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Citadel of Sorcery

Citadel of Sorcery 

General Discussion  » So tell me a little bit about the grouping mechanics in CoS

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47 posts found
  Kyleran

Bitter Vet™

Joined: 9/13/06
Posts: 18716

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

 
OP  1/04/10 1:47:53 PM#1

Discussion by Dev leads in another thread lead me to this game for the first time.  The idea of a PVE based game with content tailored to the individual player is intriguing, even if I question the practicality based on today's technology.  (more on that in another thread)

I haven't read much yet, I went back and read some of the early posts "about this game", poked around the FAQ design a bit, and saw things I liked and didn't like.  Rather than criticize based on my preconceived notions I do want to ask some questions around the social aspects of the game.

There's a variety of game mechanics that have been employed by previous games to 'encourage' players to group together.  This has ranges from providing greater (or faster) rewards in terms of experience gain or loot, to outright forced grouping, where the player content cannot be mastered unless one is grouped, sometimes in very large raid scenarios.

Some of the early FAQ materials I've read have mentioned that CoS will offer players a variety of play styles and that all quests/content will be soloable or can be done by a group. (quite a feat if you can pull that off, but not my question)

What I really want to know is, why will I want to group with others rather than run the content solo?  Players have shown that for the most part, all things being equal, they will solo rather than group unless there is some reward for going through the effort (and yes, sometimes this is a very real effort, which isn't a bad thing) to form a group.

DAOC had this.  You could solo if you liked, but the real rewards in the game came from forming groups (I like the fact you are going with an 8 man group btw) and mastering content together.

Of course, that's an experience/level based game and I haven't read enough about CoS to determine how player progression is managed.  But that again is topic for another thread.

So why would I group? What advantage will I get?  Please don't say its just an option for me and my friends to do if we want to, I don't have any friends.  I don't want any friends.  I only team up with others if there is an enlightened self interest to do so, that benefits all parties involved.

You might think I'm anti-social, not really, notice my post count here, and I assure you, its much the same with any guild I'm a member of.  But I don't count these folks as friends, we work together because there's an in game reason to do so, nothing more.

So will CoS have an in game reason to group?  Because as mentioned by some other folks in other posts in this forum, social aspects of MMO's are very important, and the solo/instanced design of the game concerns me.  I've become the member of many a clan by hunting in a PUG group or assisting people in trouble (rezzing the dead who pulled more than they barganed for) in more open world games and grouping up with people on a regular basis is just one of the many mechanics that can encourage socialization.  (along with forced downtime, common enemies and some others)

I'm very leery of games that are focused on solo content (what game isn't these days) and I'd be interested to know your thoughts on this since you seemed to have been around the block for awhile.

 

 

"In these forums 'honest' seems to be a symonym for 'hates the game just like I do'" - ohioastro
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

  Jatar

Novice Member

Joined: 9/16/07
Posts: 329

Citadel of Sorcery dev team member

1/04/10 4:59:52 PM#2

There are two camps on the idea of grouping.  One is to force people to group and one is to let people group if they want. We favor the latter model.  We do not believe that a game must require people to group up, for we do not care if they group or not.  It is not our duty to make people form a group.   We believe that this is a serious mistake.  If a player wants to solo play our game from start to end, why shouldn't we let them?  Games are for pleasure, we're not here to teach people social skills.  If one person's pleasure is to play through the game solo, then bully for them.  Our game will let them do just that.

On the flip side, there are people who come to MMO's for the social aspect of the game.  We do not thwart their goals either.  We will offer as many features as possible to help them group up, find others to play with, run game run content for groups, offer guilds and everything we can do to enhance the guild experience.  And, more importantly, the game play offers real strategy options with opponents who use group tactics against you and varying levels of A.I.   This means, when you are in a group, you can counter with group tactics of your own.  To use them you would need to group.

But we will NEVER force you to group to progress through the game.  We truly find the idea absurd.  The whole concept of Citadel of Sorcery it to allow players to find different kinds of play to suit their needs.  Solo is one of those options and we see no reason to make it so you must group to succeed.  You form groups to have social interaction, not because you must.  To force grouping means that we have told players who want to solo that they cannot play our game.  Why, on earth, would we do that?

 

Edit: I should add, I'd love to hear your argument for why grouping should be forced, if you have one.

  TdogSkal

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/11/06
Posts: 1259

Do not fear death, Death will come a knocking anytime it wants.

1/05/10 8:28:55 AM#3

Forced group to me forces the players to act "nice" to each other because the game requires you to group to advance and if you do not play nice then others will not group up with you.

I tend to like forced group games because after all this is an MMO not a single player RPG.   I do not mind let players solo but I feel that grouping should be better rewarded.   Solo players should get rewards but not as good as rewards as grouping players.  

As I feel that forced grouping games tend to have better overall communities because players understand that they will need others to advance pasted a certain point.

These are a few general reason why I like forced grouping although I do not like the word forced.  I never felt forced to group in games like EQ classic even though it is widely accepted as a forced grouping game. 

Sooner or Later

  Isane

Novice Member

Joined: 5/24/06
Posts: 2691

"Some do , Some don''t , Others just cry"

Jean Sali

1/05/10 9:49:03 AM#4
Originally posted by TdogSkal

Forced group to me forces the players to act "nice" to each other because the game requires you to group to advance and if you do not play nice then others will not group up with you.

I tend to like forced group games because after all this is an MMO not a single player RPG.   I do not mind let players solo but I feel that grouping should be better rewarded.   Solo players should get rewards but not as good as rewards as grouping players.  

