Something New

It’s rare, in this game, that I get to achieve something new that I have never before experienced. Getting a new boss down is “new”, but I’ve killed dozens of raid bosses for the first time.

Until Thursday, January 19th, I had never, ever had a server-first kill.

I’ve had a couple of server-first achievements, but I had never had a server-first kill.

I knew we had a good chance of downing Heroic Hagara on 25-man on Thursday. We’d gotten her to 7%ish (9% when the wipe was called) on Tuesday. It was really just a matter of time and I knew that we didn’t have Echelon (a 10-man Horde guild that has been at the top of Eldre’Thalas progression for years) to compete with any longer, as they packed it in after getting Heroic Morchok down. Similarly, Epic Again, another long-time ET guild that led progression, transferred to Stormrage, so we wouldn’t have them as a measuring stick on Eldre’Thalas any longer. I knew the other guilds on the server who had downed Heroic Morchok were 10-man guilds and I knew that 10-man guilds typically go for Zon’ozz or Yor’sahj first, while 25-man guilds have had more success with Hagara second. So I knew we had a good chance.

Knowing we had a good chance at a genuine server-first boss kill is different than actually achieving it.

I may not like what’s coming up for the game. I may not like what the current state of the game is. But on Thursday night, I finally got a server-first boss kill. Not an Alliance-first. Not a 25-man first. Not an achievement first. A real, honest-to-God, genuine, true server-first kill of a raid boss.

If nothing else, I’m glad to have gotten it before packing it in, whenever that might be, and I’m especially pleased and proud to have done it before any damn nerfs.

Thank you, Apotheosis, for kicking some ass tonight. I am extremely proud and humbled by your perseverence, tenacity, skill and your senses of humour.

A Sigh of Resignation

When the expansion was announced at BlizzCon, I wasn’t thrilled. My reaction was something along the lines of: Mists of Pandaria? We’re going to have PANDAS running around? SERIOUSLY?

I decided I could probably deal with that, despite not being thrilled with pandas, to the point where I now no longer say “sad panda”, but rather “sad moose”. However, that, combined with the changing talent trees and abilities and such left me doubtful that I would really enjoy very much at all in Mists of Pandaria.

Still, I said, I would wait to see if things were as bad as I thought they would be, by checking out the Beta. I signed up for the annual pass so I’d get guaranteed Mists of Pandaria Beta access and a free digital copy of Diablo III. People who have noted my overall unhappiness with the announced details of the expansion have asked me if I plan to continue playing.

To them, I have said “right now, the plan is to keep playing and keep raiding, unless something significant changes or Beta is terrible.”

So I have basically told people that my viewpoint was that everything would continue barring huge changes/proof that said changes are terrible in Beta.

And then, on Wednesday evening, Blizzard announced incoming nerfs to Dragon Soul, both normal and heroic.

I sighed. And then I resigned myself to the fact that, unless the Mists of Pandaria Beta absolutely blows my mind in terms of PVE play (especially raiding), this is my last expansion of World of Warcraft where I will be anything more than a casual player.

Let me be very clear — I am dedicated to my guild and our raid group. I will continue to raid, continue to lead the guild, up to when Mists of Pandaria is released. But after that? I’m really not so sure what’s going to happen. Until release, I’ll stick around and continue to be a source of holy paladin knowledge, will still do a podcast with Majik, will still lead Apotheosis and will still raid with Choice on my off-nights. Beyond that, well, I’m not thinking I want to be a part of the upcoming expansion, which is a shift from just twelve hours ago. Earlier today, my thinking was optimistic: “Hey, unless things in Beta really suck, I’ll probably keep playing.” Now, it’s more pessimistic: “Hey, unless things in Beta are really AWESOME, I’m probably going to quit.”

The reason is the ongoing nerfing of current content.

For those of you who are brave, the complete rant is below, but that’s the short answer.

Continue reading “A Sigh of Resignation”

Updates

Hey folks! I hope the holidays are treating everyone well and that people are enjoying whatever it is they’re doing at the moment, whether that’s in-game or out. :)

As for myself, as some of you on Twitter or in my guilds may be aware, my 93 year-old grandmother fell last week and broke her hip. She’s been in the hospital since then and has come through her surgery quite well. That said, she’s still quite elderly and she has a lot of work ahead of her in terms of recovery and rehabilitation. Thank you to everyone who’s tweeted me with their support. Your positive thoughts, good vibes and prayers are greatly appreciated and I ask that you continue to keep her in your thoughts and prayers. <3

So that’s primarily why I’ve been quiet of late, although there’s also the whole “holiday” thing. It hasn’t been the best holiday for me and the family, but we’ve managed to find pockets of joy here and there.

I have a LOT to say about Dragon Soul, paladins, raiding, LFR, elitism, VPs and the like… but I’m not sure when I’ll have the opportunity to write about it all.

In short:

– Apotheosis is 8/8 and we’ll be pushing H Morchok on the 3rd of January (and we’re recruiting, apply now!)
– I’ve done LFR a few times and have had mixed experiences with it, but overall, it seems to be an easy way to get at least 250 VP, if not 500.
– If a holy paladin gets the green buff on Ultraxion, HOLY CRAP, it is AWESOME, haha! (I normally get blue with Apotheosis, but got given green in Choice last week and I blew up the meters, which was hilarious.)
– I also want to do an in-depth examination of Holy Radiance at some point, but basically, it can be very, very useful. It still doesn’t mean that we are “raid healers” though. We can help on the raid significantly, but we’re still very well used as tank healers. If you have 3 resto druids, 1 holy paladin, 1 disc priest and 1 holy priest, you and the disc are likely best served on the tanks with the others on the raid. Do not forget that while Holy Radiance is all shiny, your group comp might be best served with you on the tank. And that is okay. It really depends on your assignment and your group.
– Ultraxion healing: I recommend resto druids/holy priests on red, resto shaman/holy paladins on green, disc priests/holy paladins on blue. Basically, your strongest raid healers on red, then people who will mostly proc green’s buff on green (Sanc, Wild Growth, Healing Rain don’t proc it, so Chain Heal and Holy Radiance go go go) and tank healers on blue. Seems to work nicely.

Anyhow, that’s all from me for now. Short post and it’s still about 500 words. I am incapable of writing less, it would seem!

Best wishes to you all and have a happy (and safe) new year. :)

Of Dragon Soul and Podcasts

I have holy paladin stuff in my head, but I don’t have a lot of time today, so that’ll have to wait until tomorrow or something, but as a player and specifically as a raider in World of Warcraft, I have a couple of things to say about Dragon Soul.

Apotheosis walked into Dragon Soul on Tuesday and 1-shot Morchok, 1-shot Yor’sahj and 2-shot Hagara. We had a bit of trouble with the bouncing ball on Zon’ozz, but we still cleared half of the raid instance in a single night. And here’s a hot tip: I honestly was the least-prepared for Hagara that I had been on a boss since Omnotron and hadn’t put any Hagara strats up prior to the raid.

Choice walked into Dragon Soul on Wednesday and 1-shot Morchok, 2-shot Yor’sahj and had a great attempt on Hagara. Zon’ozz also caused a bit of trouble, but nothing too bad.

