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Maybe forced grouping is what we are all missing? (long)

slowpoke68slowpoke68 Chicago, ILPosts: 455Member Uncommon

I remember when I first started playing WoW sometime shortly after its launch and thinking wow this is awesome.  I can solo effectively and only need to find a group for dungeons.  This is such a great change from DAoC and EQ.

In WoW I soloed all the time while leveling and would only group for dungeon content.

And that is how it has been in pretty much every MMO since.

You get your quests and run around and do them.  You see other people running around doing the same thing...but no need to talk or interact with them, unless of course you want to do the occasional group quest.

One exception since the WoW solo friendly advent was doing world pvp in Warhammer.  I would always join warbands.

Another was last year when I played on the EQ progression server (until the hack when Sony or whoever it is now shut down).  I grouped almost exclusively from level 1-50 and actually joined a guild and did some raiding...I'm not a raider typically.

Was playing GW2 obw and I don't think I talked to another player the whole weekend.

I remember fondly when I first started EQ back in 1999 forming a regular play group with some people and how much fun that was and all the friends I made in pugs.  You knew everyone, had grouped with many, and a lot of people by reputation (good or bad).

I remember playing on the day DAoC launched and grouping up with some random strangers and talking about how cool the game was.  We were just running around killing mobs and it was great.

Granted, we all remember the days of sitting around spamming LFG (usually on the ramp in Lower Guk), not being able to find one.  Sometimes even logging after a night of not getting a damn thing accomplished because we couldn't get a good group together.

But have we sacrificed what makes an MMO an MMO for on demand convenient solo content.  How many games since the launch of WoW have you had to group to effectively level?  How many have you been able to level soloing almost exclusively?

I don't know if GW2 will be good or not, but I think its good that they have moved away from the quest hub model.  Hopefully it is a step in the right direction.

But maybe what we are all missing in MMOs theses days is what made EQ and DAoC so frustrating at times, but also made them so great.

 

tldr Maybe being able to solo from 1-max level is what is killing all of these new mmos that launch and fail.  Maybe a shift back to the "need to group" like in EQ and DAoC is what the genre needs to put the mmo back in mmos.

 

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Comments

  • dubyahitedubyahite Lincoln, NEPosts: 2,483Member Common
    Perhaps there could be some middle ground, but I don't think forced grouping is the answer.

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  • MadnessRealmMadnessRealm Montreal, QCPosts: 2,753Member Uncommon

    I wouldn't mind seeing at least one new MMORPG that would bring back Forced Grouping. Add to that an in-depth crafting system however, some crafters wants to interact too!

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    Your daily dose of common sense since 2009!

  • VorthanionVorthanion Laguna Vista, TXPosts: 2,428Member Uncommon

    What I find missing are conversations.  With combat getting more action oriented, no one has the time or the inclination to chat.  As a result, games feel dead and a major component of socializing goes right out the window.  Socializing is such a huge part of MMOs, it's a wonder they don't fall apart from the lack of personal communications between players.  I find it a much more critical component than grouping.

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  • krondinkrondin tallapoosa, GAPosts: 106Member Uncommon

    There isnt really an answer that works here sadly...... Back when forced grouping worked we had a different calibur of player, people, for the most part, played with ethics and respect. Thats what made it work and yes even with its Cons, the Pro's, basically socialization, which is why most folks play online, outweighed them. Now few play with basic respect for others in any game online. Its all greedy selfishness with little to zero accountability. People can be named "X", do bad things, seldom get banned or susspended, transfer or just change names to "Y"  and do it all again for free or little expense.  Sadly this has become the norm in gaming online and imho has driven alot of the better people away fom gaming online, well at least nothing like we all used to do.

    I havent a clue when this will change and would tend to believe it wont.  It will only get worse sadly... So game makers, to keep the subs or money coming in from cash stores in games,  continue to make and release games/content solo folks can do leaving the social enviroments open but not forced typically.  Then its up to us, the individual , to spend days / weeks/ months / years finding good people to group with...... < and as of late it seems even some folks you believe will stay grouping and having fun with online forever just Vanish without a word, even some you might have called a dear friend > Zero Accountability brings out the worst in gaming players. Much like real life, if there is no real penalty then there is no real deterent and people do things without ethics, morality, or regard for others.

    I do see a light at the end of the tunnel, but its not "white" lol its a greyish hue! Its when we become our avatars via virtual worlds in true 3d, in the not so distant gaming furture, that folks will become once again, at least somewhat, accountable for thier actions in gaming. Thats when things will be a bit different, and not till then can it occur imho!

