Everytime I write something like that, I expect to have the site spammed by dog lovers. :)

Bearwall #2 incoming!

I’ve been accentuating the negative a bit lately, asking recently for your stories of the grouping behavior that you hate the most.

Now it’s time for me to begin collecting the results and preparing for voting season.

In the meantime, let’s get some positive waves rolling here, and think about the fun stuff!

Yes, the word “anti” is in the title. This is a positive post, damnit!

Moriarty and his negative waves are verboten!

I’d like to hear about what behaviors you LOVE in groups, the things that just make you damn happy to be with the folks you are, and NOT in a pug.

Those special things that just leave you thinking, “What a great run”, or “What a great guildie”.

To kick things off, I’ll share a story of my anti-pug, from last night.

Last Friday, after the Onyxia run, I had to leave, but the rest of the guild group were still rarin’ to go, so they went on to clear Obsidian Sanctum, and a few wings of Naxx10; Military and Spider.

Sunday night, it looked like there were enough folks on in guild to go hang out and have some fun, and a few of them were recently dinged 80s of guildies.

Well heck, there’s more to WoW at 80 than running Heroics and ToC to gear up, right? Why not go do what feels like a ‘retro-raid’ these days, and see if we can finish a full Naxxramas clear for the achievements. If we’re lucky, someone might even get something that’s still an upgrade!

Yeah, I won’t hold my breath either.

On Sunday, we went into Abomination and cleared it quickly enough, but a few folks started feeling sick, hungry, etcetera, so we called it until later in the evening to regroup.

The nighttime comes, turns out that some of the folks are still sick. I threw the finisher up on the guild raid calendar, and let people sign up if interested in a Monday night close.

Monday night rolls around, and sure as heck, we’ve got a full group ready and willing to beat up Heigan and take his lunch money.

We proceeded to one shot Noth, Heigan and Loatheb, and had a great deal of fun doing it. Yes, our gear is all generally much better than you’d expect to see in Naxx 10, but the simple fact is, folks played very, very well. Everything was nice and smooth, explanations were kinda sparse but stuff just went down fast.

For the first time I healed Heigan and lived just fine. Usually, I tank it, and find it insanely easy to not get blown up, but as a healer trying to focus on healing everybody and run at the same time, I usually end up lagging behind and going kablooie. Not this time, sucker! Muahahaha!

My personal standard for professional tanking results in Heigan, by the way, are a tank that moves far enough into the safe zone that pets don’t end up getting blown up, and never get close enough to the pedestal to slow the casters, and don’t end up so far away it’s a constant stress-fest to see if they’ll make it (or be out of range). Olivar was the main tank on Bookley, and he freaking nailed it in all respects. Well done, sir.

After Plague was done, we went in and took on Sapphiron and Kel’thuzad, and by gosh and by golly, again it was a great time. Both one shotted, even though my description of the Kel’thuzad fight consisted mostly of saying, “In phase one we stand in the green circle… melee trash the big guys, Notulil icebolt the skeletons, and hunters, please blow up the banshees. When KT runs in, everyone have /range on to show when you get too close to someone else, melee be careful of voids forming under your feet ’cause it gets hard to see when you’re all closed up, healers watch out for that ice bomb thingie, and Sohle the offtank, just kinda hang out and wait for the two adds and pick them up when they appear. Everyone else ignore them, just keep blowing up KT. Oh what the hell, let’s just do it, seeing it once will make more sense than my description.”

Lo and behold, we blew him up without worries. Go figure.

Loot was had, fun times were shared, off to bed, right?

Nahhh. People still wanted to do stuff. Someone, I think it was Twicefallen, suggested we go do a Mammoth hunt in Vault of Archavon.

Sure, why not?

Archavon was fun and went down in an eyeblink… I love seeing tanks getting lunged and tossed across the room. :)

Someone then asked, “Are we going to try Emalon?”

Well, again… why the hell not? What’s the worst that can happen… we die? Brrr, scary. Don’t look, kids! Oh, the humanity!

