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Reading your Flash Point Group and How to Deal with Them

By on Jan 18, 2013 at 2:28 pm, in Article, Point of View, SWTOR  |  Comments: 6 comments

Reading Group Header

Greetings fellow travelers! It’s been too long since my last article. The holidays are just murder on a Sith these days.

Over the holidays I observed a common theme in Flash Point, players couldn’t read their group members. Reading your group is essential to making your FP run efficient and fun. The observation points I go over can apply to almost any situation in SWTOR.

For the sake of our discussion we are going to assume that you have a working knowledge of SWTOR combat mechanics. If you need refresher, check out my Healing, DPS and Tanking Primers.

Read on for an overview of spotting player types and how to deal with them.

Zoning In

Group Finder Que has popped, and presented before you is the first opportunity to learn the group. Check out the player frames. Is there a member in combat with a health bar at 50%? Are the other members zoning in slowly? There is a good chance these players are doing daily missions while qued for their a Flash Point. This is a good sign of an individual using their play time wisely, providing a good indicator of smart play-style.

Are you the last one to zone in because it was you that was running dailies? Are the other players asking you to hurry up? This is your first red flag. If the Flash Point run is their #1 priority, it’s a sign of a player who is newish and is putting a lot of emphasis on the gear gained from the run, that, or they might just be Trolls. Act accordingly when encountering Trolls.

!Note : In SWTOR you can effectively never run a Flash Point for gear if you so choose. Everything you need to run End Game content can be purchased on the GTN. It will cost you about 15 million credits, but it is doable. How to do that is better left for another article.

Armor

What are your group members wearing? Fresh 50s get free Tionese Gear in the mail. Are they wearing that? If you’re not sure what Tionese gear looks like, use the armor viewer in the supply wing on your fleet. Get to know what that gear looks like. If they are wearing the “Tier 1” gear it’s a good bet they are new, or at the very least a player who is starting the gear grind on a new alt.

Reading Group Good Gear Pic

Does their armor look like Bantha Fodder? If their gear looks like crap, you need to observe them carefully. A player whose gear isn’t color matched and in a coherent theme falls into one of two categories.

  • One, they don’t know how create a consistent set of gear, thus they are newish.
  • Two, they don’t give a flip.

Either way, I personally start to evaluate this player’s ability level.

Cut Scenes

Is someone constantly reminding the group to ‘spacebar’? Geared or not, this person is flagging themselves for observation.

I gave up getting worked up over cut scene speed about day 2. IMO, the scenes would be quicker if we all just watched them instead of spacing through it. There is always a strange pause when the client has to figure out at what point in the scene the members are at.

The player who is getting worked up over this hasn’t learned to relax and let the flash point happen. This means they are new, or just plain rude. Both of these things will flag them for observation.

Play-style

Once you get into the meat of a Flash Point, it’s time to observe the players in action.

Tanks come in 3 flavors.

Awesomesauce – This player understands the ins and outs of every encounter. Constantly pulls and it never fatigues the healer or group.

Rocky Road – This player is putting forth considerable effort. It is apparent they are giving their all, but it’s a bit rough each pull.

Gutter Trash – Geared or not, this player isn’t making things easy on anyone. Many factors can cause this choice of tank to be put in your lap. The biggest two are simple to understand.

  • One, isn’t really a tank.
  • Two, doesn’t care about the group.

You will quickly find these to be group killers. My recommendation, drop the group and keep doing daily missions.

DPS comes in two varieties.

Smart – This player is helpful and precise. You want them in all of your groups.

Stupid – They aren’t sure what CC is, run in front of the tank, and are generally clueless. My recommendation, try to reign them in. They might just be uneducated. If they push back with “I know what I’m doing NOOB,” there is a vote to kick button for a reason.

Healers come in 4 packs.

Angles from on High – No one dies. An eminent wipe is stopped dead in it’s tracks by their quick thinking. They also contribute a size-able chunk of Damage to the group.

Freshmen Classmates – This player is just learning the ropes. It’s most likely a new role to them and need a bit of time between pulls to re-focus their abilities.

