So the other day I logged on and wanted to get my daily random over and done with so I chose healing and party leader and queued on up for whatever was to come. It took all of five seconds for me to get a group. I zone in and I have Gun'Drak with a group of players who were relatively freshly turned 80s. While attempting to bless the group, the tank charges in and pulls the first mob and before I could even get a Flash off he was dead and the group wiped. A part of me thought about leaving the party immediately and just running on some of my other toons while waiting for the timer to come off. I decided against this and zoned back in. The group was inquiring about how the wipe occurred. I politely stated that the tank pulled while the group was not quite ready. The tank apologized and waited patiently while the group made their way back and buffed up and replenished their mana.
While we were waiting for a few who did not know how to make it back to the correct side of the instance to arrive, I did a quick inspect on the tank. He was a Death Knight tank and was wearing mostly DPS gear. This explained the reason I could not pull him back from death's door. I whispered him and inquired if he was defense capped. He waited a long while and then replied back that he was not. I thanked him for his honesty and changed my game plan for healing him. To be honest he only had three pieces of gear with defense on and this was going to actually make for a challenging run to keep him alive and the DPS as well. We chatted for a few moments and he explained he switched to tanking to help groups get in quicker but was in need of tanking gear. He had some trinkets which provided him adequate health for tanking heroics and I always love a good challenge. I said nothing to the other party members and never criticized any of them who may have pulled off of him on accident. I instead deployed my beacon to him and just rained down Flash of Light on the party.
At the end of the run he had collected three pieces of tank gear, had successfully held most of the agro, and no one had wiped past that initial one. He whispered me and thanked me for being nice to him. I responded and said that it was no problem and recommended in future runs that he notify the other healers if still below the defense cap. He thanked me again and I left the group. I share this today, in hopes that the other healers who are geared out there will have some patience with these new tanks. It would have been one thing if he had tried to play beyond his skill, but this guy held agro better than a lot of tanks I have seen in full ICC gear. He was careful to monitor my mana as he realized I was using a lot more abiltiies to compensate for his gear. He was quick to react to pulling agro back off of the DPS. He allowed the casters time to regenerate their mana even. It made for a much more enjoyable run. The group was one of the most talkitive groups tht I have ran with for a while, even though they were not the most geared group.
So why would I choose to share this story with everyone today? The honest truth is that I want to bring awareness on the fact that not all PuGs are bad. Not all tanks are overgeared assholes. Not all DPS deliberately stand in fire. Not all healers will refuse to heal through stupid. I try to share as many of these experiences as possible to encourage the readers here at Holy Shock to stick with your groups. If you get a group that is rough around the edges, do not insult the players but look for ways to offer some advice in a more constructive way. Sure I could of openly ridiculed the tank in this run due to his lack of defense gear. I am sure based on his reaction at the end, that not all healers have been as nice as I was and that is ashame since he was completely capable of running the content with a little bit of assistance. So next time you get that "bad" player, look for a way to help them. They may be greatful for it or they may not, but you will never know until you give them a chance.