Manage the PUG 

Managing the pug is the KEY to winning games. I don’t know anyone that does it really well all the time. The majority of people don’t try. Then there are a few that do try. I have tried many styles out, and I find the best approach is a balanced mixture of generalized criticism (against the whole group), and specific praise for individuals, and group praise. A little of all three. The fourth option, individual criticism, never works. If you have to call someone out (in sheer anger) be generic. “You idiots in the flagroom that didn’t chase the EFC out — please figure out how to do that now – and start chasing.” — is much better than “player X SUCKS, and player y SUCKS” – that will only hurt matters and turn them against you.

I will concur, that the private whisper and complimenting one person to start each match, is a great way to start off the match with one ally. “Nice gear,” “Great DPS last game,” “GG last match,” “I’ll heal you the whole match,” it’s very easy to do. If you are crafty – you’ll do it with as many players as you can before the game starts.

RESULT: If you convey to at least one person that you think they are NOT a moron, and that you’ll work with them, then you are one step closer to managing the pug effectively. 1 down, 8 to go. Now that one person might fight for you or back up your further prodding later in the game.

Any self-proclamations of greatness will do no good. Ever.

And yes, starting off with a basic strategy is good. Remember a lot of people are drunk, stoned, tired, on meds, or otherwise distracted. There’s nothing wrong with starting the game off with some sheep-herding instructions. More will appreciate it, than will fight against it. I am always shocked and surprised when I get a whisper of “good leadership” after a 2nd or 3rd game with someone, or “STFU he knows what he’s doing” — from someone *not* in my guild. Those are nice moments.

So to recap:

Managing the PUG is the key to victory. This is true whether you Q’d with 0 friends or 4.

1. Review your PUG and come up with a plan, and announce it.
2. Whisper one player (or more) and compliment them to start
3. Never call out a single player in a match for his lack of skill.
4. Make complaints against the team or a group, and balance them with group compliments.
5. Never remind people of your self-proclaimed greatness
6. mark players afk that don’t do shit.