Friday, February 20, 2009

Group Etiquette and etc.

Something that has always fascinated me is the various bits of group etiquette that seem universal and others that I would think should be universal, but which are not.

Apparently, each realm has it's own standard of group etiquette and loot rules and the like... which is amazing.. and makes you wonder how your own realm developed its own etiquette rules. Did one person just randomly say it, and then it spread like wildfire?

The most common series of rules is the idea of 'Need before Greed'.

However, the definition of need and greed can vary greatly depending on who is doing the looting and what their definition of something they NEED may be.

So, let me clarify.

Need Before Greed
An item drops. It's an upgrade for you, for your main spec. Not an alt. Not your offspec. The spec you are currently playing when it dropped. You say, "That's an upgrade, may I need on it?" and nine times out of ten, the group says, "Sure!"

Caveats to that rule seem to crop up only when high-value items drop and people then wince and say, "But but but... that sells on the AH for $$$!"

In MY opinion, that doesn't matter. It's an upgrade for said person. They get it. End of story.

If it's an upgrade for two people, then they should both roll for it. If Person A had already gotten a piece of loot over Person B, then they should be fair that Person A passes so that Person B gets a piece of gear, too. Once both have gotten one piece each, it goes back to whomever rolls highest next.

What does not count as Need rolls?
  • Enchanters needing on greens/blues/epics and keeping all the shards because they NEED enchanting supplies.
  • Frost Orbs are greed items. EVERYONE can use them. EVERYONE gets a chance to roll on it. It's always best to ask ahead of time what is the rule on Frost Orbs. Is it a greed roll or a need roll? Even if it's the last one you need to make your zomgepic!, it is not a need roll.
  • Sidegrades are not need rolls. If it isn't a clear upgrade, and someone else can use it, please be nice and pass on it. If it isn't a clear upgrade and there is a disenchanter on the group, maybe consider passing on it so someone gets a chance at a shard.
Just because you can see it, skin it, pick it, doesn't automatically make it yours.

Always ASK at the start of a group if there are any other miners, skinners, pickers. If there are, set up a fair way of distributing any potential resource.

Let's not forget kindergarden rules... Share, because you'd hate it if some other person kept running ahead of you to steal your resource, over and over again and you get nothing.

Likewise, be nice to your skinners. Loot all bodies, even if the thing that drops is vendor trash and you don't really want to pick it up. At least open the body so someone else can take the gray gold and so the skinner can skin the body.

The Big No-No's
  • Needing on a BoE (or BoP) item that is not an upgrade after everyone else has Greeded on it. (This is known as Ninja'ing) You get one free "Oops!" before you get labeled (and probably kicked). There is a confirmation window that pops up when you hit NEED on an item. One time is pushing it into the realm of "You're saying you can't read? Okay. Don't do it again.".
  • Greeding on a BoP item that you don't intend on using if there is a DE'er in the group. Saying 'I need gold!' is not acceptable. Everyone needs gold. And you get more gold from the DE'd shard than you would from the item itself. Taking an item from the DE'er to vendor is basically stealing shards from the group.
  • "Stealing" resources after you've set up a fair-use system.
  • "I need that.", "I need that too.", "I need that also, I'm going to roll on it against you!" Be nice. Play fair. Share with others.
  • If there is no DE'er and everyone is greeding on things to vendor, once you get your greed item, pass so others can get something as well. Once everyone has gotten something, it's okay to go back to greeding. But no one likes to see, "Kikidas has won...", "Kikidas has won...", "Kikidas has won..."... well, I like to see it, but it undoubtedly makes everyone else feel a little cheated.

Raid Marks/Kill Order and Other Party Irritations

DPS: This doesn't have as much to do with etiquette as it does just standard good sense and tactics. Divide and conquer is supposed to be OUR motto. But it works in reverse. Don't try to be a hero (unless you know you can do it and not cause your healer to have to stop healing the tank to heal you) and tackle that one mob over there. Protect your healer, but let the tank get first dibs at it.

A kill order is a very simple thing to follow. Skull. X. Next. There's a reason the tank or whomever is marking picks one to kill first. Often, it's because that mob does some nasty AoE or ability or heal, or some other thing that otherwise makes it a pain in the ass that needs to die as soon as possible! If you're off spending your abilities and damage on a different target, the skull isn't dying as fast as it should be, which means it's having more time to do that annoying thing we all don't want it to do.

Likewise, the tank is expecting the DPS to unload into skull, so they aren't trying to stack threat as quickly on the other mobs. Which means you're more likely to pull the aggro from the tank and either die because the healer has a 'kill order', and you're low man on the list, or because the healer isn't expecting you to be tanking and is healing other people instead.

Something I am guilty of, and often, is opening up with my abilities before the tank has solid aggro. Granted, the time they need for solid aggro has decreased significantly, but it is still not at time-zero. Nothing pisses off a tank more than when the DPS opens up with both barrels the very instant that the tank hits the first mob, especially if the tank is pulling with a weapon rather than charging in.

(In my own defense, sometimes I really AM doing nothing but standing there and the mobs want to come say hello.)