As I feel that forced grouping games tend to have better overall communities because players understand that they will need others to advance pasted a certain point.

These are a few general reason why I like forced grouping although I do not like the word forced.  I never felt forced to group in games like EQ classic even though it is widely accepted as a forced grouping game. 


 

Forced grouping is a big no no . Based on what has been said with respect to aplayers ongoing storyline. Grouping will have a lot of benefity with respect to generating more complex scenarion and giving people the ability to gain faction dependent on the other player quest.

There should be no differentiation between what single or grouped players can gain. Just the fact that in a big group you may kill the dragon rather than sneak past it solo.

I also believe that there will be potentially a lot of interaction in the Citadel and shared areas of the game....

So motivation to group yes , forced no. By keeping the groups to a  reasonable size you should get a much friendlier cooperative community. Rather than game breaking guilds bullying players because they can't compete.

________________________________________________________
SWTOR and COS games that could deliver !!

  daarco

Novice Member

Joined: 12/19/06
Posts: 4509

I have Darkfall now!
Caution: Game May Cause Care Bears To Populate Forums
__________________

1/05/10 9:56:16 AM#5

I find the word "force grouping" to be really pointless.

What can you do alone? Seriously?

You need other people around you if you wanna get somewere in life.

You dream of killing a huge dragon, nice. So were you get equipment from, skills, how you know were to look? Other people are always involved, especially in MMORPG.

Non the less, CoS sounds really interesting : )

  Isane

Novice Member

Joined: 5/24/06
Posts: 2691

"Some do , Some don''t , Others just cry"

Jean Sali

1/05/10 11:11:46 AM#6
Originally posted by daarco

I find the word "force grouping" to be really pointless.

What can you do alone? Seriously?

You need other people around you if you wanna get somewere in life.

You dream of killing a huge dragon, nice. So were you get equipment from, skills, how you know were to look? Other people are always involved, especially in MMORPG.

Non the less, CoS sounds really interesting : )

I thought that the whole point of the COS quest and storyline approach is that there are many ways to complete these.

And was hoping that under the right circumstance you can prevail solo. Just so the option exists. The fact you can return to the citadel and grab others to help if the task is too hard also helps.

One interesting thing is that others will impact on your charachter with their actions, so groups in some cases could turn out very interesting even if they are guild members or people you know you may have to be very carefull.

Thats what seems to happen in the outline storyline example on the official COS site.

 

________________________________________________________
SWTOR and COS games that could deliver !!

  Kyleran

Bitter Vet™

Joined: 9/13/06
Posts: 18716

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

 
OP  1/05/10 11:23:48 AM#7
Originally posted by Jatar

There are two camps on the idea of grouping.  One is to force people to group and one is to let people group if they want. We favor the latter model.  We do not believe that a game must require people to group up, for we do not care if they group or not.  It is not our duty to make people form a group.   We believe that this is a serious mistake.  If a player wants to solo play our game from start to end, why shouldn't we let them?  Games are for pleasure, we're not here to teach people social skills.  If one person's pleasure is to play through the game solo, then bully for them.  Our game will let them do just that.

On the flip side, there are people who come to MMO's for the social aspect of the game.  We do not thwart their goals either.  We will offer as many features as possible to help them group up, find others to play with, run game run content for groups, offer guilds and everything we can do to enhance the guild experience.  And, more importantly, the game play offers real strategy options with opponents who use group tactics against you and varying levels of A.I.   This means, when you are in a group, you can counter with group tactics of your own.  To use them you would need to group.

But we will NEVER force you to group to progress through the game.  We truly find the idea absurd.  The whole concept of Citadel of Sorcery it to allow players to find different kinds of play to suit their needs.  Solo is one of those options and we see no reason to make it so you must group to succeed.  You form groups to have social interaction, not because you must.  To force grouping means that we have told players who want to solo that they cannot play our game.  Why, on earth, would we do that?

 

Edit: I should add, I'd love to hear your argument for why grouping should be forced, if you have one.

LOL, Wall of Text incoming

Well, as you mentioned, there are two schools of thought regarding grouping, I prefer the term "encouraged" grouping where players are rewarded for taking the time and effort to put together a group.  DAOC is the classic example that I use where a person could (and often did) solo regularly, but the real benefits in terms of character progression (leveling) and loot came from assembling a group, or even multiple groups of up to 40 players.

Of course, its a camp based game, and doesn't really fit with your quest oriented world, might be too difficult to code for so many variables. (One reason why I believe most modern MMO's have reduced party size to 5 or 6, easier to code for)

Now there have been multiple threads made on these forums regarding the benefits and disadvantages of group oriented games.   Fortunately, Tdogskal and Isane have done an excellent job of representing the concerns of both sides so their posts can serve as examples for the discussion.

We'll start with Isane

"There should be no differentiation between what single or grouped players can gain. Just the fact that in a big group you may kill the dragon rather than sneak past it solo."

I'll go along with this, if in fact, it takes a group to kill the dragon (and gain greater rewards for doing so) vs the solo player who sneaks past and progresses his story, but doesn't reap the same benefits in terms of character progression.  What should never happen is the solo player kills the dragon all by himself, receiving the same reward as the group or you making grouping pointless. (other than for the friendships factor, which is a non-starter for me)

Now on to the greater issue of socialization in MMO's, we'll look at Tdogskal's post.

"Forced group to me forces the players to act "nice" to each other because the game requires you to group to advance and if you do not play nice then others will not group up with you."

and also

"As I feel that forced grouping games tend to have better overall communities because players understand that they will need others to advance pasted a certain point."

