I've talked earlier about my bad experiences in the Dungeon Finder system and I'm certainly not immune to the frustrations that come from dealing with DPS and Healers who have refused to recognize that I know what I'm doing, that the way I'm doing something is feasible and has worked in the past consistently, and refuse to accept the slightest criticism or suggestion offered up with a smiley.
But I still enjoy tanking for Dungeon Finder as there are some rewarding experiences to be had - I ran a few cap-heroics last night and here is how they went:
The Power Clear
Three DPS guildies and I ran through Heroic Shadowfang Keep in about 30 minutes, chain pulling like mad and the Dungeon Finder healer was having a blast as she scrambled furiously to keep up with us. I kept apologize for the pace but she was happy to try to keep up, said she enjoyed the challenge - and her gear was not anywhere near what it needed to be for me to pull as aggressively as I did but she did great. I don't think we had any deaths at any point. We chatted for a minute afterward and then parted ways. I wished she had been from our server so I could've added her to my friends list.
The Carry Option
I queued for another one with a healy friend who needed to gear up her shaman and we got Stonecore. None of the DPS had ever been there, I was doing 40% of overall damage, a hunter couldn't even find her way back after a wipe, the healer was OOM constantly from healing people who stood in stuff - but nobody was bossy, nobody was complaining, people apologized and tried to do better and we only had three total wipes because all the people needed was a bit of instruction and we still wrapped up the place in 45 minutes - maybe 10 or 15 minutes longer than if we were power clearing but certainly not bad, and it was nice to help some folks out or get them some gear.
The Avergae LFG Experience
Last was a Z'G run I queued for with two DPS guildies. We logged in to a Paladin healer who was super shaky - which I don't mind, I tried to talk to him, but they were playing the silent card other than the occasional "R". He healed through till the cat-boss and then dropped after the first wipe (we had one wipe on the snake-boss when he couldn't heal any one other than himself or the tank). Dungeon Finder dropped another healer in and she did a great job - we power-cleared in 10 minutes with her.
But what if that healer hadn't dropped? I'm sure he could've healed through it, he just needed practice, and it wasn't like anyone yelled at him, we just talked about the fight before the pull and I told him what I was going to do, I know tears were interrupted, he just couldn't heal through the damage of cats pouncing him and when I told him he needed to be a bit more defensive on this fight and to use defensive cool-downs, he dropped. I think that's a pretty lame attitude to have. It wasn't like I was yelling and I use happy friendly smiley faces to soften the blow (hopefully). :-)
The healer and Mage were both fantastic - more people I wish I could add to my friends list.
I don't think any of those are all that bad - I've had some horrific experiences with the Dungeon Finder and I almost never drop group while I'm tanking because I know if I have a decent healer and at least one decent DPS I can get through any dungeon. This is mostly because the issues were performance based. It's the social mismatch that causes most problems in groups, I think.
I've also been playing a Death Knight (just DPS for now) Horde Side on another server and the Dungeon Finder experience at lower levels is... interesting. Every now and again, I have had to pop into blood presence to keep the group from wiping but in general, it's curious to see how the experiences are different. You get a lot more casual players, the pace can be slow with a new tank or super fast with a tank in full heirlooms, wipes are common and yet, almost nobody ever drops group. People are a lot more chatty and there is a fair amount of nostalgia.
The Hellfire and Zangarmarsh dungeons were super easy and fast and I don't think anyone ever died in these, but the Auchindoun instances were surprisingly difficult for the tanks - we had multiple wipes here and it made me chuckle, remember how I used to tank these heroics on my bear, with massive CC and furious swipe-tab-lacerate-roar-tab-mangle-tab-lacerate AAARGH style of play. Sadly, I transition out of Outland at 68, I didn't get to try out the 70 instances at part of the Dungeon Finder experience and even though I really wanted to do a few 70 heroics, I can't due to reputation and key requirements. Those really need to be removed.
Anyway. I haven't done too many dungeons in Northrend yet, but the ones I did do were okay - and they were starting to get douchey. I had a mage in one group who wouldn't stop pulling despite the requests of the tank and healer and kept pulling because, "he could."
Tank wise, Feral Druids seem the most shaky, they just did not seem to have the threat. I haven't seen too many warrior or DK tanks at all, but I did see a lot of Tauren Paladins tossing shields about (not a single Blood Elf). I wasn't expecting to see that much class (and race) monotony.
So. Dungeon Finder is still exciting for me, at end-cap or not, with friends or alone, DPSing or Tanking. I still plan to continue queuing for it, as tank, and for the record, Call To Arms has not been any sort of motivator for me.
If you see Innana from Moon Guard with a sword and shield in your Dungeon Finder group, say hi! :-)