Rift: Guess I’m a public group convert

As mentioned on Twitter, going to PAX East has dampened my enthusiasm for MMOs a bit. Or more accurately, it has enhanced my enthusiasm for other games; I saw so many non-MMOs that I’m interested in playing that it makes dedicating myself to an MMO seem constricting. Since PAX East I’ve purchased Slam Bolt Scrappers (PS3), Atomic Zombie Smasher (PC), Arthur: The Role-Playing Game (PC but not new…it was on Impulse for $2.99 last weekend) and snagged the demo of Dungeons (PC). Whew!

So on top of going back to The Witcher (based on everyone having fun with DA2… I want to finish The Witcher so I can then go back to DA:O and Awakening and finally catch up and play DA2) I haven’t put a lot of time into MMOs recently.

But I did get some time into Rift this past weekend and, as usual, got caught up in events beyond those I’d planned when I logged in, having a ton of fun in the process.

But one thing I did encounter which irked me a tad. I ran into a non-public group while trying to close a rift. There I was, ready to beat back the denizens of the plane of earth. It was going slowly since I was alone. Then I spotted help on the horizon. Huzzah! I went to click the Public Group button and it wasn’t there.

Bwa? Huh?

Turns out it was a private group consisting of members from a guild. They got to work sealing the rift. There wasn’t much I could do buy lurk behind them and contribute DPS (was playing a Rogue DPS build). If I tagged a mob and got aggro they’d ignore me, working as a team to kill the mobs they’d tagged. Generally this resulted in my death, which then allowed them to tag the mob I’d been fighting and get credit for the kill. I’m not saying they were doing this maliciously but when you’re in a group you tend to only pay attention to other members of your group.

So like a hyena I skulked around the edges of the party, sniping at mobs they’d already tagged. Aside from making me feel like a leech it wasn’t really that bad. I still got decent rewards and stuff, so I’m not really complaining so much as marveling at the fact that I missed that Public Group button, since I wasn’t really a fan of the system when it was first introduced.

But now I find I miss it when it isn’t there. I guess I’ve been converted.

9 thoughts on “Rift: Guess I’m a public group convert

  1. I have to say, I’ve also become a huge public group fan. And not just for rifts. At first, during the beta.. I would turn off the default “public group” option, and keep my groups private. I mean hey.. I didn’t want someone just jumping into my group without an invite.. as if they KNOW me!!

    But then there were so many cases — especially during the crowded early launch days, where I got to a named boss I needed to kill for a quest, only to find someone (of course) already waiting there to kill the same boss. Or, someone else coming up on a boss I was waiting to kill — with the worry of that person possibly snagging the boss before I could. And I discoered it was so easy to solve that problem with the public group on by default – most people hadn’t bothered to turn if off. So I could click his name, join his public group, and BAM, it suddenly didn’t matter which of us tagged it first. And I came to realize how useful that was, suddenly I didn’t want to be “that guy” who’s group was set to private for no good reason.

    since then, my group option is always public. And I”ve been joined a number of times, just during the run of normal questing, when one or another of us realize we’re running around killing the same mobs, and instead of competing, it’s just easier to cooperate. Especially if no actual interaction is required. A few times those public groups have lasted longer than the current quest,, and I’ve completed entire quest hubs with random strangers — almost how.. *gasp* we did it back in the old days!

    MMO’s designers need to do everything they can to reduce barriers to grouping, and public groups go an extraordinarily long ways towards doing that. But the designers can only go so far. Part of the onus is on us – the players — to take advantage of the tools the devs give us. So allow me to second Pete’s thoughts about public groups, and encourage everyone to keep their option turned on – to use the tools the devs give us, and to in turn encourage others to do so as well.

    See you in the battlegrounds Pete! Hopefully at the end of my twin, handcrafted blue swords! muah hah hah.. 🙂


  2. Amen. I get pissed if I enter a rift to find one or two other people there with no join option, or when there’s two groups in the rift who aren’t merged. WTF? I’d like to think that this is merely a case of “I didn’t know what to do!” as opposed to a “this is our little insular group”. Kinda defeats the purpose of the public grouping :/

  3. Does target forwarding work on players outside your group? Never tried, if it does you can just target their tank – you’ll still get contribution and rift rewards even if you never “tap” a mob.

  4. I have no problems with having a group open for others to join in and when I am soloing I am always in public mode, frequently joining and then leaving groups as I travel about.

    Where it becomes a pain , and needs improvement is in the disbanding. Many times we have a set group of friends sometimes full, sometimes not. We’d happily have others merge with us for an event but it’s when the event is over it becomes annoying. You find yourself in a raid and have no way to instantly revert to your own group so are required to continually all disband and reform. If there is a way to revert from raid back to group I’d love to know it as no-one I have encountered yet knows and it really is something that is a necessity, in my opinion.

  5. @Green Armadillo – Yup, target of target works outside of groups; I’ll try that.

    @Cragsclaw – I’ve heard a lot of folks voice the same concern and so far no one (that I know of) has found a way to revert. Hope Trion is getting lots of feedbacks on that one.

  6. I almost always run with public group on but a situation arose recently that made me change to private in some instances. I was in Scarwood Reach area doing the pit fighting quests (the daily quests that let you fight three npcs that each drop an artifact). I waited for the person in front of me to finish his turn then started mine. I only needed 2 more artifacts to finish the set and was extremely happy to see the first npc was one that I didn’t have yet. Imagine my surprise when 3/4 of the way through the fight someone joins my public group (the same guy who I had just let finish) and then ninja loots the artifact. After that incident I put myself on private anytime I know I’ll need the loot myself.

  7. IIRC, one of the devs mentioned “group un-merge” was being worked on, either for 1.1 or farther out. It’s a lazy Sunday so I don’t feel ambitious enough to dig it up, but Trion is aware of it and is on it.

  8. Group unmerge was added to the latest notes on the test server. Here’s the quote:

    * After merging your group with another public group, you can now un-merge it! Look for the option to Unmerge Group if you were the party leader of a group that has been merged.

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