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PuGs: Unfairly Judged

Michelle had an interesting comment to yesterday’s post that got me thinking.

That said, my perspective may be skewed because BDF is a fairly progressed server and our trade channel PuGs are usually able to down Anub. I only run ToC25 on my main; I PuG it on my alts and have become rather sensitive to the way people look down on PuG’s. /shrug

Why do we look down on PuGs?

I don’t pug. It’s one thing to invite pugs for our guild runs. We’re in control generally in control. This is important to me not because I’m a power hungry dictator seeking dominion over my fellow beings (although I’m working on that as well),

but because I have more control over my experience. The people I run with are fun people. I’m comfortable around them. This makes things easier for me, especially if they go south* and all the more enjoyable when they go well. And besides, at this point the main reason I play the game is because of the in-game friends I’ve made so if I’m not playing with them, why play?

But that’s not a good enough reason for why PuGs have gotten a bad name. It isn’t like I haven’t run with good PuGs before. So why the bad name?

Story Time

I’m not one for giving out a lot of personal information on this blog. I’m sure you’re not interested, but for the sake of this story I need to set it up for you a little.

I graduated from Brigham Young University (BYU). I am a Mormon. Which is why I especially found BBB’s post the other day extremely entertaining. 🙂 (BTW a good majority of BYU’s football team over the years have been non-Mormons.  They recruit just like any other school.) But please understand that I’m a horrible example of what a Mormon should be. I haven’t attended church in over 5 years (basically since graduating). I cuss on this blog and in real life (mostly while playing CoD which aggravates my wife to no end). And have a slew of other problems to boot. So please don’t judge Mormons as a whole based on me. They’re just like anybody else. There are good ones and bad ones.

There’s several somewhat controversial…topics, let’s say, amongst church members. For those of you that know Mormons, caffeine is one of them. Another one is R-rated movies.

Now any religious person that really wants to lead a clean and wholesome life probably will not find any redeeming value in an R-rated movie. But the funny thing is that a lot of Mormons base what they will and will not watch on the rating system. You’re basing your religious moral values on a system set up by what you consider a morally corrupt system? Hmmm. Yeah, I’ll never understand that one.

So there I am on a Saturday morning sitting in my living room with two of my roommates. We’re watching a movie and I believe it was one of the greatest movies ever made performed by one of my favorite actors of all time.

Die Hard! Rated R for violence and language and maybe a few other things, I don’t know.

While the three of us are sitting there attempting to wake up, eat breakfast, and watch the movie, the door opens suddenly and another one of our roommates with arms raised, fists clenched, and bowed head triumphantly exclaims “I macked on three girls last night!” Laughing he walks in followed by a friend of his that he met last night.

While my roommate heads into his room to change clothes, his friend stands at the doorway and quietly observes us watching Die Hard. Unfortunately he breaks the silence.

“What movie is this?”, he asks quizzically.

“Die Hard,” one roommate responds and proceeds to spoon a mouthful of Lucky Charms into his gaping maw.

“Isn’t that rated R?”, the guy asks.

“Yup,” I said wondering who the hell is this guy and does he really have the gall to come into my home and lecture me on what I can watch?

“You can’t watch that,” he said apparently possessing the gall.

“That’s funny,” I said “because I think I am.” My roommate proceeded to spew Lucky Charms all over the floor barely missing the couch.

As we sit in tense silence, the triumphant roommate returns from his room having successfully changed his clothes and heads for the door. His friend asks, “Did you grab the movie?”

“Oh crap!”, he exclaims and runs back to his room. Curious another roommate asks what movie they’re going to go watch.

Without missing a beat the guys says, “Austin Powers”.

I nearly exploded.

It’s All In The Delivery

It’s one thing to believe or know something. It’s another to then try and pass that belief or knowledge on. It’s entirely another thing if you do it poorly**.

This guy, who I didn’t know from a hole in the wall, entered my home and attempted to lecture me on what I could do. As a Mormon I agree with him that I probably had no reason to be watching that movie. It contains absolutely no redeeming qualities from a religious standpoint and some negative qualities in that regard. Disregarding his hypocrisy, which is the fun part of the story, I think we can agree his delivery was horrible.

