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“Use the Force Luke”

February 23, 2009

I am a Star Wars nerd, my parents used to limit me to watching the original Episode 4 (A New Hope) once a day when I was a kid. “What has this got to do with WoW?” I hear you ask. Well, as it turns out quite a bit. When Obi-wan is training Luke he is told to trust his feelings because his eyes can deceive him. This works for WoW just as well when dealing with other players, especially in group mechanics. For the past week I’ve been trying to get a group together to go to the Nexus, I have 4 quests there, so that’s 160k XP just from hand-ins without the XP from the mobs and bosses in there (nothing in the way of Shammy gear from drops so not fussed about loots). I’ve had a near miss where I got invited to a group by a Death Knight, he afk’d, gave me leader without asking or saying a thing and I think I was supposed to go find the rest of the group, without knowing if he was DPS or Tank (DPS as it turns out). That group didn’t get off the ground.

Well, yesterday I get invited by a different Death Knight (after getting the “Healer?” whisper despite my comments saying DPS on numerous occasions). I accept and then we grab another Elemental Shammy, a Resto Shammy and a Draenei mage, so 4 Draenei and a Night Elf, we are hot! The Death Knight (who is DPS) suggests that he can tank, now, this is where alarm bells start to ring in my head, ones I probably should have listened to. He has under 10k health, now I know that this might sound a little Elitist, but I believe a little bit of elitism isn’t necessarily in and of itself a bad thing. I have a level 60 Death Knight and our guild’s main tank is a Death Knight so we’ve had plenty of discussions. I reason to myself that a Death Knight should still be able to tank even in a DPS spec because they are that way inclined and I’ve seen it done before. Resto Shammy thought we were going to UK but when summoned to Nexus did us a favour and stuck around, props to the player there.

So, a group assembled we run on in and go through the first set of trash pulls with not much incident, however, the “tank” is taking an assload of damage. We go up the ramp towards the first boss and wipe on the Mage Hunter and dogs patrol, how I have no idea but complaints start filtering through about our tank getting two-shotted and that’s not enough time for heals (I’ll agree, I’ve been in a group with my Holy priest in Mechanar when a DPS warrior (said he was tank) turned up to tank and was getting two-shotted by mobs, you don’t have time to cast a thing). I politely ask if he is using Frost Presence and he says he is (I have my doubts). I ask in guild chat about DKs and what I should be expecting to see, Roop chimes in with some points that I whisper to the tank in our group hoping to improve his performance rather than further add to the chastisement in party chat.

I get spanked after getting AOE’d, my own fault but the tank is having trouble keeping aggro from the group of casters but we make it to the first boss. I already know how this is going to go, I’ve burnt through an Ankh already and we’re now waiting for the boss who divides into 3 and has a random aggro. Unperturbed we give it a shot, we wipe. So, ress and try again, another wipe, the tank is trying to keep aggro on all three of the bosses at once with his health pool that is only 3k higher than mine. He asks us to hold off DPS, I tell him they have random aggro, people are getting impatient and then the Death Knight says that he “doesn’t have any tanking gear” /facepalm.

I should have listened to my feelings from the start and saved myself the repair bill. Third attempt is another wipe, Death Knight leaves group and before I can try to keep the rest together and just find a decent tank I am all alone. At least I picked up the book for one of the quests. In part I believe my earlier assumption that a Death Knight can tank even in a DPS spec is correct, however, I’d have expected him (perhaps unfairly) to have a set of tanking gear or at least a few swap out parts. I am still not sure he had Frost Presence up as his aggro generation was low, he spent most of the time without his Ghoul as well.

After talking with Roop about me possibly respeccing Resto to get some more groups I have decided against it for now, after all, doesn’t matter if you have an awesome healer if the tank sucks and it seems at the moment as if the main problems arising from pugs are poor tanks. I have a level 5 druid that I was going to spec Kitty (hence her name being a play on Kitty) but I may level up and go tanking (if I can stomach the grind from 5-80 and the gearing process over time). Seems like there is plenty of gap in the market for those willing to take one for the team and play either the healer or the tank for groups.

I did eventually complete Nexus after I got a quick run through with Guildies, I also did Old Kingdom and Azjol-noob, totem utility is making me happy and I feel of use to my groups more than before. I also had a bit of an hour off and ran myself through Deadmines and the Stockades for a few quests and some cloth. All the greens I got ended up on the Auction House so hopefully I can grab a few gold off those to help my epic flyer fund.

Didn’t play at all on Saturday or Friday night so I ended my weekend 4% off 73 and still running around Dragonblight, I have my Wyrmrest tabard now though and have cleared out even more stuff from my bags after expanding my bank capacity. I don’t know why or how you accumulate so much complete crap in the bank and then have such a hard time justifying just getting rid of it.

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