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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Joining Battles Without Asking: Opinions and Responses


It's been a long-existing debate in Wizard101, and a brand-new issue in Pirate101 - is it okay to jump into people's battles, and why or why not? Furthermore, if someone is not adhering to the way you think things should be, what is an appropriate reaction? Most people have a preconceived idea about this topic, but lets keep an open mind and consider both sides.

Introduction // In Wizard101, it isn't tough to ask to join a battle. There's even a menu chat option for it. However, just because the option exists does not mean that that's the way KingsIsle intended it to be. In fact, I believe the contrary to be true.

In one of his tutorials, Dueling Diego actually teaches wizards to jump into battles and assist others. Furthermore, KingsIsle has given use the option to jump into battles as we please, with no restrictions other than the possibility of a group. On the other hand, they've allowed us to restrict teleports and various requests - so isn't this intended?

Pirate101 isn't a lot different, but there are some things to consider. First, chat in the skyways from ships can be difficult to comprehend. Multiple conversations may be happening, and since ships don't have chat bubbles, you can't be sure whether someone was asking to join your battle, or someone else's. In some cases, joining hand-to-hand battles can render you less capable to help than in Wizard101, as only your pirate may join. Healing in Pirate101 is also limited, so your ability to keep the person who started the battle alive may be questionable.

Beyond what KingsIsle intended, can you consider it okay to join a battle without asking? Before I present my opinion, let me be fair and give you both sides, as well as the in-between. I'll be using a discussion thread from Wizard101 Central for insight.

"It's Okay to Join!" // People who believe joining battles without asking is okay argue that Wizard101 and Pirate101 are engineered so that your ratio of wizards to enemies is better with more friends. They say that you certainly don't own a battle circle or area, so people have a right to join in and assist.

They say that many wizards of the Spiral are not at all familiar with this concept at all, and they can't be blamed for joining without asking. They continue to argue that Wizard101 and Pirate101 are social games, and players are meant to interact with one another in these ways.


One of their strongest points is that you simply can't expect everyone to be aware of and adhere to the way you think the game should be played. There are also a variety of younger players who do not, and will not, understand the concept or importance of asking to join a battle. Furthermore, it will be difficult to place into their minds that they should ask before joining every battle, particularly considering the fact that Azteca is brand-new in Wizard101, and Pirate101 is loaded with new players experiencing all parts of the game for the first time.

Wizard101 players can further argue that they can come fully equipped to heal and deal with the situation, while Pirate101 players can argue that their presence introduces a number of new abilities, with a possible cost of only one more "monster," and can also say that asking to join ship battles is made difficult by the way in which chat is handled in the skyways.

"That's Extremely Rude!" // People who do not believe it is okay to join a battle without asking argue that this has been considered one of the rudest in-game acts for some time, and that shouldn't change. They say that they created the battle on their terms, and they set up the deck on their terms. Asking to join on someone's else's terms is fine, but you could potentially wreck the entire battle if you join at a bad time. They say that in Pirate101, you may only be able to contribute one Pirate, and they may be forced to do the bulk of the work with their companions. They also note that healing is particularly limited in Pirate101, making it harder for people joining to keep the original pirate in good shape.


These people say that the person already in the battle may be making a kill, and don't want to waste the addition ten minutes it could take the new wizard to kill that additional creature (or those additional creatures) - after all, some of these guys have some massive health!

One of their strongest points is that joining battles without asking has, is, and will lead to the death of wizards and pirates who were, are, and will be unprepared for the additional work.

Responding to "Random Joiners" // You'd be surprised about some of the ideas some people have about this topic. Many believe it to be okay to call out the "random joiner" for adding difficulty to their battle. After all, how else will they learn? And many people do.

It is my opinion that it is okay to say something simple such as "Would you mind asking to join next time?" That's how I handle random teleporting - "Ask to teleport, please." I certainly don't blow a fuse and remove anybody from my friends list. I think that calling people out with negative comments and in an irritated way is absolutely unacceptable, especially in a children's game.

