After Melmoth’s post about socialising in MMOGs, we’ve had metaphorically hundreds of letters from users enquiring about correct etiquette in games. As Debrett’s have been most remiss in not making a suitable publication available, we at KiaSA have stepped in with the Killed in a Smiling Accident Guide to MMOG Etiquette and Online Manners.
Chapter 1: emote use around town and out questing
- Seeing a member of your guild, whom you haven’t specifically grouped with, around a city
/wave, with the other player specifically targeted. This should be returned where possible, but prior usage of other interfaces such as banks or auction houses may take precedence.
- Seeing a member of your guild, with whom you have grouped, around a city
/hello or /greet, with the other player specifically targeted, returned where possible.
- Seeing multiple members of your guild in one place
/wave or /hello, with no specific target. If you accidentally have a player target when emoting, quickly cycle through the other players applying the same emote. If you have yourself or an inanimate object targeted for the emote, deflect attention from the mistake with a pithy quip.
- Seeing a member of your guild, with whom you frequently group, around a city
/hello or /greet, with the other player specifically targeted, followed by a /tell of “How’s it going?” or “How’s things?” depending on stylistic preference. NOTE! This is a *rhetorical* question. Correct responses: “good, thanks”, “yeah OK” or “not bad, ta”. Incorrect responses: “yeah pretty good we took down that final boss but he mostly dropped trash there was this great ring but I lost the roll for it this other dude got it and I was all like ah come on I really need it and he was all but I can use it on my alt and I totally reported him”, “oh terrible work is really bad at the moment somebody keeps taking my sandwich from the fridge even though it’s clearly labelled and the radiator in the bedroom started leaking”.
- Seeing a companion from a previous drunken evening of nakedly dancing upon a mailbox
Both parties should studiously avoid eye contact and hasten to separate locations as rapidly as possible
- Seeing an attractive female guildmate
Depending on the emote system, /flirt, /kiss or /dance are appropriate so long as a chaperone is present, with /shy, /giggle and /blush being acceptable responses.
- Seeing an attractive female guildmate who turns out to be played by a Scandinavian wrestler called Sven the Terrible
Acceptable emotes include /firmhandshake, /politegreeting_whilemaintainingdistance and /goodheavensisthatthetimeireallymustgo
- Seeing a member of your guild (peerage qualifications)
Note that /wave and /hello should only be used for guild members of the rank of Baron and below. For a Viscount or Earl, substitute /bow, and for a Marquess or Duke use /grovel, and preface all /tells with “The Most Hon.”.
- Seeing a member of your guild while out questing
/wave or /hello, plus application of any buff as appropriate from your character. If they are in combat with a mob and at 50% health or lower, either healing of the player or engagement of the mob, depending on archetype, is considered polite, but under no circumstances attempt to loot the corpse before the original engagee. If you are engaging a mob and this happens, even if you were confident that you would have survived the encounter the correct response is “thank you”, not “wtf kill steeler”
- Seeing a stranger (in a PvE game, or own faction in a PvP game) while out questing
No direct acknowledgement is required, buffing and healing are considered polite, but mob engagement is not suggested unless the other player is at 10% health or lower.
- Seeing a stranger (enemy faction in a PvP game)
You may attack them, but you should wait for them to despatch any mob they are fighting first and indicate via suitable emote your aggresive intent (suggested: /challenge, /battlecry or /comeandhaveagoifyouthinkyourehardenough). If they are climbing a cliff, you should lower a rope, and offer them a chance to rest before engaging in combat, after checking whether they have six fingers on one hand. Stealth classes should observe all the previous, but may forego a formal challenge and open the engagement by stabbing the unprepared enemy player in the back.
- Seeing a stranger (any, where ruleset includes unrestricted PvP and corpse looting)
Train additional mobs upon the enemy player, attack at once while they are most vulnerable, kill them, perform as many rude emotes as are available within the system, steal all their belongings, then lie in wait for them to attempt to recover their belongings and kill them again.
- Seeing a group of strangers when questing in a party
While being initially wary, the two groups should take time to reflect that, at the end of the day, you are all people (or Orcs, or anthropomorphic cat-type-lizard beasts), and, as at Christmas in 1915, take the opportunity to put violence aside for a short time, and /joke, /laugh, /playfootball and /sharecigarettes together, experiencing the camaraderie of fellow soldiers no matter what absurd politics dragged you into this mess. Then your stealthed mate should be able to take out their healer in pretty short order, and the rest of ‘em will go down like dominoes.