I did the damn respec thing again so that I could run regular Shattered Halls on account I haven't been there. If ya haven't been to this instance, it's worth the trip, even if you have to (like us) sneak in with a rogue. Unfortunately, the PUG we got together wasn't interested in downing a Fel Reaver so I could get my key, darnit. There's a couple of pieces of gear in the heroic version that I'd like to have, so I figured this was a good time to learn some of the fights. It's a bitch. :)
Things didn't start out too well. Which is how I ended up respec'ing AGAIN even though I swore I wasn't gonna until I'd completely finish my S2 set and had it fully gemmed and enchanted. Opportunity knocks. But that respec cost is getting a bit high, so hey Blizzard how 'bout dropping the price a bit? Please?
Anyhow, the guy who invited me just asked if I wanted to go to Shattered Halls. I was in LFG for Bot or CoT: Durnholde, but what the heck. After I'm in the group and we're all getting ready and waiting for the healer to come out of another instance, THEN he asks what flavor warrior I am. So I tell him I'm an MS Warrior (of the outdated dual wield varity, but shutup). So that's good for awhile until he asks if I can tank the instance... geez.
I have no problem with someone not knowing what an MS Warrior or Arms Warrior is. But at the very least, if you don't know, ask! Before you invite someone to join your PUG make damn sure they can do the job you need them to do. If you need dps, then ask "can you dps [instance]?" etc. Don't get them in there and then start asking questions. When I tanked SLabs the group leader quized me pretty extensively to make sure I knew my business. Good for him! And it was one of the best runs I've ever been on. Everyone knew their job and everyone knew everyone else's job and it worked perfectly. (Also the first time I've had a Shammy heal me, and I must say they rock at it. Overpowered bastards...)
So I cave and go respec and get my crappy tank gear out of the bank. We've got a Fury Warrior (in greens, but hey ya gotta start somewhere), a Protection Warrior (respec'd me), a Fire Mage (a guildie I lured into coming along), a Shammy (our healer) and a Retribution Pally. Not a mix I've worked with before, but I wasn't expecting much from the run either. This was definately a "Get to know you" for this instance.
As for Shattered Halls, it's a straight forward run. Only one way to go and there's not a lot of pulling levers, figuring out puzzles, moving stones around, lighting torches or that stuff. If you just want a good challenging dungeon romp, SH is a good bet. And it's tough too. Lots of multiple mob pulls. Prot Pally is probably the way to go to tank this one. Or at the very least a Shammy or Druid that can OT some of the bigger groups. Even with good cc (and you'll need it) you're going to be tanking 5 or more trash mobs at a time. Come prepared.
We managed to wipe a few times, but for easily identifable and fixable reasons each time. So no one got mad and a lot of discussion wasn't necessary. We were spanking each boss, so that was a big plus, I suspect. On one trash pull we had 7 mobs at the far side of the room and groups of 5 left and right, with a pat with two pets entering from the opposite hall. On my first pull I managed to get pretty much the entire room. Goody. Like I said, though, easy to fix.
PUG Tip: This happens enough that apparently most players don't think of it. If a tank (or whoever) makes a bad pull, he/she is probably going to know it before the projectile even hits the target. When that happens, the tank is gonna start backing up. The REASON the tank is backing is to get into position to be resurected. If the tank yells "Get clear!" then you need to get clear and let 'em die. Much faster to rez the tank and try again then to wipe and have everyone run back. Same goes for a mage doing a sheep pull, or a rogue sneaking in to sap. I understand the urge to jump in and save the day, but this isn't that time. If it goes bad, let 'em eat it. It's OK.
Anyhow, we get to the final boss and wipe at 65%. I can honestly say I was neither surprised nor disappointed. Actually, I was pretty damn pleased and impressed that we made it as far as we did. On the first try, though, our dps Mage got his ass jumped by a stealthed rogue from behind right as the fight started. We tried again anyway and got him down to 50%. Not great but better and this time the healer and I both saw several opportunities to do better. (The end boss, Kargath Bladefist, has some hysterical emotes if you get time to enjoy them.)
At this point, the Pally starts getting a bit belligerent, particularly to the Mage. So I'm nice and friendly and talkative to try to keep everyone focused. Mainly he's bitching about sustained dps during the fight. Now I know this particular Mage and I know he's not really geared up yet. And he can sustain 450-500+ dps if left to just toss fire. I don't bother with dps meter when I'm tanking (threat is more important), but I went ahead and fired up Damage Meters anyhow. Turns out the Pally wasn't really dps'ing particularly hard and that's ALL he was doing (about 285 sustained actually). I felt like pointing out that in my MS spec I can sustain over 350-400dps and that's poping buffs/debuffs/mitigation every other rotation cycle, and way higher burst dps with Flurry proc'd and Death Wish up... but I kept quiet to keep the peace. Tank's job, right? :)
Then he asks the mage (the MT's guildie no less) if he'll leave. Apparently Pally-boy wants to fire up his uncle's account and try to get some more dps. At this point I ALSO didn't point out that the Fury Warrioir HE brought was at bottom of the dps chain, even 100 points BELOW the tank. Ahem. Again, diplomacy is the tank's job. So I laughed it off, chatted a bit, and the healer threw in a some helpful thoughts and we went at it again. This time we got him down to 5%. Five. 10 more seconds and we'd have had it.
Not bad from 65% to 5% in three tries. This is what we call "learning the fight." And we were definately learning. All we needed at that point was to buy a few seconds for the Shammy, and another couple of blasts for the Mage and we were golden. Easy enough. Of course, Pally-boy starts in again...
So, the Fury Warrior, Mage and the Shammy head out to repair and the Pally is sitting there making plans to boot someone. I'm getting pretty hot at this point, but as nicely as I can I try to redirect the discussion and make it clear that we can do it as is. He just keeps going, oblivious. Everyone else kinda got the point and the Fury Warrior offers to drop out. That was pretty much as much as I was going to take. I told Pally flat out that if we don't get it done with what we have, it isn't getting done. Period.
It's not fair that everyone goes through that much time and that much expense and then ask someone to drop out. I suppose you could justify it if there was no chance of downing the boss, but even that doesn't sit well with me. I just can't and don't play that way. I can also understand it in Raid Progression. The whole point is to progress and if there's someone better to get the job done, you open a slot and fill it properly. But in this case, we had it. The fight was done.
Finally, he was quiet for a bit and as everyone was making their way back after repairing he asks me to transfer lead to him. At this point I have three options: I can punt him for being a butt. But since the other two were his friends/acquaintances the group would have fallen apart. And the other guys conducted themselves quite well. Second, I could refuse. Might have gotten another shot with that option, but more than likely would have just delayed the inevitable. Or three, I drop and let them fill.
So, I dropped. I didn't bitch at him, yell at him or even call him an asshole before hand. Wanted too... of course. Best just to say it isn't working with that player, better luck next time, and go on your happy little way. IMHO, of course.
I don't know if they filled and downed the boss. I kind of hope they did, because the rest of the PUG deserved to see it done. I do thinks it's unfortunate, however, that one idiot can wreck a group. I think that way more important than your gear, or your titles, or your skill is simply the way you play the game. I'm pretty sure Pally-boy was completely unaware and didn't understand why I was upset with him. Even after I explained it. Nothing anyone could have done about that. But if you want to PUG, and be invited back, you really need to treat people properly. It makes getting that last 5% possible.