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Grouping and other social interactions

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  • PalebanePalebane Member RarePosts: 3,930
    edited October 2019
    For the longest time I have thought mmorpgs were squandering the one thing that set them apart from all the rest, the potential of multiplayer role-playing. I used to argue with people every day on here about solo players ruining the multiplayer experience as the developers catered to them more and more.

    But as I got older, I began to understand: People are really awful, especially online. I dont have the patience to put up with assholes in my daily routine, I sure as hell dont want to be bothered by them as I enjoy my favorite hobby. And many of the MMOs are actually very good (and very cheap) single-player RPGs these days, so I don’t have to.

    I dont think there is a solution to improve this area or to convince the solo crowd to interact more. People like what they like, and because so many alternatives now exist, people will just move on if a game doesn't offer enough of what they want. 

    The best solution would be the ability to know which games are more multiplayer and which are more single-player based on the community and the game mechanics. For example, I do not know which games have the best MRP communities, but I know Destiny 2, ESO, and SWOTOR are great (cheap) single-player RPGs with the option to group, trade, or pvp.
    KyleranAlBQuirky

    Vault-Tec analysts have concluded that the odds of worldwide nuclear armaggeddon this decade are 17,143,762... to 1.

  • KyleranKyleran Member LegendaryPosts: 36,353
    edited October 2019
    Palebane said:

    But as I got older, I began to understand: People are really awful, especially online. I dont have the patience to put up with assholes in my daily routine, I sure as hell dont want to be bothered by them as I enjoy my favorite hobby. 

    I dont think there is a solution to improve this area or to convince the solo crowd to interact more. People like what they like, and because so many alternatives now exist, people will just move on if a game doesn't offer enough of what they want. 


    I feel your pain and normally would have agreed with you until recently. 

    It's a shame really, IMO we more normal gamers have let the patients (or prisoners) take over the asylum. 

    In the past few weeks I've met and had conversations with at least a dozen random players in FO76 and the scenario is almost always the same.

    First, both sides communicate with big, silly emotes, waving, giving thumbs up or what not. Eventually either I or they will turn on our in game area chats / mics and begin slow, tentative conversations, each trying to discern if the other is a rational gamer, a 12 year old, or the usual internet idiot.

    Once both sides start feeling confident the other is not an asshole, the conversation almost always includes everyone expressing their profound  surprise and relief in finding other mature, rational human beings in a video game. (Yes, I have them all fooled) ;)

    I've added about half of them to my friends list and the other we part on friendly terms and run into some from time to time at events or perhaps dropping by their camps/houses.

    I'm not trying to find ways to encourage those who absolutely want to play solo to do otherwise...but I think there are many like you and I which might be open to socializing if there were better in game tools and designs to make it less painful and easier to connect with good people.



    PalebaneCryomatrixAlBQuirkySteelhelm

    "See normal people, I'm not one of them" | G-Easy & Big Sean

    "I need to finish" - Christian Wolff: The Accountant

    Just trying to live long enough to play a new, released MMORPG, playing FO76 at the moment.

    Fools find no pleasure in understanding, but delight in airing their own opinions. Pvbs 18:2, NIV

    Don't just play games, inhabit virtual worlds™

    "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






  • MendelMendel Member EpicPosts: 3,899
    TEKK3N said:
    Mendel said:
    TEKK3N said:
    Kyleran said:
    Thought for sure I once read somewhere about a MMORPG that had a multiple player crafting mechanic at launch, (later removed)  perhaps EQ2?
    Not exactly.
    EQ2 had interdependency between crafters, so you were never self sufficient.
    I really liked it.
    It's a bit of a fallacy that crafting interdependency drives social interaction.  In every game where crafts are dependent on another craft, it only drives creation of alts.  The person remain self sufficient across multiple characters.  This is something that games *should* look into, especially in group oriented games.



    Well that’s a bit superficial.
    You are basing your comment on games like WOW where you can go from lvl 1 to max in less than a month.

    EQ2 leveling at launch was faster than EQ1 but slower than WOW.
    In theory you could have many Crafting Alts but in reality you could have 2 feasible ones for a very long time, as you had to also level your character to have access to high level nodes for the raw materials.
    And EQ2 crafting required items from more than 2 craft professions.

    Leveling your Profession was also incredibly slow and expensive.
    At one point I remember I had to craft hundreds of sets (7 pieces each) just to get a single level.
    Definitely not for everyone.

    If you played EQ2 recently, the game has got nothing to do with the game at launch.
    The gap is bigger than between WoW retail and Classic.
    You've missed my point entirely.  Having crafting professions need components from another profession does not drive trade; it encourages people to create an alt and do it yourself.



    KyleranHorusraAlBQuirky

    Logic, my dear, merely enables one to be wrong with great authority.

  • TillerTiller Member EpicPosts: 8,874
    edited October 2019
    TEKK3N said:
    Tiller said:
    I like the idea GW2 has with squads, it makes it easy to jump and jump out of a large group without having to ask for invite. I wish more MMOs implemented such as system, especially for open world content.





