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SPF Multiplayer Guidelines

Discussion in 'Single Player Forum' started by Cattleya, Jun 14, 2005.

  1. Cattleya

    Cattleya IncGamers Member

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    SPF Multiplayer Guidelines

    In another thread that I won't mention here, there has been some interest expressed in working out some community guidlines for MP games. AE posted some links, and it looks like a bunch of the work has already been done, so let's take it from there!

    First draft of SPF MP guidelines

    So, why doesn't everyone post their comments about the guide in this thread, and then I will work up a second draft based on the comments here (as well as those in the original thread.)
     
  2. SeDnA

    SeDnA IncGamers Member

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    Wow, is that stickied? I can't seem to find it... Anyway it owned all my arguements and now I know what to do.
     
  3. Cattleya

    Cattleya IncGamers Member

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    It's still a work in progress. (Although I think it is pretty impressive for a "first draft.")

    Hopefully, after we get a final draft done, it can be added to the FAQ sticky thread. We might even be able to talk AE and Krem into adding a link to the starter post of the Weekly MP thread. ;)
     
  4. DeathMaster

    DeathMaster IncGamers Member

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    This is pretty good as draft, but I'd like a shorter version, you know some people are lazy.
     
  5. farting bob

    farting bob Banned

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    Its way to long for everyone who MP's to sit down and read it all, and remember it. Also, people will still have to state the rules on item drops and such in game, so i cant see it helping that much in reality, which may be why it was left unfinished.
     
  6. Lucky_Seven

    Lucky_Seven IncGamers Member

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    It's easier when you post you IP for MP Game post the rules, you can made a txt with your rules and do a copy paste to the post.

    That way everyone knows the rules for that MP Game.
     
  7. Uzziah

    Uzziah IncGamers Member

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    Wow reading over those post reminded me alot of the past.

    Heck I forgot I had said this, still holds true though.
    ---------

    The rules are nice and all but they haven't been agreed on and I doubt they will until all the kinks have been worked out and the format straightened up significantly.

    90% of people will read 10% of the rules, 10% of people will read 90% of the rules, and 0% of the people will read and remember 100% of the rules.

    A rules 1-10 or 1-15 would be the best route they need to be simple and effective.

    KISS - "Keep It Simple Stupid"
     
  8. nepeta

    nepeta IncGamers Member

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    Is this American legal culture, or just a D2 tendency to work everything out in rules and guidelines? What's stated in your Guideline is just comon sense, I think it's an insult to all (well, most) well thinking, courteous people the SPF counts as it's members.
     
  9. DurfBarian

    DurfBarian IncGamers Member

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    If you want to boil it down to its essence, quote one of the great philosophers:

    "Be excellent to each other."
     
  10. LprMan

    LprMan IncGamers Member

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    The guide is excellent and offers lots of information. It is less useful for those who have played more MP, but for people who have just joined the SPF and want to join our MP games it is good read for sure. Guides are made for helping newbs, aren't they? :lol: The only problem is the length of the guide. Reading all that is not a problem for me but for many people it could be. Shortening it would be a good idea imho


    That's what I did when I hosted tcp/ip games on this forum. At the "other place" I have made a thread where I post all the games I host, I just included the rules in the first post. That's not an option here, because everyone uses the same thread
     
  11. DeathMaster

    DeathMaster IncGamers Member

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    Well, without a set of "rule", someone will always argue. With "rule", we will have less argument. It is not possible to remove argument, but we can reduce it.

    A lot of things are just "well know" unwriten rules, but when something went wrong, you'd better have everything in written.
     
  12. SeDnA

    SeDnA IncGamers Member

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    Agreed. When you have rules, retarded and brainless people like me can't argue.
     
  13. Cattleya

    Cattleya IncGamers Member

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    Well, it looks like the number one priority will be trimming down the guide. I'll try to get out a new draft by the end of the weekend. In the meantime, keep posting suggestions if you have them.

    To address the question of if the guide is needed: It can't hurt! Obviously people need to state any "house rules" in their actual MP invitation post, but some basic rules of conduct will help. Remember, a guide like this is really aimed at the new members, to let them know what old-time SPF members take for granted as far as what is acceptable behavior. We get a lot of B.net refugees, and the B.net culture is completely different than here. Just because something seems like common sense and obvious to you, doesn't mean that it is that way for someone else.

