Gamers on the Street logs onto U.S. servers to get the word from the front on what's going on in and around the World of Warcraft.
When I popped onto the Thrall realm recently to visit with players for Gamers on the Street, I had intended to talk to players about how the Wrath of the Lich King will offer the same instances in both 10-man and 25-man sizes. But as message after message from players seeking heroic groups or group members scrolled through my chat window – none of them stating "no blues" up front, which players list right up in your face on the realms where I play – I knew I needed to follow up. Do players on Thrall simply assume heroic players possess a certain level of gear? Do they plan to carry weaker players? Does the heroic community only group with others they know? I flipped back to WoW Insider for recent insights and found tips for beginners to heroics and pointers toward the easiest heroics, but nothing that offers players ideas on how to actually get into a heroic group.
So Gamers on the Street hit the street to investigate.
Wake, Human Warrior <Torrent>
We first spied Wake in chat, offering to tank for any heroic. A quick look at his gear was enough to show that he wasn't in danger of suffering from undergear-itis, so we wondered how tough he usually found getting into a PuG for heroics.
Gamers on the Street: Hi Wake, this is WoW Insider. We're trying to find out how players on this server handle heroic PuGs. Do most PuGs here require excellent gear? Do groups take players with blues?
Wake: Well, everyone's got to start somewhere -- and if it be blues and greens, then yah, sure, why not? Usually if you know how to play your class, you will work up the epics sooner or later.
What about you -- have you done a lot of heroics yourself?
Wake: Heh ... yah.
But you're open to taking players with less advanced gear?
Wake: Sure. As long as they know what they are doing, gear isn't a factor.
Many players seem to feel you need to be in purples already before tackling a heroic.
Wake: Haha. Well, those are the ones who are lazy and don't like to play their class as well as it should be played.
Do most heroic PuGs here share the same outlook, do you think? Or do other players tend to be a little pickier about gear?
Wake: Lots of people on this server seem to be lazy and want things done for them, and lots don't understand that it doesn't just get handed to you.
Do you think that's because Thrall is an older server?
Wake: Never really thought about it, but that seems pretty logical.
Fair enough. Thanks for your thoughts, and good luck with your heroic!
Smokedogg, Human Paladin <Blood Sweat and Tears>
Smokedogg, the GM of <Blood Sweat and Tears>, answered our call for more feedback. With a number of 70s who've run heroics and with experience making sure the players in his guild are well geared and on the right track, he was able to offer some astute observations about Thrall's heroic scene.
Do players here generally screen pretty hard? On some servers, heroics are considered speed badge runs and players in blues who need the gear never get a chance.
Smokedogg: I won't take anyone who ain't in at least all 70 blues. No blues are fine but not for all heroics. I think SH, SV, Slabs and Arc, you want a group with a good portion of their gear being epics, whereas Ramps is easy and blues are ok.
Do you think this server is especially hard to get a heroic pug on, or fairly reasonable?
Smokedogg: Heroics are easy to PuG here 'cause of the high population of the server.
Some servers in the same situation are snobs about it, though, and want to do speed runs with epic-geared players only.
Smokedogg: Yeah. As a GM, I find that doesn't teach the players good gaming.
Smart tactic. Any tips for players trying to break into heroics?
Smokedogg: Get all your level 70 blues from higher regular dungeons such as Arc, SLabs, SV and SH. I take players into Kara with blues.
Whoa, wait a minute. There are groups now that want something more than blues for Kara?
Smokedogg: As long as they have all level 70 items (blue) enchanted properly, there is no reason they can't succeed in Kara. And gems, too -- they should (have) blue gems in blue gear; nothin' lower.
So are there a lot of players on Thrall doing Kara who are just after badges or to backfill one or two pieces?
Smokedogg: Some are there for badges. Some need one or two pieces as slight upgrades.
So not many players actually at that progression level, then?
Smokedogg: There is a large amount of 'toons on this server in SSC or beyond.
Interesting stuff. What's your guild working on now, progression-wise?
Smokedogg: TK ATM; started last week. Haven't gotten Void yet, although we got him (to) 8%. LOL
Well here's to better luck this week. Oh, and good luck with your heroics!
Gamers on the Street goes out to talk to players live on the realms every Monday. Learn more about what the typical WoW player -- the guy next to you at the mailbox, or the bank character you just bought some primals from -- thinks about what's going on in the World of Warcraft today.