paying their programmers and their customer service people and paying their server fees and making a profit for their investors.  If you think for one second that making every single person that comes along happy is remotely important in *ANY* business, much less the MMO market, you're sorely mistaken.  Most successful MMOs are keeping the largest number of players subscribed, that's why they cater to soloers because that represents the largest number of players.  Niche games can get away with catering to fringe elements because they either don't have to worry about investors or don't care about hitting those big subscription numbers.  However, you're never going to convince a developer to make the game that you want posting on here.  Get 100k groupers together and go to a developer and propose a game.  Numbers count.  Rhetoric doesn't.

SWG dead?  Really, I could have sworn I logged into that game just last wek.  Wow, it went down fast.  Seriously, SWG is nowhere near where it was population wise even in the dark days leading towards the CU and the NGE, but it's far from dead.  Other games in SOE's station access pass such as Pirates of the Burning Sea, and Vanguard are doing far worse than SWG right now.  My point in bringing up SWG was to hopefully illustrate how players don't like having their achievements cheapened by allowing other players access to the same abilities with nowhere near as much effort. SWG is an extreme example, but there was a time even in EQ2 where it once took far more effort to complete various quests and conquer various content than it does now.  It didn't work well for EQ2 either.  In fact,  I can't think of a single instance in MMORPG history where such a shift has actually proven beneficial to the game.

Throught this little verbal exchange though, I can't help but feel as if I'm beeing forced into the hardcore groupers camp, which I'm not.  If anything, I'm advocating a balance.  I believe in solo content, but I also believe in instances where players should be given reason to form groups.  I realize that more and more MMORPGs are catering more and more to the solo player, and for good reason, but again, there's no reason why there can't be a sizable portion of meaningful group content within the game as well.  As I said, a "soloer" can be many things and as much as I'm sure you assume every soloer shares your playstyle, you cannot really prove that as much as I cannot really prove they do not.  In that regard, we can only assume to what degree individuals solo in MMORPGs, but I will say this.  Not even WoW gives equal rewards for soloing.  Not even WoW is a game where soloing is just as rewarding as running heroic dungeons or raiding.   A player can go from the beginning to max level without ever grouping with a single player, but they're still at a disadvantage to players who are equiped with dungeon loot.  The only problem is outside of loot and mediocre quest rewards, there's little reason to group before 80, and given the vast majority of players are at the cap, the primary concern of the overwhelming populace at least seems to be geared towards the most efficient way to reach the max level, which dungeon grinding certainly isn't.  The appeal to WoW, aside from the fact that it can run on almost any modern PC, is that it has something to offer every sort of player.  It isn't a forced grouping game like Everquest.  It isn't a PvP only game like DAoC.  It isn't a solo fest like Champions Online.  It has content for every type of player and is approachable to a wide audience.  It really has nothing to do with keeping players "happy," but it has everything to do with finding aspects which appeal to a wider audience.  If a game was revolved around nothing but soloing -- no grouping, no raiding -- I believe a sizable portion of it's innitial playerbase would largely disappear.  Players like options.  Players like the freedom and ability to play the game they want to play it.  In WoW, they can do so.  In EQ2, they can do so.  In LoTRO, they can do so.  In your vision of the perfect MMORPG, players would be forced into one style of play and one style of play only -- whichever style of play someone deems will make the company the most money.  In reality, all MMORPGs are "geared" toward one style of play or another (some moreso than others), but none of them are mutually exclusive to one playstyle.  What I hope you learn from this is by allowing everyone access to the same gear, there's no reason to obtain that gear in any such way than whatever is deemed the easiest method.  You present your MMORPG as an MMORPG which appeals to everyone, but in reality,  by allowing everyone immediate access to everything, you appeal to one segment of the audience -- large or not, such a narrowly focused MMORPG has not yet been proven to work in the MMORPG industry and most likely never will.

 

  User Deleted
1/05/10 5:27:30 AM#188

@ Cephus404
 

See, that's the problem, you're not talking about compromise, you're talking about coersion. You don't want to be able to group, you want to be able to push other people, either through game mechanics or bribery, to group. It's like playing a game where full-loot PvP is possible, but people have to turn on an option to engage in it. You're more than welcome to engage in full-loot PvP with as many people who have opted in as you can find. You cannot try to force others to opt-in in order to get special rewards or better advancement. I don't think you understand this whole "compromise" thing.

Coersion? Where in 'i've zero desire to compromise what i'm doing so that a body that encompasses that which is external to self can gain' denotes a forcing of one's hand? I understand you 10-4: you want to be left to yourself, and wish the same for others. Your full-loot PvP example is a tangent whose correlation is lost on me. I fail to understand how selective full-loot PvP is linked with solo:group compromise:coersion.

It doesn't matter what path people choose to take, only that they have a choice. If you cannot find people to group with, maybe the problem is that you hold a minimally popular playstyle. Whose fault is that?

Choice is rather irrelivant here. Again, entropy. Arguing against this would mean arguing against droves of scientific findings. We take the path of least resistance except under extreme examples. Choice or no choice. Again again, there's no 'fault' to be found on either side of the track, which is typically a term soloists like to use. It simply is what it is- a preference in playstyle. Between attempting to find fault, and a preference to be left to oneself, I could loosely conclude that a soloist who embraces these 2 terms is rather selfish in nature. It does not allow nor entertain being social.

The problem being, lots of people couldn't care less about heroics. If I'm playing Halo, I don't care about being a hero, I'm having a good time and that's all there is to it. So long as it's fun, I keep playing. If it stops being fun, I stop. You're desperately trying to take your personal opinions and present them as fact.

Wait- you use mythology and heroics to claim an example, then turn around and say 'lots of people' to include self 'couldn't care less' about them. So which is it? If you choose the former, my statement stands. If you choose the latter, you acknowledge that lore is of minimal concern to you (that whole RPG thing- what a bother). Not to say that someone who doesn't require rich storyline is a bad thing, but that's only gravy if you're privvy to a scope that's limited to your sphere of existence. If you make a product that everyone can enjoy, you need to focus on the criteria that is more stringent in nature- and that means making lore that stands up to the scrutiny of the storytellers amongst us. I'm not desperately trying to do anything. It *could be* that my opinion is formed *around* facts, albeit following your last posting and the troll sentence of expertise, this would be meaningless to the reader.

