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May 2nd, 2013, 18:23
I think there are a lot of reasons beyond grouping on why someone might play an MMO. An MMO has more to offer than just social grouping. Having played MMO's since EQ1 I have gone in and out. I think I grouped in WoW about 15% of the time and only did 3 raids total in 6 years. Most of the content I did solo or the real quick "fly-by-group" just to finish a boss on a quest. I didn't do most of the dungeons or instances (not counting returning at a high level to solo a low level one just to see the story).

For me the MMO appeal are things like - dynamic game with regular patches/updates and new additions (at least if game does well); the fact that it feels more alive as there are real people in it; chatting with people in a social guild; the occasional random group with someone sharing a quest that I might bump into; exploration and role playing; and the more intense feeling of playing a game with no save button :-)

Grouping and raiding come at the bottom of the list for me in an MMO.

EDIT: I will say that my guild in EQ1 grouped a lot and I loved it as we were all online friends with similar play styles. I grouped a lot more back then. I am an introvert and have a hard time with strangers (online or off). I find that connection extremely hard to find now a days. WoW had the last good guild I was in. I spent half my game time just chatting with folks in the guild and doing social events … at least until raiding took over and destroyed most of the social aspect.

I do like RIFT and GW2 and how you can contribute to a quest or fight by just joining up - I did a TON of that in RIFT as I really liked the approach. In GW2 I also liked it … but not nearly as much as RIFT for some reason.
Character is centrality, the impossibility of being displaced or overset. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
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