Friday, June 24, 2011

Impressions are Important

When you join a group, Pick up Group or not, or want to join a guild several things can help or hurt your chances for success.

1: Say Hello
Hello from the Forge of Souls
A genuine hello make strangers more comfortable with you and makes you more approachable.  This can shift a group from antiseptic strangers into something far more companionable even if little else is said.  A group that is more comfortable fights better and if mistakes happen doesn't freak out as much.  When looking to join a guild start off by saying hello and asking if the person has time to talk with you.

2: Focus on Speaking
Don't worry, we can do this, we just need to focus the DPS on ...
Speak (type) clearly in an easy to understand way.  Avoid slang or jargon not a part of Warcraft and even then don't go overboard.  It's a common assumption that proper grammar and vocabulary means someone who is more educated.  Did your Mother ever tell you to watch your language?  She did it because she knew other people judge us by what we say as often as what we do.  In Warcraft this is even more important since communication is text based.

Remember; if they cant understand you, they cant like you.  IMHO KK THX BI.

3: Use the person's Name
Greetings and Salutations!
Use the name of the person your talking to.  It makes the conversation more personable.  It also shows that you are paying attention to whats going on (How hard is it to read the group list?) and that conversation with the other person was important enough for you to say their name. Refusing to acknowledge them by name sends the message that you don't care about the conversation - or them..

Its usually easier to say a short form of someone's name or their full name than it is to type their class.  The name Alexia can be Lex, Al, Lexi, etc or you can waste time typing Warrior.

4: Let them Know your Listening
Stay a while, and listen!
Let the other person in your group know you're listening.  If it looks like you're not listening, people will get annoyed and things will slow down as they try and communicate.  Give basic hints such as an /agree, /nod , and making an occasional reply.  If you have questions, ask them, it shows you've been paying attention and that you want/need to know more.  Don't interrupt fight descriptions with random chatter you may not need to listen to it but someone else may and it shows a great disrespect for both the speaker and the listener.  Finally if you get a task like 'CC the caster on the right' or 'CC the star' then acknowledge it - it doesnt need to be much just something like 'Star CC aye'.
When asking about a guild ask questions.  But not about selfish things like loot.  Things like policies, who the officers are, what events they run.  Show an interest in them and show your listening to their answers.

5: Dress to Impress
One is good for dungeons one is good for RolePlaying

Dont walk into a dungeon looking like a slob.  If your gear is unenchanted, lacks gems, and isn't reforged people will assume you do sloppy work.  Its important to look like you are a seasoned professional.  Also dress so you fit in with the people who your working with.  If your doing a dungeon then wear your 'looks ugly but has good stats' gear and while roleplaying wear your good looking/story driven outfit.

With a more polished character it  helps not only how others look at you but your own feelings towards your character.

6: Body Language
Gogogo pull! pull!  now! now!

Don't underestimate the importance of  subtle movements even in Warcraft. A study by UCLA found that 55 percent of communication is received from body language.  If you're nervous, don't fidget. Don't play with your spells, spam effects, and jump all over the place.  it makes you come across as a clumsy and inept player at best, someone who is going to ruin the run with their self centered impatience/stupidity at worst.

7: Failure to Match Play Style
One of these things is not like the other!

It's almost impossible to make a good impression if you can't play well with the group. But you can easily change that situation by mirroring the way the group runs.  If the group sets up and starts moving through the dungeon in a smooth business like style don't waste time messing around in your inventory or telling stories.  If their personable try discussing your shared interests.  Groups change as the people in them change.  Try to go along with the majority's style and you will make a good impression, and in fact be, a solid team player.

If you don't like the way the group interacts, and its short term like a dungeon run, then just buckle down and finish if it doesn't affect how they play.  Just ignore the Natzi loving drug dealing homophobe after the run is over.  For something long term try and peacefully go your own way and find others who fit your beliefs better.

8: Timing and Being Prepared
I don't know how to fly in dead guys I just randomed in...
Few things give a worse impression that keeping a group of people waiting on you.  If its because you forgot to repair, bring water, learning the encounter, travel to the meeting site for the run.  To those you meet it implies arrogance, or that your more important than them and their time.  

This just screams 'problem player' to any wise guild recruiter and they will usually keep a raid position open until a candidate with a more professional demeanor comes along, and even if they don't you can guess who the first to go will be when they find someone who's less of a problem.

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