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  1. #1

    Casual Player != Hermit: A Defense of Raids and Group Content

    Hello, everyone.

    As the title implies, I am a VERY casual player. Supposedly, I belong to the demographic that Turbine has been more and more targeting over the years.

    What disturbs me is Turbine's misconception of what a casual player is. Apparently, they think a casual player is a hermit who hates people and wants to pay, pay, pay to play solo in a massively multiplayer online game. Where they got this bizarre idea, I don't know. All I know is that the content over the past few years has increasingly disposed of any interesting group content in favor of solo players.

    First of all, let's discuss what a casual player truly is. It may be a solo player, true. However, I would imagine most "casual" players going into an MMO realize that one of the M's stands for multiplayer, not singleplayer. Turbine, if I wanted to play a single player game, I'd just buy a single player game. LOTRO isn't that good, given its age, to where I'd drop so much money to solo my way to level cap and shun all social interaction, rather than simply buy a much cheaper single-player game.

    What a casual player truly is is one who doesn't have a lot of time to spend gaming. We have day jobs, family, friends, responsibilities, or even other hobbies. When we do log in, yes, we might solo quite a bit depending on how much time we have available. But what about when we have a nice chunk of time? Many of us, like myself, actually like grouping and interacting with other players. We want to explore challenging group content--whether they be epic book lines, various instances, or even, on the rare night we have a block of 5 hours available, raids.

    No, we don't often step foot in raids, favoring shorter instances. But if you feel that makes raids not worth the investment, then you're wrong.

    An MMO needs a variety of things to do, especially at level cap, so as to not induce boredom. Bored players log off. I've never logged off so much until Rohan. And bored players who are logged off aren't spending money on the game, no matter how many hobbit presents you entice them with. When the slot machine that is hobbit presents becomes the central draw to your game, you know you have a problem.

    I long ago ditched my player house, but I don't begrudge other players housing updates. I rarely play raids, but I certainly don't begrudge resources being dedicated to creating them. I do enjoy instances when I have the time on weekends, so I definitely don't mind challenging, thoughtful ones being created. I don't really craft anymore, because it's like watching paint dry, but I know other players like it, and I sure like buying the stuff they make.

    Turbine, you've really blown it. You've made the PvE leveling experience so easy that I can randomly click buttons and still win. And if I group with someone, I can kill NPCs on autoattack while watching TV. How is that fun to a casual player? It isn't! Games are supposed to be challenging! If I want something this easy I can go get a Fischer Price tool for toddlers and play with that. You've also ripped out instances over the years, bolstering solo players for the epic book quests. It's made leveling a lonely experience for this casual player. Nobody has any reason to group anymore! We haven't since Mirkwood. I remember even the skirmishes in Mirkwood would award solo players with more drops than grouped ones. I never once saw an LFF for a skirmish because of that!

    Finally, you practically done away with any interesting raid content. I don't raid much. Last time I raided was SOA in the Rift. Yup. But that doesn't mean I don't want the option. These instances you have now are a joke. They're so dull and uncreative. What happened to your ingenuity? The Rift and so many instances in SOA and Moria were a great adventure for this casual player. They were wonderful places to explore. Now it's just run in, beat a boss, and done. Worse is seeing so many raiders driven away from LOTRO. Many of these were my kinmates. They were great folks to play with, and now there's that many fewer players with whom I can interact. So many 1 in 10 players or less ever even touches a raid. But that doesn't mean that the 1 in 10 doesn't enrich the community and give a positive experience to the casual players.

    Turbine, on behalf of all casual players, please put back the creative and challenging group content you once gave us. We casual players don't want to be complete hermits.
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silverbullets View Post
    However, I would imagine most "casual" players going into an MMO realize that one of the M's stands for multiplayer, not singleplayer. Turbine, if I wanted to play a single player game, I'd just buy a single player game. LOTRO isn't that good, given its age, to where I'd drop so much money to solo my way to level cap and shun all social interaction, rather than simply buy a much cheaper single-player game.
    You have mistaken "multiplayer" for "MUST group". And, indeed, the shift to more solo/soloable content was driven by *player* demand, not Turbine's desires.

