Tobold's Blog
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
So would you buy single-player WoW?

After a day of interesting discussion on social aspects of World of Warcraft, there remains one question: If World of Warcraft would exist as a pure single-player game, without servers, nor monthly fees, would you buy it? Single-player WoW would be exactly like World of Warcraft now, only that there are no other players. Auction house would be randomly seeded with goods, and all elites would be removed from the game, even from instances, so you could solo them.

Would you buy single-player WoW?
I would. It wouldn't be as much fun, but it would also be cheaper.
Great question! I would have probably bought it, but I would not still be playing it. I would have gotten bored quickly, with lack of social options, and would have jump shipped to almost as good game (EQ2) that offered up the interaction I enjoy. I am a very casual player too; I don't even group much. But I love feeling as if I am a part of a world that goes on without me. A perputual world where I can't predict what I will hear or experience ahead of time with great accuracy. I would not get that in predictable single player wow.
I think if WoW was done in single player, the quests would have been done in a manner more akin to the Alliance quest involving Stitches (aka cool quests). Blizzard has shown they can make a great single-player game along with a great multi-player game, and I definitely think they could do a single player WoW of some sort.
A friend and I were just having this discussion a few days ago. We are wondering if Blizzard would ever release a solo game of WoW like Hellgate: London has. Basically the same game, but tuned for single players and no socializing (obviously). You launch WoW and have the option to play your solo game, or connect to a realm and play online in the multiplayer game.
I probably would. I played Diablo 1 & 2 offline for a long time, and without the multi-player aspect, WoW and Diablo are very similar games (Didn't play either Diablo games as long as I played WoW, but a couple months on a single game is a long time anyway)

And even in current WoW I enjoy solo play, I've been soloing the old endgame instances, even started the Tier 0.5 chain and recently soloes the once-difficult 45min baron run. The rewards are useless, but it's something to do when I can't get enough people for instances besides repetitive PvP.
Hell No! The design is inherently a level grind followed by a gear grind. If it weren’t for the companionship and competition amongst my fellow gamers, what would be the point? There are other single player games that are for more immersive and interesting. It’s the player interaction (good and bad) that brings this game to life.

Even enemy players out to gank me throw an interesting twist to the game. My first toon to 70 was on a PvP server and I was constantly waging minor turf battles for mobs and actively scrolling my mouse look all over the place ALL THE TIME searching for someone planning to gank me. Then I leveled up a toon on a PvE server to play some end game with friends and found I could simply mash buttons for 70 levels until the end game. Very boring. Walk, walk, walk, quest, kill, loot, walk, walk, walk, walk, quest, kill, loot, walk, walk, walk… I knew I missed the PvP, but it wasn’t until I leveled up my fourth toon back on a PvP server that I realized how much more interesting the whole PvP aspect made leveling. More frustrating at times? Certainly. Boring? No.
I might be tempted, but I'd be pretty disappointed that you couldn't get your friends together to defeat raid bosses or other teams.

The solo game doesn't really work on MMO content.
Nope - while i was in Iraq I set up a private server on my personal computer to get my WoW fix, and single player is really REALLY REAAALLLLYYY boring. So we networked my private server out in Iraq (where regular internet access was not available, otherwise we would have played retail WoW) and got upto about 15 people on the SERVER at peak times, and even then it was better, but still pretty boring. Maybe it's because I hail from a PvP server, maybe because I was the GM and could do all kinds of fancy stuff, but most likely it was just the lack of random interaction and how "ghost-town" of a feeling you got everywhere. Sorry, but pass.
also - if you read the EULA closely people in Iraq and a very few other select countries aren't even allowed to play retail WoW. And that's just sad.
There was a cool post with an idea like this on West Karana a while back regarding Everquest. My answer? I would not play a single player WoW, but I would play EQ or FFXI single player or in small 6 man multiplayer.
I've thought about this more than once actually! I think it would be amazing to play WoW single player as long as a few changes were made:

1) You would absolutely HAVE to be able to instance - Without PvP the game is all about instancing. Blizzard would have to create a system where you could go to the summoning stone and select AI NPC's to assist you in the instance.

All of the instances would, of course, have to be dumbed down versions of what they are now, but they could still create AI that konws how to tank, heal (with a priority list), and DPS. They could use the marking system already in place to give everyone their target and maybe even pause throughout fights to make sure their party members are on the same page.

To do this I think it's obvious they'd have to turn all instances into 5 mans or less.

2) You would have to be able to select from a loot table or have the game automatically detect your class/gear needs

3) You should be able to make a guild - I know this one sounds weird but hear me out. If isntancing is still in the game with some AI assistance, then why not be able to unlock and gear out your own NPC's to help you? This way the random drops that you may normally be pissed about seeing would be okay because one of your guildmate NPC's could use it.

