Can anyone else relate? I feel like I'm on this branch by myself.
I'm a true solo player in MMOs. I don't like grouping, I don't care about being in a guild, or "sitting around doing nothing and talking". I always see posts of people putting screenshots of them and their guild mates sitting around a campfire in game sharing sappy stories of the days of old (or some version of this). I see guilds making up charters and spending a great deal of time and effort, even having "marketing" teams. I don't like feeling obligated to other people. If you don't do "x" for the guild "y" times a week you'll be kicked. I like to do things how I want, when I want, at my own pace and not have to deal with others whining or bitching that I'm not being efficient, or I'm being too efficient. I want to get up and go fight in PvP, not spend 45mins putting together a meta group and having a singular role because that is what everyone demands of me. I want to be able to drop what I'm doing and get up and deal with something irl and not have to worry about getting back asap because everyone else is waiting on me.
But you may say, "well then you want a single player game". I don't want a single player game. I don't want a linear experience with enemies who have specific patterns. While difficult AI can be fun, I enjoy that no fight is ever the same with another player. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind grouping(usually). But I prefer not to. If I could solo the entire game and not have a single conversation with anyone, I absolutely would. As well, having a game populated by real people makes that game feel more alive to me. AI can only replace people to a small degree.
I think the funnest time I had was when DAoC was new, going out to RvR in my 40's (when only a handful were lvl 50), and smacking people up in a huge zerg brawl fest. Most weren't even grouped. Alas that game went entirely in the opposite direction.
Everyone seems to wait for this "next big" MMO that is all about raiding with guildies and grouping up. And here I am, hoping for a game that materializes the reality that we all don't just have homing missiles for abilities for our group mates without needing to actually look and find them (I get the logistics of this, don't get me wrong).
I like MMO's for the simple fact that they are games filled with real people. But that doesn't mean I enjoy socializing or grouping with them.
Personally, I think grouping should not afford people the level of safety that most games do. If you want to group, you are grouping for the socialization right? So because you wish to socialize with others, that should make you immune to someone who is soloing? (PvP for example). The modern MMO has taken away the premise of hard content from the soloer and given it to grouping. If you had the choice to do solo or group content at the same exact progression pace, what would you choose? If the answer is group, then that means you enjoy being in groups with others. Their shouldn't be added benefits to grouping beyond socialization. An 8, 12, 25 man raid should be able to be done by a soloer with a similar amount of difficulty (obviously scaled). I know some mechanics require multiple people. That's fine but you don't actually need to make those kinds of mechanics for an encounter to be difficult. Remember this is all just personal opinion to help understand my reasoning.
MMO doesn't automatically mean "group content" for everyone. It means a world filled with real people. How a person chooses to play shouldnt be restricted because the means to do so make it easier. Just because grouping is easier in MMOs because of the fact that it's an MMO, doesn't mean it actually needs to be that way.
Rock on all my soloers who always seem to draw the short straw!
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