Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Soloing: The Good and the Bad.

Soloing has always been quite a spectacle. With the right gear, the right mob and a mountain of patience there are a huge number of kills that can be had by the right players. The reasons to solo mobs are pretty simple, all the drops go to one person, it is a better test of skill than doing it with more people and some of them can only be done with a certain gear requirement that other people you know may not meet. Additionally, some solo's just can't be done with more than one person because it would mess with the strategy, cause too many TP moves, or risk someone getting too close to a melee attack.

There are also a few reasons why soloing isn't such a great idea. The first issue with soloing is that though you can keep all the drops, you can't usually solo things that have decent drops on THF so you don't get access to TH. While some people consider soloing to be the pinnacle of skill, other people view it as casting DoT's and running with movement speed. While the concentration skills needed may be high, some question the actual player skill involved. This can be further seen with some of the new solo's that are happening with VNM mobs. I find it hard to buy that casting a spell and then moving one pace to abuse bad mob pathing is a real test of skill at all. The other problem with that is that the ToS pretty clearly states that abusing terrain is a no-no, and while I personally don't think anyone is going to get in trouble for it, I also thought that the Salvage dupers weren't going to get punished either. It is obviously not the same circumstance, not even close, but SE does have a penchant for punishing people and has proved they don't mind swinging the banhammer when they feel it is necessary. Finally, there is the issue of cock-blocking. Solo's obviously take a long time, and in some places, they can hold mobs for unreasonably long amounts of time. A good soloer tends to do their soloing in a time that usually doesn't effect most people (for example, I am pretty sure Kaeko avoids trying to do his stuff in any region's prime times), but in the end if you are soloing a mob, especially a mob that could be defeated quickly by a larger group of people and you are making them wait, then you are going to end up looking like a dick. It does beg the question of soloing though. If you are soloing to test things out and for the challenge then I can see that, but if you soloing because you are anti-social or don't have friends to help you, then you may be proving my point.

As you can probably tell, while I am not strictly against soloing difficult NMs, I don't really understand the motivation to do so after the first test of skill. I think the cons far outweigh any kind of benefit in the case of VNMs. If you do it right, then it really isn't a problem, but for every conscientious soloer out there, there are 5 that are willing to take an hour and a half to kill Krabkatoa or 2 hours to do a simple Limbus zone while people are waiting.


Anonymous said...

I time all my solos and the T2s are usually under 20 minutes (exception being fairies). 20 minutes is usually faster than a lot of non-hardcore groups so I don't see cockblocking being an issue. Longest solo was Krabk 56 minutes, but I only did that once to say I did it - you'd be crazy to repeatedly solo that when you have a LS to at the very least provide you TH.

I think the big issue is you're talking about DoT "tickle me to death" kills, but in all cases outside of the fairies, you're really nuking these. I can show you how fast this actually is if you want to /tell me online sometime and have a colorful abyssite you want changed. TK solos these because they are efficient to solo (fast, easy), not because we like to solo.

As far as skill goes, I'm not a big "skill comparison" guy. I think it takes a pretty good understanding of the game to locate pin spots, but not necessarily to copy it once it's found. I do take pride in soloing, but not as a skill - more so for the creativity of finding a cheesy trick to allows me to solo. Beyond doing something first, soloing is just an efficiency tool.

Anonymous said...

Oops, that was Kae btw

Ringthree said...

I was hoping you wouldn't take exception to this post, and I specifically mentioned you because I think you of all people understand proper solo etiquette, and you also are better skilled than other people that might end up cock-blocking because they are trying to mimic you but don't have your skill (patience/concentration).

While I am sure that the fairies can be killed efficiently by solo, they can be killed much more quickly with a group. Because of the limitations on their spawning, I can't really imagine a situation in which killing them is more efficient solo if you have a group available. That doesn't mean that solo is not an option either, just that I don't know how it could be more efficient.

I understand that you enjoy finding the tricks in the game, but do you have a concern that SE might find that these new pathing tricks might raise the ire of SE?

Anonymous said...

The terrain abuse SE complains about is when the mob can't reach you no matter what it does - wall of justice type places. If you sit still a second too long pinning a VNM, you're toast. Very different concepts.

What TK's doing is very impressive as a system. The few who are able to solo can get a set of T3 stones easily, whereas some other groups spend 4 hours of 18-man event time farming the same T2 stones. To the ambitious go the spoils!


Anonymous said...

The fairies are really inefficient to solo. But I like to solo them once because completing a solo indicates that you clearly understand the mechanics of how a low man fight would occur (like the pinning spot and how mob reacts). We really don't do that path though - mainly spam Ruth and Krabk because the rings are most desired.

At the end of the day though, it's very hard to cockblock VNM because mobs spawn in so many zones. If you are taking a group, the zone you kill rarely matters, but it is vital in a solo/low man. So you might have a hard time getting Krabk in East Ronf [S], but generally the other 3 zones are clear. It's a good anti-horde system.

I generally won't solo unless it's something no one's ever done before (show offs), or there is something that makes it very efficient to do so (money drops all to me for example). Solo/low man VNMs is extremely efficient, and due to how easy these pins are (as you mentioned, not exactly the most skill involved), it's very easy to teach an entire LS. So we can meet up on a weekend and literally spam T3s for hours.

Using solo techniques on T2 NMs is the most efficient way to do VNMs as an entire LS in my opinion. I won't ever knock a group that doesn't use it, but if you do, your LS productivity will sky rocket. We went from ~1-2 T3s a week only due to # issues to maybe 20-30 a week after using these pin strats with the same schedules and #s.


Anonymous said...

Regarding ToS issues - I think the mob is still able to technically hit you so it's not a WoJ scenario (which has gotten people banned). I'm not SE so I can't say if it's legal or not since they make all the rules, but it's a gray area at best.

It's not like disband my alliance and Usukane bodies rain from the sky, which is pretty clear cut. I think a good barometer is how the playerbase handles it. With salvage duping, it was hidden (implied guilt), but people freely talk about and post about pinning. I don't feel guilty for using it nor do I try to hide it.

Everyone's going to have an opinion, but the only one that really matters is SE. And since they really haven't said anything about it either way, your best guess is as good as mine. All about risk management after that. I think it's very low risk since I personally don't even view it as bad. If it bites me in the butt then bad guess on my part.


Robonosto said...

With respect to Limbus, to be polite, I couldn't give a fuck about people waiting on Limbus. First come, first served. Incompetent or unlucky soloers bow out soon enough, but shitty groups can still eat up the whole time allotted, whatever the zone.

Blame SE for not offering more instances.

Tuufless said...

Ring, I think you're blurring the line between solo and lowman just a bit. TK has been kinda forced into lowmanning strategies because of # issues, but ultimately, unless we're doing a stunt or something, we don't solo.

I'll second Kae's opinion that a solo fight _does_ demonstrate that you understand a fight's mechanics which might otherwise be hidden or not come to play in a larger group setting.

Take Erebus/Ruthven for example- the pin can be very confusing for someone who doesn't understand the pathing or what you're supposed to do, but once you figure it all out, it becomes a piece of cake.

I won't ever refuse help when it comes to lowmanning the VNMs. But knowing how to lowman the VNMs allowed us to expand on the concepts to farm more efficiently as a group.