Interesting Night

Tonight was an interesting night full of dungeons.

First up, a (mostly) guild run. We dragged a new tank somewhat reluctantly into his first heroic. Everything went pretty well. There were some wipes, but they were expected going in. It was the first time in the instance for 3 of them, and the first time tanking a heroic for the tank. We knew there would be bumps.

A lot of it was simply poor execution, but I was pleased with the progress made in each additional attempt. The dps was pretty low, which put extra strain on the tank and healer. I covered as best I could when damage got high, but of course the more I helped the lower my own dps went. There were fights that I was only pulling 7-8k instead of my usual 10-ish (which is still too low for my gear, but I have about 4% wasted hit because of my spirit – it’s all healy gear). That’s never a good thing, but we did as best we could with what we had.

I’m particularly pleased with one of my guildmates’ progress. He learns from his mistakes and improves a little with each new run. We keep teaching him things and he keeps learning. I like that he doesn’t take it as an insult when we ask him to do something new or to try something different. The guy tries hard, but he’s pretty old, and not always the fastest on the uptake. For example, we taught him tonight that mages have a buff called Arcane Brilliance. Rather than getting angry or embarrassed that he somehow made it to 85 without knowing that, he threw up his new buff and he never had to be asked again to buff, he just did it after each wipe.

The hunter that is the new tanks main squeeze is a little slow, her dps is low, and she stands in stuff. She at least seems to learn, but she seems resistant or maybe just embarrassed each time we point something out to her. Twice we wiped because my sister tried to do a little too much to save her. When she bit the bullet and let her die we finished fine. Mana only goes so far these days. Eventually you have to not stand in the bad.

We did ok, but the tank ended up bailing after he died on Ulthok and we managed to finish without him. I don’t know if he was embarrassed or frustrated or whether he was really as tired as he claimed to be when he bailed, but I hope he wasn’t feeling too hard-done-by. We told him going in that there would be a learning curve. No one blamed him at all for not executing perfectly the first time in. We were trying to be really patient, not getting mad, and explaining or re-explaining mechanics that seemed to be an issue. We finally completed the heroic with a PUG tank, who, though a little snooty, knew her stuff and we downed the boss.

I was feeling frisky after this, so when my sister had had enough wow for the evening, I queued up as a healer. It was… interesting. I took turns having the luck of the irish and the curse of the damned with my dungeon groups.

First up: Heroic Vortex Pinnacle. Overgeared tank who was on top of his stuff. DPS all pulling nice numbers. The druid pulling 10K is sucking hind tit kind of numbers. There’s a mage pushing 20-25K. All 3 of us together weren’t pulling 20k in the guild run (and that was with me doing 8-10K). Everything dies quickly. CC happens when it needs to. Mobs are interrupted. Bad is moved out of. The heavens rejoiced. There were only two deaths in the instance. Once, when the dps pally got a little overzealous and pulled a trash pack. The tank picked everything up promptly after and the group was never in danger again. The second was that the druid didn’t get into the grounding field on the final boss. All in all, I’ll call it a win. I don’t think anyone could have reasonably saved either one of them.

My second run was heroic stonecore. The tank was apparently a little rusty, to use his excuse. The dps was putting out acceptable numbers, but nobody was interrupting anything.  The elemental guy transformed, aoe mayhem ensued. The tank lost a couple mobs and just let the dps tank them I kept everyone alive, but was OOM by the end of the pull. We inform the tank that he needs to keep an eye on the group to make sure they’re not being eaten. He informs the group that he can’t watch the group and do his job at the same time. We should type in party or /yell if something is eating us. The second trash pack goes the same way, with the addition of the dps druid informing the tank that watching the group for adds is part of his job. He threatens to leave and we pull again with much the same results. Finally, we pull the boss, and Corborus is going down as scheduled (crystals come down and all) until the first submerge where 2 dps promptly get one-shotted by the boiling ground insta-kill effect. I try for the save, since the dps left alive puts out pretty good numbers. I pop hero, and think it may be close. One of the dps decides he can run back in and rejoin the fight. In his haste to return, he body pulls the rock flayers we skipped on the way in. Of course they run straight to me because of healing threat the second they are in range. I run past the tank to have him pick them up but he doesn’t. I rocket-jump back across the tanks LoS and again he doesn’t pick them up. Then I die. With the tank being the nearest target, they run to eat him. I wait a few seconds and reincarnate… when they promptly run back to me and kill me again. He had somehow managed to not do a single multi-target move during all of this. Finally, the tank dies, too, and the dps soon after. I attempt to type in party chat that you can’t stand on the boiling ground during submerge, you have to get out of the way or the worm will one-shot you, but in the amount of time it takes me to type the sentence (20 seconds, tops), all 4 of the group have dropped. I get an “you are not in a party” error message. So I try to requeue for another random. Only I can’t, I have to wait another 3 minutes because it’s been too recent. WTF, Blizz? I was in the instance long enough for a stupidity wipe on a boss attempt. All4 members bailed on me. What sense does it make to make me sit and do nothing for 3 minutes before I can try again. I certainly didn’t do anything wrong, why punish me with a timer?

Anyway, I tried again and got ported into the last boss of Grim Batol. That’s never a good sign. I nervously pray for easy points (knowing full well I won’t get them). The tank is squishy as all get out and nobody is executing the fight mechanics, despite their insistence that they know the fight. A dps dies to the first shadow gale. A 2nd dies on the next one. We wipe it. I point out that I won’t be able to heal through the “do it or die” mechanic and that they should opt for “do it” the next time it comes up. The only dps who executed drops group. We ask again if the new dps knows the fight. He says no. The tank pulls anyway. Unsurprisingly, he dies. He drops group. We try again. This time the new dps says he does know the fight, but the tank has pulled while I’m still in the hallway, ghost wolfing towards them as quickly as I can. (He got a rez from the new dps.) I barely manage to arrive in time to save the tank from her own stupid. Everything goes fine until, once again, the same dps pally dies to the shadow gale. Although thankfully no one else died, the 2 remaining dps just don’t have the dps to down the adds. The boss keeps resetting and I OOM. We wipe again. Finally, the group kicks the pally for failing. The final new dps says he doesn’t know the fight, but I explain while I’m on the drake. Everyone executes. The tank is still squishy, but the adds come down, no one dies to shadow gale, and the boss bites it. Hurray for valor points, even if I did sort of have to earn ’em.

I later looked up the DK to see why she was so squishy and I think the character audit feature just about had a heart attack. I feel like an even better healer just by looking at her armory page. Only 3 slots are tank gear (bracers, gloves, and shoulders), the rest is dps or pvp gear. None of it is gemmed, reforged, or enchanted, except for her runeforge (which isn’t even the right one).  Finally, she’s also missing 4 glyphs. Just… why even queue as a tank? Oh, I know: because you can. Blizz really needs to fix this. I know that crit immunity comes from talents, now, but, come on, there’s more to being a tank than being immune to critical strikes. Avoidance and mitigation matter because mana matters. I feel terribly sorry for whatever healer(s) managed to drag it through to that point (assuming it wasn’t ported into the end like I was). If somebody did manage to heal her through those trash packs, my hat is off to you. You have my respect and my sympathy.

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