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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
7/19/12 1:00:57 PM#1541

Personally I thnk FFXI did it the best way because mmos thrive longer with great communities. Solo 1-10 group the rest of the way. Grouping promotes teamwork and learning to play together not to mention learning to get along with one another. Today the theme park mmos do not do any of that which is part of the reason why they fail long term.

  Kyleran

Bitter Vet™

Joined: 9/13/06
Posts: 19284

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

7/19/12 1:01:10 PM#1542
Originally posted by Nyhm

This post has very interesting insights for a game developer.

My humble input: I think it's important for MMO titles to recognize that many players prefer a solo experience, for many reasons:

  1. Play at your own pace
  2. More casual gameplay
  3. More story-oriented than combat/action-oriented

 

That doesn't mean that these players don't want an MMO world, though. It's still really engaging to be amongst other live players, even if you're not directly interacting.

For Island Forge (I'm the sole dev), I wanted to provide a strong solo experience, as well as group play. Expeditions (where you fight monsters) are instances. You can go solo (to explore and follow stories at your own pace) or form a party expedition, which amps up the creature count. I suppose it's a simple form of scalable gameplay.

Island Forge is rather casual (more about exploration and stories, less about hard-core hack-and-slash), and there is no gameplay requirement to join groups (you can get all the same loot solo, just not as much all at once).

 

Then your not making a group centric game, making grouping available is not the same thing as encouraging it. People will spend 80% or more of their time soloing, which is not a good thing if group play is the goal.

It's OK, you're following the "success" of pretty much every modern AAA MMORPG developer out there today, why be different and create something would appeal to a little served but perhaps very loyal customer base (see EVE online) that might stick with you for years.  Mass market design is surely the road to success for small developers.

I'm sure you're doing the right thing.

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

  Nyhm

Novice Member

Joined: 10/31/11
Posts: 82

7/19/12 2:28:28 PM#1543


Originally posted by Kyleran

Then your not making a group centric game, making grouping available is not the same thing as encouraging it. People will spend 80% or more of their time soloing, which is not a good thing if group play is the goal.

It's OK, you're following the "success" of pretty much every modern AAA MMORPG developer out there today, why be different and create something would appeal to a little served but perhaps very loyal customer base (see EVE online) that might stick with you for years.  Mass market design is surely the road to success for small developers.

I'm sure you're doing the right thing.


That's the first time I've heard mass-market design applied to Island Forge! As mentioned, it's not a group/coop-centric game design, but rather a more casual player-creativity and story-oriented world (player-created content is the central focus).

Community input has been important throughout development, and I've found that players tend to request more mainstream features, while I've tried to stick by my unique niche-market aspects. Further thoughts on interesting group dynamics is one reason I'm on this thread.

In any case, it's interesting to read your viewpoints on the subject.

Island Forge: Create Islands with Stories for Others to Explore!
Free-to-Play with Membership and Upgrade options!

  UsualSuspect

Hard Core Member

Joined: 11/01/04
Posts: 1224

7/19/12 5:39:16 PM#1544
Originally posted by Nyhm

This post has very interesting insights for a game developer.

My humble input: I think it's important for MMO titles to recognize that many players prefer a solo experience, for many reasons:

  1. Play at your own pace
  2. More casual gameplay
  3. More story-oriented than combat/action-oriented

And that's fine if you want to cater to the X-Box crowd. Many players prefer a solo experience? I don't think so. Many gamers prefer a solo experience. And in that I mean the people that pick up the Call of Duty's or Grand Theft Auto's. If that's the crowd you want to appeal to then great, but if you want to appeal to the people who love MMO's then solo, casual and story-oriented are way way WAY off the mark. Have you not read the many posts about how MMO's are becoming dumbed down pieces of crap due to the X-Box style gameplay? And these come from the vast majority of posters on this forum.

