The 'Group Play vs Solo Play in an MMO' Thread

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  • Kunai_VaxKunai_Vax NexusMember RarePosts: 527
    ApexTKM said:
    Massively Solo Offline Game. Really ruins the point of an mmo but I do understand some solo players that just enjoy leveling because I enjoy leveling by myself sometimes.
    In the last 12 years ive levelled around 7 hunters to max level on WoW. Ive always found it relaxing.

  • KnightFalzKnightFalz Member UncommonPosts: 272
    ApexTKM said:
    Massively Solo Offline Game. Really ruins the point of an mmo but I do understand some solo players that just enjoy leveling because I enjoy leveling by myself sometimes.
    The point of playing any game is to have fun while doing so. If I can have fun playing an MMO solo that point is still made even though the game is meant to be played along with others.

    That a game is intended to be played along with others matters little to me at a time when MMOs are designed to be easily soloed by all characters regardless of role and abilities.
  • rageblooddevrageblooddev Member UncommonPosts: 3
    @KnightFalz you are right at some point but i think in long term solo players quit the game earlier. The developers mostly having hard time balancing the game for solo and group players.
  • AlbatroesAlbatroes Member EpicPosts: 3,669
    @KnightFalz you are right at some point but i think in long term solo players quit the game earlier. The developers mostly having hard time balancing the game for solo and group players.
    Exactly the last part. It waste developmental time and potential when stuff has to be talored to two types, which is one reason why we see so many "modes" for content (other reason being that its cheaper to develop mode content). Of course I agree that people should be able to solo some things, but not a majority of an mmorpg, there's single player games for that with text overlays. My stance will always be that solo should be possible but it should be inconvienent, making it so that is mostly a last resort if anything and in courage group play even on stupid stuff like kill quests. Make the rewards for grouping far outweigh those for soloing.
  • llSinniSllllSinniSll Member CommonPosts: 1
    As of late, I am unable to find a game that I thoroughly enjoy.  As of right now, I feel it is because MMOs are catering to the solo play style more and more.  Every game has the same template for game design. Solo content makes up the majority of the game. All group content can be done in a weekend and is really only accessible at the end of the game (IE end level). The game's play style essentially does a 180. Solo all the way to max level, because it is the most efficient, then group for max iLvL because it is the most efficient.

    This genre doesn't offer a challenge outside of an increase dungeon "mode"; which, honestly makes the game feel more like an arcade and less a persistent world. Additionally, it isn't new content it is just recycled content with higher mob stats.  I hate that the first month of game play, feels like the combination of a tutorial & real money store advertising. NPCs are unable to put a dent in your health, even when I just stand there for a good 30 seconds. While there is "technically" a more efficient way to kill mobs, spamming your first spell is sufficient enough. I might kill a mob in 0.8 seconds instead of 1.0 second if I did a proper combo. Though, spamming my first ability while watching TV is more enjoyable. Use of potions, utility spells, heals and such are next to pointless until dungeon mobs; not only making every class feel the same, but the need to craft countless items that won't be used / are not wanted.

    The outdoor world experience has become so catered to solo play, that playing with friends actually hinders your ability to play the game. This annoys more me than everything else. A mob will die in 1.5 - 3.0 seconds if I play solo. GCD is typically 1.5 seconds in games. Play with my wife, and we're either able to get one ability off between the two of us or we each get an ability off. Add a 3rd player and someone is literally doing nothing.

    Play a DOT class? HAH, mob will be dead before your dots have done any significant amount of damage.
    Use a long cast ability? I hope you like seeing your spell fly towards a dead mob. As you've now done literally nothing as your two friends just burst the enemies down.
    Play a healer? Soak up XP from your friends thinking about how someday you'll get to heal.

    The dungeon experience has been simplified so much that every game, every dungeon, has the same template. 3 boss dances, AOE trash, linear dungeon that takes 15 minutes to do. Even the "group" based content doesn't require communication anymore. Utility isn't really needed. Assigning CC? Well, that isn't needed because AOE is far more reliable and more efficient.

