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Poll: Solo vs PartyFollow

#52 Jan 26 2011 at 7:10 PM Rating: Excellent
1,500 posts
I chose "I would prefer an equal balance of party and solo play." yet I believe it's a naive answer, not to mention that I really can't see a real way to implement it.

I think we all agree that assembling a party is simply harder than log in and start doing stuff by yourself, then party should be given a better reward or the same reward in less time, that point is that reward/time ratio should be higher for party than solo, and this in our current view of all or nothing will render the decision to play solo inefficient and therefore wrong(just an hyperbole but I hope you get what I mean).

It would be great if the developers find a way where we can going with either choice w/o worrying about efficiency.

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#53 Jan 26 2011 at 11:07 PM Rating: Excellent
211 posts
It's a fine line with those instanced dungeons... I tried them in WoW and found quite a few flaws with them.

For one, they are even more repetitive than a roaming party on random mobs imo. It could be remedied if they gave the game an AI director like L4D has, where all the mobs and even some of the terrain is randomly generated, so that you never run into the exact same situation twice. That's something that really makes L4D a brilliant game, and I think it should set the standard for what games need to do from now on. Knowing exactly what's coming up really kills the replay value of something, even minor changes can greatly help to improve replay.

Another big issue I had with WoW's dungeon finder, was the cross server auto party finding tool. That game had so many awful people in it that it pretty much ruined the entire public experience. Pickup groups, random dungeon parties, etc, had such a high chance of having total jerks in them, that it just killed it. I think you should have to actually talk to people and set a party up the way you did in FFXI, and it should be on the same server. That way, the antisocial and unpleasant people tend to get a bad reputation, and become easier to avoid. That might sound elitist or rude, but honestly, if you spend your time trolling people and being a jerk, don't be surprised when they don't want to play with you... I just think the game should give people a good set of tools that allows them to choose not to play with people like that, instead of just tossing you in with them, essentially removing the social consequences of being a jerk.

So yeah, some instanced content would be okay if done right, but I don't think the WoW model is anywhere near "done right". Entering it should be akin to getting a prommy group in FFXI, you talk to people, get a party, and then travel together to the entrance point, wherever it may be. Then the actual instance should have random elements to it, maybe an expanded/refined version of the moblin maze idea from FFXI, mixed with an AI director like in L4D, except focused on SP. Also, I don't think SP/XP instances should award gear or special drops, just the typical mats that mobs normally drop. And they could use something like the difficulty rating on leves, where 1 star would be for parties of 3-5, and 4 star would be for parties of 12-15, and 5 star would be for parties of 15 that want an especially tough experience with the potential of great gains.

Anyway, like I said, it's a fine line with stuff like that... If they aren't going to do it right, I'd rather they just not do it at all. I'd rather have parties of good people that improvise for decent sp, than groups of a-holes that get great sp. When you're dealing with the internet, and you want to avoid unsavory characters, you really need to keep the community tight knit. FFXI did it well, it was a long road to 75, and people saw each other around more than once... It helped keep them from being mean to each other. WoW had the 'never see the same person twice' typical online model, and it brought out the worst in everyone.
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#54 Jan 26 2011 at 11:14 PM Rating: Good
12 posts
Bruknarr wrote:
I picked "Partying should be the primary focus of the game, with solo only available as a last resort."

But in reality I would have preferred a choice along the lines of "Partying should be the primary focus of the game, with solo available as a viable alternative. Reflects better how I'd like the game to be. Last resort makes it sound harsh and hardly worthwhile.

I too picked this option but felt that it should be reworded. Solo should be a viable option, for things such as questing, farming, crafting etc.

However, I want to look at this whole "debate" from a different angle. A lot of people, i think, are mixing up the issue of party vs solo with the amount of time required. While it is generally true that partying requires the players to commit more time, it does not have to be as bad as what it's like in FF11.

***Disclamer: I am not a fan of WOW although i played it for 2 years or so. My favourite mmo is the original EQ and i love party grind, but i also enjoy clearing instances.***

Although in WOW you can solo your way to cap with ease, that is not what's keeping the core players in the game for years. The easy accessibility may attract more people to start the game, but without grouping people would have left long ago. The players that have played for a long time play for the never-ending endgame item grind, PvP, and other activities that require interaction with other players, pretty much like every other successful mmo.

