It Came From the P.U.G.!: Why I Hate Gundrak

It Came From the P.U.G.!: Why I Hate Gundrak

For those who might not know yet, my gluttony for abuse knows no bounds. As a result I find myself in a rather large number of P.U.G. groups. At the end of the day I bring you, my readers, the stories of my travels in the random grouping of Azerothian adventure!

I really really hate heroic Gundrak. Not because it’s hard or that there is loot there I want but can’t seem to get to drop, but because it seems like every time I queue for a random, I get it. I’ve done it at least 40 times, and the vast majority of those times have been through the LFD tool. It’s not a bad instance I’m just tired of seeing the insides of it, and I think this last time my group was agitated as well.

It started out pretty normal, warrior tank, ret paladin, mage a boomkin and me. Pretty solid setup, everyone had gear that hovered around at least ICC10 so I figured it would be a nice, quick run. In and out of Gundrak, I’m all for that! Down the first boss like normal and we’re moving onto the second boss when something odd happens. The boomkin pulls threat off the tank on a trash pull. Tank re-establishes aggro and we move onto the next one. The boomkin pulls aggro once again but this time the tank doesn’t grab aggro. I heal the boomkin like crazy and keep him from dying and everyone stops after the trash is downed.

Boomkin: What the hell man? I wasn’t even doing anything to pull aggro! Did you forget how to tank?

Warrior: If you learned how to manage your aggro this wouldn’t be an issue.

Boomkin: Yeah but you just sat there while I was dying! WTF is wrong with you? Learn how to tank

The warrior runs forward and pulls ALL of the trash leading up to the second boss and then shadow melds as the boomkin is in the middle of AoE. All the mobs go hell for broke after the boomkin. I toss an Earth Shield on the druid and nuke heal until the pack is down.

Boomkin: Seriously? What the hell is wrong with you?

Warrior: Shouldn’t try telling me how to tank then

Me: Fine, fuck it. If you two are going to fight, I’ll just tank.

I switch to my PvP gear, run in and ES myself while frost-shocking the boss. I nuke heal myself and keep shocking and lava bursting on the boss.

the DPS starts in slowly and I’m holding aggro pretty well and eventually the tank runs in and grabs aggro off of me. I let him take it and switch back to healing. The boss is downed and we are all sitting there.

Me: So, we done fighting? I already hate this place, I just want to be done.

Ret Pally: Dunno, but watching a healer tanks was pretty funny. Think you could do that again?

Me: Sure, unless mr. tank and mr. boomkin want to play nice so we can just be done.

Warrior: Fine, proved your point.

Boomkin: Fine.

Rest of the run is done without any hiccups, no one is openly aggressive to each other and the rest goes smoothly.

The sad thing about this isn’t that the fight happened, but the fact that it is not the first time something like this has happened. I’ve seen players go at each other’s throats for seemingly small things or mistakes. It boggles my mind how people playing a GAME for FUN can have such a stick up their arse and be so aggressive. This has happened at least 3 times this past week, not me tanking (although I do threaten it from time to time), but the bickering. If you can’t play well with others, you shouldn’t be playing a game that relies on OTHER PEOPLE to do part of it, or just avoid that part of it.

So how about you? Any good pug stories this week? Any horror stories?

Well that’s it for today, until next time Happy Healing!

It Came from the P.U.G.: The Lodur Abides

It Came from the P.U.G.: The Lodur Abides

For those who might not know yet, my gluttony for abuse knows no bounds. As a result I find myself in a rather large number of P.U.G. groups. At the end of the day I bring you, my readers, the stories of my travels in the random grouping of Azerothian adventure!

So we’ve had one hell of a couple weeks haven’t we? I know I was busy with talk of addons and macros but more importantly, last week we had the Shaman class changes. Don’t worry I won’t gush about it, there will be plenty of time for that later.  For today I’d like to share with you the latest in my P.U.G stories.

Tuesday I logged back in a couple hours after the raid to get my auction house items up and then do my daily heroic. It is about 2 am est at this point which is my normal heroic time. That night however I get Heroic Culling of Stratholme. Now I haven’t done CoS since they updated it with the fast forward button. We start out and I take a look at the group, bear tank decently geared, shadow priest and warlock ok geared and a fury warrior. To give you an idea the sp and lock were hovering around a 4k gear score, the fury warrior was just about 5k and the bear was almost at 6k.

