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Group Finder Etiquette


Malles's Avatar


Malles
06.10.2012 , 08:54 AM | #1
Spoiler


About the Guide Author


Before reading this guide, keep in mind that I am not asking anyone to conduct themselves in any way I'd have a problem doing myself. So if you're the type of person who gets offended over being told to do something a certain way, don't read this and complain to me about it later unless you think you can put up with me laughing at you.

This guide was written by Malles from The Ebon Hawk server. That'd be me. I decided to type this up after running some queues in the PTS. As for gaming experience, I've played many multiplayer games ranging between MMO's and FPS's. Of the two genres, my favorites are SWTOR and Star Wars: Battlefront 2.

Also, just want to get this out of the way now. I came to SWTOR through leaving a completely different game behind. A little game called World of Warcraft. You may have heard of it. Go ahead and get the laughing and stereotyping out of your system before going through the guide, I'll wait.

For the TLDR peeps, I highlighted all the important bits in yellow, like this. So you can just scroll through and read that.

If you don't like the layout or anything else about the guide, post a suggestion or send me a message through the forums so l can fix it. Thanks.

Why Use the Group Finder?

Pros: Convenience. Instead of spamming Fleet chat trying to find a Hard Mode group to help you grind up gear for Operations, you can throw yourself into a queue and run around doing your Dailies for a bit. Or, if leveling, this will help you group for Heroic Missions faster.

Cons: The queues can take anywhere between five minutes to an hour, so they're difficult to predict. This tool is mainly for casual players who can't or won't play the full seven hours BioWare thinks their customers should be playing. Those of you in PvE guilds as well as well as more active players would probably have a quicker time in just asking around your guild for some people.

I won't go over the mechanics of it until 1.3 goes live, since as of writing this it's still only in the PTS being beta tested.

General Do's and Don'ts

Do's:

1. Leave your ego outside. You are one player who is playing alongside three people. You are not better or more important than them in any way, shape, or fashion. I often see people and even friends talk about how they hate random grouping because they seem to get only the most brain-dead members of the community in their group, and they always end those rants with how they're never having fun. Or, my favorite, how people prefer to run with friends instead of the "rest" because the "rest" are flaming bags of douche and only their friends will give them a good run experience. In the entirety of human history, stereotyping has never been correct about anything. If you think that way, not only are you wrong, but I can guarantee that is all you will see going into Group Finder. And you will ruin everyone else's fun all because you think you're one of the more upstanding members of the community and no one else is. So, yeah. Keep that attitude in your guild with your guild mates, not where you'll kill the game for a newbie.

2. Before using the Group Finder, make sure you actually have a reasonable amount of time to run whatever instance you're queueing for. You will need a MINIMUM of an hour and a half; 30 minutes for the queue and an hour to actually run the instance. It's not fair to the other players if they have to stop mid-run to replace you because you thought you'd be able to knock out and Esseles run in the fifteen minutes you have before you have to pick little Timmy up from kindergarten. If you have a prior engagement, do that instead of the Hard Mode. You will drive to little Timmy's school. You will bring little Timmy home. You will feed little Timmy, and bathe him, and help him brush his teeth. You will tuck Timmy into bed, and read him a bedtime story until he falls asleep. Only AFTER taking care of little Timmy will you login and queue for Group Finder. If you cannot find time to run those Hard Modes between taking care of little Timmy and yourself, that should your problem and nobody's else's. Everyone else can balance time between real life and video games without hindering others, so there should be no reason you can't.

3. Know your class Don't be the Smuggler who thinks he can play an Operative like a Gunslinger. Don't be that guy. Nobody likes that guy, even nice guys like me. If somebody thinks you can use some help and offers a suggestion, don't get offended. In my experience, whenever someone did that it was because I was actually doing something wrong. Likewise, before offering a suggestion, ask. It's only polite, and who knows, maybe you're the one who's wrong.

4. Be excellent to each other! I don't know about you guys, but when I was growing up my Mommy told me that if I had nothing nice to say, I shouldn't say anything at all. I decided Mommy was right when I call a kid fat and he broke my nose. There's no need to talk down to or be rude to other players. We're all here paying a subscription and trying to enjoy ourselves. We're all grown adults or close enough to it. We should all act like it, amiright?

