Good Pugs gone Bad

Okay, don’t lynch me, but I still pug* on Star Trek Online.pugpug

* In the statistically improbable event that someone doesn’t know the MMORPG acronym, PUG=Pick-Up Group, a.k.a. random strangers in a group.

I’ve read that most experienced STO players only play with their fleets or friends, and avoid pugs altogether. Chalk it up to my naivete and faith in humanity (stop laughing, I don’t believe it either), but I stubbornly continue to pug. Now on the bright side, I’ve actually made a few new friends in pugs, which is part of the fun of playing MMORPGs.

Other times? Well, they are not as great.

Last night I was running Kala’s Odyssey through CCA as usual. Everyone wants the shard that’s worth 2000 dil, so the queues fill out quick with all sorts of players. We started the run and… okay, things went a bit slower than normal, but it happens. I looked back and sure enough, there was one guy on the other team just sitting at the starting position (a.k.a. leeching), but you get that once in a while, no biggie in a 10-ship team. We pew-pewed away for 10 minutes and the Crystalline Entity went kaboom.

At this point one guy on my team started yelling. “Most of you shouldn’t be here. You are not good enough to be on the advanced queue.” He raved. No one answered, and he continued. “Don’t expect to be carried if you can’t do Advanced properly. Get off the bleeping queue.” And so on.

I didn’t see his rant until I was leaving the STF, so was too late to respond anyway. When he said “most of you”, did he mean me? It wasn’t clear. I actually did place 1st in that run, so I’m just not sure. But for a STF that just requires everyone to beat on the boss until it dies — which the team did achieve — what was he complaining about?

Some people just get their kicks from being jerks, I guess.

On the other hand, when I think back, I also have had my share of people who deserved to be yelled at. Some of the more memorable ones are:

Bad Listener – It was an Undine Infiltration Elite run, and I knew it was going to be bad when I saw this one gal bouncing around like a pinball on crack in the starting room. Someone on the team actually told everyone that if they didn’t know the correct answers, DO NOT TRY TO GUESS. So naturally this gal rushed out the gates, hit the first guy (who is NEVER an Undine imposter) and promptly quarantined him, thus failing the mission like a champ. If there is a Champ of Failing.

I was tempted to say something, but I bit my tongue. Wait, I take that back. I did say something. A LOT OF THINGS, actually, just not in the chatbox. 😡

Troll-Hole – This one happened to Fungi, not me, but I can see how annoying it must’ve been so I’m listing this. Evidently the team fought their way to the last cave in Undine Infiltration (again!), and everyone was ready to drop down the hole to face the final boss. This troll suddenly popped a Cover Shield in front of the hole so no one could enter.

And then he went “lolololololol” and the mission was stuck in limbo.

Cryptic needs to do something about the Cover Shield (give them an expiry date or something) because it’s one of many instances where people have trolled using it. Or at least allow the rest of the team to kill the troll.

Cloaked Romulan Scum! – We’ve all run into this: the AFK leecher (usually Romulan, and that’s not a racist comment) who remains cloaked throughout a STF mission and frequently away from the fighting, so they’re just there to collect the rewards. In CCA you wouldn’t miss one ship out of ten, but in other missions it can make things significantly harder.

Two leecher incidents are particularly memorable for me. The first was during last year’s Mirror Invasion event, where I noticed one Romulan warbird never dropped cloak. He was moving around though, which was curious for a leecher (leechers tend to be AFK, after all), and after 20 seconds of observation, I realized he was set to follow me around. What was a pissed-off Heidy to do? Oh I wouldn’t yell at him publicly — Heidy is too civil for that! So instead I flew into plasma explosions and deliberately drew fire in my (and his) direction. Before long his cloak was forcibly dropped, his hull on fire and a nice juicy shieldless target. That was fun!

The other incident was similar, except the cloaked T’Varo immediately headed away from the starbase (I think it was Starbase Defense) until he was far, far away from the action. That one took some work, I had to get several enemy ships to chase me until we got to the T’Varo, at which point plasma explosions made short work of him. That was also fun!

I have reported leechers before, but I honestly haven’t seen any action being taken by the Devs. So in both those cases, I told the rest of the team “No Free Rides from Heidy” and that I was leaving… and they should as well. Scorched Earth Policy For The Win!

Evidently, when I play Star Trek Online, BY CROM I am HARDASS!


5 thoughts on “Good Pugs gone Bad

  1. Leechers, They should participate even if they end up dead, they should still participate. Sometimes I do wish we could fire on a-holes. You know a friendly fire on switch 🙂 In all fairness they would get a warning that friendly fire was on and they were targeted, but as satisfying as that would be, some d-bags would ruin the ride by abusing it. Such is life in the universe of MMOs. Nothing wrong with PUGs. People live all over the world and times zones cause a problem to get together with people sometimes, so PUGging it is fine. I do it allot 🙂 I do however participate and yes sometimes I feel like I am carrying the whole mission.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “But Rod,” cries Heidy. “If they participate, they are no longer leeches!” 😉

      I would LOVE a friendly fire option. You know how players have been asking for a team vote option to kick someone from a team? I say we should have a team vote option to fire on the leecher!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I like your style, and how you handled those leechers. 😉

    In my 3 years of playing STO I’ve been fortunate not to have run across too many trolls or AFK leechers, tho I have come across the occasional person who can’t seem to follow the simplest instructions and does something incredibly stupid that makes it a lot harder for the rest of the team (not quite a Leroy Jenkins sort of thing where it gets the whole team killed, but annoying nonetheless). But thankfully that’s been rare.

    Re that guy shouting mean stuff in chat after CCA, I’m pretty sure he wasn’t referring to you, especially if you got 1st place. But I wasn’t there so I can’t really speak to his motives.

    I normally only join PUGs for the easier stuff (e.g. fleet alerts), and I leave the harder queues for when I’ve got some trusted fleet members or other STO friends with me on my team who are properly geared up and know what they’re doing.


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