Classic Lesser Arcanums of Voracity and You

A few weeks ago, I got myself into an Onyxia pug of 30 people and the Dragonstalker’s Helm dropped. I rolled a 94.

So I decided I should probably get a helm enchant. With Zul’Gurub out, there are some pretty great helm enchants that require a Voodoo Doll for your class, as well as a Primal Hakkari Idol, and then you get Falcon’s Call (for a hunter). I mean, that’s freaking sweet. Alas, a Primal Hakkari Idol drops only from Mandokir and Jin’do, both of which aren’t exactly the most easily accessible bosses in ZG. It’s not like Venoxis or even Jek’lik.

As a temporary enchant for what is probably the best helm I’ll ever have in this game, I decided to go with the +8 agility enchant.

However, as a bit of a noob back in Classic, at least when it came to enchants and such, it wasn’t until last night that I fully understood what a pain in the ass it was to get an arcanum for your helm or legs. Someone was in Ironforge selling the application of an arcanum for 250g. I was like, hah, screw that, so I embarked on the adventure of finding out everything I needed to know to get my own.

My final thoughts: 250g is a reasonable price for all the nonsense I had to go through.

First, I had to get a Libram of Voracity. These are world drops from mobs that seem to be 50+ or thereabouts. So naturally, I hit up the Auction House and dropped 90g on one.

Then, I had to go talk to a dude in Burning Steppes. At Morgan’s Vigil? No. At the tiny cave in the northern central cave, Mathredis Firestar. Doing this basically shows me what I need to get to turn in the libram for one of the Lesser Arcanums of Voracity. You can get +8 to agi, int, strength, spirit or stam.

What I needed was a Black Diamond, 4 Whipper Root Tubers and 4 Crystal Forces, in addition to the libram. I got the diamond for like 60s on the AH and I knew Whipper Root Tubers were found in Felwood, but I had no idea what a Crystal Force was.

Fun fact, after doing the Power Crystals quests at Marshall’s Refuge in Un’Goro Crater and then finding all the pylons, you can turn in 10 Green Power Crystals and 10 Blue Power Crystals for 6 Crystal Forces at the Eastern Pylon.

This took an exorbitant amount of time and running around. I had to run back and forth probably about 8 times because I didn’t read ahead and didn’t realize I had to finish all of the quests in order to get access to the exchange function on the Eastern Pylon. Finally did that, plus collected all of the 20 crystals I needed and finally got the Crystal Forces. Whew.

Then it was off to Felwood!

I had to do quests for Maybess Riverbreeze in southern Felwood. Specifically the Cleansing Felwood quest. This involved running my ass up to northern Felwood, killing 15 warpwood elementals (thankfully it’s a 100% droprate) and then running my ass back down to southern Felwood.

Now, luckily, while I was levelling, I’d already collected 20x Patch of Tainted Skin, as a skinner. This allowed me to turn in 5 of them at a time for 2x Cenarion Plant Salve each turn-in thanks to the Salve via Skinning quest.

At that point, it was like, great! Almost done!

Except then you have to find a Whipper Root plant, either corrupted (which you can cleanse with your salve) or already cleansed. I ran all over the damn map until I found this map:

http://www.blizzardguides.com/whipper_root_tubers.html

Killed a few felstalkers and finally was able to loot a cleansed Whipper Root plant and thankfully it gave me all 4 Whipper Root Tubers that I needed.

Armed with my Crystal Forces, Whipper Root Tubers, the Black Diamond and the libram, I made my way back to Burning Steppes to hand in the quest and receive my Lesser Arcanum of Voracity.

What a process.

Now, to be fair, most of the issues I encountered were because I had skipped quests when I was levelling there. So next time (on my paladin), I won’t skip them. But that was still a major pain in the ass. As I ran up and down Felwood or around and around Un’Goro, I was just thinking to myself “250g is a freaking bargain, this is awful”.

Worse, there are other kinds of arcanums that require slightly (or very) different things.

