Classic Countdown – Tier 0 Loot Drops

Tier 0 armour sets, also known as Dungeon Set 1, are sprinkled all around the high-level dungeons. They are not the best pre-raid loot, certainly not for healers or tanks, but will do fine as all-around sets. Additionally, they’re required to turn in for the Tier 0.5 armour sets, also known as Dungeon Set 2, when those quests come out. Here’s where everything drops, according to my memory and backed up by Wowhead.

All Chests from General Drakkisath in UBRS

All Pants from Baron Rivendare in Strat UD

All Helms from Darkmaster Gandling in Scholomance

All Belts & Bracers are BOE and zone-wide drops (in various dungeons)

All Gloves are BOE

Druid – Wildheart:

  • Shoulders: Gizrul the Slavener in LBRS
  • Gloves: The Unforgiven in Strat UD/Live
  • Boots: Mother Smolderweb in LBRS

Hunter – Beaststalker:

  • Shoulders: Wyrmthalak in LBRS
  • Gloves: Warmaster Voone in LBRS
  • Boots: Nerub’enkan in Strat UD

Mage – Magister’s:

  • Shoulders: Ras Frostwhisper in Scholo
  • Gloves: The Butcher in Scholo
  • Boots: Postmaster in Strat, eventually Hearthsinger Forresten

Paladin – Lightforge:

  • Shoulders: The Beast in UBRS
  • Gloves: Emperor in BRD (eventually changed)
  • Boots: Balnazzar in Strat Live

Priest – Devout:

  • Shoulders: Solokar Flamewreath in UBRS
  • Gloves: The Archivist in Strat Live
  • Boots: Malekki the Pallid in Strat UD

Rogue – Shadowcraft:

  • Shoulders: Cannonmaster Willey in Strat Live
  • Gloves: Shadow Hunter Vosh’gajin in LBRS
  • Boots: Rattlegore in Scholo

Warlock – Dreadmist:

  • Shoulders: Jandice Barov in Scholo
  • Gloves: Lorekeeper Polkelt in Scholo
  • Boots: Baroness Anastari in Strat UD

Warrior – Valor:

  • Shoulders: Rend in UBRS
  • Gloves: Ramstein the Gorger in Strat UD
  • Boots: Kirtonos the Herald in Scholo

I, for one, cannot wait to run through these dungeons again and have them be challenging, where the gear actually means something.

Short post today, but more coming soon. Tell me, what are you excited about for Classic?

Classic Countdown – Raiding in Classic

Friends, raiding in Classic has very little in common with raiding in the present day. There are a lot of differences, so I thought I’d highlight some here. This isn’t a comprehensive list, but I hope it’s helpful anyway.

No cauldrons or feasts.

That’s right. No way to provide buffs for many people. Looks like the current cauldrons require 12 flasks, 3 expulsom and a hydrocore at Rank 3. This, in turn, will grant you a cauldron that lasts for 10 minutes and you can pick up 30 flasks from it. Similarly, I think the feasts these days allow 35 uses. None of this exists in Classic. This is one of the reasons why raiding back in the day was so punishing. Farming up 41 herbs for a single flask (30 of one, 10 of another, 1 Black Lotus, typically) was difficult! And what about food buffs? Bring your own. And, even more, specific elixir buffs? It wasn’t until 2.0, I think, that they limited things to one flask or two elixirs (guardian and battle). You want your mind blown? Check out Taladril’s Complete Consumables List. If something is the same stat (ie: Agility Scroll and Agility Elixir) they usually don’t stack, but there are a ridiculous number of things that do stack. Truly insane. Now imagine that 40 people have to do all of this raid prep to maximize chances for killing things.

That’s right – 40 people.

Most of the raids in Vanilla were 40-man raids. That’s Onyxia, Molten Core, Blackwing Lair, AQ40 (as opposed to AQ20) and Naxxramas. 20-man raids were Zul’Gurub and AQ20 and didn’t come out until later on, but the game launched with Onyxia and Molten Core, both designed for 40 players. That’s 10-12ish healers, 2-5 tanks/off-tanks and 21-28 DPS, depending on your raid makeup. For example, some fights required off-tanks, like Garr (unless you had warlocks to banish mobs) and Majordomo Executus (unless you could sheep most of the adds). Then you have Onyxia which literally required one tank. Back in the day, we were happy to have like, 35 people and we went 8/10 in MC. Very, very poor group makeups, mind you, but we did all right for ourselves, considering we didn’t know anything. Once, we even downed Gehennas with 27 people.

One Difficulty.

That’s it. No looking for raid. No flex. No regular. No heroic. No mythic. Just one flippin’ difficulty. No difference in loot quality, either. None of this heroic or titanforged nonsense. It was one difficulty and if you were stuck on a boss, BY GOLLY YOU KEPT WORKING ON THAT BOSS. While this relates to Burning Crusade, the same goes for Classic — one of my friends was stuck for more than two months on M’uru, the second-to-last boss in Sunwell Plateau. Actual months. They killed the Eredar Twins on May 20, 2008 and M’uru on July 22. That was 4-5 nights a week for 4 hours at a time. And the same thing goes for Vanilla WoW — there are bosses that you might not be able to get through without more gear, without more people. That’s just how it was. Personally, I enjoyed it and any time Blizzard pulled the goalposts a bit closer to us in future content, I got annoyed.

Raid lockouts.

So, like, really, I don’t know much about how lockouts work now. But back in the day, certain raids reset weekly on Tuesdays (Molten Core, BWL, AQ40, Naxxramas), some reset every five days (Onyxia), some every three days (ZG and AQ20). If you went into an instance and any bosses were down, I believe you were asked if you wanted to save yourself. That said, you were saved as soon as a boss died while you were in the group, so after a kill in a fresh raid, you were saved. And since there’s just the one difficulty, that’s it. If you’re sitting there saved at 8/10 bosses killed in MC, you can’t go into a new MC instance and kill Lucifron and Magmadar. They’re already dead in yours. Gotta wait until next week!

Attunements.

Listen, Jailbreak may be one of the most miserable quests in the entire game, but attuning yourself to instances is not something I disagree with. I hate that we can just ding max level these days and have a specific item level and then we can do something. Attunement to the Core is an easy one — pick up the quest at level 55 outside of BRD, then do all of BRD through the Seven and then, before you go into the Emperor’s section, hang a right and get the piece of rock across the bridge, near the raid instance entrance. Blackwing Lair was pretty easy, you just had to kill Drakkisath in UBRS and touch the orb behind him while you had the quest. I think you had to pay to get into Naxxramas, unless you were exalted (?) with the Argent Dawn. While ZG had no attunement, AQ20 and AQ40 had that whole opening of the AQ gates thing. Now’s your chance to become a Scarab Lord! Aside from that, the kicker was Onyxia. Alliance folks can start in on it at level 50 in Burning Steppes with the Dragonkin Menace quest and it will require A Lot Of Work. (But at least in the patch version we’re getting, anyone on the quest will get the Blood of the Black Dragon Champion to drop off Drakkisath. It used to be individual loot.)

Debuff Limits.

At launch, you could only use 8 debuffs on a target before other debuffs would start to fall off. So you have Sunder Armor, Faerie Fire, Curse of Elements, and anything else that improves other people’s damage and then maybe you could allow a dot to be cast. Warlocks were not brought to raids for their dots. They were brought for their imp buffs, their healthstones, soulstones and banishes. That said, 16 debuffs was the limit in 2005, so that’s what we’re returning to. Still, most dots (Serpent Sting, for example) are probably not going to be used in raid environments.

Decursing/Dispelling.

Mages and druids could decurse. There were a lot of curses going out there in Vanilla raids. As such, even at the expense of their DPS, mages were expected to decurse the crap out of the raid. Druids too, even at the expense of their healing. Same with magic effects and priests and paladins. There are a few fights where this is basically all some people are doing for several minutes.

Crowd Control.

Similarly, some fights in Classic raids rely entirely on certain people to a) stay alive, b) keep their assigned add under control. On the Garr fight, as I mentioned previously, warlocks were great because they could banish his 8 adds. But, you know, only if you had 8 warlocks. And no one had 8 warlocks. Generally, you’d have 3-4 warlocks and have warriors off-tank the rest. In this fight, the more of his adds died, the strong Garr got. So you’d banish as many as possible (with a voidwalker on them in case the banish broke early) and kill the ones being off-tanked and then turn full DPS on the boss. But throughout the whole fight, warlocks were watching their banished add carefully. Aggro was different then and healing aggro, particularly from squishy priests, was tremendously efficient at getting the attention of mobs.

Threat.

