Sociabilization on MMORPGs...

Discussion in 'General Lounge' started by CleanWater, Oct 6, 2018.

  1. CleanWater

    CleanWater Independent Developer Veteran

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    Well, it's not the first time I look for a MMORPG to play, and I always see the same things.

    MMOs, as the name suggests, should be a massive multiplayer online game, where people interact with each others.

    However, I often see people playing completely alone, they refuses to join a party and sometimes even to talk with you. They even have the trouble to play with two simultaneous accounts, but don't play with another human being.
    And no, I'm not talking about bots here, I'm talking about real players.

    Bots in MMOs is other thing that I really can't comprehend, instead of having fun playing the game itself, they put a bot to do the work all for themselves, even if it's in exchange for real money trade.

    But the most weird part of it is the whole point of a game to be about joining with other classes to play together, and people insisting to play alone.

    What's happening with humanity?
     
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  2. gstv87

    gstv87 Veteran Veteran

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    pay-to-win happened.
    that's what happened.

    when you have an MMORPG that is pay-to-win, those who pay to win would want their money worth of game progress.
     
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  3. Countyoungblood

    Countyoungblood Sleeping Dragon Veteran

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    Try to remember who your sample includes. For example a lot of very social people are out socializing instead of playing mmos. I personally wont allow myself to play any mmos because i get too engrossed into the game and start neglecting my growing list of responsibilities.
     
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  4. JtheDuelist

    JtheDuelist Just a dev who actually got a game finished Veteran

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    I call these types of players the "Kiritos" and leave them be. This is why I love Unison League so much- there is very little that you can achieve as a solo player in it, and you miss out on a good 80% of the content by being solo, as some content you MUST be with other players in order to enter (namely Guild Battles, Guild Raids, Mobius Path, and Colosseum modes).
     
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  5. CleanWater

    CleanWater Independent Developer Veteran

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    What do you mean by that? That people who like to play games aren't social at all? o_O

    I knew a lot of persons that prefer to play games online, instead of going to a real life pub or something like that. This doesn't mean they aren't the social type. They just prefer to spent their free time playing, and maybe making friends that also like to play games (which in most cases is easier to do on an online environment).

    Around 5 ~ 10 years ago, I managed to gather a lot of virtual friends during my online playing sessions. Today, things simply "changed".
     
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  6. Countyoungblood

    Countyoungblood Sleeping Dragon Veteran

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    I mean what i wrote entirely literally without any need for interpretation but i can expand the point to give you a clearer idea.

    Of all people in the world, some play mmos.

    Of all the people in the world some people socialize in person with other people (including but not exclusively clubs)

    Since these groups arent exclusive mmo players can go to clubs and socialites can play mmos. Lots of interesting things to note but..

    The biggest point of what im saying though is that questioning humanity because of mmo players is incomplete information. Just intended to broaden the picture to a proper frame.

    Im entirely literal anything i say means what the words combine to mean.
     
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  7. TheoAllen

    TheoAllen Self-proclaimed jack of all trades Veteran

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    Not playing any MMO, but I play (or played) online games with social aspect. And I'm kind of your solo player.

    Honestly, I hate that when the game requires you to get "social" to get more bonus. For example, to get an extra bonus, you have to join your guild raid, otherwise you can't get it from anything else. Such condition force you to contact your guild members, instead of playing game, it's like a chore to talk to guild member first, why I can't just play? Such condition might hook your time more than you realize. You wait for the guild members arrive, having a schedule that is like a job, then one or some members said they can't play for some reasons. It's not actually playing game.

    Social aspect in such game should be optional. It's up to the player if they want to solo everything with extra effort. If they want to be social, there's a media for it. It's not like solo players would put you in disadvantage.... unless they do.
     
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  8. mlogan

    mlogan Global Moderators Global Mod

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    Well, here’s a different perspective. I’ve played very few MMO’s and only ones that friends get me interested and will play with me.

    I have a bit of social anxiety and a need to please. When I have to interact with people that I don’t know and trust, it causes a huge amount of anxiety for me. As stupid as it is, especially at my age, it causes a lot of stress for me that I am going to make a mistake and let someone down. Often this anxiety is enough that I will play games with people I know and trust, but refuse to play with strangers.
     
