Is Pugging Flashpoints Newbie Friendly?

As stated in the title I’m going to talk about pugging flahpoints from a new(ish) player’s’ perspective. I’ve been playing this game since October 2016 and have ran all the fps that are solo-able either by myself or with my brother and sister. For the most part I have avoided doing group content and so there are a number of fps that I’ve never experienced because you need a group of at least four players or three players and a high level (preferably 50) companion.

In real life I am very shy and reserved and like most introverts I hate stepping out of my comfort zone. There are two types of introverts. Those who have trouble with communicating and interacting with others in real life, but have no trouble finding their courage via online games to the point many wouldn’t suspect they are normally shy. And then there is the introvert who is shy not only IRL, but also in games. They are the lurkers who stand in a crowd and say nothing. They may also be uncomfortable with trying out new things and would prefer to hang with those they are comfortable with over strangers. I fall squarely into the second category for introverts.

When I first joined the Mandalorians guild there were probably a few members wondering who in the world I was because all I did was lurk in the background. Any time there was an event, I would be right there watching them, not saying anything. As I became more comfortable with the idea of being part of a guild, I began to interact with them more. They now know who I am on discord where I talk to guild members the most and every now and then I say something in guild chat, though I rarely communicate that way. It took me two months to start talking to everyone in the guild and more recently to participate in their weekly pvp tourney (more on that in a later post).

With that being said, the guild has been helping me step out of my comfort zone and has made me want to try out new things…mainly the group content that I’ve been missing out on all these years. So last month, I queued up for my first flashpoint and got the Czerka Core Meltdown. Before we started, I told the others in the group up front that I had never done this flashpoint before and asked what we were supposed to do. One person, oh so helpfully said we kill all the bad guys and the tank in the group said that he would be in charge of yanking the boss around the room.

So I hung back and tried to follow their example. Everything was alright until we came to the first boss fight and wiped on the first try. I asked what strategy we were going to use to fight it the second time around and the tank told me that he would be yanking the boss around the room and the rest of us needed to deal damage. We tried that and wiped again…and then again…and then again. The tank became so frustrated with us that he quit abruptly and then next thing I knew the other two in the group also quit.

I thought about quitting myself, but I was really curious to see how the flashpoint played out so I queued for more people. Luckily, the next tank was a lot nicer and not only explained to me why the tank needed to yank the boss around the room, but also helpfully suggested what I should do. This time around was much easier and after watching the tank in action I realized he was ten times better than the other tank, who would yank the boss around the room once and then stood there and tried to kill the boss and then yelled at us because we were all killed by the sand storm. This tank kept yanking him around the room to prevent the sand storm from killing us and let the rest of us heal and deal damage while keeping the boss’s focus on him.

At the end of the flashpoint, I thanked him for his help, but by the time we were done I was so nervous and rattled that I didn’t queue for another fps as I had intended because I had gone above and beyond my level of comfort and I was a little miffed at the first tank for getting frustrated with his group even though it was clearly his fault we kept wiping out.

It took a couple weeks before I worked up the courage to try queuing for another flashpoint. This time I landed in the The Foundry and inwardly cheered because I’ve done this one before in both story and veteran mode so I knew what to do and how to skip all the trash. I figured this time around I wouldn’t feel like a complete idiot because I didn’t know what to expect. It didn’t quite go the way I thought it would.

One guy kept pulling trash even though the tank in the group was trying to skip them. Naturally, he became overwhelmed and died before I could turn back around and help him. Then we reached the HK fight. I was running around hitting the kolto stations whenever everyone’s health dropped low since we didn’t have a healer in the group and fighting the droids that HK would call for reinforcements. Apparently, the tank didn’t like me doing that and called me a moron, saying I needed to focus on HK and we would deal with the other droids once the fight was over.

As I said, I have played The Foundry in veteran before with my guild mates and knew how much damage the droids can cause if they are ignored. The last time I played this fp, my guild mates and I wiped the first time around because most of us solely focused on HK and the droids overwhelmed us. We had to kill the droids first and then deal with HK. I tried to explain that and while the tank was in the middle of yelling at me, we wiped. The tank called me a moron again and a few other colorful phrases and then told me to listen to him this time.