    I am not opposed to group content. In fact, I'm all for group content. The constraint on it needs to be that it doesn't lock soloers out of character or story line advancement. The group instances in the Epic Quest had problems that way, and since those quests are more or less the "backbone" on which LotRO is hung (beyond the main plot elements of LotR), that was a serious problem.

    At the same time, I am opposed to "solo only" content anywhere it can be avoided. It can't always be avoided, but when it can, it should be.

    There are other cans of worms involved with solo vs. group content, but leaving those aside unopened, I think you will find that there are very, very few people that are actually against Turbine adding more group content.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by whheydt View Post
    You have mistaken "multiplayer" for "MUST group". And, indeed, the shift to more solo/soloable content was driven by *player* demand, not Turbine's desires.

    I am not opposed to group content. In fact, I'm all for group content. The constraint on it needs to be that it doesn't lock soloers out of character or story line advancement. The group instances in the Epic Quest had problems that way, and since those quests are more or less the "backbone" on which LotRO is hung (beyond the main plot elements of LotR), that was a serious problem.

    At the same time, I am opposed to "solo only" content anywhere it can be avoided. It can't always be avoided, but when it can, it should be.

    There are other cans of worms involved with solo vs. group content, but leaving those aside unopened, I think you will find that there are very, very few people that are actually against Turbine adding more group content.
    lol you defend this position everywhere and everytime you can, HD is sooo bad, no good group based endgame and screwed up classes, we will see how turbines bottom line looks for catering to @player@ demand lol they are going to BLEED subs

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    Quote Originally Posted by Whiperandwake View Post
    lol you defend this position everywhere and everytime you can, HD is sooo bad, no good group based endgame and screwed up classes, we will see how turbines bottom line looks for catering to @player@ demand lol they are going to BLEED subs
    And you know this... because you are in the beta? or do you have a De Lorean equiped with a flux capacitor (or the Tardis if you are British)... Seriously how do people predict with certainty on what would spell the end of middle earth as we know it?
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  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by jaecynt View Post
    And you know this... because you are in the beta? or do you have a De Lorean equiped with a flux capacitor (or the Tardis if you are British)... Seriously how do people predict with certainty on what would spell the end of middle earth as we know it?
    That would be an ecumenical matter.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whiperandwake View Post
    lol you defend this position everywhere and everytime you can, HD is sooo bad, no good group based endgame and screwed up classes, we will see how turbines bottom line looks for catering to @player@ demand lol they are going to BLEED subs
    Well, let's see... I defended the existence of group content, at least mildly. I opposed unnecessary "solo only" content. Perhaps you want me to threaten to hold my breath until I turn blue in support of "end game group content in the form of traditional raids"? Sorry, I'm just not that sort of fanatic.

    In order to speak of "screwed up classes" or "no good group based end game" in HD, one would have to be in the beta program and if one were to be in the beta program, one would be forbidden to discuss what is there. So...on what are you drawing those conclusions?

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by whheydt View Post
    Well, let's see... I defended the existence of group content, at least mildly. I opposed unnecessary "solo only" content. Perhaps you want me to threaten to hold my breath until I turn blue in support of "end game group content in the form of traditional raids"? Sorry, I'm just not that sort of fanatic.

    In order to speak of "screwed up classes" or "no good group based end game" in HD, one would have to be in the beta program and if one were to be in the beta program, one would be forbidden to discuss what is there. So...on what are you drawing those conclusions?

    And he's off again....For someone who claims not to be a 'fanatic' you're certainly fanatical on this subject! Please don't make out this to be a casual response of yours, and by that I mean your continued banging the solo-content-drum and putting the boot into posts that promote the need for more group content. We know your feelings well enough on raiding and group content because you are right in there every thread I see on the subject.

