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I Want To Be Alone! - Solo Play Extinct?


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#1 Obosi

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 08:09 PM

This well known Greta Garbo phrase (well known if you're as old as me) raises an interesting question: Is solo play in Guild Wars 2 ever going to be truly solo?

Now I like a nice group as much as the next person and i've had many pleasurable experiences in MMOs just running into random people and sparking team efforts. Groups are, indeed, great!

However, there are times when the company of another player is the last thing that I want. It could be due to immersing myself in personal RP or because I have little playtime and just want to get on. Sometimes it's just because i'm sick of the sight of lolboys jumping around the screen screaming "gief gold plox!" and occasionally it may be because I want every drop of loot for myself.

Whatever the reason, sometimes it's very good to be the only 'real' person in your world. But has Guild Wars 2 destroyed this forever? Will a person ever be able to do battle without someone joining in?

The term 'solo' can also be translated as 'solo groups' A guild group or just a bunch of friends wanting to adventure together; only to be 'helped' by a score of players who turn up and change the event.

Is the demise of true solo-play a very bad thing or is it just the next natural step?

Discuss!:D

EDIT: Playing solo should not be confused with playing alone. Solo play is where there are other players around but you choose to tackle content on your own for whatever reason (RP, keeping the event small, etc). You do what you want to do and then, at some point, rejoin playing with others. Playing alone is what happens in instances (player story or dungeon).
Also the term 'solo' can refer to groups as well. A band of friends who want to adventure together and not neccessarily with others.

Edited by Obosi, 22 August 2010 - 12:16 PM.
Added info as a result of replies


#2 Wraithmare

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 08:11 PM

From my understanding the personal story missions will be there to satisfy the solo play side of things. Sure you can bring a friend along but no random person can drop in on your personal story.

#3 Maegbor

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 08:11 PM

Your personal storyline is solo only, unless you choose to bring a few friends along. You won't be running into random players while doing an instance. ;)

#4 Yo Fire Mage

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 08:12 PM

What makes you think solo play is gone/

Your entire Personnel Story line is said to be solo. You don't have to d oit with others....

And theres nothing stopping you from wandering around the world alone....sure you may meet people passing by but thats whats gonna happen in a fully persistant world....

#5 Crylos

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 08:14 PM

As for adventuring absolutely solo in the persistent world... I'm not sure you'll be able to play completely alone. However, we don't know how worlds (servers) work yet. There might be servers specifically for RP? You wouldn't be alone but your immersion wouldn't probably be broken as much.

#6 dakka dakka

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 08:14 PM

I don't think solo play will be truly extinct. If you don't want to play with others than avoid events that have people playing and try to finish events quickly before others arrive ;)

also there is your personal story as others have pointed out :)

#7 WAndy

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 08:16 PM

I remember a person going on a rant about how they never joined a guild because they hated the people and all stuff like that. They said they managed to do pretty much everything with h+h.(guild wars 1 ofc). i assume he mainly played through the campaigns and sum dungeons. however, there are a decreasing amount of games that are fully solo. gw2 i think....just enhanced the direction the gaming industry is going. obviously as they said ages ago a gud chunk will be soloable. but like all games with online capabilities....its never 100% solo

#8 Apollyon

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 08:16 PM

Obosi said:

occasionally it may be because I want every drop of loot for myself

This shouldn't be a problem, as everyone who helps kill a mob gets the XP and loot from it.

As the others say, if you want to do the entire personal story solo then you can. For RPing you also have your personal home instance, which is "the size of a city block".


WAndy said:

obviously as they said ages ago a gud chunk will be soloable

I think they said that the entire game would be soloable. Although I doubt that the high-end dungeons will be... you never know. These will almost definitely scale with the number of players so it could be possible, albeit very difficult, to solo one.

Edited by Apollyon, 21 August 2010 - 08:20 PM.


#9 Biz

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 08:19 PM

Your entire personal story is... personal... that is doable solo.

You can kill mobs solo, you can do events solo, it will all scale down, only thing you cant do solo is dungeons made for 5 players and Boss fights made for teams.

Otherwise, if you participate in an event you get drops and rewards no matter how many others were or were not there. There are three levels of participation: Gold, Silver and Bronze, rewards scale up or down based on those.

#10 Milennin

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 08:20 PM

Maybe playing on certain servers would help... some servers will be having more people on it than others.