    Hence i continue my forever grinding, looking for more " friends" to socialize with and enjoy gaming! I have a solid group of good people but still now and then "POOF" someone leaves and I am surprised at who it is, usually not someone you'd think would do that, Poofing away, never to contact again without a word as of why , as if they wernt part of a social organization, as if they wernt really friends at all, just seemed that way......< and 99% of the time they are just playing a different game >

  • MadnessRealmMadnessRealm Montreal, QCPosts: 2,753Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Vorthanion

    What I find missing is conversations.  With combat getting more action oriented, no has the time or the inclination to chat.  As a result, games feel dead and a major component of socializing goes right out the window.  Socializing is such a huge part of MMOs, it's a wonder they don't fall apart from the lack of personal communications between players.  I find it a much more critical component than grouping.

    As someone who currently plays more action games, I disagree. It's clear that you can't type while in the middle of a combo, but based on personal experience, I don't think it's any different than non-action oriented MMORPGs. What players need to learn in Actions Games is timing, players simply need to learn the right timing to discuss and prepare. Once they learn it discussions can happen. I say "can happen", because like non-action oriented MMORPGs, players hardly ever chat even when talked to. Terrible plague of the MMORPG world.

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    Your daily dose of common sense since 2009!

  • Paradigm68Paradigm68 New York, NYPosts: 890Member Uncommon

    I disagree. Forced grouping is a mistake. However the pendulum has swung too far in the other direction, with no need for grouping at all. The answer (as it almost always is) is compromise. There should be in-game dynamics that encourages (not forces, encourages) grouping over soloing. Like xp boosts or loot rewards, or whatever.   Do that and the problem takes care of its self.

  • DibdabsDibdabs FelvershamPosts: 2,696Member Uncommon

    Any game that has to resort to instituting the hideous, clumsy and dimwitted notion of forced grouping is admitting it is dead in the water.  I wouldn't touch a 'forced grouping' game with 1,000 condoms on a bargepole.

  • ConnmacartConnmacart OsloPosts: 659Member Uncommon

    Forcing people to do something has never worked and never will. Either convince them it's better or don't bother, but never force.

  • KhaerosKhaeros Monroe, NYPosts: 452Member

    Forced grouping will only create more awkward groups where nobody talks.  You can't throw together 5 people these days and expect them to suddenly get along and talk, even if they need each other to complete something.

     

    If you want this kind of social playstyle, nowadays, it's not handed to you on a silver platter - you need to actually do your research and find a guild that fits how you want to play the game.

     

    In my experience, not having forced grouping is actually a positive influence on my gameplay - the people who don't want to group simply go solo, while I can choose to only group with people who want to be social and enjoy the game.  This has been great news for my guild, where people who are just in it to get gear are turned away easily while we have enough players to form raids full of social people.

     

    The only people that are suffering these days are the divas who roll healers and tanks and want everyone to give them attention and praise because they are 'carrying the group'.  And to be honest, I couldn't care less about them.

  • SoulOfRazielSoulOfRaziel Porto FerreiraPosts: 405Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by dubyahite

    Perhaps there could be some middle ground, but I don't think forced grouping is the answer.

    forced grps will lead only to players hating the game more... thats why i liked gw2 u can solo but if u like grp u can easily find people that want to join u in the dynamic events !

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  • VorthanionVorthanion Laguna Vista, TXPosts: 2,428Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by MadnessRealm


    Originally posted by Vorthanion


    What I find missing is conversations.  With combat getting more action oriented, no has the time or the inclination to chat.  As a result, games feel dead and a major component of socializing goes right out the window.  Socializing is such a huge part of MMOs, it's a wonder they don't fall apart from the lack of personal communications between players.  I find it a much more critical component than grouping.

    As someone who currently plays more action games, I disagree. It's clear that you can't type while in the middle of a combo, but based on personal experience, I don't think it's any different than non-action oriented MMORPGs. What players need to learn in Actions Games is timing, players simply need to learn the right timing to discuss and prepare. Once they learn it discussions can happen. I say "can happen", because like non-action oriented MMORPGs, players hardly ever chat even when talked to. Terrible plague of the MMORPG world.

    Well, in comparison to today's games.  EQ, EQ2, DAoC and WoW are veritable power houses of conversations and chat.  Unlike today's action oriented games which tend to be silent at worst and not even a comparison to the older games.  I've played DCUO and STO and Champions Online and Tera and Guild Wars 2 and Darkfall.  The amount of chatter in them combined didn't even equal EQ, let alone WoW.  I'm sure you'll argue the quality of that chat, but considering the lower precentage of the listed games, there was per capita the same amount if not more of smack talk that everyone loves to accuse of the WoW player base.

     

    P.S.  I have no idea where you get off saying it's clear that I can't type in the middle of a combo.  It's neither relevant to my original statement nor does it help your argument in the least and it's insulting to boot.  I tried to chat in those games all the time and I was lucky if I could even get a "hello" response when in a group, let alone local or general chat.