    How many times have you used Sapience's post on raider numbers to justify your point now? These figures have been put out there to justify the lack of group content development, when we all know the reason is that raids & instances cost more money and Turbine is cutting back.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by whheydt View Post
    You have mistaken "multiplayer" for "MUST group".
    The OP wasn't saying that players MUST GROUP. He was saying that in an MMO it's usual for there to be content developed for players who WANT to group. LOTRO has in the past supported both and all players are solo players too. Is it unreasonable to expect group content to be developed in an MMO?

    I enjoy 'Hermit Style' myself sometimes...I also own Skyrim which is great for this. I have played LOTRO for the last 6 years to not only enjoy wandering Middle Earth, but also to enjoy a challenging group experience.


    Quote Originally Posted by whheydt View Post
    And, indeed, the shift to more solo/soloable content was driven by *player* demand, not Turbine's desires.
    Do you really believe this? Turbine desires to bring costs down in an MMO that has seen it's best days. Lotro has become a shop for RPers to buy the latest in Middle Earth fashion and for people to fritter away their money on gumf. This means less cost for Turbine and there's a lot less risk, work & investment in it for them than developing instances & raids.

    Yes, Turbine said that players asked for more soloable content, but where have they stated that players have said this should come at the expense of group content?

    Quote Originally Posted by whheydt View Post
    I am not opposed to group content. In fact, I'm all for group content.
    Your posting history suggests otherwise.

    Quote Originally Posted by whheydt View Post
    The constraint on it needs to be that it doesn't lock soloers out of character or story line advancement. The group instances in the Epic Quest had problems that way, and since those quests are more or less the "backbone" on which LotRO is hung (beyond the main plot elements of LotR), that was a serious problem.
    I agree and now the entire Epic storyline is solable, and rightly so...but this is off the point. Lame group content is now the order of the day and it's been developed to let everyone 'win'.



    Quote Originally Posted by whheydt View Post
    I think you will find that there are very, very few people that are actually against Turbine adding more group content.
    To reference a previous thread where you asked for specifics, can you define very, very few people? I know that there has been a visible negative impact on raiding numbers on Laurelin and also on the chat channels over the last year, so there are certainly fewer people now, because many have already left the game.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MullaramSullaram View Post
    Do you really believe this?
    Yes. Do you want me to supply you with some quotes from their Executive Producer in 2008 , back when they were riding high after the SoA launch, saying almost precisely that? I'd be happy to if you'd like.

    Yes, Turbine said that players asked for more soloable content, but where have they stated that players have said this should come at the expense of group content?
    With limited budgets, time, and resources, doing more of X means doing less of "not X". That's just reality. You can argue about where cuts should be made, but given that raids are so expensive to make (and that Epic Battles are aimed at groups too), it doesn't seem a huge surprise they'd cut back some there.

    Khafar
    Last edited by Khafar; Sep 27 2013 at 08:00 PM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by MullaramSullaram View Post
    The OP wasn't saying that players MUST GROUP. He was saying that in an MMO it's usual for there to be content developed for players who WANT to group. LOTRO has in the past supported both and all players are solo players too. Is it unreasonable to expect group content to be developed in an MMO?

    I enjoy 'Hermit Style' myself sometimes...I also own Skyrim which is great for this. I have played LOTRO for the last 6 years to not only enjoy wandering Middle Earth, but also to enjoy a challenging group experience.




    Do you really believe this? Turbine desires to bring costs down in an MMO that has seen it's best days. Lotro has become a shop for RPers to buy the latest in Middle Earth fashion and for people to fritter away their money on gumf. This means less cost for Turbine and there's a lot less risk, work & investment in it for them than developing instances & raids.

    Yes, Turbine said that players asked for more soloable content, but where have they stated that players have said this should come at the expense of group content?



    Your posting history suggests otherwise.