Or the gnomerity. Whatever.

I asked if anyone knew a winning strat, since I had only ever seen it in pugs a couple times when it first came out, and none of those actually succeeded. Nobody was willing to own up to having seen it done in a win.

Yes, my guild for the most part hates pugging raids. For the most part. I’ve been known to occasionally go trolling for blog material.

Well, this time I’m not joking about winging it on strategy.

I say that from the pugs I’d been in, it seemed like one tank grabbed Emalon and drug him to the far end of the room, the other tank grabbed the four adds and took them to the stairs, everyone used /range to make sure they weren’t too close to everyone else, and every ranged and healer spread out across the middle of the room for good LOS on both tank groups.

The idea being, we blow up Emalon until an add gets enraged, and then all DPS destroys that add. I mentioned that I didn’t know if our three ranged DPS would be enough to take down an add in time before he blew up and wiped the group, and Kaelynn said she thought the melee would have to leave Emalon a few seconds early, beat feet to the adds, and help destroy them, so we should call out on the timer a few seconds early before the enrage to give them a chance to cross over.

Olivar/Bookley mentioned that the add would heal to full, grow to giant size, and should become automagically marked with a Skull to help in identification, so that’s the one we should kill.

I think that it was Sohle who mentioned that a new add would spawn after the enraged one died, and asked that Hunters Misdirect them onto Sohle when they did.

Okay, so what the heck. Let’s give it a shot. Everybody ready?

“Sure! You bet!”

Here’s how it went down.

Everybody did everything they were supposed to flawlessly the first time.

No, really. I’m not kidding. Maintaining proper spacing, running to adds early, Misdirecting adds, blowing up enraged adds, killing Emalon, running out of Nova, healing everyone up…

Flawless victory.

Really. I’m not kidding. Everyone, and I mean everyone… was perfect. On something they had never seen done successfully before.

I’d barely have time to call out “new add up!” and it’d be running right to Sohle.

I swear, it’s that kind of thing that can simply ruin the game for you.

How the hell can you possibly face a pug after that? I mean, really… HOW?!?

It was one of the most triumphant moments of the game for me… and it had nothing to do with loot. Shoot, I don’t even think he dropped anything anyone could use. I think Bookley got some PvP pants. Woohoo.

Nope, it was seeing a group of people who did everything just right on new stuff, because they knew how to play well, paid attention to what they were doing (and not the latest text whisper), and wanted to win. Or at elast not embarass themselves.

Hell, even Jess kicked ass on her Hunter! Go figure!

(I kid, I kid. We expect great things from Jess no matter what toon she plays. Even if it IS a Beast Master Hunter.)

Sure, on content you’ve seen a million times before, you enjoy victory, but you also expect it to go smooth.

On brand new never before seen content, I’m sorry, I don’t care how good you are, I expect someone to zig when they should have zagged. That’s what learning is all about.

Now, let’s not talk about the guild first attempt on the flame dude. Ahem.

I will say, next time, before we go in there, at least ONE of us will have actually read a strategy for it other than “Stay out of the fire”.

That Meteor Fist HURTS.

So folks, that’s my anti-pug story… running with a group of folks that are a dream to see in action.

What’s yours?

29 Responses to “What’s your anti-PuG?”
  1. Adlib says:

    My anti-PUG is just doing guild premade BGs. Sometimes PvP in general makes me want to hurt people, but doing it in premades makes it fun because you know each other and can coordinate and sometimes smash the crap out of a non-premade group which feels good. Even if we lose though, it’s really fun. I hate disorganized PvP. It’s why I can hardly stand Isle of Conquest because on our server, that’s the “horde’s AV” as someone in our guild so eloquently put it the other day. Coordination makes it really fun for me. My guild has some really good arena people so it helps that we have some talent.

  2. Figworth says:

    Bear, there is no strategy other than ‘stay out of the fire’. That, and ‘don’t die’. It’s really a healer/tank fight, with the dps just doing there thing and getting him down before he hits too hard.

