With Age of Conan Hyborian Adventures launched and successfully running I figured it was time for a refresher course of grouping tips and ethics. While many of these will be familiar to MMORPG veterans they may not be as apparent to others. This little guide is meant to aid our newcomers to the genre in the ways of the world, and make for a nice refresher for some veterans.
10. Greed - When you join a group there will be more people than just you competing for loot. Don't be greedy when it comes to rolls. If a group member can use an item that you get as an upgrade and the best you can do with it is to sell it, pass and let them have the upgrade. More loot will come trust me. This will show your fellow players that you aren't a greedy tool concerned with only furthering your own ends. Greedy people tend to earn a reputation as such in these games and while the backlash isn't as prominent in today's MMORPGs it is still there. Earning a bad rep with the wrong person could potentially keep you out of future groups and in some cases guilds.
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Nobody likes a ninja looter.
9. Ninja Looting - To cover this you must first know what a Ninja looter is. A Ninja Looter is a person who will loot any and everything before the bag or the corpse hits the ground. If you do this...STOP! People hate you. Not all loot will be rolled on. Some can be taken strait from the bags and in some cases depending on the loot settings maybe all can, but that doesn't mean you have to take it all. Remember that you are grouped and everyone needs coin, so take your share, but don't take everyone else's with it. If you take the loot from one guy, skip the next few and then take another. This will at least show that you are trying to share. People hate Ninja Looters and you can bet that if you are one you will be remembered as one, and word travels fast in the MMORPG world.
8. Need Before Greed (NBG) - One of the most popular loot options in many MMORPGs is the NBG option. Some players will make verbal agreements about this or just use the in-game mechanic. If the in-game mechanic is used this can sometimes lead to group arguments when a person that really doesn't need an item rolls need anyway. If you don't need or can't really use an item you should ALWAYS roll greed. This will save you a lot of drama. If you are confused about something you might want to roll on you should take a moment to discuss it with your group. Many people are understanding in most cases and if you need something for an alt and no one else has a use for it, often times they will let you have it. Communication is an important key in the NBG process. This goes especially for group leaders as they set the loot rules.
7. Patience Grasshopper - For some people this will be their first time in an MMORPG. If it is they will likely have no idea what our terms and terminology are. Don't go ballistic on them for not understanding. Just remember that at some point you were new to the genre as well, and in all likelihood when someone said something like HoT or Bio, you were lost. So show a little patience and help them out a little. Constructive criticism goes a long way. If they need a crash course in terminology, point them to 'ol Tuk's guide to Terms and Terminology. I speak from experience when I say showing patience and helping someone along the way can payoff for you down the road.
6. Don't Leech - A leech is someone who will often times join a group and do nothing more than soak up experience. These people are just along for a free ride and if players catch on fast enough they will likely be booted. If you join a group, pull your load. Don't sit back and try to reap the benefits of everyone else's hard work. If you intend to be away for a long period of time, offer to leave the group. If the group tells you to stay your good to go, but don't blatantly take advantage of their good will.
Combat Grouping Tips
5. Positioning is Everything - This is not a new concept in the MMORPG genre, but it does take a little spin in Age of Conan (AoC). When engaging enemies the tank should be face to face with your foe and everyone else should be at his back. The reason for this is that in AoC when an enemy swings a weapon, everyone (not just the tank) in the path of that weapon is hit. This can in some cases cause your healer a lot of unnecessary work, so by positioning yourself strategically you can minimize the damage and your healer will thank you for it. Keep in mind that if you don't and it comes down to you and the tank needing a heal at the same time, the tank takes priority. Save yourself the dirt nap.
4. The One Puller Per Group Policy - In each group you will often times have one person that pulls. If you are not that person...DON'T PULL! Anyone from past games can tell you that having more than one person trying to play the groups puller is a recipe for disaster. This will lead to cross pulling, split aggro, and in harder fights a potential group wipe. You may feel that you can solo an enemy and maybe you can, but don't. This will annoy your fellow group members and if your healer is like some of the ones I know you might be counting grains of dirt before you get a heal for doing so. Work with your group. If you want to solo, leave and go do so.
3. Assisting - One good thing to always practice is assisting your main assist for the group. This will keep you from splitting your damage which will take down enemies much slower. Not assisting also causes aggro division and in some cases can interrupt some of your group mates attempts at crowd control. You should always assist unless told otherwise. In some cases you may be called to offtank an enemy, but unless told to do so make sure you assist.
2. Know Your Role - There are a few universal constants in the MMORPG world. One of those is that people have certain expectations of a class. Recruiting a healer for example... When a group recruits a healer they will expect them to, well heal. In some rare cases you will run across healers who believe they are dps classes. If you believe yourself to be one of these classes tell your group up front. Chances are they are expecting a healer and not someone that is going to blow their mana on healer nukes. So if you have no intention of being a healer when recruited, state it up front.
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Aggro management is the responsibility of the whole group.
1. Aggro Control - Many people have for a long time been under the mistaken impression that aggro control is the sole responsibility of the tank. This is however not the case. Aggro control is the responsibility of the whole group. They must work together and not against each other. The greatest tank in the world with the highest allowed aggro skills will still lose aggro to a nuke happy caster or an over attacking dps class. There are a few things you can do to aid your tank in maintaining aggro.
- Always assist the tank.
- Make use of any aggro reduction skills
- Allow the tank about 5-7 seconds to get aggro before you attack.
- When you cast a huge damage spell or use a high damage skill don't use another right after. Allow the tank a moment to keep the foe's attention. In other words, "Don't go nuke happy."
There are many little tricks that groups can pick up along the way and those that work together often will form their own tactics. Everything I have stated here are simple guidelines for players to follow on both the ethic and strategic levels. Use them wisely and you can make a lasting impression on your fellow group mates and community members.
- That's my thoughts now share yours in our forums.
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