My priest snagged a pug for Underbog on Saturday morning. I’d have preferred to tackle Steamvaults since I still had a quest to finish there, but the UB pug needed a healer and I wanted the xp, so I signed on.
We had a paladin tank who mentioned immediately that he’d been a healer up until he decided to respec that morning. We had a warlock, a warrior, and a hunter for dps. All in all, it was a pretty good group. I didn’t notice too many issues other than the hunter not following the kill order. At one point, I asked for clarification of the kill order and the paladin restated it. Didn’t really help. Thankfully we had enough dps (and I had enough healing!) that it wasn’t a problem, but I still wished the hunter were following directions. (I’m a stickler for that, I guess.)
It had been such a good group that afterward, the paladin asked if anyone would like to stay on and run Shadow Labs. “Sure!” I said. The dps warrior had to go, but the paladin was able to bring in another warlock from his guild. I noticed that both warlocks now partied with us were in the same guild with him. Cool.
The first pull in Shadow Labs was messy. Aggro all over the place meant some frantic healing on my part. Prayer of mending (which I lurrrrve and wish they weren’t changing) bounced all over, and I tossed out enough big heals otherwise to run out of mana before the encounter was done. While drinking to regain my mana, I said that I might not quite have the heals to cope with this instance, but that I’d do my best. The paladin tank whispered and said he thought I was doing great. He reminded me that he had just respecced from a healing build himself, so he knew good healing when he saw it. It was nice to get the compliment, but I was still worried. It was going to be annoying to have to drink between every pull, and I was definitely going to have to do that if the dps couldn’t let the tank keep aggro.
We worked our way up the curved hallway to the room with Ambassador Hellmaw. Right away, the tank accidentally pulled one of the groups plus one of the Fel Overseers, but somehow, we survived. We took the next pulls one group at a time and everything felt fairly controlled. The only thing that threw me was that the tank took us right into the Hellmaw fight after the last group pull. In guild runs, we always pulls the last group as far back as possible so that we don’t aggro Hellmaw until after we’ve all had a chance to mana up. (He then patrols while we ready ourselves for the fight.) I pulled out my shadowfiend to get some mana back and all survived aside from the tank. I apologized as I rezzed him, but mentioned that I was below half mana when the fight started. “That’s because I didn’t give you time to get it back!” he said. Er, yeah…
In clearing the room with Blackheart the Inciter, we wiped a couple times. Some of this was due to the hunter having trapping issues. I understand, it’s not easy sometimes. When my traps fail, I kite the mob as well as I can, often taking a bit of damage before I can get another trap down. This hunter just stood there and said, “heal.” You’ve got to be kidding me. After a few instances of this, I gave my usual spiel: “If you notice your health getting low, there is no need to remind me to heal. I am watching everyone’s health, and chances are, I’m either trying to heal you or I’m having to focus on the tank, so you may have to heal yourself.” I was very polite and did not direct it toward anyone.
Next pull, the hunter broke his own trap. “Heal me,” he said. I let him die. While I was resurrecting him, I said his name directly and repeated my previous statement: you do not need to tell me to heal. (I also shouted to my monitor: “Grr! Stop breaking your own traps! L2macro!”)
“KK,” he said.
Finally, we cleared the room and it was “time for fun.” Blackheart the Inciter. We did wipe once on this and everyone ran back except the hunter. Now he was really starting to wear on me. When we all got back inside, the hunter said, “rez me.” /sigh
I also had the paladin whispering in my ear at this point. He mentioned that the times I’d been killed while clearing out the previous room, it had been the hunter’s fault. He told me that in his guild, they had Shadow Labs “on farm,” so it was very strange for him to be wiping on these bosses. “It’s a pug,” I said. “I always expect the unexpected.” We finally downed Blackheart and moved on to Vorpil. This is where things got really rough.
“North north south,” was the instruction from the paladin. Ohhh. So, when I run this with the guild, we usually just run north a few times and by then, he’s dead. I once pugged this on heroic and the group apparently preferred to run it north, south, then north, because when I ran north and then north again (and died), someone asked me if I’d ever run the instance before. Jackass. So, I was glad this tank clarified. Well, I thought it was clear, anyway. Our hunter? Not so much. While we all backed Vorpil toward the north part of the hall, the hunter stayed where he was, so when he pulled aggro, he pulled Vorpil south again. Arrgh… so, we wiped.
Again, everyone but the hunter did the corpse run. /glower
During the corpse run, the paladin explained once again what the strategy was. He explained in more detail where we should run and why. He asked the hunter directly if he understood and the hunter said, “ok.” So, we ran it again. North, north, south, … I wasn’t sure whether I should run north or south for this fourth leg, so I guessed north and was immediately out of range for healing and then blasted to tiny pieces by Vorpil. Another wipe. Everybody released except for the hunter, so I told him to release, too. I told him it was good manners to run if the rezzers had to run. “KK,” he said and released. He then proceeded to get lost on the way back to the instance. (I should have just resurrected him.)
