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Girl on Game

Gaming from a gamine perspective.

Author: Sumeragi

WoW: PUGs, Gear and You in A Post 3.2 World

Posted by Sumeragi Friday August 14 2009 at 5:34PM
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In the past, I tried my best not to be one of those, "ZOMGZ, GEAR CHEKZ 4 10 MAN NAXXX PLZ DU 5K DEEPZ," sort of folks that have been popping up all over the place.  All I expected out of anyone running with me was for them to do their job competently regardless of gear.  After all, I know full well how sucky it is to be a top DPS in a PUG but lowest roll for loot.  (Most of my pieces were "pity" wins, because I was the only one who hadn't won anything the entire run!)

But long story short, after a string of particularly horrific raids gone bad (as in, we didn't even get to fail on Thaddius because we never got past Patchwork fail), my friend introduced me to this add on called "GearScore" which allows you to mouse over anyone and immediately pull up their gear scores.  So being a nosy brat with the attention span of a lemur, I loaded it up and within 10 seconds of standing in Dalaran, I was addicted.  The first day I got it, I spent an hour walking from the Fish (Alliance) Bank in Dal to Krasus Landing just checking everyone's gear score.

You see, the way GearScore works, is that it's an elitist calcumalator that adds up the values of each piece of gear you're wearing, and then displays such as a number and colour (from grey to orange) under a person's name.  Before 3.2, you didn't see a lot of folks over 4500 gear score at all.  Only the top raiders on our server had that envious tanorexic glow (and usually dirty Alliance raiders), followed by a number of purple people (4000-4499), and then mostly blues (moderate 80s) and greens (new 80s in quest gear).  While it was certainly not a DEFINITE indication of skill (an indication of luck maybe), usually, when you grouped with folks up there in GearScore, you saw why they had the gear that they had in the first place because it reflected in their DPS, their ability to hold hate or in their spot on, sexy heals.

But with 3.2 and the introduction of the "ZOMGZ Welfare EPIX OVAH 9000" program, that slight inkling of a clue that GearScore gave about skill went out the friggen door.  There's been an Orange Explosion in Dalaran, or more aptly put, an Orange GearScore Bomb.

Now, I'm not a hard core raider any more because I never really enjoyed getting yelled at by some random little shit to put "MORE DOTS NOW" on something or the other.  I roll with a moderate sized guild of friends and family, and PUG everything else when we can't run something.  I could have gotten carried by my guildies, but since I've got the time to invest, as soon as I got to 80, I PUGed like I've never PUGed before, farmed the hell out of every regular dungeon for blues, moved on to farming Heroics for purples, and then epic'd myself out fully by running, Naxx, OS, EoE, VoA and Ulduar 10 over and over again until I became amply geared for Ulduar 25.

So when people comment, "Dang, you have good gear," I can say with a clear conscience, "I worked for it."  And then when they compliment me as a player, I know it's because I chose not to get carried, improving myself and learning as I geared up.

The following folks, however, missed the memo:

  • The Death Knight in Ulduar gear that couldn't hold aggro in H UP.
  • The Shadow Priest with 4700 GearScore who couldn't pull more than 2K dps on XT2 trash.
  • The Ulduar geared Healadin that healed less than the newly nerfed Ret Paladin on Razorscale.
  • The Feral Druid DPSing as a BEAR.

There's more, but I fear I would be talking myself out of ever PUGging again by reliving the moment in listing them above.

I'm not saying that you only deserve gear if you have the time. 3.2 has been wonderful for people who work and can only play an hour a night, and great for people with awful luck to catch up on gear.  Finally, good players with shitty rolls can take command of gearing themselves.  Unfortunately, for every one good player, there seems, about 10 others that suck ass because they got carried, got their welfare gear check and continue to suck despite a 4700 GearScore.  It's as if they believe, "I HAF PERPULS; I R GUD."

To those people who equate Gear with Skill.  GTFO.  All the purples in the world cannot make you into a good player.  T8.5 doesn't come with +50 to L2P, so stop resting on your laurels and make yourself useful.  (Unsubscribe, please?)

