Lately, I have been trying to re-establish myself on my new server. That doesn't just mean getting close and friendly with the locals, but to set myself up for independence. Back on my old server I had one alt for every profession, so that I would never have to pay anything but material fee for the most common goods (in the end I was too lazy to relogg for the most common items anyway, but that's beside the point). Anyone who knows anything about me knows I am a very cheap person however, and just moving two characters (and faction change them) was on the edge of what I am willing to pay extra for WoW. They've sucked plenty of money from me already (and more to come when D3 is released). I don't mind leveling alts, in fact that is what I spend the most time doing in WoW by far. Leveling lots of alts means doing a hell of a lot of instances usually, because I can't be arsed to do the same quests over and over (the same instances over and over is a little less boring). Doing instances means meeting people and in the end, after the 150th instance of the month (or so it feels sometimes) you will start generalizing things about those people. We all do it. Every hunter is a ninja looter, every paladin is just face rolling and so on. I like to think that in WoW, there is always a kernel of truth in prejudice. And here is my list regarding the classes in WoW and how they behave in dungeons.
Be warned, the following text will be filled with wild generalizations and ranting, maybe even more than my posts usually are.
Death Knight - Annoyance level 10
What better than to start off with the class that got me into this idea in the first place. There are so many things I want to say about Death Knight behavior in pugs, and none of them are good things, that I barely know where to start. I think the only thing that can be said in favor of death knights is the fact that they don't start pestering you with their presence until around level 58. Unfortunately, they somehow seem to think they have to make up for that fact by being about ten times more annoying than most other classes.
Here are some facts about death knights: they used to be overpowered one man armies and they used to be able to be either tank or dps in any spec. Used to be being the key words here. Dks seem stuck in a mindset that hasn't changed since they were introduced into the game. Few death knight tanks seem to bother with more than being in the right presence, for the most time "tank gear" is a concept that completely eludes them. Their lack of gear doesn't stop them in any way from doing pulls way bigger than any other tank, for some reason, and usually without any knowledge of how to keep aggro on all those mobs or use cooldowns to mitigate damage from all those mobs. At best, the tanking dk will use some runes on Death Strike.
But the tanking dk is nowhere near as annoying as the dpsing death knight. Normally, the tanking death knight is just very bad, and most of the time I am willing to overlook that since the instance is at least moving forward (also usually if I am not tanking I am instead the healer, and a bad tank does provide some challenge *positive thinking*). The dpsing death knight however goes into great lengths to be actively annoying. There are two factors here; the fact that Blizzard have designed dks to be very annoying in themselves and the fact that every player seems to want to play dks in an annoying way to add insult to injury. Seeing someone, who doesn't have the faintest clue about what is going on, basically facerolling their way onto top damage done, is the first annoying thing about Dks. Dks are not an easy class to master, yet similarly to paladins it doesn't seem to require any brain power to get a good result. The problem with this is that it prevents anyone who leisurely plays their dk to ever give a rats ass about what they're doing, because if anyone ever complains they can just point at the meters and say "well at least I am doing the most damage". Which is in no thanks to their skills but to Blizzards crappy programming.
The other part is that Blizzard has provided the dks with a skill like Death Grip. Remember now that people who play dks think they are one man armies who can handle anything on their own, and don't give a shit about what the rest of the group does. They are the ones who get a skill like Death Grip. It is mildly annoying that a dk death grips a mob out of my melee range to be able to hit it whenever he's not in range. Deep down I can understand that, it is lazy behavior and being a very lazy person I can empathize with it. It also only mildly annoying that dks seem to only be able to use DG on melee mobs and never caster mobs which would be ideal. But using Death Grip on a mob you're already hitting on only serves to give you aggro, which is completely meaningless for a dpsing dk. If a dps warrior does it I can think that he did it to get more rage or something, but the dk only does it because he just can't let that Death Grip button go unused!
