Hey Everyone, just wanted to weigh in on this thread as we hear the concerns from many players and this has also been a source of some intense debates internally. Like you, several members of the development team are more inclined to solo-play, and of course, we all want the main story to be accessible and enjoyable by different types of players.
When we initially made this decision, the primary factor in choosing this direction was that Expeditions in New World offer the most high-fidelity PvE experiences in the game and they allow us the best tools for storytelling. We knew that this might be a turn-off for some people, but we weighed it out and decided that these quests were important for establishing “punctuation moments” in the main storyline. That said, we have discussed adding an alternative path to progressing the main story without requiring players to group up, and as we evolve the dynamics for our open-world quests and stories, we may have greater capability than ever to create these types of moments outside of Expeditions. The feedback and sentiments you have expressed here are invaluable because they really highlight the interest here, and help us decide how to prioritize going forward.
While we can’t commit to anything right now, we can definitely say that we will discuss and consider options for creating another path within the current main story quests, and that going forward, we’ll take these sentiments and a balance of playstyles into account when designing any new larger story beat quests. Thanks again to everyone who’s been expressing their thoughts and feedback here, and we will continue to watch and listen for more insights on how we can improve the experience.