Ten Tips to Community Etiquette
One of the greatest things an MMORPG can provide is a strong and sociable community, but often times some people can inadvertently annoy and draw the contempt of their fellow players. This is a simple thing to avoid and Ten Ton Hammer is here to provide you with ten simple etiquette tips to follow when interacting with your fellow players. By following these simple guidelines you can become a community member respected by all and avoid getting shouted down for a simple mistake that you may not realize is a common annoyance in most MMORPG's.
10. Don't be a beggar
The world of an MMORPG is a massive one and is filled with many shiny treasures. Some people will enter the world at level one and want those treasures right away before slaying the first mob. Unfortunately, some people go about trying to get said shiny's by begging the community members. The same thing occurs when people want help or to be power leveled. Some people will literally beg people over and over to aid them or provide them with shiny's. This can be very annoying to other players. Don't be a beggar. Ask once and if no one volunteers to offers goods or help, drop it. Continually badgering the community will not make you any friends. If anything it will earn you a beggar label and people will avoid you like the plague. If someone has time and wants to help great, if not, don't keep pushing or you will risk incurring the wrath of the community.
9. Be patient when forming or looking for a group
Finding or forming a group can sometimes take time. It will require patience so don't go into a frenzy and spam the chat channels. No one will want to join an impatient leader, and likewise a group will not want to invite an impatient member. There are some things you can do to reduce the frustration of your fellow members when forming a group. The very first thing you should do is find a tank and a healer first. From there filling the rest is easy. By getting those two classes you can at least show the appearance of being ready and have the two main classes you need to build around when other players come along. This will as always require patience.
8. When grouping, don't pull a disappearing act
Nothing is worse than a group fighting deep into a dungeon and nearing a boss mob only to learn that one of their members just pulled a Houdini. If you plan to leave a group try and give them an advanced notice, 10-15 minutes if possible. This will allow them to find someone to replace you and maybe not be in a position that will get the rest of the group killed if you just vanish.
Sometimes people lose their connection and that is understandable, but at other times people will just sign off without warning. Try not to be one of these people as it not only will earn you contempt, but it can also lead to your group suffering a hideous wipe because you weren't there. Not something you want to be remembered for. If you do lose connection, try and send a tell to the group and apologize when you log back on. Common courtesy goes a long way.
7. Don't spam the chat channels
Spam is a career ender in an MMORPG.
One thing that will land you on the ignore list faster than anything is spamming chat channels be it looking for group, general chat, or trading. If you are trying to sell an item make sure to use the trade channel, but don't spam your item and price every five seconds. It is ok to advertise but if you do it so frequently nothing else can show in the channel people will hate you. Like all things, post in moderation. The same rules apply for casual conversation and looking for a group. Spam is a career ender in an MMOG.
6. Don't ruin the general chat
General chat is a good place for the community to communicate. It can be a great source of useful information if you have a question and a fun place to discuss the game. That said, don't turn the general chat channel into your own personal two person tell channel. If you are going to post in general chat try to talk about topics that might engage the community. If you and your friend are discussing topics for the two of you, either take it to tells or start your own chat channel. While this kind of discussion is fine for short term, if it lasts a while it is best to take it elsewhere.
5. Don't be a Jerk
Often times new players will enter the world and they will have questions. If you can, try to answer them. If not, don't bash them for asking. We were all new at some point and none of us were born with all the common knowledge of the MMOG worlds etched into our DNA. Sometimes I see someone ask a newbie question and someone replies with an insult or some other ridiculous phrase to insult them. There is no need to be a jerk so don't. I'm sure all of you had to ask questions when you first began and getting insulted sucked then too. Common courtesy rules apply in all venues of an MMOG. Do unto others as they say.
4. Out of Characters and Roleplayers
Every MMOG has two types of players, the roleplayers, and the out of characters. Some people prefer to roleplay their character and with friends while others just want to play and do so completely out of character. There is nothing wrong either way, but often times we find the two at each others throats. This can be easily avoided by simply showing a little respect. If you join a group and a person is roleplaying, but you don't, that is fine, but don't go into an insult spill because you disagree with his play style. This goes for the roleplayer as well. If someone chooses not to roleplay, don't go into a spill of his lack of roleplay skill and insult him. These two can at times have a serious misunderstanding of each others play style, but by not being overly aggressive the two can make just as solid as group as anyone else.
3. Don't be a mob thief
When you are out hunting in the great wild and you come across a person who has just cleared out an entire camp to get to a named mob and he is fighting the very last mob before the named at that moment you are passing, do you let him have what he worked for, or run in and steal the name while he is weak and clearing the last? If you said choice two smack yourself in the forehead and shame on you.
While there is no written rule or law that says you can't steal this guys named mob that he has worked so hard to get to, it is just common courtesy that you don't. That person may not remember you if you just pass by, but they will sure as heck remember you if you take what they worked so hard to get, and you can bet they are going to tell people. In some cases this spills over into general chat and thus not only violates this principle, but number 6 as well.
2. Train to Zone!!!
If you train, warn others of your wall of approaching death.
We don't know exactly how mob AI will work in Age of Conan so we will use Everquest as a comparison for this one. In Everquest you could manage to get the attention of many mobs, often by mistake. This mistake is called a train. To escape, people usually would make for the nearest zone exit or whatever would lead to loading out of the area. To warn others of their impending train, people would often times shout "Train to Zone!" They would also name the zone or exit they are heading for. If we have trains in Age of Conan, it would be a good practice to warn others in a similar way if you should find yourself dragging a wall of death behind you in the direction of innocent bystanders.
Again, there is no written rule for how you have to handle this, but common courtesy is to handle it in such a way that you don't suffer collateral damage in the way of innocent bystanders. You can do this with a simple warning, or if you see someone in your path that can't escape, just eat the death. People will appreciate you not getting them killed and all it may costs you is a corpse run of sorts.
1. Group and Guild invites. Send a tell...
This is perhaps my biggest annoyance in MMOG's and I saved it for last. When you invite someone to a group or a guild, have the decency to send a tell first. Don't you want to know what or who you are inviting to where? One of the most annoying things you can have happen is to be running along and for no good reason get a guild or group invite window pop up in your face. I can't emphasize this enough, "SEND A TELL FIRST!" What good does it do a person to join a blind group invite only to have to leave it because they don't want to go where you are going.
Also, what kind of guild are you if you are really inviting people blindly. To that matter, what person in their right mind will join a guild that does drive by invites? Can you say drama train wreck waiting to happen?
There are a lot of unwritten rules to common courtesy in the MMORPG universe. You can choose to follow them and become a respected member of the community, or you can ignore them at your own peril. Many of these rules are not required for people to follow. They are simply rules of thumb that people choose to follow to be courteous to their fellow players. What type of person you will be in Hyboria is up to you. Make it a good one.