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The illusion of difficulty in high end group content

Ralphie2449Ralphie2449 Member UncommonPosts: 447
One common argument seen when there's the "high end rewards vs solo rewards" debate is that high end group content is harder therefore deserving of better rewards.

But the truth is that usually is not the case because the difficulty of high end group content often has the illusion of difficulty.

If you do the mechanics well and perform well dps wise you can still be rewarded with failure in high end group content because someone else failed the above, this was not a mistake of yours, you didnt do anything wrong, you did not deserve this failure because you played your part great both mechanically and performance wise.
The reality is high end group content is not that hard the vast majority of the time. that is because it is never truly extremely hard otherwise nobody but an extremely tiny minority would clear it, talking about less than 0.1% of a population

Most group encounters create an illusion of difficulty and that is easy to explain, the devs cannot create something that requires literally perfect performance otherwise the above scenario would happen.

At that scenario only computers and literally perfect players with 0 mistakes both mechanical and dps wise can beat it, we are talking about 100% performance and perfect timing.
So the devs obviously have to create some room for error, let's say 5% for the hardest difficulty, a very small amount for group wide error, plus keep in mind they have to try balance so it is viable for all combs so another maybe 1-2% of error room is added.

For the next lower difficulty you have an even bigger room for error, let's say 15%.
The error % is obviously made up but if you want a number you can try gauge it by how easy it is to carry someone in said content if you play well, the moment carrying is possible(and literally buying carries) it is the moment you have to realize perfect play is VERY FAR from required.

So let's say each person has a performance score that combines mechanics and dps performance. (And let's ignore the common scenario of a raid wiping mechanic targeting the bad player and instantly wiping the entire group cuz of them)
1: 95%
2: 97%
3: 90%
4: 93%
5: 70%
6: 85%
7: 80%
8: 50%

Total average being: 82.5
Total average required to clear savage boss: 85%

So even though all these 5 people performed well enough and some way above what was required they still failed the encounter which results in the illusion of challenge, if we took player no.2 and copied him into 7 others and let's say he has the same performance as a healer and a tank the raid boss would be a joke for him and he would even be able to clear the highest difficulty. (Note: The percentages are obviously rarely like that, it is rare for the bad performance to only belong to one or two people, its often a few people under 85% and the few decent players who are above 85% are not that far ahead of 85% to carry the rest)

That is why often for good players high end solo content feels like a joke and too easy, because there is no illusion there since you are in complete control of the encounter, you do it well and beat it, simple. You dont have to try much and beat it quickly because you are already above the performance required, it feels easy.

Meanwhile in a group encounter even though you might play almost perfectly you can keep failing which makes the raid boss feel like a challenge, but the truth is you are already able to beat the boss, it isnt difficult, you are simply pushing to carry others harder which creates the illusion of difficulty.

So what we have that matters individually is ability to manage the encounter's mechanics while keeping a strong dps performance, the thing you have CONTROL OVER as a player.
Those 2 can easily be placed in any solo encounter and that includes deep dungeons therefore you have similar difficulty solo content that deserves the same rewards, and honestly you can tune it so it is even harder because it is a lot easier to manage encounter design with 1 player than 8 with different classes.

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Comments

  • KnightFalzKnightFalz Member EpicPosts: 2,580
    Group content requires a synchronization of effort whereas solo content does not. That alone makes it more difficult as it increases the opportunity for failure in action and adds the potential for failure through miscommunication.
    tzervoThe_KorriganKyleranAlBQuirkyTheDalaiBomba
  • Ralphie2449Ralphie2449 Member UncommonPosts: 447
    Group content requires a synchronization of effort whereas solo content does not. That alone makes it more difficult as it increases the opportunity for failure in action and adds the potential for failure through miscommunication.

    Then I guess if you and another car agree who goes first but the other guy screws up and crashes onto you aka "something you are not control of" you just call that "higher difficulty" xD?

    Reality is, you didnt fail coordination, the other person did which once again is something out of your own control.

    Difficulty exist in relation to things you can control, not things you are not in control.

