Today, I thought I'd address a little lighter topic...etiquette. Now, I'm no Miss Manners and I make my share of etiquettal* blunders. And if Miss Manners were to visit Stormreach on one of it's better days, she'd probably keel over and die, but some amount of decorum really does need to be observed. Since she's a Queen, I've invited Carliee to help with this post...
Carliee: Where to start...where to start...oh, I know...we've been talking about finding folks to play with, so let's begin with blind invites...
In the pic to the right, intermixed with the amusing chatter of my guildmates (me giving up chocolate and getting my nails done ... unlikely!), is the same person inviting me to quest with them 4 times! Not only was this person persistant, but these were also what we call blind invites. What that means is that a box popped up in the middle of my screen inviting me to join a party when no tell had been sent (or responded to). To make things even worse, she never responded to my tell regarding her invites and sent another blind invite a few minutes later.
To begin with, blind invites are simply rude. I don't want one blind invite and 6 from the same person is obnoxious. The only ones I accept are from guildies. Those are usually when I first log on and it's called being ninja'd. They are a compliment and they won't get me killed. That's right. I've heard of at least one permie dying from a BI screen getting in the way of his play. In this case, I did miss one of my guildies inviting me to a group via guildchat. I also missed the fun dialog going on there.
Carliee: What she's saying with all that lugubrious chatter is: Send a tell and wait for a positive response before actually inviting someone to your party. And, if you offend someone, apologize.
Player: Think of it as sending an invitation to a RL (real life) party, getting an RSVP, the person arrives at the party and you open the door, rather than you seeing someone, opening your car door (so they have to get in or close it) and inviting them to join you for a party.
Carliee: That reminds me ... when you get a tell asking if you're interested in joining a party, RSVP nicely even if it's to decline.
Player: Good point, Carliee. The person sending tells is working hard to recruit people to fill their party and it's nice for them to know if you can't play.
Carliee: As a cleric, I understand that sometimes you'll feel rather bombarded by tells. A simple no ty is all you need to send back if you don't want to join.
Really, it all just boils down to the good old Golden Rule. Here are some other things that come to mind:
- Naming your toon and/or guild. You may not have to look at your name over your head, but others do. What you choose for a name says something about you. I'm certainly not the PC police and it's pretty hard to offend me, however some names do make it hard for me to quest with someone (or even see them around town).
Trappers: lol ... reminds me of that guy I played with Softener of Stools was it? Nice enough guy and the name is somewhat clever, but gives the impression of a middle school boy mentality.
Player: I've seen worse. That one was kind of amusing at first, but would get old quickly if I had to look at it all the time. Personally, I'd love to lose all the crude names, but the one's that really bother me are the blasphemous ones. Once a friend in my guild gave his toon a name that sounded like he was calling himself God. While running around Korthos with him, I asked about it. He said he hadn't given it much thought and when he re-rolled, he used a different name. Now that you think I'm a big priss...
- Whining. Yes, I do my fair share of this (some might add "and then some"), but seriously, folks, people don't want to hear you whining continuously. Try to put your complaints in a positive sandwhich. Make sure you balance them with more positives than negatives. We all have our annoyances. When I complained in guild chat about getting 10 small candles as +1 loot, my friend V replied that if it weren't +1 loot I'd only have gotten 5 candles. We had a good laugh and turned that whine into a good time.
- Pettiness. It's a game! Let small things go. If someone does something that bugs you, wait to see if they stop on their own and send them a tell if it doesn't stop. Just nicely let them know you're not enjoying whatever it is.
- Chattiness. Stop! Before you write the comment, I know this is most likely my biggest weakness! I love to make silly comments and goofy remarks about stuff. This can get out of hand very easily. When I catch myself in an especially giddy mood, I let my partymates know to tell me if I'm annoying them. There are a couple of guildies I know are annoyed by my playfulness, so when one of them is in the group, I really try to cool it. I don't completely axe it, because I know others like my quips.
- Playstyle. Whether you like to zerg or play slowly, working with your party is important. I like to zerg to a degree at times, but I also love a good dungeon crawl (which is, I think the heart of permadeath) and I don't like to super zerg like we're racing the Concord. My zerging is more like a bi-plane buzzing a field on a warm summer day. The key is communication. I recently ran Smugglers' with a group of guildies. It was insane and I was super frustrated. Everyone was all over the place and they all seemed to know what was happening but I was totally lost. All I really needed was to know that that was the plan and I would have been fine. We were way over the level of the quest so zerging was the way to do it. Due to lack of communication, I felt alone in a meadow with a bi-plane buzzing around me.
- Sound. This is really hard for me. My guildies would prefer I wear headphones. Working in a call center for 5 years turned my ears into heaphone haters. If I wear headphones much at all, my inner ears itch like crazy and make it hard for me to sleep. So, I use speakers. Granted, they're rather cheap ones I'm borrowing from a friend, but they're what I have. I also have a crappy mic. The two are not ideal, but at least I can usually hear and be heard. Sometimes you'll need to comment on someone's volume. Usually one person in really quiet and another really loud. Sometimes it can be resolved. Sometimes it can't. Do what you can.
- If at all possible, finish the quest/quest chain. There will be times when you really have to go, but if you can, simply finish what you start. If you're not sure you'll be able to finish, let the group know before you start and let them decide if that's a risk they want to take.
- Tipping the cleric: As a permadeath cleric, Carliee doesn't have to worry about money. She's not allowed to buy the things that make playing as a cleric expensive. When pugging, it's a very good gesture to give the cleric some cash, wands, scrolls, elixers, etc. Personally, I prefer to wait until the end of the quest to tip. A cleric who bails on a quest or does a crappy job, doesn't deserve to be tipped (my opinion).
*Yes, I made that word form up, though it might be a real word. I think making up my own version of words is fun.