4) Everything should be BoE - For mostly the same reason as above. To gear out your guildmates.

5) All raw materials purchaseable - I think this one is common sense but still necessary.

I think WoW would make an amazing single player game, and I do actually believe that Blizzard would profit even if they did do these really huge overhauls to the system. I know a ton of people who have never played WoW simply because of the recurring fee. There is no recurring fee in single player, so I think they'd gain a lot of new players.

It is also, I believe, the only way to be able to replay old content. I'm talking Molten Core, BWL, etc - the stuff that is awesome but that new players (or old) will never be able to see in the MMO environment.

Make WoW from MMO to single player like a Oblivion. Yea!
One reason .. in a Single player game you can be mighty .. the hero .. all powerful. In an MMO you can only be . well balances with every one else.

I'd buy it.
If non-single player didn't exist. I would buy single player WoW as is. Especially if they kept updating it like they do currently.

I'd even pay the same monthly fee.

Playing WoW is cheeper on my budget then playing console games. And the game is a LOT wider. And to me a lot more replayable.

/hates spending $30+ on a game just to play it for less than a week.

/REALLYHATES games you can beat in 10 hrs.
Look! My wallet's half-way out of my pocket just thinking about it.

Yeah, I'd buy it. No question whatsoever.

If, as a previous poster implied, it had a LAN option (so me and my wife could play), I'd even pay the same monthly fee. For a SP game.
First of all to answer the original question: "it depends on when it was released". If it had come out before I'd played WOW in its online form, I'd probably have bought the solo version. Having played the online version, though, I'm not sure what WOW-solo would add.
If that was the only way to experience the content I have no realistic chance of experiencing in WoW the MMO, then I would definitely buy it. If only for the chance to see what I missed.

I wish they would do the same with the original Everquest. There was an absolutely ENORMOUS amount of content that I simply could not experience because I wasn't in an 'uber' guild.
I think it has single player potential, but it would need some tweaks.

I have fun running a local private server from time to time, typically just for myself, occasionally with a good RL friend to join me and it's sort of cool to have the whole place to yourself. So yeah, it could happen, but there are a lot of benefits to the MMO game.
I'd buy it for 9.99 out of the bargain bin and probably not play it for more than 2 or 3 hours.

The story line is great but not full enough to be a solo game.

No other people means no real reason to go through the grind.
I'd play WoW BGs as a stand-alone product without monthly fees.
I would if it followed the same basic idea of Phantasy Star Online:

You can play offline in single mode. You can then play with your mates in an online/LAN version with the same character. Equipment might be slightly better and there would be the option to download expansion patches or new quests, which you would have to make one off payments for or subcribe to.

Interesting to see though how many people have set up their own private servers.

Tempted Tobold?
Nope. Sounds boring. Half of the fun of the game is playing with other people, even when I am soloing.
Nope. Not in a long shot.

I might have been a gamer for too long. I might be spoiled.
But sam nailed it. It'd keep you entertained for a week or two maybe. At most.

Then you'll start realizing there's no point in the grind... No satisfaction from avatar centered storytelling. No satsfaction from altering the gameworld. No challenging combat. No economic game. No strategic challenge. No rich gameworld to explore. No mysteries to unfold. No stimulation.

It simply lack basic game dynamics... that are currently added (in the MMO version) by other people.
It'd simply be a static backdrop to interact with.

Your brain would implode :)
To expand on Matt's idea, your "Guild" would actually be the Toons you create, so imagine all of your Toons being in the one Guild and when you log in and go to do an Instance you would take along your own Priest & Warrior, and your own CC & DPS, so all of the gear that drops goes to make your own characters stronger. It would almost be Dungeon Siege, only much better looking.

You could take control of all of your characters without needing to log out, so your 375 Enchanter would be able to enchant all of your other toons' items.

Oh yeah. If Blizzard could tweak WoW to make it a viable single-player game like Diablo II, but playable over a LAN, just like Diablo II, I'd totally buy it.
No. WoW lacks the graphics and story depth of single-player RPG's released in the last couple of years. It would basically be Diablo 2 in 3-d, and Diablo 2 bored me in less than 15 hours. And when I do play single-player RPG's these days, all it does it makes me want to play WoW. (When I play single-player FPS's, btw, all I want after a couple hours is to play COD4 or Halo 3 online.)

