A party bash or group hunt - killing NPCs cooperatively with a group - is a great way to pass an evening, build character bonds and gain experience in the process. Many top MUDs even offer bonuses for this. But, time and again, I encounter people that just are not familiar with what I like to call party etiquette. Here, I will list several basic rules that span these games, including Iron Realms Entertainment’s line of free MMORPGs.
Deciding a Party Leader - A party leader's role is to navigate the hunting ground, designate party targets and issue the commands to retreat or attack as needed. It follows that this person should have a decent knowledge of the hunting ground before the hunt itself and be able to decide when a situation is too dangerous their party. This will often be the most experienced person in the group. Relax and trust your party leader.
Know Your Role - Many classes in MUDs and MMORPGs are better suited to support roles. Whether this is healing, buffing (granting a boon to an ally, statistical or otherwise) or crippling the enemies in non-damaging ways, it is important that you fulfil this role as best you can for the sake of your party. Let your party leader know what you can do and they will decide what's best.
Be Rested and Fed - This seems obvious, but before you head out, the entire party should sleep until fully rested and eat until stuffed. This prevents having to make everyone stop for the sake of one member's needs and makes everyone happier overall.
Carry Enough Provisions to Last - When the long hunts come around, they are always fun. It's an excuse to hang out with everyone for several hours and bash like crazy. But, you'll want to keep enough food, water, elixirs, potions, herbs and whatever else you need on hand to last the entire trip. No one wants to stop and go back home to grab supplies for one person.
Power-Levelling – What if one of your friends is hunting out of his league? Well, with party experience gains, which are present in most MMORPGs, he will benefit much more from his cut of the experience than people of higher levels. This is what’s known as power-levelling. He will catch up to his friends much faster than he would hunting on his own because he is passively gaining large amounts of experience.
Know Your Enemy – Often, you’ll find enemies in place specifically to disrupt power-levelling and group hunts in general. These enemies (often notoriously) will deliberately lash out at anyone following the party leader instead of the leader himself. If you’re heading to a new area, it never hurts to ask someone more experienced if any creatures like that exist.
And that’s pretty much all there is to it. Group bashing is an entertaining and profitable social experience that should be encouraged even more than it already is. Don’t forget to make a little time for roleplay while you’re at it and you’re good to go. In the best MUD around, Achaea by Iron Realms Entertainment, my character is quite fond of leading these hunts. As long as you’re not an enemy of his organisations, feel free to find an in-character excuse to speak to him if you’re interested in a hunt!