Mythic+ 101: Pugging, Networking, and Group Dynamics
Welcome to Mythic+ 101! This educational series aims to provide new players with the foundation they need to get started in Mythic+. In collaboration with the Mythic Plus Friends Discord, we have compiled an array of 101 content series of articles and information to help you on your journey to the vast content and progression system of Mythic+.
Mythic+ is a system that was introduced during World of Warcraft: Legion. Mythic+ was born through merging Challenge Mode Dungeons, which were introduced in Mists of Pandaria, combined with a similar scaling difficulty system of games like Diablo 3. The result was a PvE progression system that players dubbed “Mythic Plus”, “Mythic+”, or sometimes just “M+”. Mythic+ is arguably one of the biggest additions to the game in the last decade, and its popularity seems to know no limit.
In the previous chapter, we discussed and detailed the basics of starting your Mythic+ journey. In this third chapter of our Mythic+ 101 series, we will explain PUGs (Pickup Groups), how to navigate group dynamics, and how to network with other players. Read on for tips on building stronger bonds with your fellow players towards continued success in Mythic+.
Table of Contents
What is Pugging
“Pugging”, or a “PUG”, is short for “pickup group”. People generally refer to a group of players they do not already know as a “PUG”. While you may already have a network of friends or guildmates to choose from already, you may still find yourself in a situation where you have to play with people outside of your usual network to fill your Mythic+ group. Perhaps your guild members aren’t online, or maybe you are still somewhat new to the game and do not have a long list of players to choose from yet. Whatever the reason, tens of thousands of players are regularly joining or creating PUGs in order to enjoy the game’s content, including Mythic+.
Pugging was made easier with the introduction of the in-game Group Finder tool. This tool, commonly referred to as the “LFG” (Looking for Group) or “LFD” (Looking for Dungeon) tool, allows you to select the content that you wish to find a group for, and either search for a relevant group to join, or create your own. Dungeon groups in LFG are usually titled based on the level of difficulty and what role/skill level is being sought for that group. Some other features include filters by item level, voice app requirements (Discord is a common app for communication), and a section to describe your group in further detail.
Many dungeon groups also use the Raider.IO addon to get a baseline for the experience level of players before the dungeon starts. This may seem intimidating at first, but fear not – the Raider.IO addon and website are easy to use and provide a lot of detailed information.
Understanding Group Dynamics
A group’s dynamic can be viewed simply as the group’s goals and “vibe”. Group dynamics vary, so being clear in your goals either as a group leader or as someone seeking a group will make for a better and more enjoyable experience for everybody involved. Some common terms you will see in LFG to describe goals are “pushing”, “learning”, “completion”, and “farming”. You should align yourself with other players and groups that are looking to achieve similar goals, since this will often dictate the style of play within a dungeon, as well as the expectations between fellow party members.
- Pushing a key means the group not only intends to complete the dungeon, but also do so in time and move on to the next key that is received as a result of their success. An example would be if a group has a +19 Halls of Infusion and they complete it in time to get a +20 keystone, that same group would be looking to run the new key together as a group as well. Groups with this mindset are often looking for players of a similar skill level and are seeking to obtain higher tier loot or higher Mythic+ score. Generally speaking, people looking to push keys intend to take the runs more seriously and will usually require voice communication. These groups will often take time to plan their route in advance and sometimes use ideas from Raider.IO’s Weekly Route or Play Like the Pros. A “pushing” group is typically looking for players interested in doing multiple keys at successively higher levels, so if you are looking to just do one key and stop, these are probably not the groups for you.
- Learning groups are generally more patient. These groups are interested in practicing and learning dungeons, and completing the dungeons in time is sometimes a secondary goal. If you are a newer player, you may find yourself seeking these groups out, or advertising for your own learning group. In these groups, you can expect to practice routes, group compositions, strategies, and more.
- Completion or Weekly groups are primarily interested in obtaining their weekly rewards from the Great Vault. Although these groups may also seek out similarly skilled players, there is generally less pressure on completing the dungeon as quickly as possible. When joining or forming this style of group you can usually expect to be doing the highest key possible for the maximum completion rewards. This will give the highest weekly reward, and as it also grants a +20 keystone for the next week, this process is often used for alts that do not want to grind Mythic+, but simply maximize their time end efficiency ratios. Completion groups are also often referred to as “weekly no-leavers”, which references the idea that the group does not care how long the dungeon takes, as long as it gets completed.
- Farming groups are typically players who are newer or on an alternative character (alts) that still need some loot to get their item level up. These groups move at a faster pace, and do lower or mid-level keys as quickly as possible for more chances at loot over longer periods of time. Sometimes these groups will also do what is referred to as “armor stacking” which means that they will try to find players of the same armor type (cloth, leather, mail, plate). This allows players to trade pieces of loot they receive more efficiently. With the advent of the Flighstone and Crest upgrade system in Season 2 of Dragonflight, many groups will seek to simply farm as many high-level crests as possible, as quickly as possible.
There are many different group dynamics in the Mythic+ world, so it is important to be transparent and upfront about your intentions to avoid frustration later down the line. If you are forming a group, make sure to advertise what the group’s goals are. If you are seeking a group, make sure to communicate your personal goals. Clarity will lead to a more positive experience since it is much more likely that everyone in your group is comfortable with the pace and plans of the team, and that you are all on the same page.
