This generation of gamers is very different from those that have gone before. Many people out there (quite a few of the dev team included) just don’t have the large blocks of uninterrupted time that we used to. We still want to be able to come online, have fun, be challenged, and be rewarded for our efforts. Soloists and those who prefer small groups should never have to feel like they’re the ones getting the proverbial table scraps, as it were.
In tomorrow’s update, expect significant solo and small group experience boosts across the board that allow for advancement that will be much more visible and feel much more satisfying.
In the following weeks’ updates, there will be a new class of creatures added to the game that present an increased challenge to soloers and small groups. Specific details will be posted in the message that accompanies the update. Soloing shouldn’t feel like a grind; it should be an exciting and fun style of play in its own right.
Also in those updates, brand new item rewards will be added for soloists and small-groupers. Additionally, some of the rewards that have been reserved solely for groups will also make their way, though more rarely, to the solo and small group encounters in the world. At the same time, expect group rewards to improve as well. The chances for some of the group-only ultra-rare drops will likewise be increased.
In the weeks following that, expect new dungeon instances to be made available for those who solo, duo, and trio. Exciting dungeon crawling is a core part of what people love the most about online fantasy games, and it shouldn’t be reserved solely for those who choose to play in full groups.
Essentially, the way it should work is like this:
Soloing and small grouping should be a way to advance at a satisfying rate. You should be able to earn good rewards that are exciting in their own right. Soloing and small grouping should also provide a chance at the great rewards that people might not expect in anything except the traditional six-person group.
This (depending on how it goes as I will be watching it) and the firesale price of the EQ2 game in stores may just be enough for me to try it. Well, not that likely.