| Mail |
You might also like: WoW Insider, Joystiq, and more

Reader Comments (20)

Posted: Nov 12th 2007 3:44PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I don't see how single-player content is a bad thing. I mean in WoW for example you can sit in trade/LFG channels for hours just tot try to find a grp for something. Esp if you're an "off class", Ret paly... boomkin... Because you can still DO something while you're waiting for a grp for your "grp quest" or w.e. I never played EQ so I don't know how bad it is on that but, honestly you'll find a grp for the most necessary things in WoW to lvl you the fastest. So to me... solo-ability.. good thing.. Esp for being a drood :)

Posted: Dec 20th 2007 1:42PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
The very reason you're sitting in LFG for hours trying to get into a group is because the game isn't really that group friendly. You can solo your way to 70 faster by yourself then with a group. The only reason at all to group in EQ is to complete certain quests, almost all of which can be skipped without any real harm, and to get gear. Most of the smaller group content rewards aren't worthwhile. It makes the most sense to just solo up to level cap as fast as possible, and then start looking for a few pieces of gear to pick up so you can get into a raiding guild.

Sure you can go solo while you wait for a group...but it's not as "casual" friendly as people want you to believe. The very fact that it can take a couple of hours just to get into a group, and then an hour or longer to go through an instance means you need to be on for 3-4 hours just to get a shot at some gear.

In Everquest I used to log in and depending on the time of day I could be inside a group within 5-15 minutes. Many times I was getting tells even before the game had fully loaded on the screen asking if I wanted into a group. I wasn't an enchanter or a cleric, just a ranger...dps/occasional puller/ghetto mezzer (root) Utility/DPS but I never had a problem finding a group.

It's because there were multiple groups camping spots in zones, at all times, and people constantly logging and out.

You don't have that luxury with WoW. If you want to leave in the middle of an instance you piss your entire group, and put the time they've invested into the instance already at risk. By the time they find a replacement they might end up having to restart.

It takes less time to level now, we're all glad we can actually enjoy the upper end of the game without having to spend 6 months grinding out levels and AA points. They could have done that though without taking groups so far out of the equation.

MMO's just keep becoming more and more solo friendly....if I want to play an RPG solo I can go play Neverwinter Nights. I want the Massively Multiplayer portion back in the MMORPG.
Reply

Posted: Nov 12th 2007 3:45PM Ghen said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
In Dark Age of Camelot, Midgard was known as the realm that requires grouping. All the monsters brought friends when you pulled them, requiring multiple people just for grinding out levels. When it came to the PvP end-game, Midgard always had the better groups because they were used to grouping and helping out their fellow players.

Posted: Nov 12th 2007 3:52PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
You know I was beginning to think I was the only one that played DAoC.
Reply

Posted: Nov 13th 2007 2:02PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
It's a massively multi player game ... sorry that means you sign on to play with other people, it's like comparing death match to a single player game for a FPS, if you wanna play with/against other people you play a mmo or a DM (type) game if you want to play single player games then do that.

I think you misjudge the whole issues rather than single player vs multi player content, I'd say casual vs hardcore content is more an issue that is ripping the MMO apart at the moment.

Posted: Nov 12th 2007 4:07PM (Unverified) said

  • 2.5 hearts
  • Report
There's nothing that says single-player content has to come at the expense of multi-player content. Make it possible for soloers to progress through the game, but provide material that you just won't get to experience without groups and guilds. I was soloing my way through Eve just fine; I joined a corp because I liked the people, not because I needed to. And because of that I was able to wait until I actually found one I liked.

This means that since we're drawn together because we get along well rather than because we're forced to need each other, if anything we have a better bond (IMO). It's one of enjoying hanging out with each other, not "well, I guess we need to keep you around even though you're a twit, because we need someone with your skills."

Most of the hard-core raiding guilds I've met that only stick together because of content have large drama problems. Whereas the guilds I've seen that come together because of common interests or personality tend to last pretty well.

I think the real question is, what can games do to provide incentive other than non-soloable content for people to stick together? Like, better ways to find people with similar interests. Better grouping mechanisms. Better guild support structures. Whether I join a guild/corp/etc. in a game has nothing to do with whether material is soloable; all soloable material does is allow me to wait to join one until I find one I'll enjoy.

Posted: Nov 12th 2007 4:15PM Ghen said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
As a devils advocate post I'd say that forced small grouping leads to better social networking which leads to finding people that you like that much faster. Also, older guilds will find new recruits easier as well since they will still be out looking for groups for whatever.
Reply

Posted: Nov 12th 2007 4:47PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I don't really mind the forced grouping. However, XP penalties and corpse runs got old real quick. I like how most MMOs are becoming a little less hardcore but I don't think taking grouping out of the equation should be done. All that does is foster stupidity.

