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The Soloist

The Soloist: Why I do it

Game Mechanics, Guilds, PvP, Raiding, Quests, Grouping, PvE, Opinion, The Soloist, Hands-On

After this post, I had it in mind to think through why I prefer to solo, and whether the reasons why are valid ones, given that I'm playing in a genre meant to provide a social experience. I'm going to try to list as many reasons as I can think of in favor of grouping and playing with buddies, and provide a counter-argument if I can. Bear in mind, this is not me telling you that you should go solo; this is just me trying to 1) explain why I do it, and 2) understand for myself whether my reasons hold water.

Enough said; excelsior!

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The Soloist: I've Got a Hench

World of Warcraft, Game Mechanics, Guilds, Raiding, PvE, Opinion, The Soloist

Here's something I never missed before in WoW, but now I wish it could be implemented. I was leafing through the manual for my newly-purchased Guild Wars box (at $5 it was a steal! Thank you, random sidewalk sale!) and it mentioned the ability to purchase henchmen, or mercenaries, to travel with you on your adventures.

Now, WoW has its similarities -- Hunters get pets, as do Warlocks -- and of course you have your guilds or PUGs. But here's the thing: leveling up a pet and outfitting it with new abilities is a pain. It's not how I want to spend my in-world time. And even though it's an MMO, I'm a lone wolf -- I don't want to group with people to play. In fact, this is the inaugural post of a recurring feature I'm calling The Soloist -- posts about playing MMOs alone.

So, why can't I buy or rent mercs in WoW? Just think of all the times you weren't able to enjoy a quick raid because none of your friends or guildies were available. Or perhaps you have a random playing schedule and just can't coordinate even so much as a PUG. Maybe you just don't like the social aspect of MMOs in general. Whatever the reason, developers ignore the solo player at their peril! The funny thing is, Blizzard made mercenaries available in Diablo II, and that's kinda MMO, innit? C'mon, guys, help a lone agent out. Give us henchmen!

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