    How does this make it Social?
    In fact these are the kind of things that make most MMORPG not very Social.
    Convenient? Yes
    Social? Not so much
    Well considering solo grouping was a thing as far back is late 2003, I would say this is a viable alternative for introverts who dislike PUGs but still like playing MMOs. Not sure why but some people seem to prefer solo play if they can get away with it. quick join I think makes it easier for them to jump in and out.

    You ever been in a huge guild where chat sits dormant most times and when you ask if anyone wants to group up it's crickets? I have better luck in zone chat or using a dungeon finder. Not necessarily an introvert, but many people are so it makes it easier for them to group up with no real verbal commitment I guess.

    I actually stopped playing EQ2 and Aion because the forced grouping for content was pretty much a roadblock to leveling if you couldn't find a group. I was even in the largest guild on my server in EQ2, but because there was no incentive to group with lower levels, no one did. Asking randoms for help was hit or miss since it seemed most people just didn't talk.
    KyleranAlBQuirky
    SWG Bloodfin vet
    Elder Jedi/Elder Bounty Hunter

  • kitaradkitarad Member EpicPosts: 5,950
    Mendel said:
    TEKK3N said:
    Mendel said:
    TEKK3N said:
    Kyleran said:
    Thought for sure I once read somewhere about a MMORPG that had a multiple player crafting mechanic at launch, (later removed)  perhaps EQ2?
    Not exactly.
    EQ2 had interdependency between crafters, so you were never self sufficient.
    I really liked it.
    It's a bit of a fallacy that crafting interdependency drives social interaction.  In every game where crafts are dependent on another craft, it only drives creation of alts.  The person remain self sufficient across multiple characters.  This is something that games *should* look into, especially in group oriented games.



    Well that’s a bit superficial.
    You are basing your comment on games like WOW where you can go from lvl 1 to max in less than a month.

    EQ2 leveling at launch was faster than EQ1 but slower than WOW.
    In theory you could have many Crafting Alts but in reality you could have 2 feasible ones for a very long time, as you had to also level your character to have access to high level nodes for the raw materials.
    And EQ2 crafting required items from more than 2 craft professions.

    Leveling your Profession was also incredibly slow and expensive.
    At one point I remember I had to craft hundreds of sets (7 pieces each) just to get a single level.
    Definitely not for everyone.

    If you played EQ2 recently, the game has got nothing to do with the game at launch.
    The gap is bigger than between WoW retail and Classic.
    You've missed my point entirely.  Having crafting professions need components from another profession does not drive trade; it encourages people to create an alt and do it yourself.



    Exactly I had a crafter for everything and because of the shared two slots in the bank I could pass everything I needed from one alt to the other.
    MendelKyleranAlBQuirky

  • SovrathSovrath Member LegendaryPosts: 28,609
    Mendel said:
    TEKK3N said:
    Mendel said:
    TEKK3N said:
    Kyleran said:
    Thought for sure I once read somewhere about a MMORPG that had a multiple player crafting mechanic at launch, (later removed)  perhaps EQ2?
    Not exactly.
    EQ2 had interdependency between crafters, so you were never self sufficient.
    I really liked it.
    It's a bit of a fallacy that crafting interdependency drives social interaction.  In every game where crafts are dependent on another craft, it only drives creation of alts.  The person remain self sufficient across multiple characters.  This is something that games *should* look into, especially in group oriented games.



    Well that’s a bit superficial.
    You are basing your comment on games like WOW where you can go from lvl 1 to max in less than a month.

    EQ2 leveling at launch was faster than EQ1 but slower than WOW.
    In theory you could have many Crafting Alts but in reality you could have 2 feasible ones for a very long time, as you had to also level your character to have access to high level nodes for the raw materials.
    And EQ2 crafting required items from more than 2 craft professions.

    Leveling your Profession was also incredibly slow and expensive.
    At one point I remember I had to craft hundreds of sets (7 pieces each) just to get a single level.
    Definitely not for everyone.

    If you played EQ2 recently, the game has got nothing to do with the game at launch.
    The gap is bigger than between WoW retail and Classic.
    You've missed my point entirely.  Having crafting professions need components from another profession does not drive trade; it encourages people to create an alt and do it yourself.



    Well, it could drive trade. We traded for components all the time in Lineage 2. Having said that, that game is an old game where you needed a lot of components and where it was very time consuming to get them.

    It really depends on the game. If it's hard to be a crafter or a "scavenger" as well as a warrior/mage "whatever" at the same time then people will resort to doing some trading. 