With absolutely no disrespect to either my guild or the team of people I raid with in Choice on the baby pally, that’s crazy. This is the last raid before Mists of Pandaria. We’re not even in Alpha on Mists, apparently. From the point in time when Beta opens for a WoW expansion, there’s typically about 6 months until release. If I’m remembering correctly, there’s 1-2 months of Alpha before Beta.

So if we’re pre-Alpha, there’s no less than about 7 months, possibly 8, before the release of Mists of Pandaria.

What does any of that have to do with the fact that my guild is 4/8 in Dragon Soul?

It means that, unless Ultraxion, Blackhorn and the Deathwing encounters are SUPREMELY difficult (which they don’t really appear to be, from most accounts), we’ll clear the instance shortly, in the first 1-2 weeks of its release.

And then it’s on to heroic modes.

For something like 7-8 months.

Are you kidding me?

As long-time readers know, I was NOT a fan of the Firelands nerfs. At all. But, as I grew to accept the changes to the instance, I recognized that maybe this was a test for the Looking for Raid difficulty level. I thought “Hey, maybe normals in Dragon Soul will be the same as normals originally were in Firelands and the nerfed variety will be the baseline for LFR!”

With 4/8 under my belt and 3/8 on another pretty identical toon, I have to say that I believe I was wrong. Nerfed normal Firelands is the baseline for normal Dragon Soul and LFR is, from what I’ve heard, even easier.

So this is going to have to last us through until Mists of Pandaria?

I’m sure heroics will be different, but it’s looking as though we’re in for a repeat of Icecrown Citadel — almost a year of being in the same instance, barring a Ruby Sanctum-like instance and even then, that barely counts as a raid instance, because everyone kept spending most of their time on ICC.

I don’t like where this is going. I’m not sure where it’s going, to be honest, but if it’s heading in the direction I think it is (beating our heads against the same heroic bosses for 6+ months, losing people to boredom, etc) then I’m not looking forward to this. And if this is where they’re taking raiding in Mists of Pandaria…

Well, I guess we’ll see.

In happier news, I’m going to be on the Twisted Nether Blogcast this Saturday! There will be a livestream of the podcast and such and all the fun starts at 11pm ET (8pm PT) on Saturday, December 3rd! Tune in and give it a listen!

And of course, there’s still Blessing of Frost for your (usually!) weekly fix of me and Majik yelling at each other and trying to start trends on Twitter, like #sadmoose, #sadmooseftw and, sadly, #kurngoingret. In particularly, Episode 42 is a great one to listen to. So much laughter! It was our anniversary episode (1 year of doing a podcast!) and we had a great time.

Anyhow. More holy paladin thoughts soon, but I hope to see some friendly faces in the Twisted Nether chat on Saturday night!

Kurn's 4.3 Holy Paladin Gear List

(Edited on December 15th, 2011 — hotfixes aplenty affecting the 4pc bonus, Heart of the Unliving and Timepiece of the Bronze Flight!)

Well, ladies and gentlemen, patch 4.3 is expected to drop in about a week (estimated November 29th), so it’s time for another one of those silly gear posts. Bear in mind that this is my opinion only and I will be prioritizing secondary stats in the following manner (keeping in mind that Intellect is always our primary stat):

Spirit > Haste > Crit > Mastery

Why am I prioritizing as I am? Due to incoming changes to Judgements of the Pure, our regen will be much more reliant on spirit, so I’ll look to have spirit on each piece possible. Haste, while it will drop slightly in priority due to the changes to Holy Radiance, will still be useful in getting more casts out. Crit will still be somewhat lacklustre. Mastery will get a bump up because it will now apply to targets on whom you cast Holy Radiance (and presumably those healed by the AOE effect), but my personal playstyle is not that of a raid healer, so I’m going to continue to focus on Spirit/Haste-heavy gear.

Note that I will focus primarily on the 397 ilvl gear from normal Dragon Soul, but in many cases, the 384 (Looking For Raid) version will work just as well.

As to the 2pc and 4pc set bonuses for Tier 13… Well, I’ll have a bunch of different potential gearsets in this post, I guess. I like the 2pc (although I feel it’s a little underpowered) and while I like the 4pc, I’m not sure how much use I’m personally going to get from it.

For reference:

2pc Tier 13 set bonus: After using Divine Favor, the mana cost of your healing spells is reduced by 25% for 15 sec.
4pc Tier 13 set bonus: Increases the healing done by your Holy Radiance spell by 20%. 5%. (This was hotfixed!)

It’s also important to note that ALL TIER will be dropping from raids, including lower ilvl (384) versions of the tier from the Looking for Raid difficulty, so no tier will be available with Valor Points. As well, Alizabal, the new Baradin Hold boss, seems to be dropping tier gloves and tier legs as both previous Baradin Hold bosses have done.

Tier 13/ilvl 397

HEAD

Two real options here, the tier helm and the vendor helm. That’s right, helms will be available for Valor Points at the vendor.

Glowing Wings of Hope: 2200 Valor Points from the VP vendor. This will take a bit longer than you would expect to earn. While the weekly cap is being raised to 1000 Valor Points, you’ll only earn 100 VP per raid boss kill (regardless of 10 or 25-man format). There are probably better pieces to pick up from the VP vendor first, so you might be waiting even longer than just collecting the 2200 VP (which is a minimum of two weeks and a bit). That said, the secondaries on this (spirit and crit) aren’t bad.

Headguard of Radiant Glory: This is the tier helm and the token for it drops off the sixth boss in the Dragon Soul raid, Warmaster Blackhorn. Why yes, that IS 280 mastery on it. My vote is for the non-tier helm! But let’s see what we can cobble together, shall we?

NECK

Again, two options here, one from the raid instance and one from the vendors.

Threadlinked Chain: 1250 Valor Points on this baby, which is still at least a week and a bit before you can afford this. Again, I’m not sure if this should be our priority for Valor Points, but we’ll see where we stand after going through all the loot. Plus, it’s got spirit, which is great, but it has crit, so it’s not what I would consider the best combination of stats.

Petrified Fungal Heart: Beautiful! Spirit and geez, would you look at that haste? Insane. The best news here is that this drops from the first boss in Dragon Soul, Morchok. This is definitely Kurn’s Choice ™, due to ease of acquisition and the pretty, pretty stats.

SHOULDERS

Uh. Absolutely no choices here. Go tier or go home.

Mantle of Radiant Glory: The good news? These are fantastic shoulders. 2 red sockets, 20 intellect socket bonus, lots of haste. Even better, the token for these aren’t off the second to last boss, like they were in Firelands or on an end-boss, like they were on Cho’gall in Bastion of Twilight. They’re off the fourth boss, Hagara the Stormbinder.

CLOAK

Again, no choices here as there is not one single cloak that drops in Dragon Soul.

Woundlicker Cover: Well, at least it’s a great cloak. Red socket, intellect bonus, spirit and haste, all for the bargain-basement price of 1250 Valor Points! This is looking as though it might be our number one VP purchase.

CHEST

Back to options! It’s nice to have a choice in gear.

