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Reader Comments (24)

Posted: Apr 20th 2010 8:13AM (Unverified) said

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don't pug, or don't have standards for pugging. the only people you should have standards and expectations of are guild members. if they fail then you need to find a new guild.

Posted: Apr 20th 2010 8:29AM (Unverified) said

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I only expect that people are upfront and honest about their experience in a game. I don't mind taking newer people through so long as my expectations are set in advance. If I am farming for 'uber-sword-x' and a person in my party is wondering why they can't jump in GW, then I would be a bit pissed.

On the other hand, in any game, I personally feel patient and informative veteren's of the game is what helps create good game communities. So I would encourage all the 'knower's' out there to help out a new kid occassionally.

Posted: Apr 20th 2010 8:33AM (Unverified) said

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There's a flip side to that. Often the new people don't want to admit they don't know what they're doing and when they do eff up royal, they get all defensive. If the group failed and everyone is telling you it's your fault it just might be. Accept it.
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Posted: Apr 20th 2010 10:25AM Dumac said

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@Kdolo

That's because often when you admit that you don't have experience, you get kicked, so its only natural that you would want to hide that, if only to avoid being embarrassed in front of 5 other people who appear to have lots of experience judging by their 17 sets of epic weapons and armor.

Personally, i never expect anything but to have fun, and most often, i am disappointed by over achievers who are looking for the easiest and fastest way to beat the system with little regard towards others or to why we are there in the first place, which is to play a game. Guild Wars if FULL of these kind of people, though that's another topic.

What i ultimately expect when grouping, is that no one leaves in the middle. I can take anything else, from elitists to noobs and jerks, but whats great about those people is that when you reach the finish line, you get to have the satisfaction of achieving something despite having THAT in your group, sometimes it can be a pretty nice feeling. But not when anyone leaves.
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Posted: Apr 20th 2010 8:30AM (Unverified) said

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I expect people to be conscious. Often, I am disappointed.

Posted: Apr 20th 2010 9:19AM nomoredroids said

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I was running a pen-and-paper game once where a guy showed up to a session, which was great. He rolled up a character and then promptly decided he was too tired to play, and slept through the entire session. At first, I tried to get him to wake up, but eventually I gave up on him. Rude. Effing rude.

I have a similar patience with the people I game with in MMOs, and I am often similarly disappointed by their general lack of desire to participate as a team member.
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Posted: Apr 20th 2010 8:33AM (Unverified) said

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When playing Kingdom of Loathing, I introduced a two new friends after I'd been playing for about a year. I'm a filthy optimizer, the type of person that memorizes skill functions, item drop rates, and will spend an hour of planning to save five turns. One friend took all the advice I could give, so I kept feeding him new strategies each run for how to best use his new skill, which zones to do in which order, and how to defeat the monsters at low levels. The other friend I had to consciously hold back. She liked hints, such as which monster drops what quest item or which of the two items she had is better to equip, but when she spent a whole day cleeshing giants and gaining no XP to complete a worthless quest, I bravely held my tongue and just gave her some gentle tips about killing strong monsters rather than telling her that, quite frankly, she was doing something stupid and wasteful.

So long as players aren't hurting the party's chances of success, I'm okay if they do less optimal attacks or make a few errors.

My more recent experience is in Aion. Early on you get access to Fire Temple, the second instance in the game, but probably the best known. It's a short instance, only 30 minutes long, and you can run it over and over because the lockout is so short. Many players will run it once to complete a quest for a really nice weapon (for that level) and others will run it dozens of times because the boss very rarely drops gold ("epic") weapons that are incredibly desirable.

During the first run where I was tanking, I took it slow, not knowing where to find the good pulls, and not wanting to have a bad pull and wipe (death in Aion is very expensive). I hadn't seen the instance before, so I was enjoying searching for the boss monsters in hopes of getting loot. One player, though, had been running it repeatedly and was upset to find that we were taking it slow. Nobody was at fault there, he admitted, but it wasn't what he expected when he applied to the group.

Later on, I had gotten into speed mode and started doing "Boss Runs", which are misnamed because you actually skip all the bosses (and as many pulls as you can) to just kill the final boss over and over as fast as possible. There you're faced with a tough decision: if it's a new group, do you take it slow and make extra pulls to ensure nobody dies? Or do you trust they can make the jump and glide without aggroing any extra mobs? If you wipe, everyone loses XP and Kinah. But if you go slow, you only extend what was a tedious grind to begin with. I ultimately opted to take it slow, explain each pull to the group, and make the extra pulls so that nobody died. It was fun for a bit, but it gets old, especially since you could do 3-6 runs a day, and wind up doing it again the next day.

