Nov 5, 2011

Posted by in Blue Milk & Cereal | 27 Comments

Blue Milk & Cereal: Are You Afraid Of PUGs?

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Everyone has phobias. There’s all kinds of them… fear of heights, spiders, clowns and so on. If it exists, there is probably someone out there terrified of it. In the world of MMOs we have our own kind of phobia. Fear of the pick-up group, otherwise known as a PUG.

For those unfamiliar, PUGs are when a group of people, who usually don’t know each other, group up to complete a certain objective or mission. While these people say they’ll be able to adequately fill certain roles, you usually don’t know what you’re getting into until it’s too late.

And that’s where the hysteria can set in. In PUGs, you only know what you as a player can bring to the group. You don’t know if the tank knows what they’re doing, if the healer understands what the finer points or if the DPS can actually pay attention and not stand in the stupid. All you’re going on is luck. They’re not friends, or guild-mates that you’ve run things with before. It’s really a shot in the dark.

If you can’t tell so far, I’m terrified of PUGs. It mainly comes from years of healing in WoW, especially when dual specialization was added. You would go into a heroic dungeon blindly, not knowing if you had someone who felt like trying something new. For example, a rogue who felt he was up for some tanking. Ever had that happen? Talk about a headache.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out in Star Wars: The Old Republic. BioWare is going to great lengths to give the classes flexibility in their roles, and depending on the design of the encounters, this could be a blessing or a curse – making the PUG all that much more viable. Or suicidal.

But would you say you have PUGaphobia? Do you absolutely avoid PUGs at all cost? Or do you enjoy throwing caution to the wind and see what happens?

Are you afraid of PUGs?

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  1. I experienced many a bad PUG in Wow, so yes I’m very afraid of PUGs. Even the dogs sometimes give me the creeps….

    If the content in TOR is easy, they might be ok though.

  2. The level of pugs depend on the game in my oppinion, back in the days in WoW classic for example, pugs were fine. It was the moment were you were able to get to max level and to items without alot of work or even knowing what the fuck you’re doing when pugs became a horror.
    The problem even expanded when raids became pugable.

    But aslong as you need to have a clue to even be able to join the groups you’re fine in my oppinion.

  3. I don’t consider PuGs a thing to fear. You get your good ones, you get your bad ones, and you get your okay ones. It’s the same kind of roulette as you play in many other situations, from the person who sits next to you on the bus, takes your coffee order, or tries to figure out why your Internet hasn’t been working for the past eight hours.

    Sometimes I do get tired of PuGging and won’t deal with it for a while.

  4. I have had some bad luck in PUGs, but then again my inexperience with raiding added to the issues and concerns.

  5. Real issue for is that I only remember the bad experiences, so over time they just add up. I think a lot of the problem comes from elitist attitudes, which in theory shouldn’t happen so much in TOR as it’s a level playing field as a new MMO, also, there are no meters to slam in peoples faces as “proof” that you’re a bad player. So here’s hoping for a better experience.

  6. While I am a bit leery of PUGs in most MMOs, I will join them for the odd quest or so. Usually, though, I try to stay with my own Guild, or friends that I have made in-game.

    However, with TOR and the Story system, I just may avoid PUGs altogether, outside of Flashpoints, Operations and anywhere else where I can go back, repeat the content and change the outcome if I don’t like what the PUGs choices have forced my character into.

    But hey – that’s just me. Of course, I generally like to Solo a lot anyway. Or Duo with my wife.

  7. I only run in PUG’s. With the ability to kick whoever is doing something ridiculous, a bad group member is rarely an issue in WoW. Actually, when level 85 heroic 5-mans turned out to be deadly, people got even more together since it’s never fun to die repeatedly outside of a battleground.

  8. I chose other – I’ve always been pretty patient when it comes to bad groups. I give people the benefit of the doubt…maybe this is only someone’s 1st or 2nd time in the instance, or maybe, just maybe, they really ARE new to the game and are still learning things.

    The only thing that ever bothered me was when someone else in the “bad” groups started getting all butt-hurt because of wipes or slow movement and began berating whoever it was causing the “issue.” I don’t put up with that nonsense, and it usually ended with the flamER leaving the group.

  9. Pong Krell says:

    The MMO model has edged away from player interdependency and the need for socialising toward the quick fix gameplay, so people believe that they don’t need you and don’t have to be nice to you.

    Unless BW bows to the “this isn’t cross server like WoW? Make it like WoW!” crowd we may see server communities again and some consequence to behaving like an a$$hat in groups.

  10. I think there is a significant difference between fear of PUGs and dislike of PUGs. I don’t fear getting into a pick up if needed, and will struggle along with them up to a certain point. I do dislike pick up’s that really have no idea what they are doing though. It doesn’t take much to get a basic understand of the game and it’s mechanics, something most baddies fail to do.

