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MMORPG Design 101 - Always Encourage Grouping

NildenNilden null, NBPosts: 1,284Member Uncommon
 It boggles my mind how something as fundamental as making sure you can always group to do content is something some MMOs screw up. MMORPGs should never force you to solo. They should never break up groups forcing people to do solo instances. How can any MMO screw up the simple basic design  of playing to it's strengths by encouraging grouping?

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"classification of games into MMOs is not by rational reasoning" - nariusseldon
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  • QuirhidQuirhid TamperePosts: 5,969Member Common
    Originally posted by nilden
     It boggles my mind how something as fundamental as making sure you can always group to do content is something some MMOs screw up. MMORPGs should never force you to solo. They should never break up groups forcing people to do solo instances. How can any MMO screw up the simple basic design  of playing to it's strengths by encouraging grouping?

    Grouping is always encouraged (unless quests cannot be shared). Solo instances are a response to market demand.

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

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by nilden
     It boggles my mind how something as fundamental as making sure you can always group to do content is something some MMOs screw up. MMORPGs should never force you to solo. They should never break up groups forcing people to do solo instances. How can any MMO screw up the simple basic design  of playing to it's strengths by encouraging grouping?

    Because players demand solo-ing? And what game "forces people to do solo instances"? Most games .. there is a choice.

     

  • NildenNilden null, NBPosts: 1,284Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Quirhid
    Originally posted by nilden
     It boggles my mind how something as fundamental as making sure you can always group to do content is something some MMOs screw up. MMORPGs should never force you to solo. They should never break up groups forcing people to do solo instances. How can any MMO screw up the simple basic design  of playing to it's strengths by encouraging grouping?

    Grouping is always encouraged (unless quests cannot be shared). Solo instances are a response to market demand.

    If the game breaks up groups and forces people to do solo instances it's not encouraging grouping. Also group credit for quests is pretty standard and some games can't even get that right forcing everone is the group to do the quest by themselves anyway.

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    "classification of games into MMOs is not by rational reasoning" - nariusseldon
    Love Minecraft. And check out my Youtube channel OhCanadaGamer

  • NildenNilden null, NBPosts: 1,284Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by nilden
     It boggles my mind how something as fundamental as making sure you can always group to do content is something some MMOs screw up. MMORPGs should never force you to solo. They should never break up groups forcing people to do solo instances. How can any MMO screw up the simple basic design  of playing to it's strengths by encouraging grouping?

    Because players demand solo-ing? And what game "forces people to do solo instances"? Most games .. there is a choice.

     

    I'm guessing you never played Final Fantasy 14 or Elder Scrolls Online. Having the option to solo is vastly different than forcing people to solo in what should be a group based game. It's just poor design when grouping is not better for xp, loot, pretty much everything than soloing to encourage grouping.

    Not that I expect you to understand at all since your the poster boy for single player mmos.

    How to post links.

    "classification of games into MMOs is not by rational reasoning" - nariusseldon
    Love Minecraft. And check out my Youtube channel OhCanadaGamer

  • SEANMCADSEANMCAD Houston, TXPosts: 5,348Member
    Originally posted by nilden
     It boggles my mind how something as fundamental as making sure you can always group to do content is something some MMOs screw up. MMORPGs should never force you to solo. They should never break up groups forcing people to do solo instances. How can any MMO screw up the simple basic design  of playing to it's strengths by encouraging grouping?

    incorrect.

    Much like in real life some people are more useful (and perfer) contributing to the whole in solitude. The problem is so called AAA MMOs do not implement game mechanics well to allow for this. Indies typically do.

    For example, mining and crafting to build up stock piles for a great war.

     

    Correlation does not imply causation

  • NildenNilden null, NBPosts: 1,284Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by SEANMCAD
    Originally posted by nilden
     It boggles my mind how something as fundamental as making sure you can always group to do content is something some MMOs screw up. MMORPGs should never force you to solo. They should never break up groups forcing people to do solo instances. How can any MMO screw up the simple basic design  of playing to it's strengths by encouraging grouping?

    incorrect.

    Much like in real life some people are more useful (and perfer) contributing to the whole in solitude. The problem is so called AAA MMOs do not implement game mechanics well to allow for this. Indies typically do.

    For example, mining and crafting to build up stock piles for a great war.

     

    So you think it's good design to force people to solo and break up groups?

