Dev Discussion #2 - Solo Gameplay

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  • ShaylxShaylx Member, Braver of Worlds
    alavert wrote: »
    As a solo player, you should be able to advance as far as possible into the game, though with more difficulty. Dungeons and raids, etc, should not be impossible to complete, but much more difficult.

    There is a massive difference between solo content and solo capable.

    Players should be rewarded for their dedication to the game, regardless of them being a solo or group player.

    As with smaller and larger guilds, there should be benefits to being a solo player as well.

    Within an MMORPG, players should have as many options when it comes to game progression as possible. Some routes may require more dedication than others, but should not render advancement impossible.

    +++++++++ agreed 100% couldn't have said it any better
  • arzosaharzosah Member, Braver of Worlds
    alavert wrote: »
    As a solo player, you should be able to advance as far as possible into the game, though with more difficulty. Dungeons and raids, etc, should not be impossible to complete, but much more difficult.

    There is a massive difference between solo content and solo capable.

    Players should be rewarded for their dedication to the game, regardless of them being a solo or group player.

    As with smaller and larger guilds, there should be benefits to being a solo player as well.

    Within an MMORPG, players should have as many options when it comes to game progression as possible. Some routes may require more dedication than others, but should not render advancement impossible.

    I don't think Dungeons and Raids should ever be soloable at current level. If you make a raid boss that can be killed by a player solo, than you run into issues where a large group will just steam roll it due to overwhelming damage output.
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  • ShaylxShaylx Member, Braver of Worlds
    solo should be equal to group content, but harder since you're alone
  • elfelf Member, Braver of Worlds
    I like groups, but it's not always a good time for one. I believe that it should be possible to advance solo throughout the whole game, but the pace and experience would be slower. Raids should definitely be group oriented, and most dungeons. Public Quests are ways to bring people together as a group without having to have a formal group setup, and I hope there are plenty of those. I can see where Horde Mode and Sieges could also function in a PQ type scenario as well as for formal groups.
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    Formerly T-Elf

  • aalvordaalvord Member, Braver of Worlds
    edited May 2
    it's an mmorpg, I'm fine with story, basic questing, crafting and gathering etc being achievable solo but I feel like most content should be balanced around groups.
  • seaberseaber Member
    Solo progression should always be less efficient, per person, than non solo progression.

    Solo content involving combat is extremely frustrating for support players.
  • damoklesdamokles Member
    Raids and dungeons should never be soloable in my honest opinion...
    They were designed to be group content. If there is ever a dungeon for solo players, then make it a story mode dungeon, where no good equipment will drop.
    alavert wrote: »
    As a solo player, you should be able to advance as far as possible into the game, though with more difficulty. Dungeons and raids, etc, should not be impossible to complete, but much more difficult.

    There is a massive difference between solo content and solo capable.

    Players should be rewarded for their dedication to the game, regardless of them being a solo or group player.

    As with smaller and larger guilds, there should be benefits to being a solo player as well.

    Within an MMORPG, players should have as many options when it comes to game progression as possible. Some routes may require more dedication than others, but should not render advancement impossible.


    Soloable raids are even worse then a dungeon/raid finder...
    If you want a full solo capable game, then play Skyrim or Fallout, but MMORPGs are multiplayer games (and dont say that i am just someone who doesnt like a challenge, look around I am one of the few who really wants them to make this so hard, that this looks a bit like dark souls from the difficulty).
    I think it is a good idea, to reward players to do things, that should take a group, solo, but there should be content that makes you have to rely on a group. It would be not a good idea to enable people to 1v20 adds, for content that is blatantly tailored for groups.