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  • Chrome1980Chrome1980 LondonPosts: 511Member

    If a company wants to do a financial suicide they should implement forced grouping in their MMOS.

  • rungardrungard st. john''s, NFPosts: 1,035Member

    people need to realize that you cant force anybody to do anything...for very long.

     

    what you can do though is make something so cool and interesting that people want to do it.

     

    thats all thats missing.

     

     

  • EmhsterEmhster MontrPosts: 916Member Uncommon

    Forced grouping or automatic grouping can be a solution.

    However, I've noticed the following in too many games:


    • Leveling content never changes, so veterans are not willing to create new characters and re-explore.

    • All top-level players are forced into a single city or combat zone, forcing game studios to open up more servers to prevent lag, which contributes to the feeling of emptyness elsewhere.
  • EunuchmakerEunuchmaker Harlingen, TXPosts: 204Member

    Originally posted by slowpoke68

    Was playing GW2 obw and I don't think I talked to another player the whole weekend.
     
     
    I don't know if GW2 will be good or not . . .
     
     
    tldr Maybe being able to solo from 1-max level is what is killing all of these new mmos that launch and fail.  Maybe a shift back to the "need to group" like in EQ and DAoC is what the genre needs to put the mmo back in mmos.
     

    Did you like GW2?  Not asking if it will fail--did you like it?   Maybe that will answer the question in your own mind.

  • VorthanionVorthanion Laguna Vista, TXPosts: 2,428Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Eunuchmaker


    Originally posted by slowpoke68


    Was playing GW2 obw and I don't think I talked to another player the whole weekend.
     
     
    I don't know if GW2 will be good or not . . .
     
     
    tldr Maybe being able to solo from 1-max level is what is killing all of these new mmos that launch and fail.  Maybe a shift back to the "need to group" like in EQ and DAoC is what the genre needs to put the mmo back in mmos.
     

    Did you like GW2?  Not asking if it will fail--did you like it?   Maybe that will answer the question in your own mind.

    Aside for my distate with the combat mechanics, I love the rest of the GW2 game, but the lack of a general chat channel really made the game silent and it felt lacking to me.  I'd ask questions or make comments in local and would rarely ever get a response.

    image
  • rungardrungard st. john''s, NFPosts: 1,035Member

    Originally posted by Vorthanion


    Originally posted by MadnessRealm



    Originally posted by Vorthanion


    What I find missing is conversations.  With combat getting more action oriented, no has the time or the inclination to chat.  As a result, games feel dead and a major component of socializing goes right out the window.  Socializing is such a huge part of MMOs, it's a wonder they don't fall apart from the lack of personal communications between players.  I find it a much more critical component than grouping.

    As someone who currently plays more action games, I disagree. It's clear that you can't type while in the middle of a combo, but based on personal experience, I don't think it's any different than non-action oriented MMORPGs. What players need to learn in Actions Games is timing, players simply need to learn the right timing to discuss and prepare. Once they learn it discussions can happen. I say "can happen", because like non-action oriented MMORPGs, players hardly ever chat even when talked to. Terrible plague of the MMORPG world.

    Well, in comparison to today's games.  EQ, EQ2, DAoC and WoW are veritable power houses of conversations and chat.  Unlike today's action oriented games which tend to be silent at worst and not even a comparison to the older games.  I've played DCUO and STO and Champions Online and Tera and Guild Wars 2 and Darkfall.  The amount of chatter in them combined didn't even equal EQ, let alone WoW.  I'm sure you'll argue the quality of that chat, but considering the lower precentage of the listed games, there was per capita the same amount if not more of smack talk that everyone loves to accuse of the WoW player base.

     

    P.S.  I have no idea where you get off saying it's clear that I can't type in the middle of a combo.  It's neither relevant to my original statement nor does it help your argument in the least and it's insulting to boot.

     

    voice chat and commands are now a reality and i think the people ahead of the curves realize this. I would expect games like Eq next to feature very well integrated voice chat (possibly even voice modulation), and a plethora of voice commands and hand gestures to bridge the transition to action oriented mmo's.  

    keyboards are on their way out.

     

  • slowpoke68slowpoke68 Chicago, ILPosts: 455Member Uncommon

    To those who said encouraged grouping, that is probably more what I was thinking of, but used a poor choice of words.  Someone said, xp bonuses for groups etc, that is a good idea.

    I did like GW2 quite a bit from what I saw in beta.  Hopefully it will be the death of the quest hub model, something that is way stale in my opinion.  I would say I am cautiously optimistic, but with so many crash and burns over the last few years, I'm not holding my breath, hopeful..... but not holding my breath.