So if you can’t get a hold of a Primal Hakkari Idol for your ZG enchant, then you probably want to do the digging through the quests on Wowhead to see what’s needed for your arcanum of choice. But I promise you, if you see someone offering 250g in trade, it may well be worth it instead of the pain if you haven’t done all the quests. (Assuming you have 250g. I have like 2500g. I really should have done it.)

It’s All Coming Back…

So in December, my video card died. My beautiful, gorgeous, GTX 1080Ti died.

Naturally, this put a crimp in my WoW playing in that I basically couldn’t play anything that required hardware acceleration.

Thankfully, my 16-month old video card was still under warranty, so I got a free replacement. Unfortunately, this was all happening over the holidays so it took over a month to get my card. I had other stuff to do with some personal projects, but I’ve finally gotten back to playing WoW.

And I’m level 58! And almost a half!

I’ve run a bunch of the high-end instances for the first time in over a decade since properly doing them at level.

Dire Maul West – a couple of wipes, but ultimately I got the Backwood Helm.

UBRS – No loot but I didn’t have to kite Drak! I did get my Pyroguard Emberseer quest done (Eye of the Emberseer) for Duke Hydraxis and got attuned to BWL and got my Blood of the Black Dragon Champion for Onyxia. So with one run, I was attuned to everything except Molten Core.

LBRS – This was a weird-ass run. Four wipes (I feigned through two of them) and these people didn’t drop down to the right at Hordemar City. Why… why would you not do that? We ended up not clearing the hallway where the recipe for the Greater Fire Protection Potion drops, nor the other one on your way to Troll side. It was weird. But I got my Beaststalker’s Gloves and Beaststalker’s Mantle (thank you, Voone and Wyrmthalak!) as well as Trueaim Gauntlets.

Strat UD – No loot to speak of, but I got the holy water quest done and got the key.

Haven’t done Live or Scholo or DM North yet. Oh, and I soloed my way to attune myself to Molten Core. Plus got my Royal Seal of Eldre’Thalas all by myself. Plus assembled a video of five ways to mess up Jailbreak.

It’s a very interesting experience, to be really knowledgeable about stuff and yet unable to convince anyone to take you anywhere when pugging because you’re a hunter and no one thinks you can CC worth shit. My brother has promised to tank me through anything I need, so that’s good.

And I have more than enough needed for my epic mount. I’m pretty pleased about that.

The most interesting thing about this experience, though, is how old memories come back.

We were in that LBRS run and we’d killed the quartermaster up the hallway from Halycon and were clearing trash towards the dogs and I’m like … there’s something here. There’s a pat. I hit Track Humanoids and wouldn’t you know it, there’s a pat coming from the upper hallway just as our pally tank is going to run at the group at the far end of the corridor. I pinged the map multiple times, averting certain disaster as the tank stopped to get that pat before the group.

And while in Strat, the goddamn Eye of Naxxramas kept showing up during boss fights, but guess who killed the damn thing each time? That’s right. Me. Too many memories of being wiped by the Eye and its summoned thingies.

But the thing is, that pat in LBRS, the Eye in Strat UD, these aren’t memories I would have consciously thought about. They’re not things I would remember if I were talking about the instances to someone. But as soon as I was in those particular positions, it was like an old neural pathway just lit all the way up.

It’s been fun, relearning this stuff or, perhaps more accurately, rediscovering that I still have this knowledge.

Runecloth Bags, Gold & You

Friends, I am currently level 42 in WoW Classic.

That… is not great. I know it’s not great. I should be nearing 60, like my brother (52) and some of our friends (both 55).

It’s not that I haven’t been playing, rather it’s that I haven’t been levelling.

Why is that?

Well, you see, dear reader, as I write this, I am standing by a vendor in Everlook. Yes, at level 42. I’ve been coming here frequently since I was level 30. Shockingly, it only took about 12 deaths (all in Felwood and the furbolg tunnel) to get here. Anyway, I got the flight point in Felwood and in Everlook and so now it takes me 12 minutes to get from Ironforge out to Everlook and stand at this vendor.

