Hey there, glad to hear you're raiding again. I've myself hit 80 just a bit before you posted you did, and heroiced ever since. Or tried at least. I'm currently standing on uncrit, 21K health, and 23K armor, and yet 70% of the heroic groups I try to get into say i'm not geared enough. Now,i know that good tanks at the moment on my server have 30K+ health, but, how am I supposed to gear myself, if I can't get to heroics? I got almost every rep upgrade to my gear I could get,and enchanted every stamina enchant that's better than it's fellow enchants to the same piece of gear, yet still, I can't find a group to the harder instances.What buggs me the most is that with friends, I finished HoL heroic, I even Offtanked Archavon on a time(even outthreated and lived our full epic MT), and I know I have the skill to tank almost every thing in this expansion, considering the time I spent as tank, and the fact that I leveled prot 58-80. How can I get out of this situation?
Thanks, - Hurting For Heroics, Sporeggar EU
PuGs want overgeared tanks. They always have and they always will. It's perfectly fine for the Hunter to show up with a level 75 pet, or the Mage to show up with empty sockets, but the tank better have all his gear up to snuff and then some. This was the hidden truth of the 'tank shortage'. There were always enough raid tanks, but never enough PuG tanks.
So what can you do to make the situation better. First of all, no one is going to care if you leveled from 1 to 80 as Prot or if you just respeced to Prot 5 minutes before the run.
I saw that you mentioned running a successful Heroic Hall of Lightning with your friends. That gives you two possibilities.
First of all try to run Heroics with your friends whenever possible. Get as many of them run as you can. Then when someone in your PuG questions whether or not you are geared enough for Heroic X, you simply link them your Acheivement showing you've successfully completed it. If you haven't completed that exact one, I'd link the Heroic HoL one because most players know that is no walk in the park.
Continue to gear yourself up. You can't control the RNG, but look for crafted stuff, and Badge stuff to fill out as much of your kit as you can.
Keep offering yourself to groups, but start forming your own. I know I'm as guilty of this as anyone, but start being more proactive in your grouping efforts and spend the hour in LFG and trade piecing your group together.
Put good healers on your friends list. On my server, a tank and healer can find 3 DPS fairly quickly to form up a group.