Eternal Alliance

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Running with parties is a blast in V&H. You can finish zones in a fraction of the time it would've taken you to do alone, also it's a lot more entertaining. Getting an efficient group is not easy though, and do not expect all of your group runs to be flawless. It takes practice and patience to become experienced with party-play. Below are some of the key factors in establishing a good team.

Leader: Before you begin heading out and slaying bounties with your friends it's important to decide who the party leader is going to be. This is not necessarily the highest level or the warrior, instead it's someone who has a good sense of direction, and can fight while also keeping their party in view at all times. If you wish for more information on leadership, read the guide below. 

Follower: If you're not the leader that automatically makes you the follower. Make sure to keep the leader in sight at all times and don't wander off. Let them go first and make contact with the enemy before you engage. 

Looting: If everyone is clambering for loot after every kill it slows down the entire party and can lead to hostilities. It's best to designate one or two looters who have plenty of bag space and quick-hands who will loot all of the parts and items after each kill. At the end of the session the group can then split the stock between them. If you or another member are searching for quest items, make sure to tell the looter not to pick them up. If you notice that looting is slowing down the group considerably, then try to suggest abandoning the loot for the sake of time.

Etiquette: Make sure to use party chat, there's no need to fill the whole zone in on what you're doing. Be kind and courteous to your team no matter what. If you notice another group in front or behind you, do not bounty jump them. Make sure to alert your party as well so no one makes a mistake. If an accident happens and your group cuts off another, apologize to the other group and allow them to continue.

Role: Simply put, play your role! If you're a holy priest, keep track of your allies health, and shield them before a heavy confrontation. If you're a tank, make sure to generate threat so you can get aggro. If you're a hunter, don't attempt to take point, stand in the back and pick off nearby enemies and if you're a wizard use your stuns effectively to help a teammate in need. It's important to work together as a squad, give tips or recommendations to your teammates in a polite manner if they're doing something that is endangering themselves or the group. 

Leading Groups

Leading a group can seem like a daunting task, especially if it's a group of 6 and in a difficult zone. Leading parties is not for everybody, however it can be done by anybody with enough practice and guidance.

There are 4 fundamental aspects in functioning effectively in a group:

1: Know yourself
2: Know your allies
3: Know your enemy
4: Know the Zone

Knowing yourself means you need to understand your own character. Learn about your classes general role in a group, its strengths and weaknesses. This point isn't limited just to your virtual avatar though, it also has much to do with you as a player and your gaming machine. What are you personally good at? Can you navigate your way through zones quickly with an efficient route? What is your running style? Some players like it fast paced while others prefer to take their time. Lastly, how will your desktop or laptop affect your style? Is your game enduring tons of graphical lag, network issues, all of this should be taken into consideration when joining and participating in a group.

Knowing your allies is just as important. This is a lot more than knowing their classes, you need to know how they play their classes. It's common to change ones running style based on the types of players in the group. There are some folks that know each other so well to the point where they finish each others attacks and combos. If you're running with someone for the first time analyze their style, are they aggressive, do they hang back and loot? Group communication is also vital to success, let your group know what you would like them to do. "Hey, can you please target the ranged enemies that are attacking me as I combat the melee enemies?"

Knowing your enemy is once again an equal to the above two mentioned points. Read about the various types of monsters, what are their vulnerabilities and their abilities? Early on this isn't too much of a concern, but later on you'll want to know what you're up against. Drakes and archers for example, if they are kept alive for too long they start to build up strength and can decimate an unprepared team. When working with a team and fighting large groups of enemies at once, it's a good idea to delegate roles to party members. For example the Leader would step onto the battlefield first and grab the attention of the enemies while the support classes grant buffs and boosts. If everyone targets the same monster the fight can turn sour very quickly so it's imperative that party members split their resources and control the area. Ranged classes such as archers should pinpoint the enemies ranged fighters and defeat them before they overwhelm the tank. It's impossible to create a guide for every scenario so it comes down to managing the team you have against the enemies ahead. 

Last but not least, you'll need to know the zone like the back of your hand if you expect to lead a group through it smoothly. Make sure all of your allies are within range whenever you begin assaulting a Bounty - this can be checked through the mini-map. Plan a route ahead of time but do not use tunnel vision when you're using it. Often times an ally will die, or a different route will need to be taken because someone fell or certain sections are not reset or another player is ahead of you. As a leader you need to be flexible whenever this happens and easily adjust your route in response. Oftentimes players have trouble creating an effective route. Open your map and view all of the bounties, play mental Connect-the-Dots and try to create a path where one bounty leads to another without too much running around involved. Continue this pattern until every bounty is accounted for.

Hopefully some of this will help you be better prepared for group-like situations. Nothing beats practice and real experience though, at first you'll be confused, lost, and flustered. The more you party the better you'll get at it.

Running with High / Low Levels

There are cases where you may be assisting low levels during a run, or on the flip side, a higher level could be helping you. In these cases your role in the party is different.

Running with Low Levels: In the scenario where you are assisting a lower level clear a zone, your first thought is likely to obliterate everything in their path and clear the way. If your only desire is to help them gain levels (maybe they just rebirthed, or are an alt) then go for it! However if they are brand spanking new to V&H, this could really hurt them later on. Helping new players is great! However, make sure to help them help themselves. Lead them, and teach them. Allow them to get in and take a few hits. Follow them and provide guidance and tips. In the long run this will assist them many times more than simply following someone as they kill everything.

Running with High Levels: If you're on the other side of the coin, and a high-level is taking you around, then make sure you keep the above in mind. However, if you've just rebirthed or are trying to maximize your alt, and someone is leading you around, then make sure you let them kill without having to worry about your safety. Hang back if you're extremely low level in comparison to the zone, and push forward when your ally engages a bounty. Pick up loot quickly as well!

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