When I run instances, it's usually my boyfriend and I acting as tank and healer, with three PuG dps. He'll just whisper people at random and ask them if they'd like to dps for an instance with us. So often people whisper them with things like "u a healr?" that once someone asks them politely, they're happy to come along. Proper grammar and spelling goes a long way.It's a good mix of the two situations. My tank knows he can trust me to keep him alive, and I know I can trust him to keep the adds off of me -- but we also have to place a certain amount of trust in the DPS that they'll be able to CC and focus their damage on the mobs that he marks, and most of all, to not do anything stupid like run off and pull mobs by themselves. I admit to pitching in on the DPS from time to time, but it's more because I get bored when there's low tank damage and not because I don't trust the DPS to do their jobs.I actually prefer it over running groups entirely with people I know, because this way, I get to make a lot of new friends. Most often, if you give them a chance, they're good people. Even when they don't know what they're doing, it can be fun to help them out. How are you supposed to learn how to do your group role if nobody wants to teach you?I used to raid with my guild in BC, but I really started to hate the amount of stressful organization required for a 25-man run. I don't like needing to have a raid leader with multiple class leaders and custom channels to keep track of everything. I'm really looking forward to pugging 10-mans almost exclusively in this expansion once I get my main to 80 and start gearing up.
I completely agree with the recipe. However, I would go so far as to say, in reference to number 4, that it is very valuable to say that you will be the leader of the run. Lay down the rules of pre-pull, during-pull, and after-pull if need be before the run, make sure you reiterate them during the run if someone is having an issue, and if you find another member having problems, especially resort to number 7 (which I feel is a slight reiteration of 5 in this case).Be willing to be intelligent, be willing to be patient, and be willing to stand up and say, "LETS DO THIS. LEEEEEEEEEEEEE.....". Ok, maybe not that, but you get the point. ;)As a matter of fact, I was actually thinking to blog on something to this effect, though I'd say you did a better job than I would have done. :)
My wife and I love doing PuGs for one reason: we have tanking and healing covered.It's amazing how that one thing can make a difference. Everything you said above holds true, although I am willing to bet that your perspective, and mine as well, is skewed a bit: tanks are natural leaders in a group. I've often found that by the first boss of an instance the group thinks of me as the leader, I mention pulls that are tricky, cc if needed, and usually do a general explanation of the boss fight before the pull, regardless of whether everyone says they've done that fight before or not.Except for Herald Volazj, I always tell someone that hasn't been there that it's a tank and spank with a twist, that fight just has to be experienced the first time, not explained.
Excellent article, I loved reading it. I must say that being in an RP guild on an RP server with medium population, most of my runs are PUGs, and most of them take a looong time to get together.I do think that although they have a low rate of success, a truly successful PUG is a thing of beauty. It allows me to know who to look to if I need a hand (and also who I should avoid, incidentally), and is pretty refreshing.As for trust, I must say that though I never quite looked at it this way, I agree that it definitely is a factor in a group's successfulness in a run. I am more of a quiet type of guy, and usually only take on a leader role while the party's forming, and then let the tank or the healer take the group. In any case, it's true that I feel more at ease, more confident running with people of my guild, or even other RP guilds (the proper grammar has a big role in it), than with the random people I find in LFG and take because, well, LFG is deserted.
Nice topic and I think you highlighted the right points!Most of my guild members don't bother about taking random groups to instances any more because they lack the said trust. I however love to do it because, with different groups, every instance is played differently. Thus, it never gets boring!Regarding spelling and grammar: I also have made the observation that people who tend to not use proper language often also fail with basic role behaviour in instances and therefore do not earn my trust. I.e. the tank whines at the beginning of the instances about us telling him what to do ("noob im not here for the first time"). Then he just wont wait for the healer to finish drinking or for the group to close up and produces a whipe.Doing random runs has definitely helped me in populating my ignore list, but also my friend list. I loved doing random scholo runs at 5 in the morning, with that random shaman insisting to do his class quest for the helm.BTW, yesterday I joined a random group for obsidian sanctum heroic (!). I was skeptical before but greedy enough for the loot to join them. We downed all the trash, all the dragons (yes, we downed them before) and Sartharion first try. Let's do it again please!DD LFG Daily Hero!
Didn't you write this as a regular post a good while back Nab? I just really recall to have read this before.
I might have expressed similar sentiments, but this is definitely not a re-post of something I'd written before, no. Good to see you.
