for the full version!

Dave Chappelle has an excellent stand up video called “Killin’ Them Softly“. In the video he has a bit about being taken to the ghetto without his prior knowledge. I have posted an excerpt below.

[Addendum - As per suggestion, here is an explanation of what a PUG is. A Pick Up Group or "PUG" is defined as a body of players (or an individual) needing additional members to complete a group attempting to perform a task in-game. These picked up players (often referred to as PUGs themselves) aren't always friends or known associates of the original group. This often leads to clashing play styles/manners/gear/skill/willing to be fair or even act like IRL you're a human being and not a troll.]

After seeing some morons complain in the trade channel about the typical “YOU NINJA’D GEAR DONT STEAL SHIT THEN GO AND LIE ABOUT ME” and advising the player who seemingly had gear “ninja’d” that he should not join PUG raids, I realized how very few people understand how strange an idea it is to expect a PUG raid to be fair and awesome. Sure, there are some groups out there formed of random people that work out well. There are also some 70% guild 30% PUG raids that work out just fine. But to expect fairness is simply ludicrous.

For the same reason that Chappelle’s apprehension about going to the ghetto makes sense in his joke, so should apprehension about joining a PUG raid make sense to us.

Chappelle makes the statement that “everybody should go to the ghetto”. With regard to my analogy (PUG = ghetto) I fully agree. Players should get a taste of what it’s like to do it the hard way. Makes a person appreciate a well taken care of group. Now, to be fair, some people don’t have the means to “rise above” so to speak. We can’t all get into raiding guilds. The good ones are exclusive, and the ones with open-door policies aren’t usually many steps up from PUGging. Even if you can’t avoid PUGs, you should make sure you have a realistic idea of what to expect. Joining a few PUG raids should give you an idea.

Luckily for us, we can avoid being “taken when you’re not expecting to go” for the most part. We know when we’re going to PUG. We can think to ourselves “I’m gonna see some wild shit, I gotta prepare myself I’m gonna see something crazy.” Things like hunters pulling for the tanks. Healers with 71 points in one tree. DPS in the triple digits. Tanks that aren’t defense capped. Sadly, even though you’re expecting to see crazy things, there isn’t much you can to to fix them.When you are going to go to the ghetto it’s usually because you don’t have any other option, and you have to accept what you can get until you have control over your situation.

Just like Chappelle was able to visually identify his surroundings as the ghetto as he passed “gun store, gun store, liquor store, gun store” we can also inspect (and sometimes see) gear that is below the expected norm for a dungeon. What’s odd about it is unlike the joke, we tend to do things in response that don’t make sense. Calling players out on their strange gear/spec/style is hardly helpful. At one point in the joke Chappelle sees a baby standing on the corner and tries to reason with it “hey baby, baby go home, man”. The baby responds negatively, and carries on with his business. Do we really expect PUG players to do any differently?

My personal favorite part of this bit is when the limo driver receives a phone call from an associate. There is some screaming, some arguing, and by the end of it Chappelle is no longer on track to do what he came to do. Sound familiar? In many PUG raids, especially those put on by smaller guilds (no offense, hell my guild is a smaller guild) or small groups of buddies, there is often drama over various things, but mostly loot. And just like the limo driver, the PUG raid leader will steer the group into a direction (towards the ghetto) that you didn’t want to go and put the concerns of themselves and their buddies ahead of what is fair/right. Chappelle had his time “ninja’d” the same way your weapon upgrade might be.

The reason that PUG raids are allowed to function so poorly is that there is no accountability. In a real guild run, you do something bad, and you’ll get kicked. If you’re the leader and you’re unfair, you’ll lose members. In a PUG, it’s wham-bam-those are my Relentless bracers. Sure sometimes you can jump on trade and screw a guy’s reputation over, but this is very rare (at least on Drenden) and PUG leaders and their beneficiaries go about they gaming with no repercussions.

In summation, don’t join a PUG and then cause a scene over it. If you do, maybe you belong in the PUG LYF afterall.


  1. Avatar Image

    Sean Carey

    I don’t play WoW, but I really enjoyed the way you illustrated your point. I understood what you meant despite not having hands-on experience with the game.

    Also, any excuse to listen to Chapelle.

  2. Avatar Image


    Thank you. Yeah I try to make my stuff enjoyable to the outside world (of warcraft) because I have friends/family that don’t know anything about the game. It’s one of my favorite things to make analogies and when I can draw them between something IRL and WoW it’s a bonus for sure.

    Thanks for reading.

  3. Avatar Image

    Curtis Takaichi

    Like Sean Carey, I enjoyed the parallelism of the PUG to the Chappelle skit. The part that caught my attention the most is when you compare the limo driver to the PUG raid leader. Very funny stuff.

  4. Avatar Image

    Jamie Obeso

    It might help for you to quickly explain what a PUG is; I understood it a lot better cos you told me about it once, but otherwise, I might have found it confusing. Still, quite hell-arious. Good stuff.

  5. Avatar Image
  6. Avatar Image


    Great suggestion, Jamie. I have added via an addendum (redundant?) an explanation for readers that might be unaware of just what a PUG is.

    Thanks for reading!

  7. Avatar Image

    Paul Clark

    PuGs are some of the most baffling and bizarre experiences on that game, especially for gear choices. Hunters in spell dmg sets, Warlocks gemmed for str/agi, Paladins trying to tank with a 2hander, Warriors in full DPS sets with a green shield claiming to be a tank, and every now and then a random russian who speaks no word of English making tactics oh so fun, a questionable definition of what is need and what is greed. Oh the fun times.

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  10. SkareBreast

    Ciao ive just joined.

  11. Uglyloser

    Love your humour, it’s a hard pug life :P

    I saw a warior once slot dps(pvp gear mostly, but he said after long discussion that it was really his dps gear :S) sets with spell dmg gems.

    I must say I’m the healer for the most part on pug pve and it makes for a nice chuckle on /w with someone that spots the same. It’s like “can you spot whats wrong here”. But then I will hardly ever say anything I see it as a challenge. How many times have you actually carried a 5 man through where the tank is russian and hardly talks cause he can’t and he has a rouge sidekick that thinks that by out agroing the tank he is a superstar. You have got to do it every now and then. I’ts like the brittish xmas day swim in mid winter…makes you feel alive!!

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