Dev Discussion #16 - Group-Oriented Activities

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Glorious Ashes community - it's time for another Dev Discussion! Dev Discussion topics are kind of like a "reverse Q&A" - rather than you asking us questions about Ashes of Creation, we want to ask YOU what your thoughts are.

Our design team has compiled a list of burning questions we'd love to get your feedback on regarding gameplay, your past MMO experiences, and more. Join in on the Dev Discussion and share what makes gaming special to you!


Dev Discussion #16 - Group-Oriented Activities
What sorts of things stop you from joining a group or participating in group-oriented activities?

Keep an eye out for our next Dev Discussion topic regarding non-progression content!
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Comments

  • CMKalezCMKalez Member
    The only things that stop me grouping up is if the rewards dont scale with a larger group.
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    Never claim to be something you are not
  • Group activities usually arent worth it. The reqards arent good enough and exp per hour is not as good as regular mobbing usually. And the majority of the player base is a bunch of not good so id rather play solo if im gunna get held back
  • Server reputation; for Example in WoW there is a server called "Mal'ganis" and they have a reputation of being Toxic and very oblivious so if I see the group being ran by someone from that server I tend to avoid them.
    another thing that stops me from doing group content is if there is no point to it, or rather what would be gained from it is less than the effort required to finish it.
  • avoxiaavoxia Member
    Not enough loot to go around, the ability for people to spawn camp/ new players getting rolled over super fast in PvP to the point of not ever wanting to do it again.
  • Take a look at GW2, they doing well on scaling stuff with groups.
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  • CaerylCaeryl Member
    The primary thing that will stop me from joining group-based activities is the hassle of forming a group, but there’s also a few annoyances that make me not want to group up even if it’s easy.

    I also won’t be inclined to group if that means I now have to throw lots for any loot on a mob I kill.

    I’m not inclined to engage with grouping systems that give all authority to the group leader without question. In a guild based group, or a formal raid, that makes sense. Joining a pug in the open world should not make rando#5 the all-important leaderman.

    I’m still dubious on Ashes’ planned loot system in general. I tend to think instanced loot is superior just to avoid how much hassle and drama comes solely from loot drops, and the group mechanics shouldn’t end up making that drama worse.
  • EthekEthek Member
    It would stop me if it was less efficient than solo, or impossible/too difficult to do solo.
  • cosmicthundercosmicthunder Member, Braver of Worlds
    In no particular order:
    1. Time constraints
    2. Lack of the proper classes if the difficulty curve requires certain classes
    3. Poor rewards from the content the group is preparing to consume
    4. Someone in the group that I know from a previous experience whose attitude is very poor and possibly because they are flat out awful at performing their role (it would have to be truly bad, mind you)
    5. Content is not relevant to my interests or goals
    6. Needed accesses have not been obtained
  • TsukasaTsukasa Member
    If I can solo I will solo, UNLESS it is 1- very time consuming or 2- less rewarding. 3- boring, like dailies.
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  • I honestly enjoy things more when I do them with other people. Boring stuff I do alone tho so I can keep my friends playing the game <_<
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  • arodicusarodicus Member, Phoenix Initiative, Royalty
    I enjoy group activities a majority of the time. I have played games where everyone gets loot from enemies and it’s just your luck on junk or good items and that is a preferable loot system as opposed to the bosses dropping 1-3 items for a 10-25 group.

    Generally the things that would keep me away from group activities were loot rules or poor reputation of the group members. Like toxic guilds and such.
  • TrakaanTrakaan Member
    edited March 12
    The only problem I see is that most of the time when grouped you have to go "faster" than solo.

    I mean you can't really take your time to enjoy the scenery, do a bit of roleplay on the side of the road with a random stranger passing by or take your time to read the lore or even what the npc asks for his quest. And that's even more true if one of the member of your group already did this quest/dungeon/raid/[insert anything to do in a game]
  • botbot Member
    edited March 12
    It depends on the type of group activity and I'll provide an issue/solution for each.

    Standard small group activities like mob farming
    It's pretty common in other MMORPGs that the smaller your group is the better whether it's solo farming mobs or doing dungeons with the minimal amount of people. It discourages the social aspect of MMORPGs, although I don't believe it should be necessary that you have a group for every aspect of any game since it functions as gatekeeping. Have a variety of mobs on each map where one area is better suited for solo farming and another for farming as a party. An example for group mob farming would be having strong, dense mobs that can't be aggroed one at a time with better loot or drop rates. This would provide incentive to actually form a group whether you're with friends, guildmates, or in chat with randoms. I've found this type of social aspect to the game does a good job of boosting the social aspect of the game where you meet more people as this type of gameplay is basic enough that you can do it with randoms. I think another good thing would be for leveling from 1 to cap to be viable with a party so leveling with friends can be done without it hindering progression.