Warrior - Annoyance level 3
I like warriors, they're usually silent and effective regardless if they're tanking or dpsing. Most warriors don't talk much, something that is common for many melee (except in fact, dks) and I can only imagine that bashing all those keys makes it difficult to type at the same time. People who roll warrior tanks usually take their job very seriously since in the general opinion warrior tanking is the most difficult and usually only done by people who have some previous experience in tanking. Warrior tanks are probably also therefore the stingiest of the tanks by far, sometimes on the verge of cranky divas. Warrior tanks can often be divided into those who have stopped caring and just tank on, and those who won't tank unless the rest of the group behaves exactly like they want to. Fortunately, the latter group often sorts itself out of the system, since few tanks actually ever get into a group where every player will accommodate their every whim, and so they end up warrior dps instead.
Although warrior and dk dps are similar in many ways, they're usually played completely differently. The dps warrior doesn't pull extra groups, rarely charges off ahead and seems to try to focus more on doing good damage rather than trying to pull as many mobs as possible.
Priest - Annoyance level 5
My biggest problem with priests, whether healing or dps, is that it seems that so few people have a clue on how to play them. Many new players probably choose to play healing priests because they think they'll be the easiest of the healing classes, they couldn't be more wrong. Discipline priests are easy enough, shield and smite away to do decent healing. In fact I rarely have a problem with discipline priests. Holy priests however, seem to only understand two spells in their arsenal, Renew and Flash Heal. No other healer ooms as fast as the holy priest, because all they do is throw Flash Heal at any damage.
The shadow priest is usually also bad, but for no fault of the player. Shadow priests have bad mana regen and non-existant aoe for a very big part of their leveling, which make them lose damage done to most other classes (except rogues who also lack a decent aoe for most of their leveling). Most commonly, you will see a priest run around oom for most of the instance, which probably is more frustrating to them than it is for the rest of the group.
Shaman - Annoyance level 2
Whenever I get a resto shaman as a healer, I know I am going to be in good hands. I have yet to encounter a bad resto shaman in a lowbie pug, and this is no exaggeration. It is probably partially because Healing Stream Totem and especially Earth Shield does half the job for them, but also because the resto shaman comes with so few skills for the first 70 levels that there really is very little confusion as to what to do when the tank is taking damage, something that many resto druids and holy priests seem to struggle with.
Most of the time dps shamans don't deal as much damage as most other classes. Enhancement because they don't have any good skills until later on and elemental because they're casters, and casters suck for the most part compared to melee until level 80ish. But on the other hand they don't cause any trouble either. Enhancement shamans can't charge ahead or taunt, elemental shamans can throw a chain lightning into the wrong pack of mobs at worst. None of them have procs that they feel a strong urge to use on the next group before the tank is even close, the way a mage does for instance. The only thing shamans can fail with really are whether they decide to use totems or not, and even then it's not something that is especially noticeable when pugging.
Mage - Annoyance level 2
Mages have become a lot better lately. They deal more damage than they used to and somehow they have become a lot less annoying than they used to. Because most mages get aoes early on, they're usually the ones that will try and nag the tank into doing huge aoe-pulls the most, just so they can one-button use their Blizzard/Flame Strike/Arcane Disco throughout the instance. A year ago I would've put mage at level 8 easily.
But that was the old mages, the new mages are behaving themselves a lot better. They will normally give you water upon request, they even sheep things sometimes, although that is rarely necessary in any instance before level 80. Fire mages sometimes have an OCD regarding using Hot Streak, but that is an urge I can understand and fall for myself quite often. I wouldn't want three mages in my group (which has happened), simply because as casters they still suffer from all the things casters suffer from (mostly running out of mana all the time), but otherwise I rarely have any issues with them.
Rogue - Annoyance level 1
I never thought I'd say this, but rogues are probably among my favorite melee to have in my group at the moment (except for one certain rogue, you know who you are Dazsh). They really never cause any trouble, and eventhough they rarely out dps any class who has a decent aoe, they still get the job done in a nice orderly fashion. Rogues used to be the class I had the most issues with in nearly any context, be it pve or pvp, mainly just because they have so much possibilities to be so very annoying. But most pugging rogues at the moment seem to just fully focus on getting their job done, and I am very greatful for that.
