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General: Casual Play: Solo Play Build Communities

StraddenStradden Managing EditorHalifax, NSPosts: 6,696Member

Staff Writer Steve Wilson returns this week with his Casual Play column. This time around, Steve discusses the ways in which solo play can actually help to build an MMORPG community.

It may seem contrary, but solo content really does more to encourage the building of long-term communities than forced grouping.

Traditionally it's been held that solo content hurts MOGs which were meant to be played as group efforts. Many games enforce this philosophy by making the environment more difficult to defeat than a single player can handle. In the teens to twenties players began to discover that monsters began attacking in packs or are tougher than they can handle by a lone player. In order to continue playing, the player is forced to seek out a group to adventure with. On the surface this would seem to be pretty straightforward design, players have to group, which forces them to meet other players, which leads to friendships. These forced friendships potentially increase subscription times, since most studies have shown that players will continue long after the game is no longer fun if they have friends that they enjoy hanging out with. It's assumed that grouping is obviously a good thing when in fact it's having friends that lengthen subscription times.

Read the column here.

Cheers,
Jon Wood
Managing Editor
MMORPG.com

«13

Comments

  • JYCowboyJYCowboy Northlake, TXPosts: 660Member
    Link not working for me.  Sounds like an intereting topic.
  • VampiresVampires MelbournePosts: 75Member
    Solo play can be very good i think, makes you look at your toon in a different light.

    image
  • ReklawReklaw Am.Posts: 6,478Member Uncommon



    Originally posted by JYCowboy
    Link not working for me.  Sounds like an intereting topic.


    same here, link not working being redirected to frontpage(home of mmorpg)
  • _Shadowmage_Shadowmage MelbournePosts: 1,459Member

    Solo content as the author pointed out means I can
    - jump in and go exploring just to fill out the grey areas on my map
    - or go finish a few outstanding quests
    - or go find some crafting material

    However if you dont want groups blowing through the game so fast without challenge you need some sort of scaling encounter system so groups are still challenged.

  • damian7damian7 middle-of-notsosmartPosts: 4,449Member
    reminds me of this video i watched the other day.  basically, it was about advertising/marketing companies and one of the recent trends/philosophies is, essentially, 'give the customer/consumer what they want".

    9 years is a long time for online computer games to get the clue.

    could we please get correspondent writers and moderators, on the eve forum at mmorpg.com, who are well-versed on eve-online and aren't just passersby pushing buttons? pretty please?

  • JovarJovar Costa Mesa, CAPosts: 1Member
  • ShiloFieldsShiloFields West Columbia, SCPosts: 252Member

    Personally, I think MMOs need interdepency that goes beyond grouping for combat.  SWG's original design was wonderful in this regard.  Crafters providing, weapons, weapons, houses, and tools to gather resources for different types of crafters;, entertainers healing mind wounds and battle fatigue, doctors providing buffs and healing wounds and diseases, combat players providing looted crafting components, skill enhancing loot, etc.  Bioengineers' creating pets, creature handlers training them.  The interdepency was enhanced, and to some extent made possible by, by the fact that you only were given on character per server, absent buying a second box.

    I guess I don't understand why you need more than more character per server.  It really seems odd to me that games allow this, although I am sure most of you will disagree with me.

  • JK-KanosiJK-Kanosi Seaside, CAPosts: 1,357Member

    I've kept my mouth shut on this subject editorial after editorial, but I can't do it anymore. This website is obviously ran by a bunch of casual players and will always support the point of view of solo players. Don't get me wrong, I am a casual player to, in the sense that I don't play but 20 hours a week, but I used to play a lot more back when DAoC was still new and SWG was still good. But I have a family of my own, married w/ a son of my own in school now. But I can still afford the time to meet people and form groups. The writer of this article is using extremes to persuade the readers to his point of view. This is utter bullshit, because in DAoC when I first started playing and even now, including SWG as well, before the NGE, 9 times out of 10 people weren't idiots that you grouped with and everyone was mature and had a good time. We all would chat and grind at the same time having fun hours upon hours. You keep using the extreme that you end up in bad groups, well how about stop playing WoW and play a more mature game. Then you won't get into bad groups like that anymore. Pick up groups generally suck in WoW and WoW is what most casual players know. WoW is also a poor excuse for a multiplayer game, because the quest content can be completed solo and has no benefit to grouping and is also too easy to do in groups. And no it is not like that in every game. Most games I have played (13 total, not counting F2P) have the ability to choose the challenge you will face instead of being spoonfed content in the form of stupid kill and fed ex quests. You may be able to solo white mobs easily, but in a group you fight the red and purple ones, because they are challenging.

    People like you are pushing me to the point to where I say the MMORPG market would have been better off for the players if casual solo players never started playing. That's right, because you keep pushing this view in our face, we are beginning to think that the MMORPG world would be a better place without you. Who needs some lame kill quests or fed ex quests when you can create content of your own through RPing. Yes, these are RPG's, so don't even try to argue the point. Just put out a crap ton of monsters out there, give them some good AI, and keep quests to a minimum. If you're going to do a quest, it should be epic. It should be a quest that spans several levels or the whole game and when you complete it, you are satisfied, because the quest took intelligence and patience to beat. Single player games have these sort of quests, so do DAoC. Hell even SWG had a back ground quest built into the lore. Rebels and Imperials are at war with each other and Neutrals and the Criminal faction are caught in-between. Try to stay alive and become the dominant faction. That in itself is epic in nature and doesn't need a bunch of kill quests.

