A guide to parties
If you're missioning with a group (particularly if it's a PUG but this can apply to parties of guildies and/or alliance members) please watch for the following :-
- When in hub waiting to go in to mission, find out the balance of skill you'l be working with. It's no use all the monks going in smiting if no-ones carrying healing skills (personal or party) for example.
- Find out the party's objectives. Are you going for the bonus, for masters, or just the mission? Are you planning on massive sessions of map defuzzying? Have any of your party been through here before, or do you have first timers?
- Choose a leader. Committee discussions in the middle of a fight often lead to the whole party going splat.
- If the mission requires it, assign particular duties, and then stick to them. Don't have three people calling different targets, but also don't forget to call targets if that task's been assigned to you. Also, assign duties suitable to the character. Do you really need a ranger or warrior carrying exploding barrels or crystal shards, for example?
- before entering, make sure ALL party members said that they are ready. You don't want people going in with empty skill slots or wrongly set attributes.
- When entering a mission, make sure all your party has arrived before setting out into the fray. Not everyone's running a suped up gamer's machine on an 8Mb connection. It can take some party members time to join you, particularly if it's their first time in a mission, and they have updates to download. Their name appearing red in the party window is not always proof they're with you either, as in some cases there's a brief lag whilst their machine catches up with a new location.
- Look after your monk, and they can look after you. There's no point a warrior charging into melle to get overwhelmed if the monk can't then reach them without being overwhelmed themselves. Your monk is squishy and would fall much sooner than you. Don't blame your monk if they can't pull you out of an impossible situation. Monks have gone on strike for as much. How many times have I seen "glf monk for mission" when sat in hub.
- Listen for the called targets and if possible and/or feasible act on them. If you've planned properly at the start your target caller will be telling you the greatest threat. A party of 8 on one lvl28 MOB is much more effective than each party member attacking a different monster. "T-Space" is your friend. Exceptions to this can include if your roll is to keep other mosters out the fight, or if your changing targets would jeopardise the rest of the party, such as a warrior pulling large levels of agro which would then go and swamp the party.
- Use the map. Indicate targets, paths to follow, and the like. If everyone knows what they're doing, or where they're going, they can be more effective members of the team
- Listen for calls of energy. If your Elementalist suddenly shouts "My Energy is 5 of 78" it means they're no use to your party until they can recharge. If it's your monk, then that's your healing or protection out of action for the near future. This applies to all the energy dependent proffesions. Give them chance to recover before moving on. Pull back out of the fight if needs be. Few Prophecies missions are timed, and you're not likely to get your Factions mission Masters if you're not all able to pull your weight in a fight.
- Let your party know if you're in trouble. Energy dependent characters, tell us if you're exhausted. Hold ctrl and click your energy bar to tell your team "My energy is _ of _". If you're hexed and it's seriously affecting your effectiveness (such as afflicted with "Pacifism" for example) hold ctrl and click the hex at the top of your screen. Others will know to give you extra time, or help if possible of necessary.
- Never forget these are other people you are playing with, so be curtious. If Real life™ intrudes, others will understand, but going AFK with no warning or explanation can be frustrating.
- If you're playing in an International server, be aware that others may be in a different timezone. It may be 10pm EST for you, but for little old me its 3am GMT, and I'm trying to finish one last mission before bed.