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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Game & Forum Etiquette

I came across this gem of a thread while perusing my daily newsletter (W101 Central) a few weeks ago. I have had it in my tab and was working on it for my blog, but in light of all the recent events, I kept getting sidetracked. I do, however, believe it should be read now by all players more than ever. I have decided to expound on what JoshHawk has compiled, as well to include some thoughts of my own for the different aspects of the game.

  • Please don't spam friend requests to everyone you see.
  • Most people don't want to be friends with total strangers.
  • Try to talk to people and get to know them first.
  • On the same topic, no means No, just because you ask 20 times in a row, beg and plead, doesn't mean the answer is going to change.
  • Respect each person's right to choose their own friends.
  • Don't take it as an insult because they said no. It could be because their list is full (and don't ask them to remove someone to add you), or they may just not know you, or know you well enough yet to decide if they want to be your friend.
If you have just clicked to add someone to your friend list and they don’t accept, DO NOT keep doing it over and over again. It is a sure-fire way to guarantee that you WON’T be added to their list.

Personally, nothing irks me more than to be in the bazaar trying to purchase something and then have a random friend request and I missed my chance to get the item(s) I wanted/needed.

Most people are more apt to befriend someone who has spoken to them or fought together in battles. The game is not about how big your friends list is. You would not walk up to a complete total stranger and ask them to be your friend IRL, so why assume the rules have changed in a game?

One of my biggest peeves is someone who does not get the fact that “no means NO! I am not going to cave in. In fact, you have probably just pushed me in the opposite direction. If you are this pushy and demanding when you are asking to be a friend, it makes me wonder else you are going to demand from me.

Please respect the fact that I may, in fact, have a full list or even a reason for not adding you atm. IT IS TOTAL DISRESPECT to insist that someone remove a friend just to make room for you. And remember this: IF they DO remove someone for you, what makes you think they won’t remove you for someone else. Think on that for a minute.

  • Please ask nicely, saying port PORT, HELP, COME, etc... is no way ask for help, it's rude. Please explain what you need help on and ask nicely for the help. Many people will gladly help if asked nicely, but hate it when help is demanded. Whether it is from a friend or a stranger.
  • Understand that not everyone can jump at the snap of your fingers to help you at that very instant. I know it can be desperate when you are about to die, but it's not permanent and you can try again, maybe with help next time.
  • Don't get mad when someone can't help you exactly at the very instant you want the help. They may be busy in their own battle, helping others, trying to solo something, or many many other reasons.
  • Remember to thank those that help you, it's so rude to expect someone to take their time from doing their own things to help and then just go on as if they were never there.
  • If you ask for help, stay to the end of what you wanted help on. If you don't think you can complete that instance in the time you have, then wait to ask for help when you do have the time. (Also consider trying not to go AFK unless absolutely necessary and please make sure you tell your teammates BEFORE you do.)
  • Don't expect help every single time you ask, or expect someone to run every single one of your quests with you. Some may be happy to but it's rude to expect someone to do it.
  • Just because you are going against a boss, doesn't mean you need help if you've never tried it before. You may want to give it a try on your own first, you may beat it.
  • It's useful to explain what/who you need help on.
I am an adult (as are many other players of this game) and I definitely do not appreciate being told what to do or demanded to come to your every beck and call. Especially, if you are so rude as to whisper text me as soon as I log in and tell me to PORT, HELP, COME NOW, etc. Common social courtesy is to at least speak to someone cordially with a greeting, asking for assistance with a please, or finding out if I might even be involved in some task first and have some free time.

When someone does come to your aid, do your share of the work. Chances are that we have already done this particular quest ourselves so, other than the drops and your company, there is nothing in it for the person helping you. Don’t expect them to do all the work for you.

Communicate with the person helping you. If you are in an instance, work together as a team to teleport to each other and decide who is hitting so there is no confusion.

Just as including a please in your request for help is important, so is adding a thank you when you have been helped. It can often determine whether you will ever be assisted again in the future.

