In 2006 – at the age of just 13 – MeinMMO editor Alexander Leitsch played his first online role-playing game Rakion. A few weeks later he switched to Guild Wars 1 and has been trying out almost every new MMORPG since then. But there was one thing he never found his way back to: Single-player games. This is not only because of the teammates, but also because success feels more special there.
I used to be a singleplayer fan. When I was a kid, I spent quite a few hours playing warfare in Settlers 3 and 4 or gambling the night away through Gothic 1 and 2. A little later I got my first PlayStation 2, also the last console I spent much time with. On the agenda were roleplaying games like Champions of Norath and Lord of the Rings Return of the King.
It took a few years until I was allowed to use the internet connection in the living room for online games. At that time, a friend introduced me to Rakion, a free MMO with a cool combat system. But it didn’t really excite me.
In 2006, just before the release of Guild Wars Nightfall, I bought Guild Wars 1 together with 5 friends from school. We were the equivalent of the WoW players at school, but we couldn’t and weren’t allowed to take out a subscription. From then on the spell was broken and I spent thousands and thousands of hours in the online world and even turned my hobby into a profession.
But what got lost was my love for singleplayer and there’s a reason for that: singleplayer titles don’t bring me a sense of achievement.
In Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2 I am known, in LoL I would like to have a name
The theme of success already accompanied me in Guild Wars 1. I made really bad guides with a friend for the Underworld and the Rift – two elite instances that we only farmed in pairs instead of a party of 8. By the way, at that time I accompanied these videos with Scooter music – oh my!.
Over the years my focus shifted to PvP. I led a team that met three times a week and went into battle together. The cool thing about Guild Wars was and still is that the winners of the Hall of Heroes were announced with a message in the chat for all players to see. That way everyone knew: okay, Sputti’s team rocked PvP.
Guild Wars also had another special feature: titles. And some of these titles were really hard to get. If you had a god among mortals, you could stand in the cities and be admired. A carrot in front of my nose.
I am still proud of this long list of achievements in Guild Wars 1 today.
With Guild Wars 2 I satisfied this need for recognition with my own website Guildnews, my YouTube channel and my Twitch stream. I was and still am known in the German scene.
But there are also games that I play because I would like to be someone in them:
- In Teamfight Tactics, for example, I played at Season 4 in Diamond 1, was briefly in the top 0.97% of all players in EU West.
- In LoL, I regularly played at gold and platinum levels, especially in the early years.
- In Rocket League I also reached platinum 2 and belonged to the top 25% in the world.
So I am generally a very competitive person. Rankings and also achieved successes in MMORPGs and online games mean something to me. Something no single player game can give me.
By the way, players in MMOs are important accessories, but not always the main reason for my fun. Because achievements are only worth something if there are players who admire you for it. In the LoL example, this also applies to my opponents or fellow players who could(t) admire my stats or rank.
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Singleplayer games are often better in quality, but every cucumber MMO is more fun for me
My attitude has certainly made me miss out on dozens of really good RPGs in the last few years in favor of some cucumber MMOs. In the last few years this has led to some very curious situations.
I played the worst rated MMORPGs on Steam in a YouTube series, spent hours testing each new Asia product, or just tried indie games that didn’t have much of a future already on paper. I did that partly for my job, but mostly for my own incentive.
Maybe the next big hit will come along and I’ll be one of the first to ever play it. That’s exactly what makes the games so appealing to me. I have anticipation, no matter what MMO comes there.
I have collected a selection of my gameplay reports here:
On the other hand there are really good titles on my Pile of Shame. I’ve spent a whole two hours playing Skyrim, I only caught up on The Witcher 3 because of a livestream project (and didn’t even finish it) and Mass Effect and Dragon Age completely passed me by.
Sometimes I regret that.
But in the end I think to myself: What would have been the point of playing these games?? Who can I get behind the stove if I play through Skyrim now??
Singleplayer games seem ephemeral to me. Achievements are more difficult to compare and are often ruined by the fact that cheaters and modders can easily cheat them.
Achievements in online games mean something. A good rank in LoL, the god among mortals in Guild Wars 1 or the perfect armor in New World, I can do something with it. I feel like I have something in my hand that I can present to others and that I can show off.
The value of my account in Guild Wars 2. I belong to the richest 2% of those who use GW2Efficiency (via GW2Effiency).
I am not a no-lifer, never have been. I have a hobby in the real world with dancing, family, child and just my steady job here on My MMO. Nevertheless I catch myself again and again, how I still play an hour longer in the night, in order to still win a success in Guild Wars 2, to increase my competence in New World, to make a Daily in ESO or to win a round in LoL.
