Is your World of Warcraft guild not as active as it used to be? Do you still want to raid, but don’t want to have to change guilds and leave your friends? Well, you still can. Every day, no matter the time, there’s usually some person in trade chat looking for some role or another for a raid. Some are individuals trying to form a pick up group (PUG) from scratch. Others are guilds trying to fill their own raid ranks.
No matter what sort of group you get into, though, there’s always a chance that it could be a bust. Maybe you’ll only do the first boss and get locked to the group. Maybe you’ll spend an hour in a group that is trying to get filled only to have impatient people leave until the group falls apart all together. And my least favorite: when you do a few bosses and then get to a kind of hard one at or near the end only to have people bail out because they don’t like wiping.
The first boss lock out is particularly bad in terms of the Ice Crown Citadel raid. The first boss is the weekly raid boss sometimes and if you get locked to a group after that boss, it’s almost impossible to fill the spots you need to since everybody wants to do the weekly raid.
Despite these pit falls, there are things a player can do to attempt to avoid these situations.
Ensure that the group is a guild run. In my experience guild runs are generally less jerky. The people all get along and as long as you’re not a jerk they get along with you well. They also seem to be the groups that don’t have people (at least their guild members) bail out after wiping a few times. These guild groups are generally just trying to push through the content and don’t have the numbers or maybe the skill to do it themselves, so they recruit for the raid in trade. I tanked for a guild for a while after my own guild’s Friday night raids. It was a killer doing a double raid, especially after working all day. But, the guys were a great bunch and I got to experience a lot of firsts with them as they didn’t have a suitable second tank. I played with them for about two months before their numbers fell through.
No matter who is inviting in trade, even if they claim it’s a guild run, look them up on the Armory. The Armory is great for fact checking or seeing what kind of gear a player is using or even checking the player(s) specs to see if they have any idea as to what they’re doing in the game. By fact checking, I mean to check a person’s achievements. Some people claim to have done things that they haven’t. There are even add-ons that allow players to fake achievements in game. The armory is a great resource for seeing how competent a player might be.
Listen to the grape vine. If you’ve been playing on a server for a while, you’ll learn what guilds are good and what guilds aren’t. Usually, in my own experience, rumors end up being true. So, get to know your server. If you’re in trade chat check out who’s saying what. You can shift-click a player’s name from a chat channel and it will list what guild they’re in. Talk with guildmates who have been pugging and see what they have to say about guilds or players.
Figure out what days people are pugging on your server. I know that on my server open pugs (ones started by one or a few people and then filled) are more likely to happen on Wednesdays and Thursdays, then again on Saturday nights and Sundays. Guild pugs are more likely to happen on Friday and Saturday nights. Everybody has a different schedule; the same applies to a server. What holds true on my server isn’t necessarily going to hold true for another. Some similarities might hold, but I wouldn’t bank on it.
Play Hard to Get
Recently, I’ve stopped just replying to someone immediately for a raid. I’ve found that I have better luck seeing how long they keep looking. I was in Dalaran for about an hour the other day watching a guy spam trade for 2 tanks and 1 healer. Slowly, he got to LF 1 tank. So, I messaged him. I got in, we did VOA and all was right with the world. Now, had I messaged immediately I would have been sitting in a raid for over an hour waiting to go, afraid to get up because I would be expecting to pull trash at any moment. Instead, I was able to do a load of laundry and catch up on some missed TV shows.
So, if you take a little time to get to know your server you can alleviate some of the headache of pugging a raid. And, if you try and be a little more strategic about when you decide to pug and how you reply to a raid you might not waste as much time sitting in a bust raid. Happy pugging!