Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Joys of PuGging

So... There I was minding my own business... I'd just gotten to a convenient stopping point in doing dailies on my paladin (who is 80 now... As is my death knight) when someone asked for a healer for Heroic Nexus in LFG. Hiahotah (who is resto now... Man... It's been a while. Whole other story...) was sitting on the daily from the day before so I logged onto him and said I'd go. I wish I'd thought that through...

The first warning sign was when they started calling each other by real life names. It turns out that three of them were from the same guild. Oh good. A guild that can field three players but can't find a healer. The second warning sign was when one of them asked how to get to the instance... Which was THE NEXUS!!! It's the first damn instance 80% of people do!!!

The group consisted of a prot paladin, ret paladin, boomkin (the guildies), a rogue and me. We managed to down the first mob with only the ret paladin dying. (Seriously?) The tank didn't consecrate or taunt so when the ret paladin body pulled and then fought back... It was over pretty quickly. Yes you're in plate but you're still not wearing a shield. We wiped on the second pulls. The paladin _still_ didn't consecrate on a 3 pull. Very, very bad sign. I thought about leaving but decided to give them another chance. I figured that with 2k spell power I could make up for a little nubitry.

I wish I'd thought that through. It turns out there were two skinners in the party but one of them didn't have a high enough skill level to skin the mob. Oy. You got to 80 and didn't level your skinning? Oh come on!!! At this point, one of them said he had turned his microphone on. I shudder to think that these guys were actually communicating with each other.

We got to the "optional" boss. And wiped because I couldn't keep the melee up... And because the tank backed up into me just as I was trying to heal him and just as the boss did his whirlwind. That's when I decided I wouldn't be using any more buff foods. I gently suggested that the melee needs to run away from the whirlwind. I should have said that they should run away as soon as they see it and stay out until it was over. My bad. In any event, they were nominally smarter and we got some lucky fears just before whirlwinds so melee was out of range for a couple of them. We downed him with only one death. The druid got the achievement for looting his first emblem of heroism. Another ominious sign. But now I was saved to this instance so I was in for the duration.

We had a couple of deaths before the mage boss... One of which was me. The paladins seem to have misplaced their resurrection buttons so I ran back. The mage boss can be very chaotic during the splits. Things happen. This time, the ret paladin - the one who was leading and seemed to have some reasonable gear and doing the most damage - died about half way through the fight. It happens... When you consecrate and the tank doesn't so you end up with two of the adds on you.... And people aren't focusing on one of them. So I battle rezzed him... He didn't take it until the boss had about 10% health left. There are TWO druids in your party. One of them knows what he is doing. You don't go AFK after you die. You just... Don't. Wait for the battle rez.

The clear to the next boss... And the next boss, for that matter, went mostly without incident. No... Wait. Scratch that. The tank ran in just before the second boss and pulled 6 mobs but didn't consecrate... But he needed heals so... I healed him. The 5 mobs he hadn't generated threat against me... Killled me dead. The boomkin and the ret pally managed to heal him through the fight. And one of the paladins found a rez button after about two minutes of me not releasing. We did down the rift boss without too much trouble. It was around this time that I started looking at their gear. Among other things:

1) The boomkin was rocking a staff that had +242 spell power, a pile of int and some spirit. A two hander with +242 spell power? There's a level 78 one hand rep reward with +314 spell power. Sure you have to be revered with the Kalu'ak but... Who isn't revered with the Kalu'ak? I mean... They look like Wilfred Brimley!!

2) It wasn't enchanted. Throw in an off-hand that has a modest +25 spell power and you're looking at another 147 spell power. Things will die faster. As it was... I was running out of mana and having to use innervate in what is generally considered an "easy" heroic.

3) The tank had 22k health... Buffed. I've got a death knight who has that much unbuffed and I wouldn't even _think_ about tanking a heroic like that. So I inpected his gear. Helm. Tempered Titansteel helm. Good. But... Two gem slots... Both empty. Throw in a +32 stamina meta gem and a +24 stamina gem and with blessing of kings, we're looking at over 600 extra health. Or maybe throw in a +21 defense +5% shield block value meta gem in there. Either one will make things a little easier on your healer. One will provide a little extra cushion, the other will improve your mitigation. Can't go wrong with either one.

4) The helm didn't have an enchant on it. If you're going to be remotely serious about tanking... You get to revered with Argent Crusade so you can buy the head enchant. Even if you aren't serious about it... Do it anyway.

5) The tank had attack power trinkets equipped.

6) The boomkin had level 65-66 healing idol equipped. I know idols are hard to come by... But... Still...

7) The tank was wearing his Blood Knight tabard. Maybe he wants something from Horde Expedition but... Damn man... Slap on an Argent Crusade tabard. Get to revered. Get to revered with Wyrmrest for the two sweet tanking pieces.

On the way to the rock giant boss, the rogue bailed. We joined LFG for about 2 seconds and resumed clearing. Just before we got to the boss I asked if we were looking for someone. They said yes and I said that "a hunter in my guild was willing to go but we'll have to summon him". The hunter was actually my brother but I wasn't going to tell them that. They invited him and kept clearing to the boss... And, yes, it was in the hallway respawning plants... So we had to fight all the way back to a safe spot. And we'd taken the long way around, so we had to run all the way back through the instance to summon and then once again to get back to where we were... And then we had to clear the hallway... A third time. We did, however, down the boss with no deaths. It was hard as hell to keep that paladin up through the enrage though. Cripes. I'm guessing he isn't defense capped.

We wiped on the end boss. The ret paladin body pulled, got insta-gibbed and the prot paladin never did pick her up. The second time went a _litte_ better. There was still one death but that's mostly because it took so damn long. I had to make a choice between healing myself or healing some DPS with healing spells of their own. I didn't really need any of the loot but the boomkin rolled need on everything (it was cloth and leather so... Whatever) including the Frozen Orb. Now I had 4 on me but that was a PuG and 3 were guildies. He had a 60% chance of getting it. The orb is one of those little niceties that you give PuGs a chance to roll on... Particularly when you've been carried by one of them through the entire instance.

So... The short version is... I won't be doing any (heroic) runs with that guild any time soon and if I do, I'll check for gems and enchants first. Don't get me wrong... Things like that make me a better player but... It really stressed me out. My chest was actually tight for about a half hour after it ended. I don't need that.