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.

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Ratih Gema

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