    How to post links.

    "classification of games into MMOs is not by rational reasoning" - nariusseldon
    Love Minecraft. And check out my Youtube channel OhCanadaGamer

  • asmkm22asmkm22 Anchorage, AKPosts: 1,788Member

    Funny thing is, grouping is usually the least popular playstyle in the genre.  It's obviously used when running dungeons and raids, but most players find it annoying to not be able to level on their own.  I remember back when WoW overhauled the game a bit, and removed the elite status from certain quest mobs, because players complained about having to find groups just to complete a quest chain.  Blizzard wasn't just caving into the demands of a vocal minority, either.

    You make me like charity

  • Cephus404Cephus404 Redlands, CAPosts: 3,675Member
    Originally posted by nilden
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by nilden
     It boggles my mind how something as fundamental as making sure you can always group to do content is something some MMOs screw up. MMORPGs should never force you to solo. They should never break up groups forcing people to do solo instances. How can any MMO screw up the simple basic design  of playing to it's strengths by encouraging grouping?

    Because players demand solo-ing? And what game "forces people to do solo instances"? Most games .. there is a choice.

     

    I'm guessing you never played Final Fantasy 14 or Elder Scrolls Online. Having the option to solo is vastly different than forcing people to solo in what should be a group based game. It's just poor design when grouping is not better for xp, loot, pretty much everything than soloing to encourage grouping.

    Not that I expect you to understand at all since your the poster boy for single player mmos.

    You are simply asserting that it should be about grouping because that's what you want it to be about.  That doesn't mean that's what it actually should be about.  Take a few steps back and remove your personal biases from the situation.  Most MMOs give you the option of grouping or soloing most content.  Some people choose to group, some people choose to solo.  Any game that mandates grouping is going to fail because the majority of people playing MMOs, whether you like it or not, want to solo.  You need to deal with the reality of the situation rather than insist that your fantasy must be true for everyone.

    Do try again.

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  • Cephus404Cephus404 Redlands, CAPosts: 3,675Member
    Originally posted by nilden
    Originally posted by SEANMCAD
    Originally posted by nilden
     It boggles my mind how something as fundamental as making sure you can always group to do content is something some MMOs screw up. MMORPGs should never force you to solo. They should never break up groups forcing people to do solo instances. How can any MMO screw up the simple basic design  of playing to it's strengths by encouraging grouping?

    incorrect.

    Much like in real life some people are more useful (and perfer) contributing to the whole in solitude. The problem is so called AAA MMOs do not implement game mechanics well to allow for this. Indies typically do.

    For example, mining and crafting to build up stock piles for a great war.

     

    So you think it's good design to force people to solo and break up groups?

    How is anyone being forced to solo?  Are the developers driving around to people's houses and holding a gun to their head?

    Played: UO, EQ, WoW, DDO, SWG, AO, CoH, EvE, TR, AoC, GW, GA, Aion, Allods, lots more
    Relatively Recently (Re)Played: HL2 (all), Halo (PC, all), Batman:AA; AC, ME, BS, DA, FO3, DS, Doom (all), LFD1&2, KOTOR, Portal 1&2, Blink, Elder Scrolls (all), lots more
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  • NildenNilden null, NBPosts: 1,284Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by asmkm22

    Funny thing is, grouping is usually the least popular playstyle in the genre.  It's obviously used when running dungeons and raids, but most players find it annoying to not be able to level on their own.  I remember back when WoW overhauled the game a bit, and removed the elite status from certain quest mobs, because players complained about having to find groups just to complete a quest chain.  Blizzard wasn't just caving into the demands of a vocal minority, either.

    Thing is WOW never forced people to do solo instances WOW never broke up groups. Not like Secret World, Final Fantasy 14 or Elder Scrolls Online.