    I also believe that a set of guidlines makes MP games more accessable to more people. The SPF culture can be a little daunting, and people may feel more comfortable joining games if they have some idea what to expect (and what is expected of them.)
     
  14. Johney

    Johney IncGamers Member

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    I remember things like this last time a zod droped in an MP game. IMO this is all overkill to fix a problem that doesn't really exist. I've been in many MP games here on the SPF and everyone is normally very nice about the drops and whatnot. As for newcomers, all they have to do is join an MP game and they can catch on to the way we MP very quickly.
     
  15. farting bob

    farting bob Banned

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    But i can argue anything!
    And this forum will never adopt a set in concrete guidline/rules for MPing, jsut like it will never accept a mod as common use. And because different games will have different rules, the point of people not arguing goes out the window, and it wont do much. Although the general etiquette section will help give people a rough idea if they have just come from bnet, the key stuff (item drops) will still have disputes and variations.
     
  16. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo IncGamers Member

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    Thank you Cat for taking the initiative on this. :thumbsup: While there may not be a problem to be solved, documenting the "SPF way" on things can't really hurt either.

    IMO, the folks that will benefit the most from this document aren't the the folks coming over from Battle.net. Johney is right that they will catch on quickly enough. (Though some of them may like the background as well.) I think the guide would be more helpful for someone like me :D - a person who has NEVER played a multi-player game, b.net or TCP/IP, but just got a cable modem and is ready to try something new! To be honest, when I read that draft a year ago I learned a lot about things most of you take for granted.
     
  17. Uzziah

    Uzziah IncGamers Member

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    That almost makes me want to start playing hardcore untwinked. . .









    *nah maybe not*
     
  18. Cattleya

    Cattleya IncGamers Member

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    Since I am well past my original deadline for the next draft, I thought I would give a little status report.

    This is taking longer than I origianlly anticipated for a couple of reasons. (1) I keep forgetting how much work moving is. Since I am living in 2 places right now, it also means that I only have access to my "real" computer part time. (2) Since the first step appears to be making the guide shorter, it is taking a while, as this is requiring some significant reorganization and decisions on what to cut out.

    Right now I have a rough draft for the Host section (a new section with stuff pulled from various other places in the guide) and a little more than half of the Courteous Play section.

    I will continue to check this thread and the orignal thread for suggestions, although it would probably be best to post any new suggestions in this thread so we don't have both threads on the front page clogging things up.

    I'm not going to give a new ETA on when I will post the draft, since I would probably just get myself into trouble again. I just wanted to let everyone know that I am working on it, and progress is being made. :)
     
  19. Cattleya

    Cattleya IncGamers Member

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    Okay, here is the next draft. I finally decided that I didn't want to dump all of the good information to make the guide smaller, so I wrote it in two sections. The first is short and sweet (but still complete) for those who don't want to read something long. The second part expands on the items from the first. The numbering is consistent in both sections, so if you only want extra info on one topic, you should be able to find it without too much trouble.

    So, post your thoughts on content, formatting, errors, ect. Without further ado:

    A Guide to Harmony and Teambuilding (The SPF Diablo 2 LOD MP Guide)
    Written by wildjinn and the SPF, edited by Cattleya

    The information in this guide is intended to give people new to MP within the SPF community some guidelines on what they can expect in an MP game and what will be expected of them. It is important to remember that every MP game will be a little bit different depending on who is playing and what "house rules" are set up by the host. In the words of Bill and Ted (and Durf) the essence of these guidelines are " be excellent to each other."

    There is a lot of information to cover, and so this guide will be split up into two major sections. Section I will be a quickstart guide on SPF MP ettiquite. Section I is designed to be a complete guide in itself, and will cover the basics. Section II will cover the topics in section I with more detail, and specific examples will be given. Section II is provided for those who want to see more specific details on a particular topic (or if you are looking for something to read at work.) ;)

    Table of Contents
    I. SPF MP Guidelines and Ettiqute
    A. The Role of the Host
    B. Courteous Play
    C. Drop Etiquitte

    II. Expansions and Examples for Section I
    A. There is no A, its all covered in Section I
    B. Courteous Play
    C. Drop Etiquitte

    I. SPF MP Guidelines and Etiquitte

    A. More Than an IP Address (The Role of the Host)

    The host sets the rules, playing pace, and drop distribution for the games. The host can ask for input on these things, and players in a game can make suggestions, but the final word goes to the host. If a player does not like the rules set forth in the game, they should try to find another MP game (or start their own) with rules they will have fun playing under.

