Tobold's Blog
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
PuGs are getting silly

My warrior is now wearing 10 epic pieces, due to participating in a guild run to the Vault of Archavon in which 2 warrior epics dropped and I happened to be the only warrior in the raid. But I still haven't seen the inside of Naxxramas with that warrior, as for the "official" guild raids I'm needed on my priest. So when I heard somebody advertising a Naxxramas PuG in trade chat, I was interested. I just didn't quite understand the "link your achievement" part of the advertisement. So I checked what achievement he wanted to have linked, and it was "The Fall of Naxxramas" of course. You were only allowed in the Naxxramas group if you had already completed it. Doh!

There is a general trend I've noticed in which requirements for PuGs are getting more and more ridiculous. You can get kicked out of a PuG for a simple heroic because you don't have 2,000 spellpower. Which of course is difficult to get to if you can't get into a group to do heroics in the first place. Basically what these people are advertising is that *they* want a free ride to some place, inviting only overgeared people. And then of course there will not be any crowd control, no sheeps, no shackles, no saps, no ice traps. Everything will be AoE'd instead. Minimum skill and time requirement, but only completely geared up people are welcome. Once I even saw somebody requiring the "Northrend Dungeon Hero" achievement for an heroic invite.

With the automated looking for group system still not good enough for anyone to use it, and the few people organizing pickup groups only taking overpowered people, I guess I'll stick to going to dungeons only with my guild. Otherwise I have to wait for the next expansion where Blizzard borrows the idea of public quests from Mythic before I can find a working pickup group. :)
I think they might be a bit more fussy for tanks/ healers for PUG raids. It's not so much asking for a free ride, so much as being very very risk averse. If you assume that the guy making the PUG also has the achievement that he's asking for (and you can check that) then what he wants is a smooth run through that will be able to reach and kill the last boss within reasonable time.

Now, is that a bad thing to want?
It's not so much as *they* want a free ride, but rather they don't want to give *you* a free ride.

They're not responsible for your character development, nor should they be.
The char needs to be so powerful that even a dumbass could complete the instance. This is a "safe & secure" standard practice. Even if WoW is braindead easy for retards by now...^^ Blame instance IDs and basically game design for such abominations.
Just start the groups yourself
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It really is about the risk on the time invested. In the second week of January, or so, it seems the majority caught up with the achievers, and all of a sudden there was a severe drop in the competency and preparedness of the average PuG'er. I started leaving a lot of heroic groups five minutes in when I'd end up doing over 40% of the damage or our "tank" had 18k health. The situation has degraded with PuG raids. I've seen a Naxx10 fail because six of the DPS were doing less than 1500dps.

To me, it's an issue of respect. I invested time and effort into ensuring that I am competent and well-equipped enough not to hinder the success of the run. I expect the same in return from other players. DPS should significantly outperform tanks in their role. Tanks should have at least 5k more health than I do and be able to hold AoE threat. Healers in heroics should have enough spellpower to spare a heal on someone other than the tank, and enough awareness to see when they're needed.

Slackers who seem to think attendance qualifies entitlement show disrespect, and are undeserving of my time and effort.
Luckily, the achievement system produces links that can be replicated manually. Without knowledge of internal semantics that could be done by using an addon. And a certain goblin on a nearby blog insists that no one actually remembers people in random parties (in case they all of a sudden achieve the linked and not-so-completed achievement in the said party) :)
I was told my 1700+ spellpower and nearly 900 out of combat mp5 was 'enough' for a heroic the other day. Of course, I started healing heroics when I hit level 80 with maybe 1000 spellpower and 700 regen, and have only had problems with it once or twice.

Turned out the person asking me was a complete agro monkey, and needed the extra healing I had going spare. Who'd've thunk.
Nobody likes to waste time.
If an overgeared player is visiting an heroic is probalby because he's been there a million times but still needs something and can't be arsed to provide the piggy back for peeps in a PuG to gear up. What he wants is to steamroll the place looking for loot/rep and do it again as fast as possible.
That is so painfully obvious that i really don't know what's your problem with it?
Want undergeared and challenging groups? You start them.
My basic rule is: "You have to be geared up from the previous tier of content". Want to do heroics? Get blue ilvl 187 gear form regular instances/ah/quests. Want to do naxx? Get blue/epic ilvl 200 gear from heroics. Etc.

