Dev Discussion #2 - Solo Gameplay

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  • makizhmakizh Member
    Dear all,

    I love to play with Guild-Mates in Raids or Dungeons with my Team-Mates. But what i love most is, to have a very hard to finish targets. If I could name some examples I enjoyed in World of Warcraft, was the Onyxia Pre-Quest (enjoyed. Was long, but not so hard), where you had to play solo, with a Team-Mate and with a Group. The secound thing i really enjoyed in WoW was the Magetower Challanges, where you had to have a) Skill b) Gear.
    For me it is most important to have Skill-Based quests and opportunities to Test my skills and / or gear. For me, the gear you should be able to optain in "Hard-to-achive"-Quests should be equivalent to the one, you can get in ~5 group Dungeons. With "Very-Hard-to-achiev"-Quests should be a bit above this Dungeons. This will bring Group Players to run the Dungeons, obtain Gear fast and move on to Raids or whatever. And have Solo-Players get the gear by playing themselves and have still possibilities to join bigger gaming groups later, as the gear-gap will not be this brutal.

    For PVP in my opinion, you should be able to achieve everything someone can achieve with groups. So 1on1 should be same rewards like 5on5. In open PVP i would limit the penalty for players only playing PVE by not penalizing either gear in open PVP (pve gear nor pvp gear).

    Regards
    Makizh
  • nestharusnestharus Member, Phoenix Initiative, Hero of the People
    edited May 13
    jodypse wrote: »
    nestharus wrote: »
    dygz, while it is true that players have always been able to reach level cap without grouping in MMOs, the old MMOs weren't designed to allow that. People found ways around the designs to do it. More of trying, at any cost, to figure out how to solo rather than play the game the way it was designed and intended to be played.
    I would have to disagree. Most MMORPG's are set up to have multiple ways to play them, not an intentionally single way designed into it. Most single player RPG's have though though even those are attempting to have more ways to manage the game than the "main plot".
    The whole intention with gathering, exploring, crafting, hobbies, and more, is to allow for specific solo play while still being part of the community by selling and trading and crafting for others than self.
    While there are those that try to find ways to so group contents solo, I am not saying there aren't, those are a minority, not a large group at all, of the gamers. Even so saying that they are not playing the game as designed might still be wrong. The game designers might have actually made their type of play possible in some instances, or not made the design with the thought of stopping them so if they find a way then they find a way.

    All killing beyond level 5 in EQ1 classic was group content unless the players went for enemies WAY below their level or found a way to kill enemies that the devs didn't intend. Pantheon will be the same way. Not all MMOs let you play by yourself. If you want to play by yourself in those, you really have to find a way that the devs did not intend. In Pantheon, the content gets so hard (for enemies around or even below your level) that your healthbar is going to be bouncing up and down. There was only a small handful of classes that even had a way to solo (again, not intended by devs, just players figured out how).

    You can say that the first MMORPGs always had solo content, but you'd be lying to yourself. Dark Age of Camelot believed in huge group battles and the like too. Ashes said it'd bring group play back to MMOs and kill single player MMORPGs more or less. That's one of the reasons I backed it.

    Fun fact, in those super old school MMOs, sometimes I would spend 54 hours lfg. Some people would only get one group a week. You can see why MMORPGs started to let people solo.
  • megsmegs Member, Royalty
    edited May 13
    nestharus wrote: »
    dygz, while it is true that players have always been able to reach level cap without grouping in MMOs, the old MMOs weren't designed to allow that. People found ways around the designs to do it. More of trying, at any cost, to figure out how to solo rather than play the game the way it was designed and intended to be played.

    You are totally right.
    They weren't all designed as soloable, but people found a way. ....

    Showing that if there wasn't a demand for it, it wouldn't be the default play style of a lot of modern day MMORPG players.

  • sunfrogsunfrog Member, Pioneer
    I've been thinking about this for a long time and I don't have an answer for you. As a solo player I don't think I should be able to kill the boss of all bosses single-handedly, but I don't want to ask people for help either. I'm a lone wolf baby. I go where the wind blows and howl for no one. :smile:
  • dygzdygz Member, Braver of Worlds
    edited May 14
    I started playing MMORPGs with vanilla EQ. Soloing; not grouping.
    I didn't like DAoC.
    I mostly switched between EQ, AO, EQ2 and WoW.
    I didn't experience everything being group content after level 5. It was possible for me to spend weeks on a mid-level, sure. If I felt I was stuck on a hell level in one game, I would switch to another and wait for the content in the previous one to be nerfed.