    If a person can't keep themselves entertained in a virtual world, we really don't need that person in it. We need people who are dedicated to the game, who have imaginations, who have some social skills and have a good personality. We don't need people who don't have the time to form a group, who want developers to waste their time creating kill and fed ex quests, because they can't create a reason of their own to play, and people who are anti-social, or are borish.

    The MMORPG community was fine before WoW came along. We may have been small, but we socialized, and were dedicated to the game and we didn't need borish un-epic quests. We enjoyed being with each other and grouping and we depended on each other a lot. Those were the good ol' days and I've been pushed too far be people like you to hold my tongue any longer. The Devs may want your money, but the rest of the MMORPG community will never accept you as one of us and you will always be ostracized by people who are committed to someone other than themselves in game.

    MMORPG's w/ Max level characters: DAoC, SWG, & WoW

    Currently Playing: WAR
    Preferred Playstyle: Roleplay/adventurous, in a sandbox game.

  • JK-KanosiJK-Kanosi Seaside, CAPosts: 1,357Member



    Originally posted by ShiloFields

    Personally, I think MMOs need interdepency that goes beyond grouping for combat.  SWG's original design was wonderful in this regard.  Crafters providing, weapons, weapons, houses, and tools to gather resources for different types of crafters;, entertainers healing mind wounds and battle fatigue, doctors providing buffs and healing wounds and diseases, combat players providing looted crafting components, skill enhancing loot, etc.  Bioengineers' creating pets, creature handlers training them.  The interdepency was enhanced, and to some extent made possible by, by the fact that you only were given on character per server, absent buying a second box.
    I guess I don't understand why you need more than more character per server.  It really seems odd to me that games allow this, although I am sure most of you will disagree with me.



    Hey, I played SWG too. I agree, one player per server is enough...for a skill based game where you can drop your professions and take on a different set anytime you want. But most game have a class system and each class is different and is interesting in their own way. That is why I create multiple characters per account. But on SWG, I was perfectly fine with one character and I prefer it that way. I prefer every game to be like that, but those games must have a skill based system.

    MMORPG's w/ Max level characters: DAoC, SWG, & WoW

    Currently Playing: WAR
    Preferred Playstyle: Roleplay/adventurous, in a sandbox game.

  • the420kidthe420kid Hamilton, ONPosts: 440Member Uncommon

    I am that lone wolf / solo player that you are referring to.

    That doesnt mean I dont enjoy social interaction, but I much rather fight and explore solo.  I do not like to rely on other people to progress my character.  This is especialy the case with real life friends playing the same game as me.  My frustrations comes from being held back by someone else who I am relying on while I am playing my character flawlessly my progression at that point is out of my control, I can not go further until this other person gets there job right ect.  My frustrations with this issue can stem into angry msgs to the other players which could result in losing r/l friends.  Therfore I much rather play solo while talking with my friends and keeping my irl friends as they are a great bunch of guys they just happen to be newbs lol.

    Ive played and leftr games with forced grouping one of my favorites was ffxi but beyond level 60 I could spend an entire day trying to get a party and I ended up leaving the game same as world of warcraft after I was high warlord and full tier 2 I just couldnt continue to raid with my guild and be held back.

    Id prefer all games have solo and team options perhaps scalable instances wheres mobs scale to number of ppl inside.

  • JK-KanosiJK-Kanosi Seaside, CAPosts: 1,357Member



    Originally posted by the420kid

    I am that lone wolf / solo player that you are referring to.
    That doesnt mean I dont enjoy social interaction, but I much rather fight and explore solo.  I do not like to rely on other people to progress my character.  This is especialy the case with real life friends playing the same game as me.  My frustrations comes from being held back by someone else who I am relying on while I am playing my character flawlessly my progression at that point is out of my control, I can not go further until this other person gets there job right ect.  My frustrations with this issue can stem into angry msgs to the other players which could result in losing r/l friends.  Therfore I much rather play solo while talking with my friends and keeping my irl friends as they are a great bunch of guys they just happen to be newbs lol.
    Ive played and leftr games with forced grouping one of my favorites was ffxi but beyond level 60 I could spend an entire day trying to get a party and I ended up leaving the game same as world of warcraft after I was high warlord and full tier 2 I just couldnt continue to raid with my guild and be held back.
    Id prefer all games have solo and team options perhaps scalable instances wheres mobs scale to number of ppl inside.



    I keep using DAoC and SWG as an example, but they are both really good examples for just about every argument. In DAoC you could solo to 50 if you wanted, but it would be a lot faster to group to 50. This is the way it should be. Group players shouldn't necessarily get better gear for grouping, the crafters should make the gear anyways. Solo players could play the way they like, but people who would rather group would actually group, instead of soloing. There are groupers in WoW that will not group, because the pace is much slower than if you solo. This is the type of game mechanics that piss me off. Soloers in general don;t, unless the gameplay was designed around the soloer. WoW is an example of gameplay designed around the soloer (except for endgame) while DAoC was designed to reward people for grouping. But in DAoC the best gear was crafter made, not dropped off of raid bosses.

    MMORPG's w/ Max level characters: DAoC, SWG, & WoW

    Currently Playing: WAR
    Preferred Playstyle: Roleplay/adventurous, in a sandbox game.