And speaking of aggro… Hoo boy. One of the reasons that warriors were the “best” tanks in Vanilla is because of their Sunder Armor ability. Sunder not only weakened the armor on the mob, it also generated a ridiculous amount of threat. A mistimed big heal from a priest could result in the priest instantly getting aggro and literally getting one-shot. Got a heal-over-time running, like Rejuvenation, across a couple of people when adds spawn? Dead druid. Paladins didn’t have to worry quite as much, due to wearing plate armor and not having hots, but also because they naturally generate less threat. Finally, Paladins have one of the best raid buffs ever: Greater Blessing of Salvation. Salv is the priority for everyone except the tanks. Then comes Kings, then either Wisdom or Might. (And others, but that’s another blog post.) Kings or Sanctuary, if available, should be the priority buff for tanks. Wait for a minimum of two Sunder Armor applications (also known as “two sunders”) before starting to DPS. Oh, PS: there’s no misdirection or tricks of the trade.

No Mage Tables, no Soulwells.

Yep, that’s right. Line up in front of a mage, who has likely spent an hour before raid conjuring All The Water And Food. And yeah, that’s right, it’s either food or water. You can’t have both. And the warlock’s healthstones? That’s right, each is individually conjured and each costs a Soul Shard. And they’re single-use. As such, healthstones were generally reserved for the tanks. Best to take a healing potion or, yes, bandage if you need health and a healer can’t get to you in a fight.

No limit on potion use.

Well, there was one limit — one per two minutes. But that was it. You could drink more than one potion while in combat. So taking a healing potion didn’t mean you couldn’t use another potion later. However, there weren’t any potions that added X amount of strength or agility or intellect (now known as DPS potions, basically) back then. Still, you can use multiple potions on multiple fights.

Only Druids could battle rez.

Yep, only druids had a battle rez ability, Rebirth. And it required a reagent. And had a 30-minute cooldown. Oh, and to make matters worse? Druids did not have a regular resurrection spell. What’s that? What about soulstones? Sure, you can use them — but the person has to have the soulstone on them before they die. If they don’t have a soulstone on them when they die, you can’t use it the way you can now, by casting it on them.

Paladins had Divine Intervention.

Seriously, one of my favourite spells ever, this instantly kills the paladin and pulls the person on whom you cast it out of combat. They can’t do anything, but they will not be in combat and, once it’s safe, can start rezzing people. This is a form of wipe protection. Some of the run-backs were particularly long, so aim to DI a priest or another paladin if a wipe is called. (Don’t DI a druid unless they are literally the only other person who is even capable of resurrecting someone left.)

Don’t release immediately!

On the topic of dying in a raid, don’t release your spirit unless you’re absolutely certain everyone is dying. Why? Well, for one, you can’t zone back in until combat has ended. Secondly, if, by some miracle, people get the boss down and you’ve already released, you will probably not be eligible for loot. Now, I know they’re keeping the tradeable thing in Classic (which master looters who have previously made mistakes in raids REALLY APPRECIATE just sayin’), but you may not be viewed as being eligible if you released early. That said, if you’re near the start of the instance and it is a wipe, just run back. It’s faster than being the 39th person resurrected.

Whew.

Okay, that was long! I hope it was helpful, though. Any questions about raiding in Classic/Vanilla? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter!

Classic Countdown – Professions!

Thanks to Kristen for a few questions about Classic WoW! Today, we’re tackling tips about Professions. Curious about Classic? Tweet me with your questions: @kurnmogh

1) Jewelcrafting and Inscription and Archaeology don’t exist

That’s right. There are no gems that increase any stats. There are no glyphs. There’s no milling, no prospecting. There’s no digging. This means that herbalism only funnels into Alchemy and that mining funnels into Blacksmithing and Engineering and that there’s only three secondary professions, not four.

But Kurn, didn’t the Darkmoon Faire exist? What about Darkmoon trinkets?

Yes. The Faire existed, but, sidenote, there were no quests to skill up your professions! And yes, there were Darkmoon trinkets. However, they were not crafted. Each and every card that made up a deck was a drop. The Aces were drops from dungeon bosses. The Ace of Portals, for example, was a drop from Darkmaster Gandling. The 2-8 of each deck were random world drops. What’s a random world drop? It can drop off of anything, anywhere. While I’m sure there was a level cap on this (probably mobs 50+), that’s still a lot of randomness to collect a deck. It was hard. And then you had to wait for the Faire to arrive to turn it in. And guess what? One month, the Faire would arrive in Goldshire, and the next, it was in Mulgore. Yeah, good luck going to hand stuff in at your opposing faction’s starting zone.

And the trinkets weren’t even that good!

Arguably the best trinket from the decks was the reward for the Portals Deck, which was Darkmoon Card: Twisting Nether. You will note that there are absolutely no stats on this trinket. The only thing it does is give you a 10% chance to rez.

That said, Darkmoon Card: Blue Dragon, from the Beasts Deck, is good for a healer. The Darkmoon Card: Maelstrom, a reward from the Elementals Deck, is good for melee DPS. Darkmoon Card: Heroism, a reward from the Warlords Deck, is meh. A tank might use it, particularly while undergeared, or a DPS might want it for grinding mobs to lessen downtime. Honestly, underwhelming. But they all are. Truthfully, trinkets in Vanilla were awful.

Anyway, TL;DR: no Archaeology, no Jewelcrafting and no Inscription and, as such, no digging, no gems, no glyphs and no good Darkmoon trinkets.

2) Fishing, Cooking and First Aid are all useful

Let’s look at First Aid. Not only does bandaging restore a fair amount of health at higher levels (2000 health back over 8 seconds), but it’s really useful to heal yourself when you’re about to die. Players over the last few years don’t think of their own health, don’t use their personal cooldowns, don’t use health potions, don’t use healthstones. As someone who has raided as a holy paladin more often than not, especially back in Vanilla when AOE healing was rare, please, I implore you, train your First Aid and carry bandages with you everywhere you go.

Tip: It is okay to stop DPSing to bandage yourself. I promise.

So the first time my guild killed Lucifron, the first boss in Molten Core, I was dead. Why was I dead? Well, it couldn’t be avoided. Lucifron had this nasty ability called Impending Doom, which caused 2000 shadow damage after ten seconds. So anyone with a dispel magic would have to dispel the entire raid (no mass dispel!) and hope they got everyone before the dot exploded.

There I am, with my potions on cooldown, my bandages on cooldown and my healthstone gone (they were single-use back then!). And I get hit with Impending Doom. And I have less than 2000 health. And I know I’m going to die. But everything was on cooldown. So it wasn’t my fault. And it wasn’t the healers’ fault, either, because they were busy healing and dispelling. So I died. The goal is to stay alive as long as possible, through any means necessary. That includes bandages. RESPECT THE BANDAGEZ.

Fishing and Cooking, as I’ve mentioned previously, go hand-in-hand and can be incredibly useful for late-game buffs. That means raiders are going to fork over their hard-earned gold for your fish or various foods.

Additionally, fishing is basically required in order to summon Gahz’ranka in Zul’Gurub! (Who, BTW, drops the Tome of Polymorph Turtle. Back in the day, you had sheep and that was it, unless you got lucky off Gahz’ranka, which is why people to this day still call it “sheeping” something rather than “polymorph”. Then Polymorph: Pig appeared as a trained skill, IIRC.)

Oh, one of the few appearance-changing items in the game at the time, Savory Deviate Delight, can always be relied upon to be bought by people who want to turn into a ninja or a pirate. The recipe is simple, one Deviate Fish, and Mild Spices from a trade vendor. The Recipe: Savory Deviate Delight drops from mobs in the Barrens, so it’s well-worth taking the time to visit there. (And, you know, immediately leave General chat for the duration. Ugh. Barrens chat.)

3) Herbalism and Alchemy

Much like today, herbs and potions/elixirs/flasks are always going to be in demand so long as people are running challenging content. Whether that’s level 55+ dungeons like Scholomance or a 45-man Baron run in Stratholme or stepping foot inside Zul’Gurub or Molten Core or tiptoeing down to Onyxia, alchemy’s products will always be in demand, from the major mana and even health potions to the flasks.

As such, herbs will also always be in demand. Some good ones to stock up on include Ghost Mushrooms, Golden Sansam, Dreamfoil, Mountain Silversage, and, of course, Black Lotus, as every flask recipe in the game requires one and they’re super rare. Oh, and Icecap is definitely useful, too.

Tip: Tauren get a natural +15 boost to herbalism.

Herbalism and Alchemy obviously go very well together, so I’d recommend picking up both if you grab one.

