Fear of the PUG

During recording of the latest episode of Diary of a Noob Raider I mentioned my hesitation to organise pick up raiders when we find ourselves short a few raiders, and by hesitation I mean I pretty much refuse to.

It’s not that I’ve never braved Trade Chat to fill those last few slots in a raid. Over the years we have done it countless times and on rare occasions those pick up members are so perfect that they’ve even ended up joining our guild. But it’s those other puggers that have put a sour taste in my mouth. You know the ones I mean; the rude, nasty, drunk, obstructive, AFK, elitist, sexist, racist, derogatory and downright terrible players whose parasitic presence ruin the night for everyone.

My vision for the Relaxed Raid is to create an environment where players who are new to raiding can learn the ropes in a safe environment, those who haven’t otherwise had a chance to prove themselves can show what they are made of, and us more experienced raiders can unwind and kill some bosses without the pressures that come with a more progression minded group. I worry that by taking a chance with pick up members I will jeapordise all of that, and turn something which is supposed to be a safe, relaxing event into the kind of toxic environment I am trying to protect them from.

Do. Not. Want.

No nerd rage was acquired in the killing of this boss.
No nerd rage was acquired in the killing of this boss.

While I have been lucky so far and have been able to call on my network to fill those last few spots, that network is shrinking as people move on from the game or start raiding again with their own guilds. When I inevitably run out of options, what will I do then?  Will I cancel the event? What then happens to my newbies, subs and experienced raiders alike? They all miss out and my safe, relaxing environment is replaced with…nothing.

I feel like I am in a tough position right now. I am hesitant to recruit in case I end up with too many players and people start missing out. I certainly don’t want to risk the ever present toxic pug that lurk on my server, but I don’t want to cancel events either. I have been a guild master long enough to know that cancelling events consistently is the fast track to a dead guild. The idea of standing around in Trade fishing for players who may not even exist has no appeal to me whatsoever, but I suppose it is something I agreed to when I took the job.

Perhaps with 5.2 launching tomorrow Real ID fillers from different servers will become an option again. With a little more planning, perhaps I could even turn to our realm forums a few days in advance and make it very clear what kind of players will be happy running with us and what kinds of players would be better waiting for a different group more suited to their….progressed tastes to come along. We just have such a terrible issue with attendance at the moment that I could have 13 people signed up and only have 8 show up, which makes it very hard to plan for.

Hmm. Perhaps recruitment isn’t such a bad idea after all.

12 thoughts on “Fear of the PUG

  1. Keep doing what you’re doing and keep creating a nice environment where people can learn and they will come. Guild=community=friendship. Yes, occasionally we all have to put up with that toxic person you described, but in the end the ones who want to stay will be there, and likeminded others will join. 🙂

    1. I get so caught up in the small things that I forget why I’m doing it. I can’t create a better community if I don’t take chances! Thank you for the reminder of the bigger picture 🙂

  2. Hi! 🙂 Love your blog! I used to lead my own raid group through Dragon Soul and we got to 6/8H. I’ve barely raided in MoP due to work and study commitments but am hoping to raid again soon! I am exactly the same as you when it comes to pugs! Especially when my group is new and just starting to raid – I always worry that we’ll end up with someone way more advanced than us who would get fed up at our wiping to unfamiliar mechanics, or that we’ll get someone with zero raid awareness who will hold us back haha. One of the hardest things about being a guild leader was recruiting people and having too many expecting spots on a 10m roster, I always felt so bad having to say no to some people, but I also had the problem where people would complain about never getting spots in raids, but would never show up when I gave them spots. Your guild sounds great though and I love the idea of the relaxed raids – it can be so hard being new to the raiding scene and trying to find a group, especially this late into the content; groups have such high standards “link achieve or no inv… 490+ ilvl” etc…so it can be impossible to get started. That’s another reason why I haven’t raided this xpac. Anyways, sorry for rambling haha, I’m following you so I can read more! 🙂

    1. Haha, no need to apologise! It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who worries about these things when trying to get a group together. Being on a high population server with decent progression doesn’t help, either. We either get the people in all heroic gear who snap, call people names and then bail, or we get people who are so completely awful — and not just because they don’t understand that standing in fire is bad — that it’s no wonder they have to pug on a server with a tonne of quality guilds that are recruiting!

      I have returned the follow! I used to work in Advertising, and while I was an utter failure at ever selling anything, the theory behind it all fascinates me. Thanks for the comment 🙂

    1. Thanks, Prinnie! We are on a US server, but since we’re Australian, we raid at 3.30am PST. If you happen to be awake, I’d love to have you along! 🙂

      1. Since I’m on the East Coast, that’d make it 6:30 a.m. TECHNICALLY that’s doable, if it’s on a Saturday or Sunday morning. Possibly not advisable, but doable. Let me know. 😛

  3. I say recruit 😀 Grab some more people who are happy to fit the philosophy of rainbows and love you wield and go with it.

    While you’re at it make one if the criteria one of communication and the ability to do so. I swear you talk in gchat these days and it’s like someone died …

    1. LOL I can’t work out if you’re sincere or if you’re trolling me 😛

      I agree about guild chat, though. Unless Asys and co are on, it’s a ghost town.

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