Friday, June 22, 2012

Pipe Dream: More Solo Content

For those not familiar with the term, a pipe dream is something you hope for and dream about.  It is a fantasy that you know will never happen.  But people love to dream and for the moment I want to dream.

My pipe dream for warcraft would be to see a great deal more solo content.  I would also love to see all new content designed for group play or solo play.  Dynamic coding where you can choose to step into an instance with any size group and still be able to do it at a difficulty level perfectly designed for that groups size.  Be it alone, with one friend or even nine.

I enjoy soloing old content, even some of the stuff I find challenging.  I've wiped plenty of times while trying to solo some old raid bosses while I made my decision to either adjust my attack plan, adjust my spec, adjust my pet, or just declare it as something I do not think I am capable of doing.

I think that is part of the fun of soloing.  The aspect of seeing if you can do what should not be able to be done but I have to question why should anything ever be something that you should not be able to do.

I would have loved it when dragon soul came out if I could have went into there on day one and soloed it.  That is my pipedream, that they would design content so you really have a true choice.  If I wanted to do it 10 or 25 I could, what if I wanted to do it with 1 or 15, shouldn't I be able to?

I would love to see everything coded so it could be done with any number of people and its difficulty adjusted around the number of people there.  I understand the design needed for that would be a complete waste and it would never happen but that is why it is called a pipe dream.

What if you went in solo and could hire NPCs to work for you and fill certain roles?  While that sounds amazing in concept it really is something I can never see happening and probably would not want to see happening. 

Do you want to know why?  Because if something like that is designed you would need to make the NPCs smart and if the NPCs are made smart then in a 10 man group with nine people that know what you are doing, the NPCs, they could easily handle the raid by themselves, the live player would not even need to do anything so that would make all content trivial and I do not want that when doing solo content.

I want solo content, not trivial content.  So the hire an NPC approach would not work.  I do think there would be a way to make solo raid content work however.  It would need to be designed for one player and that one player should always need to be DPS as every single class has a DPS spec.

Make all the fights, while still being challenging based on timer and movement required, basically tank and spank with an NPC tank that does not lose aggro and can not die until the boss enrages.  Remove all AoE damaging effect to negate the need for a damage dealing class that can heal and set everything up where you can avoid everything if you are good enough at it.

Honestly, every fight in DS can be done like that.  First fight, have the bubbles not cause damage if you are on them and add more bubbles.  The NPC tank will hold aggro and never die while you as the DPS have to make sure to be on every single bubble to avoid damage and run out to avoid damage all while working against a timer.  Perhaps it should not even be damage so healing classes that do now have a distinct advantage in soloing them.  Perhaps a secondary health bar that is not effected by any healing effects.  That would be better. 

Second boss, only one blood is released, if you let it hit you then you have to deal with slightly different things when compared to what we already know but still a different effect from each one.  So you have to switch and kill or deal with whatever happens if you don't stop it all while working the timer. 

Third boss, same thing, this time the bouncing ball does no damage, but there are three markers around the circle and you need to bounce the ball into all three markers before it goes into him.  All that and a timer too.  Hope you are good at working angles to get the ball to hit the markers so they will go back to him because you sure as hell will need the damage buff to beat him solo. 

See, every single fight can be designed for solo players with just a tiny bit of thought involved.  Something like that could have a simple 25K DPS requirement so all classes can do it without much of a problem, maybe even 20K if you want to be really forgiven.  It would come down to doing the dance right on each fight.

It can be done, it can be done quite easily, but it is a pipe dream and it will never happen.

I would love to see more stuff designed for solo play.  So while I am waiting for my guild run for DS I could go solo everything else this expansion, just for fun. 

I would like to see more solo content and it is not just raid content.

I want to see reputation go back to taking forever to get because that is solo content.  I would have preferred therazane just having the dailies and they only offered 100 to 150 reputation per and have to work my way to exalted slowly instead of the way it was where I was exalted with them the second day of cataclysm release.

I would rater grind reputation so it took a month to do them, see, that is solo content.  It gives us something to do solo.

The problem with me is I am living the the past.  Everyone wants things now, and fast.  I like to work for things, I like things to take time, I like to feel as if even something as useless as ogri'la reputation was worth it because it took time to earn it.  It felt like I did something even if I was only doing it for the sake of doing it.

I would love to see them make leveling take longer, that is a way to add more solo content.  Rushing you to 85 means they are rushing you to group content.  I understand that this is an MMORPG but why does everything need to revolve around doing things with other people?  Shouldn't that just be one option of many?

Those other people from the massive multiplayers would be the ones I talk to in guild, run into while questing or gathering, buy from and sell to on the auction house.  The content should not be 100% dependent on them, the others. 

I'd like to do my dungeon grind without them, I want to do it solo.  I would love to raid solo because I would never need to depend on the ability of another to gear correctly, gem correctly, enchant correctly and know how to play their class correctly.  I do not want to be held back, or boosted ahead, by other people.  I want to make my own way through content and then on those moments I feel like venturing out with others, I like that the option to do so is there.

But that is my pipe dream.  I wish that grouping up with people was actually an option but it isn't.  You have to do it if you want to do that content.  My pipe dream is for more solo content.

It will never happen.  Doesn't mean I can't think about how awesome it could be if it did.

We all have something we would like to see in game that we know will never happen.  Mine is more solo content while it is current that was originally group content only.  What is yours?


  1. Anon, Grumpy's GL:

    Lord, but I wish more solo content existed. I am a guild leader with a successful guild that I am rightly proud of and enjoy participating in and with my guildies, but I like playing by myself far more than I have ever enjoyed grouping up. So I will join you in the minority on this subject.

