P.U.G. Code of Conduct

After doing a quick search on the topic and not finding anything I decided to put one together… mostly because it has become more and more irritating to do pugs lately.

A PUG (Pick Up Group) in WoW is a term commonly used to refer to a stranger that just joined you via the LFD (Looking for Dungeon) tool. As such we assume that the Pugs are people that we will most likely not interact with again (unless they are from our server… which I see once in a while but not very often.)

The following are a set of rules that if followed could lead to a more enjoyable experience to all involved.

Don’t Que for stuff you are not ready for
Seriously, don’t do it. If you are going to under-perform with strangers they will have a right to call you out. There is nothing more irritating that someone bypassing the gear requirements with PvP gear and under-performing. Stay in regular dungeons a little longer, practice with your guildies. Overall don’t expect people to carry you through content. Most people would be patient until they have to pay for repairs.

Before you Que up
While you might be fishing or questing while you wait, please be mindful of other players time. If you need to go to the bahtroom, get a drink, check on your children, etc, etc, do it before joining a que. While I do understand that DPS que’s can be horribly long, don’t wait until you get the que to pop up to go do what you have been neglecting. Some people abuse the fact that they cannot be kicked from the group for a period of time to let the group kill all the trash up to the first boss while they are AFK.

The 5 Second Rule
Never judge a book by its cover. The first 5 seconds of a pug are crucial. Say hello, let the group know if you are switching specs and gear if you are (some people que up as 2 different roles). I have seen the trend more and more lately when people just check for health and mana pools or gear and instantly leave the group.

BRB – Bio – AFK – Phone
If you are going to be away from the game for more than 60 seconds, the ones listed above are not appropriate. I have had everything under the sun happen in pugs… even a couple that kept on stringin the group along while the other one would go AFK and put the toon on follow. Who knows, maybe it was someone multiboxing and pretending to be 2 people. Bottom line is that if you are going to be away for an extended period of time, just leave the group. Don’t wait to see if people kick you.

Don’t be a Ninja
I don’t believe on having to always greed anymore. All I think is fair is that if you are going to need on everything that drops in the run, be up front about it so others can too. While you might get that item by being a Ninja (a late roller that waits for greeds and then hits need), it will most likely get you kicked out of the group. Be up front, write a macro and people will appreciate your honestly.

Unwanted Advise
You might play all classes at top of the world raider level, but unless asked, don’t give advise on how to play someone else’s toon. You can whisper someone once, but if they don’t want the advise, don’t press it. If you really want to help, keep your comments to yourself. A Pug is not the place to give someone a class on how to do X or Y. It has to be something that everyone else agrees on, or you will have an unhappy group.

So… what about you guys, what other rules should I add?


From Grumpy

Speak up
It is better to ask about a fight that you have never done before the fight then to say you didn’t know after you caused a wipe. Myself, and many like me, would gladly explain everything you need to know but don’t take kindly to our time being wasted. It is not a waste of time to explain the fight but it is a waste of time to wipe because you did not tell people you have never done it before.
Beware: There are some jerks that will kick you because you do not know a fight but be sure of the fact that they are, excuse the language, low life scum. You are better off not playing with someone like that anyway.

Be Decent
Take some time to at least have a basic knowledge of your class. Someone doing 8K that looks like they are trying is better then someone doing 8K that doesn’t look like they are even trying. Good players can tell the difference. You do not need to be a great player, but at least try your best.

Be Nice
Say hello at the start, say thanks for the run at the end. If you feel so inclined you might even add a have a nice day as well before you leave. As small as those things are it is a proven fact that good vibes (as well as bad ones) are contagious. If you are nice to other people even in passing they will be more likely to be nice to others themselves and the community needs more people like that.

Killing Noob Edubication

“If anything can go wrong, it will.”
-Murphy <- Got to love that dude ... but really it was not him, it was This dude…

So one of my busiest week in recent history is the week that my shared topic gets featured in BlogAzeroth. Go Figure.

So Navimie gently cattle-prodded me into posting something… and since I am late to the party I get to talk about it from a different point of view.

Martha, as always is keeping a too tally of what is going on. So a quick read on her post will catch you up about what is being said. If you have not visited that blog don’t just go to one post, get lost! it has many different topics and one you will sure enjoy exploring.

Before we get into the meat of the post, I don’t miss the days of having to ask people to join you via trade chat if you were missing someone. Most of the knowledge I gathered about the game was done via research because a lot of people would oversimplify things. I became a tank because it was supposed to be easy and a two button rotation. I guess some people really think that about tanking… but it was not that simple. I was also blessed with a group of healers that were not just patient while I was learning but also willing to travel to a meeting stone. Getting DPS at that point was a lot easier and more often that not I got used to having everything we need from group creation in a guild. Those days I never really pugged.

