Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Why Do You Solo?

Some people love to solo things while others are more inclined to get a group even if they can solo something.  Do you think it has anything to do with the social aspect of the game?  I often think it might be that, for me at least.  I am the type that prefers to do my thing at my own pace.  I'll team up when there is no other option but given the choice I would rather do it solo.

When I was leveling my first character, a hunter of course, I clearly remember there were a lot of quest mobs that would really mess me up.  On more than one occasion I would stand there at one of those end of the quest line mobs and wait for someone else to come along to do it with me.  Back then there was always someone else questing. 

That was not my default option however.  I went in head first each and every time.  I would also die usually.  But I would come back and work on a strategy and try to figure out how I could beat it.  Staying at a distance, using line of sight, kiting.  You get the idea. 

Sure, I was new to the game but not new to the concept of gaming or even this type of game.  Nothing in warcraft was ground breaking in content.  Hence the reason I decided to choose a hunter when I started.  It was ranged and had a walking distraction with it that I could use to my advantage, known as a pet of course.

It was usually after I had died a few times that I decided that I needed help and would see if there were anyone else in the area.  One quick team up later and that bear that had been destroying me was dead and just lunch meat now.  I would say thank you and be on my way.

I would rather have soloed it but I couldn't so I sought some help.  That is the story of my game play.  I would rather solo things but will take help if I needed it.  If I could solo throne of thunder I would.  Personally I think I should be able to.  Just because the game has an MMO label on it doesn't mean I should ever have to play with others, it just means there are others around should I choose to play with them.  I will forever be an advocate of solo play and that all new content, dungeons, raids, you name it, should be designed so they could be completed solo.  But that is for a completely different post, please excuse me for getting side tracked there.

Later on in my life as a hunter while I learned the way of the bow I had received a few quests that lead me to an area I could not find for the life of me at first.  It was somewhere called Blackfathom Deeps. 

I had already become accustom to killing all those big quest mobs by myself, save a few I needed to wait for some assistance, so when I did finally find it and I zoned in and ran forward and saw all these elite mobs I was in a state of shock.  Sort of a combination of oh shit and this is awesome all at the same time.

This must have been what I was always looking for.  The ultimate challenge for the single player.  Do not forget I was new to the game.  Dungeons or five man dungeons in this case were a new concept to me.  I thought this was just a phased area meant to challenge the player and I accepted that challenge.

I ran back to the entrance as soon as I entered and had walked forward.  I knew there was no way in hell I could take a few mobs all elite and a higher level than me all at once.  So then I entered solo mode, real solo mode, for the first time ever.

I watched them for a short bit and saw this one murloc running back and forth and once I figured I knew when he reached his closest point and I could get him and him only I went at it.  It did not go well, I neglected my pet like a bad hunter that did not love his fluffy friend and let him die so I hightailed it out of there.

I came back in for attempt two.  Fed my pet a few times, because you know pets aren't to fond of you letting them die and I did not want him run away, after all I kind of need him.  I pulled this time and took care of my pet and killed him with only one minor problem.  You know how murlocs like to run, well, he ran into a wall and died in the wall.  Fuck.  No loot.

To keep a long story short, too late, I managed to solo the instance, it took a very long time but it was extremely fun.  I finished my quests and it really taught me a hell of a lot about what it means to be a hunter.  To me this was what the game was about.  This set the tone for me then and since then.  It was all about soloing.

It was not until a short time later when I saw someone looking for a tank and a DPS for blackfathom deeps that I realized that I wasn't intended to do it solo.  It was meant to be a large group quest, kind of like that bear I had needed help with.  It was not supposed to be something that you could solo.

I felt a great deal of pride in what I did after that.  I was a lower level than the mobs in there and because I took my time and pulled smart I was able to do something that was intended for a group of people.  I guess that is where I first caught the bug to solo stuff.

While it is true I would prefer to play solo by default that is not really want drives me to solo stuff.  What drives me to solo stuff is just to see if I can do it.  I actually hate when there are things I can not solo and I tend to always believe that there is a way to do everything and it is just my job to figure out how.  Like I said, I believe everyone should be able to solo everything with enough skill, practice and planning.