    Solo play has its place, but the whole content should not be soloable, no matter how good someone is, in my opinion. (except you find a way to cheese it, then hats off to you good sir)
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  • vifallenvifallen Member
    I'm not sure as Ashes is not like the rest of MMOs. In most MMOs group dungeons and group play is strictly to act as a hedge for gear and to force a gear and experience grind in general. That's it. Nothing more. It's not for any other purpose. To me it should be more. If we are talking high level group boss raids it shouldn't be to go fight to get a sword drop. It should be to save the server or possibly a node from destruction or something to that nature. In Ashes things are dynamic and a potential dungeon could be hours away. Remember this is not suppose to be a theme park MMO. So i don't think it will be possible to just re-run a dungeon over and over. At least i hope not. As it kills the immersion of the game in general. Anyways my main point is in most of the MMOs i have played forcing grouping to become the highest level or for the best loot tends to create problems. Lots of times if your not running meta the group doesn't want you and can create elitism. Rather then you playing what you really like you have to conform to the highest number game or Best In Slot. I would like for a solo player to have the opportunity's to get epic gear and to level just as a group would in certain ways. Just make it extremely challenging like random solo events that you can come across and you can try to complete but if you fail they are gone and you missed it. I just hope the major group play is purpose based in the world opposed to just get good gear and experience.
  • mrfestermrfester Member, Pioneer
    This game is going to have PvE content? Because most have given up on that idea, because what has been made public is just another arena murder box
  • arzosaharzosah Member, Braver of Worlds
    mrfester wrote: »
    This game is going to have PvE content? Because most have given up on that idea, because what has been made public is just another arena murder box

    Yes there will be PvE raids, dungeons, and world bosses. Some dungeons will be open world(non instanced) which will likely have some level of pvp associated with it.
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  • damoklesdamokles Member
    @arzosah
    You got it the other way around.
    Most dungeons will be open world and some dungeons will be instanced (because of anarative reasons)
    https://de.ashesofcreation.wiki/Dungeons
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  • branegamesbranegames Member, Braver of Worlds
    I think different kinds of game mechanics cater to different kinds of play. Players should still be able to proceed and grow in certain aspects without the need of a large group, but at the same time I find that bigger challenges should require groups to overcome. It makes sense from a realistic perspective as well as the "MMO" portion of the game.

    That being said, having accomplishments that cater to solo players could still be really cool. Maybe in the form of professions, 1v1 arena or maybe solo pve dungeons or scenarios
    I like t-shirtdresses and MMO's

    Also it's all ogre

    #windmillftw

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  • sinjinsinjin Member, Founder
    First and foremost, I totally dig everyone's opinions in this thread. As someone who has alpha tested Ultima Online (and still has an active account...holy fudge, that's over 22+ years!?), and has alpha/beta tested numerous mmorpg's throughout the years, the lone wolf aspect will always be subjective. I'll throw in my 7 margaritas worth of opinions, though.

    As these fine folks have stated, one should be able to solo to a certain extent. Speaking for myself, I've always enjoyed PvP while solo. I love group or large scale PvP, but there's something about solo PvP that's always been near and dear to my heart(s).

    For level progression, one should be able to solo or have optional methods/quests to reach the level cap.

    If you're talking about GEAR progression, that's where stuff can be more defined. If we're talking about having AMAZING gear or needing rare items in order to craft amazing gear, that should definitely be group oriented. During my time in Aion, we had to earn AP by either eliminating the opposing faction or by doing forts/quests that will enable us to earn AP which enabled players to purchase PvP oriented gear. PvP could be done solo or with a group. Will there be PvP oriented gear in AoC, and will there be an alternate system of points to earn said gear? Too early to tell for now.

    From a crafting standpoint, lone wolfing it is what I've done like 98% of the time. I'd use my alt or main to get said materials if it's in a high danger zone and then have my crafter do his/her/its thing, solo style.

    In terms of making huge decisions that affect everyone within nodes? No ONE person should make a decision of that nature. Definitely not a solo decision unless you're willing to pay the price for one's actions. lol

    Awesome discussion! The team and the community rock!
  • grimharlequingrimharlequin Member
    edited May 2
    I think there should be plenty to do for solo players from quests to single player instances, maybe even story mode versions of instanced group content (for the story and quest completion but with very limited rewards)and if they want actual raid or high end dungeon gear they need to group and do the group content for it., but not everything.

    Open world dungeons and raids for instance should require groups. Sure a solo could run in and help out without officially joining everything, but at that point they are still riding the coat tails of any organized group in the open world stuff. I believe that open world group content should reward players based on their participation in the event and that group participation should count more, but not block solos from helping out and getting rewards as well. Anyone that does enough damage, healing, damage mitigation, taunting, ect in an open world dungeon or raid scenario should be rewarded, but the scale should always favor those that are grouped in those cases, while making sure a single guild can't shut out people from participating and basically have an open world area on lock down.

