So last night I’m doing the daily Dungeon grind for badges on various toons, and I end up on my trusty Tree Shinano staring at the Dungeon Finder. The pattern is familiar. Log one character, queue for a dungeon, do a daily cooking or fishing quest while I wait, enter instance, /faceroll, profit, log next character, repeat ad nauseum. Something different happened last night however, once I’d logged Shinano, I couldn’t get off.
I was sitting in the Dalaran sewers doing the fishing daily on Calli when I noticed someone was looking for healers for Vault of Archavon. Quick as a flash, I offer the services of Aluriel, Shinano or Askara since they obviously already have the tanks sorted and it should be a quick in/out once they get the required healers. The leader asks for a Druid to complement the Holy Paladin, Resto Shaman and Discipline Priest already in the group and I log Shinano and get invited to the raid. By the time I arrive they’ve already cleared all the trash and the 24 of them are sitting in front of Toravon waiting to buff. No-one is yelling “gogogo” and the Holy Paladin actually whispers me to ask if I’d be happy to concentrate on the raid while she covers the tanks. This VoA25 PuG is already turning into the stuff of legends!
Short version: Boss drops, loot is handed out, badges are collected and everyone zones out. I’m back in Dalaran and since I’m already on Shinano I figure I may as well do the random daily as well. So I pull up the dungeon finder and before I can queue I see someone looking for another healer for Trial of the Crusader 10. I figure I may as well, there are still one or two upgrades in there for Shinano if I’m lucky enough for them to drop so I send the raid leader a whisper. He replies wanting to know my gearscore and can I link the achievement?
First of all, I genuinely didn’t think Shinano even had the achievement for clearing ToC10. Turns out she has in fact cleared the place twice and yes, the Cold Convergence staff poking over her shoulder should have clued me in to that fact. But I’ve run that place so many times on so many different toons that it just tends to be one big blur to me, and anyway, I’m a druid. I’m busy thinking of butterflies and lentils and stuff, don’t bother me with facts!
Secondly, I detest Gearscore. I hate it with every fibre of my being. It’s a spammy, bug-ridden piece of crap responsible for more dropped connections than BT Internet Unlimited. I have no idea what Shinano’s Gearscore is and I don’t care. I’m vaguely aware that Calli has about 6k from something mentioned in a PuG once, but beyond that I have no clue and long may that state of affairs continue. I mention this to the raid leader and fully expect to be rejected with the customary “lol noob” reply, but something… wonderful happens. He replies in correctly spelled English with a totally reasonable reply:
“Hehe, well sure but you need to give me some baseline to judge from if I can’t see your gear.”
Which is of course, entirely right and proper, I’ve just never had it articulated back at me so politely and intelligently. Ever. I begin to get the impression that I may need to hold on to this PuG leader and never let go. I tell him that my gear is almost all level 232 or better (my footwear is shocking though, SO last season, darlings), and I’ve completed Trial of the Grand Crusader 10 and Tribute to Skill on my Mage and he slings me an invite quick as a flash, no questions asked.
Turns out the raid leader is also the Main Tank, his name is Xtralarge, he’s a Bear, he’s covered in awesome sauce and tonight will only be his second Anub’arak kill ever. Our MT2 for the evening is a Protection Paladin by the name of Sparve, and what he lacked in gear he more than compensated for with what our American cousins refer to as “heart”. Much like the poor tank from my earlier Angry Priest is Angry post he had perfectly adequate gear for the content in which he found himself even if he lacked a bit of confidence. Tonight would also be only the second time he’d ever completed ToC10. My co-healer for the evening is none other than the Holy Paladin from the earlier VoA25 group, Skiidee is her name and she completely overgeared the instance in her ICC10 and ToC25 gear. But here’s the shocking part… no eltist attitude at all. Quite the opposite in fact, I was expecting Snottydin and I got Mother Teresa.
Just to make the situation completely clear, I’m in a PuG ToC10 with people I don’t know who’ve mostly hardly ever been in the place before and people ARE giving me a warm fuzzy feeling. The tanks are taking care to ensure people know what they’re doing and are standing in the right place, the healers are actually chatting amongst themselves and sorting out healing assignments. The dps who aren’t sure exactly how certain fights go are saying so and no-one’s calling them noobs for asking. I’m offering suggestions on how to do Faction Champions based on our group composition and previous experience of what composition we’re facing tonight and folks are actually listening. In short, it was a joy to be a part of. We had a couple of deaths on Northrend Beasts when Skiidee caught two snobolds right after each other and left me solo-healing right at the end of an impale spike, but we knew going in that Beasts with two healers could be tricky if you get unlucky like that. The dps rose to the occasion and killed her Snobolds fast, and we recovered and one-shotted. Jarraxus went down faster than a crack whore on the promise of five dollars. Faction Champions went by in a blur with Skiidee spamming cleanse and me doing most of the actual healing while running around like a mad thing. One death, boss one-shotted. On Twin Valkyr, Skiidee worked the tanks and I intercepted black balls and kept the raid up, result: one-shotted again. Then Anub’arak himself, with three of the dps admitting they’d never seen the fight before as this was the furthest they’d ever been in ToC10. Xtralarge briefly covered what to do on the submerge phase if you were targetted by Anub, then we went for it. A few minutes later, loot is being handed out, three guys have a new achievement and I’m getting compliments from Skiidee on my healing as she’d thought she was going to have to carry most of the raid judging from her quick look at Shinano’s gear at the start. This is a reasonable assumption to make, I guess, but what’s surprising is that instead of calling me out or whispering the raid leader to kick me, I was actually given the benefit of the doubt. This isn’t supposed to happen in PuGs damn it!
Meanwhile Xtralarge asks if the raid would like to continue and do Onyxia and VoA, and so Shinano finds herself on a bird to Mudsprocket Village from Gadgetzan. I always find that the trickiest part of the Onyxia fight on any difficulty level is the transition into phase 3 as she lands. You get overzealous dps who try to nuke her as soon as she touches down, getting you dead dps. Then she fears while people are still all over the place, turns to follow the tank, cleaves, breathes all over everyone and hasta la vista baby. Naturally, we one-shot her with zero deaths.
Sadly, I have to bid a fond adieu to The Raid PuG Made Of Win at that point, as a guild run to kerbstomp all over Sartharion for the weekly raid quest opens up. However, I’d just like to send a big shout out to Skiidee of Senior Heroes and Sparve and Xtralarge of Heliox on Hellscream EU for being all-round awesome, as well as all six of the dps whose names I totally can’t remember. When The Mighty Jingles takes over the world, you will all be given half a day off per week from the Salt Mines.
All of which also reminded me how much I totally love playing a Druid on those rare occasions when I actually play a Druid instead of logging on to get the daily random dungeon out of the way as fast as possible. I guess I should really take a bit more time over my toons instead of just treating them like an emblem assembly line, but Shinano’s always been special.
Durids is 4 haf fun times wif frends! :)