  • DruidblueDruidblue Lansing, MIPosts: 28Member



    Originally posted by ShiloFields

    Personally, I think MMOs need interdepency that goes beyond grouping for combat.  SWG's original design was wonderful in this regard.  Crafters providing, weapons, weapons, houses, and tools to gather resources for different types of crafters;, entertainers healing mind wounds and battle fatigue, doctors providing buffs and healing wounds and diseases, combat players providing looted crafting components, skill enhancing loot, etc.  Bioengineers' creating pets, creature handlers training them.  The interdepency was enhanced, and to some extent made possible by, by the fact that you only were given on character per server, absent buying a second box.
    I guess I don't understand why you need more than more character per server.  It really seems odd to me that games allow this, although I am sure most of you will disagree with me.



    I can comment on that- the way I play an MMGS is TONS of characters, over and over and over through the low levels to mids.  Despite playing all of the MMGS releases in the past for plenty of time to max my levels (per other player's timeframes) I've never reached a max level in any game, including WoW (which most think you can max level in a matter of what, days or weeks?)  I'm simply not wired that way, to play one character constantly... I get quite finicky about wishing I was playing my other characters, as it were.  If I'm on my warrior, I will start wishing I was on my druid.  If I was on my mage, I wish I was on my rogue. Etc.

    In the original EQ, by the time I left, I had taken 62 characters to level 20, but my highest character was only 35 or so. image  I also have a list of character archetypes with corresponding names that I must play in any new MMGS that arrives.  If for some odd reason I pick a server where one of my names is taken, I literally must switch servers or I cannot play that character class. image

    As to the solo aspect, I'm very interested in this topic.  As a developer I recognize good design and any MMGS that forces a player into grouping is simply designed wrong.  You should never force the player into playing in a style that is against their own.  It drives me crazy being thrown into a group of people who think that it's faster to type "thx" than it is to type "Thanks!".   The "must go, must get more loot, must get more XP" mindset is also foreign to me.  I've never -NEVER- experienced a level treadmill, simply because in truth it IS a mindset.  If you are aware of what you are doing in regards to gaining the next level on a conscious level, it is YOUR mindset that is creating that feeling.  Almost every single time I level in a game, I am totally unaware I was about to level.

    Instead, I do whatever floats my fancy at the time- including chasing a virtual duck around in circles for an hour yelling "Moo!"  Hey, if I'm having fun doing it... that, indeed, is the point of the game. image

    _______________________________
    MMORPG is an inaccurate term...

    I use a new and improved term: MMGS = Massively Multiplayer Gaming Service.

  • UplinkproUplinkpro Lake Charles, LAPosts: 1Member



    Originally posted by Stradden

    Staff Writer Steve Wilson returns this week with his Casual Play column. This time around, Steve discusses the ways in which solo play can actually help to build an MMORPG community.

    It may seem contrary, but solo content really does more to encourage the building of long-term communities than forced grouping.
    Traditionally it's been held that solo content hurts MOGs which were meant to be played as group efforts. Many games enforce this philosophy by making the environment more difficult to defeat than a single player can handle. In the teens to twenties players began to discover that monsters began attacking in packs or are tougher than they can handle by a lone player. In order to continue playing, the player is forced to seek out a group to adventure with. On the surface this would seem to be pretty straightforward design, players have to group, which forces them to meet other players, which leads to friendships. These forced friendships potentially increase subscription times, since most studies have shown that players will continue long after the game is no longer fun if they have friends that they enjoy hanging out with. It's assumed that grouping is obviously a good thing when in fact it's having friends that lengthen subscription times.

    Read the column here.



    I totaly agree as a Non casual gamer (70+ hours a week). I HATE guilds with a passion you never can find a group as good as yourself or that even think like you so your left holding a bunch of noobs hands while trying to raid. IMO no game should make a boss or instance or raid for more than 8 players. I dont play games to meet freinds i play games to get aways from stress at work and to beat them as well as see all of there content. But when you havta stress to get into a decent guild thats just not fun and ends the reason to keep playing that game.image
  • mikesterbraumikesterbrau Denton, TXPosts: 25Member

       Quite simply the economics of game development and econmic pressures mean that in most cases developers are going to have to cater to both sides of this argument.  Personally I like to solo but on the other hand I run a guild and group a lot.  I think catering to solo play allows the player the chance to get the feel of the game learn the mechanics and ultimately contribute to a group in a more meaningfull and efficient which will benefit all IMO.   Also I am sure we have all had friends that have either been reluctant to play MMORPG's or had a bad experience with them due to Pick Up Groups full of impatient, rude, or border line moronic members or guild spam from the second you log in and blind guild or group invites.   I think anyone that digs their heals in to firmly with regard is going to end up in the embrace of dissapointment and lingering resentment.   I am also sure many solo players with myself included have been confronted by the argument why do you play an MMORPG if you don't want to ... (fill in the blank PVP, Group, Join a guild etc.) to which I can only think why are they so concerned about my individual play choice.   Food for thought but keep the pepto handy....

     

    Founder of Skara Brae Guild
    Sysop Bard's Tavern BBS 1987-2002
    Co-Leader Skara Brae guild
    Everquest 2 chapter.
    Guild Hub site: Http://www.bardstavern.net

  • wilcoxonwilcoxon Edina, MNPosts: 80Member


    Originally posted by JK-Kanosi
    I've kept my mouth shut on this subject editorial after editorial, but I can't do it anymore. This website is obviously ran by a bunch of casual players and will always support the point of view of solo players.

    Face it. After the advent of WoW, any game that does not support the casual player (usually involving soloable content) will be a "niche" game (even if that niche is the size of the EQ player-base at its height). Very few developers (probably none of the large ones) will produce games that will not have the potential to achieve a WoW level of success.