And there we have it, the problem with developers today. They think they know what MMO gamers want but no, they only see what casual single player gamers want, then they design an MMO around that. It doesn't work. A few million dollars worth of development proved that with SW:TOR. MMO gamers demand more than the casual crap that gets released every day. We don't want a single player game with co-op, we want an MMO as they should be - community oritented, co-op/group gaming, freedom not story led direction, and an immersive world.

  someforumguy

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/25/07
Posts: 3505

7/19/12 5:43:56 PM#1545

Why always group VS solo ? You basically ignore loads of players by  dividing everyone in those categories. There is also no reason at all to only focus on just group gameplay or just solo gameplay when developing a game.

 

  VengeSunsoar

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/10/04
Posts: 4851

Be Brief, Be Bright... Be Gone.

7/19/12 11:09:48 PM#1546
Originally posted by Garvon3
Originally posted by DiSpLiFF

 i'll say what i've said before, I personally think WoW did it best. Theres group play and solo play, but you won't get nearly as good quality gear just by soloing.

Er, WoW made it very clear that the best way to advance through the game was by soloing. WoW did not do it best.

 

Games like DAoC, so far, have done it best by offering about 5 different ways to level up, but making grouping the quickest/most rewarding one. With NO instancing.

WoW on the other hand, put almost all its focus into linear singleplayer questing and instances.

 Actually thats changed over the last couple years.  By far the best way to level up in Wow (you level faster, get more xp, more coin and better loot) is through grouping.  Apparently thats how most people do it now.

Quit worrying about other players in a game and just play.

  Nyhm

Novice Member

Joined: 10/31/11
Posts: 82

7/20/12 8:16:54 AM#1547


Originally posted by UsualSuspect
We don't want a single player game with co-op, we want an MMO as they should be - community oritented, co-op/group gaming, freedom not story led direction, and an immersive world.

I see how my prior comment was misleading, regarding how story content is used in Island Forge:

Island Forge is all about community participation - it's a player-created content world. Players create the islands and stories. Island Forge does not lead you along a track - it's an entirely open world. The story and quest engine is there to give players the ability to weave their own tales (on their own islands) for others to follow (if they wish).

Regarding group play - you can form party expeditions to explore islands and fight more creatures, but version 1.0 does not provide further group dynamic gameplay (coop abilities, strategies). Community input has been important throughout development, and now that the core gameplay is established, I'm looking forward to discuss future expansion features.

Thanks for expressing your thoughts on group play. I think if you try Island Forge, you'll find that it's very community oriented, and it has (some) of what you're looking for. If you become a participating member of the community, your input will definitely be heard!

Island Forge: Create Islands with Stories for Others to Explore!
Free-to-Play with Membership and Upgrade options!

  paw772

Novice Member

Joined: 8/03/12
Posts: 1

8/03/12 7:39:45 AM#1548
Cool Game
  Kyleran

Bitter Vet™

Joined: 9/13/06
Posts: 19284

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

8/03/12 8:09:57 AM#1549
Originally posted by Nyhm

 


Originally posted by Kyleran

 

Then your not making a group centric game, making grouping available is not the same thing as encouraging it. People will spend 80% or more of their time soloing, which is not a good thing if group play is the goal.

It's OK, you're following the "success" of pretty much every modern AAA MMORPG developer out there today, why be different and create something would appeal to a little served but perhaps very loyal customer base (see EVE online) that might stick with you for years.  Mass market design is surely the road to success for small developers.

I'm sure you're doing the right thing.


 

That's the first time I've heard mass-market design applied to Island Forge! As mentioned, it's not a group/coop-centric game design, but rather a more casual player-creativity and story-oriented world (player-created content is the central focus).

Community input has been important throughout development, and I've found that players tend to request more mainstream features, while I've tried to stick by my unique niche-market aspects. Further thoughts on interesting group dynamics is one reason I'm on this thread.

In any case, it's interesting to read your viewpoints on the subject.


Snarky commentary withdrawn. 

Just took a look at your game and its nothing like I've seen before.  Not sure it's really my style, I'm not much of a builder, but more of a player. (I drive cars, but have no idea on how to make them) but the game does look like a unique experience.

