I’m becoming a specialist of the LFG channel…
Yesterday night, the 25-man guild run was cancelled due to a lack of healers. I hadn’t have time to do 10-man ToC this week and asked in guild chat for volunteers, knowing that it would be easy to pug the rest. But it looked like most people were more interrested in the heroic version, most of them being linked in normal ToC, so I grouped people for an heroic run, asked the non-tagued applicant tank to join, filled the group with good dps, and looked for healers : only one healer in guild…
Pugging healers for heroic raids is always a touchy topic. Like tanks. For me anyway.
I was confident with the tanks, one was a guildie and a really good bear, and the other was an applicant but his application on the forum looked quite interesting. Pugging tanks is the thing I dread more in pugging because when a tank fails, it’s usually an instant wipe. And some fights are very demanding in skill from the tanks. A good tank is a jewel that will end up in my friend list very quickly, this followed by an invitation to apply to the guild.
I don’t like pugging healers either but it’s easier than tanks. Despite playing a druid tree, I don’t exactly know what healers are doing during raids. All I know is that, if they are bad, people die, if they are good, people usually live even when they are swimming in aoe/cleave and other stupid things that hurt. Good healers can save a fight even when people are playing like a bunch of noobs. Not all fight but many fights.
So I had this group, with my 2 tanks, my 5 dps and my only tree healer. I hit the LFG channel. There wasn’t many choice in the LFG interface. Two paladins were there, and when I asked one if he had some experience on the fights, he never answered. The second was more informative, said he knew the fights in normal mode but had no achievement to show me in heroic mode. I asked if he felt like holding our tanks on heroic mode, he said he hoped so, I hired him.
Then I needed a priest or a shaman. I had no priest in the group, nor a chaman. That was a problem. No priest or chaman in LFG. Always this bunch of idiots wisping me with a « need a good rogue/dk doing 4k8 dps for your run ? » or « What do you need ?« (Chuck – gnome rogue 80 – Ice Crown, that one asked twice…) when I took the time to put a comment in LFG saying « Looking for a healer, priest or shaman« … Do you people happen to read comments ? Seriously !
I flew to Dalaran and began hitting the Trade and General chats. I even promised a Leper Gnome Costume… I found a priest. With good experience. Group full, let’s go.
The run was really good. We wiped but not that much. We got the Beasts in two tries. The second time, the bear thought he was clever going kitty form for the second jormungar, forgetting that aggro doesn’t reset when morphing… Dead kitty/bear. Oops. But we killed the worm, and Icehowl was solotanked by the paladin, no fail on the charge and we /lolled the kitty at the end… We needed 2 tries for Jarraxxus too, and 2 tries for the Champions. The Twins gave us a harder time. I think our strat were not really good and we killed them after 3-4 shameful wipes, with all the soakers dead (2 dps and the tree), them rest of the crew had luck getting the right shield and the right vortex. There we were with our group in front of Anub with 43 tries left. Anub is a bitch. People were tired. We wiped a lot and called it at 0:30 in the morning.
Here are the thoughts and questions I got from pugging for heroic raids.
Here is my Guide to the LFG rep…
When looking for people :
1- Be very clear about your expectations when hitting LFG.
Write a comment in the interface. Be very specific when advertising on the channel that you are going for a « heroic » or a « hardmode » run. Warn people they will be checked for xp and gear. You always got idiots expecting free runs. A heroic run is never free. Everyone need to know the strat and give his best game. Do not hesitate to ask people what their experience is on the fights and to say politely but firmly « no » to people not reaching your minimum expected.
2- Take the time needed to check on people. Or your raid will be a fail.
Despite your guildies being impatient, and the time ticking, take your time. Ask people, speak with them about their experience. Don’t take the first one who answered but rather the one being more informative. He will be a good team mate. If you choose badly, you may begin your run earlier but end up wiping again and again, with huge repair costs and high frustration. You will get nasty suggestions on your guildchat (or in /w) : « Let’s get rid of the priest he sucks ! » or « That rogue is always dying in aoe/killing the raid with his bomb, fire him !« . When taking more time to choose, you will have less chance to come up with an idiot, and your guildchat will be nicer : « That priest seems quite ok« , « Oh yes, he’s doing his job nicely« , officer : « Is he looking for a guild ?« .
I really hate when people begin to /w me about pugged players. Or doing that on guildchat. Firstly, it’s rude. And secondly, it’s enlightening my own failure at choosing people. And I don’t need anyone to remember that : my repair bill is more than enough willing to do so… They didn’t say « You failed ! » but it’s more or less the same.
3- Remember you will never get the perfect raider, having done all the fights at least 20 times.
