...that is the question.
With patch 3.3 Blizzard has introduced the new LFG tool (or should I call it the "PUG tool"?) which is supposed to make it easier for people to find groups for dungeons and raids. If you've been reading this blog, at least occasionally, then you know that I'm a solo player and I don't do dungeons and especially raids, unless it's something like a holiday achievement dungeon such as Utgarde Pinnacle or Brewfest. Despite all this, I'm rather excited about this new tool.
It's not like I despise dungeons and raids with all my heart. It's just that I don't want to be involved in a guild but on the other hand it's time consuming to find a regular PUG. Since I haven't been in a single WotLK dungeon/raid except Utgarde Pinnacle, I don't have experience in any of them. Once, I tried to join a group for TOC 10 but when I told the group that I had never done it before, though I would follow all their instructions to the letter, the group mysteriously dissolved. Maybe it wasn't me but it shamed me into never attempting to join another dungeon/raid group again.
Some commenters were telling me that I should go and do TOC a few times instead of worrying about BoE gear but the truth is, I'm ashamed. I'm ashamed of making an ass of myself in an instance I have no experience with. Granted, regular dungeons are usually straightforward but I also worry about special boss mechanics and such. I such cases I would bluff my way through, just following what the others are doing. It might work, or it might backfire, but I would be mortified if I caused a wipe.
Now don't get me wrong, I've been in hundreds of groups, instances and even raids, but those were all pre-Burning Crusade. I still know my role in a group and I do my best to fulfill it. By the way, all this discussion revolves around my Hunter who's got the best equipment (relatively speaking). Even with all pieces > ilvl 200 and some at ilvl 226 I'm still not sure I would perform as well as experienced players. Still, I am pretty good at playing my class. Luckily being DPS is not as tricky as tanking or healing. We Hunters have the easy job, especially as ranged DPS.
Beside playing my class well, I will also follow orders without hesitation. I am always aware that someone else in the group has to be smarter than me so I never act like a dumbass. Group members should feel safe with me as a result.
Despite all the above, I'm still afraid of making mistakes due to not knowing the mechanics of the different bosses. In a PUG, if everyone assumes that everyone else knows the fight, it is possible that no one gives any instructions. Then I won't know when I have to stop DPS, when to slow down, when to expect massive AOE and so forth. There is a strong possibility that my actions could cause a wipe and I would feel like crap if that happened.
And then Blizzard comes with this shiny new PUG tool. They must have tailored this with someone like me in mind. Getting in a PUG has never been easier. What's more, it is cross-server meaning that if you screw up you don't have to be embarrassed when you run into the same people later. It also ports you directly to the instance so a noob like me doesn't have to stumble around looking for the entrance. On all accounts it sounds like the perfect tool for casuals, anti-socials, shy people and other "dysfunctionals" such as I.
Yet, I'm still afraid to try this. Even if I'll never see those group members again, assuming that I screw up, they are still people. Someone, somewhere, is wasting their time and getting frustrated behind their character. But then again, everybody's gotta learn somewhere.
Blizzard has given us an additional reason to try this new system: the Perky Pug which is a cute new vanity pet. If nothing else helps, this pet should convince me to try this new LFG tool. Thinking about this tool, I realized that it's genius on Blizzard's part. Maybe now I can finally experience the content that I missed out on for such a long time.
Just imagine: I can find groups for all the beginning Wrath of the Lich King 5-mans and maybe I can then move on to raids and even Arthas. The possibilities are endless. This new tool will give me the confidence to attempt tougher dungeons and it will allow me to get better gear. Since it is designed as a fire-and-forget system and I am transported directly to the dungeon I won't be wasting any time trying to find a group. Dungeon runs will be quick and whenever I want them, not when other people want them. One other thing that makes me giggly is the fact that guilds will stop being as vital to running dungeons as they used to be. Now you don't need to be part of all the guild drama in order to find a spot in a high level instance. Of course, this applies to mostly anti-socials and casuals but it's still an awesome thing.
Yeah, on second thoughts I think I want to try this exciting new system. I never thought I'd see myself run a dungeon again but the magic 8-ball now shows a definite "maybe".