Grouping with others is a fundamental part of the game, hence the “multi-player” part of MMO-RPG.
Could you solo your way from the starting zone all the way to the level cap? Yes, you most certainly could. It would be more difficult, but it could be done.
Then again if all you want is a solo game you are pissing away $15 a month on a subscription.
There will come a time when you simply cannot progress through the game any further alone, the challenges are simply too great. Thats when you fall back on the old adage that there is strength in numbers and group together.
Class Roles Within a Group
There are three primary roles that a character can fill within a group. Take a few moments to give it some thought when creating your character. It will not matter much at the start, but it will have a great impact on you later. All the roles are important. In fact without all three you generally don’t have an effective group.
Healers: (killing with kindness)
Generally considered a supporting character, since their job effects the group rather than it’s opponents. Their job is to keep the group alive so it can do it’s job. Whether that be killing NPC monsters or other players in a battleground. The healer may not do the killing, but he enables it by keeping his own teammates up.
Priests, Druids, Shamen, and Paladin may be healers.
Tanks: (your welcome)
A tanks job in a nutshell is to get the attention of the NPC’s that the group wants to kill and keep them focused on her. They are a jealous lot, these tanks, they don’t want the mobs beating on anyone but them. They piss off the bad guys, take a beating, live through it, and generally eat the biggest repair bills.
Warriors, Paladin, Druids, and Death Knights may be tanks.
Damage dealing: (when it absolutely, positively, has to be dead… now)
Damage dealing, also knows as Dps, is by far the most plentiful of the class roles. It’s job is exactly what its name implies. Doing as much damage as possible to their target as quickly as possible. Dps is also by far the most popular role to put your talents into while leveling. Things die much faster, making the whole questing experience more enjoyable. Well, to me at least.
Dps can also be divided by how the damage is done.
While all can attack up close and personal, some have no choice but to stand toe to toe with their enemy. Perhaps they just want to see the look on the mobs face when they realise its over. Those that have no choice but to engage in melee are much better able to handle it.
Shaman, Rogues, Druids, Paladin, Warriors, and Death Knights are all proficient at melee Dps.
Then there are those who would much prefer to stand at range and destroy their opponents with arrow, bullet, or spell. They all can do melee damage, but it goes without saying that a rogue with a pair of daggers will hurt much worse than a mage smacking someone over the head with their walking stick.
Ranged Dps classes include Druid, Shaman, Hunter, Warlock, Priest, and Mage.
Generally a group will consist of one character acting as the tank, one acting as the healer, and three acting ad Dps. There are other ways to build a group, and I have seen them work, but this is by far the most common.
Group Dynamics(or how not to be an asshat)
So you have yourself a group now. Your group might be for killing Hogger or storming the Icecrown Citadel. It does not really matter at this point. What does matter is how you handle yourself. Here are a few simple tips on avoiding becoming that guythe made everyone’s run miserable.
Yes, I know, none of this will possibly apply to you. You, like me, are a veritable font of niceness and compassion.
I tell you what, that does not matter right now. The group you are with, unless it is people you know from outside the game, have no idea that the person behind your keyboard is a nice guy.
As a matter of fact, there are folks out there who routinely forget that the other characters represent actual people sitting in front of actual computers at all.
You know, the kind with real feelings and such?
Speaking of groups I had a few friends of mine start playing about a year ago. Some of the nicest people you ever want to meet. Within a matter of days they had developed a reputation for ninja rolling on gear. Their groups constantly broke apart underneath them, calling them every name in the book.
It was actually to the point where they were considering leaving the game, since it was obviously full of asshats.
Then we talked, and I was able to see what was going on.
An item would drop in a dungeon and they would see “need, greed, or pass”. It never occurred to them that since his Paladin wore mail and her Priest wore cloth that rolling “need” on a bind on equip leather item for their sons hunter (who was not in the group) was wrong.
In their mind, they did need it for their son.
Odds are had they mentioned that at the start of the run (or when it dropped, if no one could use it) things would have gone much smoother.
Where am I going with all this you ask?
Simply keep a few things in mind and grouping while you level can be some of the most fun you will have in the game.
Point one: Don’t forget that the other characters are played by real people as well. Treat them as you would like to be treated.
Point two: Discuss loot rules before entering into an instance. If something comes up during the run, ask.
Point three: Before you call someone out for not doing something the way everyone else does it consider that they might not know what everyone does. Talk before accusing, after all it may simply be a misunderstanding.
Point four: Most importantly, remember that this is a game. If you choose to group up make sure you are all having fun. Nothing in the game world is worth treating others badly.