PuGs and You, A How-to on Not Sucking

Obligatory Pug pun goes here

Obligatory Pug pun goes here

So yesterday Hannelore of Egotistical Priest fame made a post regarding what she expects from her fellow PuGers.  The post is seriously fantastic and a great read and if you haven’t done so, I suggest heading on over there and giving it a once over.  It basically talks about what various classes can do to make the PuGing experience a much better one for all players involved.

However, the post is much more about mechanics and what you should do during fights and prep and such.  These are all great and wondrous things that any good PuGer should know.  But I’d like to speak to you this morning regarding another aspect of it, one that Hannelore didn’t address in her post.  So let’s take a look see at how to improve yours and everybody else’s fortunes when PuGing, shall we?

Show up Prepared

Just like with raiding, it’s important that you show up ready for the upcoming run when doing a PuG.  This doesn’t necessarily mean picking up food and flasks and elixirs as that stuff can be rather expensive for just doing a PuG run.  Those worried about min/maxing should definitely grab some, though.  But mainly I mean make sure you show up at least basic food and drink.  You shouldn’t have to buy from someone else in the group.  You should also have mana or health potions for emergencies and if you have a group buff that requires a reagent, make sure you show up with enough to cast the spell multiple times.  Nothing looks more amateur than casting single thirty minute buffs on individual targets when you have the spell for the group buff.  Reagents usually aren’t very expensive, so don’t be cheap.

Don’t be Afraid to Communicate

If you have an issue or need a break for any reason, just let the group know.  Quietly stressing because the tank is constantly pulling without giving you a chance for mana breaks is just dumb.  Groups will usually acclimate to you if it’s within the realm of reason so there’s no reason to not let them know.  If you have a hard deadline that you have to be off the game by, state it at the beginning of the run, even if the instance should be over before then.  You never know if the run might become extended.  If they start disparaging you because of it, don’t be afraid to let them know that you’re a-ok with finding another group.  Don’t be rude about it, but at the same time, don’t suffer through an unnecessary situation just because you feel obligated.  You’re not.

Be Prepared for Wipes

PuGs wipe from time to time, that’s a fact.  Whether it’s from the rogue who doesn’t know what threat is, or the healer who can’t figure out which spell to cast, or the tank who thinks it’s fun to pull two patrols at once, eventually something is going to cause a wipe.  Don’t lose your cool, though, because screaming and shouting about a wipe after the fact is only a waste of yours and everybody else’s time.  Try to address the issue that cause the wipe, especially if it’s something that’s reoccurring, but don’t just go off half cocked screaming at someone to stop being an idiot, even if they should.  When you force someone to be defensive, you’re less likely to get what you want from them.

Watch your Mouth and/or Fingers

Look, just because I’m grouped with you doesn’t mean that all of a sudden we’re best friends.  I’m going to try my best to be polite and friendly with you till the run is over, but beyond that, we’re strangers.  So please don’t start typing racial epithets or homophobic slurs because that’s “just how I talk”.  It’s rude and makes everyone else in the group uncomfortable to read it.  If you were sitting next to someone on a city bus, would you randomly tell them how the guy who sold you your coffee this morning “jewed” you on the milk and sugar?  Would you call someone who stepped in front of you in line a “fucking faggot”?  No you wouldn’t, because you’re in public and others can hear how ignorant you are when you say those things.  Playing in WoW may not be the same, but it’s damn close, and words typed can hurt just as much as words said.

Dropping Group is a Last Resort

I know I posted yesterday on one of the few times I’ve dropped a group that wasn’t technically falling apart (although it could be argued that that group had already fallen apart), but I try my damnedest to stick with a group.  I’ve stood in front of final bosses for a half hour or more while we were looking for someone to fill that final spot.  I’ve also seen people who have dropped group after one wipe or just can’t handle that someone plays their class in a way they consider inferior.  Perceived slights, big pulls, lack of communication, these things are all frustrating, but dropping group just because things aren’t going perfectly makes you look like an a-hole.  Even if in real life you rescue babies and are made entirely out of kittens, I’m still gonna think you’re a jerk.  Dropping a group can be justified sometimes, but just remember that you’re leaving four other people high and dry, so have a good reason.

Suggestions are Fine, Orders are Not

95% of people you PuG with are probably going to already have an end game character.  Some people feel that if they see someone else with the same class as their main then they must critique that other person’s play style then tell them everything they’re doing wrong.  Here’s the deal, no one likes being told how to play their class, but people are occasionally open to suggestions on improvement.  You’ll also find more luck if you send them a whisper instead of just saying it in group.  Telling someone, “Hey, I have a level 80 so-and-so, and when I group, I usually do this, I find it more helpful” is better than “Hey, this is how it’s done, quit fucking it up, numb-nuts.”  If the person says “thanks, but no thanks,” then you’re done, you gave the suggestion, they turned it down, it’s over.  Let them do it wrong if they want to.

That’s about all I could come up with this morning, but if anyone can think of any others, feel free to post them in the comments section.  Together, we will tear down the mountain of stupid that are PuGs!



7 Responses to “PuGs and You, A How-to on Not Sucking”

  1. 03/24/2009 at 9:28 AM

    PuGs make me a sad priest.

  2. 03/24/2009 at 9:32 AM

    Wow, and not a single mana crystal wasted! Not bad at all.

    Seems fishy, though. Gonna keep my eye on you.

  3. 03/24/2009 at 9:33 AM

    All of this is very true.

    /sage nod

    Also, for DPS… don’t be idiots and drop the group at the first sign of trouble. More often than not, it’s fellow DPS that seems to have the elite card, for me anyways.

  4. 4 Light
    03/24/2009 at 11:23 AM

    PUGs make me sad.

    “Let’s pull the whole room.”

    “Why do we need a tank” (to my hunter with a tanking pet)

    “Paying 100g to heal HVH must have good heals.”

    Yeah, I want to PUG. I love spending repair money on people who won’t/can’t finish an instance.

  5. 03/24/2009 at 12:32 PM

    “95% of people you PuG with are probably going to already have an end game character.”

    I love watching people try to squeeze who their main is and how uber-leet they are into casual conversation. It’s great, especially in leveling instances when having a geared level 80 is a Big Deal. 😀

  6. 03/25/2009 at 10:22 AM

    I’d just love to say, if you’re busy and constantly getting up form the game, please don’t join a group! I had a pug yesterday on my warrior alt, it was the first time I’ve kicked someone from a group. Guy joined, went afk, came back to fight the first boss (tho I suspect he was afk for a bit of that too) went afk immediately after, then he came back to run directly into the first group of mobs he saw, wiping the group while we were dealing with a pat.

    That was a particularly bad one, but I’ve had so many pugs where the someone in the group is afk more often than not. If you have rl stuff going on then you probably shouldn’t put yourself in a situation where other people are going to have to wait on you every time you get up. They’re not going to be sympathetic to “what you’re dealing with” when it means they’re standing around for 5-10 minutes between every trash pull, and could have just found someone else.

    Other than that, I have yet to have a pug where I don’t have to turn into miss manners, I should really just macro “it’s rude to make the healer rez you after they run back.”

  7. 03/25/2009 at 12:34 PM

    I have a black PuG, and she sleeps.

    The End

    Regarding In-Game PuGs, I try to avoid them as leveling as a DK Unholy Tank gave me enough stories to last awhile.

    One last thing –

    Need if you need, greed if you don’t <

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