Is Warhammer boring solo, and should anyone care?

Reading over the numerous blogs covering Warhammer Online, it seems the game has managed to pull some solo-minded players out of their old habits and shown them the light with grouping. People are going so far as to say running solo in WAR is boring compared to when they are in a group, which begs the question: is WAR boring solo, or just MORE fun in a group?

WoW is clearly more efficient, if not entirely more fun solo. Then you hit the level cap, the game does a 180, and poof, raiding or afk-pvp you go. But it’s a great game to play solo 1-70, with lots to see and experience. Now is WAR less fun than WoW solo, or is it just that we compare the fun of PQs, scenarios, and RvR to the solo nature of the quests in WAR? If someone is dead-set on playing solo, no matter what, is WAR a bad game for them?

And if we say ‘yes’ to the last question, does it matter? Should being a great solo game EVER matter in an MMO? It should always be an option of course, but does it need to be a focus? Blizzard expanded the MMO market into the millions by making it easy to solo, yet even WoW 1.0 was not the ‘solo or die’ world it is now. What if instead of making the solo experience easier and easier, Blizzard had instead used the last four years to enhance grouping, like WAR currently does. Where would the MMO space be today? Instead of the massive re-education happening on WAR servers right now, with solo players learning to play together, would all MMO gamers be far more receptive to the ‘multiplayer’ portion of an MMO? Would we demand better multiplayer gameplay instead of worrying if we can make it to the cap solo?

We will never know of course, because Blizzard followed the path they did, and continue to push the solo and e-sport aspects of WoW. And it’s too early to say whether WAR will change the mind frame of MMO gamers with its brilliant grouping tools and setting; it could be a huge wave going forward, but it could also be a small ripple in the solo-MMO pond.

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
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16 Responses to Is Warhammer boring solo, and should anyone care?

  1. Graktar says:

    I would have to say that WAR is fairly boring Solo. All the things that make it a great PvP and group game (such as long TTK) make it fairly tedious when solo. Certainly I’m disgruntled that my friends are all scattered in different starting zones and we haven’t met up yet, and the fact that few people seem to be using the Open group feature has me gnashing my teeth.

    Grouping is the way to go in WAR. It’s faster, it’s more efficient, it’s more fun. I would say that a pure solo player won’t enjoy WAR too much, and find it slow and boring.

  2. syncaine says:

    Yea the pace of combat is definitely in favor of PvP vs PvE, but I think WAR at least tries to make up for that with most kill quests requiring only 1-5 kills, rather than the standard 10-25.

    I’ve also noticed open groups are not yet used as often as they were in beta, but I think that will change once the WoW-minded players adjust. At least, I hope that happens.

  3. p@tsh@t says:

    /agree on the open groups. It will take a while for peeps to adjust. As an old Warhammer hand with nearly a week’s experience under my belt, I routinely run around flagged as open for grouping and/or immediately check when i’m in a PQ area for one already there and/or convert it to a warband.

    Still, it was amusing seeing a few NOOBS running around the PQs “can i get an invite”? when there were open groups ready to be joined. How quaint.

    But seriously, the great strength is that group collaboration is effortless even if you are “soloing”. If I’m plodding along doing my own business killing 30 foozles flagged as open, all I need to do is keep killing foozles. If someone joins me, great– no kill stealing. If not, oh well.

    That said, running around pure solo is not so much boring as “less fun” IMHO in WAR.

  4. JoBildo says:

    Yeah, I should be more clear. It’s not boring. In fact, I still take breathers from grouping by working on Tome unlocks and whatnot. But then I find my way into a PQ group that has often led to a questing group as well.

    It’s not boring… just easy to see thanks to great tools that it’s more fun in pairs and on up to masses.

  5. Syp says:

    I don’t think it’s any more or less boring to solo than WoW — of course, that’s a highly subjective opinion. Maybe you like to solo. Maybe grinding is a soothing way to pass a half hour when you have nothing better to do.

    People are naturally going to be attracted to parts of the game that are new to them and more prominent, and solo questing is not going to be high up on that list. But it’ll still be there, otherwise we’d end up with a Fury-like MMO that’s only PvP matches, or some other gutted form of a MMO.

  6. Hudson says:

    I cant say its boring, its just that its so much FUN with others that I get bummed when I DONT have a group.

    BUT I do have a lot of fun solo. I explore and haven’t even seen 2 of the other starter areas. I mean I did in beta, but its not the same as LIVE. And I know nothing about the Dwarf area.

    There is still a lot to do. NO doubt I will be busy for MONTHS. I can even do some PQ’s solo and work toward a goal other than just grinding (at least the early stages of a PQ not stage 3).

  7. Talyn says:

    If people are asking for invites, is the game not making it obvious enough that there’s a PQ staring them in the face? Guess I’ll find out for myself next week…

    And for this blogger, YES it matters if solo is boring. Just to clarify, I don’t necessarily think solo play is ever totally “fun” but it’s usually “entertaining enough” to keep me going until I find something fun or better yet, a fun group. However, I’m mostly available during weekday mornings when “normal people” are working, which has often left me with no choice other than to solo a lot. If WAR is just flat-out boring solo, which means I won’t have as much opportunities to group and chat with CoW because of my hours, then it will absolutely be a contributing factor on my opinion of the game and the duration of my stay there.

  8. syncaine says:

    Ah okay, just to clarify a bit, the solo aspects of WAR (imo of course) are not boring. Far from it actually, and Hudson listed some of the reasons. My point was more that the group stuff in WAR is SO fun, it makes the other aspects look worse by comparison.