It should be a quick run right? I forgot that you could talk to Chromie and port right there now, so the tank and twoDPS start before I get there (D’oh!), but they don’t die. I show up and we blow through the first two bosses and their respective waves, and head into the town hall. We down the first wave and head upstairs, the next group spawns and the fury warrior goes down. I look around and notice that the tank was still sitting downstairs. I heal the hell out of the priest and lock and eventually the tank comes upstairs and wrangles everything. I quickly rest the warrior and the tank apologizes and says hit a massive lag spike. It’s ok it happens so no harm no foul. We get through the hallway and kill the third boss, and then the tank DC’s. The warrior freaks out “should we wait? the timer’s running out”

The priest pipes up “we can probably 4 man it, the healer’s good. As long as he’s ok with it that is. “

I say sure, set my focus macros and head off careening for the gauntlet. What happens is the fury warrior and I both wind up tanking. I just keep getting aggro from healing and apparently he only had dps specs (fury and arms caught me off guard). We tear through the gauntlet and make it to the corrupter. I frost shock and start healing. Corrupter goes down and chat starts up again.

Priest ” told you we’d be fine.”

Warrior “wow, that was cool, but shouldn’t we find a tank for the last boss?”

Me “pfft, I got this we’ll be fine”

I run in aggro Mal’ganis and immediately drop Earth Elemental. Toss an earth shield on the elemental and start healing. The group manages their aggro and the elemental tanks Mal’ganis for the entire fight. We end successfully and there are three very excited people in party with me

Warrior “that was seriously awesome, I don’t think I’ve seen something like that before”

Priest “thank you for that, most fun I’ve had in a while”

Warrior “yeah never realized shaman could do that”

Me “np, had a blast myself. “

Everyone parts ways and I have a huge shit-eating-grin on my face. Late night tanks are still hard to find, getting one to stick around when the instance is almost over is even tougher. Being able to finish the run, and have people have a blast while doing it is priceless to me. I play this game to have fun and honestly nights like this are some of my favorite moments. I get to do something out of the ordinary, and get to make some people happy. All in all a good night I’d say.

As some of you know, I’m big on community. I like helping members of the community out, so when someone approaches me and asks for a shout out, I’ll look it over and if it doesn’t seem bad I’ll go ahead and give it a push. So a moment of your time if you please. This one is a favor for a friend’s friend. Ginny who did the lovely artwork for my Dwarf Shaman and the artwork featured in my spells and totems article on wow.com asked if I would be so kind as to help spread word of her friend’s attempt to raise money for charity. This is from will draw 4 food who is attempting to raise money to donate to the Jake Wetchler foundation. The foundation’s focus is the research and treatment of pediatric cancer.  Their main site should be done in may so feel free to stop by and take a gander.

That’s it for today folks.

Do you have any interesting pug stories? Anything fun you did this week?

Until next time, Happy Healing!

Image courtesy of PolyGram Filmed Entertainment Gramercy Pictures and the Cohen brothers.

It Came From the P.U.G.! Good Surprises.

It Came From the P.U.G.! Good Surprises.

For those who might not know yet, my gluttony for abuse knows no bounds. As a result I find myself in a rather large number of P.U.G. groups. At the end of the day I bring you, my readers, the stories of my travels in the random grouping of Azerothian adventure in It Came From The P.U.G.!

Last night something awesome happened, something I completely didn’t expect. I’ve never been an achievement monger. I’ve never gone out of the way to try to get them and as a result I’m missing just a few from getting my Red Protodrake. I queued up for my daily random and waltzed into Azjol-Nerub. Oddly enough the LFD system had queued up multiple healers for one group. A quick laugh and a decision of who was going to DPS and who was going to heal and we were on our way. We blow through the first boss and make our way down to the second boss when the druid of the group doesn’t even ask if I need the achievement for Hadonox (which I did), but just goes for it anyways. We complete Hadronox Denied and my achievement pops up. I say thank you and the druid makes a comment about how he saw I needed it so he just went for it.

That right there absolutely floored me. I didn’t ask for the achievement, I didn’t have to beg or cajole. The just did it because they saw I needed it and wanted to help. The entire group was excited I got the achievement and we came together at that moment, five complete strangers. Moments like that truly show off how amazing the community of gamers can be!

