I found some time to do a fair bit of pugging early last weekend. I queued for a random instance, keeping in mind that I’d really like to get the Classic Dungeonmaster achievement – which feat will require me sneaking into Orgrimmar to do Ragefire Chasm… I failed to queue early enough when I was still “allowed” to go there. It turns out that random instances at my level range are not so random. Do you like lava, things that are underground, and Dark Iron dwarves? Because you’re going to be seeing a lot of them if you’re randomly queuing around level 50 and up. I know that three BRD runs doesn’t sound like that much but it actually is if you consider that each of those runs took an hour, minium, but closer to an hour and a half or even more. I stopped watching the clock at some point.
The good news is that I completely finished the whole thing, twice, meaning we killed the final boss. Of the three times I ran it randomly, I only received a Satchel one time – which is a bit of a “duh?” oversight, in my opinion. Maybe I’m missing something obvious, but I don’t think there’s any way to tell which portion of the instance you’ve been queued for until you actually finish it. There’s BRD – Prison, and BRD – Upper City, but because the instance is so vast and sprawling, people tend to just head off in the direction they’re familiar with. If you don’t know much about BRD (join my club) – the place is vast. The wowwiki page says it takes 4-6 hours to clear it completely (I doubt this is the case, anymore) . In a place with so many bosses, the odds are pretty good that you just won’t be killing whichever boss it considers the “end” of the portion you’re queued for, except when that boss happens to be Thaurissian himself.
BRD – I
This first run I was healing. It’s actually interesting to note that sometimes, being queued as DPS gets me an instant group while being a healer does not. It makes for a nice change, anyway. I’d say I still heal about 80% of the time but that extra 20% of light-based-here-please-eat-my-axe keeps me happy.
For some reason, the tank in this run was incredibly hard to heal. He was wearing heirlooms, and assorted other instance-reward blue gear. His HP was 4076 (at level 54). I don’t think he was pulling with any more zeal than other tanks I’ve run with. He was a paladin. I don’t know if he just wasn’t using his cooldowns much, maybe? His HP seemed comparable to the tanks from my other two runs (I checked afterwards). I didn’t quite have the gumption to mention it or ask him, thinking it might be some defect with me. I have been playing as ret somewhat, have I forgotten how to heal?
Anyway, we did end up wiping on this run due to pulling more or less the entire room of bar patrons onto us. I think it was consecrate that did it. It wasn’t the only hairy “OMG what is this I don’t even…” moment, either. The tank said, “Been tanking for 20 levels and never lost two people on one pull before!” Well, me neither, but your inability to hold aggro versus this DPS meant that I couldn’t quite keep them alive. I hear that healing two tanks is something a paladin can do easily while balancing on their nose and doing flippy-tricks with their weapon, but three, when two are wearing dresses? Probably not.
I find that after having played other healing classes (the one I play most commonly is a druid) my inability to keep up with heavy AoE damage frustrates me quite a bit. OK, it’s not even heavy AoE damage so much as it is “whenever three people are taking damage simultaneously.” Holy Light is quite a bit faster than it was but it’s still not super fast, and with this tank I definitely needed the “oomph” to keep him alive. But the time needed to throw FoLs and Holy Shocks around would see him nearly dying again. I’m really hoping that having Beacon will help to alleviate this. It’s nice to stave off an encounter that started to feel like Certain Doom and have everyone ooh and ah over your healing, it’s not so nice to hyperventilate and feel as if no matter how fast you’re clicking, there’s nothing more you could have done, even with using all of your protective and special cooldowns.
BRD – II
My second BRD queue saw me with a bear tank, and I wasn’t healing (we had a tree), I was retribution! I got these neat plate legs at the end for my troubles. I like them, they are flashy and red.
I haven’t had a chance to enthuse about this to anyone besides my guild yet, so I will say it here. I absolutely love playing retribution so far. I don’t care if people tease me about being a two-button wonder. It’s really fun. I may have mentioned this in my previous entry (Art of WAAAAARRR) but it bears repeating. Playing melee DPS is an incredibly different experience from all of my ranged characters, and I never really played Fury with my warrior so maybe the experience is similar. It’s just really satisfying to hear a clanging sound and see a monster’s health go down and say to yourself, “Yes, I hit that.” It’s also nice to be able to take a few hits if an angry mob isn’t impressed when I poked him with a battle axe.
I’ll confess, I sometimes zone out a bit during these instance runs. Especially BRD which lends itself to a hypnotic feeling. More Dark Iron dwarves. More tunnels/passageways/whatever. Look, lava! So it took me awhile during this run to notice something.
That’s funny, I thought, who is the other melee DPS? It’s not a rogue – wait, is she hitting things with a staff? I looked at her name, and then I looked over at Recount to see the greeness of it. She was a hunter. For posterity, let it be known, that a hunter meleeing with their weapon (sans pet) in BRD can achieve an average of 80 damage per second. Most other DPS in that run and others average around 500.