When asking people for their experience, don’t expect them to give you full xp with achievements, being in full T9-258… Those people don’t pug… When doing heroic or hardmode runs, I always ask for at least the normal mode. So people send me a link to their achievement spontaneously, sometimes, I don’t even ask for it, when people are polite and honest : « I don’t have heroic achievement to show you I’m sorry, but I have done the fights in normal mode many times. » Someone, telling me that he have never even try the hardmode, but the player being honest about that is generally a better choice than the one pointing to his uber gear but never answering about his xp, or with someone reluctant to show his achievements, pretending he’s done everything with his main character.
When looking for a group :
1- Don’t freak out when asked for some xp or achievement.
If you are in LFG for a heroic raid, expect to be inspected and xp checked. Heroic raids are not a garden party. Be confident but never lie. When in doubt, I will often use PugChecker, or check the Armory. Just tell the truth. People asking for this generally know why they ask, they know the fight and its expectations. If they ask for a proof you’ve already done the fight in normal at least, that’s for a reason. On the contrary, a RL expecting full xp in heroic mode from a pug player is an idiot. Don’t raid with him, he will often be the noob of the group, waiting to be carried through the instance.
2- Never accept an invitation to raid without talking to the RL before.
I hate when I hit LFG with my druid for any heroic and get an invite right away, without anyone telling me a simple « Hi ! You ready for a HCoS ? ». What does that cost to ask ? But for a simple heroic dungeon, that’s not a big deal. Though for a raid, and moreover an heroic raid, that’s pretty important. Someone inviting you without warning is a careless RL. He must have randomly invited all the LFG channel. Don’t be afraid to ask what boss they want to do, which are already dead, if it is a progression run for the guild pugging. You will be linked with this group the whole week, don’t be careless yourself.
3- Bring a game matching your tells or you will be removed middle run.
Nothing is more frustrating as a RL than to have that one pug in your group that told you he would be doing fine and spends his time screwing up. He wasted the RL time finding and interviewing him, and now, everyone is wasting time wiping. You will never be asked to be top dps, or best healer, or less squishie tank of the run. But you are expected to pull your weight, to not die in various fires and to not kill your team mates by being an idiot. Be ready to be summoned immediatly, bring your consumables, and I love pugs who bring Fish Feasts… Be nice on Team Speak and don’t be afraid to give feedback. If you are not matching our expectations and wasting our time, you will be removed.
Shopping list for next time :
1- Find an addon to manage loot.
I have a very bad memory. And master looting is a chore but I’d rather do it myself than letting someone else dealing with it, if I was the one who invited people. I always specify, when I have pugs in my group, what the loot rules are : /rand if needed, 2nd spec allowed if no one in 1st spec, one loot per person unless no one wants that item, orbs randomed at the end by people without loot, recipes randomed but not counted as an item, shards to guild bank. I need to find an addon that will remember who got which item. Does anyone know about an addon easy to use, that would do that, and maybe manage randoms and loot distribution… And I know, I’m lazy, I could take note of that on a paper…
2- Find an addon to manage my contact list and invites.
The hardest part of doing 10-mans in my guild is that people are rarely online outside of raid times. And it’s difficult to get your friendlist connected when you need it… This addon would be something that could help me to build a more regular raid, with a core of guildies and some pugs I kept in my friend list, pugging the rest on the fly if needed. That’s an advice from our usual RL to build a good 10-man : keep inviting good pugs (and make them apply to the guild…), and just stop inviting the bad apple. But for that I would need something were I could store some infos about the toons : « good disc priest« , « good warlock not standing in fires and doing insane amount of damages…« , « nice paladin, quite good raider, a little undergeared for ToGC but ok for normal mode« … And also, when wisped by an already spotted idiot, some warning : « squishie tank« , « druid always dying first because he sleeps in fires« , « priest never dispelling anything, doesn’t even have the ability on his bars« , « liar about his xp last time« , « crappy dps despite his uber gear score« , yadayada…
I heard about DoIKnowYou, as an addon to do that. Do any of you have a feedback on that one ? Or another addon I could test ? I may give it a try.
Some addon to manage invites would be nice too. But I have no idea of how I want to manage that. It will depend of how the raid building goes within the guild…
3- Find some good strat for the Twins and Anub.
Our raids lack some lead. I’m not confident enough to lead a fight. I usually ask Ron to lead when I’m building the team and masterlooting, but he doesn’t like it more than I do. Guild runs are usually very quick and smooth in 25-man, everyone knows the fights, everyone knows what he’s supposed to do, and everyone does it. With pugs though, you have to explain the tactics, assign roles, and sometimes check if the assignments are respected. We’re not good at it. And it showed a lot yesterday night, on the Twins and Anub. We are not confident enough with those fights to lead, and you cannot leave the raiders to themselve, people need some direction, giving all the different way to do this fight, in the case of the Twins. And Anub is quite hard to figure when doing the hard mode the first time. I need to find extremly clear and complete strats for those bosses. I know the strat for all hardmodes in Ulduar, but not ToGC… On the ToDo list…