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Brinzy
08-22-2014, 08:31 PM
Hey all,

Don't be fooled by my join date... I've played this game on and off for years now, but my highest leveled character is 16, which is a bard. I've got a cleric at 15, a barbarian at 14, and I just leveled my sorcerer to 14. It's probable that my lack of a max level is due to playing so many alts and playing very slowly, but I am also really terrified of playing without friends.

See, my friends might play this game once a year... then they get bored and go back to their thing. I really want to keep playing it, but most of my characters can't do more than Hard difficulty in most quests because of traps, a general lack of knowledge and experience, or a somewhat unreliable hireling every now and then. I read guides and take spells on my characters like Resist Energy, Protection from Energy, anti-death spells/gear, Invisibility, various CCs, etc., but even then I only play on Hard if there aren't any traps.

Now, this is fine and all. I've come to accept that my characters who can't trap just don't have the ability. My problem is that it leaves me feeling so anxious that I have turned down so many requests to group with players because I have no idea what spells they expect me to have, how they expect for me to contribute, what I know about the quest on Elite, and if it looks like I know how to play my characters. Two days ago, i declined doing Eyes of Stone on Elite with a group that invited my Sorcerer, even though I've done that quest multiple times on my characters, because I'm just too scared to make mistakes.

I guess I should also mention that I have grouped with strangers twice in my entire time playing. The first time was on my cleric, doing some quest in Ataraxia's Haven. It went smoothly, but only because everyone else knew what they were doing. I just healed and hit Blade Barrier. Nearly died to stupid things. The second time was healing... whatever that raid in the Marketplace is with multiple tier levels, on my bard. That one I was the only healer, but I was a SS so I made it somehow.

Even considering my decent experiences, I'm still scared. So, I guess here are my questions:

- generally speaking, what do parties expect from random pugs? As a cleric, of course I expect to heal - that's why I have him - but am I expected to just contribute damage every now and then? Do I load myself up with every type of dispel and just play pure support? Are there buffs that every cleric needs to bring that I should be using without having to be asked? What about for a sorcerer? I take Haste and Rage on him, for example.

- I try to keep my gear up - I do a lot of House Cannith challenges because they're really fun, and I get decent gear from it. With that being said, are there certain gear expectations? I remember the Necropolis had that necklace you upgraded doing the quests there, which seems to be good against Beholders. I also remember, at least a while ago, there was that helmet you got from Shreds of Tapestry. I have tried researching more, and I hope I am not missing much, but how do I figure out exactly what I should be aiming for? I assume having every character with something to prevent instant kills is good, but what else should I bring?

- is it expected of me to have my own consumables? I keep spellpoint potions on my casters and healing potions on my barbarian, for example. Anything else I should have?

- finally... should I even be worried about this? I have basically soloed in lower end content in this game for years and generally did ok, but I figure I gotta group eventually in an MMORPG. Is it even bad in most groups?

Thank you for your time.

Scrabbler
08-22-2014, 08:58 PM
1. You might have more confidence if you'd play some higher-level content on Normal, and advance a character to level 20. Just so you know more of what the game is like. There's no reason you'd need party teammates to reach 20th.


2. Maybe try asking this question in-game: make an LFM party request to recruit one person to chat/quest with. Someone who is bored right now can probably show you around a bit, and help you get into another group.

PsychoBlonde
08-22-2014, 09:05 PM
- generally speaking, what do parties expect from random pugs? As a cleric, of course I expect to heal - that's why I have him - but am I expected to just contribute damage every now and then? Do I load myself up with every type of dispel and just play pure support? Are there buffs that every cleric needs to bring that I should be using without having to be asked? What about for a sorcerer? I take Haste and Rage on him, for example.

Speaking as a vet with two completionist characters, the only thing I expect of random pugs is that they read the LFM. If there's no healer in the group (you can find this out by mousing-over to get the party list), then you need to be able to heal yourself or otherwise do without a healer. If there's no trapper, don't expect traps to be done. If it reads as "in progress, 15 minutes", expect it to be almost over by the time you get there. If it says "elite", be ready for mobs and traps to do a LOT of damage. Come loaded for bear.

