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Girl on Game

Gaming from a gamine perspective.

Author: Sumeragi

PUG 101: Introduction to PUGging.

Posted by Sumeragi Tuesday August 11 2009 at 6:42PM
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Definition:

  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.)

Usage:

  • 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.

Cathalaode writes:

Good Call.
I have to say that I certainly do like that newer games seem to be promoting PUGs more than before. What with WAR's PQs and if you play AoC on a PvP server, there's really no way around grouping with whoever you can find. I personally prefer PUGs to large guild groups, it makes the game more of a game, and less of an exercise. I'll never understand why so many people want to win at the expense of fun. Some of the best relationships I've ever built in any MMO I've made through PUGs, whether it was just a couple of us noobs getting ganked on White Sands deciding to group up and fight back, or a couple of strangers happening on the same quest and lending each other a hand.

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