    My friends and I tested group vs solo content out over the last month with some new alts. We leveled from 100 - 110 in WOW Legion solo. Finished all quests & all story. Finished up WQs to get to iLVL ~850. That took a good two to three weeks to do. Then we jumped into dungeons together with these alts. We were able to see all 10 dungeons, all raid content, and did Kara in 1 weekend. So, solo content lasted a good 3 weeks. Group content was a Saturday.

    I was happy solo content was available when 2nd generation MMOs released. Though, I regret ever wanting it. Darksouls, Bloodborne, and Witcher 3 all have better solo experiences. MMOs are starting to offer the same level of immersion as a phone app, 20 mins of enjoyment while on the toilet.
  • ShinamiShinami Sacramento, CAMember UncommonPosts: 774
    As of late, I am unable to find a game that I thoroughly enjoy.  As of right now, I feel it is because MMOs are catering to the solo play style more and more.  Every game has the same template for game design. Solo content makes up the majority of the game. All group content can be done in a weekend and is really only accessible at the end of the game (IE end level). The game's play style essentially does a 180. Solo all the way to max level, because it is the most efficient, then group for max iLvL because it is the most efficient.

    This genre doesn't offer a challenge outside of an increase dungeon "mode"; which, honestly makes the game feel more like an arcade and less a persistent world. Additionally, it isn't new content it is just recycled content with higher mob stats.  I hate that the first month of game play, feels like the combination of a tutorial & real money store advertising. NPCs are unable to put a dent in your health, even when I just stand there for a good 30 seconds. While there is "technically" a more efficient way to kill mobs, spamming your first spell is sufficient enough. I might kill a mob in 0.8 seconds instead of 1.0 second if I did a proper combo. Though, spamming my first ability while watching TV is more enjoyable. Use of potions, utility spells, heals and such are next to pointless until dungeon mobs; not only making every class feel the same, but the need to craft countless items that won't be used / are not wanted.

    The outdoor world experience has become so catered to solo play, that playing with friends actually hinders your ability to play the game. This annoys more me than everything else. A mob will die in 1.5 - 3.0 seconds if I play solo. GCD is typically 1.5 seconds in games. Play with my wife, and we're either able to get one ability off between the two of us or we each get an ability off. Add a 3rd player and someone is literally doing nothing.

    Play a DOT class? HAH, mob will be dead before your dots have done any significant amount of damage.
    Use a long cast ability? I hope you like seeing your spell fly towards a dead mob. As you've now done literally nothing as your two friends just burst the enemies down.
    Play a healer? Soak up XP from your friends thinking about how someday you'll get to heal.

    The dungeon experience has been simplified so much that every game, every dungeon, has the same template. 3 boss dances, AOE trash, linear dungeon that takes 15 minutes to do. Even the "group" based content doesn't require communication anymore. Utility isn't really needed. Assigning CC? Well, that isn't needed because AOE is far more reliable and more efficient.

    My friends and I tested group vs solo content out over the last month with some new alts. We leveled from 100 - 110 in WOW Legion solo. Finished all quests & all story. Finished up WQs to get to iLVL ~850. That took a good two to three weeks to do. Then we jumped into dungeons together with these alts. We were able to see all 10 dungeons, all raid content, and did Kara in 1 weekend. So, solo content lasted a good 3 weeks. Group content was a Saturday.

    I was happy solo content was available when 2nd generation MMOs released. Though, I regret ever wanting it. Darksouls, Bloodborne, and Witcher 3 all have better solo experiences. MMOs are starting to offer the same level of immersion as a phone app, 20 mins of enjoyment while on the toilet.
    Basically the MMO part in RPGs no longer exists since the massive online population need not apply in dealing with solo content; The RPG part is stripped from MMO since almost every game comes down to winning through brute-force, which is the polar opposite of what RPGs are supposed to be about.

    I guess the genre has become as generic as ever, while hiding in a sea of spectacular graphics. :) 
  • Pyde-PyperPyde-Pyper Member UncommonPosts: 28
    As of late, I am unable to find a game that I thoroughly enjoy.  As of right now, I feel it is because MMOs are catering to the solo play style more and more.  Every game has the same template for game design. Solo content makes up the majority of the game. All group content can be done in a weekend and is really only accessible at the end of the game (IE end level). The game's play style essentially does a 180. Solo all the way to max level, because it is the most efficient, then group for max iLvL because it is the most efficient.


