The Daily Grind: What’s the worst MMO for doing things as a group?

    
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This is fine.

I have nothing against Guild Wars 2 on a whole, but the group content in that game is a disconnected mess. Dungeons, when I stopped playing, were cluster of people running around and soloing while at the same time maintaining an air of “every man for himself” that makes the whole experience something less than pleasant. I’m sure that there must be more going on once you get into the raiding scene, because the alternative is too depressing to contemplate, but I’m certainly not motivated enough to find out.

But that’s just within my experience. I’ve never really grouped in Blade & Soul, so for all I know it could be better or worse. Heck, the original Guild Wars had its own issues with grouping up and doing stuff for everyone who wasn’t a healer. So today, we ask you: What’s the worst MMO for doing things as a group? Is it one of the examples listed above or something else? And what makes the game so bad for group activities?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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Veronica Maruzzo

All of the listed games. And Riders of Icarus: that game is seriously embarassing for everything, but group content is mostly dead/unbalanced, dungeons are so plain and stupid that “endgame” raid is a piece of cake. Add to this the fact that the game is dying and there’s noone left apart from the usual believers that farm the same instance 100 times a day because there’s nothing else to do.

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James Mock

Guild Wars 2 might as well be single-player game. Grouping is useless and you only need others for dungeons because you just need more DPS. Everyone is pretty much responsible for their own survival and it really is a shining example as to why the holy trinity has worked for so long. It is similar in Blade and Soul in that aspect, but there feels to be a little more synergy between classes than in GW2.

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Melissa McDonald

Star Trek Online, because you can’t travel or crew together on one ship. The Bridge is the core of the Star Trek experience (new VR app for that is amazing btw) Pirates of the Burning Sea in space, essentially.

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mysecretid

My fleetmates and I run the story-driven Special Task Forces, and they are epic fun a lot of the time.

Multiple starships defending the galaxy against staggering threats. If you’ve got a good group, it can be a lot more fun than being the “Helm set a course” guy, or the “Arm photon torpedoes” woman.

You like what you like, and I respect your right to that, but there is good, exciting, Star Trek-ish teaming to be had in STO if you can muster good group, I think.

Cheers,

Polyanna
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Polyanna

Early SWTOR for a year after launch at least, maybe longer, had an active group punishment mechanic that would nerf your XP gain into the ground while you were in a group for any open world content. This was even with groups where all members were within the designated level range of each other; you just got a fraction of the usual XP for everything you did, simply because you were grouped.

That feature also was aggravated by the fact that the game had a stupidly narrow range for the levels allowed in a group before it would zero out XP gain for everyone; it was quite possible on most planets for everyone in a group to be within the designated level range for the zone, but for the group to be “grey” for XP due to busting the level range gap. And it was nearly impossible to stay within the designated range if people got even a tiny bit separated, so leveling with friends or a partner was incredibly aggravating.

At the time it was one of the most group-hating games around. Even grouping for instances was a huge pain in the ass for about the first six months after release, because it took them that long to get a minimally functional group finder implemented.

The level sync mechanic and leveling overhaul seem to have fixed all that, however, and now it’s arguably one of the best games for small groups in the open world. Of course, now there is the issue that the solo game and even “two man heroic” missions are so trivially easy that it’s hardly worth grouping for anything. But that’s another issue. You can, at least, if you want, play with friends without being punished for it.

I think it still has an issue with most of the expansion content, however, where you can’t run through story line cutscenes together, so you have to split up to do them, which is annoying for people who like to duo for leveling. But up to level 50, it’s pretty good.

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Anstalt

I spend the majority of my MMO time in groups, usually with guildies but sometimes pugging. I can usually overcome any mechanical issues, like lack of group finder (I actually prefer no group finder), phasing / instancing etc as long as the group content is fun.

So, in that respect, SW:TOR has been my least favourite game for grouping, for the following reasons:

1) No interdependency – this is it’s worst crime. Apart from tanks grabbing aggro, and healers healing you, classes really didn’t interact with one another. You were essentially just 4/8/16 solo players who were playing near one another. You barely needed to coordinate actions. This made it really dull.

2) Gear / Power Gaps – I remember when we first hit lvl50 and started doing flashpoints. We were all still wearing fairly standard quest reward gear, but we just got annihilated. So, we each went off and spent a few hours gearing up, came back and the flashpoints were now trivial – we were using same tactics, rotations etc, we’d just upgraded gear. The whole game was like that – player skill was virtually worthless.

3) Bland Content – Group content is usually the most elaborate. Sure, you sacrifice beautiful landscapes in favour of more detailed dungeons, but the quality is usually great. SW:TOR’s group content always seemed really bland, lacking in the extra detail. A lot of it didn’t even include interesting mechanics for groups, just big HP sponges with some AoE damage.

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Ben Stone

Honestly any game that doesnt have a functional group finder in this day and age can just go die in a fire. Seeing LFG spam in chat is not community building, nor enjoyable when you have to do it to complete your group. Sadly too many fall in this category to list them all, the worst are the ones that do it deliberately to force chat spam.

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Oleg Chebeneev

TSW always felt like a singleplayer game to me with rare grouping to dungeons. Its why I always chuckle at those who say TSL will made TSW less MMORPGish.

In GW2 I grouped with others all the time to do public quests. So I dont know why this game mentioned so much

kjempff
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kjempff

GW2 had a refreshing idea of informal group mechanic where any number of players working together was a group. However they only took half the step, and left out an important part of being a group; cooperation and roles – Headless chicken combat was the result.

I really like the idea of informal groups, as the administration workload of traditional grouping is a real problem for a large portion of players. There are many different reasons (and situational arguments) for not wanting to deal with group management, so lets not go down the “me generation” path of argumentation.

I will just conclude that informal group mechanic can solve a problem… it just with GW2 it solved one thing but brought a worse one to the table – So as with many GW2 mechanics, the basic ideas are great (dynamic events for example) but the execution failed, so we just need some other mmo to pick up those ideas and implement it better.

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jay

All modern MMO’s are cancerous when it comes to grouping. For a few different reasons. From:

1. Phased content, where people in the group can be in different portions of the story line. IE seeing different things, on different portions of a quest etc. ESO is good for this.

2. MMO’s like GW2 that think that throwing a group of players together and letting them all do their own thing = group viable content. When to any true MMORPG player it’s more like herding cats or watching a bunch of chickens run around with their heads cut off.

3. MMO’s that gate content behind a level/gear/story wall. So that my friends and I are all on different portions of such wall, and can’t viably group together. TSW was a great example of this.

4. Loot motivational soloing – Some games make it much less rewarding to group for content rather than soloing because people are trying to get ultra rare drops, and don’t want to share with their group mates. BDO, EQ1 & 2 (present day) are both perfect examples of this.

This last point (4) is actually where gw2 AND ESO shine. Giving everyone their own loot tables, made it so that you didn’t feel obligated to solo to give a higher chance of loot. Unfortunately both games fall flat in many other areas.

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rafael12104

Grouping in BnS? If you aren’t into PvP, that is all there is at end game. And, the dungeons are great. The Raids? Well, you have to be uber geared so, it depends.