Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Not so much

Once again, my planned topic of discussion is being derailed because I found someone else posting something that I could relate to and that my mind found infinitely more interesting at this precise moment.

This time it was Saffron posting some experience leading weekly raid PuGs.

For having been a raid leader as long as I have, you'd think I'd lead a lot of PuGs. Yeah...not so much. I don't even like participating in PuGs and really only do so out of occasional necessity. One of the things that make leading raids in a guild (or mine, specifically...I can't really speak to many others) is that the people in my guild are willing to be lead. They listen to me, try their best to follow my instructions, and generally respect me and the position I hold. It makes leading raids exceptionally easy.

PuGs...again, not so much.

However, a few weeks ago I actually participated in an Alliance Wintergrasp victory on my server (they're exceedingly rare, even when weighted heavily in our favor) and jumped at the chance to get into VoA and maybe get a piece of T10 gear that I wouldn't have to spend Frost Emblems on (because I'm horrible about logging in to do my random dailies and have fallen far behind most progression-oriented types in collecting them).

You would think a bear tank with over 50K buffed health or a kitty capable of sustaining almost 6K dps (in an unideal mix of Uld 10 and ToC 10 gear) on a tank-and-spank raid fight like Toravon would be in popular demand...especially as infrequently as the Alliance folk on my server get chances at him. Turns out...not so much.

So I convinced Student/Frat Pally tank in my guild to tank with me and then did the unimaginable. I pulled together a PuG VoA raid.

Before pulling the boss I asked if everyone knew the fight. No one indicated otherwise so we went ahead and pulled. Two wipes later it was clear we didn't have the DPS to bring him down. I could sense general uneasiness (how dare a PuG fail!) and some snippiness started appearing in raid chat. I ran interference long enough to get people to stop calling other people names, declared that we lacked DPS to finish the fight, apologized, and said I would be asking some of the lower DPS to leave.

One immediately whispered, knowing he was down on the list, and offered to bow out. I thanked him for understanding and let him go on his way. Then I whispered three more, apologized again, but said that I was going to have to ask them to sit this one out.

To my surprise, all three were very understanding. They all thanked me for giving them a couple chances before booting them. Two thanked me for talking to them before just dropping them. One thanked me specifically for whispering him instead of calling him out in raid chat. They all dropped on their own accord, rather than making me raid kick them.

We filled their spots along with those of a few people who were too impatient to deal with wipes or time needed to find replacements, then smoothly cleared all 4 bosses in the Vault.

I still don't like PuGs, leading or otherwise. I still try to avoid them when I can. I still tend to think that there's roughly a 102.8% chance that they're going to be a nightmare. But at least now I know, somewhere way, way back in the darkest, least used corners of my brain...not so much.


  1. *salute*

    Props to you, Sir. I'd have been stressing out and chomping off my fingertips trying to herd PUGs D:

    I already meet so many different sorts of people when 'leading' as a tank in heroics, hehe.

  2. Heh. I even tend to shy away from leading Heroics. I'll make an exception if 1) the group seems to actually need to be lead and 2a) no one else is stepping up to the plate or 2b) the one who did is being a jerk about it and needs to be usurped.

  3. Err, rather, Saniel, I get my 2 commenters confused occasionally.

    /hides in DEEPEST SHAME