Posted: Nov 13th 2007 10:14AM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Eh, "single-player content" is the way it has to go until designers get off their lazy asses and actually start innovating. They need to come up with new ways to allow people to experience ALL content from solo play-styles to hard-core raiding. Okay maybe I am being harsh on the "lazy asses" comment as the real reason for the lack of innovation is probably more a fear factor by the investors.

Still one day I hope to hear people not talking about solo, casual, hardcore because things like scaled content/encounters have made such concerns obsolete.

Posted: Nov 12th 2007 5:17PM GRT said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I don't think you can compare new MMOs with those first few out of the shoot without factoring in that they were the first few out of the chute. The people who jumped into UO, for instance, were people who'd been playing single player RPGs for years. Probably the same can be said for EverQuest.

Almost by default, the people playing those games had more in common than do the people playing today's modern games, just because the 'net' has been thrown so much wider to get customers.

I think that had as much to do with it as the forced grouping...

Posted: Nov 12th 2007 5:54PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
The problem with having lots of single player content (eg WoW) is that when those of us who want to group try to find some ppl to hook up with, there's no one to be found. Everyone else is out soloing.

If you want to solo go play nintendo.

If you want to play *massively multiplayer* games, then find a group.

But stop turning my MMOs in to massively single-player games.

Posted: Nov 12th 2007 6:23PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
A lot of the problems with getting people to come on PuGs is from the general feeling that you have to spec this or your just a waste of space. Most people who come from the Min-MAX school of gaming look for the most efficient ways to get the job done slowly breaking down from wanting a mage for CC to wanting a Hunter, then finally taking the rogue who wanted to come all along. If people would be willing to take that Ret paladin for DPS and off heal, the Shaman for MH, the Priest for Shadow DPS, and a Rogue for CC, with a Druid tanking then maybe there would be hope, problem is that who is willing to learn how to work with those groups. It isn't that they can't do it, they can (and I would know) do it just fine if you look outside the box and try and find new ways of taking the same old same old.

So I bet that a lot more players will play in PuGs the day that someone in the group is willing to see what each player can bring to the encounter and how best for them to work.
Reply

Posted: Nov 12th 2007 6:17PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I think that group content is something that every MMO needs to have but not required to have by any means. You should find incentives that entice players to go after said grouping content. This is really the WoW model, it is like Errantdreams was saying, leaving the option there so when your comfortable it is available. I mean a lot of people just don't find appeal in waiting in a major city doing "LF ___."

Although if you can't live with soloing new characters to eternity your going to have to build a social network, or quit. This is where the social dynamic picks up. It offers quicker incentives for playing in groups, arena, instances, out door bosses. So those gamers who desire a social network usually can find them and grow as a guild and they get those ties that create long lasting friends.

Case in point, One of the first guilds on Magtheridon US was called Echoes, after leaving a guild called HonorBound I went to Echoes and quickly befriended myself with all the Paladins in the guild. We have had a great friendship even though I think I'm the only one still playing. Those bonds come from dealing through all the nerfs buffs and everything inbetween. It isn't always about the hardcore "you must group to survive," mentality that builds great relationships.

It takes time spent with people who share your own goals and can respect you for what you bring to the gaming experience. You don't have to be hardcore just honest and have a personality that really works with everyone else you spend your online time with. After all you only are the person you portray yourself to be online.

Posted: Nov 12th 2007 6:24PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
WoW was really the first MMO that was officially single-player friendly, the fact that it has like insanely more players Worldwide then any other MMO in history might at least be somewhat influenced by this fact.

Having to always find groups is a pain in the arse. I remember playing FFXI where I would literally sit around in a place for an entire day doing nothing, just hoping a space would open up in one of the groups and I could get in. I don't see the fun in that.

Posted: Nov 12th 2007 10:37PM RogueJedi86 said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I say SWG was a very single-player friendly game. Its main problem was lack of group content. I remember playing doing "solo groups" for money. The mission terminals gave missions that scaled in difficulty with more players in a group. So players would get 10+ people in a group, then go do the group-level difficulty missions solo, with ease, with the bonus of getting group-level monetary rewards. Group missions were soloable. If that ain't single-player friendly, then I don't know what is.
Reply

Posted: Nov 12th 2007 6:46PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Yeah, sorry... Solo-friendly MMOs are just better.

Anyone play Neocron? It was a tiny (I suppose it still is, it's technically still around, I think) MMO and even a compelling one but it had a fatal flaw that literally killed it: Literally every system was designed with the idea that any given player would always have a community of other players to rely on, be it to help them craft, upgrade their player, adventure with or even to complete missions against (it featured PVP). When the player base dwindled beyond the necessary critical mass to sustain basic services like gear repair, the few remaining players basically left en masse for more solo friendly MMOs.

I'll give up those allegedly tighter knit communities to prevent death by group-centric design, any day.

Posted: Nov 12th 2007 6:52PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
You know, I think the best way to get people grouping again would be to incorporate a mechanic that analyzes your current quest log and enters you, automatically, into a database of people currently on those quests. For added simplicity, the system could search specifically for those within your area.

