Leading the bashing party.
Whether you play one to the top MUDs from Iron Realms like I do, or whether you play a more graphical MMORPG you are likely going to come up against the sometimes loved, oftentimes loathed pastime of bashing, hunting or grinding depending on the lingo of the individual game.
With a few perks we can dominate an area. We record repopulation times. We know what creatures to avoid. We memorise which require certain tactics and if they use any sort of afflictions or roomwide attacks. This is all well and good when the only butt you have to protect is your own, but eventually you might have to lead a party. Being the guidance for what tends to be a mixed level and mixed ability group can bring all sorts of challenges. For instance, just dragging them along your normal, high-level hunting route is likely to get your excited bunch of noobs killed.
So, what are some considerations you want to take into account, how can you set up your party for success?
First of all, location. I cannot stress this enough. Location, location, location, as the 90's realtors would chant. Picking your environment can be extremely important. If it's a place that proves a challenging hunt for you alone, taking a squishy bunch of newbies with you for the ride is likely to end up in mass death. Work out the offensive capabilities and defensive skills of your group. Can someone provide healing backup for the less capable folks? Are there runes, tattoos or special items you can hand out?
As a general rule choose your prey to match the least capable of the group. If you are hunting the biggest scariest creatures around for the "Oooo" factor, make sure your party know how to deal with any special attacks, afflictions, and of course, what direction to flee! Leading a party can actually be slower when you have to safeguard an inexperienced group. Remember that the idea isn't usually for a fast bashing trip, but that those following learn something.
Sometimes the best targets are in areas that might be considered free- or open-PK. If you want to run these areas, as with the prey recommendations, make sure people know what their basic defences are, and what they should do in case of an attack. Check on their skills and ensure they know how to use them or perhaps give a basic strategy like GTFO/web him/heal her/target his left leg.
Preparation is key. Starting on a hunt with new or young players and having the lot slaughtered within five minutes does nothing for your opinion of yourself as a competent leader and tends to demoralise the group rather quickly. Take your time, explain clearly, be open to questions and tailor the outing to the weakest of the group.
From my personal experience in Achaea, leading a group of newbies on a hunting trip can be a lot of fun. Setting up takes time: inking everyone's tattoos and explaining what they do, pointing out things to look out for and teaching them skills to assist them in hunting on their own. It is this sense of community and immersion fostered by the environment that keeps me coming back to the top MUD. If you've been looking for something similar (it's free to play too!) why not check out one of the Iron Realms games, perhaps you'll even end up in one of my hunting parties!