This is also the same way I earned the Less-rabi achievement. Someone just saw I needed it and went for it making sure to hit each interrupt.

With all the horror stories in pick up groups (my own tales included!) it is often times hard to keep sight on the good that you come across. Those times where something honestly nice and unexpected happens. This past week has been very cool on that front each night for my dailies.

Two nights ago my queue found me in Oculus. Two of the party members just freshly dinged 80 and happened to find their way into my group. One of the members was complaining about carrying fresh 80s and I piped up. It was actually really fun, and watching a fresh 80 warrior tank and a fresh 80 warlock having a blast in an instance most people hate was refreshing. They both got some good upgrades and the run was fast and smooth. We spent the entire time just talking and having a blast. It was just a fun healthy run. And at the end of the day that is why we play the game right? To have fun. Most of my runs this week have been like that. Lots of conversation, friendly and enjoyable. I’m very pleased by this and hope I get to see this more often. No one telling someone they hate them or how they fail at life, but rather just getting along and having a good time together.

So what about you? How have your P.U.G.s been this week? Anything fun or exciting happen? Any good news from the LFD system?

That is it for today, until next time Happy Healing!

It Came From The P.U.G.!: It’s all new again

It Came From The P.U.G.!: It’s all new again

For those who might not know yet, my gluttony for abuse knows no bounds. As a result I find myself in a rather large number of P.U.G. groups. At the end of the day I bring you, my readers, the stories of my travels in the random grouping of Azerothian adventure in It Came From The P.U.G.!

Love is in the air and the Lunar Festival has begun, and the P.U.G.s keep rolling.  This week I have two very distinct stories to tell you of my travels. The first is a story of an interesting origin. Last Thursday my first article went up on WoW.com (and yes there will be further explanation of it in upcoming posts for those asking), that night I got home from playing Mekton with friends and hoped online. My random of the night? Heroic Culling of Stratholme. First thing I see when we’re done loading in?

Seems I had made a fan. At first I wasn’t sure where it was directed at because this is the second time this has happened in this instance in the same week that someone has opened up with “I hate you” but the first time was towards the instance.  The next set of comments involved the phrases “you suck as a shaman and a healer.” and “I might as well drop this group now!” so I’m pretty sure it was directed towards me there. You might ask yourself why I didn’t just initiate a vote kick right? Well if you didn’t know, you can no longer vote kick someone as long as they have the random debuff up. Not that it would matter since two of the other people in the run were from this persons guild. Second question you’re probably asking why didn’t they just kick me when my timer was up? Well my guess is they wanted to bash me on the back end and show me how bad I actually am. The reason I say this? While the majority of the instance is timed, the end right after the third boss can be pulled at the pace of the tank. That tank who told me he hates me? Pulls everything from the bottom of the stairs all the way through to the first rest area. I manage to heal through all the mobs piled on the tank and then sit down to drink. I ask if they are still so certain that I am a horrible healer. We finished the run with them pulling the last section of street in it’s entirety and then the last boss. The offending party then quickly left group and I got my frost badges.

Directly after that I queue back up into a random but this time I hoped on my Disc priest. I’ll freely admit I’ve never played her as discipline and leveled her from 1 to 45 as shadow. I decided to give healing a try and see how it was, leveling her through the LFD system. What do I find in this group? First of all I get Maraudon, which is one of those instances I’m loathe to run. Secondly I pipe up and say “this is my first time healing on this character and I’m trying out discipline, so I’m sorry if there’s any complications while I figure it out.” The mage in the group pipes up and tells me his main is a discipline priest. He helps me get setup with a priority and rotation and we’re off running. The tank pulls at a reasonable pace and continues to check my mana and make sure I’m good before pulls. It was honestly one of the greatest dungeon runs I’ve ever had. Everyone was understanding and talkative and nice. Everyone was helpful and what started out as a purple crystals run turned into the entirety of the instance. I left that run feeling better than I have in a long, long time, and a run like that proves that even late night, you can still find one hell of a group.

Any stories to share this week about your LFD groups? Good? Bad? Ugly?

Until next time, Happy Healing!

