It happens to us all, at some point or another. You get all prepared, ready to rock and roll, sidle up to a quest entrance, and get the dreaded Red Window message. It happens, and the odds of it happening seem to increase exponentially if you just-so-happened to have joined a PUG.
Asking for a share the second you join a group, before even a hello, is a fast way to incur grousing and influence people (badly). Even more so if you accidentally ask for a share on a walkup quest – that’s pretty much an instant branding of NOOBSAUCE all over your toon’s forehead.
I call it “shaggro.”
Here’s a tried-and-true method I’ve learned throughout my time with DDO to both get you the share you need and the completion you’re looking for, without carrying around a virtual Scarlet “L” on your face.
Step #1: Don’t ask for a share right away.
Yes, that’s right. Don’t ask. The vast majority of quests can be “red windowed” or “red doored,” that is, entered even if you don’t have the quest in your log so long as someone else in the group does. Enter the quest as a red window – trust me. This also has the added benefit of keeping walkup embarrassment at zero, since you’ll get it when you walk to the quest entrance and won’t look like a complete buffoon due to “premature ask-ulation.”
Step #2: Be Patient!!
I cannot stress this enough. If you’ve joined a pick-up group and the party is not already full, the odds are pretty strong that someone else will join the party – and pretty strong, again, that they’ll ask for a share. As a share is not person-specific in that it gets sent to every party member, you can simply piggy-back off their share request, quietly, and nobody is any the wiser. (Unless the person who shared it looks in their General log and takes the time to notice your name didn’t show up on the “already has this quest” list, that is; and even if they did, you still score points for not asking for a share right out of the gate.) Win-win scenario. Pro-Tip: If you do get called out on it, just laugh it off. “Hey, so-and-so, you didn’t have the quest either?” “I guess not, lol.” End of interrogation.
Step #3: The Mid-Quest “Oh, Snap”
Even if someone else doesn’t join the party, for whatever reason – the group is full, unpopular quest, quiet night, what have you – or ask for a share, you can still save face. Don’t ask for it as soon as you step in. Wait until a pause in the action, such as a quick trip to a shrine, waiting for an NPC to blather on.. you get the idea. Then, casually pop into the party chat something apologetic to the effect of: “Oh, snap, I just checked the log and forgot to pick up the quest.. I don’t suppose I can get a share? 😀” Obviously, it doesn’t have to be verbatim – really, any statement which is apologetic, silly, and somewhat self-deprecating will work. Man, I’m such a noob, I didn’t notice it was red doored… I can haz share? is another good one. The key point here is that there’s already an investment in the quest and you and your new party members will have had a few minutes to feel each other out before asking. And that makes all the difference. Sure, you might get joked on a little, but it’s loads better than having to recover from a lousy first impression.
As long as you get the share before the quest is completed, it doesn’t matter if you did 99% of the quest without it in your log; you’ll still get the full completion and full XP and end reward.
Think of shares and PUGs like aggro management – if the caster hits the target and pulls aggro right away, it’s a lot harder for the rest of the party to pull the target off him. With shares, it’s the same way – wait until your “shaggro” is firmly established within the quest, and suddenly it’s not such a big deal when you poke it.
May the Host save you if you pull shaggro right off the join, however.
P.S. That does sound like a good name for a bearded devil in Shavarath, doesn’t it? Shaggro the Devil? ^_^