And all that means more to me than a really good singleplayer game ever could.
What do you think about the single player vs. Multiplayer? Do achievements in multiplayer mean more to you or am I imagining things?? Feel free to write it in the comments.
Since I have played well over 80 MMORPGs, I have created a tier list for MMORPGs at the end of 2021. You can find out how I rate which game here:
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So different are the player types. The argument "I’m too old" from some I find only conditionally appropriate. If you like MMOs, you can have a lot of fun in an MMO with very little time, even with age and responsibility as a solo player. However, single player games give you the more intense experience. Personally I only play new content in MMOs and at the endgame I stop and switch to the 4567654 unplayed singleplayer games in my Pile of Shame. This is also a great change. So I would have been really annoyed not to have experienced Zelda BotW, Last of us, AC Odyssey or other gems because I only hang out in MMOs.
I find "old" also very relative. I’m 29 and have with a child certainly a lot more responsibility than a 35-year-old student or 50-year-old single without children&
why not take the best games from both worlds? Sure, if you log into a MMORPG almost every day, you don’t have the time for SP. I’ve felt that way at times, especially when you have a family and other hobbies. But then over time I just realized that I’m missing out on so much too good games. TW3 alone or the current Pathfinder WotR are such extremely high quality roleplaying games that it would be almost negligent to give them up if you are a fan of this genre. but most of all, during my very long time playing WoW, I finally realized that variety can also keep the game fun. Well, currently that doesn’t help either.
Everyone should play the way he wants, but I will no longer regulate myself in the choice of my games. Then the time commitment must be divided just on several titles.
i play video games because i am fascinated by immersing myself in strange worlds, ever since i played another world on the sega mega drive. this is the main drive for me. i like to create and explore, so a mmo has to focus on that to get me interested in the game at all.
so pure pvp games are often too repetitive and stressful for me. i play to relax and not to achieve the opposite. in the time when i regularly participated in the iron banner, i usually had problems to come down again afterwards, which had a negative effect on my sleep. nowadays I wouldn’t do something like that anymore.
I feel the same way
Competing with others and wanting to be better is something I can understand. But this urge for attention and this "I have to show others what I have achieved and how good I am" I understand then rather less.
This is not so much a debate about whether SP or MP is better, because each has its advantages and disadvantages. But rather a confession of someone who absolutely needs the attention and recognition of others and expresses this also times so.
My point with multiplayer titles is that you can play them very well together with others and have fun in a group. Singleplayer titles are, as the name suggests, more for quiet hours alone.
But if you only want to prove yourself and show off your successes, titles etc. you have somehow lost the core of gaming.
You’re still getting to my age, so the whole thing shifts again. In my case to co-op or singleplayer. But of course I still do PVP battles, but not as much as before.
And exactly this destroys respectively shifts the focus of games totally – that’s my opinion. This "proving yourself" and always being on power in competition is exactly the problem that a large part of gamers don’t even read through quests anymore. Everything has its value, but for me it almost destroyed gaming a few years ago and unfortunately I could observe it with some of my community as well.
But such things are always subjective and depend on your own state of mind and the way you feel. Environment from.
I see it exactly differently. I now play much more SP than before. MMOs work for me only as a friendgame, which has no real conclusion. SP always have a conclusion and I find that so incredibly good. I played through AC Odyssey + DLCs in one go (almost 3 months slipped^^). When at the end the last trophy in Atlantis was bagged and I then reviewed everything, a feeling came up, which a MMO could never give me.
The poor sausage is hopefully meant highly ironic, otherwise there are just very big stones flying through a very fragile glass house. To each his own and I don’t begrudge you your fun, but I don’t consider Ubisoft Open Worlds to be the crown of gaming. I can’t stand half an hour in there.
With this point of view you miss not only some good games, you wouldn’t be allowed to read books or watch movies or series. Is only "singleplayer" =)
Personally, I do not care what "XxShadowRoXXorxX" and similar bozos think and play what makes me fun, of course also gladly together with friends^^
That is a very exciting point with books and movies. Books I actually exclude something, these I also read almost only on vacation. Texts on the Internet or magazines (also work-related) daily, but such a really good, long book only on vacation.
