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Reader Comments (45)

Posted: Jul 28th 2009 8:43AM (Unverified) said

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I prefer to solo to get that true exploration surrounded by danger feeling. I do group when the guild is going somewhere difficult or someone needs help, but I don't wait for others as IRL I'm a loner as well.

Just don't have the patience to wait for others.

Posted: Jul 28th 2009 8:55AM Miffy said

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I've never had more fun in an mmorpg than questing with a group. When I'm soloing it just becomes boring because the gameplay doesn't hold up to a single player game and you might aswel then just be playing one. Boring tasks like Picket farming in SWG or quest grinding in WoW suddenly become that much more fun because you're with a small group of people and having a laugh.

I remember meeting a guy after TBC came out and we decided to level together for 2 days non stop and we went from levels 1 - 46 in that time just doing quests together and it was a laugh. Normally I would have gotten bored and quit the game by that point.

When the game came out and everyone was grouping in the Dead Mines that was a laugh too and all grouping together and raiding cities and stuff before Battlegrounds killed world PVP was good fun.

Playing EQ2 just doing quests from levels 1 - 20 and then the armour quests in beta and when the game launched was the most fun. You'd come across content you'd never do when soloing and because you can chat and do funny things in game it makes everything better. Then when the game died shortly after launch it was impossible to find a group and the game was no fun anymore.


I hate all these new solo mmorpgs because I like my games to feel like virtual online worlds where you're surrounded by lots of players. Instead all you have now is single player tutorials and 99% solo content that noone ever groups anymore and they've become boring.

It's gotten to the point where you ask people to group and they say no because the game offers no rewards to do so.


What made games like SWG so fun was the group play like launching into space with 7 other guys in the ship and being able to walk round seamlessly inside it. People mounting turrets and doing missions together and being able to look outta the windows seamlessly into space to see whats going on. Then you'd land down on a dungeon platform like Avatar and do that dungeon together and then go fly off somewhere else.

You wouldn't get that experience in SWG allowed you to solo all that.

I think people are afraid of grouping because raiding put them off and having to devote your life to it. If they made mmo's group gameplay of 5 or 6 people then people would be much more up for it.

There was no raid content in SWG you could do everything with a small group and it was fantastic. When you start making a requirement of 25 or 40 people then people get scared and want to solo.

Posted: Jul 28th 2009 9:02AM (Unverified) said

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Group play is great when there's enough people on line (and wanting) to do it, but when there isn't you HAVE to have enough to do while you're waiting around, and if the ratio of solo to group play is messed up you can really ruin a game.

Take LOTR online for example, easily the best game out there at the moment, but totally ruined as an overall playing experience by such an imbalance of group VS solo play. Their is something very tiring about spending that couple of hours you've set aside to play roaming from zone to zone looking for more, or trying to persuade kin members to log an alt. (Yes it's easy once you've leveled and can do the 'HM' instance and raids, but that's asking the 'noob's to miss out on a hell of a lot)

One of the great things about WoW (and War) was that it had battle grounds to keep people occupied , dumb assed PVP for people to run about in while 'LFG' Better than running around some zone hitting the space bar and jumping from scenery to scenery in boredom. You might end up on farm if you go into PvP solo, or with a mostly pug group, and come up against a group that knows what it's doing but at least it's something to do. Anything is better than trying to jump up a fountain, anything, including the exit game function.

Posted: Jul 28th 2009 12:08PM Tom in VA said

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And *that* is the reason I finally left LotRO -- albeit with reluctance. My biggest gripe with LotRO (and WoW and most other MMOs) is that there are no "workarounds" for completing group content when you can't find a group. It gets very frustrating and is totally not fun.

I really wish these games would offer player modes, so that content was scaled or adapted to one's playing style. MMOs should offer both soloable and group versions of the dungeons, with better rewards for the latter, and then let people play how they want or play a mix of both if that's their preference.

Guild Wars offered exactly this. It's too bad LotRO, WoW, etc., don't do the same.

