Putting the “RP” in “MMORPG”

If you’re reading this, you probably know that DDO is an MMORPG, and that MMORPG stands for Massively Multi-player Online Role-Playing Game.

Lately it seems like I’ve been running into people who don’t get the “role-playing” part. As a DDO player, even if you don’t get into character and go to the Open Palm Inn and act out various scenarios, you still have a role to play. It’s determined by your class, your race, your level and your abilities.

If you want to run a quest solo, go right ahead and do your thing. But when you join a group, be prepared to do what’s expected of you.

The other night I was running Vic with a couple of new friends who are a LOT of fun, the kind of group you’d rather be with and wipe than be with others and cruise. We decided to tackle Taming the Flames, and our leader put up the LFM. Our full party ended up with only one healer, a cleric 4/bard 3/fighter 2. Most of us had at least some rudimentary healing of our own, so we figured we’d give it a shot.

We got in and started getting hit pretty hard. Lucky for me, Vic’s Evasion kept her pretty healthy; she gulped a few Cure Lights and that was enough to keep her HP bar full. We had a few people who were struggling, though; meanwhile our “healer” (oh yes, I use that term loosely)… stood there. Doing nothing. When we had two people in imminent danger of dying and one more getting way too low for comfort, we finally started asking “Joe Healer” to toss a few heals out. No response. At all. He wasn’t AFK or lagged because every few seconds he’d run around a bit, but he did NOTHING else.

Vic still had a candy cane with a few charges left on it so I tossed that to our party leader. We barely managed to fend off the fire elementals and get up the corridor to relative safety so we could regroup a bit. “Hoe Healer” came right along with us. Even his OWN health was getting pretty low, but he still wouldn’t even heal HIMSELF despite all of us asking him in both text and voice. He wouldn’t even ANSWER us.

So we headed up a bit farther and came to an area where a couple of fire barriers spring up, and you have to kill the mephits to make the barriers go away so you can continue. “Joe Healer” suddenly decided he was “Joe Melee” and went charging in. The barriers came down, leaving him and two members inside the chamber while I was stuck outside with the other two.

And then, without ever saying a single word or tossing a single heal to ANYONE, Joe Healer/Melee recalled and quit the party.

I brought this up on a forum (not the official DDO forum) and was a little surprised at the responses I got.

“Well, he wasn’t a pure cleric, he probably only had 200 mana.”

“You can’t do that quest with only one healer.”

Yadda yadda yadda. OK, fine, he didn’t have a lot of mana. Sure, it would have been much better to have another healer. What pissed us off was that he wouldn’t even TRY. NOT ONE HEAL. NOT ONE WORD IN CHAT, either text or voice. NOTHING. NADA. ZIP. ZILCH. And his mana bar was FULL.

That to me is completely unacceptable. If he didn’t think he could handle healing the whole party, he could have said so. We could have gotten an extra healer or gone in on a lower difficulty. Just a couple of Cure Lights would have made a HUGE difference to our party. Maybe we still would have wiped, but at least we’d have gotten the chance to try.

Then there are the people who either don’t know or don’t care what their roles are and just do their own thing. Not just zergers – I found out the other night that you can somewhat stick with your party and still be more of a hindrance than a help.

I was on with Vic again and joined a PUG to do Stormcleave Outpost on elite. The group was full, although I was a little worried that several members were well under quest level (two of them were only lvl 5). But Vic’s soloed that so I figured if everyone were smart, we should be OK.

IF everyone were smart – darn, that’s a big if. There was little to no communication in either text or voice. I stuck to the group leader (that’s what you’re SUPPOSED to do unless told otherwise, right?); everybody else would start running off and then kind of wander back. The whole party except for me and one other person all decided to melee – NOT a good idea. The wanderers kept stirring up mobs and towing them along when they came running back to the main group.

