Monday, January 7, 2008

When PUGs Attack

When a PUG forms there are a lot of things going on all at once. And there are a couple of varieties of PUG out there. First of all, there's the true PUG. This is the one where you'll see five different guild tags floating above the heads of your party. Probably no one in the group has played extensively with any of the other members. This is the type that takes the most trust building all at once. There is also the mixed PUG where usually the five members are distributed across two guilds - two from one guild, three from another. This is potentially the easiest PUG to adapt to, no matter if you're the two or the three. Lastly there is the PUG where all members except one are from one guild and there is a sole member not in the guild.

The PUG with five different guilds takes some trust building at first. You don't know what to expect out of your party members and they don't know what to expect of you. This is the PUG that I've had the most problem with. I expect to be in for big repair bills and lots of frustration when I join this type of PUG. When I'm playing my healer, I'm adjusting to exactly how good everyone is at their job and how good the armor is. Mostly I need to learn how low I can let a tank go while I tend to other's lowering health pools. There's no way you can know right from the start whether a down-ranked heal will keep the tank up while you flash heal or renew another member. When I'm playing a DPS or CC class, I show them that I can do my job by keeping my mob locked down until the group is ready for it. If I'm playing the 'lock, I ask if I'll be CCing (so I know whether the succubus or the imp is the better pet to have out). Most of this will probably have to be done in chat because I've not found many using in-game voice chat and there likely won't be another method of voice communication (unless someone has a ventrilo or team speak server available). This is also the only PUG in which I'll specifically ask about loot rules. You should definitely be comfortable with whatever the loot rules are before heading out.

The 2-3 or 3-2 PUG is easier on you. You (presumably) know at least your co-guildmember in this PUG. You have to only be concerned with the other guild. And quite honestly, this type of PUG rarely forms unless two of the non-guilded players have played together before. Even if you don't know three of them and have ridden on your guildmate's coattails, they will expect you know how to do your job because your guildmate recommended you. Voice chat is much more likely here. Someone will likely offer their guild server

The 1-4 PUG is easy if you're the 4. If you're the 1, you're the odd-man out and you need to prove to this other guild you know what you're doing. If you're the 1, re-assure them that you can do your job. Voice chat is almost assured here as well. Voice makes all PUG work easier.

I will say that in general, I've had very good PUG luck. I like to think that's because I know what I'm doing and can prove it. And there's nothing like having them say in chat that "At least you're not like that last hunter."

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