    As a host, you are both the arbitrator and the law. As such, you should always be aware of what is going on in the game, including communications between players. If anything gets out of hand, it is your responsiblity to help resolve any conflict. You are also making sure that the group is relatively balanced. Use an appropriate player setting for the group, remembering that a lower player setting will help weaker team members contribute to the slaughter. You can also make any decisions on if a specific character is just not appropriate for the current group. This would be a character with an inappropriate level, or skills that interfere with the other players.

    The best way for the host to start a game off on the right foot is to put as much relevant information into the game post in the MP thread. Aside from the vital IP address, here are some items that can be useful to include:

    -Difficulty level
    -Act
    -Type of game (questing, magic finding, rushing, ect.)
    -Twinked, untwinked, or both
    -The host's character
    This serves a couple of purposes. It lets players know which character is in charge once they enter the game, and also may help players pick which character to bring into the game. It you state that you are hosting with a Frost Maiden, players will have a heads up that a Necromancer that relies on corpses may not be the best companion.
    -Game Pace
    This applies mostly to questing games. Will the goal be to reach the Act Bosses ASAP, to get all quests and WPs as efficently as possible, or to do a full clear of the game? Also important is the general pace of the game (which applies to all type of games.) Will there be lots of conversation, lots of lesuirly trips back to town, ect.
    Some of the most common methods include:
    --turn based drops (most useful for MF runs)
    --players need for an item (a host gets the final word on any decisions here)
    --all items go through the host (the host gets first pick and decides who gets what of the leftovers)
    --free for all (the fastest finger gets the spoils)


    B. Courteous Play

    Most of the information in this section is common sense, and comes down to making sure that your actions in an MP game will not ruin the fun of the other players.

    1. Obey any rules put forth by the host.

    2. If a game is specified for a certain area and difficulty, only enter the game with a character who might reasonably be at that point in the game.

    3. Respect the type of game that has been designated by the host. Don't come into a MF game looking for PvP or a questing game looking to do Boss runs. Start a new game, or ask someone else to start a new game in the MP thead.

    4. Respect the pace of the game decided on by the players (or host.) Things that affect the pace are full clear vs. minimal clear, number of trips to town, and the general amount of chatter in the game.

    5. Introduce yourself when you first enter a game. "<---- forum name" takes care of this nicely. Not only are introductions common courtesy, but it helps build up the sense of community.

    6. When possible, use MP friendly character names. Hard to type names and overly generic names can hamper in game communication. Some people choose to use their forum name in their MP characters name. This can be nice, but is not necessary if you follow #5 above.

    7. Mind your manners when communicating in game. This include using proper language (as opposed to leetspeak) as well as refraining from cursing in game, and not using deragory terms (sexist, racist, or otherwise biggotted language.)

    8. Once you're in, you'll be looking to get an invite into the party. The way to go about this is first to wait for one of the other people to give you an invite. Chill out at your stash for a minute or so. If you feel that you've waited long enough, ask nicely and you will certainly be partied and TPed within seconds. From the other side, if someone joins, party them as soon as you can.

    9. As you play, people will probably want to know about your build and equipment. Answer these questions honestly and succinctly. Use the information to maximize the success of your party. Don't turn it into an excuse to brag about your equipment or be a pain in the neck.

    10. Work together as a team. Make sure that player's skills work with each other and not against each other. Stick together as a group unless it is specifically decided to split up for some reason. Don't bail on the group at a critial moment in battle. Let the person who could most benifit use a shrine. If someone dies, clear monsters away from the body and put up a safe Town Portal.

    11. Communicate with your teammates. Let them know if you need to go away from the keyboard for a moment, or if you are going to town. Let them know if you found a nasty pack of monsters and had to TP to town to escape.

    12. Don't PK. Going hostile should be reserved for Dueling games where all parties agree to participate.

    13. Make sure to ask before completing a quest in a game if everyone is not traveling together.

    14. For MF boss runs, try to let the player with the most MF get the final hit to improve the chances of something nice dropping. This means making sure that your minions/merc don't run in at the last minute if you are a low MF character.

