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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Setting group atmosphere

By Azariell

Atmosphere is a very important aspect when rating an activity. Even when a Pug results in numerous wipes but in the mean time you had fun with the people in there and the overall atmosphere was good, then chances are you still had a good time, despite of the wipes.

By now we all know the silent LFD-Pug runs. You enter, say hi (if at all) and continue with the run without further chit-chat. To be honest, with those kind of runs, I always try very hard to lighten the mood in the first seconds, but when the other 4 just stay silent then at some point I stop trying and turn into my own game again for the 20 minute lasting silent-treatment.

This, however, is an issue that is bound to have been up on several blogposts since the LFD-tool was introduced. No, what I want to talk about is a pretty specific element from general Pugs, which is the' starter instructions' which can be linked to my earlier post "To Tank or not to tank, thats the question"

As a healer during the leveling process, and later in my tank role I have been thinking about building a pretty simple macro which can either be aimed at one single character or the entire party chat. At some point I was triggered to write a blogpost about it when Garumoo gave us an insight in his macro for addressing tanks at the start of of Pug.

But my issue has always been, how will it affect group atmosphere when the first thing you say is "K, listen up; 1: You pull, you tank (and most likely die); 2:I determine the pace etc etc". When you bring it in a kind manner, people will just have a laugh at you, and for example when you are the tank, they will purposely start pulling things for you to 'catch'. If you start of with a harsh message, somewhat like I just gave as an example, people will see you as one of the elitist jerks.

Will the healer (if you are the tank) be more willing to do his best when you start barking orders. Will the tank be more likely to stay if at the first few seconds of entry, he gets told several 'orders' on how his behavior should be? I'm most certainly not amused when at the start I get told (what I already know and take into account) to stay in range of the healer, wait for his mana etc OR ELSE... then I'm not that eager to tank the instance anymore. I am aware of the fact that there are tons of jerk-tanks out there, but that doesnt instantly mean I'm one of them.

A solution would be to only do those messages when things turn sour. Tank chain-pulls the entire instance, trigger happy dps etc. But at that point the atmosphere is already pretty grim and when you start handing out tips the group is more likely to fall apart then give it another go.

A completely different point of view would be that pugs nowadays are very short and why would one even attempt to create any kind of atmosphere when you will most likely never see those players again. But think about it, for some players, doing pugs is the majority of their playtime. If we add all those 20 minute runs, how much would be left outside of the pug to create the atmosphere?

Eric on the Elder game actually made an excelent post about the size of the community compared to the anonymity of the players. When you reflect that post on the LFD pugs, you see a small group (meaning less anonymous) but with a playing/shared time of 20 minutes the effect of the small group is completely negated. So again, why would you bother?

Personally I caught myself several times being more focused on the guild chat than on the pug I was running. When chat in the guild is fun, and the party is as silent as an isolation cell then people will focus less on the party, and more on the guild. Not a good development if you ask me.

So what do you all say?
Just accept the silent treatment and just 'get what we came for'? Or do you actively try to create some atmosphere and just have some fun with other people in what has turned into a daily HC grind?

2 comments:

オテモヤン said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Azariell said...

Hmm, Spam ftw?