Shining Carapace of Glory: All red sockets, all of the time, it appears. I’m not complaining. This chestpiece is available from the Valor Point vendor for 2200 VP and is possibly more easily available than the tier chest. Still, the crit makes me more inclined to put something else (like the cloak!) ahead of this on my potential shopping list.

Breastplate of Radiant Glory: YES PLEASE. Seriously, we have been blessed with some amazing chestpieces this expansion, but this is SERIOUSLY an amazing one. 3 sockets (including a yellow, so we can slot in a Reckless gem in there for one of our two yellow meta gem requirements) and plenty of haste. Even if you don’t like haste much as a secondary, the third socket makes this the winner, hands down. This drops off Ultraxion, the fifth boss in Dragon Soul.

WRISTS

I feel as though I’ve stumbled into an alternate universe because we have not one, not two, but three choices this tier. Is this really the same game that gave us just one 359 option for bracers?

Flashing Bracers of Warmth: Selling for a mere 1250 Valor Points at the vendor, these bracers are the easiest of the three to acquire. They also lack a socket and have mastery on them as a secondary. Still, not a terrible choice if your only other options are 378 bracers or if you’re doing that whole “mastery-stacking” thing.

Heartblood Wristplates: Pardon me as I attempt not to drool. Red socket, spirit, haste? Awesome. They drop off the third boss in Dragon Soul, Yor’sahj the Unsleeping, so they may not be terribly difficult to acquire.

Soul Redeemer Bracers: … okay, I’m drooling. These are crafted. The recipe for them is likely to be a drop from Dragon Soul. The materials for these actually aren’t too bad: 4 Truegold, 30 Volatile Life, 2 newly-unbound Chaos Orbs and, okay, well, the 4 Essences of Destruction will be the sticking point. These will likely be dropping in Dragon Soul the same way Living Embers did. Bear in mind that there are no heroic versions of this, so for the next ilvl tier, the drops from Yor’sahj will be better. But these are still amazing until you clear Dragon Soul and move into heroic modes.

HANDS

Two choices here with the gloves, one from the vendors, the other our tier.

Gleaming Grips of Mending: 1650 Valor Points for these. There’s a red socket, which is nice, but there’s that pesky mastery stat again. Still, if you don’t get lucky with your tier token, these are perfectly viable and adequate.

Gloves of Radiant Glory: The token for these drops off Warlord Zon’ozz, the second boss in Dragon Soul. A blue socket and crit as a secondary. Meh.

Honestly, this choice really depends on how much you hate mastery and how often Conqueror tokens drop off Yor’sahj. Either are fine, but the tier will obviously help with 2/4pc bonuses.

However, if you get through the Spine of Deathwing encounter, you get a shot at ilvl 403 loot and the only piece of ilvl 403 armor we might be interested in here are the gloves.

Gauntlets of the Golden Thorn: Very pretty. Two sockets, which is more than the other options, and plenty of spirit and haste. These get my vote.

WAIST

Again, I feel as though I’m in an alternate dimension. Coming out of a tier with just one belt option, in Tier 13, we’ll have… three?

Blinding Girdle of Truth: 1650 Valor Points will get you this belt from the VP vendor. Two sockets are always tempting, but then there’s all that mastery. Not a bad choice, but with two other choices, this is not my top option.

Dragonfracture Belt: Wow, this is an amazing belt. This belt is like the devs are saying “Hey, holy paladins? Yeah, we’re sorry about that one crappy belt option in T12. Enjoy!!” It drops off Ultraxion, the fifth boss in Dragon Soul. This is definitely my first pick.

Girdle of Soulful Mending: Now this is a curious item. It doesn’t seem to drop off any boss, nor is there a recipe for it. It’s also Bind on Equip. Could this be a trash drop in Dragon Soul? Assuming it’s actually in the game, I think we have to assume it is. As such, this is your easiest way to upgrade to a 397 belt, although it likely won’t be cheap. And while it has 20 intellect more (at base) than the other two belts, it only has one socket. Even without epic gems (which are being introduced in 4.3, but are supposed to be quite rare), this is still going to be a loss of intellect compared to the other two options.

Honestly, if you can’t get Ultraxion down with regularity or if you can’t cough up the VP for the belt, the BOE will do in a pinch, but the only thing it has going for it is that it’s relatively easy to get (trash runs, at the Auction House, etc).

LEGS

Just two options here. One is our tier legs and the other is another crafted item.

Greaves of Radiant Glory: Our tier legs, whose token drops from Yor’sahj the Unsleeping, the third boss in Dragon Soul. 3 sockets are great, but that mastery. Why mastery? Alas. T11 pants were crap, T13 pants aren’t great, IMHO.

Pyrium Legplates of Purified Evil: The only other choice apart from tier are these crafted legs. While they are awesome, there will almost certainly not be a heroic version of these, which makes me a sad moose. (#sadmoose!) These call for 8 Truegold, 40 Volatile Life, 4 newly-unbound Chaos Orbs and 8 Essences of Destruction.

FEET

Some interesting options here.

Pillarfoot Greaves: Dropping from Morchok, the first boss of Dragon Soul, are these boots. Two sockets, plenty of spirit… and crit isn’t terrible. These are likely going to be fairly easy to pick up.

Silver Sabatons of Fury: These are AWESOME. And they’re available from the vendors for 1650 Valot Points. BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! Valor Point boots are Bind on Equip again, like they were for Tier 11!

Best thing to do here is farm up the VP on another character in the first week and a bit and buy them for your main raiding character. Or, save up ~15k or thereabouts and buy your boots off the Auction House in Week 2 of 4.3. The important thing here is that you not spend your main raiding character’s VP on these boots, as awesome as they are. You have other things to save for.

WEAPONS/SHIELDS

A couple of options here, though none as awesome as the Eye of Purification (as in, they’re all boring maces).

Vagaries of Time: Dropping off Morchok, the first boss of Dragon Soul, this is a snazzy mace. Good itemization, though no spirit means that those nasty shadow priests, moonkins and elemental shaman will also be after it. Definitely worth picking up.

That is, until…

Maw of the Dragonlord: Definitely a healing mace, based on the Equip. I wonder if it looks like Light of Dawn… Anyhow, Vixsin of Life in Group 5 recently tweeted: “Healers, start cozying up to your loot council, because Maw of the Dragonlord is doing 10-20% of my healing on PTR.” Of course, this drops at the end of the Madness of Deathwing encounter, so only if you’re clearing Dragon Soul can you expect to see this.

As to shields… well, there’s one healing shield, but there’s also an off-hand that might be worth checking out.

Timepiece of the Bronze Flight: The only healing shield you’ll find. It’s fine and all, but there’s no socket. It drops off Warmaster Blackthorn, the sixth boss of Dragon Soul. This has been hotfixed to add a red socket with a 10 int socket bonus. This is almost certainly what we’d like to pick up.

Ledger of Revolting Rituals: Now this is where it gets got a bit interesting. Dropping off Ultraxion, the 5th boss in Dragon Soul, this off-hand has a socket. Dropping an ordinary Brilliant Inferno Ruby (+40 intellect) into it will give it 20 more intellect than the shield (the version without the socket) and if it’s an epic brilliant cut, that’ll be 30 more intellect than the shield. Is 30 intellect better than 15 haste and 8 spirit? Hell yes.

