I pug quite a bit. My guild has almost no reliable healers left in its ranks, so most of my runs are healed by healers from other guilds with whom I've built a reputation. It works very well for five mans and heroics, although raids are a little tougher to come by. One of the healers I run with has a little circle of friends she runs with, her boyfriend and a couple other RL friends. They decided that they wanted to all get Bronze Drakes together. Sounds like a lovely little bonding process. One snag though. Though they had a DK and a paladin, they had no tank. That's where I came in. I've built a reputation as a bit of a specialist when it comes to timed CoS runs. The DK and the Healer were kind enough to step in on a naxx pug I threw together, so when she asked me if I could tank CoS timed, I promised I'd run them through until they both had their drakes. But I had to do it with their foursome. A frost DK, a holy priest, a Ret Paladin, a survival hunter, and now a protection paladin. A fine group.
I hop into the portal in the Violet Citadel, and fly down to the instance, where I begin to get to work clearing the crates and moving the cut scenes along. It's fun to watch for the first time, but it becomes a somewhat annoying waste of time the 5th or 6th time you run the instance. I ask the group members where they are, the paladin's clearing out a quest and will hearth to Dal soon. The DK is waiting on an enchant in dal and the healer is flying to dal. I see the hunter is still in Borean Tundra, so I ask him if he can get to Dalaran and take the portal. He says he doesn't want to waste his hearth. I point out that he could fly to Dalaran for something like 80 silver. He says he doesn't have that kind of money to spare. This already started to grind my gears. I don't usually summon people to CoS, considering that the portal in the biggest hub of the game drops you off closer to the instance than the stone does, I don't like to summon people who are already in Northrend. It's a different story if you're say, in Ironforge. It's kind of like corpse running after a wipe, sure, you could wait for me or the healer to come rez you, but it slows down the group a little, and it just comes off as lazy.
Well, whatever, let's get this going. We cranked through all the lovely dialog and got into the run proper. We worked our way to Meathook, and downed him, but we were already at 21 minutes, which is about a minute behind the curve I like to run on. I toggled off the combat hide on my recount and began checking the data as I pulled. I usually don't bring a DPS who can't do at least 1,600 sustained DPS throughout the run. The DK's doing 2,100 DPS, good. The ret paladin was doing 1,950 DPS, also good. I was doing 2,050 DPS at that point, yay for AOE undead. The healer was at the bottom, as she should be. The hunter was doing 890 DPS, well, there's the problem right there. But the other two DPS were doing great, and I was having one of my best personal performances ever. I decide we have a shot at it anyways, and push the tempo up to compensate. We pushed through Salaam and the Chrono-Lord and ran right into the gauntlet. I went right into pulling, gaining enough aggro on each elite that the DPS could kill it without aggroing it and pulling the next one. It got a little dicey at times, but the healer was a pro, and kept us alive. We broke out of the gauntlet with a little over two minutes on the clock. I yelled out that no one should talk to Arthas, and went right to the Infinite Corrupter. I popped wings and went to work burning him down. The Infinite Corrupter went down with 6 seconds left on the timer. The ret pally, hunter, and priest all rolled on the Bronze Drake. The DK and I already had ours. The paladin won the roll. I told the priest we'd run it again tomorrow and I'd get her a drake. I chatted with the DK in whispers about how I've never pulled a timed run off with a DPSer as low as that hunter. The DK said he didn't think we'd make it. We drank up, and went back to find Arthas. Turns out that no one had spoken to Arthas to start out the gauntlet, so we ran back to him. The entirety of the gauntlet respawns when Arthas doesn't make it across, both the horde of normal zombies, and the elites. The hunter apparently didn't notice this, so he starts launching volleys to burn the zombies. He hits three elites, then feigns death onto the DK. The DK gets eaten alive, and the mobs go right back and one shot the hunter. The Ret pally hit holy wrath to stun them, and at that point, the priest and I, who had been drinking and thus were a little behind came up. The healer tried to save the paladin. I threw up righteous defense, and pulled three normal zombies off him. Thank you RNG! The elites crushed the paladin, and zoomed towards the healer. I threw up Holy Wrath and consecrate, and tried in vain to save the group. The elites wound up killing me, and killing the healer. Well, I almost had a wipe free run.
At this point, I didn't know that they were friends with the hunter. I figured he was just some pugger they picked up. I told the priest that we should pick a better 3rd DPS for the run tomorrow. She said she would, and we parted ways for the time being.
The next day, the healer invited me to the repeat of CoS. The hunter was already chilling in the group. I asked the healer, and she explained that they were all RL friends, and they just needed a tank. She also mentioned that his DPS should go up, as they had gotten him the Accursed Bow of the Elite last night. I started the run, and pushed the tempo at about the same rate as the day prior. Things weren't as slow as the last time, but still behind the curve. As we finished phase one, I checked the recount. The DK was pushing 2,300 DPS and I was at 1,950. The ret paladin was apparently a little embarrassed at being out DPSed by the tank last time and stepped his game up, notching 2,100 DPS. The hunter, well, his epic bow did bring the promised DPS increase, he was doing 910 DPS this time. After we downed Epoch, the hunter rather rudely reminded me to talk to Arthas at the start of the gauntlet. That started to get my hackles up, so I rather acidly replied that I would be too busy pulling, so the lowest DPS should stop to chat with him. To his credit, he did talk to Arthas this time. We cut a swath through the gauntlet, and tore into the Infinite Corrupter. We brought him down with less than a minute on the timer. The hunter and the priest rolled on the drake, and the priest won it. My promise was fulfilled and my obligation complete. Mal'Ganis went down, and I split.
