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

Reader Comments (84)

Posted: Aug 13th 2011 10:57AM Keeop said

  • 1 heart
  • Report
While I appreciate solo content, I mainly pay for and log in to MMO's to play with other people. Huge shocker there. I have a mountain of single player games that I can experience if I want solitude. Heck, I may even turn Steam Chat on sometimes and turn Dragon Age into what most kids today call an MMO. I agree with some of the above posters, though. Community has taken some big dives and hard hits in the last several years. Between the game/business design and a new generation of trash players I find my MMO time severely light these days. I'm hoping social experiences in GW2 and TOR will be an improvement and bring me back to the genre a bit.

Posted: Aug 13th 2011 11:01AM Seffrid said

  • 3 hearts
  • Report
I thoroughly enjoy the social aspect of playing a game populated with other people, including helping out on chat channels, trading, helping with quests, joining in a tough fight with another player, casting run-by buffs and heals etc, but I have zero interest in grouping for combat or formalising the social experience by belonging to a guild. Been there, done that, had my fill of both aspects in EQ.

I'm sitting alone at the computer because I want to play the game, not because I want to have a social life. I already have a fulfilling social life and it isn't spent sitting alone at the computer, it's spent out and about with my family and friends!

If a game isn't playable solo then I don't even look at it. I hate games that draw you in solo then at the final stage of a quest or at the higher end of the game it suddenly changes tack and requires you to change your whole playstyle.

This is not an anti-social or anti-group rant, I'm more than happy for any MMO to encourage grouping and socialising, but those things should remain an option not a necessity and the more playstyles that a game caters to the more successful it will be commercially.

The notion that a multiplayer game must involve socialising through grouped combat is so old hat and rigid that it simply doesn't ring true any more, and those who still promote that argument mostly need to get out more!

Posted: Aug 13th 2011 11:08AM NeoWolfen said

  • 3 hearts
  • Report
Everybody has the right to solo content because everybody buys the game as an individual.

I solo perhaps 90% of the time so the inclusion of solo content to me is paramount and I solo by choice and because it is more convenient for my style of play (alt heavy).

As a previous commenter said however what I appreciate most is options. I want the Choice to be mine if I solo or not and the game design be amenable enough to support such a choice. Likewise if I choose to group then I want it to support that too. In this day and age it really should not be an EITHER/OR situation and when the choice is taken away or made for me because of game design then typically it is not a game that will get my cash for very long.

There is also an ignorance among some gamers towards those who solo believing that MMORPGs in thier very definition somehow mean "group only2 games and that if someone wants to play a game solo they should go play something offline. That particular stance has always angered me greatly because it is ignorant to the truth, which is that MMORPGs are NOT group only games, they are SOCIAL games and you do not have to be grouped to be social.

Posted: Aug 13th 2011 11:15AM DarkWalker said

  • 3 hearts
  • Report
I simply refuse to try a game if I'm forced into groups too much. I like to have the option to group (and, in a MMO, I think every single last activity should have a group option), but I put more importance into being able to solo to my heart's content.

Posted: Aug 13th 2011 11:29AM (Unverified) said

  • 3 hearts
  • Report
For me, a MMO has to have enough solo content available that I can log in, play the game, and not waste time hoping to get someone to do the content with me. I have tried and quit a MMO before because the limited solo content was so absolutely boring.

This does not mean to me that all content has to be accessable to solo play. I believe WoW does this well during leveling with the availability of both group dungeons and solo quests. If I wanted to do group activities and had the time to wait, I could. If I wanted to just jump right in and play, or just avoid dealing with other people, I could.

Unfortunately, once you hit level cap, WoW and many other MMOs stop providing any kind of solo content. Everything is about the group. This could be great if you get in with a good raiding guild -- not that most of the playerbase has the time to commit to a lot of the raiding guild requirements -- but for most of us players who do not have the twitch skills necessary for high end raiding, we're stuck suffering through idiots, jerks, and full-on griefers who go into the dungeons with the intent of screwing up other people's play.

I play MMOs because I want there to be a world of other players out there. But do not force me to have to work with them in order to play your game. Frankly, if I am going to commit to getting together with a group of like-minded people every week in order to play a game, I'm going to get some dice and go play D&D.

Posted: Aug 13th 2011 11:34AM Alph said

  • 2.5 hearts
  • Report
Yes, yes I do. Not to the demise of group play though.