My Choice of Actions // I recognize and respect the wishes of many - and that is that people ask to join their battles. I quest with two wizards and one pirate, and I make sure to make that known when asking to join battles - and I do ask. "May we/I join your battle?" Despite the fact that the end of the battle may be close at hand, I'm always careful to wait for a response.

I would hope that you would do the same - because it is common courtesy, and you can't argue that it isn't required, because manners, kindness, and self-control aren't required either, but you certainly shouldn't be skipping out on those.

Regardless of what's recommended, and what probably should be done, the question still remains - is it okay to jump into battles without asking?


My Opinion // It is my opinion that it is absolutely okay to jump into battles without asking - and most of my readers' jaws just dropped, because they know I'm one to be courteous. But here's why.

One user made a good argument on that Central thread - the person who believes in asking to join has that set way of thinking, and they think anyone who thinks differently is wrong and should be called out on the matter. Wizards and pirates of the opposite side say that it's okay, and many of them aren't even aware of the argument. They join a battle, get a lashing, and still have no clue what the issue is.

Here's my thought - You're seemingly encouraged by KingsIsle to join battles, and you should do just that. Suppose a wizard or pirate dies due to your joining. While that is unpleasant, and shouldn't happen, it isn't the end of the world. When I join a battle in Wizard101 (though I do ask), I am fully prepared to heal and shield the original wizard or wizards and to do the killing in its entirely on my own. In Pirate101, I have the ability to heal with my eyepatch, and can generally contribute to a battle to make the killing quicker than if I were not a part of the battle. I recognize that not all people have these abilities.

I think that it is polite to ask to join battles, and it certainly doesn't hurt to try it, but to expect wizards and pirates of the Spiral to all know this is absolutely absurd - and that's what surprised me about the fact that even some well-known members of the community have these expectations.

People certainly are not perfect - and if you think they are, I'd love a comment telling me where in the Spiral you're from - and they can't be expected to be. To think that everyone in the Spiral is or should be aware of your personal in-game standards is not only rather selfish, but it's unrealistic. Consider the fact that you're playing a children's game - do you expect an eight-year-old child to grasp and understand the concept and importance of asking to join a battle, and furthermore remember to do so before entering every non-boss battle?

Katherine Light says that her four-year-old daughter plays Wizard101, and she supervises, explaining where the "Please may I join?" option is in menu chat. While my hat is off to her, that is a rather uncommon practice. Too many parents have absolutely no idea about their children's lives online, despite their exhaustive efforts.

You (as a player) also, as mentioned above, don't own a battle circle or area. It isn't yours to control. Despite what kind of terms you may have started the battle on, and what terms you may have prepared for, you should expect and plan for change - that's really not a new concept.

A Final Word // I am quick to recognize that not everyone agrees, and I'm certainly not set in stone on my ideas - you never, maybe you can convince? Agree or disagree, I'd like to know - what's your opinion? Feel free to share, just be ready for a response!

Thanks for reading, and see you in the Spiral!

15 comments:

  1. I have absolutely no issues with other people joining. If I want to be left alone I will play on a "Perfect" server. More often than not I am on one of the busier ones in the hopes of meeting others who are working on the same quests as myself.

    I would prefer not to have to fight any more mob battles for "defeat this" or "collect this" quests than I absolutely have to. If that means someone joins my battle to bring in another enemy then great! That just increases my chances of getting that desired item for my quest completion.

    Whether in P101 or W101 I always make sure my deck is set to help regardless of the situation (having heal TC's, a couple of attacks, shields, etc). All of my pirates have trained in Rouse and Refresh and some have gear that gives extra of those cards or even Rally. After all, I know I need to heal my own pirate and companion crew so it's not like they are not needed.

    The only time I can say that I get really annoyed by random joiners is when they do NOTHING or nothing useful. They don't cast, they won't communicate with you, they aren't paying attention to what you are doing, etc.

