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News & Features Discussion  » [Column] General: Where's the Social?

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86 posts found

Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/12/10
Posts: 20

Buy games, not guns.

4/02/13 3:00:08 PM#81

Great post Adam... My best social days lasted from DAoC thru Vanilla WoW.


Over 10 years ago, I think people played MMOs with a "social gathering" attitude, expecting to interact with people with good manners and an interest in cooperation. Sure there were a few bad apples, but the communities were much better.


These days too many people (not all) play with a "cool to be an asshole" type of attitude, and a horrifying grudge against whatever developer is charging them to play the MMO in the first place. Good manners and generosity seem to be a lost concept to today's gamers.


(You even see the "cool to be an asshole" illness infecting the posters working for this website, although some have the infection much worse than others.)




"I'm a nerd, and I'm pretty proud of it." - Gilbert, Revenge of the Nerds[1984]


Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/04/13
Posts: 8

4/03/13 1:14:41 AM#82
Originally posted by OldSquirrel

Great post Adam... My best social days lasted from DAoC thru Vanilla WoW.


Over 10 years ago, I think people played MMOs with a "social gathering" attitude, expecting to interact with people with good manners and an interest in cooperation. Sure there were a few bad apples, but the communities were much better.


These days too many people (not all) play with a "cool to be an asshole" type of attitude, and a horrifying grudge against whatever developer is charging them to play the MMO in the first place. Good manners and generosity seem to be a lost concept to today's gamers.


(You even see the "cool to be an asshole" illness infecting the posters working for this website, although some have the infection much worse than others.)

You know, this hits the nail on the head for me.  I started playing MMOs in 2006 - my first being City of Heroes.  The first couple of years were great; people were fun, chilled and even though some of the missions in that game were a little repetitive and grindy, if you got a fun team of 8 together no one minded.  Occasionally in a PUG you'd get a dickhead, but it usually wasn't long before they left. 

After about 2009 / 2010, the game seemed to gradually get to a situation where the odd dickhead was the norm rather than the exception.  People yelling obscenities in general chat or the "I'm really funny because I talk endless nonsense" types filling the game.  More recently, this behavious appears to be the norm in every game, culminating in MechWarrior Online where people think it's perfectly acceptable to tell someone how much they suck after they've died and they're spectating from within a still living players cockpit.

Is it any wonder that so many of us would rather play alone if these are the kinds of people that we have to group up with ?




Novice Member

Joined: 1/16/08
Posts: 2600

4/03/13 5:28:43 AM#83
All I have to say is that the majority of players asked for this the dungeon finder , instant travel this , instant gratification that, MMORPG's cater to awful bottom of the barrel players, along with the "I don't have time to play MMORPGs" but still want the shineys but putting forth no effort, and your suprised that people don't talk in MMOs now? These types have players have all but killed the social experience with their solo anti social agenda and till they get it thru their thick heads that MMORPG's arent single player games they will continue to get worse .


Novice Member

Joined: 1/30/08
Posts: 1221

4/03/13 11:13:41 PM#84
Originally posted by Beatnik59

What I'm about to say may be somewhat counterintuitive, but I think it's worth thinking about...

I'm thinking the problem with the games over the years is that they made the successful completion of chained quests a rather high stakes affair.  In other words, you had to successfully complete a content chain with a limited number of set people in order to get the reward (loot, an unlock, etc).

What this did was the following:

1)  Since you could only take a limited number of people in a group, and you needed everyone in the group to punch at or above their weight for several encounters in a row, you gamed with the people you knew.  If you didn't know them, you made them do an "initiation" (download the voice app, fill out a guild application) before you would game with him or her.

2)  The games rewarded consistency over sociability.  Since one screw up left you and the group with nothing, you didn't take chances with "pick up friends" or people shouting LFG.  Why take the chance, when they might drop out to catch dinner, leaving you shorthanded?  Why take the chance, when they could die or mess up?

3)  "Lockout timers," "wipe fails," and similar mechanics raised the stakes in the uberloot raids and quests.  It wasn't condusive to new people jumping in and out at whim.  Once you signed in, you were in it for the long haul, or you and the group would get nothing.

See, when you look at a game like WoW (at least the WoW that rose to prominence), the incentive structure was real hostile to meeting new people.  You had to do marathon raids with a set group from start to finish, and you needed to do it repeatedly for everyone to get loot.  It wasn't a good setup for creating a friendly community.  It was a setup that valued a group of set friends you could trust.  It's the same with EVE, where you could lose it all by taking a chance on someone new.  It's no wonder why both these games have a bad reputation for friendliness and sociability.  Misery does not like company.

In contrast, City of Heroes had always had a great, friendly community.  But you could see that the incentive structure in that game was different.  The stakes were lower, so people took chances on strangers.  It did have chained quests, but the chains weren't long, dying wouldn't knock you out, it would scale to the changing dynamics of the group, and everyone got a reward at the end.  In short, the "stakes" were much lower, and so people weren't so squeamish about taking chances.

So, in short, high stakes grouping creates an unsociable game.  Low stakes grouping creates a sociable game.

Does that make sense?


Well put, I agree with you 100%.


I've noticed this in particular in playing LOTRO. People there constantly complain about how terrible PUGs (pick up groups are), like they are the worst people on the earth.


So ironicaly, its the groupers themselves who are to blame, by being so elitist.

R.I.P. City of Heroes and my 17 characters there


Elite Member

Joined: 6/12/09
Posts: 1098

4/03/13 11:33:01 PM#85
This is true and i feel the same way, havant realy had real MMO since 2004 or so when the shifted it all to solo play. I think one of the major thing that brought a community together was having a real death penaly that people realy want to advoid such as Everquest corpse runs. In EQ these corpse runs also tend to bring people together aswell. Nothing like some hardship to bring people together. The social apsect of the game was also enhanced with these corpse runs because player them self knew how much it sucks and they were usualy more than happy to help somone out either throwing them a buffs, corpse summons (Necro), to rezzes (cleric), corpse dragging (Rogues specialy with his sneak/hide) and even forming group for the soul purpose of defending them till they retrive there equipment back.

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/12/11
Posts: 1252


4/05/13 4:28:28 AM#86

Ive steamrolled through GW2 with many groups tackling the bosses and many quest to reach lvl 80 and ive almost med nobody becouse they dont talk or say anything they just tag along finish and gone they are.

Then after 2-3 months when GW2 was launched i started exploring all the maps for completion and wanne see everything becouse lets be honest world looks great.

I soloed through the maps and saw sometimes people but strange thing was i met more players who helped tackle bosses and talked then my first few months reaching 80 with hundreds of players.

It seems when people solo in guild wars 2 there not on vent/teamsp or with guildies they suddenly can chat and sometimes even very nice.

Dungeon's later ruined it all for me not only was tiria empty also 90% did only fractals or other dungeons runs and in dungeon partys the the trash/curse/swearing cameback unbelievely how rude and nasty people are to each other in instance.

I left GW2 not to comeback community for me dont do it anymore plus the treadmill for items and constant instance runs GW2 is fraction of what i thought it would be a open world dynamic events sad real sad.

Social is alive and kicking in Asheron's call 2 as you rememeber 10 years ago realy community is great try it.

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