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MMO Social Conventions - Silicon Rose [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Silicon Rose

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MMO Social Conventions [Nov. 19th, 2007|06:16 pm]
Silicon Rose
[Current Mood |contemplativecontemplative]

Regardless of the number of people that flaunt social conventions in MMOs, there are rules to interacting in an MMO, and every time I try to play in one, I'm forced to recognize I have very little conception of what they are. An example of one of these rules is: it's rude to join a group without sufficient time to finish the quest for every party involved.

Okay... so I'm in a dungeon, killing mobs. I happen to be on a kill quest, and kills count for the entire party. While I'm down there killing the appropriate thingies, someone, out of the blue, invites me into a party. What are my obligations in that group?

I assumed they were trying to grind through the quest quickly, which was incorrect. It turned out they were just grinding, so I didn't feel too guilty leaving after getting one level (pretty much everyone else levelled too, so I think I put in my time). I got easy completion of my quest, they got my mad magic 5k177z, and everyone was happy (I hope). The thing is, joining that group I had no idea what they wanted from me - I assumed it wasn't a heavy commitment, because usually people negotiate before assuming a commitment. Still, was I doing what they expected me to? I don't really have a basis for assessment.

When I left, I said I was going to head out, gave a reason, waited for a few minutes for anyone who wanted to acknowledge me to do so, said I was happy to team with them, then dropped from the group and teleported back home. I wonder, in a group with so little commitment, whether I should have just dropped and run. Still, that would definitely have felt rude.

It's hard... in MMOs you have so much less to go off of than in real life.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: dragonoflife
2007-11-20 04:44 am (UTC)
If someone invites you out of the blue... well, generally when I play, I either ignore these, or if I can see why the person is inviting me, join to see what they have to say. In a case like that, I wouldn't worry about the obligations at all unless they significantly help you.
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[User Picture]From: cyfis
2007-11-20 07:27 pm (UTC)
Normally in MMORPGs it is considered polite to ask someone before sending them a party invite. Like dragonoflife, I ignore random party invites. If they want my attention, they can PM me first. Of course, the difference between quest oriented games like WoW and grind oriented games like RO is that WoW players seek parties for a very definite purpose, whereas grind parties last until the nebulous "people are tired of it".

Keep in mind, however, that social convention is different per MMO. In Lineage, for example, it's considered standard practice to kill people who try to share your leveling spot.
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[User Picture]From: dragonoflife
2007-11-21 02:37 am (UTC)
I don't *always* ignore random party invites. Sometimes, if a couple of people are charging into the same place I am, one of them will drop me an invite. I'll sometimes take them up on that, just because WOW rewards killing in groups for the most part. But if the reason for the invite isn't obvious...
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[User Picture]From: cyfis
2007-11-21 05:25 pm (UTC)
Usually when I get random invites it's some noob who wants me to run them through an instance. I do it if they ask first and can type coherently, but not if they invite me at random.

One of my 70s is a paladin. Generally if he gets a random invite it's because someone wants me to tank or heal for their pug, which I'm not usually interested in doing.
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[User Picture]From: siliconrose
2007-11-21 07:49 pm (UTC)
o_O

...Note to self: Don't play Lineage.
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