Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Loner

The solo player who likes to play MMOs. Damion Schubert's "The Loner" presentation explains the situation in all of its intricacies. Players who, for one reason or another, end up playing solo in massively multiplayer games.

This brings me back to my issue with CCP introducing the new join corp button as their solution to getting new players hooked. According to Damion Schubert, that could be the wrong move to make for a good percentage of the loners out there. I know I have addressed the "how to get more people playing Eve" issue before but I thought that this would add a little bit more weight to the argument.

I listed out the ten loner types that Damion mentions in his presentation. I think I'm somewhere between "the introvert" and "Commitment Phobic". Which loner are you? If any...

Loner 1 - "The new kid in town"

The new player is a tabula rasa.
No connections, no friends, no clue.
Friends that do come may quit.

Loner 2 - "The Daria" (Like from the show Daria)

In general, other people are a tragedy - but they are occasionally entertaining.

Loner 3 - "The Sociopath"

Doesn't understand what is appropriate social conventions
The real problem is when they also don't care.

Loner 4 - "Mr. Lunch At His Desk"

Playing on a very strict timetable.
Playing at unusual hours.
Playing on a non-gamer box.
May not have Voice Chat available
May want to group, but social friction makes this untenable.

Loner 5 - "The Introvert"

Reaching mass markets does not mean we're now reaching mostly extroverts.
According to Myers-Briggs, 50% of the population are introverts.
And we will always skew towards introverts.

Loner 6 - "The Adrift"

Some people are alone unwillingly.
In this case, being solo is a broken state.

Loner 7 - "The Unworthy"

Want to be part of 'the club', but aren't sure they have the chops.
Sometimes they don't.

Loner 8 - "The Vacationer"

"I need some 'me' time."
This player wants to escape his in-game obligations.

Loner 9 - "The Commitment Phobic"

Leery of long-term time commitments or scheduled events
Possible real-life distractions
Concern about falling with a groups of incompetents or bad leadership
Deep dislike of drama
May have had a bad experience

Loner 10 - "The Garbo"

"I just want to be alone."
Some people just like the level (or whatever) game.


  1. rak...interesting thoughts...TBH I don't think EvE is an effective loner game. Too many mechanics work against a solo player for any 'fun playtime' to be had IMO.

  2. I definitely fall into the "Commitment Phobic" category. I'd love to join a corp, but my problem always comes back to my inability to pay enough attention to what's going on. I care a little bit, but not quite enough, you know? Just enough to join up and start reading the forums, but not enough to post or keep reading after a couple weeks.

    All in all, some interesting ideas.


  3. I think I fall in category number 8.

  4. I don't play eve, but I have spent (and as of last night) a good amount of time in WoW, and for the most part I'm the Loner. While I generally enjoying grouping for raids, most of the time I don't want to be bothered keeping up with someone, or having someone keep up with me. Especially at lower levels, I like to stick it out in the wilds myself 90% of the time, save for when I need a run through somewhere.