About 10 people that I used to raid with have formed a regular Naxxramas 25 PuG on Barthilas. I am often called in when they are desperate to find a priest for Instructor Razuvious and usually try and stick it out til the end. I know that these are all very good players but each week I watch the group wipe unnecessarily.
Please don’t make their mistakes. Here’s how you can make your next PuG more successful – especially if you or a friend is putting it together.
1. The Raid Leader’s chat is a different colour for a reason
The people you picked up in LFM are not going to pay attention to the hunter spouting off about decursing – even if the hunter is right. In a PuG there are usually about two or three members who will fill chat with instructions on what to do and what not to do. When I am pugging I only pay attention to instructions given by the Raid Leader. Promote the person who will give instructions that you want followed to Raid Leader before the first pull. This doesn’t have to be the master looter. This doesn’t have to be the person who handles raid invites or keeps the spots filled.
2. Explain your loot rules and stick to them
Whatever rules you wish to enforce, or even if you have no rules and it’s all based on a /roll system, explain this to the raid at the start. As per item #1, make sure this comes from the Raid Leader, or at least, the Raid Leader draws everyone’s attention these rules.
If you want to win over your raid members, I would recommend spelling out a rule that allows only healers to roll for Mp5 gear, only tanks to roll for defense gear and only DPS to roll for hit gear.
3. Know who is tanking and who is healing
Before the first pull (or even during the invitations stage) find out who is tanking and who is healing and write down their character names on a sheet next to you. As far as you are concerned, everyone else is DPS.
Check this list before each boss fight and check this list when handing out loot to ensure items are given to appropriate players.
4. Give instructions before pulling a boss
Note: this is the most common mistake I see.
Tinywarrior is going to tank the boss where he is. Can I have both holy paladins healing Tinywarrior. The raid will stand at maximum range in the center of the room. Tankadin will be picking up adds during the fight so healers be ready to heal him. Don’t forget to kill the adds and aoe the bugs quickly.
If the raid leader of the last Naxx group I was in had said this prior to pulling the first Spider Wing boss, Anub’Rekhan, we could have avoided many wipes.
“Everyone has done this before right?” is NOT good enough.
Don’t assume that the way you do the boss is the only way or even the same way the other members in the raid have followed in previous runs. Post-wipe a bunch of angry “why didn’t you kite him?” comments flooded raid chat (which I may have contributed to *cough*) and I soon discovered there is an Anub’Rekhan strategy that doesn’t involve kiting at all. The raid leader assumed that his strategy was the strategy everyone knew and played and I’d never even heard of it.
Successful instructions include:
a) tank position
b) raid/healer position
c) the single most important thing-to-know or thing-to-avoid
d) any additional assignments specific to the fight (eg assigning dps to kill Web Wraps in Maexxna)
and as you get comfortable doing this start to include:
e) healer assignments
Your instructions can be vague, short or over-simplify the fight. They may not be brilliant. That’s fine. But some instructions are better than none.
5. Use specific times (this one is for the pros)
Ok two dps have to leave. We really need all the dps we can get before starting this wing. Taking a 5 minute break to find and summon those extra members. If you know someone say so now. Readychecking and pulling in 5 minutes.
Players will come and go throughout the run which is a big time waster. Don’t let people sit around watching the clock. If you say 5 minutes, stick to it, and pull even if you can’t find replacements. Most people prefer to give it a go (even if it chances wiping) then sit around and do nothing.
Take this 1 step further and advertise your PuG in advance in general and trade chat.
Xata’s 25 Eye of Eternity. Invites start at 6pm server time. PST me at 6pm if you’re interested
Or take it another step further and set end times to your raid when you know you can’t complete it in one session:
Ok we’re aiming to finish this wing and the plague wing by 11pm ST. By then it will be too late for some of our raiders and one of our tanks will have to go, so we’ll reform and complete the run tomorrow. But lets get these two wings down now. We’ll choose a suitable time to reform for tomorrow’s raid time at the end of the run.
6. Use and don’t abuse readychecks
Only /readycheck after you have given instructions (or during) on a difficult pull or boss. Do not /readycheck for each trash pull. Announce who has declined or not responded. This is a time where it is appropriate to name names.
As a last resort /readycheck a second time.
Do not ever readycheck more than twice. People will start to ignore your readychecks or say yes when they’re not ready if you use it too many times. And people will start to watch the clock when you /readcheck and don’t pull (see #5 above).