As always, Tobold's blog inspires some thought, and today's entry is about Improving PuGs.
He does a cute little analysis of risk/reward/communication that are all barriers to effective PuGs in WoW. Much of the ideas hit home, most notably how Blizzard could encourage more group activity simply by boosting how much XP you get while in a party. I couldn't agree with this more.
Recently, I've been pondering the concept of my friends list.
When grouping up for Kara, we are in the fortunate situation that when we need to fill slots to complete the team, it is nearly always DPS that we're looking for. Our two tanks are generally available for our runs, and out of our pool of three healers, we typcially have two if not all three ready to rock.
If there's nobody in the guild who is available and not yet saved to a Raid ID, we look to the friends list.
Almost always, nobody's got any available DPS'ers on their friends list. And honestly, how many DPS players do you have on your list? My list is nearly exclusively healers, with a couple tanks mixed in.
Then I got to thinking, my friends list hasn't really changed much in a month or two. Why?
I haven't been pugging. I've reliably been getting groups from within the guild, in large part from Kara Team 1, with some in-guild PuG groups.
This is a big contrast to a few months ago, where I was PuGing all the time.
- Starting raiding has really cemented a team of folks who like to run together as frequently as possible. Very rarely do we need to fill in a pug slot for a 5-man.
- I'm at the point where regular mode of most dungeons is silly, and unless its for somebody's Kara Attunement, I pretty much only run Heroic mode. Who wants to PuG a heroic? Not I, said the fly.
- One big change has been a friend of mine dropping out of the game. He was from another guild, and to escape guild dramas and what not, the two of us would group all the time. He was a healer, and had a tank who we'd also group with. So we would consistently use LFM to find two DPS'ers, as we specifically were trying to avoid "friends". He had some RL stuff that caused him to stop playing mid-january, and this has left me looking for PuGs much less often.
I'm of the opinion that a stagnant friends list is not a good thing. If for no other reason than to be recruiting talent into the guild, you've got to be out there running with different folks.
Happened the other day. Looking to run heroic mechanar, we were shy one DPS. Tank had a friend he said he'd bring along, a Boomkin. Sure, sign him up.
The guy did awesome. We ended up bringing him in for a Kara run where we killed Curator, delivering some nice DPS. I hope we can bring him into the guild because he'd be a great addition to our Team 1, you won't hear me complain about Mark of the Wild or Leader of the Pack, especially if he's willing to be a sub at first, since that's really what we need until we figure out how to beat Moroes and The Crone without a third tank.
Bottom line, meeting a wider variety of people is a good thing, and having too much fear of the PUG is a sure way to limit your options for getting the groups you want.
BG PuGs do not count. Those suck, will always suck, ad infinitum. I gotta try out a pre-made, if for no other reason than to see what its like.