  3. Wavemancali says:

    Lately for me PUGS have just been incredibly good and fun. The reason for this is that I’ve changed when I’ve been trying to PUG.

    You see, lately I’ve been working late and that combined with being on the west coast (I play on an east cost server like an idiot) means that I haven’t been able to start things up until around 12:00am server time.

    Apparently my server has a kick ass late night crowd. The second the dailies kick over at midnight you see a flood of people spamming trade and LFG for the new daily heroic and if that one goes well, a lot of them will stay around and chain a few heroics together for badge runs. It’s just been pretty solid and I’ve been able to gear up my alt, a holy priest quicker than I thought I would.
    .-= Wavemancali´s last blog ..Like Found Money =-.

  4. Iron says:

    @BBB – My shaggy friend, when the pug goes bad, just smile. = ) It gives you stories for when you are with your guild and waiting for someone running back!

    ALSO – show us your list of 13! It’s October 13th!
    .-= Iron´s last blog ..What is your list of 13 today? =-.

  5. Adgamorix says:

    Our guild is such a well oiled machine – that every run is an ‘anti-pug’. Everyone flies, everyone is repaired. We have a designated feast dropper, we have flasks, repair bots – etc. Everyone has not only watched the strats, but we make our own kill videos. My pocket priest and I are virtually unkillable in guild PvP – and running Naxx 10 for badges takes about 90 minutes from soup to nuts.

    Best part though? The inside jokes. The laughing at something someone did four years ago and 3 server transfers back. The way 3/4 of our guild has met IRL – and that 1/2 of them were at our mage’s wedding. The closeness of the team – that’s my anti-pug.

    Oh – and nobody uses leet-speak – though the Canadian in the group sounds like his teeth got stuck together with maple syrup.
    .-= Adgamorix´s last blog ..OMG lrn2spl =-.

  6. Argon says:

    “Bear, there is no strategy other than ’stay out of the fire’. ”

    That’s not quite true. You need a second tank, and that tank must stand on top of the other tank during Meteor Fists. Nobody else should be near the tank when this happens. Doing so splits the damage of the Fists between the two tanks.

  7. Copey says:

    My anti-pug story is about me NOT raiding. I’m an officer (the only officer besides two GMs) of my guild, and I lead all the raids, research all the strats, and basically make all the rules. (No pvp at the stone before raid time, everybody must be flasked and food buffed, and must have the “good stuff”, things like that)

    Recently we picked up several people from another guild that we joined forces with all the time anyway, and it left us with more tanks and healers then we actually need for 10 mans. So I set up a tank and healer rotation, basically lining out who is running and who is sitting in advance for the next 6 weeks. Since I’m one of the main tanks along with the GM, we take our turns sitting out.

    So there I am, playing my hunter, listening to the raid in vent. Somebody else is leading, but when needed I chime in about “don’t forget about…” and such. We have half of Ulduar on farm, and have been trying for weeks to down XT on hard mode, but couldn’t break his heart on the first try, and just would continue on. It was a weird feeling as I’m over questing in grizzly hills about how proud I felt when I saw all the achievements pop on my screen and the excitement on vent when they broke XT’s heart and then downed him.

    Being in a guild is like being in a family. People may not always get along, but some times the group effort is really rewarding even if we don’t need the loot or our XT hardmode kill was 6 months after it was released. It was just awesome.

  8. Adgamorix says:

    “Bear, there is no strategy other than ’stay out of the fire’. ”

    That’s not quite true. You need a second tank, and that tank must stand on top of the other tank during Meteor Fists. Nobody else should be near the tank when this happens. Doing so splits the damage of the Fists between the two tanks.

    Very true. You “can” single tank it (we do), but your tank and healers better be some of the best around. For the normal group I’d definately say two tanks makes it easier.
    .-= Adgamorix´s last blog ..OMG lrn2spl =-.

