Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Fuzzy Avatars Solved! Please re-upload your avatar if it was fuzzy!

[Column] General: On MMOs Going Solo

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,659MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

According to our latest Devil's Advocate, there is an increasingly prevalent trend for many MMOs to incorporate solo experiences into what is supposed to be a social experience. Whether or not this is a good things will be left to you decide so keep reading! Add your voice to the conversation in the comments.

There is a subtle but distinct trend in the MMO industry towards the “solofication” or “single-playerization” of the MMORPG. MMOs are still generally social experiences, but there are design choices and tweaks to how certain things work that make it easier to think of an MMORPG as a sort of expandable single-player experience. While it's not exactly a topic of scholarly or philosophical study, it doesn't mean we can't shine a light on this shift in the MMORPG. Today's Devil's Advocate attempts to look at the main reason people think MMORPGs are becoming Massively Single-Player Online Role-Playing Games... and then throws another idea into the mix for some extra tidbits of thought.

Read more of Victor Barreiro Jr.'s The Devil's Advocate: On MMOs Going Solo.

image

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

image
«134

Comments

  • orbitxoorbitxo fort lauderdale, FLPosts: 1,411Member Uncommon

    I found in GW2 story mode to be the best personal mmo experience ive had. Once out of it..all the special events-skill points...etc  made it so socially interactive i havent found a better balance than what this game has brought to the table for me to play. And honestly i dont expect to.

    and as far as the wvwvw= they nailed it!

  • gravesworngravesworn charleston, WVPosts: 324Member
    To me I dont understand why people want a solo mmorpg. There are plenty of rpgs, fps and other types of games that are solo. I like guild wars 2 when I bought it, but... I just havent logged in. My hope for mmorpgs is dwindling. Hopefully darkfall unholy wars will be a group based game like darkfall.
  • WhiteLanternWhiteLantern Nevada, MOPosts: 2,732Member Common

    MMO devs should encourage all types of play. Some days I enjoy grouping up with friends and taking down some bigger challenges. Most days, I like doing my own thing while chatting up my friends. If I'm doing that in a MMO or an SPG, doesn't matter.

     

     

     

    *in your game, ruining your genre image

    I want a mmorpg where people have gone through misery, have gone through school stuff and actually have had sex even. -sagil

  • MueslinatorMueslinator AugsburgPosts: 78Member

    I like the 'conclusion' of your column, because it mirrors how I feel about 'other people' in MMORPGs: Many seem to see them as an arena to put the spotlight on themselves. I don't like that 'look at MEEEE!' attitude (and the following it attracts). In fact, such posturing turns me off such games.

    That is, however, not to say that I prefer solo play. I like the cooperative aspects of MMORPGs - I mostly play as healer or other support character (like LotRO's rogue - a debuffer). I forgo characters that are strong in a solo environment in favour of those that shine in groups.

     

    At least, I used to. because back when I MMORPGs started, I HAD such groups. I was part of a guild where everyone knew everyone. We knew each others quirks and gaming styles. We complimented each other while gaming, and as such our fun derived from how well we worked together in groups. How we adjusted to each other.

    Today, I don't have those groups any more. I mostly play with total strangers. And in that, I enter the "Hell is other people" territory. Because I have no time to adjust to them, nor is that even recognized. It's every man for himself. We play alongside each other rather than with each other.

    And to be honest, that stems from another problem: People in my age bracket (~30) have less and less time when to play, and have to move their schedules much more than when we were in university. It's simply a problem even getting a group together that can do stuff together.

    And that is why I have begun to like solo content in MMORPGs. I still have the sense that I'm in a huge, lived-in world with thousands of others. But I can play the game when I have the time, and not have to adhere to a schedule. That's also why I won't and can't raid any more. For me, raiding in any game might as well have not been implemented - I will never see this content.

