Well, the WoW-verse seems to have righted itself once more, as crowds in Org and Stormwind are back to pre-D3 release levels (roughly 50 or so on an average night in an evenly split server). I suppose you could post a list on a wall and throw darts at which is the best explanation why the crowd is back and you'd have as good a guess as any pundit, but it wouldn't shock me if some folks burned through D3 and are simply back to their normal routine.
I've been avoiding roving bands of Rated BGers and have been back to leveling my Affliction Warlock, Adelwulf (thanks for the kick in the pants, Cynwise!), and as soon as I hit L60 I noticed a change in the ol' Furball. There weren't any new spells to be learned, but suddenly attacks started having a bit more punch. At first I thought it was due to the buying spree on heirlooms that I went on*, but when I swapped them out for Outland Clown Gear (tm) I discovered there wasn't much of a dropoff at all.
I guess the tuning for Locks has finally begun to kick in.
In a moment of weakness, I decided to queue up for a random Outland instance so I could spend the intervening time farming herbs and leveling Alchemy. That kind of backfired, because I found myself in Hellfire Ramparts before I could make even one circuit of Hellfire Peninsula.**
One thing about a Lock --especially an Affliction Warlock-- is that you're used to bringing up the rear in the damage meters in a regular 5-man instance. By the time those DoTs kick into gear, the mob is gone. The bosses will at least stick around long enough for a Lock to update their DoTs a few times, but that's not a recipe for high overall DPS. However, this time I was able to pull off damage that left me somewhere in the middle of the pack.
Not too bad.
Having run BGs almost exclusively as a Warlock, I had to consciously choose not to do some things while in an instance. For example, during the pulls up to Watchkeeper Gargolmar, a second mob swept down on our Shammy. I was closest to her, but my instinctual reaction --Howl of Terror-- would have been disastrous. There were simply too many other mobs (plus Gargolmar) nearby to risk using it. Instead, I spammed Hellfire to draw aggro then kite the mob back to the tank.
This, I grumbled, will have to take some getting used to.
Another strange thing about this Ramparts run was the complete and utter absence of DKs in the group: a Prot Warrior, a Ret Pally, a Resto Shaman, and a Fire Mage were my compatriots. The cluelessness you get from DKs in these Outland instances was still present, however, in the form of the Ret Pally. Almost immediately after he'd complimented the Shammy on the good job she'd been doing, he rolled Need on a healer neck drop, and beat out the Shammy in the ensuing roll.
"That's a healer item," the Shammy pointed out.
The Ret Pally was nonplussed. "Yeah," he agreed.
"It's MS before OS, or so I thought."
"That's why there's Dual Talent Specialization."
My brain melted into a gibbering pile of goo. Of all the... I began to type, but then bit it back. "I'm embarrassed that my main shares a spec with that guy," I whispered the Shammy, who whispered a smile back.
There's just something in the water about the Hellfire Citadel instances that causes people to act like jerks.
*All of my cloth Heirlooms are back in Neve's bank on A-52, and I wasn't planning on spending money to move them. Besides, I had all this Honor that I was racking up and had to blow it on something.
**But it does make for a PUG story, something I've not had in months.