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[Column] General: Five of the Best MMOs for Soloers

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,633MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

MMORPGs, just by virtue of the name, seem to require other players to enjoy the game. Yet that's not always the case. In The List today, we take a look at five MMOs that are eminently solo-able. See what you think before heading to the comments to include your favorite game.

The acronym, "MMO", means Massive MULTIPLAYER Online, the operative word being multiplayer. Yet even in today's crowded MMO market, there are many games that never necessitate any human interaction, that allow players to be Forever Alone should they choose to be so.

Read more of Suzie Ford's The List: Forever Alone in These Five MMOs.

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Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

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Comments

  • RattenmannRattenmann ReitmehringPosts: 510Member Uncommon

    This is one of the saddest parts about current MMOs.

    They stopped being mMo, leaving out the multiplayer part. To archive this target they usually go the "we need to make sure noone can screw up, so make everything fool proof and make it even easier, just to make sure"-route.

     

    Wake me up if a new and real MMO shows up again, ill be playing games from the 90s untill then.

    MMOs finally replaced social interaction, forced grouping and standing in a line while talking to eachother.

    Now we have forced soloing, forced questing and everyone is the hero, without ever having to talk to anyone else. The evolution of multiplayer is here! We won,... right?

  • apocolusterapocoluster newport news, VAPosts: 1,321Member Uncommon
    *waves bye bye @Zaradoom*.

    Gonna be playin them games for a while

    No matter how cynical you become, its never enough to keep up - Lily Tomlin

  • NadiaNadia Canonsburg, PAPosts: 11,866Member Common
    this needs a companion article of   Best MMOs for gamers who enjoy teamwork
  • DMKanoDMKano Gamercentral, AKPosts: 8,553Member Uncommon

    Raid content - not soloable  (not even multi-boxable) in vast majority of MMOs with the exception of EQ1 which is currently the most mult-boxable game.

    So imo EQ1 is the most soloable game now if you take into account multi-boxing.

    Which is funny because EQ1 is still one of the hardest PvE games on the market, as you hit a hard wall if undergeared for any recent content.

  • DMKanoDMKano Gamercentral, AKPosts: 8,553Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Nadia
    this needs a companion article of   Best MMOs for gamers who enjoy teamwork

    It would be the same list, as each individual decides *how* they want to play their games, socially or not, you can play Rift, WoW, SWTOR, GW2 excusively with your guild if you want to.

    I remember having friends over for solo games on C64, Amiga 500, Nintendo etc... 

    Its up to you to be social, or not.

     

  • AvarixAvarix Chicago, ILPosts: 382Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by DMKano
    Originally posted by Nadia
    this needs a companion article of   Best MMOs for gamers who enjoy teamwork

    It would be the same list, as each individual decides *how* they want to play their games, socially or not, you can play Rift, WoW, SWTOR, GW2 excusively with your guild if you want to.

    I remember having friends over for solo games on C64, Amiga 500, Nintendo etc... 

    Its up to you to be social, or not.

     

    Getting tired of reading this excuse for a lack of multi-player in MMORPGs, emphasis on the MM part. There is an entire genre for players that don't want to socialize, they're single-player games. I can be extremely social, doesn't mean anyone else is going to be. You need other people to actually care about grouping, and in these games they don't. WoW player-base is especially viscous, in my experience, with players that are not already experts in all the dungeons and simply want to enjoy the experience.

     

    Grouping will always be a lot more work than soloing, if there is no incentive then these players will never do it. All we have left are dungeons and raids to actually interact with other players. The sad part of that is that in most of these games we can exclude the dungeons part for socializing. Being able to run through an entire dungeon without anyone ever saying ANYTHING is pretty common. Guild Wars 2 is especially bad for this. Other players may as well be NPC. If you don't want the MMO part in your game, that's fine. There are a TON of games, and an entire genre called "Single player role-playing games". Why are they trying to change the defining characteristic of this genre? Frankly, it sucks.

  • NadiaNadia Canonsburg, PAPosts: 11,866Member Common
    Originally posted by DMKano
    Originally posted by Nadia
    this needs a companion article of   Best MMOs for gamers who enjoy teamwork

    It would be the same list, as each individual decides *how* they want to play their games, socially or not, you can play Rift, WoW, SWTOR, GW2 excusively with your guild if you want to.

    i don't agree

     

    yes - any mmo can be played solo or grouped but some mmos have more group content

     

    example: WOW is not a group intensive mmo

     

    almost all the outdoor content was nerfed to be soloed w patch 4.3,  2 years ago

    http://wow.joystiq.com/2011/09/27/patch-4-3-ptr-official-patch-notes/

    Many Group quests in Outland and Northrend have been re-tuned to allow players to complete them solo. They are no longer labeled as Group quests.

     

    WOW is largely a solo game until endgame w exception of dungeon instances

  • IridescentOrkIridescentOrk Ellicott City, MDPosts: 157Member
    Skyrim is betta :D

    gameplay > graphics

  • maplestonemaplestone Ottawa, ONPosts: 3,099Member

    This is an issue on which there is an enormous culture gap between players in the genre.  To me, MMOs are primarily about a shared world, not formal grouping.  In fact, formal grouping is the antithesis of what an MMO means to me becasue it reduces the fluid crossing of paths to isolated pockets of forced dependancy.

