And the flip side of my Kara PUG post yesterday, would be my deeply held feelings on running a 5 man PUG.
As in, “Oh, HELL no!”
I’ve done a PUG run in 5 mans on occasion. Both regular AND Heroic, although I tend to think trying to PUG a Heroic is asking for pain. And I don’t have any masochistic tendencies taht I know of. The fact that Cassie beats the heck out of me on a daily basis has nothing to do with it. Okay, and I volunteered for the Marines. Clearly, I must have SOME desire for pain. Okay, and I write a blog. Hmm… I’d never really thought about that… maybe I DO…
Anyway, tearing myself away from these unwelcome insights, the fact is that to my mind, a pure PUG, where you join the LFG channel all alone looking for a run, and get thrown together with 4 other complete strangers, is a prescription for misery 9 times out of 10.
BUT… there are ways to cut down the potential for pain.
If you are really serious about wanting to run a PUG, for a specific drop like the Sonic Spear or for Faction Rep, and you want to minimize the chances for wasting two or three hours in a truly horrible experience only to have the loot you were hoping to have a chance to roll on get ninja’ed away, here are my suggestions to you.
The first, is to find at least one friend willing to run it with you, form a group with one of you as Party Leader, and then go in the ‘Looking For More’ section of the LFG tool.
If you set the loot rules to “Loot Master” you can avoid getting ninja’ed. Just make sure you set the threshold to Rares, since who cares about greens these days. Explain clearly and politely to everyone why you are doing this, and that it is only a precaution against potential problems. This clearly works best if you are a member of a guild with a good reputation on your server. People will at least be more willing to give you a shot as loot master if they feel they can go to a responsible guild master with complaints later if they feel loot was distributed unfairly.
Second, as the Party Leader you hold the power to boot someone if they act like serious asshats. I’ve recently seen a forum thread where someone asked for a few more players to fill out a PUG, and the guy got two serious jerks that joined specifically to intentionally try to wipe the party as many times as possible, and then went on the forums to brag about it later. Yeah, having the power to just say “Piss off” in the event of emergencies is a wonderful thing.
And third… with 5 positions open, each person makes up 20% of the run. (Wow, I did that math in my head… I didn’t even need a calculator. Did you know that in most offices, 40% of employee sick time is taken on Mondays and Fridays? Hmmm? Does that suggest anything to you?)
If you and a friend form the core of the party at the start, then you only need to worry about three other people. If you ask folks in your guild if any have interest, and then ask folks on your friends lists and your friend asks his friends, and you get some takers, then you reduce the odds of random strangers and unknown personalities even more.
Finally, as you post in LFG “Tank and melee DPS LF more for Heroic Ramps, PST”, you can have the WoW Armory up, and as people whisper you or say they’ll go, you can do a quick search on them to see how they are geared, specced, and what guild they are in if it’s one you are unfamiliar with.
I’m not saying that yuo should be judging people on their gear or specs. I AM saying that, if you are asking for folks to join a Heroic Magister’s Terrace run, and you get a Pally Tank wanting to as main tank that is in all greens and a few blues, you can at least ask him what he is thinking. Maybe he has a set of gear just for jumping off the Aldor Rise that he logged out in. You never know.
I would also recommend, if you are TRULY paranoid, to check them out quickly using the Character Search page of Warcraft Realms. On that site you can see a character’s history, tied to the character name and server, of how long they have been playing that character on that server by that name, how many guilds they have been in and how often they switched.
If you do a search and find that your prospective PUG member has a history on the server of 5 days , is level 70, and doing a search of that name doesn’t turn up any other level 70 gnome mages of that name that recently left any other servers (yes, you can check) than chances are good that the guy just did a server transfer and paid name change.
Does that mean he is going to be a ninja? No!
Heck, most of the current members of Sidhe Devils did server transfers, and some of them did name changes because they made alts on Kael’thas with their other character’s name and didn’t think about it before transferring. There are some very good reasons why people do server transfers and name chanegs. Heck, some of the best raiding guilds in WoW periodically do complete server transfers just to go where they feel there are more potential recruits to aid their quest for progression.
But it is a perfectly valid reason to make the loot rules clear up front, and if that player makes a big thing out of it, point out to him that with his previous history, it’s better for everyone’s peace of mind to play it safe. And if he doesn’t like running with somone else as Loot Master, well, to each his own.
The point is, you want to run something, you HOPE to get a good group, meet good folks and hopefully make some new friends. You want to have the few hours you are about to play in the game to be fun.
But leaving your fate purely to the luck of the draw is just asking for trouble.
Oh, and I think it would go without saying, since you’re reading my blog, but… just as a reminder, please make sure that you act in an honorable, professional and polite way on the run as well. Try your best to be patient, open minded, and fair to everyone you are playing with.
Remember, the new folks are not going to know you or your sense of humor, and tone of voice does not travel through typed chat very well… you may think you’re funny, and your friends who know you and have come to appreciate you may think you’re funny… the three strangers in the run may think you’re being a pissy smart ass.