One major difference between Ye Olde Days and now is flasks require Alchemy Labs to create them. Right now, on retail WoW, you can create all your flasks or potions or elixirs or transmutes anywhere. In town, on a mountain top, inside a dungeon, anywhere. In Vanilla WoW, there were exactly two alchemy labs, special areas where you could create flasks. Do you know where they were? Well, one was inside Blackwing Lair and the other, more reasonable one, was inside Scholomance. And I’m not talking two rooms in, either. Both are placed well-inside these instances. As such, your flasks not only take materials to make, but also time and effort to get to Scholomance (more reasonably than BWL) and to clear down to the alchemy lab. Flasks are expensive, requiring the very rare Black Lotus herb, other herbs, plus the time and energy to craft them. Alchemists would likely do well to make sure they have materials for a flask any time they go to Scholomance. Of course, it would be helpful to have a flask recipe, right? Right.

So where do you get flask recipes? Not from a trainer, oh no. They’re drops. The caster flask recipe,  Recipe: Flask of Supreme Power, drops off Ras Frostwhisper, in Scholomance. As such, if you’re an alchemist, even if you don’t know the recipe for a single flask, kill Ras and you might get that recipe. So make sure you go in loaded with Dreamfoil, some Mountain Silversage and, of course, Black Lotuses and Crystal Vials, even if you don’t know any flasks, because you might luck out with Ras.

Recipe: Flask of Distilled Wisdom, typically the healer flask, drops from Balnazzar in Strat Live. (Fun fact: I was using these in Wrath because there was literally nothing better for healing for a holy paladin.)

Recipe: Flask of the Titans, typically the tank flask, drops from General Drakkisath in UBRS.

There, uh, is not a lot for physical DPS folks in the way of flasks. Sorry.

Recipe: Flask of Petrification, which I don’t think I’ve ever seen used, drops from the green dragons, perhaps specifically Taerar.

Recipe: Flask of Chromatic Resistance, which may be handy in BWL (???), drops in UBRS from Rend’s dragon, Gyth.

Tip: For money-making, focus on Flask of Supreme Power, Flask of Distilled Wisdom and Flask of the Titans and try to always have mats for at least Supreme Power when you visit Scholomance.

4) Tailoring & Enchanting

Tailoring and Enchanting are a good pair of professions for a cloth-wearer. Enchanting will always be in demand and, as a tailor, you can disenchant stuff you create for dust, shards, etc. However, it’s important to note that, back in the day, there were no enchanting vellums. That means you had to actually find an enchanter and ask them to perform the enchant for you, usually with your mats, and then you definitely wanted to tip them gold, depending on how difficult the enchant was to farm up. Crusader? Tip a lot. Fiery? Less so.

The flip side here, for enchanters, is that it’s hard to level up enchanting because you can’t just enchant vellums to sell! Still, it’s always going to be in demand once you get to max, or close to max, level. However, just like now, the most valuable enchants are generally the ones that take effort — or rep — so be prepared.

As to tailoring, some of the neat patterns you can get as a tailor give you an item that is BOP, so you can’t sell it, so it’s worthwhile for you to be a cloth-wearer as a tailor because then you can equip those items. For example, the Pattern: Robe of the Archmage is able to be looted by anyone and sold, but the ROBE ITSELF is BOP, so only a mage would want to create it, because it’s class-locked to a mage. (Fun fact: the alcove to the right on your way up to Mother Smolderweb is where the mobs that can drop this are.) Meanwhile, Balnazzar in Strat Live drops the Pattern: Truefaith Vestments, and Truefaith Vestments? BOP. And class-locked to priests. Meanwhile, Darkmaster Gandling in Scholomance drops the Pattern: Robe of the Void, which gives the BOP Robe of the Void, class-locked to warlocks.

Of course, beyond the sweet armor you can craft yourself, tailors also make… bags. Bags are going to be at a premium. 16-slot bags are typically the best bags you’ll use in Classic. Finding a Traveler’s Backpack is basically like hitting the jackpot. Meanwhile, one of the best bags is the Mooncloth Bag. It’s identical, except it’s crafted and it will likely be expensive (which is good for you, as the tailor!). Why? It requires:

  • Mooncloth. The recipe itself is hard enough to get, as it’s a limited-item available from a vendor in Winterspring. Making Mooncloth requires two Felcloth and it’s on a 4-day cooldown.
  • Pattern: Mooncloth Bag. As to where this comes from, Wowhead is saying Lethon, who’s one of the green dragons, but it also used to drop off of random, high-level mobs. Keep an eye out for it and snatch it up immediately if you see it.

Until you get that, you can at least try to get the Runecloth Bag recipe, which may be sold from Qia in Winterspring (same one for Mooncloth), which is a 14-slot bag, which really isn’t bad comparatively. Easier to make and it’ll be in super-high demand.

Tip: Make friends with a skinner because each bag requires 2 Rugged Leather.

5) Skinning and Leatherworking

And speaking of skinning and leather, let’s look at Skinning and Leatherworking, my favourite professions, period. I started out with these professions in Vanilla and didn’t change for eons. It was towards the end of Vanilla that I swapped to mining for a while (Thorium Ore and Arcane Crystals sold quite well!) before, yes, dropping mining and going back to skinning. Skinning is really the only way to get “enough” leather to supply your Leatherworking. The other bonus here is that you don’t have to wait for a node to respawn. Skin what you kill.

Tip: Don’t loot everything at once. Loot one corpse, then skin it. Repeat for as many dead bodies are around you. Otherwise, people can skin your kills.

Also, there are Leatherworking Specialties that will mean you can’t craft certain items while you can craft others. You were, at least until Burning Crusade, stuck with your specialty, so choose wisely! That said, unlike the Tailoring patterns I mentioned previously, these items are not BOP, so even if you pick the “wrong” specialty, you can sell stuff and purchase what would benefit you more. The specialties are as follows:

  • Elemental Leatherworking: Meant for rogues (and feral druids)
  • Tribal Leatherworking: Essentially meant for moonkins/resto druids (there’s a decent couple of melee pieces in here, too)
  • Dragonscale Leatherworking: Gear for hunters and shammies

I don’t have a comprehensive list of all the items yet, but that should change at launch, or closer to it. Still, those are decent guidelines.

It’s important to note that, outside of the specialty gear, a leatherworker creates both leather and mail gear, while a tailor is just cloth gear and a blacksmith is just plate. Leatherworkers can sell to rogues, druids of any kind, hunters and shaman (12 total specs – 13 if you count holy paladins in search of spellpower mail!). As such, especially if you can get a couple of rare recipes, it’s definitely worthwhile to be a Skinner/Leatherworker. I made a lot of money off the Black Dragonscale Leggings, personally. That said, don’t be a paladin and skinner, because a paladin can’t wield a dagger like Finkle’s Skinner. (They can, however, wield the Zulian Slicer, but ZG won’t be out for a while yet.)

Additionally, a skinner is really important for a guild. Why?

  • Pristine Hide of the Beast can drop from skinning the Beast in UBRS and is a valuable reagent for some great gear.
  • Scale of Onyxia: A key ingredient for the Onyxia Scale Cloak, required to defeat Nefarian, the last boss of Blackwing Lair.
  • Core Leather: Skinned from Core Hounds in Molten Core, Core Leather is necessary for several fire-resistance recipes and more. For the love of all that’s holy, LOOT YOUR HOUNDS SO YOUR GUILD SKINNER CAN SKIN THEM. Ahem. Thank you.

Tips: Don’t skin as a paladin and pick a leatherworking specialty that will ideally benefit you.

6) Mining and Blacksmithing

I’ll talk about Engineering later, just know that mining is useful for just those two professions. That said, miners not only collect ore, but smelt them into bars. Smelting is no longer part of the profession in retail — raw ore is used by Blacksmiths and Engineers — but it was a big part of the profession in Vanilla. A great way to make some money is to buy cheap ore and sell expensive bars. Or, combine bars to make a different kind of bar. A Bronze bar, for example. You don’t mine bronze, you have to take a Copper bar and a Tin bar and smelt them together to get the Bronze bar. Additionally, mining Thorium Veins in the later stages of the game meant you could get Arcane Crystals. These, in turn, are used in a transmute with a Thorium Bar to create the very-popular Arcanite Bar. Some of the best weapons and armor in the entire game require many of these, including Sulfuras, Hand of Ragnaros. The precursor, Sulfuron Hammer, requires 50 Arcanite Bars, for example.

Tip: Be friends with an alchemist and tip them well for using their transmute cooldown. It’s a 2-day cooldown.

