I was a pissed off by an opinion voiced on the Massively Online Player Podcast. They were railing about Vanguard mentioning that PVP might not be in the first release of the game. In their fury over this possibility, they blamed a lot of what is wrong with MMOs on players who are insisting that MMORPGs have solo content.
For a player to want to solo on any MMO may seem like a contradiction. However, I think you can place much of that blame on the games themselves. Using WOW as an example, it can easily take an hour or more to form a group. If you’re off to do a dungeon, that alone can be a couple of hours. So now you’re at three hours to finish a single objective – if you’re lucky. Not everyone has 3-4 hours at a time to play. Nor do they want to stake their entire opportunity to achieve an objective on the availability, reliability and skills of others. How many times have you been in a pick-up group that goes bad and disbands before the quest or instance is completed? Someone’s mother makes them take out the trash or get off the computer to do their home work. A spouse starts bitching that they’ve been online too long. Or someone’s just an ass and leaves because they get pissed about something. Now the entire group is left high-and-dry with hat in hand. Granted this reasoning isn't the case for everyone who wants solo content. There are peope for whom, all things being equal, just want to quest or grind A-lone.
I like to solo and won’t play a game that doesn’t have enough content to support that playing style. I do groups and raids when my time permits and I’m inclined to do so. Does that make me a PVE Care Bear? Uhm let’s see…I’m a level 60 with a complete set of epic armor (pre 1.10) and all my upgraded spell books from AQ. I have a level 30, level 47 and an assorment of other toons that were abandoned along the way. All of these toons are on PVP servers. So I’m guessing that I’m not a Care Bear. I enjoy “real” PVP. I see the opposite faction and I’m all in. If the town I’m in is getting attacked, I race to the front lines. However, I don’t do instanced PVP – it is too contrived in its current implementation in WOW. BGs are the worst thing they ever introduced. Real in-world battles and skirmishes are all but a thing of the past. Honor in WOW is just another loot grind. Honestly, how many pieces of hot loot does a toon really need??
Solo content must exist and it’s not simply to please casual players. Not every solo player is a casual player. Not every solo player is a so-called Care Bear. In the game mechanics currently implemented by the top MMORPGs, leveling is PVE. To upgrade your character you have to level – PERIOD. Leveling progression is game progression, and I should be able to attempt to progress whenever I have the time to do so. Players shouldn’t be prohibited from advancing because they can’t find other people who want or need to do, exactly what they want or need to do, at the same exact time.
The simple fact is that PVP doesn’t contribute to character advancement in most games. Other than loot or access to special items, a.k.a. loot, there is no advantage or need to PVP. Even if you enjoy PVP, you aren’t a viable threat without achieving a certain level, a.k.a. PVE. So do the math and talk to the game designers. A player who likes to solo is someone who wants the option of LEVELING solo – this is not about PVP. Nor does their desire for solo content detract from PVP. This is a case of apples and oranges dear boys.
Let’s set the record straight. Vanguard or any other game developer’s decision not to implement PVP has nothing to do with people who want solo content. It has everything to do with the fact that they’ve all designed character advancement around PVE. The real problem from a game implementation side, is how to satisfy people who want PVP in the RPGs. The current crop of games are designed around killing mobs to level, which in case you need reminding - I'll say it again, is PVE. The truth may hurt ya but honestly, PVP can be pulled from these games and not affect character advancement one bit. And if that doesn't speak volumes about the worth of how PVP is currently implemented in most games, I don't know what does. Granted, many players wouldn’t play without PVP, but the games could still “be” played.
You could erase PVP from WOW tomorrow and it wouldn’t technically prevent a single player from reaching the end-game. So even in a game based on the lore of a faction conflict remains technically viable without said conflict and more importantly to my point, PVP. However, you can’t do the same thing in reverse. Removing PVE from WOW would render the game useless. Not a single dungeon can be accessed and no professions learned. WOW, like most of the other MMORPGs, is nothing without PVE.
So get off the solo player’s backs and tell the game designers to fix the fundamental flaw that they are continuing to perpetuate. PVP doesn’t advance the player, and in many cases on unbalanced servers, slows the leveling process, which is what does advance the player. I want to level when and how I want to level, and that doesn’t have a rats-ass to do with your PVP.