How to improve your PUGs.
Look, I am no hero, but I do jump into the LFG channel from time to time and go out healing heriocs for groups of players I have never met before. Crazy, I know, but true.
And one thing that I have learned, is that there are some basic rules of etiquette that will help you get more frequent and successful PUG runs.
First, for those of you that don’t know, or don’t really pay attention to it, there is a text box at the bottom of the LFG tab where you can list information that will show up when another person in LFG mouses over your name. If you are a hybrid class, please please list what your role is. I am much more likely to invite someone to a PUG I am healing if I can tell you are a tank or dps without having to ask you about your spec.
Second, don’t accept the invite unless you are going to be able to make a decent showing for yourself. With the anonymity that comes with online gaming, you really only get one chance to make a first impression. Make it a good one. If you are at the end of 5 hour marathon gaming session, and can barely see the computer screen, pass. If you are experimenting with a new spec or are somewhat under-geared for the instance, tell the group up front. If you are a hunter with a tanking pet, for god’s sake, go to a stable master and swap for a dps pet. If you are in a BG when the invite comes, pass or desert. It really is that simple.
I use my friends list to keep a list of good and bad players, you are much more likely to get invited to runs in the future if you do a decent job. Since my guild is fairly small, we often are missing a dps slot for a heroics run. The first question my gang asks me is if I have any dps online. They know that I keep a list of people who have impressed me in previous runs, and my dps peeps know that a run with the Arrow Gang is normally going to be smooth as silk. If you make a good first impression with me, it will normally pay off in the long run.
Third, remember that silence is golden. Unless someone asks for advice about their class, spec, or tactics for a fight, don’t give them helpful hints or suggestions. Just do your job and let them do theirs. If the group isn’t wiping, then it can wait. If you think you can help the person out with a suggestion, do it after the run in a whisper, while people are standing over the boss’ corpse.
Fourth, when you do finish, thank the tank and the healer. After almost every run, I will whisper something like “nice work up front” to the tank. Even if the tank didn’t do a stellar job, I can appreciate the time and effort it took for them to develop the skills and gear to do what they just did. Runs don’t happen without them, so show them your appreciation.
Same for the healer. Something as simple as “nice heals” will do fine. If someone did an oustanding job, tell them. DPS too.
Fifth, no matter what the loot rules are, need something only if you need it for your main spec. I really don’t care if an item would be great for your alt or the offspec set you are building. Niether your alt, nor your offspec are on this run, so hit greed and take your chances. If a BOE item goes to someone else, and you really want the item, offer to buy it from them after the run for a fair price.
Follow these simple rules, and you just might find that your PUG experiences will be more and more enjoyable. They have worked wonders for me, and keep me coming back to the game to meet new people. And although player rep doesn’t show up on a character window, it is definitely part of the game. Build a good one for yourself, and you will be a much happier gamer.