    C. Drop Etiquette

    1. Follow any drop rules set up by the host. If the drop rules are not stated, ask what they are when entering the game.

    2. Communicate to make sure that everyone gets any potions that they need. Don't take all of the potions of one type unless you know you are the only character who wants them.

    3. Let the person who opens a chest have the first shot at it's contents.

    4. If someone ends up in a side area and quickly clears it, let them have the drops. This doesn't give you license to go around into lvl85 areas and leave the group for solo killing, but it does make it so that if there's an obvious small area that you decide to clear quickly, perhaps because you made a wrong turn, then you are justifiably entitled to the drops. If you're barely outside the normal group, though, you shouldn't go into grab-frenzy mode.

    5. Don't use teleport to grab an item from under someone's nose.

    6. There will always be items that you pick up and don't want. Feel free to drop them in town in an open area (not by the stash) for people to sort through in case they are interested. If taking an item from this pile, be sure to OK it with the group, just in case something was accidentally dropped.

    7. Gold drops are shared by everyone, which means that everyone should be always picking up gold. If there's a large pile next to you, go ahead and pick it up.

    8. If you are looking for a specific item, let your teammates know so that you can get priority if that item happens to drop.

    9. Big (aka really good) drops should be handled according to the rules set by the host. (If you don't know what these are before the big drop falls, go back and read #1 in this section. Several times. Carefully. Really, it will solve lots of problems.)

    10. Don't grab a good drop before anyone else can see it; don't try to hide a big drop.
     
  20. Cattleya

    Cattleya IncGamers Member

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    II. Expansions and Examples for the Guidelines in Section I

    The numbering may seem a bit weird in this section, but it is to correspond with the topics in section I. Not all topics need expansion, so they are left out in this section.

    B. Courteous Play

    2. If a game is specified for a certain area and difficulty, only enter the game with a character who might reasonably be at that point in the game.
    Mismatched character levels are going to ruin someone's fun, be it yours or you fellow players. Remember, everyone wants to contribute to the team, and having character with widely different level prevents this.

    4. Respect the pace of the game decided on by the players (or host.)
    Pacing is key to a successful MP venture. Some people pore over item drops gathering all the gold and checking out all the magical items for that one cruel of quickness that everyone wants, while some blast past and leave all the items with no real regard for what has dropped. There are differing opinions on how to work the speed factor. The factors include the following:
    a. Host pace
    b. Slowest member's fastest pace
    c. Teleport

    I've been in games where I haven't been able to keep up because I haven't had 40% FR/W boots and the hammerdin and winddruid did, leaving me struggling in the dust. In this case, the fastest people need to slow down a bit for the slower guys. However, if the general pace is quick, it's not appropriate to sit and play around in the leaves, trying to read the future in the entrails of the recently felled fallen. Additionally, not everyone has teleport. When a sorc teleports all over the map and then says, "blood raven is here," it is often impossible to have any idea where that is, let alone have a safe path to get there.

    Pacing rules additionally include banter and discussion. I've been in discussion-filled games and nearly silent games and have enjoyed each in great measure. Make sure that if no one else is talking, you're not just a chatterbox. Conversely, if everyone is talking, being the silent guy is fine, but let the game pace slow to allow for conversation. If there is any confusion about how much banter should be allowed, talk it out.

    You can also designate a specific player to be the pace setter. This would most likely be one of the tank characters, who could lead the way and scout out danger.

    6. When possible, use MP friendly character names.
    Hard to type names impede communication. (Type out your character's name ten times in a row in a word processing program. If you get annoyed typing it, it will probably annoy others.) Characters with generic names like "Hammerdin" can be hard to keep track of, and increase the chances of more than one simalarly named character in a game. Generic names can also be boring and sterile. Perhaps you like a fictional character with similar attributes: use that instead of SorcIV. There's likely a mythical god named after one of your attributes. Google for that and use it. This game only offers limited application of imagination--this is a good place to use it.

    7. Mind your manners when communicating in game.
    Unless you know all the people that you're playing with very well, and even then, it is a bad idea to curse and use 1337speak. This community has especially high standards for communication and highly prizes the use of complete sentences and proper spelling. While you might find this silly or annoying, poor language and 1337speak are most certainly more so to most people from the SPF.

