I do not like PUG'ing. Plain and simple. I feel forced to do it in order to advance (see getting badges for better gear). I have groups where the run is smooth, everyone knows their role, we communicate, and if mistakes occur, we're cool about it. Unfortunately, I'm finding groups like that more and more difficult to find. What I run into now are impatient players who ridicule others for lack of skill/mistakes. A prime example came last night in heroic Utgarde Keep.
I've run UK before. It's an easy instance. When the loading screen came up, I breathed a sigh of relief (it wasn't Oculus). Should be a piece of cake, right? WRONG! The tank was having difficulty holding aggro. As a result, random mobs would come at myself and other players. To the tanks credit, he was able to pull them back in. The problem came with the first boss. More specifically, the room with the first boss.
The tank pulls a trash mob wandering by the boss. Somehow, the boss got pulled too. Party wipes. No worries I think to myself, we'll just try again. Here's where the party starts to fail. One of the players starts making sarcastic comments, and trying to place blame on the boss pull. I roll my eyes, thinking to myself this is ridiculous. We'll just do it again and move on.
We try it a second time. Same result. One of the players comments how the tank was in DPS gear (probably didn't want to wait in que). That's never a good sign, and would explain the tank's performance. Tank leaves party. New tank comes in, and a couple of party members proceed to mock the previous tank's performance (after running instances and seeing the abuse the tank gets from party members, I'm NOT dual-spec'ing my pally to tank).
The third time really was a charm this time around. The tank pulled the remaining trash mobs. Cleared them, then took on the boss. We defeated the boss, but I noticed one of the players was dead. Apparently, he was frozen tombed. I should have noticed, and I will take blame for it, as my situatational awareness was focused on the boss and clearing the skeleton mobs. Once again, more sarcastic comments (though they never used expletives except for one time after the inadvertent boss pull).
As I've grown used to doing when a party is full of jerks, I left the group. There was a time when I used to put up with the sarcasm and jerks so I can complete the run. Not anymore. Sure, did I waste 15 - 20 minutes plus however long waiting to get into que, only to not finish the run? Perhaps, but I usually use that waiting time to complete dailies and organize the stuff in my bank. However, as the case was last night, I lost the chance to get frost badges (I'm only four away from my next gear upgrade). I didn't have the time to wait around another 15 minutes, and spend another 15 to 30 minutes running something.
The party last night highlights why I don't care to PUG. I have no qualms with players who make mistakes, and I am very patient with other players who may be learning how tank, heal properly, etc. I was, and to a point, still in that boat myself. I admit I have been frustrated at times with tanks who couldn't hold aggro at all, or healers who were slow to heal, but if they communicated they were learning, or seem to be making an effort, I'm okay with it. A little communication goes a long way.
You never really know what you're going to get in PUG's. I've been in PUGs where nobody talks to each other, but we clear the run in ten minutes because the players are so good. I've been in PUGs where the players were good, but were bickering amongst themselves over stupid stuff like gear and repairs. I've been in PUGs where the players were pretty much all on par with skill and gear, and I've been in PUGs like last night. Ideally, the best PUGs for me are with players of similar skill and gear, communicate with each other, and not take wiping seriously.