    You should check out Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen. It wont be out for sometime but there should be alpha and possibly beta available this year.
  • nerovergilnerovergil klMember UncommonPosts: 631
    group play to defeat boss monsters

    solo play to grind alone in a leveled area


  • Jackson_LeeJackson_Lee Member CommonPosts: 14
    I played MMO for group play in the past with friends whether virtual/real
    Later, i enjoy playing solo in MMO as it is more easy and freedom to play in my own way.
    However, group play brings more benefits in game such as leveling and farming. Now many MMO even set certain stages or dungeons which only can be entered with parties...made solo player cannot access.
    Well, both wayss are preferred just depends on which gives you most hapiness in playing the game.
  • Tuor7Tuor7 Bellevue, WAMember UncommonPosts: 764
    I'm sure this has been said many times before, but based on some of the posts I've read, it looks like it needs to be said again.

    The MMO part of MMORPG has NOTHING to do with PCs forming groups. It has to do with the number of people able to connect to game simultaneously.  Back in the days of MUDs, you typically had 50-100 people connected to a MUD at once. The early "graphical" MUDs were able to handle much more than that, and by the time you hit EQ and the like, they could handle thousands of players concurrently. THAT is what the Massively Multiplayer Online part is about. Not Grouping.

    If an MMO wants to appeal to group-based mechanics, that's fine. I probably wouldn't play it, but that'd be my own choice. If it wants to appeal to soloists, that's fine, too. If it wants to appeal to both, again, that's fine. People should play what they like and skip what they don't like.
  • ethanlallaethanlalla Member UncommonPosts: 105
    SWTOR hands down for me.
    Playing or interested in playing SWTOR? Use my referral link here and we will both get rewards! Including a week of game time for you, if you are a preferred status player! Click here for more info!
  • BluefishBluefish BrightonMember UncommonPosts: 60
    The huge amount of solo content that isn't in the least bit challenging (or lacks risk/reward) is what bugs me the most in many MMOs.
  • Loke666Loke666 KalmarMember EpicPosts: 20,994
    @KnightFalz you are right at some point but i think in long term solo players quit the game earlier. The developers mostly having hard time balancing the game for solo and group players.
    Yes, but the main reason most long term players stay is because friends still play, be that IRL friends or people they met in the game. That certainly is not the only reason but it is more or less almost used when you ask someone why they still play Wow (or any other MMO they played a long time) even if they usually mentions other reasons as well.

    The only advantage MMOs have against the other genres is that there always is a lot of people around. If you make a game for soloplayers you will earn more money by making a single player game, they are easier and cheaper to make and people pay upfront for them. A regular multiplayer game like Neverwinter nights is the second best.

    MMOs are far more expensive to make, you need to worry about balance, exploits and making the game varied for all kinds of players. Storywise not even the most outrageous use of phasing and instances can tell the story as good as a singleplayer game.

    Part of the expense is that no MMO I seen only focus on soloers so I guess a MMO just for them would be far cheaper and give them better gameplay. I still want group focused games myself but maybe the games need to split and focus on one or the other group, we would get better games if some were just for soloers and some just for groupers.
  • WizardryWizardry Ontario, CanadaMember EpicPosts: 13,175
    He did make a very accurate assessment. "Tough for a developer to balance a game for both solo and grouping"

    That would be i don't like nor do i consider LAZY cop outs like the Wowish type clones.Instead of trying to balance it or just doing it properly,they separated the game into two parts,ALL soloing then end game grouping.
    I would HOPE that even the most naive person in the world can see the problem with such a design.
    I will spell it out anyhow.....

    Ok so you design a game to have players solo 100% of the time,then all of a sudden after NEVER learning to group or play their character in a grouped situation,you just THROW end game grouping at them...lmao...sigh.. developers that do this have no clue what they are doing.

    This is like training someone to use a hammer,then all of a sudden hand them a bowling ball and say ok now your ready  to bowl.

    Never forget 3 mile Island and never trust a government official or company spokesman.