Don'ts:

1. Don't decline the invite. You'd think that was self-explanatory, and it is. So maybe I should rephrase it. The queue can pop you in in less than five minutes some times. So if you decide to alt-tab out and screw around on Farmville for a bit, you can miss it. And everyone who was in the queue with you who signed in just got thrown to the back of the line. Personally, I give the thing 30 minutes of my screen time before I just leave it. It's not hard to kill time, either. Run a daily, craft, talk trash with a friend, whatever. Just make sure you're going to be around when you're Hard Mode is ready.

2. Don't bring PvP gear. I was going to file this under debatable, and might if someone pressures me enough. But the thing with PvP gear is, you give up your primary stat (Aim, Willpower, etc), for Expertise, which is only viable when fighting another player. It will do jack diddly for you against a boss and will, in fact, limit your DPS and tanking severely. On the other hand, it can be said that since Expertise also boosts healing to other players, healers can get away with using it instances. Personally, I disagree, but I've never seen the numbers myself, so others may have a better argument. But if you're a tank or DPS, that's no discussion. Leave the War Hero gear at home. If you don't have any PvE gear, buy or make some mod gear and run the Belsavis and Ilum dailies for the mods to fill it. Doesn't take too long, since you can now queue for Heroic Missions.

3. Don't play the fool. Everything you need to know about the Hard Mode you are in can be found out just by asking a question. To paraphrase a common saying, there are no stupid questions, only stupid people who'd rather pull "monkey see, monkey do" instead of ask them. That's the wrong answer and if you want to know why, there's a reason humans rule the world and monkey's don't. It's because we're smarter than monkeys and monkeys eat whatever poop they don't throw at each other. Don't act like a monkey.
I used simple happy language words to help you understand.
Why yes, I have been a proud SWTOR Community member since August 2011. Why, wanna fight about it?

Malles's Avatar


Malles
06.10.2012 , 08:55 AM | #2
Tank Do's and Don'ts


Do's:
1. Learn the mechanics beforehand. Groups can afford to lose a DPS. But the tank is the only guy in the group who can take a hit or four, so if the tank dies, the group dies. If the boss has an AoE, learn what it does, how it activates, and how to avoid it if you can. If it's a frontal AoE, like HK-47's flamethrower, turn the boss away from the group. And if the tank goes splat under HK-47's fight mechanic, it is just downright embarrassing for the tank. If you're health slowly and steadily whittles away to nothing, it's a healer error. If your health drops like Enron stock, it's your fault.

2. Learn threat management. Make sure you know which abilities of yours can grab aggro quickly and which ones can't. It's never as simple as spamming AoEs. Sometimes you need a minute to gather threat and if that's the case, make it clear before hand. Also, if you have to choose between saving a healer of a DPS, go for the healer.

Don'ts:
1. Don't get yourself killed. This was already touched upon, but there are other ways you can die. Like aggroing an entire room, or breaking crowd control with an AoE. The healer only has so much resource, and you only have so much health, and the DPS have a limit to how hard they can hit. Pobody's nerfect.

2. Be geared. You should be the only person getting hit. So you have no excuse for not coming in the proper gear. None. Find out what you need, and get it. And do NOT just stack your health and think you'll succeed.

DPS Do's and Don'ts


Do's:
1. Watch your threat. Give the tank some time to grab aggro. I like doing a five-second-count before jumping in. If you charge in with the tank, it makes the tank's job harder and can get you killed. And that'll stack up a repair bill you won't be happy about.

2. Maintain your rotation. Find a rhythm and stick with it. Don't burn out on a boss. Bosses have enrage timers, and if you run out of resource and have to resort to pew-pew instead of BOOM, that eats up your time.

3. Sit back and shut up. The tank has to plan out his pulls sometimes. Offer a suggestion, offer up some crowd control or even off-tanking, but do not rush or hassle the tank. All that's going to do is make the tank mad, and mad tanks make mistakes.

Don'ts
3. Don't die. The healer's main focus is the tank. So you need to watch your health more than the tank does, and certainly more than the healer will. Don't get reckless, stay out of AoE's, etc. I find that I stay alive longer, and thus do more DPS, when I operate under the impression that my healer hates me and wants me to die and will refuse to heal me. Since I sometimes play with my girlfriend healing, that's actually not a bad thing to think.

Healer Do's and Don'ts


Do's:
1. Remember to heal yourself! It's easy to get wrapped up watching the tank and DPS and completely forget about yourself. It's also bad juju.