I've always felt that everything should be obtainable by both group or solo play, however group play should acquire said item at a faster pace by two ways.

Firstly, everyone in the group should finish/get it at the same time, thus you're gain multiples of the item at the same time making it faster that way.

Secondly, is should simply be a tad faster in group despite the before mentioned point. eg- grouping takes 5 hours of work to get it when solo takes 6 or 7.

This way group play is still promoted, after all it IS a MMO(emphasis on the MM), all the while the solo player is still able to have full access to the game that they pay the same amount as the groupers.

Different strokes for different folks.

Oh yeah, solo progress and group progression should be interchangeable. A unified token system for gaining said items works fine here. That's why GW2 is so hopeful to me!

Posted: Aug 13th 2011 11:36AM Malagarr said

  • 2.5 hearts
  • Report
Like it? I refuse to play any MMO that doesn't support it.

Don't get me wrong. I love grouping. I'm not a huge fan of raiding, simply because it hasn't felt "heroic" at all since the days of NToV. But grouping up with friends and guildies and even doing the occassional raid can be a lot of fun.

That said, there's plenty of times when you can't commit to anything too serious. I won't make any group sit through several afk's on my part because I'm watching my kids, doing laundry or whatever. Instead, I'd rather solo and save my grouping till evening, when the kids are in bed.

But I also don't want to waste my time soloing when it isn't worth it. I remember WoW's Argent Tournament and how muc of an insult that was. A game must not only support solo play, it must make it worth while to the players. That includes making rewards that are both statistically appealing and attainable with a reasonable amount of effort.

Posted: Aug 13th 2011 11:54AM (Unverified) said

  • 2.5 hearts
  • Report
I am in love with the massively community right now. Most of you just spoke what I've been blogging for months: everyone logs on alone. The game belongs to the individual before it belongs to his/her guild. Having content for friends to do together when they line up their schedules is much of the allure of an MMO yes, but, especially in a subscription MMO, the game needs to be potentially viable entertainment on ALL OF YOUR TIME, not all of your guild's time, not all of your scheduled weekly grouping time, all of *your* time. If you can't hold one person's attention, you'll never, in theory, hold the attetion of 5/10/25/40 people's attention at once long enough for them to say "hey, let' do something together".

I once thought that WoW downplayed solo progression because they were gunning for a "healthier game", and a solo-immersive game doesn't have an idiot proof offramp, so they shoehorned you into a "couple nights a week" playstyle. For a community as full of idiots as theirs is I can see that babysitting needed for public image and so they don't get regulated into the same effect... that's why I stopped playing WoW, because I am capable of self discipline, and can play for hours at a time alone just fine, and I'd like that to be interesting, not repetitive. I love the LOTRO epic line, and skirmishing ( instances that support "group because you want to, not because you have to") and am looking forward to GW2's personal story mode!

For the few out there that disagree with this point of view, that's fine, you're allowed that opinion, but ultimately I see the "everything should be group-required in an MMO" mindset as a desire to control each other's fun: you don't want me to have fun unless I get along with you (or those like you), and I'm sorry, that's not promoting sociability, that's asking for control over my liesure time, and... no.

Posted: Aug 13th 2011 12:22PM Nucleon said

  • 1 heart
  • Report
My brain tells me yes but my heart tells me no. I love being able to solo and progress on my own time. Yet, my fondest memories in MMOs are from those where you could not solo because of the community it built and connections it created between players.

WTB an MMO with forced grouping *but* using a server-only dungeon finder type system (but for more than just dungeons) that allows you to log on and instantly find a team (almost like APBs system). This way we have forced grouping, but we remove the friction of finding a group.

Posted: Aug 13th 2011 12:52PM Seffrid said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@Nucleon

"This way we have forced grouping, but we remove the friction of finding a group. "

Actually you don't. You'd just spend a long time waiting for enough people on your server to want to get together even if they could then do so instantly.Virtually no-one wants to be told they must group, even if that is their preferred playstyle. Lots of people don't want to group all of the time, and quite a lot of people don't want to group any of the time. Forcing them to do so simply drives them to another game, so the idea that you can make getting a group easier by forcing others to join you is nonsense I'm afraid, all you'll do is reduce the population to those who both want to group all the time and are happy to be told that is what they must do, which isn't very many people at all.

