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Reader Comments (84)

Posted: Aug 13th 2011 1:54PM Yukon Sam said

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I don't mind if there's an element of group play in an MMO. I don't even mind if some modest percentage of content (say, 10-15%) is reserved exclusively for groups.

I miss the old days all right... the days in Ultima Online, when I could wander by myself through the entire world and then, at the end of the day, settle down at a player-run tavern and exchange tales.

Group raids aren't community, and designers who conflate the two need some education.

Posted: Aug 13th 2011 8:56PM (Unverified) said

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@Yukon Sam

This! It is such a narrow view of MMOs to say that multiplayer only refers to going into a dungeon with other people and killing monsters together.

In my mind, the ideal MMO would be a true virtual world where all types of people could pursue their fantasy lives as they wish, whether it be an intrepid band of adventurers killing things together for treasure, a lone ranger out exploring the land on her own and doing her small part to keep her beloved land safe, or even people who provide other services or engage in other activities that aren't combat at all.

For some people, the "massively" just means "we go kill things together" but for others, the "massively" means not just playing a game with an on-rails narrative where you essentially live out someone else's story (like almost all solo games), but becoming a part of another world where you make your own story, and also cross paths with others who are also making their own stories and interact with those others in a variety of ways, not just kill, loot, rinse repeat into infinity.
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Posted: Aug 14th 2011 2:32AM OutThere said

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@Yukon Sam
and
@Unverified

Of course! But you will notice that you are referring to the RPG part of MMORPG. The RPG mostly missing these days and people forgetting that Role-Playing is not solely or even largely about grouping for combat.
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Posted: Aug 13th 2011 2:51PM Cannyone said

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While I do love playing with others, there are just too many times when I can play and those I want to play with cannot. So I have to say that I probably won't stick with any MMO that doesn't have at least some solo-able content.

Posted: Aug 13th 2011 3:27PM 111011 said

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I prefer solo, and I hope future MMOs feature scaling dungeons so that people can just play with friends or by themselves if they want to. I enjoy playing in teams, its fun. But 9 out 10 times I have been stuck LFG or LFM spamming for hours and getting nothing done, or people joining the group getting into pointless arguments and leaving, or just leaving for no reason. One of the reasons I stopped playing Aion was the elite areas, I could never seem to get a team going when I needed to be there, so I never really progressed in the game. There's little I hate more that seeing incomplete quests in my mission log.

Posted: Aug 13th 2011 7:54PM Emolition said

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@111011
haha im the same way there I need/wanna finish all quest in one area before I move on.
Hate leaving 1 or 2 quest behind just for I cant get a group for it most of the time I just pay or bring in the high lvls guys to run me throu them.
Payed a fortune to some guys in lotro to finish a book quest that required a team and no one wanted to join so I payed of every one that joined=P
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Posted: Aug 13th 2011 4:09PM Ancientwolf13 said

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I feel the whole purpose of an open world is that the whole world should be open for you to explore whether solo or grouped. You shouldn't be forced to have to play a certain way. If you want to explore a dungeon by yourself, you should be able too and it adjusts to being a solo dungeon. If you want to do it as a group then you should be able to do it as a group. Playing it solo isn't hurting anyone or the social aspect of the game as you can run into people all across the map. Quite a few times I ran into someone doing what I was doing in the world so we joined up and worked together and then went our separate ways without waiting in a hub for a set party spamming "LF(X)", X being whatever class.

I mean if scaling is an issue and a group is required then give the player a choice of having NPCs to group with if they don't want to join a PUG group some of which turn out horrible, people AFKing for credit, etc etc when friends are not available. Sometimes people just want to play alone some days. Games are for entertainment and not a job and to stress you out.

Posted: Aug 13th 2011 5:09PM SgtBaker1234556 said

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It's really funny reading this thread where everyone is supporting solo play and everyone wanting "massively multiplayer" experience getting down voted to oblivion.

And then comparing this to the crapstorm that everyone kicked up about Diablo 3 being single player online game.

You people are strange. Make up your minds.

Posted: Aug 13th 2011 5:20PM Seffrid said

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@SgtBaker1234556

No-one is downvoting the massively multi-player experience, they just don't see grouped combat as being the sole basis of that experience. It seems there are still quite a few who just don't get that point.
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Posted: Aug 13th 2011 5:16PM Jorev said

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You should be able to solo in a MMO.
That does not mean MMOs should be dummied down and designed for soloing.
MMOs should be designed primarily for small group encounters. Small group content becomes solo content at higher levels/skills. It should be a challenge to solo but not made impossible through artificial means such as stringing mobs together who realistically could be solo pulled by a skilled player or by blocking access to areas with static groups that a soloer has no chance to beat or pass over.