Why am I doing this?

Well, the vendor is Qia, the Trade Goods vendor. She sells four limited-supply recipes. What’s a limited-supply recipe? Glad you asked.

A limited-supply recipe means (generally) that the vendor only has one of them in stock at a time. Here’s an example.

So you see the (1) on the icon for the pattern for the Frostsaber Boots? That indicates a limited supply. At any given time, this vendor can have 0, 1, 2, 3 or all 4 patterns in limited supply available for sale.

Pattern: Frostsaver Boots
Formula: Enchant Chest – Major Health
Pattern: Runecloth Gloves
Pattern: Runecloth Bag

I have spent literal hours camping this vendor for the pattern for the Runecloth Bag. It costs 1g20s and I have sold it for a wide variety of prices, from 3g to 25g or thereabouts. I have sold about 30 of these patterns, some of which I bought off the AH cheaply and resold and most of which I camped.

On my server, Westfall, the price has only gone up. We’re talking from 10-14g to upwards of 20g apiece. But why is this so popular?

It’s simple. Bags, big bags, are very rare in the game. The recipe for the Mooncloth Bag (16 slot) exists in the game but is a rare world drop, plus requires mooncloth (4-day cooldown) to make. So the next biggest bag, which is far easier to craft, is the Runecloth Bag. On my server, these bags sell for between 2-4g apiece. So even a tailor purchasing the pattern at 25g is worthwhile, because you will definitely be able to make 8-12 bags and sell them to make your money back. Everyone wants bags.

Also, because it’s a recipe that isn’t always available, a lot of people don’t know where it’s sold. Or, if they do, they don’t stand at the vendor long enough to see it show up.

Now, it’s important to note that when dealing with a limited-supply vendor, you cannot just keep the window open and expect to see changes. You need to close out the vendor window and reopen it to see a potential change in their inventory. I’d recommend doing this about once every 1-2 minutes for best results.

If, by some chance, you see a limited pattern in the vendor’s inventory but right-clicking on it doesn’t work, this means someone else beat you to the purchase.

Using this method, I have made at least 380g with a net profit of 310g. I’m currently selling them, on average, for about 20g. I had my mount money when I hit 40. I’ve been able to train all my skills and I used the money to level up my leatherworking, which has been at 300 since I hit 41.

So there you go, I hope that’s been helpful!

Also, once I actually get to run the dungeons, I’ll be putting out some Classic Dungeon Guides for BRD, Strat Live, Strat UD, Scholomance, LBRS, UBRS and, since it’s coming out sooner than expected, Dire Maul. Check out my YouTube channel where I already have a few videos about BRD and subscribe in order to keep up to date on my videos:

Kurn’s YouTube Channel

Currently, the most useful video on there will be how to get the key to Blackrock Depths.

The First 30 Levels

It’s been a little while since I’ve had a chance to write. I’ve been spending most of my free time split between Classic WoW and a programming project.

I’ve gotten Kurn to 31. Madrana remains at 10 and I’m writing this as my mage is level 3, running around Northshire. Wow, what a difference between 8am now and launch time a couple of weeks ago! The goal is to get her to 5 so she can pick up Tailoring (and make use of all the linen I no longer need for First Aid) and Enchanting.

I’ll get back to Madrana soonish — gotta level her soon — but in the meantime, I’m loving running around on Kurn. I got Aspect of the Cheetah at 20 and it was life-changing. As someone who hasn’t been without a mount of some sort in like, a decade, it was amazing. (I have the chauffeur for my toons under 20 on retail.)

And at 30, I got Feign Death. HOLY CRAP THE BEST EVER. Even if I get resisted every so often, I can now, once again, do Stupid Hunter Things. Frankly, that’s one of my favourite things to do in this game.

