|MMO Social Conventions
||[Nov. 19th, 2007|06:16 pm]
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.