So why do I solo stuff?  Because I can, I'm a hunter.


  1. Wow soloing on level, in quest gear is very impressive. Wow, yeah I am seriously impressed with that.

    I love to solo as well, though I don't have your skill with it. I'm a melee character at heart, I dive in and try to live. You are a ranged and kite things about. Each has their place but if you have the room to move you'd probably succeed more often. After all if you aren't taking the damage then you have till beserk/forever to take them down. Whereas if you are taking damage it becomes a dps race, can I kill it before I run out of cds?

    I haven't done any soloing in a while and I really should. Maybe that would reinvigorate my love for the game. I do always get a kick out of living when I should die. The last attempt on Ion Qon last night, I was the only one still up after a tornado phase (thanks for the positioning tip btw going to try that next time) and as it was the last attempt (and therefore I wasn't wasting time) I tried to see how long I could live for. I lived until he did the tornado thing again, but as I was pretty low on health when I got sucked in the 70k dot finished me. I'm not sure how often he casts Wind Storm but I think it's safe to say I lived for about a minute. Which on a current raid boss I don't think is that bad. I lived longer on Tortos but Tortos is crazy and doesn't count. I swear that I could solo Tortos if they took the beserk timer off, it is a stupid boss for paladins.

    Hmm anyway I think the most up to date stuff I've tried soloing is Dragon Soul, unless you count finishing off the last couple of percent of bosses in current raids after the group dies. What's the most up to date thing you've tried soloing?

    Also I am with you. As much as I like the social aspects of Warcraft, there are times when I just want to play alone. Just pit me against the challenge. I hope Proving Grounds live up to expectations. So yeah a solo mode for all content would be pretty neat. They will never do it, so as long as the item squish thing (which I'm sure they'll do at some point) doesn't prevent me from going in an expansion later and trying it, then I guess I'll have to make do with that.

    1. It was not like I intended to solo it. It is not like I thought I was doing something special. If anything when I messed up I thought I was doing something wrong. I thought I was supposed to be able to do this alone. So I kept trying until I did it. Thanks, it was a great accomplishment back then and something that actually made me fall in love with the game.

      As I leveled up, by then knowing they were meant for 5 people, I would still attempt to solo some. I soloed mara because I could never find anyone that wanted to do it and I had so many quests there. I think I got lost in there more than any other dungeon ever.

      I have the advantage if the mob can be slowed and I can play a hunter. If it can not be slowed and my pet can not handle it, I would be better of being melee. Where you take a obvious lead is on any fight where healing is needed. If there is a ticking AoE for me it is a timed fight. I have to kill it in whatever time it takes the AoE to kill me whereas you can last forever.

      Yeah, I think a paladin could easily solo tortos if not for the enrage timer. On many of our wipes our paladin tank, while trying to die, would still last upwards of a minute. Have you tried solo tanking it yet?

      I soloed morchok heroic. That is the most recent thing I have soloed. I am sure you could as well. Heroic is actually easier to solo than normal. No stacking debuff.

      That is one of the reasons I do not want the item squish. I like being able to go back and solo stuff, is they squish could you imagine being level 100 and not being able to solo MC? That would suck. Or still dying to the fel reaver at 90? No thanks. I like the idea of keeping numbers from going up so much, but not so much for a squish.

      If they had anyone with brains there a squish would never be needed. They would have just not let it get out of hand like it has. The difference between me (normal geared) and a heroic raider (heroic geared) is 100K. Screw that. Same tier, he should be able to do 3K, maybe 4K more than me with better gear, not 100K more. They made the need for a squish themselves and they should have never let it get that far.

      More on this side note.

      Think of it from your tanking standpoint. If something has 2 stamina more is has 2 stamina more. Even if that is all it has, it is an upgrade right, and the fools that we are would take it even if it is small correct?

      But they decided that they needed to make upgrades "meaningful" so now you get a 600 stamina upgrade, so when you see something that is a 60 stamina upgrade you think, not worth it, I will wait for the better piece.