    A specific case that I'm going to highlight is the use of words related to homosexuality. While colloquial use of the words *** and [email protected] (and other variants thereof) might be "acceptable" to some other online communities, they are completely unacceptable in any civilized situation due to their intrinsic bigotry towards members of alternate sexualities. Bigotry has no place at the SPF.

    9. As you play, people will probably want to know about your build and equipment.
    Once into the game, you will encounter other peoples' characters and they will encounter yours. Questions will indubitably be asked about your build and gear. Answer them honestly and succinctly. One of the goals of working in a party is good interplay between all the people within it, especially with regard to tactics. In discussing your build, you should look out for problem spots between your build and other builds. In the end, remember that you are in the MP game to play, not talk about playing. (That's what the SPF is for. :) )

    10. Work together as a team.
    Make sure that player's skills work with each other and not against each other.
    For example, a hammerdin that uses redemption for mana/life will butt heads with a CE necro. The best way to go about this is figuring out who needs which corpses when. A good way to reach a compromise might be that the hammerdin will stick slightly behind after a major battle to cast redemption on the corpses after the necro has had his exploding frenzy finish off the lagging hell bovines. Other similar situations exist when two paladins have the same major aura or a froster zealot and a skellimancer are in the same party. Here are some basic rules for skill arbitration:
    a. Swallow your pride. You'll most certainly come up against some intractable people who are likely right. You have to give a little to make parties work.
    b. A higher level aura takes precedence. If you and another partymate are both using the same aura, let the one of you with level 28 conviction use that while the other turns on some other useful aura like defiance.
    c. If a skill prohibits the use of another, it should be used very rarely. The best example of this is aforementioned corpse requirement. If there are other people that need corpses to be effective, you need to be respectful of that.
    d. Communicate about skill interplay and the best ways to work out skill overlap. The intimate details of your characters' relationships need not be fully fleshed out, but the basic plan should be quickly sketched.
    e. Necromancers who have curses should use them. If the majority of a party is melee, cast amp damage often, even if it has little effect for your build. Helping out the entire party should be the point of everyone's actions.
    f. Watch out for items that can interfere. Items with Monster RIP such as Tyreals and Nature's Peace cause problems for builds that require corpses. Also, items with CtC curses can overwrite the curses of other players. You don't want your WWS to Amp the nasty gloam pack that has been blinded. It would be a good idea to carry alternative items if one of your items could cause a problem, then ask about it in game.

    Stick together as a group unless it is specifically decided to split up for some reason.
    Some examples of when a group might want to split up in a non-rush game are when some of the characters are very poorly suited for the maggot lair and go to obtain the viper amulet; when characters split up to decrease the time it takes to obtain Khalim's pieces; and when a party is trying to comb back over a map area to find a waypoint.

    Splitting up guidlines also count for repairing/town visits. These things work best if an entire group goes to town together. This way, TPs aren't scattered across the landscape in random order and everyone sticks together. If you do have to go to town, be sure to say that you're going to town and people will likely come with you.

    One useful thing to do in MP groups is clearing all areas in similar ways. If you always turn left when coming to a junction or move in the same direction around an area every time, you'll more easily keep everyone together and it will help everyone to get into the flow of the game.

    Don't bail on the group at a critial moment in battle.
    Crappy situations exist in the game of D2, like the cursed, extra fast, extra strong frenzytaurs mentioned earlier. This is certainly not the time to bail on your party, in fact, this will be the time when your party needs you most! The way to best accomplish the destruction of a group of difficult monsters is to follow the lead of the melee characters (except with the bugged FE situation). The melee characters will create a battle line at which most of the action will take place. Be sure to be in your proper place relative to this center of activity and support accordingly. Trust me, that barb will NEED your frozen orb constantly chilling all the monsters around him. However, when the melee line breaks, make a run for it.

