For those looking for class PTR note updates, Abi does a good job of summing them up here. I'm still trying to avoid them, but obviously that doesn't insulate me from Bloggers Gone Wild vol. 3.1. The updates that effect affliction look just fine. Free respecs with purchase of 3.1 at regular price (free) are also good. I'll hold off on spec stuff for that. I think I may even have to do a post from home so I can link what I end up deciding to spec. I think, just for the hell of it, that I'm going to purchase dual spec on both of my toons. I wouldn't mind playing around with two specs, even though it is completely unnecessary and probably not worth the gold.
The rest of this post is going to be expanding on a rather good thought I had when reading BBB's post today. As usual, he goes into far too much depth about the topic, giving us lots of words but some really good ideas hidden in there. He himself has admitted that he can be a rambling bear, but despite the rambling, he usual makes some quite valid points.
The gem of the day there is when he talks about how as a RL, while he may sometimes talk minimum specs and such, he often ends up dragging undergeared folks into instances and raids with him. I find that I'm pretty much the same way as a RL. If it comes down to running it with people I know who are undergeared, or having to PuG/not run, I'll choose the people I know any day, hands down. In my experience, this has often resulted in some very positive runs too.
Case in point: just this last Sunday we almost didn't pull together our Naxx raid and at the last second had 5 (out of a possible 10) new people offer to come through a guildy who was signed up with us. The caveat: none of them had really ever SET FOOT in Naxx, and, as such, weren't the best geared of folks. However, they were good people and willing to listen and learn.
Now, we were on the "home stretch" of Naxx (last few bosses of construct, Sapph and KT). Not exactly the best place to start, but whatever. They weren't the best geared, but whatever. We took 'em and ran with it. We had half a party of Naxx vets and half a party of Naxx noobs, most of which were DPS (though one was our OT on the always difficult Gluth fight).
Long story short: We only wiped twice (once on Sapph and once on KT), finishing the place off in about an hour or so. They were all awesome people and it was a great time. They learned fast, we got our run in quickly, and really did rather well given the circumstances.
We even had 6 melee too, which on the Kel'Thuzad fight makes it really tough, what with chaining ice blocks and all. We really had to stay on our toes for it. We were pretty much short on DPS for the entire night, squeaking by enrage timers and facing some VERY large bugs on KT, but we got the job done. When it was all over, the general feeling was that by all strats and "leet" accounts, we should have never been able to do it. And when you accomplish the "impossible", you tend to feel very good about yourselves. Ding, pride points.
The point here is not that we're all awesome or something, I'm sure a lot of groups with good players all around could have done as much as we did. The point is to illustrate the old saying: "nothing ventured, nothing gained". We could have called the raid for the night due to lack of people. As RL, I could have taken one look at the gear and lack of experience of the ringers we brought in and said: "No way". We didn't, and I didn't, and it turned what could have been a bad night into a very good night.
Loot was even spread out fairly well as the loot gods smiled on me with my T7 piece I mentioned and one of our better geared healers with a pants drop that he didn't yet have (and, amazingly, no one else needed). Of course, the undergeared folks also got their share of pieces too. It's just amazing that when normally all the gear would go one way, to have those perfect "last needed" drops drop on a run you almost didn't go on.
The moral to take from this story: as Elleiras over at Fel Fire once put it by way of Matticus' feed reader quote by way of apparently Wayne Gretzky (you know, a friend of a friend's cousin's dog)... "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."
(Note: the picture is mostly for Fuu cuz its funny and she hates skiing (which I love), but it also illustrates a good point through humor that goes along with what I'm saying: A lot of times in life, as in WoW, it's all about your mindset.)