Example: There’s the Preserving Knowledge quest up in Alterac. I was level 30. My brother was 31 on his warrior. There is no WAY we should have been able to get that done, at least not retrieving the Worn Leather Book. But I found the place where the book was and we used my pet to distract a level 38 elite ogre and my brother ran over to join me. Then I feigned after my pet died. And then, just at that moment, a group of people came up and destroyed all the things for us so we just ran in and got the book. But my pet could have tanked the boss for a second (turtle with shell shield!) if needed. Ahhhhh, Stupid Hunter Things. I love them.

I’ve also made a serious effort to level my professions. Skinning isn’t a problem, I’m already at like, 230. Training Artisan skinning for 5g was not my favourite thing in the world to do, but I did it.

Leatherworking is hard at this point. I’m at about 200 and can’t wait to hit up the Hinterlands at 35 to train Artisan.

But I’m also at about the 150 mark at Fishing and First Aid and my Cooking is approaching 200! (I may have spent money to get there by buying stuff off the AH. Oops.)

I’ve done Deadmines once and Stockades once, both with my guildies. (Though we pugged a healer for Stocks.) I am planning to skip Razorfen Kraul and Gnomer entirely, thank you kindly. Next up for me will be Scarlet Monastery.

The world feels big again. And it’s not just the lack of mounts, it’s the lack of flying mounts. Don’t get me wrong, I love all of my flying mounts on retail, but flying from Ratchet to Auberdine means flying down to Theramore first. It’s altogether ridiculous, but there’s a certain something to it.

And the danger! I don’t tend to die on retail, not unless I’m in a raid or something. As a hunter, I can feign, as a pally, I can bubble, etc, etc. So there is no real danger involved on retail. But it’s all around you in Classic. I’m not saying I like dying to murlocs or elite orcs or Bellygrub, but it does happen and I do enjoy knowing I have to be alert when kiting or pulling.

I also really enjoy working towards various goals that are achievable, but difficult. Like, 90g or whatever it is for a 60% speed mount? That is going to suck. But it’s also so rewarding when you get there. It’s been hard to get Leatherworking to 200! It’s been challenging to get Kurn to 31. There’s like a dead zone for quests around 25-27 where things seem to be really hard. I ended up questing in Wetlandsand Redridge with a touch of Duskwood and Southshore and did a lot of just killing of whelps in the Wetlands.

Killing whelps and dragons in this game — and then skinning them — is truly one of my favourite things to do in this entire game. Love it all day long. I must have ground out at least a level or so doing just that over the course of a few days.

So I’m having a great time. Do I miss some of the creature comforts of retail? Of course. Mounts, flight, even some high-level abilities like Blink on my mage or Cleanse on my paladin, not having to stable one pet to call out another… All of these would be nice to have but I know I’ll appreciate Cleanse more on my paladin when I get it in my 40s. I’ll appreciate my slow mount SO MUCH when I get it.

What are you up to in Classic, if you’re playing? Let me know!

Classic Thoughts

I’ve been very quiet over the last couple of days. This is because I’ve been busy playing Classic, primarily. Well, you know, and working, celebrating my nephew’s fifth birthday, etc.

But I’ve been playing a lot of Classic. Naturally, I have Thoughts and Feelings!

Honestly, props to Blizzard for keeping the servers up. My group and I landed on Westfall, after originally planning to go to Pagle. By and large, most of us got the names we wanted, which was nice. Anyway, on Monday evening, a bunch of us logged in and were amazed by all the people in the starting zones.

I have never seen so many people in Northshire in my life.

Of course, with this concentration of people came the lag. As, I presume, more layers were created, I saw things fade in and out of existence. Eventually, my brother and I, plus one of our friends, Kam, all managed to group together and did all of Northshire together. Eventually, Kam got her imp, we finished our Northshire quests (after I got Judgment — so useful for tagging mobs instantly!) and we went off into the wilds of Elwynn Forest.

While primary professions only cost 10 copper apiece to train at the Apprentice level, FUN FACT, secondaries are a whole silver each! (Part of me is still amazed that I have five million gold on retail and I’m struggling to scrape up silver to train, etc.)