Then there was the Warforged who kept getting hit REALLY hard. The cleric – when he wasn’t trying to melee – did toss him a few heals, but obviously wasn’t able to help much. I kept telling the WF to stop for just a sec and I’d repair him; Vic has five Repair Constructs per rest. He kept ignoring me, but I finally got a chance to throw a repair on him while he was looting a chest. I told him that if he got low, he just needed to stop and stand next to me for a few seconds. More than a step or two away and I’d get a “player out of range” error message. The guy WOULD. NOT. LISTEN. Went tearing around griping about how low his health bar was, but couldn’t take three seconds for me to repair him.

When he finally DID seem to realize that I could help him more than the cleric could, he’d wait until his health bar was almost gone and come running up to me. I’d target him and click my Repair Construct icon – and he’d go running off while I was still in mid-repair. So he didn’t get healed, AND it still used up one of my repairs.

It got really clear really quickly that most of the party was in way over their heads and had no clue what they were doing. It didn’t take long until we ran into a horde that was way, WAY too much for us, and four players went down FAST. It ended up being me and one other guy left alive. I’m not sure what the other guy was doing, but now that everybody else was dead, a couple of giants took out after poor Vic, who was running backwards trying to gulp cure pots, fire her crossbow and look for soul stones at the same time. Of course, one squishy rogue alone (the other guy got killed pretty quickly after the main wipe) against many giants – not good.

As I was propelling Vic backwards as fast as I could make her go, people started recalling one at a time and then leaving the party. They didn’t reform it, which is good because I wouldn’t have joined up with them again anyway.

Part of your role is knowing what you can logically be expected to handle. I’d LOVE to run Vic through the F2P Medusa Chain quests, but even though she’s ALMOST at level for them, I know she’d be more of a liability than an asset. Stormcleave Outpost is level 8, which makes it a level 10 quest on elite, and it’s designated as “challenging.” Joining the party as a level 5 is pretty stupid; having the party leader accept your request to join when he can see you’re only a level 5 doesn’t make him any too bright either.

Maybe Vic’s just having bad luck with parties lately. She also ran Gwylan’s on elite the other night with four great people and one zerger. The entire party asked the guy to slow down and stay with us. He was like, “I know this quest by heart. I can avoid the traps.” I was very grateful to the guy who told him, “We have a great rogue, let her shine,” even though Zerg-dude didn’t listen.

I’m all in favor of doing your own thing, but either do it solo or form your own party and make it clear what’s going on. Don’t join someone else’s party and ruin the experience for five other people. It DOESN’T prove you’re a great player. Great players know how to be part of a team.

8 thoughts on “Putting the “RP” in “MMORPG”

  1. ComicRelief

    I’d say that, yes, you are having a “PUG-Tugly” time of things. 😉

    And that other forum saying you need more than one healer for “Taming the Flames”??? Hogwash. I’ve soloed it at level with both my Ftr/Rog and Rgr/Rog with only a level 3 hireling cleric (yes, that’s right – a LEVEL 3 hireling cleric. Of course, that was before “The Great Lobotomy” of U9…). Not saying it was easy, but that’s besides the point. Unfortunately, as the saying goes, you can’t fix “stupid”.

    …not even with a “Fox’s Cunning” potion.


  2. Mizzaroo

    You see? This is why itd be nice to be able to call a vote in the middle of a quest to vote someone out(Kinda like in another game I play). Im not a very good Cleric. But at least when Im on her I do try. That and Im a chatty person. Sometimes.


  3. HowlingVoyager

    Kinda off topic, but I’m curious. ‘Taming the Flames’ keeps being mentioned here and in forum as being a ‘tough’ quest to solo. Huh? Like ComicRelief, I’ve soloed it up to hard with all my toons at level, without hirelings. Challenging, but not impossible. Both pre and post U9. Am I missing something?

    Oh, and on topic. I get the role-playing, I just don’t pug a great deal simply because the ‘roles’ I’ve assigned my FVS – my favorite class – are emergency med techs so BYOH. But like you I do try when I am in a group situation, it’s only polite.


