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Posts with tag Pick-Up-Group

Breakfast Topic: Do you still PUG?

The idea of playing in a PUG -- or a random pick up group -- was once a painful one. You might spend ages in chat trying to find random players willing to join you for a dungeon only to get stuck spending hours trying to successfully navigate the dungeon... or even longer if you were unlucky enough to be trying to run Blackrock Depths. Grouping could be painful, which meant you tended to stick with guildmates or friends for dungeon runs that wouldn't leave you wanting to tear your hair out.

Of course, in today's game, the dungeon finder and raid finder make getting groups together a simple task, and dungeon running itself has been streamlined to make it easier for random groups to succeed. With these changes, it's gotten a lot easier to run a random dungeon, and so some of the stigma around PUGs seems to have faded -- or perhaps just transferred to LFRs.

For today's discussion, I'm wondering: do you play WoW in random groups? Or do you rather stick with guildmates and friends?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Do you PUG?

I have a love/hate relationship with pugging. I'll have a mediocre to wonderful time, random after random, and then one horrific experience makes me quit PUGs for months. I have a thick skin for writing on the internet ... er, let me rephrase that. I now have a thick skin for writing on the internet for over five years. But playing with pick up groups for the same amount of time still hasn't toughened me up.

Battlegrounds? No problem. I'm not sure why. The language and verbal attacks are often much worse there, and I know that's why many people stay away. But I guess it's more impersonal there and much more common. Maybe that's why I can handle it so easily.

It is definitely much more personal in a 5-man group. That's certain. It's not "you all suck," but "you suck, Laurel." If I'm really not doing well, there are better ways to tell me, obviously. More often, however, the blamer is the one with the problem. "Learn to heal!" -- says the rogue pulling the entire room while the tank is waiting for the casters to regen mana. "[expletive deleted]," he goes on to say. These experiences really bother me and I just can't deal for a while.

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Your evil, animatronic late-night pugging is back

Why hello, insomnia. Fancy seeing you around here again. It's been what, a week? I guess that's enough sleep. As is my wont, I tend to log onto WoW and do ridiculous things when I'm tired, like run Dungeon Finder groups over and over again. I don't need the points, as I usually cap valor just by raiding, and I don't need the gear. Sometimes I tank, sometimes I DPS. (I have yet to figure out how to queue my warrior as a healer.) I've figured out, to some extent, why I do this.
  1. I test out build ideas in PuGs. That prot spec with all the threat talents, or the other one that cherry picks for Second Wind and Blood Craze. (Yeah, I tanked with that one. It worked OK, but man, I missed Blood and Thunder.) My fury spec that has both SMF and TG for no good reason aside from switching between Gurthalak and Souldrinker every few minutes. (Gurth's way better, in case you were wondering.)
  2. I like killing things in video games. No real surprise there.
  3. I indulge my transmog jones. There's something about running Well of Eternity in tier 2, then going back and transmogging into level 40 greens and running it again. It amuses me.
  4. I get to feel like a superhero. Seriously, a lot of the time I get dropped into a run halfway through that's struggling on Azshara or Murozond, and I can just kind of go completely and utterly bonkers on said boss. Yes, one of the reasons we collect all this gear is so we can feel powerful. I don't go around posting meters or bragging; I often say very little aside from an occasional joke.
Number 4 up there is the easiest one to be obnoxious about, so I try never to be that guy going on about how awesome his DPS is or pulling threat because he couldn't wait for the tank. Yeah, I could probably do more if I opened up sooner, but I don't feel like it's necessary. I'm there because it feels good to show up and help lift a group over obstacles, not to become an obstacle. I did enjoy the one group where everyone was very encouraging to see exactly what I could do, though. It was fun to just cut loose on Dawnslayer for once.

How about y'all? Ever up at ungodly hours? If so, and you see that guy above, he might be me. (I change looks by the hour.)

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm has destroyed Azeroth as we know it; nothing is the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion, from leveling up a new goblin or worgen to breaking news and strategies on endgame play.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics

The cynic's guide to World of Warcraft

We tend to be very careful while composing articles here at WoW Insider. We're always mindful that not everyone plays the game in the same way, or has the same experience on different servers or factions, but every so often a certain madness seizes us and we feel the urge to ... tell the truth. In that vein, I am pleased (sort of) to present The Cynic's Guide to World of Warcraft.

This article owes a heavy debt to Ambrose Bierce's The Devil's Dictionary. If you want to see a real master at work, read that.

