Wednesday, July 30, 2008

solo-based classing

As I said over at Cameron's article, I think the reason soloing has become empowered in MMOs is not because developers think more people want to solo, but because it's easier to make both soloing and grouping viable option by beginning production with solo gameplay.

People love to group in Diablo 2, yet every class is capable of being a powerhouse on its own. What makes grouping attractive is mainly loot sharing and the ability to tailor one's skills to match any partnership. Both grouping and soloing are fun because complimentary skillsets are an option, rather than the rule. A necromancer can focus on curses, thereby playing a support role, but necromancer is not essentially a support class.

Solo-based design is more versatile.

1 comment:

  1. It has nothing to do with developers "thinking" players want to solo. It's developers knowing people want to solo.

    MUD's were mostly solo back in there day. Everyone playing solo while being able to chat. Social interaction.

    EQ1 came along with its primitive mechanics and "forced grouping" mentality. Yet what do I find when I go read EQ blogs and forums? I read the extent to which players were willing to go in order to solo.

    I'd also argue that developers probably first design with groups in mind. That way they can see where they need to work on for group dynamics and inter-class synergies. Once that's taken care of, they can take a look at how the class solos. Weren't holy priests given somewhat of a bump awhile back so they could solo easier? Same with minstrels in LOTRO.


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