What makes the difference, the class mix or the players?
Last night an 85 champ in my kin wanted to run a 3-man. We managed to get a guardian too so I decided to heal on my LM. The champ had never done Iorbar's Peak, so that's what we did. Now, the champ had never done this, the guard had never completed it and I have only been there a couple of times, so we ran T1.
I was astonished how smoothly everything went. All three of us finished every fight near full health and power. My healing basically consisted of water-lore on the tank and group-wide flank heals (I used the eagle to increase the frequency of those). I think I used beacon of hope once on the tank and never more than the flank heals on the champ. I had healed that instance another time with a different class make-up (don't remember what it was) and things did not go nearly as smoothly.
*** SOME MINOR INSTANCE SPOILERS FOLLOW ***
Now since I don't think I've improved THAT much as a player I started to wonder if it was the class mix or the players that made the difference. I'm sure it's a bit of both. It seemed that both these guys knew their classes, plus they followed my directions. For example, the tank picked up the mobs and the champ did not steal aggro from him (hence why I didn't need to heal him). When I called out a target they switched. When I pointed out the shadow damage area from the caller, they avoided it. They moved when the target circles for giants throwing rocks appeared. As for the FM, once I assigned the first (R) to champ and third (Y) to guard, I could use G or B in the middle to pull off straights every time one popped. In the final fight, the champ and I were responsible for stopping the workers from getting to the egg and not a single one made it. This was, bar none, the best 3-man I've been in.
*** END OF SPOILERS ***
Here are my conclusions and questions. I suspect that for many of the 3-mans where a LM could heal, that the guard/champ/lm combo is one of the best mixes. Clearly it is an amazing mix when everybody knows how to play their class and follows directions. I'm wondering, how successful would this class mix be with players less skilled than I had the pleasure of playing with last night? Are there other 3-man combinations, which include the LM, that are as effective? How much can skillful play compensate for less effective mixtures?