PUGging Away

My Teddys Hitchhiking sign by Michael Spencer

My Teddy's Hitchhiking sign by Michael Spencer

I spent the weekend taking full advantage of the Dungeon Finder tool. It’s been a lot of fun.

Most of the time was spent running on my 30ish priest – Scarlet Monastery and Razorfen Downs over and over again. It was usually pretty quick to get a group together and most of the groups were good ones. For these low-level instances the healer paradox comes in – good groups make healing boring and bad ones make it overwhelming. It feels right to be healing on a priest again. If Cataclysm takes a while to come out, I may well go level Flint through dungeons as well.

My rogue went through Scarlet Monastery Graveyard twice. It was one of those “Everyone grab your own mob and tank it!” runs. Pretty chaotic but the runs were over fairly quickly. I think I’m going to stick with questing on him.

I wanted to say that I’ve tanked on all four tanking classes, so I geared up my death knight and signed up for regular Nexus and Utgarde Keep. My thinking was that if I screwed up, it likely wouldn’t be fatal to the group. I only did two runs, but I feel that I’m getting a solid grasp of basic death knight tanking. My worst screw-up was a triple group pull in Nexus and thanks to AOEs and cooldowns, the group survived. The best death knight frost tanking guide I’ve found is Swam’s on Tankspot. The layout is a little confusing but the information is solid.

I only have one of the new instances to go on Tristam. Pit of Saron was just about the right level of challenge – tough but not overwhelming once we figured out what we were doing. I’m looking forward to Halls of Reflection. We had to PUG two DPS for Pit of Saron, but after getting rid of an obnoxious player -”I don’t know what the bosses do or where they are, but you should definitely be chain-pulling everything!” – we had a good time.

I’ve run across some incompetence, stupidity, and possible malfeasance in the PUGs I’ve done, but so far nothing serious. The worst was a paladin tank without righteous fury or consecrate. A few people politely suggested that he use them, at which point he left group. It was prime time, so getting a replacement took seconds. I may be more concerned about ninjas when I run max-level instances for gear but for now it’s just fun and I’m not stressing.

A number of people have commented that the Dungeon Finder makes WoW even more solo-friendly. This will doubtless affect the role of guilds. I’m still waiting to see how it all plays out. At this point, I’m looking for more of a solo experience so it works out fine for me. I hope that Blizzard has something up their sleeves to encourage more social interaction in WoW because this pushes the role of other players to that of supporting NPCs with random skill/gear levels.

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