Last week I stated that the first step in building successful groups was to build a pool of players. You cannot build a group without the players, and in order to get those players you need a solid network. However, without good communication skills you cannot build your network. This step in the group building process goes very much hand in hand with the previous one. Communication is the general heading for learning how to interact with players in a very deliberate fashion in order to achieve your required results.
Let me make a call back to what I had originally stated as the problem, being that players in general do not know how to ask for a group properly. It is my experience that saying “Does Anyone want to do something?”, “<class> Looking for Group”, and “Anyone need a me?” all garner the exact same response… crickets. As Copernicus responded to the last post, there are a lot of players who simply are not motivated to lead, and those who are often times need some downtime. So announcing that you are wanting to do something, without wrapping any specifics around it, tends to make players uncertain of whether or not they should respond.
Simply changing your request to something like this.. “I’m a priest, wanting to heal a heroic violet hold, is anyone interested in running it with me?” will give you much more determined results. This statement, while not that much more complex than the previous examples does several things right. Firstly it answers the question of where. It tells the players that you are wanting to run Heroic Violet Hold. Players who also want to run this instance, are much more likely to respond to this knowing that your destination is predetermined.
Next the statement announces that you are a healing priest, and that your intent is to heal the instance. This means that in order for you to build the instance you are going to need a tank and some dps. So tanks and dps who also want to run the instance immediately know whether or not there might be room for them, since your intention is once again clearly spelled out. It allows people watching chat to make the important decision of whether or not they are in the mood to run that instance, with a character that compliments what the group has already.
In truth, while this will give you better results I have always found it better to go to the players directly. When building a group, I tend to lock down a few players before I open up the invites to the general population. It has been my experience that the fewer places you need filled by the time you ask in open guild chat or a social channel, the faster and more positive your response will be. If you are looking for 2 dps for example, you will have a much easier time filling than if you HAD 3 dps, looking for a tank and healer.
Directly messaging a few players to ask them if they are interested, helps to shape the group and give you an idea of what exactly you are going to need to succeed. I will cover this theory a little bit more in depth in the group balance topic, but the basic idea is to lock down your core players first through direct communication and as many DPS as you can muster, before bringing it out into the open. Many players feel intimidated responding to requests in open chat, but when contacted directly will respond quickly and positively.
While I am covering this towards the end of this post, it is probably the most important point. Be aware of how your communication reflects upon you. Read these two statements, and tell me which one you would rather group with. “We need another dps for a 10 man Naxxramas, are you available?” or “Need 1 dps 4 Naxx 10, u avail?”. I personally have a good deal more faith in the first player as being a good leader. The second player seems lazy, and as a result gives me the assumption that they would not take into account all the details in their rush to get “phat lewtz”.
What you say is often times not as important as how you say it. An over use of abbreviations makes you seem far less intelligent than you really are, and as a result gives players who do not already know you a question about whether or not you will do a good job in the assigned roles. There is nothing hip or trendy about communicating poorly. You will find the best results if you always strive to type as clearly as possible, and with minimal usage of abbreviations.
It is best if you view communication with new players as a business transaction. Would you entrust your money to a bank that was not diligent enough to spell out what they were trying to tell you? Probably not, and by the same token why should a player entrust you with their grouping experience if you are doing the same. You are trying to sell yourself, or your group to the potential member, and as a result it is always best to put your best foot forward.