Give people the option to play the game the way they want, don't force them to play the game the way you want to, that's just selfish and arrogant. You won't find diehard soloers arguing against grouping, why is it that diehard groupers have such a problem with soloers?
Reply

Posted: Aug 13th 2011 5:35PM Nucleon said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@Seffrid Two points.

1) Looking for dungeon finders are problematic in games which have a mixed solo/group system because for every bit of solo content there is, it pulls a player out of the group content. Thus in games with *only* group content, a group finder would be basically instantaneous because the entire server is in the queue rather than a small subset. Every played TF2, CS, or any of the many MOBAs, queue times in those are basically nothing.

2) Speaking of forcing, since when did I force you to play the game I want? As I stated, "willing to buy" which means I'm willing to spend my earned money to play the game I want. If you don't want it, don't buy it, and don't play it. I'm fairly certain I'm not the only person out there who wants a frictionless multi-player MMO environment, rather than a solo with other people in the room type MMO. And if you're certain that you need solo content, then there are many games out there which I feel pretty well fit your niche.
Reply

Posted: Aug 13th 2011 12:58PM Tristik said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
There are plenty of days where I want to play my current MMO and talk to some people, but am not really in the mood for grouping. I like a game that gives me some options for those times be it doing crafted related things, collections, or just SOMETHING worthwhile I can do on those days.

Posted: Aug 13th 2011 1:17PM MtthwRddl said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I'm genuinely surprised by the massively community. It seems the landslide response is that they prefer to solo most of the content and group up when they choose to.

It blows me away, to speak honestly. I never thought MMOs would be played in this style. Heck, if I'm looking for engaging single-player gameplay, I can continue having fun with Fallout 3 (what I am playing currently). If I want to play a great singleplayer game with a spice of multiplayer, I can try games like Dead Rising 2 and Grand Theft Auto IV.

I definitely understand the need to play in a massively multiplayer world. I think that is one reason why I have cravings for MMOs at times. But to go off to some random neck of the world and never actually associate oneself with the hundreds of thousands of other players in the game just seems weird to me.

Yes, I do it too when I go questing, but I get burnt out pretty quickly. It's part of the reason why I've never been able to commit myself to a MMO. All the solo questing just leaves me bored.

Perhaps instead of forcing players to group, the whole guild system can be reworked to be easier to understand and implement. I feel like Guilds today feel like the Upper Class of players and if a player doesn't know a particular member of the guild, they probably will never look into that guild. That's just how I perceive it, though.

That's what I like about the Massively guilds. You have a common interest and it makes getting the foot in the door a simple process.

But even then, you have players at different levels and progress with no real incentive to backtrack and team up with the lower level players. So, even if you're in the same guild, you may never play with certain players until you all get to max level, if all the members don't get bored before that and leave the game.

I think solo'ing is so much easier for some people but I think grouping can be a lot more fun, if done correctly.

I don't see the point of playing a Massively Multiplayer game and not associating with the other players.

Down-rate this all you want solo players. It's not like you'd voice your opinion in-game to other players, is it?

Posted: Aug 13th 2011 1:47PM Seffrid said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@MtthwRddl

"But to go off to some random neck of the world and never actually associate oneself with the hundreds of thousands of other players in the game just seems weird to me."

"Down-rate this all you want solo players. It's not like you'd voice your opinion in-game to other players, is it?"

Those have to two of the most ignorant comments I've ever read on the internet, and that's saying something!

Why on earth is it that you equate a desire not to group up with others all the time for combat with leading the life of a hermit? Do you honestly believe that grouping for combat is the only way you can interract with others in a multiplayer game?

By what conceivable stretch of the imagination do YOU ever have the chance to associate yourself with "hundreds of thousands of other players" anyway? Do you mean the 5 people you always group up with "in some random neck of the world", the dozen or so other people you come across on your travels, or even the few hundred that are scattered across your server at any one time? The idea that by grouping for combat you are associating yourself with hundreds of thousands more players than a soloer is pure nonsense.

Your ignorance astounds me!
Reply

Posted: Aug 13th 2011 3:15PM MtthwRddl said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@Seffrid "You have to be the silliest person I've ever seen on the internet! No wait... that guy is the silliest person I've ever seen on the internet! (a few seconds later) That girl, is by far, the silliest person I've seen on the internet!!!"