    If a meteor crashes next to my home I wont be calling that higher difficulty
    KyleranUngoodAlBQuirkySandmanjw
  • delete5230delete5230 Member EpicPosts: 6,881
    I'll have to consult my scientist
    Deathkon1KyleranUngoodAlBQuirkyMendelbcbully
  • KnightFalzKnightFalz Member EpicPosts: 2,580
    Group content requires a synchronization of effort whereas solo content does not. That alone makes it more difficult as it increases the opportunity for failure in action and adds the potential for failure through miscommunication.

    Then I guess if you and another car agree who goes first but the other guy screws up and crashes onto you aka "something you are not control of" you just call that "higher difficulty" xD?

    Reality is, you didnt fail coordination, the other person did which once again is something out of your own control.

    Difficulty exist in relation to things you can control, not things you are not in control.

    If a meteor crashes next to my home I wont be calling that higher difficulty
    It is more difficult to drive safely in heavy traffic than on a deserted road. There are far more traffic accidents in traffic than not.

    That difficulty comes from one person not being in precise control of everything. Rather, there are many people in control of many things and not all of them will be equally precise in handling them. The collective opportunity for error is higher.

    In collaborative effort success and failure is of the group, not the individual. Pointing fingers in blame rather than collectively working to improve is indicative of a failure to understand that by those involved.

    If a meteor crashes next to your home and you happen to be there there is a good chance you won't be calling anything.
    tzervoAlBQuirkyBrainy
  • AdamantineAdamantine Member RarePosts: 4,643
    I fail to understand what this thread is about.

    If you're doing everything right, then you're not usually supposed to be in trouble.

    What exactly is surprising about this. Because I dont get whats surprising about this.

    Thus if you're maxlevel in great gear and have gotten their by your own work, thus are experienced at the game, and are in a group of likewise players, you wont get into trouble that often.

    Again, not surprising either. Unless I'm missing something.

    And for the ultimate challenge, we have boss battles or even raids, i.e. boss battles with multiple groups of attackers. There you're supposed to coordinate on an especially high level, use the right abilities at the exactly correct time, have the right classes present for this boss, etc.

    AlBQuirky
  • Ralphie2449Ralphie2449 Member UncommonPosts: 447
    That difficulty comes from one person not being in precise control of everything.

    In collaborative effort success and failure is of the group, not the individual. Pointing fingers in blame rather than collectively working to improve is indicative of a failure to understand that by those involved.
    "The difficulty comes from things that are out of your control"

    By your own "its about the group, not the individual" logic then, people who buy boosts are part of that success since you choose to see it as a "group" rather than individual player performance.


    Because like I explained on my initial post, the performance required can be calculated, whoever is above it, is gucci, whoever is below it is not.

    You want to say that the achievement belongs to the group, well that includes the people who underperformed and the buyers who performed below average or got killed by mechanics since if the fight has some mechanic that can wipe the group you ask the buyer to die at start.

    Individuals in groups almost never perform just exactly on the performance required, it is often a few carrying a few others, when everyone is performing above that required performance the mythic raid fight feels like a joke, because it is. But because there's often people who underperform it leads to the illusion of great difficulty.


    Plus let's go back to reality cuz I am pretty sure people dont enjoy wiping repeatedly cuz someone failed the mechanics repeatedly, I dont believe they enjoy the "coordination" as you say else there wouldnt be drama or problems with players who are "slower".


    I fail to understand what this thread is about.

    The point is simple really, to point out and dispel that illusion of difficulty that exists in high end group content.

    Especially since that illusion has lead to many big and fragile egos since some gamers choose to put their self worth on clearing high end group content.

    Which leads to the argument of "solo players shouldnt have good gear rewards because solo challenges are easy" while in the reality it can easily be on the level of high end group content, but because people have to deal with failure from others they start believing high end raiding is ultra hard and complicated and a huge achievement while the solo challenge that did relatively feel easy is not.

    Anyone who has played with people who know their classes and encounter mechanics aka all members are above the minimum performance requirement to clear have felt what a joke many high end group content encounters are.

    Yet many to this day still pretend as if high end group content is some huge achievement and some ultra hard content.
    UngoodAlBQuirky
  • ScotScot Member LegendaryPosts: 18,000
    edited May 9
    Ralphie you are going to have to correct me here if I am wrong, but you are the guy who spoke out against any sort of grouping what so ever. So forgive me when I pass on reading your latest tome on why MMORPS must be 100% solo.

