Home / Editorial / Blog / Apostrophe’s Adventures in PuG’ing: Ep# 11

Apostrophe’s Adventures in PuG’ing: Ep# 11

[WARNING – This will be a longer entry than usual, because I feel that the full picture deserves to be painted for this Group Finder run.]

I am not going to lie… During the Double Experience Week event, I was pretty excited to get some leveling time in on my scoundrel, however I was both terrified and riddled with anticipation at what the state of the PuG Raiding world would be once the Tuesday reset happened. Lots of fresh 55’s hitting the Group Finder for the first time, relying on bolster to do operations they either have never done before, or never completed past the weekly.

The event, and the Tuesday reset did not disappoint.

Operation: Scum and Villainy (8-man Story Mode, Group Finder Queue)

Character: Apostrophé – Level 55 Sawbones Scoundrel (healer)

In a pretty decent push, due primarily to the fact that Sunday evening through Tuesday, I got pretty sick and was stuck in the house either trying to relax or sleep… I was able to get my Scoundrel to 55 and legacy some gear to her from my Operative as well as use the massive stockpile of warzone commendations I had from leveling. (For those that care, I exclusively leveled in PvP and Flashpoints, which means at 55, my class mission is level 18 on Taris and I only have Corso Riggs and C2-N2 as my companions.) Anyway…. at “Fresh 55” I had a decent set of augmented gear and decided that a run of Scum and Villainy in the Group Finder would be a nice way to bank a few commendations and score my 2 Mass Manip’s for the first run-through.

I thought to myself: “It’s Story Mode… of an operation that’s been out for how long??? This will be cake.” 

(I really need to stop thinking that. Ever.)

First Boss: Dash’roode

We get the whole operations group into the instance… Have the obligatory chit-chat about “are we using TeamSpeak? – No everyone knows this operation,”  hit the ole’ Ready Check and OFF WE GO! – To watch both tanks, proceed to position Dash’roode…. wait, I can’t use the word “position” because that would imply that either of the tanks actually gave any effort to the location or direction of how/where they were tanking the boss. He was facing the group, slapping us with his frogger-limbs, or knocking us into the oblivion of the great-sandstorm-of-skin-pelting. It made healing the encounter quite interesting to say the least, and it didn’t change the entirety of the fight. When the first shield generator ran out of power, I noted that neither one of the tanks were picking it up….. After waiting as long as I could bring myself to wait, I picked it up and led to the group to the next location. I ended up carrying the shield for every phase following that, which I suppose makes the team pretty lucky that I never got “Lost” – because they would have been royally fubar’d. Needless to say, we did have the boss downed by the time the third shield generator ran out of power, without any wiping… So while it was sloppy and made me work a little harder than I wanted to, it was still a clear.

Second & Third Bosses: Titan 6 & Thrasher

Titan actually wasn’t all that bad, except for the fact that he was tanked facing the rest of the raid group the entire time, without exception. Isn’t “keep the boss’s back to the raid” pretty much rule #1 in the great tanking rulebook of “How to not be a FailTank for Dummies?” – oh well…. Once again, sloppy but a one-shot clear.

And Thrasher was probably the cleanest boss drop of the run, as we only had two people who dropped the firebug on the rest of the group, instead of everyone, which is what I am used to in my pugs… So that’s a WIN in my book!

Now, at this point….. Obviously we are past the normal {WEEKLY} operations runs that everyone is used to doing in their 16-man commendations farming runs. However, since we were in the Group Finder, if the pugs wanted those precious ultimates (OOOhhh… my precious!) they would have to stick around and complete the operation, many of them for the first time.

