Aka Ironyca Stood in the Fire – gaming blog
I love the facial expression of that penguin. It’s that feeling of pride we are going to talk about now.
Another activity players would mention when I asked what they did when they were playing alone, was achievement hunting and in relevance also completing old dungeons, which are outdated in comparison to the current level cap.
The crux of the matter lies in the personal challenge, which then by logic negates group play as an option. When working on an achievement alone, f. ex “Loremaster”, which requires the player to complete a large number of quests throughout the game world, it is not only time consuming, but a personal satisfaction to know, unlike many other feats in WoW, that this particular accomplishment was earned exclusively by oneself.
Fidell: I like doing quests or achievements. I like working on an achievement myself and then when it Dings! Thinking I have done all that myself!
Working ones way through an old dungeon, which was once meant to be tackled by a group of up to 40 players, can pose a new challenge, as the player has to solve these encounters using only their own characters abilities contrary to what the dungeon was designed for.
Nyxija: Secondly, I like to solo tougher raids with this character in particular, sometimes for gold, sometimes for attractive gear, sometimes for the sake of a challenge.
These activities can be motivated by advancement, where reaching individual goals and making progress is valued highly. Likewise it can also be an interest in unraveling the internal game mechanics, which includes the confrontation between the character and a powerful enemy. Figuring out new and tricky ways to overcome these older obstacles by individual force often requires creativity, analysis and a good knowledge of the utilization of one’s character’s skills. Fighting one’s way through an old dungeon is a well known activity by WoW-players and being able to solo them is not defined by any game achievement, but yet widely recognized as a prestigious feat, especially if you’re amongst the first that are able to do it.
Besides going back to tackle old dungeons alone and doing achievements, some players find new ways to level their character with self-imposed restrictions to up the challenge. I have written about a selection of these unusual players in the article “The Overlooked Heroes of WoW – Unconventional Ways to Level” and I think they serve as a good example of another way to reach a great personal achievement, where the individual is the main focus and help from others is often avoided.
When the greatest feats in WoW are tied to group play, I’d argue it’s natural for players to also gravitate towards reaching their own personal accomplishments to get a sense of individual pride. Whether they are a defined game goal as achievements, or not as with the leveling and solo dungeon challenges, it still feels good to think “I did it all by myself”.