Why? Please describe, in detail, *WHY* group rewards should be superior for the exact same mobs. I'm not saying that a group of level 10 characters shouldn't be able to take on level 20 content and get level 20 rewards, but that's not something that most games need to alter, it's already possible. If it's not in your game, get a group of people together and talk to the developers and suggest a fix. To suggest that killing mob X should magically reward 5 people for being present than it should reward 1 person is absurd and illogical.

Who said anything about 'exact same'? I keep trying to make it known that equal DOES NOT mean identical! For an 'exact same' mob, it can only be 'tailored' for one of 2 playstyles, much less 'properly tailored' for the playstyle it's intended for.

I'm talking about challenge:reward (keywords: 'rewards, when properly tailored'). In all cases where proper challenge is devised to meet the capabilities of a given party, groupers are to recieve superior awards.

  Silvermink

Novice Member

Joined: 6/07/07
Posts: 289

1/05/10 9:30:50 AM#189

Vanguard was launched as a group friendly game. For the first couple months groups were plentiful and lasted a while. Then after about 2 months they introduced missives. Solo player repeatable quests with rewards that could be accumulated and traded for rewards that in some cases exceeded what was available from grouping. In a matter of weeks groups evaporated. I quit shortly after. Vanguard was a failure to me because it refused to stick to it's plan. I could of lived with the lag. 

I don't want group content to invade every solo'ers paradise that's been released lately. It would be nice if one dev showed some resolve and released a new game that was group friendly and stayed that way. I've seen MMO after MMO get released and drop thousands of subscriptions within the first month. The exodus comes with comments such as WoW Clone, too many kill X quests, or boring grinder. Maybe the solo to max level model isn't as perfect as people claim it to be.

  GrumpyMel2

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/24/09
Posts: 1824

1/05/10 10:08:27 AM#190

I solo quite a bit in the games I play...just due to scheduling factors...but I'll say that pretty much all of the truely fun and memorable experiences I've had in MMO's have involved group/cooperative play. Solo-ing is just a time filler in between periods that you can arrange for group play.....and (IMO) that's pretty much the way it SHOULD be in your "typical" MMO.

I have no problem with people that want to play solo oriented games.... that's pretty much what single-player games are all about...and that's what I play when I want to solo. I also have no problem against the occasional solo oriented MMO. The huge problem that I have is when solo players come into games that are essentialy oriented toward cooperative play .... and that's essentialy what MMO's are and then whine that they have to play cooperatively to experience the full breadth of the game.... duh, that's what MULTI-PLAYER games are.....if you don't want to play cooperatively there are litteraly a TON of single player games out there to choose from...that are specificaly designed towards solo play experience. To my mind, the push for solo play in ALL MMO's is one of the largest factors that is ruining the genre.

Games need to pick a focus and stick with it. You can't be ALL things to ALL people and do it well. There do need to be things that you can do solo in group based games because there are times that you can't group or just don't feel like it....but that stuff should pretty much be filler...not the meat of the game...... unless you are making a single player game.

As far as community goes.... it should come as no surprise that in games where people HAVE to cooperate to get things done, they quickly learn to cooperate and play well with others...or they get frustrated and leave. The same happens in other activities in life....not just games. It's shocking how nice, respectfull and cooperative people can learn to be when they NEED to in order to exist.  It's games that are heavly focused on solo advancement where comminities get killed and folks learn to act in selfish and anti-social manners....surprise, surprise because there is NO INCENTIVE for them to do otherwise.

Cooperative play focused games breed better communities out of neccessity. If being a jerk means that you have trouble advancing (because no one wants to work with a jerk) then you are quickly going to learn to not act like a jerk....or you are going to get frustrated and quit. It's that simple.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  GrumpyMel2

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/24/09
Posts: 1824

1/05/10 10:31:35 AM#191
Originally posted by xephonics

by soloing he infringes on other's right to group?

that is damn near the dumbest statement i've read on this board in a long time.

 

If i cannot play a game in a way which will be fun for me, then that defeats the purpose of playing a game.

 

Right, but guess what....not all games are for everyone.

You don't want to walk onto a tennis court and insist on playing golf (and vice versa).

There is nothing wrong with either tennis or golf but they are mutualy exclusive activities... you can't do both at the same time in the same space and make a good experience for either player.

That's actually one of the biggest problems that many MMO's are having these days..... they end up shooting for target audiences that are TOO BROAD..... and in the end fail to really satisfy anyone well...because the things needed to truely satisfy different play styles are mutualy exclusive. The idea that contradictory play styles can peacefully coexist in the same space without impinging on each other is a myth.

What game companies really need to do is STOP trying to be all things to all people. They pick a particular target audience, define what that audiences core needs/desires are and really focus on meeting those particular needs. If they want to expand meet a different demographic....then rather then try to morph the origional design into something it can't really stretch to meet well.....they need to create an entirely seperate game/product to cater to that different demographic.

Furthermore players need to realize that NOT ALL games will be designed to meet thier particular play-style. Pick game(s) that are designed to meet your particular play-style and play those......don't try to make every new game that comes along fit your play-style regardless of it's design. Just like you wouldn't walk onto a tennis court and expect that it should be modified so you can play golf.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Cephus404

Novice Member

Joined: 2/27/08
Posts: 3697

1/05/10 1:09:12 PM#192
Originally posted by SuperXero89

It's an overused excuse I'd wager because many players, like me, have seen the effects of increased soloability in a game which was once dominated by heroic content -- for better or worse, we're not here to decide that.  You can ignore what I've witnessed with my own eyes, all you want, and quite frankly it's all too convenient.  I do agree that the purpose of these games is to have fun, and much of the fun (though not all) that I personally get from MMORPGs is the ability to take on heroic content.  Now, if I could get what would be basically the exact same rewards for soloing something, I would have absolutely no reason to go through the pains of finding a group.  It simply doesn't make sense why I would waste time finding 5 other players to take down mobs that take a single player five seconds to kill, and it makes even less sense that players would be willing to go through content which is markedly more difficult and time consuming when the reward is largely the same as anything that players can obtain through solo quests.  Sure, theoretically I "could" still group with players in a dungeon somewhere, but the fact that players have zero reason to go into a dungeon for any reason other than intrinsic satisfaction only impeeds my ability to start a group in the first place.