On one side, bringing a green geared player to a heroic will just be frustrating for everyone and he'll just be dead weight. I really get annoyed when some "DPS" are below the tank. On the other side, bringing an overgeared player might work but why would he like to join that old content, he doesn't need anything! So that will often lead to long wait times to fill in your spot.
We actually had a fairly heated debate about this in my guild a few weeks back. Someone was looking for a healer for the daily heroic, so I sent a tell on my druid (which is my fully geared main) that I would come and heal. I got a tell back asking me if I was "gud" and "what r ur stats". At that juncture, I replied "why does that matter, it's heroic (insert instance here)". I assured him that I'd be up to the task, without providing him the requested information. I also the let him know that "While I thank you for considering me, I respectfully rescind my request to accompany your group". At that juncture I got spam invited until I had to place the player on ignore.

It was at this point that I commented on the experience in guild chat, to have a guild member (one that has regularly passed over my very well geared alt for heroics to the point that I just stopped offereing to go when the was looking for DPS in guild) state that he always armorys a pug before inviting them into an instance group. I was floored, I absolutely couldn't beleive it. This is where the debate began. I was indignant that anyone partook in this practice. I understand that people don't want a wipe fest, but by putting such elitest requirements on pugs you are in fact denying the people that need the gear, badges and experience the most from getting just that. How is anyone expected to improve if they are being told that because they don't have ZOMG PURPLZ from the second they hit 80 they aren't allowed into the very beginning, basic content? I mean, I could see checking to make sure a tank is crit immune...but I certainly don't expect anyone in a pug to be fully epic'd out.

When I run an instance, on any toon, if I am missing people I will ask in guild twice if anyone is interested. I will always bring someone's alt that wants to go. If I get no takers then I just ask in Dalaran. My standard rule is that I will give everyone at least one chance, I don't care who they are, where they come from, or what they are wearing. 9 times out of 10, I am pleasently surprised by the player quality of those that join us. I find a lot of times those pugs are more careful, more curtious, and play smarter than some fully epic'd out player that is just trying to zerg through the instance. I can certainly think of a time that we took a fully geared rogue from a respected guild to heroic DTK and he died every single pack that had the mobs that retaliate, because he was too "leet" to need to pay attention to the instance. The very next night, we did the same instance with a pug rogue that not only back out from the retalitates, but just played better all his blues.

I just can't believe so many people are now denying those trying to improve. Heroics are meant to be done by people in blues, Naxx was meant to be done by people in a mix of blues and heroic epics. I'm amazed by how many people disregard that fact. It's a vicious cycle, really.

I can understand a Naxx 25 group wanting the Fall achievement for Naxx 10. The fights are almost identical in most cases, so if you have at least done Thaddius at 10 then your not going to wipe the group in a 25 man (which is where most PuGs have a 98% failure rate).

However, keeping people out of Heroics without X gear is just stupid. Heroics in WoTLK are incredibly easy and offer absolutely zero for a well geared player. For example, on my Rogue, I haven't "needed" anything from a Heroic in a month. IF I do one, it's to help out someone in the Guild. Once I got my alt all three BoA pieces, I even stopped doing Naxx 10! With the exception of just a handful of trinkets/rings, Heroics in general are pretty much FOR the people who are needing to gear up. I can tell you right now that if I do join a Heroic PuG on my Rogue, then I pretty much EXPECT the tank to be badly geared and for me to out-DPS everyone else by 30%-40%.

That's less about my own ego and more about the people who "need" to run Heroics. The super well-geared people that these other PuGGers seem to want just don't exist. The lone exception being instances (like Heroic UP) where a particular item drops (Whetstone trinket) that just happens to be better than most Naxx 10 equivalents.

So in that sense, I totally agree with Tobold that people looking for OP players are looking for a free ride. It's certainly been my experience that most of the time those PuG advertisers end up being the least geared player in the group.
(Not having to explain 14 fights + greater chance of success + faster boss & trash killing) / enough raiders available who want to run 10Naxx for emblems or straggler pieces whose guilds already cleaned 25Naxx and don't do many 10man guild runs = no reason to allow real "puggers"

If they are setting their qualifications too high they won't be able to fill spots and they'll have to lower them, so it's kind of a self-regulating system. Admittedly, "has already done it before" is really high of a standard, but it just goes to show that the % of folks playing now that have seen (and beaten) endgame is larger than ever.

It's actually really funny, since even though content is so much easier on a absolute scale, you compete for raid spots on a relative scale. If the content difficulty drop has increased the ratio of (players geared enough to beat endgame) / (players willing to lead raids/groups), then standards will simply go up to stupid levels (they already have for heroics) and many folks will be left in the cold as only the highest qualified get selected.