    Don't get me wrong, I am a casual player to, in the sense that I don't play but 20 hours a week, but I used to play a lot more back when DAoC was still new and SWG was still good. But I have a family of my own, married w/ a son of my own in school now. But I can still afford the time to meet people and form groups.

    Sorry, 20 hours per week puts you at the top (or out) of what most people consider casual. There are lots of people that play WoW or other games for a max of 2 hours per day and skip days (putting them at 10 hours (or less) per week).


    The writer of this article is using extremes to persuade the readers to his point of view. This is utter bullshit, because in DAoC when I first started playing and even now, including SWG as well, before the NGE, 9 times out of 10 people weren't idiots that you grouped with and everyone was mature and had a good time. We all would chat and grind at the same time having fun hours upon hours. You keep using the extreme that you end up in bad groups, well how about stop playing WoW and play a more mature game. Then you won't get into bad groups like that anymore. Pick up groups generally suck in WoW and WoW is what most casual players know.

    I've played many games and abhor pick-up groups in *EVERY* one of them (including DAoC) due to many bad experiences.


    WoW is also a poor excuse for a multiplayer game, because the quest content can be completed solo and has no benefit to grouping and is also too easy to do in groups. And no it is not like that in every game. Most games I have played (13 total, not counting F2P) have the ability to choose the challenge you will face instead of being spoonfed content in the form of stupid kill and fed ex quests. You may be able to solo white mobs easily, but in a group you fight the red and purple ones, because they are challenging.

    WoW is a poorly designed MMO in some regards (getting an xp *penalty* when grouping).

    The best example I can point to is City of Heroes/Villains - each mission scales depending on the group/person doing it plus players can choose to make their missions harder. If you always play with an uber group, just always do "insane" missions as a group.


    People like you are pushing me to the point to where I say the MMORPG market would have been better off for the players if casual solo players never started playing. That's right, because you keep pushing this view in our face, we are beginning to think that the MMORPG world would be a better place without you.

    Many of us have turned into casual players. I played games alot and joined a raiding guild in EQ but have had no desire to invest that amount of effort into games since. I usually end up soloing anymore because I hate pick-up groups and not enough of my friends play the same games anymore (and I haven't made many friends online in either EVE or City of (admittedly I haven't really tried in CoH/CoV)).


    Who needs some lame kill quests or fed ex quests when you can create content of your own through RPing. Yes, these are RPG's, so don't even try to argue the point. Just put out a crap ton of monsters out there, give them some good AI, and keep quests to a minimum. If you're going to do a quest, it should be epic. It should be a quest that spans several levels or the whole game and when you complete it, you are satisfied, because the quest took intelligence and patience to beat. Single player games have these sort of quests, so do DAoC.

    Where's the game in that? Do you think any casual players (or even many non-casual players) would enjoy a game like you describe ("ok - here's the world and a bunch of mobs - go have fun with no structured content").


    We need people who are dedicated to the game, who have imaginations, who have some social skills and have a good personality. We don't need people who don't have the time to form a group, who want developers to waste their time creating kill and fed ex quests, because they can't create a reason of their own to play, and people who are anti-social, or are borish. The MMORPG community was fine before WoW came along. We may have been small, but we socialized, and were dedicated to the game and we didn't need borish un-epic quests. We enjoyed being with each other and grouping and we depended on each other a lot. Those were the good ol' days and I've been pushed too far be people like you to hold my tongue any longer. The Devs may want your money, but the rest of the MMORPG community will never accept you as one of us and you will always be ostracized by people who are committed to someone other than themselves in game.

    I could see your point up until this section. I completely disagree with you. I've played many games (starting with DAoC at release) and think every single statement you just made is flat-out wrong. Many of the players I encountered prior to WoW had no imagination, no social skills, and no personality (or, at least, were people I would never want to associate with). [b]Many[/p] players would like to play at least sometimes when they don't have time to get a group (every game where I've tried to get pick-up groups going often took an hour to get the group sometimes just to have it fall apart before anything started). The MMORPG community was not fine before WoW - it had already fragmented into casual, enforced-grouping, and PvP-only camps.

    Active: CoH/CoV, Warhammer (beta,live)
    Retired: Anarchy Online, Archlord (beta), Auto Assault (beta), Dark Age of Camelot, D&D Online (alpha,beta,&live), Dungeon Runners, Everquest, EVE, Guild Wars, Lord of the Rings (beta), Vanguard (beta), World of Warcraft
    Looking forward to: Fallen Earth

  • wilcoxonwilcoxon Edina, MNPosts: 80Member


    Originally posted by JK-Kanosi
    I keep using DAoC and SWG as an example, but they are both really good examples for just about every argument. In DAoC you could solo to 50 if you wanted, but it would be a lot faster to group to 50. This is the way it should be. Group players shouldn't necessarily get better gear for grouping, the crafters should make the gear anyways. Solo players could play the way they like, but people who would rather group would actually group, instead of soloing. There are groupers in WoW that will not group, because the pace is much slower than if you solo. This is the type of game mechanics that piss me off. Soloers in general don;t, unless the gameplay was designed around the soloer. WoW is an example of gameplay designed around the soloer (except for endgame) while DAoC was designed to reward people for grouping. But in DAoC the best gear was crafter made, not dropped off of raid bosses.

    I guess I'll have to keep disagreeing with you. Why should it be faster to group to 50? Grouping and soloing should be equally viable playstyles - neither should be penalized.

