PUGs have got such a bad reputation, not only in Guild Wars, but seemingly nearly every other MMO out there, that I though I’d submit the tales of two good experiences I’ve had this week.
The first was the other day when the Zaishen mission of the day was to complete A Time For Heroes. I first completed this in Normal Mode with heroes and henchmen, and then beat my head against it a few times in Hard Mode, coming close, but not quite any cigar. Party Search was full of offers to run the mission for 1-2k, but I took advantage of the normal Party Searches instead. The first group I joined was the winner; the group leader carried all his heroes, while two others and myself joined in. Everyone was friendly and non-elitist – although everyone was asked to bring along Breath of the Great Dwarf and wear their Delver title, no other build requests were made, and no specific ranks were demanded. We even went over the strategy prior to entering the mission, which is the first time I’ve seen that happen in a PUG I’ve been in. The run was a huge success with no casualties and the Great Destroyer handily dispatched in a short time.
Tonight I had another victorious PUG experience with Glint’s Challenge. After purchasing a Cloth of the Brotherhood from another player since I was convinced I’d never see the Brotherhood Chest that mission spawned (after another series of experiences throwing myself against that wall), the seller added a couple more members and asked if we wanted to go ahead and try the mission. We said sure, changed our builds around (at least I did) and went for it. The run was not without its snags; one member asked us to resign after a few minutes because he claimed to have brought the wrong build. Several of us did, but not everyone, so we continued to fight on until the aforementioned player disconnected. Now fighting with a handicap, we doubled down and kept on fighting. We had a few near-wipe experiences, and I was not sure we’d make it with the seemingly never-ending stream of Destroyers pouring into the room, but before too long we’d prevailed and each collected our trophies.
Now that I have two more Hero Armors for my Hall of Monuments, I’m officially on the PUG bandwagon. Sure, I’ve had some bad experiences in the past, but whether these new kinder, friendlier PUGs are a result of an influx of new or returning players, or I’ve just lucked out a couple of times in a row, I’m going to look forward to PUGs with a little less dread in the future. Who knows, maybe one will even help me get past the Gate of Madness one day (I may never know, as I’m too chicken to try the mission with my Ele by myself).