Under geared Veterans – It’s their 6th level 50 healer. “I dinged 5 mins ago, and I hit group finder before grabbing my free gear.” Let this person re-coup their resource and keep moving.

Not a Healer

You: “Why aren’t you healing?”

Them: “I didn’t que as Healer”

You: “Yes you did. Look at your role Icon.”

Them: “I’m dps.”

You: /click -Vote to Kick-

Putting it all together

What do you do with all these observations? Let’s check it out from each role’s point of view using an analogy a more experienced Leader of Guilds taught me.

As a Tank (The Wheels of a Group)

When tanking you move the group toward a common goal and take a path of your design. If someone else is trying to do this for you, check yourself first.

Are you doing an effective job of it? If yes, then observe the offending member, usually a DPS. As a tank you can handle this in party chat.

You: “Comrade, I’ve got tanking covered. You’re not helping me out here running ahead of me and face-rolling the Flash Point. I’d appreciate letting me set up pulls how I like them.”

Them: “Cool, sorry ‘bout that. I get trigger happy.”

You: Continue along.

Or

Them: “L2Tank NOOB”

You can handle this is two ways. One is to try and Vote Kick them, but what’s the fun in that? I let them tank what they pull. It’s effective and witty. They will eventually fall in line or just drop the group. If it helps you can add them to your ignore list so don’t have to read the drivel they type.

As a Healer (The Engine of a Group)

When filling a Healer role, you control who survives and who is becomes paste on the decking. Use that to your advantage when observing the group.

Is that DPS being stupid? Don’t heal them. After you scrape them off the ground a few times, it’ll sink in.

Is the Tank under geared but trying? Send them a private whisper “Keep rocking buddy, I got your back.”

Does it feel like the Damage Dealers are throwing tissue paper at the enemies? Toss out a Force Storm, Orbital Strike, or Death from Above to help them along.

As a Damage Dealer (The Fuel of a Group)

I like to think of the DPS as fuel.

If your tank and healer is a beat up 1981 Ford F-150 with a rusted out Gas Tank, you might want to hold back your Nitrous Oxide Jet Fuel DPS. You might have downed the hardest content in the game, but trying to pull Operations Damage with this group will make the Engine will explode and your Wheels fall off.

If you are 87 Octane Unleaded damage, and you’re trying to fuel a Ferrari Prototype F-1 Race Car, all you can do is keep up the best you can. A good tank/healer will read your abilities and give you an awesome Flash Point.

If the other group members try and call out your damage, turn them on ignore and do your thing. They might kick you. If they did, keep them on ignore.

They were obviously Lemons.

The Silverstrike Legacy can be found on The Bastion’s Vaiken Space Dock in the company of his fellow Zergadins.

Ryan Raplee

Ryan Raplee

Ryan Raplee

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  • http://www.facebook.com/dave.nemeth.73 Dave Nemeth

    I assume I when you refer to the three types of tanks – I would be the “Awesomesauce”.

    • Silverstrike

      “Pull it all!”

  • Kerhold

    Well, it happened, that I queued as dps and healer, not noticing it. The Gf sometimes reset the setttings without reason. I wouldn’t kick such person – they either quit themselves or respec, as I did. Not 100% efficient with dps gear, but better that than wait for healer.

    • Silverstrike

      Agreed. Many times, with a smart group, you can swap roles and still get through it. For a hybrid advanced class, or any class, the 200k field respec is a good buy.

  • LazyK

    I would add, for all roles:

    The PvPer. Usually signified by wearing PvP gear into a PvE flashpoint. Some of these guys and gals are great, but many of them have no respect for the PvE setup: cc’s, kill order, pull mechanics, threat mechanics. They just leap to the nearest enemy and go. Healers can do OK, but DPS that do this usually get killed pretty quickly. Tanks that do this usually get the entire group killed.

  • sabretruthtiger

    There’s another mid variety of DPS, those that know the tank needs to pull and what CC is but perhaps doesn’t protect the healer enough or attacks the wrong Add or attacks the boss when the Adds need to be taken out, not necessarily a Wipe monkey but enough to be ‘under observation’. If MMO groups was film VFX, the DPS would be the animators, less technically demanding but there’s a definite art to it and done wrong can wreck the production.

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