If you've seen that change it's because the market has changed and you're trying to live in the past.  That's the problem.  Any genre, like it or not, is going to change and evolve over time and you can either evolve with it or you can sit and complain about how you miss the good old days.  But the "good old days" are gone and they're not coming back, like it or not.  This is true of every genre that goes from niche to mainstream, be it gaming, movies, TV shows, etc.  That's the way it is, you have to deal with it.  Unfortunately, it looks like you're trying to have fun by playing games that are not fun for you and then complaining about it.  Not having fun with modern MMOs?  Get another hobby.  It's that simple.


As I said, there's no point in doing heroic content when the rewards are largely the same as solo content, which is what you seem to be advocating.  Typically, the rewards are higher, and that's as I personally believe an MMORPG should be.  Generally, MMORPGs with significant rewards for heroic content are MMORPGs that see more players grouping together, which is exactly the point.  The reward has to be there in order to get players to go through the effort of finding a group.  I love grouping with people, but it simply isn't feasible to form groups to obtain items that can be obtained by the actions of a single individual.  

Why not?  Are you that desperate to compete with others, or do you have to feel that you are somehow better than others?  Can't you just go have a good time and not worry about what everyone else is doing?  Does it really matter?  See, you keep disproving your own argument.  You say that nobody wants to group if they can get rewards through soloing, yet you, yourself, want to group regardless!  Are you suggesting that you're the only person who feels that way, or are you using it as an excuse to suggest that there are more groupers hiding out there somewhere and the reason you can't find them is that they can solo?  The fact is, there may not be as many groupers as you wish there was.  Groupers who want to group will find a way to group and all the effort in the world isn't going to stop them.  I think you're just hoping that there are more out there, if only you could force them or bribe them to stop playing solo and I just don't think you're right.


You say "my playstyle has nothing whatsoever to do with yours," which is laughably false.  I have given you examples of the contrary, and I can't help that you continue to ignore them.  If you want to get cute and say that the "ability" to form a group is simply having an /invite command, build into the game, you have a point, but I would hope you understand my meaning behind my usage of the word "ability."  Increased focus on solo content, impedes my "ability" to form a group.  Equal rewards all but destroys it.  As has been proven countless times, players will not group unless they have solid reason to do so. I can form a group if I so choose, but there's no reason to go through the effort to fight through difficult content for rewards that can be obtained by soloing, nor is there a reason to group up for the solo quests themselves.  My ability to group with other players has little effect on your ability to solo.  Unless you're playing the original Everquest, most every MMORPG of note allows you to solo and solo fairly well, which has no bearing on the group content.   Group content in modern MMORPGs is mostly all tucked away into dungeons and specific quest instances. What does affect group content, however, is rewards.  I cannot advocate your ability to obtain the same gear as someone who runs heroics any more than I can advocate myself to be given raid gear for running dungeons repeatedly.  

No, you keep saying that somehow soloing is stopping you from grouping, which it absolutely isn't.  The only thing that impedes your ability to form a  group is finding other people who want to group with you and that's not a problem with soloing, it's a problem with you wanting to take part in a minority playstyle.  Like it or not, that's your problem.  You picked a minority playstyle, you deal with the consequences of your choice.  Just like permadeath players or full loot PvP players, they can only play with people who share their playstyle by choice and in most games, those aren't even options, they have to be agreed to outside of the game and artificially imposed.  You have a grouping system in place in every game, you *CAN* group, you're just complaining that it's too hard or you can't find enough people to do it with.  Deal with the reality you've chosen.

You talk about accepting consquences of playstyle.  I'm fully aware that many MMORPGs have an increased focus on solo content, and I'm not entirely opposed to solo content.  The days of having nothing to do in an MMORPG other than run in circles while flashing your LFG tag are thankfully long gone, but I realize that the efficiency of playstyles largely hinge on game mechanics.  MMORPG developers have to give players a "reason" to take part in all aspects of the game's content.  It's the player's own choice to decide what aspects of the game to delve into.  Theoretically, the only players who get 100% out of what they put into MMORPGs are the raiders, but as you say, there are consequences to every playstyle.  Just as I accept the fact that I will never have the gear of a raider or even that I will be constantly compared to raid toons (as many raiders run heroic content and post their DPS in group chat), you must accept one addition consequence of your own playstyle, that being that you may not be able to obtain the same rewards as an indivual who runs heroic content or a raider who raids.  As a player who participates in heroic content, I understand I will never see most raid gear, and to make up for it, I surround myself with like minded players, so gear is never an issue.  In the environment I surround myself within, I'm not expected to find the best gear for my toon.  I'm not expected to raid five days a week.  I'm simply expected to log in, chat, and be helpful to my guild mates (most of them lower level) in any way that I can given that I'm one of the few members of the guild at the level cap.

No, they don't have to give a reason to do anything.  The inclusion of game mechanics is based on the ability to draw players to the game.  If there aren't enough paying players to make inclusion of a particular mechanic worthwhile, they don't typically include it.  Everything in that  game, from the developer point of view, is there to make money, if it doesn't increase revenue, it's a waste of their time to create and maintain it.  The only people who really get 100% out of the game are people who not only raid, but who maintain alts of every single race, class and conceivable combination of both.  That means basically nobody unless they're a complete loser who desperately needs to get a life.


SWG dead?  Really, I could have sworn I logged into that game just last wek.  Wow, it went down fast.  Seriously, SWG is nowhere near where it was population wise even in the dark days leading towards the CU and the NGE, but it's far from dead.  Other games in SOE's station access pass such as Pirates of the Burning Sea, and Vanguard are doing far worse than SWG right now.  My point in bringing up SWG was to hopefully illustrate how players don't like having their achievements cheapened by allowing other players access to the same abilities with nowhere near as much effort. SWG is an extreme example, but there was a time even in EQ2 where it once took far more effort to complete various quests and conquer various content than it does now.  It didn't work well for EQ2 either.  In fact,  I can't think of a single instance in MMORPG history where such a shift has actually proven beneficial to the game.

