Ten Tips for Successful Grouping
Forming groups for difficult content is a common practice in Massively Multi-player Online Games (MMOG). For some people this is an easy task, but for others, making a good impression can be a bit more difficult. There are many things you can do to make a lasting impression on future groups in Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventure and any other MMOG you might be playing in the meantime. Making a good impression on your fellow group members will not only earn you a chance to find groups with them in the future, but also provide you with a positive image in the eyes of the community. All you have to do is follow these simple tips.
Tip 1: Don't be greedy.
Greed will sink you in the eyes of your fellow members faster than anything. If something drops that you don't need or can't use, offer to pass on it if one of your fellow members can. You are all hunting and there will be plenty of loot to go around. Show good etiquette by taking only what you need and allowing others to take items they can use as well. If no one needs the item, it's pretty much up for grabs unless otherwise set as a rule at the start of the group. (An example would be a master looter collecting all non-rolled loot for selling at the end.) Group members will respect generosity so if you don't need it, don't roll need every time the loot window appears. Doing so will likely earn the contempt of your group and likely not get you invited in the future.
Tip 2: Be considerate to your fellow group members.
When you join or form a group there may be any number of people from any kind of play-style that joins. You may have a Role-player (RP) who prefers to stay in character while you don't. If he does, don't belittle them for their preference in play-style. RP'ers like many others, are often times very skilled players. If you want, try to RP yourself, you just might like it. Like-wise with RP'ers, everyone won't choose to RP so if they choose not to handle it in the same manner. You will meet a variety of people and all will not be like you, but show a little respect and your fellow group members will remember you and respect you for it.
Tip 3: Patience is a Virtue.
One of the great aspects of an MMOG is that it brings people from all walks of life and various countries together in a virtual world. Take this into consideration when you join or form a group. The people you are playing with may appear to be simple pixilated characters, but each one is a person who might be from another country, have a different play-style, or even be new to the genre. This could mean many things. Not everyone is a veteran MMOG gamer and despite the belief of some, not everyone understands our ways. You will meet many people in an online world and English may not be their first language, or they may be new to the MMOG genre and unfamiliar with abbreviations, terms and terminologies. Be patient with them and if need be, offer some guidance. We were all new at some point and players respect maturity, patience, and respectability. That and the new player you stop and help out may grow up to be a successful raider and hook you up with some phat lewt. ~Waves at good friend from Everquest who gave me that ubber mana regeneration item for helping him from the start.~
Tip 4: Don't be a leech.
When you join a group, be prepared to do your share of the work. One thing a group will frown upon is a person who joins and then goes Away From Keyboard (AFK) leaving their fellow group mates to do all the work while they tag along for free experience. Going AFK is fine, but doing it for long periods of time and constantly is not. This is considered leeching and it is simply gaining from the work of others without contributing. If you need to be away for an extended period of time offer to disband from the group. If the group gives you the ok to stay, don't abuse it.
Tip: 5: Don't pull a disappearing act.
One thing players hate is seeing a group member disappear without warning. If you join a group and it finishes a certain part of a quest you wanted done, don't just up and leave your group. At least give them a heads up that you will be leaving; and as an act of courtesy, offer to aid the others in completing what they need before you go. Simply disbanding without a word after you have what you need is not only rude, but disrespectful as well, and players tend to remember that.
Tip 6: Let the puller do their job.
One thing that can sink a group in a dungeon quickly is multiple pullers. When a group is formed, it should be communicated who will be doing the pulling for the group. This person is in charge of bringing enemies for the group to fight. In some cases you will end up with other members of the group taking it upon themselves to pull even though it is not their job. This can lead to multiple pulls and in some cases a group wiping out because of it. If you are not the designated puller; don't pull anything. This will show competence and keep your group out of unnecessary danger.
Tip 7: Assist and be successful.
When a group engages in battle there are often times extra enemies that will join the fray. Groups will in most cases have a designated member as the Main Assist (MA). This person should be assisted by the group to ensure all members are attacking the same target. This will prevent splitting the aggro and allow the tank to maintain control of the combat. If there are crowd control skills available, this will also aid in preventing them from being disrupted. Knowing to assist is expected by most veterans and a good thing to start getting use to for newcomers.
Tip 8: Don't make assumptions and realize expectation.
Some classes can assume a secondary role as healer, but they may not be meant to carry out the role as a primary. When you recruit them, make it clear up front that they will need to fill that role as often times they will expect to be filling their primary duty. This goes for healers as well. When you are recruited, the group will be expecting you to fill the role as a healer. If you have no intention of healing, make that known up front so the group can either grab another healer or replace you. Nothing will earn a groups contempt more than finding out a class they recruited to fill a role doesn't intend to do so.
Tip 9: Don't be a Ninja looter.
Many MMOG's have a variety of loot options and in some cases a group may prefer to leave the loot on Free for All (FFA). If they do, this isn't a green light to loot everything that isn't nailed down. Take your share, but be sure to allow others to benefit from the spoils of war as well. A Ninja looter is a person who takes everything as fast as they can effectively cutting others out of the loot. This activity is not a desirable way to conduct yourself and if you go this route, don't expect to be invited back to any of your fellow members future groups. Share the loot and don't be greedy. There will be plenty for everyone.
Tip 10: Honor and respect your allies.
When the night of hunting ends and the loot has been tallied, offer to buy the first round at the local inn. If you aren't into the whole RP'ing experience offer your thanks for a night of good hunting. Let the group know you enjoyed the hunt and that they can call on you again. A simple courtesy like this will go a long way with many players and may even earn you a spot in one of their future groups.
These are basic principles of grouping and while they may be common fact for some, they are either new or lost on others. By following these simple tips and being courteous, generous, and competent you will make your not only your grouping experience more pleasant, but everyone involved will have a much better time and appreciate you for it. This can lead to new friendships and make your attempts at finding a future group a lot easier.
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