    And the PQs are borderline obnoxious in letting you know you are in one, so that’s not an issue. I think it’s more about players wrapping their heads around how open groups work, and how WAR does not punish you for being in a group. WoW has taught people that if you want to grind out quests, your best bet is to be solo and alone in the zone, or everything will be slower and more annoying.

  9. “Should being a great solo game EVER matter in an MMO?”

    What portions of the game as it is now would you be willing to compromise on? Perhaps War would be better off with fewer races? Fewer classes? More bugs? Fewer zones? Less time spent balancing the classes? Worse graphics? Less variety in quests/scenarios?

    If you haven’t jumped on any of the above, you have your answer. The budget that makes all of those things possible is set based on the number of subscribers the developer can expect will pay to play the game. Aiming for the crowd that happily soloed in Diablo but were not willing to play MMORPG’s with mandatory grouping is what allowed Blizzard to spend the money they spent developing WoW. The numbers WoW brought in have helped the cases of future developers, including Mythic, that their games can bring in triple-A revenue and therefore should have triple-A budgets. You may not like all the time you have to spend on “re-education” of solo players, but you definitely like the game that’s paid for by those added subscription dollars.

  10. marty kay says:

    I’ve been playing on the oceanic servers, so my mileage (kilometreage?) may be different: open groups are great, but it is seldom that anyone chats. RvR instances – fantastic.. but hardly any talk at all. Its like an MMO for mimes.

    Running a rune priest through the dwarf-greenskin RvR, I got no thanks for any heals or buffs, and would be targeted and dead while tanks just stood there.

    However… early days I guess. A guild would be good (I was in a great guild in WoW {Annarchy on the Dark Iron server}: I would have stopped playing probably a year or more earlier than I did without the guild) but so far I guess everyones too busy racing through.

    Solo pve isn’t that bad, public quests are okay but much better if there is an open group going usually — the other day every time I joined an open group they would sign up for the instance again, while I wanted to do the PQ. I went through five open groups in a row.

  11. Jaded says:

    Warhammer is boring both in solo and group play. Its just another generic class/level/gear based game, or WoW 2.0.

    It only makes me want to play something like Chronicles of Spellborn or even Darkfall even more. I hate having everything being based on what class or level I am versus how good I am at the actual game. :(

  12. baron says:

    Playing Warhammer solo is like buying a sport car ,sitting on driver seat ,not starting engine and complaining about how boring driving that car is , even WoW was much boring playing solo ,if you want to obtain any precious loot or plan to run any dungeon you should find yourself a group.

    Now if your saying warhammer is boring on pvp (rvr) depertamant its either you didint played the game or simply lying about it ,keep assaults ,siege engines ,keep defence ,using oil couldrons and ballista against attackers , i never seen such fun pvp game play on any MMO s ,and i played probably all of them past 11 years except few asian ones and most surprsing thing for me is :i started playing the game 3 weeks after release and everything was working ,all trade skills ,all abilities ,siege pvp ,game engine ,i found two(2) bugged quests so far and i hit rank 30 last night ,thats just absolutly fucking amazing.

    My only complain is actually my mistake , i choosed a rather not so populated server i just didint want to wait queues and i was thinking server will be more populated when i hit 40, im 30 now and destruction outnumbers order 2 to 1 and many other server have same problem, people often choose destruction and it cause an imbalance now order have renown bonus on some less populated servers , we will see how this will affect in the end.

    Bottom point :if you like to pvp and you dont have time for heavy raiding or strict guild schedueles this game is heaven…

  13. anonymous says:

    The problem with group play in WAR:

    Even when grouped, the chat is basically, “rez please,” and “go to [keep] next.” Combat requires constant running around and button mashing, which makes chat impractical. With some classes you are actually doing something akin to circle strafing in combat! Hence people only type when they’re lying on the ground, dead, or after the battle is over.

    Even when not in combat, chat is difficult. One of the biggest problems with Warhammer, IMO, isn’t related to combat. The world is arbitrarily divided off by huge mountains and ravines everywhere. There is not a flat patch of ground larger than a football field in the entire world (aside from tier 1 Empire). When traveling between any two points, it’s very ANNOYING and impossible to kb chat at the same time because you are constantly steering. In a fun game world, you get to explore, not follow a maze. When you’re discovered a place of interest, you can take shortcuts to get there, not follow the same long, convoluted path over and over.

    Aside from combat and traveling to a battle, there’s not a whole lot going on in Warhammer (besides repetitive scenarios). So in Warhammer you can’t do much of interest solo. And you can’t chat while doing anything productive. So it is indeed a perfect world for mutes who want to work together. I suppose it would be a lot more fun with either Teamspeak of while playing with other people in the same room.

  14. anonymous says:

    I’ll also add that there is a guild hall where people could theoretically congregate. But the guild hall is SO far removed from the action it’s ridiculous. It’s clear across the capital city map on the other side from the flight trainer. It takes at least 15 minutes of boredom to get there from anywhere of interest.

  15. borehammer says:

    Warhammer is boring solo, there isn’t enough content, and unless AOC and WOW which has 80 levels you can traverse Warhammer to the end pretty quickly, making the game even more of a “what now???..guess I go raid, or find another game” situation. The PQs are TOA challenges for groups only on dry land, and the game is pretty much a bore fest unles your doing PVP/RVR.

  16. MMOsSuck says:

    MMORPGs are boring, regardless of how you play. Only those with retarded minds could possibly enjoy any form of MMO.

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