Rants tag

Rants, ruminations, and rambling reports from the front lines* of the Massively Multiplayer Multiverse.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

QOTD: More on Socializing in GW2

You have, in arguments like this, a number of people who proclaim how incredibly social they are, how they love being social, how, to them, being social is the whole purpose of the game.

And then they go around and say that when they played Guild Wars 2 they didn’t talk to anyone, didn’t make any new friends, and considered all the other players around them as nothing more than NPCs. They go on to say how they’re pretty much only social when they’re forced to work together with others. . .

In Guild Wars 2 socializing is much more organic where in other games, to me, it often feels artificial.
~Ayane, commenting on Syp's "Playing Together Alone Together"

My own comment followed:

Just last night, my lovely bride and I were attempting to reach the Breached Wall Vista and Skill Point. There were several people who helped out a lot encouraging us, helpfully showing the way, and fighting together to get through the jumping puzzle; and yes, we used chat/say. Another player with a funny name fought alongside us in a dynamic event. I complimented him on his cleverness, and he thanked me. Not long after launch, my guild was doing the Weyandt's Revenge jumping puzzle in southern Lion's Arch. A random player spent almost hour illuminating the pitch black cavern so stragglers from our group could get through. These are just a few examples of highly social behavior, not forced by the developer, but encouraged through the removal of competition over resources.

Contrast that with my weekend experience in WoW, where I never saw another person talk, was constantly irritated by inconsiderate players taking resources or quest items as I fought right next to them, and forced to choose between old friends and new allies, by the DEVS.

17 comments:

  1. I agree that there are definitely more opportunities for casual social interaction/helping in GW2, but I just wonder how you further the interaction from that point. So I see some people and they were helpful, and I might be thinking, hey I wonder if that person isn't a big old jerk...what's my next move? Maybe I'm always looking for a different kind of social interaction than what other's expect in the game? Or maybe I'm just too picky.

    WoW became a mess to me socially. People were no longer friendly at all compared to how it used to be. I'll definitely take some casual help and chit chat while working together for a common goal to the painful every man for himself attitude that I think was prevalent in WoW. Still holding strong in having no desire to go back to that game. lol

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    1. My in-depth socializing has always been inside a guild, though I'll admit that I friended quite a few people in WoW, and that did lead to being invited to guilds on more than one occasion. That all predates LFD, which has turned most WoW players more into a group of selfish bastards than any other feature of the game. The only time people really pay attention to you as a person is if you are not performing to their standards in some way, and then they only insult. This has been my experience with strangers in WoW since LFD.

      The people arguing that GW2's open system is inferior to other "forced-grouping" systems have not been specific in saying where this magical socialization is actually taking place.

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  2. "encouraged through the removal of competition over resources."

    I think that's the heart of it. Cooperation happens naturally when you don't pit your players against each other in subtle, pernicious, pervasive ways. There's a place for PvP, certainly, but PvE should be cooperative, or so they keep telling me as being the point of these MMO things. If they are truly to be cooperative, the undercurrent of competition needs not to be an undertow.

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    1. You're right, it is subtle, pernicious, and pervasive, and it pits players against each other unnecessarily. BTW, I love PvP in GW2, partly because it is wholly separate from the PvE game.

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    2. I'm looking forward to trying out the GW2 PvP. I do enjoy it sometimes, as it has a different dynamic than PvE, even cooperative PvE. It's just... I'm a fan of the "arena" type of PvP, not the "that guy swiped my kill" type.

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    3. You'll like sPvP then, fairly quick bouts on various smallish maps. And the teams (same folks) are randomly reshuffled every time. So the guy who slaughters you over and over one round may be a teammate in the next round. Easy reminder that "it's nothing personal."

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    4. I get to level 80 3 weeks ago and sice I was trying to complete world exploration. For that I had to enter wvw maps and experiment pvp, something I was not anxious to try.

      Well, I can say wvw is being a good experience. I completed world map (for the last two vistas I had to wait my world try to conquer a fortress) and now I am going to wvw maps all nights, defending and attacking camps and towers. It is being a good experience and it is better when we have a commander in map that know how pvp works and it is organiziting the zerg attacks and the defense of towers.

      Yesterday, after some insistence of mine, some members of my guild finally entered the wvw map and we started to defend a camp, that we upgraded.

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    5. That's cool that you got guildies involved in WvW. I tried it briefly, then decided I needed to be higher level before I could seriously participate. A nice thing about sPvP: everyone is bumped up to max level. Excellent way to decide on builds you like, etc.

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  3. If you are seriour about complete world exploration, you need try wvw because that maps need be completed for world completion. My advice is look for a time when your server have map domination for enter wvw and go complete the POI, vistas and skill points.

