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Reparation
04-20-2009, 09:54 AM
The Raid Leaders Guide: Hosting a Successful Pug
-- You can skip all of the pug theory talk and skip straight down to the actual guide by clicking here (or just scrolling down :)).--
--OR if you would like to get the jist of what all this is saying, just scroll down and read the bold print. You'll get the key points.--

We've all been there (those of us forced to Pug due to lack of guilds recruiting or other reasons)... when you join a pug, spend over 3 hours on a single wing of Naxx with no success, you can tell the Raid Leader doesn't know what he's doing; especially by looking at half of the members in the raid that are barely geared enough for heroics. There is nothing more frustrating than a bad pug or an unsuccessful pug. Many times they can be nothing more than a waste of time, while others can be a huge benefit to your character, as well as being extremely quick. In this guide I'm going to be explaining a little bit of how to run a fun, successful, rewarding pug.

Pug's are a great indicator to the level of skill of the players in a server, as well as the raiding population of the server. If you've played a level 80 character on both High Population and Low Population realms, you'll notice that there are no pugs on Low Population realms. Not only being because of a lack of players online, but on Low Population realms there are more likely more people that are online but have done the raids with their guild, or do not raid at all due to lack of a large raiding presence on the server. With High Population realms pugs are generally more common, due to most guilds being closed on recruitment or having high gear requirements leaving many raiders guildless and with nothing to do.



So why make a pug? Why not just get into a guild and do everything? There are plenty of reasons that pugs are really a very good idea. They are extremely beneficial, sometimes gearwise, but most of the time experience-wise. Personally I love pugs, my first level 80 got geared from nothing but pugs my friend and I ran. You may argue that you can just watch videos of all the bosses from TankSpot and you know everything you need, so why pug? Pugging is great for a couple scenarios:

Pugs can get you ready for the big guilds. Pugging gives you a chance to get gear as well as achievements for all of the 10 and 25 man raids, which are very useful when applying to those big hotshot you-need-full-heroes-or-valor-to-apply guilds.
Pugs give great exposure to guildless players. There have been countless times I was doing a pug and members of the best guild on the server were in it because they were bored with nothing to do, or getting an alt gear. Show you know your stuff and you can pull your weight, and you might possibly get a tell from one of those guys with a rather nice invitation.
It's a great way to tone your leadship, playing, awareness, and encounter knowledge. In a lot of pugs the unexpected expectedly occurs do to someone not know what their doing or something of the like. This can teach you what can happen and what to do if it does in a guild raid setting.
Starting a guild? Pugs are a great way to get members. We've all been there I'm sure where you create a guild with some friends and you can't find ANYONE to fill your raid spots. Pugging can help you find guildless, or even people in leveling guilds still to fill your ranks. Not only do you know how well they play, but if they enjoyed your pug it's almost a guaranteed yes when you ask them to join.
So without further yacking, let's move on from theory to actual practice.

Making a Pug: Getting Players



First things first, you need raid members. This is probably the most important step in the entire pugging process. Obviously you want to finish whatever raid you are doing quickly and easily, the longer it takes and the more hiccups are in the raid, the more frustrating it becomes and can lead to you having to find more members. With this in mind, you want to create a group with an ideal class makeup for the raid you want to do, while also making sure that everyone is up to par on what to do, and how to do it. Here are a few tips to make sure you get a good group of players.


ALWAYS ASK FOR A PLAYERS STATS. People DO lie. Know each classes minimum requirements for the instance in question and in your Looking For Group and Trade (if your looking in Trade) chat advertisements, ask for the players stats in their whisper. If you get people below the minimum requirements, they're going to be dead weight and you're going to be getting large protest from the other members of the raid. You can keep scrolling or click here (http://www.tankspot.com/forums/f148/48931-raid-leaders-guide-hosting-successful-pug.html#post212197) to find a list of minimum class stat requirements.

Armory and Imba are your friends! In conjunction with the bullet right above this one, people do lie and it is ALWAYS a good idea to armory people. With the new improvements to armory, you can now see peoples achievements and statistics, showing how many times they've killed individual raid bosses. This can be very helpful in choosing who should be in your raid. Not only can you check armory, but if you want a more straight-forward approach to if they are geared enough, you can use the website Be Imba! - the online Character Auditor for World of Warcraft (http://be.imba.hu). This is a very useful, straightforward website that I use a lot. If you've never used it before, it pulls info off armory for a player and rates where their gear can be used to effectively do their part. The blue bar shows where they can perform well, and the red bar shows where the most gear upgrades can come from. IMBA DOES NOT TAKE INTO ACCOUNT A PERSONS SKILL OR INDICATE WHETHER OR NOT THEY ARE BRAINDEAD. It helps with gear, but not stupidity.