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    "classification of games into MMOs is not by rational reasoning" - nariusseldon
    Love Minecraft. And check out my Youtube channel OhCanadaGamer

  • Flyte27Flyte27 Greenwich, CTPosts: 2,837Member Uncommon
    I was always more of a soloer.  Even in my UO and EQ days.  I still feel that soloing is too easy.  It's already easier to play alone then to have to worry about what someone else wants or is doing.  On top of that the MMOs usually make you go out of you way to group during the leveling process because of all the quests and trying to match them up with someone else.  They add even more insult to injury by giving solo players just as good or very close to as good loot.  Grouping should reward you a lot more then soloing IMO.  I still wouldn't do it much, but it makes sense.
  • NildenNilden null, NBPosts: 1,284Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Cephus404
    Originally posted by nilden
    Originally posted by SEANMCAD
    Originally posted by nilden
     It boggles my mind how something as fundamental as making sure you can always group to do content is something some MMOs screw up. MMORPGs should never force you to solo. They should never break up groups forcing people to do solo instances. How can any MMO screw up the simple basic design  of playing to it's strengths by encouraging grouping?

    incorrect.

    Much like in real life some people are more useful (and perfer) contributing to the whole in solitude. The problem is so called AAA MMOs do not implement game mechanics well to allow for this. Indies typically do.

    For example, mining and crafting to build up stock piles for a great war.

     

    So you think it's good design to force people to solo and break up groups?

    How is anyone being forced to solo?  Are the developers driving around to people's houses and holding a gun to their head?

    No. They make instances that you can only do by yourself. Man has nobody else ever experienced this or what???

    How to post links.

    "classification of games into MMOs is not by rational reasoning" - nariusseldon
    Love Minecraft. And check out my Youtube channel OhCanadaGamer

  • SEANMCADSEANMCAD Houston, TXPosts: 5,348Member
    Originally posted by Cephus404
    Originally posted by nilden
    Originally posted by SEANMCAD
    Originally posted by nilden
     It boggles my mind how something as fundamental as making sure you can always group to do content is something some MMOs screw up. MMORPGs should never force you to solo. They should never break up groups forcing people to do solo instances. How can any MMO screw up the simple basic design  of playing to it's strengths by encouraging grouping?

    incorrect.

    Much like in real life some people are more useful (and perfer) contributing to the whole in solitude. The problem is so called AAA MMOs do not implement game mechanics well to allow for this. Indies typically do.

    For example, mining and crafting to build up stock piles for a great war.

     

    So you think it's good design to force people to solo and break up groups?

    How is anyone being forced to solo?  Are the developers driving around to people's houses and holding a gun to their head?

    well true I replied somewhat incorrect. I was asserting my view on the need to have solo content in an MMO but that is different from forcing. 

    Having said that, if 'force' is to mean anything like you described then say for example offering a player 1 billion xp points for doing a quest and 0 for not doing a quest would then be considered 'not forcing' which is silly

    Correlation does not imply causation

  • SEANMCADSEANMCAD Houston, TXPosts: 5,348Member
    Originally posted by nilden
    Originally posted by Cephus404
    Originally posted by nilden
    Originally posted by SEANMCAD
    Originally posted by nilden
     It boggles my mind how something as fundamental as making sure you can always group to do content is something some MMOs screw up. MMORPGs should never force you to solo. They should never break up groups forcing people to do solo instances. How can any MMO screw up the simple basic design  of playing to it's strengths by encouraging grouping?

    incorrect.

    Much like in real life some people are more useful (and perfer) contributing to the whole in solitude. The problem is so called AAA MMOs do not implement game mechanics well to allow for this. Indies typically do.

    For example, mining and crafting to build up stock piles for a great war.

     

    So you think it's good design to force people to solo and break up groups?

    How is anyone being forced to solo?  Are the developers driving around to people's houses and holding a gun to their head?

    No. They make instances that you can only do by yourself. Man has nobody else ever experienced this or what???

    I agree then. I am for solo content but not forced content that is just sillyness.

    Its also a bit insulting to gamers, suggesting that the developer knows exactly how every customer wants to play.

    ironically a lot of these 'forced mechanics' (of many sorts not just solo play) actually cost them more to develop then if they left the subject alone

    Correlation does not imply causation

  • udonudon Durham, NCPosts: 1,767Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by nilden
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by nilden
     It boggles my mind how something as fundamental as making sure you can always group to do content is something some MMOs screw up. MMORPGs should never force you to solo. They should never break up groups forcing people to do solo instances. How can any MMO screw up the simple basic design  of playing to it's strengths by encouraging grouping?

    Because players demand solo-ing? And what game "forces people to do solo instances"? Most games .. there is a choice.

     

    I'm guessing you never played Final Fantasy 14 or Elder Scrolls Online. Having the option to solo is vastly different than forcing people to solo in what should be a group based game. It's just poor design when grouping is not better for xp, loot, pretty much everything than soloing to encourage grouping.