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  9. Countyoungblood

    Countyoungblood Sleeping Dragon Veteran

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    My wife is somewhat like you.
    I played FF14 with her for a while.. she played endgame content pretty well but never really socialized.. i had to start a fight with our guild leader and get kicked because she was too shy to outright leave on her own.
     
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  10. TheoAllen

    TheoAllen Self-proclaimed jack of all trades Veteran

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    Here is another different perspective, I mostly come from your opposite side that I don't trust strangers because they often do stupid things, which lead me into play solo bcz I don't want other people to bother me or getting a mood breaker because of that. If it's a friend I know, it would be different because they're friend. Stranger? nah.

    I'd educate myself first before joining any multiplayer so I won't disappoint them when playing together, which again lead me to solo play. After got much education, I'd also solo play because of the reason above. Not to mention some toxic behavior on the community. In the end, I'd just play with friends I want to play.
     
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  11. Philosophus Vagus

    Philosophus Vagus The drunken bird dog of rpg maker Veteran

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    I feel too obligated when I try to socialize. I don't really play MMOs anymore but when I did and joined guilds or whatever I'd always feel like I was letting others down because I don't play that much and everyone else is getting together frequently to do things like batch crafting or whatever and tricks to get newbs up to high levels fast and here I am playing 30 minutes at a time sometimes waiting multiple weeks in-between sessions due to work, other games and other hobbies.

    Truth be told I never got anywhere in MMOs anyway, which is why i quit playing them entirely. but playing them and socializing was always stressful to me in the past, like mlogan I feel a need to try to please mixed with the certain knowledge that I'm more burden in the game to allies than anything due to my sporadic playing and disinterest in grinding/min-maxing to the point where socializing saps all the fun out of the experience. That's my perspective.

    My brother and I like to get together and play 7days to die and chat in a closed server sometimes but other than that my social life is non-existent when it comes to games.
     
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  12. Astel

    Astel The (grey) knight with that funny look Veteran

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    I played a lot of online games in the past... mostly because they were "free" but I have always been a lone wolf. I kind of liked the idea of being in a group but I can't handle small talk and such, also I don't want to feel tied to other persons.
    Mostly I just played to unlock that new skill, get that new weapon, while avoiding PVP at all costs. That was my way of having fun with online games.
     
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  13. Arisa

    Arisa probably dead Veteran

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    I can provide a similar perspective that mlogan had, I rarely play these kinds of games and they often come with a lot of toxicity, I just can't trust anyone. I actually completely understand people who don't want to talk to any ol body
     
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  14. Tai_MT

    Tai_MT Veteran Veteran

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    GDC tried to cover this in one of their talks once. As usual, they miss the mark with a 300% miss rate.

    Here's what's happening: MMO Design is atrocious. Literally atrocious. It also misses the entire point of the MMO aspect of the game.

    Me, like many players, want to be able to chat with random other people when I'm engaging in the grind (it alleviates the grind). But, we don't want to interact with other people because... well... other people are terrible and the badly designed game systems just make this worse.

    Do I want to play the Raids? Sure. ONCE. I do not want to grind them. Because, frankly, getting people together to do them is a pain in the rump roast and there's no guarantee who you get together is good at the game (or even competent enough to not be licking doorknobs at the same time they're trying to play a game with one hand). Raids, after you understand their mechanics... are little more than boring Hand Puppet Plays the player participates in, taking 30 to 45 minutes or whatever (MASSIVE WASTE OF TIME!) to get a shot at a roll on a piece of equipment you want. I'm sorry, but no. Give me the crap from the Raid the first time I run it. If I want to run it again to help other players, I will.

    Do I want to party with other people? My friends I know in real life, yes. But randos? NO. NEVER.

    Do I want to join a guild? H-E-DOUBLE HOCKEY STICKS, NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Want to know what the major problems are and why people solo?