Because of this and similar stories, I had a rough time at BYU. But even as I knew I was being unfair and judging the entire school based on these few people, I couldn’t stop myself from doing it. And so it is with PuGs.

I’m sure you’ve had a chance to PuG a 25. And I’m sure you’ve had the chance to PuG a bad 25. Was it bad because of 24 other people or was it bad because of 1 or 2?

I’ll bet you just about anything that all of your bad PuG examples are because of 1 or 2 people in the entire group. It’s because those guys are vocal and stick out whereas the good ones stay quiet. It’s the vocal ones that give the entire group a bad name. It’s those guys that cause the drama. It’s those guys that make me not want to PuG. All because I don’t want to take the chance that I’ll end up with one of them. And I’m probably missing out on a great part of the game.

*Why do we say that? Is the South that bad? 🙂 Well here’s a random song for you and one of my favorites!
**A certain hunter needs to learn that before the entire guild turns on him. Although it might be too late for that…

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6 Responses

  1. Small writing is small!

  2. […] My man Spock said that in Wrath of Khan one of the greatest movies evah. My fellow bloggers elude to incident last night.  This is the great part of playing with a bunch of bloggers, they […]

  3. is this about my convo in guild about PuG’s? man………I don’t hate PuG’s in general, it’s just they have a higher chance of fail than a pre-coordinated group and I’m not gonna look for a PuG for more than 30 min….hell 15…and as a rogue…that means you’re not gonna find an open spot anymore

  4. Pugs, Pugs, the magical fruit, the more you eat, the more you puke!

    In all seriousness, I think there is something with pugs that makes them an entity all their own. You sort of alluded to it here, in your control statement.

    I wrote in my blog yesterday, about the unity that a raid leader provides. Another way of saying that is control. The Raid leader brings control to the group.

    But pugs, they often don’t have a clearly defined raid leader. And if they do, they often are stepped on and squashed by every one in there. And that is because in pugs, there is no real threat of discipline.

    Think about it, what is the worst that can happen in a pug? You get kicked? Generally if you are Pugging, you are there because you are not running said raid with your guild, or you are on an alt. Sure, the time invested is a waste, but thats really about it. You aren’t going to get kicked out, and if you are saved, it really only locks you out of whatever loot chances you might have had in a dungeon you weren’t going to run anyway.

    On my server, we are notorious for bad pugs. People with no gear try and pug up ulduar or OS+3. But there is a lesser known pug scene. Basically, some of the top end guilds maintain a “vouched for” log, in which when they need to pug someone to fill a spot, they go to the list and pug up someone who they know will perform (fortunately, many of my guild mates are on that list, including me 🙂

    So basically, it is all about control. You are trying to control your experience in the game. So are the people that maintain a “vouched for” list. All pugs aren’t bad. Just those that lack unity.

  5. There’s a difference between LFG/Trade pugs, and vetted pugs, as Firespirit alluded too. Almost all pug hate is directed to the former group. Everyone has a horror story about that pug hunter who pulled sub 1k dps, and ran directly into onyxia’s breath. Then he wins the roll on the sack of gems, and as you inspect him, you see that he’s specced 69/0/0. As he hearths away, you wonder why he didn’t spend his last two talent points.

    That’s why people hate pugs.

  6. Why do I hate pugs? I was in a 25 man ToC pug that decided the best strat for defeating the Faction Champs was to kill the Warlock first. When I pointed out that killing the healer first was probably the better way to go I got bitched at….then someone had the gall to say “Dude we hit him and then he just heals up..WTF?!” I can’t count the number of times I’ve gotten into the heroic daily and it fell apart at the second boss…in Nexus. I would check gear scores but I’ve found that even that doesn’t guarantee you anything. I suppose the common denominator could be me but I swear I am at least a good healer if not damn good. If I’m running with my own guild I’m usually #2 in HPS and the people I’m tending to generally don’t die unless there is just nothing I could do. A hateful strike for 30K when I only crit fro 20K on a mage that was silly enough to pull higher aggro than the off tank just can’t be helped. But I also think that Uldaman’s PuGs are notorious. Trully if you don’t understand why people have a problem with PuGs then come to Uldaman and get in with one. While the occassional one comes together just right, as a general rule life could always be worse; you could be in a PuG. lol

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