    I agree and now the entire Epic storyline is solable, and rightly so...but this is off the point. Lame group content is now the order of the day and it's been developed to let everyone 'win'.





    To reference a previous thread where you asked for specifics, can you define very, very few people? I know that there has been a visible negative impact on raiding numbers on Laurelin and also on the chat channels over the last year, so there are certainly fewer people now, because many have already left the game.
    What you need to do is just ignore these folks. As you can see all of them have congregated to this thread because they all saw the words raid, group, casual and hermit. In my opinion this forum is now over run with these posts. Any chance they get to put a boot heel on the throats of raiders, groupers etc they will be here.
    I wouldn't expect even 1 question you asked to get answered in a rational way by these posters.

    It's seriously becoming a gang mentality at this point so from now on we should just ignore these folks when the content we like is being discussed. Responding to them only gives them more reason to continue posting in these threads. 10 bucks says I start a thread with the word raid in it and these same individuals will be there pressing hard on the boot heel but in the same breath saying they support group play. Making any request we make to the developer seem as though it would not be used.

    This forum is becoming a joke. Can someone please do something about this so we are not having this battle in every single thread?

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  11. #11
    There's more than bit of wisdom in the original posting.

    What I know - and that as a player -casual or whatever- is that I and the small circle of folk I played with weren't against fellowing. We'd never felt pressed into fellowing, but rather we'd wanted it. Even casually. Yet for the last few years it seems there were fewer and fewer players about when we'd wanted to dungeon.

    What we'd wanted for the longest time was to have all of the other dungeons in the game scaled or balanced so they could be played by every sort of fellowship between two, and eleven players before being said a "raid." I never saw it in warcraft, nor lotro that for dungeoning we should have been held to five or only six players - when other games DAoC the last I recall from before had room for eight players in a fellowship.

    To the early days when we still had kinships and others actually wanted to play it was a matter of someone being left out. Then, once we lost so many players from lotro it was fighting uphill to fill even one fellowship for the day- and sometimes -many times- never should the dungeon we wanted be one that wasn't done for being hated by what was left of the community.

    Yes, there was skirmishing, but that was rubbish. Scarce loot, short of the twelves come Isengard, and those weren't fun dungeonings. Twelves were some of the worst where it was just standing about and everyone's got an herbalist and the only challenge was having all your settings to lowest and still hoping you'd never lose connexion. Shifting all the other dungeons over to skirmish currencies didn't help either as then it was having to choose between- do I save for better -"better"- arms or armours from the seller or do I keep my soldier/herbalist levelled. Or -once turbine added it to the sellers- do I save and save and save, give the arms, the armours, and the soldier a miss for a second or first age token- then have a weapon or class item crafted? And that, which even to the best of days it was a toss in a blind alley. And of course all that saving and saving and saving was being done from playing the same old contents - old contents where in many ways much of the fat, the random but fun loot, was cut out of them.

    To my mind it's this cutting the fat that's ruined lotro. Cutting out what little joy of discovery there was in dungeons -having it so all you get for playing them is some markings or medals- is what's driven players off. And it isn't just skirmishing. It's all of it- having sets of coins or medals tied to each dungeon cluster wasn't good either. Running each bit of content, running each individual dungeon needed/needs to be its reward- right there and then. Is there a cloak, or an emblem, or a weapon, or a shield, or any other little thing your heart shoudl want for that comes from x and x or y a place? Then go there, fight it, even on easy or normal setting -if only to see what might come of it.

    Yet when you have it so every dungeon you play grants the same thing -a bland coin or medal or seal- then it no more matters where or what you're playing. We could have a daily set of bland and thankless tasks, log in, have done, and then bugger off til we have what we "want," find there's nothing to do with those wants but the same old sh!te and never come in but once a week or even a month after. Oh wait...

    Playing the same bits over- getting the same cheap sh!te, day after day after day doesn't keep players playing, and doesn't keep friends coming back. It cheapens adventuring so it feels less a heroic doing and more a punching in and out from work.