I happen to agree with Tdogskal, if a game's mechanics encourage players to group to master content, they will actually behave better in order be accepted by the community and invited to group up.

Most people today will state that MMO communities are worse today, and blame it on too many children in the game (utter nonsense), a lower class of MMO player (more nonsense), where as I feel its really caused by the lack of grouping mechanincs and forced downtime. (a topic for another thread entirely)

People act in their own enlightened self interest, and will do whatever activity nets them the greatest possible gain at the least possible cost.  Let me give you a real world example that just happened to me in Aion over the weekend.

I was out  on my Spirtmaster which is a monster at soloing in PVE however against same level elite mobs its quite challenging to actually kill them.  I was busy killing one, which took far too long and was having difficulty when a cleric came along and assisted in killing the mob while making sure i didn't expire.

After we were done, he asked if I wanted to group up. "Sure I said, lets do it".  Then the pause came, and he asked, "How much experience did you get for that kill?"  I told him and he said, "nevermind" and went away.

Why did he decline? Because the way the game is set up, the Cleric can progress his character faster finding non-elite mobs and soloing them.   Had the game been designed to reward both of us with greater experience gains or loot, he would have been more agreeable to grouping, we might have struck up a conversation while we fought together, and who knows, I might have even joined up with his clan. (I'm currently not in one).

But none of that social interaction happened.we botyh went off solo, and at least for me, my gameplay experience was diminished.

Now, again, you are making a different sort of game, and truthfully, withought seeing it as you might imagine I can't reallly envision how it all might work out.

But never the less, WOW is a game that has lots of quests, and players rarely are able to syncronize them together, so there's no point to group up, best to just solo for fastest progression.

In my opinion, the decline of the community in modern MMO's is directly tied to their solo friendliness and has turned them in to the social wastelands that many people feel they are when compared to their predecessors.

Its more about the min/max experience gains (and loot) and the social aspects have really gone by the wayside.

Now to Jatar's post

"And, more importantly, the game play offers real strategy options with opponents who use group tactics against you and varying levels of A.I. This means, when you are in a group, you can counter with group tactics of your own. To use them you would need to group."

Are you saying that some opponent's are in groups, and can only be defeated by a group?  So it sounds like you are "encouraging" players to group because they won't be able to get past this content without grouping.  Or you could mean that a solo player would never encounter this group situtation, well then you are denying content to the soloer, and players like Isane will be upset.

But lets say I go do this group content, other than the fact I experienced the content, is there any benefit in terms of character progression if I get a group together and defeat this NPC group? Or will the soloer who bypasses this content get similar reward for the path he goes down?

I'm going to tell you, playing the game just to play is a very small portion of the MMO market, most people jump through the hoops for one purpose, character progression, not to simply enjoy the story.  (oddly enough, I do take the time in MMO's to stop and smell the roses, but few other players these days will)

And finally, this last comment from Jatar

"You form groups to have social interaction, not because you must. To force grouping means that we have told players who want to solo that they cannot play our game. Why, on earth, would we do that?"

I maintain that players will develop greater social skills and interact far more in a game that encourages grouping.  Left to themselves, players will wallow for the most part in the solo world and you'll get what we see in WOW and many other games today, stunted social communities.

It isn't just nostaliga, player communities were much better in DAOC, Lineage 1/2 and even early Shadowbane than they are today.  Game mechanics that encourage player dependency on each other makes for better communities.

In the end Jatar, I see you and your team are firmly on the side of players like Isane and therefore don't really understand or comprehend what Tdog and I are looking for.

The good news of course is that the solo camp defintiely is the lions share of the market, so you are definitely targeting the most profitable demographic, but I predict now your game will be a social wasteland with little player interaction and difficultiy retaining a long term player base. (which is true of most MMO's today)

Of course, the proof is in the actual implementation, and we might have to wait and see how it turns out since you are making something quite different from what's I experienced in the past.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"In these forums 'honest' seems to be a symonym for 'hates the game just like I do'" - ohioastro
Kyleran - Bitter Vet ™ since 2006
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  Sovrath

Elite Member

Joined: 1/06/05
Posts: 16937

1/05/10 11:26:38 AM#8
Originally posted by daarco

I find the word "force grouping" to be really pointless.

What can you do alone? Seriously?

You need other people around you if you wanna get somewere in life.


 

Well, to the OP, you can find trillions of threads on the group vs solo thing.

As far as the above;

That may be true to a point but in actuality it's far more complex than that.

So, I write music and am a composer. I sit in my room honing my skills, my work, trying things out, etc. I can do this to upwards of 7 or more hours in a day if I'm on a roll. No other person is there.

Now, I don't have to even have performers if I want to as I can opt to have a different type of music that focuses on electronic sounds. Or, I can just play the pieces myself and record different tracks if i want more than one instrument.

Or, I can hire musicians to play my music. Then there is collaboration but it is a collaboration of a different sort though most likely it's closer to grouping. Yet, I started out solo.

To me these games are sort of like that. I can be solo, hone my skills, just enjoy myself and then when I want to partake in something larger I can seek out others.

But it goes even further than that. If a person wants to listen to my music they can do it solo. If they want to read a book they can do it solo, same with a movie. Or, they can invite others and have a shared experience (though with a book it's one person reading obviously and subject to their interpretation of characters).

Players who opt to be solo are like the David Carradine's of the game world. They are the lone soliders who sometimes meet others but who can be considered the main protagonist.

I would say that for me, story suffers immensely once I enter into a group. when I'm alone I can imagine myself on a quest or a task and trully feel immersed in the world. As soon as one other joins me it suddenly becomes "a game" and a "game world" and the interaction is about something else entirely.