Thank you for letting me supply your "most ignorant comment" for the split second that you are concentrated on my posts. It makes me proud to know that I have once belonged to your 'Hall of Fame' of ignorant posts, at least until you found your next "most ignorant comment on the internet" a few minutes after reading mine. **bows**

To be serious, I don't think there is an MMO on the market that brings decent solo play to the table. Like I said earlier, I'd much rather play Fallout 3 or Half-Life 2 or Portal 2 over 'questing' in any MMO. Questing in MMOs are quite boring to me, but I'll accept the possibility that it may not be as excruciatingly boring to other people.

I am in a bit of a rush, so I'll end my comment here. I must get back to hunting rats in the sewers. The NPC needs 10 rat tails and he is paying quite a nice copper for them. Want to help? No thanks. I'd rather do this by myself.

I bid you adieu.

Reply

Posted: Aug 13th 2011 4:01PM Seffrid said

  • 2.5 hearts
  • Report
@MtthwRddl

" Thank you for letting me supply your "most ignorant comment" for the split second that you are concentrated on my posts. It makes me proud to know that I have once belonged to your 'Hall of Fame' of ignorant posts, at least until you found your next "most ignorant comment on the internet" a few minutes after reading mine. **bows**"

No really, after some 14 years on the internet I am confident your comments will remain the most ignorant I have seen for a considerable time to come, nothing else comes close.

How about answering the criticisms rather than simply bandying words?

How do you personally interract with hundreds of thousands of players? I'd really like to know.

Do you truly believe that grouping for combat is the only way in which players can interract with other people?

Do you seriously claim that people who solo for combat do not communicate or interract with other players in any other way at all?

As for games that bring decent solo play to the table, my own list would include EQ2, LoTRO, FE, AoC, Rift, WoW - and that's just half a dozen off the top of my head. Of course you have to enjoy solo play in order to judge such things, and if you're playing modern MMOs with a dislike of quests then that's going to be a problem whether you solo or group.

I've never really understood why people who enjoy PvP, for example, but hate quests choose to play MMOs rather than FPS games, but it's all down to personal choice at the end of the day and I'm happy with games offering a choice of playstyles that includes both solo and group options along with eg raids, PvP, crafting and so on.

"I get burnt out pretty quickly. It's part of the reason why I've never been able to commit myself to a MMO"

Yet you criticise others for the way in which they commit to a MMO?

Like I said, ignorant.
Reply

Posted: Aug 13th 2011 4:24PM MtthwRddl said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@Seffrid It's funny how serious people can get over a game meant for fun.

This may be my last reply due to me needing to get around to killing those rats in those sewers. Dangit, I need 10 tails ASAP!
Reply

Posted: Aug 13th 2011 1:19PM Sean D said

  • 2.5 hearts
  • Report
MMOs are social to a degree, I agree. Conversing via Vent, though, isn't like sitting across a table from someone you've known for years. Most times it's more like participating in a conference call with a bunch of people you don't really know that well, but have to work with. Sometimes it's pleasant, other times it's painful.

But there seems to be an imbedded implication from most people who say, " MMOs are social experiences," that says, "MMOs were *meant* to be social experiences," as if it was the only intention of the original MMO developers that MMOs be social platforms. People have plainly said that if one prefers not to take advantage of the social aspect(s) of an MMO, one should stick to single-player games. There's a sense that one is doing something wrong and somehow disrupting the enjoyment of others by abstaining from group game-play. This I disagree with. MMOs were meant to be fun games to play for all.

Posted: Aug 13th 2011 1:25PM donweel said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I like to have some solo content, no game world would be complete without some exploring areas you can solo. I have lost faith in the whole raiding endgame thing. However, I like the small group Dungeons or Flashpoints whatever you want to call them. It is like the old pnp groups, more fun. Also it would be nice to have the flexibility to run with smaller size groups and also two or three for a dungeon romp.

Posted: Aug 13th 2011 1:42PM PsychoBowl said

  • 1 heart
  • Report
They're called MMO's for a reason.. I do think that solo play should be an option in all games, which it kind of is, but I don't think it should overpower the need to group up with other players for something a little different. If you want to focus on solo play stick with an RPG.

Featured Stories

The Think Tank: Thoughts on PAX East 2014

Posted on Apr 17th 2014 8:00PM

The full scoop on Marvel Heroes' team-ups

Posted on Apr 17th 2014 4:30PM

Hands-on with Hearthstone for iPad

Posted on Apr 17th 2014 3:30PM

Engadget

Engadget

Joystiq

Joystiq

WoW Insider

WoW

TUAW

TUAW