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Subject: VGG QOTD 2019 April 24 - Do you prefer multiplayer or single player games? rss

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Ozan
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Do you prefer multiplayer or single player games? Do you have a preference? Why do you prefer one over the other? This has been a question I've discussed with a few friends and wanted to open it to VGG. I've seen quite a variety of games on the "What video games are you playing this week?" so I hope this gets a good discussion going.
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Ozan
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I'll start things off.

I always prefer multiplayer games over single player. I just enjoy sharing the experience. Let me explain this a bit further because it isn't as simple as I've stated. I don't mean playing with others, I don't mean leveling together, trying to kill the enemies together, having 'player' enemies. No, I enjoy all of these but I also enjoy simply showing my progress, showing my new items, titles, what I've built.

An example: Star Wars: The Old Republic was basically a single player experience for the most part for me. I LOVED the leveling but the game had huge maps and the player base were quite sparse so you didn't encounter many others unless you were in the major cities. I loved that game but I am sure I wouldn't have played it if it wasn't online/multiplayer. To me having a game be online just puts purpose to what you are doing. That grinding session you had for that one achievement, well you can show it off now, it has purpose. That amazing boss fight you just had, you have an item drop to prove it, to show it off.

Another would be Minecraft. I used to play the game in servers and we just had our own places, did our own things but still I enjoyed it a lot more because I was in a server. At times we would visit each others bases, comment, compliment. It just gave it a meaning. If I would have done it in single player I don't know if I would've had the push to keep playing and improving little by little.
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Single player because multiplayer (RPGs anyway - I don't like PVP type games) just ends up being a grind over and over for more gear and if you are playing in a group people usually want to skip over the story. I also tend to get sucked into daily chores or spend a bunch of time waiting for people.

I like to immerse myself in the story, and that is just better done with single player games.
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WDP
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I don't have a preference. I love both.

When buying new games, I do tend to prefer games that can be played multiplayer, but I often play them single player.

When I play multiplayer, it's almost exclusively with my wife.
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John Middleton
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I think I prefer single player games, however I there is more potential for me to enjoy a multiplayer game. Single player is preferable because I can pick it up on my own weird schedule, I can fall down a rabbit hole if something interests me, not to mention that there seems to be a correlation between how artful a game is with its likelihood to be single player only. In single player, games can be a whole lot more than just fun and the measure of my time with them is based on a whole big scope of "reasons why I play games" because I am the only one there.

On the other hand mulitiplayer it is some of the best fun out there. When it works, having other there too amplifies so much of the "feeling" if a game. Funny instances become hilarious, and often in an ongoing way. Even the stress of a hard match or mission becomes amplified in a unique way when others are present. But the amiplified feeings have a real world downside when it all falls apart for non game reasons. The frustrations of getting a group together, managing the party, etc. can get magnified and cause feelings get hurt very quickly. It never ceases to amaze me how competitive players can be with their own teammates when that happens.

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Chris McDermott
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middletonner wrote:
I think I prefer single player games, however I there is more potential for me to enjoy a multiplayer game. Single player is preferable because I can pick it up on my own weird schedule, I can fall down a rabbit hole if something interests me, not to mention that there seems to be a correlation between how artful a game is with its likelihood to be single player only. In single player, games can be a whole lot more than just fun and the measure of my time with them is based on a whole big scope of "reasons why I play games" because I am the only one there.

On the other hand mulitiplayer it is some of the best fun out there. When it works, having other there too amplifies so much of the "feeling" if a game. Funny instances become hilarious, and often in an ongoing way. Even the stress of a hard match or mission becomes amplified in a unique way when others are present. But the amiplified feeings have a real world downside when it all falls apart for non game reasons. The frustrations of getting a group together, managing the party, etc. can get magnified and cause feelings get hurt very quickly. It never ceases to amaze me how competitive players can be with their own teammates when that happens.

Pretty much this. 🙂
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Ryan Ahr
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Oof. Um, single player. I really enjoy multiplayer games but I don't have the reflexes I used to or the time to develop my skills that I used to (save for fighting games; I still dream of joining a friendlies tourney at EVO some day) so I'm noticeably worse than most players in a given match of a given game and it frustrates me quickly. Single player games don't have that frustration, so, definitely my preference.
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Lee Dyke
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I prefer multiplayer co-op. I do love a good RPG, Mass Effect and Skyrim, but they would be even better in proper Co-Op. I don't mean Co-Op like Elder Scrolls Online, where you both exist in essentially a single player story.

I seem to detest PvP these days, I did my share of competitive gaming, playing in a clan on Counter Stike and Modern Warfare, it just became too toxic and just lacked any fun in the end.

