Since Gordon wrote in his latest article about the topic "raids" on his blog http://networkedblogs.com/p13935605 and the fundamentally change ("Change - I can't believe in") one has to face in a MMORPG in high end level I have to admit that this is absolutely true!
I recognized the problem especially in WoW. People I had to group with were totally unable to lead a group, act as a group or even stay long enough in one to complete a quest. Although WoW has so many group instances even in lower levels people just seem not to be willed to group with others.
Why could that be?
My opinion is that players just dont want to spent their time with the problems others. Groups are just a nice and (most important) faster way to get MY quest done! Others need my dps/healing/tanking for their quest although I am already done with mine...pfff who cares about them? I have to hand in mine and get my exp!
"What, killing Black Claw High Priests because just one of my group needs them? No time for that stuff, dude." *Dude-got-kicked-out-of-group*
I guess people just want to grind as fast to high level as they can! And MMORPGs of the latest generation are quite suitable for that. Kill 10 rats -> get a lot of exp. Kill 10 shadow wolves -> get even more exp!! Kill 10 fire beetle -> welcome to next level!! Cant find any rats or wolves? No problem just press "locate" and games shows you the direction! Of cause you can kill them on your own!
Back in the old times of Everquest I had to spend weeks in Oasis to get one bubble of exp out of, ah I cant remember, 20 bubbles for one level. There was no locate system, you actually had to read (oh my god, yes, READ) the text of the quest npc to get the slightest clue where to go...
I even know a Bard in EverQuest who managed it to reach level 14 after 2 years constantly playing! Still it was fun for that person!
Back in the old times of Everquest one had to wait at a group which was camping an orc camp to get a spot in it!! Hell, I waited for hours just to get my spot in the group while I was jumping around in the green grass hoping somebody leaves group to get at least some exp. And most of the time it was waiting again for the respawn after you were lucky enough to be allowed to join!
I am not saying that this was better or worse than the system of today but it was for sure more time consuming.
Not like fastfood -> fast done but feels strange in the belly.
And yes, of cause I prefer those fastfood mmorpgs of today more than the old once!
Who has time/will to do such waitings orgies in his free time?
Point is: people want action! They want fun as fast as possible! There is no space anymore (as it seems) to create a nice roleplaying character and interact in "strange" lines like "I am the royal paladin of the glorious city of Rivervale! Tell me stranger, do you have business to do in that area? I for myself need to kill those nasty bastards known as the gnolls! They attacked the royal family during a hunting session! Now they shall pay with their death!"
Unfortunately nobody but geeks do so since one can say instead "U need gnolls? yes?" *Invite*.
The same problem I see with raids! Raid used to be VERY time consuming like everything in the old mmorpgs! I know people who just camped the respawn place raid monster for weeks! I am not joking! There was a timetable for the whole guild when person x had to camp and when person y had to take over the camping! Most of the time the raid was an epic failure and all the waiting was for nothing! But that was why raiders were those rockstars like "Longasc" said on Gordons blog! It was because of the time such raids stole! Because it took more than a stack of potions and a person who shouted - 50 dkp on Vent!
Raiders were perfectly organized! People met outside of game in real life just to talk about the next raid mob, how to take it down, what would be the best gear and such stuff!
A guild was a platform of socializing!
But back to the main topic.
As I already said: People want to have FUN in games. Thats why they play that game. Some define FUN differently. Some like to raid some not! Others love groups - others just want to be high end level as fast as possible! And again some others love to explore the world and create endless alts...
But as always in life it is damn had to create a game for all of those individuals. And since it is all about the money the creators of mmorpgs want there cant be the perfect version of a game for all of us.