  • Loke666Loke666 KalmarMember EpicPosts: 20,994
    Wizardry said:
    He did make a very accurate assessment. "Tough for a developer to balance a game for both solo and grouping"

    That would be i don't like nor do i consider LAZY cop outs like the Wowish type clones.Instead of trying to balance it or just doing it properly,they separated the game into two parts,ALL soloing then end game grouping.
    I would HOPE that even the most naive person in the world can see the problem with such a design.
    I will spell it out anyhow.....

    Ok so you design a game to have players solo 100% of the time,then all of a sudden after NEVER learning to group or play their character in a grouped situation,you just THROW end game grouping at them...lmao...sigh.. developers that do this have no clue what they are doing.

    This is like training someone to use a hammer,then all of a sudden hand them a bowling ball and say ok now your ready  to bowl.
    Agreed, that leveling up is mostly soloing annoy the groupers and the soloers have nothing to do once maxed out.

    Nothing annoys someone more then being forced to grind 80 or so levels before getting to the good part, besides possible playing those 80s levels having fun but having zero content you enjoy afteer that.

    That is why I say: Give the soloers a few games with just soloing including for endgame and give us groupers a few games that are group focused instead.

    Oil and water don't mix, and trying in this case just make a mediocre game for both groups.

    I would click you an insightful but calling "stating the obvious" for insightful is a bit much so I give you an agree instead.
  • KilrainKilrain OregonMember RarePosts: 1,163
    I prefer group difficult content that can be manipulated and used as very challenging solo play. What ruins a game is when they make all the mobs utterly impossible to beat solo or have a breaking point where it's impossible to solo, then dies instantly providing no loot/xp 5 levels later.
  • Loke666Loke666 KalmarMember EpicPosts: 20,994
    Kilrain said:
    I prefer group difficult content that can be manipulated and used as very challenging solo play. What ruins a game is when they make all the mobs utterly impossible to beat solo or have a breaking point where it's impossible to solo, then dies instantly providing no loot/xp 5 levels later.
    The problem is that making a mob challenging in group content and still possible to solo isn't easy, or it works if you play 5 levels below you but that wont work near the levelcap.

    Making the group content incredible easy so people can solo it is rather meaningless, the effect will be the same as just making solocontent but allow grouping for faster xp.

    It is certainly possible to make it difficult enough so that the best players can solo the still challenging group content but that balance is hard to get and only the best players could complete the content solo then.

    I think it would be better to use a scaling difficulty if you want good group content that can be soloed at the same level.
  • LaetitianLaetitian ViennaMember UncommonPosts: 19
    edited April 24
    Bluefish said:
    The huge amount of solo content that isn't in the least bit challenging (or lacks risk/reward) is what bugs me the most in many MMOs.
    Yes, thank you.

    Grouping should involve going into areas that involve high risks that can not be handled by only one person of a specific class (of the players' level - My favourite type of group content is where killing high level enemies is majorly rewarded, even if players ten levels higher can easily solo-farm them). Tanks having to make sure their squishies never take aggro, because they would immediately die. Everyone having to do everything right in order to get past each encounter. Not just for efficiency's sake, but in order to survive, and get any reward at all.

    It is perfectly fine for solo content to exist next to that. And efficient solo grinding takes effort that should be rewarded as well.
    It should just be obvious and prominently observable that the high-risk group endeavours should yield a better reward. Not just a bit more experience to make up for the time lost grouping.

    If you manage to fulfil an objective that's several levels above you because you found a good group and coordinated your assets well for seveal hours, that is easily worth two days worth of solo progress for each party member.

    You just risked not getting that objective at all, and wasting everyone's time, after all. Or dying five times having to run back to the grinding spot over and over again. Possibly losing experience for the death. Or losing one of your group members and having to abandon the mission, an hour after grouping and walking to the target location together.

    Besides the balance between risk and reward that doesn't exist anymore, the other thing others have mentioned above me is also important. Soloplay to grind combined into one game with endgame group-play makes no sense. It makes the game a bore for groupers, and the endgame useless to the soloists who actually get there.

