Get behind me!

Smile for the camera!

Taking a short break from my Guild Dilemma, I decided to fire up my druid and see if I could get into deadmines. For the first time, I ticked every single box on the LFG tool: Tank, Damage, Healer, Leader. It felt pretty good, actually! A short while later, a healer appeared, three DPS were already in the list, the group was assembled. Disregarding some tentative forays into pet-tanking, this was my first time. First time through any instance with this character, and certainly my first go as a bear tank (or ANY type of tank!). I remembered the fights pretty well, and I am very familiar with the layout of the place. Everything seemed to be in place.

Tanking is fun! It’s a lot different to hunting, though. For one, you have to have better situational awareness even than a Beastmaster – some add runs off and squashes the healer, that’s pretty much the end. This is tricky, considering that you’re not standing a long way away shooting into the enemy’s maw, but standing right next to them – it has to be said that the bear druid’s larger than expected posterior also interferes with seeing what the hell you’re doing. Still, I had an excellent group and we blasted our way through to Van Cleef smartly. We were a little rough around the edges – the hunter was only level 20 and not yet fully in control of her rifle or pet, and various party members would occasionally stray too close to a group of enemies and pull them. Once, we managed to pull not only a boss but no less than 6 or so random adds at the same time. Hilarity ensued…

Nevertheless, I found the Bear Druid’s limited selection of tools to be more than adequate for acquiring (re-acquiring sometimes) and then hanging onto aggro. I had great fun in that place and I’d run with any of my party members again. I suppose that just goes to show that pick up groups sometimes just work!

This evening, I went into Stockades. Semseye hauled his paladin in as healer, and we scrounged up a couple of DPSers, a mage and a hunter. We were under compliment – only four party members – but Sems’ pally was well over level, so it worked out alright.

Stockades… didn’t work so well. It was, however, an excellent learning experience for a new tank.

We dropped into the instance, and the mage immediately legged it down the stairs and blasted the enemies at the bottom, pulling three of them. He was level 28, I was 24, so pulling them off him was a real pain in the backside. The hunter ran up to one of the enemies, pet on passive, and started hacking at him in melee range. I sigh, pull my face out of my hands and wade in, desperately fighting to get the prisoners to hit me instead.

We fought on, me asking the mage if he wouldn’t mind standing behind the bear designated to try and protect him, please. And perhaps he’d consider not pulling huge groups of enemies, forcing me to pry their attention off of him. And really, please do not just attack bosses surrounded by adds when the healer’s drinking and the hunter’s AFK, I can only growl once every 8 seconds, Kay? The mage spent most of his time ignoring my advice, whilst simultaneously advising the hunter rather forcefully that he should use his rifle as opposed to hitting things with axes. The pally was too busy to talk, and spent most of his time desperately healing the mage who had pulled yet another group of ten thousand angry prisoners while I desperately growled, swiped and Fairie Fired them off of him. Stand behind me, damn you!

The hunter ran back through the instance portal on our way to the last boss and left the group without a word, the mage continued to ignore what I had to say and pulled random things, and I somehow managed to get through it all without anyone under my protection dying. It wasn’t nearly as fun as the deadmines group but on balance I still enjoyed it, and I think I learned more than I did in deadmines.

I still want to try out healing with my druid. Since I’m not specced into Restoration, I may have to take another trip through deadmines to test that out. One thing’s for certain, though, my Druid’s not likely to be a primary DPSer!


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