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.
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?