The thing is, holy paladins and resto shaman and elemental shaman are the only ones who would want that shield, versus any priest, moonkin, resto druid, ele/resto shaman or holy paladin who is using a 1H/OH-or-shield combination. If you’ve got very little competition, go for the Ledger. If you have competition, go with the shield, at least until the off-hand is being disenchanted and such.

Right, so in LFR (and bear in mind that this list is for NORMAL raiding, not LFR!), the shield has been “tagged” for paladins and shaman while the ledger has been “tagged” for priests, druids, etc. That means that a paladin cannot “need” on the Ledger. But it’s okay, because the shield was hotfixed to add a red socket along with a 10 int bonus, so the shield comes out ahead of the Ledger any way you look at it now.

RINGS

Signet of Suturing: This is a ring that drops off of multiple bosses with a shared loot table, much like our awesome spellpower axe, the Eye of Purification, did in Firelands. It is awesome. End of story.

Band of Reconstruction: 1250 Valor Points for a decent ring. It’s got spirit, but also has mastery. The yellow socket and its weak bonus isn’t great either. Not a priority for our shopping list.

Ring of the Riven: No spirit on this, but some haste and mastery, which is a combination we don’t see a lot. It drops off Hagara the Stormbinder, the fourth boss in Dragon Soul.

I’ll probably aim for Signet of Suturing and then whichever I can reasonably get first, the Band or the Ring. Bear in mind that casters will want the Ring of the Riven as well, though.

TRINKETS

Reflection of the Light: The healer Valor Point trinket, available for 1650 VP. Spirit is good. The on-use is good for bursty moments, but remember that it’s not like the Fiery Quintessence, which gave us Intellect. This is pure spellpower.

Bottled Wishes: The “caster” Valor Point trinket, this can be yours for 1650 VP. Again, this may not be as useful given the changes to Holy Radiance and such, but if your heals are feeling sluggish, this might be useful. Also, the on-use spellpower effect can be helpful for some burst throughput.

— Thanks to Oestrus for pointing out that I’d missed the VP trinkets entirely. Whoopsiedoodle. And speaking of the VP trinkets, since neither one of them has intellect, I would recommend picking only one of them and keeping another, intellect-heavy trinket on you. I would probably aim for the Seal of the Seven Signs (see below) and Reflection of the Light, to be honest, but I reserve the right to change my mind.

Seal of the Seven Signs: Preeeetty. Shiiiiny. While it sucks that the haste boost is a proc and not an on-use like the Shard of Woe, this is still pretty decent, if only because of the huge amount of intellect. Plus, that’s a LOT of haste when it does proc. It probably has a 45s internal cooldown or something, so that can still be 4-6 procs (and thus, 80-120s) of hasted goodness during a ~5 minute fight. It drops from Warlord Zon’ozz, the second boss in Dragon Soul.

Windward Heart: Another item on that shared loot table, like the Signet of Suturing, this is interesting because, according to the comments on Wowhead, it’s got a ~25s internal cooldown.

Heart of Unliving: Another ilvl 403 item, this is from the Spine of Deathwing, the 7th fight in the Dragon Soul. On the one hand, this adds 880 spirit to you, which is monstrous, especially given the Judgements of the Pure changes. On the other, there’s absolutely no stats on this. It really depends how you’re doing with mana, to be honest. This was hotfixed to add 323 intellect to it, so while that’s a lot less than any other similar ilvl trinket, you still gte that monstrously insane amount of spirit. It would allow you to drop spirit on some other gear, like the Ring of the Riven, so that’s something to keep in mind.

RELICS

Well, technically, we have two choices, both available from the vendors for 700 Valor Points.

Lightning Spirit in a Bottle: The “healer” relic, this has spirit… and mastery.

Mindbender Lens: The “caster” relic, this has haste and crit, but no spirit.

Which you choose is really up to you and your playstyle and what other gear you have and how your mana regen is doing. Since neither are perfectly itemized, this may drop down the priority list when looking at Valor Point purchases.

VALOR POINT PRIORITY LIST

All right, here’s what I think your priority should be when spending your Valor Points. I am not including Silver Sabatons of Fury. These should be your FIRST Valor Point purchase, but use an alt or gold to get these!

1) Woundlicker Cover – 1250 VP for this awesome cloak.
2) Glowing Wings of Hope – 2200 VP for this helm. Given that the tier helm drops off the 6th boss and is “meh”, pick this helm up when you can.
3) Reflection of the Light OR Bottled Wishes – 1650 for either trinket. Again, just pick one of them and go intellect-heavy for the other, I’d say.
4) Your relic – 700 VP for either the “healer” or “caster” relic.
5) Gleaming Grips of Mending – 1650 VP for your gloves, IF you can’t get your tier gloves from Warlord Zon’ozz. Will be replaced by the gloves from the Spine of Deathwing, though.
6) Blinding Girdle of Truth – 1650 VP for your belt, IF you can’t get the one from Ultraxion, the fifth boss in Dragon Soul.
7) Shining Carapace of Glory – 2200 VP for a chest, IF and ONLY if you cannot, for the life of you, get your tier chest. Because as soon as you do get your tier chest, vendor this sucker.
8) Flashing Bracers of Warmth – 1250 VP for these bracers, IF you can’t get the crafted ones or the ones from Yor’sahj, the third boss in Dragon Soul.

Honestly, you shouldn’t really need to buy 5-8. You should be able to pick up the raid drops, even if it’s just the LFR versions (which are ilvl 384 instead of 397). If you manage to cap your Valor Points at 1000 per week and just buy the first four items (and use an alt or gold to get your boots), you’ll be mostly done with Valor Point collection after five weeks (and an additional 800 VP), barring terrible drops or terrible luck.

2PC, 4PC OR WHAT?

Well, here’s what I’m aiming for:

VP helm
Tier shoulders (obviously)
Tier chest (fantastic)
Gauntlets of the Golden Thorn (Spine of Deathwing drop)
Crafted legs

I will likely pick up, as I am able, the tier legs and tier gloves so that I can play with the 4pc bonus. But I don’t tend to raid heal, so the boost to Holy Radiance will likely be lost on me. (Plus, a 5% bonus to HR is a lot more underwhelming than the original 20% HR bonus. Really, the only time I’d be likely to use 4pc is on Ultraxion, but that’s because I mostly tank heal and occasionally raid heal on that one fight.)

If you go with the 4pc, I would recommend the helm and the legs and still go with the Gauntlets of the Golden Thorn because they are the prettiest pretty off-set things you’ll find this tier, so if you have to pick one item to be an off-set piece, it should be the gloves (particularly as there will be a heroic version of the gloves, but no heroic version of the crafted legs!).

OVERVIEW BY BOSS

And here’s what you might like to see drop from the various bosses.

