So I’m obviously still stuck in on the old sleek, grey missionary of death, praying for war, with not a lot of actual war going on. Despite our fearless leaders’ best efforts, that leaves not an awful lot of anything to do other than browse da interwebz (competing for limited bandwidth with 280 other users never gets old.) I’m not sure exactly what it was that brought Tamarind to my humble abode, but I’m glad he left a comment or I’d have never found his site. And lucky reader that you are, I can now link it to you. There is comedy gold in them thar interwebz, and Tamarind seems to be mining the motherlode. Not sure where the name came from, a fan of old Omar Sharif movies perhaps? Doesn’t matter, read him, bookmark him, shower him with compliments and forgive him for being a fruit elf. Tamarind, if you’re reading this, I must recommend Big Blue Dress to you, it’s so you.
But moving on swiftly, it’s now 15 days until I can scratch my WoW Itch again, but what is it exactly that I’m looking forward to? Well there’s the obvious raiding and accumulating of phat lewtz, which means competing for a raid spot on Calli (shouldn’t be too hard with the Summertime Blues in full swing) and looking for Naxx PuGs on everyone else. I guess I’m lucky in that I enjoy the whole spectrum of what WoW has to offer, not just raiding. I couldn’t face going back to Naxx on Calli, but playing the same content on Jingles, Gorn, Fingers, Galadan etc keeps it reasonably fresh for me, it’s just the quality of the company you go in there with that makes or breaks the deal. I also have a poor neglected Hunter and Shaman languishing at level 70(ish) who might be fun to break out of storage once again. Then I need to get Aluriels’ fishing and cooking up to scratch. What exactly is it about the game that keeps me coming back?
Talk Dirty To Me
I love trade and general chat. I know I shouldn’t, but it’s like picking at a scab that will never heal. Just when you think you’ve got a winner for the Dumbest and Most Annoying Prick of the Year, there’s always someone who’s willing to go that one step further to be even more inane or offensive than the last guy. Trade and General chat are like the massive bumrush that were the Northrend starting zones on Wrath release, filled to overcrowding with the creme de la creme of the games’ smacktards, all determined to screw you over just so they could complete their quests 30 seconds faster than you. As previously mentioned, this is not a bad thing. It gets them out from under the stones where they fester, in the open where you can identify them and log their names for future reference. Trade and general chat serve a similar, vital function. Without them, you wouldn’t know who the cretins were until you *gasp* were grouped with them. Eeeew! I have a sick fascination with the idea of rolling a horde alt on a heavily populated server just so I can experience Barrens chat in all its’ perverse glory. Can it really be worse than Ironforge on a Friday night? Does anyone actually know where Mankrik’s wife is?
Ain’t Lookin’ For Nothing But A Good Time
I also have a dark secret. I love PuGs. For those jaded multitudes of us who’ve seen it and done it all, I highly recommend instancing in PuGs on an alt. No wait, stop, come back! I mean it. Sure, this probably means you’re going to be grouped for Blood Furnace with a Ret Pally called Killerpalla who really doesn’t want to heal and 3 lolknights called Aarthas, Arthaas and Arthaaz, but what’s the worst that can happen?
Ok, bad example. Let me put it another way. Sure, the vast majority of your PuG experiences are going to be like having teeth pulled without the benefit of anaesthetic, but it’s the rare good ones that make it worthwhile. If even one of the group is either competent, or inexperienced but willing to learn, you just made a friend for life. That PuG tank in greens who’s obviously tried really hard to get the best tanking gear from quests but didn’t quite get how threat and aggro worked? A few friendly words of advice from you instead of the usual ranting and /leave and that guy could be your 10 man raid group tanking superstar in a few months. At the very least, you’ve got a more effective PuG tank for the night and someone who thinks you are a superstar. There are rough diamonds in those PuGs, trust me. Of course there are cocktards of the highest degree too, that’s why they’re in PuGs and not doing guild runs, but 11 million subscription fees proves that new people are playing too.
Don’t be one of the asshats that gets added to the new players’ ignore list. Some of the worst pricks I’ve encountered in PuGs are the alts of hardcore raiders who just don’t have the time, patience or social skills to play in PuGs. They want that instance done yesterday and they have no patience for people who’ve never seen the instance before. They’re PuGging it because they’re such antisocial dickwads not even their own guildies will boost them. Screw them. Pre-80 instances are for newbies and alts who have the patience to play with newbies. Take some patience into your PuG experience and everyone benefits.
One thing I love most about new players in PuGs is when some useful loot drops. I’ve levelled 8 characters to 80 and have two in the low 70’s. If an upgrade drops in Azjol’Nerub or Hellfire Ramparts I’m not especially excited by it anymore, and that’s my loss. I’ve become jaded. I know it’s not gear I’d be using for longer than a few days and It’s really difficult to get a hard-on over it. On the other hand, I can still remember when I was a newbie hunter, couldn’t get into an instance for love nor money and looked with unmitigated envy at people wandering around Ironforge in the Beastmaster Tier 0 set. Heck, any level 60 blue gear at all was beyond my reach. Getting a gear upgrade is a BIG DEAL when you’re new, no matter how transient or illusory it might really be. No matter how much we jaded veterans might scoff, if you’ve never heard of heirloom gear and the best item you ever owned was a BoE level 61 blue you saved up for on the Auction House, that Polearm from the chest at the end of the Ramparts is a Big Deal. I will not spoil the moment for that new guy, I will pass on the loot for him. The gushing of thanks and obvious glee they experience is another part of what makes PuGging fun for me. I genuinely feel happy for the good newbie who gets a blue in an instance, and I get a kick out of being the nice guy who helps them understand their group role better, improve as a player and help them upgrade their gear.
Every Rose Has Its Thorn
Of course, the chances are you’re going to end up in the PuG with Killerpalla, Aarthas, Arthaas and Aarthaaz. The PuG where you’re the last person to join and yet somehow always the first one to the instance. Where you spend half an hour at the summoning stone waiting for the rest of them to decide which of them should should move their lazy arses from Ironforge/Dalaran/Alterac Valley first to help you summon the rest. The one where when everyone finally arrives, someone forgot to repair and has a hearthstone on cooldown. The PuG where they spend the first 10 minutes in the instance arguing over who’s going to tank and then when one of them grudgingly agrees to do it, the rest do their level best to pull aggro off him every chance they get because a) He can’t tank for shit and b) the rest of them are all cocks. The PuG where none of the buffers have any reagents and none of the mana users have any water. That PuG where they all go afk after every meaningless, soul-destroying wipe and then bitch at you after you’ve run back for not rezzing them faster. The one where the dps who stood in the fire spam “rez plz” over and over while the rest of you are still in combat. The one where everyone stands in Fire and it’s somehow the healer’s fault. Where the healer has no mana to heal because he was busy spamming moonfire/smite/chain lightning/Consecrate.
It’s not all bad, these PuGs can be fun too. You just have to get into the whole spirit of the group. Roll Need on the Collosal Skull-Clad Cleaver when it drops and then disenchant it in front of them. For that piece de resistance, just to show you really care, open them a portal before you teleport out. To Theramore.
You have to take your enjoyment where you can. I never claimed to be an angel.