It finally happened. I ran an instance with an actual group. Last week. And I have to thank Blizzard's achievement system. If it wasn't for Hail To The King, Baby, I wouldn't have seen Utgarde Pinnacle in the near (or even distant) future.
This is my first group instance after WoW Classic. This means that I leveled several characters through Outland and 2 through Northrend to level 80 without stepping in a single instance. Crazy wacko eh? Well, if you read this blog you probably have at least a vague idea about where I'm coming from. I do like instances, I really do, but my time is limited enough that I cannot ever dedicate it to a group experience with any certainty. Besides, waiting on other people can be a bummer and it cuts down on my leveling/farming time. Oh and something else: usually I'm not available when people are looking for a DPS character. I'm either about to log off, or it's too late, or I can't stay much longer.
Having said this, I still enjoy a nice instance with a good group. Thanks to the aforementioned achievement, I spotted someone LF1M DPS in trade chat and since I had plenty of time at my disposal, I immediately whispered the person and I was promptly invited.
Now guess what my problem was. Since I had never been to this instance I had no idea how to get there. I knew where Utgarde Keep was, obviously, but not where the entrance to Utgarde Pinnacle was. So I played it cool as always. In fact this is the same strategy I used previously in Battlegrounds. When you're clueless, just follow the others.
So I got to Utgarde Keep real quick and just watched what the others did. I followed them and it was the same story inside the dungeon. Yes, I was a bit embarrassed to admit that I didn't know the instance but I bluffed my way through it nicely.
In the end, it was a very good group and we even finished the instance on Heroic, which was another first for me. To be honest I couldn't tell the difference. It just seemed like a rather easy instance to me.
So there you have it: another "priceless" piece of advice from a die-hard solo-ist: when placed in a new group situation and you don't want to appear a noob, just follow the others' lead and you should be fine. Of course, even if you never do instances, you should still know your role in a group and try not to make an ass of yourself.
Patch 1.0.5 commentary
6 months ago