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Are MMORPG players really this anti-social?

Master10KMaster10K LondonPosts: 3,065Member

I ask this because lately, as I have been occasionally browsing the Guild Wars 2 sub-thread, I have been seeing the same complaints about the game being anti-social. With how the only player interactions those people have are when ressing one another, with the occasional "Thanks" in chat. And I have to wonder, is this the same game I have been playing.

 

One thing I can say is that I don't really have any isues socializing in the game. Like one time I came across a random player, whilst I was wandering about a zone. This player happened to make his character look kinda weird so I made a joke about it. We ended up up just questing together for a bit. After that chance encounter we've been doing dungeon runs together. It's not just in GW2 but other games that people complain about the lack of socializing, like when I used to play Rift. I remember how much I enjoyed sharing build ideas with random people, I was doing dungeons or 10-mans with. And in LOTRO, I made a bunch of friends just playing instruments in Bree.

 

So in the end I feel that this is just the vocal minority being loud as usual but I have to wonder, why so many MMORPG players that frequent forums and such, always complain that X game is anti-social when - well I cannot account for others but - I myself have rarely had any issues socializing in MMORPGs. It seems to me more like the players who complain are the anti-social ones and not the games in question. Because an MMO only really needs a decent community and enough downtime in-between active progresion, for socially-minded players to take advantage of.

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Comments

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,669Member Uncommon
    There's an unrealistic expectation among some MMO gamers that others should make the effort to interact with them. Some even go as far as wanting games changed to force others to have to be tethered to them in hopes that it will also force others to interact with them.

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • 3-4thElf3-4thElf Elftown, MEPosts: 489Member

    MMO players are that anti-social. Which seems paradoxical since most of them strive to play social games.

    I think it's human nature at its core. Players are kind of self absorbed, but they want to be recognized by their peers. 

    There's a modern solution for this for players who like to be social and game with others. Find a good gaming guild / clan that matches your expectations. Most players in mmos seem perfectly find existing as some mere plebeian in a world shared with many others.

    a yo ho ho

  • KyleranKyleran Tampa, FLPosts: 20,002Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Master10Kecause an MMO only really needs a decent community and enough downtime in-between active progresion, for socially-minded players to take advantage of.

    Well, I think this is one major reason for a decrease in socialization of modern MMORPG's, the shift to action oriented combat/encounters with very little downtime in between fights or activities does not provide many opportunities to socialize.

    In early MMO's I made many friends while riding 10 minute boat rides from one place to another.  Or sitting in dungeons camping boss spawns for hours on a time, not much fun in terms of game mechanics, but sure gave us a bunch of time to socialize.

    Even the combat was simplified, was easy to socialize via text chats when camp grinding with others, as opposed to today's "dancing with the stars" approach to dungeons and raids where people are too busy executing the dance steps to spend much time socializing. (and when not in them, they're out soloing alone and don't really have a need for company)

    I think I remember reading that when SWG launched they had game mechanics that literally forced players to return and wait in line for medics to heal up some sort of lost stat, and the same may have been true for entertainers as well. (gave you some sort of bonus for spending time socializing)

    So I think what is missing from modern MMO's is the opportunity for socializing.

    Now to your other point about you having no issues socializing, you probably do well with social media tools such as facebook.  Some folks are naturally social, they'll sit down and share things with most anyone about anything, but other people require some common ground first before they'll open up, and I'll address that in a separate reply.

     

     

    In my day MMORPG's were so hard we fought our way through dungeons in the snow, uphill both ways.
    "I don't have one life, I have many lives" - Grunty
    Still currently "subscribed" to EVE, and only EVE!!!
    "This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon

  • Pratt2112Pratt2112 Posts: 1,537Member Uncommon

    Because, OP, what you're talking about is the exception, not the rule. I'm a very social person in MMOs as well - asking questions, cracking jokes, commenting on their names, asking if people want to group up (if we're both in the same area, etc) complimenting people on gear they've acquired, etc. I can say with absolute certainty that for every person who does respond to me, there are at least 10 who don't. They just ignore you.

