As we ring in the New Year, some of us have mentally written ourselves a note or a promise to alter our behavior or lifestyle for the year of our Lotus, 2015. I am no exception, and I have created my own private New Year's Resolution to improve myself.
For some of you who simply want to be a better person while destroying the enemies of the tenno for honor or profit, this blog might be helpful. This is by no means gospel, and I anticipate I will have a few people who disagree with this. Still, I feel it is better to try to help at least one or two people through providing some wisdom than nobody at all.
Some of us belong to clans. Whether a few friends in a Ghost clan or a cog in a larger Moon clan, some of us have friends in real life, in other games - who also participate in Warframe, we have spouses, lovers, family members... all of whom may participate in our games. Some of us truly are Lone Tenno Operatives, where we either solo to test our own individual power, or to avoid the common annoyances and issues that come with starting or joining a Pick-Up Group (PUG). However, there are many of us who do prefer the PUG for our own reasons (masochism still counts as a reason, by the way!). These guidelines will most effectively help those of you who prefer to PUG and meet new and interesting (and sometimes very interesting) tenno.
1: Netiquette is observed by some, but not all. Keep that in mind. Just because you are being respectful and honorable should not imply you expect that from other tenno, and therefore because they break your own code of conduct, does not mean permission to break it in kind. With a barbaric rule of 'An eye for an eye', the whole world goes blind. And farming Jupiter for Neural Sensors is tedious enough.
The golden rule is also important. Treat others the way you want to be treated. If you want to treat others like garbage, then you want to be treated like garbage.
2: Tenno come from all walks of life. Some are more direct than others. Some were raised differently than others. Some come from different cultures or regions of the world. Whenever you come across another tenno who behaves in a most peculiar or possibly disrespectful fashion, consider the possibility that english is not their primary (or possibly secondary or even tertiary) language. Do not mistake a language barrier for ignorance or stupidity, at least at first.
3: Silence is golden. As 'mute peasants' of the Lotus, we are often perceived as being voiceless. We communicate through body language, through attacks -- through targets picked. Some of us do not communicate at all, but know exactly what we are doing. I find it easier to expect people to know what they are doing rather than try to micromanage a PUG. Some of us play without sound, are deaf, or lack microphones, headsets, or speakers. Text may be the only sure way to communicate in game. However, for most of your routine missions you may find no communication is necessary at all. We are drilled and experienced to know exactly what to expect and how to act.
4: Questions are important. Never stop asking questions. Just don't ask them when there are 2 players down and in need of resusitation, the pod is at half of its life with no signs of enemy fire letting up, and when you're 45 minutes into a T4 Survival mission. Unless the people you are with have things locked down perfectly and you can afford the luxury of idle chit-chat, keep in mind that the mission is the most important thing at hand. Questions can be asked later, when the match is over. You can PM your squadmates afterwards, you can even friend them. There is also the Warframe wiki! People would be amazed at just how quickly information gets updated here.
5: Never assume a specific player is knowing you are asking them a question. Even if they are standing right in front of you. If you need to ask a question, ask the person by their specific name (or a shortened version of their name), in order to make sure there is no miscommunication. If that is not convenient, refer to them as their Warframe name, such as "Hey Loki, what badge are you wearing?", at least then if there is only one Loki on your four member team, they will know it is directed at them. Of course, if there are 2 or more of the same Warframes on a team, then that makes things a bit more difficult because then you could be asking anyone.
If you are going to ask one of the other three people on your team a question directed only to one of them with, "What is your Primary Weapon?", do not be offended or surprised if nobody answers you, or all three of them answer you. You is asking the other three people, not just one of them. They don't know which one of them you are talking to, necessarily.
6: Nobody likes a busybody who tries telling people what to do as soon as they load in, when the mission itself is so basic and routine and the other 3 people on your team are of sufficient rank (or experience) that they can be reasonably assumed to know what to do. Unless somebody asks for direction or advice, expect them to know what they are doing. This ties into number 3. At the very worst, you may have to carry someone, but if you are in a mission for your own reasons, then concentrate on those reasons rather than why other people are in the mission. Their business is not your own to interfere with.
7: Leave trades to the Trade channel. I know some people think it's okay to start making deals in the middle of a game, but I have lost a few games (and come close to losing many) because the other three people are too busy engaging in space commerce while the pod is getting hammered or life support is nearing single digits. You are in this mission for a reason. Once that mission is over, by all means buy or sell whatever it is that happens to come up. But most people in a mission are not interested in what you have to sell, nor are they interested in buying anything from 3 random people. They are typically just there to do the mission and leave.
