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Newbie Guide: The Guides to Leadership

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


This text gives some suggestions about how to assemble a party, and how to manage and lead the party when you have it. The text is divided into sections marked with "Eq" and "Exp", if you're only interested in one of them you can skip the other sections.

- Why Party?
- Putting the party together
- Maintaining your party

Why party?
So why should you go through the trouble of putting a party together, what is so good about partying?

In general the biggest factor is "fun", this is a personal opinion, but I think the game is a lot more fun when you co-operate with other players and try to achieve something together. It is also a good way of making friends, and if you cooperate with others and share information it is also easier to learn different things about the game.

One clear benefit of partying for exp is the rate, several players that cooperate can get more exp per time unit than they would do if they only played solo.

Another benefit is that doing your exp in a party is usually safer than doing it solo. Running into a big bad turbo-mob isn't nearly as dangerous if you have a few other players around to help you. The only drawback is that you depend on others, but I will give a suggestion of how to at least partially avoid this problem later on.

When it comes to eq you will not be able to kill any eq-monsters by yourself, at least not eq-monsters that have equipment usable to people at your level, you need a party. A well coordinated group of relatively small players will also be able of killing bigger monsters than even the biggest players can kill.

After seeking parties for a while you will notice that the occasions when someone approaches you and asks if you want to join his party are quite rare. More than one player have complained about the fact that "no one asks me to party". The solution to this problem is quite simple, create the party yourself!

Putting the party together
When you have decided what kind of party you want, it is time to find some members. What kind of members you need depends on what you want to do. Here are a few suggestions.

There are a lot of possible setups for exp parties, but there are some things you probably want in your party, here are some suggestions:

- Tank: You want a "tank", someone standing in front of the party taking all the hits from the monsters. The most common way is to have a figtype player take this position, but there are other options, for example a necro could tank with his undeads.
- Prots: The monsters that are usually killed by a party are bigger and hit harder than the monsters you kill when you solo. To survive the damage from them you want someone that can cast protection spells at you, this means that you need an abjurer or a paladin.
- Heals: If you don't want to hang around waiting for the tank to regen his hitpoints back you want someone that can heal. Lots of guilds have healing abilities, so you don't necessarily need a healer, but you need someone with healing abilities.

This is what I will call a core party for exp, if you have these spots filled you have a working party. Once you have the core you can get more people for extra damage if you think it is needed.

So now when you have decided what you want to do and know what kind of members that you need, how do you get these people to join you?

- Bad way:
Ask on channels if someone wants to party. Most likely this approach will give you no response at all from players, or players with other abilities than you asked for will answer. No harm done, but you still don't have a party.
- Better way:
Ask people you find suitable directly, for example if you need an abjurer, check if there are any unidle abjurers and ask them. Once you have your core party assembled you can check what other types of unidle players that are available and ask them.
- Or even better:
Plan your exp-parties, and ask people that you know play at the same time as you do if they want to do exp regularly. Get these people to reinc into specific guilds so that you always have your core party assembled. Getting extra damage-makers after this will probably be a quite easy job.

A note about exp-parties is that it might be easiest if you who are the leader will tank them, but it does not have to be that way. You can both lead and move the party while someone else fills the tank position.

When it comes to killing eq-monsters there are some things that you generally want in your party, there are many possible setups though.

- Tank: You need a "tank" for the same reason as in an exp-party, someone needs to take the hits and the biggest amount of damage from the monsters. The difference is that eq-monsters do much more damage than the ones normally killed for exp, so the best choice is probably to have a fighter with defensive skills.
- Prots: Eq-monsters can do a lot of damage, both to the tank and to the party-members, so you want some form of prots. Most likely you want an abjurer or a paladin, or both. For big monsters you also need am abjurer to decrease the resistances of
the monsters.
- Heals: The amount of damage that an eq-monster does is too big for just anyone with a healspell to take care of, you need a real healer. Healers also get some useful enchantments that will help your partymembers to stay alive.
- Blasters: It is possible to kill some eq-monsters with figtype players, but generally it is not such a good idea. Figtypes do a lot of physical damage which eq-monsters are usually almost invulnerable against, so you want casters.

Assembling your eq-party will be a bit more complicated that assembling an exp-party. This is why:
- You need a bigger core-party, without the four positions above covered, you do not have a party.
- You need more players. For exp you might be satisfied with three or four, for eq you want the double.
- The people needed are much more specific.
This leads us to how you preferably get your members.

- Bad way:
Try to assemble the party just when you feel like playing. With this approach you might end up starting an hour later with two healers, no abjurer, a monk and one blaster that can join for one mob and than has to leave.
- What you should do:
Plan everything, ask people a long time in advance if they want to join you for eq. When you have enough people that are interested you can start planning what everyone should reinc to.

The most important factor you should consider when deciding what your members should reinc to is how often and for how long they can play. People who can join every day and play for as long as you need them to makes good healers and abjurers for example.

Another thing you want to think about is how much playing experience a player has, you do not want to have a clueless player at a key position in your party.

Worth and possible wishes are not extremely important, but you might want to think about it when you select people for your positions. You as a leader do not have to tank the party, you can lead the party from any position.

Maintaining your party
So what to do when you have assembled your party? Now you need to accomplish something with it, or people will either just leave you right away, or they will refuse to party with you in the future.

Running an exp-party is not that complicated, but there are still a few things you might want to think about.