#11 Pseudoforest

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 08:21 PM

I'm sure there will less crowded areas of the world, and that you can turn various chat channels off.

#12 demonic87

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 08:21 PM

Im sorry, but if you want to play solo, you don't belong with this genre.

#13 Obosi

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 08:22 PM

Ah lots of good replies thus far :)

As far as the 'instanced' soloplay is concerned, it's not the same thing as it's restricted to very few parts of the world and a very specific storyline.

dakka dakka said:

I don't think solo play will be truly extinct. If you don't want to play with others than avoid events that have people playing and try to finish events quickly before others arrive ;)

also there is your personal story as others have pointed out :)

Ah therein lies the problem. The need to rush. Say you'd like to take your time in doing your quests in the persistant world. You're doing great when, all of a sudden, TWENTY other players turn up and the event scales in difficulty from a nice challenge into utter bedlam! Would you want other players affecting your world that much?

#14 Fox

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 08:23 PM

Can't you only do your personal story once per character?

#15 Neven

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 08:26 PM

I'm hoping this game is solo friendly. From what i 've read it seems like it is.

It's not that i mind grouping at all, for me personally it's the trend of forced "vent" and or "teamspeak" use that makes me not want to group. While i realize that there are benefits to voice chat programs, some of us just can't stand listening to the inevitable random banter that comes with voice chat.

Really hoping there is a way to solo pvp in this game without the need for a guild that will no doubt "require" vent.

#16 Obosi

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 08:28 PM

demonic87 said:

Im sorry, but if you want to play solo, you don't belong with this genre.

You should be sorry as you've missed the point haven't ya? ;)

It's not about total solo play, but chosing when to be far from the madding crowd. If you are in a world where every battle has the potential for mass interference, wouldn't that become mildly annoying over time?

Have you ever seen a world event in an MMO that's meticulously planned by a group...only for some inconsiderate individual (or group) to run in and ruin everything?

I have to say that i'm really just playing devil's advocate here. :devil: but it's an important point. :D

#17 Cthulhu

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 08:28 PM

Milennin said:

Maybe playing on certain servers would help... some servers will be having more people on it than others.

yeah..let's make a special server...the Han Solo server :p

#18 Ayasha

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 08:28 PM

I do think that outside of your personal story true solo play isn't really possible in persistant world MMO's. There's always the chance of some random person coming along helping you no matter if you want it or not. It's not necessarily a bad thing but it can be quite tiresome if you want to stay solo.

The only possibility  of a true solo experience i can see could be exploring some remote area (just like irl where you go into the wilderness if you want to be alone).

#19 Apollyon

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 08:29 PM

Neven said:

Really hoping there is a way to solo pvp in this game without the need for a guild that will no doubt "require" vent.

Yep there will be: world versus world is going to be a very casual PvP mode, in which the sides aren't balanced. Players of any level can also join in and make a difference - you're fighting over a huge map, and there are many varied objectives.

#20 Kairosius

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 08:31 PM

Has everyone already forgotten that enemies and dynamic events scale on how many players are fighting in them? So yes everything will be solo-able if this is true.

#21 Shemsu Anpw

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 08:32 PM

Fox said:

Can't you only do your personal story once per character?

Yeah your personal story can only be done once. Bosses in your personal story stay dead and do not come back, ect.

#22 WAndy

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 08:33 PM

Milennin said:

Maybe playing on certain servers would help... some servers will be having more people on it than others.


there is only 3 "worlds" (amirite?) i assume they will consist of the 3 continent or combined continents with highest player density. not much chance of peace I'd say

#23 Arduin

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 08:33 PM

demonic87 said:

Im sorry, but if you want to play solo, you don't belong with this genre.
I have to agree. It is called a MMO for a reason. Not to be rude but if you want to experience a solo rpg, play an offline one. There is plenty of choice.

#24 WAndy

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 08:35 PM

Kairosius said:

Has everyone already forgotten that enemies and dynamic events scale on how many players are fighting in them? So yes everything will be solo-able if this is true.

certain events like mr purple dragon minion guy aren't soloable i dont think. as in even with scaling won't be easy

#25 refer

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 08:36 PM

It's an MMOG. By definition you should never be truly alone. It's just the nature of the format till the game dies or there are too many areas and people are spread out. It's like people who get plastic surgery and then act all surprised or offended when everybody focuses on it. It should be expected.

