Grouping and Tales to be told
Monday evenings are my tabletop gaming evenings. Tonight half the group couldn’t make it. So the rest of us got to talking. Now all three of us play LOTRO, one is a kinmate. Therefore it wasn’t surprising that conversation turned to LOTRO and before long my captain friend was telling me all about when he and my champion friend were trying to duo this boss but my champ friend kept madly kiting not listening to a word he was being told about captain heals whilst my captain friend ran desperately trying to get a hit in; like something from the Keystone cops. It all ended in defeat but it made an excellent story, both of them giving it some.
At which point my champion friend remarked, ‘And that is what grouping and MMOs are all about. How many really memorable incidents do you remember when you’ve been solo, how many stories can you tell?’
And yes. Thinking back I can remember things that have happened during solo play that have been funny, that I could tell a story about, but, as I noted in my top LOTRO moments of 2009, the real biggies have all involved other people.
Now, I’m a passionate advocate of solo play. It enables people who don’t have much time to dip in and out and enjoy content. You can play at your own pace and do what you want, when you want, go where you want. Sometimes all I want to do is potter about on my own.
But, ultimately, I’m coming to the conclusion that solo play in LOTRO for me, most of the time, is dull. Oh, some of the solo instances are fun but then they were designed for solo play. But the majority of the main quests, if you haven’t the focus of levelling up or similar, on their own do not have the same impact or draw as quests in single-player games such as Fallout 3 which I’ve just started to play. And so, I’m asking myself, why bother soloing these quests in LOTRO when I could be doing more interesting quests in a single-player game.
And in fact I’ve ground to a halt on both my level 65 characters. They’re both nearing the end of Book 9 and have skirmishes to do. I could log on now and do them, and finish some quests. But I can’t get motivated. My guardian with his herbalist is not half the fun as my guardian and a kinmate/s. And I don’t really want to kill yet more orcs.
I want to create stories. Tales to tell with friends about friends. So, maybe I’ll stick a post on the kin forum, but without that, for the moment, it’ll wait.