It Came From The P.U.G.!:Voted Off The Island

It Came From The P.U.G.!:Voted Off The Island

For those who might not know yet, my gluttony for abuse knows no bounds. As a result I find myself in a rather large number of P.U.G. groups. At the end of the day I bring you, my readers, the stories of my travels in the random grouping of Azerothian adventure!

This week I bring you a story of a monumental event. Something so earth shattering that babies cried, women ushered their children home and men cowered before it’s terror inducing visage! You may need to sit down for this… ready? Lodur was vote kicked from a heroic group! Now I’m sure there are some questions about what happened and what was the build up. Here goes my tale of woe.

I’ll start by saying yes I was healing, and yes the mace was equipped. I was decked out in my shiny new T10 loot after freshly enchanting and gemifying them. I queue up and promptly my invite button pops up. I join the group and off I am to an adventure… or so I thought. The screen load shows the Pit of Saron and I’m a bit excited. I enjoy healing the place and it beats out Gundrak any day of the week! The instance loads and I’m looking around for the rest of the group. I notice that most of the mobs have been cleared. This is red flag number one. My immediate response, in a joking tone of course

“What did you guys do to the last healer?”

I get a response from the rogue of the group

“Horrible healer we vote kicked him.”

Ok, I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. Mainly DPS folks have been rolling in as healers to get quick frost badges so it wouldn’t surprise me too terribly if that’s what happened. I see they are over at the Ick and Krick encounter and make my way over. We buff up and pull. Things go smoothly until two things happen. First I notice the prot warrior is taking a whole lot more damage than he should be and his health is only at 29k total. Second thing that happens is the poison nova. The rogue tries to cast Cloak and run but instead becomes a stain in the ground. Not believing that you can release and come back while the encounter is happening , they wait dead. We’re doing fantastic though otherwise until the boss marks the hunter and chases after them. The hunter then proceeded to drag the boss back past it’s threshold point and the boss leashes… at 1%. Ok, stuff happens I’ll just res the rogue and we’ll get started again right? Wrong! As I’m sitting to drink so I can resurrect the rogue, and before the tank is ready, the hunter pulls, runs to us and then casts FD. Needless to say I got squashed with the rest of the group. We run back in and drink and buff and get ready for round two. I inspect the tank and see he’s in some pretty low tanking gear… and a bunch of dps gear. I make a mental note of the fact he’s not defense capped and look to see I still have 7 minutes left on my LFG debuff. Time to soldier on! Before we’re ready again the hunter pulls, this time the tank picks it up and we proceed as normal. The rogue dies again to poison nova but this time we kill the boss.

This happens two more times with various mobs on the ramp leading to the final leg of the instance until finally I say something

“Dude, stop pulling.  I need to drink and you’re wiping the group .”

It was then I noticed something I had not noticed before. All of them were in the same guild. Everyone stopped moving and there we were sitting at the base of the ramp leading to the collapsing tunnel. There’s this long, hanging silence while we sit there and then next thing I know I’m booted from the group!

Back in Dalaran I’m in shock at what just happened. Seriously I got kicked because I called the hunter out on pulling and doing stupid things! I look up at my buffs and notice the debuff was just wearing off and that I can re-queue, but still… wow just wow.

Luckily the next one I get is full of people who communicate and pull sensibly. All from different guilds but all with the same rough gear level. We plow through Halls of Lightning, I get my two Frost Emblems and we part ways.

Seriously I’m alright if you want to do wacky things in a guild run. One of our DPS raiders rolled a healer so when I’m on my tank I like to do silly things (within reason) to mess with her (Hi Jaha!) but we always laugh about it, and I never do it when it’s a non guild run. If there is even one pugger in the group I try my best to behave. But to be kicked for calling someone out on pulling and feigning while watching the group wipe, that dog just won’t hunt monseigneur!

Any interesting P.U.G. stories from this week? Good, bad, awesome or terrible? That’s it for today folks.

Until next time, Happy Healing!

 

Image courtesy of CBS

It Came From The P.U.G.: GearScore Edition.

It Came From The P.U.G.: GearScore Edition.

For those who might not know yet, my gluttony for abuse knows no bounds. As a result I find myself in a rather large number of P.U.G. groups. At the end of the day I bring you, my readers, the stories of my travels in the random grouping of Azerothian adventure!