How to Network
Now that you know what pugging is, and how to effectively form or search for Mythic+ groups, the next relevant skill to sharpen is networking in the world of Mythic+. While pugging can help you reach your end goal, having a network or a group of friends to do keys with can make Mythic+ a highly enjoyable and rewarding experience.
Networking is one of the most underrated skills when it comes to success in Mythic+. You need a group of 5 people in order to do Mythic+ content, so it is very important to make good impressions and connect with the people you meet when you pug. Not only will you be having more fun playing with the same people as you get to know them better, but it will also allow you to work on your communication and coordination, which will end up bringing better in-game results as well!
There are several ways to find groups and meet new players in WoW:
- Friends List
- Battle.net Communities
Discord is a powerful tool that many players use not only to communicate, but also to organize and find groups or permanent Mythic+ teams. Some people have their own private Discord servers that they gather people in after successful runs, which can be a good way to stay in touch with people you enjoyed playing with. If you are seeking new players to run with, there are large public Discord servers that are set up to help players find groups or permanent teams, and generally meet new people. Mythic Plus Friends is a popular Discord server that services a wide range of players.
When first joining a Discord server, it can be a bit overwhelming, but most public servers have a welcome channel and rules section, and some also include a FAQ to help guide new members. Once you have familiarized yourself you will find that some servers also have roles available to help cater to your individual needs as a player. Mythic Plus Friends for example has roles to set your faction and region, as well as your role in the group (Tank, Healer, DPS). Joining your first large Discord server may seem intimidating, but public Discords also usually have a moderation team available to keep things friendly and assist users within the server.
After you feel comfortable within a server, you’ll find that most public Mythic+ Discords have LFG channels designated for different key levels, team forming channels for finding a permanent group to run with, and some include places to find help with learning about Mythic+ such as the Mythic Plus Academy inside Mythic Plus Friends.
As you meet and play with people throughout your Mythic+ experience, you should always try to add players to your friends list who you enjoyed playing with. Your initial journey will be marked by many PUGs and strangers, so the faster you build your own network of friends to play with, the better. Eventually, you will no longer be reliant on the LFG tool to find groups, as you simply reach out to those players that you added over your weeks, months, or years of playing the game. If these players have added many others to their friends list too, you suddenly have a vast network of players to play with.
One addon that helps immensely with keeping everything organized is Friend Groups. This addon allows you to add tags to individual friends, which then shows up cleanly in your in-game interface. If you add individual players based on their preferred role, you can quickly build a network of Mythic+ friends to start a fresh group, or simply need a single player or two to fill an already existing one.
Friend Groups allows you to create quick and easy drop-downs to organize your Mythic+ network!
Battle.net communities are located in the guild and communities section of your in-game User Interface. These communities allow you to create a group to which you can invite players much like a guild, with the added benefit that they can be from another realm. This is a simple way to gather players without necessarily adding them all to your friends list, or to meet new players in more established communities. One of the biggest advantages to communities is that they will show you who is currently online, which can help in finding players who are ready to go at the same time.
Much like Discord, there are players that have private communities that they use to expand their network, inviting players they have had successful runs with. There are also communities that are public that you can find using the "Find a Community" feature. Public communities can operate similar to a public Discord and act as a great tool to meet new players.
Lastly, there are some communities that have certain requirements to join. Some may require a certain Mythic+ score, and others could be based on scheduling such as players that only meet on the weekends. Having an understanding of which communities make the most sense for you as an individual, and how to navigate them is one more powerful way to meet new players and expand your network.
More Mythic+ 101 Articles
- What is Mythic+ and Why Should You Do It?
- What You Need To Know for Your First Keystone
- Pugging, Networking, and Group Dynamics (You Are Here)
- Mythic+ Netiquette
- Understanding Your Role
- Join the Mythic Plus Friends Discord Community
- Try the Raider.IO Auto Route Creator
- Download the Raider.IO Client
- Set up Raider.IO Discord Alerts
- Follow Raider.IO on Twitter
- Support Raider.IO on Patreon
About the Authors
Seliathan has been playing Rogue for over half his life, since the initial release of WoW over 18 years ago. After a long career of Raid Leading, Theorycrafting, and pushing Mythic+, Seliathan enjoys creating all kinds of PvE content on Twitch, co-hosting the Tricks of the Trade Rogue podcast, contributing to Raider.IO as Staff Writer, and writing guides for Icy Veins.
VitaminP (VP) is the Content Manager of Raider.IO and has worked for the organization since the formation of the News Section in November 2018. Although VP is currently focused on pursuing her Masters of Business Administration, she specializes in tanking classes and has loved doing competitive Mythic+ on and off since early Legion.
MarianasTrench (Mari/Marinara) is a Marksmanship Hunter main who loves to play all classes in Mythic Plus and raiding. He is a staff member at Mythic Plus Friends, and the Guild Master of Dualism. While he loves Mythic raiding and higher Mythic+ content, he also enjoys helping other players get involved and expanding the Mythic+ community through the Mythic Plus Academy at Mythic Plus Friends.