 

 

  daarco

Novice Member

Joined: 12/19/06
Posts: 4509

I have Darkfall now!
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__________________

1/05/10 12:45:03 PM#9
Originally posted by Sovrath
Originally posted by daarco

I find the word "force grouping" to be really pointless.

What can you do alone? Seriously?

You need other people around you if you wanna get somewere in life.


 

Well, to the OP, you can find trillions of threads on the group vs solo thing.

As far as the above;

That may be true to a point but in actuality it's far more complex than that.

So, I write music and am a composer. I sit in my room honing my skills, my work, trying things out, etc. I can do this to upwards of 7 or more hours in a day if I'm on a roll. No other person is there.

Now, I don't have to even have performers if I want to as I can opt to have a different type of music that focuses on electronic sounds. Or, I can just play the pieces myself and record different tracks if i want more than one instrument.

Or, I can hire musicians to play my music. Then there is collaboration but it is a collaboration of a different sort though most likely it's closer to grouping. Yet, I started out solo.

To me these games are sort of like that. I can be solo, hone my skills, just enjoy myself and then when I want to partake in something larger I can seek out others.

But it goes even further than that. If a person wants to listen to my music they can do it solo. If they want to read a book they can do it solo, same with a movie. Or, they can invite others and have a shared experience (though with a book it's one person reading obviously and subject to their interpretation of characters).

Players who opt to be solo are like the David Carradine's of the game world. They are the lone soliders who sometimes meet others but who can be considered the main protagonist.

I would say that for me, story suffers immensely once I enter into a group. when I'm alone I can imagine myself on a quest or a task and trully feel immersed in the world. As soon as one other joins me it suddenly becomes "a game" and a "game world" and the interaction is about something else entirely.

 

 


 

I dont want to risk to sound as a really boring person...but here we go:

I understand your argument. But for me it is still the same thing. You maybe write your musik on a computer or on paper done by someone else, you listen to musik made by other people (for inspiration) and you want other people to listen to the music you have created.

Does that mean you are "forces grouped"! No of course not. You are just "living the your life" with other people around you : )

And in a MMO i just feel you should have the same feeling. Playing solo does not mean killing a mob all by yourself. What did you before and after thast mob battle? Thats what important.

Most MMOs are just interested in the small part about the mobkilling, CoS seems to care about everything. And that sure sounds interesting.

  Sovrath

Elite Member

Joined: 1/06/05
Posts: 16937

1/05/10 12:55:28 PM#10
Originally posted by daarco
Originally posted by Sovrath
Originally posted by daarco

I find the word "force grouping" to be really pointless.

What can you do alone? Seriously?

You need other people around you if you wanna get somewere in life.


 

Well, to the OP, you can find trillions of threads on the group vs solo thing.

As far as the above;

That may be true to a point but in actuality it's far more complex than that.

So, I write music and am a composer. I sit in my room honing my skills, my work, trying things out, etc. I can do this to upwards of 7 or more hours in a day if I'm on a roll. No other person is there.

Now, I don't have to even have performers if I want to as I can opt to have a different type of music that focuses on electronic sounds. Or, I can just play the pieces myself and record different tracks if i want more than one instrument.

Or, I can hire musicians to play my music. Then there is collaboration but it is a collaboration of a different sort though most likely it's closer to grouping. Yet, I started out solo.

To me these games are sort of like that. I can be solo, hone my skills, just enjoy myself and then when I want to partake in something larger I can seek out others.

But it goes even further than that. If a person wants to listen to my music they can do it solo. If they want to read a book they can do it solo, same with a movie. Or, they can invite others and have a shared experience (though with a book it's one person reading obviously and subject to their interpretation of characters).

Players who opt to be solo are like the David Carradine's of the game world. They are the lone soliders who sometimes meet others but who can be considered the main protagonist.

I would say that for me, story suffers immensely once I enter into a group. when I'm alone I can imagine myself on a quest or a task and trully feel immersed in the world. As soon as one other joins me it suddenly becomes "a game" and a "game world" and the interaction is about something else entirely.

 

 


 

I dont want to risk to sound as a really boring person...but here we go:

I understand your argument. But for me it is still the same thing. You maybe write your musik on a computer or on paper done by someone else, you listen to musik made by other people (for inspiration) and you want other people to listen to the music you have created.

Does that mean you are "forces grouped"! No of course not. You are just "living the your life" with other people around you : )

And in a MMO i just feel you should have the same feeling. Playing solo does not mean killing a mob all by yourself. What did you before and after thast mob battle? Thats what important.

Most MMOs are just interested in the small part about the mobkilling, CoS seems to care about everything. And that sure sounds interesting.


 

And that's how I want to play my games.

I want to live my game life with other people around me. I can sometimes group with them and sometimes just go about on my own.

I want choice.

otherwise what these games devolve into is "here is quest... run to marker... do quest.. run back. Here is 2nd part of quest but needs group so wait to get group, run to marker, do quest, group disbands... look for new quest.

Or the other side of the coin...

Get people, go to camp, shoot the shit while killing mobs ad infinitum, group disbands, get new group, do the same thing.

Quite frankly, I find both of those acceptable (though I hate shooting the shit in pickup groups - I just don't care) but I want them to be on my terms as I want the game world to be more of a "world" then just a game space.

I completely understand why players don't want a world simulator and I do believe that the world needs to do something to mitigate the "I have to travel for 30 minutes and nothing happened, then I had to log off" issues.