    One question, what actual grouping have you done yourself, have you ever even been in a raid, if so what MMOs? I should point out I don't think only raiders can talk about raiding, but this will give us some perspective when you talk about high end content.
    delete5230AlBQuirkyBrainy
  • tzervotzervo Member EpicPosts: 2,672
    edited May 9
    Under the assumption of group members of approximately equal skill, the extra difficulty comes from the increased complexity of coordination, communication, group timing and group mechanics.

    If a member performs consistently badly, you kick them or train them. If you perform badly you get kicked and find a group that does training sessions.

    If you keep blaming others, odds are the problem is you because you are the constant in all groups, and other groups succeed.

    The analogy with the car: you get insurance and make the other guy pay. You get a group of level approximately equal to yours. If not, you switch group or members. There are always things you can control. 
    ScotAlBQuirky
  • AdamantineAdamantine Member RarePosts: 4,643
    Scot said:
    [...] So forgive me when I pass on reading your latest tome on why MMORPS must be 100% solo.
    Oh, THAT is what the thread is all about. Now it all makes sense.

    AlBQuirkyBrainy
  • Deathkon1Deathkon1 Member UncommonPosts: 467
    Scot said:
    Ralphie you are going to have to correct me here if I am wrong, but you are the guy who spoke out against any sort of grouping what so ever. So forgive me when I pass on reading your latest tome on why MMORPS must be 100% solo.
    This is why I skim read and if I don't find the skim reading interesting enough I don't do a full read there are exceptions though like a title of a thread being a good readers digest and me thinking its worth the deep dive analysis 
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  • ScotScot Member LegendaryPosts: 18,000
    edited May 9
    Deathkon1 said:
    Scot said:
    Ralphie you are going to have to correct me here if I am wrong, but you are the guy who spoke out against any sort of grouping what so ever. So forgive me when I pass on reading your latest tome on why MMORPS must be 100% solo.
    This is why I skim read and if I don't find the skim reading interesting enough I don't do a full read there are exceptions though like a title of a thread being a good readers digest and me thinking its worth the deep dive analysis 
    I am not dismissing his arguments, but in the other thread he did he seemed not to want grouping under any circumstances. I am big on grouping in MMOs, quite biased there, but I realise that current MMOs cannot be done without soloing. I say current as we were talking recently about making a co-op MMORPG, where you can only log in as a group.

    But to take up his point, sure raids have an element of illusionary difficulty about them, because all games have such an illusion at all stages of play. Raids are still harder and great fun, we need more high and low end group content.
    AlBQuirky
  • DattelisDattelis Member RarePosts: 450
    edited May 9
    Well, one thing that I see people like this say is "content isn't hard because there's a pattern to it, so all you need to do is memorize the pattern" which in theory makes sense, until you have to do it. Difficulty isn't just about the thing you're doing but the individual(s) having the ability to do it as well. Math would probably be the best real life analogy since every problem in it has an answer, yet many people are terrible at it for various reasons. Outside looking in (and even some actually executing), it may seem boring or lack of a challenge, but the true definition of the difficulty is seeing how many can actually perform it.
    AlBQuirky
  • KyleranKyleran Member LegendaryPosts: 40,285
    Scot said:
    [...] So forgive me when I pass on reading your latest tome on why MMORPS must be 100% solo.
    Oh, THAT is what the thread is all about. Now it all makes sense.

    Naw, this thread is mostly about ENVY.

    Since it is often said rewards are better for group based content because it's more "difficult" they have gone out of their way to try and prove it isn't based on carry percentages or other nonsense maths.

    Carrying is mostly the result of players completely understanding the mechanics after much experience combined with an even greater factor, being overgeared for the content. Has very little to do with the actual difficulty of the content.

    Many (most?) MMORPGs provide more powerful or better looking rewards for completing group content than can normally be obtained through solo play.

    This is done in part to encourage players to bother with getting a group together and working together with them to overcome the content.

    Group encounters vary in difficulty, ranging from simple tank / spank to more  elaborate "dances" where even a single mis-step by anyone in the party can fail the entire raid. (I've made such mistakes, more than I care to admit)

    The other reason for more powerful gear is to prepare players to tackle the next higher level of group content which quite frankly, a player deserve or even need if they aren't preparing to group raid.