      It screwed us in many ways. It made us undervalue upgrades that are still upgrades and it has created a system where we will have no choice but to get a squish.

      If they just kept it to +2 of a stat for every new tier people would still upgrade and we would be 50 years from even thinking about a squish. Bad design team is bad. That is blizzard for you. Create problems that should have never been problems to begin with.

  2. Yeah, soloing dungeons on leveling toons has become something that I sometimes try these days, it isn't something I used to do. Mostly because I don't group for those leveling dungeons, I level via questing/gathering, so in many cases it's new content for me.

    Soloing has gotten a lot easier over the years, though, our leveling toon power has increased a lot over time and the instances aren't any more difficult than they used to be, even without heirlooms (my monk soloed Uldaman without heirlooms at a level where mobs and bosses were yellow, did have to switch to BM for the last boss after a few failed WW attempts, though).

    Soloing current content is different, obviously, but with some gear and for a class with some self-healing, it's generally doable at a certain point.

    For me, the best reason to solo current (ie. difficult) is to test stuff out in a scenario where my mistakes won't cost someone else time and a repair bill. Like you, I generally prefer to run solo, it's just simpler logistically and it's generally higher challenge.

    In the same vein, though, an instance that I can't solo (Zul'farrak on that same monk a few levels later, for instance...) then becomes fodder to duo, pulled a buddy with a leveling druid of similar level and, with a lot of time and effort, we managed to clear it as a duo. That was a lot of fun and we eventually did the same for other dungeons that I wasn't able to solo.

    Again, though, soloing or duoing a vanilla dungeon today is a much different experience than it would have been back then, even without heirlooms.

    1. The dungeons are so much easier than they used to be. Seems like they removed a lot of the mobs in them as well. But with a heirloomed character you could probably solo any leveling dungeon now. With some skill and the right class of course.

      Two manning is a lot easier. Two manning with someone that can tank and someone that can heal, as long as you play smart, means anything can be done with two almost, while leveling at least. I do wonder about the low level dungeons and if they were nerfed a bit to much. But I guess they had to be. Now it seems as if any tank can solo them. Times have really changed when leveling and dungeons come together.

      My paladin did ulduaman back then too. Part at least. Everyone left and I still had a quest, so I went and finished it off myself. But never felt as comfortable soloing on anything other than I have on my hunter. I plan to start trying to solo some stuff on my monk, for more practice. Going to go after ulduar hard modes, think it can be done? Even if not, it will surely be a learning process for me.

    2. Sure, try 5-man normals first, see how it goes, and step up to heroics if you don't have any issues. You may encounter a boss mechanic or two you can't get past here or there but there are enough instances that you should be able to get it done somewhere. I've definitely soloed 5-man normal Palace on my monk although heroic was a bit too much, I wasn't doing enough dps on the first boss to get through it. I haven't tried any others, made the switch to testing out healing after that and while that also stalled out I haven't respecced back to tank yet. Some day.

    3. I read that they can do a lot of stuff solo and I want to give it a shot. I might go for it this weekend and see what I could get done. I think the lack of ranged abilities might hurt in some situations and my tank DPS is not quite that good just yet, but that should come with practice. Thanks for the feedback.

  3. I would prefer to solo everything but I don't have the patience to do extreme soloing. If it takes more than a handful of attempts; I usually give up. I don't usually go find someone to help either.

    Soloing BWL is like that. I can't solo the first boss so I have only done that instance once since they added the pets. And you can't out gear it because it's a "vehicle" fight (I hate vehicle fights!).

    1. I've been soloing that one for a while. There is a trick to not have to deal with the adds at all.

      Attack the three guys on the orb, only kill the two on each side. Then go up the stairs and jump on the little part of the wall right there on the stairs. Go to the end of it (as in toward the entrance down the stairs but on that raised it on the wall) and turn and disengage. It will place you on top of one of the doorways. Peak out, hit the boss with a serpent sting hide out of line of site. Wait until the doors open but he is still active. Jump back down and kill that last add before he resets, then take the orb and break all the eggs without ever having to deal with the adds again. BTW, do no have a pet out while doing any of this.