So there's a good question: do you think the ratio of (players geared enough to beat endgame) / (players willing to lead raids/groups) has changed, perhaps? Has the wave of 'new raiders' failed to produce enough leaders?
EQ2's started to be plagued by this lately also. Just about every PUG advertises for "mythical-equipped [insert class] needed for TSO shard run!"

Nevermind that fewer than 5% of all the players have even the fabled version of that item, much less the mythical upgrade, and those that do are in relatively high-end raid guilds.

I don't get to play much anymore due to recently getting married and getting a new job with a different schedule. My gear's still decent-to-above-average on any toon that I play, and I've worked hard on all my toons to be above-average in competence. I've never had anyone tell me I sucked, but do get the occasional "you're really good" from pugs, so from that I think I must be all right, and several IRL friends that I sometimes am able to play with tell me I'm "far better" than a lot of others that they regularly group with......

But, no mythical weapon, so no end-level heroic instances for me anymore, it seems.

I find myself playing more and more EVE lately as a result. "Gear" in that game doesn't mean so much.
I'm thankful every day that I don't have to experience this. My fiance and I put together our own heroic groups, and we take any 80 who wants to come, with people on our friends list getting priority (as our guild only includes the two of us and our alts). Even when we first started in heroics, we AoE'd everything down. At the end of the run, we consider the new people we brought. Did they listen to instructions? Were they friendly in chat and overall fun to be around? Add them to my friends list for next time.

I keep damage meters, but only for my own curiosity. We neither look up people on the armory nor kick people for not being "good enough". Even when all of the group members are below my fiance's prot paladin on the damage meters, we have never failed a run because of it.

So my advice to you is, if you want to run heroics, try putting them together yourself! I bet there are a lot of other people out there in the same boat you are, wanting to run heroics and not being "allowed" to because people are so picky. If you give those people a chance, they'll be desperate to prove themselves.
As a tank I absolutely hate pug's. Currently I'm at 29k health unbuffed, capped def and 90% avoidance. I'm geared and I know how to play my class. Currently I'm welcomed with open arms to every failboat PUG. This wasn't always the case however....

When I first hit 80 I had decent blue gear. I had capped def and 22k health. 20k is about entry level health for heroic tanking and 535 def is recomended. I exceeded the "stats" listed on many WoW sites to start heroic tanking. Needless to say I was passed over PUG after PUG after PUG. Ussually I would join the group and they would see 22k health and I would be kicked. It really pissed me off, esp when I had already ran these heroics.

Most pug's I join have subpar dps and heals. I as a tank am #1 on the dps meter well over 50% of the time. This leads me to believe that PuG's aren't looking for an equal partner... they are looking to be carried.
What you are seeing is very simple the explain. All of the terribad players that were passed over in the past are now able to get gear and achievements, due to the game being easy. These players now fancy themselves as the "elite" and are thus behaving how they fell that "elite" players should act, but due to their lack of experience at being pro, they created the present problem being disucssed here.

A great mass of skillless players are sitting on a ton of empty achievements and epics that fell out of the sky. Enforcing unrealistic standards for entry allows them to inflate their newly acquired egos.
All of the terribad players that were passed over in the past are now able to get gear and achievements, due to the game being easy. These players now fancy themselves as the "elite" and are thus behaving how they fell that "elite" players should act, but due to their lack of experience at being pro, they created the present problem being discussed here.

As asinine as that sounds, it might actually be partly the truth. WoW might have a broad reach in terms of age and diversity, but many of the players in that community are young and/or childish. Add the internet anonymity into the equation and this new crop of "raiders" have an ego problem.

Or alternately, and perhaps more likely, getting epics is just a license to behave like an asshat to other people. That was certainly true prior to Wrath, so what's changed other than more people having epics. More epics = More asshats?
I dunno, it has always been like this even since vanilla WoW. I don't think it is any worse than it ever has been and in fact most of the people that put such crazy ass reqs on stuff usually end up failing anyway.
I think there is an element of what server you are on too. I have not once as a Healer ever been asked what gear I have before being invited to a group and have never been in a group which has kicked someone. Although it is also the case that people are just thankful to get a healer of tank in the first place or perhaps when I turn up, as long as I'm not greens they give you a chance to prove yourself.

An interesting thing which no one has so far mentioned is how this will change with dual specs. Think of all the Warriors, Paladins, Shamans, Death Knights and Druids who can all of a sudden change to fill a tank or healing roles (that they may have little experience in) that is being advertised. I suspect I will begin to see people being more picky then but also the chance of 80's wanting to do normal dungeons again to gear up their offspec.
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