     

    Phasing and solo-quest areas don't solve the problem for me, though. As I said, I still am playing MMORPGs because they give me a sense of not playing alone, and being in a huge world with a lot of others simultaneously. Instancing and phasing diminish that feeling to the point where I am beginning to wonder: "Why am I playing a MMO? I could just as well be playing SP, and that would have better mechanics and less lag."

     
     
  • RocknissRockniss Youngstown, OHPosts: 1,034Member
    People want solo and they want social, most solo games have no social aspect. So.... You invade mmo's and complain about difficulty and no solo content. I like both personally, I don't think I need to be in group 7 days a week, so some solo stuff is nice.
  • AerowynAerowyn BUZZARDS BAY, MAPosts: 7,928Member
    Originally posted by gravesworn

    To me I dont understand why people want a solo mmorpg. There are plenty of rpgs, fps and other types of games that are solo. I like guild wars 2 when I bought it, but... I just havent logged in. My hope for mmorpgs is dwindling. Hopefully darkfall unholy wars will be a group based game like darkfall.

     

    many of us have family, work, ect..I still want to enjoy mmos but don't have time to group most of the time and with my kids can't always commit a lot of consistent time grouping.. allowing me to enjoy the game with and without needing to group is ideal for me and many people.

    I angered the clerk in a clothing shop today. She asked me what size I was and I said actual, because I am not to scale. I like vending machines 'cause snacks are better when they fall. If I buy a candy bar at a store, oftentimes, I will drop it... so that it achieves its maximum flavor potential. --Mitch Hedberg

  • BadSpockBadSpock Somewhere, MIPosts: 7,974Member

    How I see it -

    I always enjoy playing MMOs with other people.

    But for the most part, I only really enjoy playing with people I know and/or want to play with as my days of really enjoying PUGs and such are mostly in the past.

    So the things I don't like to see are:

    1. Systems that force me to play with randoms (PUGs) to progress my character - things like Raid Finder and LFG tools in WoW are useful for getting me into the content to do what I need to do, but they are souless and not really all that social unless you get lucky and get randomly paired with talkative, fun people.

    2. Systems that force me to play with others to progress my character (forced grouping) - even if it's only with people I like to play with, if I am online and no one else is I don't want to be forced to sit around and twiddle my thumbs or find a PUG.

    3. Systems that actively punish you for playing with other people - things like traditional questing where you and a friend need to each collect 12 Bear Pelts and due to drop rates and not sharing the Quest-loot drops you have to kill 30+ bears so you can both complete them.

    Also included are things like linear quest chains and phasing/instancing of quest chains/steps that force you to be on the same part/step or you can't play together.

    4. Systems that turn something that should be cooperative into something competitive - which is why I love PvE in GW2 because things like mob tagging and kill stealing and node ninja's are gone. Other players are ALWAYS a help and NEVER a bother. That's how you do it right people.

    So yeah, I love grouping and group activities and socializing/social systems in MMORPGs, but I want to have the option to go it alone if the people I want to play with are not online.

    Honestly, GW2 really is ideal for my play style - I can play solo, not compete with the people in the zones and still be a part of the herd for events- feeling like I'm part of something larger than myself - AND I am not punished at all EVER for playing with other people in a party but actually 100% encouraged to do so.

  • riccoutinhoriccoutinho UdiaPosts: 1Member
    That's exactly what is happening, I never saw a mmorpg made for teamming with the exception of City of Heroes. They were very smart, you can do anyone's mission doesn't matter the lvl, everybody get xp for the mission completion and you always have fun playing together. The rest of the games if you don't have the same mission of your teammate don't worth to play in team. Unless you find someone that can spend his time helping you even him don't getting xp bonus for the quest, he just helped because he has a good soul and you don't find this kind of player very offen. So you end up playing alone except for dungeons or pvp.
  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAPosts: 18,462Member Uncommon

    Whoa! +1 for  "No Exit". Great play.

    good article, we need more columns by Victor.