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Filed under: Humor

The Daily Quest: Dungeon finder tips and tricks

Here at we're on a Daily Quest (which we try to do every day, honest) to bring you interesting, informative and entertaining WoW-related links from around the blogosphere. Is there a story out there we ought to link or a blog we should be following? Just leave us a comment and you may see it here tomorrow!

Because of dungeon finder, we're all PUGging a lot more these days -- for better and for worse. Let's just say that if today's TDQ covered horrible tales from the dungeon finder, it would be ten times as long, at the very least. But fortunately for all of us, WoW-bloggers around the world have some great advice to offer on how to improve your PUG experience.

Filed under: The Daily Quest

Use brute force, Luke

Usually, I am the 'perfectionist tank' in a run. I want things to go perfectly: I want to never lose aggro, I want the DPS to all attack the proper target, I want the healer to, well, okay, I mostly just want the healer to heal us, I'm not looking for anything fancy there. As long as a healer seems to be casting healing spells I'm willing to cut her or him a lot of slack, especially in dungeons like Halls of Reflection where people often die through not moving out of giant, inky pools of blackness on the floor that they stand in as if they were instead duck ponds full of adorable baby ducklings. There are no ducklings in the fetid wells of corruption, guys.

Last night, however, I had a sort of small revelation. First and foremost, I was stressing myself way the heck out over a pick up group with four folks I was likely never to see again. Secondly, the faster you go in a PuG, the less likely perfection is to be attainable, and if four people want speed and one guy wants flawless, you'll get very fast flaws. So that meant I've come up with an entirely new tanking philosophy for the new five mans, and an entirely new way to gear for them. I'd talk about both.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, News items, Instances, Classes, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

More dungeon finder tips

Like many of you, I've been spending the last few days happily hitting up the new dungeon finder over and over again. The rewards are pretty amazing for the time involved, and the whole system is usually pretty painless. I've picked up a few tips and tricks along the way, on top of what was covered in Saturday's post by Mike Schramm, and here's what I have to share.

  • If your dungeon pops and then gives you the dreaded "additional instances cannot be launched," you can try again by simply selecting "teleport to dungeon" from the DF menu on your minimap (the eye icon).
  • If you have a full group (of guildies, say) and want to do a particular instance, you can use the DF to queue up for just that instance, and thereby gain the ability to teleport straight there. Sure beats flying.

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Filed under: Patches, Instances

Patch 3.3: Raid Browser Guide

While dungeons are going for that new-fangled cross-realm fad, the raid system is staying old school by keeping raiding local to your own realm. However, that isn't to say they're behind the times. Patch 3.3 brings a fresh look for the looking for raid tool called the Raid Browser. While we have covered it in its infancy on the PTR, we figured another look wouldn't hurt. So, I present to you, the new and improved World of Warcraft Raid Browser (now with more usefulness).

Patch 3.3 is the last major patch of Wrath of the Lich King. With the new Icecrown Citadel 5-man dungeons and 10/25-man raid arriving soon, patch 3.3 will deal the final blow to Arthas.'s Guide to Patch 3.3 will keep you updated with all the latest patch news.

Patch 3.3: The Dungeon Finder Guide

Patch 3.3 is here and the old looking for group interface is now gone. The old heroic dailies? Gone. The reputation dungeon daily? Gone. The achievements for doing all of those dailies are now Feats of Strength, because if you didn't have them before, you'll never have them now.

In their place, we get the ability to queue for dungeons in much the same way that you normally queue for battlegrounds. We get the ability to almost instantaneously have our group put together and be teleported directly inside the instance. For those of you who just recently hit 80, there is no crazy GearScore requirements (thank the Earth Mother), no insane dps requirement, and no achievement checking. It removes all of those things that really stink about trying to find a group to get gear from heroics.

Let's take a better look at this new feature.

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Filed under: Patches, Guides, Wrath of the Lich King

Patch 3.3 PTR: New Looking for Raid interface

As some of you have seen, we've been covering the new Looking of Group interface coming in patch 3.3. It is going to allow cross-realm queuing for dungeons as well as providing a new interface for your heroic dungeon dailies. As some of you have noticed, this new system does not appear to currently support raid groups. After some digging, we were able to pull up the new raid queue interface and take a look at it.

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Patch 3.3 PTR: New LFG interface

In the latest build of the PTR, Blizzard has included the new Looking for Group interface they've got in the works. As they had announced in at BlizzCon, the recent fix for the "Additional Instances" errors that were plaguing us a few months ago also adds the ability for them to allow cross-realm LFG. A new feature usually means a new interface and the trend proves true. It incorporates a lot of the long asked for features as well as removes several older features from the panel.

