Incoming. Lots.

Here’s a little tip I can pass along about Guild Wars. Put one or two guild guys in charge of quests. Give them a nice title like Quest Masters or Quests Lords, because they’re sure not going to get a raise or a budget from this.

The Quest dudes can be in charge of organizing what quests come from which zones, making sure all the parts are completed, watching the radar for destination points, bla bla. Centralizing the responsibilities is key because otherwise everyone is running around like headless chickens and untimely deaths are sure to follow.

This week I was grouped with our quest dude, who wants to be called Quest Overlord, but fuck that … there is no. way. in. hell. I’m calling him that. So everyone pairs off, gets their henchmen (Nukey, Healee, sup?), and insta-ports to the mission zone.

I later had to fire Nukey, he was getting out of control with managing his aggro … charging into piles of Charr mobs, setting off the scorpion traps, nuking too early — he was really off his game that night.

I replaced him with Biff, the not-terribly-bright, slack-jawed warrior/tank. A bear of a man, but dumb as a fencepost. It’s not as if we were going to debate Ascalon’s zero tolerance Charr policy — as long as Biff can tank, we’re all good.

Little background on our Quest guy — played with him in EverQuest quite a bit, was guilded with him, he was raid leader for more than a few EQ guilds. Guy is a MMOG machine: can learn any map in under five minutes, never gets lost in dungeons (unlike yours truly), his efficiency in leveling characters is legion. He has a few idiosyncrasies, as do I, but this isn’t about me!

Most notable is that he does not call incoming messages, ever. I’ve grouped with him on and off for a few years, never have I heard him announce an incoming unless it’s in sarcasm or to shut someone the hell up. I know, I know, we discussed this with him years ago, he refuses. “You tell me if you’re ever not ready” is his response.

And it’s hell when we have new people in a group or raid. Surprised Mage will say, “I didn’t see an incoming!!!”

“Oh. RaidLeader doesn’t do incomings. Be ready or say you’re not.”


Jesus, I know, I know. Calm down, Surprised Mage. It’s a quirk. We put up with it because he’s a machine. You’ll see. Safe, sanitary pulls will keep coming all night and we’ll get rich, quick.

Being paired with Quest-guy, I knew that I was in for fast and furious killing, and the mission zone would be mob-free in a very short time. Objectives complete, let’s rack up the next set.

But how fun is that? We have Biff and Healee with us, we can afford to get sloppy and have some fun. Or rather, *I* can afford to get sloppy and have some fun.

About halfway through our mission zone, I start dragging my feet: exploring the side trails, checking every corner for loot wreckage, chests, whatevertheyare. I notice that every time I drop behind, Biff and Healee come racing back to check on me AS THEY SHOULD. I also notice that they hang out with me no matter how far ahead Quest-guy gets.

*evil prank hatches*

After a particularly nasty scorpion trap, Quest-guy races ahead down the path and I, kinda sorta, hang back to examine each piece of crap loot and to make sure we didn’t leave anything behind. Biff and Healee dutifully return to guard me, Quest-guy sets off another scorpion trap after pulling a few Charr.

Those of you that would throw the first stone, I didn’t see an incoming message. There was no incoming message. Just want to make that clear.

From memory, the TeamSpeak convo:

Q-guy: Hey, we have mobs up here, hustle up. (heh, I can see the health bar and the radar, I know there’s mobs.)

Me: Where are you? (heh, like I don’t have a radar.)

Q-guy: Ahead on the path, dammit.

Me: Henchchick will heal you, man, I’m coming. (heh.)


Me: Oh. That’s weird.

Q-guy: Motherfuck.

Me: Settle down, I’m here. I’ll save you. (rubbing it in is very important with pranks.)

Fight ends, no deaths. Healee spends a few minutes topping off everyone’s health.

Q-guy: Jesus, pay attention.

(Time to detonate the prank.) I confessed that I had done that on purpose because I could. And I’m an asshole.

Q-guy spends a few moments calling me names and chastizing me for screwing around in a mission zone, which I deserved. No complaints here, he had a right to vent. Poor guy probably was still high on adrenaline.

He spent the rest of the mission trying to catch me running ahead, no doubt to reciprocate in kind. Ha! As if!

Still no incoming messages tho.

3 thoughts on “Incoming. Lots.

  1. The one thing I don’t like in GW is aggro management. Well, in a way, I guess it’s more “realistic” that when you fight a group of mobs, one or two peel off and head straight for the healer and start chomping.

    What sucks is the only way to get those mobs off the healer is to kill them. They will only rarely notice me shooting them repeatedly in the back or whacking them with my hammer or whatever primary_attack_01 is and switch targets.

    On the other hand it’s kind of nice that the warriors can’t just sit there and taunt all the mobs on to them for convenient nuking, and you actually have to pay attention to what’s going on around you. It also simulates the PVP experience, since your any monk(s) you have might as well wear armor with a big kick me sign taped to the back 🙂

  2. I’ve found that mobs gangbang the monk even if he/she/it does absolutely nothing. Only thing that seems to mitigate is having the monk stand back 20+ paces or so. Dunno what that’s all about.

    Doesn’t help that the monks have to wear pajamas either.

  3. I thank you for this lovely story. It is not often that I am fabulously entertained and pick up an important life lesson.

    At a future point, please share more of your thoughts on ‘detonation.’ Because that was just brilliant. If you’d have just said “that’s why you need an /incoming message, Brainiac,” it wouldn’t been nearly as potent.

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