I didn’t appreciate his attitude, so when we started fight HK again I didn’t touch the kolto stations and focused on healing myself with the few heals I have. I will admit it was very satisfying to watch the tank die almost immediately and even though the entire group wiped out again, it was worth it. Needless to say, I never finished the flashpoint because everyone rage quit.

The third time I queued for a fps was probably by far the worst experience out of them. I don’t remember which flashpoint it was since I was never able to finish. After I told the group I’d never done that flashpoint before I was vote kicked out. Since I was geared up properly for a vet mode fps, I can only assume they kicked me out because they didn’t want to deal with someone who didn’t know what they were doing. I haven’t been able to bring myself to queue up for another flashpoint since then.

So, to answer my question is pugging flashpoints newbie friendly? I have found the answer to be overwhelmingly no. I don’t know if it’s this particular server; if I’m queuing up at the wrong times; or there are a lot of very rude people playing SWTOR these days. What ever the case may be, I think I’m done pairing up with random people to do flashpoints with for now. Perhaps if I was more confident and knew how to do all the fps, I would be tolerant of all the rudeness, but that last one where I was kicked out has me rethinking trying out more group content.

Which is why I have been toying with the idea of asking my guild to either start a weekly fps run or ask my guild mates to run fps with me in chat. It is very hard for someone like me to step out of my comfort zone and especially hard when most of my experiences have been negative. I don’t want to give up on flashpoints, uprisings, and warzones and would like continue experiencing them all, but until I’m more comfortable with the content and know what to expect, grouping up with rude strangers is out of the question.

I can only hope I’m in the minority and other newbie players aren’t dealing with the same problems I had.

–Chash Larol

5 thoughts on “Is Pugging Flashpoints Newbie Friendly?

  1. This bothers me on so many levels. I’m sorry that you’ve had the experience that you’ve had. 😦 It’s because people have these kinds of experiences that I try to focus on doing what I do – which is be a patient and positive person in every group that I come across!

    How in the galaxy do they expect you – or anyone – to learn any tactics if you’re not taught or given the chance to learn through play? At some point, none of us knew how to do anything in the game!

    I landed a Crisis on Umbara flashpoint today. As soon as we loaded in, one dropped out. The player who replaced him fessed up that it was his first time doing the flashpoint and the other two players with me quickly chimed in to say that they didn’t know what to do either. We had a really good time of it! It’s a shame that group finder can’t guarantee that kind of fun every time. I hope you get more positive groups in the future.

    I suppose that group finder is really just luck of the draw, but maybe it’s more negative than positive on one server over another. Again, I’m sorry for the experience you’ve had. If you’re ever on Darth Malgus, my partner and I’d be happy to take you through any flashpoints! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Chash Larol

      Yeah, it did seem a little strange that most of the players I was grouped with were impatient. I would have thought they’d just be happy that a new person was willing to do the flashpoints but I guess they wanted to get through it quickly. Thank you for the kind offer. I don’t have any toons on the Darth Malgus server but if I ever create any I’ll keep that in mind.

      Like

  2. I can only second what MagSul said! What an awful experience. I do a lot of pugging myself and would like to think that you were just unlucky and that there are plenty of people out there who are perfectly lovely to newbies, but obviously my perspective is biased because as an experienced player who is happy to be patient and teach new players herself, I often get to set or at least strongly influence the tone in my own pug runs.

    Also, the “pug culture” of different servers can indeed vary. I don’t really know what Star Forge is like, as I’ve only ever done a couple of vet fps at odd hours there. I wanted to offer to run some with you too, but my only characters on SF are Republic.

    Either way, going in with some people you know and whom you can trust to be more helpful and patient is probably a good idea. You could also friend players like that second tank from Core Meltdown to see if you can get into more runs with them later, but I appreciate that might be asking a bit much if you’re very introverted.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I experience almost the same thing as well, I’m not new to the game, I’ve been playing it since its first release.

    I’ve quit the game several times due to busy schedule but later on I’d be back again. This is one of the reason why I rarely do quest/flashpoint out of story mode, honesty I find it hard to enjoy the game, the story and all if your team mates are rude. I’d rather play solo.

    Thanks for sharing this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Chash Larol

      I’m so sorry you are having the same problem. I can only suggest that you find people whom you trust and know are nice to help run flashpoints, but I definitely understand preferring to solo the game rather than deal with rude people.

      Liked by 1 person

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