    I'd given up on warcraft just as gearscoring -or whatever it was- was coming in, never raided much after. And yet, when I'd come to lotro - a game sold as massively multiplayer online- I'd never dreamed it would come so simple and so quickly after one or two years that I would feel so alone in the crowd. Yet that's what we're come to. I'm never so social as once I was, but I'm not a hermit, no. I want to want to play more again. I wish I had something to sell my friends so they would come back. I haven't and they aren't. Not even with "Helm's Deep" writ high and grand across the top.

    I'm not saying we should have back to the good old bad old days of loot snobbery, but Lotro needs to change. Lotro needs to make me feel that *I* and *my friends* -need- to save Middle Earth again. Right now we're not saving much of anything or anybody. We're just circling the drain -floating down on a jobby with 'trademark of SZC under license to Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc' smeared on the side.

  12. #12
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    I have no idea whether Epic Battles will constitute a fun "endgame" activity or not - yet. But I'm going to give it a very good shot once it ships in mid-November before I declare it inadequate for one reason or other. Hopefully it will appeal to a broad set of play styles, because that's what it's obviously being designed for.

    Khafar
    Last edited by Khafar; Sep 29 2013 at 01:20 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Iozeph View Post
    What we'd wanted for the longest time was to have all of the other dungeons in the game scaled or balanced so they could be played by every sort of fellowship between two, and eleven players before being said a "raid." I never saw it in warcraft, nor lotro that for dungeoning we should have been held to five or only six players - when other games DAoC the last I recall from before had room for eight players in a fellowship.

    To the early days when we still had kinships and others actually wanted to play it was a matter of someone being left out. Then, once we lost so many players from lotro it was fighting uphill to fill even one fellowship for the day- and sometimes -many times- never should the dungeon we wanted be one that wasn't done for being hated by what was left of the community.
    You are exactly right, group content has not worked well in LOTRO because they have it so finely tuned to a specific group size and level. Your group is short, you're screwed. Or the other way around (skirmishes) become a snooze fest. It sounds like they are trying to address this with Big Battles. Some parts within the instance will be much harder than others. So groups of any size and level should be able to participate, they're just not able to tackle the same challenges, which is ok because of the new reward system it will still be worth it. I'm really very excited about Big Battles, if done right they could really open up a lot more options for group play.
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    If I want to play a single-player game - I play Skyrim, not LOTRO
    Because Skyrim is MUCH cheaper, has better graphics, moddability and doesn`t include lore-breaking magic users running around killing orks with lightning magic (strong emphasis on lore-breaking part).

    So stop turning LOTRO into a single-player game - you are not going to fare well against Bethesda and Bioware on that field.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olfaran View Post
    If I want to play a single-player game - I play Skyrim, not LOTRO
    Because Skyrim is MUCH cheaper, has better graphics, moddability and doesn`t include lore-breaking magic users running around killing orks with lightning magic (strong emphasis on lore-breaking part).

    So stop turning LOTRO into a single-player game - you are not going to fare well against Bethesda and Bioware on that field.

    Single player gaming has been in MMOs since at least Ultima Online in the late 90s. I saw players all the time doing their own thing like house decorating, getting gold, harvesting hides from animals and so on. It's just now that the MMO genre, not only Turbine, is seeing that and changing to meet that playstyle. Star Wars Galaxies and World of Warcraft, same thing. And Age of Conan.
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    Bump, eloquently put, and I could not agree more. Turbine really needs to rethink their target market, revenue model, and the associated content. I for one enjoy having the optionality of end game raiding content, and as such would be willing to pay a premium. I however would prefer if they first tested their releases to ensure that compatibility, and more importantly, have a dev log which acknowledges certain pervasive problems as well as a timeline for a 'fix'.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Silverbullets View Post
    Last time I raided was SOA in the Rift.
    You are not alone and that, in a nutshell, is why Turbine stopped pouring resources into the development of complicated raid spaces: Poor return on investment.