Trash & Fourth Boss – Operations Chief

Let’s just say….. the trash was very interesting. Because, this team, fresh 55 and undergeared as well as most of them seeing the rest of the operation for the first time (ooooh it feels just like the first time….) they really had no idea how to progress through the trash. But instead of pausing for at most, a nanosecond to give me time to say anything, they rambo the first group, and the Arms Trader has a very productive 5 minutes of face-melting half of of the group. A blessing in disguise however, because rez’ing everyone gave me a few moments to explain what to do, which thankfully they ignored every word of and hauled-trunk-junk into the next group. We did this for every trash mob between Thrasher and the City Infiltration… my fingers were sweating, and I won’t lie, I was a few people’s own little Personal Jesus more than a few times, and was actually feeling pretty proud of myself.

Then panic sets in…… When I realize: I am taking 7 people into the City Infiltration, who haven’t listened to a single thing I have said up until this point, and most of them have NEVER done it before.

I spend a few minutes and explain everything that has to happen, and who is going to which location, and exactly what to do there. I mark the team with color-coordinated markers (oh yeah… color coordination is my bread and butter) and answer the few minor questions that one of the players had asked. I do a Ready Check, and one of the melee DPS selects “Not Ready” and says in the chat: “So who is going to which color?”

I paused for a brief moment, to collect myself and squelch the Inner-New-Jersey-Snark that was rearing it’s ugly little head….. and I simply said: “Really? I just explained that, literally 20 seconds ago. Scroll up.”

Aside from aggro’ing what appeared to be approximately EVERY FREAKING ONE of the patrol droids, it actually went fairly well, except for the fact that the blue team died, so I took the DPS in my group and we went up and finished it for them. At that point, we collected ourselves in the Operations Chief’s room, and I explained the adds to the group and assignments for who needed to kill which add, which I fully expected them to completely ignore, and they didn’t let me down. (I spent that fight HoT’ing everyone I could and scampering around the room killing the adds because all the DPS was staying on the boss.) Fun times, but hey….. I guess it’s good practice for me in NiM Ops right?

Fifth Boss – Olok The Shadow

We enter the room, and I took a quick glance at the droids on the floor and was a bit excited, because it was a PERFECT scenario to simply buy all of the one-coin droids. So I explained in the chat, what was going to happen in the fight, and how the coins and the purchase board worked and that were simply clicking all of the BLUE dots on the board. Simple enough right?

I was still typing the explanation of what to do with Olok/Arms Traders on the floor, when someone shot the Wealthy Buyer and we suddenly entered combat. I figured it wasn’t a huge deal, and that we’d be ok, and I would just give some explanations on the floor in the last phase.

We get the first coin, and the player runs up to the board…… and suddenly I see a RED dot, which meant he’d clicked a 2-coin-yellow one……….. Not the end of the world, I gave a quick note in the chat to just skip one of the blue ones in the last row and otherwise just keep clicking the blue ones. We downed the second wealthy buyer and the player with the coin runs up to the board:

I now see TWO RED DOTS.

I choked down the New-Jersey-Snark and directed the team which OTHER blue one to skip, but to make sure that the two red ones got clicked, and then as many blues as possible. We down the third wealthy buyer, and the player with the coin runs up to the board:

I now see THREE RED DOTS.

Apostrophé – “I give up. Click whatever you want as long as all three those red ones get clicked.”

Needless to say…. by the time we got to the floor, there were still two red dots on the board, in addition to one person who simply never clicked at all, so the number of droids on the floor was an absolute nightmare and we wiped on the first row because it had four droids in it, and both tanks chose to focus on ONE Assault Droid, and the other 3 droids made short work of us. We rez’d and came back….. and I let the thus-far-held-back-Jersey-Snark off the chain:

“I can’t believe I am about to type this, but I am feeling as though I have to ask: Does anyone in here not speak English? Or are you perhaps illiterate?” (In hindsight, it was a stupid question, because if the answer to either question was YES, how were they supposed to read it, comprehend, and respond?) I then followed up with: “Click all of the BLUE dots. BLUE BLUE BLUE BLUE!!! I want you all to pretend you are colorblind, and are incapable of seeing the color yellow, and just click the hell of out those BLUE dots.”

