The concept of MMOs is one with which I’ve been familiar for quite some time. I’ve tried a few over the years but never had one win me over like Aion has. That said, I will admit that even though I’ve learned quite a bit about the MMO culture over the years, I was quite unaware of many nuances that you don’t really pick up on unless you really sit down and PLAY. For instance, grouping and manners — or a general lack thereof by many players I’ve encountered. Granted, most of those I grouped with in the closed beta events were better mannered than some I’ve run across since Aion’s release, I think overall it’s because no one really says anything to those who cross these unwritten/unspoken boundaries.
To me, most of these seem pretty common sense and are of course my own opinion, but I am always open to hear the views of other players!
Leaders: Lay down the ground rules before you begin
I’d have to say without a doubt that one of the best groups I’ve been in is one where the group leader laid down the ground rules before beginning the instance. He made clear what the group’s goals were, asked where everyone was on which quests (or who needed what, etc.), and stated what the loot distribution method would be.
You would think everyone would be that clear, but I think many group leaders just “wing it” or make it up as they go, and/or assume that everyone is on the same page. This is not always the case and a good leader should be clear, IMO.
Players: Donâ€™t roll on it if you canâ€™t use it
This isn’t practiced by everyone, but personally I consider it bad manners to roll on an item that you can’t use. If there is someone in your group that can use it, hit Pass. He/She should be the one to roll on it.
That said, if no one in the group can use the item, then I say “greed it” — let the whole group roll because whoever gets it is going to sell it. I’m not opposed to making a profit in-game, but courtesy should come first.
Leaders: Mark your targets
It should go without saying that this should apply where necessary. It should also go without saying that as a leader of a group, you should be clear on the attack strategy and make your plans known, but this isn’t always the case. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve grouped with people for an instance and be yelled at for hitting the wrong mob.
Leaders, if you plan on implementing some means of CC, make sure everyone knows which targets to hit, which to root or sleep (CC), and if needed, the priority of targets.
I’m a Ranger. I have limited CC. Well, actually, I have only one: the Sleep Arrow. Some mobs resist it, but when it works it’s great. The drawback is that it has a cooldown time of 3 minutes. A good leader should take this into account and plan attacks accordingly, whether by waiting until I can CC again, or if another player is able to do so, have them take the next one.
Players: You, too, can res
Most groups, if not all, have a healer. Healers are good, mmmkay? Healers can save your skin if you are caught off-guard by a nasty mob, they can heal you or even res you if said mob BAFs and snuffs you out. I love healers. Buffs and heals rule.
But what if your healer gets zapped?
Here is where I think other classes should take a little extra effort to help them out: stock up on res stones. You can get them from any General Goods Merchant (after you’ve ascended of course). I never go anywhere without them. Granted, you can’t res yourself with one, but if your healer gets wiped out, you can come to his/her rescue with one of those handy things. Plus, if your healer is busy attending to another matter (say, healing your tank who’s keeping the boss turned around away from the rest of the group so everyone isn’t wiped out!), you can lend a hand if another group member has fallen and needs to be brought back to the land of the living.
Leaders: Take frequent mana breaks
This is a personal pet-peeve of mine. Granted, I am not a healer, so I am not as dependent as they are, but many of my self-buffs and “special” skills take a lot of MP. When I run out, I’m reduced to very few attack options.
Leaders, please, keep an eye on your group members’ levels and take breaks where/when convenient. Your heals/DPS people will thank you for it. :)
You: Have other ideas?
Leave a note in the comments form below and let me know what you think!