Even though the guild I was in those days fancied themselves raiders, they were pretty much Kara raiders during most of BC. Visiting other places had to be done with pugs. Most guilds had set tanks so I spent more time in dungeons than in raids in the BC days. Those days were never about pushing progression and when I did get to see or participate on anything requiring it… well it left a very bad taste in my mouth.

During wrath I had a way better experience in pugs. Naxx, Ulduar and ToC allowed me to pug as one toon and bring the knowledge back to our guild. So as long as I stayed a little ahead with pugs, it was easy to then get our guild through it. That is kind of how I started leading raids I guess.

So the community really helped at that point because it was almost like my LFR. Going with people that were ahead of me, but where I was still able to help them advance.

I also like to think that we came of age as a group of casual raiders during ICC. Entering Cata we had a better understanding of raiding and now our alt runs is where people that were a little behind us get a chance to see things. That progression worked well from a community stand point and for our guild.

So for me raid leading knowledge was really gathered from being part of raids. LFR totally does away with that because there is really no raid leading in LFR… trust me, I have tried and before I even type (we are short 3 healers, someone always pulls.)

It scares me to think that LFR will kill the creation of new raid leaders. It is a job at times thankless but a very exciting and rewarding one when it goes well. I know plenty of people don’t want that job, but maybe LFR will totally let someone bypass something that they might truly enjoy.

Lets hope that LFR is not the end of most people’s raid experience and it actually brings more people into trying and savoring new end game content.

I called Garrosh!

Yeap, I cannot remember where but I know I mentioned that I wanted to kill him. Apparently Blizzard listened and he will be a baddie that I get to kill… Can we say Legendary?

Having killed Deahtwing and working on Legendaries has made raiding less of a focus and given room to alts for my guildies and PvP for me. I still suck a PvP but I have been fun with my tank build and being a flag carrier. 2s and 3s are still about 50/50 depending on the composition.

In the coming weeks we are going to continue to farm DS regular to complete our Legendaries and probably introduce a lot more fun runs like we have been having going through previous tiers. There are still more achievements that we need to get.

Dig the Female panderian and all the scenery I have seen leaked. I am very excited about everything I am hearing so far. It looks like tons of fun are coming and probably sooner rather than later. Diablo 3 its not just soon anymore but May 15!

This will be a great gaming year!

And then there were Six!

I was tagged by Martha to play in the Sixth Challenge started by Gnomeaggedon of Armaggedon’s Coming!

So the challenge rules say:

1.Go into your image folder
2.Open the sixth sub-folder and choose the sixth image.
3.Publish the image! (and a few words wouldn’t hurt, though I dare say I couldn’t stop a blogger from adding a few words of their own).
4.Challenge six new bloggers.
5.Link to them.

But I am not one to play by the rules… so lets see what I can come up with. I really don’t have subfolder for my WoW pictures, they just all stay there in the same place. I might have to start doing some sorting because it is getting pretty huge.

Here is the Sixth picture!

Reloaded Guild Meeting

That was from our last guild meeting. It is inside of a little bar you just have to find :)

As soon as the meeting ended we started a bar fight and found out that you CAN puke while you are turned into a bunny. Fun times!

Now six people to challenge…

Kesith
Cymre
MD Gibbons
Keyel
Liore
and Grumpy

Why Does My DPS Suck? – Cool Downs

The “Why Does My DPS suck?” is a post series written for the person starting to raid. While a raider might learn a thing or two, it is written more for the WoW Rookie than for the WoW Pro.

Why Does My DPS Suck?

- Add Ons
- Computer

If you have ever listened on a raid, you might have heard the Raid Leader say, “pop your cooldowns!” sounds like fun doesn’t. If you want to get into raiding one of the first things you should do is ask if you can listen in on a raid. You will start to get a sense of what is said during the fight. You might be lost at first, but if you que up the videos of the bosses the raid team is attempting you might get a good visual of what they are facing.

Cooldown management is something a lot of new DPS have trouble with. Healers learn quickly that you have to use mana regen abilities to keep their mana pool going, but some DPS don’t know how much DPS they are leaving on the table by not using their cooldowns correctly.

Cooldowns are abilities that give you a boost but have a reset timer. Think of them as the “nitro” boost you see on some racing games. They come in a lot of different shapes and sizes, but they accomplish the same thing, they give you more DPS.

Your trinkets might have something called a “proc” which means you don’t have to worry about them, but if they are an “on use” trinket, that means that you have to click it to get the boost. The simplest way to start experimenting with this cooldown is just to drag the trinket to your bar and use it on click. Another way is probably to macro it to an ability that you already use. The best way is to know exactly when to use it and be smart about it.