    Back to the OP, they claim to have been a top tier raider in countless MMOs, maybe, but they are obsessed with being able to earn rewards from soloing which are on par in terms of power as those received by grouping even though they have no need for it.


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  • UngoodUngood Member LegendaryPosts: 6,990
    edited May 9
    Scot said:
    Ralphie you are going to have to correct me here if I am wrong, but you are the guy who spoke out against any sort of grouping what so ever. So forgive me when I pass on reading your latest tome on why MMORPS must be 100% solo.

    One question, what actual grouping have you done yourself, have you ever even been in a raid, if so what MMOs? I should point out I don't think only raiders can talk about raiding, but this will give us some perspective when you talk about high end content.
    I have raided in EQ1, and DDO, extensively, for many years. IMHO, DDO has the best Dungeons and Raids of any game on the market, not even a question or a competition. Once you start doing raids in DDO, everything else just does not compare.

    With that put out, I will say, Ralphie makes some good points.

    The main one being that Solo or Raid, you are not in any more or less control of what happens during the encounter, which is what makes it an illusion of difficulty, and that the hard part of raids, often sits with carrying other players, as opposed to the raid itself being harder than small group or solo content.

    They also make a good point, that Small Group and Solo content can in fact be a lot harder than a Raid, because in solo content, the challenge is put purely against the players skill, which is why top level players find them easier, because both content is designed for the same skill bracket, but with solo content you are not dealing with random idiocy.

    Think of it like a relay race vs running solo, each runner is faced with the exact same task, and same exact challenge of running down the track as fast as they can, but, If I add in more people to the relay race, it does not make the sprint for each player harder, or easier, as the only variable that comes into play being the competence of their teammates.

    What this means, is that the better team will win, and not only will they win, the demand on their individual runners will become less as they pull ahead of the slower teams, making their overall victory easier.

    The same hold true for Raids.

    This is why, as anyone who raids a lot would know, that with a good raid team, Raiding is often viewed as damn near stupid easy, even on the hardest levels.

    In fact, to be honest with Both EQ and DDO, once we got our systems down, not raid clearing was odd event. If you were running with a good group, and failed, that often meant that someone was screwing things up, not that the raid got harder or easier.

    So their point that it is an illusion of difficulty is in fact very correct, where solo content can in fact be just as challenging and demanding on a players skill as doing their one part in a raid, if not more so.

    To be honest, anyone that would disagree with Ralphie on this point, I legit wonder if they have in fact raided and done solo content, I mean, I really wonder what their game experience is.

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  • TheDalaiBombaTheDalaiBomba Member RarePosts: 663
    edited May 9
    Group content requires a synchronization of effort whereas solo content does not. That alone makes it more difficult as it increases the opportunity for failure in action and adds the potential for failure through miscommunication.

    Then I guess if you and another car agree who goes first but the other guy screws up and crashes onto you aka "something you are not control of" you just call that "higher difficulty" xD?

    Reality is, you didnt fail coordination, the other person did which once again is something out of your own control.

    Difficulty exist in relation to things you can control, not things you are not in control.

    If a meteor crashes next to my home I wont be calling that higher difficulty
    No.  But the fact that you have to try and coordinate with other drivers outside of your control *does* make driving a more difficult skill to master than it would be if you only drove on a closed course by yourself. Edit: and, I would even argue that's an objective truth.  Driving will always be tougher when you have to depend on and react to factors outside of your control, such as other drivers traveling the same roads at the same time.
    AlBQuirkytzervoBrainy
  • UngoodUngood Member LegendaryPosts: 6,990
    Group content requires a synchronization of effort whereas solo content does not. That alone makes it more difficult as it increases the opportunity for failure in action and adds the potential for failure through miscommunication.

    Then I guess if you and another car agree who goes first but the other guy screws up and crashes onto you aka "something you are not control of" you just call that "higher difficulty" xD?

    Reality is, you didnt fail coordination, the other person did which once again is something out of your own control.

    Difficulty exist in relation to things you can control, not things you are not in control.