Tailor your advertisement to the type of players you want, or the type of run you want to conduct. If you are looking for experienced players who have cleared it all for a quick, simple run through ask for attendees to link you their Achievement for previously clearing the raid instance. If you are looking for anyone at all for a run, ask for stats and be done with it. If you are looking for people for a specific achievement run, make sure you ask for the attendees to provide pre-achievements. IE, if you are looking to make a 3-Drake Sartharion run, ask for people to at least link at LEAST the achievement for killing Heroic Sartharion. If you want to know people can handle it, have them link either achievement for 1-Drake or 2-Drake.
Starting the Run: Finally inside the instance


So you've finally gotten all of the members for your pug, and you're starting to head to the instance to start. From this point on, you want the run to go quickly and smoothly, you've spent all this time getting people, a few members left, but you promptly replaced them and now it's time for business. Due to frustration and impatience, this is where most pugs fall apart. It generally takes a little while to get a full pug ready to go, which frustrates most people and makes them eager to finish it so they can get on with their day. Don't let this allow you to make bad decisions! More than likely the members of the raid will at this point be frustrated as well and get mad at whoever isn't at the instance already. Try and calm them down, while at the same time letting the people not at the instance yet know that they need to stop what they're doing and head to the instance. If you are too easy on them and do not assert your leadership at this point the run is, more times than not, going to be a disaster. People will already know you are hesitant to be a leader and this can create some bad feelings for a successful pug. Show you can lead the group and get everyone ready. It will leave everyone's tensions at ease and will get the run going faster. Here are some more leading tips:

Use Ventrilo or something similar! Don't rely on typing! Let's face it, typing is slow and inconvenient when you're trying to down 3-Drake OS. Or any other raid boss. If you're trying to type "/rw SKELETONS UP ON RIGHT SIDE" while trying to tank Noth, you're asking for either a typo which causes you to have to write it again and the off tank to go to the wrong side, or you're asking for someone to pull aggro off of you and get killed. Get a Ventrilo server. If you can't afford one or don't want to pay for one, try and find one you can use for free and use it. Do NOT under estimate Ventrilo, not only does it allow for easier communication during a boss fight but it also brings the raid closer together. If you can hear eachother, you get the feeling you know them a little better. It can create a better vibe and end up giving you a happier, more rewarding pug. Scroll down or click here (http://www.tankspot.com/forums/f148/48931-raid-leaders-guide-hosting-successful-pug.html#post212197) for a list of free ventrilo servers that you can use.
Make sure that you know ALL boss fights and how to explain them somewhat well. ALWAYS ask if everyone knows a fight. If you happen to get someone who does not know what they are doing, you need to be able to provide a better explanation than "Uhhhh... he comes out and... stuff happens and these guys come out and you have to uhh... kill the guys and then kill him..." Not only does this make you sound like you smoked way too much, but it also makes you sound like an incompetent leader. Know the fight, and think of ways to explain them while you have downtime on the way to a boss or when your prepping for the boss. Always ask if everyone needs a refreshment on what to do, and always give a QUICK little rundown on who needs to be doing what. It reduces chaos and makes the run smoother. 1 minute making sure everyone knows what they need to be doing is a lot better than 10 minutes wiping and then having to run back and rebuff. It's also less gold on repair bills afterwards. If you don't know how to explain the fights, ask if someone wants to explain it to him, or simply say you don't know how to explain it super well and if someone could help you that would be great.
Take control of your raid during boss fights. Communication is key. Hopefully you have Deadly Boss Mods installed. If not, you should not even be leading a raid. Use the information Deadly Boss Mods gives you, and announce it to the raid. Communicate with them during the fight so they know where they need to be, whats coming up soon, etc. Whenever I am attending a raid and am unsure of where I need to be, it always gives me more comfort when the raid leader (if it isn't me) gives a quick refreshment on whats happening at the current time, and allows me to worry less about it and focus more on doing the best dps, tanking, or heal job I can. Read the Deadly Boss Mod timers, announce them to the raid. If you are doing Anub'rhekan, you need to say something a couple seconds before, warning the raid; and when: The Crpyt Guards (forgive me if I got their names wrong) come out, Locust Swarm occurs, The Tank kites Anub'rhekan, and when the Crpyt Guards corpses explode and turn into the little adds. This helps raise awareness of what is happening and can prevent people not realizing they need to be changing targets or something like that. Remember, communication is key and can be the deal breaker between a good and bad pug.
No one wants to raid with an Anger Management dropout. Handle things calmly, not angrily. Trust me, I know leading, or even attending a pug can be frustrating. That's why I'm making this guide. But when something that is not ideal happens, you as a attendee or leader of a pug need to handle it with calm nerves. Think before you speak, don't let things just fly out of your mouth. Use positive reinforcement to keep the raid running smoothly. Be sure to remind everyone that they're doing well, don't scream at them and tell them they're terrible and suck more than their mother did last night. Unless you want the entire time looking for members and getting it started to be a complete waste, stay away from this approach. Positive reinforcement, even though it sounds cheesey, can make a frustrating situation better. If someone did something wrong, calmly tell them that next time they need to do this differently, etc.
DISTRIBUTE LOOT FAIRLY. This if for the recipients benefit, and your benefit. We've all seen it in trade. "[2. Trade]: ROBERGEJ IS A NINJA HE JUST NINJAD LOOT OFF KEL THUZAD!!!!!!1" In most cases, this is actually just a case of bad master looting, and this person just lost the roll or had it given to someone who got the same roll but needed it more. [B]Be smart about the way you loot, if there is a disagreement try and sort it out before you give the loot out. If you have everyone except for one person against giving loot to that person, make your case and ask for everyone elses opinions. It can help keep tension down and keep your reputation, as well as the rest of the raid in tact.
Don't rush it. Make sure you plan for the least amount of downtime as possible. This also ties into the whole order of communication. Make sure no one will have to leave at key parts of your raid. Nothings worse than being in the middle of a boss fight and someone gets parent aggro and needs to eat or something of the sort. Find out who might have to leave at what times, and plan accordingly.
Expect the unexpected. Have back up plans in case someone (most likely) doesn't do what they're suppose to do. Let's face it, people do stupid things. It's inevitable. If you get a pug where everyone does what they're suppose to during every fight, you are a very priveleged person and you need to savor the moment. People are unattentive, and generally during pugs they don't pay attention as much, thinking of it more as a free ride. Expect for people to not do their job and be ready to act on it. This helps for when the unexpected actually happens, and instead of being caught unprepared not know what to do because it's different from the ideal encounter, you'll have a general idea of what to do and how to do it to pick right back up where you left off.
Add people you enjoyed having in your raid to your friends list. This is a great way to get some great friends and get some good raids done. If you enjoyed having someone in your raid or they helped you out alot, add them to your friends list and tell them when your having another pug. Start getting regulars and you'll start getting good quality people for your pugs quicker. When one person enjoys a pug, they generally tell their friends. Let's say it was a 25-man run, and each person told one of their friends they had an enjoyable pug that you ran. That's 48 people (excluding you) that now know you run good, enjoyable pugs. Adding to the amount of people that would like to run raids with you. Not only does this help with your pugs, but can also help if you ever decide you want to create your own guild.

Reparation
04-20-2009, 09:56 AM
Minimum Class/Role Requirements
If you have accurate class/role requirements please reply to this thread and I will update the list.
! Placeholder !



Good Raid Class/Role Makeups
If you have good class/role makeups please reply to this thread and I will update the list.

Generally I try to go with one of each spec on hybrids and two of pures. This adds up to around 25 people, but of course with pugs being random, you don't always get what you want/need -.- For Naxx I usually go with 3 tanks, 5 healers. (by Cookie)



Free Ventrilo Servers To Use
Here is a list of ventrilo servers that you can use to host your pugs on. If you have one, please reply to this thread with the info and I'll add it to the list.

Aesthetic Ventrilo(my personal ventrilo)
IP: 64.34.250.135
Port: 4077
Password: -No password-
Slots: 50 person

FREE PUBLIC/PRIVATE Ventrilo Servers (http://www.rdgaccess.com/rabiddog-gaming.com/).
All you need to do is register there and once you're logged in, you can scroll down to where it says on the left "Apply for a Channel", fill out the form and Skitz or one of the admins will get back to you asap.
Thanks Acheronia!

Useful Addons (Thanks Cookie!)
BigBrother (http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-addons/details/big-brother.aspx) - Checks for buffs and also tells you who is breaking CC.