I have been trying out DDO and I have to say I like how you can "set" your dungeon experience to various difficulty levels, depending on who you have with you. or even if you're alone.
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Posted: Jul 28th 2009 1:18PM (Unverified) said

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@ Tom

I agree, but I would say that I found WoW personally much better in the way that it distributed it's group quests: Solo, solo, group quest at the end of the chain for a decent item, repeat, throw in the odd voluntary instance quest that gives an item that will speed up the leveling for another 10 'ding's and it all works pretty well.

Not a great method for storytelling but works for level based PvE games. AoC works the same and is all the better for it. If you're not going to break new ground and stay with levels do it so it works!

As for DDO, I'm glad you're enjoying that one. I won't be trying it myself but each to their own :)
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Posted: Jul 28th 2009 3:31PM Tom in VA said

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I agree with you that WoW is better than LotRO, generally, for soloers, although I still get frustrated (in WoW) that I usually end up abandoning my dungeon quests due to the group-finding problem.

As for DDO, "the jury is still out". I only just started the free trial for it and I am only planning to stick with it in F2P mode, which, of course, is just the "right price" (hehe). There's a lot already that I don't like about DDO, but I *do* like how they give you several choices on how to tackle a dungeon.

I just wish more MMOs offered options like that to their players.
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Posted: Jul 28th 2009 9:06AM Arkanaloth said

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honestly I prefer to solo.

I feel less bound to an activity, because of that I can change focus however I please and affect nobody. What's over the next hill, and going there because it's there... being with other people all too often kills a sensation of exploration because more often than not they want to "go go go". You see it all the time, it seems with each new MMO the path to leveling gets faster and faster, and for most people if things are not "fast", if the group makeup isn't "perfect", they pitch a fit, complain, etc... honestly I'd sooner not deal with that at all.

As cool as FFXI is, the game suffered heavily from that issue.. with it's new-found solo-ability it's much improved. WoW's leveling game is wonderful.. but once you hit level cap it's a pretty massive bait and switch on how you can play vs what you have any hope in achieving. I have both games.. play them from time to time, but the MMO I play the most:

GuildWars... Group Centric but the AI team allows me to do things however I wish and be highly selective about real players I may wish to group with.

Posted: Jul 28th 2009 3:44PM Tom in VA said

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I love the AI henches/heroes in Guild Wars. I have often wished I could port my GW Heroes into other games with me: "OK, Koss, Dunkoro, Sousuke, and Jin, let's run Deadmines".

:-)

Heroes are not exactly the "brightest bulbs in the box", but I there are times when I prefer their company and "personalities" to some of the PUG players I have grouped with.

To me, the ideal MMO would basically be a single-player RPG but with a player-driven economy (auction house, crafting, etc.) and offering the players the option (but NOT a requirement) to group up with other players when you feel like it.

I am cautiously hopeful that STO, SWTOR, and/or GW2 will be structured along those lines.
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Posted: Jul 28th 2009 9:06AM gildhur said

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I prefer grouping, but I don't like waiting around for groups. I frequently duo with my wife on a few characters in LotRO, but when she doesn't want to play, I'm basically locked out of those characters since we're doing the content together, I'd be way ahead of her if I played it on my own. But when I can get a group together to run through the more challenging leveling areas, it's much more enjoyable. Feels like less of a grind.

Posted: Jul 28th 2009 9:58AM (Unverified) said

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I misread "duo" in your above sentence... raised eyebrows much!
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Posted: Jul 28th 2009 9:08AM pcgneurotic said

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I solo by neccesity; 2 small kids, a wife who hates my gaming hobby, lots of working from home - 99% of the time, it's pointless for me to group because I'll just have to quit suddenly to feed a baby, answer the telephone, hide from the wife etc, and no one likes that.

But the rare occasions when I *can* group are the best. There was a period of a year or two when I was pretty heavily involved with a superb WoW guild, and that's one of my fondest gaming memories ever. *sigh* That was before all the kids and the giant loan on the house etc.... :D

Posted: Jul 28th 2009 9:09AM (Unverified) said

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I much prefer groups of friends. That way we can talk and such while we level. I would rather solo though than be with a PUG.

