From playing my newbie character, it is apparent to me that there are a lot of people out there that have no idea what their part in a form should be as well as how to lead or follow in a form. Hopefully this will give people some ideas and knowledge about proper things to do when formed.
I'm sure everyone has been in a formation with other players at one time or another. But how many times have you been in a group, not the leader, and felt that you could be doing a much better job and getting a lot more XP if you were on your own. Unfortunately most of the good XP can only be gotten when in a formation so you are able to kill the big, tough mobs. However, many formations take so long to kill various mobs that you end up getting less XP than if you were to go kill lamias for a few hours in Thalos. Here's a few tips on ways to make formations work.
First and Foremost, you need to have a good leader. The leader of a group should preferably know the zone that you are in like the back of their hand. While not a total necessity it helps make the run go faster because you're not wandering aimlessly looking for something, anything to kill. However, just knowing a zone isn't good enough. You must also be able to keep your form inline. A formation should move like a well oiled machine. Find a mob, Kill he mob, loot the mob, repeat. Only stopping for mana every once in a while when it is absolutely necessary. Never stop and sleep for HPs. If you have the right form, your clerics will keep you healed and they will have silvery regen rings so ticking for mana shouldn't take very long.
There have been many times when I have been in a form, sitting in the back waiting to heal and cast spells, while the leader sat and did nothing. It can be very aggravating to search for a form to join, finally get in a formation, and then have the leader of the form take 5 minutes between mobs to heal up to exactly 100% hp, mana, moves, spells and everything else. This is a HUGE waste of time. If the leader doesn't trust the healer to keep him alive he should either find new healers or a new leader. Unless of course he has good reason not to trust the healers in which case he shouldn't have invited them along.
The forms that work the best need a comparable number of healers vs. attackers. A form made of 3 clerics and 1 thief or a form made of 3 thieves and 1 cleric, won't work as well as a balanced form. You also must learn to pay attention to what different people are doing and know if you can totally rely on the others to keep you alive. If you are the leader of a form and you notice that not all of your spellcasters are helping during fights but seem to just be tagging along, let them know. Tell them to either start helping kill mobs to make it go faster and thus more XP for everyone, or kick them out of the form and find someone else. If you are a fighter (warrior/thief) and are leading, if your form doesn't seem to be paying attention, keep moving and attacking new things. They will either perk up and watch what's going on, or die. Just make sure you can keep yourself healed in case your healer is one of the ones not paying attention.
I speak mostly from the perspective of being in the back row with lots of mana and being in charge of keeping people alive. I consider myself one of the best healer/spellcaster people to have in a form and I never let my form members die. As a member of a form that I'm in (or any other healer with some experience under their belt) you need to learn to trust them. Each member of the form doesn't need to be at 100% health at every second. If a heal will replenish 30% of your health, it's a waste of mana to heal you every time you get hit. Don't go psycho yelling for heals and saying you're going to die because you won't. If people start telling me to heal them when they don't need it, I'll let that person get down to 20 or 30% before I heal them just for fun. A good healer knows approximately what percentage of HP that his heal does to each primary damage taker in the group and will heal them accordingly. In a form with multiple healers, try to establish who will be healing who so that you don't waste precious mana healing the same person that your partner just healed up to full while someone else is close to dying because you're all healing someone else.
In many XP zones, it is a race to see who can kill the most mobs the fastest before they are all gone. For these types of zones, your forms needs to be able to work together so killing and carnage can be maximized. The healers need to know who to heal, when to heal, and how much to heal. The fighters need to know what to kill, when to kill, and how many to kill at once. Many leaders break between every kill so everyone can tick up to full. This is a waste of time. The only members of a form that should worry about being full are the healers. A cleric with 700 of 1000 mana still has enough to keep people alive. Also a cleric with 300 of 500 mana can heal well also. It all depends on the lvl. Don't waste time sleeping for that extra 100 mana when you already have 500 left to go kill a few more mobs with. Use up as much mana as you safely can before making the entire form stop so you can regen.
The life of most forms falls on the ability of the healers to heal. Fighters can BS for 1000 damage and melee for 300 each hit, but big mobs hit back harder and if you have an inexperienced person to heal you, you won't last long. It usually makes the most sense to have whoever is going to be Backstabbing the mobs be the leader. Otherwise someone moves and then has to tell him/her to attack. If the bs'er is leading, he can walk in and attack instantly. If you don't have a someone to bs or his/her bs is so weak it doesn't help, then anyone (that knows what they are doing) can lead and attack themselves.
Overall, if you are the Leader of a form, and everyone is there to get as much XP as fast as possible, get a good leader and all will be fine. You can get people to follow instructions and teach other people good/bad things to do to get lots of XP. If someone whines that they need to tick and you can see they are at 90%, then just keep moving and killing and don't let them sleep. They will soon learn that unless You tell them to sleep, they better not or they will get left behind.