    I never looked for a group. Sometimes I would duo for a while with someone I ran into working on the same quest(s). Sometimes I would agree to join a group if they desperately needed to fill their final spot.
  • blackheartedblackhearted Member
    edited May 14
    Soloing all open-world content should be possible with having bosses scale in relation to attackers.

    I think dungeons and raids should be left for groups to promote playing with others, it is supposed to be an MMO after all.
    You're seeking perfection, but your disillusions are leading to destruction.
  • jalvordjalvord Member, Braver of Worlds
    Soloing all open-world content should be possible with having bosses scale in relation to attackers.

    I think dungeons and raids should be left for groups to promote playing with others, it is supposed to be an MMO after all.

    no. there should be no scaling at all. soloing all open-world content seems fishy to me.
    ehh boom
  • teylouneteyloune Member, Phoenix Initiative, Royalty
    How do you feel about solo progression? How far should a player be able to progress as a "lone wolf"?
    There should always be something to do for people, but they should never expect to see all the content, if they refuse to play with others.
  • dygzdygz Member, Braver of Worlds
    edited May 18
    Solo players should be able to see all content in an open world MMORPG.
    That doesn't mean they should be able to defeat all content/challenges on their own.
  • jentarajentara Member, Braver of Worlds
    Dev Discussion #2 - Solo Gameplay
    How do you feel about solo progression? How far should a player be able to progress as a "lone wolf"?

    Hate to ask a question to answer a question, but...what does Lone Wolf mean? That I have one account with one character...or that I have one account with 30 characters? For the love of a good economy and the need to trade...but allow people to progress deep into the game content alone...Limit character creation so that people have to at some point rely on others to advance or gain items. But does that then mean they are not a Lone Wolf? hmmmmm

    Last thing I want to do is HAVE to group for everything. Frankly, a player should be progress as far as they want as a lone wolf in the respect of just playing the game. It should just take them longer and they need to be more creative to do it. They will also have to accept that some things need a group to do, however there should be other ways for the solo player to gain the same benefit. Besides things like running a city or taking over a realm. I'm speaking more to the general play of the game.
    If you need a group to kill a boss, to get a Sword of Superness. Then as a lone wolf...what are my options to get that sword too? Steal it or Buy it!

    If I want to be the best at a craft, as a solo player...I better enjoy trading.
    If I want to be the best fighter in the world, I better enjoy practicing and...well trading (need a way to get the goods).
    If I want to be....well, anything great in the game...at some point I'm going to need resources from someone else. Am I a Lone Wolf?

  • damoklesdamokles Member
    jentara wrote: »
    Hate to ask a question to answer a question, but...what does Lone Wolf mean? That I have one account with one character...or that I have one account with 30 characters? For the love of a good economy and the need to trade...but allow people to progress deep into the game content alone...

    A Lone Wolf is normally some one who does not like to join groups, just does not sees the need to join goups to do things that can be done alone, wants to challenge himself or is just not socially adept.
    Being a Lone Wolf has nothing to do with the amount of characters, it is a mentallity.
    4vIAwsd.gif
  • auraticusauraticus Member
    TL:DR
    Everybody has their strengths, and their weaknesses. Strength can sometimes prosper in numbers, but your overall capacity shouldn't be restricted by some linear path the game would prefer you to pursue. It's a living breathing world after all, right?

    The world is in essence a living, changing thing, distinguish for the player to influence and explore. Experience gained shouldn't be affected by "lone wolfing", naturally that doesn't mean someone isn't going to have some form of individual handicap. We're not God's, even the ones of us who boast a "one man army". In that, our items and skill can only take us so far. With that said it would be a bit of a travesty if your capacity was restrained by the mechanics of the game simply because you did not play in the expected and otherwise coerced style of the game. After all the world shouldn't have a style, so the freedom to be the type of character you want should be prioritized above all else. There shouldn't be this linear path less you receive harsh penalties. Lone wolfing isn't just a "style", and it would be a shame if it the game forced or penalized you for it.

