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Reader Comments (10)

Posted: May 27th 2008 11:44AM Nadril said

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I'm not sure why its an issue now when we knew, a good 3 years ago, that the first 20 years of the game were designed to be 'solo content'. Of course the devs scraped a lot of that idea but we still have a decent bit of solo adventure. Of course, aside from the few Destiny quests it really is up to the players choice. If they are going to be soloing for the most part anyways what is really the difference?

And, of course, after level 20 there are no options to do a single player game.

Posted: May 26th 2008 7:52PM GRT said

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Another idiot buying a game and then complaining it is what it was advertised to be, not what he expected it to be.

The single player section of the newbie game has been known literally for years. And really you burn through it in one or two good sessions. It's only a handful of quests.

I thought it was a great way to let players learn a bit about their class without fear of getting ganked every few minutes.

Posted: May 27th 2008 12:14AM (Unverified) said

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The game is single player primarily to teach you about your chosen class, and also to provide some of the immersion that is generally missing from MMOs. Its also a way to make the player feel like they are the one Hero in the world, as that is something that is never a part of an MMO. Trust me when I say that the multiplayer aspect of the game, indeed the massively multiplayer aspect, is fully active, and when (if?) this writer gets a good idea what the game is all about, he'll be recanting these words.

Posted: May 27th 2008 4:06AM Azazel28 said

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I agree 100% with both the posters...nothing to see here folks.
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Posted: May 27th 2008 5:20AM (Unverified) said

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I was able to do all of Tortage's quests solo on two different characters. Didn't bother me in the slightest. I don't mind playing solo and just chatting with people. Plus at low level, the group quests were easily soloable for me, so not much of a requirement for groups like other games have. Maybe future instances will have a true group requirement.

Posted: May 27th 2008 7:46AM phobic99 said

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There are quite a few instances / quest that pretty much require a group so you shouldn't have any worries there.
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Posted: May 27th 2008 5:17AM Jeromai said

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What flaw? Offering the -choice- to go to night and avoid the hordes of people running around, grabbing quest mobs from under your nose, and lagging you in general, while you're trying to get the hang of your character and combat?

And if you like to have people running around you, you can do day quests and level up fine that way. I've done it both ways on two alts.

One spent most of his time in the day, jumping instances when things got too crowded, and only crossed over to destiny quests to get out of Tortage. The other spent most of it alone, grinding in the night instances in peace and quiet, going to day only to get a few levels to the next destiny quest, and at lvl 21ish after the final battle to finish up daytime quests.

You don't force people to interact with a stick. These days, players know they also have the choice to quit the game and never come back. You make them want to group up and chat with carrots.

City of Heroes/Villains is exceptionally soloable. But because PUGs are so easy to form, and a low investment of time/effort for a pretty good chance at a fun and interesting experience (even if the pickup sucks, you can drop easily, and with a new story to tell your friends about the PUG from hell), people team up a lot.

Giving players global channels to interact with also makes it easy for teams to form. I play LOTRO as a mostly soloist game because the region chat isn't global enough to feel that other players are around.

In Age of Conan's case, they do have an OOC channel. I'm not sure how global it is, or if it's limited to regions. It has some chatter on it, but also the tendency to get exceptionally quiet. (Maybe people are concentrating on actively fighting, instead of chatting.)

Carrots for interacting with multiple players? Guild cities, siege pvp, end-game raids. Me, an unabashed soloist, got off my arse and joined a guild because I want to experience all that content. I also figured out where all the chatter was going to. Over guild channels, rather than the grey hard-to-read OOC.

Grouping with players is a little schizophrenic at the moment. It's not really appealing to group when all you're doing is running around, doing quest chains, killing perfectly soloable monsters. While the "epic" versions of instances seem to be sacks of hp with no equivalent reward.

Yet I hear there are instances lvl 40+ where it is certainly advisable to group. And of course, end-game will definitely encourage lots of grouping.

Who knows, perhaps by starting this way and slowly egging soloists to step out of their comfort zones, it might work to encourage lots of multiplayer interaction later.

Can't be any worse than WoW's bait-and-switch gameplay, where you can solo quest/grind from 1-70 and then find out that raids require massive groupage.

Posted: May 27th 2008 11:10AM Skruff said

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One of the biggest perks I see with the instanced, private lowbie missions is that it's easier to farm if the mission requires you to farm NPCs or items.

Right now, especially, with the game being so new, I'm finding it terribly difficult to fight in areas like White Sands and the Underhalls for the simple reason that there are very few mobs available, given the number of players accessing the zone. Changing instances doesn't really seem to help either.

At least with the solo night-time missions, I can get through all of that without having to scour the same zones half a dozen times just trying to find one Pict to slaughter. The Picts are there, and they're all mine *insert evil laugh here*

I also don't think it's a bad idea because it gives players an opportunity to tune their playing skills, so that when they hit 20, they're ready to play effectively in groups.

Posted: May 27th 2008 12:13PM JeremyT said

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I actually really like the single player mode. It's a hell of a lot better than the first 20 levels in most other games, which are spent racing against people for spawns of rats or bats or what have you.

It solves a lot of problems, gets you quest tasks specific to your class, and is just pretty darn neat. I wish there were more options like this further in the game.

Posted: May 27th 2008 8:25PM Psychochild said

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GRT wrote:
> Another idiot...

Thank you for contributing positively to the discussion. :P

I'm not just any idiot, I happen to be a game developer. The purpose of my "Weekend Design Challenges" on my blog is to get people to think about design issues in games. I didn't buy the game and complain about it working as advertised, I'm writing to make people think about the design decision to include what is essentially a single-player aspect to the game. (And, actually, I didn't buy the game, but that's beside the point. ;)

Yes, there are some good aspects to it; as people mentioned here, it's a (generally) low-stress tutorial. On the other hand, it also cuts people off from the social fabric of the game to a large part; it even cuts you off from your friends as far as I understand, unless the "single player" part of the night quests means that your friends can also join you. From a design point of view, this can be dangerous because people who don't have in-game friends generally don't stick with a game in the long run. This design decision, like most, has both good and bad aspects. Most of the negative aspects, however, won't become obvious for a while yet.

Some further thoughts.

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