Posted: Jul 28th 2009 9:11AM Miffy said

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the problem with linear class and level based mmorpgs such as WoW or Everquest is that the games become top heavy and theres noone in the lower zones anymore. So newer players have to spend 70 odd levels grinding to get to the rest of the playerbase and they have to solo because theres noone to group with. This puts people off because noone wants to be alone in an online game and you miss half of the content. Then when they add new zones everyone moves to them and suddenly the old world becomes dead, broken and pointless. The game seems really bloated and broken because you have all this old crap which isn't upto par of the newer stuff and newer players wont put up with that. Take Everquest for example you have all these really old broken starter areas.


Games like SWG Pre CU fixed this problem because there wasn't any levels your character doesn't gain any power while progressing so you can fight a veteran from day one and do all the content from day one. You just gain skills which give you new abilities to stay alive.

Also with SWG Pre CU is that you had aload of content of different difficulty dotted all over the map so it mixes things up. So you'll have old veterans doing content that they havn't gotten around to yet which a new player has decided to do.

Because a day one person could fight with their friends from day one then you friends bought you all the gear you needed and you tag along with their group straight away and didn't have to do this boring 70 level grind until you get to play with them.


The SWG Pre CU system fixed all the problems and was amazing. Just a shame SOE didn't fix the exploits and bugs which ruined it like Comp Armour Doctor buffs and Macros which meant people could just AFK play. They kept on buggering around with Jedi instead of fixing bugs and adding content and then they ruined it all with the CU and NGE.


So now people look back on SWG PRe CU as a disaster, when actually the system had much more potential than a World of Warcraft does in terms of virtual world gameplay.

Posted: Jul 28th 2009 9:15AM Valdur said

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I always choose group play or else I would be playing single player rpg games.When there's no one around I gather mats for crafting or for the guild.Solo play is my last choice.

Games like WAR & AoC ruined my leveling as it's all solo with very few group quests available till level 70-75

Posted: Jul 28th 2009 9:17AM Wensbane said

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Depends on the group, really.

Posted: Jul 28th 2009 9:32AM (Unverified) said

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I prefer a group of friends, but practically-speaking that is rarely possible in the current questing model unless you're explicitly following the same leveling path as everyone in the group, and you're all on at the same time.

More often than not I just fall back to solo.

Posted: Jul 28th 2009 9:46AM (Unverified) said

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I prefer to duo with my wife. Groups can be fun, but more often than not they're just a headache. With members begging for every item that drops, rushing through content, demanding you play a certain way, and people yelling at the group for any wipes or deaths.

Nine times out of ten it's much more relaxing to just play solo or run with my wife.

Posted: Jul 28th 2009 9:47AM Potajito said

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Group. If i'd like to play solo i would play fallout, oblivion or any other rpg, far better than any mmorpg.

Posted: Jul 28th 2009 3:13PM Sunlover said

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Both. There are times when grouping is wanted/needed/fun and times when soloing is necessary/preferred/more fun. Neither one should be forced on the player, except in rare or obvious game situations designed to be played with a certain number of people. Even then, there should always be an alternative.

As I've said before regarding other systems and MMORPG gameplay staples, choice is always best. Give players a choice, and they'll be happy.

Posted: Jul 28th 2009 9:49AM myr said

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Why play an MMO if you're going to solo?

I typically try to steamroll through the solo content in games to get to group stuff, which is MUCH more interesting, and generally gives better rewards anyway. ie. burning to 16-18 in WoW to run Deadmines, 10 in FFXI for the dunes, and now 16-18 in Aion for the Krall/Mau areas. It's just so much more fun to be coordinating a group and reacting to what they do as opposed to pushing the same three buttons over and over again by yourself .

Granted, yeah, when there's no groups available it's nice to be able to solo instead. Lately I've found that I'll be stubborn and wait for a group anyway, though.

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