Now, WoW has its similarities -- Hunters get pets, as do Warlocks -- and of course you have your guilds or PUGs. But here's the thing: leveling up a pet and outfitting it with new abilities is a pain. It's not how I want to spend my in-world time. And even though it's an MMO, I'm a lone wolf -- I don't want to group with people to play. In fact, this is the inaugural post of a recurring feature I'm calling The Soloist -- posts about playing MMOs alone.
So, why can't I buy or rent mercs in WoW? Just think of all the times you weren't able to enjoy a quick raid because none of your friends or guildies were available. Or perhaps you have a random playing schedule and just can't coordinate even so much as a PUG. Maybe you just don't like the social aspect of MMOs in general. Whatever the reason, developers ignore the solo player at their peril! The funny thing is, Blizzard made mercenaries available in Diablo II, and that's kinda MMO, innit? C'mon, guys, help a lone agent out. Give us henchmen!