01 October 2011

Protips for Pugs

[I wrote this ages ago - you can tell because Aka is still located in Dalaran at this point. For whatever reason, it kept getting pushed back for publishing. Now with the advent of LFR, I'm curious as to whether or not the sort of behavior described here will continue.]

I realize that there are a plethora of bad pug stories out there, and I'm sure I'll share some of mine with you at some point. This, however, is commentary on pug raid philosophy and behavior.

The scene: Dalaran. Akabeko is changing specs and gear in preparation for DM rep runs. Suddenly, over the trade loudspeakers she hears "LFM The Black Temple". Well, it just so happens that she is very nearly revered with Ashtongue Deathsworn and would love some more rep. (She picked up all of the Thunderheart tier tokens in one fell swoop on a previous run) "how many in group?" she whispers, to gauge interest and wait time. Instead of an answer she gets an invite. There are now four people in the group.

Well, I got time to kill. While they continue to recruit I clean my bags, check auctions, make a few purchases, and turn in some rep quests in DM. Nearly an hour later we have enough and head out to Shadowmoon.
Protip 1: If you join a pug raid, and especially if it is an old world raid, be prepared to wait. You absolutely cannot expect to join and immediately zone in and start pulling. If you find yourself impatiently whining "lets gooo" or "can we hurry?/" stop, because ur doin it rong. Consider advertising the achievement/rep/gear, getting a drink, leveling a profession, or chatting in guild.. It`s gonna be a while.
We try summoning at BT. Despite being surrounded by people, I can`t get anyone to help click. Mysteriously, I am summoned twice. People zone in. Out of 25, 3 or 4 are still scattered elsewhere around the world, but we have enough to start pulling, and frankly I value my rep over their presence.
Protip 2: Many good raids will summon. Unfortunately, not all raids are good. Especially in pugs, the likelihood of you being left behind is very high. It is always in your best interests to keep up with the group, especially when getting the the raid.
As it turns out, even the RL doesn't know where we are going, or even which bosses to kill (except for Warglaives and tier. OMG does this boss drop tier?! wheres the tier?! are we goign to the warglaives yet?!?!?!)
Protip 3: You don't necessarily have to have experience, but you better damn sure have a plan. Delegate an experienced raider to navigate, or look up a map yourself. DO NOT zone in and then complain "are we there yet?!" when you have no clue and cbf getting one.
We down a boss and the rolls are all over the place with needs and greeds. Immediately, players are up in arms about who is allowed to roll on what. The raid leader is finally harassed into providing some loot rules: Need for vanity/need, greed for anything else. It's what I prefer; strangely, I don't like letting at-level players roll on tier gear during an achievement run.
Protip 4: Get concrete loot rules. If none are forthcoming, don't let others shame you out of rolling on items you want or need.
A surprising number of people admit to being new to raids - period. I usually expect more WotLK raiders who are new to BC or Vanilla content rather than true beginners. In many cases this isn't a problem - the content is overgeared enough that it has a gentle learning curve, and many times you only need the barest of explanations since the mob dies faster than the strat can be implemented. Well, until we get to Reliquary of Souls. In my opinion it's a very cool fight, but alas it requires some brainpower, and pugs are constantly disappointing my faith in humanity. We pull gauntlet mobs down to the boss at the encounter begins. We wipe. An old BC raider explains the strat. We try again and wipe.
Protip 5: If at first you don't succeed, ffs listen to the strat and adjust accordingly.
I put several people on ignore for unexpected offensive outbursts regarding the boss's appearance/gender.
Protip 6: You don't have to be a saint, but not being a jackass is a good way to get invited again, rather than slapped on the ignore/DO NOT GROUP list.
After several wipes with no discernible improvements, people are jumping ship. I, too, am longing to return to DM, where the pulls are intentional and successful. At first the RL says we can return to trade to refill the group, but there are only 10 left and I am straight up tired of carrying the heals. The RL starts nerdraging - "if you join a raid you see it to the end" "wtf you cant just leave!!1" etc. I find it very telling that they are one of the true beginners to raiding. Especially when it comes to pugs, this rationale won't work. Even in guild/alliance raids a good RL knows to call it a night when complete lack of progress is wasting time and killing morale.
Protip 7: When it comes to pugs, have low expectations. It sounds shitty, but sometimes a random group of people with varying degrees of competence cannot come together to successfully execute an encounter. Know when to cut your losses and be glad for whatever XP, rep, loot, or achievement you were able to get. 
There will always be other pugs.

No comments:

Post a Comment