We pulled again…. The group managed to only have one person not click at all, and they only bought ONE of the yellow-2-coin droids instead of the misery that was the first pull, so as far as “forward progress” was concerned, I considered it a major WIN.

Once on the floor, the first row activated and I realized that once again, both tanks were on a single Assault droid, leaving the Artillery droid on the other side completely unattended. Instead of trying to explain it, I simply went over to it, grabbed it’s aggro, and kited the lightning domes while healing the rest of the group on the other side. I ended up doing that, for EVERY Artillery droid in each row, because neither tank ever came over to pick them up. I suppose they were just testing my multi-tasking abilities?

Fast forward to dealing with Olok….. I reached the conclusion at this point, that the tanks were super-best-friends and didn’t like being more than 4 meters away from each other, because neither of them ever went to pick up the Arms Trader adds that spawned, and none of the DPS ever went to kill it, even though I may possibly have mentioned it in the chat…. So, I handled interrupting and killing the Arms Traders, which was bucket-loads of fun as you can imagine. We did end up killing Olok, he mentioned something about his obsession with otters, and we made our way to the Cartel Warlords, which was making my butt hurt a little just thinking about it.

Sixth Boss – Cartel Warlords

I gave the shortest, yet most detailed explanation I could think of, using somewhere in the neighborhood of a “crapton” of tactical markers to tell everyone where they needed to be. And really, aside from the tank that was kiting Sunder spending the first 5 minutes not bothering to kite at all, but instead just let Sunder beat on him with a giant stick…. It went pretty well. Luckily, the tank had 44,000 HP, which by PuG standards makes him a GOD and super easy to heal. (Because as we all know, Endurance is the best tank stat to stack, and I was extra impressed with set of half-Fortitude/half-Accuracy augments…. #sarcasm)

Seventh Boss – Bridge

One-shot. No deaths, didn’t even give an explanation. A+ Team.

Eighth Boss – Styrak

I was one-thousand-percent expecting for the Styrak fight to be a complete clusterflub (grrr censored myself) and to wipe at least twice. The group didn’t fail me on half of my expectations, which has to count for something.

I explained the fight in great detail… Every phase, what to do, where to go, how to handle each of the different things that come up in the fight. I think the reason that I did that, was for when they ignored everything that I said, and things went to Hell in a handbasket, I could at least cling to a tiny little shred of vindication that I had at least done my part to “throw pearls before swine.”

The Kell Dragon dropped down, and half of our group stood behind one tank behind the dragon, and the other half stood behind the other tank, facing the dragon. On one hand, I was cringing but on the other hand I was a little proud of the youngsters in the group, for at least taking my advice of “make sure you are standing behind a tank” even if they were a little fuzzy on which end of the dragon they should be staring at: Face or Butt. Things got a little extra fun, when the add came out and started choking the tank that was at the pretty side (the Face, obviously) of the dragon…. Because while I had explained what to do there, none of the DPS even so much as glanced in that direction, so I had to scamper over and free the poor tank from Styrak’s Erotic Asphyxiation.

At this point, the dragon was dead and Styrak was down….. Apparently both of the tanks were suddenly either confused or forgetful on how to tank a boss, because I held aggro enough in that fight, that I was choked and thrown THREE TIMES instead of the tanks. It progressed quite interestingly like this for most of the fight, until the dragon was revived, and despite my suggestions, the tanks never swapped him, so the 44k-HP-GOD-MODE tank, despite my best healing efforts, was quite decimated by the time he reached 8 stacks of the Dragon’s Zombie-Puppy-Deathmark. Somehow, the team managed to limp its way through the soft-enrage of Styrak….. and a mere two and a half hours after I had initially click the “Travel Now” button from the Group Finder, I was on my way back to Fleet, to pick up my two new shiny Mass Manipulators.

To my readers: You are welcome. I suffer greatly for your personal enjoyment.

About Apostrophe

We already have enough youth, what we really need now is a Fountain of Smart.

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