    You could solo to 50 in DAoC but it was painful at higher levels and the crafting system in DAoC required a guild (or literally years to master). I was #3 weapon crafter on my server for quite a while until I hit the levels where it literally took a small guild to fund crafting at a reasonable pace (one of the reasons I left DAoC). I was dumping nearly all my my money into crafting and could not afford to advance much at all (not to mention supply runs into PvP areas).

    I will agree with you that WoW's penalizing of grouping is bad (see my first comment).

    Active: CoH/CoV, Warhammer (beta,live)
    Retired: Anarchy Online, Archlord (beta), Auto Assault (beta), Dark Age of Camelot, D&D Online (alpha,beta,&live), Dungeon Runners, Everquest, EVE, Guild Wars, Lord of the Rings (beta), Vanguard (beta), World of Warcraft
    Looking forward to: Fallen Earth

  • JK-KanosiJK-Kanosi Seaside, CAPosts: 1,357Member



    Originally posted by wilcoxon




    Originally posted by JK-Kanosi
    I've kept my mouth shut on this subject editorial after editorial, but I can't do it anymore. This website is obviously ran by a bunch of casual players and will always support the point of view of solo players.


    Face it. After the advent of WoW, any game that does not support the casual player (usually involving soloable content) will be a "niche" game (even if that niche is the size of the EQ player-base at its height). Very few developers (probably none of the large ones) will produce games that will not have the potential to achieve a WoW level of success.





    Don't get me wrong, I am a casual player to, in the sense that I don't play but 20 hours a week, but I used to play a lot more back when DAoC was still new and SWG was still good. But I have a family of my own, married w/ a son of my own in school now. But I can still afford the time to meet people and form groups.


    Sorry, 20 hours per week puts you at the top (or out) of what most people consider casual. There are lots of people that play WoW or other games for a max of 2 hours per day and skip days (putting them at 10 hours (or less) per week).





    The writer of this article is using extremes to persuade the readers to his point of view. This is utter bullshit, because in DAoC when I first started playing and even now, including SWG as well, before the NGE, 9 times out of 10 people weren't idiots that you grouped with and everyone was mature and had a good time. We all would chat and grind at the same time having fun hours upon hours. You keep using the extreme that you end up in bad groups, well how about stop playing WoW and play a more mature game. Then you won't get into bad groups like that anymore. Pick up groups generally suck in WoW and WoW is what most casual players know.


    I've played many games and abhor pick-up groups in *EVERY* one of them (including DAoC) due to many bad experiences.





    WoW is also a poor excuse for a multiplayer game, because the quest content can be completed solo and has no benefit to grouping and is also too easy to do in groups. And no it is not like that in every game. Most games I have played (13 total, not counting F2P) have the ability to choose the challenge you will face instead of being spoonfed content in the form of stupid kill and fed ex quests. You may be able to solo white mobs easily, but in a group you fight the red and purple ones, because they are challenging.


    WoW is a poorly designed MMO in some regards (getting an xp *penalty* when grouping).

    The best example I can point to is City of Heroes/Villains - each mission scales depending on the group/person doing it plus players can choose to make their missions harder. If you always play with an uber group, just always do "insane" missions as a group.





    People like you are pushing me to the point to where I say the MMORPG market would have been better off for the players if casual solo players never started playing. That's right, because you keep pushing this view in our face, we are beginning to think that the MMORPG world would be a better place without you.


    Many of us have turned into casual players. I played games alot and joined a raiding guild in EQ but have had no desire to invest that amount of effort into games since. I usually end up soloing anymore because I hate pick-up groups and not enough of my friends play the same games anymore (and I haven't made many friends online in either EVE or City of (admittedly I haven't really tried in CoH/CoV)).





    Who needs some lame kill quests or fed ex quests when you can create content of your own through RPing. Yes, these are RPG's, so don't even try to argue the point. Just put out a crap ton of monsters out there, give them some good AI, and keep quests to a minimum. If you're going to do a quest, it should be epic. It should be a quest that spans several levels or the whole game and when you complete it, you are satisfied, because the quest took intelligence and patience to beat. Single player games have these sort of quests, so do DAoC.


    Where's the game in that? Do you think any casual players (or even many non-casual players) would enjoy a game like you describe ("ok - here's the world and a bunch of mobs - go have fun with no structured content").





    We need people who are dedicated to the game, who have imaginations, who have some social skills and have a good personality. We don't need people who don't have the time to form a group, who want developers to waste their time creating kill and fed ex quests, because they can't create a reason of their own to play, and people who are anti-social, or are borish. The MMORPG community was fine before WoW came along. We may have been small, but we socialized, and were dedicated to the game and we didn't need borish un-epic quests. We enjoyed being with each other and grouping and we depended on each other a lot. Those were the good ol' days and I've been pushed too far be people like you to hold my tongue any longer. The Devs may want your money, but the rest of the MMORPG community will never accept you as one of us and you will always be ostracized by people who are committed to someone other than themselves in game.


    I could see your point up until this section. I completely disagree with you. I've played many games (starting with DAoC at release) and think every single statement you just made is flat-out wrong. Many of the players I encountered prior to WoW had no imagination, no social skills, and no personality (or, at least, were people I would never want to associate with). [b]Many[/p] players would like to play at least sometimes when they don't have time to get a group (every game where I've tried to get pick-up groups going often took an hour to get the group sometimes just to have it fall apart before anything started). The MMORPG community was not fine before WoW - it had already fragmented into casual, enforced-grouping, and PvP-only camps.


