Tales of the PUG
February 4th, 2008 - By
Most of the classes within Vanguard: Saga of Heroes are able to solo
with a fair amount of efficiency. Some classes are obviously better at
it than others, but with some patience and knowledge of your class,
soloing isn't that big of an issue at this point.
I'm glad soloing is a viable progression option for most players, but
the areas of Vanguard that provide the most fun for me are the various
dungeons scattered throughout the realms. Soloing dungeons much lower
than your level is possible to a point, but even so, who really wants
to do that? There's no challenge or real sense of excitement when
taking this path.
That leaves grouping up as the primary method of deep dungeon
exploration. Some of the dungeons within Vanguard are pretty massive
which makes their exploration all the more rewarding. If you play with
a set group of people each day, you've got the best set up available to
you in the game, and I'll admit that makes me a bit envious, hehe.
For those of us that play at widely varying times throughout the week
though, it sometimes puts us into a bit of a bind. One reasonable
action we can take is to join a guild with a strong player base. This
is certainly possible and even encouraged. A good guild can really make
any game come much more alive for a player.
While I do belong to a guild, most of the players are currently out of
my level range and enjoying hitting the Ancient Port Warehouse almost
nightly. Aside from the fact that I'm not a raider, I'm also not the
type of player that wants to hop on and grind away just to get to level
So where does that leave myself and other players like me? Yep, you
guessed it... the dreaded Pick-Up Group.
Over the course of various games, PUG's have gotten a truly bad
reputation. It's a little hard not to dread them at least a little no
matter how you look at it though. It's pretty safe to assume that if
you've been playing Massively Multiplayer Online Games for any
respectable length of time, you have you're own horror stories from the
Just today, I had such an experience while trying to make a Trickster's
Haven run. For those that are familiar with the dungeon, they know you
should be able to get to the first pool with the Ivory Hooded Snakes
within a matter of minutes. It shouldn't take longer than 5 minutes
tops to get there. This afternoon, I was with a group that took almost
15-20 minutes to get there. Go ahead and pick your jaw back up off the
keyboard. I'll wait.
While I desperately wish I was exaggerating this fact, I'm sad to
report that it is indeed the truth. If you don't believe me, just ask
my wife, as I'm sure she was more than able to hear me cursing about
I didn't give you that brief look into the possibilities of a PUG group
to scare you off, but just to give you an idea of the possible levels
of frustration you may run into. This is a bit of an extreme though,
and should not be looked at as the norm.
More often than not, I get into a pretty good group. Nothing great, but
nothing too bad either. I get a respectable amount of experience for
the amount of time I play, and possibly a little bit of loot as well.
I'm perfectly content with this outcome and it should retain that level
of expectation when getting a PUG together, or joining one on the fly.
There is one other possibility though, and when you find yourself
within such an event, be prepared to brush at least part of your life
off. My friends and I call the last PUG type, the "Old School" PUG.
Despite the name we've given it, this doesn't really have anything to
do with how long a player has been playing MMOG's. It's just a general
term we use for players that obviously know how to play their chosen
class very well.
The last time I got into this type of PUG, I stayed up almost 4 hours
longer than I had planned. I got in the group about 45 minutes before I
usually go to sleep and figured that was a reasonable amount of time to
play and still accomplish something. By the time we hit the fourth
room, I knew I was screwed. Not with that impending sense of a group
wipe, but with that "serious lack of sleep" type of feeling.
When you can find that magical group the just gels together it's a
great thing. So rather than avoiding PUG's you might want to take a bit
of time out of your normal play schedule to do some PUG hunting. You
might just be surprised at what you find out there.
Have you got a tale to share about a great/horrible PUG you've been in?
Tell us all about it here
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