For everything else, I really don't give a hoot. You don't know where the quest is? Sure, come along. Don't know if you have the right gear? I have res scrolls or can carry you to a shrine if I forgot to stock up. That stuff doesn't bother me. What REALLY gets my goat is this:

*Person C joins group containing Me, Person A, and Person B*
Me: Heya, we're roughly 10 minutes from the end of {quest deep in a wilderness zone that requires flagging}. If you can get here, great, if not we're doing {other quest} next.
Person C: *silence*
Person A: Hurry, though, we're almost done.
Person B: Do you know how to get there? I'm about to run out. I can show you the way.
Person C: *silence*
10 minutes later
Person C: I cant find u guys
Me: We're in the quest, about to finish
Person C: share quest
Me: I can't share it, it's part of a chain. Are you coming? We're at the end boss.
Person C: Wjere is this quest
Me: It's in {location}. Do you think you can make it?
Person C: I dont know {location} how u get there
Me: *knowing this will end badly by now* "If you hop into {explore area} and hang a left you'll see {landmark}, go around that to the right and follow the canyon all the way to the end.
Person C: Im lost
Me: You can look it up online if you need a map.
Person C: someone come get me
Me: Sorry, but we're at the end of the quest, we're not going to start over. C'mon guys, let's finish up.
Person C: y no one come get me
Person C: ur mean

Honestly, if you don't pull that **** you're already better than a substantial proportion of random puggers. One of the BEST ways to AVOID doing this is to SOLO THE WILDERNESS AREAS. Most wilderness areas are roughly equivalent to the difficulty of the quests in that area on Normal difficulty. So running the wilderness will give you a HUGE opportunity to learn things like what mobs are in that area, what they're likely to hit you with attack-wise, etc. If you look up the maps online and do the explores you'll also be able to see 100% of the map whenever you enter the zone so you will *gasp* have some idea of what quests are there and how to get to them!



- I try to keep my gear up - I do a lot of House Cannith challenges because they're really fun, and I get decent gear from it. With that being said, are there certain gear expectations? I remember the Necropolis had that necklace you upgraded doing the quests there, which seems to be good against Beholders. I also remember, at least a while ago, there was that helmet you got from Shreds of Tapestry. I have tried researching more, and I hope I am not missing much, but how do I figure out exactly what I should be aiming for? I assume having every character with something to prevent instant kills is good, but what else should I bring?

I wouldn't say there are "gear expectations" per se. Do make sure you have a deathblock item (even if it's a swap item) and that you have heavy fortification. Both of those will help prevent you from getting one-shot. The tapestry helmet (Minos Legens) is nice because it has Heavy Fortification and a Vitality gem on it (+20 hp). Both of those are nice to have. But you don't really need a lot of named items to play perfectly well--I'm lazy about grinding gear so all my characters have random lootgen items. Unique items tend to be more of a convenience (you don't have to swap stuff out) than a necessity. Even as a cleric, it's wise to carry a stack of Heal scrolls and a stack of Raise Dead scrolls. Just in case. 95% of the time you won't need them. Also, make sure you have Lesser Restoration, Remove Curse, Remove Disease, Remove Blindness, and Remove Poison potions. Yes, you can cast all of those. And sometimes you'll get in a situation where you need one and you're out of SP or have a condition that prevents you from casting. You don't need a TON, just HAVE them.


- is it expected of me to have my own consumables? I keep spellpoint potions on my casters and healing potions on my barbarian, for example. Anything else I should have?

You should have emergency consumables but--and I may make myself unpopular here--if you're expected to heal party members and you start running low on SP, THEY should pass you sp pots. So don't think you have to have like 20 sp pots. Have a couple and be willing to use them judiciously, but also keep an eye on that blue bar of yours and if it starts getting low, tell your party members and switch to scrolls or wands. Poor players have a tendency to treat clerics, in particular, as a Fountain of Endless Heals. You're not. You have to manage resources like everyone else. If someone is sucking down your blue bar like raspberry soda, consider just letting them die and ferrying them to the shrine. You are NOT responsible for supporting other people's bad play habits.


- finally... should I even be worried about this? I have basically soloed in lower end content in this game for years and generally did ok, but I figure I gotta group eventually in an MMORPG. Is it even bad in most groups?