Functionally, it's dead.  It's a mere shadow of what it once was, it certainly hasn't kept up with the times and maintained itself as a front-running AAA title.  I honestly think this is yet another case of e-peen waving.  It's impossible to "cheapen" someone's achievements if one isn't out there trying to act like hot shit against other people in the first place.  I don't give a damn what anyone else does, I'm there to play the game.  If I'm ahead of someone or behind someone, so what?

Throught this little verbal exchange though, I can't help but feel as if I'm beeing forced into the hardcore groupers camp, which I'm not.  If anything, I'm advocating a balance.  I believe in solo content, but I also believe in instances where players should be given reason to form groups.  I realize that more and more MMORPGs are catering more and more to the solo player, and for good reason, but again, there's no reason why there can't be a sizable portion of meaningful group content within the game as well.  As I said, a "soloer" can be many things and as much as I'm sure you assume every soloer shares your playstyle, you cannot really prove that as much as I cannot really prove they do not.  In that regard, we can only assume to what degree individuals solo in MMORPGs, but I will say this.  Not even WoW gives equal rewards for soloing.  Not even WoW is a game where soloing is just as rewarding as running heroic dungeons or raiding.   A player can go from the beginning to max level without ever grouping with a single player, but they're still at a disadvantage to players who are equiped with dungeon loot.  The only problem is outside of loot and mediocre quest rewards, there's little reason to group before 80, and given the vast majority of players are at the cap, the primary concern of the overwhelming populace at least seems to be geared towards the most efficient way to reach the max level, which dungeon grinding certainly isn't.  The appeal to WoW, aside from the fact that it can run on almost any modern PC, is that it has something to offer every sort of player.  It isn't a forced grouping game like Everquest.  It isn't a PvP only game like DAoC.  It isn't a solo fest like Champions Online.  It has content for every type of player and is approachable to a wide audience.  It really has nothing to do with keeping players "happy," but it has everything to do with finding aspects which appeal to a wider audience.  If a game was revolved around nothing but soloing -- no grouping, no raiding -- I believe a sizable portion of it's innitial playerbase would largely disappear.  Players like options.  Players like the freedom and ability to play the game they want to play it.  In WoW, they can do so.  In EQ2, they can do so.  In LoTRO, they can do so.  In your vision of the perfect MMORPG, players would be forced into one style of play and one style of play only -- whichever style of play someone deems will make the company the most money.  In reality, all MMORPGs are "geared" toward one style of play or another (some moreso than others), but none of them are mutually exclusive to one playstyle.  What I hope you learn from this is by allowing everyone access to the same gear, there's no reason to obtain that gear in any such way than whatever is deemed the easiest method.  You present your MMORPG as an MMORPG which appeals to everyone, but in reality,  by allowing everyone immediate access to everything, you appeal to one segment of the audience -- large or not, such a narrowly focused MMORPG has not yet been proven to work in the MMORPG industry and most likely never will.

I'm all for balance, but it's got to be a balance between equal forces and that's just not the case here.  You can't balance a see-saw with 1000 people on one side and 10 million on the other and it feels like that's what you're trying to do.  Like it or not, there are more soloers by a huge degree than there are groupers.  Trying to say that groupers deserve the same amount of consideration as soloers is absolutely ludicrous, it's like trying to give permadeathers the same consideration as non-permadeathers.  If you want to compete with soloers, then you need to come up with  an equivalent number of groupers, to which the developers will give weight to their financial and numberical strength.  Unfortunately, you're saying "I want to do X, therefore I want to be catered to even though I am vastly outnumbered by the people who want to do Y".

I'm all in favor of making grouping mechanics more seamless and easier, maybe even making group-heavy instances or servers where mobs are better balanced for groups, but if you're talking about making groups perform better on the same mobs than soloers can do, no, not a chance.  If that rains on your parade, too bad.  You're still responsible for bringing your own people to the party without bribery or coersion and if you can't fill the server with enough people who are willing to group, solely for the sake of grouping, then you're out of luck.

Sorry, that's reality.  Sometimes reality isn't fair.

 

 

Played: UO, EQ, WoW, DDO, SWG, AO, CoH, EvE, TR, AoC, GW, GA, Aion, Allods, lots more
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  Cephus404

Novice Member

Joined: 2/27/08
Posts: 3697

1/05/10 1:22:50 PM#193
Originally posted by pojung

Coersion? Where in 'i've zero desire to compromise what i'm doing so that a body that encompasses that which is external to self can gain' denotes a forcing of one's hand? I understand you 10-4: you want to be left to yourself, and wish the same for others. Your full-loot PvP example is a tangent whose correlation is lost on me. I fail to understand how selective full-loot PvP is linked with solo:group compromise:coersion.

If you feel it necessary to adjust the difficulty of a game to make it more dangerous not to group or if you feel it necessary to raise the rewards of groups so that it is more attractive than soloing, then yes, that's absolutely coersion.  You're trying to bribe people to pick your gamestyle by making it more attractive.  If you cannot attract enough groupers, simply by offering grouping, then perhaps grouping doesn't deserve to survive, maybe it's going extinct because the majority don't want to play that way.  That has nothing to do with compromise, it has everything to do with pure numbers and individual choices.


Choice is rather irrelivant here. Again, entropy. Arguing against this would mean arguing against droves of scientific findings. We take the path of least resistance except under extreme examples. Choice or no choice. Again again, there's no 'fault' to be found on either side of the track, which is typically a term soloists like to use. It simply is what it is- a preference in playstyle. Between attempting to find fault, and a preference to be left to oneself, I could loosely conclude that a soloist who embraces these 2 terms is rather selfish in nature. It does not allow nor entertain being social.