As to Blacksmithing, full disclosure, I never had a Blacksmith back in the day. However, you do have a choice between Armorsmith and Weaponsmith, which is then further broken down into Axesmith, Hammersmith and Swordsmith. You’re not going to be making money off these recipes, largely, because the materials are end-game items from Molten Core in many cases. You should select what you think will be most useful to your guild. In most cases, this will be Armorsmith.

7) Engineering

This is another profession I have little experience with. But, true story, one night, we all convinced our buddy Majik to drop… I think it was enchanting (?) in favour of Engineering. Specifically, goblin engineering. And we helped him to level it, helping him buy mats and all that. Why? Field Repair Bot 74A. This is partly because a group of us could never find a tank and so we’d 5-man stuff with three clothies, my cat tanking, and a priest. We all died. A lot. Anyway, we made him become an engineer for the repair bot/vendor bot. And the jumper cables were fun, too.

Anyway, my point is, Engineers are useful. You can be either a Gnomish Engineer or a Goblin Engineer. Like Leatherworking, you’re stuck with the specialty, so again, choose wisely.

Which to choose? Well, Goblins get the jumper cables, so if you’re a hunter or a rogue or a night elf who can avoid dying in a wipe, that’s useful. You can try to rez a healer. Goblins also tend to have more, uh, explosives. Gnomes have more utility items.

Goblins also get Dimensional Ripper – Everlook, while Gnomes get Ultrasafe Transporter: Gadgetzan.

Tip: Gnomes get a +15 Engineering racial bonus.

Engineers can also craft scopes for increased stats on ranged weapons as well as ammunition (yes, guns and bows and crossbows all need ammo!). Their Thorium Shells can be turned in for Thorium Headed Arrows. Man, even just writing this makes me feel like I should make my hunter an engineer, but I genuinely love skinning dragons and crafting armor… Anyway, probably a good choice for a hunter.

Next Time…

Whew. That was a lot of information. I hope it was useful! As for myself, I’m planning on Skinning/LW for my hunter, Herbalism/Alchemy for my paladin and Tailoring/Enchanting for my mage. My brother is, I believe, aiming for Mining/Blacksmithing on his warrior, Engineering/Leatherworking on his rogue (he’ll get the ore from his warrior, the leather from me) and Tailoring/Enchanting on his mage.

Next time, we’ll have some more general bits of advice, this time about various zones. Stay tuned!

Classic Countdown – Holy Paladins & UBRS

This is the last in a series of posts (for now) which focuses on things of interest to you in dungeons starting around level 50. Once Dire Maul is released, I’ll tackle DM East, West and North (plus Tribute Runs!), too.

Overall, intellect is your best stat for a paladin healer, followed by crit. Why? At Rank 5, Illumination gives you a 100% chance to regain the mana cost for a spell if it crits. Crit is great for a holy paladin’s output, but it’s also great for your mana regen. +healing and mp5 are decent stats too, but intellect also increases your healing done and gives you chance to critically strike with your spells and crit gives you mana back, so that’s generally the direction we should go. (That said, there’s nothing wrong with a ton of +healing if you’re not running out of mana, and you should always endeavour to have SOME +healing.)

Some (all?) of these mail recommendations may not drop for an Alliance group, so please be aware of that possibility. I’ll update these posts when I’ve been able to confirm this.

Listen, I freaking love my Lightforge Armor, but it’s not for healing. It just isn’t. It never will be. Believe it or not, some of the pieces don’t have any intellect! But pick it up anyway. First, it looks awesome, particularly when paired with the Stormpike Battle Tabard. Second, the Tier 0.5 armor, Soulforge Armor, is not as tragic. All the pieces have intellect and +damage/healing on them. When Phase Five comes out, in order to get the Tier 0.5 armor, you need to do a ton of things, including exchanging your T0 pieces for the Tier 0.5 pieces. Make sure you grab all your Lightforge so you’re able to exchange it for Soulforge.

All righty, let’s see what Rend, the Beast and General Drakkisath have for us in UBRS, as we follow in Leeroy Jenkins’ footsteps!

Classic Loot for a Holy Paladin in Upper Blackrock Spire (UBRS)

Oh, by the way, you need a key. The key is a ring, the Seal of Ascension. The ring is forged through a long and annoying quest chain. I’ll definitely outline that At Some Point In The Future. ;)

General Drakkisath drops all of the Tier 0 chests. It took me over 60 kills over the course of Vanilla, Burning Crusade and Wrath in order to get my Beaststalker’s Tunic. My paladin was much more fortunate and got it after like, maybe a dozen runs. I had never even seen it drop on my hunter. 60+ kills. Do not take someone’s tier chestpiece from them. I beg of you.

Helm: There are a few helms of note that drop in UBRS, mostly off Rend’s dragon, Gyth. Of particular interest is the Tribal War Feathers helm, requiring level 55. While leather, it’s exclusively +healing and has a good amount of intellect. The Spellweaver’s Turban, requiring level 60 and dropping from Drakkisath, is cloth and has +hit, so ignore that, despite the slightly higher +damage/healing. Also off Gyth, also requiring level 55, is Gyth’s Skull of randomness. As always, look for of Intellect, of the Eagle, of the Owl, of Healing or of Concentration. Or, for tanking aspirations, anything with more stam, strength or defense.

Neck: The only neck of note drops from General Drakkisath himself, the Tooth of Gnarr, requiring level 58.

Shoulders: First up, the Lightforge Spaulders, requiring level 55, are your tier 0 shoulders. Get them. They drop off The Beast. They actually do have intellect, but are not the best healing shoulders. Hilariously, Leeroy Jenkins wanting the Devout Mantle is actually legit, it’s a pretty great choice! But that’s the priest tier 0 shoulder piece, so let the priests get it first. That piece drops from Solakar Flamewreath in the Rookery.

Chest: As mentioned, General Drakkisath drops all the tier 0 chests. Yours is the Lightforge Breastplate. Any of the caster robes would also work, but the Magister’s Robes would be the best in terms of pure +intellect. Again, let the mages have their tier piece. Chests all require level 58.

Cloak: The Frostweaver Cape drops from The Beast and requires level 58. It’s the only cloak worth mentioning.

Bracers: Nothing of note, though some tier 0 bracers are zone-wide drops and there are some green bracers that could be interesting if they’re of Intellect, of the Eagle, of the Owl, of Healing or of Concentration.

Belt: Lots of tier 0 belts drop here as zone-wide drops, possibly including the shaman’s Cord of Elements. The Crystallized Girdle drops from Solakar Flamewreath and requires level 56. It’s leather and moonkin gear to be sure, but has a nice amount of intellect and some +dmg/healing.

Gloves: Not too much in the way of gloves.

Legs: Nothing fun in terms of legs, either, although the Warmaster Legguards, requiring level 58, drop from Rend, and are useful if you want to tank. +2% to dodge is great.

Feet: More cloth! The Faith Healter’s Boots require level 58 and drop from Rend.

Main Hand: While not as great as other options in other dungeons, the best option for a paladin healer in UBRS is the Mastersmith’s Hammer, requiring level 55. It drops from Goraluk Anvilcrack, who is upstairs from the Rookery. Take the first left, not the second.

Off-hand: The Tome of the Lost, requiring level 58, is okay. It drops from General Drakkisath. If your shield-wearing tanks don’t want Draconian Deflector and it drops from Drakkisath, you should snag it for tanking purposes.

Rings: Ooh, Band of Rumination, requiring level 58 and dropping from Rend, is really nice. Some mp5 plus crit!

Trinkets: Though there are absolutely zero stats on it, the Draconic Infused Emblem, which requires level 58 and drops from Drakkisath, is amazing. +190 healing for 15 seconds every 75 seconds. You will have competition. Doesn’t matter. This is definitely something you will want as a holy paladin. The other trinket here, Briarwood Reed, drops from Jed Runewatcher, a rare spawn in the same general area as Goraluk Anvilcrack. This is a little more of a grey area. It’s passive +29 dmg/healing, but it’s not pure +healing. Still, if you have crappy trinkets, this is valuable for you. Certainly, until Dire Maul and the Royal Seals of Eldre’Thalas come out, it’s very good for you.

That’s it for UBRS!

Thanks for reading! I’ll have more holy paladin guide stuff in the next few weeks, but hopefully these blog posts have been helpful. Next time, I’ll have more general Classic tips and tricks.

