The Daily Grind: How do you meet new people in MMOs?

    
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My pay goes up every time I use this picture, because my editor loves it.

A recent post on the MMORPG subreddit fretted over the difficulty of meeting people in MMOs. While the OP pinned the struggle on MMOs that “value solo play more than multiplayer,” I’d submit that it’s more that online denizens value people they know more than people they don’t. Even people playing solo are usually guilded and happily chatting with friends.

So how do people make friends when they don’t come into MMOs with a friend network already? My gut response to this is always join a guild that’s recruiting and start grouping. It’s a big step up from PUGs, as the people in even a random starter guild are also usually looking for friends, looking for groups with non-jerks, looking to build a trust network, and looking to chat more than your typical random group. It might take months to find a few people you really jibe with, yes. But then again, that’s true in real life too.

How do you meet new people in MMOs? Do you have a specific strategy that you use to good effect?

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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Toy Clown

If I think I’m going to stick around an MMO for a bit I’ll look for a sub-community to join, such as a forum or discord meant to bring people together with similar playstyles. For example, in BDO I enjoy lifeskilling and ocean content, so I join discords and in-game chats aimed at players that enjoy that. If I’m looking for roleplay, I’ll do a google or forum search for a RP community for the game I want to play and join up with them.

I’ve also been known to approach a group I find in-game and ask in whispers if I can join them, such as for walking up to other roleplayers.

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Godnaz

I have played with the same friend for the past seven years. I usually suggest the game, sometimes buy them a copy so they can play with me but we also don’t mind meeting new people and I usually initiate those accords.

The difficult part of online socializing is personality conflict and gaming goals. Meeting a person who has similar understandings is like striking gold. The best thing I learned is patience and finding common ground with an unknown person. Can you bend and assist them with their game goals? Will they be thankful and assist you back with your goals? Do they have habits and tendencies you don’t agree with? These seem to be the biggest blockers to overcome.

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texyFX

loot drama, guild intrigues and toxicity always r great opportunities for any social competence to cleanse the infidels. or purge, as sometimes a sample of their own poison may have a therapeutical effect.

but besides the side-effects of performance society MMO, the LFG(-browser) trend of the last decade was an integral element of casualisation, as majority neither has the time to commit to organised schedules (like raiding) nor the energy to build a “trust-network”, aka longterm relations.

but still the majority of (MMO) endgame requires a group to suceed, or at least favors groups over solo-players. so this reddit argument is a nonsensical and more personal issue. although there r other, systemic factors to consider (like ilvl, ranking etc), but to meet new people online isnt more complicated than RL.

it should be easier to meet people online, as some factors of selection r disabled online, factors like appearance, budget and self-esteem that determine any (offline) interaction.
but then, those factors still influence any individuals online behavior. not simply due to offline experiences, but those factors r expressions of incorporated capital, that determines taste and with that, also the preferred social environment.

solitude is a systemic issue of a not inclusive environment, a side-effect of a hierarchy based performance society, that produces social poverty (aka loneliness) as a negative stressor, aka fear, with the intention to extend everyones engagement.

EmberStar
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EmberStar

“How do you meet new people in MMO’s”? Personally… I don’t. Outside of one very specific example, I don’t normally team in online games anymore. I disable zone chat (a.k.a. the Meme Plagueyard) as part of character creation. Once upon a time I might keep some specific zone chats open to answer questions from genuinely new players… getting shouted down, insults and /tell stalked until I had to report several people for abusive behavior and /ignore their entire guild put a stop to that. (Their issue? That I wasn’t just spamming “git gud” or “google it, loser” like everyone else. They were offended that I was “clogging up chat” by making an actual attempt to answer the questions.)

At this point, I play online games *despite* the fact that they are online. Not because of it. And given the choice (Ark, Conan Exiles, Valheim) I’ll play them in the singleplayer, offline mode whenever possible. When it’s not possible (Final Fantasy 14) I’ll avoid the entire game, even when I’m otherwise interested in the setting and character options. (I’d love to have a game with customizable characters from some of the Final Fantasy demi-human races. But not enough to deal with mandatory teaming or the 100% bullpoop that is the FF14 “housing” system.)

*Edit* Speaking only for myself, I hate guilds. I’m in exactly three, across all the games I play. All three are “solo” guilds. Not for vanity, because I don’t care. One exists because that game has “clan only” research for weapons and character classes, and I got sick of having to beg for an invite to copy the blueprints every couple of updates. The other two exist for the sole purpose of permanently blocking blind guild invites.

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Godnaz

This article is about how you meet new people, not how you avoid them. You sound legitimately traumatized and forfend about getting to know another breathing soul. Sorry to hear your experiences have been less than stellar. Don’t get me wrong, solo online gaming is not a minority trend but having a friend makes the online experience much more productive and enjoyable.

EmberStar
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EmberStar

“This article is about how you meet new people, not how you avoid them.”

No, this “article” is a Daily Grind that asks a question (right there in the title) and invites readers to answer it as a form of audience engagement. Because reasons, I chose to answer that question.

*Edit* Because reasons that no one cares about, in my case the answer is an extended “I do not.” I do not try to make friends online, I do not join guilds, and I do not set out to build a “trust network.”

So, this article exists to ask a question. You don’t like my answer. Too bad. You don’t get to tell me I’m not allowed to answer it.

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NeoWolf

“How do you meet new people in MMO’s”? okay..little bit of an odd question. I mean how does anyone meet anyone, anywhere? By engaging with them, interacting with them, introducing them to other people etc..etc..

The rules in MMOland are not really any different than anywhere else in life…you simply have to be in it, to win it lol I don’t really think MMO’s are so different a landscape that there are different rules for interacting with people, it still just people at the end of the day.

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Jon Wax

i don’t trust people any more. if i didn’t know you before 2016, odds are, we won’t be getting to know each other.

God, i hate this planet.

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Anstalt

Generally, form or join a PUG and then try talking to the other players. If I find nice, talkative players who I get along with, they get added to the friends list and I’ll try to group up again in the future.

Totally depends on the game as to how successful this strategy is.

In a game like LotRO, this was extremely successful. The focus on depth in the gameplay meant you had to talk to the others to be successful, couldn’t just blast through the content, so it meant a much higher level of engagement with other players and thus more friends. Combine this with lots of group content and an overall nice community, this was very good for meeting other people.

In a game like SWTOR, this was extremely unsuccessful. The game was so shallow that tactics werent a thing, just blast through the content as quickly as possible then leave. Rarely would anyone speak….because you just didn’t need to! Combined with a lack of group content, heavily instanced worlds and vast vertical progression, this all meant it was really hard to make new friends.

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Dug From The Earth

My experience is that random guilds arent any better than PUGs.

Most guilds that random invite do so to simply fill their numbers. You end up with a guild of people thats really no different than if you were to just hang out in general town chat.

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jealouspirate

I PuG content and talk to people. When groups go really well and we get along I add them to my friends list. We play together again. Yes, this still happens in modern MMOs if you make the effort.

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Schlag Sweetleaf

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candyvan lotro.jpg
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NeoWolf

I don’t know, I feel someone trying to meet people in a shady looking van with free candy written on the side..may just MAY, be misunderstood be it in MMO’s or life lol