I know I gave you that little horror story up there, but the truth is that most people are decent to competent in this game. In a pug of 6 people it's fairly common to get ONE lemon . . . but you're also likely to pick up one spectacular bruiser who can solo the quest. That being said, at every level there's usually one or maybe two quests that are just a GIGANTIC PAIN IN THE ASS on elite due to a combination of mobs that have nasty debuffing effects, enormous spell damage, big melee damage, and unforgiving quest mechanics. Vets know about these quests and they go in (metaphorically) loaded for bear and stomp the place, but with pugs it's really a tossup as to whether you'll be able to complete them. And there's NO warning ANYWHERE. Nothing about the quest gives you any clue that it's going to be a nightmare slog to get it done. If you see an LFM for just ONE quest and it doesn't say anything indicating that the person is doing other quests afterwards, guess what, it is PROBABLY THAT QUEST--they're putting up an LFM because they know that trying to solo that quest is a nightmare.

It's really not worth worrying about, though--tough quests are good experiences. Just stay cool, relax, have fun, figure out who is the vet in your group (if there is one) and hug them like they're your momma. Yeah, you might not enjoy their style, but you'll learn by doing even with a crazy zerger around and they're much more likely to help you out of a tough spot if you're right next to them when you get killed. Let people know that you'd like to do the optionals. If you find a certain person to be intolerable, just say "thx for group" and bail out when the quest is over. You'll do just fine. Even the vets die stupidly or bork up a quest.

Soulfurnace
08-22-2014, 09:08 PM
1) A cleric isn't expected to heal. An aura is nice, heals are great, but it's not expected. However, you're expected to either heal or dps. Both if you want.
And even a hjealzbot with no DC should have some no-save spells on hand. Enervation for example is great (aside from spell pen)
Buffs? HAH. Never, ever, ever expect a buff. It's good to have some, but not required.
Sorc? Either dps or DC cast. Nobody cares which. Buffs? Bring haste, Ddoor and blur. Blur for those people without the skill to displace(not really needed), ddoor because ddoor and haste because it's still useful; if only for yourself. Any other buffs, even for self use are good.

2) Uh. Whatever your build needs. I can't tell you what you need while sitting here and unable to see your build(s). Basic rule of thumb; if you're a Dc caster, get DC gear+stat gear (whatever your DC stat is). Melee/ranged? Get str gear+deadly item+decent weapon. (Str is still best)
Then just throw on saves, health, defences (dodge, perm blur, incorp, etc) as much as possible. Deathblock is nice, but Flesh Render goggles are good enough to not need it. Aside from beholders; in the instance of beholders, swap out to a PLIS and use Flesh Render - immune to instakill (drains 0 PLIS charges), immune to neg level (0 PLIS charges again).. Everything else though, well.. they'll use your charges fast.

3) Displacement GS clickies (mainly for EE. Nothing else needs displacement). Res clickies if you don't have the spell/scroll (1-2 is fine)
There's more, but that's the basics.

4) Nope, it's fine in most groups. Don't die stupidly and everything will be fine - we expect people to die. As long as you aren't trying to zerg without the skill/gear nobody will mind.

Powskier
08-22-2014, 09:14 PM
you r pretty much ready...just have rem curse and rem blindness pots to keep from lookin silly....and avoid zerg groups if newer to elites,as well as invis groups(since you r cleric u prob wont get thru invis)

blerkington
08-22-2014, 09:29 PM
Hi,

Your cleric will be welcome in most groups even if it all does is heal, although you can do much more than that. The problem with grouping on a divine is that some PUGs expect too much from their cleric, and the worst of them can even become somewhat abusive if their divine doesn't babysit them no matter how badly they play. That isn't common, but it does happen.

When you run your cleric, don't buff excessively at the start of quests. Do carry Freedom of Movement and Deathward. If you plan to do a bit of offensive casting to help out the group, the crowd control offered by Cometfall and Greater Command can make things easier for your melees and ultimately cost you less SP than you might have otherwise have had to use on healing. If you have the radiant burst and aura encourage the other people in your group to stay near you and use it to keep them up instead of just relying on your SP.

If you don't have a preference for which of your characters you play to become more used to grouping, I'd suggest your bard. You will be fairly self sufficient, and you won't normally be expected to perform any crucial roles. You can do a bit of fighting, a bit of buffing, maybe some healing and crowd control, while you see how quests are done in group.

