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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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Playing mostly alone or alone in an MMO is no different than being a loner in the real world.  Loner types do not live in the middle of nowhere but instead with everyone else.  They limit their encounters with others yet still part of the existing world. (In game and real life) 

 

They are the traders/smugglers, bounty hunters, researchers, farmers, or anything else that needs little to no supervision. You get all forms of personalities in an MMO so i have never understood such posts as this or the amount of energy people put into them.  But trying to explain the reasoning to others that do not have the capability to grasp such a personality is really the challenge.  How person X loves salt but hates sugar and  person Y hates salt but loves sugar.  If you can see where I'm going with this then maybe you can understand that even in a candy shop there's still options for the salt lover too. 

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I'm prepared to bet that the vast majority of MMO players actually spend more time playing "solo" than they spend in group activities ! :D

 

If it was the other way around, MMO design would not have evolved in the way that it did from the days of EQ and UO.

 

When the majority is "doing it wrong", it's only a matter of time before "wrong" becomes the new "right"... :D

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Well, when developers over years implement more and more tools and shortcuts for player convenience (teleports,  auto raid parties, all or most things can be done alone etc.) thus removing adventure feeling and need for cooperation and interaction with others to extent when players do not even need to communicate between each other at all to be effective, then it is no wonder that so many players choose to play alone.

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On 9/1/2019 at 11:34 AM, spaceforger said:

it is no wonder that so many players choose to play alone

If they REALLY preferred playing grouped, they would CHOOSE grouped play, lol

 

None of the "convenience" features you listed prevent group play...

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if players don't have to group they will not bother, so it definitely influences. if game would force or promote grouping then players would, but why bother if you can do all same without talking to a single player.

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Most of the things I would like to say are really indepth and under NDA. However I can say that the "introvert" is going to be a very relavant player in DU. I'm an introvert and my sister would say that's a huge understatement. And yet I'm here going to the gamescom 2019 and the DU meetup. Introverts are not afraid to talk to people. If they are then that's a social anxiety issue. They/me just need more energy, it's more exhausting for people like me to engage with other people and when we do we only tend to discuss more meaningfull things rather than small talk. Only about 10% are introvert so in that contrast you could say they may not have a big impact, but I don't think that will stop or hinder them from playing DU at all.

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On 8/13/2019 at 9:11 AM, Nanoman said:

Points 1 and 2

Yes yes- oh wait a minute...

1 hour ago, Serula said:

...Introverts are not afraid to talk to people. If they are then that's a social anxiety issue. They/me just need more energy, it's more exhausting for people like me to engage with other people and when we do we only tend to discuss more meaningfull things rather than small talk.

Yes yes yes, raid the cookie jar yes.

 

IMO, there's absolutely nothing wrong with solo players. Some players just like working alone and not having to check up on another person to see how they're doing or correcting a screw up or something. In DU, haulers and direct sellers will love these types, especially in safe zones. "Here's the product, what do you need?", do the exchange, shake the hand, rinse and repeat easy come easy go every week. No big organization to sift through, no spreadsheets, no delivery times. Just a predictable face, name, and location. Will love be in the air, I dunno, but some great individual relationships between these buyers and the dedicated individuals that meet them could be had.

 

As for me, I'm probably 4, 6, a little bit of 8, and when the events fall into place in-game, 2.

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You are all missing the most important thing that differentiate solo vs group play.

 

Group play equate group drama.

Solo play equate solo drama; wait what?

 

I've played MMO's since UO/Mankind, the only thing I can say is, group play when more than a few always end up in drama. Do I want drama? No, I'm here to enjoy myself not to manage adult babies and their egos.

I so choose solo play, with a few friends here and there.

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On 9/2/2019 at 2:07 PM, NanoDot said:

If they REALLY preferred playing grouped, they would CHOOSE grouped play, lol

 

None of the "convenience" features you listed prevent group play...

It doesn't have to prevent group play, just discourage it. I honestly played a lot of mmo's and the theme park ones like Rift/Wow/etc I never saw the point of joining a guild as I can do the content solo. Where when I played my first mmo Age of Conan and on a pvp server (I was ignorant of "pvp server"  meant) I joined a guild like others pretty fast. The reason was just like others it was a hardcore pvp server where even the starting zone of the Tortuga Island once you left the city to the quest areas people will gank you. Heck, it was so bad there was someone that grinded mobs of 1exp in the starting zone quest area to get to lvl 20 to gank people in a zone of 1-12. It was so bad that I tried to help a player that was getting ganked by another player of similar level and after the ganker was dead, attacked me, which I would assume the player thought I killed the ganker so I can take that players booty for myself.  Eve online same thing with the harshness.

 

The above player types were created with the focus on theme park mmos that have a bit of pvp in them. Eve Online, Darkfalls, Mortal Online, and maybe Dual Universe is going to encourage more group play because of game design. When the environment is harsh players are going to have to decide to either group up or stay solo and endure the hardships, which many people fall to the former. It is interesting as I heard of the same mechanisms in the social sciences that people in general tend to group up regardless if they are introverts or extrovert just to survive in a harsh environment. As for the alternative? People are just going to leave the game. Sandbox mmo's are unique niche game type and most people that played heavy into theme park mmo's just  can't adjust as it tends to mirror the real world a bit in certain aspects. 