    For PvP you will always have the people that run off and do their own thing, even when grouped, so nothing is going to change there. If solo PvPers want to hop into a castle siege or a caravan ambush let them. Again rewards should be given based on participation.
  • arzosaharzosah Member, Braver of Worlds
    With crafting gear being on par with Raid drops a solo player could theoretically get the best gear without ever having to do group content, but they'd have to be loaded to buy all the gear from crafters that are able to get the needed drops from raids bosses.
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  • maergothmaergoth Member, Settler
    edited May 2
    I'd like to pitch this from the perspective of someone who used to be a "hardcore" player. I've been flown to Vegas, first place'd tournaments.. I have a giant check on my wall for several thousand dollars. Yeah, MMOs have those apparently.

    Unfortunately, I don't have time for that anymore.

    So with that said, here's my take:

    There is deep seated satisfaction in mastery of a game. The easier it is, the less accomplishment you feel when you beat it. Solo play has inevitable shortcomings in that department. That isn't to say that there isn't room for solo side questing and crafting, but it is to say that they shouldn't be completing watered down versions of primary story content. Artificial, arbitrary barriers are discouraged, though.

    I prefer games that take the approach of "Heroes versus Hero". It's a collective saving the world. When one person becomes the savior, amidst 100 other people who are "the chosen one", everything just feels so flimsy. If there is someone who is above and beyond, they should be a MOTIVATOR for those who haven't yet reached that level of gameplay. That person should be significantly more powerful. They should have an absurd reputation, alongside the other excellent players they choose to surround themselves with.

    Give the solo players their busy work, but your top tier raid guild on the edge of content shouldn't be forced into doing that stuff, shouldn't be penalized for being above it, and should BE the subject of envy. That is the primary motivator for progress. "Maybe I can be that, some day."


    So that brings up two things; Why do people prefer solo play, and how can group play be made more accessible?


    People don't always have the classic 3 hour camp sessions to commit to a group. Or their schedules aren't permissive of a weekly raid night. Proper tools for finding guilds, groups, etc are mission critical. I'd even suggest "time attack" style stuff with concrete time limits, so people can enter knowing what their committing their time to.

    The whole "Public Quest" thing is a great way to get people involved. Events that take place at a specific location that don't require any type of formal group. Include metrics. Let people have a reason to do more than sit around and spam one button. Maybe someone takes notice and picks them up for something else.

    Another big issue is being "perpetually bad", either by way of bad gear or just not having time to practice group play. World of Warcraft took baby steps in the right direction by requiring people to complete a certain challenge before joining more than the most basic pick up groups. They also had solo story quests that required they select a role and perform it, amidst an NPC group. Training people up is a huge part of getting them comfortable inflicting their "bad" on others.. and most would be pleasantly surprised. Maybe even an "Anonymous" mode for entry level dungeons so you don't feel your reputation is on the line by trying to learn.

    As for the gear aspect of it.. there are a million solutions. Just be considerate of a higher skill game compounding the shortcoming of gear AND skill, which will slaughter someone who is already behind. This is my primary issue with PVP in MMOs, generally speaking. The classic system of leveling and more powerful gear tends to fall short here, but occasional events to provide some slots of decent gear without bypassing the need for grouping is pretty significant.


    TL;DR Overall, reduce the effort required to transition between solo play, group play, and raid play with consideration for skill, gear and time requirements. How much your game needs solo content is based on how badly you've failed to transition those players. Let the solo player survive, but let your hardcore players thrive. Envy is a powerful motivator, and your high skill players will drive the community. Focus on letting people become heroes, not making everyone the hero.


    EDIT: I should clarify: I like good, challenging solo content, even if I don't believe it ever lives up to equally well designed raid content. I'm not saying you take the option away from people who enjoy escaping the masses. I'm saying that people who exclusively do, or always prefer solo content do so because of a lack of bridges between play styles. Almost every solo player would gladly participate in "raid content" if the entire raid was bots. That's indicative of an issue not with content type, but with social mechanisms and poor transitions between them.
  • ferrymanferryman Member
    edited May 3
    Solo players are also valueable resource for MMORPGs and especially in games which have player-driven economy. Solo players will interact with other players without need of the group. Even those group centric players have times when they want to do some things by own or they do not have possibility to group up with guildies or friends. Thats is why solo content and that way solo progression is important part of the game.