Therefore, aside from the solo vs party angle, i think ff14 should focus on making content that can be consumed in different length of time. There should be content that can be done in short play sessions (say 1-2 hours or even 30 min), and content that takes many hours at a time. I think when people say they prefer solo content, they really want content that can be consumed in short chunks of time. It can be quests, instances, pvp battleground, or even party grind etc. For example, in WOW there are instances that can be cleared in an hour, and with party matching tool (assuming that it works, I haven't played WOW since burning crusade), it is possible that a person can log on for an hour and enjoy party play.

To illustrate how overland party grind can be done this way, in FF14 prior to the sp change, we used to run party of 10-15 people grinding on efts, raptors, drakes.. Since it doesnt take the full 15 people to kill these mobs, we can afford to have players come and go (it really only takes 4-6 people to kill these, more people just make the sp better.) Some LS members that don't have a lot of time can teleport to the area, join the party for any length of time and leave when they have to (although often they had too much fun and stayed longer than they intended).

If time isn't a concern, I think many people would prefer to party instead of solo (except those times when you just want to be alone.) So instead of focusing on party vs solo, i think the key to improve the game and make most people happy (can never make everyone happy) is to make contents that can be enjoyed in different length of time and party play more fun and ACCESSIBLE to the players.

Edited, Jan 27th 2011 12:25am by tyrionfigaro

#55 Jan 26 2011 at 11:55 PM Rating: Good
50 posts
I agree with your thoughts on the matter, tyrionfigaro, very well put!

When I have the uninterrupted time, I very much enjoy partying up with others (albeit mostly for leves, currently), but the fact of the matter is that much of my play time is in short spurts or is prone to brief interruption. I can solo grind and take quick breaks without inconveniencing anyone, or do a few leves before bed after getting home from my night class. I often ask if anyone wants to join me on my leves, as I find it more fun that way, but if I wind up doing them alone then that is fine too.

SE's describing the game as solo and casual friendly is one of the main reasons it looked so appealing to me, and I would feel very put out if that were to change. But at the same time I do find it more fun to play in parties, when I have the time -- but I don't want to be penalized if I don't have the time to.
#56 Jan 27 2011 at 12:26 AM Rating: Good
3,530 posts
Chezen wrote:
I do think that if everything was made to be soloable, it might as well be a console game.

(Who wants to tell him/her that FFXIV is supposed to come out for PS3?)
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#57 Jan 27 2011 at 3:27 AM Rating: Good
dnored wrote:
wow where do i start. first if from the time you put up your flag in ff11 15 mins later you got a party for 5 years you are lIAR. that is a fact. i will say no more about that.

Second you are going off topic. i never said i "waitied" sitting there doing nuthin. i said i waited for hours sometimes for a party. i never said there was not anything to do, i never said i never soloed, i never said i never crafted i said i waited for a party.... everyone knows while u was seeking to go out side whitegate kill birds into u get a party. i did lots of stuff but guess what i was waiting for a party for more then 15 mins and so was everyone esle. Sometimes it was fast but sometimes it was slow. go on ff11 right now and seek a party on a level 10-30 job as a SMN (my main) and see how fast you get a party. SE even knew it was slow so they added Asea.....

last but not least do not tell me how to play my MMO. i enjoy being able to solo and i paid my hard earned money so i should be able to do what i want. This game promised from the start a more casual game then ff11 and soloing is part of that. i never said the game should be a solo only thing i said (and voted) that it should be equal. please do not put words in my mouth. i even stated that endgame should be grouped if you scroll up.

