How much fun is 'World of Warcraft' likely to provide a solo player.

I’m thinking of taking a dip into MMORPGs, something I’ve avoided for various reasons. But now that I’ve got a good Internet connection, some free time in the evenings and am at least willing to consider paying for a game again and again eac month, I’m looking to get an unbiased view on whether I’d like it.

First thing is I would pretty much do it solo. Maybe I may join temporarily with another freebooter if I can find one going in the same direction interested in having me along, but very rarely and only when I was feeling particuarly sociable. Certainly I’ll never make appointments to be anywhere at a certain time, and I will not join a guild.

So, treating it like a single-player game is there really a lot to do, with a good collection of difficult-yet-solvable enemies and acheiveable yet satisfying goals?

Is it feasible for my character to reach the pinnacle of his abilities only doing solo quests, and are there enough to do this without being too repetitive?

It’s entirely possible to level to 60 (the current level cap) solo with any character class. You’d miss out on the really GOOD loot (because you won’t be able to take on dungeons solo at an appropriate level to use the gear you get there), but you can get all the way to the end by yourself. And it is fun, grouping or solo.

I’m a bit of a solo player, haven’t joined a guild and only occassionally party with other people, mostly for doing dungeons. Like you, I thought I’d rather just play on my own (hence my choice of hunter class) but I have found it’s a more rewarding game when you group up with other people.

Having said that, other people are a pain in the arse and you can find yourself in some dreadful groups where people are rude to others or don’t follow the conventions of gaming together (such as rolling to see who gets to open a chest, using the ‘need or greed’ system to ensure that those who most need an item get first dibs on it).

I find mostly questing on my own, with the occassion party group to dungeons, to be a good compromise.

You can pick up 10 day free trials, why not give one a go? It will give you an idea of how playable it is solo. I did a lot of soloing at first, but often found that when I needed help completing a quest that there were other people milling around who were willing to join up, do what needed to be done and then ungroup, often without speaking a single word. Of course, my character was a priest which is not ideal for soloing and if you went for something in the “tank” line, you’d probably need less assistance. Also, grouping to finish quests is usually only something you’d need to do if you’re taking on quests that are a little tough for your level. They are colour coded, and if you had an aversion to grouping at all, ever, then you’d leave the Elite quests until they dropped from red/orange to yellow/green.

I think WoW can still be a satisfying game if you play it solo. Even so, you might find your attitude changing over time because I think you’ll find that group play isn’t as restrictive as you might think. It’s possible to mostly solo and just get into groups for the parts of gameplay that are difficult to do alone without finding yourself in the situation of being expected to “make appointments” or being obligated to be on for other people’s sake. Even being in a guild isn’t that big a commitment IMO. Easy to join, easy to leave, constant access to the advice and experience of others and in some cases a minimum of chit-chat. One of my characters belongs to a guild that hardly speaks at all - you’d often not realise you were even in a guild - but sometimes random members who I don’t even know give me semi-valuable armor and weapons because “you’ll need this soon”.

I essentially soloed up to 55 (and then mostly grouped after that.) Though this was mostly an issue of slow levelling more than a particular desire to solo.

I would say that the game is perfectly fine to solo, but that you probably want to do two things:

  1. Join a guild. This means that you can solo about and not worry about anything, but then still be able to chat if you suddenly feel the need, or meet up with something that requires some more people.

  2. Wander a lot. Some places have better stories than others as you progress through the quests; probably the designers split up quest creation by area among themselves, so some towns will be more fun, while others will be more grind. So finding a good town is good, and then just reading the quests details everywhere as you go about. Personally my favorite place was the raceway in Thousand Pines, though that isn’t until about level…25? 35? (And they have you run all over the world and back, so it might not be so popular with some.)

As the others have said you’ll be able to solo all the way to 60, but you’ll have to be prepared to drop a lot of quest lines; essentially anything that comes up as Elite, Dungeon or Raid will be virtually impossible to solo until you have such a high level that the experience point gain will be trivial.

But once you get to 60 you’ll have virtually nothing to do unless you join a guild and do some endgame dungeon raids. I too preferred to solo but ended up joining a guild sometime in the early 50s.

I’m very much a soloer. Leveling upin WoW is very solo-able. You won’t be able to get the best gear at any level, since for some reason the best gear can only be acquired with groups. Moreover, the larger the group the better the gear. (That is, 5-man groups can get decent gear, but 40-main raids get the best stuff.)

The game is fun to play even as a determined soloer, until you reach the level cap. Once you can’t level anymore, there’s not much to do as a soloer. You can continue doing quests, of course (which will give money instead of experience), but a large percentage of level 60 quests require a group. (Even quests not marked as “Raid” or “Dungeon” or even “Elite” can sometimes require a group.)

My suggestion is to use a 10-day free trial and see if you like it. If you do, play the game up to level 60. Then, create a new character (with a different class and race as the first one) and level that one to 60. Repeat until you get bored, then quit.

Each class is different enough that even if you do many of the same quests on a new character as you did on an old one, they feel somewhat different. A warrior isn’t going to kill something the way a mage is, for example. Plus, you can have a different combination of professions on a new character, making it even more unique.

Oh, you’ll also want to avoid most PvP. It sucks being killed in two or fewer hits.

Two things should be noted:

  1. Yes, things are easier with a group. You can get better gear if you do dungeons, which require a group. But you CAN solo to 60, which you really can’t do on pretty much any other MMORPG that I know of.