BigWigs Bossmods (http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-addons/details/big-wigs.aspx) - I prefer BigWigs over DBM for pugs since it whispers people whenever they have a debuff they have to move for, and has timers on people's cooldowns such as bloodlust, innervate, combat res, etc..

Recount (http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-addons/details/recount.aspx) - Not just a damage meter, also helps you point out the "bads" and slackers with things like friendly fire, dispels and the deaths tab.

PallyPower (http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-addons/details/pally-power.aspx) - Lets you set blessings for each paladin, so you won't get people whining that they haven't got kings every 2 seconds >>

FailBot (http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-addons/details/failbot.aspx) - Reports when people are failing at aoe or moving.

HeadCount (http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-addons/details/head-count.aspx) - It's a DKP mod, but I use it to track who gets what since I run with a 1 main spec win per slot rule to prevent people from rolling on everything they can equip.

MalygosFlamer (http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-addons/details/malygosflamer.aspx) - Tells you who is letting their dots drop off. Generally letting it drop off more than 2 times means the person is bad, less than that could just indicate Malygos chain targeted that person.

Any raid frames:
sRaidFrames (http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-addons/details/sraidframes.aspx)
Grid (http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-addons/details/grid.aspx)
X-Perl (http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-addons/details/xperl.aspx)
ag_UnitFrames (http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-addons/details/ag_unitframes.aspx)
PitBull Unit Frames 3.0 (http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-addons/details/pit-bull.aspx)

This tool is really useful for checking out which buffs you're missing: MMO-Champion RaidComp (http://raidcomp.mmo-champion.com)

Cookie
04-21-2009, 12:03 AM
Here's some addons I use when I lead pugs. Though with how easy Naxx has been, I've not found vent very necessary. Did use it in some T5/T6 pugs at level 70 though. But I think it depends on the experience of the people in your group as well- I managed to down TK with a trade chat pug without vent at 70.

BigBrother (http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-addons/details/big-brother.aspx) - Checks for buffs and also tells you who is breaking CC.

BigWigs Bossmods (http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-addons/details/big-wigs.aspx) - I prefer BigWigs over DBM for pugs since it whispers people whenever they have a debuff they have to move for, and has timers on people's cooldowns such as bloodlust, innervate, combat res, etc..

Recount (http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-addons/details/recount.aspx) - Not just a damage meter, also helps you point out the "bads" and slackers with things like friendly fire, dispels and the deaths tab.

PallyPower (http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-addons/details/pally-power.aspx) - Lets you set blessings for each paladin, so you won't get people whining that they haven't got kings every 2 seconds >>

FailBot (http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-addons/details/failbot.aspx) - Reports when people are failing at aoe or moving.

HeadCount (http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-addons/details/head-count.aspx) - It's a DKP mod, but I use it to track who gets what since I run with a 1 main spec win per slot rule to prevent people from rolling on everything they can equip.

MalygosFlamer (http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-addons/details/malygosflamer.aspx) - Tells you who is letting their dots drop off. Generally letting it drop off more than 2 times means the person is bad, less than that could just indicate Malygos chain targeted that person.

Any raid frames:
sRaidFrames (http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-addons/details/sraidframes.aspx)
Grid (http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-addons/details/grid.aspx)
X-Perl (http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-addons/details/xperl.aspx)
ag_UnitFrames (http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-addons/details/ag_unitframes.aspx)
PitBull Unit Frames 3.0 (http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-addons/details/pit-bull.aspx)


Generally I try to go with one of each spec on hybrids and two of pures. This adds up to around 25 people, but of course with pugs being random, you don't always get what you want/need -.- For Naxx I usually go with 3 tanks, 5 healers.

This tool is really useful for checking out which buffs you're missing: MMO-Champion RaidComp (http://raidcomp.mmo-champion.com)

Acheronia
04-21-2009, 07:44 AM
After a long search I've come across a site that offers free vent channels.

It took me a while to find a place that doesn't have a hidden agenda, or that advertises for free and then you see that's it's only for the first month.

I've been with this vent server for almost a month now, and I must say that they lived up to their promise of it being free and quite without hassle.

FREE PUBLIC/PRIVATE Ventrilo Servers. (http://www.rdgaccess.com/rabiddog-gaming.com/)

All you need to do is register there and once you're logged in, you can scroll down to where it says on the left "Apply for a Channel", fill out the form and Skitz or one of the admins will get back to you asap.

Hope this helps if you've been looking for a channel like I have!