They've taken the current system that allows you to select your available roles (healer, tank, or dps) as well as select if you're willing to lead the instance. One thing that should help out is the ability to earn emblems as well as gold for doing just a completely random pug each day. While some of you might be groaning at this thought, they are willing to reimburse you for the inconvenience with 68G for completing a random level 80 heroic. This money scales based on how much of your party is random and how much is premade. The less random your party is the lower the cash return.

It's still early in the PTR and several features, like the ability to use the LFG panel to look for a raid, don't appear to be completely finished yet. I've included a gallery of what the new interface looks like thus far.

Patch 3.3 is the last major patch of Wrath of the Lich King. With the new Icecrown Citadel 5-man dungeons and 10/25-man raid arriving soon, patch 3.3 will deal the final blow to the Arthas.'s Guide to Patch 3.3 will keep you updated with all the latest patch news.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Instances, Screenshots, Galleries, Wrath of the Lich King

Forum post of the day: Sorting out the BADS

Hi everyone, after a short hiatus for guild building and soul searching I'm back to writing on the WoW Insider team. Despite growth in my guild I still find myself picking up folks for heroics and some raids. I've had some good experiences and some terrible ones.

Abberforth of Shadow Council offered up a "Basic Assumption and Discernment System. this handy, though tongue-in-cheek guide to selecting members for a PUG. He uses simple assumptions in a players initial presentation of self to determine if a player is a good candidate for invitation. These guidlines warn players to be cautious of Elves, Death Knights, and folks with untypable or unintelligible names.

Remember that this guide is for amusement only. There are several other factors that go into good PUG players- like do they run into Nexus when you invite them for Occulus?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Instances, Humor, Forum Post of the Day

Insider Trader: Who keeps the shards?

Insider Trader is your inside line on making, selling, buying and using player-made products.

In the Burning Crusade, an Enchanter's job in a raid or dungeon was to disenchant the boss drops that no one wanted into Large Prismatic Shards, and the entire group would roll for them.

This was considered the standard, and was the fairest way to divide up the loot. Instead of rolling on the bind on pick-up items that were not wanted, in order to sell them to a vendor for profit or to help pay for the repair bill, they were turned into something more useful. Prismatics sold for more at auction than a vendor would pay, and the shards could be saved for when the characters needed something enchanted.

All of this changed in Wrath of the Lich King. Suddenly, many Enchanters were acting like anyone who expected to roll for shards were selfish and clueless, and it has since become the norm for the Enchanter to keep all of the shards.

This week, I'll be discussing the reasons behind the change, and reassessing just how fair the change really is.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Expansions, Features, Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Leveling, Making money, Enchants, Insider Trader (Professions), Wrath of the Lich King

WoW Rookie: Playing in a group

New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players to the resources they need to get acclimated. Send us a note to suggest a WoW Rookie topic.

You're madly in love with your new character. You've polished off the early zones and boast a couple of handfuls of talent points. Your professions are coming along nicely, and you've been spending a little time poking around on various WoW web sites to learn more about your class and the game. Yet you're still feeling a little insecure around other players. Shouldn't you be running instances with groups by now? How are you supposed to know what to do?

If groping towards grouping leaves you feeling a little intimidated – we've got your back. How to get into a group, what to do once you're in one, and how to conduct yourself (and what to expect from others) to make lasting friends who'll want to group up again and again ... after the break.

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Filed under: Tips, Tricks, How-tos, Instances, WoW Rookie

Breakfast Topic: Calling it quits

If you've ever played in a group or run a dungeon, then you know the nuisance and frustration of playing in a bad group. I'm sure most of us have been there -- a dungeon run that seems a never-ending string of wipes, a PVP group that's unable to stick together long enough to accomplish any objectives, and the inevitable repair bills that arise from a group of players that doesn't quite mesh. At this point in my healing career, I practically never group with people I don't know. Too many things can go wrong and any rewards that might come from running an instance aren't worth the sanity that would be lost by trudging onward after the fifth or sixth or seventh or eighth wipe. (And even sticking with people you know doesn't always lead you to pain-free groups -- I'll just say that Loken and I are never on friendly terms.) But a thousand complants about bad group experiences aside, when you're unfortunate enough to find yourself in a bad group, how do you know when to cut your losses and call it quits? Do you flee at the first sign of trouble? Hang in until the group leader calls it quits? Or do you have some other breaking point?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Instances

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