I have become social with a long standing group of players who I like very much. But in no way, shape or form do I play these games to be social. I have a social life. Therefore I want to be able to enjoy these games in a way that depends upon my mood.

Of course, I'm not saying that all games should allow people to solo. I have no issues with a game that is completely group based.

I just will wish those players luck and not play that game.

  Jatar

Novice Member

Joined: 9/16/07
Posts: 329

Citadel of Sorcery dev team member

1/05/10 2:21:13 PM#11

I'll say again, there will be no forced grouping in CoS.  There will be benefits to grouping, but that is not the same thing. 

Solo players who cannot win a battle against a larger group or more powerful opponents and sneak by or skip it will not get the same rewards as a group to takes it on.  There will be challenges that require a group... but you will not have to take on these challenges to go through the game or complete the quest.  You will not reach a point where you cannot progress your quest, where you cannot continue unless you are grouped.  This is what we consider 'forced grouping'. 

Let me give you a real world example.  I was playing LORTO and I got to a point in the Epic Quest line where the next piece of the quest was IMPOSSIBLE to complete without a group.  In fact, it was impossible without a large group.  After several frustrating attempts solo, and then several frustrating attempts with three group members, we finally quit the game, permanently.  I am not alone in this feeling.  I cannot always have a group, I do not always like playing with strangers, but I ALWAYS want to be able to play the game when I want.  That's what I was paying for, I was not paying to be forced to interact with some strangers when I don't feel like it.

CoS will NEVER do this, no matter how many arguments we hear to the contrary.

  GrumpyMel2

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/24/09
Posts: 1789

1/06/10 5:11:34 PM#12

Well the game certainly sounds interesting and the dynamic world thing is a much need breath of fresh air. However I have to say I'm also pretty leary about the whole solo thing and the use of instances.

Really my dream version of an MMO would be a computer based adaption of the old Pen & Paper role-playing experience, but where the things that you and your group effected the world...not just for yourself....or even your group...but for all the other groups running around in the world.

A big part of the "awe" factor that exists in FRPG's with having a shared common goal or adversity that is simply too big for one person to overcome on their own.... (even better would be something that required the cooperation of multiple groups to achieve).

A big part of the fun of those old PnP sessions was also based off of the dynamics of the group.... Of having to work with characters who's goal's and motivations and more's might not exactly match your own but who need to cooperate with each other through shared neccesity.

A perfect example would be a human town that was being attacked by a rampaging horde of undead. The town is home to both a Paladin and an Assasin. They may have entirely different motivations for wanting to defeat the attack, certainly different ethics and different methods that they are willing or prefer to use. However they both realize that neither can accomplish the end goal (fending off the attack) by themselves. The process and tension of how they go about figuring out how to work together and to what degree is a huge part of the fun of playing. Add even more players....or maybe even groups/guilds/factions of players into that mix and you've got something that I would see as tremendously entertaining.

If the individual can accomplish the end goal on thier own without the need for cooperation of another character.....then pretty much that entire dynamic/experience is lost.

Anyways, I wish you guys ALOT of luck....the gaming industry REALLY needs a breadth of fresh air.....and much of what you are talking about is a HUGE leap forward over todays games. I hope it starts a trend. Unfortunately you seem to be missing a good half or more of what truely would intrigue/entertain me about an MMORPG.

 

 

 

 

 

  Dakirn

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/16/04
Posts: 356

1/06/10 5:46:34 PM#13
Originally posted by GrumpyMel2

A big part of the fun of those old PnP sessions was also based off of the dynamics of the group.... Of having to work with characters who's goal's and motivations and more's might not exactly match your own but who need to cooperate with each other through shared neccesity.

A perfect example would be a human town that was being attacked by a rampaging horde of undead. The town is home to both a Paladin and an Assasin. They may have entirely different motivations for wanting to defeat the attack, certainly different ethics and different methods that they are willing or prefer to use. However they both realize that neither can accomplish the end goal (fending off the attack) by themselves. The process and tension of how they go about figuring out how to work together and to what degree is a huge part of the fun of playing. Add even more players....or maybe even groups/guilds/factions of players into that mix and you've got something that I would see as tremendously entertaining.

If the individual can accomplish the end goal on thier own without the need for cooperation of another character.....then pretty much that entire dynamic/experience is lost.

 


 

The problem with this is you run into the whole "I want to feel unique in an MMO" problem.  How do you take advantage of PnP when you have 10,000 people running around the world?

Some things would be great to see but aren't possible with today's MMOs, or at least nothing that anyone has developed so far.  With PnP you have a real-life person controlling everything that's happening for a small group of people.  It's impossible to get that type of intimacy in an MMO unless you start using instances like CoS has said they plan to use.

If you want the feeling of making a difference, really there isn't any other way.  You can't have 10,000 unique people in a single world AND have them affect the world in a realistic way unless you plan to run out of content in the first hour the game goes live.

Games like Dragon Age work because there is you playing, plus the stories created for every NPC.  How great would that game be if there were 10,000 other plays following your storyline and beating you to every accomplishment?

  GrumpyMel2

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/24/09
Posts: 1789

1/07/10 12:32:34 PM#14
Originally posted by Dakirn
Originally posted by GrumpyMel2

A big part of the fun of those old PnP sessions was also based off of the dynamics of the group.... Of having to work with characters who's goal's and motivations and more's might not exactly match your own but who need to cooperate with each other through shared neccesity.

