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"You feel lucky, Punk?" – 3.3 Random Dungeon Impressions

With 3.3 arrived a new Looking for Group tool, and the ability to group with random people from other servers. To entice the skeptics and Pug-o-phobes into trying this new system, they offered a pretty tasty carrot on a stick –a title of “The Patient” for grouping with 50 random people, and the perky pug pet for grouping with 100. Oh, and two emblems of Frost for your first random dungeon of the day, but does that really compare to a pug pet in a spike harness that drags its ass across the floor?

The new 2x Emblems of Frost are given out much in the same way you received 2 Triumph badges for doing the Daily Heroic Dungeon previously, except now it’s even easier. Hit your ‘I’ button to bring up your dungeon finder, Select “Random Lich King Heroic”, choose your role (Tank/Healer/DPS) and hit the JOIN button! That’s it! Go back to questing, farming, watching Maury Povich find out which one of those 7 men are the baby’s daddy….whatever. Blizzard’s dungeon finder does the work for you, filling a group of 5 based on the roles you chose. When all 5 are filled and accepted – BAM –you’re transported to a random dungeon.

Like most things, this new feature has the good and the bad. As a healer, finding a group in less than ten seconds is normal, but now instead of seeing the Heroic Daily is Occulus and saying “Oh screw that”, you’re all already IN Occulus before 2 people go “Occulus? Aw screw this” and drop group, usually resulting in the whole group disbanding, or waiting around in queue to replace the deserters. It’s also not uncommon for people to be AFK and miss the call to confirm their role, so you’re booted back to the beginning of the queue for another group to form. The instant transport to the dungeon is a great feature, especially if you’re absent minded like me. Forgot to repair? Ran out of reagents? Hearth, repair, buy reagents, and click the “teleport to dungeon” command on your mini map and you’re back in business.

All in all, most of the new dungeon features are pretty nifty. However, there is one variable that can make your dungeon running a pleasure, or a pure nightmare of hellish pain: The people.

When groups were server only, you could pick and choose who to group with. If you remembered that bad experience you had with a Night Elf Death Knight named “DarthDeathzz”, you could avoid joining that group. But now, when your grouping is done for you, it’s pretty hard to remember anyone without taking notes. PuG groups can range in many flavors. You can have good groups, you can have bad groups and you can have the “OMFG do you people all eat paint chips?” groups. Some of it can be pretty humorous – the hunter with strength gems, a group of 3 Death knights & a warrior that queued up to tank, but no one wants to do it, a ret pally attempting to DPS with a shield – we actually made a thread, The Scrub PuB, to capture the lighter side of it all. You will get douchebags these can range from that elitists prick telling you how to play and what you’re doing wrong (and it doesn’t matter if they’re right or not…usually they’re not as “leet” as they think they are!), to the Xbox Live Spaz spewing poorly spelled words or curses, to the general asshat. You will get the Clueless Ones – the players that absolutely have NO idea how to play their class. You will get the undergeared players, DPS players that can’t seem to pull above triple digit numbers even in 245 level gear, the speed pulling tank, the fresh inexperienced 80s…you will get all kinds. It’s unavoidable. So here’s how to deal with it.

The Asshat – You don’t know what this guy’s problem is, and at some point, you stop caring. The verbal garbage coming out of his mouth is ruining your good time, and probably everyone else’s. Blizzard was kind enough to put a new feature in called “Vote to kick” – just click on the offender’s portrait, select that option, and the group will get a vote to kick him. 3/5 votes, and he’s OUTTA there. If for some reason the vote doesn’t pass, chose to add him to your ignore list if it looks like you will be done quickly, or drop group altogether. You’re a healer, you’ll have another group in ten seconds.
The Elitist – This can fall under the same category as “The Asshat”, and you can choose to deal with it the same way, especially if he’s one of those fun “Wanna-be Elitists” that have no clue what they’re talking about. There are, however, the rare occasions where the Elitist does have a good piece of advice, even if he’s being a condescending prick. Stroke his ego and thank him for the advice – hopefully he’ll shut up. Otherwise, treat him like “The Asshat”.
The Undergeared- With how easy it is to acquire epics now, people seem to think everyone has to be in 232+ gear to do a 5 man. You don’t. Is that mage & hunter that joined in leveling blues and some BoE epics REALLY going to screw you all over? I really doubt it. No, they won’t pull 5K+ DPS, but that kind of DPS was never required to do heroics in the first place. And how often do you see someone FREAK when your tank only has 28K health? Last December we were thrilled if our tanks had over 20K health – it’s ok, REALLY. It’s doable. Yes, as a healer, you may actually have to pay attention, but that keeps it interesting. Another thing to keep in mind that many of these under geared players are alts…they know what they’re doing. Yes, you may not finish the dungeon in 15 minutes with more than one under geared player, but someone took the time help you gear up at one point – pay it forward if you have the time.
Underexperienced – This usually coincides with “The Undergeared”, and can be slightly more difficult. I know it’s hard to believe, but there are people out there that just started playing, and are just hitting 80. That doesn’t make them idiots. I can’t count the number of times I was on a DPS alt, and got some great advice, or the times I helped a new healer out and it was really appreciated. You were a “newbie” once as well, I bet you appreciated a little guidance and kindness rather that “WTF YOU’VE NEVER DONE THIS YOU FUCKING SCRUB?”. Just like in the case of the “Undergeared”, give them a chance. It may take a few minutes longer, and you may have to explain a few fights, but many of these players might actually turn out to be great players given the chance – unless they’re the next type of player….
The Clueless – You can’t help these guys. You just can’t. Give up. You’ll just end up frustrated and pissed off if you try to help further. Any advice you try to give is met with “STFU Noob – I know how to play” or just met with a blank stare like a deer in headlights and a “LOL wut?”. They’re the Death Knights gemmed for spell power, the Paladin in spirit gear or the hunter with the tanking sword, all of it usually 232+ level gear. They usually don’t pay attention, stand where they shouldn’t, pull what they shouldn’t, and DPS with the fury of a wet Kleenex. Your best bet is to ignore them unless they are severely hampering group progress and causing wipes….in which case, vote to kick.
Now don’t get me wrong. Not all of the random PuG experiences are bad. In fact, the majority are good, and some are downright mechanical in how quick and smooth they are. Grouping is part of the MMO experience, & it’s a great way to quickly get some badges, and you do actually met some fun people from time to time. But when you do get those “bad” groups, take my advice or play Scrub PuG Bingo.

These PUG bingo cards were linked the official forums and were made by Cruce of Scarlet Crusade – they’re a fucking genius and I love them. Also, please feel free to share your PuG stories in our Scrub PuB - laughter is the best medicine!

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Written By: on December 29, 2009
  1. According to patch notes, anyone that you add to your ignore list will not be grouped with you on RDF. Not sure how it works if that person is on another server.

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