Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Finding the Failing

I mentioned a few lines in yesterdays random thoughts about how much I really hate the new group finder system for many reasons but that does not mean I do not beat myself over the head to numb myself out long enough to actually use it and get groups once in a while.

With that said I have noticed a few very important facts about random pugs, at least as I have experienced them.  I would not be very surprised if others have noticed the same things I have.  One really has little to do with this post other than as a lead in so I will make that one really short while the other is really what this post is about.

Bad attitude...

The one this post has little to do with, but is connected sometimes, is about people that exhibit what is referred to as toxic behavior.  I've been in many groups that were moving along nicely, even if we did hit a few bumps in the road, but as soon as one of those people join the group it is all downhill from there.

You know the guy / gal I am talking about, I am sure of it.  Heck, you might even be that person and if you are, shame on you.  They join the group and before even one trash mob is pulled they start in with how "this better not be a fail group" or "I down this whole raid in one shot on under geared alts so you people better not mess up".  You know the basic idea, the "I am the best and everyone else sucks, so being I am blessing you with my awesome skills and presence you better not let me down" attitude.

Besides the fact that the person that joins the group and acts like that is usually the worst player in the group they are indeed a pug killer.  So they fit the finding the failing, as in finding what is killing the pug.  Sadly most pugs I have been in seem to listen to this moron and if he / she says the healing sucks or the DPS sucks or the tanks suck they listen to him.  It is astounding that people can be sheep like that, even more so to a jerk like the one I just mentioned.

And that is where this post comes to the finding the failing.  While it is easy to blame the toxic individual that joined the group and it all went downhill from there, the real reason groups fail are the leader.


The leader should have kicked that individual the moment they joined the group and started to act like that.  If the group falls apart after that person joins it is more the leaders fault for not removing the disruptive influence than it is the actual disruptive influence.  No, I am not giving the person a pass on being a jerk, they are still completely at fault and I wish people like that would just unsubscribe and never return, but the leader has the power to remove them before they poison the group and completely ruin the run.

A good leader needs to be able to find the fail, was it a tank issue, was it a healer issue, was it a DPS issue, was it a mechanic issue, was it an approach issue, was it that toxic person ruining the group.  The leader is the one that needs to take control and lead the group in the right direction.

I have been in many groups with varied degrees of leadership.  From very tight controlled leadership on voice chat, to lose leadership that depends more on people knowing the fight already with no voice chat.  It is not always the one with tight control that is better.  Sometimes the one with the silent leader is better.

What is comes down to is when there is an issue how is it handled.  Do they make adjustment as soon as they are needed, do they evaluate the situation as quick as they can and stop problems before they even run into them.  One does not need to lead with a heavy hand to be a good leader, they just need to know what they are talking about, they need to be able to pick up on what the problem is and figure out how to correct it, in a few worlds, they need to be masters of finding the failing.


I have noticed the the vast majority of pugs I join usually are failing when I join them, that is why I like to start fresh runs sometimes instead of an in progress one, but beggars can not be choosers sometimes and I do join my fair share of in progress groups where whoever is leading the raid just has not found the reason the group is failing yet.

As I am not an elitist or a jerk I do not mind sitting with the group for a while and seeing if we can get things done.  I will stay for a few wipes seeing if the group is learning, getting better, if adjustments are being made.   I am not the type that bails out at the first sign of trouble.  But I have been kicked when there were troubles because I offered to help, if that makes sense.

I was in a butcher group a while ago where I did not need to do sides.  Kind of liked that I was able to just stand there and pew pew for once and I could even see the difference in my numbers.  I was doing some nice numbers and doing them relaxed, not having to worry about watching timers.  For someone that is always leading and watching timers it is nice to just sit back and play once in a while, it is one of the reasons I like pugs, because I can just be some rank and file hired gun and do my job and not worry about anything else, but I digress.

We wiped on the first attempt because the tanks that pulled looked like they were playing a game of pin the tail on the butcher, moving him all over the place and spinning him around like crazy.  Were they trying to kill him by making him dizzy?  Not sure, but it sure killed the raid.  Second attempt they pulled correctly but one side died to stacks.  Third attempt, same thing.

I offered to do sides, this was the first time I spoke outside of saying hello when I joined, because it was obvious that was where the issue was.  People were getting five stacks which is instant death.  They were messing up the sides so it was obvious that was where the issue was.

The raid leader told me no, the sides are fine.  If getting 5 stacks and killing an entire side is fine, then I guess you are right, they are fine.  Oh, I did not say that, I wanted to, but I am not a jerk. 

While we waited for someone that went AFK I mentioned I knew how to do sides and offered to do them.  Even offered to bring a guild mate in just for the one fight that would do them with me.  We can both pull 30K or close on that fight. 

You would think the raid leader would jump at that right, it sounds like a gift if you ask me.  Adding two people that know how to do sides and pull more than ample numbers for heroic content right?  Nope, it got me kicked, because I do not know what I am talking about because, and I quote, "the sides are fine".   Made me really wish I had said that more so after that.

And this is what I am talking about with finding the failing.  The failing in the group was that the sides were not being done correctly and we were wiping because one side would get 5 stacks and die and there is no way you can survive from that point on.  But the raid leader said the sides were fine, that was not the issue. 

And this is the exact issue with pugs and how they succeed or fail.  All on the backs of the leader finding the failing.

How have your group been, have your group finder raid leaders been good or bad at finding the failing?


  1. My last attempt at using group finder was for Siege. I can't remember how many times I ran into fail groups that never progressed passed Galakras. (looks at Armory) 1. So of the handful of times I tried, I NEVER made it passed Juggernaut in Normal (pug group). After enough costly repair bills, I just quit trying.

    I am just about to start trying again for a normal group on my warlock and bear..

    1. Good luck, the key is really about finding a decent leader.

      I'd suggest you take the time to read up on the fights or watch some videos. Even if you have never done them it will help you understand what is going on. And in 99% of the groups as long as you do decent and don't screw up easy mechanics, you will never even be noticed and can coast by and have some fun.

      I can see how for someone that does not raid often these groups can be really stressful. If I did not already know the fights from raiding with guild I would never touch group finder with a ten foot pole.

  2. I've been lucky GE, as the pugs I have been in have been good except for that one time the asshat asked "how did you get silver so you can do content. LOL, I know I mentioned that before, but I still get a chuckle and a silly grin on my face when I think about that one.


    1. Don't be surprised, we have a few guild mates that have never gotten silver. Someone else from guild logged into their account and did it for them.

      One guy had his son getting him the endless when he could not even managed silver himself.

      So people should not even rely on that to tell anything. Even if someone has it, doesn't mean they know what they are doing.

    2. well, I earned it on a hunter and a rogue. it wasn't easy until I figured out on the hunter (after 3 tries), they ain't attacking, but you are losing energy so each shot has to count and to screen yourself. and on the rogue, took 4 tries, but I got it.

      My answer back to the guy was - "they didn't attack so there poopy pants."

      Tried the gold, but I died so bad, I don't want to yak about it. damned timers.


    3. Once you learn it on one damage dealer it gets a little easier on the others because it is the same pattern. So you just have to remember which ones to go after first and it keeps getting easier.

      I did gold on my hunter as soon as I hit 100 while under geared, but I know a hunter well. I have not even bothered trying on any others.

      Did get DPS silver on my druid in bear spec.

    4. lol, I hate my druid, but I have to get him going - he is my flower sniffer (damned hippie) and potion maker. I sure hope all the crap that was done to them in Mists was un-done in WoD.


    5. I still say go bear and have fun with it. I run bear all the time, even when leveling and questing.