  11. I sometimes like PUGs but i think i wont care about all that for a long time.. cuz ill be so damn happy that im playing SWTOR!!

  12. I’m not afraid of them. I just hate them.

    • This^^. I will avoid them as much as possible in this game. Most problems are associated with PUG groups, so I intend to run most group content with guidies and friends of guldies. Very few PUGs this time around.

  13. I’m not afraid of them, just don’t like them, why PUG when you can belong to a guild and play with them.

  14. I am even more concerned with Pugs in TOR than other games. I want to be clear first, the bad pug experience and, I have had a lot of them is when you have that one guy who gets the group wiped over and over again and again. I learned to hate that person or people. Usually a DPS trying to tank and agroing everything in sight. You just have to leave the group. But with TOR when someone can affect your future game, no not going to happen. I will pug and get to know people outside of Flashpoints, or Ops, but know way do I but my future game into the hands of someone I don’t know and I mean don’t know well. I can see it now. “I only pick light/dark choices” then in the FP they switch it on you and win the roll changing your future game. That guy you did not want dead is now dead, for you, for good. No Thank You. I will stick to the people I know.

    • I believe it has been said that what light/dark points are awarded are based on your vote, not the team vote. Even if you choose light when all others choose dark and dark wins the toss, you still get light side while playing the dark side content.

  15. Bielduwyn says:

    I really prefer to play with friends, but if I just can’t wait to do a Heroic quest or a Flashpoint then I would risk a PUG, what’s the worst that could happen? A few wipes and the group disbanding, big deal, I can just go back to waiting for at least one of my friends to show up then.

  16. Good PUGs are few and far between, at least in my experience. For every group of players who knows their role and their class, there seems to be 10 who have no idea what they are doing. Another PUG issue is that there is no social bond among the players, and so they tend to be much more rude. This has been especially true in recent WOW experience because often the PUGs are cross-server, and so never need to worry about “Needing” on that BOE epic that they can’t use or isn’t their main spec and then bailing on the group.

  17. Yes! I am terrified of PuGs. I have pretty bad social anxiety, so doing anything in MMOs with strangers is hard. I can’t deal with people yelling at each other at all. I’ve avoided PvE grouping for years, because, like someone mentioned above, PuGing was fine back when most people had a clue what was going on. But now, people are just so quick to rage, and I can’t deal with it.

    Like I said, I avoid PvE, but I love to PvP. I frequently wind up a quivering mess of tears because battleground chat broke down into screaming hissy fits.

    I’m hoping that SWTOR PuGs more-closely resemble classic WoW. Maybe people will be more respectful if there’s some reason not to piss your groupmates off. Forced responsibility, if you will.

  18. I’m more afraid of potential difficulties filling and setting up groups without a random queuing system like WoWs dungeon finder.

  19. The problem with pugs is that people does not communicate enough with each others.

    The “good player” does not check with the others if they know the strat or do have the neccessary skill/equipment to follow, and the “newby” does not say he doesn’t know anything about the run, so it leads to wipes. My guess, it’s due to a lack of communications between the group. Try to speak with the others. Ask if they are ready to go on for example. A good group is nothing but 4-5 players, talking with each others.

  20. The best way to make MMO friends is PUGs more or less but on the other side of that coin there is bound to be an overconfident Imperial Agent that wants to try to tank.

  21. In PUGs the old saying “more sweat on the training groud less blood on the battlefield is true” this means if you wait for good players and dont invite first “noob” who whisper you the run will be smooth

  22. Makes me laugh how people make reference to battlefields or coffee shops when referring to pugs. Having been in both during my lifetime, I can assure you that grouping with strangers is not anxiety provoking or in fact anything like those references! Those of you who have problems with other people in an mmo need to remember, or even say out loud the following statement after a ‘bad’ experience while playing…. “it’s only a GAME!”

  23. I’ve very rarely been a part of a poor “pug” so I am not afraid of them. Most of the ones I have been in (in all MMO’s I’ve played) were very successful actually.

    I’m not flaming anyone, but I will say that if all the PUGS you’ve been in have been bad, then maybe you need to look at yourself as well (since that is the common element in all of them). If you expect something bad to come from a situation and you act on that expectation from the start, then that a bad experience is typically what you get.

  24. I voted for other.

    I have high hopes that the random people I run into aren’t the degenerates that plague WoW. I know that is a pointless expectation. I do expect many many jerks.

    I do look forward to pugs but I have thoughts on what the LF chats may look like.

    I expect there to be alignment requirements for some groups just so they can speed through certain big moments (the engineers) I also expect some crafting requirements.

    Here is the nightmare: LF dark sided vanguard ss (shield specialist)with capped scavenging.

  25. Pugs are a great place to improve your skills. When you’re in a group with friends or guildies everything tends to go smooth, but in a pug stuff can go wrong and your ability to recover can help you prepare for raids

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