    Solo player's activities can and should be somehow different. They just can not kill the same dungeon bosses than groups for example, but they could progress other way killing mobs and minibosses somewhere else, maybe even in a solo dungeon. I am personally about 50/50 player what it comes for solo versus group gaming. Still I do not want to push away lone wolfs and I hope they have good possibilities to progress like everyone else has. Their road to the top does not need to be easy and maybe it can take a little bit longer, but the most important part is, that they still have that chance.
    Do you need a ride to the Underworld?
  • alavertalavert Member, Braver of Worlds
    To all who quoted me and stated opinion on how raids/dungeons should not be able to be soloed, we have to understand that EVENTUALLY, finding parties will become more difficult for new players at lower levels as the game progresses.

    Players will almost be forced to solo until they finally reach a certain stage. That is where we must keep in mind that if those raids and dungeons are impossible to beat, we will lose a flow of new players and thus reducing the game experience overall as it ages.

    With a good amount of dedication and strategy, new players should be able to advance and catch up to veteran players as well and not be hindered by party availability.

    We must think of the longevity of the game in the end.

    All forms of play should be catered to to a degree, allowing for a very diverse playerbase.
  • CoTuKCoTuK Member
    edited May 2
    Cool if available for a solo experience:
    • full profession leveling
    • non profession but progressive stuff like collecting something
    • low level dungeoning (up to node lvl 2)
    • major part of free-to-enter pvp (you will be just killed in non duel scenarios)
    • if you guys gonna add competitive pvp arena with leader boards- 100% solo option
    • questing that doesn't involve hard dungeon completion
    • economy play (trading\re-selling all that make em rain stuff)
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  • arzosaharzosah Member, Braver of Worlds
    alavert wrote: »
    To all who quoted me and stated opinion on how raids/dungeons should not be able to be soloed, we have to understand that EVENTUALLY, finding parties will become more difficult for new players at lower levels as the game progresses.

    Players will almost be forced to solo until they finally reach a certain stage. That is where we must keep in mind that if those raids and dungeons are impossible to beat, we will lose a flow of new players and thus reducing the game experience overall as it ages.

    With a good amount of dedication and strategy, new players should be able to advance and catch up to veteran players as well and not be hindered by party availability.

    We must think of the longevity of the game in the end.

    All forms of play should be catered to to a degree, allowing for a very diverse playerbase.

    Catch up mechanics are one thing, though I think that's something to be very careful with. I still don't think being able to solo a raid is the way to go about doing it.
    Steven has said that the plan is to have 40 man raids, if one person can walk in and be able to take down a boss that was intended for 40 there is something very very wrong.
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  • arzosaharzosah Member, Braver of Worlds
    I could see adding some very challenging solo scenario content that would award gear at a slightly lower tier compared to the raids as a catch up mechanic, but this content should designed for the class the player is and force them to use all utilities their class has available, and be comparably challenging to raid content, meaning if a boss takes 600 attempts to down this solo content should take nearly as many(though probably less since you're not relying on others not screwing up)
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  • alavertalavert Member, Braver of Worlds
    arzosah wrote: »
    alavert wrote: »
    To all who quoted me and stated opinion on how raids/dungeons should not be able to be soloed, we have to understand that EVENTUALLY, finding parties will become more difficult for new players at lower levels as the game progresses.

    Players will almost be forced to solo until they finally reach a certain stage. That is where we must keep in mind that if those raids and dungeons are impossible to beat, we will lose a flow of new players and thus reducing the game experience overall as it ages.

    With a good amount of dedication and strategy, new players should be able to advance and catch up to veteran players as well and not be hindered by party availability.

    We must think of the longevity of the game in the end.

    All forms of play should be catered to to a degree, allowing for a very diverse playerbase.

    Catch up mechanics are one thing, though I think that's something to be very careful with. I still don't think being able to solo a raid is the way to go about doing it.
    Steven has said that the plan is to have 40 man raids, if one person can walk in and be able to take down a boss that was intended for 40 there is something very very wrong.