Try to make sure whichever character you group with has curative potions (including cure blindness, disease, poison, as well as lesser restoration) and a feather falling item. If possible, having a way to become invisible is also very useful.

I can't recall ever seeing anyone given a hard time in group for saying that they were new. It may not exactly be true, but if you say that, people will generally be quite accommodating and forgiving. It's much better than not being sure what to do and then making avoidable mistakes which hurt the group. Some groups are quite unforgiving of people who don't speak up and then cause problems, especially in raids.

Anyway, I hope you give it a go and have fun with it. Even taking into account the occasional bad group, grouping is generally quite fun and rewarding. You will meet some nice people and learn a lot more about the game.

Thanks, and good luck.

Toro12
08-22-2014, 09:52 PM
What I expect of those that join my "usual" LFMs .

Show up and have fun.
If you die, I don't care.
Want to run a 6wizard /7 barbarian/7 Sorc that only casts grease and burning hands the entire quest, I don't care.
20cleric that throws a shadow star and doesn't cast a single spell much less a healing spell , cool with me.

A bard that just sonic blasts the breakables and narrates the quest in an Australian accent like you are reading the "odyssey ", Have at it.

So long as your enjoying yourself and not being an smacked rear end on voice ( racial, sexest , or other derogatory stuff)

Want to just leech XP and pike at the entrance till everything is done then run through and grab loot from the chests?, No worries
-----
Occasionally I'll do a "teaching run" of quests or raids.
In which case I expect you to not Zerg off and try and get a solo completion.

Brinzy
08-22-2014, 11:16 PM
Hello everyone,

So I feel a lot better after reading the replies. I definitely do my best to try to not be a burden, and I will look up quests before even replying to a whisper if I am unsure about it. I am glad I should be soloing wilderness zones, because that's what I've spent most of my time doing it seems like.

I haven't been carrying some of those Remove potions, so I will make that change right now. : )

Basically, as long as I am attempting to pull my own weight, people will take me. If that's the case, I probably have been worrying way too much.

I have that +20 Lesser Heart of Wood thing on my bard from a while ago. I'll look up a build and give it another go. Thanks for the encouragement and advice!

moomooprincess
08-23-2014, 07:53 AM
If you have run the quests on hard, you have enough knowledge.

You seem ready to pug. You have knowledge, You have gear. You have your consumables. You know your weaknesses and you probably know your strengths.

Go for it.

I second PsychoBlonde's post. If you cannot communicate when they are obviously trying to really help you in the beginning, then you only have yourself to blame. Psychoblonde's chat sequence I have seen so many times it is quite comical. Especially when doing something like Tempest's Spine. When we are starting Tempest I tell the group you will need lots of inventory space and an underwater action item. Once inside the quest, invariably, someone will say they have no room in their inventory and they don't have any UW items. let's not even mention the part when we say "When in doubt underwater, always go right."

On my cleric, When I join a group I tell them I am a healer cleric right at the beginning. I don't try to kill anything until I am 12th level and I have Blade Barrier. On my clerics I play support, All heal spells, remove curse, restoration, freedom of movement, and raise dead. All other stuff is nice, but save your mana for that pretty much.

Your sorceror should be highly destructive in my opinion. Hopefully, it is warforged.

My bards are purely buffers. I won't go leading the party into sure death, but I will gladly lead the party into mobs I know I can handle. I prefer my bards to sit back, and pew pew pew with some ranged weapon, after the DPS has gotten aggro. Also, casting haste on the DPS is always appreciated and that let's the nukers nuke insteading of having to haste the DPS.

I do not play barbarians as they are too one dimensional for me. Just have lots of cure potions and remove curse potions and lesser restoration potions and deal a lot of damage.

I never join groups if I do not know the quest. I have to solo all quests so I gain knowledge.

You have way more experience in House of Cannith challenges than me. I did one once, quickly decided this is not what I like to do.

If you are on Ghallanda or Cannith I will gladly group with you as I have many characters on those servers in your level range. On other servers I have Level 15 maybe level 16s since I bought ICONICs but their gear will just be their starter gear with a few consumables.

Remember, it is a game, not real life financial problems and life and death. You are supposed to be playing to escape stress.