  • SenadinaSenadina San Diego, CAPosts: 896Member Uncommon
    Great article. It really made me think about my own preference for soloing in MMOs. I always said it was to avoid jerks and asshats, and to a certain extent it is. But if I'm being completely honest, it's to avoid being judged as inadequate by complete strangers. As a geek, my social self-confidence is fragile enough without strangers telling me I suck. And it was also enightening to realize I don't like the mindset/mechanic of all of us using each other to attain a goal ( loot, exp, etc....). I love RPGs,  and I like to feel that there are people around in a living world, but I don't want to be responsible to those people. Hmmmm. Provocative piece Victor.

    image
  • TorlukTorluk EdinburghPosts: 162Member
    Originally posted by Sovrath

    Whoa! +1 for  "No Exit". Great play.

    good article, we need more columns by Victor.

    I've criticised folks for using “Hell is other people” in a superficial way on this site so it is only fair that I should give credit when it is discussed in more detail.

    +1 from me too.

  • DauzqulDauzqul Detroit, MIPosts: 1,411Member Uncommon

    As a MMO player, I like to both solo and group. What I don't like, however, is having everything handed to me in a carefully paved path. These new modern MMOs feel more like book reading and movie watching - I have little to no control.

  • gaeanprayergaeanprayer Somewhere Out There, PAPosts: 2,320Member Uncommon

    No one is more to blame for a lack of community than the people complaining about a lack of community. Everyone is looking for it, but very few do so actively; if you make the effort to reach out you may be pleasantly surprised to find people just waiting to get to know you, and thus play with you. That games allow a solo experience doesn't mean that's an experience that's forced on you, rather that the opposite is no longer an obligation.

    To those that say that's not a good thing, think about that for a moment. Is a friend you've made really a friend if they're only your friend because they have to be?

    "Forums aren't for intelligent discussion; they're for blow-hards with unwavering opinions."

  • MueslinatorMueslinator AugsburgPosts: 78Member

    Senadina raises an interesting point: Playing with a PuG and its inherent risks - particularly for people who aren't absolutely self-confident.

    I admit that I share her fear: I just hate it when someone I don't know at all finds fault with my gear, my talents, the way I play, or even my choice of race for my toon or its haircut. There's no limit to the things strangers can find to criticize (mostly in an inconsiderate, insulting way). And that's not a few isolated incidents; but it's not something that's spoken about very openly.

    One of the most memorable moments in this regard was a healer, who, after having healed us flawlessly through an instance at the end thanked us for not chewing him out.

    And that is why I dread joining any PuGs any more. Sure, from time to time, you meet nice people. But too often you meet people that embody the GIFT. And they can really ruin my day(s) by their sheer attitude. In a wide-open world, those people are a nuisance for a moment. You can circumvent them, or they go away. In group content, however, we have to abide them, even play with them. And that I abhor.

    And that is why, for me, the whole design that incentivites us joining PuGs fails flat out: Because if I must run that risk to participate in any meaningful way in a game in a way that my schedule allows, I'd rather quit.

     
     
  • GorweGorwe Ald'RuhnPosts: 2,476Member Uncommon
    +100 for mentioning Sartre!

    Keep up the good work! This article quality is above and beyond your typical MMORPG.com article quality.

    And yes, even though I am ENFP and I shouldn't think Like that, I agree that "hell is other people". You just need to look at MOBAs and their focus on pugging. In HoN it is known as Solo MatchMaking(SMM). For what is that acronym as well? Sado-Maso Mode(SMM). Oh gosh darn it! It is identical! Well... :).

    I prefer to play with people I know(friends/colleagues/acquintances/clanmates), not with random bottom of the barrel scrubs. Because it is just Counter-productive.

    TLDR: Awesome article/pugs are Bad/actual teams are awesome/Sartre was a git with trust issues(:)).
  • DakirnDakirn Kansas City, MOPosts: 374Member Uncommon

    For me, and a lot of MMO player friends I have, it's because times have changed.