Historically I try to avoid pugs as much as possible. Same horror story reasons as every one else. Tanking for a pug was a nightmare at best.But as I was one of the first to lvl 80 in my guild (the others were also tanks funnily enough) I found that to do heroics I quite often had to pug.I was pleasently surprised to be part of some very well organised and efficent groups. I have pugged roughly 60% of the heroics I have done now and each of them has been a resounding success and often times it was several peoples first time into the instance (on either normal or heroic).I wont go so far as to say my faith in the random wow player has been restored, but its certainly improved a helluva lot.Btw nice post Nabterayl, now go update the druid stickies :-p
Para - I feel confident that your feeling towards pugs are going to go downhill from here on. Due to the fact that the first people to any given maximum level are mostly more dedicated people than the rest of the bunch, you're likely to see better max level players at first. Now, as more and more people get to 80, you'll see the same stupidity as before.At least, that's my theory :PCan you tell I've had my share of stupid puggers as well? There are good ones of course, but sadly they are vastly outnumbered by the asswipes.Good to see you to btw, Nab, haven't seen you around in a while.
I really like doing PuGs, too.As of trust, I have to admit that I, at first, trust all of them to do their job properly. When I tank, I assume the healer will keep me alive and the dps will be aware of aggro and their surroundings. When I heal, I trust the tank to keep aggro and the dps to avoid it. When I dps, I watch my threat and my back.I can't really tell if this is the reason that most of my PuGs perform quite well, or if I'm just very lucky, but in roughly 4 years of playtime, I hab only very few PuGs that went downhill.Talking always helps. Well, meeting new players is one of my main reasons to join PuGs, to be honest. ;-)Three /cheers to all PuG lovers out there! =)
A lot of good stuff in this post. When I do pugs (almost exclusively when I'm leveling) I've found that taking charge of the group is often the best and most rewarding ways to do it.As an example, when leveling my warrior to 80 I did a Halls of Lightning run with a complete pug. Myself (tank), the healer, and a dps were underleveled for the instance (77, 76, 76 respectively), and no one had gotten past the second boss yet. But I took charge and was able to get through probably the toughest non-heroic with no wipes and not knowing what to do on the bosses (for Loken we all just stacked up on him and the dps ran out for the novas). Knowing that it was largely because of my leadership that we did so well, it made me feel great.However, while I have no problem helping a new player learn his class at lower levels, once they've reached 60 there are very few reasons for players to not know how to play their class, and the ones that don't are mostly those who refuse to listen to your advice anyway.
I completely agree.In my earlier days, I used to be sarcastic and bitter, coming with hurtful (in my eyes, witty) comments. People got angry, left and all that crap.Now I've taken a different approach. Careful explanations, support and neverending positivity. "Sure we've wiped five times, but could we try to do this instead of that? That would..." etc.I always find it amusing when people ask me for permission to add me to their friendslist.
I absolutely hate pug groups. It's not so much the absence of trust, but the uncertainty of a players SKILL. I'm a prot warrior so tanking is covered, which leaves healing and dps to be pugged sometimes. As the tank I'm always in charge and i make it known how we are doing something and i set the pace with pulls. However, with bad dps no amount of good healing or tanking will suffice. I find that bad dps is the most common thing you'll see. I run DPS meters, you can't lie and say you are good when the tank is doing twice your damage. I think pug DPS is bad because its simply the easiest role to fill and therefore you end up with a lot of stupid players (no offence, tons of you are great).
It's funny this should be posted here today. :-)Just yesterday I was in two PUGs, one was awesome, we only "wiped" once when someone accidentally did too big of an AOE and pulled too many at once. The healer did a self-rezz and rezzed the rest of us. The rest of the instance went fine. Sadly most of the loot that dropped was spellpower plate, but we had a good run overall.The next one was horrific. We got to the second boss and wiped twice before the group imploded. First time someone was SKINNING stuff during the fights before you pull the boss. No I am not kidding.The next time someone said "Wait to pull the boss until XYZ." So, I waited. I may be the tank but if it's my first time in an instance I am very open to suggestions on how to try different tactics for the fights.So while we are waiting suddenly the boss is right on top of us out of nowhere. I do my thing, consecrate, shield of the righteous, all my most threat generating abilities. We wipe, again. The healer says "LOS issues." The DPS yells at me that I need to "keep the @#$% aggro." I didn't pull the thing in the first place, so I don't see how yelling at me makes it better, but I didn't say this.The group disbands.I whisper the one group member I had grouped with previously "What was up with THAT?"Response "No idea, they all just suck I guess."