Also, I love the online AH precisely because it's a real market with people making real, unpredictable mistakes that I can take advantage of. An AI auction house would either offer no moneymaking opportunities or no challenge.
I'd buy single player WoW in a heartbeat. Again, because like a lot of people who are time-limited I'll never see 98% of the endgame as things stand.

I'd also pay subscription fees for it.
It's the only way that I'd get to see the raid zones, so the answer is yes.
No, I wouldn't buy a single player WoW.

However, I would buy multiplayer capable WoW ala Neverwinter Nights with the ability to play with my friends over a network like Scale the raids to be 5 mannable and voila, I need no people other than 4 friends for the entire game.

That would be pretty cool actually. With no MMO or subscription aspect the grindiness could be reduced by a lot - no need for timesinks when time does not equal money.

Content patches could be purchased as adventure packs, and nothing would change for expansions.

Also, no.

maybe in 2010 , when WoW is on the ropes and ppl already playing other MMO THEN blizzard will release CLASSIC WOW 1-60 FOR LAN (UP TO 64 PLAYER).

its not single player but still its a localized server.

ah well.. i already played WOW single player (using WOW emulator server) and while its fun to learn the ropes, there is lack of single-player RPG quality in WOW.
I would soooo buy it (without even a blink...) if it was tweaked in just two of the following ways:

1) World persistence
No respawns. Everything you kill, everything you do stay dead or done for that character. If you want to re-live the world again you would have to reroll another character. This means when you clear Strathholme, it's cleared and burnt to the ground (ie. no access to it anymore). You quell the Stockade riots, they stay quelled, when you go in next you expect the place to be patrolled by the guards and all prisoners are behind bars (and non attackable).
If you destroy an enemy town it stays destroyed, if you sack Southshore, it's burnt.
Tirion Fordring after his son dies does not go back to the hut and awaits for more worm meat, similarly his son no longer stands again in Hearthglen.

2) Full loot table drop
Every boss mob in a dungeon drops all the loot in their quest table when killed. ie no more farming for one item, or getting the wrong item.

If only them make some persistant changes in live WOW then at least we can feel we impacted something.
Hell yeah, I would buy it! For one specific reason: I would have been able to experiment group play tactics with bots (even though it not exactly the same thing), without the risk of ruining 4-9-24 other people's day :)

It'd be a good starting point, just like CounterStrike with bots is good starting practice for CounterStrike with humans.
Yes I would. I have played enough solo RP games in the past. I am playing LOTRO almost in solo mode and have great fun.

BUT - the story should be more compelling than in the current 'solo-mode' of WOW! Then again - the current story is tied so much into raid dungeons and the assumption was that all instanced would be soloable, maybe with a group of NPCs like a Baldurs Gate. In that case - certainly I would play it.
I play WoW much the "single-player" way: don't like to group, don't like instances too much. I enjoy the world, the graphics and sounds and free, open PvP (while questing). Still, I wouldn't buy a single-player WoW, because I like the feeling of having people "around" me, but not necessarily interacting with me. I like to be left alone for most of the time - but I don't like to _feel_ being alone.
What's the point in playing in a single player static world that never changes or reacts to what you do?
If I played WoW solo, eventually I would even miss the L33t 10-year olds that usually irk me during normal play. I would even miss the people who intentionally wear stuff out of synch with whatever a roleplayer would expect, I would miss the people who spam...

I would remind myself of that guy in the Twilight Zone episode "Time Enough at Last" with all the time in the world to read books after the H-bomb killed everyone else...
Right now, no.
For me, WoW is a great MMO. I play a lot with my wife, and also with other RL relatives and friends.
Yes! Absolutely I would play the single player version as long as it had some of the ideas listed above by previous posters. Much of WoW I spend alone anyways b/c I just don't have much more than an hour here and there to play it. I love the time I'm on but would also love a way to see MC or AQ or ANY raid for that matter w/o having to commit to a guild and all the time needed to do it. Bring it on Blizzard!!
No, I'd rather they put their efforts into developing Diablo 3
I play a lot like what some of the other people have mentioned, which is a lot of solo time. But I wouldn't play single player WoW because you wouldn't have what WoW currently has compared to other heavily instanced "mmo's". WoW is a semi-functional "real" world. I can be out in the middle of no-where, killing some mob and see another player running by. I can be in IF and witness a crowd of people going about their daily business. And even if I don't talk to them, or group with anyone, they are still there. I love that feeling, and there are definetly some "mmo's" currently on the market that are missing that point.
This is kind've sad. Almost everyone who has said yes has qualified the answer with what it would take for them to buy it.

So it looks like in its current form the answer is a resounding "not unless they fixed it"


nothing wrong with that the game wasn't designed to be a solo game. I just find it humorous that people are saying yes but if this was added or that was added. It is funny to watch the mental gyrations of people rationalizing a reason to not say no.
@ sam

he he... it's a love addiction.

