Give Players What They Want: Single Player MMO’s

I’m working on a larger editorial about what players want or expect from an MMORPG.

In a nutshell people want a one-player game with many options.

A majority of the F2P MMORPGs that I’ve played try, in some fashion or another, to force you into group play.  This method has resulted in a niche market.  Most people don’t want this, which seems to be slightly ironic or at least contradictory to the old argument about people wanting to go solo in a mult-player game.

A guild mate of mine once told me:

“In the end, MMORPGs are very selfish games.”

I have constantly pondered this line, from time to time.  I have come to agree with this statement.  People want to do what they want to do, when they want to do it.  You can’t have group play with everyone sharing that mentality, at least not in the strictest sense.

People don’t raid because they have fun in group play.  Take out any prizes or high level gear drops and replace it with a chest that, when opened, says:

“Congratulations, you’ve learned how to enjoy the experience of playing with others, have fun with that good feeling, bye.”

That doesn’t mean that everyone shares this mentality either, but do you think there’d be enough people to warrant the amount of different group raids currently in most big MMORPGs?

Most people want a single-player game that provides options to jump in and out of different elements.  In fact, most people don’t like to feel limited in any way.  The more options the better(assuming they’re all well designed options).

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4 Responses to “Give Players What They Want: Single Player MMO’s”

  1. Yes, your right 🙂 I want those options to go solo or play with group whenever i want in an MMO. That’s why I enjoy Guild Wars, with the Hero and Henchman system, you can raid every Dungeon in Normal or Hard Mode, and when you feel that you want some people around and chat while your raiding, no problem, you can kick the Heroes and Henchman’s, and take some human players into your party. And plus, this system is very well designed, because the Heroes are customizable ( you can change there skill deck, equipment, weapon, runes, etc. ). But in the end… I would like an MMO with persistent world + with GW Hero/Henchman system… that would be great 🙂

  2. I’ll add a note: most players may indeed want single player games, but they won’t want to pay sub fees for them, since there are plenty of offline single player games for cheaper than a sub.

  3. howtoloseyourlifetoanmmorpg Says:

    I’ll have to revise expand this post soon.

    I was trying to shoot for something along the lines of what Blizzard did with WoW.

    An example of what I feel fails this notion is in LoTRO crafting system that eventually forces you to group to obtain the recipes/drops you need to level your tradeskill/profession.

    Actually WoW does do the same thing for the high level recipes in crafting.

    The game can still have all the typical(or not so typical) MMO attributes but more of the different systems are offered as a choice to the player instead of a requirement. WoW “requires” you to level your character in order to continue leveling your tradeskills.

    I think giving the perception of more choice and freedom to players could make a MMORPG more appealing.

  4. Aye, uncoupling crafting from the combat grind would be a great start to a more comprehensive game world with more options and fewer restrictions. I’d also let anyone learn any crafting they feel like, even all at once. People typically don’t lean on others for other professions, they grind up a stable of alts. That’s silly, and another unnecessary time sink.

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