    However, if you are going to pull your weight: attack, shield, heal, buff then I say the "More the Merrier!"

    On a side note-I do appreciate it when others are courteous enough to ask first. Unless I am on my last round and ready to kill, chances are I will always say yes.

    SorceressMiklai

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    1. Interesting - It can definitely be irritating when people join and flee or don't contribute, but it's also hard to predict which ones do and don't. :)

      I'm happy to say that I see more and more people asking.

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  2. Hi! Well, here's what I think about it:

    I personaly hate when people join my battles without asking, they can really ruin the duel,especialy those who join and then flee,I really hate them, and I will tell you why.

    I have seen this kind of scenario a lot of times: a wizard is about to die, but he manages to cast a spell that defeats the enemies,then a random wizard joins in the very last moment and brings a new enemy,then this enemy,starting with a huge power pip amount, kills the original wizard. Random wizards joining battles usually ruin a duel in ways like this. Or sometimes you may just want to do solo or to be quick and these guys ruin that too.

    Also, I have never seen a guy like this who wants to help me, not even life wizards want to heal me when I die because of them.

    I understand that losing a duel is not the end of the world, but if everyone keeps joining your battles you'll never get anywhere.

    I don't expect everyone to think the way I do,but come on, it isn't that hard to ask.

    I don't expect four year old guys to understand the concept neither, but this is supossed to be ''for everyone 10 and up'', a 10 year old guy can understand this (also, I don't really expect that four year old guys will ever be able to get out of Wizard City without the help from an adult).

    Finally, Diego does not encourage wizards to jump in battles anymore due to this problem.


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    1. Interesting thoughts - I can understand frustration. However, I've joined many a battle (and asked), and had many jump in or ask me to join, and haven't encountered the problem you describe. That's not to say it doesn't exist, just that it isn't an inevitable for all joined battles.

      I also recognize that the game is listed for children ten and up, but I imagine that works the same as Facebook - there are some number of children who disregard this suggestion, or in the case of Facebook, rule. Take Katherine's child for instance. Her's is an example of a situation that works well, while others are likely less... "successful."

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    2. I did not said that all ''random joiners battles'' are destinated to fail, just that it does that often.

      I know there are younger players than expected in Wizar101, but like I said, I don't think a four year old is smart enough to beat Wizard City without the help from an adult, Katherine's child has the help of , of course, Katherine.

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  3. One other thing to note-

    In P101 I have noticed that even if you and your whole crew die, as long as there is still at least ONE person who is alive when the battle ends, you will still get credit for the fight. You may only have 1 health but you don't get "ported back to the commons/lifefountain". Unlike in W101 where if you die and are not healed before the killing spell is cast, you won't get credit.

    I can honestly say that I DO like this feature. It may be that it is set up like this in P101 because there are no "life wizards/pirates" and at least you don't get dissed for not making through the whole battle.

    SorceressMiklai

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    1. That's a good observation - I appreciate that feature as well. That does make the argument for Pirate a little bit less powerful, though one could still argue that with the possibility of an incoming pirate entering without companions, they may be unable to complete the battle should the original pirate and his or her companions suffer defeat.

      Hey, I may stick up for one side, but I have no problem playing devil's advocate. :)

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  4. I think it is okay for people to join battles if they have menu chat. Why i think it is okay is because they can't communicate as people with text/open chat. Plus people with menu chat are probably 6-12 and most parents don't teach their kids that they need to ask EVERY time.

    But Ki also gives us choices: they give us privacy options to not have friends teleport,they added phrases like "please may i join." But if you want to quest with no friends you can switch realms or go hidden to friends.
    -Elijah LightThief

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  5. I have to say, more often than not, I find myself surrounded by people joining late. I admit, I get really ticked about this a lot of the time, but I don't say that to whoever joins because I don't want them to get upset over it. I know its just one of those unavoidable things that happens in every online game.

