I once wrote that one of The 15 things You Should Know About the Dungeon Finder was
the less said, the more successful the run will be
Little did I know that would turn out to be the norm, not the exception. I hate that people are too afraid or too lazy to speak up and chat during instance runs these days. I hate that people only talk when something has gone wrong, someone has died, or someone is doing something seriously wrong.
When you run the same dungeons over and over again for a year (and counting) the only things that differentiates one run from the next is the group that you’re with. Some kind of chat also alleviates the boredom of healing. Well it does for me, anyway. I could sit here and complain that nobody talks during my dungeon runs and do nothing to change things. Fortunately, I’m not that kind of girl. There’s really only two ways to start a conversation in my experience. Do something so socially embarrassing that people can’t not say something. Or say something yourself. For the last few weeks I’ve been making a more concerted effort to start a conversation in my dungeon runs. Most of the time I’ll just keep talking (and typing) to myself. But sometimes… it works.
In business networking circles I’m sure they’d say that I was using “icebreakers”. But the word gives me bad vibes so I try not to think of it like that. Here are some things you can say in your next PuG to either:
- (a) Start a conversation
- (b) Change the topic when the conversation goes south
Note: Any discussion about how bad someone’s gear is or how cool someone’s main is probably bad.
There’s really only the one way to measure success or failure. If you can get just one other person to respond to you in Party chat it’s a success. An Emoted reply does not count as success. Even one response other than “go go go” or “shut up” counts.
Conversation Starters and Rates of Success
1. What are you listening to on iTunes?
I would have thought this would open up all kinds of friendly chat. I mean, who doesn’t enjoy some music to liven up their daily heroic? I consider it mandatory, and even included it as part of my buffing/readycheck mental check list. Prayer of Fortitude? check. Music? check.
However I’ve yet to receive anything but silence to this question. I’ve tried it out about 5 times. In hindsight, I think it might be a bit broad and people are always hesitant to name their favourite band only to find out that other people have never heard of them. I also think a heck of a lot of people like Britney Spears and are too scared to admit it. I’m sure she didn’t sell millions of albums all to one person, but whatever.
Or, perhaps, nobody but me uses iTunes.
*Update* Ooooh I just remembered running into a Rogue by the name of “Octavarium”. I asked him if he chose his name because he likes the Dream Theatre album, and then asked the party to wait while I switched my iTunes playlist. I guess some people have built in conversation starters
2. Poking fun at NPCs or complaining
If you said “Brann is a fuckwit” you might not get a response. But I almost always make some remark about how short Brann is, how he talks too much and how he ought to learn how to run* when I’m in Halls of Stone (ie. every second day). And I always get some kind of reply.
So that one counts as a success. The quality of the reply might be pretty poor and it might not really start an actual conversation. But it’s better than silence, right?
3. Ragging on the 1 DPS that’s outperforming everyone else
See that Warrior in your party pulling 8k DPS? Don’t kiss their feet. Don’t suck up or /bow (that’s plain creepy). Instead try:
“Gee I don’t know. I think we should kick Bladez since they can’t reach 10k. It’s just not good enough for a heroic.”
Even though you might only get a few chuckles and “LOL”s out of your other party members, I like this one because it combines conversation with a compliment cleverly woven right in. So this one counts as a success in my book.
4. Greeting your fellow players with “Morning” or “Afternoon” instead of “hi”
Perhaps this only really works on the Bloodlust battlegroup since we’re a mix of American and Oceanic servers but at any given time chances are someone in your party is actually playing at the complete +12hour opposite time of day to you.
Opening with “Good morning” at 11am in the morning can net you some surprising results. If you’re lucky it can lead into other players disclosing what country they’re playing from. You might even be able to compare latencies (although, as an Aussie I believe you’re generally better off just not knowing).
This one is a bit hit or miss. But it definitely pays off when you come across that rare individual that doesn’t realise the world is round.
5. How much are Dream Shards selling for on your server?
This is my favourite conversation opener. And I’ll ask it the moment someone chooses to “Disenchant” a rare Axe that vendors for 15g. Based on what the 10 or 15 people who have replied so far… nobody has any clue. Most people give reasons like “I use the Shards” or “I give them to my mates” and most common “I dunno”.
Wake up people! Dream Shards on the Barthilas Auction House are 3g 50s. Some of the prices quoted from other servers have put them at 5 to 8 gold. Most blues in dungeons vendor more than 5g and weapons in particular can vendor for over 20g.
Check the vendor price and choose Greed and vendor the valuable drops. Bracers and Gloves are usually the only armor pieces that vendor for 3-5g and should be converted into Dream Shards. If you still want more Dream Shards, just buy them cheap from the Auction House.
This has been my most successful conversation starter because it generally leads to a proper conversation of up to about 6 lines of chat (oh my god!). And its always gotten me some kind of response.
* Apparently, Brann has learned how to run which should speed up the escort part of the Tribunal of Ages in the next patch. Shame that it’s not going to speed up the actual Tribunal of Ages event. When you have to drop totems twice in one instance boss fight – it’s too long.