I grouped for a quest.. and I liked it.

Well, OK, I didn’t. Not recently, anyway. But Shintar of Priest with a Cause has been doing the unthinkable – actually grouping completely randomly to complete quests – and she’s discovering that, actually, she rather likes it:

“People often look down on pugging as something for the desperate, those who can’t find any friends to help them, because why else would you want to group with random strangers? Surely there is no benefit to working with people you don’t know over those you do know. The truth is, it’s hard to explain because there really isn’t anything similar in real life. The best explanation I can think of is that having a positive grouping experience with random strangers is something quite… profound.”

I’d 100% agree. Random, spontaneous groups were one of the joys of the early days of WoW and RIFT both – the stumbling, fumbling progress toward getting a bunch of people to kill Hogger, the end-of-Hellfire Peninsula group quest run with a bunch of people whom you might well end up staying in touch with for dungeon runs. And Shintar nails exactly the reasons why it’s so fantastic – the spontaneous cameraderie, the sense of connection, the sudden feeling that maybe, actually, the rest of the world are basically friendly and nice. It’s a great post.

Spontaneous cooperation with strangers is an amazing thing, whether in games or the real world – just look at the enduring popularity and wonder of flash mob events, or the news coverage of Londoners coming together to clean up after the recent riots. MMOs can promote and encourage that sort of spontaneous reaching out and connecting with people outside your narrow social circle, just like social networking tools – and personally, I’d like to see more of it.

Have you had any particularly awesome or profound experiences from random grouping? Would you like to see more of it?

_Quote taken directly from Shintar’s post.

Find Priest With A Cause’s homepage at http://priestwithacause.blogspot.com/_

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Roundup: Reactions And Thoughts On The Healer, Tanks, DPS In Groups Debate

…Right. So today the blogosphere’s lit up with a range of posts on roughly the same topic after Tamarind’s post from yesterday, where he talks about the LFD system dehumanising us, how much effort we expect from strangers, and how DPS are disempowered and none of us should be okay with this.

A chunky post.

Some of today’s posts are responses to it, some of them look to be happy coincidences. Some of them are about the LFD system: some of them are about the tank/DPS/healer roles. But they all share a common feature. They’re about being part of a group. So, rather than picking and choosing one to stick a seal of epicness on and present you with, I’m rounding them all up, nodding my approval and letting you choose which opinions on the topic strike the most epic chord with you.

  • Shut Up And Follow The Tank: Analogue over at Looking For More says that both healers and DPS should be happy to follow the tank blindly in an instance. Wait, before you get the pitchforks out, go read why. Her post is very grounded. It’s from her point of view of both a healer talking to DPSers and as her recent experience being a DPS in a group where things went a bit haywire (largely because of a nitwibbler of a tank).
  • For good or evil… the LFD tool…: Lady Erinia over at Moments in the Life of a DK is casting her eye back over her WoW career and comparing the times when LFD wasn’t around to now. She says her gaming experience has really changed since LFD turned up and I’d reckon she’s not the only player who’s found that. I wonder how many of us are in similar shoes to Lady E?
  • LFD: How To Fit In: Jasyla of Cannot Be Tamed has a hilarious recount of the worst possible behaviours of any role in a group and needless to say is just what is worst about the dungeon finder and we shouldn’t do. Brilliant, tongue in cheek, and had me laughing out loud. I’m pretty sure we’ve all seen most of the things on her list and maybe even done a few ourselves. Still, keeps the topic at hand lighthearted and fun.
  • A Quick Note and I Am A Damage Dealer: our resident pancake lover Traxy and Vidyala over at Manalicious are both coming to the same conclusion but in very different styles. They’re picking up on Tamarind’s point that DPSers shouldn’t be treated as “less” equal to tanks and healers in a group, and are both saying that DPS should take pride in themselves. Vidyala is very obviously proud of herself and the role of DPS, when she or others do it well and say that DPS should be proud of each other, too. Traxy, on the other hand, wishes she saw that kind of attitude more. Either way – gogo, DPSers.
  • Ancient roles, and non-negotiation in instance groups part 2: Spinks of Welcome to Spinksville has some brief thoughts on traditional roles as handed down from older games and how they interact with the ideal of everyone being able to express him or herself in a group setting. I was more convinced by the first half of her post than the latter, but the whole thing’s an interesting read and something I’d not considered in this debate yet.

That’s all on the topic – hopefully something’s grabbed your attention. Someone’s mentioned it’s no surprise this topic’s come up in the last days of the pre Cata lull and we’ll move on from it as soon as Cata hits. That’s quite true, though LFD probably isn’t going anywhere.

What do you think – are LFD and role ideals going to adapt with us to the new game, or is LFD going to be a worse place in Cataclysm?

You can find…

  • _Looking For More’s homepage here_
  • _Moments In The Life of a DK’s homepage here_
  • _Cannot Be Tamed’s homepage here_
  • _I Like Pancakes’ homepage here_
  • _Manalicious’ homepage here_
  • _Welcome to Spinksville’s homepage here

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Muradin Musings: Why Your Reputation Is Important

A player’s reputation in game is affected by how they act. Seems simple, right? Well, Janyaa over at Muradin Musings is y’know, musing, that some players don’t think about their reputation. Or how it can affect them for better or worse.

Janyaa’s highlighting how a player can really mess up their chances of being included in group content by being a jackass. She’s talking straight from her own experience of being both a recruiter in her guild and someone who sometimes leads PUGs, and it shows that she knows what she’s talking about. She says that once someone shows some murky colours that’s the chance blown in her eyes. And, she points out, a negative reputation spreads by word of mouth.

The consequences don’t only affect a person’s ability to pug. I usually run into bad behavior while on my alt, without them knowing I’m also the recruitment officer for Jubilance. It’s interesting how much more honest people are when you are “incognito.” There have been many occasions that someone has tried to apply to the guild after I’ve had a negative encounter with them. Unfortunately for them, it’s too late. I already know what kind of person they are and how they choose to interact with others.

I’ll give you one guess on how well their application does.

Janyaa goes on to talk about how an individual’s reputation doesn’t just affect them, but can either poison or shinify their guildmates’ reputation. Simply by sharing the same guild tag. Some of this might seem obvious but perhaps it’s not: we all see people shooting themselves in the foot by behaving badly in groups.

What do you think? Is reputation something that people should take more care of, or is it too easy to simply change names or transfer to another server thereby resetting one’s reputation?

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As an aside to this topic, I’d heartily recommend checking out the site WoW Jackass, which I was pointed to last night. You can search any realm for ‘jackasses’ and it’ll bring up descriptions of what the individual did to afford the title. It also has an option to rate information on ‘jackasses’. If you’re into PUGing this site looks like a great tool for checking people and ensuring a workable atmosphere. Murky reputations really do get round._

_Quote taken directly from Janyaa’s post

You can find Muradin’s Musing’s homepage here_

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