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    I don't think they believe "casual player" = "hermit".

    But where they get most of their "ideas" on this are from their own game data. Store data too now. They use that data to identify trends, to help validate or refute feedback they're getting from a narrow set of people on the forums, to identify which content and features are used, by whom, for how long. I don't have to guess about this, they mention it fairly routinely in their posts and interviews, and one of Turbine's developers told me explicitly back in 2007 or so that they were "big" on backing up opinions with data. I'm sure they're even "bigger" on that now than they were then.

    They judged the rework of the epic storyline a success based on how many more people actually participated in it once you could solo the portions which required groups. They were surprised by just how many people did the solo instances they shipped with Moria, and how often... they had to put more limits on them (even once an exploit was plugged) so people wouldn't overstress the servers. They got to see that solo skirmishes were run at least 6X as often as 3-mans, right from the very start. Etc.

    Does that mean they should do no group content? No, of course not. But when you have limited resources, you need to be smart about how you spend them. As Sapience put it, if some constituency in your game is 10% of your players, you don't spend 90% of your resources trying to please them. Nor do you spend 0%. (Note that this is over the long haul, not within the confines of one update or expansion... they cannot possibly give everyone something in every content drop).

    The problem with raids is that they're extremely expensive content to build, yet they're consumed by a modest percentage of players. See this post for a bit of the flavor of just how complex and expensive they are.

    Again, that doesn't mean they should stop doing any raids, ever. However, I think it's smart of them to focus on scalable content for Helm's Deep, because it supports most adventuring playstyles, because it will help people find groups more easily, and because it will encourage more players to buy the expansion. "Big Battles" won't be cheap content to produce either, but at least it will have much more reach than a typical raid does.

    Khafar
    Last edited by Khafar; Sep 08 2013 at 03:02 AM.

  19. #19
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    This is a very rare thread. One where everyone is talking sense.

    One of the things to bear in mind is that "casuals" vs "raideers" is a gross over simplification. There is a large range of variation within both of those labels.
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  20. #20
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    Personally i'm still of the mind that scaling instances to group size is the best idea, with the caveat that it's hard to get an adequate difficulty for all group sizes.
    (Skirmishes are too easy and offer too little reward for the lower sizes but I think turbine's own DDO does a very good job at that, at least up to 6 man content).
    It seems to me that is exactly what they are gonna try to do with the big battles though.


    The second thing i'm adamant about is gear equality between playstyles, but i won't open that can anymore for now :P.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Khafar View Post
    They judged the rework of the epic storyline a success based on how many more people actually participated in it once you could solo the portions which required groups. They were surprised by just how many people did the solo instances they shipped with Moria, and how often... they had to put more limits on them (even once an exploit was plugged) so people wouldn't overstress the servers. They got to see that solo skirmishes were run at least 6X as often as 3-mans, right from the very start. Etc.
    The problem with this type of data is how you interpret it: Did people run more solo-skirms because
    - they liked them better,
    - they were easier/faster,
    - the reward rate was better,
    - there is no good group-finding tool available,
    - the solo-option is the default,
    - they only tried the 2 intro skirmishes and then ignored that game system

    A single datapoint doesn't answer that. Just like Hytbold quests were done by many players does not mean a lot of players like that type of gameplay, maybe the available alternatives were just even less interesting to them. Or the statements that raiders are a single-digit percentage of the total player population being meaningless without actual definitions of "raider" and "total player population". You can construct all kind of conclusions taking arbitrary datapoints: If there are more instance quests finished than festival quests (over all servers combined in a given timeframe), certainly instances are far more popular than festivals, right?
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  22. #22
    First of all +rep to the OP. I feel the same.

    Quote Originally Posted by Khafar View Post
    I don't think they believe "casual player" = "hermit".

