So tonight instead of just leveling my little Shammy twins, I sort of lead a run through Stockades from the back of the group. Yeppers, sure enough, acting as healer, I added guidance on what goes on in that specific dungeon (since I’d been there a time or two) and once in a while added in some instancing tips.
I’m sure you’re going to say, pfft… she’s no expert, she’s not even level 80. To that I say… meh. There’s still ground rules to instancing that apply whether you’re in the Deadmines or in Naxx (ok granted when you’re running behind a level 80 Death Knight the rule ARE a little different, but bear with me). For folks that have been playing WoW or any MMO for a while, the basics of instancing are practically instinct now. In some long forgotten instance trip someone fell in the lava and everyone had to wait while that person did a corpse run. Knowing that lava = death is just something that’s etched into memory.
Believe it not, there’s still folks starting up WoW for the first time. They haven’t seen BRD, they haven’t been to the Outlands, they’ve just purchased their first copy of WoW, installed it on their computer and now they’re running like mad to catch up. It can really suck being the one catching up. I mean you don’t have the luxury of learning right along with the first wave, you just kind of get nagged at and then laughed at if you forget what you were nagged about.
The cool part is that tonight I kind of got to give some folks an idea of how an instance is supposed to go down. That instances can be fun when there’s someone there that’s either prepared for the instance or that knows the instance well. Not to mention someone that’s brave enough to ask “who’s the tank” and stubborn enough to remind everyone “no no, he said he was the tank, THE TANK PULLS.”
Ok, I know, I can be a little harsh on folks in a dungeon. But only a little harsh. Trust me, even in the level 60 pugs folks can be totally asshats. The harsh reality is that for the most part, folks can spend a whole lot of time playing WoW solo. These days with fewer and fewer folks even bothering with the old world content, a lot of folks don’t really see much instance action as they level. The next thing they know they’re pugged into a group of jerks who’d blame a wipe on a saint. Talk about sink or swim. That’s kind of why I like to be a little more informative when I’m going through the lower level stuff. I’m hoping, really hoping, that if nothing else the other party members walk away with more than just phat lewtz.
So I ran behind the group through The Stockades in Stormwind twice, once with Enecreep and again with Elecreep. I pretty much just hung back and threw heals and helpful totems here and there. No I wasn’t just slacking, it’s a level 20 instance and I was there with a 62 Pally, a 54 Mage and a 44 Warrior. All I really had to worry about was keeping the level 20 Hunter and his bear alive, which I did so gladly. Granted the Pally threw a number of heals in as well. For the most part I was ducking into and out of spaces to throw a heal on and then back out to try to dissipate some heal aggro.
After The Stockades the Warrior and the Mage also had some quests in Zul’Farrak. They weren’t to stoked about doing it without a fourth person. My Shammys are still way too low for ZF and the Hunter who was at about the same level.
I’ve been through ZF enough times that I can practically do the instance in my sleep and volunteered to fill in as the 4th player with my Death Knight Teufeltanz. Since these guys had ‘helped me out’ (hehe) by running me though the Stockades, I figured it’d be the least I could do. Not to mention the fact that I just wanted to see how they’d perform when we took things up a notch. I know I’m cruel, what can I say.
Before we left though I did warn the Paladin that without a designated healer, he may have to throw a heal or two here or there. He was ok with that. So we were off. I logged onto Tuefeltanz and brought her out of Archerus and set a course for Tanaris. The Mage was able to get the other 3 party members to Theramor via a portal, so unfortunately that made me the straggler. Once I got to Tanaris the typical pre instance cat herding began (need to sell, need to repair, need some reagents, and so on). Finally we started making our way to the instance.
Once there the first thing I asked was “Ok, who’s gonna be tank”. In my mind that was kind of a trick question, I figured I’d pull tanking duty, but the Warrior figured that if he’d tanked the Stockades he could tank Zul’Farrak. Yeah by this time in the night I’m feeling a bit loopy and malicious so I say “go for it.”
Ok yeah I almost felt bad when the Warrior died on the second pull. After that the Death Knight with 2,000 more hit points took the lead and no one else died over the course of the instance. Ok, ok, yeah we were pushing out luck a bit when my ghoul decided that it wanted to go out and make new friends (I figured I’d set it to aggressive and see if that’d help any, I wouldn’t recommend it). Granted though it was hilarious when the Mage used the Dog Whistle to summon a Tracking hound to help protect her on the off chance. Things also took a turn for utter hilarious when the Palladin used one of his Mechanical Yeti charges and just let the little sucker loose.
Ok I have to say that this particular instance of the Zul’Farrak Ziggurat event was by far the MOST FUN EVER. I’m going to be giggling for days at the thought of that Mechanical Yeti laying the hurt down on some sand trolls. Not to mention the laughs when I announced over vent that my bastard pet was making friends again. >.< No really I have nothing but love for my Death Knight ghoul, we go waaay back. But really every once in a while, I’ve got to wonder what happens to all those brains he eats. They obviously are not traveling north if you know what I mean.
Overall I’ve got to say that I’m really proud of the group I ran with last night. They do have potential. I mean hey I did manage to convince them to let the tank pull AND that they can use the push to talk feature in vent. Trust me, this particular item is ALL WIN (almost even more so than the ‘letting the tank pull’ thing, almost). I mean really I feel for the guys, they’re listening to my squeaky voice in vent, probably thinking that I’m 12 or so, AND having that tiny voice lead the way. Ok yeah, I’ve got to admit, all of the studying I’ve done on playing Death Knights, the gear and gems I aquired for Teufeltanze and the time I spent agonizing over picking just the right talent points that would keep me and those behind me alive, probably lend a little bit of weight to my words.
Oh well until next time.