BioWare: MMO group play is “hardcore”

Monday, 7th March 2011 23:25 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Damion Schubert, lead systems designer on Star Wars: The Old Republic, has commented that the lifeblood of MMO’s – multiplayer gaming – is inherently “hardcore”, and discussed the challenge of getting solo players involved in these vital features.

“One of the things we have to acknowledge as MMO designers is that our magic — our secret sauce, this stuff, the raids — this is hardcore stuff,” Schubert said, speaking at a presentation at GDC, as reported by Massively.

“This is hardcore gameplay. Even a basic raid is incredibly hard for players to grasp and get comfortable with.

“This is hardcore gameplay,” he reiterated, “And we have to figure out how to get the solo player in a position where they want to take part in this, where they feel comfortable with the social circles, where they feel like they can be contributors.”

Schubert went on to categorise and detail ten different reasons MMO players might chose to go it alone, many of which have their roots in the strictures of game design. The designer also commented that loners aren’t necessarily anti-social.

“People don’t imagine being a serial killer, but they certainly imagine being Batman,” he pointed out.

“If you really think about it, being a loner is an inherently social thing. You can’t be a loner in a single-player game because you’re not setting yourself apart from somebody,”



  1. Bloodyghost

    Not really. I have seen mid class parents paying for there sons for WoW. I remember stopping at my OLD school having groups of kids playing out there day after school to play WoW.

    #1 4 years ago
  2. DSB

    Fair ammount of psychoanalytical horseshit in that lecture :P

    I agree with the overall idea of the solo MMO gamer as a narcicistic hero. Pretty much every “serious” MMO player I’ve known has had that in them, and probably the most skilled among them more than anyone.

    Even if you’re in a group, you want to stand out, but really, the most rewarding thing in an MMO is doing something that’s hard and being able to take it all on you. Taking a difficult boss or elite, and just succeeding in soloing them.

    I think it’s a shame that pretty much none of the MMO’s have tried to explore that, because it’s just as fun to do something hard and succeed on your own as it is to do it with friends.

    Singleplayer in most MMO’s is so easy it’s really quite stupid, and only the endgame offers a bit of challenge. Why?

    #2 4 years ago
  3. Shonak

    @DSB: I, as a constant drunken, dreaming misanthrope, who still hangs out way too much with people instead of doing the stuff he wants (writing, gaming, that’s basically it) have to compeletely agree with you. I am the hero, I want to special in a game and I don’t give a fuck about others. Then again, I’m pretty sure I missed the point of your comment, sorry for that. :D

    #3 4 years ago
  4. DSB

    Nope, that was pretty much part of it :P

    Why wouldn’t MMOs accomodate misanthropes? I say let them eat cake.

    #4 4 years ago
  5. StolenGlory

    “People don’t imagine being a serial killer,”

    Speak for youself mate.


    #5 4 years ago

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