  2. Yes, PVP is a pain in the tuchus unless you’re one of the people who actually enjoys living on the edge. But PVP is very easily avoidable in WoW…you just don’t roll a character on a PVP server. There are four kinds of servers: PVE (player vs. environment…you only go PVP when you want to), PVP (player vs. player, in contested or enemy zones, you’re ALWAYS PVP), RP (role-play, same PVP rules as PVE servers) and RPPVP (role-play PVP). Just avoid PVP and RPPVP if you don’t want to play against other players.

I’ve never played WoW. Did play both versions of Everquest. Soloing to max level is doable in those games, but it’s going to be tough to obtain top end gear, which comes from raiding–ie large battles with 20+ players particpating in unison.

As an alternative, if you have any interest at all in Super Hero/Comic Book style gaming, you may wish to try City of Heroes and/or City of Villans. Both games are standalone, but can be combined on a single account. In my view, they offer the optimal soloing experience for a couple of reasons–there is no real “loot”, so your character can be just as powerful as any other for practical intents and purposes. There is a way to get special enhancements from a “raid”, but that only applies at the end game, and it isn’t a huge difference. Best of all, you can get endless missions (called quests in fantasy genre games) that take place in zones that are are created just for you upon entry. No camping rare mobs, no dealing with kill stealers or camp stealers, no ninja looting issues. You can log on with only an hour to play and immediately get involved in a short adventure, which will advance your character in a noticiable way.

Go GuildWars. No monthly fee. Better graphics. Nuff said.


Better graphics, worse animation.

But, for a solo player, I’d suggest that over WoW. The hench system allows for better soloability, even though all quests are meant to be done in groups. Missions I’d prefer human groups, simply because henchies are dumb, but all missions can be henched too I believe (I’ve heard it works better for some classes than others though) PvP is a group game, but it’s a lot better than PvP in WoW ever will be, and the ever-changing dynamics make it the main end-game activity. I’m rather fond of alliance battles myself (which you need the Factions expansion to access–can be played without the core game though). If you like console RPGs, I’d really suggest picking up GW, as IMO the story-line makes it play much more like a console game in some ways.

WoW…well, you can solo in it, but around mid-game it’ll become tough to level. level 30-40 are notorious for having few quests, and around that point dungeon quests will become a good idea to keep levelling at a decent pace without grinding. And after that it just gets worse for the solo player. And if you play Alliance, you will get ganked a lot by mobs, at least through Westfall and Redridge, which are probably the best quest areas for that side of the game. Those areas are full of murlocs, gnolls, humans and orcs, all of which are social creatures, meaning it’s hard to not pull a group of them at once. That’s not to say you can’t play solo, but by the end-game there really won’t be much to do besides farming or faction grinding.

Another vote for GuildWars… you can definitely go solo or group. The Factions expansion has some real interesting multi PvP, like asssaulting or defending Fort Aspenwood. I’m always amazed by how many unscripted “moments” can occur in that scenario that come about purely from random group dynamics. So, in a sense, it’s like a super rich solo experience even though others are involved.

Not to threadjack too much, but I can never find a trial, 10-day or otherwise, of this game. Any suggestions? I do kinda want to try it out.

I still have one that came with my collector’s edition box which has never been used. Wonder if it’s still any good?

At any rate, Blizzard recently added a new recruit-a-friend program where existing players can give their friends free trials, and then if the person buys the game, the player who referred them will get a month free. I’m sure there’s a number of players on the boards who would be willing to get a code for you :wink:

opens himself up for the invites! :smiley:

Just out of curiousity, why would you want to play a multiplayer online game solo? Not that I think the game should only be played with others in groups (it would suck if there was no way to do some soloing), but I think if you really don’t want to group up with others and avoid scheduling things - which I can understand, because people suck and schedules are a pain for a game - you’d be better off playing Neverwinter Nights, Morrowind or Oblivion, Knights of the Old Republic I or II, or any of the GTA games. All are RPGs or have elements thereof, all are solo games (though NWN can be played online), and none require a fee.

That said, as others have noted here, there are solo elements that can be quite fun in this game. However, I just don’t think there’s enough to justify paying monthly for it. This game is really designed around the end-game, I think, with things really opening up at level 55-60 (and the level cap is going to 70 with the expansion), so up to that point you’ll mainly be doing the same basic missions solo (kill x number of this creature, deliver this thing to that guy, etc), but after 55 there’s a lot more grouping to do the better end-game quests and then the raiding, which by nature requires scheduling and large numbers of people. And it’s pretty fun. If you really don’t want to group up with others, I think you’ll only enjoy about 30% of what this game has to offer. Personally, I wouldn’t pay rent only to have a home for 10 days each month. But that’s just me.

Why do I solo MMOGs, and pay a monthly fee for the privilege?

Because if I /want/ to play with someone else, then I have the option to.

I mostly solo my low level toons in both WoW and CoV. But I still join in on the general chat channels, and if something big comes up like an impromptu raid, or someone from the opposing faction waltzing into town, then I’ll head over and have a bash for a while. If I hit a dungeon that kicks my ass for whatever reason, then I can zip out, grab a few people who’ll help me, get what I need and then be on my way on my own again.

I’ve stopped playing WoW (not enough time in my day) but I have my 10-Day Guest Pass still unused. You don’t have your e-mail active on the forum but you can write to me at iofiel @t gmail dot. c0m and I’ll send it over to you.

The primary restrictions on a 10-Day pass are that you may not:
– Use the Auction House (the primary way to buy/sell things with other characters)
– Trade with other characters (You can talk, group, etc. however)
– Level past 20
– Raise a tradeskill past 100

Once you fully subscribe, of course, all the restrictions are lifted (and you keep your trial characters). I didn’t find the restrictions too bad and it is a good test for how well you like the solo game since you need to be pretty self-sufficent.