Monday, September 14, 2009

How to be a good PUG

So I run a lot of pug groups. Thror and myself play mostly on a USA server, and we live on EU time. Meaning: when we are on, not an awful lot of our USA guildies are. And while it has gotten better with the forming of Pugtastic, we do still pick up people from LFG quite often.

We did another half-pug in heroic ToC yesterday. It was the daily, and we figured we would pick up our champion's seals and emblems at the same time. So we asked in our Pugtastic channel and one of our loyal druids happily came along. Left us with 2 spots to fill still.

Being that we're just slightly over-geared (and maybe overconfident?) for the instance we normally figure that it doesn't really matter who we pick up for these runs, anybody will do really.

And to be honest, most of the time we're pretty lucky with whom we pick up. I also fully believe that there are more cool people out there then there are idiots. And to be fair, both of the pugs we picked up were pretty ok, except that one of them made a pretty big mistake in my books...

He went afk for just a moment. And I bet we all know these 'moments'.

5 things you should not do when pugging
  • Don't join groups when you know you will have to leave halfway through the instance

    There is nothing more annoying than the pug who announces halfway through an instance that they have to leave. Here you stand with a half-cleared heroic, almost impossible to find a replacement (cause they want all the badges most of the time) and you're stuck with an incompleted daily heroic. Say byebye to your emblems of triumph for that day.

    If you cannot go for the full run at that time, then don't go at all.

  • Don't go afk for just a moment, and then come back 10 minutes later

    This is my pet peeve. If you go afk, and have 4 people waiting for you for 5 minutes, you have just wasted 20 minutes of people's free time. Imagine your boss telling you to wait around every day for 20 minutes in your free time. Just waiting, not even doing something useful, nope, just waiting.

    Doesn't feel good, huh?

    Enlarge this scale. You got invited to a 25man pug raid, and you make them wait for 5 minutes. That's 24 x 5 = 2 hours of free time wasted, just because you had to go afk.

    I mean, fair enough if you have to go potty, but dude, communicate it properly. 'brb bio' is easily typed, and should not take you 5 minutes. (exceptions there of course).

  • Don't need on stuff you cannot possible use, unless the achievement 'Needy' has come up or something

    If you're not sure about the loot system used, just pass. Nobody likes ninja's and you will be regarded a ninja if you just need on loot you cannot use without discussing it before hand.

    Well....either it shows you're a ninja, or what might be even worse, they think you're an idiot for needing something your class cannot even use properly. (No, spellpower is not for ret pallies).

  • Don't pretend you know fights you've never done before

    If the raidleader asks if there are people who have never done a fight before, 'fess up!

    I mean really, there is nothing wrong with not knowing how the charges work on Thaddius, what is wrong is if people all say they know and turn out to have no idea so the entire raid wipes due to a wrongly charged person.

    We have all started somewhere, and if you have a good raidleader they will give you chances to prove that you can understand explanation. But you do have to give the raidleader a chance to explain.

  • Don't opt for fights you're not ready for

    There still is a certain progression through the game. If you're a new player, don't try to step into a raid without understanding group mechanism. Go do a dungeon first.

    And without ever having done Naxx, don't try to get into Ulduar groups. Go do that Naxx first, at least once to get a feel for raiding. Even if you have had guild groups carrying you through content up to 80, and you feel you have gear, go do that boring Naxx.

    Learning how to handle mobs cannot be boosted.

    And if the raidleader then tells you that you might not be up for this or that fight, based on you not having experience, accept it. Most raidleaders I know do know what experience, gear level, etc is required for a certain fight. Don't go for ToC if you've never seen a dungeon, even if you're an alt. Go play your character in the simpler group setting first before taking him/her out to get the big baddies down.
5 things you do do when pugging
  • Be polite

    Nobody likes people who are just rude. If you have nothing normal to say, then just say nothing.

  • Ask if you have a question

    I know most people prefer pretending they know everything already, because god forbid you look....unexperienced.

    Really though, if you went for the right content for your experience progression there is nothing wrong with asking questions. Make sure you're clear on what is expected from you. We all had to learn how to play this game, and there is a lot to learn as a newer player.

  • Make sure to know the loot rules

    When I first started playing on my EU server I too had to ask about what the going loot rules were. Having played for quite a while now I knew enough with only half a word, but if you're used to passing and then rolling, everybody using the need/greed system will definitely rubb you the wrong way if you don't know that this is the custom on that server.

  • Offer knowledge, but only if asked for

    Sure, you know all the fights, you will teach this pug how to do it! Right?

    Wrong. If your goal is to just have a good time you can offer some friendly hints and suggestions, but nobody likes know it alls. So if you step into a group and start telling them that their all noobs and that they should do it your way, don't expect to get invited back.

    Instead you could whisper the leader and ask if it would be ok if you explain the strategy you're used to using.

  • Be prepared

    If you're sticking yourself into LFG and you get an invite you should be ready to go there and then. Not tell the raidleader/groupleader that they should hold on just 2 minutes until you've finished so and so quest. No, shouldn't have stuck yourself in LFG if you wanted to quest, or except that you will finish the quest after the instance.

    Also, if this is a raid you're going for, make sure to have flasks, potions, vent, etc. Making people wait is bad, not having flasks if needed is worse.

I'm sure I've missed points on these lists, but in general treat people in game as you would want to be treated IRL and you're normally fine. That PUG group you joined are real people on the other side of their screens, with real feelings, and real annoyances.


  1. The MOST annoying thing about pugs are the afk-people.
    I it so hard to know 2 hours in advance that I have to go out with the dog, eat with my parents at 7pm...

    that's just wrong =-X

  2. I think I turn into insta jerk in pugs, I hate them with a passion, but know that they are an evil nescessity to get my badges. Doesn't mean I have to be nice to them, I equate me in a pug, like I'm on a sled with a team of dogs, that I beat mercilessly.

    I have no problem explaining stuff, letting the noobs know how to do stuff, but if they don't listen. Grrrr