8: Survival is a true test of tolerance. Many of us have been there. The guy who leaves at 5 minutes. The guy who leaves right before the Rotation B or C reward that we are all there for. For the sake of keeping the peace, I personally decide to leave with them and start the mission over again, with only a few exceptions. In a PUG the other person may just be there to clear a planetary system or get a few resources or XP. They may not be there for the same reason you are.
They may also have family, friends, a job, a schedule. Everybody's time is important, not just your own. I personally sacrifice my time to help others leave extraction. For all I know it is an emergency, or something in their life behind the computer requires their urgent attention. Yes, they can surely just disconnect if it is bad enough, but if they have a small window of time to complete the mission, I see no reason to keep them waiting. I also see no reason to mock them for leaving so early. Maybe they have their reasons. Even if they don't, who am I to say otherwise? I prefer being selfless rather than selfish. But everybody is different.
This is probably the most controversial of my own personal code, and it is also quite likely why I no longer do PUG survival matches unless they're the Alert type where there's a set period of time. I leave Survival matches to either Solo Play, or with trusted friends with a previously agreed-upon time to leave. I generally find it is best in a PUG that at the beginning of a match, let them know what kind of time constraint you are on, or what time you are going to. It will not stop everyone from doing their own thing and leaving when they want to leave, but at least they will know why you are at extraction at X amount of time instead of saying, "Really?" "Why leave?"
I think if Survival was made where each player could extract at their own specific time and still leave with their rewards, this guideline would be unnecessary. However, until it happens, this is the best I have to work with.
9: We are all in a mission for a reason. Try not to rock the boat even if one or two people are behaving obnoxiously, erratically, or just plain being rude. This is especially important for missions that strongly encourage a full team to complete. Ignore what they say and concentrate on your job, your mission, and the fun you're having. Everybody will walk away with the same end-of-mission reward, and if that is all you are after... just put up with them or put them on ignore. There is no reason to jeopardize the mission so you can snipe insults back and forth for an argument that ultimately does not matter, and that nobody of any importance really cares about.
Ignore does not prevent people joining you randomly from your ignore list. If you want, I find it is acceptable to disconnect that game and wait a bit before trying it again (depending on reasonable amounts of squads doing that same mission at once).
10: It is easier to burn bridges than mend them. You don't know who might be able to help you in the future. Maybe somebody is just having a bad day. Maybe they really are just socially inept, but are quite good at the game and can help you later. We are all human, and capable of helping others in need. Many of us do desire to help others in need. For those of us level 17-18... our weapons are already mastered. Our warframes are mastered. I find it a personal obligation to help other tenno in need. Whether it is in game, or on the Warframe wiki. We were all new and ignorant at some point. I find it fulfilling to help open the eyes of others. When I cut off a tenno from me in a social fashion, I cut off a part of the community who might actually provide some useful, productive talent. I find it is easier to survive their attitudes or personalities than to try to fix them manually or remove them from my social circles entirely.
11: Being respectful brings harmony. Being a troll brings discord. Yes, I know there are some of you out there who prefer to make life difficult for others just to be funny, or just because you can. There is nothing I can do or say to stop you. However, things sometimes have a habit of coming back to haunt you. Names can be remembered. Karma can be quite cruel. However, being respectful and polite can result in others being generous to you. I have received good deals on trades (just for example) simply because I was nice to someone or their clanmate in the past. By helping someone, you may find them willing to help you in turn later on in your space ninja career.
I find in my personal experience that there are many tenno who believe in 'Paying it forward', for trolls this does have the adverse result of it working both ways.
12: If you are going to ask questions in the middle of a firefight, be courteous and ask them in a way that results in only a 'Yes' or 'No' answer. Asking a loaded question or a question that will no doubt result in several lines of communication (even if you think it is a simple question) can result in people dying while they try to respond to you. Some are skilled at speed reading, but not speed typing. 'Yes' or 'No' answers I find are easiest to respond to in a game.
"Can that syandana be colored?" "Yes."
"Which syandana looks the best?" "Well..."
Also, it's generally polite to ask questions pertinent to the success of the mission, not unrelated questions.
13: Refer more players to the Wiki if they are new. I know this seems obvious, but there are people who do not know this website exists, and from which they can draw a wealth of knowledge to improve their Warframe experience.
14: gg means good game. And if your experience was relatively painless, it's generally polite to say that at the end of a match.
Thanks for reading, and if at least one tenno benefits from this, then it will not have been in vain.