    I'm typically a solo player. I don't ever really ask anybody, not even my good friends, for help in battles (me dying a lot in battles with same lvl enemies is a sign of that). A great deal of the time, like I said, I do get a little irritated when they join, but other times, I'm greatful for their help.

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  6. My opinion is as you stated above, just because you started the fight, does not mean you own the dueling circle.

    Perhaps the easiest way to describe how I feel about it is with an analogy. To me its like taking my kids to the local fast food Play place. I do not recall ever having asked the parents or other kids playing there if its okay for my kids to play as well. Its a public area and there is no need to get other permission to enter the play place, nor do I think its rude if somebody else comes in to play without asking my permission. There have been times when my kids have even gotten hurt because of the new comers, but that was a risk I accepted when I chose to play in a public area.

    I personally have no problems with people asking permission to join, but I also have no problem with people not asking to join, and whether or not you feel its rude does not make it true. Personally I find it just as silly to ask permission to join a fight in a public area of the game as I would to go around to everyone in the restaurant and ask if its okay if I order food there or let my kids play.

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  7. People here have made great points but I prefer for no one to join as my decks are always set for quick killing( that means no searching through your deck only loaded with buffs and kills spells) and when someone joins, I cant do anything but die i guess I would like people to ask. It's okay if on accident, I won't mind, but they have to help or at least say sorry. That's what I do when i accidentally join a battle. So both sides have their opinions but the best compromise is asking and actually helping and healing. Most of my friends I dint mind as I know them well. Maybe KI can make a feature that when someone is about to join your battle, you could allow or not allow them. Not a good suggestion, I know, I just putting out options. Highly interesting topic though.

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  8. I agree with all the above perspectives and still think that sometimes the fight turns out badly if others join. Even so I am most often glad to have extra help. I do apologize when/if i port into a battle or get pulled into one through straying too closely and in these instances I do my best to help out. I have unfriended a couple of people who consistently ported in long enough to see the enemy odds go up and then they fled.

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  9. The way I see it is this: While I do and would like it for people to ask, that doesn't really bother me all that much when random people join my fights so long as they actually make an honest effort and try their best to help out with the fight. Plus, more enemies means more chances to complete my quest(s) faster as well, so there's that.

    Now if they join and do the following:

    A. Refuse to communicate/help in any way, shape or form.
    B. Join, bring in an enemy then flee.
    C. Join, see the enemies health then flee.
    D. See that an ally is low on health or is dead, can heal them but refuse to and rather just kill the enemies instead (I've had this happen to me a few times in avalon fighting death seraphs on my fire).
    E. All of the above.

    If they choose to do some of that stuff then yeah, I've got a problem with that.

    If I accidentally join someone elses fight I usually try to make sure that I apologize for joining and usually people are just fine with that.

    I personally have gear that currently gives me 95% fire resistance, but I always make sure to pack max tower shields in my deck (which in this case is 3 since I normally use a mummified deck for normal mob and low level boss fights) not only to give myself a little extra defense, but also because just in case someone else chooses to join (whether on accident or on purpose) I can then make sure to shield them from the hits so they don't die on me (and thankfully if they do die or are at low health I can heal them via my satyr amulet (meowiarty's satyrical choker to be exact), so there's that.

    So yeah, basically as long as people who join my fights at least try their best to help contribute to the fight the best they can, then I don't mind them joining my fights.

    P.S. Levels don't matter to me as much as they do to other people as we were all low levels once and plus some of my best in-game friends are low levels as well, so there's that.

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  10. i sometimes just get randomly pulled if i'm trying to defeat a monster and i'm far away from that one i get pulled into, so with me, it's usually an accident, cause being pulled is so random

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  11. I sometimes think certain people want you to ask because they have control issues. I love people to join even if I die or if I've killed the other enemies and they add one more. If you're not prepared for those situations you probably shouldn't play a children's game or any type of social game. I'll never stop joining battles no matter how rude people are to me I'll just make fun of them and block them.

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