Monday, July 27, 2009

Pug Raid Jiggy

Yes - it is possible to PUG Ulduar 25. Not only that, we kicked ass in Ulduar 25 this weekend with our pugtastic raid!

This was already the third time that we set it up, and what started with a simple "lets at least get our FL emblems" went to working on keeper Freya.

I know, I know, maybe not so much of an achievement for some of you, but this was the third time that we organized this, and we got to Freya. In fact, we almost took her down.

It does sort of help that since last week we seem to sort of have a team up with another guild - Banefire of Icecrown. Next to this all we've been doing really is make sure to gear check, and I guess we've also been quite lucky in that we've managed to get people who use their brain.

My 10man is the most relaxed group I've ever raided with within my guild, but I have to say that if you're lucky enough to find a good pug group, raiding can be as enjoyable.

What amazes me most is that everybody is pretty laid back about the loot. Normally I lay down the loot rules straight at the beginning, and though I get some clarification questions sometimes, people are cool with the DBA (Don't be an Ass) rule.

In fact, these people are being so honest that I got a boe epic item sent back to me through in game mail, because this person won an upgrade for himself. He figured that it wouldn't be fair for him to get two items.

I sent it back to him with the message that these are free rolls, and as long as people didn't keep rolling on free roll items once they had won one, they were simply lucky for that weekend.

Raid Balance

Within a pug group it's also a lot easier somehow to say to someone, "Sorry, not bringing you, since I don't believe that you're ready for this content". I've always found this one of the hardest tasks within the guild as a raidleader.

The thing is though that realistically all your raiders will have more fun if you bring 25 people who can handle the content you're tackling. And though you can bring 1 or 2 who are slightly undergeared, many more and the raid will be a lot less fun for everybody involved.

And yes, I strongly believe that having fun goes together with being succesful. For the simple reason that I cannot believe that there are people out there who find it fun to just wipe over and over for 4 hours.

What will happen in the end is that the people who need to carry a raid like this will find excuses not to be there, since they are tired of wiping on content they know they can beat. And the half that is not ready will feel bad because they are the cause of these wipes.

Communicate performance
This somehow is always a bit of a touchy point within guilds. But if you really think about it, it shouldn't be. Especially since so far I already know of two examples now where performance improved massively after people had been spoken with.

It comes down to a couple of simple truths:
- being successful on content is fun, wiping is not
- to be successful on content you have to bring a group of people who can handle that content
- if people aren't ready for content they have two options:
- get ready for this content
- give up on this content and go for easier content
- the only way for people to know that they are not ready is analysis

In a perfect world, people will always analyze their own performance, and improve where they see it fall down. But since we're not living in a perfect world we have raid leaders or class leaders. These people have specifically been put in these positions to organize and monitor the raid.

It is our job to point out that people's performance is not up to what the raid and content needs.

Of course it's the raider's responsibility to do something with the feedback provided.

And though it's never fun to tell someone that they suck, or from the other side, hear that you suck. But if dealt with in the right way you have a large chance of having a happier, more satisfied raid member AND raid group afterward.

And while it's hard, and it really sucks having to single someone out, it sucks even more to have to disappoint 20 or so raiders, because you didn't want to address the other 4 or 5.

Radio in Vent
As a completely unrelated point...Banefire has been kind enough to provide the vent we've used for our pugtastic raid two weekends in a row now. One of them runs a radio service in this vent channel, and I have to's absolutely brilliant.

Having some good background music immediately provides a good atmosphere, and when things go wrong a good song seems to make it easier to shrug it off again.

Thanks Banefire!

  • Pugtastic raids Ulduar 25 on Icecrown USA at noon server Saturday and Sunday.
  • If you want to join send a tell to Xphile or Shyraia.
  • If you wonder if Ulduar is in Crystalsong Forest, don't even try to come, we won't bring you.
  • If your gear/experience/performance is not ready for this content, we won't bring you.
  • Yes, loot will drop, but if you're a loot whore, we won't bring you.
  • Pugtastic works under DBA rules, and if you don't know what that means you haven't read this post properly, and are likely not able to understand instructions either, we won't bring you. (no worries, raid always starts with loot rules explanation).


  1. Wow Pugging Ulduar 10 sends shivers down my back. I think the times I pugged something once I hit 80 I can count on my left hand.

    I think though if everyone knows their job, and Vent should help tremendously. Then you guys got a good thing going. This sounds like an awesome idea for the Summertime lag.

  2. Grats to the luck having PUGs like that:)
    I normally see in 25men raids only the other side...brain-afk people.
    In the guild not.

    Normally I just find the good 5men-groups for heroic instances...

  3. grats to this:)
    Normally you only find the brain-afk people in this seems to be a very good thing.

  4. It does help a lot that people know what they're doing indeed :)

    And it was even Ulduar 25, and organizing a 25 normally sends shivers down my back, pug or no pug. It's so much cat herding. But somehow it comes naturally at the moment with this group ^_^

  5. I think it might indeed be the summer boss a bit that allows us to raid like this, lucky us :)