The hardest part of the evening wasn’t the lag, but rather tagging mobs. Props to Kam’s imp for being on aggressive and tagging some kobolds in Fargodeep Mine and some Murlocs at Crystal Lake!

It took us dozens of tries to get Garrick Proudfoot back in Northshire. At least half a dozen to get Princess in the pumpkin patch (once we found it). Let’s not even talk about Hogger.

But props to my group for mostly living through everything!

I eventually had 10 silver and made my way up to Stormwind to get a guild charter. Coming into Stormwind… well, it was an experience. I turned on the music to get the full effect and got chills down my spine as I entered the original Stormwind for the first time in years.

I managed to get a bunch of random folks, as well as a few of my friends, to sign the guild charter and our guild, Faded Heroes, was born. I thanked the randoms and booted them and we went about inviting all our friends as they logged in.

The goal had been, for me, to spend a couple of hours running around and earning silver to make the guild charter in Stormwind, which is quicker to get to from Northshire than Darnassus is from Aldrassil. Then, I was going to swap to Kurn. But it took me FOUR AND A HALF HOURS of playtime to get ten silver to use on a charter, so I was already nearly ten and I stuck it out to get to level 10 on the paladin.

After day 2, my hunter was also level 10. I died a LOT. The Barrow Den is The Worst, and Ursal Mauler, well, get yourself a group. At level 9, I joined up with a random level 9 rogue and we wiped four (?) times before we got him down. But we got it done! And what lies next for Kurn is getting a pet! Very excited.

Hilariously, I had to turn in a couple of quests to Fandral Staghelm. Now, I remembered him from Vanilla when I was fighting him in Firelands, but it was really very weird to meet him again for the first time, with that context! I remembered him being a jerk, but he is REALLY a jerk. And so, as I read the quest text and such, I remarked, aloud, how happy I was to have killed him a number of times in Firelands.

So what do I think about Classic? Loving it. There are a lot of things I’m having to untrain myself about — sparkling quest objectives, quest stuff on the map, the hunter dead zone, aspects and tracking vanishing once you die and needing to be re-enabled. The retail game has made me soft!

I’m also having to re-learn how to hunter. Paladin, less so, but wow, the dead zone is bigger than I remembered, Concussive Shot isn’t as effective as I remembered… Without a pet, against higher-level mobs, I had to kite them! I was never the BEST kiter, but I could certainly kite Drakkisath. I used to kite some blue dragon up to Everlook, over in Winterspring. (Can’t, for the life of me, remember its name.) Still, there I am, in Teldrassil, kiting furbolgs all over the damn place. And mostly living! It was the harpies in the Oracle Glade that wrecked me.

Looking forward to having a pet so I can stay at range!

Overall, I’m loving what I’m doing in Classic.

Tell me about your Classic experiences!

It’s Go Time

Well, more like “It’s Go Day”, but close enough. Today is launch day. In just under four hours, as I write this, WoW Classic will launch.

I am, and this is an understatement, thrilled.

For over a decade, now, I have eagerly awaited the launch of each new expansion, only to pair with it the fact that everything I once knew no longer meant anything. It’s draining. Exhausting. To know all the nuances about your class and spec and just things in the game in general to knowing basically nothing? It’s annoying. But new content brings with it new challenges and new information, so it’s generally a decent trade-off.

Today, however, I sit here, eager to jump into a world that I know oh-so-well.

My encyclopedic knowledge of Blackrock Depths matters. (See my YouTube channel for detailed video guides of BRD and, eventually, more!)

My knowing various old farming spots in Swamp of Sorrows and Dustwallow Marsh and Felwood actually means something.

Understanding what’s required to get the key to Upper Blackrock Spire is important again!

Knowing the best place to raise your weapon skills is finally useful once more!

The content may not be new, but my knowledge is right up there, my friends. I’m thrilled these nuggets of information are going to be put to use once again. And the adventures? The adventures will be brand-new, and I can’t wait to embark upon them and see what the original World of Warcraft has in store for me.

That said, I have some tips!

