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And I don't mean why do you group but what should be the reason to group in an MMO, other than social. There have been a lot of grouping vs solo threads lately which got me thinking about it.
Personally I think the reasons MMOs always provid not only have the wrong priority but also make the whole experience less fun.
I mean that in MMOs grouping is a means to do some content that cannot be done by yourself, and to that point joining a team feels more like checking off an item on a list of requirements to beat the dungeon rather than something I am doing to aid myself.
What I blame for this is the way MMORPG mechanics work, content for a single player or a duo would be a push over for a group, so group content has to ramp up the damage and health of the mobs for the group. The reason for this is that RPGs are stuck on combat that revolves around absorbing damage and trying to dish more out to kill a mob, ie kill it faster than it can kill me, which leads to the Tank/DPS/Healer strategy and makes what is possible for a group is impossible for a single person.
Where I would like to see grouping go is what I call a safety in numbers approach. Where by giving the player more control over the ability to avoid damage, like cover or dodging and blocking, you get away from the typical Tank/DPS/Healer combo and move toward a more twitch system. This also means fights are not just a practice of out DPSing the enemy while healing but using your ability to move to make opportune attacks, hitting weak points and avoiding damage. With typical RPG gameplay solo and group content have to be seperate, they can't be one in the same, or you have to use some sort of scaling option, but with twitch group and solo content are much more blurred.
A boss for example, lets say a dragon, could have a weak spot on the underbelly, the only spot that does any real damage to the beast. The tactic would involve having to find a way with your abilities to hit the weak spot to damage the dragon and do it enough without being killed so you can defeat it. A single person could accomplish this task, but a group would make it easier, as more people means more opportunities to hit the weak spot, plus aid each other in case they are hurt. In response the dragon, as would all mobs, could change tactics to use more AoEs when faced with a group.
A group could also provide general aid. A mob incases a player in a block of ice, slowly doing damage. By yourself you are stuck and there isn't anything you can do, but in a group a teammate could smash the ice to try and free you. This also means a group could tackle situations more directly where a single player would have to be more cautious. Even in non combat situations, like exploring, a group could find ways around something a single person could not, like a switch puzzle that requires multiple people to stand on pressure plates to open a door, a single person would either have to find a way around or try and push a rock onto the switch, where as a group has an advantage here.
Grouping would also have a downside, or an upside depending on how you look at it. If a group alerts guards more mobs are sent to look for the players, so the bigger the group the bigger the resistance. Whereas a single person would just have more guards sent after them a group could have griffon riders sent to kill them.
But you get the gist, a situation where a single person could do it but a group makes it easier. I also tend to think grouping would be more common in this situation, as you do not need a specific number or makeup to do content but grouping is still beneficial. And most importantly I think it is beneficial to have content that can be accessed by anyone, solo, small group, or pick up group or guild alike.
Don't you worry little buddy. You're dealing with a man of honor. However, honor requires a higher percentage of profit