The goal of your party is to gain exp for your members, and to gain exp you need to kill monsters. So finding out where suitable monsters are located is a good thing to do before you start your party. You also need to learn how to judge what monsters you can kill with your current party, too big and you will end up killing yourself and your members, too small and you will get less rate and possibly get bored.

Unless you are killing aggro monsters it is good to have some form of signal to coordinate when to start the battle. Without it people will just attack before they are supposed to, or notice that combat has started a lot slower. Skills like battlecry do this for you, but it can be good to inform your members a bit earlier, for example with something like "party say using battlecry at monstername", this will also tell your members what the right target is.

If someone just starts idling in your party, it is not fair to the other members to keep that player in the party leeching their exp. Party kick players that do something like that, you can always let them back in the party when they wake up. The same goes for botting, why give exp to someone that is not putting in the same amount of time as the other players in the party. If you are sure that a member is botting, party kick him and/or report him to a wizard. Party kick is also the best way of punishing someone who refuses to do their job in the party, players who refuse to do what they are supposed to are no good to you.

Before you start the real party it can be a good idea to have a clue about some mobs that you can possibly kill, instead of starting from scratch when you have all your members gathered. Exploring with a full party is sometimes needed, but usually it just leads to lots of babbling between members, and some of the members will start whining that it takes too much time every time you try to figure out some details about a quest. The solution is to do some exploring with a smaller party a few weeks before you start the real party, lots of exploring can be done with a simple exp-party. While doing this exploring you will give you some practice in running the party.

You also want a schedule, logging on each day and just check who is online is not likely to work. You need to talk to everyone and come to an agreement on when you are going to play. Then make it clear that everyone has to be there on the set time or they will be punished in some way. And of course you shouldn't be afraid to replace people if they do not show up on time.

Some notes on how to lead, and good things to know:

-The leader is always the boss, otherwise you will be trying to run a chaos, not a party.
You need to remember this, view your party as a military unit, not a democracy. The important thing is that all your members keep focused on doing one thing, the thing you are telling them to do. Leaving questions like what to kill to a vote among your members might work, but it could take 30 minutes of babbling to come to a decision, so this is also something you should decide in advance.

- Clear punishments
Do not be afraid to punish people who are not doing their job in the party. Good punishment are -dice and for someone who does more harm than good in the party it is better to just kick him out of the party.

You are not being mean if you do things like this, you owe it to the party members that are doing their job, they should not have to get their time wasted by some other party member.

- Delegate responsibilities
Having to tell everyone every single detail of what they should do would be a lot of work for you, so a good thing is to give some responsibilities to individual members. Saying everything to everyone on party channel will also get quite spammy, and some members will miss a message now and then. A better way is to only say things on party channel when everyone or many of the members needs to know, such as preference to shoot, target etc. In other cases you can just tell your key members what their responsibilities are, and ask them about their status. For example just tell the abjurer that he should keep all the members protted with a certain prot, and ask him if he is done with the prots instead of asking on party channel if someone lacks prot. Also make it each members responsibility to keep track of his prots, blasting preference etc.

- Breaks
If you are planning to play more than a couple of hours it is good to plan a break at some point so your members can go get food, make coffee or whatever they prefer. You do not want tired or hungry members, because they will whine, be unfocused and make mistakes.

A good time to take a break is before something that will demand that your whole party pays lots of attention for a long time, like killing a really big monster. When the monster is at 50% health you can not leave it and come back one hour later.

- Dicing
After killing some monsters it is time to divide the equipment between your party members. The common way to do this is to "dice" the equipment. You use the command "party dice" to get the order in which the members gets to pick their items. If you have more people helping you than the eight that can be in a party you can use the command "dice 100" to get a value for the ones that did not fit into the party.

There are two main ways of dicing the equipment, you can either do it after each party, or you can collect lots of equipment and dice it after several parties. Both ways have some advantages.

Small dice
If you dice after every party everyone will get some items early on, but but unless the number of parties is very big someone might end up getting only crap because they had bad luck with the dices. This way of dicing is also quite fast and easy to organize.

Big dice
If you wait with dicing until you have a pile of good items everyone will get something good, maybe not the exact item they wanted but comparable items to what the other members got. The drawback is that this type of dice is harder to organize, especially if you do not have the exact same members every time you play, then you need to keep track of what members you had for each kill. With this type of dice it is also good to give a complete list of items to your members and tell them to make up their minds about what they want before you do the actual dice, otherwise it will take hours.

- Party etiquette
Set up some rules for how your members should act, for example having someone that always babbles on party channel about things that have nothing to do with what you are doing will quickly get annoying. Another thing to think about is that if you have foreigners in the party it is quite impolite to talk in a native language that some of the members can not understand, even if the things you are saying are not that important.

- The pace of the party
You are the one that should decide how quickly your party should move, do not care about people who are saying stuff like "come on lets move" if you are waiting for something important. If you should care about someone saying "hey I need prots before we move" depends on the situation, sometimes it is important to keep everyone alive and sometimes it is more important to do damage quickly.

- Pick the right monsters
When you decide what you are going to kill you should try to pick monsters that you know your party can kill, at least to begin with. The reason for this is party morale, if you manage to kill stuff people will be happy and keep staying focused, if you fail to kill something they will go bored/unfocused/tired and start whining. If you keep failing to kill your target several times some of your members might not want to keep partying anymore either. Starting with easy monsters will also give you practice with leading your party, something that will come in handy when you move on to killing harder monsters.

See also 'party'.

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

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