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  • jonthebaptis
  • Member Since May 13th, 2008

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Guest Post: Vetting puggers -- beyond GearScore and achievements {WoW}

Jul 18th 2010 10:12PM All this gear score hate. Here you go, here is a more balanced article.


There are almost countless ways to vet players and characters these days ranging from some very in depth add-ons, to linked achievements, to just plain luck. In truth the first step in vetting players is to educate yourself. If you leap before you look, or even leap before you know what you're looking for, you're in for some trouble.

Know what you're getting yourself into

Before you can know who and who not to take into your raids you have to know what the requirements truly are. There have been many times where someone has far too steep a requirement for the raid they plan on doing or far to lenient. This can potentially lead to disaster. Granted having a group of people that are over-geared for an encounter may seem like a boon, but in reality this can become more of a headache than what it's worth.

When you have to steep a requirement or unreasonable expectations you are firstly, going to take a much longer time finding folks that meet your requirement that are willing to take the time out for your raid, and secondly you may find that these people aren't quite as invested at your endeavor and have a potential for being a thorn in your side when something happens and the group wipes.

The inverse can be far worse a problem. Having inexperienced players or characters that simply do not have the gear to support the encounters can obviously lead to group failure and a splitting headache for the raid. The simple solution to these issues is to be familiar with minimum gear requirements and difficulty of the encounters you plan on doing, as well being familiar with not only the fights, but knowing how well you can explain them and how much patience you have for teaching those that aren't quite as familiar.

Use the tools available to you

There are many tools available to help in the endeavor of getting a solid group together and one isn't really better than the other. Add-ons such as Gear score and Elitist Group or the website Wow-Heroes.com are great tools along with the official World of Warcraft Armory and the achievement system. Some servers tend to favor one system over another but each system can be an extremely helpful tool if you know how to use them properly.

Many of these systems set ratings for a characters equipped gear and some even look at enchants. Many players will use this number alone to see if a character is qualified for the planned encounters. This is not a sure thing. These systems are tools that give you some of the information required to make your decision but are incapable of making the decision for you. A big problem with using these systems alone is that they can easily be cheated and most importantly with the current gear inflation it is very easy for an inexperienced player to almost be handed gear that will make them look far more desirable than they truly are.

Using these systems is a great way to set a baseline inspection of potential allies for you pick up group but the vetting process should not end there.

Educate yourself

A novice or lazy PUG leader will most likely stop here but this is a common mistake. The most important way to make sure you have a capable group is to educate yourself (at least on a very basic level) as to how each class works. You should know the basics as to how each class gears, enchants, and gems along with how each spec works. Many of the tools listed above can show you not only a character's gear and its item level but also the enchants and gems on the gear. Taking the extra few seconds to examine these details can be very telling as to the quality of player you are looking for.

When you're examining these details look for things such as: Are they hit/defense/expertise capped? What quality of gems and enchants are they using? Are they in a viable PvE spec? Is everything enchanted/gems appropriately? Are they using gear that makes sense for their spec/class?

The most important thing to do in truth is to simply ask the right questions. If you have any concerns feel free to ask a player why he specced or gemmed a certain way, or how familiar he or she is with the raid you intend to do. The answers you get will also be very telling as to the quality of player you are planning on inviting to your group.



It doesn't end once you zone!


Now you're ready to raid! Well, not quite. The vetting process shouldn't end once the group is full and the summons have gone out. The only sure fire way of knowing how good a player is and if they can handle the content is to watch them play. Most raids have enough trash before anyone is saved to the instance to have enough time to evaluate each player. Watch how each player is playing, look at damage and healing meters, and most importantly ,use your discretion. If you feel a player is lacking, let them know your concerns in a polite whisper.

None of these tools and methods will guarantee you a successful pug and none of these methods should be used alone, but with some common sense you can see some dead bosses and some shiny new purple gear to add to your collection.





BlizzCon in the rearview {WoW}

Aug 27th 2009 8:25PM You apparently don't understand how game development works. Blizzard doesn't have just one development team that has to share time over each game they own. They are separate teams that work on different parts of a single game. SC and Diablo have their own teams working at their own pace. WoW's expansions have nothing to do with the development of those games.

The sin of Tab targeting {WoW}

Jul 7th 2009 11:15AM Tab targeting is a sin now? I'm sorry but you try to mouse click your target in the Arena in the Thorim encounter. As been stated you can back up to your previous selection with shift + tab.

I'm usually enjoy the articles especially on Tuesday morning, but this one really seems to be reaching.

What would be nice is if blizzard actually fixed tab targeting to actually target the enemy nearest to you, as opposed to the random npc that might be next to you or next to the npc next to you, or nothing at all. Grrrr.

Ulduar nerfs and Blizzard's new raid philosophy {WoW}

May 2nd 2009 5:19PM Awesome now there is less of a reason for people to stop being bads.

Varian Wrynn is Right, Part III {WoW}

Apr 26th 2009 4:38PM What about us Blood Elves. We had our homeland ruined and while racist alliance generals put us on the front lines to die. Then when we needed help the most we were shunned by the alliance and cast out.

Both sides have their evils and wrongs. I for one am proud to be a member of the horde!

It's kinda cool repeatedly kicking your enemy in the teeth. I guess we're winning.

Great guild traditions and where they come from {WoW}

Apr 22nd 2009 7:50PM When we need to refocus after much fail, "TheFinal Countdown" is played over vent to bring us back together.

We're famous for shutting areas down before raid time, "closing" to allies. "Portal's Closed"

One of our DK's called DMB a crutch, so anytime anyone brings up a buff, addon, or lag, we respond with, "Might is a crutch" "Healing is a crutch."

Cult of Reason Tichondrius US

Racism in arena names {WoW}

May 13th 2008 11:48PM Interesting article. My 2's team is named "Racism is the New Pink". Never thought about the truth of that name. I'm leet.