Tonight I ran Shadowfang Keep on my Hunter in an attempt to get the mats for the Hunter Quest Crossbow. After waiting a while we finally got a group together, and the Healer turned out to be surprisingly chatty. I don't mind that. Likewise if folks want to do a silent Run, that's okay, too. Get in, get the job done, get the fuck out. As long as everyone knows their role, if folks want to chat, or not, I'm good either way.
Except this particular Healer mentioned she was not only new to WoW but it was her first Instance. Just like that our Group was missing a Tank. We had a Cat Druid who switched to Bear so we went in and took down the Trash. Then the Healer asked why was the Druid a Bear.
"Because if he wasn't a Bear we'd all be dead." I replied.
The queue hadn't found us a Tank so we moved on and the Bear rushed the first Boss. We actually succeeded in bringing him down and despite being new to Healing I thought our newbie Healer did just fine. Just after the Boss died we got a replacement Tank, who was puzzled as to why our DPS Druid was in Bear form. I made the mistake of complimenting our Healer on how good she was doing for a first time Healer, and just like that our replacement Tank went AWOL. Oops.
We moved into the courtyard, cleared it, then wiped in the kitchen. As we ran back in the Healer DC'd, a Kick Vote prompt came up, and now we were three DPS LF Tank & Healer. I declined to choose a role, deciding I'd rather wait for a brand new group. And I imitated our first two Tanks by dropping out.
Rather than sit on my arse in Stormwind I got out and ran a few quests and it didn't take long before I was in a new group. This time we had a female Dwarf who, like our Healer, confessed that she was new to Tanking. At least she had close to 1,000 HP and she appeared to know what to do to hold Aggro so the Run was fairly uneventful, right up until the final Boss, Lord Godfrey. Caster extraordinaire, definitely not someone to be taken lightly.
Attempt #1 = my bad. Open with Serpent Sting to get my Pet attacking, followed by Aimed Shot. Steady Shot + Steady Shot for Improved Steady Shot. Arcane Shot. Arcane Shot and...why is the Boss targeting me? Oh yeah. MQoSRDPS is not a good thing when paired with a new Tank who has not established major Threat.
Attempt #2 = Noob Tank mistake. Note to future Tanks: do not begin a Boss encounter while your Healer is still running back from a Wipe.
Attempt #3 = Warlock Mistake. Note to Warlocks: do not bring a Voidwalker to a Boss fight.
The Party explained to the Warlock that Voidwalker is for Tanking and he's asked to summon Imp or "The Demon Lady with the Whip". Warlock doesn't respond. Warlock summons Voidwalker. I ask Warlock to summon Imp. Warlock still doesn't respond. Healer says he thinks Warlock is a Bot. I Vote to Kick Warlock for being a Bot. LOLs ensue in Party Chat and the Vote passes. Warlock is replaced with a Shadow Priest seriously decked out in Heirloom Gear. Cool. DPS should not be a problem. This time Lord Godfrey is going down.
The Tank states that this is going to be the final attempt because she needs to get to bed. The SPriest is informed that we've been getting our butt kicked by the final Boss so if he can help with Heals (if that's possible) to please do so. And with that the Tank runs up the stairs to the Boss's platform and begins the encounter. I wait. The Tank runs down the stairs to get under Boss's platform.
Note to future Tanks doing SFK: just jump off the platform, do not take the stairs back down.
The Boss makes it halfway down the stairs before stopping to cast. That's good enough for me and I begin my rotation. The Boss actually summons little guys. Being Ranged DPS I'm suddenly cognizant of just how many little guys he can summon. Wow! There's a lot of them! I start picking them off then resume DPSing the Boss...who summons more little guys. Again I target them and they die pretty quickly this time. Someone else must be killing them too.
And then the Tank dies. And I draw Aggro. Of course I do. The Boss runs toward me and when he's halfway up the stairs to my position I jump off. It's Kite time. If you read my Kwazimoto vs the Demon story then you know this is my game. I hit the stairs on the other side and head up to the Boss's platform. The Boss takes the long way back down the first set of stairs and I'm hammering him with everything I've got as he crosses back over. I'm hoping my fellow DPSers are doing the same. They must be because his health is definitely dropping. Somewhen during all of this he summoned more little guys, and they may be little but there's a lot of them and they sure are scary when you know they're gunning for you.
The Boss crosses the floor, flanked by his little army, and heads back up his stairs toward me. Just before he gets to me I leap off his platform, hit the floor, and head back over to the first set of the stairs. Once again the Boss takes the long way back down while I'm running away and jump shotting like a mad Hunter about to die.
This is a first for me. Normally I'm holding my breath and silently cheering on my party members as I watch this kind of thing from the floor where I died due to some Noob mistake (or a careless or slow-on-the-button Healer) but this time I'm in the middle of it and I don't. Die, that is. The Boss does, though. It was crazy fun.
Yes, we might have wiped a few times but it wasn't as frustrating as you might think. It may not be End Game Raiding where you play Simon Says while trying to beat the Boss's Enrage Timer but it was still a lot of fun. In the end I got the mats I needed for my new Crossbow and my Tooltip DPS went up by about 5 points while my actual DPS got a 10-point boost. And when it's all said and done, isn't that what Raiding is all about? Tiny little Stat increases? So what if it's Level 20 Raiding :D