Like your trinkets, most classes have abilities that allows them to do a lot more DPS for a short time. You might have heard the term “burst damage” being used. Some classes have lots of it, meaning they pack a punch when they use all their cooldowns. At one point some classes used to be able to line up several and the fabled “one shot macros” were all the rage on PvP. That does not happen all that much anymore, but you can still pack a lot of DPS in a short period of time.

The fight against Deathwing calls for it a lot. This is where saving your cooldowns for that moment it is needed is critical.

If you have played with a Demo Warlock you have probably noticed that they go on demon form. That is one of their DPS cooldowns. You might have also seen a mage get turned into a human icicle, that is a defensive cooldown. You might be thinking that you don’t care about defensive cooldowns, but they are just as important… a dead DPS does ZERO DPS.

As important as finding out what your cooldowns are, it is when to use them. Every boss is different, and also every raid team lines them up a little different.

There are also cooldowns that affect the whole raid like Heroism/Lust. You have to learn when to use your cooldowns and how they are affected by other cooldowns. If your cooldown gives you more strenght, then it is prime for using during the Heroism/Lust phase; however if you cooldown gives you haste, it might not help that much since Heroism/Lust is already giving you that stat and probably will simply be a wasted cooldown.

So your homework is to investigate what your cooldowns are and make sure that they are available in your arsenal. Play around with them and see how they affect your numbers. Are they things you want to use every time they are up? or are they ones that can be saved for burn down phases? Its all part of the fun of the game.

Happy Hunting.

Profanity and PvP

I learned a lot of my spoken English from Beavis and Butthead. It was an easy show to understand for someone that did not know English. Not a lot of words, very repetitive. So bun-hole is not something new to my vocabulary.

Our vent (voice chat communication program) is pretty tame. There are a couple of people that will swear here and there for the “shock” value of a swear word here and there. I personally don’t like it because there are kids around the vent sometimes that could directly or indirectly hear the language. I am more comfortable with innuendos and humor than straight F-bombs non-stop.

PvP is full of profanities. While some people think that LFR is trolls R US, it really does not hold a candle to a WSG where you are already 2 caps behind. That does not even account for the people that are not typing their discontent. The people in vent that got killed by the same rogue, yet again will eventually deal with their anger somehow.

I completely understand the need to vent some frustration when something is really going south. I just don’t see the need to share a stream of profanity with others.

I know for our raid nights, plenty of people have strong words after a bad wipe. It is normal practice not to ever push the button. With PvP it seems that the opposite happens and the expletives drown the person calling out things. Running a BG is harder and more chaotic than a raid, but somehow people feel that they have to announcer that the f*%$^$%^ rogue killed me again.

One of my biggest pet peeves as a RL is when someone announces they died. I can see you died, the healers can see you died and the DPS will eventually see if you are a DPS yourself. It seems, at least right now that we are not used to doing BGs because the chatter is all over the place.

It might be a growing pain of getting into a new thing, but my fear is that PvP and profanity go hand in hand. I am not ok with that though.

I think a lot of our members right now see PvP as a “fun” activity, but we have a new person that wants to get us to the next level of PvP and I want them to be able to do that. Some of it will come with credibility and when we are geared and actually doing it, but I think some of it is tone as well.

So the question goes out to those people that PvP. Is profanity just a normal thing in PvP? do rated BG voice chats are just like FPS voice channels?

Lets to about Nerfs BABY!

Excuse me while I sound kind of Gran Torino like. I love, love, love to read a “kid” that is just coming out of college talk about software development and how they understand how Blizzard works. Granted, there are some exceptions to this rule where the young person has been coding in large teams since high school developing free software in Sourceforge (I actually know a couple.) But trust me, when it comes to software development your VB, C++ classes or 3D animation do NOT equal to you knowing about SDLC. Let alone any idea on how Blizzard development works.

I laugh at conversations like this all the time. Partly because I have been connected to software development for more than 10 years now. I know how different approaches are applied to very different end result. Every software shot is a little different and the more moving parts the worse it is. I have often wanted to just interject on some of the conversations and pull out my (e-peen) but until today I kept it in my pants.

One of the arguments I have heard recently about how the “nerfs” do this or that, or how Blizzard should do this or that is very, very short sighted. Unless the code is existing, you have to rewrite code. The WoW code base is not a small one either. Just think of how much we have in our computers and that is just the client side, it does not include the server side information and calculations that happen. While most people think like amateur hacker wannabes (codemonkeys and script kiddies), I laugh at the “isn’t that some config file that I switch”.

What makes it more amusing some times is that it is not dumb people making these ridiculous claims, but people that are actually are better at math than I am. Figuring out the calculations and numbers of theory-crafting takes brain power, so how that they be so short sighted?