This week I’m going to focus on a mod that’s been getting a lot of attention for a while now, (both good and bad) Gearscore. The irony of this event is it comes right after listening to a podcast (no not mine) but the resident gentleman Dorf himself Brigwn over at The Hunting Lodge podcast. They had the creator of the addon as a guest and asked him all sorts of questions about the mod. Why it was created, if this was it’s intended use and where it’s going from here. Gearscore is a quick comparison of gear assigning a number based roughly on stat allocation per class / role on the item. It does not, in any way shape or form reflect skill. Simply put it tracks maximum potential for a role, the higher the number the better potential healing, dps or tankage you can do. You’re probably why I’m bringing this up. Well here’s why…

Last weekend I got bored and didn’t feel like doing heroics on my Shaman, and my Hunter needed a night off. So I did something I haven’t done since Naxx was THE place to be, I broke out my Death Knight Tank. She was the bomb when Naxx was the raid zone of choice and as a result has Naxx level tanking gear. Not the best, but not the worst. More than enough for heroics, which I can then convert the badges into T9 tanking gear. So I put on my tanking gear, change my specs, and hop into the queue to tank. 20 seconds later I find myself in AN with similarly geared people, everyone sitting there in Naxx (25) level gear, and seemingly good attitudes. So we buff, and I head down and start making pulls. First pull, no problem. Second pull, no problem. Then we get to the watchers. I pull the first group and pull them wayyyy back. I Deathgrip the caster onto me and drop Death and Decay. All of a sudden the healer leaves group! Not a word, not a disconnect, not lag and no vote kicking. Just up and leaves. One of the people in the P.U.G. Happened to be on the same realm as the person, so he shot them a tell asking what happened. The response he got back sort of shocked me.

“I looked at the Gearscore for the tank, too low I can’t heal that.”

I had a good chuckle at that. My DK might not be ready to storm into ICC at all, but she tanked Naxx 25 and is more than adequately geared to handle some measly heroics. So as me and the rogue are laughing about this the Warrior of the group drops, for the same reason as the priest. So what remains is a rogue and a mage and myself, all laughing about it. You would think that the story would end there, but it doesn’t. People joined and dropped the group 4 or 5 times before eventually a healer and a dps stuck. The kicker? The healer was in full tier 9, the DPS was another DK, in full heroic ToGC / ICC gear. I jokingly asked

“I have a low gear score you guys sure you want to stick around? already lost a handful of healers an dps”

Healer looks me over says

“Nope you’re fine, just keep shit off me”

the new DK pipes up.

“If I can’t manage my aggro on you, then that’s on me, no worries let get some badges”

Finally, after waiting for nearly 30 minutes we start really pulling, and blow through the instance, I don’t lose any mobs to the healer, there are no close calls there. And the DK ganked once, stopped attacking so I could taunt and then didn’t gank again. The run was smooth, and quick. With my badges in hand I hearthed back to Dala and logged for the night.

The funny thing is that was my first hands on experience with Gearscore ever, and I do mean ever.  I heard about it when it was created at the beginning of wrath and wrote it off as something I didn’t need. Eventually as people kept talking about it and how it ranked gear and assigned a value, I pushed it aside from my thoughts. When I started seeing requirement levels in gear score for easy content, I got a little bit angry at it’s creation, but I had never run across it in all my travels in Azeroth.

Thanks to The Hunting Lodge, I now know the mod was created at the release of Wrath and it’s original goal was to show that the heroic blues (ilvl 200) were on par with the 70 purples (ilvl 154ish) so that people weren’t excluded from Naxx runs. It has since become this oddity that has people calling for 5k Gearscore for heroic runs. Without listening to that I probably would have looked on the above chain of events with a much heavier heart, and some abject hatred to the mod.

To put this in perspective, I installed the mod and had a look-see at all my characters and even the members of my raid. Lodur, my main who is decked out in T9.5 and Tier 10 / 10.5 only ranks about 5795 on gear score. My alt hunter Abigail, in T9 with heroic level trinkets ranks 4900. My tank, in Naxx gear is somewhere around 3799. Most of my raiders are in the 5500 – 5700 score mark and we’re clearing ICC25. It just seems odd to me to cling so hard to a scoring system that only appraises gear, and not skill or personality.

