I hope everyone had a great Winter's Veil! I'm all holiday'd out, at the moment. While I should be writing stuff I should be writing (and there's so much to write about!), I'm gonna ramble about PuGs, people and random pictures again because... well, as I've said before... I can. :D
Some guildies needed UK regular, so I agreed to tank it. I've been respec'ing Prot mostly on the weekends, cause instances are easier to get into and, well, it's loads of fun. So it was a Holy Pally to heal, a Frost Mage and me. We had to pick up two dps. We ended up with another Prot Warrior and one of those Blood DKs. Not perfect, but the Frost Mage, DK and I were well above level and outfits for the dungeon, and it's a quickie anyhow.
We get in there and there's an unspoken contest between me and the other Prot Warrior for control.
Moral #1 - two of the same class/spec in an instance is not a Good Thing.
I was designated tank, but he "off tanked" most of the time, instead of DPSing the kill order. This actually worked well on the Skarvald fight. I tanked Dalron with our mage dps'ing and he tanked Skarvald with the DK dps'ing. Healer in the middle. This could be a tricky fight (I don't think it's designed to be as tricky as it could be), but it's pretty straight foward regardless of the group. Mostly you can just burn 'em down.
We mowed down the instance quick, maybe 35 minutes. Then trouble hit on Ingvar. Now, Ingie is not a tough boss. He's got a couple of tricks that hit really hard, but if you tank him out of the way and dps him in the butt, he's no problem. This group just couldn't get it together, though. Couldn't get the melee dps to move and they kept getting caught in the Smash or the Axe attack. Tank boy would taunt at absolutely the worst possible moment and heals and the mage would get hit with his shout and silenced. It was a mess. After three wipes and it's 2AM, we called it a night. That was embassassing because it was the first fail I've had in Northrend. And in regular UK no less! I mean, I expect it when we get to heroics, but wiping that hard on the starter dungeon??? Ouch.
Moral #2 - Class/spec composition isn't nearly as important in Wrath as it was in TBC... but everyone doing thier job and paying attention is Very Much still important.
So the next night, with the guildies still needing the run for the final quest, we try it again. This time we pick up a Elemental Shammy and a Kitty Druid. I think we blew through it even faster. This group wasn't nearly as strong as far as raw power goes, but it was way more... hmmm... professional? Everyone understood that, as much of a PITA is might be, marking and attacking together is important. Letting the tank take those hits and tearing down the mobs in order actually helps the tank take less damage, which mean the healer can keep everyone up longer. And so on... There was no "could you please..." or "hey, maybe you should..." Everyone knew what to do even though no one said anything. Ingvar goes down nice and neat. They turn in their quests. Done. No need to come back until Heroics start. Yeah! (Cause I'm sick of the dungeon now... even if it is fun.)
Moral #3 - Raw power does not equal easy or quick.
In fact, most times in Wrath, it's irrelevant. Wrath really has gone a step further in making fun, skilled play more important than pure "Look At All the Stuff I Have" power. Don't get me wrong, I still like all the stuff. My tank set is freakin' hot! (My dps set is horribly ugly. gak!) But playing your toon is now way more important than an extra percent or two of any given stat.
In example run number one, the DK was doing insane DPS. But he kept taking those Smash hits. A dead DK doesn't do anyone any good. In the second example, all three DPS were solid and right on time. It was consistant and didn't take the place of what else was needed. If we needed a totem, Shammy popped a totem. If we were taking AoE damage, Kitty went to Bear. If we needed cc, Mage did that funny penguin thing. Damn the DPS, do what's right for the situation.
Moral #4 - Raw DPS doesn't matter if you're dead.
For the fun one... The Black Temple! Woo hoo! Just doing a daily in Northrend and I get a whisper "Wanna do BT?" And I'm think... um... sure. Blah, blah, blah, you know how PuG raids go, an hour and twenty-two billion "can I get a summons" later... we're all gathered outside the sewer and ready to roll. So in we go, and someone yells go, and you can imagine/already know what happens next. The raid rez's and someone starts actually organizing things.
Basically, we wiped on trash repeatedly and only got in sight of Najentus. Never touched him. I did get to off-tank as Arms and, when I had a healer, it worked perfectly. No trouble at all. Course it was a lot of fun and, after the 5th or 6th wipe everyone started to relax and just enjoy it as a social gathering.... er... with big deadly monsters. Ah well. And naturally, when the repair bills started getting a bit high, it fell apart.
Moral #5 - PuG raids are not ready for BT yet. Nope. No way. :)
As ugly as it was, though, it was still a good place to meet new people and interact. My group (group 3) reformed after the breakup and we hit Violet Hold for a bit. I'm not terribly familar with all the boss fights that can occur in there, so it was a nice run. I got to DPS, a DK tanked, we had a Holy Priest, a BM Hunter, and a Rogue. Everyone had a good time. I love the Xevozz fight. And I added 4 more people to my friends list. No loot, but seems to me I came out of both the raid and the dungeon better off.
Moral #6 - A good PuG is the one where you take out more than just loot.