Many DPS classes have extra abilities, such as removing curses, diseases, healing, bubbling. Do not get so focused on GOTTA PEW PEW that you forget that you can have a very important role in keeping people alive, well and very importantly, keep your healers bubbled when they're about to get walloped.

Nothing, NOTHING, is more irritating when you have someone getting eaten alive with diseases or poisons or magic or curses, seeing someone who can REMOVE said things... and noticing that they aren't.

Help your healers out. They have enough on their plate with healing.

Tank: Most often, you tanky types get marking abilities. This is because we're expecting you to lead the show. What this means is we want you to know what mobs need to die first and fast, and if you don't know, please be nice enough to let someone else mark, or ask what needs to die first. Nothing frustrates people more than when the healer that isn't marked to die first keeps healing everyone we're trying to kill.

The other thing is that you set the pace. In this era of endless mana, there is rarely a time when we need to stop between trash pulls. The only time to stop is if you need to explain something. If the last mob is dead and your group is alive and standing around and no one has said 'afk', 'brb', 'bio', 'wait'... you should be marking the next group and getting to it.

Be aware. Situational awareness is something we all need to have, but you tanks need to have it especially more than the rest of us. You're the one dictating where the fight is going to take place and what position you're going to hold the boss in. If it's a place where the DPS can't get to the boss, or if you're trading off taunts with another tank and the boss keeps hopping about... you're going to irritate the DPS and likely decrease the amount of DPS being done overall.

If you're staying where a pat happens upon, be ready to pick up that pat. Nothing irritates the healers and DPS more than when a mob starts in on the raid and starts one-shotting people here and there. Your DPS and other classes that CAN, will try to help you out with a taunt or a stun or some other thing to get the mobs off of the squishies... but it's your job to be aware of these things.

Healer: The biggest job of the healer is to keep the tank alive. In these days of increased tank aggro, we usually only have to heal splash damage from something's AoE on people who aren't the tank. However, there are the "Heroes" out there that love to pull aggro. (K, I'm looking at you.. er, me. Damnit.)

Don't let the tank die to save the people who aren't doing their job. If they feel they can tank it, then let them tank it or die trying. If a ret paladin consistently doesn't bubble when they're about to die, or any class with healing abilites refuses to cast any healing spell on themselves... let them die. Or they never learn.

However, when the tank isn't hurt, please don't let the DPS sit around half-dead from splash damage. We hate dying due to splash damage.

The one thing that really irritates me about healers is in raid situations. You're given an assigned person to heal. You're either on main tank, off tank, or raid healing. Do NOT stop healing the main tank or off tank because the raid is taking some damage. Let the raid healer do that. That's their job. Not yours. No one will be happy if the main tank dies because you were busy healing the rogue of some splash damage.

If you're assigned to healing the Main Tank, do not stop to heal the Off Tank. Let the OT healers do that. I don't care if you're sitting there twiddling your thumbs. There's a reason we have someone assigned to doing one job. So that as soon as the MT starts to take damage, you are ready to go, no spells on cool down, no need to retarget or whatever... you just heal.

In this age of endless mana, there is almost no reason that on fights where the tank takes spikey damage, that you can't ABC, just learn to Esc or move if the heal isn't needed. But nothing irritates the tank more than when they get hit every 2 seconds for 10k damage, and they go 4 seconds before they get their first heal. (0-2 seconds for damage to be taken, ~2 seconds more for a heal to be cast and lo, the tank has taken yet more damage!)


And I'm spent! Comments welcome. :)


  1. Wisdom.

    The only thing I might argue with is this:

    "Don't let the tank die to save the people who aren't doing their job. If they feel they can tank it, then let them tank it or die trying."

    This is situational. If the person that did this is close to a healer, then that person dying is probably going to cause the healer to die, too, since healer aggro is distance-sensitive (or it used to be, darned if I know anymore in 3.0).

    So if you see that person is close to a healer, and you're a healer, you might need to keep that person up despite your (very valid) opinion of their ability to control aggro.

    Otherwise, well said indeed.

  2. Er - let me clarify something. I'm not saying that the tank should die to protect this person. I'm saying that the risk may be worth it in certain situations.

  3. Oh, I completely agree that we need to keep alive the people keeping us alive.

    I'm talking about the people who do it all the time, regardless of the situation. :)

  4. This made me thinkof something that drives me nuts - collection quests in instances. I'm thinking specifically of the sanguine hibiscus in Underbog and the weapons in Utgarde Keep, though there are others.

    Healers stand in the back. Ergo, they are the very last to get to that collectable item way up there on the other side of the mob you killed. If you're always leaving all the collection items for the healer to pick up last, they may get cranky. They may get *really* cranky if there are not enough items in the instance to go around.

    No one likes cranky healers.

  5. The same goes for quest drops from mobs, ranged classes are always the last to get the items if it's a 'first come, first get' item, rather than specifically assigned to someone.

    I think Blizz is working on that, because for the most part, in Wrath, the collection quests seem to make sure there's enough to go around. :)