    You give one specific example of someone being social and you two ending up becoming acquaintances in-game. How many times does that not happen though? Not just in GW2, but in any newer MMO of the the last, say, 3 or 4 years? I'm gonna not really go out on a limb and say that, unless you have a knack for picking out the social folks in a crowd, anti-social behavior has been more common.

    The community itself reinforces this fact. What do you see people say, time and again, when someone says "where's the community?" or "why don't people talk"? They say "Join a social guild". Right? And that isn't even "the right answer" many times because, unless they need help with something, many people won't even talk to their guildmates.

    Final Fantasy XI, Lineage 2, Asheron's Call 2, Anarchy Online (old-school).. even Shadowbane... In all those MMOs, I found the situation to be the inverse of how it is now. People not talking and being social was the exception. People being helpful was the norm. I would be out leveling in XI, on a new job or whatever, and people would run by, throw a full round of buffs on me, cheer me on and run off. Sometimes they'd even start up conversation with me.. "Are you new?", etc. They'd offer help, advice, etc. I had a list a mile long of friends in those games... every one of them was sparked by us being in a group or just from random conversation. XP parties were a stream of pleasant and fun conversation and banter - part of what made long-term xp parties so much fun. The un-social ones were the odd-balls.

    Thanks, in part, to the way MMOs are designed now - where you can be a lone wolf and get by just fine - there simply is very little need to talk to others. In a number of "modern" MMOs I've played, most people don't talk because they're caught up in their own little world, doing their own thing, and they have no interest in talking to anyone else. I've known of people to disable all chat channels except for system messages and PMs in the event a GM was trying to get their attention because they didn't want to see all the chatter. 

    I agree 100% with the idea that MMO gamers are largely anti-social these days. I've seen and experienced it far too many times myself to think or be convinced otherwise at this point. The odd person being super social and friendly just isn't much of a reason to think it's any different in GW2.

  • KyleranKyleran Tampa, FLPosts: 20,002Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    There's an unrealistic expectation among some MMO gamers that others should make the effort to interact with them. Some even go as far as wanting games changed to force others to have to be tethered to them in hopes that it will also force others to interact with them.

    Oh come now, I expected you to know better.  Programming in interdependency between players is a common, well accepted practice in most MMORPG's, though I'll grant recently most of this has been stripped away and these titles have suffered from it. (IMO of course)

    While some folks are naturally social and willing to discuss anything with anyone at any time, another group of players (of which I am one) really can only relate to others in the context of the  current situation.

    At work I'm considered a very social person, because I have the commonality of what we all share at the office. Yet in my personal life I'm more of a hermit, because few folks are odd enough to relate to me and what my interests are.

    So I enjoy game mechanics which provide opportunities to bond with my fellow gamers.  EVE is perfect in this way, because at its core its always your corp/alliance against the rest of the universe, so it really permits me to form some strong social bonds quickly, but only from a gaming perspective.

    I'm not one to stay with one guild/corp for long, I tend to socialize with folks who support my current gaming goals, when the goals switch I usually move on to a different group that is more supportive of my new efforts.

    I realize of course that I'm an abberition, a minority for certain, but there actually are quite a few folks who are wired the same way and enjoyed the interdependency that was built into earlier MMO's.

    I know other's loath this, they play MMO's for entirely different reason and its a shame that these things cost so much developers can't really create games that cater to all of our playstyles.

     

    In my day MMORPG's were so hard we fought our way through dungeons in the snow, uphill both ways.
    "I don't have one life, I have many lives" - Grunty
    Still currently "subscribed" to EVE, and only EVE!!!
    "This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon

  • TalgenTalgen Reading, PAPosts: 400Member
    Go away, leave me alone.
  • TalgenTalgen Reading, PAPosts: 400Member
    Game communityies are like real life, soon after a game is up, clicks tend to form, the same people talk aboutthe same stupid crap in general/chat/barrens/whatever -  And if you're not part of the 'it' crowd, you can quickly beomce the target of fierce attacks.  Emboldened by the air of anonymity, these atttacks are more agressive then they would be in real life.  This to me, after my 10+ years of MMO's experience, is why the social scene in games have now devolved to a auto-group of server wide events.
  • wildtalentwildtalent Huntsville, ALPosts: 380Member

    I wonder...

