Turbine has begun a new feature on the official Dungeons & Dragons Online website in which they provide feedback from the developers themselves about the game's most talked about design issues. The first installment offers two developers' thoughts on soloing vs. grouping in the game. An excerpt from Jesse "devilmouse" Kurlancheek's thoughts:
I've been playing online games for 10 years or so now, and in every game I've played, both solo and group experiences have had an important role for me. Games are supposed to be entertaining, not an exercise in social frustration. When I login, whenever I login, I don't want to be beholden to the schedules of strangers, or even worse, have to spend 30 minutes sending random /tells to people trying to get a pickup group (which may or may not contain quality players).
At the same time, however, I don't want the game to make it so desirable to play solo, with only a chat channel as my social link, that I don't see my friends, much less want to group with them, because it would only slow me down. At that point, I'm just as likely to boot up a single-player game and play in a window with IRC in the background or a console game with my laptop next to me (again with IRC).