  9. Sarabian says:

    My anti-pug is being with a group of friends and when we wipe – we laugh about it. There is even a saying I hear that I have adopted: “Roll for blame”. Someone will /roll, and the next one does /roll 500 and the next is /roll 1000. The only time we disagree is when someone says “That was my fault.” Everyone insists that it was their personal noobness that wiped us, when in actuality the main reason we wipe doing a heroic or 10 man is we’re laughing so hard we can barely see the screen.

  10. Lady Jess says:

    Sidhe Devils is my antipug without a doubt:)

  11. Aericha says:

    I’m looking to get the Insane title for my shaman, and mentioned this in guild chat. I now have two people flooding my inbox with inscription decks for Darkmoon Faire rep, and someone leveling a rogue to help me farm lockboxes for Ravenholdt.

    @ “Stay out of the fire” — I’m convinced the Blizzard devs played “The floor is lava” too much as children.

  12. Edyion says:

    My anti-PuG is easy to sum up. Our guild is officially starting to run raids again so this past Saturday we took some new folks into Ulduar (first time we set foot in the place as a guild actually) and we proceed to face down Flame Levi with a lot of not knowing whats going on. As irritating as that might sound people learned quickly and not a lot of problem was had but as fun as that was the icing was something i wished i could have recorded. Once you hear the sound of a grown man squealing like a little girl on vent “NOOOO GET AWAY!!! DON’T CHASE MEEEEEEE!” and get a cramp in your side from laughing so hard its just really hard to want to deal with people getting upset over loot or somebody stepping the wrong way just once on a fight.

  13. argbot says:

    Anti-PuG to me means everyone in the team having a non-combat pet running behind them <3

  14. D says:

    @Wavemancali

    I’m in a fairly small and pretty social guild and so I pug a lot. I also pug late at night due to west coast home and east coast server. Generally I have good results with pugs so perhaps it’s late night FTW?

    This weekend I pugged Ulduar 10. It was only my second visit to Ulduar and we took down everyone up to Thorim. I’ve pugged everything up to ToC (including Koralon in VOA25 :) with generally good success and even when we weren’t successful it was fun and I learned.

    I also think you have to have a sense of humor about these things. Like the OS25 pug I was in where we had everything you can imagine. Have you ever seen Sarth tanked in circles? It’s freakin hilarious. The running commentary from a potty-mouthed fellow Brit on vent had me rolling around RL as well as flying in game due to Sarth’s tail swipe.

    I still love running with guildies, but pugs can be cool, and when they aren’t they can still be amusing.

  15. Amy says:

    My guild is my anti-pug. 95% of our raids are well-organized, everyone is prepared and we have loads of fun. The core of my guild was together for a long long time and they know each other IRL, me and several of my friends guild-merged a few months ago, and we feel totally at home. We have a mix of all personalities in the guild – the oh-so-serious raid leader, the guild clown, the guild “dad” and so on. We progress well and we get along and we have fun. All that makes my tummy hurt when I as much think about pugging. I’ve been kicked from a pug vault10 (ooOOOoo) because my druid alt had a blue ring. I’ve been denied loot in a pug cos the pug leader’s friend needed a piece of loot that I won the roll for. Now my attitude is “I’d rather miss a raid lock out period than pug”. The only thing I pug is heroic daily and that’s only when guildies aren’t available.

  16. Savvy-Savvage says:

    We’ve done guild functions where multiple generations of the same family are present and it’s true for 3 different families. We have several spouse combos, parent/child combos and one family with a grandfather, daughter and grandson all playing. These are antipugs me! Obviously the youngsters act better around their parents but boy do parents have to watch themselves around their kids. You don’t wanna have your 13 year old listening to you whine about a cape or something. Spouse combos are the trickiest. Either they are lobbying to get their partners loot or they are lobbying to get somebody else’s loot for their partner. Well, my guys don’t but I”m sure they are tempted : P

  17. Cellere says:

    On another note, Zanes’s PUG of Malygos achieved the 10-Man Tribute to Insanity (a server first).