I find that PUGs where I am the tank have an 85% chance of going just fine if not very well over PUGs where I'm not a tank. In fact, I find that most of the people who don't mind PUGs are tanks. I don't think that's coincidental. There's a similar, if reduced, statistic for healers.Those two have more control over how the run will go, without question, and if either or both outgears, outskills or outsomethings the instance, then they can easily carry the rest.That said, I kind of like PUGs too :\\. I'm a tank.
I PUG all the time. My guild is too small my friends on WoW are few. That said I have had some terrible experiences pre-level 50 in PUGS. But nearly every group since has been great. I run a DPS but I am often called upon to heal with my boomkin and I know a good PUG when I can heal them through a regular instance. Without question- every group needs a leader and the higher you level the better the random people available to you. I like what Nab had to say as it is all spot on and so sad for those who can't deal with a PUG. When I started WoW- I didn't know the first thing about what to do in an instance (see pre-level 50 comment above) but it was through Pugging and playing with different people and different groups that I learned. After all- I could not heal an instance with my boomkin if not for the gracious advice provided by the friend of a friend in an instance where I was given the healer role. She started by telling me what a great job I was doing and proceeded to advise me on some tricks and short cuts to help me heal without running OOM. Did we finish?-Yes. Did I learn a ton?- Absolutely! It's taking that time between pulls to help those around you play better and know what to do- then you actually can find a friend and build the trust to run with them again.Later!
I guess it is also a matter of luck. I love PUGging. because I'm not in a good guild atm, and so far I've had luck with the Northrend instances. I did Utgarde Keep with 2 other Death Knights of 2 other specs (me Unholy, the others Blood and Frost), a Warlock, and a Shaman. All the pulls went great, everyone knew what to do, the tank assumed leadership (which I'm fine with), and explained each of the bosses before the pull, and overall it was a really good experience. To see 3 instant death & decay's go off at every group pull was awesome, and we steamrolled the instance even though only one of us had ever done it before. The other one was where I was invited at lvl 72 to join The Old Kingdom with a bunch of random level 77/76'ers, and they destroyed everything and gave me the loot that was too crappy for them, but awesome for me. Not a word was uttered except for explaining the bosses to me, lol. Those fast runs make me keep faith in PUGging.
Great guide and an inspirational read! Two small things that I would add are the following:1. Motivation / encouraging. Just the occasional ''You're doing great guys!'', ''Nice dps / healing / tanking'' ''Great CC! Keep up the good work!'' goes a long way to boost someone's confidence without inflicting the lone wolf syndrome (E.g, enough motivation that everyone is performing their roles to the maximum of the ability but no so much that the healer pulls, for instance :P) 2. A thing that helps greatly when describing tactics for a boss is to speak to each 'group' (Healer / tank / dps) individually. It can be incredibly overwhelming when someone spurts out a long complicated strategy. If you explain each groups role to them it will go a lot smoother and only take a little bit longer. One great example of this would be my first Karazhan run, back in the day. Take for instance Moroes. The raid leader spurted off the whole strategy of who to tank where, who to trap / shackle / sheep etc, when it became unsafe to Pally fear them cause they might run out and reset, who had priority to be healed, explaining about the Garrotes, kill order, vanishes, and everything else under the sun about that fight. I was completely lost and I almost wiped the entire raid a number of times (Trapping wrong mob, breaking CC and whatnot). And all that it would have taken to explain the encounter to me was ''Trap X, then kill X, then Y, then Z, and then go onto Moroes. He will stealth every now and again but you don't need to worry about that'' A lot simpler and easier to understand for me. Now have I had similar experiences? Absolutely. Here, I couldn't agree with bfillmer more. I am relatively quiet in PuG's, keeping myself to myself and only talking when it's important to the instance or I have something particularly funny to say (This does happen quite a lot I guess :P). My two mains are my Healing Druid and my Hunter, so I never tank. However, my Death Knight tanked Ramps and then BF in a pug a while back, and it's AMAZING how much of a difference it makes. You see things from a totally different perspective. Rather than thinking ''Oh god, I hope this group knows what they're doing'' you think ''Right, the DPS is over-aggroing a bit, I'll tell him what to do, describe the strat, and then let's DO this ****!''. The place was a blast, albeit after a slow start, and by the end we were pulling more groups of mobs than ever should be allowed, and having a great time. Now I'm not putting this down to my amazing tanking skillz (With a Z, 'cause that's how I roll), because I was blessed with the great group I was in, but it does make a HUGE difference when someone takes command and follows the points you've brought up, and in this case it was me. And you do indeed feel godly after it!Anyway, enough rambling :P