Movies have more "event character" for me – watching them together with wife/friends on the couch or in the cinema, discussing about them etc. But I never sit alone at the PC and watch a whole movie, at least not in the last years, also because I don’t have the time for it
I can absolutely understand and is almost the same with me in the meantime. However, I’m not a competitive type, I do not care if I’m at the top of the list or at the bottom (well maybe not at the bottom xD). But with MMORPGs (of which I’ve probably played more than 30) I have the feeling of achieving success on a more regular basis. I just love to level up again and unlock a new skill, or just get glamour XY and dress my many twinks cool. In singleplayer games you usually have only one character to play, most of the time the best equipment is pretty ugly and the skill system is usually pretty dull resp. not much (visual) progress happens. What I do not like, for example, is when the fireball of Lv 1 with Lv 80 still looks the same, there is loretechnisch zero progress in it. In FFXIV, for example, a skill upgrade almost always has a visual upgrade, which gives me a better feeling of having achieved something. And there are many different classes that all want to be brought to Lv 90&
Of course I also play singleplayer games, right now I’m playing Mass Effect Legendary again& Andromeda. But I usually catch myself that I start full of vigor and then visibly motivate me to continue to make. This is even mostly independent if the story is good (Unless it is phenomenal and well/fluently told). If there are too many dry stretches or I have the feeling my character doesn’t really learn anything new I lose interest in it. But also the finiteness really plays a role, in MMOs I can set so many goals I want to reach in advance, without even scratching the end.
TLDR; singleplayer games yes, if they are good. But mostly only MMORPGs because of the steady progress and reward feeling and more goals you can set for yourself.
Nice article! It makes again very clear what a great selection of games we have nowadays, among which everyone can find the title from which you can pull what you just need! (You have to appreciate that!)
I also have my competitive phases, but MMOs don’t give me anything there, unfortunately. As you write you would need for the success experience on the one hand other players*innen, who are interested in these successes at all (there are obviously communities, in which this is given) on the other hand one must interest itself however that it interests the others, haha& The latter is missing with me z. B., or. I have not yet found an online community where it was seriously important to me to be able to show achievements in front of other players. For me other elements are important in games, at the moment I’m looking for immersive gaming experiences. I reach the state of immersion z. B. through technically clean, convincing game worlds with exciting tasks, but sometimes also just simple games with perfect mechanics (at the moment I deal a lot with VR, and I rarely had a similar immersive experience as in Beat Saber). Human teammates are a near-guaranteed immersion killer, so I’ve been drawn back to single-player games more lately. To your thesis that it needs successes proven in numbers to make the game "everlasting" I would counter that the experiences and emotions in singleplayer games are quite real, and remain forever. My memories of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Final Fantasy VII or Half Life are definitely more imperishable than my best season placement in Magic Arena. I have never had similar experiences in online games through achievements, but through the social component. If the chemistry with the teammates is right it’s pure magic, but if you’re not playing with friends I rarely find that nowadays. But other players probably have different experiences. &
Don’t write yourself off! Also you can learn again to be alone with your character in a digital world and that (and you?) to endure. Completely without audience, rankings, chat and with more tranquility. &
Have a similar course, although temporally set rather. Modems screwed us up back then and ISDN opened up a way of playing that meant next level RPG for me.
My personal attraction is the international interaction – which generally also brings a much more pleasant interaction(ston). In GW1 I was for the alliance traders in the int. I’ve improved foreign languages, talked and learned more about Manitu and the world in CoX, Matrix Online, SWG and Co than about the game and I’m still fascinated by the idea that complete strangers are scattered around the mother sphere exploring dungeons and Co.
Then after many years, Telltale Adventures, Assassins Creed, Divinity, and Dark Souls 3 pulled me back out of the online fray. Showed me again how fantastic offline can be. In all aspects, even away from the game itself.
No hobby autistic Daily Quests Abgrasen, ID absolutely use, FOMO nonsense. No "full of fun" Twitch-smeared character names that I’d like to delete using the GM tool. Just *click* and away the spacken goes, would that be good. Not thousands of other suuper unique heroes of the kingdom besides me, who nevertheless grind copper for the blacksmith.
Being online is messed up, not only in gaming. I remain MMORPG and MP addict, but, fortunately, enjoy both again very much. After a good SP game, however, a meeeenge of questions come up as soon as I log back into an MMORPG:
How could so entertain a fighting system?
The Story…oh never mind, skip.
Nova Boost…fck you humanity.
Nils187ttv wants to trade with you….see Nova Boost.
Random dystopian announcement by heavy thinkers in chat….see also Nova Boost.
Currency grind XY, ID Z absolutely play…for "fun" aka pressure/ FOMO? Oh no, never mind. Time is worth more than this nonsense.
Good SP games disenchant MMORPGs very much. So there often remain dearly loved teammates who wear dull game design.