It’s always interesting to talk about solo mmo players since the concept seems oxymoronic to some, while absolutely normal to others (I fall into the latter category). The oft-heard comment from the former group is “You should just play a single player game.”
Last night, I was playing Warhammer. I’d just jumped to a new (to me) tier and was loading up on quests, and I had a couple that took me out into the oRvR Lakes. Now I’ve pretty much accepted the fact that PvP isn’t my thing, but I went out there anyway. I got to the first quest objective and there were a bunch of friendlies there, capturing a Battlefield Objective. So I hung out to help defend and get some Influence after the 3 minute timer counted down, then I headed to my next quest objective…and noticed that everyone else was running that way too.
Turns out they were headed off to take out the next Battlefield Objective, so I joined in the fight, helped them kill the guards (Destruction opted not to defend), hung out and got the capture after 3 minutes. Then I ran with them to the Keep, which was already under attack, and soon after we arrived it, too, fell.
Not once did I talk to these people. I wasn’t Grouped with a capital G with them, but I was working with them on a common goal.
So here’s my question. Was I, or wasn’t I, soloing last night? In my mind, I was because I was doing my own thing, which happened to coincide with what some other people were doing, and I never had to make any kind of social commitment to them. But you could argue that I wasn’t soloing because I was working with others, in which case I can somewhat see the “go play a single player game” argument. If you think of soloers as people who determinedly ignore other players, I can get behind your argument (to a limited degree). To me, a soloer is someone who resists making a formal commitment in terms of Joining a Group for the purpose of some united goal (but who will happily work alongside others for a common cause if the circumstances arise).
That kind of circumstance happened a lot more often in the old pre-everything-instanced days…I wonder if we’ve lost something there?