    Any argument that solo play is like a single-player game can be replaced with the argument that formal grouping is just a LAN party. 

    But in general, if I ever I find myself judging how other people are playing a game, I remind myself that it's my problem, not theirs.

  • SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News Manager The Land of AZPosts: 16,633MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon
    Originally posted by maplestone

    This is an issue on which there is an enormous culture gap between players in the genre.  To me, MMOs are primarily about a shared world, not formal grouping.  In fact, formal grouping is the antithesis of what an MMO means to me becasue it reduces the fluid crossing of paths to isolated pockets of forced dependancy.

    Any argument that solo play is like a single-player game can be replaced with the argument that formal grouping is just a LAN party. 

    But in general, if I ever I find myself judging how other people are playing a game, I remind myself that it's my problem, not theirs.

    Very nicely stated. Thank you for that. :)

    Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
    Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

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  • NetSageNetSage Lake Geneva, WIPosts: 1,040Member Uncommon
    This is why EVE online is the best MMO :P.  It's honestly a pretty boring game alone. And, would be even more boring if you if you could do anything of meaning alone.
  • Silverthorn8Silverthorn8 LondonPosts: 489Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by NetSage
    This is why EVE online is the best MMO :P.  It's honestly a pretty boring game alone. And, would be even more boring if you if you could do anything of meaning alone.

    In a similar vein, this is why I am watching Pathfinder Online with some interest. I found back in the early days (pre wow that is), game worlds were harsh enough that players needed to co-operate in order to progress. It makes for a much nicer community, vastly more rewarding than the current crop.

  • MardukkMardukk Posts: 1,557Member Uncommon
    TSW and SWTOR are definitely the best solo, due to the focus on story/cut scenes.  I prefer my MMO's to be virtual worlds, which neither of these focus on.  They were still fun for a couple months though.
  • Whiskey_SamWhiskey_Sam Lynchburg, VAPosts: 294Member Uncommon
    And this is why I've given up on MMOs

    ___________________________
    Have flask; will travel.

  • rodingorodingo Posts: 2,346Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by SBFord
    Originally posted by maplestone

    This is an issue on which there is an enormous culture gap between players in the genre.  To me, MMOs are primarily about a shared world, not formal grouping.  In fact, formal grouping is the antithesis of what an MMO means to me becasue it reduces the fluid crossing of paths to isolated pockets of forced dependancy.

    Any argument that solo play is like a single-player game can be replaced with the argument that formal grouping is just a LAN party. 

    But in general, if I ever I find myself judging how other people are playing a game, I remind myself that it's my problem, not theirs.

    Very nicely stated. Thank you for that. :)

    I agree, definitely well said.  To many people seem to want to impose their playstyle on others without taking other people into consideration.  Preferences in playstyle and options are a good thing.  However I think we will have World Peace before all gamers can agree to that.  This whole, "my way or the highway" attitude that is so prevalent on these forums never cease to amaze me.

    "If I offended you, you needed it" -Corey Taylor

  • bcbullybcbully Westland, MIPosts: 8,281Member Uncommon
    Your #1 is completely wrong in the case of Age of Wushu. You essentially will not progress solo. The game does not apologize for this either.
  • ShmackpappyShmackpappy Grand Island, NYPosts: 75Member
    Gaming companies are businesses and will continue to produce games that people WANT to play.  Obviously there is a big market in producing MMOs that are soloable.  As mentioned by others, there is nothing stopping you fron grouping up.  Every game I've been on has active guilds.  Join one and group up with others.  It doesn't mean that it should be at the exclusion of people who don't want to group.
  • XAPKenXAPKen Northwest, INPosts: 4,927Member Uncommon

    I sort of like the technology assisted impromptu grouping where being in the same area with others adds cooperative group interaction without formal intent of doing so.

     

    That is of course assuming I didn't stumble into a hardcore soloer who resents that I'm actually helping.

     

    At least it's better than trying to PUG with idiots, or having to kiss-ass some elitist who considers me a second class citizen because I'm not wearing the latest impossible-to-get shiny.

     

    In the end, what's nice for me about "soft" grouping is once the objective is complete I can wave and wander off on my own.

     

    It may not be old-school multiplayer, but for me it is (or at least can be) a positive event in my gaming experience.

     


    Ken Fisher - Semi retired old fart Network Administrator, now turned Amateur Game Developer.  I don't Forum PVP.  If you feel I've attacked you, it was probably by accident.  Realm Lords 2 on MMORPG.com
  • XAPKenXAPKen Northwest, INPosts: 4,927Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Mardukk
    TSW and SWTOR are definitely the best solo, due to the focus on story/cut scenes.  I prefer my MMO's to be virtual worlds, which neither of these focus on.  They were still fun for a couple months though.

     

    I'd add AOC's Tortage to the best soloable based on storyline play.  I found it very engaging as a SP experience, although not what I'd be looking for in an MMORPG.

