Size matters

Group size that is – but come on, we can’t resist a cheap joke.

Dark Age of Camelot (my first MMO) had 8-person groups. World of Warcraft got right down to 5-person. Lord of the Rings Online is 6. That’s my personal experience with group size.

Which did I like best? Dark Age of Camelot, no contest at all.

I like being able to double up some class roles without excluding others, I like the ‘core’ classes being a little flexible. I don’t like having to turn people away either.

With 5 people, you really do need a tank, a healer, and there’s not a lot of wiggle room for others to get into the group. With 8 people, you can take more along, meet more people, be more sociable.. but it can be harder to get a group together also, harder to get everyone agreeing, harder to sort out loot. And yet, I prefer it.

I’m a social gamer (damn my female-ness!) and I like to group because of it. I also enjoy more the challenging content that comes with group play. I feel that although there is a definite good side to solo content, and it widens the appeal of MMORPGs in general, it has detracted from community aspects.

I’d have loved Warhammer Online to return to 8-person groups, but wasn’t mortified to hear it was 6 either. Still, Flashy’s compiled information from Games Days, over at Warhammer Alliance states:

Groups were 7v7, not 6v6 as anticipated

This makes me smile.

So, thoughts?

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13 Responses

  1. In my opinion, I liked WoW’s 5 man groups for basic things. 6 man doesn’t seem like it would be that bad, maybe even really god. 7+ people just seems to get too chaotic and too difficult to organize with basic chat – VOIP seems necessary for groups that are 7 man+.

  2. The main thing I remember is that the bigger groups seemed friendlier to ‘off specs’ (did that term even exist before WoW?). It didn’t really matter if you took some dps-specced healers, with 8 people in the group the off-healer and off-tank have a role.

    Might also be that DaoC didn’t tune its content as tightly as WoW. I thought the larger groups were more sociable but the smaller ones probably easier to assemble.

    Maybe players just inevitably get more and more hardcore so even if you gave them 8 man groups now, they’d be fussing over optimal group makeup.

  3. It go to the point in wow that if you had an off spec with no crowd control you were never getting a group. I totally agree that larger groups will allow for more diversity especially in small scale pvp. A single group will seem more like a force.

    And size matters and a love of group play 😉

  4. I haven’t thought enough on this topic to have a strong opinion. My gut reaction is that if 7-8 people are required to defeat ‘Group’ encounters (Epic, Heroic, Elite, I forget what they’re calling them in Warhammer) then it’s tougher to get enough people together to take out such encounters than if only 5-6 people are required.

    Also, not to be too skeptical but have 7-man groups been mentioned in any of the other Gamesday coverage? I find 7-man groups to be shocking considering that as recently as the May Newsletter they were discussing 12v12 scenarios:
    http://www.warhammeronline.com/specialfeatures/Scenarios_101_5.php

  5. No other mention of it as far as I know, but more than taking is as gospel, I thought it was interesting enough to start a little blog post about the size of groups I’ve always preferred.

  6. Sure lots of people would have jumped on it and said if it was wrong if they hadn’t had 7 man groups.

    Now optimum group speculation.1 tank, 2 ranged, 2 mellee, 2 hybrid maybe?

    Say sword master, Bright wizard, engineer, white lion, witchhunter, Warrior Priest and rune priest. Massive range.

    Are single faction guild going to be possible do you think?

  7. […] Arbitrary brings up the subject of group sizes. She feels that group sizes are an important part of the game. That you need larger groups in WAR so that you can hold better class ratios. Read Full Story […]

  8. <>

    I’ll believe that if EA Mythic announces it.

    8v8 was nice in DAOC if you could find a full group, otherwise, RvR was not a fun experience. I’m a firm believer in shrinking the group-size down to 6 because it allows smaller guilds or groups of friends to remain competitive in RvR and PvE.

    It also allows for a greater number of class combinations in groups. I found the 8-man concept in DAOC to be extremely limiting on what you had to include to make a competitive group. I think the limitations will be slackened by this somewhat in WAR.

  9. Inside those brackets was supposed to be:

    “Groups were 7v7, not 6v6 as anticipated”

  10. The size of teams in RvR scenarios is not going to be the same as the size of groups in PvE. The comment ‘7v7’ implies it was an RvR scenario, so it indicates nothing about PvE group sizes.

  11. Thanks for that Graktar. I hadn’t realised they might have a different group size for RvR than for PvE. I’ll have to think about that now 😉

  12. Varying group sizes = the best of both worlds ;p

  13. Actually, I think he might have meant 7v7 in the scenario sense to be honest… We know certain scenarios are 12v12, 18v18, etc. Perhaps the demo he played only had 14 computers, hence 7v7?

    More food for thought anyway! 😛

    And to further explain the smaller group size = more variance of groups… I mean that with such a small amount of players, you can’t have a perfectly balanced group. Therefore, certain group setups will be effective vs. some and weaker vs. others. I don’t think we’ll see as many cookie-cutter groups in WAR like we did in DAOC.

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