Classic Countdown – Holy Paladins & Scholomance

This series of posts focuses on things of interest to you in dungeons starting around level 50. Intellect is your best stat for a paladin healer, followed by crit. Why? At Rank 5, Illumination gives you a 100% chance to regain the mana cost for a spell if it crits. Crit is great for a holy paladin’s output, but it’s also great for your mana regen. +healing and mp5 are decent stats too, but intellect also increases your healing done and gives you chance to critically strike with your spells and crit gives you mana back, so that’s generally the direction we should go. (That said, there’s nothing wrong with a ton of +healing if you’re not running out of mana.)

It’s also possible that some of these mail recommendations may not drop for an Alliance group, so please be aware of that possibility. I’ll update these posts when I’ve been able to confirm this.

My paladin’s life-long transmog is Lightforge Armor, but it’s actually really super terribly bad for healing. Some of the pieces don’t even have intellect! You should collect it, though, because the Tier 0.5 armor, Soulforge Armor, is not as tragic. All the pieces have intellect and +damage/healing on them. When Phase Five comes out, in order to get the Tier 0.5 armor, you need to do a ton of things, including exchanging your T0 pieces for the Tier 0.5 pieces. Make sure you grab all your Lightforge so you’re able to exchange it for Soulforge.

Let’s take on the Barovs and Gandling!

Classic Loot for a Holy Paladin in Scholomance

I’m going to be mentioning the pieces of the Deathbone Guardian set in this post, if you have any tanking aspirations. Please let any plate-wearing tank take these before you do if you’re healing the instance.

Darkmaster Gandling drops all of the Tier 0 helms. Back in the day, I killed Gandling 26 times on my hunter before I got my helm and I only saw the Beaststalker’s Cap twice in that entire time. My brother never got his Wildheart Cowl.

Helm: The Lightforge Helm requires level 57 and drops from Gandling. Do not, and I cannot express this enough, take any other class helm over any class that needs it. That said, the Magister’s Crown has a beefy 30 intellect. But don’t be a jerk. Let the mages have their helm.

Neck: Nothing particularly useful here.

Shoulders: While I’m not sure if this mail piece will drop from Jandice Barov for an Alliance group, the Royal Cap Spaulders are level 57 and have intellect and +healing. The cloth Burial Shawl, requiring level 56, is a zone-wide drop and have more intellect and some +dmg/healing and would be a decent piece. Certainly, better than the mage and warlock shoulders that also drop here. Oh, and if you have any tanking aspirations and your tank either doesn’t wear plate or doesn’t need them, grab the Stoneform Shoulders, requiring level 56, from Kirtonos the Herald. Again, let’s not be a jerk.

Chest: Really nothing of note for a holy paladin here. That said, the Deathbone Chestplate is a great tanking chest, particularly for a paladin with the mp5. Of course, if your tank needs it, let them have it. Yes, even if it’s a warrior. +17 defense is HUGE. If you have any desire to tank and your tank doesn’t need it, snag this chestpiece, which requires level 56 and is a zone-wide drop.

Cloak: Nah, nothing here.

Bracers: The Lightforge Bracers are a zone-wide drop here. Aaaaand there’s no intellect on them, so don’t use them to heal. Best would be the Loomguard Armbraces, if they drop for an Alliance group. They require level 56 and drop from Kirtonos the Herald. Otherwise, look at the Necropile Cuffs, but let clothies have dibs on these bracers that require level 56 and are a zone-wide drop.

Belt: In terms of belts, the Detention Strap is a mail belt requiring level 57 that drops from Darkmaster Gandling, but may not drop for Alliance groups. You can consider the Clutch of Andros, requiring level 56 from Kirtonos the Herald, but it has spell hit on it. Do not steal this from clothies. For real. There’s also the Wildheart Belt, requiring level 53, which is a zone-wide drop, but dibs to the druids. Finally, for you wanna-be tankadins out there, the Deathbone Girdle (a zone-wide drop) is godly. Again, dibs to the plate tanks. Do not be a jerk!

Gloves: The only gloves that should interest you here are the Magister’s Gloves but, all together now, let the mages have their gloves! Two sweet tanking gloves drop here, too: Boneclenched Gauntlets, requiring level 57 and dropping from Ras Frostwhisper, and the Deathbone Gauntlets, requiring level 56 and are a zone-wide drop. Let your plate-wearing tanks get either before you!

Legs: The best legs in Scholomance for you are the Ghoul Skin Leggings, a zone-wide drop made of leather that require level 56. They’re straight-up +healing, so a moonkin shouldn’t want them. If they drop, the mail Maelstrom Leggings off Ras Frostwhisper are decent, requiring level 57. Tanking pants include the Deathbone Leggings, a zone-wide drop, requiring level 56, and the Wraithplate Leggings, which has no +defense, but adds a full percent of parry.

Feet: The Death Knight Sabatons, requiring level 54, drop from Marduk Blackpool. They’re actually plate and have intellect on them, what craziness is this!? This NPC is in the Viewing Room with Vectus. And, of course, for the tanks among you, the Deathbone Sabatons drop in the zone and they require level 56. A nice +10 defense rating here! Make sure your plate-wearing tank passes on these before you snag them.

Main Hand: Well, pallies can’t use staves or daggers, so there’s nothing of interest for us here.

Off-hand: The Rattlecage Buckler, which requires level 57 and drops from Rattlegore, is a pretty decent intellect shield. The Spellbound Tome, requiring level 57 as well, dropping from Ras Frostwhisper, is a good OH, too, but clothies might want that instead.

Rings: Don Mauricio’s Band of Domination is great for a holy paladin and requires level 58. It drops from Gandling. The Dimly Opalescent Ring is a zone-wide drop and requires level 56. It’s got random enchantments, so look for of Intellect, of the Eagle, of the Owl, of Healing or of Concentration.

Relic: Assuming we have relics in this patch, and I think we do, the Libram of Divinity is basically the only one you need until you get to AQ or Naxxramas. It’s a zone-wide drop in Scholomance and requires level 60.

Trinkets: Absolutely nothing.

Next time…

And that’s Scholomance for you! If you’re having trouble with Alexei Barov, you can fear one of the adds with Turn Undead, though that will only give you 15 seconds (and the cooldown is 30 seconds). Hopefully you’re done with one of the adds by the time it comes back! Also, Shadow Resistance Aura will be very useful here, or if you’ve got a lot of casters in the group, go with Concentration Aura.

Next up: we follow in the footsteps of Leeroy Jenkins and enter the Rookery and down The Beast and General Drakkisath in search of Lightforge pieces in Upper Blackrock Spire!

Classic Countdown – Holy Paladins & Stratholme (Undead)

All of these posts focus on things of interest to you in dungeons starting around level 50. Intellect is your best stat for a paladin healer, followed by crit. Why? At Rank 5, Illumination gives you a 100% chance to regain the mana cost for a spell if it crits. So crit, for a holy paladin, is not only good for your output, but it’s great for your mana regen. +healing and mp5 are decent stats too, but intellect also increases your healing done and gives you chance to critically strike with your spells and crit gives you mana back, so that’s generally the direction we should go. (That said, there’s nothing wrong with a ton of +healing if you’re not running out of mana.)

It’s also possible that some of these mail recommendations may not drop for an Alliance group, so please be aware of that possibility. I’ll update these posts when I’ve been able to confirm this.

My paladin’s life-long transmog is Lightforge Armor, but it’s actually really tragically bad for healing. Some of the pieces don’t have intellect! You should collect it, though, because the Tier 0.5 armor, Soulforge Armor, is not terrible. All the pieces have intellect and +damage/healing on them. When Phase Five comes out, in order to get the Tier 0.5 armor, you need to do a ton of things, including exchanging your T0 pieces for the Tier 0.5 pieces. So make sure you grab all your Lightforge so you’re able to exchange it for Soulforge.

Ready to face the Baron? Let’s do it. (Even better if you can do it in 45 minutes!)

Classic Loot for a Holy Paladin in Stratholme (Undead)

As I mentioned in my last post, Stratholme Live and Undead are the same instance and you can get from one to the other and, in fact, unless you have the Key to the City (Strat UD key) or a rogue or someone else who can open doors, that’s the only way you can get in. The Key to the City drops from Magistrate Barthilas towards the end of Strat UD. This is likely a green item you can roll on.

Helm: While it should go to clothies first, the Crimson Felt Hat is the only helm of note in Strat UD. It’s cloth and requires level 54 and drops off Magistrate Barthilas.

Neck: Animated Chain Necklace, requiring level 57, drops off Ramstein the Gorger.

Shoulders: Two pieces of cloth of interest here, one of which, the Shroud of the Nathrezim, I mentioned in my last post, because it’s a zone-wide drop. Of particular interest is it gives you 1% to crit on spells. Another interesting piece, though should go to cloth DPSers first, is the Thuzadin Mantle, requiring level 58 and dropping from Baron Rivendare.