I don’t know anything about encounter design, and I try not to break it down in my head or I would probably stop enjoying the game. “Tuning” a boss, encounter, a simple mob takes coding time, testing, etc. It takes a lot to implement. The time spent by the people “tuning” or fixing “broke”n encounters is time that those same people are not spending on new content.

Blizzard has come short of actually spelling it out for everyone. They have their culture, they have the way they do things and their developers and artists are not just gears in a machine that are easy to replace, or buy more of. Having gradual nerfs was something that they had to plan for and code for. It is probably freeing up a lot of development time for building encounters for MoP.

So just think about what you are saying or asking from “the” company. Nerfing the whole instance is not easy, they had to plan for it and were smart at developing it. They are also smart about how and when they are doing it. You personally might not like the timing, but it is a lot better than having to waste resources tuning encounters already released.

Gear Inflation

I don’t think it is a secret anymore, the people at the top 100 guild raiding level believe that “Raiding is for ONLY the RAIDERS!” They are really not interested in anyone else joining them. The more people that become better and become “raiders” the less “special” they feel.

The question really is, who are truly the raiders?

WoW has an issue with labels. Raider is probably the one that most people want to use for themselves but nobody really understands anymore. Raider is a catch all term for anyone that goes into an instance that requires more than 5 players. However there is a big gap from a person that killed Kelthuzad when Naxx was a 40 man and someone that killed Deathwing in LFR.

Time put into the game aside, there are plenty of BC and Wrath babies out there that are now raiding, there are huge factors that change how you look at those people.

The raider code is kind of an attempt at further defining that, but in reality a raider has been and will be defined by their gear.

If your gear says heroic and your ilvl is maxed out, you are at the top of your game. You might not be a hardcore raider, you might have been carried… but in the end the prestige of that gear is there.

Some of those people are now really troubled by the fact that anyone can now have a 4 set.

That used to separate people that could do progression vs people that could not. Now that 4 set capability is available to not just LFR babies, but normal mode teams.

Before the LFR our raid team had maybe 2/3 people with 4 set per tier if we were lucky. Now we have about 15 toons with 4 sets. That makes a huge difference. Something that was pretty unattainable for us before because of luck (some tokens seemed to never want to drop.) or just lack of progression, is now there.

The agility trinket that would have taken us probably months for our 2 hunters to get, I think they both have now. I remember deathbringers will almost broke up our raid team before. Once piece of gear… and so much drama. Can paladin’s really benefit? Why is that hunter getting it if so already got it… oh no we pug one DPS and he wins the roll for the trinket I waited 4 months for! I do not miss those days.

Now in our normal raid everyone passes on gear if they have the LFR version. I don’t even have to use loot council or points anymore to track gear. We know we can fill the gaps later. Same thing when I pug, I give loot to their toons because I am raiding on an alt with LFR gear… it does not hurt me, it helps other raid teams. (I prefer to pug normal with other guild teams rather than full trade chat pug.)

So from my point of view this is all unicorn and rainbows, but Raiders of the hardcore flavor are starting to say that “bads” don’t deserve 4 set. The same people that don’t understand that LFR is really not tuned or targeted at them, now feel that others don’t deserve the 4 set.

Is this whole prestige thing really that important to people?

I simply don’t get it, and not because I cannot attain it either… I am sure if I put enough effort into it I could probably be in a guild raiding more competitively, but I like raiding with my friends and our wives.

So I don’t think making it easy to gear right now and 4 set available to everyone is a bad thing for the game or for raiding. How do you feel about it? Seriously… is someone like me not worthy of a 4 set? Should we go back to a place where only a couple of people are able to attain it on a normal mode raiding guild?

The Raider Code

Thinking about how to differentiate raiders I remembered the Geek Code and looked to see if there was one for raiders and could not find one so I figured I could come up with my own. It might simplify things for people recruiting to take a quick glance at the type of raiders the person is looking at.

Here is the Raid Code.

-N+/-H+ Difficulty Mode
-N Looking to just see some fights
N Don’t have to complete Normal but would like to try
N+ Looking to complete normal Mode
-H some hardmodes
H most hardmodes
H+ have to complete

-A+ Achievements
-A Not interested
A Don’t mind doing some
A+ Want the mount

10w-500w Wipe threshold
How many times are you willing to wipe before a boss dies

Dr Dk Pa Pr Rg Wr Wl Ma Sm Hn Wl Wr – Class you raid with (HTD) Roles willing/competent at a raid level – Spec if not obvious

1h-10h
Hours willing/able to raid a day

1d-7d
Days willing/able to raid a week

Brag – Latest Raid completed achieved while current content

My Raidercode
-H A 100w Pr(H)D Wr(T) 4h 2d DS-8/8N