    If a meteor crashes next to my home I wont be calling that higher difficulty
    No.  But the fact that you have to try and defend against other drivers outside of your control *does* make driving a more difficult skill to master than it would be if you only drove on a closed course by yourself.
    Lets make a game content, where the biggest challenge is going to be dealing with the dumbasses you need to work with to bet the boss.. and somehow convince players this is where the best part of the game is.

    ...

    ...

    This is like the gaming equal of working in Customer Service where I need to put up with assholes all the while trying to do my job, to get my paycheck.

    So.. why is that content put on a pedestal again?


    AlBQuirky
    Egotism is the anesthetic that dullens the pain of stupidity, this is why when I try to beat my head against the stupidity of other people, I only hurt myself.

    After 4 years, I have finally added someone to my Ignore List, as it turns out, some people are in fact totally irredeemable to engage with. Have fun stalking someone else.
  • AAAMEOWAAAMEOW Member RarePosts: 1,517
    Group content requires a synchronization of effort whereas solo content does not. That alone makes it more difficult as it increases the opportunity for failure in action and adds the potential for failure through miscommunication.

    Then I guess if you and another car agree who goes first but the other guy screws up and crashes onto you aka "something you are not control of" you just call that "higher difficulty" xD?

    Reality is, you didnt fail coordination, the other person did which once again is something out of your own control.

    Difficulty exist in relation to things you can control, not things you are not in control.

    If a meteor crashes next to my home I wont be calling that higher difficulty

    That is not the problem.  Take for example solo content if I screw up 50% of the time, I can still beat it 50% of the time.

    But if for group content where everyone need to perform perfectly.  And everyone screw up 50% of the time, you pretty much have a 0.1% chance of beating it(assume 10 people).

    And usually the reason why group content is way harder is because of effort.  It is just too difficult to get the same people to meet up at a fixed schedule every week.  

    And for solo content usually if you make it difficult.  It'll get to a point where only a fraction of people can do it.  And the rest of people which can't do it would just complain.  
    KyleranAlBQuirkytzervo
  • AAAMEOWAAAMEOW Member RarePosts: 1,517
    Ungood said:
    Group content requires a synchronization of effort whereas solo content does not. That alone makes it more difficult as it increases the opportunity for failure in action and adds the potential for failure through miscommunication.

    Then I guess if you and another car agree who goes first but the other guy screws up and crashes onto you aka "something you are not control of" you just call that "higher difficulty" xD?

    Reality is, you didnt fail coordination, the other person did which once again is something out of your own control.

    Difficulty exist in relation to things you can control, not things you are not in control.

    If a meteor crashes next to my home I wont be calling that higher difficulty
    No.  But the fact that you have to try and defend against other drivers outside of your control *does* make driving a more difficult skill to master than it would be if you only drove on a closed course by yourself.
    Lets make a game content, where the biggest challenge is going to be dealing with the dumbasses you need to work with to bet the boss.. and somehow convince players this is where the best part of the game is.

    ...

    ...

    This is like the gaming equal of working in Customer Service where I need to put up with assholes all the while trying to do my job, to get my paycheck.

    So.. why is that content put on a pedestal again?


    Or you can just join the most hardcore group.  In which you probably need to play the game like a 2nd job to join.  That usually is not the problem.  
    KyleranAlBQuirky
  • SovrathSovrath Member LegendaryPosts: 30,533
    Group content requires a synchronization of effort whereas solo content does not. That alone makes it more difficult as it increases the opportunity for failure in action and adds the potential for failure through miscommunication.

    Then I guess if you and another car agree who goes first but the other guy screws up and crashes onto you aka "something you are not control of" you just call that "higher difficulty" xD?

    Reality is, you didnt fail coordination, the other person did which once again is something out of your own control.

    Difficulty exist in relation to things you can control, not things you are not in control.

    If a meteor crashes next to my home I wont be calling that higher difficulty

    That's not really the point is it?

    It is more difficult to coordinate with a group of people. Just because you do everything perfectly doesn't mean you've done everything perfectly in relation to others.

    And even if you do, if the other person messes up, you might have to do something immediately in the moment to compensate. Or, be aware that others might have to and you might have to do another thing perfectly or else the group will fail.

    the difficulty in group content is working in the group "as a group" not being a solo player. That's where your analogy fails.
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  • AdamantineAdamantine Member RarePosts: 4,643

    Ungood said:
    [...] With that put out, I will say, Ralphie makes some good points.
    No, he really doesnt, and neither do you.