    But if it's a game where you can easily be all things then sure, that's what some people will do.
    PalebaneAlBQuirky
  • Vermillion_RaventhalVermillion_Raventhal Member EpicPosts: 4,099
    Handing out SOW is more meaningfully social than zerging world events.
    PalebaneAlBQuirky
  • MendelMendel Member EpicPosts: 3,899
    Sovrath said:
    Mendel said:
    TEKK3N said:
    Mendel said:
    TEKK3N said:
    Kyleran said:
    Thought for sure I once read somewhere about a MMORPG that had a multiple player crafting mechanic at launch, (later removed)  perhaps EQ2?
    Not exactly.
    EQ2 had interdependency between crafters, so you were never self sufficient.
    I really liked it.
    It's a bit of a fallacy that crafting interdependency drives social interaction.  In every game where crafts are dependent on another craft, it only drives creation of alts.  The person remain self sufficient across multiple characters.  This is something that games *should* look into, especially in group oriented games.



    Well that’s a bit superficial.
    You are basing your comment on games like WOW where you can go from lvl 1 to max in less than a month.

    EQ2 leveling at launch was faster than EQ1 but slower than WOW.
    In theory you could have many Crafting Alts but in reality you could have 2 feasible ones for a very long time, as you had to also level your character to have access to high level nodes for the raw materials.
    And EQ2 crafting required items from more than 2 craft professions.

    Leveling your Profession was also incredibly slow and expensive.
    At one point I remember I had to craft hundreds of sets (7 pieces each) just to get a single level.
    Definitely not for everyone.

    If you played EQ2 recently, the game has got nothing to do with the game at launch.
    The gap is bigger than between WoW retail and Classic.
    You've missed my point entirely.  Having crafting professions need components from another profession does not drive trade; it encourages people to create an alt and do it yourself.



    Well, it could drive trade. We traded for components all the time in Lineage 2. Having said that, that game is an old game where you needed a lot of components and where it was very time consuming to get them.

    It really depends on the game. If it's hard to be a crafter or a "scavenger" as well as a warrior/mage "whatever" at the same time then people will resort to doing some trading. 

    But if it's a game where you can easily be all things then sure, that's what some people will do.
    Rare mats drive trade.  Typically these drop from mobs.  There is no secondary market for subcomponents.

    Having a leather working pattern for the Tailoring skill require a buckle made by the Smithing skill doesn't.  The character will either make all the components (EQ1), or switch to an alt to make the subcomponents they can't (EQ2 or LotRO).  There's no interaction with another person whatsoever.



    KyleranAlBQuirky

    Logic, my dear, merely enables one to be wrong with great authority.

  • AmarantharAmaranthar Member EpicPosts: 4,182
    One way to create social interaction might be to have player built and run cities who compete for player citizens and trade as a means to fund growth. 
    With tools such as contracts, voting, banishment, a city treasury with taxation to pay for contracted things and fostering city growth, etc. 
    Add also, city alliances.
    I think that would naturally create a lot of interaction between players, as well a lot of realistic politics. 
    AlBQuirky

    Once upon a time....

  • KyleranKyleran Member LegendaryPosts: 36,353
    One way to create social interaction might be to have player built and run cities who compete for player citizens and trade as a means to fund growth. 
    With tools such as contracts, voting, banishment, a city treasury with taxation to pay for contracted things and fostering city growth, etc. 
    Add also, city alliances.
    I think that would naturally create a lot of interaction between players, as well a lot of realistic politics. 
    I think SotA was trying for such a design but let the funding model turn everything tits up. 
    AmarantharAlBQuirky

    "See normal people, I'm not one of them" | G-Easy & Big Sean

    "I need to finish" - Christian Wolff: The Accountant

    Just trying to live long enough to play a new, released MMORPG, playing FO76 at the moment.

    Fools find no pleasure in understanding, but delight in airing their own opinions. Pvbs 18:2, NIV

    Don't just play games, inhabit virtual worlds™

    "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






  • AmarantharAmaranthar Member EpicPosts: 4,182
    edited October 2019
    Kyleran said:
    One way to create social interaction might be to have player built and run cities who compete for player citizens and trade as a means to fund growth. 
    With tools such as contracts, voting, banishment, a city treasury with taxation to pay for contracted things and fostering city growth, etc. 
    Add also, city alliances.
    I think that would naturally create a lot of interaction between players, as well a lot of realistic politics. 
    I think SotA was trying for such a design but let the funding model turn everything tits up. 
    It just seems to me that interdependency between the city (leadership/guild/whoever sets it up), the citizens, and even visiting or freelancing (traders, harvesters, anyone really) players is a great way to build interactions and social bonds on a grand scale. 

    Cities would be limited by available housing and land for shops, etc. by location and land space. So they aren't likely to become a new zerg system. 

    And unhappy players can always sell their property and move to a better place for themselves. 
    AlBQuirky

    Once upon a time....

  • KyleranKyleran Member LegendaryPosts: 36,353
    kitarad said:
    Mendel said:
    TEKK3N said:
    Mendel said:
    TEKK3N said:
    Kyleran said:
    Thought for sure I once read somewhere about a MMORPG that had a multiple player crafting mechanic at launch, (later removed)  perhaps EQ2?
    Not exactly.
    EQ2 had interdependency between crafters, so you were never self sufficient.
    I really liked it.
    It's a bit of a fallacy that crafting interdependency drives social interaction.  In every game where crafts are dependent on another craft, it only drives creation of alts.  The person remain self sufficient across multiple characters.  This is something that games *should* look into, especially in group oriented games.



