New five-man instances can only mean one thing -- the return of the classic source of amusement and frustration, the pickup group. It's especially interesting when raiders, who are used to perfect coordination and military-like precision, end up running an instance with, say, a priest who they hate from a rival raiding guild, a warrior who forgot his shield in the bank, and a warlock who clearly bought their Tier 3 character on eBay and is having difficulty figuring out that Searing Pain is not the greatest spell to spam. Such people often overestimate the coordination of their teammates -- like my mage friend who got us all a free trip to the graveyard while attempting to master something he called the "Flamestrike Pull" in the Blood Furnace.
Since I've mostly been running with said mage friend, who is in a different guild than me, our instance runs have been semi-pugs -- someone from his guild, someone from my guild, someone we found by spamming general chat all stuffed together. It took the raiders among us some time to get used to the five-mans again. Wait, we can sap and sheep things? A pet can off-tank? We can pull without a hunter? Ooh, a chest -- wait, do we have a rogue to open it? Plus, the bosses usually only drop one item, and someone who's been through Naxx is probably not psychologically prepared to die to a lot of orcs AGAIN.
Nevertheless, most of my pugs have been good. I've met old acquaintances on new characters and made mental notes of people I'd like to group with again. We had a group today that was so good we went straight through Slave Pens and the Underbog, and were preparing to go through the Underbog again when we realized that we were all sick of fighting spore bats and agreed to meet up later. It's also dang satisfying to see gear drop that people can really use, without a giant fight over class priority and DKP, and watching as everyone slowly replaces their epics with blues. Well, except the tank in Dreadnaught. Those shoulders are way too cool to replace.
What's your pug experience been like so far? Do you hate doing instances without strategies and Vent, or are you welcoming the new content?