Thursday, June 14, 2007

PUGs! Oh no!

One of the things that always floors me about many my guildies is that they have this almost irrational fear of doing PUGs. Now, it's not I don't understand the annoyance factor that a PUG can bring, nor do I undervalue the appeal of a guild party, but the reality is that we are not a huge guild (currently) so unless you get lucky, you're not likely to find the people for a 5-man in-guild.

As almost anyone who reads this blog knows I'm very goal oriented, and am constantly working towards my goals in one way or another. As a result I realize that I'll need to do PUGs to reach my goals. But if you bring up PUGging to my guildies, only about 4 of the 15 or so who have 70s will react with anything but horror. And it always makes me wonder... am I the odd man out in my willingness to do PUGs or is my guild just filled with people who are just odd in this regard, and I'm more normal than I realize?

4 comments:

Honors Code said...

My relcutance to join PUGs has nothing to do with my fears of their failure, but more a lack of faith in my abilities as a Tank. As a Paladin, I have to be a perfect tank. It's not just my reputation on the line right now, but the very notion Paladins can be effective tanks. If I screw up a PUG, that's 4 people who will have a dim veiw of Paladin tanking, and will likely share the experience with their friends.

Michael said...

I don’t mind doing PUGs as much as others seem to. I’ve actually had some very good experiences running stuff with PUGs.

Here’s my rant: PUGs build character.

1.) They sharpen one's teamwork skills
2.) You meet players you otherwise wouldn't meet if you only did in-guild grouping. Guild recruitment down? Go do some pug-ing - you might find good people for your guild to recruit.
3.) You get exposure to alternative strategies and tactics.
4.) You get really good at handling crisis - the $%#@ hits the fan pretty often in PUGs, and those who PUG frequently get better at dealing with it. Which would you rather have in your raid: A tank who's honed their skills keeping aggro off a nuke-happy DPS-er who doesn't know what threat is or a tank who's only been in groups were everyone waits for 3 shield-bashes and 12 sunders?

Don't get me wrong, there's plenty of ways a good guild can train good group-tactics into everyone, not to mention the social bonds that form when you group with the same people regularly, but PUGs can be a great training ground.

Sean said...

I don't mind PuGs at all. In my experience, they tend to be successful more often than not. You can usually tell from the start whether or not you're in a good group... just have to leave the bad groups before you get too far. I hate doing it, but the alternative is to be frustrated for a long time.

Kaziel said...

My relcutance to join PUGs has nothing to do with my fears of their failure, but more a lack of faith in my abilities as a Tank. As a Paladin, I have to be a perfect tank. It's not just my reputation on the line right now, but the very notion Paladins can be effective tanks. If I screw up a PUG, that's 4 people who will have a dim veiw of Paladin tanking, and will likely share the experience with their friends.

First off I'm going to quote from a book I recently read: "The only way you can never do wrong... is by doing nothing at all." While you are right that by not taking chances with PUGs in ruining our reputation, at the same time, you will never convince people that Paladins aren't good or great tanks if you don't show them what we can do.

Now, it you (and by you I mean any tankadin) are really concerned that you're skills aren't up to par, my advice is to grab a few guildies and do some moderately hard 5-mans. I'd suggest Shadow Labs, Botanica, and maybe Shattered Halls.

Having a fear of doing wrong isn't bad. In fact, knowing that you're going to fail at one point or another, and that you aren't perfect is fine. The moment we start thinking to ourselves "We're perfect!" is the point where we stop getting better. That's never a good thing. But at the same time, don't let that fear of failure paralyze you into doing nothing, because then that is exactly what will happen: Nothing. You won't fail, but you won't succeed either.

1.) They sharpen one's teamwork skills

This one I'm not so sure about... not saying that it deteriorates them, but (at least in my view) you build up teamwork skills amongst players, so unless you PUGs with the same people (thus making it no longer a PUG), you don't build up teamwork.

2.) You meet players you otherwise wouldn't meet if you only did in-guild grouping. Guild recruitment down? Go do some pug-ing - you might find good people for your guild to recruit.

This is the biggest thing I wish I could explain to my fellow members of my guild. We are and almost always have been a small guild, and the member's aversion to PUGs keeps us small, which is a bad thing.

3.) You get exposure to alternative strategies and tactics.

Another great point. I had this happen a while before 2.1, when I was doing a PUG for Mechanar and I was shown the trick for pulling Nethermancer Sepethrea down the hallway after you've defeated Pathaleon. Never would have learned that otherwise!

I don't mind PuGs at all. In my experience, they tend to be successful more often than not. You can usually tell from the start whether or not you're in a good group... just have to leave the bad groups before you get too far. I hate doing it, but the alternative is to be frustrated for a long time.

I think one of the problems is that you never hear about the good PUGs... only the crappy ones over guild chat. Yes there are quite a few successful PUGs, but all you ever hear from them are people saying they got to a certain rep level with a faction, or got a certain drop. You don't hear that often: "Oh wow, this is an amazing PUG, guys!", but the moment someone's in a crappy one, there's a comment every 5 minutes.