    I just wanted to reply and thank you for your maturity and that I did read the reply that took some meaningful effort to put together. Usually, I do not get that angry and my posts are not that harsh. Even reading back on this one, I can't believe I actually said some of that stuff. It doesn't mean I don't believe it or don't think it, I just usually am a civil type of person.

    I guess we all had different but valid experiences in the old games that lead us to where we are now. I obviously had a blast in the old games, whereas there were probably many things that got on your nerves. I guess it is time for people like me to face it and acknowledge that are days are over. I guess people like me should try our best to keep the old games running or go play DnD pnp games (not that I know how).

    Anyways, thanks for not losing your cool.

    MMORPG's w/ Max level characters: DAoC, SWG, & WoW

    Currently Playing: WAR
    Preferred Playstyle: Roleplay/adventurous, in a sandbox game.

  • damian7damian7 middle-of-notsosmartPosts: 4,449Member

    Originally posted by JK-Kanosi

    If a person can't keep themselves entertained in a virtual world, we really don't need that person in it. We need people who are dedicated to the game, who have imaginations, who have some social skills and have a good personality. We don't need people who don't have the time to form a group, who want developers to waste their time creating kill and fed ex quests, because they can't create a reason of their own to play, and people who are anti-social, or are borish. The MMORPG community was fine before WoW came along. We may have been small, but we socialized, and were dedicated to the game and we didn't need borish un-epic quests. We enjoyed being with each other and grouping and we depended on each other a lot. Those were the good ol' days and I've been pushed too far be people like you to hold my tongue any longer. The Devs may want your money, but the rest of the MMORPG community will never accept you as one of us and you will always be ostracized by people who are committed to someone other than themselves in game.

    players who are dedicated to a game?  how about game developers who are dedicated to their playerbase?  i think we need that a tad more since it doesn't seem to exist.

    i would hope that game devs can do more than create "kill and fed ex" quests. if not, maybe we need new devs? 

    why blame the player if it's the game developer that is lacking?  if players can come up with XYZ *rp* content on their own, why can't the devs? 



    i sorta agree with what you're saying, EXCEPT the onus should be on the developers of the games, not the players.  there SHOULD be online, persistent world games, that myself and my wife can log into, and play.  play without having to group with a bunch of others.  play without having to schedule a time to get into the GOOD content.  actually, UO is sort of the game you can still do that in, it just has horrid graphics.  when the graphics' overhaul hits, i might try to get the wife playing it, or perhaps one of the games coming out shortly.

    but i do agree, a sandbox is a great way to play a game.  but, if you're going to have that, then these game devs who are just watching folks play, NEED to throw in some live events, on a constant basis.  maybe have a dev per world/shard/server.  if it's a single server game; then, you have all those paid employees who can make events all over that server.


    let's take Eve online as an example of a 'mature' community.  compared to wow's community, honestly, having played both games for a year+ (along with others) and having been in numerous guilds/corps on various toons, having joined in on the official forums for both...  i see VERY little difference in the communities.  i would go so far as to say that it's the same people playing both games.  maybe not 100%, but there is a lot of cross-over.  just like with COx, swg, uo, and everything else.

    think long and hard (everyone) about all the mmo/mmorpg's you've played.  have you ONLY played one?  if not, then you're supporting my statement that it's the same folks playing all these different games.


    i've been in dungeons/fighting bosses where it's like "ok, now X class, you get ready with your Z attack, J class, you get ready to to LMO, blah blah blah".  BORING. 


    what's the answer?   well, huge groups of people to kill one big bad isn't an answer in my book.  huge numbers of people to kill that one big bad usually means that what - 5% of the people involved get something for their troubles?  if the game is item-centric, that just sucks.  if the game is not item-centric, then hey, as long as i'm having fun... but how many games are like that?   lots of people slam wow for being item centric, but how many games are NOT that way?  COx is an example.  other games may have any/every-one able to craft the uber items, but it's still heavily item-centric.  i think pre-cu swg and uo are examples where skills and items mesh well together.

    these online games HAVE catered to huge guilds since everquest.  uo didn't.  uo allowed single/duos to accomplish tons in it, if not all.

    but, just like making levels (instead of skills), all these other games followed everquest's horrid changes to what UO had shown the public.

    so we're going on a decade of games, where the vast majority of the games (persistent world games) have NOT catered to the single-small group playerbase, nor to the players that play for limited amounts of time a week. 

    for the record, there are a LOT of anti-socials and socially-retarded types in a lot of guilds online.  being part of a huge group doesn't mean it's going to be elite.

    think for a bit about your job.  how many people employed by your company, or that you have to interact with on a daily basis --- do YOU consider to be total idiots?

    an online organization, where everyone can still hide behind the anonymity of the internet... this group will have a far greater chance of being filled with people that YOU (saying this to most everyone) will consider stupid, childish, or just people you DON'T want to associate with.


    so, maybe it's time the game devs start REALLY earning their money, and GIVE the customers what they want.

    COx scales up/down the encounters based upon 1 - difficulty the individual chooses and 2 - group size.  this is in addition to the non-instanced content.


    just something to think about.  i mean, how much play-testing/beta-testing do the NON-PAID customers (who pay to play the games) do for the employees of the company?  we, the paying public, are already doing a TON of the work for the employees of the company, and more often than not, they just thumb their noses at the people 1-testing their patches and 2-paying their salaries.





    could we please get correspondent writers and moderators, on the eve forum at mmorpg.com, who are well-versed on eve-online and aren't just passersby pushing buttons? pretty please?