Some just can't leave it - others (like me) miss it so much, we're compulsively trying to remind ourselves why we broke up :)
I understand. I gave my account to my nephew 8 months ago and now I find myself leveling a new priest.

theres just really nothing in the same class to compete right now.

EQ2 is nice but I just can't see myself doing that unless all my friends jumped ship too. And thats not gonna happen
I thought wow it was a single-player game?? So that why there is a fee :)
The answer to this question is incumbent on the type of player. If you're an achiever or explorer you're more likely to say yes. PvPers and socialites are less likely.
Not much more complicated than that unless you start changing the gameplay to better fit a single player setting.
I would totally buy a single player version.
I'm ESAK and I say No. I have Morrowind and Oblivion for solo play, so it seems I'm much rather alone in a group than totally alone considering a MMO.

Besides I prefer WoW over the TES games mentioned mostly because of the people in there.

Even though I'm more or less forced to solo.

I would definitelly buy and play single player version.. i have no time to play on-line and single is the best solution.
Absolutely! Even if I have WoW as it is today. Just to get away from all that fuzz other players are creating all around you. It wouldn't be the same though - but I like the idea of me being able to solo all the endgame content.
Hello everyone!! I would say with a major "YES" to a Single-player WoW. Me and my friends thought of this idea for a long time now too. Simply because that there are no single player RPG out there with the WoW "Environment". Personally I really enjoy the whole 3D world in a cartoonish way and how smooth the entire game is. We have been playing Oblivion but its just not the same "Environment". The controls and the lock on clicking as well as the balanced classes (Note: In Oblivion you can pretty much be a supa multi-class in the end). The whole story-line mixed with the unique Blizzard style WoW "Environment" simply make you want to play it over and over again. In short... Until there is someone or some company out there releases a Single Player RPG like so... I would definate woot for a Single-Player WoW any day. Just a side note... Diablo 2 is great and so are Final Fantasy but you just don't feel the entire world feeling from it... the Freedom to climb on top of a mountain and enjoy that view or riding your mount through the different zones...
Although I dont have WOW, and have never played it, I will definattly get a single player WOW. I would even do so with only one change: computerplayers which can become a member of your group.

I shure hope Blizzard reads all of these.
please forgive me for any spelling mistakes.
For me it's a major YES as well. Then I wouldn't have to rely on imperfect emulation (e.g. Mangos, Arcemu, etc). I would have the whole world to explore Diablos style. It would also be good for having a nice exclusive game with friends (LAN) and above all, no immature kiddies around to ruin the experience by ganking and camping on your character with no chance on you beating them back. Also, in a single player game you can make your own rules (no games master around telling you what you CAN and CAN NOT do). Want to be invincible? Want to have infinite mana? Want to FLY (as said above)? Can't do that on retail, that's for sure. My favourite combo on my personal ArcEmu server is playing a mage with infinite mana (.cheat power), no cast times (.cheat casttime), and no cooldown (.cheat cooldown) allowing me to rapid fire spells like in a third person shooter action game. Great stuff and way more fun than playing normally!

This idea is likely not to happen though since Blizzard profits greatly from those playing online but that doesn't mean it's not worth mentioning or wishing.
Absolutly would buy and play a single player WOW game. Trying to coordinate with a bunch of people in online games becomes a big PITA. And I don't even want to go into all the attitudes you have to deal with in online games.
Yes i would.
A World of Warcraft "Solo" Version with the exact same game but with some changes like...

Mass Effect or Dragon Age Origins!

Active Pause, Tactical Battles and Custom IA Compagnions.
Definantly! For a number of reasons, but mainly because my internet is da shizzles. Horrible. I live in the boonies, so I can either rely on Dial-Up (Transfer rate of 4 or less KBs a second...) Or Satellite Internet (Fails, 130-150 KB/s...)...Now, satellite might not sound bad, but every single damn provider limits you. On the one I have right now, I can only spend 200 MB every 24H, and if I go over that limit, bam worse speeds than dial up.

40 mins of YouTube - 170 MB. One hour on any downloaded online game - 566 MB Average...

Yeah...Plus I don't really like WoW, since I don't like any MMORPG, but I still would like to have a single player version to bomb around on...
I just canceled my wow account because of all the social drama lol.
My view is I get enough drama and people trying to rip me off in real life I refuse to keep paying $15 a month for more abuse. The new guild achievement setup sucks unless you're in a huge guild. Blizzard made some great quests in Cata and I loved the storyline I would play this game again single player.
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