     

    When Everquest was out we were young.  We could play for hours in a block and camp loot over days.  We had the stamina and we didn't have the real life commitments.

     

    Now that we're older, we have time consuming things like jobs and families.  Even if I had the energy to devote to that type of gaming I wouldn't want to.. too many years of doing it has just burned me out to it.

     

    So instead I play with friends when I can and then I solo when I only have a little bit of time to play.  If I didn't have that choice I wouldn't be playing MMOs any longer.

     

    The old generation of players have mostly moved on from our Everquest days and the new generation of players have grown up with solo-ability so they probably don't fathom how great it was.  The 30+ crowd is still a larger consumer of MMOs and you have to cater to where the money is.  I know I'm not the only 30+ that feels the same way (though I'm sure others will disagree).

  • ThorbrandThorbrand West Palm Beach, FLPosts: 1,198Member
    FYI...Appear offline is nothing new. They had the in EQ and many of the older MMOs. Single player MMOs are a fail. Playing a old school MMO solo took skill to pull off but could be done now they just make them all easy for everyone.
  • SoulriftSoulrift Toronto, ONPosts: 31Member Uncommon

    The September 2012 issue of Game Developer Magazine has a fantastic article titled "The Care Bear Myth: Debunking a Game Design Urban Legend" by Jason Vanderberghe (creative director at Ubisoft) that might help shed some light on the situation.

    The article describes research into player's competitiveness, with the original goal of finding "care bears" who don't like competitive gameplay. What the research found was that everyone liked competitive gameplay, but that some people inherently preferred team-based competitive games.

    The deeper reasoning for this preference was that while some players took everything personally--they saw themselves as the only important part of a team and saw their own personal success as the only thing that mattered--other players internalized community membership and most valued community membership and success.

    The research went on to show that the most extreme of the solo-type players tended to get the most enjoyment when their personal success was at the expense of other people's failures. In other words, by making other people lose, their victory became sweeter (versus a fully single-player game, where their victory came at no one's expense). Conversely, the most extreme of the community-type players tended to get the most enjoyment when the largest number of people were able to win together; ideally with nobody losing. And this type of co-operative play is most prominantly seen in MMORPG grouping and raiding.

    It should come as no surprise that these two types of people don't really get along, especially in team play environments. I suspect that the play, No Exit, refers to a group of solo-type players. I've certainly seen them in raids: players so wholely concerned with being the top DPS they'll actively sabotage other people's efforts in order to get to or remain at the top.

    The "problem" with solo-ification is that it attracts more solo-type players. This is a "problem" from the team-type player's perspective, who wants to find a team of mostly other team-type players to raid with.

    I'd point out that the general loathing for a "pug" originated well after the development of MMORPGs; that, in early games where players had to group up to accomplish anything, grouping with strangers was not an unpleasant thing. This was because the extreme anti-solo-ification of these games tended to drive out solo-type players, leaving a large community of largely team-type players happy and able to cooperate.

    Perhaps the simplest solution for everyone would be to administer an automated personality test to new players, and attempt to group them up by compatibility scores? WoWHarmony, anyone?

  • blbetablbeta elkhart, INPosts: 79Member Uncommon

    The answer if fairly simple for me.  I have been playing MMOs since 1999 and started with Asheron's Call.

    Scale & Content

    No other games really come close to the size and content that MMOs offer.  There have been a few that feel like it at first, but after some time in them you typically realize they are not.  This is not to say "all" MMOs have great scale and content.

    Other reasons that make MMOs attractive to this soloist:

    • Others make the world feel more alive even if I don't game with them
    • Challenge to try group content solo (doesn't always work out too well)
    • Share the experience with RL friends and others if I so choose
    Soloist/Group - 80/20 %
     
    Even in a game like Planetside I did a lot of soloing.  Great fun taking out objectives alone.
     
