Help me improve my tanking soft skills!
I consider myself a fairly good Pally tank; I don't claim to be amazing, but I think I'm quite good at what I do especially considering I haven't even played WoW for a year yet. This weekend I have a trial run with the #5 guild on my server for a possible tank position in a group early into ICC hard modes, and needless to say I'm both excited and extremely nervous as I really want to bring my "A-game" and impress them as my current guild isn't quite where I want to be raiding and progression wise.
I've noticed two issues that bug me while in raids:
Pacing the pulls
I'm very methodical and tend to take my time with pulls, waiting for one group to die before pulling the next; I even do this in heroics because I abhor the "over in 15 minutes as fast as possible" mentality and would rather go slower and do things properly than go fast and do things messy (I am a software developer in real life, so the "fast and quick" way always spells doom in my experience). I've been in a couple raids lately where the second tank will pull two or more groups at once and I've been wondering if I'm going to slow (nobody has complained) or if the other guy is going a bit too fast.
For instance, the first pull of ICC - I normally pull the two Damned by the door, bring them a little bit into the room to get the group that runs around, and I don't go to the sides until after those guys are dead (or until there's one or two left that are nearly dead). My last run though, the other tank ran off to grab the Servant and Damned when there were still like 2-3 guys up by the door still (almost dead) and we ended up getting a few of those ice spikes (Glacier Blast?) shooting through the raid, although nobody died. After the next pull with the Nerubian and the Damned, the other tank ran off and pulled the whole group of guys up on the dias before the next room (not even LOSing them like I've always done to get the Servants to come closer). I talked to a friend last night about it, and she was saying it's basically just something that comes with practice, and it's not right or wrong to move slower or faster, it's mainly about knowing the other raid members enough to know I can pull a little more. That makes me feel a little better, but I'm still not sure if the problem lies with me.
Boss fight strategies
Every guild I'm in seems to have different strategies for every fight, so I go into the fight knowing how I've done it successfully in the past, only to run into hurdles when everyone else does it differently. I've started to ask/clarify before the pull how the group does the fight to make sure we're on the same page, but sometimes I feel like I'm just going along with everybody else because of majority rule instead of trying to suggest a way I'm more familiar with. I've broadened my views on many fights since trying out a few guilds, since originally I followed the guides here to the letter and expected others to do the same. I still don't agree with some ways of doing fights if they're very weird (e.g. having melee kill two blood beasts on Saurfang25) but if everyone else is comfortable with it I'll go along since the group dynamic has molded the tactic.
Can anyone give me some advice/pointers in dealing with these issues, as I think they're really the only thing that is hindering me at this stage and I don't want to risk, say, ruining my trial by pulling too slow (although I'm not sure how much it will matter, as given this would be my first run with them I won't be as comfortable with them all yet to know what my limits are).
Help is much appreciated :)