When naming my top games, they will be dominated by single player, but if I were to name my top experiances in general, they would be multiplayer Co-Op.
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Seth Brown
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I prefer multiplayer boardgames.

I enjoy *playing* videogames multiplayer, but generally I vastly prefer the *types* of games that are single-player -- read: Metroidvanias and sprawling RPGs -- and so my gaming trends that way.

I'd love if someone made a good multiplayer metroidvania.

"What about A Valley Without Wind? Isn't that multiplayer?"

I'd love if someone made a good multiplayer metroidvania.
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Sam K
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I enjoy both multiplayer and single player games. Which I end up playing (and whether I take advantage of multiplayer) depends on the device I'm using, the amount of time I have to play, and who is around.

Typically I go solo (whether or not the game supports multiple players) when I don't have much time but want to do something fun.

I enjoy playing assorted shooting games (Call of Duty, Battlefront II) in a multiplayer setup; either against online opponents or with my wife or the kids in a cooperative setup.

I like playing board game apps with other people, but usually when I have time to play online I may not have time for a full game so I tend to avoid playing these multiplayer because I don't want to have to drop out in the middle of a game (when I'm playing by myself against the computer I can just save my progress and pick up again later).

For more tactical and strategic games (Battle for Wesnoth, Civilization), I've only ever played against the computer...I'm inclined to try some of these against humans at some point, but would also be happy to continue matching up against the AI.

I tend to prefer local opponents or the computer when playing racing games, with no strong preference between the two these days.
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Ryan S
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Single player games primarily, with the occasional multi-player co-op campaign storyline (such as TimeSplitters: Future Perfect, Borderlands, Grim Dawn).

Multi-player competitive games do not interest me anymore, and I really despise the type of person I become when playing those games. I get all tense and stressed, and quick to snap at loved ones around me. No thanks.

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Gabe Hawkins
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Thanks for your QOTD contribution, Ozan!

These days, I prefer single player experiences for a number of reasons. With multiplayer games, I often feel like a burden to my teammates when I first start playing, as it takes me awhile to really get comfortable with a game and its mechanics. I tend to expect to jump in head first and figure it out as I go, and that's not always the case, especially with more complicated genres like MOBAs, for instance. The friends I have that tend to play multiplayer games are the type of gamers that read up on the game incessantly to figure out how to maximize their success, and that's just not my style. I like to be competitive, but I'm often not willing to dedicate the necessary out-of-game time to really become a better player, so I wind up just passing on the experience. I've really always been that way, to varying degrees. There are a couple of exceptions from the past when I had far more time to dedicate to multiplayer games. I became a highly competitive Medal of Honor: Allied Assault player back in the early 2000s, followed by Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon shortly thereafter. The next game I took as seriously was probably Call of Duty: Black Ops, which I got very good at. In each of these cases, I had the necessary time available to maximize my competitiveness and had a close group of friends to play with.

Of course, I'm not opposed to multiplayer games. In fact, Black Ops 4 has been my multiplayer game of choice all year, and I'm decently competitive at it. I also just started playing StarCraft 2 as well, which given its nature and reputation essentially contradicts everything I've said to this point. But in both cases, the games have clicked rather organically for the most part. So I've been able to be competitive enough to have fun without having to dedicate time "studying" the game. I don't mind looking up tidbits of information or simple tips and tricks, but I'm never going to be the type of person that looks up "builds" or spends a lot of time crafting them. And that -- at least in my experience -- is what separates the competitive players from the casual players, of which I am most certainly the latter.

More generally, one of my primary motivations for playing games is to unwind. I like to enter a world and dive into its story and characters, exploring and escaping reality for a bit. While multiplayer games can offer that experience as well, I tend to find flying solo is more enjoyable most of the time.
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First off, it depends entirely on the genres involved, I think.

For most of my gaming life, it's been mostly Single-player but in the past 10-15 years, and especially in the past 3-4 years, I've really done almost nothing BUT multiplayer gaming, primarily shooters of various kinds.
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Jennifer Hanses
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Single Player.

I like a cohesive story and plot that I can play again and again and don't have random people yelling "Chuck Norris" when I'm trying to be deep and serious.

I also prefer games where my choices matter, if I'm not playing a predefined character, and that can't really happen in multiplayer.

I prefer not having to join a group of strangers to complete parts of a game. I prefer having a squad of companions who further the story.

I prefer not being bullied by higher level players in PVP experiences. Heck, similar level players or lower level players who travel in packs can be bullies if all you're trying to do is gather flowers or ore.

I prefer not having to game like it's my job and not having to fear that if I don't play the game every day, I'll return and be outclassed because I missed out on key loot.

Also, because of the above, I have way more time for single player games, and really only room in my schedule for one multiplayer game, so in volume, I will always play more single player games.

