After the Raid I grabbed my baby Druid who had just hit 79 the night before. I've got him in IceCrown getting rep with Ebon Blade and Argent Crusade so I can wear their tabards in dungeons. My usual plan with him is to que up as Heals/DPS and start flying out towards wherever I'm questing. Usually by the time I land I've got a group. So far, every time it's been as heals.
I saw the loading screen come up to Halls of Lightning. I knew when I got closer to 80 I'd start seeing the 'hard' heroics like Halls of Lightning, Occulus, Utgarde Pinnacle, and Culling. I took a deep breath and prepared myself.
First warning sign was a DK tank. I've had good and bad tanks of every class, but the bad ones were overwhelming DKs. Of course, we hadn't spawned into Halls fully when he tells us to take it easy on him because his was his first time tanking. Oh joy! He proceeds to tell us he picked a particular Frost build, and no I don't remember which one. I don't know jack about Death Knight tanks (except that Boston is very very good), so I don't know why he was bothering to tell us what build he picked. He had almost 30k health in Frost Presence, so I figured we at least had a shot.
The rest of the group was a 78 Boomkin, 79 Frost Mage, and a 79 Ret Paladin. Oh, and me, the Tree!
The Death Knight does something I had never seen before in a Random. He throws up a ready check. We all click it and he starts pulling the mobs. I noticed he was pretty easy to keep up and the lack of damage on the Ret Paladin told me he was keeping aggro well. I was pleasantly surprised.
We approached the first boss. He pats around and empowers the Iron Dwarves around him. The DK pulls too early and gets a trash pack along with the boss, all of the mobs empowered. I loaded him up with everything I had, swiftmended a couple of times and threw Wild Growth on the party. It was crazy, but we got him down with no one dying. It sure got the adrenaline pumping. He apologized for the pull. No one seemed upset and compliments were made both on his tanking and my healing.
At this point in the run there had been more converstaion between us than in my last 5 randoms combined.
We continued to work through the instance. I noticed the Mage was wearing Hand of A'dal. A Level 79 with Hand of A'dal? So I asked him. He was a mage in tBC but switched for Wrath and was now leveling his old toon again. That got us talking a bit about tBC which was cool. The DK was a 'child of Wrath' and didn't really know what we were talking about.
We cleared up to Loken and the Boomkin asked if we were going to eat the Nova or run out. This is on normal with a 'normal' group. We aren't a bunch of 232 geared players frolicking through a heroic for 2 Emblems. The DK thought we could pull off the strat of eating the Nova, then unexpectedly, he turned the decision to me. Basically he said whatever the healer thought was best was what he would do. I agreed to try to eat it.
I could see Loken's cast animation so I made sure that everyone had a Rejuv on them and cast Wild Growth right before the Nova went off. We got him down in two Novas.
Everyone got the feel that we had a really good group and we queued up for another Random. This time it was Pinnacle.
We cleared the first and second boss without a problem. Then we got to Skaldi. The DK missed him jumping down and he promptly one shot me. I typed for the Moonkin to heal and get me Battle Rezed once he had it stabilized. He immediately dropped form, got the DK back up and gave me a Battle Rez. I threw a couple of HoTs on myself and noticed he had already Innervated me. We got the fight back under control and killed him, then rezzed the dead and moved on.
In the final room before King Ymiron the DK got feared into a second group. It was a little crazy but we got through it. He started doubting his tanking ability. We wouldn't hear of it. Everyone assured him he was doing great.
We killed Yrimon and turned in our quests.
This had to be the single best PuG I've ever run with. I know some blogs have been calling out ninjas and bad players, telling horror stories of the bad experiences in LFD. I'd like to take a different tack.
So to: Valthrug of Sentinels, Galathir of Deathwing, Tandivya, and Pilara of Icecrown, thank you for a wonderful group and a couple of great runs. These guys come highly recommended, and I hope to see them in the LFD again.
I thought you were supposed to be able to friend people from another server to increase the chance of grouping with them, but every time I tried, I got a 'Player could not be found' error.