    But combining them in one game both for early-game and endgame is possible. Just make sure they are both worth their effort for the player, otherwise they basically don't exist.
    Post edited by Laetitian on
  • Rorschach139Rorschach139 Member CommonPosts: 5
    i like both
  • ZionBaneZionBane Member UncommonPosts: 328
    MMOs should be games that "Grouping advantageous", what that means, is that, while it there is nothing wrong with playing solo, and it should be a viable way to play an MMO, it should always be to your advantage to group and have other people with you.

    Think of it like this, no one likes being forced to play a specific way, they don't like being forced to group, or forced to solo, or whatever. But if you make it so they could solo, but it's to their advantage to group, the choice becomes theirs to make, as opposed to being thrust upon them.
  • RhoklawRhoklaw Ft. Bliss, TXMember EpicPosts: 5,256
    Actually, way back when EQ came out, people would solo. So honestly, soloing has existed and still exists in almost every MMO. The specific mechanics that are missing now versus what EQ had would be things like, complete loot drop upon death. Don't see that in MMOs anymore. Now it's basically instant respawn 100 yards from your death still full equipped with a basically meaningless death penalty. EQ was also more about traveling on foot, while some classes could speed buff you or others could teleport you great distances. Don't see much of that anymore either. Now it's super fast land and air mounts to get where you need to go or a convenient teleport system. Eventually EQ added this in their Planes of Power expansion which basically destroyed the golden age of EQ.

    There's a lot of other game mechanics vanilla EQ had that promoted group play, but didn't force it. Specifically buffs, crowd control, heals, tanking, damage output all being separated from every class. Classes all had specific roles, but for the most part, could solo in their own way.

    Now it's all about every class being able to do everything. I don't see the fun in that and as far as I'm concerned, that is what a single player game is for. Being able to solo in an MMO is perfectly fine, but it shouldn't be easy.

  • HushBlushHushBlush Member UncommonPosts: 37
    both! some quest cannot be done by solo play depends on the difficulty of the game your into. but most mmo's have solo and group play quest :blush:

          Let's Play Ragnarok Journey
  • Kevyne-ShandrisKevyne-Shandris Hephzibah, GAMember UncommonPosts: 1,977
    I like both modes of play.

    Prefer solo play on questing/farming and skill challenges. 40 player raids (as a healer there's no shortage of someone to heal with that many people, unlike 10 player and one over geared healer sniping everything) for group content.

    There's room in MMOs for both, as it's showing in WoW with something like pet battles (very popular solo content).

    Thing is people want me time and group time in games. If a game is 100% only group play and their is no chill time with their favorite music and drink, they won't have anything to do. Add that players aren't getting any younger, we can't raid 12+hrs at a pop anymore, too.

    After that stroke, if it wasn't for the WoD garrison and pet battles, I would not had anything to play in WoW. Group content was totally out. I used pet battles and the garrison to help me use my hand/arm and vision again. I still have problems with 3D space, so only venture in groups when necessary.

    The first MMORPGers are in their late 40s/50s now. Yeah, content can't just be agility marathon matches anymore.
  • FaceGraterFaceGrater Member UncommonPosts: 3
    I really dislike playing with strangers. I guess I'm just really introverted. So if my friends or brothers are not, I generally solo. Perhaps I should get out more hehe.
  • CazrielCazriel San Francisco, CAMember UncommonPosts: 245
    ZionBane said:
    MMOs should be games that "Grouping advantageous", what that means, is that, while it there is nothing wrong with playing solo, and it should be a viable way to play an MMO, it should always be to your advantage to group and have other people with you.

    Think of it like this, no one likes being forced to play a specific way, they don't like being forced to group, or forced to solo, or whatever. But if you make it so they could solo, but it's to their advantage to group, the choice becomes theirs to make, as opposed to being thrust upon them.

    People who like to group, think this is grand.  Groups already have an advantage in being able to clear content far more quickly.  This is just another way to force people to group by penalizing them for not grouping.  What happens then is one of two things.  1)  Soloers stop playing the game because it is so disadvantageous to them; 2) they group, but hate it and resent the game, and constantly agitate for parity.

    There is nothing about MMOs that say "group is better".   The reason grouping is no longer required for landscape content is precisely because people prefer to solo when questing.  Designated group play (dungeons, raids) already give significant advantage to those who prefer those types of play. 
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