Acceptance of Grouping

Pick up Groups, otherwise known as PuGs, are one of the banes of Guild Wars. When everyone in your Guild is busy doing something or offline, you have no choice but to join a group in the outpost you’re going to be leaving from. They normally have people who kick you if you don’t have that PvX build that is all the rage. It’s pretty much why I happen to get my heroes and hechies out whenever my guild is busy, and even when my guild is on they happen to solo a lot. I sort of get that, because you might be trying to get it done as fast as possible to max out that title you’re working on. It might also be because they’re trying to adapt to Guild Wars using what they have learned from previous MMORPGs they have played. I myself was playing a lot of F2P MMOs before my 2 friends persuaded me to get Guild War. I learned that the quickest way to raise in level was either to solo, or get a higher level to power level me. But in Guild Wars that isn’t required; in fact you should go for more of a group approach. It makes the game more fun, and you have a much more enjoyable time playing with people you know and get along with. But of course, most of us probably already know this.

In Guild Wars 2 there are going to be many things that will encourage grouping, and I see this as a good thing. It’s not forced grouping mind you (except in the case of dungeons, which are supposed to provide an intense challenge for a group of players), so don’t get your panties in a bunch. You can still solo in the Personal Story, and you can go through Dynamic Events without co-operating with other players.  But Dynamic Events also encourage grouping to a large extent, as they provide a shared goal for the players like missions did in Guild Wars 1. You might be surprised by this, but the content that is meant for the solo-players can also encourage grouping for the story-lovers, and those who love to show each other what they have done. If you bring a friend into your personal instance and show him how your personal story has effected it, your friend could get excited about it, and ask for you to help him with his personal story so that he can get cool things in his instance like you did.

"Y arnt u running that uber-leetz Perma-Sin build?" *kicks you*

On the subject of PuGs in Guild Wars 2 however, I won’t doubt that they will still be there. But do I think that there will still be people asking for you to ping your build to see if it meets their ‘criteria’? Honestly, hell no. The skill system of GW2 practically removes most of the build discrimination, as the first 5 skills are determined by your weapon, and you’ll be able to do a great job with those skills.  Sure, there might be profession discrimination in the first few months of release, but I doubt that it will carry on for much longer than that, as long as people aren’t entirely stupid and can see that any profession can control, support, or do damage. And because of there not being much discrimination, you should have a much more enjoyable time with PuGs in Guild Wars 2. Maybe you’ll even make a few good friends while you’re doing it.

The lesson here is: Don’t be put off by experiences with Guild Wars 1 or other MMOs. Grouping in GW2 should be an enjoyable experience. I hope to meet you guys in game some day, and maybe play through a dungeon. But at the moment, we’ll just have to wait and see.

Written By: Jexx

For the readers (From Izari): How do you guys feel about PUGs in GW1? Good or bad experiences? What do you guys hope to get from pugging in GW2?

Further reading:

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About Jexx

He's just a 16 year old guy whose hobby happens to be PC gaming. His favorite race in the Guild Wars universe is the Asura, and he can't wait to play. He's really excited for all professions revealed so far except the Necromancer.
  • Shaunnox

    I’ve had good experiences – even including the teams that fail.

    It looks like GW2 professions are all apples – just different colours. Some people like red, some like green, but in the end they’re pretty much the same. The difference is in how you eat it!

    There will, of course, be some dictating of builds. I can imagine an organised group would tell the guardian to do protection, and the warrior to do damage – and not the other way around, even if they could in theory.

  • I think The PuGs was quite fun. Sometimes funny.

    Sometimes it doesn’t bother me that much about someone doesn’t have the certain build. It’s fun to figure how we could get through the mission or whatever we’ll be doing. Since there’s thousands of skills in GW. Some skills aren’t that good but they can be good.

    About GW2 PuGs i think there must be. Well you might not have to Pick up from outpost anymore. Since it’s an open world. We might meet in and event and then “Let’s group!” or Ppl Camping in front of the Dungeon entrance LFGing. And it does seems that GW2 every Profession can fight on their own and no dedicated healer so there shouldn’t be much problem picking up ppl.

    anyway i can’t wait to see the New Demo. :DD (i’m counting on you guys who gonna be there at PAXe^^)

  • draxynnic

    I’ve had some good experiences and some bad experiences with PuGs. The best was a HM Torc’qua group – by the time Jadoth had appeared we’d lost two players including a monk to simple dropping and one more player left on the basis that we couldn’t succeed because we only had one monk. Well… it took a while, but an extended campaign of guerilla warfare later and Jadoth and his mates were dead on the ground. The worst was a group that was doing HM Sebelkeh Basilica, and was OBSESSED with killing the Blaspheme to the point where I think I was the only one actually trying to close portals, even after I tried to explain after the mission worked (and got told I was wrong by the ignorant morons). One of the few times I’ve been the one to abandon a group… and then picked up heroes and scored that Masters.

    On the whole, I do like PuGging when it doesn’t involve fitting into some premade cookie-cutter build, even when I know I can hero/hench a mission – it’s a way to help others out, and it can be an interesting way to see new builds in action. However, I do get annoyed at being expected to bring a cookiecutter build, and at some players thinking that the game was better when people were forced to PuG (ie, no heroes) – there are times when you just want to play without spending half an hour gathering seven others and then risking leaving them waiting if you get distracted midrun.

  • I foresee more profession discrimination in GW2 over build discrimination. And really only in areas where grouping is necessary (i.e., dungeons). The sheer versatility of each individual profession allows for lots of role switching–even during battles. Guardian goes down? Have the elementalist attune to water while someone works quickly to revive.

    I think we may see more discrimination over tiered skills like we do now with ranks in titles that affect PvE skills. I also think we will see preferences for dungeons where people have found an efficient combination of professions or skills, like we have now with speed clears. And honestly, it will be far easier to fill a group of 5 than it ever was to fill a group of 8, even if 2 of the 8 were monks.

    PUGs in GW2 will only be a problem in areas where groups are required and even then it is all about filling a role in the group. I think the versatility of the professions may spell the end of crappy PUGs. Crappy players, on the other hand, are still out there. I think we will see a lot more noob slang out there when people can’t adequately play their characters/professions well enough to handle the demands of a given battle or follow directions well enough to integrate their attacks with those of other players. I’m looking forward to seeing how this will play out.

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