Forced Solo Content

Mines of Moria™ has a surprisingly large amount of forced solo content. By that, I do not mean that you can solo it, or that it is too bothersome to find a group. The content is in an instance that you cannot enter in a fellowship. There are the six daily IXP instances, several chapters of the epic books, and steps in quest chains. Book Seven added six crafting instances, which are again forced solo. The three-man instances are forced small group content.

This is an odd way to train your players. I understand worries about people taking the easiest path, which is bringing too many people, but we already have hundreds of quests that people prefer to solo, with little evidence that they will bring six people to kill those eighteen orcs even faster. Do you want to train your players to spend multiple hours per day alone in instances? For non-hardcore players, that is their entire play session. It leads to the unfortunate effects seen with the opening of Book Seven: the outer areas of Lothlorien completely empty of orcs, as people solo them for the faction quests rather than grouping to share and speed things. You know that people around you are on the same quests, but we have been trained not to bother finding a group if it is possible to solo.

So far in Volume Two, there are three chapters that demand fellowships: 2.4.7, 2.5.5, and 2.6.8. I do not even want to count how many solo instances there are; I would guess at least fifteen. You can experience almost everything in Moria solo except the six radiance instances, and you need to visit those only if you plan to join the twelve-man raid. We do not need to force people to be alone even more.

: Zubon

8 thoughts on “Forced Solo Content”

  1. lol

    Uh, bullshit. I have 36 quests in my log right now, ALL of them are fellowship quests. And not small fellowship ones, either. I actually had one level 55 “solo” quest, and it sent you into huge swarms of 58’s.

    Yeah, there might be 15 solo instances… but there’s over four hundred quests in those mines. It’s why I quit the first time around. You can’t do anything in Moria without a group. And the first part of Loth is all small fellowship quests.

    I run with my kin everywhere now. From 51-59, I think we broke up three times to do solo instances. And those are easy enough, but you can’t step a foot in Moria without triggering three adds. And, seriously, one of my solo quests early on expected me to fight three mobs at a time (one was a signature). They wouldn’t move or spread out, just stood huddled together in a corner, waitin’ to kill me. And a lot of them are like that.

    There is content that can be solo’d, but it’s an extreme minority. Especially when you need to run 50 or so quests each level.

  2. That’s what bothered me about the chapters in evendim, not only were there several solo ones, they were in between travel across the water, and also in between difficult group quests. that’s what makes it weird.

    Bissrok I think you are missing the point: it’s not that there is too much or too little solo content, it’s that there is mandatory solo content in between mandatory group content. It’s mandatory either way instead of being open.

    It’s basically learning the wrong lesson. Instead of making the quests be able to be done either way, they decide yet again to force us to do it a certain way, where neither way is good for different subsets of the population.

    Since it’s all instanced it should not be hard to add extra mobs depending on how many go in ala CoH.

  3. It is kinda funky, as you point out, that the solo-ness of some of the new content is indeed forced. However, it should be noted that Book 7 is officially intended as a 2nd “on ramp” into the Vol2 epic story so that folks caught up on the group quests of books 4, 5, and 6 can proceed in the meantime. Plus the region of Lorien just plain is a relatively safe haven in lore terms. A new raid is coming with book 8. The pendulum is still swinging.

  4. Bissrok, are you trying to solo while traited for group content? Are most of those 36 quests the huge mass of quests in the six radiance instances? Because I soloed most of the way from 50 to 60 with no problems. Those outer Lothlorien quests marked small fellowship? Easy solo content. Not forced, but easy. Fights smaller than two normal enemies and a sig at the same time is pretty trivial to solo. See also: Yunk.

  5. Turbine seems to follow the standard formula that any sort of ‘epic’ quest line should start off solo then build up to groups and in some cases back to solo, like they’re trying to build a sort of cascading crescendo.

    I get the idea, game-design wise, it’s supposed to be pacing and greater effort for greater rewards, but now that I’ve done a few Book quests I feel like I’m listening a bit to the same song on repeat, or a bit like a sitcom where every episode follows the same basic pattern.

    Forcing me to solo, then form a group, then split it up again, all for the sake of flow– well it doesn’t actually flow with what I’d like to be doing.

    I’d rather they leave the pacing a bit more up to the player and give us options instead. It’d be great if each Book quest I could choose a solo path, a small group path or a full group path. As you’ve pointed out in another post, the story sort of runs itself through anyway.

  6. I’m actually quite happy with it, as it was the reason I quit LoTRO the first time – everything was group only.

    Moria is largely a solo area. With the exception of the instances and the escort quest with that dwarf in Flaming Deeps, I soloed 98% of it on both my dps and healing characters. Sometimes I grouped up with people because we were killing the same 10 rats and fighting for them is stupid, but largely solo.

    Volume 2 is a completely different style than Volume 1, as you’ve already pointed out. Volume 2 has you doing a lot of the background work; that activity that goes on while the main characters are working. You’re off doing the detail work while they’re just holding out for the summary report you’ll be giving them.

    I guess this raises the “soloing in a group game” flag, but besides the 6 big instances, why FORCE people to group? I’ve always been against that. I don’t feel heroic when I can only succeed with someone throwing green or blue sparkles at me. Does a superhero wait for Bandaid Man before trying to save the world? No, but if the task is difficult, they might group up – otherwise, they go solo.

    It’s fun to be a hero sometimes.

  7. Then again, are we “heroes” if no one is around to see it? :)

    I don’t mind some of the solo-only content such as the various daily quests for reputation (including the new Book 7 ones) because… they’re just dailies. There were a handful of solo-only quests in the SoA game — one in Forchel comes to mind — that didn’t entirely make sense that it was solo. And why couldn’t it be a solo instance while allowing me to remain in my fellowship? The whole forced disband then reinvite thing… shouldn’t we be beyond that by now?

    On a different note, does anyone else despise soloing in Moria? I don’t mind it so much in the world but down in the mines I have an intense dislike for being solo.

  8. I’m primarily a solo player though I occasionally group. The main reason I quit LOTRO (and WoW for that matter) is that anything compelling and worth doing (an dnot necessarily for the rewards) requires a group while most of the soloable stuff seems designed around very mundane grinds, kill 10 x, etc. For once, I’d like to see an MMO with content that’s unique and interesting for all playstyles.

Comments are closed.