Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Instances and Groups

The other day I wound up in a partial-PuG and partial-guildies group for Steamvaults. This was probably not a wise idea for many reasons, including the fact that it's a level 70 instance and we were all hovering around level 68, and as it turned out... the PuG members were rather... less than ideal.

I went into it really wanting to do a good job, because the healer whispered me and begged me to be a good hunter, he told me that the last five or so hunters he'd grouped with had been horrible. So of course, this is where Pike's HUNTER-PRIDE ACTIVATED! And I told him not to worry. But it just wasn't meant to be. We were wiping on every other pull, we were having issues with the PuG'd people, gigantic annoying plants kept blocking everybody's vision, and overall it just wasn't working. So we scrapped the run.

We still wanted to do an instance, though, so we said goodbye to the PuG-players and picked up people from our guild to flesh out our little party. This particular party now was one that we had all been in many times before-- our usual tank, our usual healer, and I as the usual CC, etc. We decided to do Escape from Durnholde Keep.

How was the instance run? Well, by most standards, I think, it went pretty well. We had a couple problems and a couple wipes (one of which was entirely my fault, by the way; it involved me not paying attention and running blindly around a corner straight into a bunch of mobs) and a couple near-wipes, but overall the run went well; all the group members were fulfilling their role's function to above-satisfactory levels and for the most part, everything went smoothly.

However, we all left the instance feeling sort of less-than-satisfied and thinking we could have done a lot better.

It was kind of odd, but then I thought about it and I started thinking: maybe it's just the fact that our group has worked together so many times before. We've grown a sort of synergy with each other, and developed high expectations of each other, and acknowledge that there are high expectations on us as individual group members; so when a run isn't 100% flawless, we sort of beat ourselves up over it. That's my guess over why we felt so unsatisfied.

I'm still trying to decide if those high-expectations are a good thing for a guild or group to have, or if it might cause issues down the road if everyone is striving for "that perfect run" and it is always a little bit out of our reach. We are a very laid-back social and light-roleplaying guild, but we also have a core group of higher-level instance-running members and our expectations for instance-running people are pretty high. I hope that's the right attitude to have and that it doesn't cause problems later on. I can't say, because this is my first time around, so I can really just hope.

Anyways, I hit level 69 last night. It's very surreal how close I am to 70...

Oh, and before I forget: Escape from Durnholde Keep is the coolest instance idea ever. I ran around Old Hillsbrad for about a half hour after the instance was done, geeking out over the lore.


Anonymous said...

OHB definately had me awe struck too! It's just too wierd though not seeing the yeti in the cave since they used that for the entrance. I loved it though...might try to group a PUG for it tonight possibly.

The time I went to Dark Portal (Durnholde's other instance) I had my tank/healer guildies rock the place hard and 2 random PUG'ers (a hunter and warlock)...they were the worst players of their class I'd ever met. The hunter wasnt doing much dmg or cc EVER (so I did it for him) and the warlock wasnt taking the adds that were going for Medivh (so i did that too)...needless to say my tanker guildie was happy with me...which is good because its a new guild and i want to impress.

In case you didnt know and if you havent dont dark portal or commonly reffered to as "BM" ...when you first enter get a torch...you get it from talking to the guy right there when you enter the instance. Make sure you always have one! Not a bad idea to ask if everyone got theirs too. When you fight the portal guys you use this torch to call out a good dragon to assist you. You dont use them right away (theres a certain time thats best apparently).

I generally just do as I'm told...lit the flare about halfway through the fighting I'd guess. The PUG'ers didnt gather torches of course (even after told to do so).

Oh I forgot the best part haha...we summoned the hunter 2 feet from the instance entrance...it took him ten minutes to "find us" and enter...we were like "uh...dude we summoned you two feet from it...just walk forward and you're here"...and he apparently could not grasp that. I was a little shocked.

Dont get me started though on the MARA run where the hunter never trained freezing trap...

Psycho & Chaos said...

Gratz on Leveling,

I have not had the bad PUG's yet but then again I have not started to really pug hard yet. I am sure I will get mine also.

Anonymous said...

In my (somewhat limited) experience, Old Hillsbrad is one of the toughest 5-mans there is--escorting Thrall is by far the hardest "escort" quest I've ever seen. The fact that you were able to finish is commendable, and if you only had a couple wipes, I think you did exceptionally well.

I know I'll only feel comfortable running OHB with 5 70s. :)

And grats on 69! Got the gold for your flyer at 70? :)

baila said...

Gratz on 69! Al...most...there!

Amava said...

I think high expectations are a good thing. I'm willing to bet that most people who write blogs, and also those who read blogs, about the game are the types of people who like to excell, and enjoy things when they've done their homework, understand the system and its rules, and then use that knowledge to creatively solve problems. All the better when you can share that experience with a group of others in a dungeon. Please don't lower your expectations.

To protect yourself from disappointment and non-fun, do have a healthy skepticism for PUGs. Entering a PUG, I typically view the unknown people to be guilty until proven innocent. That is, I assume they're a loot ninja, with minimal skill, and a bad attitude, who revels in the misery they inflict on other people, until I see behavior to the contrary. Leaves me happily surprised when someone does prove they're innocent, and we have a great time. When a PUG (or friend/guild group) goes well, I'm lavish with the positive remarks, and compliments of behavior that I like.

I share your view on Old Hillsbrad. I just love the instance, scenery, history, and the Thrall escort is one of my favorites.

pelides said...

Many of you might never have even run UBRS, but it had many goodies inside it and kiting Drakk was one of the old definitive hunter tests.

Let me put it this way... I ran UBRS over 150 times... 100 or so of them were really painful pugs!

In addition, I pug'd my way through LBRS,BRD, Scholo, UD & HU Strat, Dire Maul... you name it. Even a few pug ZG's and AQ20's!

They hurt like no other experience in the game, but if you can stick to it, you learn tricks and tactics that you simply can't in a well oiled group. I learned how to tank at level 60 out of necessity because our tanks tended to be crap!

BRK is an amazing resource that everyone should read and learn the basics, but there are things a hunter needs to know that fall way outside of the traditional "point and shoot - don't steal aggro from the tank" canon and those are things you simply can't learn in a perfect group.

We learn by making mistakes and being walked through instances teaches very little.

Don't drive yourself crazy with the pug's, but don't dismiss them entirely either.