Friday, December 18, 2009

Those you meet in Pugs

With the new Dungeon finder (LFG) system more and more people are entering the wonderful world of pugs. Lets be honest, pugs have gotten a bad rap for a long time. Why? Because of who all you MEET in pugs. Now not all of them are BAD but those that are stick out in our minds. Those are the runs you will NEVER forget.

For myself it was a heroic Magister's Terriace run back in BC. For that run the Tank was drunk (Literally, not just in game. He happily informed us of the fact he had just finished his first case of beer and was working on his second.) The healer was high (again literally, we were regaled with tales of his draws on his joint for the entire run.) Leaving the three of us DPS to look at each other and question our OWN sanity for hanging around.

I listened to my husband do one where the party leader spoke NO English and proceeded to give instructions in either French or Spanish (my poor husband could not decide which it was but both are not uncommon in our battle group.) Other stories like these are shared across the realms and guild chats. Often resulting in individuals ending up on ignore lists or as was the case on our server entire guilds were just avoided.

As I have run numerous pugs on all of my level 80 toons I have discovered that the majority of people I encounter tend to fall into one of five categories. Silent killers, Social butterflies, Newbies, Elitist jerks and Ninjas.

The Silent killers are generally members of raiding guilds, far out gearing whatever instance they happen to be running at the time. They come in, whip through a run and after completing their objective leave never saying a word or at the very least not many. Few people mind having these individuals in their pugs as their presence generally ensures a quick, smooth and often boring instance run. They will always top the damage charts, never lose aggro and heal you through almost anything so what is there to complain about? For our next group, their very silence.

The Social Butterflies will chatter the entire instance. They often ask questions inviting response and if others refuse to participate will then proceed to fill party chat with antidotes, jokes or their life history depending on their particular bent. The presence of a social butterfly in your pug will almost INSURE that the run will NOT be a boring one, wither you ENJOY their presence or not. Their gear and skill levels will travel the gambit from "Over geared Hard Core Raider" to "I just hit level 80!" but these will be individuals you just don't forget quickly if for no other reason than their very personality will ensure it.

The next group is the Newbies. These guys are almost ALWAYS under geared for whatever instance you are doing. They will have no CLUE what is going on as frequently the instance will be completely new to them. For Silent Killers these guys can be extremely annoying as they are not unknown to trigger events like the final boss fight in CoS while the rest of the party is off downing the Infinite Corruptor. It isn't that they are BAD necessarily, they are just NEW. They have no clue how the fights go so make many mistakes as they try to learn. No one will be harder on these guys than our next group.

The Elitist jerks are just that, Jerks. Every run is started out by doing a complete gear and achievement check on EVERYONE in the instance. Silent Killers will generally pass with no comment, the rest are seldom so lucky. These guys crew up newbies for breakfast if they happen to be so unlucky to get grouped with them. What I find amusing is that unlike the theory crafting guild site they fashion themselves after, they SELDOM are members of Hard Core raiding guilds or even topping the charts in damage or healing. Instead while generally they DO raid they tend to only have a LITTLE bit of knowledge and proceed to use that knowledge like a battering ram for the entire run. These guys are most often just endured, but they certainly can make an other wise pleasant run a trial with their constant criticizing.

This leaves us with our last and thankfully SMALLEST group.  The Ninja. These guys can single handily destroy an other wise good run. The ninja runs with the premise "all loot should go to ME" and will do everything in their power to make that happen. Certain heroic instances up your chances of running into a Ninja. Utgarde Pinnacle with its rare mount drop, or the new Ice Crown instances with the Battered Hilt bring these types out of the wood work.

In the past players had some recourse against ninjas. Things like going to their Guild leadership, post their names on servers forums, and otherwise attempting to make life difficult for them were the common response to this behavior. However with cross battle group instance runs many Ninjas now count on the fact that few people will get the chance to track them down so any negative recourse is minimized. The most common thing you will see with these types is the "snatch and leave". For the ninja the idea is generally individuals will miss the fact that they have ninjaed or will not recognize them the next time they meet. About the only recourse people have at this point is to place a ninja on their "ignore" list so that they do not run the risk of getting grouped with them again.

Some may question why there is no "Terri-bad" category for all of those players who HAVE gear but just don't utilize it effectively.  I frankly haven't run into any that have been THAT poor that we weren't able to finish a run despite them. In addition I have discovered the majority of "Terri-bads" are in actuality just "Newbies" who have managed to get lucky with gear. It is not difficult now a days to completely gear up your new level 80 via the auction house with BoEs if you just have the cash. The rest were nothing more than distracted individuals trying to multi task and failing.

Don't let the few "bad" puggers destroy your enjoyment of a run. While I wish I could friend some of the "good" ones I meet and get a chance to run with them again, with the new system the frequency of GOOD runs generally out weighs the bad ones.

A few things to keep in mind that may help you as you PUG:

First, if you can not stand running with "Newbies" don't pug much on the weekends or during holidays. These are the times when you will get the highest concentration of them as it is often when they are able to play.

Second, Elites jerks will generally shut up when challenged about their knowledge and performance. Now this will only work if they are NOT topping the charts but nothing shuts someone like this up quicker than having another in the group with more knowledge and experience them. Just don't tolerate the attitude.

Third, check your OWN attitude as you go in. Sure getting Oculus every day can wear on your nerves but it is not the fault of your other party members. If you just can't stand running the risk of getting grouped with certain others go the old fashion route and make a party of friends. The majority of instances can easily be run with only four of your party being well geared, especially if two of them happen to be your healer and Tank.

Conclusion, there are more things to LOVE about the new system than dislike. If nothing else the rewards for doing it will generally cover the costs of any poor runs you happen to get stuck in.


  1. just out of curiosity, which category do you belong in? I'm probably the "Silent killer" type, since I don't like to talk much during instance/raid runs

  2. I tend to fall into the Silent Killer zone as well. While I will chat a bit when invited I mostly just want to get in, get it done and get out again.

    Most of my pugs have been to do the daily in the morning then I run Guild runs in the evening for more social stuff.

  3. I like the new LFG feature, however lately, I've been getting into instances like Mara with my lvl 40 rogue and having people leave group because "a group of 41s and 42s coudln't POSSIBLY finish it." but we did.