 

I also don't buy into that concept of introvert being scared to talk to people. In Eve you are going to struggle a lot if you refuse to talk to people and try to do some of the activities. I still participate in group activities, whether it is joining a CTA or assisting others in logistical op's. I just don't care to socialize anymore then the bare minimum of asking for reps or doing the job I volunteered for (scouting, tackling, and etc).
 

 

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I have not seen it mentioned yet - But I recall in one of the interviews they mentioned that they would be avoiding any sort of automation in terms of mining or guns. E.g. if you want to shoot people, you have to have someone firing/aiming the guns. I suspect this will be the only real limiting factor for people who want to do combat. Everything else seems to suggest that any player can play solo if they are willing to put the time in.

 

Myself, I plan on having a crew from the start.

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I am a loner and I love it!

1. The more aggressive the advertisement, the more aggressive I will be towards that organization.

2. Well... I red some posts from players here on the forum, and if they play the same way as they post... Salty popcorn time!

3. No, but if I have to, I will take you down with me >:D

4. RL responsibilities goes before non-RL.

5. I. don't know you, and I don't want to hear your "interesting" life story.

6. Aww... poor souls...

7. Heretics! Praise the All Father!

8. Nothing wrong with tropical islands and "bikini babes"...

9. Everyone is an idiot! I will not discuss this, else who is the idiot?

10. My social life is my own.

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well there's also Org's that aren't so much commited.. was in one and asked to get involved to their stuff.. either going mine or what-not, teach me how to build ships, contribute to their mining-needs..

Not a single soul showed interest not even the leader showed up in discord to have a talk once but had some 16-year-old on coms that wanted to explain the world in general to me.. lol. Thanks for this!

 

Strange stuff that happened there but since I've left there I found a way better (and smaller) org that was really dedicated into helping me, now it's me passing my not so vast knowledge to newbies and making them feel comfortable ingame!

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On 9/9/2019 at 12:21 PM, Sh4d0ws said:

I have not seen it mentioned yet - But I recall in one of the interviews they mentioned that they would be avoiding any sort of automation in terms of mining or guns. E.g. if you want to shoot people, you have to have someone firing/aiming the guns. I suspect this will be the only real limiting factor for people who want to do combat. Everything else seems to suggest that any player can play solo if they are willing to put the time in.

 

Myself, I plan on having a crew from the start.

Yes, they did mention they are going to put in limitations so you can't use lua to automate a lot of things. In regards to pvp it will be less efficient or slower then having a live person controlling it. I do disagree on mining not being allowed to be automated to some degree, only because it is quite easy to put in things that require to control from a person. Mining in this game isn't as easy as Eve as you actually have to find the ore instead of warping into a belt.

On 9/10/2019 at 7:59 AM, Demurone said:

well there's also Org's that aren't so much commited.. was in one and asked to get involved to their stuff.. either going mine or what-not, teach me how to build ships, contribute to their mining-needs..

Not a single soul showed interest not even the leader showed up in discord to have a talk once but had some 16-year-old on coms that wanted to explain the world in general to me.. lol. Thanks for this!

 

Strange stuff that happened there but since I've left there I found a way better (and smaller) org that was really dedicated into helping me, now it's me passing my not so vast knowledge to newbies and making them feel comfortable ingame!

I can assure you that it will improve a lot for newbies once the game is released, as the fundamental game design forces you to be social. In Eve you can have one person control everything in industry with a bunch of alt accounts and the same for pvp where you can multibox several accounts in a fleet. The scale of the projects for an organization is going to be limited to the amount of people that they can recruit. The videos shown of the space station already makes it painfully obvious that the effort and work required to create and defend such constructs is going to be be large. 

 

You can already see what is likely to take place from just observing how Eve turned out, with their corp's and alliance structure. Newbies will be give a ton of resources in regards to skill books, ships for pvp fleets, currency making activities, and even mentorship.

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Avoiding social structures is sometimes a decision and doesn't implicate that we solo players don't care about the social structure of an mmo.

 

I have been a leader of big packs in different games, a member of huge corps but i decided that the drama just isn't worth it.

 

That's why i came to the conclusion that being a solo service provider for hire in MMOs (hauler, miner, healer, you name it) gives me the freedom of solo play but also the professional and social contacts needed.

 

Prefering social contact in mmos in small doses doesn't mean mmos should be developt in that direction.

It just takes away everything mmos stand for.

 

Slapping tags on people like "introvert" might be convinient  but inaccurate on so many levels.

 

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I would say some are tired of guild power trips in mmo  yes I am one so I either play alone or make my own small guild with friends or like minded people 

it is a chalige but fun too see what you can do it takes longer but can be rewarding 

 

I have bin playing mmos  for as long as they bin around  joind many guilds majority of them I never liked  

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I already found Mine ;) and you cannot have her :P

 

But for all who want to be in an organization and do not want the power option, join any of the social gaming or City organizations these are generally only there to support you in your play style and be there if you need help.

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