What is PUG?

Hello everybody, this is Geek Generation.

During your journey into MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game), you might come across the word Pug, which is sometimes uttered with such derision that you’d wonder if Pug is a name for something very much contemptible.

Pugs is an acronym for Pick Up Groups. Pugs arise from games that have party finder systems, where individual players (or groups of players that do not have enough players to make up a full group) could use the system to find other players to group up to play some game content that is not solo-able. Or atleast not cost effective to solo.

The opposite of a Pug is a guild party. Or clan or family or company or whatever the game calls the collection of players that have banded together. Some guilds are so huge that they span across games.

The advantage of Pugs is of course convenience. You don’t have to wait for all your friends to be online to be able to do anything. You can even begin playing team oriented game content even if all your friends are busy and you’re playing alone.

The reason why alot of people dislike Pugs is due to the perception that pick up groups are somewhat random in nature and players can be grouped up with poorly skilled players or uncooperative players or players who might be skilled in other aspects of the game but are new to that particular content and simply don’t know what to do.

However, in my opinion, this perception of Pugs has grown into a rather unhelpful stereotype. I’ve seen guild parties eschew Pugs to the extent that they spend several minutes just waiting for the party to become full.

Not only is the Pug stereotype unhelpful, i find that it is just as often wrong. I’ve been in many Pugs and while some of them are terrible, there are also Pugs with players that are pretty skilled or mature toward play the game.

The thing is, bad players, new players, trolls, exists both inside and outside of guilds. It’s just that players tend to be more forgiving toward guild members than Pugs. Often, they’ll instruct guild members on how to approach new content but when it comes to Pugs, somehow, they’re more critical and less helpful.

Some people may feel that being part of their guild makes them the elite and somehow they have the right to be rude to other players. Of course, no one can really fault them if that’s how they feel, no one can tell them how to play their game. But such attitudes create a community that is ultimately unfriendly toward new players.

Why should any player care about new players? Because if a game cannot attract new players to stay, then the game is also likely to have come to the end of its shelf life. Players who care about continuing to play the game should care about new players.

So the next time you’re in a Pug, practice a little patience, teach the know-hows to players who don’t have the know-hows. They in turn could pay it forward and teach it to others. And Pugs, you’d find, too can be a rather pleasant gaming experience.

Geek Generation out.

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Posted on 16 February, 2014, in Gaming, General and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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