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Posts with tag Pick-up-groups

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: The insomniac's dilemma

OK, so I have a weird sort of problem. When I can't sleep, I tend to run pickup groups, doing anything from starter Cataclysm dungeons to the Hour of Twilight heroics. I freely admit I go in there to cut loose, maybe get some shards out of the deal, and play around with specs that are suboptimal for raiding to see if I can shake them around and get some idea of how well they can perform. As an example, I'm learning that Single-Minded Fury can burst pretty high with the right cooldowns and gearing.

That's not my problem, however.

My problem is that I'm an irascible old grump who kind of enjoys it when a group is full of jerks so I can just be as big a jerk back. And lately, that's not happening. I've had nothing but good behavior from you guys. Even the runs where the tank can't hold aggro or the healer doesn't seem able to keep us up or the other DPSers seem to have forgotten where their buttons are, everyone's so apologetic and civil about it that I have to wonder: What happened to all the buttheads? I mean, I'm the guy who used to get heroics with tanks who had a racist macro on their Avenger's Shield! I'm the guy who couldn't zone into a dungeon without the tank asking me if I had a tank set on me, or the healer telling us all that he or she was simply too drunk to type and was gonna try and remember his or her keybinds.

Did those people all leave? Because lately, everyone's being so nice that I'm kind of confused. When I cut loose on Archibishop Benedictus, people go out of their way to compliment me. When I slapped on a shield and taunted the adds when the tank died on Queen Azshara, the group praised me. Praised. Who are you people, and what have you done with my usual pickup groups? If this keeps up, I'm going to have to be nice to people by default.

How are your pickup groups progressing?

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 Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King

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.

Read more →

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

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?

Read more →

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

Hi, my name is mandy*

Do you ever stop to think about the other players in WoW? The game attracts a wide range of folks, but odds are good many of them are remarkably similar to you in many ways. Sometimes it's hard to remember that there is a living being behind those pixels. Someone who is excited by triumphs and aggravated by mistakes. Oddly enough, we don't always treat them as real people.

Take for instance one of the PUGs I did this evening. Within 10 minutes of joining the group, the Hunter typed a vulgar joke in party chat. At this point I saw four options four options for dealing with it:

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Instances

Forum post of the day: I need that for my PvP set

I'm sure at some point in time we've all seen epic looting nightmares. More than once I've been hoping for a drop in an instance only to have another party member beat me on a need roll. Usually, though it's something they actually do need, at least as much as I do. Sometimes ninja looting is even an accident, but other times it is not.

Avirisa of Mannoroth is a might miffed that she was outrolled for a Commendation of Kael'Thas ... to a Hunter... for PvP. As a tank, she said he was running the instance to acquire that drop. Most responded that this behavior is part of what gives Hunters a bad name in the game (Huntard). Some blamed the original poster for inviting not only a Hunter, but a Night Elf Hunter to the group.

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Filed under: Hunter, Warrior, Items, Instances, Forums, Forum Post of the Day

Forum post of the day: Dreadful DPS declarations

The biggest frustration in a MMORPG is probably getting ganked at most inopportune moments. The next biggest aggravation has got to be playing with pick-up-groups. Sometimes we get lucky in choosing random players to instance with, but we've all got horror stories of out worst experiences with PUGs.

Ihaveaplan of Altarac Mountains started a thread for players to list 200 things you don't want to hear from your DPS. The original poster's initial complaint was the Warlock who left the group because the tank was fighting multiple mobs. Some other gems from this thread include:

  • Bizzerk of Laughing Skull, "Does anyone have damage meters?"
  • Zazzi of Kirin Tor, "Do any of you have another weapon? My sword broke."
  • Groxikor of Daggerspine, "I'm pretty good with bandages, can I heal?"
  • Misada of Dark Iron, "Hey guys, can someone resummon me, had to hearth to repair my gear."
  • Ovelita of Ner'zhul, "We don't need a healer. We have a shadow priest."

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Classes, Forums

Running PUGs for the guild

The PUG has been a subject of several discussions lately, on WoW Insider and elsewhere. Today WoWGrrl wrote about how PUGs might be used to help out your guild. I can hear you, gentle reader, exclaim from the other side of the blog, but I am in a guild so that I don't have to run PUGs, so that I will always have people to group with. Yes, I know, but hear me out.

WoWGrrl explains that PUGs are an excellent way to add new guild members to your roster, since for the most part they consist of people who have never grouped before running an instance together. I know from personal experience that much of my guild recruitment in the early days was based in PUGs: a few of us would run an instance, find a player with a great sense of humor who knew their class well, and we would invite them to join us. If we were charming enough as a group, proved we could work together, then every great once in a while that person deigned to join our guild.

Once you're in the guild, however, the tendency is to try to get guild-only runs. After all, you joined the guild for support, right? Only a guild is made up of people of varying levels and interests, and while sometimes guild runs will fall magically into place, more times than not you're left feeling like guild chat is your own worst version of the LFG. This is where the PUG comes in. Where the guild might only be on at certain times, looking to work on specific tasks, a PUG is more consistently available. I say this because mathematically, there are more people who are out of your guild than people in your guild.

Reading WoWGrrl's discussion has reminded me that PUGs can be useful tools even when you are in a guild. Heck, they even strengthen the guild itself when done consistently. I think I'll log in and start a recruiting PUG of my own.

Filed under: Guilds

Reviving the pugs

Relmstein recently talked about many people's least favorite concept in WoW: the PUG. The premise, it seems, is that because raiders don't need the gear, they are not running with pick-up-groups, and those that do need the gear tend to run with their friends. The looking for group module is therefore filled with people that don't have a friend's list full of associates willing to help them, and those that don't have the experience raiders do.

Now here is where I have to agree and then disagree. On one hand, it is true, raiders tend to not run the 5-mans, at least in my experience, because they already have the gear. But there are plenty of excellent players out there that don't raid. While raiders are working to be the best at their particular class for a specific purpose, it's awfully elitist to assume that just because I raid I am therefore a better player. A commenter on the article mentioned a very valid fact: being a good player doesn't only mean that you know your class inside and out. There are also the other pieces to consider, generosity with loot, patience with new players, the ability to communicate with the group. And also, who's to say that there aren't raiders out there that enjoy running instances with people they don't know simply for the joy of helping others?

Relmstien goes on to say that the changes to the reputation requirements for heroic keys and the addition of daily heroic quests will go a decent way toward luring the better players back into the 5-man instances. I'm not so sure about that, seeing as how heroic badges will be dropping in the 10-man instances as well. I don't know that there will be enough incentive to bring players back to the PUG.

Filed under: Instances

Breakfast Topic: Who should pull?

WoWGrrl's main is Hunter. She pulls for her group. No brainer, right? But then she rolled up a Warrior and found she was still acting as the puller. Same with her Mage.

She realized she was pulling because, well, she was good at it. In her mind, the Hunter should pull if they know what they are doing. When she pulls with her warrior, she has to build up rage and against multiple opponents, usually chase the mobs to get them off the clothies.

So the question is, if your designated puller isn't doing the job, do you pull yourself or just pull out of the group?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Instances

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