I don't think removing forced grouping discourages social aspects at all. Frankly in those events, most of the interactions that go on are negative. Prison is also a forced grouping, sure they interact, but its not something they enjoy.
Sorry, but I have to mostly disagree with the above especially the light in which you're making in the bolded
I don't know about you, but myself and many others have enjoyed group aspects in games that have a Trinity system. To say what you say bolded above may be your experience, but I don't think that's accurate to say on the whole.
Neither do I claim that most all experiences in grouping are positive. There are simply pros and cons to it, but I think it's inaccurate to take a position like what you're saying bolded above.
By removing the forced aspect of grouping players can group, when they want to ,and not group when,... they don't want to.
If you are forced into a linear chain of events with people you may not want to associate with, its more of a form of punishment. That doesnt mean those players will not socialize, it means they will not socialize with you. People who want to run dungeons should do so if they want, but not be allowed to force other players to assist them.
It comes down to content designed towards groups. Content that 'require' a group effort in order to complete. Except, as I think you're probably implying, group content that has predefined roles (i.e. Trinity System) where people must be a certain role in order to be able to group and be able to do the content. Which is yes, like being forced because the content requires a group that has the best chance of success IF there are the appropriate classes in the group.
There are tons of players out there that fall into the category of 'they don't want to.', or, they simply don't have the time.
Thus there needs to be a lot of solo content. This has been an issue more and more in the MMO industry.
Simply, there are people who find it very fun to play in groups, to play content that requires groups, and YES, even to play such content within a role-based system like the Trinity. There needs to be content for everyone, not just people who can/want only to solo. An MMO is about social interaction, not FORCED or required.
So the challenge in this game is to still provide group/team orientated content that players can do if they want to. I find it lacking in GW2 and in a sense I sometimes feel I'm being forced to not play with a close knit team/group, but rather I'm forced to always have to share my adventure and experience with everyone, and I can't keep it in within my group when I want to play the game that way.
I appreciate a lot of what GW2 has done, yet, there is some content that requires some close coordination to be successful and I've been witness and subjected to random people coming in where my team is playing, drawing agro as they come and basically wipe and cause us to fail. Needing to regroup, increasing our repair costs and impacting us with downtime in order to regroup and try again.
It doesn't happen all the time, but it happens, and that is really frustrating.
Dynamic events are an unforced group event, dynamically apposed to forced grouping. Having played the game the questing system alone is far more cooperative than anything WOW ever did. Believe me there is nothing social about that first dungeon run in the early levels, its a speed run to get some pvp and or leveling gear.
Yes, again there are a lot of things I like about GW2, Dynamic Events, Hearts, Caravans, other content. It's mostly pretty fun and I don't mind the random interactions. Yet there are cases where it's possible to get trained, and someone to pull agro and help cause a catastrophe. That doesn't mean I want 'forced' grouping. It just means that I'm hoping there's more content included in the game where people who like playing together in a close knit team/group/guild can actually have that option of play without necessarily being forced to share that content with everyone else. I'm not saying deny content from people, but make various kinds of content to be experienced by various types of people who like various types of play style.
The GW2 core mechanic is fine. I just think there needs to be some more additions. I'm hoping to discover this and Anet to add this type of stuff going forward.
Edited by Inquisitor, 07 July 2012 - 07:26 PM.