    1. MMO's are 900% grind instead of being 100% content to play. Anything I have to play more than once to get a different drop? I'm going to check out. This feeds into #2.
    2. My time is my own. I do not want to be beholden to what another group wants to do. I do not want to be obligated to check in once a week, or once a day, or whatever, to run a Raid. To take on a World Boss. To try for a new attempt at some event. My time is for me. To have my own fun. It is not MY RESPONSIBILITY TO PROVIDE CONTENT FOR YOUR GAME. I don't want people making demands of my time, and I don't want to be forced to make demands of other people's time. If you have a job, a life, a set of responsibilities... This crap is unforgivable and is why most people who, at the very minimum, have a regular job... don't stick with MMO's. Because, frankly, they're not designed for us, and we've run everything you have to offer in a week.
    3. The systems that would normally ENCOURAGE players to work together... Are designed badly. VERY BADLY. What do you get if you party up with someone? You can see their marker on the map? Maybe a share of a currency drop or xp if the party member is close enough to you? Do you get any buffs for teaming up? Do you get anything from partying up EXCEPT obligations to other people? I'm sorry, but my real life has enough obligations. I'm here to relax, not to turn my Video Game Playing Time into a job that I AM PAYING SOMEONE ELSE TO HAVE. Is there any reason to join a Guild other than the possibility that you now have a semi-reliable group of people to do Raids with and be perpetually angry and annoyed with for not playing on your time and helping you out? NOPE!
    4. Player behavior isn't very regulated at all, and chat is often over-regulated. In short, people are jerks online, and why would you want to party with them?
    5. Most people don't value an "internet friendship". If I leave this MMO, are you going to quit playing with me and join me in the new one? No, you won't. Our friendship effectively ends once one of us decides the game is too boring to play, or another game is going to be more interesting. Away we go, barely even thinking about any memories we made together (because realistically, we didn't make any, we were using each other and being friendly superficially).
    6. Barrier to Entry for a lot of Group Play is very high and thus is intimidating to many new players. If I build a Healer that I like to use, but it's not "optimal" for this Raid we're doing? I catch a lot of flak, a lot of players will get angry with me, annoyed with me, stop inviting me to join them in their party... and effectively force me to play my character and my class a way that I don't want to play, just to be effective FOR THEM. This speaks to terrible game design. Parameters for entry into a Raid should be listed like so:

    6 DPS (list of classes that qualify)
    2 Tanks (list of classes that qualify)
    3 healers (list of classes that qualify)
    2 Supports (list of classes that qualify)
    Minimum Defensive Rating 1255 (doesn't matter if this is in basic defense, magic defense, a combination of both, or whatever).

    Any loadout of weapons and skills should then be effective. The skill ceiling would then be learning how to use the skills you have selected effectively, learning how the group activity works, and character movement on the battlefield as well as priorities. This would get a lot more people willing to party up for Group Activities.
    7. Guilds are pointless wastes of time, space, and game development time currently. What do I mean? Well, let's see... They're meant to be around to help newbie and experienced players. They're meant to ENHANCE a player's experience. What do they do instead? Encourage solo play. What do I mean? Okay, when I was like 12 and joined my first Guild, it was playing Runescape. I thought, "this is a place where everyone helps each other, we trade resources and supplies and go questing with each other". That's not what a Guild is. I wanted to train my Crafting, but I had no reliable way to obtain the resource "Gold", since I was such a low level. But, most of my crafting stats were pretty high. I was sitting somewhere at like 34 crafting. I asked my guild, "Would you guys please donate Gold to me? I just want to use it to skill up. If you let me skill up with it, I'll give you the final product to sell, and at some point I can make magic amulets for the whole guild!". Guess who donated? NOBODY. Everyone wanted to keep the resources for themselves, to skill themselves up, to make their own equipment.

    That is every single guild, in every single MMO, ever. No Synergy between players. You get nothing for helping other players. Every player can do everything, or create an alt to do the things they can't. Every resource is either better sold on the Public Market to people who will pay a lot of money for it... Or hoarded personally to use on an alt.
    ---

    That's the major problem with MMORPG's... No incentive to not play solo. In fact, systems that existed since the first MMO's actively encourage PLAYING SOLO instead of playing together.

