Guest Post: Heroic Pugs are Not Heroic

Matticus’ Note: This is a guest post from a friend of who has no blogging experience whatsoever but still did a great job nonetheless. I have another exam in about an hour. Thanks Brendan! Post has been edited for clarity and such.

First off, let me say I’m not a writer/blogger in any way, shape or form. I’m writing this because an idea popped into my head, and I’m tired of studying for finals. This blogging stuff is a nice change from the 17 credits of math I have this semester that engineers are supposed to know.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but my view of PUGs (Pick-Up Groups) has gone downhill since BC came out. It started out fine, pugging some people to get some experience while exploring the new instances in outlands. As a druid, and usually feral to boot, I wanted to get exalted with Cenarion Expedition ASAP to pick up my Earthwarden (best tanking weapon until SSC trash). I was in a small guild at the time and there were only a handful of us hitting 70 at the same time. It wasn’t easy to get a group to grind out Steam Vaults a dozen times a day for the required rep. I would turn to PUGs to accomplish this. For the most part, this went the same way to get revered with most of the factions. Even with quested items and random greens in most people’s gear, normal mode was still fairly easy. Subsequently, after doing countless runs of instances for rep, people would replace their greens with decent blues and fill out their dungeon 3 sets. More importantly, people would learn the instances, know what bosses/mobs did what, who to CC, where to go and such. By the time the rep was obtained to be able to hit up the heroics, people had knowledge/gear to stand a chance, and knew how to play their class.

This is all well and good, but then comes 2.3 and heroic keys only require honored. With pretty much any faction, you can obtain honored by doing their quests and 1-2 clears of each of their instances (sometimes even less than that!). What does that mean? People try to get into heroics still wearing their quested blues/greens, and not knowing what the heck is going on. It used to be a reasonable bet that when you pugged for a heroic, the people you got were somewhat decent, because they had done the run on normal at least a dozen or so times, and had decent gear. Now, you don’t get that confidence.

I’ve heard many stories (and experienced a few) in guild chat, of people pugging a couple slots for whatever heroic when there weren’t quite enough people online from the guild to do it with. There have been melee hunters that shoot their own traps, priests that only used flash heal (“lol greater heal takes too long”), tanks that can’t hold aggro on a single mob, mages who don’t know what a sheep is, pally tanks who consecrate on top of all the CC, and multitudes of other things. Even if you don’t get these kinds of people, there are simply people that don’t have the gear and they will get destroyed by the trash. In some instances, groups will not have enough DPS to burn down adds on bosses, making heroics all but impossible. Then there’s the issues of ninjas, people leaving unexpectedly, “know-it-alls” saying that their strat works and that t4/t5 group leader doesn’t know what he’s talking about… but those are just general PUG rarities that can happen anytime.

Now, this may sound like just a gripe with the heroic key rep change. It’s great for people trying to gear alts who don’t want to grind out the reputation to do the instances, and usually can be carried through by decent guildies. But that’s an entirely different story. The issues mentioned are more adamant to happen with PUG groups. And at least with people you know, usually there is some sort of voice communication being used, which lessens the pain of inexperience in one or two group members.

All in all, I tend to stay away from PUGs. For the most part, it’s just a repair bill waiting to happen. One of my friends who would accept a PUG invite on his main to anything from RFK to heroic Shattered Halls (one of my least favorite instances w/o a well geared Paly tank, or 2 Druid tanks), now thinks twice before pugging anything past normal difficulty. I refuse to do them, and I get at least a couple of tells a day asking to tank or heal PUGs. I usually let them down nicely, saying I’m not the spec they want (people go away so fast when I tell them I’m balance), or that I’m logging soon (which is usually the case).

This wasn’t really an informative post, just my personal gripes with heroic PUGs, which I’m sure more than a few people can relate to. Hopefully at least a couple of you agree with what I wrote, and it wasn’t an entire waste of time reading. But if not, I’ll go back to my horrendous amounts of number crunching engineering stuff and leave the blogging to the bloggers.

When Brendan’s not busy crunching numbers, he plays a horde Feral druid on… some server. I can’t remember. But thanks for the heroic insight!

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About Matticus

Matticus is the founder of World of Matticus and Plus Heal. Read more of his columns at WoW Insider. League of Legends player. Caffeine enthusiast.

Comments

  1. Good article 🙂 Thanks for posting

  2. my hunter is so close to honored with HH it’s ridiculous. Mind you I was happy with my priest being able to get keys at honored, she was 70 and in crafted/early kara epics. My hunter is 62. It’s still a good thing, the players just need to understand that having the rep doesn’t mean having the gear, or skill.