    I used that world completion argument for lure my guild pals to wvw maps, then they started to like it. At this week my server (Tarnished Coast) is paired with a weak server and an oceanic server. At the end of day we are dominating pratically everything at all 4 maps and at night we lose almost everything to the oceanic server

    Well, Anet said that at love and at war night cap is a valid strategy and the wvw swing is being fun. But at the start of the night is a good time for try world completion, while we dominate almost everything and the australians are sleeping.

    I too noted we have some good commanders and our server started to make a rank of good comanders (comander A is a good one, comander B is a butthead, and so goes). Last sunday we had a very good comander at eternal battleground map, the guy was leading the zerg north to south and back north again, never stoping, taking and retaking everything at our path, making us stop at strategic moments for return where we raided some minutes ago for take the enemy zerg from behind at a surprise attack, I had 4 hours of non stop zerging fun...

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  4. My view on Socializing or being social in the various different games I've played might be different just reflecting on things. Of the ones I've played and still do TSW, EVE, GW2, WoW the most social of all those games to me is EVE and by a wide margin in my personal experience. The reason I can see why that is are community but more so because there are always questions of trying to do things needing some consensus of hood answers and cooperation doing logistics and Fleet ops if your doing that or working with someone on something which can be various. Outside of all that even chat in various ingame channel even outside of Corp chat is more social as people have real running conversation on issues in game or discussing what's happening or how it's affecting soothing in game. And I mean real conversation of substance for someone listening to understand the issue. For example Markets and movements of whatever.

    I contrast that to my experience in all the other games I've played. In WoW often at times way back it was allot of childish chat and Chuck Norris jokes, no real conversation of substance. Maybe in guild chat it was better there but still few people even cared to chat other than when in raid or instance or in process of doing something to get loot. These days in WoW I find no one chats at all and can play hours and not see a single comment popup in zone. Once in a while it happens.
    In TSW I've seen more people chat in zones, yet it seem often to figure out how to do a mission or find some clue to a mission. Guild chat maybe a but more when some people are on to have some form of communication. Yet I don't find people seem to really want to chat in game. Maybe because everyone on Vent. The more social part of game may just be in interaction of dynamic events.

    As for playing GW2 I find it only more a bit social than my experience in TSW by way of Dynamic Events quests. Outside of that to me it's mostly a solo game as I can't say I've had any real conversation with anyone while actually playing the game other than a hello.

    Now going back to EVE and my experience, there is quite a bit you can do solo. But I've had far more social interaction of substance with my Corp, CEO, Corp Members, assisting newbies in EVE Help Channel answering questions or providing feedback to a question with others in channel, being apart of various channel discussion or inquiry into a game issue or mechanic or just don't know how something works. That's allot of social interaction and none of that even included doing anything related to Corp/Fleet/Mission Ops.

    Maybe my view of social interaction of substance is just different but that's part of my view of it in the various games I play or currently play.

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    1. Much of your definition of social seems wrapped up in verbal forms of expression (chat or maybe vent) and "serious" discussion. EVE in particular, seems dangerous to solo, and therefore necessitates established groups you can trust. I hear lots of anecdotes about pretty severe antisocial behavior in EVE, as well: espionage, theft, betrayal, etc. Makes for an exciting game, I'm sure.

      Syp and I, et al., are thinking of social behavior as including non-verbal communication, informal groups, etc. plus things that encourage social behavior and discourage anti-social feelings (like resource/kill stealing, etc.)

      I spend much of my game time in Vent, plus I play with Sctrz the majority of the time, so my verbal socializing isn't necessarily ingame chat.

      And not that I mean to defend the inanities of Barrens Chat, but just because it is not substantial conversation, does that mean it not social?

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  5. On another note, playing MMO's for me is nothing to do with being social, for me it's just having fun existing in the game world and being apart of it as well finding my way in the game being a part of it. People being social just enhance that experience for me in how I interact with MMO games. But deciding whether a game is social has absolutely no bearing on if I play it or not or for how long.

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    1. Since beginning my romance with Sctrz, I tend to play what she wants to play, though often I initiate the suggestions, being somewhat more aware of what's coming down the pike. So right now it's a ton of GW2, and we're having a blast. I still like TSW, but find myself not playing much.

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    2. I have to agree on this, couldn't have said it better, but I still belive being social is a important part eventho we might not think about it so much. I think the social aspect of the game gives a kind of feeling that the world is open, big and just filled with people.

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  6. That vista was a challenge for me too, an a very social experience as well. Ppl didn't know how to do it, so the whole group of players were running to and back on the top of the wall. It was a memorable experience :)

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    1. Yes, and I just read about an awesome social event in WvWvW between Yak's Bend and Sanctum of Rall. Someone on YB had cheated, but other players magnanimously set things right, and SoR reciprocated.

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    2. http://www.reddit.com/r/Guildwars2/comments/118pkl/thank_you_yaks_bend_faith_in_the_gw2_community/ here's the link to the story.

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