What exactly is a PUG?

So I have been working alongside my spouse to level her Draenei Disc Priest & my Worgen SV Hunter. We hit level 25 and I suggested, “How about a PUG?” She inquired as to what this meant and I explained:

A PUG (pick-up group) is a dungeon run with 5 players being pulled from anywhere and dropped into a level appropriate instance for them to complete. The advantage is that you would most likely get a fair amount of experience for each kill made, a large bucket of experience from completing the dungeon itself, along with additional XP from completing any quests specific to that dungeon. I also said you will get some nice gear to continue leveling with from the boss kills and the bonus satchel you get on completing the random itself.

She concurred, “Sounds like it’s a lot of fun, what are we waiting for?!” I agreed and said let’s go…and then the “fun” began.

Now, to be honest, she is still learning. She is learning the fundamentals of the game here: moving using the mouse, controlling your camera angle, using spells and abilities on the go, key and mouse binds, identifying party members, setting focus, who to heal and when, even that sure-fired aggravating simple move of jumping over an expanse (I tried to tell her we all fell a hundred times trying to jump past the expanse of rocks in BFD). All of this is then coupled with the pressures of: playing with new people whom she does not know, failing the group as a whole (specifically letting the tank die), learning the dungeons themselves!! We as seasoned players forget what it was like to truly be new!

Now I have insisted on mentioning to a party upon zoning in, “Hey, the healer is new to the game and still learning, let’s please take it nice and easy.” You’d think folks would understand what this was like and say something like “Okies! No problem we’ve all been there. Just follow the tank and keep them alive. Stay close to the hunter. If you have any issues or questions, just ask in p-chat!”

“OMG! NOOB! Keep up with the tank dammit! You run at MY pace! HEALER what are you doing, why did I die. Rez me! NAO! Why did I have to run with bads. She isn’t new, you just suck.” /sigh. Well…what a great taste of PUGs for her to get right off the bat eh?

So here’s the funny part to me. Blizzard wants to push their product more. They want more players. Well guys…here is your issue. The PLAYERS are standing in your way! She had me sitting by her side at the table. I was able to explain where to go. Who was doing what. What to focus on. I was able to help her. Coach her through the first few dungeons. Now she caught on quickly and soon needed far less direction or instructions even in a dungeon she had not been in yet. She was learning, but I can tell she gets somewhat frustrated still. I also see her running through some of these dungeons at break neck speeds: which means she is not learning any of the lore that goes along with these places, appreciating the art and design involved with creating them, and while learning her specific role of healing a tank – not fully understanding the party roles and how various classes fill those roles! The other players are not interested nor inclined to take the time to do this! We had tanks running off not allowing for a few moments for people to collect quest items, loot corpses, skin/mine/gather using their profession skills. I was in one group where 4 players ran back to turn something in, the tank ran forward to continue on…while the norm might have been to keep moving the group as a whole clearly chose to do something else. The tank freaked to say the least.

Players like him are rolling in full bind on account Heirloom gear. They have all their slots pretty much filled with no real need to compare any items. Players like her need to stop and look at drops and determine if they are even appropriate for their class/spec, let alone if the item is an upgrade or not. She has rolled a couple of times on strength items not realizing it and has been screamed at for being a noob and an idiot!

This same fool had the benefit of “learning” the game and now affords no such understanding of her “learning” the game. They are arrogant, snotty, impatient, immature, aggravating, dehumanizing, insolent, mean, cruel, rapacious, aloof, pretentious, brash, vain.

I don’t know anyone who would WANT to play alongside these types of people, and kudos to her for lasting this long and not giving up, even getting better.

PUGs are awful. We all knew this already. So, why do we have them? Are they really helping the game? From where I am standing…I don’t see how.

Up next: Recap of all the Blizzcon goodness from around the blog-sphere.

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