Monday, 18 April 2011

Good PUG gone bad

Saga's been celebrating her one year blogoversary by suggesting topics for anyone who wants one. It's a great idea and here's what she thought up for me:

"Okay, I’m a little bit uncertain about if you PUG a lot – or at all.. but if you do.. how about a post on how to save a bad PUG? (If there is a way!) Or how to save a bad raid. You know the kind.. the one where everyone seems to be in a funk and everything goes wrong. Be creative! It doesn’t have to be a serious take on it if you don’t want to. (Personally I’m all for lightening the mood by punting the gnome into the lava pit in BWD.)"

Last time I gnome-bashed I had a small pink pigtailed gnome, who shall remain nameless, tugging at my robe and giving me little gnome evils. So I'll save that for later when she's less likely to kick me in the ankle.

Saga suggested either PUGs or raids, dealing with a bad raid situation is harder to generalise because the likelihood is that you're in a guild group and the difficulties that arise are far more subjective, in my experience. PUGs, on the other hand, have a few recurring themes that can turn them as sour as a gnome in front of a 'You Must Be This Tall To Ride' chart at a theme park.

I PUG a fair bit, if there's no guildies available to run my daily HC I have no hesitation in hopping in the queue, my wait in Cata averages about 5 minutes. Of the many ways it can go horribly wrong, here are my top 5 good PUGs gone bad and how to deal with them:

Normally this is some tool who tops Recount simply because their ADHD means they are top-notch button spammers. Your tank and/or healer should deal with this otherwise progrssion will stall as an inter-DPS e-peen Recount happens. Either way, politely point out why you've stopped (mb/marking up) and if they continue to make a fuss then initiate a kick vote. I'm not in to being rude but I'm also not in to giving people in PUGs second chances.

There is reasonable and unreasonable ragequit. Reasonable would include a tank getting fed up of DPS pulling when he's repeatedly politely asked them to wait until he has solid aggro, or a healer not being waited for during mana breaks. If you're another member in a group like this; consider whether it's worth spending a whole dungeon with these douchebags too. If you choose to stay that's on your head and you're just going to provoke further douchebaggery by complaining further.

Know it all
As well-meaning as this may or may not be, nobody likes to feel that others are being condescending towards them. Whichever side of this you're on, consider the intentions of the other side, if it's clearly well-meant then try to be polite, which can be hard I know, but the group will have more respect for you than if you snap back. If it's clearly antagonistic then in my view it's up to you to either politely decline the advice, ignore it, or tell them where to stuff a Tirisfal pumpkin. 

Whichever way you look at it, it's better to whisper a person informing them they've 'forgotten' to take off their PvP gear than announce to the party that the 'nub tank iz in PvP gearz lol! ok is my bedtime nao bye'.

Reactions here are largely determined by at which point in the dungeon you are. If it's the first trash pull, try not to ragequit as everyone may not have been quite ready, any more than that though and I'll generally cut my losses and walk, instead of spending 40 minutes wishing I was being forced to chew glass instead.

More often, though, it'll be a certain boss and the issue will be with tactics rather than ability (if it's ability prepare to run screaming back to your home city of choice, because you have a problem 5 random people in a PUG can't fix). There will normally be at least one person willing to patiently explain the tactics in brief, but it's not reasonable to expect a bunch of randoms to wipe endlessly while trying to carry you through a PUG. That's what guilds are for. So come prepared or prepare to be kicked.

The Intolerable
Certain behaviours deserve an instant reaction in my opinion, wether that's vote-kick, walking, or reporting. These include anyone being racially/sexually abusive, ninjas, overuse of targetted swearing, AFKers.

The rule I personally use as a barometer for whether or not to stay in a PUG turning bad is by asking myself one simple question: "Would I rather chew the arse off a rabid murloc than drag these dickweeds through a full heroic run?" If the answer's 'yes' then you're better off leaving group. And getting help.