    Not that I expect you to understand at all since your the poster boy for single player mmos.

    ESO rarely forces you to solo quest but I agree they do make it a lot harder than it should be sometimes to.  If you enter a area at the same time with group mates do all the quests at the same time you can stay grouped up for pretty much all of the content.  It should have been done better than it was but I wouldn't say you are forced to solo except for very rare cases.

    What ESO did do was make a design decision that said that since most of the people solo though quest content anyways we are going to use phasing to maximize the storytelling experience for that type of player.  Given that most people do in fact solo though the leveling process it was probably a good design decision even if it does make the minority that does like to group up lives harder.

    As for the handful of quests that force you to solo the end mob I see those as the occasional skill check.  They force you to slow down and consider how you are leveling your character and if you run into major problems with them maybe reconsider some of your decisions.  That's not a bad thing by any means.

    Really where grouping shines and I mean really shines in ESO is in the PVP zone.  Since everyone is equalized in levels anyone in the same faction regardless of progress though the game can group up and do content.  If you can look past the tendency to pile onto the keep that has the most of your faction at it and spread out a bit there are a lot of opportunities for some cool group action in that zone both PVP and PVE.  It's a shame really the rewards are so poor because other than that it's a example of group content done right and one that for some reason 99% of the players complaining about grouping in ESO ignore.

  • KyleranKyleran Tampa, FLPosts: 19,996Member Uncommon
    I used to be in the grouping camp long ago but realize now I want nothing to do with most of today's player base.

    I'm grateful for the mostly solo content these days that lets me group only when I choose.

    In my day MMORPG's were so hard we fought our way through dungeons in the snow, uphill both ways.
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  • Flyte27Flyte27 Greenwich, CTPosts: 2,837Member Uncommon

    This may be a bit off topic, but it has to do with grouping and soloing. 

    I was thinking of how I like to play MMOs.  When I was younger and played sports I would usually want to take on multiple people at once.  It's why I played team type sports with friends a lot.  It was the challenge of one vs many.

    I believe in Everquest I felt this same challenge.  All the content was designed for group (even though you could solo with a lot of the classes (especially the kiting ones).  I could figure out ways to defeat mobs solo that were giving small groups a lot of difficulty.  It was a pretty rewarding experience.

    Today in MMOs I feel that you are either stuck with really easy solo or group content that can't be done solo.  While EQ wasn't designed the way it was it still allowed that freedom to challenge yourself.  I don't really feel that with most of the MMOs today.  The solo content just feels worthless (to me) unless the story is decent.  Even then there are so many quests that the story loses meaning to me at some point along the way.

  • Sovren1Sovren1 camarillo, CAPosts: 312Member

    I think there is a time and place for everything. I think each direction should be supported. Each game supports those ways of playing differently based on what might be more important to them at any given time.

    The thing about solo play is that there are usually next to zero boundaries there to get involved which can have the effect of always having something to do. Less down time.

    Personally, I usually like worlds that have a nice balance of solo open world content and group oriented open world content. I think when it comes to instancing though I prefer the bulk of the work being group oriented.

    All in all, I don't want to be halted in progress because I may choose to play in an area or a time frame in which others don't partake in.

    I do agree though that as far as encouragement goes, grouping should yield the better rewards overall as I believe that is what this entire genre is about, meeting new people and working together to reach goals.

    Why play a multiplayer game at all if you don't want to play with other players?

  • TheLizardbonesTheLizardbones Arkham, VAPosts: 10,910Member
    Originally posted by nilden
    Originally posted by SEANMCAD
    Originally posted by nilden
     It boggles my mind how something as fundamental as making sure you can always group to do content is something some MMOs screw up. MMORPGs should never force you to solo. They should never break up groups forcing people to do solo instances. How can any MMO screw up the simple basic design  of playing to it's strengths by encouraging grouping?

    incorrect.

    Much like in real life some people are more useful (and perfer) contributing to the whole in solitude. The problem is so called AAA MMOs do not implement game mechanics well to allow for this. Indies typically do.

    For example, mining and crafting to build up stock piles for a great war.

     

    So you think it's good design to force people to solo and break up groups?

     

    Forcing people to break up groups isn't any better than forcing people into groups.  "Encouraging" solo play isn't any better than "encouraging" group play.

