The WoW gods have a sense of humor.
If there was any doubt, this morning's LFD run with Tomakan dispelled it. I was sitting on just a hair over 51000 XP, and all I had to do was breathe hard at a couple of the easier Nesingwary beasts and I'd make L34, safely out of the grasp of Gnomer. What was I doing instead? Working on Engineering, naturally.
The alert that a group has been found appeared, I put away my Engineering gear, and zoned in.
You have got to be kidding me.
"If I'd have known that I'd end up here, I'd have gone and bashed a few monsters to get to L34," I said to the group.
The Night Elf Druid was amused. She massaged Tomakan's shoulders and gave him a few hugs.
And naturally, the tank dropped. Ah, Gnomer, the Ahn'kahet of lowbie pugs.
The time spent waiting around in the instance for a replacement tank was longer than the initial queue itself, so the rest of us began to slowly move down the entry ramp, taking it one or two monsters at a time. By the time we got to the first intersection, a tank ported in and we resumed a regular pace with the tank leading.
Well, sort of.
Seems that our Night Elf Rogue decided that we weren't moving quickly enough, and he started pulling mobs all by himself. To complicate things, the tank had to go AFK for a few minutes, so the first time the Rogue pulled a mob, we didn't have the tank available. We got lucky that first time, but the second time the tank went AFK for a moment the Rogue did it again, and luckily for us the tank came back at just the right time to save us from a wipe.
But I was not putting up with this. I whispered the tank what she wanted to do the next time the Rogue went, well, you know.
"LOL, I don't care if he dies, he pulled it."
"Fine with me," I replied.
Fortunately --or maybe unfortunately-- the Rogue decided he had to go. So while we were in the final trash pull right before "Mr. Electric Justice"* he up and says "Bye!" and drops group. There were upwards of eight in the trash pull, and going one player short was a recipe for disaster. I was sure that the Rogue timed it so that we would have a wipe, otherwise he'd have left in between pulls. Too bad for him, the tank handled aggro well, and all I had to focus on was her. We survived the trash pull, got a replacement Human Rogue, and finished the run.
There were plenty of times when the run could have gone really bad, but we got lucky. Well, there's also the matter of having players who know their job in your group, and letting the tank do hers.
Contrast that with a couple of runs of Scarlet Monastery yesterday. Tomakan ported in almost immediately after selecting the LFD tool, and I found out very quickly that the previous healer had left after a tank/healer fight. "I hate those," I said while buffing people.
This run turned out to be the Library, so I knew what to expect. However, it seems the tank didn't.
The group had already cleared the Huntsman's area and about 1/3 of the trash leading up to the librarian prior to my porting in, but when we started going forward the tank ran right up the middle rather than trying to clear the wings first. He started getting overwhelmed, and I was doing my best to keep him upright, but the Hunter and Mage behind me kept pulling aggro away from the tank. Then in the middle of the pull, the tank ran out the door behind me while I was trying to cast Holy Light on him (The spell failed because he left LOS.) This left one DPS to pick up the slack and causing the Scarlet Buddies to aggro on the one person actively casting spells nearby: me.
As the tank ran out the door, he also went out of healing range. I tried running back into range and casting Holy Light on the tank, but it's too late. The tank dropped, and I then focused on trying to a) keep myself upright and b) keep the melee DPS upright.
"WTH happened?" one of the other DPS asked, just as he bit it.
"The whole room got pulled," I said as I watched my last Holy Light come too late.
And naturally, during the runback the tank dropped. So did another pugger from his server, one of the two that was having aggro issues. (For the record, they were both from the Thrall server. Make of that what you will.)
The tank that replaced this one was much better; she knew how to clear the rooms, and when to wait on everyone else. Once the Library finished up, there wasn't any question in my mind. She queued the two of us up, and I went on a repeat of the Library with her. She didn't really need to say much during the run; we just simply worked well together. When one of the next group of DPS asked if I could handle the Healing, I said sure. "I've already done before with this tank." (For the record, the DPS was annoyed that I followed that tank and healed her first before the other DPS during the courtyard run. Come on, I know the rule: healer keeps the tank alive and vice versa. Tank dies, we wipe. Plain and simple.)
*Just what is it with that boss saying "Electric Justice!" as it attacks? "Electric Justice" sounds like an 80's Metal band, like a competitor of Spinal Tap or something.