2. Let stupid people die. I'm going to get some flak for this, I know I am. But only ignorance can be cured, not stupidity. And of all the people in MMO's, healers get the most grief from their group mates because they're the easiest to blame. If the DPS insist on standing in AoEs, or the tank doesn't want to wait for CC or your resource, and you think you can't save them, let them die. I've seen truly good healers stress themselves out of the game they paid good money for by trying to fix people like that. Sometimes the only solution is to just watch them die, watch them vent, watch them leave, then requeue for a different group or party member. And this is coming from one of those DPS you guys love to hate.

Don'ts:

1. That being said, don't be a tool. Again, you're not more important than anyone. Nobody likes a snooty healer. There's a difference between letting stupid people die and letting the entire group die because you think they deserve it. The former is good, the latter is bad.

2. Don't DPS. As a healer, your heals use less resource than your attacks. You're not helping trying to boost the party's DPS. If anything, you'll just be an extra-fancy DoT. Just sit back, heal, and be patient.
I used simple happy language words to help you understand.
Why yes, I have been a proud SWTOR Community member since August 2011. Why, wanna fight about it?

Malles's Avatar


Malles
06.10.2012 , 08:55 AM | #3
Debatable


1. PvP Gear. In some cases, the PvP gear can have more stats than what you're currently wearing. None of those cases involve Recruit gear, and Tionese gear takes less effort to get than Battlemaster gear. That's kind of a specific case scenario so I'm not going to be the one who bashes on you for showing up. But don't expect not to get weird looks for it.

2. The Spacebar. To skip or not to skip cutscenes. That is the question. Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer through Revan's "I am light and dark!" speech for the umpteenth time so other's may view it, or to take up arms against those others, and by opposing, cause group friction. Personally, I don't skip unless I'm asked/told to, just because I love Star Wars and Revan's facial hair. That's up to the group.

3. Bonus Missions. The random "kill this many" quests should be skipped. You don't get anything out of those other than a pat on the back and maybe a headache. They only give experience for those that actually need it. But the "Stage 1, Stage 2" quests can lead up to bonus bosses, and bonus bosses drop gear and other fun stuff. This is, again, up to the group.

4. LS/DS Choices. Some cases, these actually affect the run. For example, Black Talon and Esseles. As of right now, you don't get LS/DS points from Hard Modes, but you get them from Heroics and Flashpoints. Lots of people are purists when it comes to alignment, if for no other reason than there is gear that requires a certain alignment, so my recommendation is the not rock the boat on that one.

Conclusion


If you don't approve of the Group Finder, don't use it. Other than that, thanks for reading, and bump the thread if you like it.
I used simple happy language words to help you understand.
Why yes, I have been a proud SWTOR Community member since August 2011. Why, wanna fight about it?

Malles's Avatar


Malles
06.10.2012 , 10:41 AM | #4
Bump/reserved.
I used simple happy language words to help you understand.
Why yes, I have been a proud SWTOR Community member since August 2011. Why, wanna fight about it?

Nhudri's Avatar


Nhudri
06.10.2012 , 10:46 AM | #5
No offense, but your language in this guide comes off as pedantic. All of the content can be boiled down to the following: (1) be nice to each other; (2) come prepared for PVE content (i.e. wear PVE gear, have your LFG role's PVE spec, etc.); (3) complete the run you signed up for; and (4) ask questions if you are unfamiliar with the HM/operation. Know your class should fit under being prepared. Most players should not need a guide in common sense, and those who do would be the last people to read and follow it. As a result, I predict this guide will be fairly unhelpful to the vast majority of players.

Also, I disagree with the notion that you should not decline an invite to the group finder. There are many reasons someone might decline an invite and doing so is not poor "etiquette." Getting put to the back of the line should be something Bioware fixes, not a burden left to players. When an individual declines an invite from the group finder they should be removed from the queue. The rest of the people in the group who accepted the invite should be put at the front of the line. If that's not the case, then you should post it in the PTS forum for Bioware to fix.

Aetou's Avatar


Aetou
06.10.2012 , 11:01 AM | #6
Overall a good, albeit quite basic, guide. There is just one bit that I'll disagree with.