Morchok: Vagaries of Time (mace), Petrified Fungal Heart (neck)

Warlord Zon’ozz: Seal of the Seven Signs (trinket), potentially tier glove token for Gloves of Radiant Glory

Yor’sahj the Unsleeping: Heartblood Wristplates (bracers), potentially tier leg token for Greaves of Radiant Glory

Hagara the Stormbinder: Ring of the Riven (ring), definitely tier shoulder token for Mantle of Radiant Glory

Ultraxion: Dragonfracture Belt (belt), definitely tier chest token for Breastplate of Radiant Glory (chest), potentially Ledger of Revolting Rituals (off-hand — not a shield!)

Warmaster Blackthorn: Potentially Timepiece of the Bronze Flight (shield)

Spine of Deathwing: Definitely Gauntlets of the Golden Thorn (hands), potentially Heart of Unliving (trinket)

Madness of Deathwing: Definitely Maw of the Dragonlord (mace)

Shared Loot Table: Signet of Suturing (ring), Windward Heart (trinket)

THAT’S ALL, FOLKS!

And that’s all I’ve got for you, folks. I do hope this is somewhat helpful for you as you enter Dragon Soul and start seeing all that lovely loot drop!

Glory of the Firelands Raider Achieved

So my last post detailed how crappy it is to be the one who makes decisions like “who gets their mount first?” and such. Shortly after posting that, we walked into Firelands with 25 people and got 23 people their Glory of the Firelands Raider achievements. (The other two in the group just need Only the Penitent…)

This post will detail how to go about getting those less-common achievements, or at least how we did them. I won’t cover the six heroic boss kills, nor Share the Pain, nor Only the Penitent…

The first tip is that we did all of these achievements on NORMAL MODE. That was a huge help.

Death from Above

Goal

This achievement basically means that, during the Beth’tilac encounter, you don’t kill any Cinderweb Drones while they’re below the web. If you are to kill them at all, you kill them above the web.

How to Get It

1) Send up as many people to the top of the web as you can while still assuring yourself of the ability to kill all Spinners and Spiderlings below. This should include a tank, at least one healer and some DPS.

2) Downstairs DPS should stop DPS on the Cinderweb Drones at 20%. Then ignore them. Their energy will tick down. When it reaches 0%, they will go up to the top of the web and will start to drain energy from Beth’tilac herself. This will have the side-effect that she will cast Smoldering Devastation sooner and, as a result, will transition to Phase 2 (the ground/burn phase) sooner.

3) As soon as a Cinderweb Drone goes up to the top of the web, DPS above should focus on it to kill it.

4) If a Cinderweb Drone comes back downstairs, YOU MUST NOT KILL IT. Off-tank it. If it is low on health, let it consume a Cinderweb Spiderling!

5) Tanks should swap between tanking Beth’tilac and when they get Widow’s Kiss, they should pick up any Cinderweb Drones that remain and then swap back. You will likely have 2 drones — one that has already gone up and one that just recently spawned.

We did this on our first attempt, although it was a little hairy and we needed to feed 1-2 spiderlings to a drone.

We had 1 tank, 2 healers and 7 DPS go up top with 1 tank, 4 healers and 10 DPS stay on the bottom.

Not an Ambi-Turner

Goal

This achievement wants you to defeat Rhyolith without ever turning him left. Don’t be fooled by the “while his armor is intact” crap. That means until he sheds it completely at 25%, not when all armor stacks have worn off. Also, damage to the left foot is acceptable, but as soon as he turns left, you are screwed.

How to Get It

Tikari, one of our melee officers and the one who “drives” Rhyolith, brought this solution to the table:

We will want as much direct damage, and as few DoT’s as possible – zero DoT’s on the left legs. For example, I’ll be going with instant/instant poison.

We will have the following calls:
1. Stop DPS (this means everything).
2. Soft right (~6 DPS or so to execute sweeping turns).
3. Hard right (~10 DPS or so assigned to legs opens up on them to make tight turns).

Zero dps on the legs at the start. I mean, zero. We will let him walk forward, stomp, summon two volcanoes, and light one (hopefully one to his right – if not, we’ll deal). Then we will turn right (likely soft) on my call. I will try to keep a soft right call going to get as many volcanoes early as possible. Then as we get closer, we’ll switch to hard rights and just keep him spinning clockwise as we burn him as quickly as possible to force phase 2.

And that’s pretty much what we did. At about 50% or so, we blew heroism and EVERY DPS in the raid switched to the right leg and we turned him in circles for a little bit until he hit 25%, then we blew him up. Beautiful.

We did this on our second attempt (the first had nowhere near enough DPS to turn him, so we bumped that to 6 from 2). Raid comp here was 2 tanks, 6 healers, 17 DPS. Specifically on the legs: 1 combat rogue, 1 assassination rogue, 1 fury warrior, 2 frost DKs, 1 marks hunter, 1 elemental shaman and 2 arcane mages.

Bucket List

Goal

Drag Shannox all over the freaking map to each of the points required, then kill him.

How to Get It

A really simple, if somewhat long, achievement. (And we did it while someone in the raid was getting their foci from Shannox, too!)

First – clear a LOT of trash. You’ll need the space. Anything on the road from the Path of Corruption all the way to Alysrazor’s room and any wandering patrols.

Essentially, you want to pull him at the Path of Corruption. Pull him up the ramp of it until the achievement UI pane checks off “Path of Corruption”. While this is happening and Shannox is turned around again to go back DOWN the path of Corruption, DPS should open up and absolutely slaughter Rageface, to make the encounter slightly less complicated. This will, of course, cause Shannox to do a bit of extra damage.

Going along the road over towards the entrance, you’ll pass by Beth’tilac’s cliffs. Hug the cliffs and you will eventually get credit for Beth’tilac’s Lair. There’s a great spot just to the right of the ramp leading up to Beth’tilac if you’re having trouble finding a spot.

Then head over towards the entrance of the instance. Just a bit up the ramp from where the portal to Majordomo’s area is will be the border for “Flamebreach” and you just need to cross Shannox past that before spinning him around and moving on.

Next up, head over towards Rhyolith’s ramp. Make sure you’ve done Rhyolith FIRST (or at least his trash!) so that you don’t trigger the gauntlet. You just need to go a little ways up. Again, watch the achievement pane for credit, then turn around and head for Alysrazor’s room.

We had previously killed Alysrazor, so we just fought Shannox in there. We had already killed Rageface, so we killed Riplimb, blew heroism and killed Shannox.

Again, the raid comp was 2 tanks, 6 healers and 17 DPS.

Do a Barrel Roll!

Goal

Essentially, the goal of this is to not take any avoidable environmental damage here. No Brushfire, no Lava Spew, no Fiery Tornadoes and no Incendiary Clouds.

How to Get It

We sent five DPS up in the air, as per usual. This left us with 12 DPS on the ground, 2 tanks and 6 healers.

DPS had the instructions to focus the Initiates as they dropped to essentially blow them up before they got a Brushfire out. Stuns were useful here, since Brushfire is not interruptable. This helped greatly to eliminate the chance of hitting Brushfire, because, well, there were very few Brushfires to be found.

Tanks were given the instructions to eat their plump lava worms almost as soon as they could. On normal mode, you get 2 spawns of 2 worms each. We had the tanks use cooldowns through tantrums until the hatchlings were dead. This helped greatly to eliminate the chance of hitting Lava Spew, because the worms were barely alive long enough to clip someone.