Someone got their knickers on a twist lol.
Actually one of my main jobs was a SMN as well and funnily enough in the golden olden days I actually solod it happily to 75. It was one of my things I did when I couldn't get a party in the 15 mins that I allowed to "wait" for a party on some other job.
Now.... well I don't know now that Abyssea is about... but around the time when I still played a year ago, flag up on SMN was pretty instant party invite - SMN burns were very popular.
I think the whole conversation on this thread was about Solo options even if Party options were vital part of the game and all I pointed out was that FFXI wasn't all about "waiting for a party" since there was a LOT of things you could do solo as well to fill your time. And later on they introduced FoV as well which made even soloing exp on pretty much every job a valid option.
I am definately not lying (and I don't appreciate you calling me a liar since you don't seem to know what you are talking about) when I say that I wouldn't wait for a party for more than 15 minutes on FFXI... If I didn't get a party invite, I would glance who was seeking, if there was no one else except 1 MNK besides my PUP seeking, I would realize that this was not time for PUP exp party and go solo, ask my friends to do BCNMs or something else with me.

And btw, why would you have to wait for a 6 man group to get 1-2 levels on your MRD? Very often, me and a friend (or two) went to kill mobs in FFXI for quite nice exp. FFXI maybe was party oriented but duoing was very much possible for very good exp. Maybe our subjobs were sometimes a bit odd for the regular party but it worked for us and we had fun. I don't think the mentality of "what the game can do for me" is the right always, you might want to look outside of the box sometimes too. FFXI had "standard" parties but with some imagination and skill you were able to do actually quite a bit...

Edited, Jan 27th 2011 4:29am by LeilaniWildfire
#58 Jan 27 2011 at 3:50 AM Rating: Decent
2,153 posts
This poll is completely useless.
Too many options with too convoluted wording.
#59 Jan 27 2011 at 6:04 AM Rating: Decent
227 posts
Partying should be the primary focus of the game, with solo only available as a last resort.:

If they did this to the game it would kill it for me and I would see no reason in continuing to play. Three Leve Resets ago, I got a bunch of Battlecraft Leves and went out to do them. I asked for help several times, got no responses and ended up doing them alone. Next Leve reset, the same, so on the most recent Leve Reset, I only got DoL Leves. Forcing people to party would be the wrong way to go, I am not only usually during peak hours, USA or otherwise.
Remember: Some Times the Dragon Wins.

#60 Jan 27 2011 at 6:09 AM Rating: Excellent
Thornpaw wrote:
Partying should be the primary focus of the game, with solo only available as a last resort.:

If they did this to the game it would kill it for me and I would see no reason in continuing to play. Three Leve Resets ago, I got a bunch of Battlecraft Leves and went out to do them. I asked for help several times, got no responses and ended up doing them alone. Next Leve reset, the same, so on the most recent Leve Reset, I only got DoL Leves. Forcing people to party would be the wrong way to go, I am not only usually during peak hours, USA or otherwise.

I think this is the very issue SE is trying to fix.. you didn't get people to party with you because there is no real reason to party at the moment.
#61 Jan 27 2011 at 6:25 AM Rating: Decent
2,153 posts
Leilani beat me to it.
#62 Jan 27 2011 at 7:25 AM Rating: Good
130 posts
I choosed the option balanced because I think that it should be possible to solo as well as to party, depending on what people want, have time to do etc...
The problem also that FFXI had is that people were willing to spend a long time to setup the 'perfect party'. How many times I've seen like says... DRKs looking for party but people in my party (I was RDM so very **** easy to get a party outside of JP prime time :-D) wouldn't want to invite a DRK because it's was not 'good enough'.
Anyways, I'm casual and I think that it should be possible for me to party when I have time (it should be better rewarded than solo as you can kill harder mobs in a party) and I also want to be able to solo (with less SP earned but enough for says gaining a level every 15-20 hours of playing [a bit more than a week only soloing and playing around 4hours a day) for, let's say, the last 10ranks].
This is just part of leveling. I think for the sake of fun that missions/instances/dungeons should be done in party and the quests (not used for leveling but for gears/some SP/some XP/some Gils/Fame and whatnot) should be solo things for when people are looking for a party or as a alternative to solo grind when bored of it.
But in my honnest opinion, a MMORPG is about grouping and not soloing everything and just meet the other to show off about gears/power and whatnot.
yfaithfully wrote:
To add to those, if you can get this DeLorean up to 88 MPH, you'll be able to play this game in 2019 when they've finally implemented mounts.

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