Having done my dailies, pushed my poor hunter to 75, spent 4k gold on the AH buying every scrap of Savage Leather there was and realising I'm stranded at 510 Leatherworking, I gave up on upgrading my leg enchants.
Sporeggar EU is a backwater realm, so I wasn't too surprised seeing that the AH gaped empty on the upgrade for the second day in a row. The old one would have to serve me for a while longer.
I caved in to the ilevel greed and crafted myself a second Elementium Earthguard, lost a minor amount of CTC as I downgraded my shield from the 353 drop in one of the Zuls. At least I gained some armour and stamina.
I had, as is usually the case early after a content patch, run out of excuses to delay getting on with the VP grinding. It was time for LFD.
Now, I'm sitting on an average ilevel 359 goto raiding set with some 32% avoidance and 60% block. A full tierlevel above the Zuls it means I'm taking a risk when it comes to threat due to Vengeance scaling at glacial speed. At the other hand you never know what cards you will be played concerning the other four people you'll be grouped up with.
I hit Zul'Aman.
I was dealt a silent DK who occasionally managed to break the 10k mark, a healer I never got to measure as I take very little damage, and two people playing the druid class, one who spent most of the time in bear form focussing on something in my tertiary AoE circle and complaining about my tanking.
You see, a paladin tank has a primary target, or circle if you so want. That's the object or objects who receive our single target attacks. We also have a secondary circle consisting of the targets who get hit by our multi target attacks, usually Avenger's Shield, and the occasional direct hit if threat starts running low. Then there is the tertiary circle. Those targets should normally have been the subject of CC during the pull, but if they're not, they only get the attention of our pure AoE damage.
Anyway, as we disgustingly slowly grind our way through the gauntlet to the first boss I find myself both topping the charts an throwing taunts on cooldown. The druids target just about everything in the tertiary circle and then some. I let the worst offender die twice to get a cleaner run. While losing a dps is usually bad, the 6k lost is in effect neglible.
Eventually we hit the boss, and we wipe horribly. I'm aware I'll have problems doing decent damage in my gear, so I'm slightly surprised seeing myself at a steady 10k. That's a pretty good sign the small adds aren't killed fast enough. After the wipe I check my Recount and am stunned. The DK runs 9.5k dps, which places him firmly in the top of the three dps. The druids lumber in at 5.5 and 6.5k respectively.
The 5.5k genious is livid about me not tanking the big eagle carrying away people, and I realise this will be a never ending run unless I get out. I inform the group that boss-fight dps below the tank is unacceptable, and that doing well below 50% of the minimum dps given the gear requirements of the instance is a joke. To my great relief I'm immediately kicked.
The next group is a business minded 13k dps (apart from the berserk 45k AoE hunter who never uttered a word of complaint) and environmentally aware healer. We have a lock who's strangely silent after I expressed my hopes for a better run and referred to the numericals from the previous disaster. After a few trash pulls going slightly slower than I expected one dps reminds me that five players might come in handy at the boss. I'm a bit surprised, but it turns out the lock is AFK, and I never noticed, something I remark upon. My friendly, present, dps links the overall 5k dps delieverd by the lock this far, and he's kicked. Stuff dies, we collect our VP, politely share thanks for a pleasant run and disperse.
I want 280 VP, so a new group it is. It's the usual semi-decent dps never attacking skull and breaking CC gang while complaining about retarded tank. I've grown too old to react on those by now. They usually, and inevitably did, quit halfway through the instance. I got a new set of those as replacement, and they proved that I can't tank two casters and three melee throwing crap under my feet while someone collected reinforcements from the light knows where. They also quit.
The last replacement is decent. 16k or so dps, environmentally unaware and firm in their belief that their paladin tank should use his two interrupts on a six second CD each to handle all incoming spells. I tell them they're sadly misinformed about the paladin tank, but recount shows zero interrupts done by the entire party, which either indiactes a bug or rather awful lag. There's very little QQ in the end. We reform, focus and stuff dies.
So I'm sitting here, firmly reminded why quite a few tanks avoid pugs. To be honest only the first run was an utter disaster, but then I've evolved armour as every true tank does. Being called a retard by players who are unable to do their part doesn't concern me overy much, as long as they produce enough damage to see me further into the instance before they quit.
So, 280 VP and three typical types of pugs. It could be worse.