Dungeons: Lessons Learned
Recently, I decided that I’d try playing a bit more in dungeons than in the world environment. Dungeons had never been something I desperately want to go to, even for the loot. By the time I hit level 20, I had only made two runs through dungeons. Once in Blackfathom Deeps, and once in Deadmines. Those runs probably shouldn’t even be counted as actual runs because there was always a 60+ helping me and another person. It was either for the quest or just for fun. Even now, I mostly go through dungeons just to finish off quests rather than grinding for a specific rare item.
When I go into the 30s, I was recruited a couple times by PUGs for runs through parts of Scarlet Monastery. This was my actual first experience going through a dungeon where we had a full 5-member party with the regular combination of tanks, DpS, and healers. I’ve made a couple of friends along the way, and each of us has learned several things in our roles. I’ve had my share of sending my pet at the wrong target and pulling a few more mobs than we wanted. We’ve also had times where our plans don’t go exactly as planned; times where one guy had to go AFK for some time; and problems with a party member not playing his role right and being a pain about it.
It happens. I take note of it and move on, I suppose.
Last week, I had just logged in at Booty Bay not sure what I wanted to do that day. While walking around vendors and such, I was whispered by a hunter in the low 30s. He asked if I could help him run SM. At this time, I was already 42 and had just reached the upper range of Cathedral’s level range, and the other instances won’t really do me much good with experience and loot anymore. Why not, I decided. After all, I was pretty much in his position not too long ago. So we got a group together, another person in the mid/upper 30s, others at the first guy’s level.
First of all, it’s a bad idea to go through Tirisfal when there are so many Horde 70s running Graveyard to have a chance at the Headless Horseman. I should’ve thought about that beforehand. We had a few problems getting ganked on the way and at the summoning stone, but we were soon on the way to running Library. At first, I wasn’t used to being the “big boy” in the group, having the higher level character. It gave off an aura that I should be better than everyone else, and I wasn’t really ready for it. I didn’t mind picking up the aggro from someone who shouldn’t have gotten it since I could take the extra blows, but it gives you a perspective from above: what it’s like to be the de facto leader. I pretty much passed on all the dropped items since the others will need it more. I also realized how important communication is, especially if close-quarters combat is needed. I tend to make the assumption that everyone is on the same logic path as I am.
After that run, the night was still early, so I decided to look for a PUG for Razorfen Downs so I can get my [Vanquisher’s Sword] quest reward to replace my aging [Cruel Barb]. This time, I took the initiative to gather up people in the LFG/M channels who wanted to run the instance. Soon enough, we had a warrior tank, resto shaman, an ever-useful druid, and two hunters. This time, the run went rather interesting. The initial run up to the the quest to protect Belnistrasz went without a glitch, with the tank managing well. The stages after that one were more interesting though. The other hunter, a BM/MM hybrid was a friend of the warrior tank. While observing his play, I noticed his higher-than-average-use of Multi Shot. I tend to keep away from using Multi Shot too much in dungeons just to avoid the accidental aggro, but here was a hunter grabbing aggro on 2 or 3 mobs once in a while. We had a few close calls with our healer, but it was worked out in the end. Fighting Amnennar the Coldbringer was a bit more interesting because our healer died once (but not for long thanks to resurrection). Fighting him was not bad, but the problem was the little minions that he spawned. I don’t think we had our priorities right because the minions die when Amnennar dies. I ended up having to pull the minions off our healer a few more times before we finished the run.
All in all, I was satisfied in two rather different experiences I got from running dungeons that day. I think I still have much to learn when working in groups.