    1. Evennote

      I have mixed feelings on the difficulty aspect. Vic, as a rogue, really doesn’t have that tough a time with it because of having evasion, and Jall gets through it solo OK. I HATED it the first time I did it with Even, though, and that was with a good party, not solo. Having decent fire resist makes a huge difference. Also, by the time Jall and Vic got levelled up high enough to do it, I’d done it enough with Even to know what to expect, and I’d also gotten better at jumping… poor Even can’t jump worth a darn and fell in the lava a few times.

      Taming the Flames, if you’re prepared, may actually be easier to solo than do with a party because you don’t have to look out for anyone but yourself. If you’re in a party and just one member doesn’t have fire resist, it can totally change the dynamic.


  4. xSeverinax

    Vic is a litle too low to run with my toon Jelidan, at the moment, but Jal would probably be ok. The medusa chain is great and I would be happy to run through it with you. Jelidan is lvl 13 so would lose you exp. Look me up in game though if you want.


  5. LrdSlvrhnd

    I did Taming the Flames a few days ago… and even though I was in a party, I pretty much soloed it. I was on my monk, and I grabbed a fire resist/20 robe… and meanwhile, everybody else was going in there and getting dead. Fire elementals, fire mephits, lava pits… and NOBODY brought any kind of fire resistance. Which led to my monk running around with a backpack full of stones, following directions from “ghosts” – “Turn right here. OK, now go down this passage. Right, through this door!” What little I didn’t resist, I mostly managed to evade. It was actually kinda hilarious. And led to a very awed party. Especially when, after a few semi-difficult fights led to me being close to dead, and them all moaning about it… I sat down and then started healing. “HOW ARE YOU DOING THAT?” “Magical Monky Healing! *pause* Monk-ish. MONK-ISH healing!” “Too late!” (Running gag the rest of the quest)

    At one point, when we found a rez shrine, without a healing shrine nearby, one of them was saying “Gah, no healing shrine!”… and then I used my magical monk-ish healing ki on them. “Who needs a shrine?” “…”

    So, yeah. Basically soloed it in a group. Granted, I’m pretty sure we were over-level, but I think only by a couple of levels.

    Anyhoo, as to the post: I tend to see my role (either on my monk or my ranger) mostly as “protect the squishy” – If I have 3 shots of Barkskin left on my ranger, it goes to, in order, the healer, the wizard, and the rogue… even if I don’t get it for me. (Unless one of them is annoying me. Hey, I’m only human…) If in the midst of battle, I notice that they’re being attacked, I’ll switch targets. This is my role: Group Protector. (Mainly ’cause I tend to die when I go rushing into battle… and that gets expensive on my ranger!) If I see a bunch of trash mobs running around… I’ll cheerfully switch to them, let others concentrate on the big bad.

    This is just my basic self-defined role in a pug, of course; my overall role is “Whatever Leader sez.”

    Also, I like to stick like glue to the cleric. If for no other reason, then I get to partake in the magical clericky healy glow aura thingamabob. Yay for that!

    But yeah. If you’re ‘hired’ for a specific purpose… either at least attempt to fill it, or say outright “Yeah, that’s not how this character works, really… sorry.” Sure, you might get booted, but at least you’re honest and people can plan. I know the PUGs I’ve done, most of the people would be like “OK, we’ll try to self-heal, thanks for the warning.” Maybe I’ve just lucked into some good PUGs (Fire resistance notwithstanding…)

    Oh, and either of my toons (Grynd the ranger or Donajya the monk) would be glad to go through the Medusa chain with you. Heck, we’d probably BOTH be detriments, which would cancel each other out… right?


  6. Evennote

    Severina and Slvr, I’d LOVE to quest with either or both of you! No worries about XP, I’d rather get no XP with good people than 20K with morons (of course, when you run with morons, your chances of getting successfully through those high-XP quests isn’t great :D). Hit me up any time, any toon, and we’ll party like it’s 199… er… well… we’ll party. LOL


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