    That's one of the reasons I play Guild Wars 2. Anyone who is close and tags the event, boss, monster, whatever... They're helping me, there's no obligation to party up, they get their loot, I get mine, we worked together seamlessly, and away we go, our own ways. I hate the Dungeons though, and haven't run a Raid either. But, I like the system they have in place. A guild is actually valuable and useful and provides buffs to members. But, is completely unnecessary to do any/all the best content in the game. It's the MMO I've stuck with the longest, and even then, I don't play it all that much (because of the insane grind and lack of content in the game).

    MMO's just need to adopt better game design to get people to stop playing Solo. But, most devs for MMO's don't have any kind of skillset outside of "how do I just make this work at the bare minimum?". Essentially... The dev teams are full of people who couldn't get work on an actual video game, and they're working in the low rung job of making a MMO with their minor skillset.

    The genre desperately needs to innovate, be less intrusive, and encourage more interplay without making it mandatory.
     
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  15. CleanWater

    CleanWater Independent Developer Veteran

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    @Tai_MT the majority of the MMO issues you mentioned on your post are actually "USER GENERATED CONTENT"! :guffaw:

    When I had a guild on iRO, I always said the same thing for every new member:
    "On our guild, every member always helps each other when they can. Whenever you need help from someone, don't hesitate to ask on the guild chat."

    The result? Everyone helped each other, either with information, items, party, etc. We leveled really fast this way, completed quests much more easier and so on. Even when I was offline, my guild mates started to do their own parties and kept the guild ideals for themselves. And they were all "randoms".

    The exp donation was not mandatory, the only person donating 50% of the exp was me, but even some high level players started to volunteer to share their exp to the guild to make it level up faster too.

    Of course we always had some selfish member here and there, but when someone new wanted to join, I already had the right person to kick off.

    MMOs are all related to user generated content in the end, it's the player base that turns the game into something good and memorable (or not). You can't really blame the developers on "this design aspect".

    But I must agree with you that, at least based on the ones I played, there are a lot of flaws in the MMOs overall, and a lot of things that could be improved, like the drop rates, etc. Also, after the P2W model started, they simply forces you to become a VIP member to proceed (although my guild was created on such environment and was doing very well).
     
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  16. Tai_MT

    Tai_MT Veteran Veteran

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    @CleanWater I get what you're saying about "User Generated Content", but for the same token... That's lazy design work from any dev team.

    A dev cannot and should not ever count on the players making the game fun. They are the devs. It is their job to design fun. Their job to incentivize working together cohesively, fluidly, and without intrusion or obligation. It is not the job a Guild Leader or Guild Member to "make the guild a good place to be". A player should stay in a Guild because they enjoy the people in it. Not because they enjoy the rules the Guild Employs. In fact, with good game design, you wouldn't have to tell people to help each other. They would do it because there's benefit to do so outside of being social or "being a nice person".

    Plus, as I said before... As a player... it's not my job to create the content of your game. Even if that's an MMO. Unless you're going to give me 100% of everything in the game for free. Your game is free to download, has no cash shop, and you're actively paying me to play your game... Do not ever put the onus on me, the player, to produce the content of your MMO for you (namely the social aspects).

    You know what might be cool from a Guild? Automatic fees and rewards for being in it. Let's go back to my example of wanting to contribute something to the Guild at large and also get something out of it because I'm trying to Skill up. Let's say that there's an automatically deposited tax on every amount of gold that hits your inventory... say 10% or so. Minimum of 1 coin. You make a trade on the Global Post or whatever, 10% goes into your guild coffers. Let's say this same thing applies to resource gathering or loot rolls. So, let's say I mine a node and get a drop of 3 iron... it taxes me 1 iron and I get two, but 1 goes to the Guild. Or, the loot roll is something I can't use. I'm playing a Warrior, I roll Wizard gear... I'm a Leatherworker, I mined Mithril that is useless to me. These would automatically go to the Guild Coffers. Okay. Then what? The Guild is taking a ton of junk from me. Pretty onerous. What am I getting in return?

