Now that SWTOR finally has its Group Finder tool for flashpoints, players of all levels are experiencing the, uh, joy that is otherwise known as pick-up groups. Some Group Finder groups are awesome, and it’s even possible to make new friends while using the tool, but other groups are… not awesome. Every MMO veteran by now has their fair share of group horror stories containing rude players, arrogant players, pushy players, players who refuse to listen when it comes to boss mechanics, and players that don’t listen to anything whatsoever. It’s a wide, wide galaxy out there, and all sorts of people in it.
But, back to SWTOR. Since the game’s Group Finder tool is still fairly young, I like to believe that sometimes a bit of education might help some of these not-quite-desirable players learn the ropes of how to experience awesome group content– how to act in group content, if you will. The old saying, “Treat others how you would like to be treated” goes a long way, I feel, but one player on the forums came up with 10 rules, or commandments of sorts, that players might want to consider when it comes to grouping with strangers. Definitely good stuff to keep in mind.
1) Thou shalt have fun.
This is a game we play for fun, people, and you should always keep that in mind. These commandments all center around this one concept. Let’s make the game as fun as possible for as many people as possible. Without that, nothing else matters.
2) Thou shalt stay respectful and civil at all times.
My father-in-law likes to say “Don’t argue with a pig. The pig will enjoy it, and you’ll get dirty.” No matter how much the person you are talking to may deserve a good tongue lashing, it’s not worth it. If you can’t resolve a problem in a civil manner, Report, Ignore and Kick are your friend. Select the appropriate one, and move on to enjoying the rest of the game. (See #1 above.)
3) Thou shalt help thine fellow player learn the flash point.
Always keeping #1 and #2 in mind, you should try to help out new and inexperienced players learn rather than complain (or just quietly stew) over the fact that they are not running as efficiently as they could. This is how new and inexperienced plays become experienced veterans and help others, and it’s a cycle worth preserving and building.
4) Thou shalt alert thine group if thou hast not done the flash point before.
Similar to #3, if you are new to a flash point, make sure your group knows. No need to go on about it, as it’s usually sufficient to just say something like this when you enter the instance: “Hey guys, just so you know, I’ve never done this one before, so if there’s anything I need to know, feel free to point it out.” You will usually find people happy to help out where needed, and more forgiving if they know you are learning and trying.
5) Thou shalt not roll Need unless Needed.
If the drop is equipable for your current character, and better than what you have, “Need” is appropriate option. In any other case, “Greed” should suffice. Even if your companion needs it, or an alt needs it, or you just want to sell it because you think you are getting shafted on drops. Need should be the exception, not the rule.
I know a lot of people argue about this, but to me it seems pretty straight forward. If you are in a group or see a player operating differently, reference rules #2 for how to deal, and always keep #1 in mind.
6) Thou shalt let people watch the cut scenes in story mode.
When doing level appropriate story mode flash points, the default response should be to watch all cut scenes unless the entire group agrees to skip before beginning. In story mode, odds are good someone has not seen the content or would like to watch it again, and they should be given the right to do so if they want, even if three others would prefer to skip.
7) Thou shalt skip the cut scenes in hard mode.
Similar to #6, skipping the cut scenes should be the default for hard mode flash points unless the entire group agrees to watch them before starting. If you have not seen the content, go watch in story mode even if you are over leveled. Most flash points can be soloed at level 50 if there is no other option. I sympathize with people who want to watch it every time, as I am one of them, but hard mode flash points are primarily for people trying to gear up, and that should be respected.
[Editor's Note: This one's fairly debatable. My rule of thumb? When in doubt, ask the group.]
8) Thou shalt not rush ahead unless thine group has agreed to a speed run.
Leave Leroy in the other game, and wait for your group to assemble before rushing into the next fight. If you want a speed run (where the default is to rush as fast as possible all the way through) make sure your group agrees in advance.
9) Thou shalt assist thine group in any way possible, not just by sticking to your assigned role.
Obviously make sure you are fulfilling your main role first. That said, just because you are a healer doesn’t mean you can’t throw out the occasional interrupt/DPS burst. Just because you are DPS doesn’t mean you can’t pull agro off the healer. Just because you are the tank, doesn’t mean you can’t toss a heal (if you are a spec that has one) when someone is hurting. Fundamentally, flash points are about team work.
10) Thou shalt remember to thank your group when exiting.
This should be a no-brainer, but a lot of people seem to forget it, especially if the group has not been the best they’ve had. Always remember #1 and #2.