Finding the right members for a party in an MMORPG is a lot like figuring who you want to go to the bar with you. You have plenty of choices from your contacts, if you’re lucky enough, and these people are from different walks of life, a lot like the people you’re grouping up with in the game. Each member you find yourself inviting to the group has a special function you’ll need for an instance of pub crawling. This is my usual line-up:
The tank, as you might imagine, is someone who is the loudest, but not necessarily the largest, member of your group. They’ll be six pints in before you’re done with your second. They are machines with no equal when it comes to laughing loudly, spending most of their skill points on aggroing the bartender for more drinks for you and your party. The healer of your group is the one carrying aspirin in their pocket or purse, telling the tank they’ve had one too many and can’t keep up with the speed of the tank. They are a crucial member to help keep your party alive through a pub instance; they’re bossy but will always call a cab when they know the instance is over, making sure everyone gets out alright.
The rogue of your group is the most interesting character you bring with you, and you swear they came to the bar with you but they’re no longer in your line of sight. They might very well be in the bathroom, but you want to think more highly of them, so you tell yourself they were thrown out for stealing someone’s beer (or the bouncer’s girlfriend). Every group has a wizard type, tricksters who fold napkin origami for girls at times and could possibly quote Lord of the Rings or Star Wars at random. If you’re lucky, your group’s wizard will be a veteran fire-spitter, increasing your party’s notoriety with the surrounding bar patrons tenfold. In any event, the wizard is good for a laugh, as you’ll find him even funnier after one or 10.
The bard of your group is likely to be a male and busy at the place next door if it’s karaoke night. He’ll show up later with two frat girls who swear he sounds just like Dave Matthews or some such. If he’s a member of my party, he had better sound like Joe Strummer or I’m kicking him out. Last but not least, the final member of our party, usually a form of an enchanter. The enchanter of your party spends way too much on teeth whitening products and their hair. The goal of one trained in this class is to get as many people interested in them as humanly possible, and ever since they entered the bar with you, everyone is trying to figure out where they bought that shirt. Enchanters dazzle everyone and keep others interested in them, until their illusions fade and their significant other arrives. Depending on the enchanter’s quick thinking, your group could very well wipe from the aggro of the patrons they had earlier enchanted.
Each group has different dynamics that make them work. You can find your own build, but mine’s been pretty solid over the years. If you’re blessed enough, you’ll keep with the same party members over and over again, increasing your life experiences, giving you a funny story to tell. Today marks the birthday of my healer for the past five years, who’s always been there to pick me up when I’ve been a mess after a wipe. I just wanted to tell her thanks for the aspirin and for not making fun of how much I’ve had to drink. We make a pretty good team. Who’s your favorite party member?