Thursday, January 26, 2012

World of Warcraft: Raid (and Dungeon) Finder Etiquette

So you’ve used my guide (or not) and got those Raid Finder bosses down. Maybe you’re still stuck doing 5-mans to gear up for the Raid Finder. The fact of the matter, however, is they’re simple in comparison to the one legendary encounter I did not mention in my previous article: your group members. They could be the ones who complain, the ones who pull trash and bosses before the rest of the group is ready, the ones who roll on loot they don’t actually need for whatever reason that may occur to them.

The easy solution, of course, is to remove the offending players and this happens often enough to help me regain faith in the integrity of the Dungeon and Raid Finder. However, to eliminate it completely, there are numerous steps players can take that could even go as far as making the Dungeon and Raid Finder an entertaining experience. The following advice can help with this.

Warning: The advice given in this particular article, though derived from observation, is highly subjective. Therefore, I understand if you disagree with the contents below.

Loot Etiquette

Loot is often the reason players choose to run a dungeon or raid to begin with. Sometimes, rolling on loot is purely a matter of judgment, but some situations are clear-cut:
  • Don’t just mindlessly need on everything. Although Role Bonuses (in Raid Finder) will usually prevent players from winning items that are suited for their role, it isn’t foolproof. If an item is obviously not for your role, just pass, greed, or disenchant unless it is clear no one of that role needs it (or you can ask permission to roll).
  • Don’t need on items you already have either unless you actually need two of that item (like two Gurthalaks for a Fury Warrior).
  • Refrain from taking extra tokens, even if you need them for your offset. This may just be a reiteration of the first statement, but players have a tendency to constantly need on tier tokens than any other item.
  • Unless other players allow it, don’t bargain loot for other loot (that may be a larger upgrade for you overall).
  • Do not need on loot just to bargain it. You are taking loot other players can use just to extort them.
Helping Other Players

Somehow, despite numerous people stating it’s better to develop a sense of tolerance for players who under-perform, rudeness and general inadequacy remains plentiful. Here’s some tips that should make Dungeon and Raid Finder groups less of a verbal war zone:
  • If someone makes a mistake, take the time to tell them what they’re doing wrong. When voicing your criticism, don’t use hurtful words, but instead at least use a neutral or kind tone.
  • When inspecting players and observing their performance, if it’s obvious they’re not using the correct gear or otherwise aren’t playing their character optimally, make suggestions to improve their playstyle.
  • The level of optimization you expect is completely up to you, although your expectations shouldn't be too high or too low. Personally, as long as the player is mostly wearing the correct equipment, I have no problems. I can usually understand if players are transitioning from one spec to another or can’t afford Inferno Rubies due to their insane prices. In addition, I only really voice my criticisms if the player clearly isn’t performing well.
  • If for some reason a player constantly makes mistakes despite attempts to correct it within a single run, it would be best to remove the offending player if possible. You at least put some effort to sending them a message and hopefully the kick will make them realize their mistake.
Using Votekick

Speaking of removing players from groups, there are numerous instances (besides the above) when the votekick system should (and should not) be used:
  • Players who intentionally disrupt the group’s progression, such as by pulling additional mobs, facepulling bosses on purpose, or AFKing excessively, should be removed. Giving them a warning or “strike” beforehand is purely optional, as intent and pure accident are usually difficult to differentiate.
  • When a vote to kick option pops up, make sure the person being kicked is being removed for a legitimate reason. Time after time players have been erroneously removed due to abuse or error involving the votekick system.
  • On that note, don’t abuse the votekick system to remove someone for reasons such as spite or selfishness, to name a few (i.e. that player can roll on the same loot that I can, etc).
  • If you are removed from the group, assess what you could have done better (unless the kick was illegitimate). 
Contributing to the Group

These tips should cover any remaining ways to excel at Raid/Dungeon Finder etiquette:
  • Optimize your character. The fact of the matter is, you might not always be right. Use sites like elitistjerks to help you out and make your character as good as possible. Besides, it helps you look a bit more credible when giving other players criticism.
  • Contribute to the group. Provide your class buffs and ensure you do not overlap buffs other classes are already providing.
  • Read ahead. You might not have experienced the encounter personally, but you can find numerous strategies at sites like Wowhead or Tankspot. You can even watch video tutorials!
  • Use your judgment. Sometimes players can make statements that seem incorrect. Double check the statements using the steps above or by using your own common sense. In addition, try not to spread misinformation yourself.
  • Accept criticism. You may actually be doing something wrong that this guide or other guides don't cover.
  • Be courteous or at least silent. You don’t have to act like someone from high society by putting on a monocle and behaving like a gentleman or lady, but instead can at least be sociable (say “hi!”) or otherwise, if you are unable to say anything nice, just hold your proverbial tongue.
  • The previous statement applies to some degree to tips above, as people are highly unlikely to listen to suggestions that are paired with insults or degrading remarks.

Hopefully these tips help you and yield runs that make Raid and Dungeon Finder groups seem more accommodating than aggravating.

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