    As long as it is fun, which soloing is for me, isn't that the point of gaming?
  • TorvalTorval Oregon CountryPosts: 7,223Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Soulrift

    The September 2012 issue of Game Developer Magazine has a fantastic article titled "The Care Bear Myth: Debunking a Game Design Urban Legend" by Jason Vanderberghe (creative director at Ubisoft) that might help shed some light on the situation.

    The article describes research into player's competitiveness, with the original goal of finding "care bears" who don't like competitive gameplay. What the research found was that everyone liked competitive gameplay, but that some people inherently preferred team-based competitive games.

    The deeper reasoning for this preference was that while some players took everything personally--they saw themselves as the only important part of a team and saw their own personal success as the only thing that mattered--other players internalized community membership and most valued community membership and success.

    The research went on to show that the most extreme of the solo-type players tended to get the most enjoyment when their personal success was at the expense of other people's failures. In other words, by making other people lose, their victory became sweeter (versus a fully single-player game, where their victory came at no one's expense). Conversely, the most extreme of the community-type players tended to get the most enjoyment when the largest number of people were able to win together; ideally with nobody losing. And this type of co-operative play is most prominantly seen in MMORPG grouping and raiding.

    It should come as no surprise that these two types of people don't really get along, especially in team play environments. I suspect that the play, No Exit, refers to a group of solo-type players. I've certainly seen them in raids: players so wholely concerned with being the top DPS they'll actively sabotage other people's efforts in order to get to or remain at the top.

    The "problem" with solo-ification is that it attracts more solo-type players. This is a "problem" from the team-type player's perspective, who wants to find a team of mostly other team-type players to raid with.

    I'd point out that the general loathing for a "pug" originated well after the development of MMORPGs; that, in early games where players had to group up to accomplish anything, grouping with strangers was not an unpleasant thing. This was because the extreme anti-solo-ification of these games tended to drive out solo-type players, leaving a large community of largely team-type players happy and able to cooperate.

    Perhaps the simplest solution for everyone would be to administer an automated personality test to new players, and attempt to group them up by compatibility scores? WoWHarmony, anyone?

    I have a hard time buying into this research and its conclusions.  For one, a person who is in a raid trying to be top tier dps at the expense of others isn't a solo player.  They are a selfish bastard.  A solo player isn't ever (or very rarely ever) going to be in a raid in the first place.

    As a counter-example to the article's claim, the recently released GW2 virtually eliminates the competition between players in pve and yet tons of solo and group oriented people help each other out on a consistent basis.

    Those claims you've made need a lot more factual support and a lot less conjecture, invented scenarios, and personal opinion.

  • Mariner-80Mariner-80 Winchester, VAPosts: 347Member
    Originally posted by blbeta

    The answer if fairly simple for me.  I have been playing MMOs since 1999 and started with Asheron's Call.

    Scale & Content

    No other games really come close to the size and content that MMOs offer.  There have been a few that feel like it at first, but after some time in them you typically realize they are not.  This is not to say "all" MMOs have great scale and content.

    Other reasons that make MMOs attractive to this soloist:

    • Others make the world feel more alive even if I don't game with them
    • Challenge to try group content solo (doesn't always work out too well)
    • Share the experience with RL friends and others if I so choose
    Soloist/Group - 80/20 %
     
    Even in a game like Planetside I did a lot of soloing.  Great fun taking out objectives alone.
     
    As long as it is fun, which soloing is for me, isn't that the point of gaming?

    This is a pretty good summary of where I am, too.

     

    In my opinion, the ideal MMO offers group content a la carte, like dessert for them as wants it, but not critical to progression in the game. As long as an MMO offers what I feel to be a full game's worth of solo content, I'm content. Some MMOs -- SWTOR, STO, GW2, etc. -- do a better, richer job of this than others.