      The jump takes some practice, maybe 10 at most to learn to position yourself, but once you got it it will be easy.

      Or you could do it the new way which can be done, but I actually find that harder then the deal with no adds way.

      I am not good enough to do extreme stuff either. I do some "harder" stuff but not that extreme stuff that needs perfect timing and lots of luck. I am not one to go for 100s of wipes, even more so if there is any bit of luck involved on needing to do it. If it is a pure skill thing, I will keep trying until I get better however.

  4. I find soloing raids for transmog/mounts more relaxing than trying to find a pug for it, so I solo whatever I can. The guild I felt comfortable in died in Cata, and I have yet to find another. I have a hard time dealing with social things.

    Group content is often very stressful and not much fun depending on how good/bad the pug is. I get really stressed when people trash talk others (by this I mean calling people names, telling them to go die ect. not constructive criticism). Even if I'm not the target, I play much worse in an environment like that. A bad run can send me back into my shell for months.

    1. I know exactly what you mean. It is one of the reasons I stay with my guild even if I could move elsewhere and get more progression. I am comfortable there. You need to find a guild that does not do progression raiding and one that is not an invite everyone type of guild. Might be best for you. Those two types of guilds more often than not are filled with jerks.

      With that said, I can really relate to that. I think being around people like that effects how I play as well. Not to mention my enjoyment of what I am doing. Part of the reason I like to solo stuff I guess.

  5. Since I've always been a tank, it's hard to think of anything I had problems with. I honestly can't even tell if a mob is elite or rare or whatever, it's just mobs with more or less health.

    I solo when I don't know I'm supposed to do it with a group. Or when I want to prove something / someone issues a challenge. Or when I feel it would be too selfish to ask someone else to join me in doing /something/.

    I don't think an MMO should focus at making everything a good solo experience. Different genre. Different focus. Massive multiplayer doesn't come from the number of people playing, it comes from the number of people you're playing with. People's anti-social nature is twisting a genre altogether, making group size for every aspect of the game require less and less players.

    1. I do not think it is completely the anti social nature of people. I consider myself an anti social type person and have no issue doing group content. I think it is more the people in the game that make people want to be able to do things solo.

      It is like the poster above said. He/She just does not like the attitude of people and the way they treat each other. That has nothing to due with being social or anti social, just with being a decent human being. Something many people is this game wouldn't know how to be if you beat it into them with a 9-iron.

      And I do disagree with what MMO means. To me it just means a game that has lots of people playing it in the same environment at the same time. It has nothing to do with how many of them you play with in a group. Even if every lick of content was capable of being done solo wow would still be an MMO.

    2. Yeah, MMO doesn't necessarily mean group/team play.

      If you think about it, we can't even do large groups of people, so the massively multiplayer doesn't mean massive in that way. For example there are millions of players, but we crash the servers if we gather more than a couple hundred in one place and it often becomes a slide show if we gather more than 40 in a combat situation.

      The game is designed for a massive community but a very small number of players (compared to subscribers) active in any given part of the world at one time.

      Also, multiplayer doesn't necessarily mean coordinated group play. You can definitely socialize but you're often in a free-for-all when it comes to game play; competing with the other players and not necessarily cooperating with them.

      You could definitely have an MMO that doesn't have any group content.

    3. What you said reminded me of what one of my first impressions of wow was.

      It is a role play chat room taken to the next level.

      If you had ever been in a role play chat room back in the day where people would play the part of some medieval knight or something of the sorts, and you used your words to make adventures, well, that is wow, but with images, not words.

      Wow is just a glorified role play chat room. I really really good one, but a chat room none the less.

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    1. MT is a 5 man dungeon that drops a pet and a white strider. Sunwell is a 25 man raid that drops the legendary bow at the end. In theory anyway. I know so many people that got it their first run and I still have never seen it.

      MT you could most likely solo. Needs to be heroic for the mount if that is what you want.

      Sunwell might need some more gear and practice. Even at our level I have heard a lot of people have issues with it. A couple of those bosses can get out of control if you do not down them fast. Even more so for a class with no heal or dispel like a hunter.