#26 demonic87

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 08:36 PM

Well if you don't want to be near other people just play a different game until you do? Honestly its like trying to avoid people in a city, it will be hard unless you stick to your instance (your house).

#27 SweetZoid

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 08:42 PM

In what movie did she say that? i've seen her in some swedish movies that is old..much older than me.

#28 wilebill

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 08:45 PM

Obosi, I too am a lone wolf. I have the same concerns here. One of the things I liked most about GW was that you could go out all alone, with henchmen and heroes, or perhaps a bit of solo farming. I think GW 2 will be less like that. The overworld will tend towards grouping. The personal storyline instances will be solo apparently.

WoW is another great solo game, but I don't know how it will be after Cataclysm comes out. Last summer, I made a nostalgia return to WoW. Started a Night Elf Hunter, and hit level 72 before my time ran out. Well, I had a Druid and another Hunter at 80 so that was good enough.

I went solo, no instances of course. I refused to help other players and rudely told those who wanted to tag along with me to bugger off! I am truly an evil old man! Harvested herbs and ore, played the Auction House; spent money like a cow going wee on a flat rock, and still had twice as much as I needed for an elite flying mount and flying lessons. And the world was mine! All, all mine!

Now if Cataclysm doesn't screw this all up, WoW will come out ahead as the mmo of choice for evil old men lone wolves. To be sure, I will get Guild Wars 2 and play it as it comes. But way down deep, say what you want about groups and excitement, what I really want is my character all alone out there with nobody to blame but himself if he screws up and nobody to thank but himself if he wins.

#29 Amannelle

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 08:46 PM

Obosi said:

This well known Greta Garbo phrase (well known if you're as old as me) raises an interesting question: Is solo play in Guild Wars 2 ever going to be truly solo?

Now I like a nice group as much as the next person and i've had many pleasurable experiences in MMOs just running into random people and sparking team efforts. Groups are, indeed, great!

However, there are times when the company of another player is the last thing that I want. It could be due to immersing myself in personal RP or because I have little playtime and just want to get on. Sometimes it's just because i'm sick of the sight of lolboys jumping around the screen screaming "gief gold plox!" and occasionally it may be because I want every drop of loot for myself.

Whatever the reason, sometimes it's very good to be the only 'real' person in your world. But has Guild Wars 2 destroyed this forever? Will a person ever be able to do battle without someone joining in?

Is the demise of true solo-play a very bad thing or is it just the next natural step?

Discuss!:D

Well..... A lot of the examples you gave of reasons for solo playing that you mentioned are now kinda void...

1. Immersing Yourself in RP: There are several areas that are dedicated to instancing. The most notable is your Personal Instance. Another is the Seraph Guard in Divinity's Reach, as well as the Queen's palace in Divinity's Reach. Also, you can always just go to some secluded spot.  Remember: You will only be as alone out there as you can be in other persistent MMOs.

2. Have little playtime: The beauty of GW2 is that you don't have to team up to accomplish things. If you are worried that you only have so much playtime, then you can stop worrying now. :) No more "Need monk for Mission #37!!"

3. Lolboys jumping around screaming:  This is a matter regarding the chatbox, but you may be able to ignore certain people.  They can't do anything to you now, since they can't kill-steal or steal your EXP. Also, you can always travel to another waypoint.

4. Every drop of Loot for yourself: In GW2, the loot is based on how much the individual participated. If you are fighting a monster, and suddenly someone else runs out and gets the last hit on them. That person doesn't get anything, and you get just as much loot as if they hadn't done anything in the first place.  If you are fighting a monster and it's at halfway, and someone else runs out and kills it the rest of the way, BOTH of you will receive as much loot as if the other hadn't even done anything.  So don't worry about your prize being stolen by another; just worry about yourself and you'll be fine. :)


And overall, remember this:  The world is HUGE. You should always be able to get away from the crowds and be by yourself if you try hard enough. The cities are designed to host huge multitudes of people, so that people can congregate there to socialize.  More people in cities means fewer people out in the wilderness. :) Also, with activities and mini-games in the cities,  there is even more reason for people to want to congregate in the cities.

#30 Draehl

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 08:58 PM

Most of the time I like playing with other people, but sometimes it is nice to just be able to zone out and kill monsters without having to worry about talking to other players, stealing each other's mobs, and generally have your killing spree disrupted. I'm sure that even outside of the personal story you'll be able to find a corner of the world where no other players are that you can just kill mobs.