Stoner81
08-23-2014, 07:59 AM
Depending on the server you play on and the people in the group most groups out there will just utterly destroy any and all heroic content, the quests are well known and lots of people on the TR train so they have gear, quest knowledge and everything else. The hardest part is keeping up with everybody especially if it is a fast moving group (I had a similar problem originally), one thing you can do before joining any PUG though is to message (/tell) the party leader and tell them that you are:

- New to the quest and don't know it.
- Never done it on Elite and are a little nervous but willing to learn.
- Anything else you can think of.

Do that and unless you get some complete moron you will have a riot! Doing the above shows willingness to listen/learn and that you are thinking of the group and that you don't want to be a pest. I have led PUGs where somewhere has told me something similar and my general response is something along the lines of "OK no problem just try to stick close to me and keep your eyes peeled and learn, if that means piking so be it :)" and they have done and got a lot from it. If you die in a quest then you die no big deal it happens to best of us the only thing NOT TO DO is release and come back in to the quest, just stay dead until somebody gives you a rez or takes you to a shrine.

To be perfectly blunt I think you are worrying far too much about it all really... when all is said and done DDO is a game and should be played for fun, entertainment etc and not like a second job! Enjoy the game for what it is... A GAME :) go make a cup of tea/coffee/whatever, grab some snacks and lets go kill some monsters!!!!!

Stoner81.

Uska
08-23-2014, 08:09 AM
Well for me your ready when log in the game and click on my lfm, all I ask is 4 things

1 don not play rap,over the voice chat

2. Don't do anything to,purposely fail the quest don't care if you die I will try to get you to a shrine if I can so you can play more and get loot

3 if you do die don't call out and try to come back in don't mind loosing the no death bonus but don't want to loose the renntry bonus as well this also means don't call out to use a shrine right outside the quest as with coal

4 don't ask for a share if you don't know where the quest giver is find out I will make exceptions to this for the hound and VoD

Talon_Moonshadow
08-23-2014, 08:17 AM
When Jeets leaves your party.

Soulfurnace
08-23-2014, 09:07 AM
and I will look up quests before even replying to a whisper if I am unsure about it.

Basically, as long as I am attempting to pull my own weight, people will take me. If that's the case, I probably have been worrying way too much.
Don't. Just join. If someone has an issue with a newer player trying to group and abuses you, /squelch and move on. Congrats, you've just removed one potential [redacted] from future groups. /tell leader asking about traps/such if you want, they'll be happy to tell you.

Yup. If you try I'm happy; I don't care how well you do, just that you try. I can probably solo the quest anyway, grouping is just more fun :)

Kasiddy
08-23-2014, 02:07 PM
Do you have voice chat? And will you use it to communicate?
Can you at least hear and are willing to type in chat right when you join that you have ears but no voice?
Or if for some reason you have no sound, be active in typing in chat when you need to be?
Can you follow directions?
Are you willing to say you aren't familiar with a quest if you don't know it, or if at some point it looks like the group needs to coordinate something BEFORE that coordination actually needs to happen?
Can you still have a good time and not get frustrated when something goes pear-shaped?
Do you generally know your own strengths and weaknesses?
Can you leave drama, politics, religion, or <insert any other real-life hang-ups here> out of chat and just focus on the game?

If yes, then you are ready to group up with others.
Some people are ready as soon as they hit Korthos.
Some are not ready after playing for several years.


You should have emergency consumables but--and I may make myself unpopular here--if you're expected to heal party members and you start running low on SP, THEY should pass you sp pots. So don't think you have to have like 20 sp pots. Have a couple and be willing to use them judiciously, but also keep an eye on that blue bar of yours and if it starts getting low, tell your party members and switch to scrolls or wands. Poor players have a tendency to treat clerics, in particular, as a Fountain of Endless Heals. You're not. You have to manage resources like everyone else. If someone is sucking down your blue bar like raspberry soda, consider just letting them die and ferrying them to the shrine. You are NOT responsible for supporting other people's bad play habits.
THIS. ABSOLUTELY THIS. Somewhere around U12-U14, there seemed to be a general attitude that the cleric should suck down as many of his/her own pots as needed so the group could complete whatever quest they wanted on whatever difficulty they wanted, nevermind the competence or preparation of players for that quest. It's why I stopped pugging with my cleric for a long time. I recently dusted her off and did a TR and run back to cap, and had a lot of fun, even while pugging. The attitude does not seem as bad now, but probably only because gaining cocoon helped to encourage general self-sufficiency as the expected norm. Still, I can't remember the last time I was offered a pot by a non-guildie. It's really even not so much that I expect some compensation, but the thoughtfulness and courtesy to at least ask about or offer a few pots goes a long way toward maintaining divine good will.