     

    Players should have options available, and then take the options that they want.

     

     

    I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by nilden
     

    No. They make instances that you can only do by yourself. Man has nobody else ever experienced this or what???

    So? You have the choice of not doing that instance. This is no difference than there exist a single player version of SKYRIM out there that you can choose to play, or not to play.

    Are all the instances solo only? If not, there are choices.

     

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by Sovren1

    Why play a multiplayer game at all if you don't want to play with other players?

    because of the IP? The setting? The game mechanics?

    Games are just entertainment products. I use them as i see fit. If i want, i can play a MMO like a single player game, and a single player game like a MMO.

     

  • Cephus404Cephus404 Redlands, CAPosts: 3,675Member
    Originally posted by nilden
    Originally posted by Cephus404
    Originally posted by nilden
    Originally posted by SEANMCAD
    Originally posted by nilden
     It boggles my mind how something as fundamental as making sure you can always group to do content is something some MMOs screw up. MMORPGs should never force you to solo. They should never break up groups forcing people to do solo instances. How can any MMO screw up the simple basic design  of playing to it's strengths by encouraging grouping?

    incorrect.

    Much like in real life some people are more useful (and perfer) contributing to the whole in solitude. The problem is so called AAA MMOs do not implement game mechanics well to allow for this. Indies typically do.

    For example, mining and crafting to build up stock piles for a great war.

     

    So you think it's good design to force people to solo and break up groups?

    How is anyone being forced to solo?  Are the developers driving around to people's houses and holding a gun to their head?

    No. They make instances that you can only do by yourself. Man has nobody else ever experienced this or what???

    Nope, haven't seen it, sorry.

    Played: UO, EQ, WoW, DDO, SWG, AO, CoH, EvE, TR, AoC, GW, GA, Aion, Allods, lots more
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  • NadiaNadia Canonsburg, PAPosts: 11,866Member Common
    Originally posted by asmkm22

    Funny thing is, grouping is usually the least popular playstyle in the genre.  It's obviously used when running dungeons and raids, but most players find it annoying to not be able to level on their own.

     I remember back when WoW overhauled the game a bit, and removed the elite status from certain quest mobs, because players complained about having to find groups just to complete a quest chain.  Blizzard wasn't just caving into the demands of a vocal minority, either.

    i remember that patch Nov 2011

     

    http://www.wowwiki.com/Patch_4.3.0

    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.

  • AlBQuirkyAlBQuirky Sioux City, IAPosts: 3,828Member


    Originally posted by Cephus404

    Originally posted by nilden

    Originally posted by SEANMCAD

    Originally posted by nilden
    It boggles my mind how something as fundamental as making sure you can always group to do content is something some MMOs screw up. MMORPGs should never force you to solo. They should never break up groups forcing people to do solo instances. How can any MMO screw up the simple basic design  of playing to it's strengths by encouraging grouping?
    incorrect.Much like in real life some people are more useful (and perfer) contributing to the whole in solitude. The problem is so called AAA MMOs do not implement game mechanics well to allow for this. Indies typically do.For example, mining and crafting to build up stock piles for a great war.
    So you think it's good design to force people to solo and break up groups?
    How is anyone being forced to solo?  Are the developers driving around to people's houses and holding a gun to their head?
    I think nilden is kind of going off of what is being about TES:O's broken quests, where players in a group can not see the other players while in that instanced quest, or not being credited for quest completion as a group, instead of having to do it again for each group member. I guess FFXIV:ARR has some issues, too. I don't know.

    Did GW2 allow groups in their "Your Personal Story" quest instances? I do not know as I never tried them in a group. What about SW:TOR? Again, I do not know.

    While not really not really "forcing" soloing, it sure does make it "inefficient" to play that way.

    - Al

    Personally the only modern MMORPG trend that annoys me is the idea that MMOs need to be designed in a way to attract people who don't actually like MMOs. Which to me makes about as much sense as someone trying to figure out a way to get vegetarians to eat at their steakhouse.
    - FARGIN_WAR

  • NadiaNadia Canonsburg, PAPosts: 11,866Member Common
    Originally posted by AlBQuirky

    Did GW2 allow groups in their "Your Personal Story" quest instances? I do not know as I never tried them in a group.

    yes, GW2 allowed you to bring friends into your personal story instance

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