So, we were all back inside and almost ready for the pull. Folks were working their way around to the north side of Vorpil. The paladin was more than halfway up the hall and one of the warlocks was standing about where the hunter had been fighting in the previous pulls, just outside of aggro distance. I can’t remember what the paladin said to his guildmate, but it was something like, “don’t stand that close unless you intend to tank him.” The warlock said something like, “maybe I will.” There was a brief pause and then the warlock pulled Vorpil. WTF. Wipe. Again.
During this corpse run, the paladin whispered to me, “I am so sorry about that. We were just messing around. It won’t happen again.” Hadn’t we wiped enough? I wasn’t irritated until I realized they had done it on purpose. Accidental wipes happen sometimes someone gets too close to the boss, believe me, I know.
“It’s fine,” I said.
“I just didn’t want you to think we were noobs,” said the paladin. “We do have this place on farm, you know.”
To continue the comedy of errors, when I was running back behind Vorpil this next time (while typing and not paying attention) I decided to skirt him to the right instead of left, got too close, pulled him… aaaaargh. Dead. Wipefest 2008, ladies and gents.
Ok, so we decided to take one more serious attempt. Explanations were provided once again (in case the hunter forgot, I guess), and the paladin asked him, “do you understand.” “KK,” said the hunter. “Do you speak English?” asked the paladin.
Wow. The hunter said yes, he did, but … wow.
I asked for some final clarifications. “North, north, south, then…?”
“He should be dead.”
“He wasn’t last time though. For the fourth leg, should I run north or south?”
“We should have him to 50% before the first port.”
“Right, but after running north, north, and then south… which way after that?”
“Pulling.” What the hell.
We DID get him down to 50% on the first leg this time. Unfortunately, the hunter forgot to move north after we were ported to Vorpil the first time and we wiped once again. The paladin passed leadership to me. He whispered, “You can kick the hunter if you want to.”
“No thanks,” I said, passing leader back to him. Again, what the hell?? Why did he want me to do it? The tank whispered that he didn’t think we were going to be able to kill Vorpil with this hunter in the group. I agreed, but said it would probably be nicer to just break group and reform than to totally kick him, so that’s what we decided to do. Unfortunately, this also meant the instance reset. Alas…
When the group reformed, both warlocks said they had to go. The tank pulled in a shaman and a hunter from his guild, plus a rogue who was in the LFG. He gave us his guild ventrilo information. Interesting. I’ve never used voice chat for pugs. I’ve heard of a lot of women avoiding it because they feel like they’re treated differently once folks realize they’re female. But then, maybe this tank was female for all I knew. I decided to go for it. I joined them in vent.
The tank very definitely wasn’t female. In fact, not only was he male, he made it pretty clear in dealing with his guildmates (and the rest of us) that he was the alpha male. (Side note: I was the only gal in the group.) He was nice enough, there was just a lot of posturing. He once again reminded me that he was formerly a healer and had just now respecced to tanking, that the guild had Shadow Labs “on farm” (I really thought it was funny that he kept saying this), and he also mentioned that his main was the main tank in Kara for his guild and that this was his tenth level 70 character. Heh. Good for you, bro. He also had a bit of a tone. At times, I felt that I was grouping with Gary Cole as the boss from Office Space:
“Uhh, we have sort of a problem here. Yeah, you apparently didn’t keep the blue square trapped during the fight. Mm, yeah, you see, we need to keep the blue square trapped so it doesn’t go kill the healer. Did you see the blue square I put above the mob? … Yeah, if you could just go ahead and make sure you do that from now on that would be great.”
Hehehe, ok, it wasn’t that bad, but it got a tad annoying at times. I’ll spare you another long play by play, but the short version is that we killed Hellmaw with no problem, but Blackheart the Inciter kicked our asses. We wiped on him no less than four times before the group managed a strategy (standing nearly on top of the tank at all times) that worked. (Again, “we have slabs on farm, don’t know why we wiped so much, I main tank Kara for the guild, etc.” Hehe…) We got Vorpil down in just one shot, so that was a relief.
For the Murmur fight, he instructed me stand out in the open and asked me not to run in the tent if I got Murmur’s touch — instead, I should bubble and heal myself or levitate to reduce damage on the fall. Er, ok. So, I tried to do just that, but I actually wasn’t up in the air long enough to hit either spell. I took a lot of damage, and through vent, I heard, “Priest, I’m gonna need you to go ahead and heal yourself now.” O RLY? If I ever said I was out of mana, he said, “Go ahead and drink a pot.” Already have, it’s on cooldown. “Go ahead and use your shadowfiend.” Again, already have, it’s on cooldown. Did he think I wasn’t thinking of these things? Anyway, we did get Murmur down on the second try.
All minor annoyances aside, it was a pretty good time and I managed to get nearly a full level (from 68 to just shy of 69) out of it. I got some good practice at healing, too. Healing will be a lot less stressful with guild runs, but pugging really teaches one to improvise.