A perfect example would be a human town that was being attacked by a rampaging horde of undead. The town is home to both a Paladin and an Assasin. They may have entirely different motivations for wanting to defeat the attack, certainly different ethics and different methods that they are willing or prefer to use. However they both realize that neither can accomplish the end goal (fending off the attack) by themselves. The process and tension of how they go about figuring out how to work together and to what degree is a huge part of the fun of playing. Add even more players....or maybe even groups/guilds/factions of players into that mix and you've got something that I would see as tremendously entertaining.

If the individual can accomplish the end goal on thier own without the need for cooperation of another character.....then pretty much that entire dynamic/experience is lost.

 


 

The problem with this is you run into the whole "I want to feel unique in an MMO" problem.  How do you take advantage of PnP when you have 10,000 people running around the world?

Some things would be great to see but aren't possible with today's MMOs, or at least nothing that anyone has developed so far.  With PnP you have a real-life person controlling everything that's happening for a small group of people.  It's impossible to get that type of intimacy in an MMO unless you start using instances like CoS has said they plan to use.

If you want the feeling of making a difference, really there isn't any other way.  You can't have 10,000 unique people in a single world AND have them affect the world in a realistic way unless you plan to run out of content in the first hour the game goes live.

Games like Dragon Age work because there is you playing, plus the stories created for every NPC.  How great would that game be if there were 10,000 other plays following your storyline and beating you to every accomplishment?

Dakirn,

Have you ever played any of the old text based MUDs, MUSH's ?  What they used to do was very much in line with what I am talking about. The only real difference between those and todays MMORPG's is that the MUD's operated with text and MMO's operate with graphics. Anything that a MUD with 1990's technology was able to achieve with text....SHOULD be possible to achieve with a graphical engine on todays technology.

Part of the issue is that many development houses through alot of resources into things like enhancing partical effects and shading in the engines they were using....and not much into things that would make a FUNCTIONAL difference in how the game world they depicted COULD work.

As a matter of information, the way the MUDs/MUSH's used to work was that they would have core staff of Senior GM's that were entrusted with full responsibility over the game world. These in turn would manage/supervise a much larger staff of volunteer GM's who entrusted with lessor responsibility according to how well they proved themselves. There was no shortage of volunteer GM's, as quickly discovered (just like in the old PnP days) it was actualy FUN to GM.

The senior GM's would basicaly manage the grand themes that were occuring with the game world. While the volunteer GM's would both assist and run thier own individual created sub-plots or smaller quests. The sub-plots could be related to the main plot lines that were occuring or entirely tangential and unrelated. The Senior GM's would have supervision over what was going on...so they could approve/disapprove of a various sub-plot based upon whether it worked/made sense in the overall campaign or not. Bare in mind.. we are NOT talking small player base games here.... we're talking games that litteraly had thousands of players online at a time.

The key to the GM's being able to do this was that they had well designed tool-sets that allowed them to easly create content and to modify the game world on the fly. Thus they could create a mob/npc and then have those mobs/npc appear in a location in the game world simply by firing off a command from thier toolkit while the game was live and running. They could inhabit any mob/npc in the game-world (basicaly it became thier avatar). They could fire-off various atmospheric emote... thus "The sound of rumbling thunder"  could be "heard" (i.e. the text emote would appear on the players screen) through-out an entire zone.... and they could modify the properties of most objects in the game-world (say the visual description of a room) ON THE FLY as the game was running.  Thus they would dynamicaly change the game-world live, as the game was running.... and those changes COULD be permanent unless they chose not to make them so. None of this required actual programming skills on the part of the GM's, just knowledge of the toolset.

All of these things SHOULD be possible with todays graphical game engines. Object oriented programming, in fact, is absolutely ideal for this sort of thing. You want to "destroy" a building in the game.... all you do is change the texture property of that object from a graphic that represents a clean, solid wooden wall to one which represents a burnt and scarred one. That's dooable on the fly, as the game is running....and it can be a permanent change if you allow it to write to storage in addition to memory. The only thing that's really needed for that to work from a technical perspective is a good multi-media (graphics and sounds) stock library of content that the GM's can use......and a solidly constructed tool-set.

In fact, many game engines have those sorts of tool-sets already (it helps speed up world-building, development). The development houses just don't allow thier GM's to USE them.....rather they reduce them from the role of actual GM to glorified customer service rep.

Your thing about content doesn't really make any sense. It doesn't matter if some-one else completes a storyline instead of me...because there isn't just ONE story-line to complete....there are an INFINITE number of them. For every story that gets "done" another one gets added to the hopper.  It doesn't matter if some-one kills the Ogre King before you do....because after the Ogre King is done.....well guess what there's a Priate Ghost that needs taking care of. Also story-lines didn't really work the they way that stupid quests do in WOW.... that's something that players have been conditioned (and I use that term explicitly... as in Pavlovs dog) to expect. There is no Quest Ring....there is no Condition = Kill Boss Mob mark quest complete, give player  Y exp and Z gold. There is tonights storyline is an army of orcs is invading the farming village.... What YOU the player do with that is upto you. You decide how you participate..... you could ignore it completely and go do something else. You could be one of a hundred players that goes to fight the marauding orcs. Maybe you just kill a bunch of grunt orcs, maybe your one of the people that kills one of the handfull of orc Lt's ....maybe your with the group that takes down the Orc Warlord himself..... maybe instead you just spend your time healing injured farmers....maybe instead you go scout out the forest where the orcs come from to see if you can find out WHY they are invading.  Not happy with the role you played in THIS event ?? .... No problem, guess what, there is different one tomorrow night, and the next, and the next.

There is no need for any shortage of content.... you can have multiple systems that all work together...

1) You can have static content that works just like it does in most MMO's right now  i.e. "Go kill 10 wombats for farmer Jones"... and this can remain as it is until some GM changes it. This assures that there is always SOMETHING to do regardless of what is going on with the GM's.