    Well that’s a bit superficial.
    You are basing your comment on games like WOW where you can go from lvl 1 to max in less than a month.

    EQ2 leveling at launch was faster than EQ1 but slower than WOW.
    In theory you could have many Crafting Alts but in reality you could have 2 feasible ones for a very long time, as you had to also level your character to have access to high level nodes for the raw materials.
    And EQ2 crafting required items from more than 2 craft professions.

    Leveling your Profession was also incredibly slow and expensive.
    At one point I remember I had to craft hundreds of sets (7 pieces each) just to get a single level.
    Definitely not for everyone.

    If you played EQ2 recently, the game has got nothing to do with the game at launch.
    The gap is bigger than between WoW retail and Classic.
    You've missed my point entirely.  Having crafting professions need components from another profession does not drive trade; it encourages people to create an alt and do it yourself.



    Exactly I had a crafter for everything and because of the shared two slots in the bank I could pass everything I needed from one alt to the other.
    One big reason I eventually ended up paying for six EVE subs was every time it was pointed out an activity could be accomplished more efficiently if someone helped me I started another new account.

    Need someone to scout the next system ahead? Open an account. Need a trailing scout, open an account.

    At my peak I would use 4 or 5 accounts to either scout, open jump portals, or even fly a sacrificial"bait" ship, drawing the pirates away from my fully loaded haulers with billions of ISK in them all while they mocked how bad I was in EVE letting them kill my 100M ISK boat.

    The laugh was on them.
    AlBQuirkyAmathe

    "See normal people, I'm not one of them" | G-Easy & Big Sean

    "I need to finish" - Christian Wolff: The Accountant

    Just trying to live long enough to play a new, released MMORPG, playing FO76 at the moment.

    Fools find no pleasure in understanding, but delight in airing their own opinions. Pvbs 18:2, NIV

    Don't just play games, inhabit virtual worlds™

    "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






  • cameltosiscameltosis Member EpicPosts: 2,594
    Kyleran said:
    I view grouping as just one of the many ways players can interact with others in a MMORPG.

    Others include PVP, trading, face to face or shop, auction houses not so much, world chats, mail, and even when griefing others. (There are more I'm sure)

    Every time a player chooses to eschew one of these features for one reason or another they are IMO depriving themselves of a potentially entertaining interaction.

    Ignoring enough of them well validates the premise that MMORPGs have become or are more enjoyable playing solo.

    I am hoping to use this thread to discuss what sorts of designs other games have used or should include to make as many if not all social mechanics more appealing as this is where I believe the genre's devs have largely failed to take full advantage of.

    Oh, and if you have no interest in socializing while gaming feel free to state so and why, but my intent is to focus more on solutions rather than avoidance. 


    So, first things first: grouping teaches us teamwork, which is a completely separate thing to socialising. I won't talk about ways to improve teamwork as I assume you're only really concerned with socialising (that seems to be the gist of ur post anyway, apologies if I got that wrong!).

    Second: socialising requires downtime.

    It's basically a law of psychology. In order for us to socialise, we must have enough mental capacity free to devote to socialising. When we are in the heat of the moment, fully engaged with the game, we simply don't have the mental capacity to do anything else. This is most clearly demonstrated in multiplayer FPS games. The games require your undivided attention and you're constantly on the move. So, despite the fact that you are in a "forced" group the whole time, FPS games have the lowest social interactions because players simply don't have the time to form them.

    So, rethink how you approach downtime. It doesn't have to mean massive cooldowns or arbitrary waiting periods for ships/travel or whatever. But, you have to make sure your game includes plenty of downtime, spread around appropriately. This also makes sense mentally - if the game didn't have downtime, you'd burn out very quickly. The brain simply can't concentrate and stay at that high level of attention for long.


    Next step is matching socialising methods with your attention troughs.

    If your downtime is only 10 seconds inbetween fights, that's not really enough time to socialise via typing in one sitting, but if you have that 10 second downtime every 2 minutes then perhaps you can carry on a conversation. But what about voice chat? Well, we can convey a lot more information via voice than chat in the same time. If you don't have much downtime in your game but still want to socialise, you need to provide social methods that increase throughput - i.e. add voice chat to your game to make socialising quicker. If you can't add voice chat, then increase the amount or frequency of downtime.


    Next, where do you socialise?

    This becomes a study on traffic flow - how do humans navigate their worlds? where do we bump into each other? where do we socialise? What can we change to improve the chances of socialising? There are numerous case studies about how changing the layout of an office massively improved productivity/happiness due to increased socialising. For example, putting all the office printers in one place creates a space where workers have downtime (they're waiting for something to print) and proximity to others, so they socialise, share ideas and motivate one another.

