From Bad To Less Bad: Pugging As a Tool To Improve (Joe)

Hello; and welcome to this guest post edition of the Pugging Pally blog! My name is Joe, and I don’t have a blog to link to, but that’s okay because I can still babble at you and make a coherent point.

I became a fan of the Pugging Pally blog, because of the original design – of taking a character, and leveling solely through the LFD tool; and I fell in
love with it, because it combines three things I really enjoy – pug groups, dungeons, and the horrific train wrecks that come from combining the first two. (I’ve stayed for the cookie recipes).

To give a cliff notes summary of my WoW experience, I started playing in the tail end of Burning Crusade, a few months before Wrath dropped. My friend recruited me for the Zhevra mount, and he and his brother talked of dungeons and raids they had pugged into – funny enough, as a warrior tank and a holy paladin.

Burning Crusade, I now know, was not “pug friendly” for raiding. There was a “gear up via raid” flowchart I saw once that started from Karazhan, and ended with me going cross eyed somewhere around Gruul’s Lair – so, I like to think this means they were very good at what they did.


It makes perfect sense, now: you jus-dwoah, there I go cross-eyed again.


This is the somewhat mercenary mindset I “grew up” with as I played my little baby warrior. While they were doing whatever it was end game players did in Burning Crusade, they were watching trade and it’d come up in guild chat – “There’s a ____ raid starting, wanna go?” And off they went!

Personally, I like the somewhat mercenary mindset – from a character perspective, it certainly makes sense that a band of warriors (or warlocks, or death knights, or druids) could come together and make a change in the world by killing internet dragons. From a selfish point of view – pugging worked with my work schedule. I couldn’t always guarantee I’d be available Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday nights at 5 PM server from week to week, but when I wanted to pug – it was available, or it wasn’t.

Well, I quickly learned that “knowing how to push a couple buttons” wasn’t going to cut it when I was the dead weight in a Naxx10 run a few months after hitting 80. I was -THAT- Death Knight, you know the one. The one with spell power plate. The one with 71 points in the Unholy tree. The one who thought “Oh I just need frost presence to tank.”

This is pre-LFD, by the way, so if you sucked hard enough, trade heard about it.


Commissar Dog isn't angry with you. He's just disappointed


But, this is important – you can’t improve until you see where you stand; you cannot be better until you know you suck. So, I kept pugging, I started reading Elitist Jerks, and even better than all that; I started learning. I tried new things – and I kept on pugging. I tried new things, I dug into my skills book to read and see what I had available to me, and back in March I pugged into a group that was something most groups I was joining in on didn’t have. For whatever reason… five of us just kind of clicked. There’s no real rhyme or reason as to why or how, but it happened. Someone offered, “Hey, do… do we wanna do this again? Like, next week? And make it a static thing?”

Well, I did. My next couple of weeks I was going to be available – I changed jobs – and I found myself more available, and our “static” slowly was folded into the main guild – that we all came together as pugging players and we faced the challenges together that Icecrown Citadel had to offer. That we struggled together on the same bosses everybody struggled on (magic: still pitiful; prone to sudden, yet inevitable betrayal), that we all worked as hard as any guild had to get our achievements.

We were a pug group that became friends first – that continued running together because we LIKED each other – that became a guild.

My own experiences with pugging are wide and varied, but like anything in WoW, if you’ve got friends to talk to and share the experiences with, it’s incredible.

I don’t know if this makes me a “casual WoW player” because I did things on my own time rather than stuck with some kind of rigid, form fitting schedule with a raiding guild that spent thirty hours a week on content, dictated professions, scorned – nay, HATED AND LOATHED people who screwed up just a little bit, held you to the most precise of precision choices for talent points… but, I’m still a Kingslayer.

I’m still having fun.

I’ve said “When this stops being fun, that’s when I stop playing.” So, I kind of hope it doesn’t, because Cataclysm looks NUTS and I’d love to go on with my friends and kill more internet dragons. Or, at least, my friends and 2-3 random pick ups for our group.

Pugging works for us, for some reason.


Vid says: This is where Joe rubs my nose in the fact that he has this mount and I don't! (Just saying).


6 responses to “From Bad To Less Bad: Pugging As a Tool To Improve (Joe)

  1. Yep, that’s almost exactly the same way I got my Kingslayer title – small group of friends PUGging to make up numbers for a raid, met cool people, formed raid group, PROFIT.

    It’ll be a real pity if Cata effectively kills pugging raids.

  2. My only comment this early in the morning:

    MALAMUTE! /hug

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  4. That was a great story, Joe!

  5. That’s a really nice pugging story! So often when I was still pugging raids people would say “Wow, this is a good group, let’s do it again next week at the same time!” but a week later and half the group would be missing…there was never any commitment or consistency. It’s awesome that you guys have come together and formed a solid, regular group. 😀 Hope you guys have a lot of fun and success in Cataclysm!

  6. Pingback: Friday Linking Love « Manalicious

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