Their advice is sage, and I’ll confess (they’re priests after all. they compel me), Hannelore’s almost made me spew hot tea out my nose from laughing so hard. I’ll also confess: the last few times I’ve PuG’d with my DK and my Druid, I’ve been a bad bad group member. Well, I mean, I’ve come prepared; I know my role. I don’t Death Grip mobs off the tank; I don’t ninja loot or ninja AFK. But far too often lately, I have been the person who says “Fuck it,” and leaves when things go awry. I haven’t done this while struggling on the last boss; I’ve done it right after the first couple of trash pulls. I haven’t done this with a stream of insults. Rather, I simply say “Listen guys, this isn’t working,” and I drop group and hearth.
Case 1: I’m in the LFG channel on my level 74 DK, hoping for a run through Violet Hold or Old Kingdom, but it’s getting late and no one seems to want to run those dungeons but me. I see someone looking for one more DPS for UK, and I figure, hey, quick and easy instance, so I send a whisper and get an invite. But it seems as though “looking for one more DPS for UK” is a bit of a trap because even after I join, they are still “looking for one more DPS.” Far from “looking for one more DPS for UK then GTG” (which, granted, they didn’t actually say), two of the other three are in Stormwind. So I ask in General for a fifth and a level 75 mage quickly joins us. We summon the others and are, it seems, good to go.
The tank — a level 70 DK — admits he’s never done the instance before, but we reassure him that it’s an easy zone and that we’ll explain the encounters as we go. As we gather at the base of the stairs and prepare for the first pull, the mage asks, “Can you please mark?” The tank replies, “Lol, I’m a Frost DK, I don’t have to mark.” K’s already in bed, and I am hesitant to wake him just to ask “Babe? Am I right that Frost isn’t really an AOE-tanking spec?” So I /assist the tank to take what I hope will be his first target and when he engages the first mobs — a group of 2 — I send in my pet and run up the stairs ready to Plague Strike, Icy Touch, Blood Strike, Blood Strike, Scourge Strike like a good little girl. I haven’t hit my second Blood Strike and it’s apparent that not only does the Frost DK fail at AOE tanking, he fails at any tanking. In fact, he’s dead, although the tree druid still standing by the zone-in could be part of the reason. One of the mobs is lunging for the mage and so I death grip it back to me, dark command the other one, and manage to tank and dps and (thank you Death Strike and Lifeblood) live. “Whoa,” says the Frost DK. “I got pwned.” The healer comes out of his stupor and rezzes the tank, and we venture forward.
There are two encounters at the top of the stairs — one left and one right — and a patrol. But without waiting to assess the pathing, the tank rushes in and grabs everything: both encounters and the pat. Now sometimes it happens: you pull more mobs than you intended. And if everyone stays calm, if everyone focus-fires, bad pulls can be rectified. But the tank flails about, and while I tried to work my way methodically through the mobs, the AOE of my Unholy spec means that I have the attention of a lot of angry Vrykul. And as I have geared Khiiya in crit and strength but very little stamina and no defense, my plate armor only provides the smallest buffer before I am dead. I rez and run back, and while it is apparent that this will be no “quick and easy” UK run, I think I’ll give it one last try.
We regroup and rebuff and the little Frost DK runs right into the same mobs with the same gusto, the only difference being this time, shouting, “Khiiya, you tank some of these!” “Listen guys, this isn’t working,” I respond. I drop group. I hearth. I go to bed.
Case 2: I’m in the LFG channel on my level 74 Druid, hoping for a run through Violet Hold or Old Kingdom, but it’s getting late and no one seems to want to those dungeons but me. I see someone looking for a healer for Nexus, and I figure, hey, quick and easy instance, so I send a whisper and get an invite. The group is comprised of two hunters (one 77 and one 72), a feral druid (72), and a DK (73). The druid is in kitty form and makes no move to switch to bear, so I assume the DK is tanking.
And indeed, as we head down the first hallway, the DK is in the lead and charges into the first mob. Lifebloom Lifebloom Lifebloom. This is easy. The next fight is the same. Lifebloom Lifebloom Lifebloom.
When we get to the first Arcane whatever with her puppy companions, the DK says “hunter pets tank,” and things get rough. His level 72 kitty has aggro but less than 8K health and requires a fair amount of heals. I’m next on the hate list, and the other mobs in the encounter run straight to me. Good little healer runs it right to the tank, err, melee. Everyone’s taking damage now, and rather than healing one tank, I’m healing seven toons — five group members and two pets.
“Wow, great heals,” says one of the hunters. “Thanks,” I respond, but I’m frowning because “great heals” means they’re going to continue this silliness. And sure enough, it seems neither the DK nor the druid have any intention of taunting or tanking.
As we move through the hallway with the Horde Clerics and Commanders encased in ice, the multi-mob encounters prove too much, and we wipe. I rez and run back, and I ask the group, “So, who is tanking?” No response. “I am getting aggro on every pull,” I add. “I have Growl on,” responds the level 72 hunter. “Well clearly that’s not sufficient as we just wiped to trash. Can the DK or the druid tank?” I retort. “Dude, we’re DPS. The hunter’s pet is the tank,” says the DK. “Just heal the pets, jeez.” I want to respond with something debilitatingly witty, like “if the hunter’s pet is the tank, then I recommend you have your bandages be your healer,” but instead I simply say “Listen guys, this isn’t working,” and I drop group. I hearth. I return to the LFG channel and find a group that does DTK and VH flawlessly. Then I go to bed.