Now, someone did mention board game multiplayer, and I consider that entirely different and can be enjoyable the vast majority of the time. But I think that's a very different category of game than MMO, which is the standard.

Things I have enjoyed in multiplayer: battlegrounds as implemented in WOW and some other games. And The Secret World. Pretty much the whole of The Secret World because it functions as a single player game and the other people who play it have not been jerks or ruined the immersion. There's still content that I'm gated off from because I'm not much of a joiner, but I can live with that. I actually ran through at a high level with a high enough level friend that we did some of the instances co-op.

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I don't know which I prefer, but I end up with single-player games almost exclusively.

Basically I've spent my life playing strategy games (chess, wargames, and Civilization-type games) casually but with great interest, hoping I might somehow get good at one of them. If I ever did, I might then compete with others at that game. But meanwhile I'm just learning the ropes, and I do that slowly. I do it by myself so there's no one around to see my blunders, as they're greatly embarrassing to me even when I'm alone.

I've only dipped a toe in the multiplayer scene now and then. My impression is that it's great to have company and share the experience, but it's a bit annoying to schedule the thing and block out time. And then I feel I have to be on my best behavior, so the joy is accompanied by a certain amount of stress. Part of me feels bad about competing and wants to help my opponent(s). I'm "all in," and yet I'm tempted to pull punches. And if others fool around and make a mess of things--well, I hate messes, no matter who makes them.

I also dislike joining a guild or being part of a team I have to cooperate with. I'd rather be the solitary genius out to conquer the world. In a game, I want the world to be all mine, not ours.
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Competitive online multiplayer: Not with a ten-foot pole. I'm a lot like Patrick, in that I'm embarrassed by my own mistakes. I can't stand the ramp up period of trying to get better at a game and losing again and again until I can ramp up. I can take it in brutally difficult single player games, but in competitive multiplayer games it drives my anxiety through the roof and I feel awful by the end of a match and never want to play again. Compound that with the toxic attitude that so many competitive gamers have, which makes it even more miserable.

Couch multiplayer: It's sort of a relic of the past now, but I used to love it. Spent countless hours with GoldenEye and Mario Kart 64 and, later, Halo, playing with friends and trash talking each other. I can take getting beat or being trash talked by a friend; less so complete strangers. I loved playing Nintendo Land with my family, and I wish more games would go back to same console multiplayer.

Co-op multiplayer: I've spent countless hours playing MMOs, so clearly I have a preference here. It's definitely not that I enjoy them more than single player games, but it does scratch certain itches which I need to scratch sometimes. I like the social aspect, because I have social anxieties, and I feel a little more relaxed online, so an online game is perfect in that respect. It's much the same reason I love board games (the social aspect), only something I can do on my couch or in bed. I also enjoy the achievement aspect of video games in general - I'm a completionist in singe-player RPGs, for instance - and MMO's have achievements in spades. And I don't mean literal achievements, like WoW has, but personal goals that take real dedication to acquire and I can afterwards enjoy the fruits of my labor.

Single player games I've grown to most enjoy because I get to understand the history of gaming. Sometimes the gameplay is great too, and there's nothing like being introduced to a classic great game, but my approach is mostly academic. It's my personality to deeply delve into subjects and obsess over them, and few I'm as passionate about as with gaming. But perhaps because of that, I still tend to give more time to games that I simply like to play, because it's easier, so I return to MMOs or games I know I already love again and again.

I'd say it's a toss up overall. I've probably spent more time with mutliplayer games than most people have, but I do have a deep respect for the history and influence of single player games and ultimately always come back to them.
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Geoffrey Burrell
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Multiplayer because I love playing with other live humans. Especially while playing with my relatives.
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Single player for video games, though I play a few multiplayer. Multiplayer for pen-and-paper RPGs, though I play a few solo. And board games are pretty much equally divided between the two, though I prefer them to be cooperative or storytelling based no matter if playing alone or with others.

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flaeryn wrote:
Single player because multiplayer (RPGs anyway - I don't like PVP type games) just ends up being a grind over and over for more gear and if you are playing in a group people usually want to skip over the story. I also tend to get sucked into daily chores or spend a bunch of time waiting for people.
What kind of multiplayer games are you playing? They are not in the least similar to the multiplayer games I am playing.

I guess there is a big difference between 1) couch multiplayer and 2) online multiplayer with friends, and from there to 3) online play with unknown people. The only time I've done 3) is in World of Warcraft and that wasn't much fun. 2) is only done when 1) cannot be achieved, but it's rare. My multiplayer is always 1) – couch multiplayer.