Another, possibly better, solution would be to maybe take people with a majority of similar quests, instead of groups for each quest. After putting everyone together, a chat room could be created for said quest group which would make it so everyone could talk to eachother, find out which groups need what, etc.

While my idea needs a bit of hammering out, I think you guys get the idea. Basically, we need a system that puts you in immediate and direct contact with everyone that can help with, and benefit from, the same things you're doing. Doing it this way will make it so you don't wait for hours in LFG channels because EVERYONE will be automatically placed, or perhaps tagged, in those group channels.

Posted: Nov 12th 2007 8:18PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Life's little vicissitudes keeps me generally busy. I generally have to be AFK every 5 or 10 minutes. For between a couple minutes and maybe an hour.

I solo, because I think it's _really_ unfair to inflict that sort of enforced-schedule on anyone else. If they're counting on me to provide DPS or healing, or crowd control and I'm not doing it - that's just not fair.

So - I solo. Have I seen a taskforce mission in City of Heroes? No. Have I done the fellowship quests in LotRO? A few. Basically by overpowering them. The reward is minimal or nearly zero, but at least you have the satisifaction of clearing them away.

The few times I've had predictable time and managed to team up with others for 45 minutes or so - I've generally come across some good people. It's been fun to work/play with them and achieve goals together. I like that.

I know the solo route is going to miss me out on seeing a chunk of an MMO's content. I'm sort of resigned to that. The epic LotRO quests? Probably not going to be able to get very far with those, I'm told.

So it goes.

Posted: Feb 2nd 2008 2:10PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
The thing that bites me more than anything are the "gearheads" the people who insist the whole game is about gear and totally ignore all the other content. And that is, I think, the biggest killer of today's MMO

But about the "forced group" idea, the game already tracks every person who's online at any given time and their levels. So what if instead of declaring the level of all the mobs and setting a "Minimum" level per zone, generate the level range of the zone dynamically based on the average level of all players online. (This would exclude so called newb zones.)

This would be updated on paper say every 10th login/off or so and only shown in game at the next respawn. So if a player kills everything in his/her area right at the end of this cycle and a level 70 character logs in the average goes up (albeit slightly) and the next group of enemies gets harder.

However if a person logs on at a time when there is hardly anybody on the server the game reverts to something that can be solo'd. This way nobody is ever "Forced" to group by mobs that are too hard, (Although the game DOES get harder the more people of higher levels are on and because of that it encourages people to group more often)

Well, it makes sense to me anyway...

Posted: Nov 29th 2007 7:18PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
No game should force you to have to group. It should be the players choice to do so or not and for the most part, WoW does a good job of this until you reach the highest levels and the game completely turns to group raiding.

A perfect example of good grouping in my opinion is when I played Warbirds (a WWII flight sim) a long time ago. In that game you could play individually, with a squadron, and with your country all at the same time. For example, I might log on and find out that most of my squadron (guild) is not online yet. No worries though because I see multiple sorties of fighters and bombers taking off for an enemy base nearby. On the com channel, I also hear a desperate please for more cover support for the bombers so I choose a fighter plane and take off to escort the bombers I just saw leave a few moments ago.

The beauty of this type of organization is that I can be a solitary individual pilot, not in any squadron / guild, yet I can still feel like I'm contributing on larger community goals (i.e. our countries attack on an enemy base) by assisting them. At the same time though, if I just want to practice up my personal skills at flying, I could fly out to a less active enemy base and do some dogfighting with a few other enemy pilots. The choice is mine. I can do solo activities or contribute in larger scaled community efforts, all without having to forcible group with anyone or even join a guild.

This is exactly the type of activity I'd love to see in MMOs, yet most aren't design this way from the very scratch but instead try to hack on something like it by adding a PvP realm areas afterwards (i.e. Easter Plaguelands in WoW). From the sounds of it Conan will have the ability to build cities and conquer them as well. How well this is executed we'll have to see. But again it might allow the opportunity for multiple guilds and individuals of one country the ability to attack and overtake the cities of another countries, thus creating an ongoing battle effect for anyone who wants to participate.

Most important of all though, these community efforts have to have a real effect on the game world though. If you just kill something and they respawn, what's the point. If you can kill the guards of a town and take it over which in turn gives your country more resources, abilities, or flight zones especially in relationship to a larger global war, then that really can make a dramatic impact on the game. Again best of all, it allows a single person the ability to collaborate with as many or as little people as they wish, yet still contribute on larger community goals (if they so wish).

For example, in Warbirds, I could be a solo pilot yet feel like a hero of our country if I drop the final bomb that shuts down the last airfield required for us to win the war.

Featured Stories

One Shots: Grim Raider

Posted on Dec 27th 2014 2:00PM

Perfect Ten: New MMOs to watch in 2015

Posted on Dec 27th 2014 12:00PM

Engadget

Engadget

Joystiq

Joystiq

WoW Insider

WoW

TUAW

TUAW