The Daily Grind: What do you do to be social in an MMO?

    
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We're not friends, right? Good.

People have been saying to me for years that MMO are less social these days. I’ve never really understood why; I’m still as social as I ever was. But I think that’s part of the equation right there. What you get out of a game is in some ways representative of what you put into it, and it’s definitely possible to wind up with an environment where you see no one shouting for groups and the social interaction has thus ended for you.

But today, I want to take a different tack. What do you do to be social in an MMO? Not what do you look at to see if people are being social, but actions do you personally take? Do you talk in general chat channels? Talk in groups? Try to make new friends? Wave to people? Help people in the open world? What efforts do you take to make sure that your online games are social instead of being separated singular experiences?

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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Zero_1_Zerum

Closest thing to being social I do is random dungeons, or joining a group for doing dungeons from my guild. Please note, I don’t even do guild chat unless someone is asking for a dungeons group. Lol

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T

I don’t. I’m as anti-social a person as they come. I play solo, I HAPPILY play solo, and if the game requires grouping… I see my way to another game.

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Pål Einar Jensen

I am mostly social within the guild.
We are very talkative on Discord when clearing content in large or small groups.
We do events together.
Scarab Lord event was amazing fun to do together as a group. Getting Thunderfury, getting Atiesh, helping out with attunements and other group activities.

Its great fun.

I always try to be polite when playing with people from outside the guild as well.

I find the slower pace of WoW classic and TBC Classic gives more room for the social aspect of the game.

Damon Anderson
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Damon Anderson

There was a time (late 90’s) when despite my being an introvert (INFP to be precise) I found it easy to be social in mmo’s when I chose to. I will skip all explanations of the past that has been my subjective experience, what I know, and answer this question for what is now, I don’t socialize in game, but if I am spoken to I am respectful and friendly and regardless of whatever, I will continue to be. In my current MMO of choice I have had almost no social interaction with anyone at all, I don’t speak in general chat at all (I asked one question, got a quick polite response) I have the chat window not visible but out of curiosity take a look once in awhile but that’s it. Also I don’t like VC and these days it’s obviously a more prefered way to communicate, but I really don’t feel comfortable with it. That is how I am with other things online also, I have social media, make posts from time to time (2 followers on Twitter, none on Facebook) but do not believe that what I post is really seen by anyone, kind of, but look at it a bit like blogging, but I do not DM anyone, ever. It would be great to find a guild in the future that would be a good fit for me (not using VC) with fun people, and in games with dungeon match making I really enjoy doing group content, although not at all the greatest gamer, I am a nice guy, you never really know who is on the other side of the screen is how I look at it…known of and known, not the same. Perhaps going to deep, I believe the word is simulacra…

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Brazen Bondar

I will always greet people in guild chat and if people are chatting there I’ll join in. Most of the guild is in Discord though so that reduces guild chat opportunities. If I can be online when social events happen I usually try to participate in those. That’s more likely to happen around the holidays.

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Eric Gray Jr.

It’s a bit harder to be social in an MMO where the majority don’t speak your usual language (JPN PSO2NGS, ain’t going back to Global to start fresh) but, I do what I normally did in base PSO2 with the majority of Japanese players.

NOT spam symbol arts while fighting
Use appropriate emotes (bows, salutes, positive renforced ones)
Compliment styles some players wear via the Fashion catalog (CASTs mainly. There are too many fleshies)
Play the damn game and not lobby-rat (Thank god, it’s not seen as often in NGS)

and now, when in the city area and getting a few things organized; use Stamps to communicate.

Had an adorable mini Stamp train going with the Japanese players after a great raid (EQ) run together. They knew I was American but they saw me fight as a Techer/Ranger to keep them all topped/buffed up and boss nearly always debuffed and it was precious after I started it see the reactions.

That and stamps; thankfully, can’t be edited like symbol arts can, to be lewd or offensive to players.

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Rndomuser

What do you do to be social in an MMO?