Quote: Originally Posted by Malles View Post
2. Don't bring PvP gear. I was going to file this under debatable, and might if someone pressures me enough. But the thing with PvP gear is, you give up your primary stat (Aim, Willpower, etc), for Expertise, which is only viable when fighting another player. It will do jack diddly for you against a boss and will, in fact, limit your DPS and tanking severely. On the other hand, it can be said that since Expertise also boosts healing to other players, healers can get away with using it instances. Personally, I disagree, but I've never seen the numbers myself, so others may have a better argument. But if you're a tank or DPS, that's no discussion. Leave the War Hero gear at home. If you don't have any PvE gear, buy or make some mod gear and run the Belsavis and Ilum dailies for the mods to fill it. Doesn't take too long, since you can now queue for Heroic Missions.
Battlemaster gear is better than Tionese gear and much better than the even worse PVE gear you get from running dailies. War Hero gear is roughly on a par with Columi. Augmented War Hero gear is definitely better than unaugmented Columi. Battlemaster gear is also more than sufficient to run any HM with the possible exception of Lost Island (I've taken BM geared players to LI before but the rest of the group were overgeared to compensate.) While if somebody signed up for HM FPs in just recruit gear I'd be frustrated anything above that should be more than sufficient especially if the secondary stats have been optimised. The idea of having people in BM gear swap to level 50/51 daily mods as an improvement is quite absurd.

I'd also add that people should have appropriate Prototype Stims and Medpacs for their class - while it may be a bit annoying that you sometimes need to pop a medpac it's much less annoying than wiping because you didn't. Stims also make a pretty big difference to performance although I suppose if you are overgeared you can get away with being cheap. If you gear is less than full Columi, though, you should definitely be using stims.

I think you should also add a couple of things

KBSIP's Avatar


KBSIP
06.10.2012 , 12:08 PM | #7
on your healer tip to let people die, even when I do a 5-10 count I will still pull aggro from the tank unless I am guarded if I pop my adrenals and cooldowns along with my opening burst rotation. I will always pop my adrenal/relic/cooldown at the start of the fight because in a long boss that means I get to use them again to race past the enrage timer. If I do pull aggro it isn't a function of me not managing threat properly or the tank not holding aggor, its simply I do an ungodly amount of burst and I want that boss dead before enrage hits. I don't have any form of aggro dump mechanic, so I'm going all out no matter what because its entirely possible the other DPS is dead weight and I'll have to drag his weak rotation through, which I can do, but not while managing threat.

So yes, if I pull aggro I expect I should get a few offheals on a boss fight. healers should be healing everyone in a boss fight, even if they got injured from roflderp mistakes, if its within their powers. a healer who is only healing the tank, even in fights with AOE and target switching, is getting my votekick and a retard tag.

KBSIP's Avatar


KBSIP
06.10.2012 , 12:11 PM | #8
also, in sub-par gear that is hitting tight enrage timers, healers can make the difference by dropping a few DoT's. there ARE bosses that are light enough on direct damage at times that the healer, if he's not DPSing, can in fact just be sitting there doing nothing.

you seem to operate in this fantasy world where everyone in the flashpoint group is going to be in full tionese/columi or optimized from their daily gear. I sincerely doubt this will be the case as it goes live, as it is not the case on the PTS. people who can join, have the time to, and want to, are going to. if you get something that isn't forgiving, a-la lost island or denova, you're going to eat a wipe sandwich. YAY

Malles's Avatar


Malles
06.10.2012 , 12:18 PM | #9
Thanks for the feedback!
I used simple happy language words to help you understand.
Why yes, I have been a proud SWTOR Community member since August 2011. Why, wanna fight about it?

KBSIP's Avatar


KBSIP
06.10.2012 , 12:21 PM | #10
just to give you some context, lets run down heavy group heal fights for this FLASHPOINT group finder guide ( most of your tips are naive for operations)


1) HK 47. his FT isn't his only mechanic, he dumps threat and engages random targets with snipes once he stealths, healers should be aware and heal people as they get hit, as well as healing for the DPS if they're picking up the strong adds (I taunt both as a powertech and kite while I burn them down, limiting my damage intake, but I still expect heals as single target damage from HK is pretty light).

2) Revan. revan has regular aggro dumps and leap-master strike attacks. his force storm is avoidable, but his knockdown-stun-MS is not, this should be healed through.

3) all of lost island. no, seriously, all of it, except maybe the bonus boss. your healer heals everyone or the group wipes. just a few mechanics to remember; lightning balls, acid spit, rakhghoul explosions.

4) final fight on boarding party. jor rotates targets and launches an AOE< your *** had better be healing it. Massey also dumps aggro and rotates targets regularly, might get in a few hits if the tank is slow on picking him back on.

5) battle of ilum turret spawns, heal the DPS as they try to pick them up and burn them down so you and the tank don't melt.

6) lightning streams on the droid boss in BP, they can be unpredictable and catch anyone, including the healer.

7) final phase of directive 7's boss, mass AOEs on the front of him where the dps will be burning him.