As for me, my love affair with GearScore is now over, and it'll only take me FIFTEEN minutes to get to Krasus Landing from the Fish Bank instead.  (I forgot to mention I'm terrible with directions.  50 DKP MINUS!!??)

PUG 101: Introduction to PUGging.

Posted by Sumeragi Tuesday August 11 2009 at 6:42PM
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  1. "In RL, a pug is a small, wheezy dog that looks like it had its face smashed in by brick wall."
  2.  "In online gaming, the acronym PUG stands for "Pick-Up Group," which is a group of players who've gotten together (or been thrown together) in order to accomplish a goal, a quest, or whatever. PUGs are oftentimes mix-and-match, hit-or-miss groups that are less than optimum for achieving a goal."  (Courtesy of LagKills, A Glossary of Online Gaming Acronyms.)


  • As a noun:  "Hmm, no one's on.  I guess I'll just catch a PUG."
  • As a verb:  "Why don't I tank, and we can PUG a Healer."
  • As an adjective:  "No, it's not a Guild group, it's a PUG group."

Signature Examples:

  • WoW:  The group successfully rolls through the first 2/3s of a Heroic Dungeon.  On a trash pull, the healer loses power, disconnects and the group wipes.  A minute later, the healer returns, explains the situation, GETS CALLED A "NUB," by the Rogue pulling 800 DPS and the entire group disbands.
  • FFXI:  The RDM in the group doesn't have Refresh because he wants to be "unique," and not follow the crowd.  The WHM decides to teach him a lesson by only using Hexa Strike, you wipe, delevel and the group disbands.
  • DDO:  You enter the Vault of the Night and notice the Rogue you've picked up to disable the traps is wearing Plate and wielding a Two-Hander.  (Because she's also got 5 levels of PALADIN in case someone needs her to Tank--and 1 Level of Cleric for Cure Light Wounds.)  The trap kills all the healers, a single, stray kobold kills everyone else and the raid disbands.

**NOTE**  You may be thinking, "FFS JOIN A HARD CORE RAIDING GUILD SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO PUG, R-TARD" as you read through.  But I'm done with 48/7 raiding dramz and am currently very very happy in a smaller guild of friends and family.  Since we're older and work, not everyone can play every hour of every day, and while we can do 10/12 mans no problem, for bigger raids or off nights, I choose to PUG.**

PUGs get a lot of bad press.  There are pages and pages of horror stories littering the Interwebz or announced over Global chat, and surely as a gamer, you have one or two of your own.  Hell, you may even have been the culprit of a "fail" PUG when you were first learning.  And though the worst possible PUGs can make you tear your hair out and never want to log in again, PUGging, really isn't all snakes and snails and puppy dog tails.  It can be suger and spice and everything nice as well with a little bit of skill I call, "luck".

After all, in a group of competent people who know what their doing and are all on the same page, how often do you get in "trouble?"  How often are you thinking on your feet rather than following the rote?  And how often are you forced into doing something you'd never think of doing before in order to help your group survive?  Oh yes, it's easy to be a "good player" when everyone else around you is good.  But it's when you're standing at the very edge of the cliff that you either learn to sink or swim and hold your own.

And then there's the the flip side where you end up the low man on the DPS pole.  Perhaps you're trying out a new spec, or new Job.  PUGs are a great way to meet other folks who can help you with your rotation or guide you through a dungeon you've never visited before.  PUGs can teach you new boss strategeries and give you great tips as well about gearing or what not (yes, I have a Warrior and Shadow Priest crush--you know who you are <3).  You may even meet some of the coolest people whom you befriend for life, all because you decided to take the plunge and put yourself in LFG.

Ah yes, no pain, no gain, and sometimes, lots and lots of pain and still no gain.  But whether you're in a "WIN" or "FAIL" raid, one things for sure, a PUG can get the adrenalin flowing and the blood pumping...and hopefully not just because you chucked your screen out the window.