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It galls me that in this day and age some companies will still release an RPG that you can't solo play.  We have seen the success of WoW, and one of the reasons it has done so well is that you can login for 20 minutes and DO something, without spending 45 minutes getting a group of people together to start a 2 hour dungeon.  Admittedly this model kinda falls down at end game levels, but I'm not here to harp on WoW today, no, no, I have a much better target for my vitriol.

Dungeons and Dragons Online, created by Turbine, who created AC and AC2 way back in the day.  DDO, when released, had about 1 hour worth of content that you could solo, after that unless you played a character that could heal, you were done soloing for the rest of the game.  6 months later, DDO has decided that maybe they should fix that, and now advertizes “solo content” which is actually just a lower difficulty level on the quest/dungeon, making the monsters easier, and possibly fewer.  While I applaud Turbine listening to all the players saying “WTF” as they run screaming from the DDO gaming experience, this seems to be so little so late.  Turbine has already missed the wave of old school D&D gamers who ran out and bought DDO the day it came out with great hopes, only to be beaten senseless by the cludgy game play.  And when we look closer we find that this “solo play” is only implemented on the beginner zone, with no immiediate plans to implement it through the rest of the game.

Why oh why do gaming companies insist on recreating the wheel?  We have plenty of wheels around, and they roll just fine.  Take the elements that work, and do something new with them, don't start from zero and hope that you get enough of the elements to keep 200k users for long enough to break even.  The bar is WoW, plan on rising above it, or go home.

Posted on Friday, August 11, 2006 6:30 PM | Back to top

Comments on this post: Solo content in MMORPG's

# re: Solo content in MMORPG's
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Oddly enough, I see this same problem with any level based MMORPG that doesn't use instances like DDO. I quit WoW after I hit 60 because there was no solo content. The only other options were farming (saturating the economy), PvP (wasting time), or the Raiding (wasting more time), and even then, that's not really fun when the game becomes centered around loot than skills. It's fun at first, but it lacks the player tools required to keep the game interesting.

UO (pre publish 15/16) and Eve Online, amongst others, have done an excellent job in their design to curb this. I think Eve Online has the best viable solution to this problem.
Left by kyadoshi on Sep 03, 2006 4:04 AM

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