Written by | Posted September 8, 2015 – 9:51 pm Descent and Ascent

It didn’t take long to get from Thunder Bluff to the Echo Isles – Ankona took advantage of a wyvern so she could think and plan before getting to her destination. She had information to confirm with the spirits – was Gromnor dead? Was he really in the northern part of the Eastern Kingdoms, somewhere […]

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How to be successful in a PUG
comment 25 Written by on February 10, 2010 – 12:44 pm

After a lot of hullabaloo around the internet (in several places) I’ve decided to weigh in on the topic of pugging. (I’ve actually got TWO things to weigh in on the pugging about, but this is the one that’s irking me most today.) This post is along the same lines as my post about being ready to heal Naxx.

This post is not directed at DPS, Healers, or Tanks. It is directed at players of WoW, regardless of class or role (or even level!).

Oh – and be warned? It’s a bit of a rant.

Anna’s surefire guide to being successful in LFD/LFG/PUGs.

You ready for it?  Taking notes?

Don’t be a dick.

That’s it.


DBAD means not being a meter monkey (of any kind). It means showing up with the proper gear and having a proper spec. It means being courteous enough to say “Hey guys, I’m new at this role, can you be a little patient” and being patient with people who say that. It means having food, water, reagents, and potions. It means fixing your shit so your dagger/shield/hat doesn’t break halfway through the dungeon.

It means watching your aggro – EVERYONE, even the tanks.

It means not afking for 20 minutes because you got bored, or trying to tank in your DPS spec because you feel like it. It means rolling on gear appropriate for your class, and understanding the plate DPSer might be trying to build a tank spec. It means not spamming the meters to the group to show off how amazing your healing or DPS might be.

Don’t be a dick.

DBAD means not assuming all DPS are brain-dead assmonkeys. It means not assuming every tank is a great leader with great gear automatically for just being a tank. It means not assuming all healers are innately good happy wonderful fuzzy bunny lovey people who can save you no matter what you do. DBAD means taking your group for what it is and running with it, and being willing to give it at least one pull to figure out if it might work.

It means a group is more than the sum of its gearscores.

It means not being an arrogant jerk to someone who admits they’re new or makes a mistake. There are new players in WoW. There are old players picking up new group roles. Nobody starts off good at it, and nobody magically turns 80 with gear, and if you can’t handle helping the occasional new person and can’t deal with a run taking more than 10 minutes, group with friends.

It means owning up to your mistakes and not being an assmonkey if someone points out that you’ve goofed up.

It means communicating, being courteous, and remembering the other characters in the group are people, not just pixels – just like every other thing in this game.

Don’t be a dick.


None of this means you have to put up with jerks or other abusive people. /Votekick exists for a reason – and people repeatedly violating the DBAD rule are a pretty good reason to /votekick.

Oh, and PS:

DPS are not replaceable, dime-a-dozen losers. Good DPS are just as vital to a group as good tanks and good healers. Let’s get over ourselves a bit and realize that in a group, everyone is responsible for success, even if single point failure is (sometimes) more likely in the tank/healing roles.

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25 Responses to “How to be successful in a PUG”

  1. Here, here, Anna.

    I completely endorse and support all statements made in this post. Without a doubt, GearScore/WoWHeroes has had an enormous effect on PUG’s on Deathwing. I doubt that we are alone in this. It has become a new form of discrimination where instead of achievements or eyeballing someone’s purples, there is a definitive way to guarantee your raid is full of asshat know-it-alls (and no one likes a know-it-all).

    I plan to link this several times today in /2 on Deathwing Horde.

    Don’t be a dick.

  2. I completely agree. DBAD! DBAD! DBAD!

    Nice write up. =)

    By Kelly on Feb 10, 2010 | Reply
  3. Not much of anything to add to that! Well written and fully supported by a somewhat new DK tank that has to deal with those that fail to follow DBAD on a regular basis. Not only is it detrimental to the group, but it can also cause the new person in question to question whether they are truely ready for where they are.

    I can’t count the number if times some F&$#tard caused so many issues in an instance and the group disbanded and then I come back with a different group an get a completely different experience and we kick ass! And usually, it’s the people with the lower gear scores that are TRYING to learn their roles that do the better job! It’s the @$$hats in their high gear score epics that have the biggest egos that cause the most problems…

    Yeah, I’m new to to this role on this type of character. Bear with me and please be patient. If you can’t be patient, go run with your guildies.

    Thanks again for the post!