  • Don't port without asking first. Often it's no problem, but sometimes it is. They may be trying to solo something, or you could bring more npc's they aren't ready to handle, maybe they just want some alone time, or maybe they are helping someone else who would not appreciate it.
  • Yes I know we have the ability to turn off porting but sometimes that is not reasonable, if they are running more than one account or working with a group of people, your porting in uninvited, could mess things up.
  • If you port to someone, be sure to have full health first, they may not be able to heal you. No sense going into battle with like 500 of 2500 health against some bosses or mobs; or for that matter in most cases (same goes for entering battles with low mana, make sure you fill up first).
The game has a feature that allows wizards to turn their ports on and off. That does not mean that someone wants to feel “imprisoned by ports” because some people can’t respect the privacy of others.

If, for some reason you need to port to someone (they are where you want to be, you need to show them something, etc), then ask first if it’s ok or safe for you to do so.

I should not have to spend my game time constantly turning my ports on and off, especially when I AM EXPECTING someone to port to me, and it turns out to be you and not them. As a merc for M4H, I am often in instances with a client, who does not know you or appreciate the intrusion. I could also be in an instance where I am expecting a certain wizard type to come to MY aid and your unannounced port just closed the dungeon to that person who was expected, wanted, and needed.

If you do get permission to port to someone who is fighting then be prepared to help. I would prefer that you not stand on the sidewalk talking to me while I am battling. I could just as easily do that through whisper or group chat.

  • ALWAYS ASK FIRST, ok this is like the main annoyance of many, so I will repeat it ALWAYS ASK FIRST.
  • Consider whoever was there first, it's their battle or instance and respect their decision on whether they want help or not.
  • There may be many reasons why they don't want others in battle: trying to solo, have a team set up already, can't handle more NPCs, or they are on the last npc they need of that kind and would like to move on, etc...
  • Many people are more than glad for the help or company, but it's rude to barge into someone elses battles without asking.
  • Yes now and then you get caught by accident and get pulled into someone elses battle, a simple sorry I got caught is usually sufficient.
  • Very Important whether you get caught or invited in, etc... Don't abandon the battle. Bringing more NPCs in a battle then leaving is about as RUDE as it gets.
Like JoshHawk said above, this can be a major issue for many wizards. I don’t think there is anything else that I can say on this topic that hasn’t been covered by him (and his contributors) other than- it is nice if you do see someone in battle, to stop and ask them if they need any help. Don’t make the offer though, if you can’t commit to it.

I will say something about the sigil aspect, though. Too many times I have been farming or even just fighting a boss/dungeon for the first time and someone will "sigil hop" (meaning jump on the sigils uninvited as the timer counted down). Normally, I don't have any issues against this UNLESS they fail to follow the rules listed under the PORTING topic. One of my peeves about sigil hoppers is when I was the first one on the sigil and had been farming for quite some time, and they get inside and DICTATE to me what I SHOULD do. Or tell me that THEY are going to kill the boss. Um...no not happening. First off, because this is MY fight. Secondly, if you want to kill the boss, then go farm him yourself, Thirdly, again I don't do well when being told what to do.


  • It's irritating when you repeat yourself over and over, they may be too busy at the moment to respond, or they may be AFK. If they don't respond in a few minutes time try ok, try again, but not repeatedly, if they were AFK they may not have seen the first message, especially if others are around talking. But repeating the same message 20 times or in quick succession is only irritating.

  • Remember it's a game geared for the tween age, but there are younger children and teens and adults all here together.
  • What you do in your own home is your business, but hitting on others, making passes, or inappropriate behavior is not needed or wanted here. People don't always tell the truth about their age or their gender. You may be acting out a relationship with a 6 year old for all you know, or you may be hitting on someone's grandmother. And you never know if it's really a guy or a girl in real life.
  • Remember it's a game, it's little cartoons on a computer screen, do you really think that cartoon wizard is really that Hot? Did you forget there are only so many selections for wizard types, so there is likely a half million more that look exactly like that one.
  • Play safe whether you a 6 or 106. You can never really know who is really behind that wizard on some computer almost anywhere in the world. Don't give out or ask for any identifying info.
It doesn’t matter what age the person is who has to hear inappropriate remarks. Even most adults do not want to hear cursing, smut talk, or propositions and solicitations.
The people you play with in-game may be virtual friends, but the majority of them are still real-life strangers. And any one of them could be pretending to be something they aren’t.

