/failcheck Expectations of PUGers

This isn’t an “experiment” /failcheck – this is me calling out a clear “fail” that needs to be addressed. Here’s the short version of this post: have realistic expectations of a PUG and address issues when they arise instead of saying nothing.

Here’s the long version: I was talking to a friend of mine in my guild, and she mentioned that one of our fellow officers was constantly posting messages in officer chat along the lines of “these guys are total fails,” I wish they would do their job right,” or “can I cry now because this is so horrible.” (I’m not exaggerating about the “can I cry” part either – he says that a lot). Now, I haven’t been on when this occurred; otherwise, I’d tell him to do something about it or stop talking about it. Annoyed guildmates is the only result you’ll get from moaning and groaning in guild/officer chat about something you can fix.

We are only 8 days into the new expansion, so most of the PUGs you’ll get via heroic queueing (and even regular queueing) are players who haven’t done that dungeon/version of that dungeon yet. Newness of the expansion aside, I was still running into players new to a particular PUG during the final month of WotLK. You will always have the chance of that happening when queuing for a PUG, so get used to it or stop queuing. If nothing else, remember that at some point during your WoW lifespan, you were likely in a similar situation. Would you have appreciated other players being mad at you for not knowing a fight on your first visit to a dungeon?

Of course, there are ways you can prepare for dungeons, and I do agree that some are pseudo-prerequisites to joining a PUG (in my opinion), whereas others are beneficial but aren’t wholly necessary. To generalize my opinions, I feel a game should be fun and shouldn’t require outside sources to be fun, but knowing the ins and outs of a game itself is important. For example:

  • There are millions of resources on the internet that can prepare you as much as possible for a fight before doing it, but WoW is first and foremost a game. I feel I can safely say that Blizzard has never and will never release a game designed to force you to research encounters before doing them. There will inevitably be trial-and-error wipes, but that’s how games have been for a long time (“how do we kill Bowser on this level? Well, let’s try this…”).
  • Gear is a prerequisite in my eyes. If it wasn’t, then Blizzard wouldn’t have set a minimum iLevel for players to meet before having access to the heroic dungeon queue. There are some WoW players who don’t put much/any effort into gearing up for heroics, and it tends to ruin the fun for your fellow PUGers when you’re one of these people. After all, it’s one thing to wipe because you don’t quite know and encounter yet. It’s another thing entirely to wipe because your gear is so insufficient that it’s impossible for you to best an encounter (e.g., a  tank wearing WotLK blues/purples is likely going to be unable to successfully tank a Cata heroic). This is what the minimum iLevel is supposed to prevent, but some players are finding ways to cheat the system. One example that I’ve seen is a warrior equipping an intellect/spirit blue ring they got form a quest, simply because it puts them above the iLevel bar.
  • Knowing your class is highly important, and a key feature of the game. Although there’s been some homogenization of class abilities lately, all classes have there own, unique abilities that makes them different than other classes (otherwise, why have classes at all?). You should know what these are, when/how to use them, and why it’s important to do so!

Finally, if you’re in a PUG where someone is failing at something important, then do something constructive about it. As I said before, complaining to your guildmates about a problem you can solve is of no benefit to yourself. Tell your party why what’s happening is wrong and how to correct it. If you can at least do that, and they refuse to listen, then I’m willing to hear your monologue about how you’re in the worst PUG ever. If they try to do the correct method and aren’t quite getting the hang of it, then I’m just going to say “luck of the draw” and tune you out. I stand firmly beside my belief that games should be fun. If other people are ruining your fun intentionally by being stubborn headed about doing things the wrong way, then I sympathize with you. However, if they’re giving their best effort, and you still complain to me about it, then you’re ruining my fun. And that’s no fun (bah dum tsssh?)!

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