     

    GW2 does better than most, in fact, since it allows you to progress in multiple ways (DEs, dungeons, crafting, exploration, puzzles, personal story, etc.), depending on your preferred playstyle.

  • GrumpyMel2GrumpyMel2 Catskills, NYPosts: 1,832Member

    I don't neccesarly have a problem with people who want to play a more solo focused game but it is inherently incompatible with the preferences of people who want to play a team-oriented/group experience.

    Golf is a game with a solo focused rulset. Baseball is a game with a group focused ruleset. Both provide thier own experiences and rewards. However people looking for a group oriented experience really aren't going to be satisfied with playing by a golf ruleset even if it's somewhat modified to be freindlier to groups. They are really looking for baseball not golf. Trying to appeal to both preferences within the same ruleset is really misguided.

    Appealing to the widest possible demographic is actualy a rookie mistake if you are competing in a crowded market. The reason is that your product is going to get beat in every single segment of that demographic by competitors that are more focused on the individual preferences of those segments and are therefore able to deliver a stronger product offering in those segments. I think we are actualy starting to see that in some of the dissapointing performances in recent MMO's and Developers/Publishers seem to be recognizing that in some of the noises they are making about upcoming products and how they are trying to differentiate themselves. Part of that may simply be due to the fact that Development cycles are so long that 5 years ago when many of the recent releases were conceptualized, the market looked different.

    In terms of  the popularity of "solofication", I think we have, for a variety of reasons, become more isolated from one another in our society in general, more socialy inept/awkward and far less understanding of the concepts of needing to strive for achievements and learning to compromise in working with others to achieve goals.

    If you look at something as simple and basic that at lower school levels kids aren't allowed to "lose" at sports and scores aren't even kept, you can see how this evolves. So when little Bobby plays basketball, he never learns that instead of shooting the ball every time he gets his hands on it, he should try to pass it to another player who has a better shot. He doesn't learn that, because there are no negative consequences associated with his behavior. His team doesn't "loose" because of it and he gets his gold star at the end of the game just like everyone else.

    What do you think happens to little Bobby when he gets older? He think's he's entitled to shoot whenever he gets the ball, he thinks he's entitled to a gold star regardless of the results he gets and he gets resentfull and angry at the suggestion that he should pass to someone else.....so he actively avoids any situation that calls for it. Little Bobby has never been ALLOWED to learn what it means to play as part of a team, what it means to compromise with others or even what it means to fail. He doesn't feel comfortable with those sorts of situations so he actively avoids them. He takes those characteristics with him in terms of his entertainment preferences (e.g. games) and sadly far more important aspects of his life.

  • LarsaLarsa NurembergPosts: 990Member

    Good article, very well written, very well researched. Gratulation.

    I agree that it's not that the developers are forcing the solo-aspect on the players: it's a large number of players that seem to demand single-player MMORPGs. It's not only whether grouping or not: anonymous trade via auction houses (no need to get into contact with a crafter), characters that have no roles because they can do everything for themselves (no need for specialists) all seem to follow the design principle to limit player interdependence as much as possible.

    And that's probably was the design principle is: nothing what a customer does can have any noticeable effect on the gaming experience of another customer. We've seen that it's a great recipe to sell millions of boxes.

    I maintain this List of Sandbox MMORPGs. Please post or send PM for corrections and suggestions.

  • VyntVynt Glendale, CAPosts: 632Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by tmr819
    Originally posted by blbeta

    The answer if fairly simple for me.  I have been playing MMOs since 1999 and started with Asheron's Call.

    Scale & Content

    No other games really come close to the size and content that MMOs offer.  There have been a few that feel like it at first, but after some time in them you typically realize they are not.  This is not to say "all" MMOs have great scale and content.

    Other reasons that make MMOs attractive to this soloist:

    • Others make the world feel more alive even if I don't game with them
    • Challenge to try group content solo (doesn't always work out too well)
    • Share the experience with RL friends and others if I so choose
    Soloist/Group - 80/20 %
     
    Even in a game like Planetside I did a lot of soloing.  Great fun taking out objectives alone.
     