    In MMOs, there are three main places where players come together frequently:
    • The Pit Stop - going to the bank, visiting trainers, going to the auction house
    • The Staging Post - the place where prepare themselves prior to adventures
    • The Recovery Room- the place where people go once they've finished their adventures.

    Pit stops are not very effective at promoting socialising. They do indeed force players together at a specific location, but remember the attention trough? When players are at a pitstop, all their attention is focused on the activity. Its really hard to chat with someone when you're searching the auction house. When I'm at the bank, I dont want to pause, chat with someone, then come back. Pit stops also often feel like an inconvenience, so we're usually in a desparate rush to finish them.

    One example where pitstops worked is the Blacksmiths in UO. As these were real people with real reputations, players accepted the inconvenience more, lines were formed to wait for the skilled blacksmiths. Essentially, the devs introduced downtime (waiting in line) for this pitstop, and mitigated negativity by revolving around real people who were valued in the community.


    Staging posts tend to be the most popular social spots, but also the least invested in by devs. If the devs dont create their own staging posts, players will just make their own one. I'm thinking places like Anchorhead or outside the spaceport of Coronet in SWG. In LotRO, the staging post was first in Bree, for a while it was in Angmar, then 21st Hall in Moria etc. These places are usually somewhere with pitstops that are also close to where the adventures are.

    The reason they are good at prompting socialising is because the act of "staging an adventure" requires minimal attention, leaving us free time to socialise. Shouting out "LFM 4/6 need tank and mezz" every 30 seconds requires no thought, so you can chat whilst you wait. Players also keep coming back to staging posts and that repeated contact improves social bonding.


    The recovery room is also one that hasn't had much investment but I hope will start to receive it in the future. Recovery rooms are things like taverns. You've just been out on an adventure and that adventure required your attention. Maybe it was a raid, maybe it was PvP, maybe you were just leveling up solo. But, you're now tired because your attention was focused for a while and you personally need some downtime (rather than your character). A recovery room is great for this - head to the tavern and just socialise.

    The most important role of the recovery room is to "immortalise your adventure". Essentially, this is where you create your own story. Humans do this all the time, and I'm not talking about roleplay either. I'll give you an example.

    The first time my guild killed the Balrog in LotRO, we all went to the prancing pony in Bree afterwards. We spent maybe 10-15 minutes having ales and simply chatting about that evenings raid. What we were doing, at a core level, was taking 12 individual experiences of the fight and through socialising, turned it into a shared narrative. We turned our fight, our individual actions, into a "story". We immortalised that fight for ourselves and through doing so increased our social bonds.

    This is something humans do whenever we do something that we consider interesting or significant - we tell other people. By doing so, we turn a sequence of events into something more meaningful. We tell stories, and through stories we bond.
    AmatheKyleranAlBQuirkykitarad
  • H0urg1assH0urg1ass Member EpicPosts: 2,380
    Personally, I like grouping with other players to accomplish something.

    That being said, I've come to, over the years, really prefer quick groups for quick action in relatively short dungeons.

    The concept of spending an entire evening with 20+ other people all on comms to take whack after whack at some dungeon boss is just not my idea of fun anymore.  I used to really love that kind of challenge, but now I much prefer to hop in a queue for a specific 30-60 minute dungeon and crank through it.

    Even better if I don't have to have comms.  As in it's difficult, but not so difficult that we have to make callouts and communicate verbally.

    I hate myself for even saying good things about this utter dumpster fire, but the only thing I enjoyed about SWTOR were the Flashpoints.  You queue up for them with your class, get matched with other classes and tossed into the mission.  30-60 minutes later you either killed or died to the final boss and moved on to another FP.

    PalebaneKyleranAlBQuirky
  • KyleranKyleran Member LegendaryPosts: 36,353
    @cameltosis, excellent post, best in thread so far, and hey, at least two of us read it.

    Downtime is definitely a key component of socialization because as you noted, who can even voice chat much when the action is fast and furious?

    Your ideas to get players together are well thought out and I've witnessed the downsides to each.

    SWG famously launched with entertainers and medics to improve socialization which was descibed by CGW reviewers as a very hateful experience (long lines of players sitting around and waiting).

    After seeing this I decided just for that reason I wouldn't consider playing, so you know what they say, even with the best intentions some features just don't work out so well.
    AlBQuirkycameltosis

    "See normal people, I'm not one of them" | G-Easy & Big Sean

    "I need to finish" - Christian Wolff: The Accountant

    Just trying to live long enough to play a new, released MMORPG, playing FO76 at the moment.

    Fools find no pleasure in understanding, but delight in airing their own opinions. Pvbs 18:2, NIV

    Don't just play games, inhabit virtual worlds™

    "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






  • DibdabsDibdabs Member RarePosts: 2,930
    Kyleran said:
    Every time a player chooses to eschew one of these features for one reason or another they are IMO depriving themselves of a potentially entertaining interaction.