     


    Ken Fisher - Semi retired old fart Network Administrator, now turned Amateur Game Developer.  I don't Forum PVP.  If you feel I've attacked you, it was probably by accident.  Realm Lords 2 on MMORPG.com
  • NovuhzNovuhz CoimbraPosts: 28Member Uncommon

    Sorry but I have to disagree, if you can't progress the game without joining other players, that game is not solo.

    I can only talk about Rift and WoW in that list because I haven't played the other ones, and in Rift / WoW if you want really good gear you can't play solo to get it /thread. How about WoW Arenas/Battlegrounds how are you going to get top PvP gear playing solo? It's impossible you need MMR/ELO to even unlock the top pvp weapons and what about WoW PvP arena titles? You will never be able to get them solo. What about the lore? Can you even do all the lore solo? No you can't you need people to accomplish all this stuff.

     

    Can you solo instances the same lvl as  your level? Nope (not solo game anymore)

    Can you do all quests the same lvl as your lvl alone? Nope (not solo game anymore)

     

    Your definition of solo is wrong.

     

    What is solo?

    for or done by one person alone; unaccompanied.

    a thing done by one person unaccompanied, in particular.

  • XAPKenXAPKen Northwest, INPosts: 4,927Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Nadia
    this needs a companion article of   Best MMOs for gamers who enjoy teamwork

     

    +1  That would be an interesting read.

     

    ... and waves to another from the MMO Faces thread :-)


    Ken Fisher - Semi retired old fart Network Administrator, now turned Amateur Game Developer.  I don't Forum PVP.  If you feel I've attacked you, it was probably by accident.  Realm Lords 2 on MMORPG.com
  • BurntvetBurntvet Baltimore, MDPosts: 2,948Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by ZombieKen
    Originally posted by Nadia
    this needs a companion article of   Best MMOs for gamers who enjoy teamwork

     

    +1  That would be an interesting read.

     

    ... and waves to another from the MMO Faces thread :-)

    It would be a short list.

    Pretty much every game since WoW can be soloed, some almost completely, with the exception of raiding (although in many, there is no end game BUT raiding).

    It is clear that in new games, player interdependency is dead. (Heck some of the "newer" MMORPG players get offended when they have to group or need any kind of player interaction for anything, not PvP. How far is that from the UO/SWG/EQ days?)

  • SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News Manager The Land of AZPosts: 16,633MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon
    Originally posted by bcbully
    Your #1 is completely wrong in the case of Age of Wushu. You essentially will not progress solo. The game does not apologize for this either.

    The implication isn't that ALL games are solo-able, just that most are. I'm sure AoW is a peach. ;)

    Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
    Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

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  • orbitxoorbitxo fort lauderdale, FLPosts: 1,408Member Uncommon

    World of Warcraft-really?

    i found it so hard to solo after leveling cap-let alone the dungeons and raids were too dependent on groups and guilds.

    all i recall soloing was that 'special' shaman totem quest and the redundent dailies

    GW2 was a refreshing soloable mmo- but died after the Orders missions ended. sad times...

    i believe TSW yet again did a great job balancing solo play with group play- and now with issue 8 this should be pretty amazing!

  • TorvalTorval Oregon CountryPosts: 7,221Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Nadia
    this needs a companion article of   Best MMOs for gamers who enjoy teamwork

    I agree with DMKano on this. The list would essentially be the same.

    The real interesting companion article would be, "Why do mmo companies now only create interesting, challenging, and rewarding progression only for those who enjoy teamwork."

    You can solo or group in most any game, everything from doing it all alone, to duo, grouping, on up to raiding. The problem is there is only one quality reward tier - the content where you get 24 people together - yet that is arguably a small portion of the playerbase that engages in that content. Why is it that overland, solo, and small group content is so shallow and melty? Even some of the second generation games like WoW and EQ2 have changed to make all overland stuff so trivial.

    This is one reason I really love how EQ2 has evolved heroic content to encompass duo and groups and that it all works in fairly smoothly to raid zones. I've been having a great time with my 85 warden in The Hole, going mercless. It's challenging. Providing challenging content options with commiserate rewards is the way forward in my opinion. This feature in EQ2 is highly underrated and under-acknowledged.

    Originally posted by maplestone

    This is an issue on which there is an enormous culture gap between players in the genre.  To me, MMOs are primarily about a shared world, not formal grouping.  In fact, formal grouping is the antithesis of what an MMO means to me becasue it reduces the fluid crossing of paths to isolated pockets of forced dependancy.

    Any argument that solo play is like a single-player game can be replaced with the argument that formal grouping is just a LAN party. 

    But in general, if I ever I find myself judging how other people are playing a game, I remind myself that it's my problem, not theirs.

    This is a great post. There is a huge cultural and generational gap between players in the genre. MMOs are about a shared world and community.

    I remember in Lineage that people could freely solo or engage in content at any group size. There wasn't solo, pvp, and "raid" gear. There was just gear and you obtained it by any means possible. We often grouped for fun and safety, not because the content was predefined for and required for it. It was about choice. The focus wasn't on controlling how you interacted with the content and community. The focus was on playing the game and all the rest just happened organically.

    You last statement sums up my philosophy as well.

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