    Obviously, massive raids like that will be an entirely different thing. However, if over-levelled, a player should be able to solo it once they are at a certain point. Once again, requiring a massive amount of dedication, but still not impossible.

    Also, there should be advancement options beyond raids and dungeons, which I am sure and positive there will be.

    In the end, we need to think about the game in the long run, but also think about exploration, etc. At one point or another, every player will be a part of a group for something. Then on the flip side, we will be forced at some point to solo something here or there. No matter how much we stick to one style of play, we will have to get a slight taste for another.
  • Hello there,

    Here are my 2 cents. It would be great to be able to do most of the content as a lone wolf but be able to play with others in public events like Rift, GW2 and similar games. Lone wolfs shouldn't be strong enough to solo raid like dungeons but if there are dungeons that have rare materials used for crafting it would be great if you're good mechanically/knowledgeable in the game to have the option of soloing it for more loot (material wise)
  • damoklesdamokles Member
    @alavert They could keep raids important. All they had to do was make them scale with the current max level and make the dropped items a bit worse then "actual" raid content, while making the materials farmed in the raid more important. These Materials could be kept in demand by making them rare and hard to obtain, while making them important for crafting through the expansion (for example: one raid could drop really rare and expensive dragon related materials, which are used in a multitude of recepies, while also being normally really hard to obtain outside of this raid. Another raid could drop manticore eyes, or somthing else).
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  • mistromistro Member, Braver of Worlds
    In a standard MMO, I believe a lone wolf should be able to progress to level cap alone and without too much trouble. I also believe in no limits on a single player from joining group content alone, such as a raid.

    Don't get me wrong, I enjoy healing and tanking in a group, but when no one else is available or if I want something in old content that no one else is interested in, I like the achievement of being able to solo it. Its also a decent tool for upping one's "mastery" of play.

    I think that always playing with a party can make you soft, you won't always know the depth of your spells/skills unless you need to use them to survive alone.
  • deliaszdeliasz Member, Settler
    Hello fellowship.
    Finally topic I want to add some thoughts of mine.

    One of my best friends is from L2. We've met few times outside of the gaming world and keep in touch all the time.

    I met him playing solo with my char farming some items for new sword.

    There are other people who I know from games and cherish our friendship.

    All of them I've met playing solo.

    For me a RPG or mmorpg games are mainly a story, mystery and world whom I'm starving.

    I love to be able to wander around, check some corners and take a risk to see if I can kill some mobs.

    There is a individual emphasis how I want to enjoy new game, how I want to play it. I don't want to be forced to look for teamplay. I want to be able to decide when I need help or when I can help someone else.

    I read what you are thinking and I have totally diffent approach. For me this is the last game I'm giving leap of faith after KS action.

    I want to merge into game and discover it on my terms as long as its possible content wise. I don't mind game being challenging.

    I do agree that some content should be only for team play and fair enogh.

    When I'm crafter I want to be able to get most of my materials for production by myself or buy them or ask for help.

    When I hunt as a fighter I want to feel thrill and world around me.

    This game should be a story where I have a hero who by my own decision walks forward either solo or as a group.

    We all start alone. Solo play/should be JUST AS important as team based.

    I have high hopes for this game.

    Thanks for your time 😎
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  • alavertalavert Member, Braver of Worlds
    damokles wrote: »
    @alavert They could keep raids important. All they had to do was make them scale with the current max level and make the dropped items a bit worse then "actual" raid content, while making the materials farmed in the raid more important. These Materials could be kept in demand by making them rare and hard to obtain, while making them important for crafting through the expansion (for example: one raid could drop really rare and expensive dragon related materials, which are used in a multitude of recepies, while also being normally really hard to obtain outside of this raid. Another raid could drop manticore eyes, or somthing else).

    I hear you on that and agree for sure. As someone who loves to craft or farm mats to sell. I'm a huge economy player who love to add pvp on the side to advertise my product.
  • silentcarnagesilentcarnage Member, Founder
    I agree with most of the users here but wanted to say that I feel story content should be soloable. If a player wishes to enjoy the story you should not need a group of people.
  • HeadmasterHeadmaster Member
    Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.
  • deliaszdeliasz Member, Settler
    Headmaster wrote: »
    Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.

    Sometimes to find a friend you need to defeat that darkness
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