Posted: Aug 13th 2011 11:27PM WeirdJedi said

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I love to play by myself in an MMO. If anything interrupts your game, there is nothing restraining you from logging out. I also enjoy bumping into other characters, where you can just join up spontaneously and quest. I love having a boost in challenge when you group up with other people. Playing with your spouse (2-man), or even perhaps with a couple workmates (3-man) can be very entertaining.

The problem relies when the game and story demands high number of players. People state that "only the elite" can see the ending, that "it wouldn't be epic" if you could solo it, or the worst "you have to learn the fight" as if it is supposed to be near impossible to finish the content.

I've been liking Lord of the Rings Online ever since they adopted "inspiration" to solo the epic story. I also enjoy hearing about how Guild Wars 2 will adapt the fights to the number of players. Grouping is fine, as long as there is flexibility to solo.

Posted: Aug 14th 2011 1:55AM (Unverified) said

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@WeirdJedi WHOA! inspiration is NEW?! Meaning you used to get stopped dead in the epic as a soloist when you hit a grouping point?

That just... wow... that's a totally different game.

I'm glad I'm playing this version of it. I wouldn't stay in one without inspiration.
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Posted: Aug 14th 2011 2:21AM OutThere said

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@(Unverified)

Are you being silly, Unverified? Making a joke? Because, yes, the Vol. 1 and 2 of the Epic were almost entirely group content, impossible to do solo no matter what your level. And I would say that Turbine's re-design of the Epic and some of the changes coming in RoI point to the fact that they recognize that the majority of their player base does the majority of the content solo or in 2 or 3 person groups.

Anyway, if you're being silly, you got a laugh out of me. And if you weren't, you still got a laugh out of me.
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Posted: Aug 14th 2011 10:42AM (Unverified) said

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@WeirdJedi Oh I assure you I'm quite serious, I can't even imagine doing the epic and having the *base core storyline's* progression stopped by "looking for group for chapter blah book blah volume blah"

*shudder*
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Posted: Aug 14th 2011 4:58PM Yukon Sam said

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@WeirdJedi

I may have to give LOTRO another shot on the basis of that news alone. I hated the gated epics.
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Posted: Aug 14th 2011 7:35AM Graill440 said

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First the assumption that MMO's are a "social" experience at their core is wrong and your opinion OP. The developers have given no one a choice, i demand choice, entitlement has nothing to do with anything, nor do assumptions by people who think MMO's are a hardwired social mechanic, you think they are social because you have been brought up to think it is so by the developers, throw in dev quotes, social networking or whatever else nifty vanilla social buzz mechanic and the MMO is social, because they say so. Its easier to handle a large amount of folks than it is to handle them singly, remember that.

I fraternize with whom i want, when i want, how i want, not at the discretion of the developer, which is what they have programmed people into doing over the years.

Solo players make up the main sub base of any game, these folks eventually form guilds or whatever you want to call forced grouping, to support developer mechanics, because they have to, or they aint gettin squat. If people were given a choice i doubt raiding would be as widespread as it is. Devs make the choices for you, devs tell you the MMO is social, devs tell you raiding is good, devs tell you....

Maybe one day folks will wake up and tell the devs something. (sigh)

Posted: Aug 14th 2011 7:52AM Sente said

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Most MMOs punish team play. Not necessarily in terms of rewards, but in terms of a smooth and easy-to-start experience.

Look at a game like Star Legends. Team play is pretty much the default, required for some content and teaming is a no-brainer, so it works pretty well.

But also, playing with others does not necessarily mean that you play with them in a formalized player collection mechanic, so I do not see solo play and team play as the only two options available.

Posted: Aug 14th 2011 8:04PM FrostPaw said

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I like having solo content when I can't find a group.

I HATE solo content when it's the reason I can't find a group.

Posted: Aug 15th 2011 3:21AM (Unverified) said

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I love MMO’s but I hate having to group to complete content. I also hate the fact that the rewards only achievable by grouping are usually superior to the ones you can achieve on your own.
Some of us just like to do our own thing in our own time. I like to learn a game by making my own mistakes and not have some elite theory crafting smart arse spoiling the experience.

Posted: Aug 15th 2011 6:32AM AceSteveC said

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Sure I like to be able to solo and I like to be able to achieve something with that. I live for Task Forces, you can't beat the camaraderie and the focus on a tangible end objective, but while I'm waiting for the opportunity to team up with some friends the ability to just run a few hero tips and know that I'm making tangible progress with my character is brilliant. That's why the choice of picture is quite fitting, because City of Heroes is one of the best MMOs for being able to solo or team.

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