    Gatekeeping in the dungeon scene.
    Another very common where if the game is new and everyone is new there's usually not an issue, but as soon as a couple of months after launch passes you run into gear/experience requirements. It gets to a point where new players or those slow to progress catch up and find difficulty finding groups that accept them. A similar issue is when certain classes are completely irrelevant in the dungeon meta making it difficult to find a group when for example they might only accept mages, a healer, and a tank. Solutions to this is to ensure each dungeon has a variety of difficulties that are practical for use like easy to learn mechanics if you're new, normal if you know mechanics but don't have good gear, hard if you have good gear and knowledge of the mechanics, and expert for players with high tier gear, experience, and organization like premade teams from top guilds while all modes are still viable to take part in. The class bias issue just comes down to proper game design and taking into account what each class brings to the table when designing dungeon mechanics and mob types[/b]

    Large scale/zerg content
    To each their own, but I personally dislike zerg content greatly. It removes any level of skill or individual impact while typically just being a gear check and to a degree leadership difference. I think this comes down to well thought out content rather than extremely basic content that gets boring fast. Instead of just a single objective where everyone just spams abilities mindlessly into a single target or RvR where both raids just collide until one side runs out of numbers there should be more nuance. Having smaller objectives where you can have the main raid focusing on the zerg aspect while smaller elite teams handle side objectives that have a significant impact on the main raid's objective is an example of the layers content should have. An example of this is comparing League of Legends' standard Summoner's Rift map to the Howling Abyss aram map. One objective where both teams just mindlessly clash versus a more intricate one where you have many primary objectives and small objectives to get to the main objective of the enemy's nexus.
  • If the XP is not worth grouping. Needs to scale properly and give bonuses to XP as members are added.

    If the quest is collect 10 Unicorn Horns. Everyone in the group should get the credit. Not 20, 30, etc Unicorn Horns depending on the group side. Especially if if there is TERRIBLE RNG. Why does that Unicorn NOT have a horn when I clearly can see it does! :)

    Loot systems. NBG needs to exist. Also do not let anyone Need on an item if they cannot use it. I am not there trying to get my shiny new weapon so that you (and you cannot use the item) give it to your guild mate who is not even online. Hell even more of a slap in the face is if they are in the group with us and you try to also NEED for them. if you win it on greed.. cool do with it what you want. Means no one needed it that could use it so it should be open for everyone after that.

    I am sure I will think of more. I have over 23 years of MMO gaming experience lol.
  • People being idiots.
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  • mcstackersonmcstackerson Member, Braver of Worlds
    edited March 12
    I think efficiency is the best answer i can give. Forming groups takes effort so if it's not worth the time, why do it? That said, there are a lot of reasons it can be worth the time wither it's mitigating risk in some way or collecting resources that can't be farmed alone.

    Exception to this is when it comes to friends and guild mates. Will usually group with friends to help them out and hang out, even if it's not better for me but it's nice to still be getting something for my time.
  • xilodonxilodon Member
    MMOs are the type of game that should be able to scratch every gaming itch you have, from casual to hardcore. The more engaging/important parts all require extensive group play (raids, dungeons, large and medium scale pvp), and for many players their experience is best balanced by having a healthy amount of soloable content during their in game 'downtime' where they can just chill out and grind quests, explore, gather or craft at their own pace.

    It's important to make most aspects of the game viable and efficient in a group, but basic gameplay absolutely shouldn't punish players who want to go about things solo. Many newer games also streamline things like quest mob tagging so people don't need to go through the pointless ritual of adding someone to a party for all of 20 seconds, and I'm hoping AoC doesn't go for the intentionally obtuse way of handling things like that just for the sake of doing things 'old school'. Groups should feel necessary for challenging content that would be otherwise impossible, and completely optional the rest of the time.
  • chaoko954chaoko954 Member
    edited March 12
    There have already been some great points made by a lot of these other posts.
    I think this one gets most of the ones I would have said already:
    In no particular order:
    1. Time constraints
    2. Lack of the proper classes if the difficulty curve requires certain classes
    3. Poor rewards from the content the group is preparing to consume
    4. Someone in the group that I know from a previous experience whose attitude is very poor and possibly because they are flat out awful at performing their role (it would have to be truly bad, mind you)
    5. Content is not relevant to my interests or goals
    6. Needed accesses have not been obtained

    Number 5 is the one I want to focus on : Stale Content prevents me from grouping a lot.
    What this means for me is basically there are events that could be potentially fun with a group, but because they are not updated with a newer loot table and rewards when newer content comes out, I feel like these types of group events are lost forever.

    For example: Fates in FFXIV were fun to group for at server / expansion launch for the XP and the bit of loot, but very quickly all these become stagnant, the loot never really got any better and we had all this neat fun content being generated on the maps with no one really taking advantage of them at all. No one wanted to group for them because of all the reasons quoted above.

    I guess what I am trying to say is:
    I feel like the general lack of incentive to group in the first place is something that prevents me from grouping with people.
  • leonerdoleonerdo Member, Settler
    edited March 12
    A couple different perspectives on that:

    Personally, my #1 issue is just regular social anxiety. I'm not expecting Intrepid to solve my personal issues, though. And I've mostly gotten over it in the context of MMOs. However, I will say that LFG systems (even informal community practices), which sorta codify the group-making process, help get me over the initial shyness.