Really, just everything Psychoblond said.


Cleric buffs: Freedom of movement, death ward, resists, and heals + raise. That is all I would expect a cleric to have. It is nice if the cleric can use Destruction on annoying ranged or casters, Greater Command and/or Cometfall on large groups of mobs, but not really critical. A good blade barrier is nice, but don't expect anybody in group to use it effectively - you're better off just putting up an aura and whacking on whatever else the group is whacking on. Also, you are absolutely not responsible for other players' curses, diseases, poisons, blindness, or other minor boo-boos that can be fixed with a potion available in the harbor.

Gear: A deathblock item and heavy fortification are my only real expectations. Casters should have "good" casting sticks and melee/ranged should have "good" gear for their style. "Good" in my opinion means you can stand in front of several typical non-bosses and kill them with said gear in quick succession before they kill you, without anybody else supplementing your red bar. Or have greater damage output than a self-healing mob has healing output.

Consumables: Get some basic pots. Not even that many. But especially curses and blindness. Lesser Restore for anything that rages. The 20 Resist pots are also nice to have, but I wouldn't consider them mandatory. On my cleric I also have a couple stacks of heal scrolls and another stack of raise scrolls (for mid levels) and resurrect scrolls (for high levels) because I often like to use my blue bar for other stuff... like having fun with Destruction. I think the amount of scrolls you have is a purely personal choice, so long as you have a few for emergencies.

Finally.... I think you sound like a thoughtful player who really doesn't need to worry about grouping because any problems are not that likely to come from you.

issalar
08-23-2014, 02:38 PM
The way my guild is for clerics is "outrun the cleric your on your own" also "I cant heal through walls". so if you are being a healer as you are new tell them that hey need to stay close for effective heals, if they run off and leave you behind their fate lies in there hands. Oh if there is a wiz make sure u know if they are undead to help avoid wasting sp. Just make sure you dont stress yourself out playing the healer. If there is a problem just tell them, but the main point is it is a game so just enjoy it and ignore the group that is always wanting to power through everything.

Happy Hunting

Soulfurnace
08-24-2014, 02:02 AM
Do you have voice chat? And will you use it to communicate?
Can you at least hear and are willing to type in chat right when you join that you have ears but no voice?
Or if for some reason you have no sound, be active in typing in chat when you need to be?
Can you follow directions?
Are you willing to say you aren't familiar with a quest if you don't know it, or if at some point it looks like the group needs to coordinate something BEFORE that coordination actually needs to happen?
Can you still have a good time and not get frustrated when something goes pear-shaped?
Do you generally know your own strengths and weaknesses?
Can you leave drama, politics, religion, or <insert any other real-life hang-ups here> out of chat and just focus on the game?

Gear: A deathblock item and heavy fortification are my only real expectations. Casters should have "good" casting sticks and melee/ranged should have "good" gear for their style
The first part.. I'm not even sure that's necessary. Most of my learning for a quest is done on the first run and politics is a great way to pass the time during a boring run!

Deathblock isn't even needed. Flesh render - or use death ward, seeming you're a cleric - is plenty. Waste of a gear spot most of the time.

SirValentine
08-24-2014, 07:30 AM
My problem is that it leaves me feeling so anxious that I have turned down so many requests to group with players because I have no idea what spells they expect me to have, how they expect for me to contribute, what I know about the quest on Elite, and if it looks like I know how to play my characters. Two days ago, i declined doing Eyes of Stone on Elite with a group that invited my Sorcerer, even though I've done that quest multiple times on my characters, because I'm just too scared to make mistakes.
<snip>
- finally... should I even be worried about this? I have basically soloed in lower end content in this game for years and generally did ok, but I figure I gotta group eventually in an MMORPG. Is it even bad in most groups?


You're too worried. Go for it.



- generally speaking, what do parties expect from random pugs? As a cleric, of course I expect to heal - that's why I have him - but am I expected to just contribute damage every now and then? Do I load myself up with every type of dispel and just play pure support? Are there buffs that every cleric needs to bring that I should be using without having to be asked?