    A lot of MMO players I know IRL often have bouts with major depression, myself included.  When dealing with those bouts, they often crave interactions with people but can't make themselves do it.  I wonder if that same paradigm affects the way we play these games too.  Just a thought I had when I read your post.

    image
  • Z3R01Z3R01 NYC, NYPosts: 2,426Member

    I wouldn't be anti-social 99% of the time If i ran into nice people in mmos. 

    The majority I run into are complete asshats so I basically solo 100%, play with RL friends or get into those instant groups where no one needs to communicate and when its over you never see them again.

    Playing:

    Waiting on:

  • karmathkarmath Posts: 829Member Uncommon

    Themepark players yes.

    Sandbox players no.

  • Z3R01Z3R01 NYC, NYPosts: 2,426Member
    Originally posted by wildtalent

    I wonder...

    A lot of MMO players I know IRL often have bouts with major depression, myself included.  When dealing with those bouts, they often crave interactions with people but can't make themselves do it.  I wonder if that same paradigm affects the way we play these games too.  Just a thought I had when I read your post.

    A great deal of gamers are socially stunted.

    I can usually tell who a hardcore gamer is within the first 5 seconds of encountering them out in the world.

    The inability to keep eye contact is usually the first sign.

    Playing:

    Waiting on:

  • PsyMike3dPsyMike3d AthensPosts: 388Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Master10K

    I ask this because lately, as I have been occasionally browsing the Guild Wars 2 sub-thread, I have been seeing the same complaints about the game being anti-social. With how the only player interactions those people have are when ressing one another, with the occasional "Thanks" in chat. And I have to wonder, is this the same game I have been playing.

     

    One thing I can say is that I don't really have any isues socializing in the game. Like one time I came across a random player, whilst I was wandering about a zone. This player happened to make his character look kinda weird so I made a joke about it. We ended up up just questing together for a bit. After that chance encounter we've been doing dungeon runs together. It's not just in GW2 but other games that people complain about the lack of socializing, like when I used to play Rift. I remember how much I enjoyed sharing build ideas with random people, I was doing dungeons or 10-mans with. And in LOTRO, I made a bunch of friends just playing instruments in Bree.

     

    So in the end I feel that this is just the vocal minority being loud as usual but I have to wonder, why so many MMORPG players that frequent forums and such, always complain that X game is anti-social when - well I cannot account for others but - I myself have rarely had any issues socializing in MMORPGs. It seems to me more like the players who complain are the anti-social ones and not the games in question. Because an MMO only really needs a decent community and enough downtime in-between active progresion, for socially-minded players to take advantage of.

    Maybe because games are made anti-social..... If u try games like Darkfall Online, you will HAVE to be social and find an active guild, and not only a chatbox, in order to survive and do things really together(not like GW2)!

  • Z3R01Z3R01 NYC, NYPosts: 2,426Member
    Originally posted by karmath

    Themepark players yes.

    Sandbox players no.

    Bullshit

    The majority of the players in games liek Eve or Dark fall farm solo and in Eves case they solo with multiple accounts.

    Playing:

    Waiting on:

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,669Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Kyleran
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    There's an unrealistic expectation among some MMO gamers that others should make the effort to interact with them. Some even go as far as wanting games changed to force others to have to be tethered to them in hopes that it will also force others to interact with them.

    Oh come now, I expected you to know better.  Programming in interdependency between players is a common, well accepted practice in most MMORPG's...

     

    I never said it wasn't or shouldn't be. The issue I presented is that some people aren't social but want to be part of the social environment, so they want or, worse, expect the game mechanics to force others to interact with them.

    Take dating for example. Some people go to clubs, bars and other social circles to meet others. Some go to those 5-minute date musical chairs things to meet others. Two very different types of people. The first type is social and outgoing. The second type wants to be social and doesn't know how to, so they seek outside catalysts to create the desired situation. Where MMOs are different is that others have their social circles and may not be playing to make new friends online. Just because the person isn't talking to you doesn't mean they aren't talking.

