For as long as I played World of Warcraft – the thousand-plus hours in my main and the hundreds poured into alts – I always preferred to take the solo route when possible. Allot of people do, if only because it can be a hassle getting a cooperative group together right when you need one. For me, it was more a matter of personal choice. While leveling my way from 1 to 85, I was asked time and again: If I wanted to play alone, why was I playing an MMO?
My stock answer was that if they could find a single player game that offered what World of Warcraft offered, in terms of the world, the mechanics and the gameplay, I’d go play that instead. Why, though, is such a game so hard to find? That got me wondering if the fissure between social MMO players and their less-social counterparts lies not with MMOs and their developers, but rather with the lack of offline options.