No, I don’t mean ‘PUGs’ as in those dogs (which I’m not too fond of). I mean ‘PUGs’ as in ‘Pick Up Group’. We’ve all done one at some point. In fact, before Dungeon Finder and Raid finder came along, PUGs were the only way of getting shit done.
I started playing WoW just after Burning Crusade was released. Back then, if you wanted to raid, you had to spend ages in Trade asking for people to come along. If you were in a raiding guild, chances are you had some people ready to go already. But then again, chances are you had to resort to pugging to fill the gaps.
As long as you knew how to kill the bosses, you were in. But that all changed when Wrath of the Lich King was released. Within a few months, all you saw in Trade was ‘LFM <raid name>. Link achievement’.
Despite playing WoW since TBC, I didn’t actually start raiding until Wrath. My Druid (Navitas) was lucky enough to be in a guild which was just starting with the new raids, so we all went on runs to try and get to the end. We did things at our own pace. However, on the day our raid group (which I was part of) finally completed Naxxramas, I was offline. As a result, Navitas never got (and to this day, has yet to get) the achievement to kill Kel’Thuzad.
This was pretty much it for me. I stopped raiding, because no group was willing to take me once they’d seen that I’d not completed Naxxramas. I’ve done Icecrown Citadel, but only the first three bosses. Lately, I’ve been trying to do Dragon Soul via the Raid Finder. But you don’t get the achievements for that. That, and I’ve only done one boss.
Anyway, as for achievements killing PUGs. I am yet to see someone start a raid group with the intention of actually getting the achievement. People always assume that because you’re Level 85, you’ve done everything. Its hard for (super ultra casual) raiders like me to get into a raid.
It annoys me when people don’t let me raid with them simply because I don’t have some poxy achievement to say that I’ve done it. I know the tactics, surely that’s good enough? Not for some, it isn’t. These elitist pricks seem to forget that they were in the same situation as myself and others like me at one point in time. So they have no right to decide whether or not I am fit to join them in facerolling Ragnaros, or whatever.
Don’t get me wrong, I like achievements. I’ve got quite a few under my belt, and the rewards are great. But it’s just the raiding achievements that annoy me. As soon as some people earn one, they think it’s a free pass to act like a dick to those who aren’t on the same level as them.
Anyway, to summarise. While achievements are a good way of sharing your glories in Azeroth, the stigma surrounding raid achievements needs to end. Just because someone doesn’t have one, it doesn’t mean they’re a bad player.
And what’ll it be like when MoP is released, and achievements become account-wide? All of my characters will suffer. Not one of them will get into a raid.
Just for once, I’d like to join a raid where people are going to get the achievement. I’d create one, but I just know it would end badly.
Spare a thought for the achievement-less. We may not have it, but that doesn’t mean we’ll be a detriment to your team.
Is it too much to ask for a little respect?