Everything. Including random interactions with random players, like emoting to someone who is not on my friends list or in my guild, even if I don’t want to use that person as a disposable tool for running some dungeon, same goes for talking in chat. Or just listening to some random player playing music instruments in LOTRO or FFXIV. Or going to RP events in those games when people advertise those in global chat. Or just randomly chatting with people about some silly stuff in those games, including games like EVE Online when I still used to play it. Or help people to do something in game, even if I won’t get any rewards from that – I have done this even as a Horde player on WoW Classic PvP servers by helping other Alliance players to do something, especially lowbie players who couldn’t even damage me, and I have also done this in EVE.

That’s the primary reason I play MMORPGs – I enjoy randomly socializing with people, or just seeing a lot of them around me in various zones, without caring about “getting a piece of gear” or “winning” any ranks or levels or achievements and without being forced to group up with them to use them as a disposable tool for getting some item. That, or large scale open world PvP if such game has it, which is a nice bonus but not a requirement for my enjoyment of MMORPG. If I cared about grinding dumb AI monsters for some XP or some gear – I’d just play something like Path of Exile instead. And if I cared about PvP ranks – I’d just play something like CS:GO instead of doing this in instanced arenas and battlegrounds in MMORPGs.

Turing fail
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Turing fail

I took a shot of whiskey for every instance of “random” or it’s variations in your post and now I am going to bed.

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PrometheusDark

Exactly this. I like to just meander, play the game at my leisure, and interact with people around me. If I find some gear I can’t use and I find a player who can use it before I find a vender than I just give it to them. If I’m riding down a path going the same way as another player I jump a few times, wave, and shoot the shit. If a someone is playing music, then I hang around and listen. If we get a crowd going start cheering them on.

It’s little stuff, but it makes the world feel more alive.

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Bruno Brito

Nothing much except joining guilds. I was never very social, both in RL and in-game, and i still don’t find the drive nor the inclination to be.

Here’s something i’ve learned from all the interactions i had while i took the bus from my house to my classes ( people insisted in talking and interacting with me because i usually drew on the bus and they wanted to compliment it, which i took as respectfully as i could, but they would always segway into criticizing something about the tone of the work or my posture, which wasn’t asked for, and would neglect that i had earphones and clearly wasn’t open to conversation. ):

Human interaction is overrated. Most of them are pretty mundane and are there as fluff. Very little of them are time well-spent, and a lot of them have the potential to be terrible. I don’t have the interest into being launched in a world with a billion randos and being FORCED interacting with people that could be terrible human beings IRL just because the games are designed in such an obsolete way that i have to go through the sisyphean task of tolerating bad contact just to accomplish arbitrary checkmarks for the appeasement of third-parties that designed the system. I had enough of that in college when i had to do group work with lazy idiots.

I want the OPTION of socialization, and that games cater to my playstyle as much as they cater to other playstyles, unless it’s not a core-feature of the game. I don’t go into Shadowbane forums complaining it’s not a solo-friendly game. But i don’t want Shadowbane-like design to infiltrate the slice of the games that pretty much makes their dough out of casuals. Casuals are the titanic majority in WoW and they’re still second-rate citizens compared to raiders. I can live without that, thank you very much.

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Rndomuser

I want the OPTION of socialization

That’s a crazy talk here. According to some people, MMORPGs are meant to be played only one right way, that means forcing you to group up with other players, and anyone who doesn’t like being forced to be grouped up should not be allowed to enjoy MMORPGs ;-)

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Bruno Brito

We have right now the biggest MMO funneling all resources into forcing players towards grouped activities to be relevant and…well, Blizzard lost 30% of it’s players so you tell me how that went.

Options is always good.

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Hurbster

Guild chat and maybe a daily random if I’m feeling it.

EmberStar
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EmberStar

In the very rare cases where I actually want to *be* social? Normally just type something in chat. (Assuming I have chat turned on, and that I’m in a team where anyone else will see it.) Sometimes, possibly even most of the time, nothing happens. No one cares, no one responds. But sometimes it’s just that no one had any reason to say anything (or didn’t want to be the first.)