Medievia Mudslinger
January 7, 1999

How to Lead Large, High Level Forms on Equipment Runs--BY: Chaosity

If you are a high level player, through your Med career you will have been involved in many forms of differing size and purpose. You may have realized already that to get the best tweaked equipment from Med's hardest zones, namely Bloodstone, Elysium, or DemonForge, and any other zone that requires large forms of Heroes to run, you need to be the leader of the form. If so read on. This guide assumes that you already know how to run these zones, and offers guidelines to basic skills that you should have (because leading IS a skill) to lead a run successfully. There are a lot of people who try to lead zones in Med..... unfortunately not many can do it well. To those people, and those who don't want to be like them..... this guide is for you.

There are three phases to running a zone. The first is choosing the run and getting sufficient players to run it. The second is running the actual zone. The third is finishing the run/splitting the equipment. This guide is therefore broken up into these three phases.

Organizing the run.

You must first decide what zone to run and get people there to run it. This is a fairly simple process (getting the people together is often hard). However, before calling in your form to run it, you should firstly ensure that the loads are good (don't go scrying soth instead of DK..... believe me it has happened!). Also ensure you can run the zone, that is, people are not already doing it, you can get the correct keys, YOU KNOW HOW TO RUN IT etc. Also ensure that you can get sufficient numbers of people. Contrary to what some people think, you cannot bs/flee solo kill Glab. The time to recruit a few more players can save a disaster later on in the run.

Running the zone

This is the most complicated part, there are so many facets to running different zones, I could write a novel. However I will try to encompass the most important here.
  1. When starting the run, ensure that everyone knows the particulars of the zone you are in, for example, not to shield room at bloodstone, not to farsight at DF, etc. Do not underestimate the ignorance of your form. Reform it to its best, that is, thieves center, mana horses back row, and tanks front. Hopefully your non-front people have long range weapons. Ensure that people have staves, both heal and sanctuary. Designate people to use them and make sure they do so promptly when needed.
  2. Moving your form - this is perhaps one of the most frustrating parts of leading a form. Before you move your form you must ensure that they are prepared to do so, i.e. they have full spells, mana and hps, they are awake! they are sneaking, they are quicked, sanced, and that your all invisible. Check that you are not in solo mode, and that you know exactly where you want go. This check list must be done faithfully EVERY time you attempt to move your form in an agro zone. If you disagree, I seriously doubt your ability to lead a DF run. If someone is not sneaking, do not simply formtalk "sneak!" - this is perhaps the most stupid and widespread mistake wannabe leaders make. If you don't see why not, perhaps you are not leader quality. Make sure you specify who it is that is not sneaking, and do not move until they are. Do not leave people behind when entering cpk. If you do leave someone behind.... Do not expect them to be able to find you. (remember, your form is ignorant). Sometimes leaving the rest of the form to go get them personally is the best option.
  3. Luring- this is far too complex a skill to talk about here. However, make sure the lurers in your form are clearly designated, and have the skills. Having more than one person luring can be extremely messy. Control the wannabe leaders in your form, and also the people who like to "wander". These people, thro their own ego/ignorance, are a liability to your forms success. Flush em out!
  4. Fighting - the business part of any run. Make sure your form knows the target, and is ready. (see last paragraph). If the mob has a special proc, make sure your form is prepped for it (ie if it makes you flee, paralyses, or if you have to wear items to stop it proc'ing). Make sure any extraneous mobs that can be lured are not around. If your target is fireshielded and you have rending tanks in the front row, make sure your healers are prepped to heal them lots, fast. Often, the hardest part of killing a mob is the first 3 rounds. After that your form will settle down to business. Make sure your form knows what spells are particularly effective on mobs. For example, parrying mobs are three times easier to kill if you spell them to dropping their weapon, certain mobs in bloodstone heal from some offensive spells, etc. If everything is turning to custard, it is often better to er on the side of safety and recall/return. Being in a position to res dead people is far better than ruining the run because everyone is dead. Once the mob is dead, and looted, get your form to safety. Sacrifice the corpse.... You have no idea how attentive would be bankers are to loc corpse. Also remember one the mob is dead your form is at its weakest.... you know it..... as do any self-respecting bankers.
  5. Keys. - make sure you as the leader have the keys needed. It may be better to give certain keys to safe people if you might be killed. Walking into a deathtrap with a full set of keys is not cool. I suggest you don't do it.
  6. Miscellaneous - there are a number of points, of high importance, to put here. First, always be aware of the external environment. When killing hard mobs the last thing you might think of is checking where for bankers. ALWAYS be aware of who is around, and the areas of your run most susceptible to being banked. Also, make sure you know when pop times are, and work with them. Do not crumble a key on a door, then tick outside it when a repop is near. If you make a habit of it, mobs like thanos will thank you..... believe me, your form wont. Also, never lose your cool.... if you cant, then don't expect your form to be able to. Rarely do you ever need to rush your form. Impatience will cost you more time in the long run.

Finishing your run

This is perhaps the most important part of your run, and the part most overlooked by leaders. If the run is in parts, and you have completed some "days" of it, make sure you accurately record who was in the run, who used staffs, who done exceptional deeds, and grant points accordingly. If the run is completely finished, you will now have to do the deed of splitting the equipment. This part is the downfall of most leaders - if you don't think it's the most important part, good luck. Make a fair picking order. People who used staffs, or got the initial keys, opened the zone, led parts, or the like will place amongst the first. If they happen to be in front of a clannie, DO NOT DISCRIMINATE against them. If you do, chances your reputation will plummet. Be fair. Your biggest role now is to perhaps make sure everyone is happy. A happy form is a form you can use tomorrow. A displeased form may not be willing to follow you in the future. If this is so, you have failed. Remember, leading a form is a responsible leadership position. You are accountable for all that happens. Respect will be granted to you based on your performance as one. I'm sure you personally know of people that you don't like to be led by - figure out why that is, and don't follow their bad example. On that note, I'm sure you know a few legendary leaders too. Why are they so good?

OK that's a lot to take in.... and by no means is that a complete list of all that leading requires. However, it is the basis for sound leadership. It does work - I have personally led a three man form (and sitter) at DF, up to and past psions - with no deaths. To any would-be critic, try doing that sometime. My credibility aside...... if you find these ideas to be a little too much effort, (you are only human after all, right?) don't hesitate to DELEGATE. I personally like to have different people checking where, making sure that people are sneaking, or orbing, luring, etc. You are a team after all - often leading the form is the most cushy job of all. If you can incorporate these ideas into your leadership skills, you will make a good leader - and as such, players like me will not hesitate to follow you. So... be smart, be calm, and be fair.