Dungeon Finder, so far, has been pretty successful for me. I don’t use it a lot. I had been in maybe a dozen groups total with a couple of different characters in the mid-30s to the mid-60s. But it has been fun.
I’ve healed with my resto spec’d druid.
I’ve tanked with my feral druid.
Heck, I’ve even healed with my feral druid.
That worked well enough except in that group that was me and four death knights. Those in the DPS roles felt that they could tank too, so they all tried to be the tank off an on and I only had enough mana to really keep one tank alive. (Somebody needs to take “death grip” away from certain death knights, I swear. It does not belong in your rotation if you’re in the DPS role in an instance.) And even then, the person in the actual tank role was good and we decided just to let the suckers die if they wanted to yank mobs off the tank until they figured out that wasn’t a good idea.
My overall impression has been of a nifty, quick way to get into a dungeon without requiring a lot of effort or much beyond very basic player skills. Knowing what the tank, the healer, and the DPS are supposed to do seems generally to be enough.
Of course, I had yet to test this impression out at the highest levels. The original and Outlands content does not, perhaps, represent the cutting edge of this tool and its use.
So on Saturday I decided to get out my main character of old, my retribution spec’d paladin Vikund, and give it a try.
Unfortunately, suffused with the sense of easiness that my lower level experiences gave me as well as the fear of long queue times for DPS characters, I decided to put him out in the healing role.
Now, I wasn’t totally unprepared for the role. I had bought the ability to have a secondary talent spec. I had at some distant past date gone to Elitist Jerks and read up on how to spend my talent points. I had even stowed away some paladin healer gear… the stuff with +int and mana per 5 seconds stats on them, right?
So I was, perhaps, a step or two ahead of merely having my own hat that said “Healer” on it in lights so you can heal after dark when the mobs are much less likely to aggro on you.
And, to a certain extent, I figured I was probably getting in over my head. So I went and downloaded the addon HealBot, tinkered with it for about 5 minutes, and figured I was good to go.
I brought up the dungeon finder and put myself in as healer for a Northrend heroic instance please.
And I was very soon granted my wish.
First up, The Occulus.
Erf. Not exactly the first instance I wanted to take on in this role. Not that I dislike the instance as much as some people do, but it is a bit different.
I got in, looked around, and noticed that the tank was already running around the first arc of the instance, collecting up mobs and down to about half health. Well crap, 10 seconds in and I am already behind.
So I go trotting after him. I caught up with him when he was at about 25% health and had most of the initial host of bad guys on him. I planted myself and got off a Flash of Light and then a Holy Light as he continued running towards me. As the Holy Light hit, I was greeted with the words “Changed Target” over the head of seemingly every mob he had in tow. I’m the new target. And they were all nice and close, so they turned and stomped me into jelly before turning back to the tank.
The tank died as well at just about the point when the DPS team shows up. They died mostly of surprise I think.
One of them asked, “What happened?”
The tank replied to the group, “The fucking pally isn’t healing!” and left the group. And then so did everybody else.
Okay, maybe I was not ready for heroics in prime time. Obviously there was something more to this than just dropping a heal now and again. I went repair and think.
I decide to back off a notch or two. I brought up the dungeon finder again for a random Northrend instance, non-heroic please.
I quickly got an instance, the Halls of Lightning. Okay, I’d been here. We had done most of this with a 4 person group way back when. The rest of the group was 77-78, almost all in green gear, while I was this level 80 almost all in purple. “This should be easy!” I thought, “And they should all be in awe of me in any case, epic god that I am!”
I dropped Blessing of Kings on everybody and had a little drink while I waited for the fun to commence.
“i would like greater blessing of might pls” said the tank, which I had to admit was most polite thing I had heard so far.
I hit him with Blessing of Might because I didn’t have the reagent for greater on me. I accidentally tossed it in the bank when I was clearing bags and swapping gear. No big deal though, it is the same effect with just a different duration. I had no problem keeping and eye on it and refreshing it more often.
The tank announced “how about a greater blessing”
So I started to type in pretty much what I wrote above.
However, I have to guess that my lack of immediate obedience to this request was yet another sin on my part, because in about as much time as it took him to type it out, he said, “well i don’t play with cheapass pallies” and left the group.
So much for politeness.
The DPS guys, who hadn’t said a word, left as well, and I was back where I started.
Dungeon finder, dungeon finder, find me an instance! I asked for another one, no heroics please.
And there I was in the Trial of the Crusader. Hrmm.
Trial of the Crusader isn’t heroic, but it is a step up from the average 5 person instance in Northrend. Again, I’ve done this one and sort of know the drill.
When I arrived the group appeared to have already done the jousting part of the event and was waiting to jump in on the first three bosses. I hit everybody but the tank with greater Blessing of Kings. The tank got greater Blessing of Might. I wasn’t going to sin in that regard again. Of course, he then asked me for Kings. Sure, whatever. I drank up, got myself ready.
The tank ran out to engage and we began.
I put out one heal and had the second one coming but the tank was already dead. But he wasn’t too dead to say “You suck!” almost right away on dying. I left the group before the bad guys came to get me. Afterward I wondered if I should have asked what happened to the last healer.
So up to that point my actions ruined instances for 12 strangers. According to Recount, none of them were from my server, which no doubt explained the lack of follow-on tells about how badly I suck.
I decide to put away my healing toys, turn of Healbot, get out my DPS gear, and go queue up with the rest of the DPS players.
One, non-heroic, DPS seating, if you please dungeon finder.
And, honestly, it did not take long for a spot to appear.
As soon as we arrived in the zone the tank announced that they were farming for a specific item and that was reserved for the healer and if we had a problem with that we could leave right now.
I groaned, thinking that here was going to be another social nightmare.
He linked the item in chat, and it was a caster trinket, something I was unlikely to bid on given my performance so far during the day. I figured I would stay.
This was another healer/tank group that just needed DPS to fill out the party. So while I might crow about being the top of the chart when it came to damage, both in absolute and DPS terms, the tank held aggro and the healer kept everybody alive. I could have put out considerably less hurt and we would have been fine.
We went through the battles without issue. Lots of purple items dropped, not one of which was of use to me, so I passed on most everything. However the trinket they wanted did not drop.
So when we were done, the tank asked if we wanted to run it again. By the time he asked that the other two DPS had left. I said I would stick around for another.
We picked up two new DPS for the team and kicked off again.
I made my statement about me being able to put out less damage in the first group based on what happened in the second. My DPS brethren weren’t as apt this time, (the tank was in second place when it came to damage) so fights took a bit longer. Not that it changed much. On the last fight there were a couple of deaths because we didn’t totally steamroll the black knight, but we still won the first time out.
Still no trinket for the healer, while I passed on everything again. They wanted to go again, and I would have stayed, but we had run the instance twice in an hour and were on some sort of cool down.
I called it a day after that run. Best to leave on a success I suppose.
Such was my experiences trying out dungeon finder at level 80. Sorry to those whose instances I ruined. I think I’m just going to have to work on the regular group to get them to come back from the horde side if I want to run heroics.