In the world of MMORPGs, outside of your guild and your friends, you come across many different people that you spend very little time with. In the case of random groups (PUGs), you’re given a micro-dose of human interactivity with a handful of strangers. Based on their overarching actions, you are then likely to toss them all into neat little categorical boxes to differentiate them in some way from each other. Or, maybe that’s just me.
The inclusion of the Dungeon Finder in our games has trimmed the looking-for-group experience from standing around towns shouting at other people who are hopefully also standing around town looking to do the same things as you, to clicking a button and waiting for other people to click that same button sometime soon too. Instead of running out to a dungeon with people asking which flight point connects to that one or who has the dungeon key, we’re now thrust into a starting point with a handful of strangers, usually from completely different servers. It’s like we’ve taken a few of the awkward steps out and added some brand new ones.
From my experiences with World of Warcraft, using the Dungeon Finder to find parties for lowbie dungeons way too often, I have made some observations. In this new, fast-paced Dungeon Finder Era, there are fewer personality types to come across than there were back in the Shouting Era:
- The Chatterbox – This person is either new, nervous, unaware of typical group behavior, or some combination of the three. They’re either constantly verifying that their healer is ready, asking if their DPS is high enough, or they’re telling you about their grandmother’s cat’s recent bladder surgery and, either way, you really don’t care. Everyone already felt awkward enough; there’s no reason to add queasy to that.
- The DPS Plz’r – This person asks for a Damage Meters readout after each boss battle. They may even ask after trash pulls, presumably depending how many cooldowns they popped on that last fight. You frequently wonder why they don’t have their own meters, especially after they thank you even when you send them the requested stats in a /tell.
- The Polite but Impatient – They’ll say hello and respond grudgingly to the few attempts at conversation but just to get the group moving. You might see them pacing ahead or even jumping up and down, waiting for the tank to pull.
- The Silent Type – This type is plentiful in the dungeon finder. They’re just there to get their dungeon done and get out. They won’t respond to your greetings or verify that they’ve heard your instructions for the boss encounter. You occasionally might even wonder if they’re just a very well-programmed bot. They won’t say a word, and then they’ll be gone.
- The “You’re Doing it Wrong” Guy/Gal – This player knows everything about the game and every possible spec, at least they think they do. You’re obviously tanking wrong, and your DPS are obviously idiots. They might have some strategies or web resources to help you to change your playstyle or they might just criticize you endlessly. Either way, you’re doing it wrong, and you’re going to know about it.
You may have noticed more personality types than that in your runs, but these are pretty much what they boil down to in my experience. Next time, I’ll be posting my analysis of the Shouting Era types. Have we lost our humanity or just evolved into efficient DungeonBots? Stay tuned!