    As long as it is fun, which soloing is for me, isn't that the point of gaming?

    This is a pretty good summary of where I am, too.

     

    In my opinion, the ideal MMO offers group content a la carte, like dessert for them as wants it, but not critical to progression in the game. As long as an MMO offers what I feel to be a full game's worth of solo content, I'm content. Some MMOs -- SWTOR, STO, GW2, etc. -- do a better, richer job of this than others.

     

    GW2 does better than most, in fact, since it allows you to progress in multiple ways (DEs, dungeons, crafting, exploration, puzzles, personal story, etc.), depending on your preferred playstyle.

    I am at the opposite end of this. For me, I prefer grouping to be the standard path of progressing, but being able to solo still viable. When I played EQ and daoc, grouping was definitely the way to go, but I could still solo to max if I wanted to. It just wasn't the best way.

    Now is the opposite. Soloing is often the best or fastest, or even easiest way to solo to max, where grouping is not. People say you can still group in those solo favored games, but the thing is, if soloing is easier, people tend to take the path of least resistance and solo, making grouping harder to find others who want to group just for the sake of grouping. The whole dungeon finder thing did promote grouping a bit more and made it even faster for some, but that felt less like grouping than just rushing through something with people who happened to be near you.

    Also it seems, if the game promotes soloing for progression more, then requires grouping at end game, most people don't know how to play their class and how it relates to playing with others.

     

    I understand people tend to hate pugs these days, but when I went back to EQ for progression server, I grouped a lot with random people, and had some of the best moments in an MMO in a long time. I usually have more positive experiences than negative in pugs. Even back in vanilla WoW, I joined my guild by doing a pug for scholo, they liked how well I played and asked if I wanted to join.

    Kind of hard to get to know people and join like minded people if you start a game alone and no one wants to group, lol.

  • djzoddjzod Richmond, VAPosts: 1Member

    The fact of the matter is, despite the fact that they are playing a multiplayer game, most people don't really want to team up.  Think about this for a moment.  Let's say you have quest that involves going around and smashing monkies in the head and collecting monkey brains.  You see three other people in the area, also smashing monkies in the head to grab monkey brains. You know that, the way the quest works, if all of you are grouped, and you smash a monkey in the head, all of you can collect the brains.  It would be more efficient if all of you group up, collect your brains, and then go your separate ways.  Still, what will most players do?  Will they offer to group up?  Not usually.  Instead they will try to outrun the other players to make sure they get their own monkey brains first.  

    Here's an even worse (and sadly even more common) scenario that occurs in open world content.  This time you have a quest where you have to run around an area and collect widgets off of the ground.  Most of these widgets are heavily guarded by monkies who are trying to avenge their friends you smashed in the head during first quest.  You will need to kill the monkies before you can get your widgets, and you can't collect a widget while you are fighting.  So you go in to bravely slay the well-armed monkies.  In the middle of your fight, some jerk who's too scared (or lazy) to kill his own monkies runs up and grabs your widget, then runs off, not even bothering to help you finish off the monkies.

    The tendency is for people to tream multi-player games as competive, rather than cooperative.  Even if they are teamed up, this mentality will persist.  How many times have you seen this one?  You are in a team and you have just slayed a group of foes.  One of them has some loot.  Regardless of who actually collects the loot, it's going to end up being shared amongst the team.  Yet, multiple team mates will run towards the corpse to try to be the first one to click it.  Why? 

    Additionally, for the most part, unless it is a group of friends that have been playing various games together for some time, they aren't going play at the same pace.  You are either gonna feel like you are being rushed or you are being slowed down.  Regardless of which, it is a negative experience.    How do you avoid it?  By not grouping up.

«134
Sign In or Register to comment.