It would be easy to dismiss Saga of Lucimia’s pervasive “group-based or go home” ideas as mere rhetoric, but the reality is, there exists a small segment of the veteran MMORPG population that genuinely believes an MMO is not an MMO if it doesn’t focus exclusively or near-exclusively on grouping, and there are going to be games that cater to those folks.
I wanted to bring up that recent tweet because it seems like an extremist, maybe even revisionist position to take for a game in our market, and I don’t just mean in 2018 when plenty of non-MMOs have called themselves MMOs and even more MMOs have shunned the term. I mean in terms of the historical games being used as a touchstone for these ideas. Yes, some early MMORPGs like EverQuest emphasized group content; while you could level up on some classes and in some cases alone, for the most part, you needed to group up to get things done, whether you were taking down a dragon or just trying to squeeze out a few more bubbles of level in the midgame.
But Ultima Online wasn’t like that. And Asheron’s Call wasn’t like that. And Anarchy Online wasn’t like that. Star Wars Galaxies sure wasn’t like that. Dark Age of Camelot, OK, RvR game, you’d better bring a lot of dudes and dudettes to your keep brawls or you’re going to get rolled. But for the most part, EverQuest and its group-or-die mentality was an anomaly among the formative MMORPGs of our genre. Even World of Warcraft, in copying so much from EQ seven years after the first MMORPG was born, dumped the idea of leveling up in a group, reserving that type of content only for dungeons and endgame. In most of these games, grouping is very much a thing, often a beneficial thing – anybody up for a 20-man krayt dragon hunt?! – but most of the time, you’re not going to be grouped. And they’re all still MMORPGs.
I’m curious about what our readers think about the relationship between grouping and MMOs. Let’s do it for Leaderboard.
Leaderboard: Must MMORPGs revolve around grouping to be MMORPGs?
- I don't think an MMORPG must offer any group content to be an MMORPG. (29%, 96 Votes)
- I think an MMORPG must offer at least some group content to be an MMORPG, but I don't think it needs to be a requirement for advancement. (26%, 87 Votes)
- I think an MMORPG must offer a fair amount of group content to be an MMORPG, and most people will probably group at some point to advance in the game. (24%, 81 Votes)
- I think an MMORPG must offer a significant amount of group content to be an MMORPG. Players should be heavily dependent on other people to advance. (13%, 44 Votes)
- I think an MMORPG has to offer almost entirely group content to be an MMORPG. Players should be able to complete very little in the game without a group. (3%, 11 Votes)
- Something else (tell us in the comments). (3%, 9 Votes)
- No response / just view tally / elf butts (2%, 7 Votes)
Total Voters: 335