Paladins - Annoyance level 6
Having a generalized idea about paladins is difficult since there is a big difference depending on whether they are healing, tanking or dpsing.
The tanking paladin is usually among the best tanks to have in a pug, since they're so easily played that even a blind hen could get it right. Starting out with the IWIN-threat skill Avengers Shield they rarely have any trouble keeping aggro. The fact that they also have the best self healing abilities of all the tanks helps the matter further, and most of the time I just stand idle when healing paladin tanks. There isn't much the paladin tank can fail with snice they're truly a one man army in lowbie pugs (unlike dks).
Paladin healers are usually among the better healers. Paladins get a few, strong spells and probably have the least mana issues of all the healers at those levels which means most people can play them good enough.
Paladin dps on the other hand suffer from some similar issues to Dks. They're far too simple to play to warrant that good a result and I think the only reason they're not as annoying as dks is simply because they don't have Death Grip. I know this because back when Hand of Reckoning still did damage, every retridin would use it as a damage skill, which meant they'd taunt every eight seconds. Retridins still randomly choose to use Righteous Fury for no gain whatsoever, and trying to get them to turn it off is like trying to explain world economy to an iguana. Retridins and dps dks sometimes make me wish that tank specific skills were limited somehow to the tanking classes...
Hunter - Annoyance level 10
Almost every hunter is as annoying as every dk, because similarly to dks, hunters have so many things about them that give them ample opportunity to be very annoying. The fact that they have ranged, instant skills are among the worst, because most hunters seem to be dpsing by pressing the tab skill rather than any dps skills. Eventhough they aggro everything in a 100 yard radius, often by "clever" use of their pet, they still rarely get above third on damage done. How is that even possible?
The old joke that hunters need on every piece of loot they come across seems to have become a mentality of every hunter I pug with. It is as if they feel like they have to live up to that prejudice now, probably thinking "ah they're expecting me to ninja it anyway, so might as well" or "wouldn't want to disappoint them!". As a tank, hunters are the most annoying class to tank, they make a mess of every pull, can easily save themselves with Feign Death and don't even deal good damage, which I at least get out of most Dks. They more often forget to turn of Aspect of the Pack than they would ever start using any kind of traps other than Explosive Trap.
Warlock - Annoyance level 2
Warlocks are like good shadow priests. Eventhough they don't deal good damage until later on, they can at least keep up most of the time, and many of them will offer you a soulstone or healthstone or at least give you one upon request. A mystery I have yet to decipher is how the difference in pet handling can be so vast between warlocks and hunters, where hunters seem to have no clue at all as to what their pets are up to while most warlocks rarely see their pet come running back with three new packs of mobs in tow. That's not the only similarity between hunters and warlocks. Just like hunters, warlocks have many instant, ranged skills, yet they rarely pull ahead or pull extra packs in the way most hunters will.
Druids - Annoyance level 5
Just like their hybrid friends the paladins, how annoying a druid is usually comes down to what spec they are playing. I've never been very fond of tanking druids, and eventhough I must say I quite enjoy playing them myself at the moment, I still feel like most tanking druids are bad at what they do. They seem lost and confused most of the time, like if they were playing in close to first person view and their big bear ass was obstructing most of their screen. They lose aggro all the time, but don't seem to notice or just don't care. They're slow and don't seem to where they are even half the time.
Resto druids can either be really good or really, really bad. Their hotting healing style should suit a newbie healer well, because it allows you to keep several heals up on several targets and to heal while running. Instead it more often just confuses lowbie healers, leaving them to do nothing in panic. Resto druids also often have a tendency to wandering off aimlessly. Although I have no idea why resto druids in particular do this, and any speculation would just wander into crazy areas.
Dps druids aren't very noticeable, not on the meters and not in the group. They run around, using skills at random as it seems. Most druids suffer from the "hybrid" thinking more than other hybrids, meaning they tend to need on any kind of loot "for their other specs" more than paladins and shamans. Nonetheless, dps druids are almost always friendly and good humored and I enjoy having them in my group.
So my favorite group composition, if I was tanking, would be:
And hey, that would be a good composition gear wise as well.