Standard MMO conventions do not apply and I don't think anyone will be calling it a WOW clone any time soon.

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

  Nyhm

Novice Member

Joined: 10/31/11
Posts: 82

8/06/12 8:15:16 AM#1550


Originally posted by Kyleran

Originally posted by Nyhm  

Originally posted by Kyleran   Then your not making a group centric game, making grouping available is not the same thing as encouraging it. People will spend 80% or more of their time soloing, which is not a good thing if group play is the goal. It's OK, you're following the "success" of pretty much every modern AAA MMORPG developer out there today, why be different and create something would appeal to a little served but perhaps very loyal customer base (see EVE online) that might stick with you for years.  Mass market design is surely the road to success for small developers. I'm sure you're doing the right thing.
  That's the first time I've heard mass-market design applied to Island Forge! As mentioned, it's not a group/coop-centric game design, but rather a more casual player-creativity and story-oriented world (player-created content is the central focus). Community input has been important throughout development, and I've found that players tend to request more mainstream features, while I've tried to stick by my unique niche-market aspects. Further thoughts on interesting group dynamics is one reason I'm on this thread. In any case, it's interesting to read your viewpoints on the subject.
Snarky commentary withdrawn. 

Just took a look at your game and its nothing like I've seen before.  Not sure it's really my style, I'm not much of a builder, but more of a player. (I drive cars, but have no idea on how to make them) but the game does look like a unique experience.

Standard MMO conventions do not apply and I don't think anyone will be calling it a WOW clone any time soon.


Kyleran, I appreciate that you took the time to follow up and check out Island Forge.

Your analogy of driving a car vs. building one is quite right - I've tried too many RPG builders in the past that just expose all the internal complications to the user. Island Forge has an easy-to-use built-in Island Builder that's designed to be intuitive. It gives players the creative freedom to design their islands and construct their stories, but within the framework of the game (you're not creating an RPG from scratch... that's the part I did).

Island Forge: Create Islands with Stories for Others to Explore!
Free-to-Play with Membership and Upgrade options!

  99escorts

Novice Member

Joined: 8/01/12
Posts: 2

8/08/12 6:39:43 AM#1551
I think that playing a solo player game is for someone that is alone so not point to play a multiplayer game... right?? that is for when you have friends over.. also is more dificult.. 
  S-mmo

Novice Member

Joined: 8/19/07
Posts: 23

8/09/12 10:55:31 AM#1552

Many devs probably concentrate their efforts on more specialized MMO's that are aimed specifically at a certain target group, like PvP, Raid, Solo, etc. Considering the impasse on threads like this, and many more I've seen like it, it's probably inevitable.

The devs of GW2 are making a last ditched effort to keep the soloers and the groupers working towards the same goal. If the experiment doesn't work, the chances of seeing another title being greenlighted that has a large budget will lessen considerably.

  Angelnish

Novice Member

Joined: 8/07/12
Posts: 5

8/10/12 2:00:59 AM#1553
It is an honor to have the opportunity to participate in the discussion of this excellent post! I wish to extend my thanks for that.
 
  Terminate141

Novice Member

Joined: 6/06/09
Posts: 3

8/11/12 10:49:32 PM#1554
I prefer both. Sometimes group play can be bad because a team member doesn't speak English or just doesn't  cooperate with the team. Solo can be good for certain scenarios. But usually I only group play with people who are willing to cooperate and have common sense

  Ikonoclastia

Novice Member

Joined: 1/31/11
Posts: 184

8/16/12 4:51:08 AM#1555
Originally posted by S-mmo

Many devs probably concentrate their efforts on more specialized MMO's that are aimed specifically at a certain target group, like PvP, Raid, Solo, etc. Considering the impasse on threads like this, and many more I've seen like it, it's probably inevitable.

The devs of GW2 are making a last ditched effort to keep the soloers and the groupers working towards the same goal. If the experiment doesn't work, the chances of seeing another title being greenlighted that has a large budget will lessen considerably.

Not necessarily a bad thing either.  Might get some games aimed at real gamers.