    Well, what if you could withdraw X amount of money from the Guild Coffers every single day, based upon your rank in the Guild? Or Resources Contributed? I play enough that I'm actively donating roughly 8,000 Gold a day... So, I can withdraw 1,000 each day from the coffers, if I need it. What if I could also earmark things I want/need and it goes on a list? If it hits our Guild Coffers, and I'm first on the list, I get it first? Say, I need 1000 Gold Bars to make Necklaces for Skilling. I can put in an order, amount/value according to my Guild Contributions, to be earmarked for me? I could earmark 40 Gold Bars at 8,000 gold a day. So, when my order comes up in the turn order for needing Gold Bars, I get my 40 from the Guild. Maybe let me have only so many orders each day that I could request from the guild and a maximum total orders based on Guild Rank (instead of contribution).

    Such a system would get me to play with a Guild a lot in order to get the resources I need by contributing to the Guild I'm part of. Then, players who can't or don't want to run a Dungeon or Raid, can still obtain the equipment if it's earmarked. I could spend my day just grinding out cooking supplies because I'm having fun doing it... and I've contributed to the Guild by doing so. Not by donating them all (unless I'm not a cook, then they'd all get donated 'cause I can't use them), but by just playing the game normally.

    There are just a lot of ways to improve the existing systems in MMO's to make working with people more fun than soloing. I've yet to play a single MMO that didn't make me just want to solo. I've yet to join a single Guild where "helping other members" wasn't mandatory, even if I got 0 out of it. "Donate 1,000 gold minimum a day to this guild to stay in it". At such a point, I typically just leave a Guild. The minute the requirements are "you need to help this Guild as a whole", I stop caring about it. When the Guild has effectively told me that I'm working a second job for them, then I'm done. That's even what your Guild did.

    "Donate XP to the guild so we can grow faster". I'd rather keep all 100% of my xp, as long as I still need it for myself. I'd rather have it automatically taxed when I play, so I never see the XP, and only taken from me when I'm actually playing.

    Guilds have too many obligations because of how they're designed. They're often run by egomaniacs that are also bent on "having the biggest and best guild" as well. They also amass over 100 players and really only hang out with like 3 of them. It's a large group of small cliques. They come together solely because there's "group content" to run, and it's difficult to get a group together without a Guild. I mean, consider for a moment... If an MMO had no "group content" to run like Raids or Dungeons or whatever... Would anyone ever Guild Up? Would you join a Guild? I'd wager "no". I'd wager you just keep the 3 people you already play with on your friends' list in your party and just play with them.

    That's what it's like for a solo player. "Do I really need a Guild? I don't want to run the Raid or the Dungeons. Especially as a grind... So... I'll just avoid the pointless petty squabbling and cliques that Guilds offer. The waste of programming space and glorified LFG system.".

    Honestly, let's just abolish Guilds in all future MMO's and replace them with automatic LFG Matchmaking for these Group Events already. At least that way, if someone is being a toxic piece of crap... I can just quit the group I got partied with... and then start the Matchmaking again to get a new group. No obligations.

    Everything about current MMO systems promotes solo play instead of grouping up with other people. I solo because that's what the Game Devs have been telling me to do for almost 20 years.
     
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  17. Countyoungblood

    Countyoungblood Sleeping Dragon Veteran

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    actually there is a game doing the LFG system you're talking about. Final Fantasy 14 groups together players from different servers so people can group together for any given task. the result of which is you can usually get a group for just about any content.. and they're almost always assholes because reputation means nothing. you wont see the same players ever again. party leaders kick for any off comments or mistakes. most of the time when you roll a group you will finish the content without ever speaking to the other players. the LFG system creates the type of player youre talking about. but thats just my first hand experience im not looking to argue.
     
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  18. Tai_MT

    Tai_MT Veteran Veteran

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    I've used the LFG system in Guild Wars 2 and never experienced that. But, then again, those devs aren't dumb enough to allow people to kick each other from the group. Though, unfortunately, there's no "matchmaking system" to go with it, so you essentially have to advertise your LFG group and what you're doing, and then wait around. Most of the "Group Content" in that game simply requires extra people because enemies and bosses become super damage spongy and are very difficult to solo (though you can in some of the content through basic kiting and respawns). So, really, you just need to have extra players to make the content a lot easier.

