Laurewen had all of the Deadmines quests a week ago, so I queued her up in LFG, listing her as either a healer or a damage-dealer. That's when things got interesting.
I was impressed with the "this is the dungeon we've got available for you, here's some basic info on it" pop-up it provided. Impression turned to shock when I suddenly found myself whisked to just inside the Deadmines instance proper. So much for getting those undead area quests done.
I somehow was determined to be the party leader but it didn't seem to mean anything. The new "vote kick" means that all a PL can do is change loot rules, which is generally not a good thing to do in a PuG unless you want to stay in queue for a very long time. The group I started with was, well, a mess. They ran around killing everything they could manage to aggro and left me to try to put them all back together. I'd call 'oom' or 'drinking' or 'mana' and they didn't care, just ran on to the next set of mobs. Only two deaths came, surprisingly enough, but it was a bit stressful for my first instance run in over two years.
We lost our feral-druid tank and the warrior had to go leave as we approached the forge, so more folks came in. The mage that we picked up was great (Jellystain of Shandris), the warrior was not so much. He wasn't managing to hold aggro and would also charge blindly ahead while I was either around a corner or trying to drink.
The first 'wipe' was on an unintentional body-pull of the First Mate while we were clearing trash. Some of the folks weren't aware of his aggro radius and I cannot type and heal at the same time. Forgot about the whole 'jump on the wheel and they'll reset' part, so back we ran. The warrior couldn't find the entrance (neither could I; followed another groups' corpse to the portal for a refresher on the directions) so I zoned out, intending to let him follow my dot on the map. Rather than outside of Deadmines, I found myself back in Astranaar where I'd been yanked from at the beginning of the run. Color me surprised! The paladin (Heldrak of Drenden) informed me of the new 'teleport me to my group' option and we were all reunited.
As we came back in, our shaman took a long walk off a short pier and fell to zir death. I jumped down to rez and we ran back up... when I ended up taking the long walk off a short pier as well. Sigh. No death for me, just wasted time and our impatient warrior diving into the mobs and body-pulling the First Mate again; I didn't make it fully onto the wheel and was slaughtered.
We're finishing the trash properly when lo-and-behold, the First Mate gets body-pulled. Again. Third time's charm, right? We downed him that time (barely; I was long oom by the end of it). Then, while I'm still drinking, guess who goes and starts on VanCleef? SIGH. We survived that and went to clear Cookie when I went too far off the ledge and missed the second level, dying from mobs while everyone took on Cookie. He was killed, but so was our Helrak. The warrior left, the shaman DCd, so Helrak and I duoed the patrol spawns and made our way back in time to loot Cookie, who dropped his mace for Helrak.
All in all, it was an interesting time. I finally remembered how I used to keep my hotkeys, got myself back in the habit of healing, and realized that until I get a desktop built, I'm going to have to stay away from dungeons. I had 25 FPS through Deadmines until we reached the ship, where it plummeted to 7 FPS (the horrible response time is what led to both of my falls.)
Kudos to Heldrak and Jellystain for putting up with me. Both were amazing to group with; Heldrak proved to be a better tank than he though.
Laurewen is level 27 now; I'm averaging about 3.5 levels each night. At this rate, I should hit Outland on Christmas Eve (taking my absence due to travel into consideration). Depending on how much levelling has changed with TBC content, I may be ready to start on Wrath of the Lich King content by the beginning of the year. We shall see.
As a follow-up to last night, I received a response from Petal regarding trading my stack of Mageroyal for glyphs; now I just need to catch zir online to have them made.