In other P.U.G. related news, I hit a random up last night with my main Lodur, wound up getting Gundrak. I’ve done this place a million times, yet somehow never managed to get Less Rabi achievement . We stacked a group from guild one day to try for it but for some reason it just fell out of reach each time. So we get to Moorabi and the tank pulls I instinctively wind shear the first transformation, and I notice his health is dropping like a rock. I wind shear the second and pop heroism and drop my elemental. he goes for the third transformation, the DK pounds him with a mind freeze and he dies. I see the achievement pop up and I’m one happppppppy Shaman. The hate tells roll in from some of the guildies yet to get it and I log off to go to bed one contented man.

So, how about you guys? Any interesting stories from the P.U.G.-Verse? Have any run ins with Gearscore? Good or bad?

Until next time, Happy Healing

It Came From The P.U.G. 3.3 Edition!

It Came From The P.U.G. 3.3 Edition!

forge of souls

Well on the off chance you missed it patch 3.3 is live! and with it comes the next installment of it came from the P.U.G., a column where I throw myself into random groups and the report the end results.

With the patch last night we got three new heroics, The forge of Souls, Pit of Saron, and Halls of Reflection. After much server raid instance stability issues, my guild decided to call it an early night, breaking off into heroic groups to knock out the three new heroics. I have things to take care of administration side so I bow out and take care of some behind the scenes guild maintenance. When I was done all the guildies had gone for the day, so it was time to open up the brand new LFG tool and get my rear in The Forge of Souls.

I open up the tool and put my check mark in The Forge of Souls and then sit and wait. After about 10 minutes the group fills up and I’m delighted to try to use the new port to instance function. I hit my button and the zone loads and one by one everyone pops into the instance. I myself am on the Zul’jin server, I get two people from Arthas a Gnome Warrior and a hunter, and then a rogue and a mage. Everyone is fitzing with their UI’s so we give them a few minutes and while we’re waiting around the Gnome Warrior notices I have a Val’anyr.

“well shit, guess I don’t have to worry about this pugging tool, that or I hit the konami code before I went in, this should be sweeeeeeeettttttt”

we go through and we do our pulls and things are going smoothly, then my earth shield tracking mod goes on the fritz. I type out in party that I need a minute to reload my UI and then hit the /RL to get it going. When I come back, all of the party is nearly dead! Apparently they missed my message and pulled not one, not two, but three groups. Before I can catch up to them the mage and the rogue explode. The hunter follows as soon as his deterrence drops, so it’s just me and the Gnome versus about 5 mobs. I’m dispelling curses and refreshing earth shield and dpsing when I can and eventually we stave off a wipe and down the mobs. I res up the dead, and the hunter asks

I point out that I had to reload my ui and we  carry on. The group goes on to finish the zone before the server explodes and dumps us all back in Dalaran. All in all a good run.

I decide to give the random tool another go and this time leave it completely on random. I wind up in a group with a mage, a warrior, a paladin and a DK. We wind up in heroic gundrak. First question I ask

“Ok, who’s the tank!?”

The paladin pipes up

“the one that’s got 45k health”

I look over the party list and see that the paladin, warrior, and dk all have roughly the same health and the paladin and war are in prot spec.

“well.. I’m just asking cause all of you are pretty much prot spec. That’s cool though at least we’ll never die!”

The paladin tries to reply but then must have looked and saw in face all three plate classes were in prot spec. We all have a good laugh about it and go on. The run goes smooth and we complete it and go our separate ways.

I dare say the smoothest pugs I’ve had in a while. Everyone was good natured and equally geared, and now that we can pull from other servers finding groups is much easier. There is no waiting to get to the instance you can just click on the tool and port in, and then when you’re done you can port out. It’s handy and I’ll be honest this was the highlight for me on the first day of patch 3.3. The tool works and works really well. Everyone in my groups was of comparable gear levels, the groups were actually fairly balanced and well… quite honestly it made me a little giddy. I know I’ve been eagerly awaiting this tool since I heard about it at Blizzcon and it was nice to see how it worked in a live environment. Good job Blizz I think you hit this one out of the park!

So have you guys gotten to try the new LFG tool? Any good stories to share? Any horrible stories to share?

Next time maybe I’ll have more drama to share but until then, happy healing!

Sig