I continue to be amazed at the current state of pugs for the old heroics. I honestly couldn't make up things as bizarre as the behaviour that some players display there. Good thing I was on my hunter on Friday night, feeling relatively unaffected by other people's failures, and in one of those moods where I was able to detach myself emotionally and just laugh at the whole situation from a distance.
Basically, I had queued up for an old random heroic because I didn't just want to run Zuls and nothing else, and because my hunter still has an old trinket for which about three possible drops in the old heroics would serve as good replacements. I ended up in Blackrock Caverns with a druid tank, accompanied by a priest healer from his guild, a mage and a dps warrior who did over 20k dps on the first pull. Clearly he was an experienced valour point farmer who was also aching for a bit of variety. He would soon regret it.
My spider sense started tingling as soon as the tank decided to pull the first boss with the vast majority of the trash in the room still alive. When I'd seen people try the same thing in the past, he had always called for help and pulled everything nearby into the fight regardless. This time however he didn't, the druid pulled the boss back into the tunnel and I thought "oh well, I guess it works after all". Then the boss suddenly turned around, ran back into the middle of the room to cast his chain spell, and landed us all smack in the middle of three different trash pulls. Mayhem ensued and we wiped.
The druid apologised, we chucked it up to the learning experience and ran back. This time we cleared the room beforehand and killed the boss without any further problems.
On Corla, the druid launched into a lengthy explanation of the fight even though nobody had asked for one and at least one person had asked to just pull already. He also explained it wrong, claiming that the transformation happened at 80 stacks, which we corrected him about. Eventually we started the fight, and the mage messed up despite of the explanation, causing us to wipe again. He apologised though and promised that he'd do it right next time. So he did. I took note of the warrior interrupting all of Corla's fear like clockwork.
When we approached Karsh Steelbender, the druid asked for tactics, claiming that he had never done this boss before. After his elaborate explanation of Corla, this didn't strike me as a very good sign. I misdirected the fire elementals on him when they were on the far side of the boss and explained the strategy. "Oh, I remember! I have done this before!" he exclaimed all of a sudden... and proceeded to pull the boss and just tank him next to the pillar. After a while the warrior ran to the other side and taunted the boss briefly to pull him through and melt his armour. After that the druid seemed to get the idea, though he still moved the boss in a fairly messy manner. We got add spawns several times, but the warrior just soloed them and they appeared to have been stealth-nerfed to not leave lava puddles upon death anymore, which made them a complete non-issue. Anyway, the boss died.
Up to this point I hadn't really considered the run bad. A bit bumpy perhaps, with the better players having to compensate for the worse ones, but that's not at all unusual in a pug. However, things were going to get a lot more interesting still. I foolishly hoped that I would be able to watch Castle in a few minutes, seeing how the last boss was just around the corner... oh, how wrong I was going to be.
We killed the elemental patrol and snuck past the first trash pack on the side by running along the wall. Then the druid asked me to trap the closest mob belonging to the second pack, so that we could "run past it". I probably should have known that this wasn't going to be a good idea, considering the druid's earlier displays of expertise, but with 4.2's crowd control changes, who knew? So I did as he asked, we walked past and I feigned for good measure. Then he pulled Beauty. The trap ran out and the entire mob pack joined the fight, causing us to wipe.
On second thought I realised that I had had a similar wipe to this one in Zul'Aman before, on a different character. I think it's highly ironic that a change that was introduced to make pugging less painful has ended up adding another way for people to wipe stupidly, though I guess I can't blame the players entirely for this one. After all it's very unintuitive for CC not to cause aggro when you cast it, but then cause aggro when it runs out. Sap doesn't do that, and people think that everything works exactly like sap now. Let this be a public service announcement that this is not the case.
Anyway, the funny thing is, the druid didn't even notice. While running back he just talked about how he was confused by the fact that the pups and Beauty aggroed all at once, and when I brought up the trash mobs joining in he was just bewildered. This is when the warrior decided to throw in the towel and left. Then the healer, who was the druid's friend, dropped as well. "Sorry guys," the druid said, "but my healer friend wants to do ZA/ZG so I'm going to leave too." I think I laughed out loud at the screen. If you can't even make it through BRC, you're not doing anyone a favour by queuing for a Zulroic instead.
The mage and I made it back to the trash pull in question and requeued. After about a minute we got a new druid tank in heroic tier eleven gear, another priest healer and a shadow priest. "Oh good," I thought, "this should be finished quickly then". We finished killing the trash. As I tried to move on, I noticed that I was taking damage because the healer hadn't bothered to dispel the shadow prison debuff, so I stopped and waited for it to wear off. Our tank didn't and kept running until he fell over and died at the entrance to Beauty's lair. /facepalm. Once again, heroic raid gear is no indicator of anything.
Meanwhile, the healer asked the mage to create a table. The mage told him that he didn't have reagents on him. The healer ignored this response and kept repeating his request, adding a swear here and there for good measure. The mage finally got him to acknowledge his response by repeating it in all caps. I think they tried to manually trade a stack of food after that, but the mage claimed that it didn't work. Eventually the priest just said "fine" and ported out to fetch some of his own drinks.
The rest of us sat around and waited. Finally the healer ported back into the instance and said "ok go", no less than three times - while he was still at the instance entrance. The tank didn't pay attention to the priest's actual location and just took him by his word. Of course we wiped with no heals. "I didn't mean go right now," the priest snarked in an exasperated tone. What the hell did he mean then? Who says "gogogo" when they don't actually want the tank to pull?
We ran back in and gathered up once again. Except... we were still missing our healer. He was dawdling around somewhere in the middle of the instance, claiming to be lost and demanding that someone should come and fetch him, though as soon as someone started moving he said that he had finally found his way.
When he arrived, we finally got to kill Beauty, though it was awkward and took ages. The druid didn't want any CC and just tanked everything, but nobody but me bothered to dps the adds. When I noticed this I eventually switched to Beauty as well, since me staying on the pups on my own wasn't going to achieve anything. Afterwards the healer chided us for having bad dps, saying that we really needed to pick up our game even if his healing was "grate" [sic].
On the next pull he then just let the tank die and dropped group mid-combat. Okaaay. Our next healer was a paladin called "Deathlol" (with some accents), which I thought was hilariously appropriate. With him we finally finished the instance. I offered to kite the adds on the last boss even though I wasn't very good at it, but apparently I've improved over time as we got the Ascendant Descening achievement. I also got a new bow, but my tv show was already halfway over by then. Two bosses and three trash pulls really shouldn't take over half an hour, but I guess you can't win them all.