    http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=20432624412&sid=1

  18. Mike says:

    It happened over the past few days. my guild has many members, but we have a lot of alts in there, and casuals, and such. We have a good 10man core group that has progressed well, 12/14 in ulduar and 5/5 in trial of the crusader as of last week. We finally downed faction champions last Wednesday, and decided to come back to it the next day. we did, and wiped once on the twins before they went down. then we did anub’arak with no wipes. so we decided to return to ulduar since we hadn’t done it yet that week, and downed 5 bosses in a little over an hour. Called it quits for that night. Goofed around over the weekend, went for the undying title and lost it on KT, oh well. Then tonight, we went into Onyxia, downed her first attempt, in just over 5 minutes combat time according to dbm. I mean, adds going down so long we waited for the next one because we were bored. She only got off 1 flame breath, and it didn’t hit anybody. Got an achievement for that :) Oh, by the way, I was the main tank for all of this. Which wouldn’t be that impressive except i hit 80 three weeks ago on Sunday. People really shouldn’t complain about gearing, 3 weeks and my warrior is one of the best geared in my guild with a gear score of 221. Anyways, that’s my story of an amazing week of raiding, and finally getting to see all the raids from a perspective besides ranged dps. It was a good week :)

  19. Mike says:

    whoops, *adds going down so quick we had to wait for the next one to spawn* lol, it’s kinda late.

  20. Morrighan says:

    The other night my wonderful guildie Rincmaster were setting up an Onyxia 10 run. I offered to come but said I’d rather bring an alt – healer or tank their choice. Now Rinc is a holy pala but he loves to tank. But because hes so very nice he let me bring my druid tank to her very first raid even though it meant he had to heal it.
    .-= Morrighan´s last blog ..Enchants and Item Enhancements for Ret Palas =-.

  21. Deliorion says:

    I belong to a raiding society (not a guild) – and recently was invited to the “elite” 10-man raiding unit within that society. It has been a true pleasure to raid with them – for example, last Wednesday: Trial normal (two “extra” achievements), VoA, Onyxia, Ulduar up and including Auriaya (we skipped Ignis, but did achievement on Flame Leviathan and hardmodes on Deconstructor and Iron Council.

    How much time did it take? A whopping three hours, including 10 min break. Trial was done in 38 minutes, for example. We had couple of deaths, but not a single wipe.

    That shows what difference it can make to raid with people, who know their class, know the fights, have a decent gear (I think average be.imba score would be around 600, GearScore around 5000) – and are willing to work as a group for common goal, even if it means lowering their DPS (hunter respeccing for Trueshot Aura etc). There is no way to achieve something like that with a PuG, even if you make the PuG from experienced raiders. Players won’t trust each other, the feeling of companionship won’t happen… the fun won’t happen.
    .-= Deliorion´s last blog ..Whooshing through Trial of the Crusader =-.

  22. My first ever 70 and then 80 was my Draenei priest. I raided at 70 with her but overall wasn’t happy with the experience (this is going somewhere btw). I then switched to a Shaman and got her into the 40′s before I left the game due to casual raiding becoming hardcore raiding and therefore impacting other aspects of my life too much. Wrath came out and I got that, got the Priest to 80 at the request of RL friends who wanted to play with me, then switched and finally got the Shaman to 80. I played my Shaman a lot and got through Naxx 10, OS 10 and 25, VoA 10 and 25 etc…. Then some things changed in my life and I needed to stop WoW, so I did. I came back around a month or so ago to fill the odd few hours I find to spare. I faction transferred my Hunter expecting to pick that up and slowly solo my way to 80 and solo as much content as I could. However, I didn’t hit it off straight away and for some reason decided to try my Priest. So, in I went, still in dungeon blues and completely out of practice with healing in Disc spec and then signed up to a Culling of Stratholme run. I warned the group before hand that I was out of practice and well, it wasn’t pretty. To be fair the tank wasn’t always the first to die the DPS got hit too which, over time, has led me to believe that perhaps it wasn’t entirely my fault. I then moved my Priest across the faction divide ,so my Draenei became a Blood Elf. First night of trying I didn’t get a group. Bit disappointed. Second night in LFG was an LFM request for UK and UP. I checked my achievements and I had done UK before, so, I should be able to do it again. I volunteer my services on my brand new level 80 Blood Elf Holy Priest hoping for a clean start and not stinking up the place. To make things interesting we did UP first, I was scared that it was going to be a wipe fest. It wasn’t, everyone performed their jobs properly and both instances went without any real hiccups, we even tried for achievements on many of the fights. I’d never seen any of these people before, I didn’t even consider myself appropriately geared for UP but still, we went in and we rocked the place. People knew their class and were playing it. I got 3 pieces of gear upgrades in those places including my first Wrath Epic. If I wasn’t going to bed after I’d have stayed for their proposed CoS run, I’m sure it would have gone much better than the last Alliance run I had.
    .-= ZombiePirateXXX´s last blog ..We Will Remember Them =-.

