Ruffled Feathers

I’ve been reading a discussion of ettiquette on the EQII chat boards. So I thought I’d try and put my thoughts together on a few topics.

The source of manners

Ettiquette, manners, honor. They came into existence to reduce the friction of everyday life. They are trained into individuals through consequences. If you were unmannerly, you were treated like a boor. If you were dishonorable, you might find yourself in a duel. In Everquest 2, there is no way to end up in a duel, so the consequences are less. The game rules prevent some of the more offensive behavior, like kill-stealing. But the lack of PvP also takes away some of the consequences for bad behavior.

I won’t bemoan the lack of PvP, I’ve never really played it. But law came into being only because there was power to enforce it. Most of us have internalized that law, but there will always be some who will see that as a weakness in us and try to exploit it.

Anyway, the only real consequence to bad behavior is being shunned. There is a possibility for other sorts of griefing and dirty tricks, but it isn’t worth the possibility of being banned for me to do them. I can and I will shun someone who behaves in a manner incompatible with my own sense of honor.

Shunning is pretty effective, by the way. Many groups on that far-off world know as Earth use it. But to be effective, the person being shunned must know why he is being shunned. And just to be clear, when I say shun, I mean shun — no chat, no buying, no respecting of the normal rules I set for myself.

Nodes for the win!

How to deal with gathering nodes is a controversial topic. Some folks, me included, will not gather at a node where someone else is already gathering. Others feel that, if the game permits it, then it’s ok. Some insist that trying to keep a node to oneself is hoarding, and ungenerous. Since this is EQ2, we can’t have duels over it.

My personal rule is that I won’t be the first to jump in on a node someone else is harvesting. But if they do it to me, that’s their ethic, and I’ll use it. I’m such a flip-flopper!

There was a lot of pressure on the tier one zones a couple weeks back, but two things have happened to ease that pressure. First, they lowered the skill level needed to harvest in the tier 2 zones, like Antonica and Commonlands. Second, the game seems less populated now, with the first free month expiring, and WoW and other new games coming out. So I think this issue will become less contentious.

Group Inviting

It is unnecessary to target someone to invite them to a group, thus the long-range, unexpected group invite is now possible. I don’t like it. Send a tell first, most people do that. Honestly, the ninja invitation to me is a mark of a not-very-good player, and a poor communicator. Communication is vital to good group play, so a ninja invitation gives a bad first impression to me. I’ll likely not accept.

Camping

I was in the Down Below the other night, trying to help some friends and some new acquaintances finish a quest. This particular quest required them to kill a fallen noble, I think it was. Well, we were in the right room for the pop, and were killing the spawn downstairs. There is a balcony in that room, where the Fallen Prince and his bodyguard spawn. We could handle the Prince, but not easily, so we stayed downstairs to avoid trouble. Unfortunately, the balcony was where the quest spawn was, as well.

Some time into our camp, a higher level warrior came in. He had AFK turned on, and walked upstairs without a word. Soon, we heard the noises of him fighting the very mob we were there to kill! Quite annoying, really.

We should have known more about where to find our spawn, true. So he took advantage. Would he have tried to take aggro on the fallen noble if we were upstairs? We’ll never know, but that would be a candidate for shunning, though it probably wouldn’t have bothered him any, since he didn’t seem interested in anything we had to say about his behavior.

So we moved upstairs, some time later, a fighter not in our group wandered up to look, just as our mob popped again, and as fate would have it, the mob aggroed the newcomer. Lucky for us, he decided not to engage the encounter, and let us take it. To him, I throw bouquets, though it might have been self-preservation at work, rather than any sense of honor.

But, ultimately, this was a case of “we snooze, we lose”. I recognize that simply saying, “I’m gonna kill that mob” stakes no durable claim, if I can’t back it up. Still, I’m not gonna be favorably disposed toward helping someone on a corpse run should they get into trouble while aggro poaching.

Need before need?

I don’t recommend trying to use need before greed looting for anything but the most friendly of groups, or for stated goals. You may need the Adept I upgrade to your spell, but I need the money I could get for selling it just as much. All drops represent wealth, whether you can use them or not, except for no-trade items. So we’ll lotto, and maybe we can work something out. But it’s awkward, especially if there are relative strangers in your group.

Why not use straight lotto (don’t ever decline unless you are full inventory, or it’s a no-trade item) and then sort things out between you and your spouse after?

Yes, it’s frustrating to see your upgrade go to someone who can’t use it. Make an offer, maybe you can make a deal. And rest assured, the shoe will be on the other foot one day.

That’s enough about manners for today.

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