    But where they get most of their "ideas" on this are from their own game data. Store data too now. They use that data to identify trends, to help validate or refute feedback they're getting from a narrow set of people on the forums, to identify which content and features are used, by whom, for how long. I don't have to guess about this, they mention it fairly routinely in their posts and interviews, and one of Turbine's developers told me explicitly back in 2007 or so that they were "big" on backing up opinions with data. I'm sure they're even "bigger" on that now than they were then.

    They judged the rework of the epic storyline a success based on how many more people actually participated in it once you could solo the portions which required groups. They were surprised by just how many people did the solo instances they shipped with Moria, and how often... they had to put more limits on them (even once an exploit was plugged) so people wouldn't overstress the servers. They got to see that solo skirmishes were run at least 6X as often as 3-mans, right from the very start. Etc.

    Does that mean they should do no group content? No, of course not. But when you have limited resources, you need to be smart about how you spend them. As Sapience put it, if some constituency in your game is 10% of your players, you don't spend 90% of your resources trying to please them. Nor do you spend 0%. (Note that this is over the long haul, not within the confines of one update or expansion... they cannot possibly give everyone something in every content drop).

    The problem with raids is that they're extremely expensive content to build, yet they're consumed by a modest percentage of players. See this post for a bit of the flavor of just how complex and expensive they are.

    Again, that doesn't mean they should stop doing any raids, ever. However, I think it's smart of them to focus on scalable content for Helm's Deep, because it supports most adventuring playstyles, because it will help people find groups more easily, and because it will encourage more players to buy the expansion. "Big Battles" won't be cheap content to produce either, but at least it will have much more reach than a typical raid does.

    Khafar
    Then, here, you describe exactly what is in my opinion the biggest problem with collecting player data and interpretation.

    When I played Lotro, I played it like this this:

    Monday - Played for 4 hours. Played some solo stuff, solo instances, twinking
    Tuesday - Played for 4 hours. Played solo and one or two 6 man instances, in a group
    Wednesday - Played for 1 hour, just logging in, checking the mail, took a look into the auction house
    Thursday - Played 4 hours. Played solo mostly, while watching TV or listening to music and chatting with the other guys of the kin
    Friday - Played 4 hours. Raid evening! Highlight of the week when it comes to Lotro. The day I was preparing all week for.
    Saturday - Party. No play.
    Sunday - Played 2 to 4 hours. Played solo and some small instances on sunday afternoon, but not the hard ones. Mostly 3 man stuff.

    So, when I would see my behavior in a statistic, naturally it would look like this:
    12 hours solo play
    2 hours small group (3 man instances)
    2 hours normal group (6 man instances)
    4 hours raid

    But, the 12 hours solo play were just preparation for the good stuff. The time I made some character progression, where I was crafting, twinking, doing virtuies and stuff, to make my character as ready as possible for the highlight of the week: raiding and group play in instances.

    So: If you remove the main event I was working for during my solo play sessions, you remove the reason why I did solo stuff at all!
    And yes, I played more solo then I was raiding. Because raiding is intense, needs preparation and you had raid locks in the past, that were lasting for a week. Still, again, group content was the main reason I was playing.
    But if you look at your data and see, obviously, that most people play most of the time solo, then be very careful what you interprete into that data. That's all I want to say here.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaxDetroit View Post

    So, when I would see my behavior in a statistic, naturally it would look like this:
    12 hours solo play
    2 hours small group (3 man instances)
    2 hours normal group (6 man instances)
    4 hours raid

    But, the 12 hours solo play were just preparation for the good stuff. The time I made some character progression, where I was crafting, twinking, doing virtuies and stuff, to make my character as ready as possible for the highlight of the week: raiding and group play in instances.