    Generally speaking, dungeons shouldn't be things you can simply walts on into. I don't think doing things on your own should be acknowledged by the environment that "adjusts to your level and the number of party members available" to accommodate the party size or strength. If a lone player wants to enter a dungeon, they can attempt to at their own peril. Their experience gained from killing monsters shouldn't be affected because their alone. Naturally, with help and party members, that in itself is enough to give you strength and increase your overall capacity. It makes sense that something like that would provide its own additional experience as well, especially if say a party member were to buff or otherwise support you. Anyway lone wolfs shouldn't be capped at gold, if they'd like they can enter and see how far they can go, at the very least it would provide them with some information on the overall capacity of the dungeon so party members or a guild can better prepare to take on the denizens of such a husk.
  • berrosberros Member, Braver of Worlds
    edited May 29
    drakehiro wrote: »
    I think it would be really cool if games offered more solo content. I think group activities are important. I think they allow people to play together and lots of group activity is really fun in games. But, I think a solid path for solo players is also important, for instance solo dungeons/instances. They would offer less exp per person then group activities but they still allow solo players to grind when friends are asleep or they just dont feel like playing with anyone.

    World of Warcraft is an example of making things more convenient for Solo Players as well as group players. Their game has lost its edge and is in great decline. Now they are relaunching Classic WOW that is very hard and almost impossible for solo players and there is a new excitement over their Game. MMORPG is where you don't have to play alone and you get to and need to group up and make friends to get through the challenges of the game.

    I am not saying no Solo play. Just that you should not be able to do what a group can. Solo exploration and crafting is great. Traveling from town to town to learn about the world is awesome. But meet people as you go and make a friend and have some adventure and laughs together.
  • dygzdygz Member, Braver of Worlds
    WoW is in decline because it needs to be updated to WoW 2.0 instead of creating 1.x expansions.

    WoW has to create a world where the players are invested in creating and defending dynamic cities - like the designs for EQNext, CoE and Ashes. Rather than the static content that is the core of WoW designs.
    These cities are what will create and maintain communities.
    Solo play doesn't hinder making friends - all kinds of other social activities to bond around in MMORPGs besides combat.

    But, we know that Ashes will have challenges, like caravans, sieges and node progression that can not be successfully completed alone.
  • theavatartheavatar Member
    Kinda late but i suppose better late than never lol. This is a pretty complex subject but simply put solo lone wolf players should be able to progress through most content (with the exception of dungeons and raids obviously) HOWEVER the maximum possible benefits should never be as good for a solo player as it is for a group.
  • My earliest MMO memories are littered with scars from games struggling with the difficulty of getting this one right.

    Ultima Online was scary to be alone b/c PK'ers would just gank you. Everquest was a mess where some classes were solo gods (I'm looking at you Necromancer) and others were the red-headed step-child of soloing (poor poor rangers, the butt of everyone's jokes). WOW came along and progressively got more and more simple, easy and dumbed-down until landscape quests were about as exciting as scooping your own eyeballs out with a cold spoon ....

    Having said that, some of my fondest memories of MMO's are of trying to "do the impossible", ie taking on group content solo, or with a duo, etc. I absolutely LOVE games where I can choose/adjust my difficulty levels while soloing, depending on how adventurous I'm feeling.

    Also many times I might want to do some stuff on my own for a bit to fill in time until people are around. Or I'm only going to be on for a short time and don't want to waste time finding or forming a group and then have to leave it.

    There are so many aspects to balance & juggle, here's a few that come to mind (skip to end for TLDR version):

    Content:
    I think to see all the content a game has to offer, you should not be able to do that alone. But I think there should be enough content that you can see solo that you're unlikely to see it all (unless super long term / hard core maybe?)

    Risk & Reward:
    I think that to get the best rewards (for any particular area/level range/faction/etc) you should need to do group content. That's not to say that you necessarily MUST be grouped to do it, but it should certainly have far less risk if you are. But if you want to try to find a way to do some of it without a group, then you should be able to try, but it be far riskier.

    XP/min:
    Sometimes people will want to level, and that means getting xp. The best xp should be from grouping, but people should still be able to get xp solo, just slower. This gives people a good reason to want to find a group, and if done well (eg group bonuses to xp from # of party members) then people in an existing group will be keen to invite/accept new people into their party too.

    Mood:
    Let's face it, even though the usual tendency is to play MMO's to play with other people, sometimes we just aren't in the mood (or in a state acceptable) for company. There should be plenty to do that is real & meaningful if that's the case - sitting around for hours with nothing much to do / nothing worth doing is not helpful if you're in a bit of a mood.

