This trend started slow over the years and has now become almost commonplace. While I can see one or two instances where a blind invite would make sense, most of the time it doesn't. Right now you're probably either nodding your head or shaking it. Allow me to elaborate before you make your opinion final.
I have been playing MMORPGs since early 2000 when I started playing EverQuest. I only mention this so that it sets up the time-line that I will be referring to here.
In the beginning, blind invites simply didn't happen (or rarely). If you wanted to ask someone about grouping with you, you would let them know what your objective was and inquire as the whether that person had the same objective. If you wanted to invite someone into your guild, you would ask the person if they were looking for a guild, and proceed to give basic details about your guild and what its' goals were so that the person could form an opinion as to whether your guild would be a good fit for them.
Over the years things have slowly changed. I would say "evolved", but in my opinion this is the opposite of evolution.
Two major things happened in between the time that I started gaming online and the present. First, another entire generation is now playing MMOs. And as we all know, every generation (roughly) is different and handles things (and people) differently. The second major thing that happened was the release of WoW. Now I'm not going to sit here and tell you that WoW ruined the genre. I only mention this because WoW (through sheer brilliance) attracted millions of people that had not previously playing online games before. Now obviously, not having played MMOs previously, a large part of these people did not have any prior knowledge of online gaming etiquette. But I am starting to get into another issue altogether. One that I have wanted to write about as well.. MMO Etiquette. Anyway!
Blind Guild Invites:
It always boggles my mind when I receive a blind invite to someones guild. I know absolutely nothing about their guild, or them for that matter. I don't know what their goals are or how they play. I don't know if it's a casual or power-gaming guild. The list goes on and on. While this may be okay for some young teens that don't mind hopping from guild to guild until they find one they like, I'm a bit old-fashioned I guess. The fact that the person inviting me was too lazy to even say hello first bothers me.
Back in the day, people would introduce themselves and tell you about their guild. Only with this information (and more if you were interested and asked questions) could you possibly know if you wanted to join their guild. I guess I'm from a time where I wanted to join a guild I liked. At the very least, I would be joining a guild that I *thought* I may like, based on the description I was given.
Blind Group Invites:
Now right up front I will give an example of when I think this would be more acceptable. If you're in a certain area killing certain mobs, and someone else is doing the exact same thing, and you're both aware of this, it would be okay. Receiving a blind invite in this case would be pretty self-explanatory. You're banding together to carry out the same objective which is plainly obvious. However, I still believe it wouldn't take much effort to send a quick tell(whisper) in this case like, "Hey want to group up for this quest/these mobs?". It's not that difficult to do such a thing.
But, blind invites in general just don't make a whole lot of sense. This is especially true if the person inviting you is nowhere to be seen. Why in the world would I join a group if I have no idea what the objective is. Are they doing the same quests or killing the same mobs as me? Or are just they looking for someone my level and class to accomplish their own goals? I have no idea. So I am expected to join their group, only to have to ask these questions, and *then* decide on whether I need to leave the group again or not? It makes much more sense to me for the person inviting to send a quick message asking me if I would like to do this or that first.
I'll be honest, whenever I receive a blind invite of any type, I picture the person as a little kid that has doesn't have any kind of grasp on logic or common sense yet. This isn't a bash of any kind, this is honestly how I picture the person. I don't believe I should have to join a guild or group, and THEN find out what it's all about. In my opinion that is backwards.
It seems to me that either people in general are getting more and more lazy, or the bulk of the new gaming generation is more lazy than the previous one. Or maybe it's something totally different. No matter what the reason (or combination of reasons), I feel we've gone a step backwards in our online gaming society.
One of the keys to online gaming is communication. Without communication we aren't taking full advantage of what MMO games are all about. Really, It's just a little bit of typing.
I have a feeling that it will be more of the old school players that agree with me. Not entirely, but for the most part. Common courtesy and communication used to be a major part of the MMO community and somewhere along the line much of that was lost. This is why I think that most of the people agreeing with me are people that have played these games for several years. Simply because things were different when we started playing MMO Games.
I know that there are always exceptions and that this isn't always true. I know that not everyone sends out blind invites and I know that those that do are made up of all ages and backgrounds. That goes for people that communicate well, too. I would be willing to bet though, that for the most part, I am correct. But as always, who knows?
In conclusion, Just say NO to blind invites. Let's start communicating again. Start talking to your fellow player before inviting them.