New player trying to understand online

So I’m a new player and just got to level ten. I played the first one and all dlc.
I am asking about the online portion. When you set yourself to open matchmaking do people just join and do the mission you are on, or do you just do a ton together? I come from playing defiance where you can just hop in and out of quests

If you set your game to “Open”, people will drop in and out. Some of them will be good partners and help you out with whatever you’re doing; others, unfortunately, can be real idiots (spending their whole time trying to duel you, looking at their character in the Quick Change station, spending 50% of their time in the menu, rushing off in all directions, ignoring mission requirements, or screwing up your mission list.*)

The alternative is to check the BL2 on-line play for your platform of choice: you’ll see folks posting when they’re about to do a new play-through, run a particular mission or farming run, or need help. You can also post and ask for co-op partners; it helps to mention what level you are, whether you have a mic or not, what you’d like to do, etc. Once connected with a friend request or game invite, away you go! Generally, you’ll find people here are much more co-operative.

If you go the first route, and find someone you get along well with, send them a friend request; if they’re a pain, boot and block them.

Edit: * To clarify, ANY member of a party can accept and turn in missions, initiate travel to a different map, etc. It’s considered bad form to pick up or turn in available missions in someone else’s game (since they may be saving it to get the reward at a higher level), but some randoms do things like that.

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If you are the host, people can come and go as they please (as long as there is room in your game, of course).

The general rule for being a GOOD co-op player is shadow the host and do as they do, unless specified otherwise. If you are on the story missions, you’ll be doing story missions if that’s what you want. They may ask if you can do sidequests and then it’s up to you to decide. They may not even ask and just start accepting quests. Or, if they see you are doing something or are in an area they just don’t like, they’ll leave without saying anything. If your co-op people don’t understand what co-op means, you can boot them but use discretion.

If you join other people’s games, you can backtrack and do previous missions you’ve already completed or even skip ahead (not recommended unless it’s the only game available as then you will have to backtrack at some point). Missions you complete in other people’s games will carry over to your game, so long as you were there when the mission was completed. And, be a good go-op partner when in other people’s games.

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