There has been quite a few posts about how PUGs suck, how there is animosity towards tanks and healers and how people are just jerks in PUGs in general. In my current craving for positive things around me in life I decided to look at this thing the other way around.
As we are all responsible for the atmosphere of a PUG, the question really is...
How to improve the PUG from the inside?
As it happens, I got the best possible experience on this yesterday. My main idea was to jump in to my AH banker and check the mail, get some Archeology on him and log off. Out of habit - or just for the heck of it - I punched the character en queue for a random: as he was at level 54, the wait could have been around 20 minutes on the server I'm on.
No such luck. Didn't even get to Ironforge IP before the Random Group was ready.
Off to the Sunken Temple, the shortened, pitiful, run around version of the former Temple of Atal'Hakkar. Sure, most of the people hate it, but I found the maze-like structure fun and in it's own way demanding place. It was one of the first instances we cleared as Three Stooges, so that may have something for the place...
Never the less, I was summoned as the replacement healer, and the group was performing quite decently. The tank was a selfish bugger, not really suitable to tank at all. Told that he was a newbie tank, but went on like on steroids. Despite of this,, One by two we cleared the bosses, and as you may know the hall where Jamaal resides is full of those nasty undead trolls who turn into ghosts who happen to love the healer. And that the casters in there just happen to shoot fear around, usually causing major aggro chaos and huge add pulls.
Well, long story short, that all happened on the last three groups, until which I kept everything under control very nicely. (I can brag from time to time, right?) That was until a) fear hit our rogue DPS, who b) ran into another group, which c) for some reason took it on the healer, me. Talk about crud hitting the proverbial fan.
There I was, mana depleted, with caster and couple hunters hitting me, tank very much involved in gathering the mobs he could and losing health in alarming rate. I did my best to stick to the tank, hoping to hit Swiftmend (proccing Effloresence) and hoping that the tank would pick up the aggro.
It all failed, naturally.
Just when I was about to call it a day, I got a heal. And another.
The other druid in the group had dropped out of feral and brought me up to the land of living! The day, and the encounter was saved only by the mutual co-operation of the druid kind.
After Jamaal was down I generously thanked the feral feller and made him to the top of my heal list. Screw the tank, this guy saved my life!
As I got out of there, I punched the LFD on again. This time I got to flight before the group was there: it seems that the second wave of alts is just up in the last levels before Outlands.
As you may know by now, that you can run parts of Blackrock as whole 5 man instances. It's been split into smaller runs than earlier, but this group... it seemed they wanted to have it all. The tank was obviously from a PvP server, hopping and jumping and delivering serious damage on the way. She was easy to heal, though, as she kept her self heals on pretty constantly.
It was a run from one mob to another in a speed I have never seen before. Chain pulling would be belittling the whole run, it was one constant fluid motion. After a couple of tricky, and almost lethal, pulls the tank stopped for a moment and said in /party
"Awesome healer is awesome."
That was all. Only smilies from the rest of the party, and me blushing at my keyboard. Why, I hadn't done anything any healer wouldn't have done. But from that moment on, that tank was my aim, focus point and devotion. I followed her like a puppy, and the only time I didn't we wiped, even though there were two priests and a shaman in the group!
At one point I even had to run back to save one of the priests and the shaman from mobs in the Lycaeum, where the iron dwarves come in lots and are normal: they just were cut off from us in the frantic race the tank kept on.
Few nice words work better than cussing and calling. If the tank or healer isn't doing en par your expectations, praise one of the dps or the other one (tank/healer). Bring positive words into the meddle and see the whole group gather more strength from it. Forget the one calling, cussing and making jerk of him/herself. Unless of course, that one is acting really destructively and causing the group to stall...
It's easy to go down to the level of "OMGWTFNWB", which is usually very destructive. Make a point of splendid use of CC, nice DPS, great heals or perfect pulls and use the power of the positive.
You may be surprised.