    Not in my opinion.  The MMORPG population these days is usually A) too large, B) too fleeting and C) rushing through in-game content to make it worth socializing with other players.  In EQ the population was small enough and players stayed around long enough so that you got to know people.  They were usually around for months at a time too, because the release rate of new MMORPGs was slow, so players didn't abandon a game just because something new and shiny had come along.  Other players would get to know someone so well they'd vouch for them in player-to-player trade chat and would cross entire zones on foot just to help them out.

    Those days are long gone.  I prefer using voice chat to socialize as I play, but with RL friends and family and not people in-game.


    AlBQuirkyScot
  • ScotScot Member LegendaryPosts: 13,308
    Dibdabs said:
    Kyleran said:
    Every time a player chooses to eschew one of these features for one reason or another they are IMO depriving themselves of a potentially entertaining interaction.

    Not in my opinion.  The MMORPG population these days is usually A) too large, B) too fleeting and C) rushing through in-game content to make it worth socializing with other players.  In EQ the population was small enough and players stayed around long enough so that you got to know people.  They were usually around for months at a time too, because the release rate of new MMORPGs was slow, so players didn't abandon a game just because something new and shiny had come along.  Other players would get to know someone so well they'd vouch for them in player-to-player trade chat and would cross entire zones on foot just to help them out.

    Those days are long gone.  I prefer using voice chat to socialize as I play, but with RL friends and family and not people in-game.

    There is a parallel to social media here. In the old days of bulletin boards and their successors I had a much greater sense of "we are all in it together". The same in gaming, it was our passion and you helped out those with the same passion. But the key to that may have been the anonymity in both games and the predecessors to social media. Once you started to be yourself either in gaming voice chat or Face book, people started to form groups of like thinking individuals in their bubbles. In gaming it is me and my mates, in social media more me and those who think like me. The alternate explanation is that social media effected gaming by making us become more friends and acquaintance based rather than based on a love of gaming.

    RungarAlBQuirky

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  • RungarRungar Member UncommonPosts: 67
    Scot said:
    Dibdabs said:
    Kyleran said:
    Every time a player chooses to eschew one of these features for one reason or another they are IMO depriving themselves of a potentially entertaining interaction.

    Not in my opinion.  The MMORPG population these days is usually A) too large, B) too fleeting and C) rushing through in-game content to make it worth socializing with other players.  In EQ the population was small enough and players stayed around long enough so that you got to know people.  They were usually around for months at a time too, because the release rate of new MMORPGs was slow, so players didn't abandon a game just because something new and shiny had come along.  Other players would get to know someone so well they'd vouch for them in player-to-player trade chat and would cross entire zones on foot just to help them out.

    Those days are long gone.  I prefer using voice chat to socialize as I play, but with RL friends and family and not people in-game.

    There is a parallel to social media here. In the old days of bulletin boards and their successors I had a much greater sense of "we are all in it together". The same in gaming, it was our passion and you helped out those with the same passion. But the key to that may have been the anonymity in both games and the predecessors to social media. Once you started to be yourself either in gaming voice chat or Face book, people started to form groups of like thinking individuals in their bubbles. In gaming it is me and my mates, in social media more me and those who think like me. The alternate explanation is that social media effected gaming by making us become more friends and acquaintance based rather than based on a love of gaming.

    mmo's are definitely alot more clique-y these days. You can be in a guild with hundreds of people but if your not in the clique your still solo.  You can request help and get none or offer help and no interest but when one of the cliquies  pipes up its all hands on deck. 

    This is part of the reason why guilds fail these days to engage players but the truth is that you cant force social interaction. If people want to interact they will when they want to and with who they want to, not when you want them to. People like to follow certain people. Its usually a disaster but whatever lol. 


    MendelAlBQuirkyScotKyleranNorseGod
    We shall know them by their works
  • RungarRungar Member UncommonPosts: 67
    so the answer to  the social interaction problem is actually pretty simple.  NPC guilds that have no leadership. This is a clique obliterating entity as it removes the power structure from the guild. 

    so the idea is that you join an npc guild of common purpose " fighters guild" and you get all the same stuff you see in regular guilds like special chats, guild hall, special vendors etc with the exception that  the leadership are all drama less npc's. 

    on the surface it would seem less social but think about how people operate in power structures you will soon realize that the true laid back atmosphere that would be created would overcome any shortcomings. 
    MendelPalebaneAmaranthar
    We shall know them by their works
  • MendelMendel Member EpicPosts: 3,899
    Rungar said:
    so the answer to  the social interaction problem is actually pretty simple.  NPC guilds that have no leadership. This is a clique obliterating entity as it removes the power structure from the guild. 

    so the idea is that you join an npc guild of common purpose " fighters guild" and you get all the same stuff you see in regular guilds like special chats, guild hall, special vendors etc with the exception that  the leadership are all drama less npc's. 

    on the surface it would seem less social but think about how people operate in power structures you will soon realize that the true laid back atmosphere that would be created would overcome any shortcomings. 
    Interesting idea, @Rungar.  It *might* work, depending on how this neutral guild was implemented.  There would still be things that could generate drama -- loot, guild storage, booting people, etc.  Most of that would happen at a Raid level.  For groups, it could certainly work.  But at that level, it is more a group of friends than a guild.