    Availability:
    Even if you're on a server that is localised for your region, there will still be peaks & troughs in the server population at any given time and sometimes there just won't be the right people with the right characters (level, role, location, etc) for you to group with. So, even if people are wanting to group up, they need to be able to be doing productive things while they wait.

    TLDR:
    Incentivize grouping enough that just about everyone wants to do it most of the time, but give people plenty to do for when they can't or don't want to find a group, or while waiting for one to form.
  • noaaninoaani Member
    Late to the party on this thread, but I'll throw in my two cents.

    My single most memorable experience while solo in an MMO was actually an effort I put in to join a guild group.

    The group was near the end of the biggest open dungeon in the game, and one of the members of the group was about to leave. I said I'd happily take that players place, but the group didn't want to have to travel all the way back to the start of the zone and fight back down, so I said I'd meet them where they were.

    The group didn't think I'd be able to make it, I mean, they were at the end of the biggest, highest level dungeon in the game. Thanks to knowing the mob pathing of the zone, clever use of an invis spell and a fairly long duration root that allowed me to run out of mobs leash range, I was able to make it to the group in arounf 10 minutes, where it would have taken us at least 30 minutes to fight back down.

    My group were all shocked that I was able to make it down there solo, knowing full well that two hits from any single mob in the zone would have killed me.

    This sticks out in my mind as it is an example of being able to use the abilities of your class - along with some game mechanics knowledge - to do things that other players think to be impossible.

    As to how far I think players should be able to progress as a solo player, my simple answer is that a solo player should be able to progress all the way to the end - of the games solo progression content.

    To me, an MMO needs to decide early on if it will cater to solo, groups of various sizes, and raids of various sizes. If it is going to cater to a specific player count, then its developers should develop a progression path specifically for that many players.

    I see no reason (other than time) why one game like Ashes can't have a progression path for solo players, a different progression path for duos, a progression path for groups of 4 and groups of 8, one for small raids of 16 and one for full raids of 40.

    I mean, we already know there are plans for 8, 16 and 40 person content, I see no reason why 1, 2 and 4 person content can't also be produced.

    As for how good the gear should be for solo players, my answer to that is actually the same as my answer to how good gear should be from raid encounters - exactly good enough to allow you to take on the next encounter in that specific progression path.

    From there, as far as I am concerned, it is simply a matter of how long a progression path the developers want to develop for each specific progression path.
  • noaani wrote: »
    My single most memorable experience while solo in an MMO was actually an effort I put in to join a guild group.
    <snip>
    This sticks out in my mind as it is an example of being able to use the abilities of your class - along with some game mechanics knowledge - to do things that other players think to be impossible.

    That's flat out awesome. I love this story.
    noaani wrote: »
    As to how far I think players should be able to progress as a solo player, my simple answer is that a solo player should be able to progress all the way to the end - of the games solo progression content.

    To me, an MMO needs to decide early on if it will cater to solo, groups of various sizes, and raids of various sizes. If it is going to cater to a specific player count, then its developers should develop a progression path specifically for that many players.

    I see no reason (other than time) why one game like Ashes can't have a progression path for solo players, a different progression path for duos, a progression path for groups of 4 and groups of 8, one for small raids of 16 and one for full raids of 40.

    I mean, we already know there are plans for 8, 16 and 40 person content, I see no reason why 1, 2 and 4 person content can't also be produced.

    Do you know what ? You're absolutely bang on the money here.

    I never thought about it in those exact terms, but you've articulated it so well here that I can't help but be impressed.

    If a game makes a conscious decision to support duo play (and now that I think of it, I reckon that's an important thing to decide if they're going to or not, and how frikken awesome would it be if they decided that they would!?!?!), then there's absolutely no reason why they couldn't design and support a progression path for duos.

    And a side benefit of this is that for no extra effort or cost, they'd have content that would also provide extra high level of challenge for aspirational solos to try for a dialled up risk vs reward experience.

    Double win !

    Great post mate. +1.
  • dygzdygz Member, Braver of Worlds
    edited June 5
    Right. It would be nice to have procedurally created dungeons that include NPCs with quests for the various types of progression - racial, social, adventurer, crafting - such that individuals could pursue other interests and objectives besides just killing everything.
  • lufialufia Member
    edited June 6
    Soloing all open-world content should be possible with having bosses scale in relation to attackers.