  23. Aindrelin says:

    There’s nothing quite like taking a tank through H UP for the first time, and finding yourself praying for the Red Sword to drop once you’ve downed Ymiron.

    In addition, there’s nothing quite like a priest healer with all the right buffs and an infinite supply of the best possible food for any situation, no matter how many times you die trying to get that one dang achievement.

  24. Nighthawque says:

    On my very first timed run of CoS I showed up in the instance and set focus to the tank and…realized he had 24k health. Up until that time I had been running with bear’s and dk in the mid 30′s. I was not very hopeful. Boy was I wrong. That guy was perfect. Every single pull was executed flawlessly. Every single mob was picked up exactly at the right time. The pace was perfect, fast enough to get the job done and slow enough to take care of the mana users. We made it with plenty of time to spare. He even was nice enough to ask if he could need on the shield from the last chest as it was a huge upgrade from his blue blacksmithing shield. That guy/girl had some skillz.

  25. Dirz says:

    My anti-pug is to play a tank:) I dont have bad groups on my tank, just whenever I try to play as a dps and dont have control do I have a bad experience:) Haven’t tried healing yet because I haven’t figured out my pally’s 2 spells;)

  26. Asara says:

    Any time I tank a run and have melee dps who know to GTFO when the mob starts spinning around. Or are just aware of The Bad in general, and don’t stand there expecting to be healed through whatever it is they’re dying to.

    Mostly it’s the little things, people pulling that one little trick out of their bag that makes the boss fight just a little easier, or even saves the day when things are going wrong. :)
    .-= Asara´s last blog ..Back to work… again??! =-.

  27. Delmonico says:

    I love Kelly’s Heroes. Just had to drop that before I finished reading the bearwall.

  28. Antje says:

    I love how loot works in my 10-man raid group. It’s kinda like a 10-man loot council (no painful DKP!), and we have zero drama. People are considerate and pass to others when it’s a bigger upgrade. If two or three people want an item, we just roll and accept the results, and nobody gets their knickers in a knot because we all know we’ll all get our loot eventually. It’s a smooth, well-oiled machine, and I love it!

  29. Nefernet says:

    Hi !
    Funny, my last blog post was about a win pug. I got some problems in my guild these days. I’m knew to it and no one seemed interrested in inviting me in their 10-mans last week. And I really badly wanted to finish my Ulduar achievements. Really bad. And see Algalon. Then I builded my own 10-man, grab another applicant not invited either in guild runs, found a friend who tanks like a god, and we went through our friendlists. But being recently transfered from another server, we didn’t have enough friends so we pugged the rest.
    It was one of the smoothest run I’ve ever made. Everybody had consumables and reagents, when wiping, people came back quickly and you never had to ask for rebuff. After one hour of rush through Ulduar, people began to talk a little on TS, and the second day (we did 3 runs : Ulduar cleaning, Yogg Saron wiping and 1 hour with Algalon) people were chatting and joking as if they were friends for weeks. It was amazing. I added many people to my friendlist. Basically, it was a total anti-pug Pug…

    It makes me want to leave the guild… But hopefully, maybe this week I will get into a guild-run, or make one…
    .-= Nefernet´s last blog ..Epic Pug =-.

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