    The next issue, probably shared by a lot of people, is commitment to larger/longer objectives (such as end-game raids), with a static group or guild. Half of that is time commitment, because ideally you want to spend several hours each week, every week, on a regular schedule. The other half is social commitment to a group of people who you need to gel with for a long time. Again, this is not really something the MMO can help with, aside from offering every level of content for people with different levels of commitment (or lack thereof).


    There is one situation that I think the game is mostly responsible for. If there is difficult content that stays around for a long time, but continues to stay relevant or give good rewards, it will eventually reach a point where it's incredibly difficult for newer players to find a group for it. This happens because most of the people who continue to run/farm that content get very good at it over time, and they begin to expect all of their teammates to be equally practiced, because they want fast smooth runs (especially if they are trying to grind out 100+ runs for some ridiculous achievement or cosmetic reward). At that point it's basically a miracle if a new player can find a group of veterans to teach or carry them through it, or even less likely, find a whole group of new players who stick around long enough to prog through it on their own.

    In that situation, where content becomes exclusive to an elitist veteran community, I would prefer that the content died out completely (no longer giving relevant rewards, and letting the veterans go do something else with their time), or that it were eventually nerfed/made easier so that newer players can get through it without a miracle group.
  • At times i just want to do things in my pace. Maybe explore while i do it
  • NagashNagash Member, Leader of Men
    Do summons count as a group?
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    The dead do not squabble as this land’s rulers do. The dead have no desires, petty jealousies or ambitions. A world of the dead is a world at peace
  • George BlackGeorge Black Member
    edited March 12
    What stops people from grouping is the absense of challenge.

    Most mmorpgs cater to casual solo gameplay, in which one solo character can without danger:
    Lvl up (pve combat)
    Do silly quest chains (story mode)
    Gather (all available professions)
    Craft (all available professions)

    This stops the need to socialize/group
  • SzoloSzolo Member, Founder
    In every group I wish to feel that everybody is working to his/her best towards the common goal. I don't like the idea of rewarding slackers with the same reward I get for "pushing the cart". LFD/LFR in WoW is a perfect example for this problem.
    You ride that fine line of like everyone is about to die and you shall keep on casting, keep going, it awesome. Thats the best part of healing.
  • Doing the same activity over and over and over again in order to farm or gather something, specially in dungeons or raids, doing exactly the same rooms with the same Npcs and the same bosses with exactly the same mechanics it's just so extenuating, I don't know how difficult would be, but if the dungeons can change some stuff each time we enter it would be awesome, like the order of bosses or their mechanics or the order of the rooms or maybe include some well constructed puzzles that can only be solved using team work, I know IS is already working in mechanics that can only be activated by bringing a character of certain class ,like a rogue, to the dungeon, that's an excellent strating point.

    Also the fact that when you're in a group with someone that has already completed certain content, they tend to skip cinematics or content that can add something to the story arc or the lore of certain area or characters, as someone who enjoys the development of the tale, that tends to frustrate me.
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  • ScootsScoots Member, Braver of Worlds
    One of the main annoyances when forming random groups is communication...or lack thereof.

    A couple things off the top of my head:
    a) Players who have no intention of communicating.
    It would be nice to filter the LFG system by who has a mic or not. Or at least filter for those who agree to listen to voice chat.

    b) Players who intend to communicate but can't talk in voice chat.
    Discussing fight mechanics etc. can be difficult when you have to type everything out. It would be cool to have a voice to text feature for people who don't want to talk in voice chat...and more importantly for raid leaders so they don't have to type out fight mechanics while explaining it over voice. It could be a toggle on the messaging window or something.

    Also, having a poll system for asking questions to the group and a good 'ready-up' system are very handy.
  • For me Solo playing is nice when i can i take my time and don't rush, when i play in a group they Ignoring me and just attacking Everything for loot so i will make a Character that is balance for solo playing and Group that i can play both when is needed. ( sorry for the bad Grammar i am very bad in English.)
  • GundelGundel Member, Leader of Men
    edited March 12
    As many have touched on, Time and rewards if the exp and rewards are not worth the time put in people will not group, an example being gear is not that big of an upgrade compared to solo quests gear etc. Or if someone can solo farm xp efficiently and doesn't have the headache of group play they would much rather do it.
    For group to be successful the juice as to be worth the squeeze, meaning make the rewards for grouping obviously better and players will do it.
  • Usually the only thing that will stop me from joining a group is knowing someone in the group is a jerk, or has no idea what they're doing. But i also like when reputations like that have the possibility of forming. feels more like a community then.
  • Nagash wrote: »
    Do summons count as a group?

    Only if they have *shudder* independent thought processes...
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  • NagashNagash Member, Leader of Men
    Damokles wrote: »
    Nagash wrote: »
    Do summons count as a group?

    Only if they have *shudder* independent thought processes...

    So dave counts then. That's all I needed to know

    "Dave get your gear we are going on a quest!"
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    The dead do not squabble as this land’s rulers do. The dead have no desires, petty jealousies or ambitions. A world of the dead is a world at peace
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