    Logic, my dear, merely enables one to be wrong with great authority.

  • PalebanePalebane Member RarePosts: 3,930
    edited October 2019
    I’ve always thought it would be cool if a game had hired faction, guild, or raid leaders; Real people that work for the company giving out quests, spawning enemies, basically doing the Dungeon Master or Commander role, allocating resources, choosing targets, etc. This is where celebrity status in video games should lie, imo.

    I’ve often wanted to be part of something bigger in the MMORPGs I play, but so many are catered to the individual for reasons its hard to argue against, like money, time, and progression.
    AlBQuirky

    Vault-Tec analysts have concluded that the odds of worldwide nuclear armaggeddon this decade are 17,143,762... to 1.

  • RungarRungar Member UncommonPosts: 67
    edited October 2019
    Mendel said:
    Rungar said:
    so the answer to  the social interaction problem is actually pretty simple.  NPC guilds that have no leadership. This is a clique obliterating entity as it removes the power structure from the guild. 

    so the idea is that you join an npc guild of common purpose " fighters guild" and you get all the same stuff you see in regular guilds like special chats, guild hall, special vendors etc with the exception that  the leadership are all drama less npc's. 

    on the surface it would seem less social but think about how people operate in power structures you will soon realize that the true laid back atmosphere that would be created would overcome any shortcomings. 
    Interesting idea, @Rungar.  It *might* work, depending on how this neutral guild was implemented.  There would still be things that could generate drama -- loot, guild storage, booting people, etc.  Most of that would happen at a Raid level.  For groups, it could certainly work.  But at that level, it is more a group of friends than a guild.


     

    i compare it to joining a gym as opposed to joining a cult :).
    We shall know them by their works
  • cameltosiscameltosis Member EpicPosts: 2,594
    Kyleran said:
    @cameltosis, excellent post, best in thread so far, and hey, at least two of us read it.

    Downtime is definitely a key component of socialization because as you noted, who can even voice chat much when the action is fast and furious?

    Your ideas to get players together are well thought out and I've witnessed the downsides to each.

    SWG famously launched with entertainers and medics to improve socialization which was descibed by CGW reviewers as a very hateful experience (long lines of players sitting around and waiting).

    After seeing this I decided just for that reason I wouldn't consider playing, so you know what they say, even with the best intentions some features just don't work out so well.
    Thanks for the kind words dude :-)

    It's well worth reading through Raph's musing on "The Trust Spectrum" if you haven't before. It's a pretty dense read but talks a lot about how humans make friends (through increasing levels of trust) and then goes on to talk about actual gameplay mechanics that fit into the trust spectrum, the strengths and weaknesses etc.

    It also touches on Dunbar's number which also plays into the ways in which we can socialise.


    What's interesting about this work is that it explains how teamwork helps to build trust at the start of the trust spectrum, but then socialising takes over from teamwork to continue to build trust and form friendships. It does, however, also say that simply due to the medium, there is an upper limit to the trust spectrum. Without face-to-face contact, we'll never achieve the closest possible social bond and so there is no point building gameplay mechanics that require that level of trust. Whilst those games can exist, they require you to play with real life friends and so the target audience becomes tiny.

    With Dunbar's number, it's basically a pyramid of ascending levels of trust/friendships. The smaller the number on the pyramid, the greater the level of trust and thus the highest possible challenges can be achieved. As the groups get bigger and bigger, the challenge level should be reduced because we simply cannot understand everyone in the group and thus plan/function effectively.

    A person has, on average, 5 close friends that they trust highly. In gameplay terms, this is your standard group size and in actual fact, we should be targeting our hardest content at this group size as this is the group size that is most effective at working together.

    Next on the pyramid is 15, your typical friendship group that includes your 5 close friends. In gameplay, this is what you should build your raids around and is why we often see 12-20 person raids. Bigger than that and it gets harder to coordinate with no real benefit, and this kinda explains why 40man raids of old were such a ballache to organise and run.

    After that is 50, your group of extended friends that includes your friendship group and close friends. This is most often seen in games as the average active players in a guild - we see these players a lot and feel kinship with them, but might not necessarily spend that much time gaming with.

    Then you have Dunbar's number itself - 150. This is your list of friends and acquantances, you know how they all relate to one another but you might not be friends with all. Again, we see this in games through guilds, typically the total number of players in the guild but not all of them are that active. (also seen everywhere else, from friends lists on facebook, company sizes, and village sizes in pre-industrial countries and times.


    What we haven't seen in games much / at all yet is the rest of the pyramid. There are other levels at 1500, 2500, 5000 and 50,000. We tend to see these figures most in the military, these are the levels best suited for organising large groups of humans. 50,000 is the number typically needed for people to feel like they belong to a "state".