If you built a healer, that's fine, and many groups will welcome you just for that. Others won't really need healing from you. You still want to be able to contribute. So in addition to healing, have at least one offensive focus, be it melee, nuking (Blade Barrier, Light spells, etc.), ranged, or DC-based spells (crowd control or insta-kill).

As for buffs, Magic Circle Against Evil (for immunity to Command), and, once you get it, Mass Death Ward, are great to have and use. And, though you don't need to always cast it on everyone, make sure you have Freedom of Movement available. Single-target Death Ward same as FoM until you get the Mass version.



- is it expected of me to have my own consumables? I keep spellpoint potions on my casters and healing potions on my barbarian, for example. Anything else I should have?


Yes on consumables. But anyone who's expecting you to quaff spell point potions is unreasonable. Things like Cure potions, Remove Curse/Disease/Blindness, for everyone. If you find yourself running out of spell points often, try buying and using Heal and Res scrolls; they are a bit expensive, but still way cheaper than spell point potions.

SirValentine
08-24-2014, 07:36 AM
If there's no healer in the group (you can find this out by mousing-over to get the party list)...


That sounds like quite the magic trick. I never know how another player builds, gears and plays their character unless I ask or see them in action extensively.



...you need to be able to heal yourself...


Yes, that.

jillora
08-24-2014, 12:56 PM
You'll do fine. I'm like you in that I have severe alt-itus and friends who got me into DDO and who have moved on to other things. You beat me in that you can lure them back once in awhile. So it took years for me to get a character to level 20 and that was only because I joined a guild with a guild leader who helped me stay focused on just the one character for awhile. Alas, I still have alt-itus, but at least I have 4 characters that I've TR'ed into their second lives so that's some progress. Still no third life characters, but one is level 18...

I pretty much only group through pugs so I get you and I totally get you about the wanting to group only with quests you know, but I've found that it's still fun doing quests when you have no idea what's going to happen. Just know that you will be annoyed. I squelched my first person a couple of months ago so I guess it's not that annoying if it took so long and you can also add people to your friend list with notes about why you should never group with them again :).

Also, know how you like to play. I HATE zerging, but will do it if that's the pace the group sets, and wish more zergers would admit it in LFMs so I could know not to join it. I guess that's not too fair, I should write flowersniffer in my own lfms and I don't. In any case, I also avoid LFMs that state TRs only or know it since I know I will not have fun on those runs and this is a video game. It's supposed to be fun :)

You might also try posting some LFMs yourself for the lower level quests you know. I've done the level 8 and below quests so often on my many alts that I actually have fun leading those quests. Leading some runs yourself might be a nice change of pace for you.

And don't stress too much about gearing yourself up. Chances are your group is overpowered for the quest so it's really a personal choice as to how good your gear is.

Some people do judge others by HP though and I've seen people teased for having half the HP of the rest of the group. Remember that vitality and false life items stack.

Good luck and have fun!!!

PsychoBlonde
08-24-2014, 04:00 PM
That sounds like quite the magic trick. I never know how another player builds, gears and plays their character unless I ask or see them in action extensively.

It's easy. If you DON'T see someone who has 17+ levels in: cleric, favored soul, druid, or bard, assume there's NO healer. You may not always be correct in assuming that someone with 17+ levels in that class is competent healer, but if they don't have 17+ levels in one of those classes 99 times out of 100 they're NOT a healer. That's for level 20+, anyway, for lower levels if they're not almost-pure cleric, fvs, or druid then assume they're not a healer. Bards are rarely set up for healing short of level 20 even if they plan on speccing for it post-20.

It's even easier for trapping--if you don't see either rogue or artificer levels on anyone, assume there's no trapper.

Kawai
08-24-2014, 04:32 PM
Hey all...

Op. which server u call home?

Cathimon
08-24-2014, 05:07 PM
Hey all,

Don't be fooled by my join date... I've played this game on and off for years now, but my highest leveled character is 16, which is a bard. I've got a cleric at 15, a barbarian at 14, and I just leveled my sorcerer to 14. It's probable that my lack of a max level is due to playing so many alts and playing very slowly, but I am also really terrified of playing without friends.