Remember the rules that are in the TOU/TOS that you AGREED to read before you started playing the game. Exploitation, soliciting account information, unauthorized use of speaking through the chat filters (to include: cursing, harassment, obscenities, and derogatory remarks) are expressly prohibited.

This is a FAMILY/KID FRIENDLY game. Key word being “friendly” and no one feels that way playing a game full of people who are demanding, rude, demeaning, or bullies. So keep it nice and safe.

Dittowizard has even listed some smart online safety pointers on his blog. The W101 Homepage also has a general list of online and game safety and etiquette that need to be abided by.

  • This one should be self-explanatory but it isn't always for some.
  • Don't be rude
  • Don't be a bully
  • Don't insult others (no name calling)
  • Don't beg (to be gifted things)
  • Don't scam
  • Don't curse
  • Don't spam, example: running around commons repeatedly saying I need a girl/guy, or party in the blank tower, etc... It really is annoying to others.
  • If you can help someone and have the time, try to help, who knows you may just meet a new BFF.
  • Remember we all started out at level 1!!!
  • And last but not least when all else fails remember the old saying we have all heard a million times from our elders: "TREAT OTHERS AS YOU WANT TO BE TREATED!"
We are all here to enjoy the game, be kind to others. The report and ignore buttons are your friends for those who have forgotten etiquette. Let's make the game better for everyone by thinking about etiquette.

That about sums up in-game playing etiquette.

Remember it is JUST a game. It is a means of relaxation for some and social gatherings for others. Some choose to play to get away from real world frustrations and stress. Adding inappropriate and rude behavior into the element does help anyone trying to actually PLAY the game.

Now onto another topic: Forum Etiquette

Most MMO games have a forum that is run by either the company or their fan sites. W101 is no different. I believe that we have the greatest fan site in W101 Central. We have the freedom to speak our minds-as long as we take other people’s feelings, thoughts, and ideas into consideration.

So now a few guidelines to posting using etiquette:

  • Search to see if someone else already has a similar thread. People do not want to read the same information over and over again. If you have something that IS similar, then post it on their thread.
  • Make sure that you post in the correct forum so that others can find it. If you are unsure what forum it goes in, then ask a moderator to move it to the correct one.
  • Be specific about what you are posting. If you have pictures to post that would help with your thread, then provide them.
  • Thank the people who took time to read and post in your thread if they gave any insight, even if you don’t agree with their opinion.
  • When you post on a thread, be respectful of everyone’s right to express their own opinions, especially if you are posting on a debatable topic.
  • Do not clutter up a thread with redundancy. If someone has said the same thing you would have said, then simply thank them.
  • If you have something to add to another poster’s reply, then be nice and quote them so that other people know exactly what you are making an addition to or confirming.
  • Debates are civilized and should be treated as such in a thread. You want to get your point across, not get the thread closed by arguing. It is perfectly fine to disagree with the Original Poster (OP) or another respondent, but do so respectively.
  • If you don’t have any insight, thoughts, ideas, or opinion about the topic, then please refrain from posting on the thread. The OP is looking for answers and agreement/rebuttal to what they posted. Saying, “Sorry, I don’t know” helps no one on the thread and just takes up space that others have to sift through to find someone who DOES know.
  • More people are likely to respond to your posts if: you are NOT YELLING AT THEM IN ALL CAPS; you take the time to check your spelling and grammar so your post is legible; you have researched your facts; and you aren’t putting others down because they disagree with you.
  • When you post in a thread, please stay on topic. Posting something that is not relevant to the topic being discussed does not belong on that thread.
There is a lot of information to be found in the forums. Following these guidelines can help you find the information you seek much easier.

Just remember to be polite and respectful. This is still a public forum and others are reading what you write.

Until next time…

Follow Your Own Path

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