Chest: Two interesting drops from the Baron: Robes of the Exalted, cloth and requiring level 58. This chestpiece is +healing, which means no other cloth-wearing person in your group should want it if you’re healing. However, there’s also Tunic of the Crescent Moon to consider. Sure, it’s less +healing (and is made for moonkins), but it’s got way more intellect and it has +crit. Which one you go for is really going to be dependent on what else you’re wearing at the time. Need more mana regen? Go for the tunic. Need more raw +healing? Go for the robes. Also, let moonkins have first dibs on the tunic.

Cloak: Only one drop of note here and that’s Royal Tribunal Cloak. It requires level 54 and drops from the Magistrate.

Bracers: The only thing of remote interest is Magistrate’s Cuffs, requiring level 54 and made of leather. No intellect, but 4 mana per 5 seconds. Truly sub-par.

Belt: There’s one belt that doesn’t totally suck and it’s from Nerub’enkan: Thuzadin Sash. Of course, it’s cloth and should go to DPSers first, but 12 intellect on a belt is nothing to sneeze at. Requires level 56.

Gloves: The Wildheart Gloves are a zone drop requiring level 54, but are underwhelming and belong to druids. Better gloves exist elsewhere. Shadowy Laced Handwraps require level 55 and are cloth, dropping from Baroness Anastari, but again, dibs to the cloth-wearers. They are not phenomenal, though 15 int is nice.

Legs: Baron Rivendare drops all of the class legs. We’re talking Lightforge, Beaststalker, Valor, everything. So, obviously, get your Lightforge Legplates from him, requiring level 56. However, these are not great for healing. (They’ll do in a pinch.) Instead, the best legs for healing that are available here are the Chitinous Plate Legguards, off of Nerub’enkan, requiring level 56 as well. 20 int, 5mp5, these were made for holy paladins.

Feet: The Lightforge Boots, requiring level 54, are a zone drop. However, they suck for healing. Verdant Footpads, which should go to a druid before you, do have some straight-up +healing, but nothing else of value. On the other side of things (+int, but no +healing), the Devout Sandals and Dreadmist Sandals drop from Baroness Anastari and Maleki the Pallid respectively, but, of course, should go to priests and warlocks before you.

Main Hand: Ramstein the Gorger drops the Felstone Reaver, which has a random enchantment. Pretty useless but you could get lucky and get of Intellect, of the Eagle, of the Owl, of Healing or of Concentration, all of which would be, at the very least, interesting, depending on what you already have. I should note that there’s a level 58 2H mace called Hammer of the Grand Crusader, which is a zone-wide drop. This is definitely made for paladins but is worse than a 1H/shield or off-hand combo for sure.

Off-hand: Nothing.

Rings: The Baron drops a nice level 56 ring: Seal of Rivendare.

Trinkets: Nothing here.

Next time…

That’s it for Strat UD! Don’t forget the Chitinous Plate Legguards and your Lightforge Legplates and Lightforge Boots.

Next up: The Barov family, Darkmaster Gandling and tier 0 helms as we tackle Scholomance!

Classic Countdown – Holy Paladins & Stratholme (Live)

All of these posts will focus on things you start picking up in dungeons starting around level 50. Intellect is your best stat for a paladin healer, followed by crit. Why? At Rank 5, Illumination gives you a 100% chance to regain the mana cost for a spell if it crits. So crit, for a holy paladin, is not only good for your output, but it’s great for your mana regen. +healing and mp5 are decent stats too, but intellect also increases your healing done and gives you chance to critically strike with your spells and crit gives you mana back, so that’s generally the direction we should go. (That said, there’s nothing wrong with a ton of +healing if you’re not running out of mana.)

Also, it’s possible that some of these mail recommendations may not drop for an Alliance group, so please be aware of that possibility. I’ll update these posts when I’ve been able to confirm this.

My paladin’s life-long transmog is Lightforge Armor, but it’s actually terrible for healing. Some of the pieces don’t have intellect! You should collect it, though, because the Tier 0.5 armor, Soulforge Armor, is not terrible. All the pieces have intellect and +damage/healing on them. When Phase Five comes out, in order to get the Tier 0.5 armor, you need to do a ton of things, including exchanging your T0 pieces for the Tier 0.5 pieces. So make sure you grab all your Lightforge so you’re able to exchange it for Soulforge.

Okay, let’s enter the City of Stratholme.

Classic Loot for a Holy Paladin in Stratholme (Live)

Like LBRS and UBRS, Stratholme Live (or Scarlet Strat, Red Strat, etc) and Stratholme Undead are technically the same instance. Unlike them, you can get from one to the other and, in fact, unless you have the Key to the City (Strat UD key) or a rogue or someone else who can open doors, that’s the only way you can get in. You get the Key to the City by killing Magistrate Barthilas towards the end of the dungeon. This is likely a green item you can roll on.

Okay, okay, enough, back to Strat Live and gear for a holy paladin!

Helm: The Postmaster’s Band, requiring level 56, is part of a 5-piece outfit that is meant for cloth DPS folks. So pass on it unless they don’t want it. I should note I’m not sure how the Postmaster spawns in Phase 1. I know that in Phase 5, it was much easier to do so (or so legend had it). I’m not certain if this guide at Wowhead is how to do it in Phase 1. I’ll update this when I can confirm. A piece you’ll have less competition for is the leather Helm of the New Moon, from Cannon Master Willey, which requires level 56, but doesn’t require the whole summoning of the Postmaster and isn’t cloth. (Take that, Matticus!)

Neck: Nothing of note in Strat Live.

Shoulders: Shroud of the Nathrezim, while cloth, is a great piece for this slot. It requires level 58 and is a zone-wide drop, so it can drop in Live or Undead. Part of why it’s so great is that it gives you a full percent more crit on spells. You may have cloth-wearing competition for this, though, and the nice thing to do is to let the clothies have it. Possibly as good is the Mantle of the Scarlet Crusade, also cloth, requiring level 56 and dropping off Cannon Master Willey. It’s got straight-up 20 +healing, which is good, because no caster should be interested in that.

Chest: The Postmaster’s Tunic is part of that cloth DPS set I talked about that, of course, drops from The Postmaster and requires level 56. Nothing else of value in Live, really. But wait ’till you see what Baron Rivendare has in Undead!

Cloak: Archivist Cape of the something or another, drops from Archivist Galford in Live and requires level 56. This is not the most amazing cape, but it’s interesting because of the 4mp5 (4 mana per 5 seconds) on it. If you see an Archivist Cape of Intellect, of the Eagle, of the Owl or of Healing (or even of Concentration), snag it!

Bracers: Nothing of note.

Belt: Rainbow Girdle drops from Hearthsinger Forresten, a rare spawn in Strat Live. I only mention it because it’s plate with some intellect. There are better belts, but you won’t have competition on this one. If it drops for the Alliance, the Barrage Girdle, from Cannon Master Willey, which requires level 56, would be better for you. You could also get lucky with a Foresight Girdle of an interesting kind — if it drops for the Alliance off the Archivist. (Also requiring level 56.)

Gloves: Ugh, just the Devout Gloves here worth mentioning. It’s a priest’s tier set, so dibs go to priests. They require level 54 and drop from the Archivist. Another possibility is the Wildheart Gloves, also requiring level 54, and dibs to the druids. Don’t be a jerk. Better gloves exist elsewhere.

Legs: The Postmaster’s Trousers, dropping from The Postmaster, are cloth and require level 56. Now I swear that I’ve seen this next item drop: Woollies of the Prancing Minstrel. They drop off of Hearthsinger Forresten, that rare spawn, and require level 53. But they’re mail. So even though I know I’ve seen them drop, I’m not sure when. Was it after the 2.0 patch? Maybe? Why was I still running Strat Live after the 2.0 patch? Anyway. There are better legs in Undead, but snag either of these if you can.

Feet: The Postmaster’s Treads, which obviously drop from The Postmaster and, yes, are cloth. They require level 56. Magister’s Boots claim to be a “boss drop” but I’m pretty sure they used to drop off the Postmaster and then they moved them to Hearthsinger Forresten. Mages get dibs! They require level 54.

Main Hand: Nada, though I should note that there’s a level 58 2H mace called Hammer of the Grand Crusader, which is a zone-wide drop. Still, you’ll get more bang for your buck with a 1H and shield or off-hand combination.

Off-hand: Ugh, just the Tome of Knowledge, which is kind of lame, requiring level 56 and dropping from the Archivist.