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • QuirhidQuirhid TamperePosts: 5,969Member Common
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    There's an unrealistic expectation among some MMO gamers that others should make the effort to interact with them. Some even go as far as wanting games changed to force others to have to be tethered to them in hopes that it will also force others to interact with them.

    image

    Couldn't have said it better myself.

    I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  • SneakyRussianSneakyRussian ?????, SCPosts: 54Member
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    There's an unrealistic expectation among some MMO gamers that others should make the effort to interact with them. Some even go as far as wanting games changed to force others to have to be tethered to them in hopes that it will also force others to interact with them.

    I don't agree.

     

    The issue at hand is that previous titles, that have claimed to be better, such as EQ, DAOC, Shadowbane, UO, etc etc had far less anti-social behavior going on because you couldn't zerg everything with 100s of random people. You also eventually had to group to do certain content. Not all content mind you, but certain bits.

     

    People are, quite frankly, used to working together towards a common goal. This involved social interactions, and was the basis behind what an MMO was pre-2005. What you're seeing is the reaction to ArenaNet's experiment of anti-social gaming. I don't necesarrily agree that it is automatically a bad thing, but I do agree that it is a problem to some extent.

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,669Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by SneakyRussian
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    There's an unrealistic expectation among some MMO gamers that others should make the effort to interact with them. Some even go as far as wanting games changed to force others to have to be tethered to them in hopes that it will also force others to interact with them.

    I don't agree.

     

    The issue at hand is that previous titles, that have claimed to be better, such as EQ, DAOC, Shadowbane, UO, etc etc had far less anti-social behavior going on because you couldn't zerg everything with 100s of random people. You also eventually had to group to do certain content. Not all content mind you, but certain bits.

     

    People are, quite frankly, used to working together towards a common goal. This involved social interactions, and was the basis behind what an MMO was pre-2005. What you're seeing is the reaction to ArenaNet's experiment of anti-social gaming. I don't necesarrily agree that it is automatically a bad thing, but I do agree that it is a problem to some extent.

    I loved that you put UO and Shadowbane in there. Thank you.

    Does EVE fall under "etc, etc"?

     

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • karmathkarmath Posts: 829Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Z3R01
    Originally posted by karmath

    Themepark players yes.

    Sandbox players no.

    Bullshit

    The majority of the players in games liek Eve or Dark fall farm solo and in Eves case they solo with multiple accounts.

    I would love to see someone solo defending a holding in Darkfall. It would be zerged in a instant.

  • FluteFlute WellingtonPosts: 434Member
    Originally posted by 3-4thElf

    MMO players are that anti-social. Which seems paradoxical since most of them strive to play social games.

    I think it's human nature at its core. Players are kind of self absorbed, but they want to be recognized by their peers. 

    There's a modern solution for this for players who like to be social and game with others. Find a good gaming guild / clan that matches your expectations. Most players in mmos seem perfectly find existing as some mere plebeian in a world shared with many others.

    I think a lot of the treadmill games have fostered anti-social behaviour, by for example giving you a place in a dungeon simply because the computer gave you one, rather than because you met up with a group of friends, decided to go to the dungeon, and did so.  Some people really do seem to play MMOs as if everyone else were simply a very well-written AI, rather than actual people.

     

    That's fine, just that playstyle often jars for socially orientated gamers.  I don't play a game simply to complete the content, I play it to enjoy myself, which to me means having an enjoyable and social gaming time.  Without people, to me it's meaningless pixels.  You guessed it - I play very few FPS/solo computer games.  But while I prefer to gossip in a game, take time to read the quests, and actually spend time doing social things, there is nothing wrong with players who simply want to consume content, running dungeon after randon dungeon to get to 90 wihtout pausing to even say hello.  The best social gameplay I have experienced in any mmo was SW:G before the changes to cantinas, I still miss my dancer friends.