The air team was fantastic in dodging Incendiary Clouds, so make sure whoever you send up is extremely comfortable up there.

Fiery Tornadoes were the sticking point, but we found a specific spot on the ground where tornadoes spawn near. Once we all clumped up on that spot and chased the tornadoes around from then on, it only took us a total of two attempts to get the achievement done.

Here’s the spot. It’s on the southern wall of the room. Here’s the picture — that’s the entance to the left.

 

As noted, the tornadoes will go CLOCKWISE, so you’re in a good spot if you’re just off the purple spot towards the entrance.

The biggest problem here was people “getting lost in the crowd”, so to speak. I nearly clipped a tornado because I lost track of where my own toon was and had drifted right a bit, and someone ended up clipping one, so we called a wipe and tried again. It worked beautifully.

Tips:

– Have the Achievement UI pane open (track the achievement) for Bucket List. It really helps.
– Use Raid Achievement for Do a Barrel Roll. It’s really handy and tells you what portion of the fight was failed and by whom. So if your whole raid team, for example, has gotten through a fight with Alysrazor and not taken Brushfire damage, and you already have that portion of the achievement, you can ignore any Brushfire failures.

Hope that’s helpful to everyone attempting their hand at Glory of the Firelands Raider! The other achievements are either really easy (Share the Pain, Only the Penitent) or depend on your group’s progression through Firelands (need all bosses dead on heroic except for Ragnaros).

Good luck!

Guilt and Glory of the Firelands Raider

One of my favourite memories about Burning Crusade is also one of my most guilt-inducing memories about Burning Crusade. I led Apotheosis to Vashj and Kael’thas kills before the Hand of A’dal title was no longer obtainable. Bear in mind that these were fights that we worked on seemingly forever. With a roster that was ever-changing and ridiculously low attendance “requirements”, it’s a wonder we made it through 4/5 Hyjal and 5/9 Black Temple before 3.0 dropped.

But we did it. We worked hard at getting Vashj down three times and Kael died twice, I believe it was.

One of my best moments was getting one of our rogues, Kut, his Hand of A’dal title. Kut had been around in Tier 4 and parts of Tier 5, but had a demanding schedule of work and class and, honestly, having him there for both a Vashj kill and a Kael kill was just flat-out luck, it feels like. I did what I could to work around his schedule and it paid off with Kut, our token “lying dead in the fire” rogue, getting his Hand of A’dal title.

The flipside of that is that we didn’t get Majik his. Maj had his own conflicts with raiding and such. We did get him a Kael kill, but the one night we’d set aside for Vashj for a fourth kill… things just didn’t click. We couldn’t get her down again. Our second-ever kill of Vashj was a 1-shot (seriously!) but we couldn’t close the deal on what was to be our fourth kill. And so Majik, and a couple of others, never got their Hand of A’dal titles.

Thus, Hand of A’dal is both one of my best moments and one of my worst.

Tonight, Apotheosis starts in on Glory of the Firelands Raider achievements. Well, that’s a bit misleading. We’ve already accomplished most of those — all six heroic bosses required? Done. Share the Pain? Done. Only the Penitent…? Done (and easily repeatable if anyone’s missing it). Ostensibly, the worst is over.

So I’m faced with a list of 32 people who could possibly be at the raid tonight and only 25 spots to give out.

One thing that I was pretty clear about was that the Raider-ranked people would be given priority on the first reset, but then there’s the group composition to think about. I’m basically going to have to sit a tank and a healer who are Raider-ranked and pull in at least one (perhaps two) Initiates who are DPS.

Plus, if people are causing our failure on Alysrazor’s Do a Barrel Roll! then I’m going to have to sit people and pull in others.

All of it together combines to stress me out just a wee bit.

Now, I know that I’ll be able to get most people their achievements and mounts and, barring catastrophic failure, my own achievements and mount are secured. But the important thing to me is that people not be left behind on this particular set of achievements. Yet, due to 4.3 likely coming out on November 29th, I fear that some of our Initiates who don’t have Alysrazor, Shannox, Beth’tilac or Rhyolith on heroic won’t get theirs. And that sucks. And of course, if anything goes seriously wrong with an achievement (I can foresee SO many problems…) then it’s possible we could screw it up this week and screw 10ish people out of their achievements due to a lack of time.

Ultimately, we didn’t have the news that 4.3 was likely launching on November 29th until November 10th, by which point we’d already killed Shannox, Beth’tilac, Rhyolith and Alysrazor on heroic, so we couldn’t go backwards, revive them and spend last reset doing achievements.

Instead, we repeated 6 heroic boss kills (including our second H Baleroc kill) and played with Heroic Ragnaros and that, essentially, will mean that the majority of us have gotten all the upgrades we can possibly get (barring possible Baleroc and Majordomo heroic loot). In short, the guild is probably stronger for spending last week clearing 6/7 heroic modes and we’re probably better prepared for 4,3’s raid because of it, but it might be at the cost of getting some of our newer people their meta achievement and their mount. Which sucks. And that’s why I mentioned the Hand of A’dal title to start out this post. We literally ran out of time before the title was no longer available and that’s why Majik doesn’t have it. I’m hoping 4.3 is delayed just one more week so that we can finish out the achievements and get one more 6/7 HM reset in, but if that doesn’t happen, then, once again, my guild will have literally run out of time to get some people some achievements.

Second-guessing myself and my decisions (and the decisions of the other officers) does us no good, but it’s still disappointing to know that, if the patch does drop on November 29th, we had the opportunity to do the achievements last week and didn’t. I guess it shows that I value the people in the guild more than the gear, and that’s probably a good thing, but I probably won’t feel great about things unless 4.3 comes out on December 6th.

It’s decisions like these that I stress out over and probably the fact that I do stress over them means that I’m a decent leader, but it’s definitely an unpleasant part of the job.

Catching up with Kurn

I have been a bad person of late, not responding to (m)any comments of late, for which I sincerely apologize. I’m currently writing this post as a break from working on a project for my Video Games as Literature class. Things should be less hectic as of Wednesday!

That said, I had to talk a bit about Heroic Ragnaros, recruitment, Blessing of Frost, Majik and a couple of other topics.

Heroic Ragnaros

We pulled him once on Thursday night. We got Baleroc down for the first time that night, had a third kill of heroic Majordomo and still had time left in the raid. So we pulled Heroic Ragnaros (and I frapsed our infamous FIRST attempt, too!). We didn’t do too badly, in that we didn’t die instantly. ;) We did die to sons hitting the hammer, though. I think doing the nerfed version of regular Ragnaros for so long meant that we were expecting the sons to melt as they normally do. Hot tip: they don’t die so easily!

We spent Sunday night, our last night of the raid week, working on Heroic Ragnaros. 20 pulls on heroic, then one pull on normal to kill him.

According to WoL, the best pulls lasted four minutes and two seconds, four minutes and three seconds and four minutes and four seconds.

For anyone familiar with the heroic Ragnaros fight, that’s a pretty clear sign that the Molten Elementals and/or Molten Seeds kicked our asses. And you would be correct.