The next day, the DK and Priest whispered me asking if I'd help them get the hunter a Drake. I had just received an invite to a naxx 25 from my RL friend, and I had the choice between helping someone I liked and getting loot, or helping someone who annoyed me and getting nothing. I chose the former. I picked up a couple upgrades in Naxx, the Greaves of Turbulence from Loatheb, and the Pauldrons of Unnatural Death from Anub'Rekan, and bought Kyzoc's Ground Stompers with the Emblems. My friends didn't fare as well in CoS. Apparently their backup tank wasn't very good at CoS. They wiped three times, and the timer ran out before they hit the Chrono-Lord.
A few days later the DK asked me to run CoS again. He explained that the other tank wasn't as skilled, and that he'd owe me if I did this for them. I was sitting at 60 emblems of heroism, and needed 5 more to get a Bloodied Arcanite Reaper for the warrior alt I was making. I decided that it'd be a good way to pick up the last five emblems, so I agreed.
The first thing I noticed when I hopped into the group was that the ret paladin was gone. In his place was a mage from their guild in half blues and half greens, who had never done a timed run before. That was a red flag. As we got into the run, we downed the first two waves, and I noticed that 3 minutes had already elapsed. I checked recount, and the Hunter was still doing a hair under 1k DPS, and the mage was only doing 1.1k DPS. My tank sense was tingling now. I whispered the DK and told him that we weren't going to make it. Keep up the pace, was his reply. The DK did a phenomenal job of attempting to put the run on his back. He did 2,700 DPS through Chrono-Lord Epoch. But it wasn't enough. Epoch went down with 4 minutes left, and the hunter began yelling at me to chain pull the entire gauntlet. At that point, I shut the attempt down. I told them that I wasn't going to wipe the group to try and do the impossible. We were going to walk through the gauntlet and down Mal'Ganis. The healer, who doesn't keep a meter running on her own, asked what went wrong. Deciding that the blunt truth was the best option here, I explained that it's hard to carry one person on a timed run, you simply can't carry two people. We went into the gauntlet, and pulled at a fairly leisurely pace.
When on a non timed run, the chain pull rules are gone, and the only people I want pulling are myself, and Arthas, because you can't stop that paladin from channeling his inner Leeroy. Into the second half of the gauntlet, I threw my shield to pull a ghoul, then used both my taunts to pull a Crypt Fiend and Abomination off of Arthas. Then the hunter breaks the rule, and pulls another ghoul. With both my taunts on cooldown, I watch as the Ghoul charges the hunter, and begins to consume his face with gusto. What does the Hunter do at this point? Does he misdirect the mob back onto me? Does he run up and drag the mob into the AOE storm that's brewing around me? No. He feigns death, while standing right next to the healer. The ghoul charges the priest, and knocks her down to about 5% health before Hand of Reckoning comes off cooldown and I can get the mob off her. We narrowly avert a wipe there.
I am very protective of my healers. Especially when they get put in danger by DPSers who have better means of dealing with aggro. I whispered the hunter, and told him to never FD onto the healer again. At which point he rather profanely informs me in party chat that I shouldn't let mobs get to the hunter. I was pissed, but I tried to keep my composure. I whispered the DK, and told him his friend was getting on my nerves. The DK says he's dressing the hunter down in vent. Fighting off the urges of the demon on my left shoulder, I didn't release Mal'Ganis onto the Hunter right off the bat. We downed Mal'Ganis, and I bounced.
While cruising through my Sons of Hodir dailies, I get a whisper from the Priest, asking if I'd tank the Heroic Daily, The Old Kingdom. I still needed that quest for my Proof of Demise achievement, but I consider OK one of the hardest instances to tank, because if the healer doesn't know what's going on, we wipe, if the tank doesn't know what's going on, we wipe, and if even on DPSer doesn't know what's going on, we'll probably wipe. You learn real fast who know what Line of Sight is in that dungeon. I told her that I'd do it, but only if they left the Hunter at home, as I'd had my fill of him for the day. She needed to talk to the rest of the group before making that decision. Within 45 seconds of me saying that, I start getting tells from a lvl 21 paladin containing a lot of profanity, and insults. About the only coherent phrase I saw was "I go where they go!". "That may be, but I'm going to make sure that you don't go where I go." I replied, shortly before throwing the lowbie pally and the hunter on my ignore list. I few guildies decide to run Old Kingdom, so I tank it for them. Just before we pulled the Herald, I got a tell from the DK. "Come tank OK for us. No hunter, just us." I told him that I would, if I wasn't already precipitously close to face pulling the Herald right then.
Thus, hopefully, ends the saga of that hunter and I. I'm not averse to carrying players on runs. As long as we can finish our goals, I really don't care about what your DPS is. However, what I will not abide for long is rampant asshattery. I don't care if you're pushing 6K DPS, don't be a dick. You will quickly build a reputation, and you won't necessarily be able to undo the damage. I would have gotten the hunter a drake, but instead, this guy found himself blacklisted by his friends' preferred tank, and they chose the tank over him.
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