I find it mind boggling that players are still trying to distill online gaming down to group content (MMORPG) or if you solo, you clearly belong in single-player games (RPG). They speak as if that’s all there is to the game – the manner in which you complete content? I’m baffled by such a narrow definition of gaming - solo or group. Doesn’t that strike you as too vanilla? I don’t happen to like vanilla ice cream. I mean for real, in case anyone cares. *smile*
I ask myself, have they never been with someone doing completely different things but in the same space and enjoying the camaraderie? You’re sitting together on the sofa. Someone is watching TV while the other is reading a book. You go to the mall together. You go into some of the same stores, then split up to hit the shops that only you like and meet back up at the food court for lunch.
My best friend and I like to take vacations together since we’re both single – again. She loves the beach. I tolerate the beach. I love to read, her not so much. We both enjoy good conversation. We head out to the beach together, sitting in the sun relaxing for a long while. When I’m tired of that, I grab my book and go have tea or whatever in the lounge. She doesn’t come until she’s ready – or not at all. Later we head out for dinner and a long chat or sight-seeing together. It’s not all or nothing. It’s not because we don’t want to be doing the same thing, at the same exact time – the WHOLE DAYUM TIME, we shouldn’t take trips together. There’s a middle ground of shared experiences, along with time allowed for personal (solo) experiences. What a shallow place the world and for that matter games, would be, if it could ONLY be one or the other!
Is “doing the content” all you enjoy about MMORPGs? Wow, I’d find that rather narrow. Personally, I like exploring, love crafting, enjoy participating in the economy and being all round competitive with other players my level, none of which is in anyway dependent on whether or not I like to do the content alone or in a group.
I really wish people would stop assuming that people who prefer to quest solo naturally want to be alone. We just don’t want to group with your uptight asses. (j/k – being snarky or not). Warhammer Online Public Quests and Open Groups were the right direction, just too many directions. *Sigh* No point in rehashing that now.
Being amongst other players CANNOT be replaced or replicated by intelligent NPCs, at least none that I’ve seen. Even in a game like The Sims where I have limitless interactions with NPCs – I can marry, have sex and bear children with NPCs, even that can’t replace the spontaneous adventures that erupt between REAL PEOPLE.
The Sims was ruined for me the minute I started playing MMOs. I play it occasionally, but I’m always aware that I’m not interacting with another human being, no matter how interesting and developed an A.I. system has been deployed. It is NOT the same. Please stop suggesting that it should be “good enough” simply because I prefer to quest solo.
I love being around other real players in the game. I enjoy seeing what they’re doing, what they’ve achieved, fighting with them, fighting against them (lean toward PVP) and running across them out in the world “doing their thing” while I’m doing mine. Chuck a heal there, apply a buff here, kill that thing that’s about to kill that player, ask for some quick help or information, gank someone of the opposing faction, scurry and hide before they can gank me, join up for a spontaneous quick group, etc. Thanks, it’s been real and I’m on my way.
The reasons why people solo in MMOs is as varied as the players themselves. You can’t boil it down to how they prefer to do the majority of the quests, so stop trying. You don’t get us and quite frankly, it’s silly for you to prescribe solutions to a play-style you don’t even understand. I know you're afraid. It's those damn hippies and rock-n-roll. Take a deep breath. You'll survive. We shrug that you prefer group content and say, go for it. If and when we feel like doing that, we join groups too.
MMORPGs have evolved to be more like Burger King’s, “Have it your way.” In my mind, that’s as it should be – I’ll level my way and you’re free to do the same. I’m sorry if you see solo players as pissing in your Cornflakes. That’s rather sad but more importantly, too bad. The train has left the station. My subscription dollars are as green as yours. And well, there seem to be a lot of us and the developers/publishers of MMORPGs want our dollars too. And why wouldn’t’ they? If they can convince me to buy their MMO, at roughly the same price as I’d pay for a single-player RPG AND pony-up for a monthly subscriptions <insert dollar signs here> – err well, I think you see the point.
If you’re still feeling completely clueless about why I happen to solo MMOs, here’s one set of reasons why. But tomorrow's reasons could be entirely different. I'm changeful like that. I'm human and I like to play amongst other humans.