One problem I have with MMOs is that they seem hostile to players who don't memorize all the patterns and know what they're doing ahead of time. Frequently, there's no learning as you go: either you've read a strategy guide and know how to beat this boss or which skills to use in PvP, or you simply fail. If you go into an instance blind, either you need a whole group of newbies (who can be surprised by everything that happens) or else the players that know wind up just telling you what to do, which can be a downer unless the content is fun to explore (like Gnomeregon in WoW, which was fun to see and explore, even if my party was telling me where to go and what to do at every turn). DDO had difficulty tuners for the adventures so that you would do the adventure on the easy difficulty first, learn the basic layout, then come back on hard to really test you mettle. I liked that setup, since you could go in blind and be okay with it on easy, and know that when you did Hard, you would have a group that's run it at least once and doesn't need basics explained.

-SirNiko

Posted: Apr 20th 2010 11:38AM Birk said

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Well put, I completely agree with what you have said here. It was frustrating to me, actually, running heroics in WoW for exactly that reason.

I would run heroics continually, all day...and when you can essentially blow the boss over with a sneeze, it becomes very difficult to tolerate new players that do not know the mechanics, or who pull additional patrols that arent needed.

But the thing is, I HATED myself for adopting this mentality. The game should not encourage people to memorize a dungeon to the point that they can do it in their sleep, but ultimately that is the result of badge-runs. The compromise is raiding epics for non-raiders at the expense of excessive tedium. Even if the mob groups were random or something, or the bosses scaled up a bit depending on the group gear level...

But I digress. The point is that when dungeons become tedious, it becomes nearly torturous to have to explain things to new players over and over, even when you WANT to help out those who are new. It sucks, but ultimately it is difficult to sacrifice vast amounts of your leisure time to instruct people on how to do content that you have experienced over 50 times before.

I dont like the environment that this kind of repetitive play encourages.

As a side note...do you have a rogue on US-Black Dragonflight named Nikolo? You just sound like him ;)

-Birk
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Posted: Apr 20th 2010 2:26PM (Unverified) said

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Nope! I haven't played WoW since before Burning Crusade. Leveled a human Paladin up to 58 over four months (Was it Bleeding Hollow?), had a blast, but decided I'd exhausted the novelty of the game when I realized all I was going to do in raids was spam Cleanse for an hour.

I know it's better now, but not enough to convince me to resub, especially since the game's so old and everyone knows everything and I'm just way too far behind.

What I'd really love is a new MMO that's designed so that you can just jump in and play without knowing what to do. WoW has that with the easy mode instances, I think, because they're relatively simple even with the basic scripting. You jump in, have fun, and unless one player has absolutely no clue what they're doing or your level is way under the instance recommendation, you can expect to go through, get the loot, and have fun doing it.

BOTS (by Acclaim) also had that sort of thing. You get a group of players together to run a level, then you beat the snot out of everything in your way. Not a whole lot of variety in the play, but it doesn't need it. You kill some stuff, grab the loot, and then repeat. Having more players is only a positive, since loot rates rise exponentially (1 player will rarely see any loot, but 8 players will get 2 loot minimum every run). Bringing along somebody near braindead is almost always better than having an empty slot. It's a shame that after a few weeks the novelty wears off, but it's fun until then.

-SirNiko
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Posted: Apr 20th 2010 9:51AM (Unverified) said

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There is lot to talk about this theme but I expect people with higher lvls at least to know possibilities of their characters and basics of the game, team fight, shortcuts specific for game they play and not only lol and omg... thats why I really hate those power lvled characters that may occur from time to time in particular games. These called high lvl noobs are my worst nightmare. You can´t recognize one before actually seeing him doing some crazy shit. = )

Posted: Apr 20th 2010 2:20PM (Unverified) said

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I generally expect anyone in my guild that has done an encounter to remember the generalities. The specifics we can hit really quick before the actual engagement.

For PUGs I generally go over how we do something every time because I've found that parties often tackle challenges slightly differently. That is reasonable and expected.

I start to get upset when the same people make the same mistake over and over after it has been explained in detail. Eventually I'll call it a night but I'm not the rage quit type.

Posted: Apr 20th 2010 9:18AM Meagen said

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In GW, all I expect from fellow party members is to either know the strategy for the current mission or be willing to listen to someone who does.

In CoH, all I expect from them is to know how to play their character and not be too hung up on whether a team has a "tank" and a "healer".

Posted: Apr 20th 2010 9:41AM Audacious said

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I take the mantra I was taught in driving school concerning other drivers. Paraphrasing:

Assuming everyone around you is a drooling moron incapable of performing satisfactorily, and bring your best to compensate.

You can't be disappointed if your expectations are always low.

Posted: Apr 20th 2010 10:18AM Orvidos said

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I like PUGs. >_>

As a healer quite often (WoW, CoX, etc) I'll often get second string, and sometimes even first, at determining the pace of the group. This is especially prevalent in things like WoW, where an OOM healer after a hard fight (be it from someone over-pulling or simply a tough boss) gets to hold up the group for 20-30 seconds.

Because I'm a very social person when I don't have to be (gogo gadget cynicism) I like to chat people up between fights, or when a pull is particularly easy. (Being a druid in WoW helps, since I can just refresh HoTs and chat away.) I get bored easily in a group that doesn't talk. I get bored even faster in a group that has noobs that won't admit it.

