After taking a bit of a break from instancing for several weeks, I've finally started to hit the dungeon finder again, partly because I was starting to feel somewhat guilty about basically collecting no valour points on my main at all outside of raids, partly because I felt like seeing some low-level instances on my alts again after having levelled several of them purely through questing as of late. I've noticed that I generally seem to go through certain cycles in my play patterns, alternating between max-level and low-level play, instancing and questing, feeling very enthused about the game and feeling very burnt out.
Anyway, as usual many of my pugs didn't leave much of an impression either way, but here are some things that stood out:
When I zoned into heroic Lost City of the Tol'vir, the bear tank called Bob immediately asked everyone to be patient with him because it was his first time tanking the instance. I told him not to worry, and as it turned out he didn't really have to ask us to be particularly patient because he did a great job anyway. It might have been his first time tanking the place, but he was clearly already familiar with tanking in general and knew the pulls and boss strategies of the instance inside out.
Since it was such a smooth and pleasant run, the entire group immediately requeued for another dungeon. This time we got Blackrock Caverns, which went slightly less smoothly due to no fault of Bob's, but he managed to save several bad situations through good cooldown usage. If only all tanks in LFG were like him...
Me! Okay, I probably wasn't the worst player among all the people I grouped with, but I've definitely had some serious herp derp moments in my last couple of runs. In the aforementioned BRC run I managed to aggro and die to one of the patrolling dragonkin just as the rest of the group had jumped down the slope to Corla and pulled two additional packs. Fortunately Bob managed to salvage the situation by shifting out of bear form and throwing me a combat res.
Then there was the Zul'Gurub run where, while trying to dodge Venoxis' poison maze, I managed to fall off his terrace and into the water, where I immediately died to the various mobs there. Fortunately the dps was very good and they managed to down the boss anyway, but I still felt like a huge dolt.
And then there was the Grim Batol run with the paladin tank who kept pulling as if he had ants in his pants, so that I could barely keep up with healing even while outgearing the instance by two tiers. I think this threw off my mojo right from the start, so maybe I shouldn't have been surprised when I managed to die to General Umbriss' Blitz. I just remember thinking: "Oh good, he's not targeting me with it, I can stay where I am... wait, he's still facing in my general direction, so I do have to - oh poo, I'm dead". Again the group managed to down him even with me dead (who needs healers anyway) and I was even rewarded with an achievement. Way to go!
Then the group skipped the last two trash packs in the inner circle of the city and I somehow managed to aggro one of them even though I usually never have problems running past them. Since everyone else had already charged way ahead while I was still looting a mob, I was the only one who died. They just continued to kill the next pack without me and said nothing while I corpse-ran back. In a way I almost found myself wishing that they would laugh at me or make some sort of snarky comment... somehow just being ignored and left behind felt even more humiliating, especially as a healer. I have to admit I felt a certain mix of glee and relief when the tank's rogue friend got himself blown up by one of the adds on Drahga, as it at least meant that I wasn't the only one who had made a stupid mistake during the run.
Player With The Best Attitude
On my low level draenei shaman I had a slightly messy but strangely enjoyable Dire Maul West run the other day, in which I ended up with a paladin tank who was retribution spec. No biggie in a lowbie instance as far as I'm concerned, as long as he knows what he's doing and isn't too squishy. He did do reasonably well at holding aggro, and healing him wasn't a problem either with the exception of a couple of bosses where he went splat, but the rest of the group still managed to beat them without wiping.
Still, he was clearly new to the instance, as he felt the urge to run back to the quest giver immediately every time he completed a quest objective and kept going the wrong way. He also might not have been able to speak English, as he never said anything in chat and more importantly never reacted to anything that was said in there either. All the party's well-meaning attempts to tell him "no, this way, over here" were in vain. Eventually we just gave up on trying to steer him and followed him during his meandering through random trash packs, because sooner or later there'd be nothing left but the boss anyway.
Now, all this might sound pretty bad, but somehow I still couldn't help liking the guy. Yes, I generally prefer to have some communication going on, but on the plus side he never complained about all the times he died either. In fact, he never even waited for a res and always released instantly and started running back, even if he had been the only one who had died. This was in fact another thing that convinced me that he must have been a newbie, because he clearly wasn't jaded or entitled - instead he was curious and driven. Death was merely a minor setback, and he was always happy to pick himself up again and try again. In a time where the game has made it so easy to drop any group activity at the drop of a hat without any negative consequences, that kind of perseverance impressed me. Here's to you, little newbie tank. Just keep working at it and you might go far in this game.
Player With The Worst Attitude
In heroic Shadowfang Keep I got a raid-geared bear tank who had some serious issues. After Baron Ashbury's first Asphyxiate I healed the party up to about thirty percent health, as that's more than sufficient to survive the occasional tick from his (dispellable) dot. But Mr Bear Tank didn't think so. He started to yell at me to heal more, then in all caps, then calling me a whore. I politely told him to calm down and that there was no need to top everyone off until near the final phase since the boss just kept putting people back down to one hit point anyway, but he wouldn't believe me.
He and his dps shaman friend then stopped attacking and interrupting the boss and just stood there, letting him heal back up to full repeatedly while the bear claimed to have problems with his mouse. I don't know, maybe it was true, but considering how worked up he had just got about me not topping people off it seemed more like a passive aggressive attempt to wipe us, especially since the shaman stopped too. Eventually they seemed to get bored of it though and we managed to burn the boss down. Then there was an awkward pause during which I can only guess he tried to kick me, but if he did it didn't work, so both he and his shaman friend then dropped group. Their replacements were more sensible fortunately.
Anyway, raging at people in the dungeon finder is generally never a good idea, but raging about people doing it wrong when in fact you are the one who doesn't seem to understand the mechanics just makes you look like an even bigger idiot.