  3. It’s pretty easy to hit honored just questing, so those heroic keys are just waiting to be purchased when someone hits 70 now. One issue I see is that there is no worthwhile path at 70 other than heroics. You stop getting rep from normal instances at honored, correct? So if you’re trying to get rep in order to obtain crafting recipes, you have to do heroics. I think Blizzard should have let you still earn rep from normal instances up through revered. This would allow new 70s to still grind rep, while gearing up and learning the instances better. As it is now it’s hard to justify running normal mode when you aren’t earning rep.

  4. I earned every Heroic Key the old school way pre 2.3 except for one key only from Lower City. I guess personally i’m proud of that accomplishment. In earning every single Heroic Key at revered pre 2.3 i was able to get all the runs done and gear myself up properly because i took the time to get the required reps running and learning the instances.

    Even after 2.3 came out and i was already way past Honored with Lower City and could have gotten my Heroic Key I didn’t went and get it. All i needed was 2 more SL runs to Revered using the old school pre 2.3 requirements and thats what i did. I’m now revered with Lower City, so i went and picked up my key. Yeah i could have gotten it because i was already honored. But i took some pride in all my efforts and earned it the old way. SL is a lot easier because i have the experience of being there lots of time for gear as well as all the other instances.

    As far as Heroics i do enjoy the dailies added in for the Daily Heroics and Dungeon Quests. I wish that Blizzard did leave Heroics at the old requirement at Revered level keyed. Getting Honored is just way to easy to do and you have people trying to run Heroic SV that never even seen regular Steamvault. Lots of players seem to not even care they are undergeared going into Heroics or deciding to go do them. I once after patch 2.3 was running Heroic SV we got a hunter for DPS. Hunter guy said “Hey my gear is as good as it gets from 5 man Instance” we said great we can use you them. We kept wiping over and over to the first boss. Turns our Hunter guy had on green gear, not only that he had on level 62-68 gear as a level 70. Looking at the guy gear he had some slotted gear and not a single piece of gear weapon included had any enchants and non his gear had any gems. Thats the kind of crazyness your seeing in Heroics these days. We had to let the Hunter guy go for a Rocked out Mage.

    I’m a Tank i love to PuG (Regular) but after 2.3 i made a choice……If I don’t know the Player or at least 3 people in the PuG for Heroics i’m not doing it with them. If its a random /w to tank a Heroics. I’m honest enough to state them my personal policy that i don’t do Heroics with random PuG groups no matter what. People before used to say its hard to find tank and healers…its a myth. Tanks & Healers are choosy in what they choose to do. However with lower Heroic level requirements, i just don’t answer any call at all to PuG a Heroics. Doing that will save me a ton in avoiding stupid repair bill cost from undergeared and subpar DPS in Heroics.

  5. I had a pug hunter MD to me (on my mage) during a pull in H SP last week. When I asked him why he MD’d to me he claimed he didn’t know what it was and wasn’t specc’d for it. A very long silent pause ensued and the group then fell apart.

  6. Wow, it sounds like everyone’s got a heroic horror story to share. I’m trying to think of a story of my own, but I can’t remember any that stand out in particular. I’ve grinded out Exalted for all factions on Mallet. It was… tough. I don’t think I’ll be able to handle that again.

    Tumanaac, as far as I know, you can still earn rep from running the instances on a normal difficulty even if you’re revered. The instances that you run must be the level 70 instances. For instance, all the Tempest Keep instances will reward you with Sha’Tar rep. You can earn CE from Steamvaults. I think Shadow Labyrinth and to a lesser extent, Sethekk Halls will award rep. Lastly, Shattered Halls is the only instance that you can rep normally with Honor Hold/Thrallmar.

  7. Matticus, thanks for clarifying that!

  8. As a freshly minted level 70 hunter, I have a slightly different perspective on Honored Heroics.

    Not to hijack your blog, but its a little bit longer than just a comment. http://amavaknowsaggro.blogspot.com/2007/12/heroic-at-honored.html

    In a nutshell, I think that me and my newly minted colleagues are going to be learning the ropes and gearing up for end game by running Heroics, whether we’re undergeared or underskilled or not.

    Honestly, I think the WoW community will be better off for it because we’ll be “wasting” the time of only 5 people as we learn what truely difficult content is like, rather than wasting the time of 10 people who are undergeared for Kara as we struggle to master things like being prepared with consumables, truely mastering tank/healer/dps, and our general class roles in difficult situations.

  9. Doc Holiday says:

    There are certain classes that can do Heroics and do them well with bad gear

    Mages – Sheeping and doing ok damage makes them valuble even in bad gear

    Hunters – Hunters dont need alot of gear to be effective they can trap and do Alot of damage in Quest Blues/Green

    My favourite horror story is the Void Reaver Uber guild group of Doom. This is 4 guys who needed a Tank for Heroic SH. All of them are in Kara gear and think they are the shit just because there guild can kill Void reaver. They refused to CC or wait for aggro and we would die on the first pull about 5 times before they decided it was a tanking issue and kicked me. I found another group almost immediatly after and finished SH before they did.

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