Yesterday I was in the mood for some warzones, and very confused when my asking in guild chat about who else wanted to come was met with nothing but stony silence. I've done very little PvP on my own since joining my current guild, because as a guildie put it the other night: "You're a healer. It's easy to make friends." Realising that none of the usual suspects were actually online, I sighed and decided to brave the queue on my own, bracing myself for the worst.
Surprisingly, Republic was unusually dominant, the wins kept rolling in and I had a grand old time. Now, some of that was obviously pure luck, but it did serve to remind me of why I should go back to pugging warzones on my own at least occasionally.
I doubt anyone needs an explanation of why going in with friends and guildies is usually more fun. You know each other and can coordinate better, you can expect at least a minimum level of competence (hopefully), not to mention that good company tends to make everything more fun in general (again, assuming that your guildies actually do make for good company).
However, I've noticed that there are trade-offs. The more you get used to playing with the same people all the time, the more you'll feel lost when you're suddenly on your own or forced to make things work with strangers. Not to mention that partial premades make you inclined to focus on your friends at the cost of paying attention to the team as a whole. Hands up if you've ever assisted a guild-mate in a random fight instead of helping a pugger with an objective or got so engrossed by a conversation in voice chat that you missed a call for help in ops chat...
However, finding myself on my own again for a change, I:
- had to push myself hard to stay alive and play well, seeing how I couldn't count on getting any assists
- was more focused on objectives than keeping my guildies alive so I wouldn't feel bad about them dying
- actually used ops chat properly to communicate with my entire team as there was no voice chat to distract me
- found myself paying more attention to the other players than I usually do. Which guild are these from? Who played really well and deserves an MVP?
It was fun in a different kind of way and made me feel like a good player in my own right again instead of just being someone else's lazy healbot.
That aside, it's also good to occasionally get a glimpse of what's happening in the server community outside of your own social circle, which guilds are active in what areas and so on. I mean, how many people have quit an MMO because all their friends stopped playing and things stopped being fun for that reason alone? I could have been one of them back when people in my old guild stopped logging in, but since I was still enjoying the game I put myself "out there" instead and found some new players to keep me company. It's always useful to make new connections when you can.