  • TheocritusTheocritus Gary, INPosts: 4,547Member Rare

        In EQ's early years you weren't "forced" to group, but it was alot more convenient if you did.....THey had classes that could solo, but it took longer to do anything and your content was limited.....Also if you're going to make a forced grouping game, then everyone needs to have a distinct and valuable role in the group......I haven't seen a game be able to do that since EQ and DAoC.

  • Gaia_HunterGaia_Hunter BristolPosts: 3,012Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Vorthanion


    Originally posted by Eunuchmaker



    Originally posted by slowpoke68


    Was playing GW2 obw and I don't think I talked to another player the whole weekend.
     
     
    I don't know if GW2 will be good or not . . .
     
     
    tldr Maybe being able to solo from 1-max level is what is killing all of these new mmos that launch and fail.  Maybe a shift back to the "need to group" like in EQ and DAoC is what the genre needs to put the mmo back in mmos.
     

    Did you like GW2?  Not asking if it will fail--did you like it?   Maybe that will answer the question in your own mind.

    Aside for my distate with the combat mechanics, I love the rest of the GW2 game, but the lack of a general chat channel really made the game silent and it felt lacking to me.  I'd ask questions or make comments in local and would rarely ever get a response.

    I think most people were just interested in exploring the game and there was just loads to do and not enough time to do it.

    Once people have time to play and start hanging out after the event is completed waiting for the next event, things should be different.

    I agree with you the chat system could be better.

     

    Currently playing: GW2
    Going cardboard starter kit: Ticket to ride, Pandemic, Carcassonne, Dominion, 7 Wonders

  • Gaia_HunterGaia_Hunter BristolPosts: 3,012Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by SoulOfRaziel


    Originally posted by dubyahite

    Perhaps there could be some middle ground, but I don't think forced grouping is the answer.

    forced grps will lead only to players hating the game more... thats why i liked gw2 u can solo but if u like grp u can easily find people that want to join u in the dynamic events !

    Actually you don't need to find them, they just show up. :)

    And it doesn't need to be an event, just someone fighting a mob or two? Join in, no one will protest.

    Currently playing: GW2
    Going cardboard starter kit: Ticket to ride, Pandemic, Carcassonne, Dominion, 7 Wonders

  • CalmOceansCalmOceans BergenPosts: 2,437Member Uncommon

    To be fair, EQ didn't have forced grouping per-se. If you wanted to solo you went with a class that could solo (and there were plenty that could).

    As EQ progressed, soloing became increasingly hard and there were less and less zones you could effectively solo in, when WoW came onto the scene, the ability to solo on any class was incentive enough for many to change game away from EQ.

  • I have never been able to stick with a forced grouping game so I would have to say: No.

  • KhayotixKhayotix Somewhere, FLPosts: 230Member Uncommon

    I agree with the OP whole heartedly I came from that time period with EQ as well, and Anyone who says we need solo content in a game need only hear the quote from Dave Georgeson(Creative Director of all things Everquest) " If you wanna play Solo, There are alot better Solo games out there. If you wanna play with(Keyword WITH, not around, not near, not safely distant...WITH)people you play an Online game."  MMO's are supposed to be larger than you, if you can conquer even all the leveling content alone the game is a failure as an MMO. Now that isnt to say everything should be only grouping and no solo content, but in an MMO world, Needing to group should be 90% of the content with only 10% solo. Forced grouping was what made REAL MMO's great. It is what built the genre, and wusses who couldnt handle the content and selfish people who just wanted for themselves and not to help others are what made MMO's "Me Centric". in the MMO world it isnt about you....get over yourself. IT IS ABOUT US, EVERYONE. Now dont confuse needing to group to mean needing to commit huge amounts of time every time you log in. One has nothing to do with the other and people use time as an excuse to be me centric constantly. If you want to run a dungeon or raid, you need a group and time, that is a given. But to do some quests or grind on mobs like in the olden days of EQ, you can just find a group for however long you are staying, then leave and they will replace you. Then tomorrow when you log in to play for your alotted amount of time, the same group or another group will still be around to continue your leveling. It was really easy, yes grouping was required, but outside of activities that you KNEW required alot of time, there was plenty to do and you could always do it at your lesiure.

    So selfish, childish brats who want to solo all the way through MMO's grow up, learn some manners, and make some friends because you will need them if you want to conquer a real MMO.


  • MMOExposedMMOExposed lalal land, DCPosts: 6,418Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Paradigm68

    I disagree. Forced grouping is a mistake. However the pendulum has swung too far in the other direction, with no need for grouping at all. The answer (as it almost always is) is compromise. There should be in-game dynamics that encourages (not forces, encourages) grouping over soloing. Like xp boosts or loot rewards, or whatever.   Do that and the problem takes care of its self.

     

    Then it would become nothing more than artificial grouping. Grouping would have no meaning other than boost. No need to talk to each other, or anything like that.

    image

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