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Newbie Guide: The Guides to Leadership

[Amorphist | Aracno | Dubbeltje | Endy | Explicit | Purge | Sepe]

Parties and Leadership

Chapter 1 - Introduction
Chapter 2 - You
Chapter 3 - Common Code of Conduct for Parties (CCCP)
    language, respect, botting
Chapter 4 - Experience parties
    gathering people, starting out, time to leave
Chapter 5 - Equipment parties
    gathering people, differences with xp-parties,
    communication, leadership, troubleshooting
Chapter 6 - Roundup
    a few keywords

Chapter 1 - Introduction

This document was created to help those looking for advice on forming, maintaining, leading, and organizing parties.

The document is mostly written from the perspective that you're the leader, and also acting as tank -- You're the most vital person in a party, and most parties are built around your character. Other members and their positions are a direct result from the leader's intentions and actions.

I will first explain some common similarities for all parties, then we'll move on to experience parties, and finally to equipment parties.

Chapter 2 - You

Leading a party is easy.
Leading a party can be extremely tough and demanding.
You determine what happens.
You determine the awards.
Always remember you depend on others to follow you wherever you go.

Chapter 3 - Common Code of Conduct for Parties (CCCP)

Language : If there's more than one nationality in the party, only use a language all participants speak.

Respect vs problems : Respect each other, and don't let your problems with someone else in the party interfere with the party's actions. If you have a problem with someone, use tells to that person to resolve the issue, or if that's not possible, ask the leader to interfere.

Botting : Do not bot. It shows lack of respect for the work of others in the party, and besides a-social, it can well determine if you'll be invited next time, or if a wizard notices you're in for a nice ban. If you notice, as a leader, that someone is botting, it's not always clear what to do, but here's a few ideas:
- Ask the person to pay more attention.
- Ignore it, but suffer from an undependable member.
- Kick the member out of the party.
- Show the botter he's not good enough, by taking some exits that require special actions, or change your actions so that the botter will at least temporarily be exposed as such.

Chapter 4 - Experience parties (xp-parties)

The basic idea of a party is to combine your efforts into a collective that can defeat monsters you cannot do on your own. When properly executed by xp parties, the direct result is quicker experience than you could make when soloing.

Besides yourself as a tank, you'll need a few extra people to do damage, to reduce the time you're being beaten by the monsters you'll be fighting, and some healing to quickly move on to a next monster.

A nice size to try an xp party with is about 4 people.

Getting those people is not always easy, but start with inviting people you know, that have similar level to yours. If you have trouble getting enough people, try some of these steps:
- Ask those already invited to ask their friends to come and join.
- Ask on the guild channels your party has access to.
- Ask on mud-channel or via direct tells to people similar to your level.
- As always, be polite when asking strangers, and be ready to accept that a lot of people might say no to your offer.

Start easy, and do monsters that require a maximum of 2 "runs" to kill. A "run" is defined by going in, battling the monster, and leaving for regaining hps and sps. Since you're most probably new to this, this will take quite some time to figure out. If someone in your party is more knowledgeable and is willing to share some information, use that information, and when you've tried or done something new, add your own judgement to that, and if approriate share your ideas.

Make sure you have an indication how long people can possibly party with you, to avoid a sudden loss of members at a bad moment. Do not leave a party without warning first, and certainly as a leader indicate at some point that the party will stop "in a few minutes", or something similar. Some people can play for hours without a break, others want a regular period in which to stretch their legs and relax themselves. Leave everyone enough room to be focused, and remain in charge of breaks taken.

Chapter 5 - Equipment parties (eq-parties)

When you want to find equipment to wear and use, there's really no other proper way than to do it with a party.

Eq-parties can be set up using the basic guidelines for an xp-party, but require a whole lot more work from the leader before anything can be done. A typical eq-party will try to fill all 8 slots of a party, and consists of a tank, a healer, an abjurer, a cleric, and a group of blasters.

As you're starting out, be prepared to call it an explore-party, and let those you're inviting know you're new to this. Try to have at least one friend in the party, preferrably with some knowledge on these kind of parties himself/herself. If you don't know anyone really well, try to figure out at the start of the party who is most knowledgeable and most likely to give good advice. In short, you'll be trying to find yourself some "deputies", people you can trust and ask for help.

The reason I'm telling you this, is because eq-parties differ in a few things from xp-parties:
- Eq-parties depend on all to be present at the times promised beforehand, and to be focused.
- Eq-parties involve dying, sometimes lots of it.
- Eq-parties have a lot of activity and communication, but you want to avoid a spammed party channel.
- Eq-parties differ per day, and require different leading each time.
- Eq-parties require much more knowledge than xp-parties do. In fact, it'll be hard to find party leaders that do not need any deputies to rely on for information and advice.

It might not always work the way I explain here, but here's a few guidelines to maintain clean communication in an eq-party :
Create a private channel for the eq-party : This can be used for general chat by the party, and also creates a channel useable by ghosts. And if you're with more than 8 people, this channel is the only way to communicate with all participants.
Minimize usage of the party channel : Leader's hps, important messages from the members, and the reporting of prots/boosts by members.
Use tells: It cannot be stressed enough, but to keep clean communication, it is important to make sure everyone is using tells. Tells should be used for any communication between 2 members of the party, and tells should be used for communication about problems, information, or sharing advice with your deputies. Once tells are done, the leader will be the one communicating any decisions to the party. This will keep messages clear, and will also maintain your leadership.

Because that is what it all is about, leadership.

It does not matter at all which members you have in the party (my earlier typical eq-party can be safely ignored if you want), but what matters is what you do with the people available to you, and whether you can make them do what's best. And you'll have to decide what's best.

Sooner or later it will turn out that what you decided was not the best after all, or before it can be found out, someone in the party is trying to decide for you. It will always happen, and to avoid a break-up of the party, the leader needs to keep control.

Once again, use tells with your deputies for advice on any issues, and if it comes to a mistake, be frank and admit it. If disputes threaten to break-up the party afterall, be prepared to take impopular actions, like kicking out one of the troublemakers.

Lastly, something that I myself forget all too often, is to make sure that your decisions and questions are followed up correctly, and fit the monster you're trying to defeat. In short, check what your members and environment are doing. Don't hesitate to say you'll be idle 1 minute, and scroll back to look what your members did the past few minutes while you were fighting some monster, or look for some missed messages. If something seems impossible, know for sure first that you and your members are taking the right course, before giving up.

Chapter 6 - Roundup

My advice is based on how my character has been developed, but no character is the same, and certainly no party is the same. Use your own judgement everytime you try something new, and learn from those around you, as yourself.

But I won't leave you till I manage to drill in a few keywords:
- Deputies
- Clarity in communication
- Focus
- Check and verify

Dubbeltje, October 31 2004.

[Amorphist | Aracno | Dubbeltje | Endy | Explicit | Purge | Sepe]

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