If you're a noob, welcome to the zone/level range/game. I/We (Mostly 'I' I'd imagine) hope you enjoy your stay. I'd be happy to help you out when you're willing to admit you fucked that one up. I'll give you a pointer or two, gently remind you that it's something we've all done and not to worry, and res you and move on.

No-one knows the game when they start, hell, there are still things I don't know about WoW after all these years. (Why people play paladins for instance.) Instantly assuming people know what value X does to value Y is ignorant, and you should be punched in the feet. (Addons like GearScore or the addition of Raid completion Achivements, again using WoW primarily, don't help this attitude)

So, give a noob a chance. Even if you get fed up with 5/6 of them and rage-quit your group, help one of them out. They'll thank you, be a better player for it (hopefully) and you may just find you have a new guild member or friends list note down the road.

Posted: Apr 20th 2010 10:23AM (Unverified) said

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In Guild Wars, I expect some basic knowledge of the people in my group. They must understand how the game mechanics work and how to operate their class/role properly. Any special conditions that apply to the mission or whatever it is that the group has been formed for, can be explained at a later time, and I can always advise people to take certain skills or show certain titles (always show your Lightbringer title in the Realm of Torment! It gives you an advantage to the enemies there!), but all that is no good if the very foundations of a player's knowledge are weak to begin with.

Posted: Apr 20th 2010 11:24AM Heraclea said

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Games that are full of encounters that are elaborate ritual dance sequences, where a single person out of place can seriously hinder or wipe the group.... are games that I do not enjoy at all.

Whatever game I'm playing, I came here to play a character that I chose to play. I chose that character because I like that kind of play style and the powers I chose to train. Inserting an encounter where it suddenly becomes harmful or counterproductive to use them inherently devalues the character you came to play. Insert too many of these, and you'll find that your characters will end up getting frozen out of teams, and that there's content you will never see. (Melee DPS classes tend to be the most disadvantaged by complex mechanics in encounters; the least imaginative ways to add "challenge" all seem to involve physical damage immunities, penalties for being close, or bypassing armor sets.)

An encounter where you must endure wipe after wipe until you finally get the choreography down with sufficient precision involves too much failure and frustration to be fun. I don't want to have to read an encyclopedia article or training manual to learn how to fight the dragon. It breaks immersion; and at any rate, I came to the game to get away from that sort of thing.

Posted: Apr 20th 2010 11:51AM Arkanaloth said

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Typically in GW I HH everything. Only thing I really ask out of people.. the few times I group with anyone.. is a general degree of competency and an agreeable nature. All the "l33t" skills in the world won't make me stay in a group with someone flying off the handle at the drop of a hat... and given that I know for a fact in GW I can run an HH team instead and be successful, why deal with disagreeable personalities??? There's no reason to remain in such a group in GW, HH it and have fun.

Posted: Apr 20th 2010 12:20PM (Unverified) said

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The issue in WOW (in my opinion)- especially in Heroic dungeons, is that they are old content. How many people have never been to a heroic dungeon? Because of that, you start to expect that everyone has been to and completed the dungeon (on at least one character). Unless they straight up say "Hey, I haven’t been here" I'll chain pull the entire instance.

As for raiding, I lead 25 man raids, so when I get into a pug I generally end up leading... whether I want to or not. I have absolutely no problem explaining fights or going over mechanics- the same caveat applies though; If I don’t know there are inexperienced people, I won’t explain the fight.

Posted: Apr 20th 2010 12:48PM Tom in VA said

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To answer your OP question, I expect very little from people, since I so seldom play with them.

I do expect a lot from my henchmen and Heroes (in Guild Wars), however, and they always meet or exceed my expectations of them. They are a VAST improvement over most PUGs I have been in.

My biggest gripe with PUGs is not mistakes and inexperience, but know-it-alls and control freaks and prima donnas. Those are the personality types that grate on me. I'll take a relatively noob group over a group with obnoxious know-it-alls any day of the week.

It is possible to have a group that is both pleasant AND experienced, but such groups are exceedingly rare (especially in PUGs). That's why I prefer an all-NPC group -- usually -- to grouping with other players, be they experienced or not.

Posted: Apr 20th 2010 3:55PM Droniac said

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In a PUG I don't expect any of the players to have any prior knowledge of the encounter nor any great deal of skill or experience with their class. In part because it's utterly unrealistic, but also because to do otherwise would make me an elitist prick and those are the kind of players that I loathe above all others.

I like to read quest text, watch cutscenes and talk in party chat. And I do a lot of build and strategy experimentation with friends and guildies. So me and elitist pricks, we don't mesh too well.

Oh, but I do expect newcomers to listen and learn. You can't make the same kind of newbie pull ten times in a row and wipe the party after being told what to do to prevent it, that's just being willfully ignorant. But a newcomer who makes a wrong move and wipes the party once... so what? As long as (s)he's being a good sport and listens to advice, then it's fine.

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