    Let the person who could most benifit use a shrine.
    The usual rule about experience shrines is that the lowest-level character gets them. Other shrines, though, are more difficult to parcel out. Some obvious rules follow:
    -Weaker melee fighters should be given armor shrines, never berserker barbs
    -A spamming sorc should get the mana recharge shrines to avoid having to drink so many pots
    -Mana shrines are best given to caster classes and health to melee
    -Well priority should be given to cursed members of your party
    -Gem shrines can be offered to players that already have a flawless in their inventory to avoid trips to town
    -Other shrine rules will obviously flow as your party goes through the game...just remember the rules of courtesy and things will go well.

    If someone dies, clear monsters away from the body and put up a safe Town Portal.
    There will certainly be death in MP games. If that is the case for a member of the party, it is very courteous to go back and help clear their corpse and give them a TP so they can return. Even if a person is not in your group, helping them find their corpse is a nice and generous thing and is just generally good to do.

    11. Communicate with your teammates.
    It occasionally happens that in the course of a game you will receive an important phone call from your agent alerting you to the fact that you'll be playing for the Denver Nuggets next year and you need to leave the party for a time. Maybe you just have to use the bathroom. If you do temporarily part ways from the party, be sure to tell them what's going on, if appropriate, and most certainly let everyone know that you're going AFK (away from keyboard). Even if you're just going to town, let everyone know. The rest of a group might not notice your absence right away, and your Conviction might be what's keeping the lightningzon in business in the WSK 3 where gloams and familiars abound.

    If you come upon a ridiculously difficult group of enemies and have to teleport or TP away to avoid instant KO, be sure to tell your party about it. You definitely don't want them to come rushing in and all die and leave the group of monsters around your TP for just you to finish off.

    Make sure your teammates are ready before hitting a monster shrine, evil urn, the Gibdin, and the Chaos Sanctuary Seals. Remember, you can't see if they are adjusting their inventory or checking there stats.

    12. Don't PK.
    Although it shouldn't come to this in SPF games, do not PK or hostile anyone unless a duel has been agreed upon. One of the reason that many people left BNet for SP is to avoid things like PKing. PKing is the single circumstance where a person is completely disallowed the right to a safe game, and that is unacceptable in this community.

    C. Drop Etiquette

    This section will only go into detail on the "Big Drop" situation, as the more general rules are covered suffeciently section I.

    9. Big (aka really good) drops should be handled according to the rules set by the host.
    If the "big drop" occurs, and the drop rules have not been defined for the game, defer to the host. Someone will have to be in charge to mediate, and the guy (or gal) with the IP address gets the job. (Which is why establishing this up front can save the host some headaches.)

    There are a few rules relative to grabbing that should always be observed.
    -Never pick up a drop right away. Grabbers are the most annoying people with whom to play. Let it sit for a minute and talk it out.
    -Never pick up anything from a boss drop before everyone can see it. This is just rude. Often, some people don't even see what dropped, which is absurd.
    -Always tell everyone if a big item drops. Not doing so is rather devious.

    Here are some suggest methods for handling drops:

    One possible option for dividing drops is by need. This is the way that I usually play with people, and I highly suggest it if you're playing with a trusted set of friends. In this way, the drop division hierarchy could go like this:
    1.) People whose current characters can use the item (take into mind twinked vs. untwinked characters as well if they are in the same game. An untwinked player may be able to make more use of an item.)
    2.) People whose other characters can immediately use the items
    3.) Grailers
    4.) Anyone else who wants it (although host should get a little priority here.)

    Another option that some advocate is the "everything goes to the host" method, and the other players get the leftovers. People have different views on this. If you don't like it, then don't join games where this is the rule.

    Round-robin drops are often used. There's an order assigned when you start playing and each person gets a drop in his turn. This is most useful when doing series of MF runs.

    Some games are played with the "if you get it, it's yours" mentality. Just make sure that you can handle this dog-eat-dog style if you join this type of game. Also keep in mind that this type of game may lead to tactics that are less the useful for team playing, such as one player hanging back and then swooping in for the grab.

    A wonderfully novel and interesting plan was suggested by Trenshadow.
    The situation will likely arise that a super-crazy drop will fall and someone will snag it and refuse to give it up which is a reasonable thing to do in some cases. If a Zod drops, for example, there is not really going to be a discussion while it lays on the ground, because someone will just pick it up. This happens with things like very high-end runes and TC-87 items. The best way to deal with this, IMO, is to make it so that if you grab an extremely high item, you remove yourself from the rest of the MF goodies for a while.
     

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