My lovely friend Zeirah and I have turned our weekly blog challenge into a public blog challenge for anyone to participate in. Each week there is a new topic for everyone to write about and share. This week’s topic was suggested by Elgaric, and you can read everyone’s thoughts on how WoW has changed/impacted their lives on our website here. You can find Z’s post about the topic right here.
So I think the initial intent of this topic was to talk about the dos and don’ts of pugging, and how to run one. But I haven’t done that for such a long time, so I’m just going to write about my thoughts on the current state of pugging. It’s quite a ramble – I just woke up from a super long nap and I’m quite dopey still!
I’ve always had a bit of a love/hate relationship with pugging. It’s usually with good cause: I won’t pug into groups for the longest time, but along will come a question or something or other than convinces me that I need to, so I’ll find a random group to do it with and things will more than likely go well. So I try another, and another. There will be some ups and downs, but you tolerate them because you have a goal you need to accomplish. But then it just gets too much – you end up in a run where no-one knows what they’re doing. But worse than that – they don’t listen to anyone or communicate with anyone until they decide to yell at someone for being a moron (and they usually do this in a very colourful way ) and I get reminded for the umpteenth time why I don’t join pugs and stop doing them again for awhile.
Faith and manners
Which is where I am at the moment. I find pugging to be an experience in faith in humanity. Dramatic, I know! But accurate. You see, when you join a pug you have faith that, at the very bare minimum, they are polite. Now this might not seem like it should be the base level of a group, but it is. You see, you can have someone who does terrible dps or stands in all that things or goes the wrong way. But if you can tell them politely “this is the way to go” or, “please don’t stand in the green stuff on the ground – it’s really bad” and they politely respond with “oops! didn’t know that was the way” or, “thanks! This is my first time in here” then you’ve got people that you can work with. What you can’t work with are the people who don’t bother to respond at all, who then run off and pull a million things in the dungeon and quit, or start complaining that no-one was healing them when they pulled 5 packs of mobs in the opposite direction to where we need to go – those are the people that you’re going to have a bad time with. And unfortunately there seem to be a lot of them out there.
I always start a random dungeon/LFR etc. just by saying “hi”. You know you’re probably going to have a bad time of things when no-one responds (though to be truthful not always, to be fair). I’m not expecting full conversations about the ins and outs of everyone’s lives, but if you can’t be bothered saying hi, it makes it tough to ask if we can go kill some extra boss for a quest, or try and trade gear you don’t want or let a tank know to turn the boss around because aiming a dragon’s breath towards people is just not what you do…. Plus, you’re spending a bunch of time with these people – is it really so hard to just say “hi” back?
About a month or so back now I ended up in a random mythic +5 with our raid tank and 3 pugs doing Vault of the Wardens. It’s not my favourite dungeon to say the least, but I figured that at least with my raid tank there it would be ok. It was an experience and a half. Unfortunately the 3 dps we were hadn’t done a mythic dungeon at that level before, and their dps was quite low. I’m not sure if they’d even done the dungeon before on any other level either. So we missed all of the timers for it (the dungeon took 2 hours I think in the end?) It was pretty painful. BUT the 3 guys dps-ing were incredibly lovely. They were apologetic for their low dps, and asked for tips on how to improve for the next time they tried mythic +. They thanked us repeatedly for sticking with them and helping them out because “people just don’t do that anymore”. Sure it was a long and slightly painful couple of hours, but I would trade that for a quick dungeon with douchbags any day. And I felt bad for them, because they had obviously had a bad time of things in the past with people being impatient or just plain rude.
So yeah for me, a base level of politeness is all I ask for in a pug. And it hasn’t be there for awhile, which is why I haven’t pugged for awhile. I haven’t even gotten the attunement to go into Karazhan yet, let alone run it.
PuGs vs. Random Group Finder
For me, I’ve found group attitude tends to be different for complete pug groups (say for Mythic dungeons or something that just can’t be done in the random group finder tool) vs. using the random group finder tool. Maybe it’s the difficulty level that makes it feel different? I don’t think so, though. Ok so maybe this is just me, but has anyone else noticed the (general) attitude difference between PuGs and Random Group Finder groups? For me, most of my experiences in PuGs (other than the one I mentioned above) have proved to show more aggression, frustration and rudeness than Group Finder. I feel like the person who creates a group and pugs it out has a sense of “ownership” which can be great if they are good working with other people, but I feel it generally leads towards more of a sense of entitlement and frustration. It feels like there’s an attitude of “this is my group, and if you’re no good I’m just going to kick you because I have the power”. Or maybe that’s just me.
What I do find in equal parts funny and sad is when you do end up in a good pug, everyone is so grateful, and falls over each other with thanks and praise for being such an amazing group. Isn’t that just a little bit sad to anyone else? That basic manners and a good pug run is such a rarity that we are almost in a bit of a state of shock when it does happen?
Pugging is better with friends
I feel most comfortable pugging with friends. I really do. It’s a no-brainer, I know, but until you’ve changed servers and factions as your friends, you really start to feel how important it is to play with people you know. There are a couple of people in my guild who are lovely and I’ve done runs with them and we generally have an ok time of things (though again, these are pugs and we’ve had some doozies!!)
The point is – if you have friends or people you like to pug with, hold onto them for dear life! It makes all the difference in the world.
Anyway, that’s my ramble about pugging. It can be tough. Sometimes we just have to tough it out and join them whether we want to or not (and I WILL finish off the attunement for Karazahn, and might even run it!). But do remember this – it doesn’t take anything to just be polite. Say hi to your group, offer help where you can. Or if you don’t feel comfortable with that, just listen and go the right way. 🙂