    By Zha'ane/Channi on Feb 10, 2010 | Reply
  4. @Zhaane – hey, if we could make that heroic oculus run work with both of us in greens and just having dinged 80, I think that’s a pretty good sign that sticking with it, not being a dick, and doing your best will go a long way XD

  5. @shieldbreakr – I’m not a fan of Gearscore, and I make no secret of that. I do know that it has a place when trying to find members for high level raids (trying to tank Ulduar 25 in level 78 dungeon gear isn’t going to work, for example) – but the Armory does that just as well, and doesn’t seem to encite the kind of fanaticism that Gearscore does. Especially when we’re talking about Heroics.

    Annie, at level 80 with 548 defense, 22K Armor and 25K health, is, by every standard I’ve found on the web, qualified to tank Naxx 25. Naxx25!! (Go look back at gear requirements from last year about when a tank is Naxx ready, if you don’t believe me) Her gearscore is probably terrible, and my tanking skills are decidedly not that great yet – I’m still learning – but given the chance, it IS doable!

  6. I have nothing to add to this (yet!), so I’ll just say that you said this better in a few paragraphs than I did in … well, a lot of words. 🙂

  7. @anna, re: tanking naxx25: A lot of people forget that the world firsts in Naxx were done by teams wearing greens and quest blues. No one goes in there w/o farming ICC 5-mans anymore, I don’t see what everyone’s hangup is.

    If you are a PUG raid leader and have ever typed “LFM Onyxia25 checking gear”, you need to really re-evaluate your view of the game. Ony isn’t hard, Naxx isn’t hard, Uld isn’t hard, ToC isn’t hard. People running 5-mans have access to lvl 232 gear (as I wrote on my blog yesterday). You don’t need a 5k GS to kill Kel’thuzad.

    Keep up the good fight, I’m right there with you.

  8. Annie’s probably as well geared as Kinnavieve were when she started tanking Naxx-25 a year ago, if not better. I’d follow her in.

  9. Anna, I <3 you 🙂

    Very well said.

  10. @Ratters – wouldn’t that be a fun raid – Kinna and Annie as tanks? Tee Hee!

  11. Last week I got in a random LFD with a few guildies and we got ToC. I was frankly not feeling great and had a little cold medicine on board. I typically do 4-5K DPS in heroics.

    Despite a reminder at the beginning, I didn’t focus fire the stupid priests first (weren’t marked by the tank) but amazingly we did just fine. PUG sham says in party chat: “are you an idiot, Bristal??” during the fight. Wierd, but it actually hurt my feelings.

    Then before the next boss the Sham gave some sarcastic fight strat and then added, “That was for Bristal’s benefit”.

    He could have whispered to me “focus priests first” without calling me out in front of my own guildies if he felt the need to control the run (likely a tank’s alt). And then whispered me personally any other directions later if he felt I didn’t know the fights.

    But he didn’t. That was a week ago and I’ve done about 10% of the pugs I was doing before. I don’t need that kind of interaction when I’m playing a game.

    Yo, people who feel you have a right to be a dick: Go play another game.

    By Bristal on Feb 10, 2010 | Reply
  12. @Bristal – and, really, all that needed to be said was a simple “Easier if we focus priests first” in chat – or, given the wonder that is the marking tool these days, put up the skull himself. Anyone can mark (unless that’s been changed very recently).

  13. @Bristal. Yuck. That sounds awful.

    Your story reminds me of one thing I have found can be really helpful in a PUG where someone is demonizing someone else, and that is to stand up for civility. If I’d been there with you (whether I knew you or not), I like to hope I would have said after the sarcastic instructions, “Hey, everyone makes mistakes sometimes, we lived through it, and it’s time to move on. How about we spend our time killing stuff and not attacking one another?”

    I healed VH heroic the other day, when it was tanked by a druid in resto gear and a balance specc trying (and often failing) to tank in bear form without a single point in the feral tree. I thought he was a jerk who had just clicked “tank” to avoid the queue. Then it became clear that he had no idea how to tank the bosses (he stood still with the Ethereal as I tried desperately to heal the damage people were taking from the orb things). When I failed, he had the gall to tell me I was “a piss poor healer”.

    Someone else said, “She’s doing fine. You need to move that boss around to avoid the environmental damage. Let me show you a path you can take before we pull it again.” And that made all the difference. He was still an undergeared, unskilled, improperly specced jerk, but I suddenly didn’t feel like I hated my life anymore.

