Cassie and I have been in quite a few PUGs lately, doing Karazhan on the Kael’thas server.
And I have a few thoughts on running them I’d like to share.
Aside from our one, notably late night session, Kara PUGs usually get broken up into two parts.
These are PUGs, in that there are members in one instance from multiple guilds. It’s a pick up group. Someone says, “Hey, I’d like to run Karazhan”, and they check with their guild to see how many are up for it. Then they check with their friends in other guilds to see if any of them are up for it. And then they check to see if anyone in their friends GUILDS are up for it.
And then, if they find themselves short by one or two classes, and shuffling around each others’ mains and asts doesn’t yield up the right balance of classes… the call goes out in a major city Trade channel, “LF 2 more, DPS and Heals for Kara”.
It’s a PUG. It’s not exactly sitting in LFG for a Heroic set to auto-join and finding out what you’re gonna get, though. But yeah, it’s still a PUG.
What I’m finding funny is the elitist attitude I keep seeing about us being in a Kara PUG. “Oh, I’d never dream of doing that, PUGs are terrible. I would never waste my time in one of those.”
It amuses me a great deal. If I’m having a good time, and Cassie is having a good time… why are other people so scandalized? Even if we’re not getting loot.
I saw someone ask what loot dropped for us in one, and when I replied “Oh, none.”, they seemed to think that was a sign it was a bad run. The question itself is funny, though, because there simply ARE NO drops for Windburn in Kara. Tons of stuff I can buy with the badges, though. But yeah, invite Windburn along, that’s one less competitor for your loot, lol.
After that amazing run several weeks ago, Cassie doesn’t need anything from Kara anymore, either. She’d like to see the shoulders drop in Chess sometime, but we’d rather run Heroic Magisters for the shoulders off Kael’thas if we’re talking a loot run.
So why are we still going back in if a PUG is available on the weekends?
We run Kara because we don’t run things all week, even though we want to. We are getting badges, which is always darn nice and will inevitably result in upgrades sooner or later. We are having lots of fun playing together, we both really enjoy the fights in there.
And we are meeting cool people on our server.
It really does blow my mind a bit about the prejudice against PUGs. I’ve talked about bad 5 mans before, sure they can be frustrating, especially when the random people you meet are immature or outright offensive.
But a run with friends of friends… that doesn’t really qualify, does it? And if you play with 8 other people, and three of them are complete asshats, heck let’s say that somehow almost none of the others are fun to play with… are you seriously telling me you are burdened with so many friends that finding just one cool person that is fun to run with, making just one more new friend is such a chore? It’s just not worth your time?
A lot of folks want to do Karazhan these days, because there are so many outstanding rewards that require lots of badges. So there are, at least on the weekends, many server PUGs recruiting in Trade channel. I’ve seen plenty of PvP geared folks, some brand new 70s in greens and blues, and I’ve seen folks come in wearing all Tier 5 and some Tier 6.
You get all sorts. And most of them are aware that they will be playing with a bunch of different people, and they are willing to be more patient to help make the run a success.
These runs take time. They often take a very long time from the start of forming until actually having ten and good to go. And sometimes you get a bunch of folks that come in for a while and then real life comes up and they have to leave and the run stops while you try to find someone new to fill their spot.
Hey, real life happens. If you are so short on time that this kind of starting and stopping is too frustrating for you… the fault is your own for having unreal expectations while trying to herd a bunch of cats. Organize an all-guildie run that you can control better, if you want a shorter, tightly controlled run. If you can’t… then you should be grateful for the opportunity to be on the raid in the first place.
It’s one reason I like to play Windburn in the PUGs, because there is almost always a new tank or off-tank gearing up, Windshadow sure as heck doesn’t need the drops or badges, and I can apply damage, group heals and mana regen to the raid… and if something really difficult is stopping the group I can offer up a geared tank to switch in and help out.
You get out of a run what you bring to it. If you walk in with a chip on your shoulder, expecting to be surrounded by asshats, noobs and other people you consider your inferiors, with an attitude of elitism and arrogance, just there because you are lowering yourself to mingle with the scum to get your badges… yeah, I imagine the run is going to be pretty miserable. And you’re probably going on my ignore list. And I guarantee I’ll be laughing my butt off at you later.
We have gone in lately with our eyes open, looking to interact more with the guilds and people of Kael’thas. We want to run more Sidhe Devils guild runs in Karazhan, and I have an eye towards meeting more folks and making more friends that might like to fill in the two or three slots in a guild run we may have open on a weekend until more folks can get leveled or geared up. We have the interest in the guild to do a regular run… we just don’t have the people.
So, while we’re not recruiting, Cassie and I are seeking out other small guilds of cool casual people to form alliances with.
And whether you are a player wanting to find a nice guild to call your home, a guild master seeking out new potential recruits, or a group of guild officers looking for other guilds to form an alliance with so there are more folks that share your attitude to have fun with without losing your own guilds’ identity, actually running with people in high stress situations is a PERFECT way of finding out if this is someone you enjoy playing with.
Especially when they don’t know that you’re watching them on a ‘tryout’ run.
Sure, lots of progression guilds have ‘tryout’ runs that prospective recruits have to go on. And do you think they are being themselves, or are they maybe on their best behavior?
I know that, on one run, we found out for ourselves that one player would never be invited to play with us in the future. We saw how he acted, and we were genuinely disgusted. He was the exception, the lone asshat we have so far encountered. Wow, was he bad.
But we also met and added to our friends lists many players that were not just skilled in their class, but genuinely fun to play with, with good attitudes.
Funny thing is, where they were on a Damage Meter, or what their gear or spec were, didn’t come into it.
Did they have a good, fun, positive attitude? Were they fun to play with? Were they serious when it came to being prepared themselves, and being ready for the other players, and did they show respect for the other players on the run? Were they arrogant about being in a PUG and give commands on what to do, or were they helpful with suggestions on what they had done on prior runs, and looked to help folks make up their own plans on the current run, so it was done together as a team?
We have talked about forming an alliance with one small guild, a group of folks we haven’t really run with at all. And it’s been that ‘not having really hung out with them’ thing that has been in the way. The one person we talk with from their guild is very cool, but we never talk to anyone else in the guild. We don’t know anyone else over there at all.
But we are also now talking to another guild that we have run with in Kara PUGs a few times, because we like them and have fun running with them. They’re on our friends list. And we are exploring actual means, such as the Addon “Guild Alliance”, to streamline the way we can integrate people from another guild into our lives without losing our own sense of identity.
You get out of the game what you are willing to put in. And if you are willing to open your mind to accepting that you will be meeting a lot of different people that have their own ways of doing things, and that things will take a lot longer than you might like, and that some folks will inevitably be immature, you might just find that there are gems of great beauty hidden in the muck.
And you might also find that there is, in the end, very little muck after all.
But unless you wade on in, there is NO WAY you’re ever going to find out.