    I think dungeons and raids should be left for groups to promote playing with others, it is supposed to be an MMO after all.

    Definatly not.
    Most content should be required to be grouped.
    That meaning, if you want to fight a group of enemies in an area, you would actually have to speak to other players there and ask if you can join, like in the old days.
    Its a multiplayer game, not a solo experiance.
    Most content was groupbased in mmorpgs before WoW.
    WoW has ruined alot of what mmorpgs once were.
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  • CognizantCognizant Member
    edited June 9
    I love the looks of what you all are bringing into existence. As a long time RPG player I love the solo aspect to games. There is a place for team aspects, but for players like myself there have to be significant things in the world to do that are not simply crafting and PvP. When I lose interest in an MMO it is often because it becomes painfully obvious that the developers do not value the solo PvE experience.

    To be more specific, things which push me away from MMO games:

    It becomes impossible to obtain good/rare gear apart from raids.
    The only quests left to me as a solo PvE player are collect 15 x, and 30 y items.
    The only relevant thing left is crafting.
    Low intelligence AI mobs. I feel that many times unless you are in an instance the only reason mobs exist is reagents, xp, or as some minor hindrance between point A and B. They rarely feel like they exist in an ecosystem.

    As to the question of balance, I do think that harder events that require teams to complete should offer better loot/treasure. If players fight something that requires 20-30 people then the rewards should show it. At the same time should there be mythic/artifact tier type items that can only be obtained by raids? I don't think so. I think different styles of play should have relevant items/gear they should be able to obtain. For example, perhaps a raid dungeon boss drops specific high level items, perhaps a PvP player can earn high level items through consistent participation, as well as doing well in matches and tournaments, and maybe, just maybe, there are special solo quests, challenges, and instances that are designed to be completed by solo players (or small teams) which yield unique items.

    As far as progression goes, if a player is highly skilled at playing their character they should be able to do a lot. I think a couple hard stops would include being able to single-handedly siege a city or metropolis, or kill a world boss. Mythic and epic heroes (good or bad) are compelling, and inspiring; yet, they usually have a supporting cast of characters with them that enable them to be so.

    Honestly, looking at the depth of game mechanics and character classes you are offering I think it would be very interesting to see how an assassin would function. Could I act as a mercenary and slay political leaders, merchants, and the like for renown and coin? Could I infiltrate in a way that would have an impact on city to city politics? Could I infiltrate during a siege and kill generals and leaders? Or am I simply stuck slaying monsters and dungeon bosses?
  • Think there should be things in the game to get the hermit out its shell or in this case be a part of the pack instead of the being the lone wolf. But to answer your question.

    Well there should be small dungeouns that could be done as a stand alone adventure and maybe part of a quest. This small dungeouns can be used to hone in a players skill. So the dungeoun could be used to make a player used interupts or use defensive ablities or teach them to pay attention and not stand in a fire.
    WoW has this scenerios were you get bronze silver and gold and it goes per class. Really good to prepare them for dungeouns and raids.

    So the answer just long engough to prepare them for raids and dungeouns.

    But as far as leveling is concerened there should be content that requires grouping including quests, dungeouns.

    If your are talking about the single online roleplaying game experience. All you have to do is put solo content in the game that is challenging.

    Instead of asking about the lone wolf experience I think you should be asking yourselves how to enable encourage people to group without making them feel like they have to do it.

    If you were to make an effort to create a positivestrond community there would be less lone wolves.

    Like a message while the loading screen that says.

    Contribute to your own game be polite and courteous. or Todays newbs are tomorrows best players.

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  • praylprayl Member
    I would prefer a team play game, where mobs in the wild is so strong you need to team up. But not too strong that you can't do it solo. Like if you pull more than 2 good chance is you will die.

    Work must be done to reap the rewards, if everything is obtainable solo then this will just be another Modern WoW expansion and I don't want that. Even with the nodes and all the new things, the world won't feel real if it is not dangerous.

    The more effort and work is put into playing and progression is directly proportional to the actual work I as a player put into the game and if everything can be solo'd I would rather play Tomb Raider.

    This is a MMORPG seriously why do some people want to do everything solo? go play solitaire if you want to play solo games .....
  • Think here should be group content at every level to not make so many lonewolves.
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