    So: If you remove the main event I was working for during my solo play sessions, you remove the reason why I did solo stuff at all!
    And yes, I played more solo then I was raiding. Because raiding is intense, needs preparation and you had raid locks in the past, that were lasting for a week. Still, again, group content was the main reason I was playing.
    But if you look at your data and see, obviously, that most people play most of the time solo, then be very careful what you interprete into that data. That's all I want to say here.
    But the key thing is that you spent 40% of your time grouped in either instances or raids. That makes you count heavily towards the raiding end of the spectrum.

    The big difference is between you and the person who played the whole 20 hours solo and never grouped, and did the same the week before, and the week before that, etc.

    Your play record is very different to the solo players, and Turbine will see that and understand where to count you in the statistics.
    TANSTAAFL

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by mjk47 View Post
    Your play record is very different to the solo players, and Turbine will see that and understand where to count you in the statistics.
    This is what I doubt.
    Most statistics are not that advanced that they create player-profiles and look at them individualy.
    Sadly, that is not the case. Trust me, if you have a bad analyst, this guy can ruin your game.

    Basically what they mostly do is a query like this:
    "How many people played Single Player Instances?"
    " How much time did they spend in Single-Player Instances?"

    And you got two values that are taking into account every player on every server.

    Then they do the same for raids:
    "How many people played Raid Instances?"
    " How much time did they spend in Raid Instances?"

    Well, I can tell you for sure how the result will look like.

    I don't want to say that the Lotro guys have made this mistakes. But sometimes I get the feeling they did.
    All I want to say is what I said before: Be very careful how you analyse your game and how you interprete your statistics. :-)

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    1,456
    Quote Originally Posted by mjk47 View Post
    But the key thing is that you spent 40% of your time grouped in either instances or raids. That makes you count heavily towards the raiding end of the spectrum.

    The big difference is between you and the person who played the whole 20 hours solo and never grouped, and did the same the week before, and the week before that, etc.

    Your play record is very different to the solo players, and Turbine will see that and understand where to count you in the statistics.
    I think the problem here is that a bean counter far away from the game may not realize that those 4 hours of raiding is what drives the other 20 hours of soloing. Remove those 4 hours and you loose another 20 in the bargain. I work the same way. When I cannot raid on a regular basis I tend to log on less often and my sessions in-game are shorter. There's a direct, almost 1:1 link between how much I raid and how much money I spend in the store.

    There is also another factor that bean counters probably don't think about and that's the "hive mind" of the game. How did I (we) manage to down Saruman T2C on-level? I (we) learned from others and figured out some for myself. How did I learn how to heal/DPS? I learned from those who were more experienced than me. How did they get more experienced? By running difficult group content.

    If we remove difficult group content from the game we'll see the early adopters move on. The early adopters are those who figure out how to make classes really work and they show/inspire other to get better. (There will still be some players who are driven to get better but they'll be far fewer) If no-one gets better we'll end up in a situation where people believe it should be possible to clear a "raid" using auto-attack only. (Don't believe me? Go do LFR/LFD in WoW...)

    Experience (about some things in the game) flow from those who are heavy into raiding/grouping down to those who dabble in grouping down to those who solo. Remove the source in that chain and the waterfall of knowledge dries up. A player who only plays solo is highly unlikely to be a good tank or a good healer simply because they're not exposed to that kind of game-play. How should that player become a good healer/tank? Well... By grouping with those who can teach or by reading how-tos written by those with experience. And there's always the down and dirty do-it-until-you-learn strategy but few people have thick enough skin for that. If they have they would already be grouping from level 20...

    No, I don't believe that all knowledge comes from raiders but I do believe that raiders and those heavy into group play are the ones that teach solo:ers how to play. It's like believing that the undergraduate education system will maintain it's competence even if we remove all higher education institutions. Sure, some will be self taught but not the masses.

    Maybe I'm arrogant in stating this but all my experience from both lotro and wow tells me it's 100% true. I've gotten to where I am because I've had experienced players around me who could teach me when I needed help.
    [I]A small cog in a big machine.
    [/I]
    Life has no "Undo" button, only "I'm sorry". Thinking before doing is a good thing.

 

 
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