See, my friends might play this game once a year... then they get bored and go back to their thing. I really want to keep playing it, but most of my characters can't do more than Hard difficulty in most quests because of traps, a general lack of knowledge and experience, or a somewhat unreliable hireling every now and then. I read guides and take spells on my characters like Resist Energy, Protection from Energy, anti-death spells/gear, Invisibility, various CCs, etc., but even then I only play on Hard if there aren't any traps.

Now, this is fine and all. I've come to accept that my characters who can't trap just don't have the ability. My problem is that it leaves me feeling so anxious that I have turned down so many requests to group with players because I have no idea what spells they expect me to have, how they expect for me to contribute, what I know about the quest on Elite, and if it looks like I know how to play my characters. Two days ago, i declined doing Eyes of Stone on Elite with a group that invited my Sorcerer, even though I've done that quest multiple times on my characters, because I'm just too scared to make mistakes.

I guess I should also mention that I have grouped with strangers twice in my entire time playing. The first time was on my cleric, doing some quest in Ataraxia's Haven. It went smoothly, but only because everyone else knew what they were doing. I just healed and hit Blade Barrier. Nearly died to stupid things. The second time was healing... whatever that raid in the Marketplace is with multiple tier levels, on my bard. That one I was the only healer, but I was a SS so I made it somehow.

Even considering my decent experiences, I'm still scared. So, I guess here are my questions:

- generally speaking, what do parties expect from random pugs? As a cleric, of course I expect to heal - that's why I have him - but am I expected to just contribute damage every now and then? Do I load myself up with every type of dispel and just play pure support? Are there buffs that every cleric needs to bring that I should be using without having to be asked? What about for a sorcerer? I take Haste and Rage on him, for example.

- I try to keep my gear up - I do a lot of House Cannith challenges because they're really fun, and I get decent gear from it. With that being said, are there certain gear expectations? I remember the Necropolis had that necklace you upgraded doing the quests there, which seems to be good against Beholders. I also remember, at least a while ago, there was that helmet you got from Shreds of Tapestry. I have tried researching more, and I hope I am not missing much, but how do I figure out exactly what I should be aiming for? I assume having every character with something to prevent instant kills is good, but what else should I bring?

- is it expected of me to have my own consumables? I keep spellpoint potions on my casters and healing potions on my barbarian, for example. Anything else I should have?

- finally... should I even be worried about this? I have basically soloed in lower end content in this game for years and generally did ok, but I figure I gotta group eventually in an MMORPG. Is it even bad in most groups?

Thank you for your time.

Hey man, we've all been there,

The best tips I can give you is to join a static group, that's what I did when I started back in 2009. I was with friends and we played togueter, we were noobs togueter, we learned togueter. Join a guild, a smaller one preferably and be honest.
Same thing with pugs. I make my own pugs and I recruit everybody, I'm harsh some times but I am fair. You tell me you're good, you know everything, I'll judge you in consequence. You tell me you're a big noob, you don't know anything, and I'll be extremely helpful.

Sometimes theres these folks who join groups and raids, we ask them if they have the right weapon or if they know what to do, they answer yes. Then we find out they b*ll****ed us by fear that we'd kick him out or something. These LIARS are frowned upon. There are folks who don't like noobs it's true. But there are others like me, who like to help new players. Just be nice, don't think you're the best and heed the advice we give you.

You'll learn and get better over time, there's too much to say for a single post!

SirValentine
08-24-2014, 07:21 PM
It's easy. If you DON'T see someone who has 17+ levels in: cleric, favored soul, druid, or bard, assume there's NO healer.


And even if you do...still assume there's no healer, unless they tell you otherwise.

I.e., after just mousing over the list, no matter what's in the list, still just assume there's no healer...which you could have done WITHOUT mousing over the list.

Oliphant
08-27-2014, 03:17 PM
The PUG scene on Ghallanda is pretty decent and the LFM is a great tool for finding a group fast. If you stick to quests that you know, you should do fine. Since the game split between heroic and epic, I feel a tribal affiliation among folks when I play heroics, like we're the folks that stuck around for the original content. The only thing that may still hold you back is caring too much about the opinions of random strangers. Unless you're getting the same feedback all the time, just expect that some folks will be opinionated and they're not always on point with their observations. If you're getting the same feedback all the time, the community is pretty smart as a whole, so just listen and learn in that situation.