So - sometimes I hate playing with folks I know. Or so I thought before i started pugging some tonight. The pro of playing folks you know is understanding what you are going to get going in. Who's good with who, do they jungle, etc. The downside is that you can't always take a role you want with folks u know (if you want to win, that is). Also, if you are lower leveled than your pals, then you are in for a more challenging match when you get put up against a bunch of level 30s.
Then if you pug, you have no idea what you'll get, but you know it will be somewhat reasonably matched (eg no level 30s will magically appear in my level 20 game). The downside is that many pugs are just stupid, even at level 20. I'm fair with most characters and decent with others. I played like 3 pug games in a row that were lost by level 20 players just making dumb decisions and people following them, making equally dumb decisions. One game I had clairvoyance as a roaming alistar and my level 20 teammates were awestricken, trying to figure out how they could see different spots of the map randomly... literally my entire team did not know what clairvoyance was. Furthermore, they didn't understand what do to if I'd flash that skill near them, show them the abush, and then ping for them to get the fug out.
That said, the previous night, apparently any of my pug games where grouped with the good folks, because it was completely the opposite. Just goes to show that its unfortunately random at times. So, its also a strong arguement for playing with folks you know.
Oh - and I am really starting to understand the value of wards. My roaming alistar buys alot of them to reasonable effect. My team was getting its arse handed to it. I figured the next big battle would be in the jungle near our left inhib, so I dropped 5 wards at all of the spots. My team then proceeded to gank (if I hadn't dropped 5 wards, I can guarantee the whole damn team would have gotten killed). But that said, it always feels like money I shouldn't spend when I buy them and I'm lower leveled, but it makes such a huge difference.
Also, I really hate the dmg output of my roaming alistar - its really great for ganks and counter jungling, but literally every game I pugged tonight did not have a jungler on either team. smeh.
edit - also, I think I need to be a bit more patient. The Demigod lobbies always meant a long wait towards the end there. With a pug in lol, I can be up and running in like 10 seconds. We tried organizing an in house 5v5 and I just started getting pissy when it took 10-15 min to get going. pacov needs more patience.