Updated Sun, Dec 06, 2009 by Savanja
Love them or hate them, at one time or another everyone needs a pick up group. Not only can they be frustrating, but they can cost us time, soul healing costs, and occasionally our sanity if we end up in a bad group. They don’t have to be as bad as they are though and with these few simple tips you can survive PUGs!
The first rule of PUGS – Don’t try to wing it. When putting together a group and playing with people you don’t know, it really isn’t the time to see if you can do the instance without a healer. Poorly balanced groups have a challenging time even when you have people that know each other and work together well, playing with people who may or may not have the skills to pull it off would just be a waste of everyone’s time.
Come ready to fight and well prepared.
The second rule of PUGs – Come prepared! This is true for any group you join, but especially true for PUGs. Bring your potions and scrolls and plenty of them because you’ll likely need them. In Aion, the rez stones and ailment cures can be vital because you can’t always count on everyone being able to do their jobs well.
The third rule of PUGs – Set ranks immediately. Everyone should have a clear role in the group and someone should take charge of these. Take charge and make things clear right off the bat. Decide on main tank, tank assist, crowd control, and be sure that everyone knows how these roles will play out. Aion has tools in game to mark mobs and I suggest that you learn to use these. The tank should be marking the mob that everyone will be attacking and those that will be receiving crowd control measures so that everyone is on the right target and not breaking mez.
The fourth rule of PUGs – Relax. With PUGs you need to go in knowing that things may not go smoothly so keeping your sense of humor and staying calm will be helpful. Getting worked up or upset won’t help you or anyone else and it may just drive away your teammates. No one wants to be yelled at, called names, or told how to play their class. Some people are more sensitive than others and some are more abrasive so learning how to keep an even temperament and rolling with the punches will go a long way in getting through with a group.
The fifth rule of PUGs – Make friends. If you are running through an instance and manage to find some good players, for goodness sakes, add them to your friends list! Good players are hard to find and good players who are open to PUGs is even rarer so if you do stumble across someone who you enjoy playing with, make sure that you can hook up again in the future for more fun.
Be a good groupmate and you may get on friend lists.
The sixth rule of PUGs – Know when to cut the fat. If you are leading the group and there seems to be one consistent trouble maker, don’t be afraid to give them the boot. Don’t abuse this and only take action if the offending player is being a serious ass and you have the support of the group. Really this is a rare situation, but if needed it is certainly okay to kick another player.
The seventh rule of PUGs – Know when to walk away. If your group has gotten completely unfun and you’re racking up an experience debt that makes you cringe then it’s okay to just walk away. Do so politely of course, but don’t stick around in a really bad group out of feelings of obligation. Soul healing costs are high at upper levels and if the risk is greatly outweighing the rewards then run away and don’t look back.
In the end, remember that gaming is supposed to be fun. If you’re having a good time, nothing else matters all that much. Dying repeatedly and playing with less than cool people though is not fun but with our tips, even something as distasteful as pick up groups can become not only survivable, but even completely worthwhile.
Do you have your own PUG tips or maybe a great PUG story to tell? Come share it on our forums!