Well met, crusaders!
Today’s topic will be about the Matchmaking System. The Matchmaking System, as we all know, is a system that searches players with a common goal and groups them together. I have to admit, it is a very useful system that makes grouping much easier. While this mechanic makes grouping easily accessible from just a click of a button, it also has an affect on social interaction.
Matchmaking Affects Social Interaction
Grouping in MMORPGs is the pinnacle of social interaction. The cooperation between multiple players to complete a quest or goal is important. But how did they get into a group? What caused them to seek other players help? The answers lie in the design of the game. Pigeot referred the Matchmaking System as
“…the first big wave of the destruction of social interactions in MMOs…(Pigeot).”
While Matchmaking gives players an easier way to find other players, it also takes away that interaction that could have been done by players. Imagine yourself needing help, what do you do? You find other players that can help you. You interact with others, talk to them and ask for help. This social interaction is the key to combining players together in a virtual world. Without this interaction, players will no longer need to talk to players. This is what Matchmaking does. It affects how players interact with players. By taking away this interaction from the players and converting it into a Matchmaking system for an easier experience, lessens the need for players to interact with one another.
How to Improve Social Interaction
Bring back social interaction in MMORPGs by eliminating the Matchmaking System. By getting rid of this system and relying on players to interact with one another, will give players a better social experience. Let players search for help and let them figure out what they need to do in order to progress. The players will create Social Interaction in MMORPGs, all developers have to do is present ways that encourages Social Interaction. As stated by Wolfshead,
“If players are to truly ever take ownership of their worlds and communities than they need to be given the tools to govern (Wolfshead).”
MMORPGs are meant to be played by players with players.
While Matchmaking does have its benefits and easy accessibility to players, it also affects social interaction. It takes away from the social experience and creates an anti-social environment for the players. By eliminating the Matchmaking System, it encourages players to interact with one another in order to complete goals. It is up to us to spread the word and take action! Ask yourself; is the MMORPG that I am currently playing encouraging social interaction?
The truth is in the design!
Join my crusade and together we can find the truth!
For those that have just joined, I go by the name Raistmere. Just like you, I am a MMORPG player. My passion lies in the design of MMORPGs. As a student of video game design, I seek to bring back the roots of what MMORPGs were design for.
Pigeot, A. (2013, December 4). MMORPG Aren’t Social Anymore. Retrieved from http://anthonypigeot.com/mmorpg-arent-social-anymore/
Wolfshead. (2011, February 9). MMOs were originally designed to be shared social experiences. Wolfshead Online: MMORPG Design and Commentary. Retrieved from http://www.wolfsheadonline.com/mmos were-originally-designed-to-be-shared-socialexperiences/#a3ac3