(For reference: PUG = "pick-up group" in MMO parlance -- i.e., a party made of people who don't know each other and just group up because they're all there to work on the same thing. I'm not ranting about the breed of dog, here.)
I should have known the moment I saw the guy that he would be trouble.
Taking a break from the boring, boring North Downs, I decided to head back to the Lone Lands to try to zerg Lachwen on through Volume I Book II in LotRO, running errands for Radagast the Brown. First task of the evening: kill a double handful of wights in Nain Enidh. No problem! Lachwen could take those guys in her sleep. Second task: turn right back around and go kill some elite wights in the exact same area, and pick up the tokens they drop.
Ah, good old un-revamped Shadows of Angmar content, where every quest is so good you do it twice! This is why I waited 'til I was slightly over-level to do these quests. On-level, this would be teeth-grindingly slow. But at level 31, Lachwen should be able to handle this without too much stress. So she hops on her horse, rides over to the ruins where the elite wights hang out, and starts to make her way in. She's just targeting the first one when "Thwap-thwap-thwap!" A 30th-level champion (melee DPS class that doesn't take much damage) has come running in and pulls the elite plus a couple of random adds. Okay, fine, I'll go get the next one.
Except the champion gets swarmed and dies almost immediately. Well, fine, I'll kill that elite after all. I take him and his buddies out without too much difficulty, but while I'm fighting a fellowship invite pops up. Champ has revived himself and wants another go at it, apparently, but doesn't even start with "hello" or anything. Well, okay, maybe he's new and doesn't know invite etiquette yet. I finish off the elite and send him a tell. "You here for the gaunt-lords?"
Okay, maybe he doesn't know how tells work? Wait, there's his response. "I just need to kill wights here, so I'll help you."
Oh, thank you so much! ¬.¬ But, after all, I am trying to do more stuff with groups, and more DPS is always a good thing, right? So fine, I shoot him an invite and we're grouped. He immediately proceeds to pull the next big batch of wights he sees before I've even put any heals on him.
This ain't gonna be pretty, is it?
First round of wights dispatched, he runs to the second round across the camp while I'm putting up the heal stone. The second round is dispatched but we're both low on morale and power now; I'm trying to send him a tell to take it a little slower, and he goes running off towards another batch -- right through the aggro zone of a named boss -- and into a furball with an elite and three adds. The named boss immediately turns on me because I'm spamming every heal I've got. And not being, y'know, a tank, especially when not given the chance to prep for a fight, Lachwen is quickly in the land of the dirt nap.
Right. That's enough of that. Being defeated anyway, I retreat, send him a tell that I'm going to try some other time, and quickly disband. What could have been a fairly straightforward trip to kill some elite wights turned into +3 dread and a lot of broken gear. Bah.
Final result: Lachwen went back to the North Downs and ground out her orc-slayer deed. +1 to her Justice trait and the "Return to Rivendell" skill earned, solo, or a string of pointless deaths in a PUG? Hmm. Tough choice.
PS: I should mention here, that I have no problem helping out new players, in fact I enjoy it if they will at least try to meet me halfway. But seriously, dude, how did you even get to 30th level playing like that? You've got to be looking at constant dread and gear that's always broken. You should see about signing up with the rangers, 'cause as a champion you've got a great career ahead of you as an annoying escort-quest NPC.
PPS: I should also mention here that PUGs are usually great, or at least decent, at the endgame. It's just in the leveling process that they seem to be a problem.