Please understand I don’t want to rant on about this person in an “oh what a terribad I’m so awesome at WoW” kind of way, I actually want opinions, suggestions, whatever… What would you have done? Would you message her and try to gently come around to the point – “So are you new to WoW etc.”? Would you take a more direct approach – “You would probably do better DPS if you used your ranged weapon and brought your pet out.” The first one feels condescending to me, and the second, interfering. I remembered someone saying in a blog – some people just don’t care about this game as much to research it, and they are just having fun. So who cares if they aren’t pulling a billion DPS? We’re not in a raid. It’s a 5-man. Our heirlooms can carry a few people easily. We finished the instance, after all. Maybe it was a bit slower, but I had time.
So I took option three. I did and said nothing, and the melee hunter continued to melee her way through BRD happily, I can only presume, with Zum’rah’s Vexing Cane. Let’s just say that I’ve always enjoyed this staff, but its name took on new meaning in this context. What would you have done?
BRD – III
For the third run, I was healing again. There were a pair of mages here from the same guild, clearly leveling together with their hefty heirloom gear, and I was quite happy to have them, mostly because they knew their way around. In our previous run, nobody had the key to proceed to the later levels. (In my defense, why didn’t I have the key myself – I did pick up the quest when we wiped, but I’m already at the point of the instance where killing the required bosses would’ve caused us to go out of our way.) But these two mages both had the key, and so BRD was our oyster. The kind of oyster that takes you two full hours to pry open.
These three runs have more or less merged in my recollection. It’s all a dark blur to me.. I know that I went to BRD, and I know that things were killed. The most notable person in all the runs was the hunter, and I’m still conflicted about that. All of the groups were pleasant. This last group did press on all the way to Thaurissian where the previous one hadn’t, and yet again I scored loot from him. It was one of those random enchantment type-rings that usually end up being questionable, but this one made me so happy I gasped audibly when it dropped. It was an Emperor’s Seal…of intellect. 16 delicious points of it. I was very happy to roll on it, and very happy to win it (sorry, mages, you weren’t running OOM anyway, give me a break. Besides, it has no spellpower, shame on you.)
So after all of that, what do I think of BRD? I’m astounded to report that I don’t think we really got lost. One of the groups hung a bit when we weren’t quite sure how to open a particular door. But overall it was quite smooth. I don’t have many more deaths to add to my total. I am content. I could have been more efficient had I picked up or done pre-quests for this instance, because I think there are a ton and they’re worth a good deal of XP. I’ve even done more pugging since – my first trip to Dire Maul, and a short-lived Lower Black Rock Spire run. Vid is level 58 now. (Yes, so many hours in BRD will do that to you). I took her to Outland and trained Master enchanting as well as the next level of Engineering. It looks as if the materials to craft a flying machine have been adjusted? In any case, I have all the mats lined up and ready to go and I’m very excited. Pugging pally will soon be terrorizing the skies, but not until I’ve finished Dire Maul, Scholomance, and Stratholme, hopefully. I did the quest chain to get the key to Scholo (I know it’s not required any more, but I like having it) and I have the key to the rest of Dire Maul as well so hopefully that should smooth over runs into the other wings. It’s hard to restrain myself from leaping headlong into Outlands, but a guildie mentioned to me that once you are level 60 – you can’t queue for level 60 instances any more, or at least not randomly. I may be queuing specifically for each wing of Dire Maul as I need it, and likewise for Scholo and Strat. Yes, I don’t want to go back to BRD. I conquered it already, see?
Also, to add – on the topic of gently approaching someone clearly and utterly failing at their given task… When I rolled Vidyala the Second and put her into Single Abstract Noun, I was happily running around Azuremyst assailing moths and other wildlife with my clumsy bludgeon when I received a whisper. “Are you new to WoW?” this person asked. I checked who it was. A level 80 paladin, currently at the Exodar. It only took me a split second to realize – he’d seen the [Lousy Cloth Robe of Greyness] I was wearing. You know how the starting zone just drops…whatever? And if you’re lucky, it drops crappy mail stuff, but sometimes it doesn’t. It hadn’t. My reasoning was…hey, it’s better than nothing.
I said, “Are you asking because you saw me wearing a dress?”
Him: “Well, I was hearthing out and I just caught a glimpse…”
I explained that it wasn’t my first character, but that it was an alt and I had no other characters on this server – plus it had been the only thing to drop. He asked me about the guild, I told him it was a guild of bloggers and blog readers, and he fled away a million miles after politely murmuring “Ohisn’tthatnice.” So, I’m very sorry, SAN, for inadvertently giving us all a reputation for harbouring the worst kind of Failadins and noobs ever.
Even my alternative alternative paladin fails at dressing like a paladin.