2) Todays technology is making leaps and bounds with proceduraly generated content.... to dynamicaly generate stuff within certain parameters. Your starting to see this stuff make it's way into more and more games.... and the cool thing about this is that is entirely possible to have GM's tweak some of the parameters to make it relevant to the themes/plotlines that are going on in the game world at that moment. Thus you ALWAYS have content to do that is relevant to what is happening in the campaign world at any given moment..... and that stuff CAN change over time.

3) You can have custom-built/run stories/plotlines by live GM's

All these systems can work together.  It's possible to do that today.... Developers just need to stop treating all thier products like commoditized fast-food.... and realize there actualy IS a market for fine dining.

 

Aplogies if this post seemed to hijack this thread. I think the guys at CoS really DO seem to get many of the shortcomings of the MMO market todays. What they are doing sounds innovative and cool.....but it definately is NOT the ONLY way to approach the issue. There are quite a different number of different tacts that a developer COULD take to approach the solution....and each one has thier strengths and weaknesses (IMO)

  Kyleran

Bitter Vet™

Joined: 9/13/06
Posts: 18716

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

 
OP  1/07/10 4:50:50 PM#15
Originally posted by Jatar

I'll say again, there will be no forced grouping in CoS.  There will be benefits to grouping, but that is not the same thing. 

1) Solo players who cannot win a battle against a larger group or more powerful opponents and sneak by or skip it will not get the same rewards as a group to takes it on.  There will be challenges that require a group... but you will not have to take on these challenges to go through the game or complete the quest.  You will not reach a point where you cannot progress your quest, where you cannot continue unless you are grouped.  This is what we consider 'forced grouping'. 

Let me give you a real world example.  I was playing LORTO and I got to a point in the Epic Quest line where the next piece of the quest was IMPOSSIBLE to complete without a group. 2)  In fact, it was impossible without a large group.  After several frustrating attempts solo, and then several frustrating attempts with three group members, we finally quit the game, permanently.  I am not alone in this feeling.  I cannot always have a group, I do not always like playing with strangers, but I ALWAYS want to be able to play the game when I want.  That's what I was paying for, I was not paying to be forced to interact with some strangers when I don't feel like it.

CoS will NEVER do this, no matter how many arguments we hear to the contrary.

 1) OK, regarding this point, fair enough, as long as there's an incentive to take the time to form a group in order to obtain greater reward, without impeding a players progress, I'm all for that and its a good idea.

2) Let's examine number two carefully.  I ran into the exact same situation in LotRO, and experienced the same frustration. But the real issue isn't the content you came up against, but the fact that for several reasons you were unable to get past it. 

This is primarily caused by the fact that there is no incentive (in game mechanic) for you and your 3 friends to set aside your "fear" of strangers (who can really be quite nice if you have a reason to get to know them) and group up to master the content.  Same for those strangers, why should they want to help you, especially if they already did it and get nothing for doing so. (This is the key flaw with games based on quest based content btw, one that was not quite so severe in the earlier camp and grind game models)

Now, if the game mechanics had made it extremely rewarding for you to get past this content (and not be merely another notch on your quest log) and made it just as rewarding for anyone who chose to help you, then it is likely you would have gotten together.

if you had played a game like DAOC in the early days you would have experience this mechanic, where strangers routinely grouped togetther and even helped each other (single open world, no instances) when they got in trouble.  I suspect your MMO experience doesn't include a game like this because most people who don't understand what me and others aretalking about haven't either.

The game can be designed so that players are encouraged to group up in order to play nice together, but of course, that's just one road to success.  You appear to have decided that its better to let players chose to skip the group content by providing them an alternate path to the end.  Might be better, might not be, all depends on a players past experiences I suppose.

We'll have to see how it goes, you might be on to the next big thing or just another good idea that didn't work out as intended.

Oh well, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

 

 

"In these forums 'honest' seems to be a symonym for 'hates the game just like I do'" - ohioastro
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

  Bookkeeper

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 1/04/10
Posts: 60

1/07/10 6:07:58 PM#16
Originally posted by Kyleran
...

This is primarily caused by the fact that there is no incentive (in game mechanic) for you and your 3 friends to set aside your "fear" of strangers (who can really be quite nice if you have a reason to get to know them) and group up to master the content.  Same for those strangers, why should they want to help you, especially if they already did it and get nothing for doing so. (This is the key flaw with games based on quest based content btw, one that was not quite so severe in the earlier camp and grind game models)

 

 

But, I DON'T want to play with other people, only my close friends.  I don't like others, and have been forced to group with strangers hundreds of times and in 90% of those cases they just pissed me off.  Why, when I'm paying my good money to enjoy the game, should I be FORCED to do something I dislike?  This is why forced grouping is a deal breaker for me in any game.  I will not pay to be annoyed.  

Fortunately, CoS sounds like a game that will not force me to group, but allow me to group when I feel like it.  That's what I want.

  drbaltazar

Novice Member

Joined: 3/28/07
Posts: 7937

1/07/10 6:11:16 PM#17

mm!they could make it server one server forced random grouping and other as you like

  Jatar

Novice Member

Joined: 9/16/07
Posts: 329

Citadel of Sorcery dev team member

1/07/10 6:32:13 PM#18
Originally posted by drbaltazar

mm!they could make it server one server forced random grouping and other as you like

 

Well, we would if we weren't redoing how servers work in an MMO game (as well as just about everything else).