I prefer multiplayer games simply because I like company. Video gaming goes in waves for me (it seems) and these last weeks I have gone into a phase where I find I don't want to spend my lone time playing video games – I'd rather do something creative like working on the board game or thinking about systems in the RPG that I write on in my free time. But I'm always up for video games in company.

Edit: It also depends on what you are playing. The multiplayer games I'm playing are usually short bursts of silly stuff, but I prefer co-ops. Racing games are also nice. I'm not much for winning by pummeling the other guy, so versus-shooters or fighting games isn't much a big thing, but SMash Brothers is always nice fun.

However, the best is if someone can make a good platformer multiplayer coop. Trine 2 (PC/Xbox360/Wii U) was amazing. Also Chariot (same). One of the best I've played is Affordable Space Adventures (Wii U), though. It's a longer, assymetrical co-op puzzler. Simply amazing. I've also had great fun with NintendoLand (Wii U). And my fiancée and I also play Unravel 2. The only RPG where multiplayer has worked well was Secret of Mana (SNES), but I had great fun with that. And the splitscreen multiplayer of Senritsu no Bisho (basically a Resident Evil clone, Dreamcast) was amazing, as was the WiFi coop mode in Saints Row 2 and Saints Row 3
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Osirus wrote:
I'd love if someone made a good multiplayer metroidvania.
*Starts drooling uncontrollably*
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Alex
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Single-player. I've done multiplayer, and would do it again, but in the main it's not my thing. For one thing, my time is somewhat restricted. But also, I think, part of why I pursue video games is because they're a solitary activity, so it'd defeat the purpose.
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Zimeon wrote:
I guess there is a big difference between 1) couch multiplayer and 2) online multiplayer with friends, and from there to 3) online play with unknown people. The only time I've done 3) is in World of Warcraft and that wasn't much fun. 2) is only done when 1) cannot be achieved, but it's rare. My multiplayer is always 1) – couch multiplayer.
And that's one kind I've never tried. The closest I've come is a "hotseat" game, where my wife and I took turns at the PC, playing Heroes of Might and Magic. But it only lasted twenty minutes or so before we decided it was too awkward. Years earlier, we played Pool of Radiance and a couple other games together on our first-ever home PC.

But "couch multiplayer" just doesn't fit into our lifestyle. We don't even have a working TV in the living room anymore. We do all our computer stuff, including gaming, on separate laptops.

If we ever do start having people over again and enjoying a more active social life, we'll play board games, not video games. To me, video gaming just seems like a naturally solitary pastime.
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Zimeon wrote:
flaeryn wrote:
Single player because multiplayer (RPGs anyway - I don't like PVP type games) just ends up being a grind over and over for more gear and if you are playing in a group people usually want to skip over the story. I also tend to get sucked into daily chores or spend a bunch of time waiting for people.
What kind of multiplayer games are you playing? They are not in the least similar to the multiplayer games I am playing.
I was referring to MMOs (although I am not exactly playing them). Unfortunately, couch co-op is rarely seen in my house nowadays; I don't get to play that way very often. I used to have a blast playing Rockband every week with friends, but now when I have people come over, it's for pen & paper Roleplay (or maybe board games if we are missing a person), which is nice because that's generally what I prefer.

If I could convince my husband to play Portal 2 with me or Secret of Mana (1993) (I'd need to find the controllers) that'd be great, but I'm largely bored with the MMOs he wants to play together.
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Jennifer Hanses
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flaeryn wrote:
Zimeon wrote:
flaeryn wrote:
Single player because multiplayer (RPGs anyway - I don't like PVP type games) just ends up being a grind over and over for more gear and if you are playing in a group people usually want to skip over the story. I also tend to get sucked into daily chores or spend a bunch of time waiting for people.
What kind of multiplayer games are you playing? They are not in the least similar to the multiplayer games I am playing.
I was referring to MMOs (although I am not exactly playing them). Unfortunately, couch co-op is rarely seen in my house nowadays; I don't get to play that way very often. I used to have a blast playing Rockband every week with friends, but now when I have people come over, it's for pen & paper Roleplay (or maybe board games if we are missing a person), which is nice because that's generally what I prefer.

If I could convince my husband to play Portal 2 with me or Secret of Mana (1993) (I'd need to find the controllers) that'd be great, but I'm largely bored with the MMOs he wants to play together.
He's the one missing out if he won't play Portal 2.

But for a co-op for someone who plays MMOs have you tried The First Templar or Divinity: Original Sin?

I've only ever played those games single player, but they're designed for two player.
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I prefer single player games. Some PS2 games have been fun multi, of course, but now I am mostly on Steam, and I keep to the single player, or with AI opponent. I am not sure why. I guess to feel some sort of degree of control of the situation...?
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