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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

We’ve all heard the stories about pugs, even long before they implemented the new LFG tool. I’ll admit that I had never really pugged until the tool was introduced. If I wanted to do heroics, I just asked my guild and my friends to see who wanted to come along. More often than not, it was them convincing me to do some heroics. But since they added the LFG tool, I’ve been pugging a hell of a lot more.

There have been some bad ones, as I’m sure everyone has experienced. Xerin talked about some of his in the Ten Ton Hammer WoW newsletter, The Overpull. And poor Lodur over at World of Matticus has had some doozies.

My own experiences…well, I’ve had some interesting ones. Most often, we get that one dps who’s pulling 3-digit figures in Recount. But as long as they don’t start pulling mobs ahead of the tank, I usually don’t care. I’ve had a couple bad tanks or healers, including one that asked if our druid tank (aka my guild leader) had the right gear to be def-capped. (Pssst, druid tanks get all their defense from talents, ya moron.) He seemed to be having trouble healing the druid which I thought was strange because not only had I had no problem healing him before, but at the time he was also one of our best geared characters in the guild. And this was just H-CoS.

Surprisingly, I’ve had the worst experience with pugs that are below 80. For example, my little warrior Tuyok along with Kazi’s little warrior and another guildie on his druid decided to pug SFK. Kazi was the tank and our druid offered to heal but let us know that he had never done it before. A pugged pally that joined us was specced ret but said that she would heal because “i no wat im doing”. After some discussion, our druid ended up healing anyways. And he did a pretty good job all things considered. However, the paladin…kept pulling off Kazi somehow. For the entire instance. We still managed to make it to Argul without much incident. We nearly wiped on him because of some bad coordination but managed to kill him in the end. After the paladin had left group, we checked Recount just out of curiosity. Hand of Reckoning, which is the pally single target taunt, was 30% of her dps.

Let me reiterate that. A dps paladin used her taunt as part of her rotation. Either she was completely ignorant of what it did or she was an idiot. Either way, I was completely blown away. And this was the person who said that they knew what they were doing.

Then there was the pug that, in my opinion, was good and bad. It was H-HoL, with me on Niqo, Kazi on his pally tank, and our two fury warrior friends Jorgath and Barashi. All we needed was a healer so we decided to pug one out. We get a priest who quickly switches from his dps spec and clothes into his healing set up. Soon we’re all set to go and Kazi starts pulling. We quickly figure out that something is very wrong. The priest is barely healing Kazi, nevermind the rest of us. By the time we kill the second boss, we have learned that this priest has not only not healed before but is entirely not ready for it. Sure he has a holy spec…which does not have the 51-point talent and has things like 5 points in Darkness in the Shadow tree (which increased Shadow spell damage). He is also dressed in almost all greens, including some gear that has stats like strength and agility. We all shudder.

We could have kicked him. We were sure talking about it over vent. But from the way he was talking, I could tell this guy was a new player and it had probably never occurred to him to research his class. He had most likely fumbled his way up to level 80 solo with a lot of dying and no one to help him. What can I say…I took pity on him. Barashi had a level 40-ish priest he was leveling and as such, was the only person who had any kind of expertise on priests. So we started teaching him. Barashi covered the priest specific parts while the rest of us filled in the general information of how a group operates. He took all this information to heart and with complete soberness. Never did he talk to us with disrespect because he thought we were lecturing him. In fact, he thanked us numerous times for the advice.

The next few pulls showed some noticeable improvement in his healing but it was obvious that he just didn’t have the gear or the practice to heal us through to the end. So I jumped on Saraku and switched him to Holy. We gave the priest a task: to stay in his healing gear and spec and practice healing Barashi. And I will say that he did his job. His reaction time was still a little slow but I had to throw almost no heals on Barashi except on the last boss. We finished by reminding him to clean up his Holy spec and to get gear that was meant for his class. He thanked us again, and then we went our separate ways.

The priest wasn’t even from our server, there would have been no repercussions from kicking him and getting another healer. But…I dunno, it didn’t seem right to do that. It felt good to see him improve from our advice and to know that he was lucky to have landed with us. Who else would have been patient enough with him? I can only hope that he’s out there somewhere in better gear and a proper spec, healing up a storm in heroics and the like.

With all of this said, the majority of my pug experiences have been good. A lot of them are fast and pretty quiet, speed-farming their badges just like us. We have the 15-minute H-AN down to a science now with a good group. Kazi and I met a kitty druid on our server during a pug, who was so impressed by our healer-tank duo (with me tanking on Saraku) that he told us once “I’m going to glue myself to your shoe.” He has since accompanied us on numerous random runs when we’re looking for a solid dps and has made his way onto my friend’s list. A pair in the same guild from another server joined us for a random through H-UK and were nice enough to comment at the end that it had been the smoothest heroic they had been through yet.

Our friendly attitude might have been part of it on that last run. I squeed with glee in party chat as I always do when Kazi hexes the rider off his drake on the way to the last boss. And I proceeded to tell them how I make him do that every time we’re in there, which they chuckled at. What can I say? I’m easily amused sometimes. >.>

All in all, it’s been my experience that there has been more Good than Bad and Ugly when it comes to pugs. The LFG tool has certainly made it a lot easier for me to get emblems. And the teleport to dungeon feature is absolutely divine. Even if no one says a word the entire time, all I want is to get the bosses down in a efficient and timely manner. Meeting some cool people far overshadows the few idiots I’ve come across. Then again…maybe I’m just lucky. 😉