Rings: Seriously, just The Postmaster’s Seal, which requires level 56 and, of course, drops from The Postmaster. If you don’t have at least 3 pieces of this set already, there’s no point in grabbing this, really. The 4-piece gives you +12 dmg/healing and the 5-piece bonus gives you +10 int and +5% run speed (?), so not really worth collecting for the bonuses, but if you’re already wearing three or four pieces, go for this ring to add another set bonus.

Trinkets: Nothing of note and do everyone in Azeroth a favour and disenchant the Piccolo of the Flaming Fire if it drops.

Next time…

All right, that’s it for the live side of Strat. Don’t forget to pull all the way back so you can kill runners before they go get another bunch of mobs!

Next time — Strat Undead, with all tier pants from Baron Rivendare and more sweet loot.

Classic Countdown – Holy Paladins & LBRS

All of these posts will focus on things you start picking up in dungeons starting around level 50. Suffice it to say, intellect is your best stat for a paladin healer, followed by crit. Why? At Rank 5, Illumination gives you a 100% chance to regain the mana cost for a spell if it crits. So crit, for a holy paladin, is not only good for your output, but it’s great for your mana regen. +healing and mp5 are decent stats too, but intellect also increases your healing done and gives you chance to critically strike with your spells and crit gives you mana back, so that’s generally the direction we should go.

Also, it’s possible that some of these mail recommendations may not drop for an Alliance group, so please be aware of that possibility. I’ll update these posts when I’ve been able to confirm this.

While I love the armor, Lightforge Armor is actually really awful for healing. Some of the pieces don’t even have intellect on them! However, it’s worth it to collect it, because the Tier 0.5 armor, Soulforge Armor, is not terrible. (It’s not fantastic, but it’s not awful. The 4-piece set bonus is pretty great and all the pieces have intellect and +damage/healing on them.) Later on, come Phase Five, in order to get the Tier 0.5 armor, you need to do a ton of things, including exchanging your T0 pieces for the Tier 0.5 pieces. So make sure you grab all your Lightforge so you’re able to exchange it for Soulforge.

Into the spire we go, folks!

Classic Loot for a Holy Paladin in Lower Blackrock Spire (LBRS)

It’s important to note that LBRS and UBRS are technically the same dungeon at this point in time, but you can’t get to UBRS without the Seal of Ascension. That ring is the end result of, what else, a long quest chain that starts with the drop of the Unadorned Seal of Ascension. You’ll need to get the three gems that drop from three bosses in LBRS (War Master Voone, Highlord Omokk and Overlord Wyrmthalak) and then talk to Vaelan within LBRS and then you’ll need to get Emberstrife, a dragon in Dustwallow Marsh, to forge it for you. Then you turn it in and you’ll get the ring. (More or less.)

Helm: Literally nothing in LBRS.

Neck: Nothing.

Shoulders: Wildheart Spaulders, the druid tier 0 shoulders, requiring level 55. They drop off Gizrul the Slavener, which is the big dog that comes running down the hallway after you kill Halycon. Another option is Sunderseer Mantle, requiring level 56 and dropping from Crystal Fang, the rare spider. (Not Mother Smolderweb.) Bear in mind that you should let any druids have the Wildheart Spaulders and any clothies get the Sunderseer Mantle, otherwise you’re just being a jerk.

Chest: Plate of the Shaman King, requiring level 55, drops from Highlord Omokk. It’s plate, with nice intellect and some damage/healing, so this should be all yours.

Cloak: Nothing.

Bracers: Brazecore Armguards, requiring level 55, drop from War Master Voone. They’re mail with 11 intellect and 3mp5 (3 mana restored per 5 seconds), so these are totally reasonable for you. As mentioned, these may not drop for Alliance groups. A potentially better alternative are the leather Bleak Howler Armguards, requiring level 56 and dropping from Gizrul the Slavener. They’re straight-up +healing, so if you’re healing the instance, these should be yours.

Belt: Devout Belt, the cloth belt that’s part of a priest’s tier 0 set, is a zone-wide drop within Blackrock Spire. Priests should have dibs, but if they pass, go for it. Additionally, the shaman’s tier 0 belt, Cord of Elements, is also a zone-wide drop and may be something that drops for an Alliance group.

Gloves: Fallbrush Handgrips, requiring level 56, are leather +healing gloves that drop from Crystal Fang, that rare spider. Gilded Gauntlets, requiring level 55, are mail intellect + 4mp5 gloves that drop from Mother Smolderweb. As mentioned previously, these may not drop for Alliance groups.

Legs: Highlord Omokk drops two different items that might be useful for holy paladins. Skyshroud Leggings and Tressermane Leggings, both requiring level 55. They’re definitely for cloth casters and moonkins, though. Still, if no clothie or moonkin wants them, snag them. Gizrul the Slavener drops Wolfshear Leggings, which are cloth, yes, but straight-up +healing.

Feet: Alas, the only thing really worth it for a holy paladin would be the Wildheart Boots, dropping from Mother Smolderweb. Let a druid get them before you do. They’re really not amazing.

Main Hand: Nothing here.

Off-hand: There’s a nice shield, the Rhombeard Protector, that requires level 56 and drops from Gizrul the Slavener. There’s also an off-hand, the Globe of D’sak, that requires level 54 and drops from the rare spawn Spirestone Lord Magus, who is, by the way, an ogre, who is in Highlord Omokk’s room, if he spawns.

Rings: The best one of the bunch is Rosewind Circle, requiring level 55, which drops from the optional, summonable boss, Urok Doomhowl. See how to summon Urok Doomhowl here. The Magus Ring, requiring level 54, is decent, and drops off the rare spawn Spirestone Lord Magus.

Trinkets: Nothing of interest for a holy paladin.

Next time…

Well, that’s all that’s worth looting for a holy paladin in Lower Blackrock Spire. Upper Blackrock Spire has some nice drops, but we’ll tackle that in the future. Do you think I missed anything here? Let me know in the comments.

Next time — Stratholme (Live)!

Classic Countdown – Holy Paladins & BRD

During Vanilla, I spent a lot of time raiding on my hunter, it’s true. But I also spent a lot of time doing stuff on Madrana. It was these experiences in Zul’Gurub, AQ20 and Molten Core that helped me to make the decision that I would heal full-time as a paladin in raids, starting in Burning Crusade.

These posts will focus on things you start picking up in dungeons around level 50. Suffice it to say, intellect is your best stat for a paladin healer, followed by crit. Why? At Rank 5, Illumination gives you a 100% chance to regain the mana cost for a spell if it crits. So crit, for a holy paladin, is not only good for your output, but it’s great for your mana regen. +healing and mp5 are decent stats too, but intellect also increases your healing done and gives you chance to critically strike with your spells and crit gives you mana back, so that’s generally the direction we should go.

Also, it’s possible that some of these mail recommendations may not drop for an Alliance group, so please be aware of that possibility. I’ll update these posts when I’ve been able to confirm this.

Additionally, while I love the armor, Lightforge Armor is actually terrible for healing. Some of the pieces don’t even have intellect on them! However, it’s worth it to collect it, because the Tier 0.5 armor, Soulforge Armor, is not terrible. (It’s not fantastic, but it’s not awful. The 4-piece set bonus is pretty great.) Later on, come Phase Five, in order to get the Tier 0.5 armor, you need to do a ton of things, including exchanging your T0 pieces for the Tier 0.5 pieces. So make sure you grab all your Lightforge so you’re able to exchange it for Soulforge.

All right, all of that said, let’s get on with it!

Classic Loot for a Holy Paladin in Blackrock Depths

I freaking love this dungeon. There’s so much to do here. How about a bar run? Or Jailbreak? Let’s get attuned to Molten Core. Feel like an Emperor run? And so much more. That said, let’s focus on what’s of interest for a holy paladin here. There’s a lot of stuff. You are going to spend a lot of time here doing All The Things, though, so don’t worry if you don’t get everything you’re seeking in a couple of runs. I should note that, at least back in Vanilla, there was very little need to wear all plate. There was no bonus to doing so. As such, shaman-type mail and even some leather or cloth pieces are recommended. However, I’m not saying that just because you can wear all armour types that you should get dibs on everything listed here. Don’t be a jerk, please be considerate of the people in your group.

Helm: Foreman’s Head Protector, requires level 50. This helm drops off of Fineous Darkvire who you need to kill in order to get the key for BRD. That said, if there’s no cloth-wearer in your group, don’t be afraid to snag the Chief Architect’s Monocle! Sure, it’s cloth, but it’s 27 intellect, which is superior to the Foreman’s Head Protector. This is probably best for a priest, mage or warlock, but if none of them need it or there’s no cloth-wearer, go for it. Also, a note, if you intend to do any tanking and you see Golem Skull Helm drop from Phalanx, grab it if your tank is a plate-wearer who doesn’t want it, or if your tank isn’t a plate-wearer.

