This video was an instant classic - though in hindsight the part about the old instance getting buffed to 80 seems bittersweet.After my less than stellar grouping experience in Redridge, the next time I logged in and had finally sorted out my bags, I decided to look for a Deadmines group again, vowing to not let myself get distracted this time. I mopped up some leftover quests in the Westfall area and kept an eye on general chat.
At first I ended up grouping with a mage, but after we hadn't got a single response to our looking-for-more requests in about fifteen minutes, he said that it seemed like the server was too quiet at that moment and that he'd try again later.
Not much later a guildie expressed interest in a Deadmines run and we teamed up. I didn't keep an eye on how long it took us to assemble a full group, but I reckon that it still must've taken at least twenty minutes. It didn't feel too bad though because I was using the time to run some more errands in Stormwind, such as smelting ore, putting things on the auction house and so on and so forth.
Eventually we had assembled the following group: me on my prot paladin, supposed to tank. I'm not sure going protection was a wise choice - I had initially forgotten that pallies didn't get their taunt until 2.0 (I started playing shortly before that, so my memories of what was introduced when are a bit fuzzy). The prospect of tanking without a taunt seemed more than daunting, but after I had seen people talk about it in guild chat for a bit I felt reassured, as most of them seemed to agree that it was manageable in dungeons and for off-tanking in raids. My guildie, a feral druid, said that she would be happy to dps or heal, and so did the retribution paladin we invited. Finally we also got a hunter and a warlock.
We were lucky that everyone was quick to make their way towards the instance, because when we tried to use the summoning stone, we didn't seem to be able to get it to work. I can't tell if this is a bug or another one of those things that weren't actually introduced until a patch or two after I started playing.
I felt proud that I had managed to gather up all the quests for the instance and shared the ones that others didn't seem to have. I said in chat that I would like to do the two quests with the dead miners just outside the instance and people were like "sure", but whenever I tried to go towards the area they were in, everyone else just ran off in the opposite direction until we were actually at the instance entrance. This didn't feel like the best start.
Things got worse: my tanking was useless. With nothing but a judgement every ten seconds and auto-attack (I had forgotten that consecration also used to be the 11-point holy talent), I simply didn't stand a chance against the warlock and hunter pulling things from range. On top of that, the druid only had bear form to dps in. The warlock yelled at me to taunt once, and I explained that paladins didn't have a taunt in Vanilla. I'm not sure he believed me. Either way, the feral druid soon started taunting instead and effectively usurped the tank position because I couldn't taunt back. It's a good thing I don't have much of a tanking ego or I might have felt offended.
As it was, we seemed to be doing okay the way we were doing things, with me sort of off-tanking, and there were no further complaints or accusations about bad tanking... or bad anything really. Things felt quite chaotic compared to the well-orchestrated trinity song-and-dance that I'm used to performing in today's MMOs, but we managed. Mobs were running all over the place, first because aggro was such a fickle beast with limited tanking tools, then because almost without exception they were all the type of enemy that tries to run away when they get low on health. However, everyone seemed to accept that this was just the way things were and made the best of what we had. We only wiped a couple of times when we accidentally ended up with too many mobs due to accidental overpulling. The hunter and warlock mostly stayed quiet, but the druid and the other pally were quite cheerful, and everyone was unfailingly polite. There was no ninja-looting, and people were constantly asking whether they could need on this or that or if someone else needed it more.
At the very end I even got to enjoy a moment in the limelight after all, when the dps decided to burn down Van Cleef while ignoring all his adds, which resulted in a massive amount of Defias spawning in quick succession... and I tanked them all. I even happened to record it! I liked how people initially even stopped what they were doing and just stared at me tanking the whole pile of adds (and typed "wow" in chat).
I didn't keep track of the exact time we spent in the dungeon, but I can confidently say that it was about two hours from start to finish. I'll be honest and admit that I actually felt pretty tired after that, even though it hadn't been a bad run! It's weird to think that people can probably run the revamped Deadmines on live in about fifteen minutes, even though the instance is the same length. In Vanilla everything just took so much longer to kill.