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Most MMOs today contain a certain level of instanced game play. But there is a cost to instancing players away from one another. In our latest Social Hub, we take a look at this and much more. Read on before heading to the comments to chat.
Some older games rely on instancing to a degree, and it is most often a component of themeparks, but having instanced raids or some quests is not the same as opening up a game world and then sticking a bunch of doors in it, open only to four or five people at a time. There lies the problem with the rise in instanced content. There have been plenty of complaints and observations about studios redefining MMOs (or even misidentifying them) if they contain lots of instanced content. After all, the term "massively multiplayer" doesn't refer to those four or five people. The outside game world might exist, but if most of what you actually do shuts other people out, then it also closes doors of opportunity to meet and interact with others outside your personal circle. Dungeon finders and the like can add a random or two on your team, but the focus for many on smaller group content can predispose players to only interacting with a small circle and then perhaps moving on.
Read more of Christina Gonzalez's The Social Hub: The Trouble With Instances.