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The Dedicated Soloist (a.k.a., Reasons why I never shout "LFG")

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by Brotoi, Sep 19, 2011.

  1. Brotoi

    Brotoi Cupcake-About-Town

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    This question has already popped up a couple times in different threads. Sooner or later the dedicated "LFG" folks will arrive and some of them are bound to get nasty. They always do. So it seemed to me that it might be good to address this topic and get it into the archive so they can search around, read, and add to it without detonating threads dealing with social tools, raid bosses, and so on.

    The question usually goes something like this, "Why play an MMO if you don't like to group?"

    or sometimes, "Why play an MMO if you don't like to PvP?"

    or even worse, "If you're not going to be socialable you should just play an RPG!"

    Now, I can't speak for every dedicated Soloist in the world. I can only speak for myself. So don't try to take my opinion and apply it to some general definition of people who solo in MMOs. This is my opinion and mine alone. It doesn't apply to any group or class of players. It only applies to me. I encourage others to add their opinions as well. If you're a dedicated Soloist, why? If not, why not?

    Okay, then. The main reason I solo for the vast majority of my game time is related to scheduling. I fly back and forth between Japan and Ohio with alarming frequency and the exact travel dates are constantly shifting through the calendar year. Most of the time when I'm online the rest of the English-speaking world is sleeping (when I'm in Japan) or working and going to school (when I'm in Ohio). I don't group because when I'm online groups are few and far between. It's easier, faster, more efficient, and more enjoyable to just strike out on my own and see what kind of trouble I can get myself into.

    I'm a natural Explorer and Lorist. It's just what I do and how I like to play. Single-player RPGs have fixed, limited worlds that quickly run out of new places to discover. They are almost always strictly linear storylines with limited freedom to wander off into the woods. Either that or they are pure sandboxes with nothing to do and a beautiful world to do it in. Maybe a few puzzles, but very few NPCs, and absolutely no real people.

    The persistent online world of an MMO is vast, constantly changing, filled with missions, puzzles, and interesting places where artists go a little nutty 'cause they assume no one will ever find it. Monuments to arrogance, humility, lost pets, and ex-lovers are not uncommon to find hidden in quiet corners off the beaten path.

    In Lineage II beta testing I once came across a huge monument inscribed with dozens of initials and surrounded by minature dragons. Eventually, the minature dragons were replaced with a raid boss and the monument was publicized as the initials of the design team. There are very few people who remember the mini-dragons.

    And, of course, an MMO has real people in it! When possible, I do enjoy meeting new people, especially roleplayers. Encountering a player who has put genuine thought into their character's personality, history, and background is a joy that no NPC can ever match. I once spent an entire six hour play session in CoH hanging out in Pocket D with three other players just shooting the breeze in character and being in the world. No scripts, no fancy stories, just three heroes and a villain (I was the villain) shooting the breeze and comparing world experiences (fictional world experiences, naturally, but canonical).

    So, yeah, sometimes for me the only difference between an MMO and an RPG is complexity. At other times, an MMO is nothing more than a giant 3D chatroom. And once in awhile, I jump into a PUG, chuckle at newbies, share my "wisdom", and waste time running back and forth between the mission and whatever "rez" facility the game offers. PUGs very seldom work efficiently after all. Sometimes, but not often.

    Most of the time I solo. The reasons I prefer MMOs to RPGs boil down to three things:
    1> A vast, dynamic virtual world
    2> Real people to roleplay with
    3> The occasional PUG for chuckles and diplomacy

    That's my two cents. Take it or leave it or add your own.
    Caerth, Mr.Mike, SiegaPlays and 4 others like this.
  2. Autumnal

    Autumnal Cupcake-About-Town

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    Wow, your arms must be tired!

    Great post, Brotoi!
    Brotoi likes this.
  3. SiegaPlays

    SiegaPlays "That" Cupcake

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    Nice post :)

    I usually end up in a US setting, which means my peak play hours is about 9 hours earlier from my friends and guilds. So I solo a lot too, when there is rarely much people on. Going LFG for a pug group is a bore without a dungeon finder tool, soloing (which implies doing a ton of different things) is something I can just go out and do.

    However, if my friends or enough guildies is on, I do prefer to group.

    So it is a matter of priority, mine goes something like:

    1. Raiding with my friends and/or guild

    2. Grouping with my friends, who is usually also in my guild :p

    3. Grouping with my guildies

    4. Grouping with a dungeon finder ... or soloing ~ crafting, doing dailies, levelling, looking for shinies/artifacts, doing silly solo achievements, chitchatting in guild ... or reading a book, watching a movie - or joining a pug raid with a 1-2 hour horizon of completing/failing ... or doing PvP warfronts.

    5. Doing the dishes, cleaning the latrine, changing bed sheets, washing the windows

    6. Going LFG in public chat

    #4 is relative to how much time I have, which toon I want to work on, what the toon needs me to work on and how often I get the oppotunity to do something missing to finish something.

    and btw, I am not overly fond of housecleaning, so if I feel more compelled to go do#5, there is something really wrong with the game, considering how much is included to do in #4
  4. Dyraele

    Dyraele "That" Cupcake

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    Nice post and nice read.

    I would say I cannot pick solo vs group play. It all depends on what I want to do, who I find to do it, and how long I have to do it.

    The following facts are the sole responsibility of Dyraele and do not represent the opinion of this board, the developers, or any other party other than the author. Any similarities are purely coincidental.

    Let me start off by saying most of my enjoyable time has been in groups with friends. I think most of this has centered around the fact that content in a lot of MMO games is group friendly. Sure, you can solo, but it is much easier and more enjoyable when you have other people to share the experience, good or bad. However, I think I also enjoy groups more because it increases your flexibility on what you can or cannot do during your time on. If your group is challenging one area and it becomes crowded, too hard, or just boring, you have more choices on what else you can do. A lot of details can be brought up about this but let's just leave it at that. Why have long, drawn out, superfluous text when succinct descriptions can get the job done. Of course, that doesn't apply much in my RP, but that is another story.

    That being said, there are times when I like to solo and discover things on my own. I just like to be alone at times and do not want to be bothered with someone else's agenda. This especially comes into play when I want to explore and the group I am in does not want to stop and check things out. I have to make notes and come back later when I could have stopped right then to satisfy my curiosity.

    Lastly, I rarely use LFG. If I don't have friends on I will go solo most of the time to explore the world or work on personal goals like fishing or cooking.

    That's enough for now, I will let other's speak their mind.
    SiegaPlays likes this.
  5. Dragor

    Dragor Cupcake

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    Most of the time I play MMO┬┤s, Im not in a group. I just dont need to be in a group when Im questing alone. There is always a guild chat or a whisper function. The only time I write "LFG" is when I want to do some group-quests, want to show something cool to someone or when I go into a dungeon/raid.

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