  • JK-KanosiJK-Kanosi Seaside, CAPosts: 1,357Member



    Originally posted by wilcoxon




    Originally posted by JK-Kanosi
    I keep using DAoC and SWG as an example, but they are both really good examples for just about every argument. In DAoC you could solo to 50 if you wanted, but it would be a lot faster to group to 50. This is the way it should be. Group players shouldn't necessarily get better gear for grouping, the crafters should make the gear anyways. Solo players could play the way they like, but people who would rather group would actually group, instead of soloing. There are groupers in WoW that will not group, because the pace is much slower than if you solo. This is the type of game mechanics that piss me off. Soloers in general don;t, unless the gameplay was designed around the soloer. WoW is an example of gameplay designed around the soloer (except for endgame) while DAoC was designed to reward people for grouping. But in DAoC the best gear was crafter made, not dropped off of raid bosses.


    I guess I'll have to keep disagreeing with you. Why should it be faster to group to 50? Grouping and soloing should be equally viable playstyles - neither should be penalized.

    You could solo to 50 in DAoC but it was painful at higher levels and the crafting system in DAoC required a guild (or literally years to master). I was #3 weapon crafter on my server for quite a while until I hit the levels where it literally took a small guild to fund crafting at a reasonable pace (one of the reasons I left DAoC). I was dumping nearly all my my money into crafting and could not afford to advance much at all (not to mention supply runs into PvP areas).

    I will agree with you that WoW's penalizing of grouping is bad (see my first comment).



    I am willing to debate with you, since it seems like you have a good head on your shoulders and won't get all emotional on me. So you and I can answer this question together. We both know that soloing is easier to get into, because you don't have to go through the effort of finding a group. Hell, I can admit that in DAoC I was happy to be able to solo while I looked for a group. But why would a person group if soloing reaped the same xp awards and allowed you to get to max level faster. I'm not saying we are all in a rush to get there, but we all want to keep advancing. Because essentially, not everyone is like me. Most people I have ran across, even though they were friendly and could carry on a good conversation while leveling, were mostly interested in getting to max level asap. So if soloing is easier to get into and also yeilds the same xp, why would someone who wants to advance now rather than later wait to get a group? This is why I feel that the xp must be better or come at a faster per hour pace if you group. A little off subject, but important nonetheless. I am against raid sized groups. I believe that you are no hero at all if you can't take down the strongest monster in a small group (3-4 people). In fact, I like the DnD group setup. A Caster, Tank, Rogue, and Healer. A group of 4 should be able to accomplish anything. In a RPing sense, the lone wolf is viable in most situations, but they rely heavily on merchants to supply their gear/food and local governments to cooperate with them. So a game like SWG where you could solo was good, because grouping was still fun, but what made the game was the reliance on non-combat professions. You had reasons to go back to a city or town...or of course you could pay a Doctor and Entertainer to come with you and you could just set up a camp in the wilderness.

    MMORPG's w/ Max level characters: DAoC, SWG, & WoW

    Currently Playing: WAR
    Preferred Playstyle: Roleplay/adventurous, in a sandbox game.

  • fantasygirlfantasygirl Des Moines, IAPosts: 26Member
    Interesting topic, I can't say that I've ever played WoW image I know that may be a bit shocking to some of you. At any rate this is one of the more civil discussions I've come acrros on this website.  While I do not play MMORPGs as much as some I do like solo content. I have joined groups before and most of them have been okay but there have been a few where I wanted out. The game I play the most Flyff has a good system I think called parties where you can join a party of players and go around killing monsters and if you don't like it you can just leave with out any penalities.

    Heidi

  • damian7damian7 middle-of-notsosmartPosts: 4,449Member

    Originally posted by Uplinkpro

    I totaly agree as a Non casual gamer (70+ hours a week). I HATE guilds with a passion you never can find a group as good as yourself or that even think like you so your left holding a bunch of noobs hands while trying to raid. IMO no game should make a boss or instance or raid for more than 8 players. I dont play games to meet freinds i play games to get aways from stress at work and to beat them as well as see all of there content. But when you havta stress to get into a decent guild thats just not fun and ends the reason to keep playing that game.image


    excellent points as well.

    a game IS for fun and relaxation, imo.


    could we please get correspondent writers and moderators, on the eve forum at mmorpg.com, who are well-versed on eve-online and aren't just passersby pushing buttons? pretty please?

  • JackDonkeyJackDonkey _, MNPosts: 383Member
    i think the difference between single player and MMO games is one has
    an ending the other doesn't.   So does it even matter if I
    solo or group in MMO's when the difference to me is one style of game
    having and ending and the other not having an ending.   Take
    the single player game the sims, when that first came out you built a
    big house, and you kept building it and kept building it and kept
    building it until you got sick of the game or made a new property with
    different people in it (like an alt).  People play MMO's like
    their the sims, the difference is instead of upgrading your house
    you're upgrading your armor or ship or car.


