Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Joys (Hahahaha!) of Pugging

That was a sarcastic pathetic whimper of a laugh there, by the way.

Boon is out of town, so I decided that my Tuesday was best spent trying to get in some raids on those characters of mine that never get to see the nonlight of Naxxramas. As opposed to cleaning the house or something.

First up: Keiji needs badges. The likelihood of her getting into a VoA run without another DK that needs the chestpiece, IF it drops, is so miniscule that I'm just going to farm up the 80 badges to buy the chest token.

So I advertise myself for any heroic, and 10 man Naxxramas.

I get swooped up for a 10m Nax, almost full except for tanks. Okay, cool. It's a pug, I don't expect completely smooth sailing, but it sounds like they're all familiar enough with the fights and the like.

I'm a little nervous, since though I've been in Naxxramas enough times healing and DPSing to do it blindfolded (I can probably still tell you how many pulls it takes to get to Gargolmar in Hellfire Ramparts), I've never tanked in there before.

So I immediately hit up the other tank in tells, letting him know that while I know the fights in general, I've never TANKED them before and could he kindly let me know anything particular about the tanking aspects that I may not be aware of. He's cool with it. He only needs ONE trinket out of the whole instance, so anything tank-like that drops, it's mine, all mine!

We hit up military first. After one wipe on Raz because I was learning the whole 'charming the people thing, when do I use bone shield, when do I ask for a taunt, when, what, huh?', we down Raz. We down Gothik.

We have a few wipes on the four horsemen. Why, you ask? Because unknown to me, there's only 2 healers. And the unholy DK in full epic DPS gear is doing barely more damage than me, the unholy DK in mostly epic and some blues tanking gear (I knew this part). So the paladin MT goes holy, saying he can heal himself while tanking the guy, and I'd take the 'burn first' group with all the DPS. The RL says we're not going to switch up front, but just burn straight through. With most of the raid doing a little less than 2k damage (and one doing barely more than 1k, granted, he's off in the back tanking one of the mobs back there), I find this an unlikely win scenario.

Surprise! I'm right. We wind up with like, 7 marks before the Thane (and most of the DPS and the other tank) goes down.

Okay. Fine. The boomkin (who is top DPS) says he'll bring in his holy paladin just for the fight, doesn't mind saving the paladin to the raid, etc. A few more wipes, the back goes down, the RL wants to try one more 'no swap', and then finally I'm tanking by myself with the resto druid on me, the paladin MT is on Thane, and we do the swap method, and we win.

Yegads. Oh... guess how many tanking items dropped? Yeah. None. We swap out a few people, get in a nice warlock that pushes mid-2k dps, and we continue to go.

We go to Construct next. To my COMPLETE surprise, we down Patchwerk in one try. Yeah. Never pictured THAT happening.

We get to Globbulus, and one shot him too. The DK keeps dropping his poison cloud in the raid, but other than THAT, no problem.

Then we go towards Gluth. Now, let me say, when we started, we had two mages. By the time we got to Gluth, we had no mages. We had: roguex2, DK dps, warlockx2, boomkin, tree, holy pal, prot pal, DK tank.

We ask the DK if he can kite the adds. He says he can, sure, but doesn't like doing it.

Then when asked if he knows how to do it, he says no. The RL starts to ask if anyone else feels comfortable doing it... and a few of us point out that he's the ONLY class capable of doing it in the raid. Bonus that he has desecration.

Surprisingly, we get Gluth almost down when the DK dies and we lose it. Then the MT has to go. We swap a few more people. Then the holy paladin says he has to go. And it gets called.

No tank drops for Keiji.

I did get asked by the other DK: u unholy tank? can u do that? (I'm paraphrasing and making it more understandable.)

I exit Naxxramas, they're going to TRY again today. I, oh so unfortunately, have work. I spot Vialora outside of Nax. He says he's in a Nax25 pug. I ask if they have room for a warlock? They do!

I join. Through cajolery, we get a few more KoUers in the mix. The RL is armory'ing everyone. Everyone there is in almost full epics, tier 8, etc. This is going to be GREAT, right?

Spider goes down with only one hitch on the Grand Widow, but we two shot her. I'm on the low end of the Recount at about 2800 dps. The top end ranged in the high 3k, low 4k. This is going to go GREAT!

We go to Plague next. Noth no problem... and then we hit Heigan. O. M. G. I don't think I've ever seen so many wipes on Heigan since KoU first went in on 10man. The tanks kept pulling him too close to the stage, so the healers couldn't heal, so the tanks died. Or the tank would be too far away, so we'd move forward to heal/dps, and then the tank would suddenly be too close again. Like, is he backing up on an S curve through the room or something?

I think we wiped 4 times before we FINALLY got Heigan down. Loatheb was a clean kill (with an amusing 'pre-attempt half-wipe' that happened when someone ran in and aggro'd Loatheb when half the raid was still on the bridge outside of his room). (Granted, at the time, not so amusing considering how many times we all just died on Heigan.)

And then the end. We go to Military next. And we cannot get Raz down. Can. Not. Do. It. The 'lead' spriest wouldn't say when she was starting, she'd be told 'when you're ready', and instead of saying anything, would just slip down there and start casting. Then the other spriest would have to rush to pick up his target. And then the one would pull Raz too far to one side, so the other couldn't get him with their MC target. And people were hitting the MC'd targets with AoE damage? And the call-offs weren't good so the MC targets were taking tons of damage. And they weren't telling when one was being released, or weren't releasing on a regular schedule, because he'd be on one, and then suddenly both he and that target were running at the raid. And the healers weren't keeping the MC targets alive, and we'd run out of MC targets to tank him.

So we called it. Kikidas did get wrist and helm out of there, so not a complete loss on my part. Yet again, another one where they said to get in there again today. Alas, alas, unless I'm inconcievably not part of our Ulduar 25 run tonight, busy for that too.

For the final part of my evening, I went as Keiji to a SUCCESSFUL 10man OS guild-run. No drakes, but meh.

Unfortunately, didn't get the bag of spoils. Those badges would have gone a long way towards my chest piece.

So once again, the joys of pugging are rediscovered. To me, the BIGGEST mind-blow was the UBER Nax25 run that turned into a wipe fest. I think personally it was a bit of 'familiarity breeds contempt'. Everyone knows it well, but slightly different, and with us all KNOWING, no one was leading the attempts with 'tank him here' or whatever, or healing assignments, or anything. The most we got was 'you're MT' to one of the warriors.

So... top five signs that your PUG isn't all it's shaped up to be (and given the already low expectations of a PUG, these are pretty bad!). These aren't in any particular order. Because how do you order these beauties?

5. One of your six DPS is barely (or not at all) outdamaging one of your tanks.
4. The raid leader doesn't vet anyone, just invites people, and then later on asks: 'Does anyone...'
3. You're heading into Gluth and don't have any class capable of kiting the chow. And the RL doesn't notice.
2. The raid leader insists on doing something, when it's painfully obvious that it won't work.
1. The raid leader first says that there isn't going to be vent. And then after one of the DPS finally offers their vent channel, doesn't want to join it. (Or lead.)

As a top five list, it's pretty pathetic, I realize. And it's largely based on my experiences from yesterday, shockingly enough.

In other news... I got Ironman on Kvasira. *rawr*flex*

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