    Can MMOs build on this? We sort of see the 2500/5000 numbers in terms of factions - if a server has a cap of 10,000, you'll see 5k in each faction and players start to feel like they belong to it. Games don't yet really give us much to do as part of our factions. But what if an MMO allowed 50k per faction? Would we start to feel like we belonged to a virtual state? Would that additional sense of belonging improve retention, or perhaps give us extra incentive to help those around us?




    AlBQuirkyKyleran
  • NorseGodNorseGod Member EpicPosts: 2,634
    Rungar said:
    Scot said:
    Dibdabs said:
    Kyleran said:




    mmo's are definitely alot more clique-y these days. You can be in a guild with hundreds of people but if your not in the clique your still solo.  You can request help and get none or offer help and no interest but when one of the cliquies  pipes up its all hands on deck. 




    This is why I don't even bother joining guilds.
    AlBQuirkyDibdabs
    To talk about games without the censorship, check out https://www.reddit.com/r/MMORPG/
  • KyleranKyleran Member LegendaryPosts: 36,353
    Kyleran said:
    @cameltosis, excellent post, best in thread so far, and hey, at least two of us read it.

    Downtime is definitely a key component of socialization because as you noted, who can even voice chat much when the action is fast and furious?

    Your ideas to get players together are well thought out and I've witnessed the downsides to each.

    SWG famously launched with entertainers and medics to improve socialization which was descibed by CGW reviewers as a very hateful experience (long lines of players sitting around and waiting).

    After seeing this I decided just for that reason I wouldn't consider playing, so you know what they say, even with the best intentions some features just don't work out so well.
    Thanks for the kind words dude :-)

    It's well worth reading through Raph's musing on "The Trust Spectrum" if you haven't before. It's a pretty dense read but talks a lot about how humans make friends (through increasing levels of trust) and then goes on to talk about actual gameplay mechanics that fit into the trust spectrum, the strengths and weaknesses etc.

    It also touches on Dunbar's number which also plays into the ways in which we can socialise.


    What's interesting about this work is that it explains how teamwork helps to build trust at the start of the trust spectrum, but then socialising takes over from teamwork to continue to build trust and form friendships. It does, however, also say that simply due to the medium, there is an upper limit to the trust spectrum. Without face-to-face contact, we'll never achieve the closest possible social bond and so there is no point building gameplay mechanics that require that level of trust. Whilst those games can exist, they require you to play with real life friends and so the target audience becomes tiny.

    With Dunbar's number, it's basically a pyramid of ascending levels of trust/friendships. The smaller the number on the pyramid, the greater the level of trust and thus the highest possible challenges can be achieved. As the groups get bigger and bigger, the challenge level should be reduced because we simply cannot understand everyone in the group and thus plan/function effectively.

    A person has, on average, 5 close friends that they trust highly. In gameplay terms, this is your standard group size and in actual fact, we should be targeting our hardest content at this group size as this is the group size that is most effective at working together.

    Next on the pyramid is 15, your typical friendship group that includes your 5 close friends. In gameplay, this is what you should build your raids around and is why we often see 12-20 person raids. Bigger than that and it gets harder to coordinate with no real benefit, and this kinda explains why 40man raids of old were such a ballache to organise and run.

    After that is 50, your group of extended friends that includes your friendship group and close friends. This is most often seen in games as the average active players in a guild - we see these players a lot and feel kinship with them, but might not necessarily spend that much time gaming with.

    Then you have Dunbar's number itself - 150. This is your list of friends and acquantances, you know how they all relate to one another but you might not be friends with all. Again, we see this in games through guilds, typically the total number of players in the guild but not all of them are that active. (also seen everywhere else, from friends lists on facebook, company sizes, and village sizes in pre-industrial countries and times.


    What we haven't seen in games much / at all yet is the rest of the pyramid. There are other levels at 1500, 2500, 5000 and 50,000. We tend to see these figures most in the military, these are the levels best suited for organising large groups of humans. 50,000 is the number typically needed for people to feel like they belong to a "state".

    Can MMOs build on this? We sort of see the 2500/5000 numbers in terms of factions - if a server has a cap of 10,000, you'll see 5k in each faction and players start to feel like they belong to it. Games don't yet really give us much to do as part of our factions. But what if an MMO allowed 50k per faction? Would we start to feel like we belonged to a virtual state? Would that additional sense of belonging improve retention, or perhaps give us extra incentive to help those around us?




    Will definitely catch up on your reading recommendation and thanks for explaining Dunbar's number, a term I've often heard of but never looked up.

    Regarding the larger end of the spectrum I would say EVE comes the closest, which considering how military like most organization such as alliances are it isn't really surprising.

    Eve has supported large scale battles with several thousand players on each side being coordinated.

    I recall flying in one large engagement where we had varying layers and levels of text and voice chats to coordinate the efforts of the Russians, the Goons and many others which actually went quiet well.
    AlBQuirky

    "See normal people, I'm not one of them" | G-Easy & Big Sean

    "I need to finish" - Christian Wolff: The Accountant

    Just trying to live long enough to play a new, released MMORPG, playing FO76 at the moment.

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