    Also you spoke of rep grinds, well, I can verify that two rep grinds are basically trivial to pursue now. The Sporeggar and Timbermaw are two parts of the three part "The Diplomat" title, with the Kurenai as the third one. My naked pally gained the first two exalted reps in less than three days, with the Timbermaw part coming in a single session. That is sadly overpowered to say the very least as far as making a run for exalted so trivially easy.

    I am almost hesitant to go for the last part of the tripod reps simply because I want to have some content last for a bit. Oh well, as you noted, it would be nice to have some solo content that lasted more than mere hours.

    1. Yeah, the way they have changed rep grinds is absolutely horrible. They used to be a nice way to pass some time, good solo game play things to do, now they are something that just happens. It is way to fast.

  2. The cynical answer would be :
    for Blizzard to treat European customers better (the lack of feedback is rather annoying)

    A bit more cheerfully: yes more content you can do at your own pace.

    For Reps, that means less Dailies and more wholesale slaughter of mobs, collecting their entrails (or Scourgestones etc.) for turnins for Reputations etc.

    The IMO best Rep grind is/was Cenarion Circle: you can get it by Quest, you can get it by turn-ins, you get it by killing non-Instanced mobs, and you can get it (faster, to please 'progress crowd')by doing Raids. Previously, they had repatable Quests (the Field orders or what they were called) that, once the badges they gave became meaningless, were sadly ill-tuned as far as Rep went (killing 25 A silithids when only 20 A spawned for 100 rep meant you got it faster by just slaying 10 cultists) - but slap it as Daily (for those who like that sort of horribly gated-content ;) and you basically have the blue print for the perfect grind.

    For Instances:
    Lockouts only for the latest content.

    The 'race' only concerns the latest raid anyway, and as an added bonus the whole Tier reset thing could be done away with ,as people would still be able to progress faster to the latest Raid, just not by running Heroics two Patches before - which would mean that casuals could make meaningful progress as well, and re-subscribers can pick up things easier as well (no need to redo all your Gear just because you missed a Patch).

    Note that DDO online features Dungeons you can scale from solo to party (I don't see it working with WoW raids, again for starters because of the Gear spectre)

    For Professions:
    no more &^%$#@! awful compulsory Dailies to progress.

    Many, if not most people concerned with Crafting beyond the stat-bonus (which I wouldn't mind seeing gone tbh, it's a lazy attempt to hide WoW's rather blah Crafting system anyway) are completionists, and having e.g. to log in every day for over a year to do some boring task to get your JC Recipes is very annoying.

    Yes, the one who e.g. designed the recipe for Wicked Mithril Blade to be BoP was - to quote WoWhead - an extreme sadist, but I rather have the joy of getting that rare Drop than having a second job logging in every day for some menial task.

    Also, drop the level requirements for Archeology already.

    It's hardly the most enervating Profession to start with, but levelling it is far, far more boring with a flying demi-god in a world of Grays than with a character in its 20's that still has to watch out for mobs etc.

    drop the minimum level of Quests to more realistic levels.

    This way people would have a choice in challenge again, as well have several ancillary benefits.

    Which brings us back to the cynical answer again:

    there has been an excellent, well-documented Thread on the EU site concerning this last one since last X-Mass, but so far crickets as far as Blizz is concerned

    1. They were my first exalted rep. Yeap, honestly. I grinded those papers from 58 to 60, doing nothing else, just that, until I got them to exalted. Just because I liked them for some reason I can not even place my finger on. Now that was a grind and it took me at least two weeks if I remember correctly. I loved it.

      I would love to do level 20 quests at level 16. I hate picking up a level 16 quest and by the time I get back to turn it in I am level 18. I don't think it would be a huge challenge but then maybe if I picked up a few level 20 quests at level 16 by the time I got back and was level 18 it would feel like I accomplished something and not turning in a grey quest.

      The better the idea the less likely blizzard is to respond. Because if they respond it is a way of admitting they are wrong. It would be bad business practice to do that. While I do not like that they avoid threads like that, from a business standpoint I understand it 100%.

    2. I also tend(ed) to put my Rep grinds as part of the levelling process, they gave direction even for non-Crafters.

      While doing (old) Timbermaw on every Crafter was perhaps to be expected, and slaying Elementals in Silithus also has economical uses, I also for example levelled a character to 54 by first getting the Steamweedhle Reps to Revered by grinding mobs and then do the Quests to hit Exalted with the cartel. The Insane part? That character has always been Hated by the Bloodsails, I just felt sorry for the poor Goblins and them getting slaughtered all the time, so I'd decided my Paladin would come to their defense...

      Yup, as the Thread noted, that's one of the reasons why a drop would benefit so many people, that highly annoying out-Graying could be at least mitigated. And the best part is that it would be completely optional.

      The better the idea the less likely blizzard is to respond. Because if they respond it is a way of admitting they are wrong. It would be bad business practice to do that. While I do not like that they avoid threads like that, from a business standpoint I understand it 100%.''

      Given how often and how many Threads pop up concerning the too-easy/fast levelling, I'd say that people already know that something is amiss.

      Perhaps it's something of a culture thing. In the EU we tend to value it if a company says to its customers 'You're right, we can improve that, thank you for reminding us' as it shows a closer connection/interaction between client and provider (the customer cares enough to provide feedback, the provider cares enough about its customers to acknowledge them)

      Looking at the MMO scene,it seems that Sony is taking a leaf from e.g. CCP, and certainly for me personally that's one of the reasons to (want to, damn rl!) look into their MMO products more.