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February 23, 2018, 02:05:52 PM

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Author Topic: So I went digging online.. The "solo MMO"  (Read 1170 times)
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« on: April 29, 2014, 04:24:02 PM »

Out of sheer boredom, I went digging online for articles about MMOs, their evolution, whether for good or bad, etc.  I found this article to be particularly interesting.  It is a few years old, but I don't think the market has turned a 180 since then, but rather traveled further down the path outlined by the writer.

So just for discussion's sake, and to hear multiple points of view on this, I thought I'd link it here and posit the questions: should MMOs stop trying to be solo-friendly?  Should grouping not only be encouraged, but be the most efficient and expedient form of not only raiding, but leveling and questing?  Do you believe what the author suggests about anti-social behavior such as griefing, bullying, cursing, and overall negative attitudes from gamers stemming from a lack of necessary teamwork to successfully traverse today's MMO landscapes?

I think those of us who played MMOs back before WoW (DAoC, EQ, Ultima, in the "elden" days Tongue) fondly remember the community MMOs once had, where having a reputation for being a jerk actually spread like wildfire and you and/or your guild could find yourselves quickly blacklisted by entire guilds on your server.  The need to readily be able to group up to tackle content meant, unless your guild was HUGE in and of itself, having a bad reputation on the server could be a very real detriment on your ability to level effectively and experience content.  What's more, guilds tended to weed out bad apples because having one awful person reflect back on your guild could cause very real problems in, say, RvR content (in the case of DAoC).  None of those requirements to group (to work together between guilds, to make those friends that were on regularly when you were) really exist anymore.

I remember regular ole dungeons in DAoC that you honestly weren't going to ever be able to tackle without a group of players.  They weren't even the "elite" or "instanced group" dungeons.  Just regular ole dungeons with regular ole room-filler mobs in those dungeons, such as Stonehenge Barrows on the Salisbury Plains, that would slap the hell outta your character if you tried to take them on solo.  Coincidentally, those types of dungeons are all but missing nowadays in MMOs, but that's a topic for another thread.

I also found Wolfshead's commentary on the narcissism of MMO quest creators to be very interesting:

Another reason for the decline in civility is that game developers have become enthralled with their own egos. Instead of creating a stage for the players to perform on, they would have us worship their creations. They have forgotten that they are here to serve and not to be served. What do I mean by this?

A symptom of this syndrome is that today MMOs feel more and more like single player games than they do multi-player online worlds. The reason is that quest designers have been unable to resist the temptation to “tell stories” and recreate the epic story of the popular God of War video game. The result is you have MMOs being transformed into single-player games complete with phasing and cutscenes.

Since controlling the environment for a single player is far easier than managing a living, breathing virtual world quest designers have slowly but surely become little tin pot dictators. They love their new found power and are unwilling to hand it back to the players.

This new emphasis on the single player has eroded the multi-player facet of MMOs and devalued socialization. Is the trade off really worth it?

Honestly, I can't say I disagree, though I don't think it's a selfish narcissism, but one borne out of a need to compete within a new MMO paradigm.  One that the author implies isn't a healthy one for MMOs.

What do you guys think about Wolfshead's opinion?  Agree?  Disagree?  Somewhere in between?
« Last Edit: April 29, 2014, 04:27:17 PM by JDixonKAO » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2014, 08:21:53 AM »

I'm all for more grouping in MMOs. Running Spindelhala back in DAoC required a group and if you didn't have one...then you didn't run it and it took you a much longer time grinding to max level. I think a greater dependency on grouping for content is healthier for an MMO in the long run. But, I believe the RvR in ESO is dependent on grouping (at least to get major things done). Hopefully this will hold up down the road.

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