Neck: Absolutely nothing of use for a holy paladin.

Shoulders: Frankly, I don’t like most of the options here, just because there are better ones out there, but the Earthslag Shoulders drop from Lord Roccor and require just level 47. The mail Lead Surveyor’s Mantle is clearly shaman gear, but since the Alliance doesn’t have shaman, you can call dibs on this item, if they drop for Alliance groups. The shoulders require level 50 and drop from Fineous Darkvire.

Chest: Spiderfang Carapace, requires level 49. This chest drops off Hedrum the Creeper in the Ring of the Law event, which has random different mobs, so this isn’t always a guaranteed boss you’ll kill.

Cloak: Spritecaster Cape, requires level 47, drops from High Interrogator Gerstahn or the Houndmaster (currently uncertain — probably the Houndmaster, though). This is legitimately the only cloak of note in here for a holy paladin, unless you get a Nightshade Cloak of Intellect, of the Eagle, of the Owl, of Healing or of Concentration.

Bracers: Lord Incendius drops a variety of randomly-enchanted bracers of different armor types. As with the Nightshade Cloak, if you can snag of Intellect, of the Eagle, of the Owl, of Healing or of Concentration, those would be decent.

Belt: Chillsteel Girdle, requires level 52. This mail belt drops off of Warder Stilgiss, who’s in the Vault room. Again, this may not drop for Alliance groups!

Gloves: Hands of the Exalted Herald, requires level 54. They’re cloth gloves, but have intellect and +33 healing. Can’t really say no to that. They drop off Moira on an Emperor run. Additionally, your Lightforge Gauntlets drop off the Emperor. Get them, if only because why not? But they’re not something you should be using to heal with. When Phase Five of WoW Classic rolls out, these will no longer drop off the Emperor, mostly because that’s a serious PITA for some gloves that are not amazing. When Phase Five rolls out, they will drop off of Timmy the Cruel on the live-side of Stratholme. Also, I’m not sure how Classic is handling this, but the tier 0 gloves, belts and bracers were all Bind on Equip after a certain point.

Legs: Senior Designer’s Pantaloons, require level 50 and are cloth +healing pants with some intellect on them. They drop off Fineous Darkvire. Another option would be Leggings of Frenzied Magic, from Gorosh the Dervish in the Ring of the Law event.

Boots: Entrenching Boots, require level 50. These drop off of Grizzle in the Ring of the Law event. Yes, there’s agility on them, but 10 int and +7 damage/healing. Another option, requiring level 52, are the Firemoss Boots, which are basically resto druid boots since they’re leather and +healing, but if you’re healing and these are an upgrade, go for it. They drop from Hurley Blackbreath in the bar.

Main Hand: The Hammer of Grace, no, there’s no intellect on it, but it’s one of the best pre-60 healing maces in the game with a beefy +31 healing done. It’s one of the possible rewards from the event of The Seven.

Off-hand: Thaurissan’s Royal Scepter is a nice reward for an Emperor run, as it has some intellect and a pure +22 healing on it.

Ring: Bloodclot Band, requires level 52. Great healing ring, drops off Gorosh the Dervish in, you guessed it, the Ring of the Law event.

Trinkets: Second Wind requires level 54 and drops from Golem Lord Argelmach. Yes, it has an absurdly long cooldown of 15 minutes, but it also has a passive +22 healing, which is solid. Another option you have is Burst of Knowledge, which requires level 53 and drops from Ambassador Flamelash. This is more of a caster DPS trinket. However, the mana savings (albeit with an insanely long cooldown) is useful, as is +12 damage/healing. Also, if you’re doing any tanking at all and you see Force of Will drop AND your tank doesn’t want it, grab it.

Next time…

There you have it, pretty much anything I’d consider equipping as a holy paladin that comes from Blackrock Depths. Any surprises here? Any questions? Let me know!

Next time — Lower Blackrock Spire!

Classic Countdown!

One month to go until WoW Classic launches, folks! My brother and I are pretty darn psyched about this and have already spent hours discussing what we’re going to do.

As we enter the final month, I wanted to share some possibly useful advice for starting out in Classic. Now, please do bear in mind that I’m not in the Classic beta, nor was I around at the launch of WoW back in 2004. As such, my advice may not be applicable to what eventually happens a month from now, but I’m going to give it a shot.

Vendor All The (Grey/Soulbound) Things

As you level, you’ll invariably get a bunch of greys. Vendor all of them. Don’t not pick them up. Don’t destroy them. Vendor them. Every copper matters in the early days. Additionally, if you’re not an enchanter, vendor your old gear when you replace it (unless it’s gear that would work for another spec). If you are an enchanter, obviously disenchant that stuff!

Hot tip: If all your choices for a quest reward are all things you won’t use (or can’t use), then pick the one that vendors for the most. If you don’t have an add-on that’ll tell you what something sells for, a loose guide is: plate sells for more than mail, mail more than leather, leather more than cloth. Helms and chests are generally worth more than shoulders and legs, which, in turn, are generally worth more than boots and gloves, which are usually more than belts and bracers. Of course, a cloth helm might be worth less than plate shoulders, so definitely try to get an add-on.

Level Professions As You Go

There is little worse than being max level and having to go back to, say, Hillsbrad Foothills to mine Silver Ore. Seriously, it’s a pain to go back and pick herbs or skin leather or mine ore of a level that’s way lower than yours. I have done this at least four times on Kurn when I’ve dropped skinning for mining, then dropped mining for skinning, then picked mining back up and then, yes, picked skinning back up. (I’m done with that nonsense, I swear.)

This also includes fishing! You should have one toon who fishes. This isn’t as hard as it used to be Way Back In The Day, because fishing schools exist in the patch we’re getting. There should be bodies of water around the levelling areas, so take 10-15 minutes to fish for a bit and level that as you wait for an herb or a mining node to respawn.

It also includes cooking. Do not underestimate the importance of food buffs when you get to level 55-60.

And, of course, it includes first aid! Killing mobs that are designated as “humanoid” will generally drop cloth, so make sure you keep on top of your first aid. It’s no fun to have to go around killing Defias Bandits to collect linen. When you’ve maxed out bandages of a certain cloth, you can go ahead and start selling that cloth on the auction house.

Fun fact: Cooking and fishing go hand-in-hand together and both professions are great ways to make more money.

Level Those Weapon Skills!

Weapon skills are a Thing. Sorry. They are. You should note that if you’re a night elf hunter, you’ll start with a bow, while a dwarf will start with a gun. Both should endeavour to pick up the opposite (as well as a crossbow) with cheap ammo to level up the skills in case you get a new weapon to drop. Less important are the melee weapons, but not wholly insignificant! Wing Clip requires you to, you know, actually land the attack to wing clip something. And that needs a weapon skill. I don’t like to let my primary weapon skills in other weapons drop more than 15-20 points from my max possible.

Train Your Spells & Use Your Talent Points!

Oh God, please, please, please train your spells. And please train new ranks of your spells. Please. Is it cheap? No. That’s why you need to vendor things and pick up fishing and cooking and level your professions.

As to talents, in almost all cases, you want to go straight for your 31 point talent as soon as possible so that you’ve got Trueshot Aura, Holy Shock, Swiftmend, Shield Slam, Ice Barrier, whatever it is, as soon as possible. Take the time to play with the talent calculators at Wowhead! Marksmanship hunters, this is what I’m aiming for, for my first 31 points:

https://classic.wowhead.com/talent-calc/hunter/-05251030513051

Holy paladins, this is what I’d recommend if you’re levelling holy (which, btw, I do not particularly recommend unless you’re chain-running dungeons):

https://classic.wowhead.com/talent-calc/paladin/05503020521251

There’s some wiggle room there, as the two points in Lasting Judgment are optional. Feel free to put them into Consecration and something else if you like.

Remember, it costs money to respec! That’s why I don’t really recommend going holy unless you’re doing dungeons because it takes F O R E V E R to kill things. Trust me. I did it. It was dumb. It took me 12 minutes apiece to kill the Kurzen Medicine Men in Stranglethorn Vale.

I’m planning on going holy at about level 50 or thereabouts. My talent tree will look something like this:

https://classic.wowhead.com/talent-calc/paladin/05503020521251

What’s your advice?

Any thoughts to share? Any plans you’ve got on how to tackle Classic? Let me know in the comments below!

Coming up next time, all kinds of holy paladin stuff. :)