Choice is absolutely relevant here.  If people want to group, they will group.  You prove yourself wrong with your very existence.  You're making that choice, why do you assume no one else will?  The problem is, you're not finding the number of people you wish would make that choice so you invent excuses for why they're all off soloing and if only you could make soloing harder, they'd all come running back to the grouping side.  That's a cheap excuse and it just doesn't hold water.


Wait- you use mythology and heroics to claim an example, then turn around and say 'lots of people' to include self 'couldn't care less' about them. So which is it? If you choose the former, my statement stands. If you choose the latter, you acknowledge that lore is of minimal concern to you (that whole RPG thing- what a bother). Not to say that someone who doesn't require rich storyline is a bad thing, but that's only gravy if you're privvy to a scope that's limited to your sphere of existence. If you make a product that everyone can enjoy, you need to focus on the criteria that is more stringent in nature- and that means making lore that stands up to the scrutiny of the storytellers amongst us. I'm not desperately trying to do anything. It *could be* that my opinion is formed *around* facts, albeit following your last posting and the troll sentence of expertise, this would be meaningless to the reader.

I used it as an example, I didn't say I personally cared about it.  Personally, I don't give a damn about heroics, playing a game, *ANY* game, is just a way to waste time and have fun while I've got nothing better to do.  That's it.  MMOs have nothing whatsoever to do with actual roleplaying, they never have and are mechanically not suited for it.  Nobody really roleplays on an MMO, at best they wear funny hats and play make-believe, but nobody really takes on a deep, meaningful role because all roles in MMOs are proscribed by the mechanics of the game.


Who said anything about 'exact same'? I keep trying to make it known that equal DOES NOT mean identical! For an 'exact same' mob, it can only be 'tailored' for one of 2 playstyles, much less 'properly tailored' for the playstyle it's intended for.

I've got no problem with that, if you want to use mobs that scale for the number of people in the group, go for it.  Of course, lots of other pro-groupers don't want scaling, they want all content to be too difficult for soloers at all in the hopes that everyone will flock to groups in order to get through any of the content.  I'm all in favor of making the group experience, made up of people who choose to group, not who are coerced into it, as challenging and exciting as they might happen to want it to be.  You want to group?  Go ahead.  You want to jump on a group server, have fun. But don't try to change the solo game so that you can find enough people to group with.  That's your job to find the people who want to group, simply for the sake of grouping, not because you think you can buy their loyalty with trinkets.

 

Played: UO, EQ, WoW, DDO, SWG, AO, CoH, EvE, TR, AoC, GW, GA, Aion, Allods, lots more
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  Silvermink

Novice Member

Joined: 6/07/07
Posts: 289

1/05/10 1:42:10 PM#194
Originally posted by Cephus404

If you've seen that change it's because the market has changed and you're trying to live in the past.  That's the problem.  Any genre, like it or not, is going to change and evolve over time and you can either evolve with it or you can sit and complain about how you miss the good old days.  But the "good old days" are gone and they're not coming back, like it or not.  This is true of every genre that goes from niche to mainstream, be it gaming, movies, TV shows, etc.  That's the way it is, you have to deal with it.  Unfortunately, it looks like you're trying to have fun by playing games that are not fun for you and then complaining about it.  Not having fun with modern MMOs?  Get another hobby.  It's that simple.

I am a believer that grouping as a MMO concept is not as dead as you think it is. The current rash of Co-op play in multiplayer games seems to be bucking that trend.

 

Why not?  Are you that desperate to compete with others, or do you have to feel that you are somehow better than others?  Can't you just go have a good time and not worry about what everyone else is doing?  Does it really matter?  See, you keep disproving your own argument.  You say that nobody wants to group if they can get rewards through soloing, yet you, yourself, want to group regardless!  Are you suggesting that you're the only person who feels that way, or are you using it as an excuse to suggest that there are more groupers hiding out there somewhere and the reason you can't find them is that they can solo?  The fact is, there may not be as many groupers as you wish there was.  Groupers who want to group will find a way to group and all the effort in the world isn't going to stop them.  I think you're just hoping that there are more out there, if only you could force them or bribe them to stop playing solo and I just don't think you're right.

I also believe that alot more people are willing to group than you seem to think. The vast number of high level instances in WoW show this to be the case. They just need an incentive. As a concept you don't seem to understand, the path of least resistance, people will do the easiest content to achieve their goal. In leveling, that is usually soloing. If quests have substantial rewards, they quest, if quests don't, people will grind if that's the easy road.

People are not easily categorized into grouper/soloer as they are hardcore/casual or raider/non raider. Alot of people that want to group, or would group if they didn't have to LFG, just solo because it's there, it's easy, and it's rewarding.

You very clearly accept that mobs and loot can be tuned to need a group of 12 or 24. Why is it so hard for you to accept a mob and loot tuned to 6? This is where your inflexibility shows. A raid is just a group of people, a little bigger than normal groups.

  User Deleted
1/05/10 2:37:22 PM#195

@ Cephus404
 

If you feel it necessary to adjust the difficulty of a game to make it more dangerous not to group or if you feel it necessary to raise the rewards of groups so that it is more attractive than soloing, then yes, that's absolutely coersion. You're trying to bribe people to pick your gamestyle by making it more attractive. If you cannot attract enough groupers, simply by offering grouping, then perhaps grouping doesn't deserve to survive, maybe it's going extinct because the majority don't want to play that way. That has nothing to do with compromise, it has everything to do with pure numbers and individual choices.

I cannot help but feel that your scope on this issue is very narrow. You dismiss lore, you insist on equality through selfsame. Both playstyles have incentives!! To argue that one shouldn't would incur the need to remove incentive from the other. But those incentives don't need to be only numerical in nature. Lore, as previously discussed, could be incentive. 'We need to take down the behemoth! It's razing the town!' <~ alone; impossible: together; possible but difficult! This is even before talking about quantifiable rewards, this is just talking pure experience alone. A solo'er operates with the incentive of simplicity and the lack of needing to compromise (they call all the shots). A grouper has their incentives as well- typically in the form of superior quantifiable rewards mostly reflected through gear. So, again... coersion... you were saying?