    What actually needs fixing ?

    You're just stating very obvious things.

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  • UtinniUtinni Member EpicPosts: 2,174
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  • UngoodUngood Member LegendaryPosts: 6,990
    AAAMEOW said:
    Ungood said:
    Group content requires a synchronization of effort whereas solo content does not. That alone makes it more difficult as it increases the opportunity for failure in action and adds the potential for failure through miscommunication.

    Then I guess if you and another car agree who goes first but the other guy screws up and crashes onto you aka "something you are not control of" you just call that "higher difficulty" xD?

    Reality is, you didnt fail coordination, the other person did which once again is something out of your own control.

    Difficulty exist in relation to things you can control, not things you are not in control.

    If a meteor crashes next to my home I wont be calling that higher difficulty
    No.  But the fact that you have to try and defend against other drivers outside of your control *does* make driving a more difficult skill to master than it would be if you only drove on a closed course by yourself.
    Lets make a game content, where the biggest challenge is going to be dealing with the dumbasses you need to work with to bet the boss.. and somehow convince players this is where the best part of the game is.

    ...

    ...

    This is like the gaming equal of working in Customer Service where I need to put up with assholes all the while trying to do my job, to get my paycheck.

    So.. why is that content put on a pedestal again?


    Or you can just join the most hardcore group.  In which you probably need to play the game like a 2nd job to join.  That usually is not the problem.  
    Which I did, well not the most hardcore, but I joined a serious Raiding/TR community in DDO, for many years.

    I have played that side of the fence, so when I talk about raids, I am not speaking as an outsider, I am speaking from a lot of experience.
    AlBQuirky
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  • UngoodUngood Member LegendaryPosts: 6,990

    Ungood said:
    [...] With that put out, I will say, Ralphie makes some good points.
    No, he really doesnt, and neither do you.

    What actually needs fixing ?

    You're just stating very obvious things.

    You just said that I am Stating the Obvious, but not making a point, and have no idea what needs fixing, when again.. I am stating the obvious.

    No dis to you directly, but dealing with gamers with that kind of... well that is why I don't Pug Raid.
    AlBQuirky
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    After 4 years, I have finally added someone to my Ignore List, as it turns out, some people are in fact totally irredeemable to engage with. Have fun stalking someone else.
  • KyleranKyleran Member LegendaryPosts: 40,285
    Ungood said:

    Ungood said:
    [...] With that put out, I will say, Ralphie makes some good points.
    No, he really doesnt, and neither do you.

    What actually needs fixing ?

    You're just stating very obvious things.

    You just said that I am Stating the Obvious, but not making a point, and have no idea what needs fixing, when again.. I am stating the obvious.

    No dis to you directly, but dealing with gamers with that kind of... well that is why I don't Pug Raid.
    Pfft, anyone can succeed when letting a good raiding team carry them. ;)

    Your relay race example was good though, but you missed the point.  While it's true all 4 runners go as fast as they can, it's the coordination of the handoff between runners which can make or break the entire effort, same with group raiding, right?

    It's a factor soloing never has to deal with, the outcome is totally within the players control, no coordination necessary outside of their own.

    So ergo, raiding is inherently more difficult in most occasions.


    SovrathTheDalaiBombaAlBQuirkytzervo

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  • cameltosiscameltosis Member EpicPosts: 3,314
    What I took from the OP is that they've simply been playing really shallow games with minimal interdependencies between roles.


    If there is genuine depth to the combat mechanics, sitting alongside a reasonable amount of interdependency, then the increased difficulty comes from:


    • Needing to use additional skills that are only useful in a group.
    • When other group members make mistakes, I have to play better to overcome those mistakes, making decisions on the fly
    • Needing to have good communication skills to I can coordinate with the other group members, explain mechanics, or train newer players

    If you are playing a shallow game which is nothing more than basic rotations and conditioned reactions, then of course you won't value group content. In such games, your arguements make sense: solo and group play are basically the same thing. But those games generally don't offer any challenge anywhere in the game and tend not to value multiplayer gameplay, and so end up being shit MMORPGs anyway.
    SovrathKyleranAlBQuirky
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