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Posts with tag pickup

Breakfast Topic: Is silence golden in PUGs?

PUGs. We've all done them. In my guild, puggers are some of the most complained-about people in the game. Much as they are probably perfectly reasonable, lovely people, something about being put into a group of randomly selected strangers to perform a cooperative task doesn't always bring out the best in players.

5-man Dungeon Finder PUGs follow a predictable pattern through patches. At the beginning of the patch, when the content is fresh and new and (in some cases) difficult, puggers are talkative, helpful and generally more friendly. You just wiped to Queen Azshara? "Hey," a DPSer might say, "we should kill the Hand of Azshara as priority." "Ah, I see," the tank replies. "I didn't know -- sorry, I'll put a skull on it."

Now, that may well be either my being lucky with a PUG I was healing or my memory distorting past events. However, it seems that as patches progress, talking in PUGs becomes ever rarer and ever less kind. At this point, you're lucky to get a "hi" at the start of your PuG, and if anyone does talk about the Hand of Azshara, it's most likely just someone spammming a macro that yells "HAND." I think the same behavior holds true in the Raid Finder, too.

As you may have noticed, I am a talkative soul and often try to chat in PUGs. I'm generally ignored ... but it hasn't stopped me yet! So would I drive you round the bend? Are you just there to get a job done and don't care for pleasantries or making a connection with strangers you'll likely never encounter again? Or do you long for a bit more conversation? Is silence golden in PUGs?

Also, a personal gripe -- is it so hard to reply "r" when asked "r"?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Drama Mamas: Spoilsport speed demons

Dodge the drama and become that player everyone wants in their group with the Drama Mamas. Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are real-life mamas and experienced WoW players -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your server. We're taking your questions at DramaMamas (at) WoW (dot) com.

What happens when the Dungeon Finder matches up a group of players with the right mix of roles but the wrong mix of goals? Who "wins" when veteran players want to speed-run a lower-level instance, while the new players want to savor every surprise and puzzle over every trick? Lisa and Robin are on different sides of the fence this week. No matter which philosophy rings true for you, it's something worth agreeing on with the rest of the group at the beginning of the run.

Dear Drama Mamas: Having played a mage for the last 18 months, I decided to level my first alt, a priest. I ran into unexpected drama problems running my priest in the entry level instances using the random Dungeon Finder. You've offered excellent commentary on issues arising in endgame instances. I am soliciting your insight on conflict unique to the low-end random instances.

In contrast to endgame instances, where gear issues arise, random entry-level instances are mixing highly experienced players with people who are new to World of Warcraft. The principal conflict that arises is the first group wants to get geared and leveled as quickly as possible. The new players are there to experience what the instance offers. The first wants to run the instance quickly, the second need time. Regards, Anonymous

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves, Instances, Features, Leveling, Drama Mamas

WoW Rookie: The fresh 80's guide to getting started in five-mans

New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players to the basics of a good start in the World of Warcraft. For links to all our tips, tricks and how-to's, visit WoW.com's WoW Rookie Guide.

Level 80: You're reached the beginning of the end. It's never been easier to take your character to epic levels of gear and adventure. Whether you're five-manning for its own sake or gearing up along the path to raiding, we've got the tips to help you make the most of your level 80 group experience. If you're so new to level 80 (or still working your way there) that you're not sure what to tackle and where to turn first, read Level 80: Now what?. Once you've got a handle on the available options, it's time to tackle the wide world of Wrath's five-man instances.

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

Drama Mamas: Mismatched ambitions in the Dungeon Finder

Dodge the drama and become that player everyone wants in their group with the Drama Mamas. Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are real-life mamas and experienced WoW players -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your server. We're taking your questions at DramaMamas (at) WoW (dot) com.

Last week's discussion on how (and how not) to offer advice to underperforming Dungeon Finder groupmates garnered hundreds of comments and reader e-mails. Whether you choose to kick underperformers or to press on, it's how you handle the situation that makes the group (and you) worth being around. We aren't alone in feeling that softening the barrage of criticism that seems to be going around is the real matter at hand.