Choice is absolutely relevant here. If people want to group, they will group. You prove yourself wrong with your very existence. You're making that choice, why do you assume no one else will? The problem is, you're not finding the number of people you wish would make that choice so you invent excuses for why they're all off soloing and if only you could make soloing harder, they'd all come running back to the grouping side. That's a cheap excuse and it just doesn't hold water.

Why does one want to group? There needs to be a reason, a purpose... oh ya, an *incentive* to group. Just like you need an incentive to solo. You have your incentive, as I touched on above. By labelling something as a 'choice' you by definition institute the need for seperate paths to be taken. Seperate paths... oh snap! and we keep coming back to this: cannot be identical. They can be made equal (area under a curve), but not identical, otherwise the 'choice' is not really a choice at all. It's the same path with the same outcome every time.

Within (*keyword here) a given choice, which leads to a result wether quantifiable or not, the beaten path is always the one that offers the least resistance. Be it for lore, for gear, for attunement... whatever the case may be. If you offer gear (since that seems to be the common example) that is attainable through 2 'choices' of play, to what ends are the means most effective and efficient? You'll eliminate that 'other choice'. Choices are bound by incentive. We are spurred to decisions based on desire. These are all codependant principles. Other posters have illustrated real industry examples of how and why these interactions exist.

I used it as an example, I didn't say I personally cared about it. Personally, I don't give a damn about heroics, playing a game, *ANY* game, is just a way to waste time and have fun while I've got nothing better to do. That's it. MMOs have nothing whatsoever to do with actual roleplaying, they never have and are mechanically not suited for it. Nobody really roleplays on an MMO, at best they wear funny hats and play make-believe, but nobody really takes on a deep, meaningful role because all roles in MMOs are proscribed by the mechanics of the game.

Ah, well this really puts it to rest then. You truly don't care how a game rises or falls, so long as your immediate consumption of the product fills you up and satisfies your hunger. Nevermind that in doing so, you might pollute the experience of someone else- you didn't ask for him to accept your terms, why should he accept yours? Real classy. Your explicit statement of 'playing any game is to waste time and have fun' is one that does not in the slightest give nod to interaction. But yet you expect that others not impede on your preference of play?

MMOs have nothing whatsoever to do with actual roleplaying? Either you are very limited in your exposure to MMOs, you don't have a firm grasp about the demographics that play them, or both. Kindly refer to the Bartle Test and 8 categories of DnD gamer that was done up in a thread on these forums. Again, offering links for your search simplicity if you desire. Nobody ever roleplays in an MMO? But yet they wear funny hats and play make-believe? How is that *not* roleplaying? Oh, but it's not meaningful to you? Sounds like you're quick to judge not only the fun that others are having, but their level of involvement as well. This compounds my opinion that your scope of understanding on this is rather limited. Mechanics are too constrained? Entirely subjective to the course of action people take to fulfill their selected choice, as discussed just above.

I've got no problem with that, if you want to use mobs that scale for the number of people in the group, go for it. Of course, lots of other pro-groupers don't want scaling, they want all content to be too difficult for soloers at all in the hopes that everyone will flock to groups in order to get through any of the content. I'm all in favor of making the group experience, made up of people who choose to group, not who are coerced into it, as challenging and exciting as they might happen to want it to be. You want to group? Go ahead. You want to jump on a group server, have fun. But don't try to change the solo game so that you can find enough people to group with. That's your job to find the people who want to group, simply for the sake of grouping, not because you think you can buy their loyalty with trinkets.

I don't want mobs that scale. Scaling mobs removes lore context. I don't want a *game*, I want a *game with story*- it's a MMORPG for crying out loud. You have no problem with it, because it conveniently suits your desires, and as soon as it doesn't suit your desires, you have a problem with it. I want a beast that is impossible to overcome. I want to seek out every possible asset I can to surmount the challenge. One such asset is other people, plain and simple. I want the game, the story, everything remain intact. I *equally* want minions that the beast controls. Let their lore, context, and combat mechanics give me a run for my solo money.

My desire does not constitute a hope of making things so that a soloer can't enjoy soloing. Nor does my desire constitute a hope of making things available to everyone on the smallest denominator (*solo*) possible. These same sentiments apply to groups: we're back to incentives, and how they exist with both. Based on the incentive, you make your choice, and based on your choice, there's an outcome. I'm all for equality, but those choices lead to un-identical outcomes, which is seemingly expected by some camps. Why are they un-identical? Because the challenge:frustration:reward trifecta should remain fair across the board. This whole sense of entitlement thing, predominant with 'solo equality thinking'- what a wonderful thing eh?

  Cephus404

Novice Member

Joined: 2/27/08
Posts: 3697

1/05/10 5:14:54 PM#196
Originally posted by Silvermink

I also believe that alot more people are willing to group than you seem to think. The vast number of high level instances in WoW show this to be the case. They just need an incentive. As a concept you don't seem to understand, the path of least resistance, people will do the easiest content to achieve their goal. In leveling, that is usually soloing. If quests have substantial rewards, they quest, if quests don't, people will grind if that's the easy road.

People are not easily categorized into grouper/soloer as they are hardcore/casual or raider/non raider. Alot of people that want to group, or would group if they didn't have to LFG, just solo because it's there, it's easy, and it's rewarding.

You very clearly accept that mobs and loot can be tuned to need a group of 12 or 24. Why is it so hard for you to accept a mob and loot tuned to 6? This is where your inflexibility shows. A raid is just a group of people, a little bigger than normal groups.

There's a difference between being willing to group to achieve a particular goal, which you are certainly right most people would be willing to do that, and using grouping as a primary leveling mechanism, which clearly people are not willing to do or they'd be doing it.  I really don't buy that people will do the easiest content they can possibly get away with and ignore something that they really want to do, in this case group, just because it's more difficult and that's really the assertion that pro-groupers are making.  They are saying that all things being equal, all difficulty being identical, all content and reward being exactly the same, people would rather be in groups than not in groups and I just see no evidence for that.  In fact, I wager that given perfect equality, the overwhelming majority of players would still play solo and groupers would have to look for a new excuse why everyone isn't grouping.