It was pretty clear that at least some of the group hadn’t watched the L2R video I’d linked in the forums and didn’t really understand the concept of all grouping up for Molten Seeds. On the one hand, bad preparation. On the other, at least they understood that grouping up for Molten Seeds is normally a bad thing? (Silver linings, Kurn, silver linings.) Still, we eventually got away from the Molten Seeds with just a couple of deaths, but it’s the Molten Elementals that would then catch up to us and brutally murder us.

Someone had suggested using a moonkin’s Typhoon to knock them back. I was going to respond that it probably wouldn’t work when Hestiah, who was asked to go moonkin for the occasion, answered in raid chat:

For some reason, this had me howling with laughter. I mean, absolutely cracking up. It continued for a couple of minutes, too. Oh, man.

Anyway, so yes, the current sticking point is the Molten Elementals. It didn’t help that we had 2 healers and a tank in their DPS offspecs, either. Of course, we don’t always GET to Phase 2, because sometimes, the sons reach the hammer and KABOOM, we are all dead. We had some AMAZING saves, though! Great work by so many people. (Seriously, a 1/7 split is not a lot of fun, though.)

What now? Well, we’re gonna do another week of heroic farming, I do believe — try out some apps, get some gear, get the heroic Baleroc achievement for people who weren’t in for the first one… and then maybe work a bit more on Ragnaros. Ultimately, we don’t know if we’re going to push him, but I think that we’re just going to run out of time before 4.3 comes out. What we will do is spend two resets and get people their Glory of the Firelands Raider achievements. Heroic Baleroc again will finish off the hard achievements, leaving us with things like Bucket List, Not an Ambi-Turner and the others.

I do worry about Alysrazor’s achievement, though. I can’t do anything about the air team, but I’m thinking I’ll use a sacrificial lamb method to have people mark a couple of SAFE places to stand for the tornadoes. So we’d go through P1 and then, when the tornadoes come out, have people mark the ground with safe marks. So to the left of a right-moving tornado, or to the right of a left-moving tornado. And then wipe it and do it again. Doing the achievements on normal mode will make things a lot easier, like we’ll be able to really lock down the initiates on Alysrazor and kill them before Brushfire comes out. We can hopefully get the hatchlings to eat worms quickly and burn them down and use CDs to go through tantrums so that Lava Spew is out of the equation. Then the tornadoes. And hopefully, the air team will have done a good job of not eating clouds. And then kill her during her first ground phase.

That’s the plan, at any rate.

So after we get the meta achievement… then what?

Well, more heroic farming, but I figure we’ll have, at most, one or two more resets after we finish the achievements. So a couple more nights on heroic Ragnaros or do we kill him on normal and give people some time off to recuperate before 4.3 hits?

To choose to work on Heroic Ragnaros, when Beru’s guild, Monolith, just got him down last night after 388 pulls… well, it kind of seems foolish, doesn’t it? It took them over two months. I’m pretty sure we won’t have two months until the next patch.

But shouldn’t we still go down fighting? That’s what we did in Tier 11 content. We pushed heroic V&T and got them down just five days before 4.2 dropped and we even played with heroic ODS, which we didn’t get down.

The time people put in on the Heroic Ragnaros fight, though, makes it seem as though it’s not an achievable goal unless we don’t go to Dragon Soul right away. And that’s the difference right there. Do we bash our heads on something that is likely not to be achieved? Or do we rest our raid crew and prep for 4.3?

Having said that…

Apotheosis Recruitment

Apotheosis is still recruiting! We’ve had some snazzy apps — an enhancement shaman and shadow priest will be starting their trials with us this week. We have an interesting elemental shaman app and I’ve been going back and forth with a hunter.

We could still use a mythical retribution paladin and any spec of warrior, so if you’re one of those and can attend 75% of raids that take place on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, from 9pm ET until midnight (invites at 8:45!), apply now!

Blessing of Frost

Then, there’s Blessing of Frost! We didn’t record last week because Majik had no power, due to a snowstorm and such. We can’t record today because Majik has actually lost his voice. Last night, during the raid, was hilarious. He honestly couldn’t speak, and took to threatening me in raid chat. (We will ignore the fact that I was probably taunting him about being unable to speak.)

So we’re going to let his voice recover and aim to have a new episode of Blessing of Frost out on Wednesday at some point, maybe Thursday at the latest. (We’re going to try to record on Tuesday.) It’s made all the more hilarious because MAJIK HAS IMPORTANT THINGS TO SAY!!! So, uh, yeah. Tune in this week (probably!) for a new episode of Blessing of Frost. :)

Majik Gets a Crazy Idea

And in case you’re missing your weekly dose of Majik (and who would?), he has decided to set up a blog.

Majik’s Missives is a blog where Majik will talk about his gaming life. Not just WoW, but TF2, League of Legends, reflections on older games, all that kind of stuff. He’s actually a pretty decent writer, so definitely check out his first post. He’s got a couple of others already written up and will be posting them throughout the week.

And on that note, my dear readers, it’s back to my Video Games as Literature project. Have a great Monday. :)

"End" of Expansion Malaise

I’m still here, folks, no worries of my head exploding about pandas and the like. ;)

I’ve been slammed recently with deadlines for my classes at university and with all kinds of guild work, but hope to get back to posting regularly in the next week or so.

In the meantime, I wanted to touch on the malaise and burnout and fatigue I’m seeing of late.

We’re not even done with the second tier of raiding this expansion and I’ve had a few raiders come to me to tell me that they’re stepping down or will be stepping down when 4.3 comes out.

While I can’t say I’m completely surprised, I have to say that it’s a little bit startling that so many people — both in my guild and others — are throwing in the towel.

I’m not sure what’s causing it, in general, although I suspect that there’s more to it than just a reason or two.

I do think, however, that Heroic Ragnaros, or the prospect of him, is causing part of this malaise and fatigue. Every single raider who has aspired to clear heroic modes in Firelands has to have thought to themselves, at one point or another, “MAN, that Heroic Rag fight is completely brutal!”

Reading blogs like Beru’s and Borsk’s, reading tweets from Derevka and Pliers, there’s no way anyone can be delusional enough to think “hey, my guild will be different! We’ll spend a week on him and he’ll fall over!”

In Wrath of the Lich King, we didn’t encounter a heroic-mode boss of the difficulty of Heroic Ragnaros (or even close!) until Heroic Lich King. Heroic Anub’Arak came close, in that a lot of guilds got to 4/5 in TOGC and then “hey, ICC is open! Screw Anub’Arak and his ridiculousness!!!”

That’s not to say that Sarth3D wasn’t challenging (it was) or that Algalon wasn’t rough (again, it was) or that 1 or 0 Light Yogg wasn’t extremely difficult (I understand it was). But to *clear* the instance, the final (even optional) bosses were doable for a progressive raid guild.

But Anub’Arak was a jerk, to put it mildly. A lot of people didn’t get him down until after ICC had come out, as I recall. A lot more people only got to 4/5 and then waved a little white flag and moved on to ICC.

And then, Heroic Lich King was a fight that was even more nightmarish.

Here we are, in Tier 12 content, no idea when 4.3 and T13 will be coming out (my best is ~4 weeks from now) and people are being faced with the prospect of an “impossible” boss. Most guilds spend in excess of 350 wipes on him.