Simply put, CoS will not have separate servers.   You won't have to pick a server and then be stuck there, you have access (as do all players) to all the machines in the array.  We did this simply because we didn't like signing up for a particular server and then finding out our friends were on another one.  This can't happen in CoS.  I'm not going into all the details of the server system (for lots of reasons) but trust me on this, there won't be separate servers for different game play elements.  The very structure of our game is so different that this doesn't work anyway.  Very little about CoS is what you are used to in other MMO titles.

  Kyleran

Bitter Vet™

Joined: 9/13/06
Posts: 18716

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

 
OP  1/16/10 1:11:07 AM#19
Originally posted by Bookkeeper
Originally posted by Kyleran
...

This is primarily caused by the fact that there is no incentive (in game mechanic) for you and your 3 friends to set aside your "fear" of strangers (who can really be quite nice if you have a reason to get to know them) and group up to master the content.  Same for those strangers, why should they want to help you, especially if they already did it and get nothing for doing so. (This is the key flaw with games based on quest based content btw, one that was not quite so severe in the earlier camp and grind game models)

 

 

But, I DON'T want to play with other people, only my close friends.  I don't like others, and have been forced to group with strangers hundreds of times and in 90% of those cases they just pissed me off.  Why, when I'm paying my good money to enjoy the game, should I be FORCED to do something I dislike?  This is why forced grouping is a deal breaker for me in any game.  I will not pay to be annoyed.  

Fortunately, CoS sounds like a game that will not force me to group, but allow me to group when I feel like it.  That's what I want.

For the same reason your parents made you take piano lessons, go to church or eat your vegetables, it sometimes is good to force people to do things that are good for them, even when they think they don't want to.

But Jatar's already answered the question and confirmed this will be mostly a solo experience where people can group "if they want to".  Its been a little unclear reading various threads if there will be content that can only be done with a group (which is a form of forced grouping) or will players be able to always skip it with the same reward. (not really logical, but we'll see how it gets implemented)

 

"In these forums 'honest' seems to be a symonym for 'hates the game just like I do'" - ohioastro
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

  Jatar

Novice Member

Joined: 9/16/07
Posts: 329

Citadel of Sorcery dev team member

1/16/10 1:27:19 AM#20
Originally posted by Kyleran
Originally posted by Bookkeeper
Originally posted by Kyleran
...

This is primarily caused by the fact that there is no incentive (in game mechanic) for you and your 3 friends to set aside your "fear" of strangers (who can really be quite nice if you have a reason to get to know them) and group up to master the content.  Same for those strangers, why should they want to help you, especially if they already did it and get nothing for doing so. (This is the key flaw with games based on quest based content btw, one that was not quite so severe in the earlier camp and grind game models)

 

 

But, I DON'T want to play with other people, only my close friends.  I don't like others, and have been forced to group with strangers hundreds of times and in 90% of those cases they just pissed me off.  Why, when I'm paying my good money to enjoy the game, should I be FORCED to do something I dislike?  This is why forced grouping is a deal breaker for me in any game.  I will not pay to be annoyed.  

Fortunately, CoS sounds like a game that will not force me to group, but allow me to group when I feel like it.  That's what I want.

For the same reason your parents made you take piano lessons, go to church or eat your vegetables, it sometimes is good to force people to do things that are good for them, even when they think they don't want to.

But Jatar's already answered the question and confirmed this will be mostly a solo experience where people can group "if they want to".  Its been a little unclear reading various threads if there will be content that can only be done with a group (which is a form of forced grouping) or will players be able to always skip it with the same reward. (not really logical, but we'll see how it gets implemented)

 

There will be group content in Citadel of Sorcery.  We do not consider this forced grouping simply because no one MUST do group quests in order to progress through the entire game.  This content is made for groups so that players who enjoy grouping have challenges that are made for groups.  What we consider forced grouping is something that keeps a solo player from playing through the game.  We don't want them to reach a point in the game where they cannot continue without seeking a group.  This will not happen in CoS.  If, however, you choose to take on a group quest then at that point you must form a group to take on this type of quest.

We're trying to be logical here, and equate your choices to real life.  You can choose to go through life doing things alone, or you can do them with others.  Groups can always take on more than a single person, but we just don't want to force you to do so.  We believe that most players will want to solo some of the time and group some of the time, not one or the other.  This game will try to let you play the way you want when you want.  If today is a day you feel like grouping up, then find some friends, and take on a group quest.  If today is a day where you want to go it alone, or just with close friends, then perhaps you want to advance your personal quest, or join one of your friends on their personal quest (personal does not mean solo).  Or just go on your personal quest by yourself if you want.  The choice, as always, is yours.  But when a Raid is forming to take on a major campaign in the war against Morphael, and they are about to storm one of his castles... then you would HAVE to group up to go on that campaign.   Such is life, such is our game.  But Raids are not required gaming, and those who do not like them need not join in, same for group quests.

As for rewards, rewards are always equal to the challenge.  When a group gets treasure it is treasure equal to the challenge that a group took on.  Same for a solo player, they won't be getting rewards comparable to a group.   Same thing for what you take on in the game.  You won't find great treasure for killing one lowly maggotman, but if you can take on a Demon Lord (and somehow... win) then you would find the rewards amazing.  The idea is simply that when you feel you worked very hard to do something, you get great rewards, and when things are easy, you get lesser rewards.  When a solo player takes on something really tough, and wins, they will get some great rewards (for one player).  When a group takes on something really hard and wins, they will find great treasure, enough for an entire group.   I don't know, I'm going in circles here, but I hope you get the picture.  Risk vs. Reward.

I hope this helps answer some questions (and no doubt bring up some more).

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