An exemplary UP pug

Yesterday I got into quite an interesting pug for heroic Utgarde Pinnacle. I say interesting because several things happened that could have turned the run into a bad pug story very quickly, but thanks to (almost) everyone in the party being good sports about the events it didn't. It's kind of unfortunate that people being able to shrug off failure and being willing to actually deal with problems that come up have become so rare that it's worth mentioning. On the other hand I've lost count of the amount of times when people started flinging insults around as soon as anything went wrong or even slightly not to their liking, or simply rage-quit without a word.

In the run in question I was playing my holy priest. I noticed right away that another party member, a dps warrior, was from my server, which is reasonably rare. After we killed Svala he got the achievement for looting his first dungeon and raid emblem. I cheered for him and he said that he had a long road ahead of him... indeed, he was wearing nothing but levelling greens and a few lower-level blues. For a moment I was worried that someone might make a disparaging comment about his gear, even though complaining about bad gear is one of the things I truly haven't encountered in my battlegroup yet. But you never know, right? Nobody said anything though.

We happily cruised up the stairs, but with one trash pull left before the second boss our paladin tank suddenly came to a standstill and eventually disconnected. The dps warrior immediately said that he could take over tanking if so desired, even though his tanking gear was pretty poor. I thanked him for the offer but said that we should wait at least a minute or two for our tank to come back. His response? "Of course, DCs can happen to the best of us."

Unfortunately the paladin didn't come back and we eventually had to remove him from the group. Now, we could have just queued for a new tank, but that probably would have involved some more waiting, so the warrior selected "tank" during the role check, respecced to protection and put on his tanking gear. Said gear really wasn't anything to write home about, but just going by a quick glance it seemed to have all the right stats on it and brought our tank up to nearly 30k health fully buffed, so how bad could it be?

The dungeon finder gave us a dps death knight, and we continued to clear trash and kill Gortok Palehoof. Skadi's gauntlet took a bit longer than it should have because we seemed to be having one of those groups where one of the dps kept picking up the harpoons without knowing what to do with them or maybe even without noticing, until the rogue started to yell at people to shoot their harpoons already after the fifth flyby or so.

Eventually Grauf was shot down and we should have downed Skadi easily but... I ballsed it up. Suddenly our tank did seem very squishy after all, and the melee ran along with the whirlwind instead of away from it, but I was so determined to keep their little green bars up regardless that I didn't pay enough attention to where Skadi was going... and suddenly he was in my face and I went splat. Since our tank really didn't have the kind of gear to survive very long without a healer, a complete wipe followed quickly.

I was mortified. Dying to Skadi's whirlwind as a ranged player, what a noob mistake! I honestly don't remember the last time that happened to me before yesterday, I'm only sure that it must have been a long time ago. The rogue snarkily asked me if I was bad or very bad and I gnashed my teeth a little, but of course he had a point. So I apologised profusely for my stupid mistake while we ran back, and people seemed to be sufficiently pacified. The warrior even told me not to worry about it, one of the gauntlet adds that was still alive had netted him in place under the whirlwind and that probably didn't help. What a difference from the usual rude blame throwing!

We got the boss down easily on the next attempt, but as soon as he was down I saw the rogue stealth ahead towards where a little exclamation mark on the map marked the location of an elder, and immediately afterwards he dropped from the group. Is this going to be the new Lunar Festival trend? As if it was that much work to actually complete the dungeon too...

The warrior agreed that this was a lame move, but we got a warlock to replace the rogue right away. She reached us just as we were about to make the first pull in the room right before King Ymiron. You know the one, the one with the patrol that fears. Our warrior tank charged right in and... I actually don't know if he got the patrol or any other adds; all I know is that people, including me, got feared, and that those few seconds without heals were enough for the tank to go squish. So we wiped again. Zomg, two wipes in Utgarde Pinnacle? Outrageous fail!

The tank commented somewhat sheepishly that he was probably much harder to heal than what I was used to. I said that it was no problem, that he just seemed to have trouble staying alive for the few seconds during which I got feared. His response to that? "Yeah, I'm not def capped yet, which is why I didn't queue as tank originally."

At this point I fully expected the warlock to either make a snarky comment or immediately quit the group. I mean, put yourself in her place... you just joined a run in progress, as soon as you manage to catch up with the group they wipe, thus immediately slapping you with a repair bill, and then the tank tops it off with saying that he's not even uncrittable? WTF, man?

But nobody said anything and nobody left, we all just ran back. I have to admit I was a bit surprised by the fact that our tank had managed to get as much health as he had without reaching the defense cap as well, but he had stated before that his tanking gear was a work in progress. And in all honesty, I didn't find him hard to heal regardless of that. So I just asked him to please be more careful on that pull the next time and we should be fine.

This time he made a line of sight pull, while musing that it had been a long time since he had to be careful in a heroic, and our warlock laughed. Utgarde Pinnacle was kicking our behinds and people thought it was amusing! I haven't felt so happy in a random pug in a while. After that we finished without any more incidents and our impromptu tank got a shiny new tanking sword.

Basically, I had a heroic UP pug in which we wiped repeatedly, our tank DCed, our new tank wasn't defense capped and one dps left halfway through because he only wanted his achievement, but it was still a pleasant experience. It's amazing just how much of a difference a bit of patience and kindness can make, isn't it?


  1. These "failpugs" are rather pleasant. In one I had some weeks ago even the player who screwed the things up offered money for the repair bills (which I refused).
    The "leave after elder" is the new trend, I've experienced it before, but the impact right now doesn't seem that big. I even had a sort of "reverse case". I got into HoS with my DK as dps and the party was plagued by all sort of disgraces: horrible tank, healer suffering disconnections, Maiden and Krystallus were skipped, several wipes here tand there. For the last boss we got a new and shiny healer who asked if we could go for the elder after boss. Nobody replied. We downed the boss and he asked again. I said I didn't mind, although I don't care about achievements. Unsurprisingly the rest of the party left without a single word, so I told the healer we could try with me going frost tank. I didn't even know where he was located, but followed my instincts and we found him in the Krystallus wing. Of course it took a bit to get there since we had no dedicated dps, but thanks to DKs heavy hitting and the healer doing some dps too we mangaed it. The chap was very happy and thanked me profuselly for dedicating my time to help him.
    Anyway I expect less "elder-quitters" as days go by.

  2. Lovely story!

    And it truly is amazing how a little patience and kindness makes you forgive and forget any bad things that happen in a run :-)

  3. I'm always glad to read these stories... especially when a new tank is involved. some people spend so much time belittling new tanks that it is no wonder there is never one around when you need one. it seems like this one will be a good one when he gets himself def-capped so glad he had you to run with instead of some impatient person that would have rage-quit.

  4. Pug stories where everyone got along and the ending is happy make me feel like I've just drunk a mug of hot chocolate. Although boo-urns to the rogue - poor form.

  5. It's nice when people remember what it was like gearing up - and are civilised, and just get on with it.

    D/Cs happen to the best of us - but dropping group mid run (particularly right before a pull) to suit your own purposes and not those of the group? Very bad manners.