Diablo III & Why I Play Alone

I am not a Diablo fangirl (at least, not yet). Before the Annual Pass, I never even considered playing, and I still have played more WoW than Diablo in the hours since its release (admittedly, some of that is because the Diablo servers were sketchy).

However, Diablo’s launch and my two-footed leap into it has brought some things to my attention about the way I play the games I play–specifically, how I often prefer to play alone even in socially-oriented games.

A wizard did it.

On Tuesday, our guild forums exploded with battle tags–everyone wanted to play Diablo III together, and who could blame them? You certainly get a lot further in the game playing in parties (if I understand it all correctly).

I did not surrender my battle tag, and I do not have “Quick Join” enabled. I want to play alone.

Diablo is brand new to me. The story, the characters, the mechanics, the environment–all virgin territory to me. I want to experience it all, and I want to do it at my own pace. I don’t want to be led. I don’t want to be followed. I want to go where I want to go and see the things I want to see without feeling pressure to make sure the other person in my party is getting what they want to get out of the game.

The same is true for me when leveling in WoW. I can’t stand to level with other people. I hate grouping for quests unless absolutely necessary. This might sound kind of harsh, but it’s just the way I operate. If I’m trying to blast through leveling, I don’t want to be slowed down. If I’m trying to take my time, I don’t want to feel pressured to speed up. If I want to explore one quest hub and skip another, I want to be able to do that without having to ask if it’s okay.

Most of this is my problem–I’m aware of and comfortable with that. I have an overwhelming desire to please people. The better I know the person, the more I want to please them. This often results in me setting aside the things I want in order to appease someone else. It’s not healthy (I promise I’m working on it), but this is how it is. This means that when I group with someone, I get annoyed when I don’t get to do what I want to do, even though it’s my fault for not being more assertive. Head trip, right?

The other part of it is much less complicated: sometimes I just like to do things on my own.

I’m working on learning to say “no.” For now, that starts with, “No, I don’t want to play with you right now. Maybe another time.”

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20 Comments

Filed under Blogstuff, Experiences

20 responses to “Diablo III & Why I Play Alone

  1. Aralosseien

    I totally understand where you’re coming from – I’ve got people added via RealID or battletags, but I have ‘public join’ turned off and I’ve declined invitations to group up. I’m playing through with my boyfriend, who wants to do the full explore and text reading (which is nice) but has made other characters to do speed runs with, so I don’t have to feel bad either.

    • battlechicken

      I’m so glad someone relates. It seems like everyone around me wants to group up, and I just–don’t. If my husband also had the game, we’d probably do something similar to what you and your husband are doing. We’d each have our “main” characters we played solo and another set of characters for playing together.

      In WoW, my husband and I have not leveled well together, so I think that would be our best option. :P

      • Aralosseien

        We don’t level well together in WoW either, but I made an impassioned plea to do just one playthrough together, where we did EVERYTHING. :)

        I’ll probably make a few solo characters that I’d be happy to group on, later!

      • battlechicken

        Yeah, I think once I’ve had some time to experience the game, I’ll be happy to group up (sometimes).

  2. Agree. I haven’t actually installed it yet but when I do (tomorrow night), my husband and I want to wander around playing it with just the two of us for a bit. I like to look at stuff without feeling I’m holding people back or feeling I have to rush on their behalf.

    • battlechicken

      This, exactly. You’ll have fun; I’ve really enjoyed it so far. What class do you think you’ll start with? I went wizard. I am so predictable.

      • Haven’t a clue. My strategy tends to go something like look at what’s available, read the blurb and pick at random. I do tend to go for casters but then I did quite like the look of the barbarian so it will probably be a spur of the moment decision tomorrow.

      • battlechicken

        I’ve heard a lot of fanfare about how cool the Barbarians are. I’m sure I’ll end up making one of everything at some point. >.<

  3. I hear you. I to like to play alone. I’ve done a couple of public games but it lost my interest. I’m the same with WoW. I like leveling by myself, it helps immerse me in the story line of the quests.

    • battlechicken

      Absolutely. And the immersion part is something I hadn’t thought of but is definitely true for me, as well. I think playing through a game like these, especially the first time, is sort of like reading a book (if you’re into the story). I prefer to read for myself than for someone to read to me, if that makes sense.

  4. Tom

    I’ve been going through some heroic runs in LFG and I hate that I’m not able to stop and take in the surroundings. Also one of the biggest things that annoys me about being in a group with someone who’s already played through Diablo is there’s no awe and they always skip through the story. Drives me nuts.

    • battlechicken

      I’m lucky with the heroics in that I did them while they were current content. Going through with guildies who were also new to the instance allowed me to slow down and look around a little. I’ve been in groups where I’m being rushed through dungeons I haven’t seen before, and I always feel like I’m missing something important.

      That’s what I’m afraid of happening in Diablo, too, and it sounds like my concern is valid!

  5. You articulated feelings I’ve had for twenty years. Nicely done.

    • battlechicken

      I’m relieved to discover so many people feel this way. I feel much less like a multiplayer Scrooge.

  6. varoken

    That’s the real reason i don’t like to pay a subscription for a game, cause i always end up playing solo. Cause i like to do things at my own speed, i don’t want to rush things or get delayed too much. I really thought world of warcraft would really fit as a solo game, so huge, amazing. It’s nice to see friends, or couples around you, but it’s not very pleasant to feel forced to do things faster or better cause there is an online competition to reach the top. Games are for fun, and if they stop you from enjoyment, better play some other title. I find Diablo III so immersive, and i don’t want to ruin that atmosphere, so i would play solo most of the time.

    • battlechicken

      I’m finding today that a lot of people feel this way, and it’s good to know that even if we are in the minority, it’s a sizable minority.

      This has actually given me an idea for another post I’m going to have to ruminate on a bit. Thanks!

  7. My reasons are pretty much the same as everyone else. Another reasons are that I am the introvert quiet type. So it can be really hard for me to get along with… well, anyone and if the other person is quiet too I start worrying that they might not be enjoying grouping.

    Another reason is that if we agreed to group together to do content, if the other person needs to log out, I stop there too and go play with another character. I prefer not to continue on because otherwise I will just have to go back, kill X of whatever again to help them catch up. If I found out later that the person logged in when I was offline and went on doing the quest lines then I will feel bad because they now have to go back so I can catch up to them and annoyed because if I knew they would do that I would have continued on the quest line too so this whole situation could be avoided.

    Although that one I guess it is my fault for assuming thins and just not talk about it upfront so there aren’t any hard feelings either way.

    Despite all that I love running dungeons with friends. And if it is a new dungeon to someone but it is one I did a hundred times before I don’t mind to slow down a lot so they can enjoy the experience. This way, they can check the scenary, read the quest text and if there is some tricky to the fight or a reason we are taking path B instead of path A in the dungeon then I will try to explain so they aren’t left completely confused. :)

    • battlechicken

      I wish other group members were as considerate as you are!

      My husband and I ran into that issue when we tried to level together when Wrath of the Lich King came out. We would quest together, then he’d be running an instance with friends or doing a group quest without me, and I would get annoyed.

      To be fair, though, my reasons for being annoyed weren’t because he was doing something without me, but because I am fiercely competitive and didn’t like him beating me to 80!

  8. Haha I hear yeah. I leveled separate characters in WoW so that I could play on my own when I didn’t feel like questing with my husband. We both had characters like that for different moods.

    I am still not playing D3, so I am not sure how it will be. I’ll probably not have the “come in and join my game” button on either.

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