     

    However some games force social interaction, by not having systems that provide a "soft" option.  In games like Darkfall, if you don't socialize, you typically won't be in a clan, won't have access to a player city, and won't be involved in massive battles.  You could go to them as a solo player, but chances are that both sides will nuke you just in case you are a spy!  Same thing in EVE Online - the game can be played incredibly solo, without ever speaking to anyone.  But if you want to get involved in 0.0 nullsec soverignty based gameplay, you're going to need to be social to some extent.  It's perhaps an interesting point that the free for all pvp games out there are often much more socially complex, I am not sure if that is because they often have more older gamers, or if there is simply more on the line so people are more interested in assessing and mitigating the risks.  

  • JemcrystalJemcrystal Champaign, ILPosts: 1,552Member Uncommon
    People become anti-social because of trolling.  No one wants to be talked down to.  I'm generally shy in real life and outspoken online but I have off days I don't feel like talking.  I joined a guild recently and I didn't say anything for about four days after.  I'm tired of saying the same old crap over and over.  But my guild leader came on yesterday night and apologized for having sprained her typing hand and she couldn't get heavy involved in the game.  She's also my Mentor in the game's Apprentice program which I don't need outside of the extra buffs it gives but she doesn't know that.  So all a sudden I got a lot to say.  I was teasing her for ten minutes about roller blading down stairs and such.  I thought, that's about the longest I've talked to anyone outside a forum in a while.

  • rankor2rankor2 adelaidePosts: 114Member

    With nearly every guild running a vent/teamspeak yada yada I'm not surprised chat is minimal in games. 

     

    Are Mmo players anti-social? No. 

     

    Except for the fact they avoid sunlight and humans for days on end whenever the next new Mmo/xpac comes along. Yep, Mmo Gamers really love socializing.

  • KyleranKyleran Tampa, FLPosts: 20,002Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by rankor2

    With nearly every guild running a vent/teamspeak yada yada I'm not surprised chat is minimal in games. 

     

    Are Mmo players anti-social? No. 

     

    Except for the fact they avoid sunlight and humans for days on end whenever the next new Mmo/xpac comes along. Yep, Mmo Gamers really love socializing.

    And I haven't been in a guild/clan/corp in the past few years that hasn't had a problem with a large number of their members refusing to log into their voice comms during non-raiding/PVP playing time.

    Fact is, voice comms are enjoyed by only a certain percentage of players, and I'd venture to say not even the majority.  Far more people in any MMORPG you can name that are not in voice comms at any given time.

     

    In my day MMORPG's were so hard we fought our way through dungeons in the snow, uphill both ways.
    "I don't have one life, I have many lives" - Grunty
    Still currently "subscribed" to EVE, and only EVE!!!
    "This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon

  • Goatgod76Goatgod76 Stow, OHPosts: 1,214Member

    More modern MMORPG's are made in such ways that socializing isn't really needed, as most stuff can be done solo.

     

    I play Vanguard: Saga of Heroes...and sure, you can solo quite a bit of the game....but it also has a healthy dose of content that requires you group to complete. Dungeon crawls are common place...as the dungeons in most cases are huge. During those crawls we all chat and I have made many friends in-game this way...and it's made the length and time the dungeons take to complete  a non-issue...as it's still fun being able to have good converation, make firends, and find long time grouping partners in your journeys.

  • AilingforaleAilingforale Bellevue, WAPosts: 87Member

    Yeh, things "were better back in the day" with games like FFXI or UO etc., but they can be the same way now (honestly, it possible).  My personal issue are the trolls in chat.  I have to turn off chat except for guild and friends because it's all rubbish anyway.   It doesn't have to be serious or anything, but holy crap... how many times do you have to read "Why do they call it an XBox 360?" (please dont' feed the trolls) without wanting to punch something?

    I'm a very social creature, but I keep it in guild or in raidcall/vent.  I do miss the days when actual coversations could be had.  It just seems like now adays you have to search for or start out with like minded and stick with them in a game and if you see anyone else that is on the level, you just add them to the list and keep rolling.

  • bunnyhopperbunnyhopper LondonPosts: 2,751Member
    Talking to people reduces my NPC's Farmed per Hour score.

    "Come and have a look at what you could have won."

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