    Politely standing up to the guy who doesn’t know how to follow Anna’s DBAD rule can make a run better for everyone.

  14. @Ratters & Anna-

    We could throw Pitch-kitty into the mix and see what happens then. >.>

    @this post-

    I’m so linking this on my blog. And telling people to read it. Very well said, and easy to remember too!

  15. I was pleasantly surprised when my guild had a heal crunch and we pugged two random healers for our TOC10. They were both geared to the teeth out of ICC25 and raided with one of the recognizable names on the server. I groaned when I saw them because I was sure they would drop group at the first whiff of trouble, and my guild is VERY CASUAL.

    I was wrong. They were pleasant, good natured, helpful, and fun! They stuck with us through a couple of wipes, and told us we were an awesome guild at the end. They both picked up a couple of offspec pieces that nobody else needed, and they didn’t try to be dramatic about it.

    It was so refreshing.

  16. Defintiely agree with this. People treat each other horribly in LFD randoms. It’s deplorable.

    I admit I rant on Twitter – hell I just did it not a half hour ago – but that’s generally when someone is, well… being a dick. Sorry, pulling out your stupid channeled demon for the sole purpose of getting someone killed when it’s unleashed is not cool.

  17. shieldbreakr is right, GS + achievement is a menace on Deathwing Horde. Why, last week someone was asking for GS for VOA in /2!

    By Kloro on Mar 11, 2010 | Reply
  18. I actually find heroics to be really fun in any of the three roles when there’s no dicks. I know how useless Gearscore generally is but there’s a couple things I like about it:

    -As a tank I can mouse over the healer, see the GS, do the same for the DPS and judge how fast I can run pretty quickly. If I see a healer below a 3k GS (the addon GS not wowheroes) I know I better remember to shield block/demo shout on occasion and slow down.

    -You can tell if someone isn’t pulling their weight. Once in a great while I’ll see a 4800 GS DPS pulling 1200DPS and is 15% of damage done then we have a problem. Either they’re phoning it in, playing a friend’s account, or they’re afk and on follow half the battle.

    -In the couple hundred heroics I’ve done since the Dungeon Finder I’ve noticed a trend. The people with 4300-4900 Gearscores are the people who are running tons of heroics because they still need Emblem of Triumph gear. They’re bored as hell from running the same heroics over and over and are the most likely to act like dicks. They’re the “gogogo” types, they belittle lesser DPS, they ask for people to post meters even though they have them themselves. The only time these people shut up is when they’re being dominated in DPS. The 5k+ GS people don’t usually have this problem because they’re only running one a day.

    By AlmtyBob on Mar 11, 2010 | Reply
  19. Cannot agree more and thank you for making a post like this that doesn’t insinuate that the dps are a) 99% of the time to blame or b) somehow lesser people for choosing to play a dps character. There are dicks in all of the rolls!

    By Possum on Mar 11, 2010 | Reply
  20. My guild has only one rule: Don’t Be A Tw**.

    A slightly more offensive version of DBAD, I agree, but it’s served us well for over 4 years!


    By Elastoplast on Mar 11, 2010 | Reply
  21. Really nice write up indeed. Now all that is needed is for the dicks to read it…

    By Evlyxx on Mar 11, 2010 | Reply
  22. @Almtybob – those things all might be true? But it seems like figuring out your healer’s gear level is pretty obvious from their mana pool alone – and not always the best clue as to whether a healer is skilled or not. It IS a good place to start though, and one of the few times I do think gearscore is useful. As for people “pulling their own weight”, I’m of the opinion that if the group is successful, bosses are dying, and nobody is being overly dumb, it doesn’t matter if someone isn’t doing amazing DPS. Heroics can (and were, and are) done with DPS at (or even below *gasp*) 1500. Naxx25 didn’t require much more than 2K. Sure it’s nice to go faster, but as long as the group is successful, I don’t care. -Plus, quite honestly, assuming that people whose gearscores are in a certain range are probably going to be dicks doesn’t exactly put yourself in a good light.

  23. @Possum – as a new tank, I’ve met some really dickish healers. As a new healer, some really dickish tanks. There is no moral superiority in any role, and I get VERY tired of the dead-horse-blame-the-DPS argument!

  24. /applaud

    This is gonna be linked on my guild forums. It embodies what we have always held as our #1 must obey rule – Don’t be a dick. Yes, we actually tell our new members that, it truly is our rule/motto when we do just about anything.

    By Phreak on Mar 11, 2010 | Reply
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