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Loners in an MMO like Dual Universe?

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Why solo in an MMO? Are they missing the point? Are they just doing it wrong?


This GDC 2011 talk discusses the notion, presenting 10 types of loners and how they could be addressed in an MMO.



How relevant are these 10 types of loner in Dual Universe?


1) New Kid In Town

A new player, fresh off the arkship. Full of hopes and dreams but have no connections and have no idea how to proceed.

Some believe getting organizations to recruit them as fast as possible is the answer but is that really the best way? Overly aggressive advertising puts some people off and others first want to get a handle on the game before they even think of joining an organization.


2) The Daria

To this type of player, other players are tragic. A joke. To this player, others are content to be watched with a side of popcorn.

There are already plenty of opportunities to watch others, for example, at events. Just show up. Bring your own popcorn.


3) The Sociopath

Sometimes called a griefer, this player type likes to watch everyone burn.  

The smart ones will stay within the rules (barely), while the not-so-smart ones will feel the ban hammer. Moving on.


4) Mr Lunch At His Desk

Those with little time, playing in the few breaks they have; like during lunch or after the kids are asleep.

Some activities will simply take too long for this type of player, but as long as there are viable and reliable workarounds (like taking a DUber) this type of play is possible.


5) The Introvert

Talking to people is scary and this type of player doesn't want to ask anyone else for anything.

The sandbox nature of DU means that unlike some other MMOs, players are not forced to do anything if they don't want to. Players don't need to do anything at all if they so choose.


6) The Adrift

Groups break up. Organizations will dissolve and some players will be kicked out of groups for various reasons. These are players that really don't mind the social interactions but find themselves without a group. Sometimes this sours the players outlook on the game as a whole and they leave game.

Alliances between similar organizations will help a player find a place they are comfortable in the unfortunate event of a liquidation. 


7) The Unworthy

These are the players that don't know whether they are "good enough".

DU: This is more of a problem in a hard leveling system. In DU, every hand is valuable.


8) The Vacationer

The players of this type want to take a break, be it from organization responsibilities or to do something different.

Three characters per Dual Universe account may provide a player with a level of anonymity if they so choose. Or they can take their main character to relax in a specially built resort on that tropical island planet.


9) The Commitment Phobic

The commitment phobic have been burned by organization drama or by joining an incompatible organization. Or this type of player believes others are idiots.

Joining an organization is a commitment, some bigger than others. Joining a voice chat shows a level of commitment, which is why (among other reasons) many organizations require a voice chat interview.


10) The Garbo

No, he is not calling this type of player garbage. These types of players, like Greta Garbo, just want to be left alone.



In Dual Universe, everything is player run. If an item can be bought at a market it's because players collected the required ores, built it and put it up for sale. Besides going full hermit, a solo player will still need to interact with other players, even if it is indirectly.


Can a player play Dual Universe solo? Yes.

Will that solo player be able to control a vast empire that includes huge fleets and multiple planets? No.


Do you agree? Disagree?  Or is this talk old and no longer applicable if it ever was? Like, comment and subscribe.

What? This isn't the YouTubes? Just DU it anyway.

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I remember a past survey on here that showed around half plan to play DU solo, at least for a time. There is something appealing about being a Han Solo type, just taking care of yourself and adventuring. It is more interesting encountering real players as a solo player than NPCs in a single player game. In Eve I was a member of orgs, part of a huge alliance, and solo played a bit, all were enjoyable.

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If people want to play alone I see no issue with that. That playing alone has consequences to the effect that some activities may be hard or not possible for you? Yes but that is a choice you make. What I could not accept is solo players crying over how they can't do stuff on their own because of it.


Same is true the other way around for me, you can be of the opinion that solo play is not good but dismissing it as a play style or demeaning those who choose to play alone is unacceptable as well. 


This is a sandbox, everyone can do and play however they like as long as they stay within the TOS as set out by NQ.

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I didn't take the 50 minutes to watch that video (yet). But I'd like to make a few points in defense of loners here. Because I've always been one at heart.


(btw. the below numbered points are not necessarily related to the 10 types of loners mentioned in the OP, it's just for easy reference.)


1 - Being an introvert is not the same as being afraid of people. I'm an introvert, but you can hardly call me afraid of speaking my mind, or of asking something when I'm looking for answers or help. Some people just don't see that much value in the social game, or maybe they just don't really like people all that much from up close. Who says they should? And who says they're wrong?


2 - I used to feel unworthy. Now I'm well over it. While that has eliminated my inconfidence, it has not changed my preferences about the social game. Being a loner is not the same as being awkward, shy, ill-adjusted or any such thing. In fact I consider psychological independence a key characteristic of a healthy and mature mind. Being alone is not the same as being lonely. And even if you are shy and awkward and insecure and whatnot, that doesn't mean that that's the reason you're a loner, unless you wish you weren't.


3 - There are other benefits to playing an MMO than the social game. For example a living breathing environment, or a realistic economy, or sensible interactions. Think about how much effort some single player games put into simulating that.


4 - What one calls commitment, another calls prison. You'll notice the word association there. Calling someone commitment-phobic is like calling someone prison-phobic and making them out to be the weird or flawed ones. But maybe different people just have different priorities or different values. Maybe browbeating someone into self-sacrifice for the collective is no better. Maybe it depends on who you ask. Maybe some prefer a Borg cube and others prefer a Firefly.


5 - Why treat "loners" as a wrong that needs to be set right, a mistake that needs to be corrected, or disease that needs to be cured? There are loners in the real world, why shouldn't there be loners in a virtual world? You may wonder why a loner would want to be in a virtual world (or in the real world for that matter), but there's a difference between being a loner and being 100% isolated. Very few people, including loners, want to be 100% isolated, even if only for pragmatic reasons. Also there is a very big difference between interacting when the situation calls for it, and playing the social game. Totally different things. Maybe some just enjoy being able to co-exist in peace without everyone inflicting themselves on everyone else.


6 - I agree that solo playing is a choice and a trade-off. There are upsides and downsides to either option, and whether you choose one or the other, in both cases you'll have to accept the implications. That's what choices are all about. Nobody builds a deathstar alone. Or who knows, maybe someone will! Just not because of any special privileges for solo players (nor any other players). There can't be any reasonable expectation that a single player can accomplish all the same things that a group of players can, and certainly not as easily or quickly.


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