  Nyhm

Novice Member

Joined: 10/31/11
Posts: 82

8/20/12 8:18:44 AM#1556


Originally posted by Madimorga
I just jumped in here to giggle and point some fingers at the traditional social gamers who say I don't belong in MMOs because I usually prefer to solo.

Haha, I belong in Guild Wars 2, bishes, so shut it!  

Sorry, needed a moment of gleeful immaturity today.


I'd be very interested in what you think of Island Forge. It's an MMORPG, and it does have group play, but solo exploration is strongly represented. It's sort-of an old school RPG but with others around. You can interact with them if you want (and go on party expeditions), or just explore/fight/craft on your own. I think it appeals to players who are self-directed (I'm the sole developer - see me & Island Forge on Kickstarter).

Island Forge: Create Islands with Stories for Others to Explore!
Free-to-Play with Membership and Upgrade options!

  ghostfaeries

Novice Member

Joined: 3/26/08
Posts: 86

9/02/12 4:42:02 PM#1557
Originally posted by DiSpLiFF

 i'll say what i've said before, I personally think WoW did it best. Theres group play and solo play, but you won't get nearly as good quality gear just by soloing. I would never play a game that forced me to group 24/7, on the other hand i'd never play an mmo that was just solo play. Of course i'm a casual player (i guess? 2 hours a day) sometimes I don't have an hour to wait to join  a group i'll probably leave 40 mins into it. 

i fully agree to this. i've not played a game with better group play than wow. that's what i like, and i'm sure others do too. i do know a few people that have actually gone solo most of their leveling experience in wow. they were a casual player as well. that's perfectly fine. you don't need the best gear out there, just as long as you enjoy the game. :)

  zephyrs

Novice Member

Joined: 6/13/07
Posts: 25

9/03/12 6:05:46 AM#1558

I enjoy group play. The problem is that back when I was playing MMOs I'd often find myself playing at odd hours. Playing at 2:30am really isn't conducive to group play. Given the option I'd rather play in a group, but I'd be content soloing if needed.

 

 

  Beartosser

Advanced Member

Joined: 9/18/08
Posts: 91

9/03/12 3:45:26 PM#1559
Originally posted by blinkiez
Originally posted by DiSpLiFF

 i'll say what i've said before, I personally think WoW did it best. Theres group play and solo play, but you won't get nearly as good quality gear just by soloing. I would never play a game that forced me to group 24/7, on the other hand i'd never play an mmo that was just solo play. Of course i'm a casual player (i guess? 2 hours a day) sometimes I don't have an hour to wait to join  a group i'll probably leave 40 mins into it. 

i fully agree to this. i've not played a game with better group play than wow. that's what i like, and i'm sure others do too. i do know a few people that have actually gone solo most of their leveling experience in wow. they were a casual player as well. that's perfectly fine. you don't need the best gear out there, just as long as you enjoy the game. :)

If you're more casually oriented, gear isn't as important, but for solo players who are more achievement oriented, it's every bit as important as it is for raiders.

  KaosProphet

Novice Member

Joined: 8/31/12
Posts: 384

9/04/12 6:05:24 AM#1560
Originally posted by zephyrs

I enjoy group play. The problem is that back when I was playing MMOs I'd often find myself playing at odd hours. Playing at 2:30am really isn't conducive to group play. Given the option I'd rather play in a group, but I'd be content soloing if needed.

 

 

Eh.  2:30 am here is 8:30 pm on the other side of the continent (give or take) and with reasonable broadband you can hop on whatever server happens to be 'busy' at that time of the day instead of having to just go with whatever has the least crappy routing path.  So odd hours can work out fine - with a few assumptions (ie. multiple servers, and they don't run system maintenance on them during your available hours, etc.)

 

What's really killer is irregular hours.  Working shifts, some days I'm on at 7pm and others I'm not available till after midnight.  Makes it hard to find a stable group, and most PUGs just... aren't fun to play with.  Too many are just there to grind content as quickly as possible for the drops.

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