    But, then again, Guild Wars 2 also doesn't have a traditional "Holy Trinity" of classes either, so they can't make content that requires certain classes to complete with certain roles.

    It might just be that the game systems work in FF14 to promote that sort of terrible behavior through bad design. Like letting party leaders kick other people. Having "steep requirements" for people needing to LFG in order to be viable. Or, simply having content that is "too easy to wipe on" to promote player animosity towards each other. It may even be that the content you need to LFG for in the game takes too long to complete, that when you do wipe, you've wasted a lot of time, and any player that contributed to that wipe immediately earns animosity.

    Just my thoughts.

    Oh, and yeah, I've seen my friend play FF14. It's a pretty toxic game for all the things I just listed. I watched him trying to get people together (his own Guild, no less) to do some big boss fight Raid thing that takes place in the palm of a Dragon. 35 minute game sessions before Full Party Wipe and they'd have to start over. Lots of tempers flaring there. Lots of people not sticking around for a third attempt. Lots of complaints about this player or that player not doing their job properly, or screwing up, or not knowing how the boss worked. A few people with low tier gear even getting kicked out of the group... FF14 is a mess with a lot of systems that contribute to player animosity towards each other.

    But, a lot of MMO's are run like that. It's why I solo in them. The genre wants me to solo. All the systems in it promote solo play instead of working together and getting players to enjoy each other's company. The systems are antiquated and the people employing them have no understanding of what they actually do, or how they work. They just put them in and go, "Let's hope the players create the good atmosphere for the game to get everyone to stick around!" and then they wonder why there's like a 95% failure rate of RPGs in the first 3 months of the game.
     
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  19. Countyoungblood

    Countyoungblood Sleeping Dragon Veteran

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    FF14 is especially toxic youre right. from what i hear its polar opposite of what FF11 was but i never played it much.
     
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  20. CleanWater

    CleanWater Independent Developer Veteran

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    Man, you are really a selfish stubborn person. :guffaw:

    You play solo because you want to play solo, not because MMO devs forces you into it. Every game design suggestion you said on your last posts leads to a solo play instead of a party play.

    You really didn't understand that by helping others, you are helping yourself? The rule from my guild was not mandatory, if someone couldn't help in a certain time, that's okay. But people automatically learned through my "rule" that when they help and get helped, things gets really easier for both of them and started to have pleasure in doing so. That was my true guild ideal, and it worked for most of the time.

    You really don't have any fun helping someone else out? o_O

    Just imagine the following scenario:

    My swordsman dropped the item "opal", which is useless for me, but for an acolyte is really "useful for their quest".
    I meet an acolyte player in the town center that is asking for this item, I can either choose to:

    1 - Overprice the item and sell it for him/her;
    2 - Trade the item with him/her for something useful for me;
    3 - Give the item for him/her for free, add him/her on your friend list and start a conversation

    I usually choose the third option, and in the old days, it usually led to a new friendship in the game. I usually would ask where the person was going now, if we could go together, join after their quest to raid a certain dungeon, and so on.
    Later, when I needed something, this same person usually helped me out when I needed, because the person wanted, not because the "social aspect" of the game was "mandatory".

    Later, the friends of this person also turned into my friends, and my friends theirs, etc. Together, we learned that in groups, leveling up and doing quests was much easier. Sometimes, some of these friends weren't online, or doing something they couldn't join the party on that time, it also happens in real life, but it was not a problem, because I also had other friends that could join my/their party on that time.

    This is part of the game design aspect, but where's the devs fault if most players chooses the 1 and 2 options? Players are free to do as they please in these games, just like in any tabletop RPG. If you stop to think about it, there's no difference at all from what you do in the virtual or real.

    But imagine that devs turns this third option "mandatory" or "rewarding" to make the game social, like you said. To where the freedom on this game goes? They will be making the "social aspect" of the game "mandatory", thus turning the game into something "toxic". People would help others because of the bonus, not because they understand the point of joining forces with other players, thus, they still would play solo in most of the times when there are no bonus/reward at stake.

    I think it's similar to what they do in League of Legends, it's a terrible system. When you struck with toxic players, the current match is lost for sure. :headshake:
     
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