The ZA Hokey Pokey

You put your druid in…

You put your druid out…

OMG? No! WTF are you doing?

Get back out there!!!!


Would you like to release?

And that’s how my most recent trip to ZA looked.

Zone in to a DPS asking the obligatory, “time run?” which the tank ignored. (The hunter that asked was on a bear so I don’t know why he cared other than just not wanting to spend eternity in there.)

Clean-ish pull to the first boss.

The druid healer seemed to be lagging a bit behind and the tank was dangerously low on health much of the time.

Pulling the boss resulted in a near wipe with the healer dying shortly followed by the pally tank.

I was hoping the warrior could stay alive long enough for me to invis, cancel it, and finish off the boss but the poor warrior crumpled and the boss reset before I could so much as right-click my button.

No big deal, we’re still decent on time. Make the kill and move on.

Healer pulls patrol. Again, near wipe.

But this time, I can’t pull a mass rez because they’re still on cool down.

Healer asks why he isn’t getting a rez.


I know that the timed run is a definite no-go at this point.

Wipe on trash pack immediately before next boss.

Get to bear boss. Rotation is healer, me, hunter.

Healer is just kind of running around, but we manage somehow.

Work our way to cat boss, pulling every other trash pack along the way.

The hunter was even marking the patrols so the healer could see them.

Apparently the purple diamond has a strong magnetic effect on resto druids as he would literally run face-first into them.

The hunter mysteriously goes afk and we 4-man the cat boss, barely.

By the time we finished that fight the healer admitted to this being his first time in the instance, but that he had watched some videos.

Points for honesty and an attempt to self-educate. That information would have been really useful over an hour ago when the run started. (Yes, my flask had worn off.)

Kick the hunter when he goes offline and get a shaman.

Finally. Last boss. Explain the basics of the fight.

First form is bear.

No problem, we did bear earlier without too much issue.

Same rotation.

And we get a prime example of what a fluke is.

Boss shifts. Healer runs in to melee.


Wipe. Explain mechanics again.

Wipe. Put down world markers.

You stand on red X. After the boss turns into a bear and comes over to crush your face, then you can move up to purple diamond. But DON’T MOVE until AFTER he charges you.

Boss shifts. Healer runs in to melee.


Stay still until the bear comes to you and eats half your health. Just stay. Stay there. Please don’t move.

Pull. Shift into bear. Healer runs into melee immediately.

This went on 7 or 8 times until the shaman left and was replaced by another.

The tank is threatening to leave but is reluctant to do so after spending so much time in here and being so close to our valor points.

The druid is apologizing profusely.

And again.

And again.

The shaman and I are doing our best to dance around the druid, trying to make this work.

I’m about ready to suggest that the enhance shaman AND the warrior take the other spots in the rotation, if we could only find a way to keep the druid out of melee and getting silenced.

Then the stars aligned, with some fast footwork the shaman and I manage to pull off the positioning with no help from the druid running in circles.

Second form is eagle and the druid drops almost immediately.

Not really sure how, but we down him.

Valor is acquired.

The tank and I stay behind to offer a few more pointers about the instance and then we head our separate ways.

All of this proves that the hokey pokey really IS what it’s all about.

Or cows can’t dance.

On a slightly more serious and less long-winded note:

Why in the hell are ZA/ZG only available as heroics?

All other dungeons have a warm up version, even if it is 50+ levels below end game. You get the opportunity to go in, learn the layout, get an idea for the basics of the boss mechanics, learn where the patrols are, learn where line of sight will fuck your shit up, etc.

But for the two most difficult heroics we currently can enter, there is no learning mode.

And don’t try to say, “But it’s just like they were in the raid!”

The people that need the help in these instances weren’t around to experience them as a raid. I’m willing to bet new players aren’t even aware that these used to be raids eons ago.

Would it really have been too difficult for ZA/ZG to also have been released with normal modes?

I bet we would have far more success stories and fewer horror sagas about these runs.


14 comments on “The ZA Hokey Pokey

  1. Dragonray says:

    I have flat out refused to run them anymore. I spent 3 hours in zg the other night – the darn trash respawned we were in there so long….. I hate both places and to be honest I never liked them all that much when they were raids either!

    I would much rather run twice as many normal heroics and not spent 150g on repairs as a clothy and lose 3 hours I will never get back for a few silly points!!!

    Gahhhh!!! I really really hate them!!!


  2. I seem to have unusually good luck when it comes to dungeons. I hear all these stories about what a cesspool the dungeon finder is and what horror shows the Zandalaris always are, but I never really see it. Oh, sure, I have my share of bad groups, but they’re generally nothing a little persistence and maybe a kick of a bad player won’t fix. And they’re the exception, not the rule.

    I hardly ever have any trouble with the Zuls anymore. I’ve even started looking forward to Jin’do because it’s a fun fight when people know what to do.


    • Leit says:

      Sure, they’re in a minority, but when there is a problem it’s generally a problem throughout the entire instance. They’re also really healer-dependent instances… if the healer’s not good, you’re going to wipe endlessly. On the flipside, with a really good healer you can basically chainpull without cc*.

      * please do not do this. I am begging you. And if you do, don’t tell your healer I said this…


  3. Leit says:

    Ugh, I know it’s going to be a gem of a run when the first words I see are “timed run?”.

    Generally every time I see a successful run it’s because everyone was being efficient but not hasty. Focussing on the time often seems to lead to people missing other small things, like the aforementioned magnetic patrols or occasionally the fact that they’re standing in a nice big patch of suicide.


  4. slice213 says:

    I use the 2 wipe rule in PUG 5 mans….we wipe twice I drop. Usually the only time I have to do that is when you look at the players and its obvious they have no idea what to do. There are a few exceptions when they do wipe more then twice and I dont drop, its because they are actually trying and know what to do but are honest about making a mistake and movnig on.

    if I hear bear run…agree with Leit…its usually a recipe for disaster….Its amazing people geared out in 359 gear cannot even understand how to heal/tank/DPS and get the bear run done….with a PUG you do a butt load more dmg etc…how the hell can you not get it done ><;

    Maybe I am being to harsh on the general wow population…but this game is not hard….it takes longer to be a jackass and a bad player then to take a few seconds and look something up on your class. If you can sit there and alt tab to watch something useless on Youtube…you can look something up.



    • slice213 says:

      Nah once you drop once its easy…hell on more annoying groups etc, I drop while in combat


    • Leit says:

      Leaving in combat is super dodgy. It’s also inconsiderate if you queue with anyone else, and since I almost never queue alone, that’s a really good check on poor behaviour.

      Funny how most of the folks who spend their dungeon time breaking down others seem to have queued alone…


    • zarigar says:

      Well…yes…leaving in the middle of combat is awful, but I’ve seen no other reference to it and don’t know why that was brought up. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen tanks charge into a pack of mobs then instantly drop. Fun times for everybody else.

      Dropping doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve left in the middle of combat. Usually I’ll drop after I’ve dragged myself back to my corpse several times.


    • Leit says:

      Yeah, I was responding to Slice up there.

      I don’t know about votekicking more aggressively. Yes, there are horror stories and there is some truth to them, but more often they’re either quietly getting along with it while chatting in /w or even /g.

      Heaven forfend that you should try and kick a bad player with a partner, though. That pretty much guarantees a pull-and-drop either way.


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