    The difference between MMO and Single player is the same kind of
    difference as a racing game and zelda.   MMO is a whole
    nother style in itself, a game without an ending, like the sims (the
    one player version) which was also hugely popular,  Having Massive
    Multiplayer is a simple way to help the game never end and never be the
    same, it doesn't mean you have to group, it's just changing the scenery
    to some.

    image
    Which Final Fantasy Character Are You?
    if I were to kill a titan tomorrow and no CCP employees showed up to say grats I would petition it.
    Waiting for: the next MMO that lets me make this macro
    if hp < 30 then CastSpell("heal") SpellTargetUnit("player") else CastSpell("smite") end

  • VrazuleVrazule Laguna Vista, TXPosts: 1,095Member

    Its certainly this forced grouping mentality that will keep me from playing games like Warhammer Online, Lord of the Rings Online, Age of Conan and Vanguard.  What little solo content they have will be unrewarding in their own right, let alone in comparison to group rewards or even more so with raider's rewards.  Albeit, Warhammer is supposed to have a sizable amount of solo content, I have serious doubts that they will reward that play style equally.  I'll continue to play WoW until it bores me, then I'll probably be done with MMO's till they make sweeping paradigm changes.  Granted, WoW's end game is just as awful as any other "raid or die" game out there.  At least I can content myself with the 1 - 55 game which is very solo friendly.

     

    I am surprised that more casuals don't complain about current MMO design.  We are major contributors to a game's income and yet most of that revenue is invested into content that only 20% of the player base enjoys.  Does anyone else find that insulting, if not an outright theft of resources?

    With PvE raiding, it has never been a question of being "good enough". I play games to have fun, not to be a simpering toady sitting through hour after hour of mind numbing boredom and fawning over a guild master in the hopes that he will condescend to reward me with shiny bits of loot. But in games where those people get the highest progression, anyone who doesn't do that will just be a moving target for them and I'll be damned if I'm going to pay money for the privilege. - Neanderthal

  • PaldarionPaldarion Orlando, FLPosts: 39Member

    I have always detested forced grouping.  I play almost exclusively solo, definitely casual - and I pay the same amount you others do to play a game I enjoy.  If I didn't enjoy it, I would leave - like I have with many MMORPGs that I had invested many years in subscription fees to play.

    I also play single player games.  I have 3 in my hard drive now and I play them more than I do my MMORPG - but I'm still paying my fee.  If the Devs make it impossible to solo - like the idiots at Turbine refuse to learn - I'm gone in a heartbeat and so are my accounts.

    No one gets the same thing out of gaming or has the same experience - we all have different preferences.  If the devs make a game impossible to solo that segment of the market simply disappears.

    "Life is too short to play nerfed characters."

  • wilcoxonwilcoxon Edina, MNPosts: 80Member

    Originally posted by JK-Kanosi

    I am willing to debate with you, since it seems like you have a good head on your shoulders and won't get all emotional on me. So you and I can answer this question together. We both know that soloing is easier to get into, because you don't have to go through the effort of finding a group. Hell, I can admit that in DAoC I was happy to be able to solo while I looked for a group. But why would a person group if soloing reaped the same xp awards and allowed you to get to max level faster. I'm not saying we are all in a rush to get there, but we all want to keep advancing. Because essentially, not everyone is like me. Most people I have ran across, even though they were friendly and could carry on a good conversation while leveling, were mostly interested in getting to max level asap. So if soloing is easier to get into and also yeilds the same xp, why would someone who wants to advance now rather than later wait to get a group? This is why I feel that the xp must be better or come at a faster per hour pace if you group. A little off subject, but important nonetheless. I am against raid sized groups. I believe that you are no hero at all if you can't take down the strongest monster in a small group (3-4 people). In fact, I like the DnD group setup. A Caster, Tank, Rogue, and Healer. A group of 4 should be able to accomplish anything. In a RPing sense, the lone wolf is viable in most situations, but they rely heavily on merchants to supply their gear/food and local governments to cooperate with them. So a game like SWG where you could solo was good, because grouping was still fun, but what made the game was the reliance on non-combat professions. You had reasons to go back to a city or town...or of course you could pay a Doctor and Entertainer to come with you and you could just set up a camp in the wilderness.

    Good point on the ease of getting into soloing vs ease of getting into grouping.

    To really make it balanced, the devs need to figure out how much percentage of play-time is spent by the average player finding a group and make group xp get a slight bonus over that (eg if the average player spends 10% of play-time finding a group, then make group xp about 12-14% better than solo xp (so roughly 1-3% bonus)).  That way, there should be enough incentive for those that like grouping to do so instead of soloing (if they are also the "must get to max level asap" type) but people who want to solo aren't getting the shaft either.  It's not perfect as large guild groups will likely go together much quicker so they will get almost the full "bonus" as a real bonus when grouped.  A much more resource intensive approach would be dynamically adjusting xp based on how much time someone spent looking for a group (but that would require monitoring the actions and times of all players).

    There are probably other answers to making grouping and soloing balanced but that was the one I could think of off the top of my head.

    I think the best solution to making raiding balanced is to get rid of it entirely.  Does anyone really enjoy standing around as one of 40 or so people for hours trying to kill one (or a few) mob when success/failure is almost always based on the main-tank (sometimes off-tanks) and healing rotations?  I've done lots fo raiding in EQ (up to elemental plains and a few in one of the later expansions (one after LDoN IIRC)) and some in WoW and there's no enjoyment (for me) in something that takes that much time, is based only very slightly on my even being there (I generally don't play tanks or healers), generates tiny tiny amounts of xp, and loot for only a few.  Even when I got loot, it just wasn't worth it.



    Active: CoH/CoV, Warhammer (beta,live)
    Retired: Anarchy Online, Archlord (beta), Auto Assault (beta), Dark Age of Camelot, D&D Online (alpha,beta,&live), Dungeon Runners, Everquest, EVE, Guild Wars, Lord of the Rings (beta), Vanguard (beta), World of Warcraft
    Looking forward to: Fallen Earth

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