Of course I accept that mobs can be scaled, this is hardly the first time that it's been suggested and if you want to know who shoots it down every time it's brought up, it's the pro-groupers.  They don't want difficulty to scale, they want mobs to be so inherently difficult that it is impossible to take them on without a group.  Clearly, this is a case of people wanting to force grouping on everyone instead of wanting the "challenge" of a harder mob.

Played: UO, EQ, WoW, DDO, SWG, AO, CoH, EvE, TR, AoC, GW, GA, Aion, Allods, lots more
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  Cephus404

Novice Member

Joined: 2/27/08
Posts: 3697

1/05/10 5:38:01 PM#197
Originally posted by pojung

I cannot help but feel that your scope on this issue is very narrow. You dismiss lore, you insist on equality through selfsame. Both playstyles have incentives!! To argue that one shouldn't would incur the need to remove incentive from the other. But those incentives don't need to be only numerical in nature. Lore, as previously discussed, could be incentive. 'We need to take down the behemoth! It's razing the town!' <~ alone; impossible: together; possible but difficult! This is even before talking about quantifiable rewards, this is just talking pure experience alone. A solo'er operates with the incentive of simplicity and the lack of needing to compromise (they call all the shots). A grouper has their incentives as well- typically in the form of superior quantifiable rewards mostly reflected through gear. So, again... coersion... you were saying?

I find little interest in lore for the same reason I don't give a damn about the backstory of Master Chief when I'm playing Halo.  It's just not relevant to the actual gameplay and I'm not pretending to be Master Chief anyhow, he's just a stand-in avatar while I blast things.  The reality for most players is they don't have to rationalize taking down the behemoth in game terms, they're doing it for the XP and the gold, nothing more, nothing less.  My incentive to play Halo is to kill things and waste free time.  That's it.  My incentive to play MMOs is exactly the same.


Why does one want to group? There needs to be a reason, a purpose... oh ya, an *incentive* to group. Just like you need an incentive to solo. You have your incentive, as I touched on above. By labelling something as a 'choice' you by definition institute the need for seperate paths to be taken. Seperate paths... oh snap! and we keep coming back to this: cannot be identical. They can be made equal (area under a curve), but not identical, otherwise the 'choice' is not really a choice at all. It's the same path with the same outcome every time.

Reason?  How about interaction with other players, which is usually #1 on the grouper hit parade when they lament soloing in MMOs.  Oh no, nobody ever interacts!  Go play a single-player game so we can all interact!  What's the point of grouping?  INTERACTION! Some people want to interact that way, some people do not.

Within (*keyword here) a given choice, which leads to a result wether quantifiable or not, the beaten path is always the one that offers the least resistance. Be it for lore, for gear, for attunement... whatever the case may be. If you offer gear (since that seems to be the common example) that is attainable through 2 'choices' of play, to what ends are the means most effective and efficient? You'll eliminate that 'other choice'. Choices are bound by incentive. We are spurred to decisions based on desire. These are all codependant principles. Other posters have illustrated real industry examples of how and why these interactions exist.

Except groupers will always tend to be able to get superior gear faster, something I've *ALWAYS* said and usually gets ignored.  More people gives you the ability to take on harder content, which gives higher XP, more gold,  better armor and weapon drops, etc.  I've got zero problem with that, I can only take on level 10 mobs at level 10, a group of level 10 characters can take on level 15 mobs.  Great, good for them.  When I'm level 15, I'll go take on those level 15 mobs for myself.  Identical content, identical reward, different consumption rate.  No need to change the game for anyone.

Ah, well this really puts it to rest then. You truly don't care how a game rises or falls, so long as your immediate consumption of the product fills you up and satisfies your hunger. Nevermind that in doing so, you might pollute the experience of someone else- you didn't ask for him to accept your terms, why should he accept yours? Real classy. Your explicit statement of 'playing any game is to waste time and have fun' is one that does not in the slightest give nod to interaction. But yet you expect that others not impede on your preference of play?

I'm not impeding anyone's preference of play, I'm putting forward a single standard that everyone plays by, some people consume the content a little faster, get faster rewards but might have a minor inconvenience doing it, other people may get the content slower, still have eventual access to the same rewards and have other inconveniences to deal with.  Mob X is always worth a certain XP whether one person kills it or 10 do.  The benefit of the group is that you can access that content sooner and plow through it faster than one person alone.  That's already the case in most games.

MMOs have nothing whatsoever to do with actual roleplaying? Either you are very limited in your exposure to MMOs, you don't have a firm grasp about the demographics that play them, or both. Kindly refer to the Bartle Test and 8 categories of DnD gamer that was done up in a thread on these forums. Again, offering links for your search simplicity if you desire. Nobody ever roleplays in an MMO? But yet they wear funny hats and play make-believe? How is that *not* roleplaying? Oh, but it's not meaningful to you? Sounds like you're quick to judge not only the fun that others are having, but their level of involvement as well. This compounds my opinion that your scope of understanding on this is rather limited. Mechanics are too constrained? Entirely subjective to the course of action people take to fulfill their selected choice, as discussed just above.

Nope, not a damn bit.  No computer game has ever had anything to do with actual roleplaying, the only reason the RPG label has stuck is because games like Final Fantasy used it wrongly to begin with.  Final Fantasy single-player games are absolutely not roleplaying, they're adopting an on-screen avatar, one that you cannot affect in any meaningful way, you cannot change it's personality, you cannot change it's style, you're dragged by the nose through an overblown story that you have absolutely no choice but to follow, with minor sidelines before you're dragged back to the main pre-programmed story.

If you think that's roleplaying, then you're the one who has never had a decent experience with real roleplaying.

I don't want mobs that scale. Scaling mobs removes lore context. I don't want a *game*, I want a *game with story*- it's a MMORPG for crying out loud. You have no problem with it, because it conveniently suits your desires, and as soon as it doesn't suit your desires, you have a problem with it. I want a beast that is impossible to overcome. I want to seek out every possible asset I can to surmount the challenge. One such asset is other people, plain and simple. I want the game, the story, everything remain intact. I *equally* want minions that the beast controls. Let their lore, context, and combat mechanics give me a run for my solo money.