By contrast, a lot of progressive guilds got through to Sinestra (although perhaps heroic Twilight Ascendent Council or heroic Al’Akir eluded them…).

So why is Heroic Ragnaros so hard?

I’m not saying “omg nerf heroic rags!!!” or anything. I’m trying to question the logic of putting such an “impossible” boss into this portion of the content. Obviously, the last boss of the expansion has to be Deathwing, so they couldn’t put a bad-ass Heroic Rag at the very end of content.

I think Blizzard does themselves a disservice by making Heroic Ragnaros such a huge stumbling block. I also think they’re doing themselves a disservice by only having 7 “real” bosses this tier. As a result of so few bosses, I think pretty much all classes have a slot where they can’t upgrade to 391 (holy paladins are stuck with the reputation 378 belt, for example) and the way Firelands is structured leads to bashing our heads on walls as we push forward.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind bashing my head against a heroic boss 3 nights in a row.

I’m starting to realize that other people do and I think that’s contributing to the burnout I’m seeing/hearing about. The kind of people who are willing to bash their heads against Heroic Ragnaros for 350+ pulls are increasingly rare. Once again, I have to point to how easy it was to gain gear in Wrath of the Lich King as a reason for people’s lack of patience. It took me months, months (!) of raiding before I got my first epic on Kurn, back in the day. Nowadays, people hit max-level and can immediately use a ton of epics. I understand the reasoning for it and, as a guild leader, I’m thankful for the ability to gear up quickly for lesser-progressed people, who then expand the recruitment pool, but the sense of entitlement is what I think is causing issues.

I remember the days of spending several resets (with our limited roster and time back in the day) on different bosses. Nowadays, it seems as though if you spend more than one reset on your farm content and a single new boss, it’s not enough. God forbid if you don’t down a new boss every week!

All of this begs the question: “Kurn, you guys are 5/7 HM and you’re working on Heroic Baleroc. What happens after you get him?”

Short answer: Probably doing Glory of the Firelands Raider and working (at least a bit) on Heroic Ragnaros.

Long answer: It really depends on the time allotted us after we hit 6/7 and knock out Glory of the Firelands Raider, but, by golly, if I can SPAWN Heroic Ragnaros, I want to WIPE to Heroic Ragnaros.

It’s not all decided, we’re still chatting about things, but I really have to question what the hell Blizzard was thinking to put in a boss that requires 350+ pulls in the second tier of raid content and I have to question if that’s good for the game and good for the raiding population.

My thinking is no, it’s not good for the game, nor is it good for the raiding population. I think we’ll see more burnout issues come 4.3 after more people have beaten their heads on the Heroic Ragnaros fight.

In other (somewhat related!) news:

Apotheosis of Eldre’Thalas is an Alliance 25-man raiding guild with several spots open at the moment!

We are currently seeking:

– 1-2 hunters (!)
– 1 retribution paladin
– 1 elemental shaman
– 1 enhancement shaman
– 1 warrior (either DPS or tank!)

We raid 3 nights a week, from 9pm ET until midnight. Raiders are expected to be online by 8:45pm for invites and are expected to make 75% of scheduled raids in a given month.

Come throw in an app!

http://www.apotheosis-now.com/main/

4.3 PTR Notes – Nerfage Ahoy.

According to MMO-Champion, holy paladins are, once again, being nerfed in this latest PTR build. Bear in mind that these changes may not see live servers, but this is what they’ve got going on at the moment.

Beacon of Light is triggered by Holy Shock, Flash of Light, Divine Light and Light of Dawn at 50% transference and Holy Light at 100% transference. It does not transfer Holy Radiance, Protector of the Innocent or other sources of healing.

So I’m reading that and going “Okay, Holy Shock, Flash of Light, Divine Light, Light of Dawn, Holy Light, that’s fine, that’s normal… no Holy Radiance, okay… wait. No Protector of the Innocent? Probably no Enlightened Judgements either. And no other sources of healing. Okay, fine.”

And then it hit me.

“WAIT A MINUTE. HOLD THE PHONE. WHAT ABOUT WORD OF GLORY?!”

I can live without Protector of the Innocent transferring. I hate that talent and I’ll be able to drop one of those points into Last Word if that’s the case. I’ll still keep one point in Enlightened Judgements for my spirit to hit conversion, of course, and that’s fine.

But did they just forget to list Word of Glory or is Word of Glory really not going to transfer?

Frankly, I’m of the mind that they forgot to mention it. After all, our other Holy Power heal (Light of Dawn) is transferred at 50%, so why wouldn’t Word of Glory transfer?

*** ETA: A blue post clarified that this was, in fact, an oversight and Word of Glory will continue to transfer through Beacon of Light. The rest of this post, written before the clarification, has been left intact. ***

However, Blizzard has done some whacked-out things in the past. I wouldn’t put it past them to have done this deliberately. Obviously, they’re trying to tune us appropriately, and that’s okay, but it’s possible that Word of Glory will be nerfed in that it won’t transfer with Beacon of Light any longer. I’m not saying that’s likely. I’m saying it’s possible. I’m also not saying that this change will make it through to live, even if it is intended, but let’s say, for the sake of argument, that it is intended that Word of Glory no longer gets transferred.

The major question would be “Why?”

Let’s be honest: Word of Glory is a big heal. A 3-charge Word of Glory, that is. In my current gear (ilvl 383) while raid buffed, that’s about 24k on a non-crit. More than that, it’s an instant big heal. Comparatively, Holy Light is about 11.5k, Divine Light is about 30k, Holy Shock is around 10k and Flash of Light is around 23k.

But wait, you say, Flash of Light can be instant with an Infusion of Light proc and heals for about the same.

Right. But Flash of Light costs a ton of mana at the same time. Word of Glory is 100% free.

We currently have the ability to hit someone for a sizeable amount (~24k in my gear level, raid-buffed) as an instant-cast spell that is free of mana cost. And we can do that pretty darn frequently.

If we don’t use it on our Beacon of Light target, that’s ~24k healing to an individual and another ~12k healing to our Beacon. Instantly, that’s ~36k healing on a non-crit, costing us no mana, castable on the move.

So I could see why they would think this is overpowered. Our holy power generation isn’t terribly lacking, at least not from what I’ve noticed (but then, I tend to Beacon my own tank and benefit from Tower of Radiance), so I generally have a lot of Holy Power and, in fact, I do not dump it as often as I should. If used consistently at 3 stacks of Holy Power in higher gear levels, Word of Glory, and its subsequent transfer through Beacon of Light at the moment, is pretty darn overpowered.

I can see their reasoning, if this is an intentional change. Doesn’t mean I like it, but I can see how powerful that can be on a variety of fights.

That said, I am still hopeful that it’s just an oversight and they forgot to mention Word of Glory in the first part of their announcement.

In other news, Apotheosis downed Heroic Majordomo Staghelm on Sunday (and we’re looking for an exceptional retribution paladin and a skilled hunter!), Episode 38 of Blessing of Frost is out and I’ve been nominated for a Stopie Award! Go vote for me in the category: Loudest Voice on Twitter!