"I was so pleased to read your last column about PUG drama with the new Dungeon Finder," wrote in reader Necrodancer of EU Terokkar, "but I was really disappointed to see that most of the commenters were discussing what DPS and gear requirements are required for this or that Heroic, rather than how we behave towards casual or less experienced players in PUGs. DPS and gear requirements may well be up for debate, but what isn't up for debate is that we should be treating each other in a friendly and respectful manner.

"The reason I'm writing is this: please, please stick with this issue for just a little longer. A worrying attitude is spreading through the community that it's perfectly ok to be rude, abusive and cruel to players whose only crime is playing WoW less frequently than the hardcore set. A good hardcore player should recognise that not everyone is going to play the game the same way they do. They can't expect every PUG to be full of power-players decked out in Tier Bazillion gear and pumping out 5K DPS in every fight. To them I say have patience, be nice and above all, remember that it's all for fun."

And so we come to this week's question from a Dungeon Finder fan who's feeling a bit "Abused and Confused."

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, WoW Social Conventions, Features, Drama Mamas

Spiritual Guidance: How to be the perfect pickup group priest



Every week (usually), Spiritual Guidance will offer practical insight for priests of the holy profession. Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a UI and addons blog for WoW.
Too bad he was too busy running heroics to come to the aid of the King!

With the new dungeon finder tool released, I felt it was a good idea to write up how a priest should handle themselves in instances with a group of players they don't know. Once I started using the system, I became exposed to a large variety of different personalities, skill levels and gear levels. Quite the experience grouping with players packing gear ranging from Trial of the Grand Crusader to the random hunter wielding the grey bow of death.

My approach to pugging has not been that different since the pre-dungeon tool era when players would randomly form up in groups for whatever the heroic daily was. After a while, I stopped doing heroics because I didn't need the emblems anymore. In the end, I had to re-learn and remember some of the core philosophies I held onto when I dived back into the world of running heroic dungeons again.

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Filed under: (Priest) Spiritual Guidance

WoW Rookie: PUGging without the bad apples


New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players to the basics of a good start in the World of Warcraft. Send us a note to suggest a WoW Rookie topic, and be sure to visit WoW.com's WoW Rookie Guide for links to all our tips, tricks and how-to's.

PUGs (PickUp Groups), which are groups of players that come together on the fly to run instance groups or raids, are a fact of life for most WoW players. Especially in today's WoW, when instances fly by more quickly than ever before (a quick TotC before dinnertime, anyone?), PUGs help you accomplish your quest, gear and achievement goals when you can't run them with a regular group or guild. And now that most players are concentrated in endgame content, PUGs are likely to be the only way you'll get a shot at running earlier instances as intended, with a group of the appropriate level.

Sounds like a winner ... So why do PUGs get such a bad rap? Mostly, it's the bad apple theory – but as Donny Osmond warbled so winningly above, "one bad apple don't spoil the whole bunch, girl." In a Massively Multiplayer Online RPG like WoW, you shouldn't be afraid to get involved with other players. Let's see how you can dig into PUGs without biting into (or being) the worm.

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Filed under: Tips, How-tos, Instances, Features, Raiding, WoW Rookie

BlizzCon 2008: Fun in the badge pickup line


We've all got our badges for BlizzCon now -- badge pickup was a little less chaotic than last year, if memory serves us correctly (though they really need to split up the "S" names -- our line was longer by three times as much as any of the others). There were lots of people waiting outside right before they opened the convention center at 4pm, but once they opened up the doors, things moved quickly. We didn't notice any recognizable Blizzard staff around, but we've heard rumblings from vendors that they're setting up inside, and there's certainly plenty of activity going on back there.

None of the rest of the center is open until tomorrow, obviously, but we also grabbed some pictures of the art we could see posted inside. No, there aren't any big exclusive reveals, but there is a particularly nice piece of the Diablo III Witchdoctor that we hadn't seen before. Enjoy.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, BlizzCon

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