There is no game with a story, virtually no MMO has a lore that means jack shit.  It's a lot of backstory that just doesn't come into play on a day-to-day basis.  We can go back to my Halo example, which is similar.  Does any of the Halo backstory, told through numerous cutscenes, actually impact gameplay whatsoever?  Does knowing the reason for the Covenant's war make them any easier or harder to shoot?  Would knowing more about the Flood make them too sympathetic to exterminate?  Of course not.

My desire does not constitute a hope of making things so that a soloer can't enjoy soloing. Nor does my desire constitute a hope of making things available to everyone on the smallest denominator (*solo*) possible. These same sentiments apply to groups: we're back to incentives, and how they exist with both. Based on the incentive, you make your choice, and based on your choice, there's an outcome. I'm all for equality, but those choices lead to un-identical outcomes, which is seemingly expected by some camps. Why are they un-identical? Because the challenge:frustration:reward trifecta should remain fair across the board. This whole sense of entitlement thing, predominant with 'solo equality thinking'- what a wonderful thing eh?

There ought not be an incentive making one side or the other look more rewarding, that's the thing.  People ought to play whatever way they want to play, for that playstyle alone, not because they get more of X or better Y because they do it.  Individuals (or groups) ought to get rewarded for what they actually do in-game, not compensated because they choose a more complex or troublesome playstyle.  A guy who chooses to use only his fists, not any weapon, doesn't deserve to have his inherently slower advancement compensated because of what he chooses to do.  He picked it, he deals with it.  Either his playstyle is important to him for whatever reason he picked it or it is not.  He accepts the consequences of his actions regardless, just like soloers do (less specialization/slower advancement/no backup), groupers do (slow group formation/potential for lots of AFK), etc.  You take what you get when you choose.  If you don't like what you get, make another choice.

I'm not sure how much clearer I can make it.

 

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
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  SwampRob

Novice Member

Joined: 9/05/07
Posts: 1010

1/05/10 6:31:16 PM#198
Originally posted by pojung

@ Cephus404
 

 'We need to take down the behemoth! It's razing the town!' <~ alone; impossible: together; possible but difficult! This is even before talking about quantifiable rewards, this is just talking pure experience alone. A solo'er operates with the incentive of simplicity and the lack of needing to compromise (they call all the shots). A grouper has their incentives as well- typically in the form of superior quantifiable rewards mostly reflected through gear.


 

This will never work.

  " grouper has their incentives as well- typically in the form of superior quantifiable rewards ",  Once grouping only gets the best loot, or the soloers will never be happy.

  Once soloers are able to achieve something that was slated as group,"  alone; impossible: together; possible but difficult!  ",  the groupers are not happy because they feel their accomplishments are diminished because it's soloable.

I'm not saying one playstyle is better than the other.   I'm saying the incentives you mention for soloing will NEVER be sufficient as long as group-only gets the best loot.

 

 

*Sorry about the large font, my eyes aren't what they used to be.

  Silvermink

Novice Member

Joined: 6/07/07
Posts: 289

1/05/10 6:48:53 PM#199
Originally posted by Cephus404

There's a difference between being willing to group to achieve a particular goal, which you are certainly right most people would be willing to do that, and using grouping as a primary leveling mechanism, which clearly people are not willing to do or they'd be doing it.  I really don't buy that people will do the easiest content they can possibly get away with and ignore something that they really want to do, in this case group, just because it's more difficult and that's really the assertion that pro-groupers are making.  They are saying that all things being equal, all difficulty being identical, all content and reward being exactly the same, people would rather be in groups than not in groups and I just see no evidence for that.  In fact, I wager that given perfect equality, the overwhelming majority of players would still play solo and groupers would have to look for a new excuse why everyone isn't grouping.

Of course I accept that mobs can be scaled, this is hardly the first time that it's been suggested and if you want to know who shoots it down every time it's brought up, it's the pro-groupers.  They don't want difficulty to scale, they want mobs to be so inherently difficult that it is impossible to take them on without a group.  Clearly, this is a case of people wanting to force grouping on everyone instead of wanting the "challenge" of a harder mob.

 

You missed 1 key point of my post. Why is it so wrong to want a mob and loot that requires 5 or 6 people when it's ok to accept a mob and loot that requires 12 or 24?

The only way to make grouping "equal" to soloing is to provide something more difficult (with composite reward, more exp or loot) or mobs of higher density than a normal solo encounter. This way the group can kill at a rate to keep even with the soloer. Otherwise the mobs dry up from too many kills. Doing a soloable kill 10 mobs and run back to npc quest is just folly in a group. Too much time is spent running from mob to mob or npc to npc. Most games these days the group actually are penalized in leveling situations either from split exp or insufficient quantity of mobs. A group can't kill exponentially more mobs to make up for lost split exp if there aren't enough mobs around to kill. Far to often when I try to make groups in games, I am told it is faster leveling to solo. The pendulum has swung from group favored in games like EQ1 to soloing being the prevailing leveling method in Lotro, AoC and Wow and most recently released games. Equal is fine as long as it's equal in both directions.

  Silvermink

Novice Member

Joined: 6/07/07
Posts: 289

1/05/10 6:51:40 PM#200
Originally posted by SwampRob
Originally posted by pojung

@ Cephus404
 

 'We need to take down the behemoth! It's razing the town!' <~ alone; impossible: together; possible but difficult! This is even before talking about quantifiable rewards, this is just talking pure experience alone. A solo'er operates with the incentive of simplicity and the lack of needing to compromise (they call all the shots). A grouper has their incentives as well- typically in the form of superior quantifiable rewards mostly reflected through gear.


 

This will never work.

  " grouper has their incentives as well- typically in the form of superior quantifiable rewards ",  Once grouping only gets the best loot, or the soloers will never be happy.

  Once soloers are able to achieve something that was slated as group,"  alone; impossible: together; possible but difficult!  ",  the groupers are not happy because they feel their accomplishments are diminished because it's soloable.

I'm not saying one playstyle is better than the other.   I'm saying the incentives you mention for soloing will NEVER be sufficient as long as group-only gets the best loot.

 

But group-only doesn't get the best rewards. Raid-only do. You can accept better rewards for raids but not groups?

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