Tips for WoW Classic Launch

  • You may want to log in as your alts first and get them to a city to get them rested XP while you play on your main! My paladin and mage will be parking their butts in Stormwind while I play on Kurn. (That said, if your nearest capital city is far, look for an inn at the first real zone. No point in running to Goldshire if you can run to Stormwind, but Dolanaar is a better bet than Darnassus)
  • You may be on a different “layer” than someone else. To be on the same layer, someone can invite the other person. The party leader’s “layer” becomes the layer for both people at that point. (I think guild members will also all be on the same layer as each other, could be wrong.)
  • Remember that flight points are few and far between. When you need to head to the Eastvale Logging Company in Elwynn, you may as well run a couple more minutes to grab the flight point out at Lakeshire as well. You may even want to grab the Darkshire FP in Duskwood while you’re over there, though you may end up dying if you’re too low-level.
  • Night elves who want to level in Westfall, search for videos on how to skip from the Wetlands to Dun Morogh (where you can then take the tram). If you don’t do this, you may just want to wait until you’re in your early-to-mid 20s to make your way by boat over to Menethil Harbour because there are a lot of crocolisks who are eager to kill you otherwise.
  • Vendor all your greys, don’t destroy them.
  • Anything that is coloured white (apart from crappy armor/weapons) can be useful to someone. Bear that in mind when killing animals and getting various meats and such.
  • Don’t forget to train fishing, cooking and first aid, as well as your primary professions.
  • Don’t forget to train your abilities and place your talent points! Talent calculator here: https://classic.wowhead.com/talent-calc
  • Most of all, HAVE FUN! :)

 

Happy WoW Classic launch, everyone. I’ll see you in Azeroth.

Raiding as a Holy Paladin in Classic

Yesterday’s post was about dungeon healing as a holy paladin in Classic. Today, we talk about raiding.

The major difference here is that you are not the sole person healing and responsible for everyone’s health. You have like, 10+ other healers with you for a 40-man raid, and probably at least 4 other people with you for a 20-man raid.

More, you are almost certainly not the only paladin!

As such, the big change here is one of coordination, as well as a subtle shift of responsibility.

Blessing Organization

PallyPower was the gold standard for blessings, back in the day. This allowed you to easily bless everyone appropriately, in coordination with other paladins in the raid, and also kept timers for those buffs. But PallyPower is: a) defunct, b) not going to work anyway because you didn’t have to target people directly to cast on them.

As such, barring any new plugins (please do let me know if any exist!), you’ll have to go old-school on this.

The low-tech way is to write down which class gets which of your buffs. Then buff yourself first and then buff your way down the list of druids, hunters, mages, priests, rogues, warlocks and warriors, as paladins have already been buffed when you buffed yourself. By buffing yourself first, you have a visible timer. When your buff is running out, that’s a great time to rebuff everyone.

The higher-tech way is to use your raid frames to show you the buffs. Whether you use the in-game frames or something like Grid, you can probably figure out how to get them to display. For myself, I’m thinking of giving a yellow border to people who have my buff, but that’ll be something I’ll explore in the future, assuming an addon doesn’t come out before then.

As to who should buff what in a raid situation: make sure if anyone has an improved buff or otherwise talented blessing that they’re casting that one. You have someone who has improved wisdom? Great, they cast that across the raid. Someone with improved might? Same. Someone with kings? Perfect, they cast that on everyone. Let the people with unimproved talents cast Salvation. I definitely suggest you have a paladin channel for pallies to organize themselves here.

What about Blessing of Light?

In a raid situation, most of your paladins are probably going to be healing. That’s sort of what paladins do in raids in this era we’re revisiting. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a prot pally as an off-tank, it doesn’t mean you can’t have a ret pally doing some damage, but, by and large, pallies are used to heal. So if you have a lot of pallies healing, yes, by all means, throw Blessing of Light on the raid, if you’ve got Salvation, Kings, Might and Wisdom covered. Whoever’s blessing Salvation can be the one to throw Light on the tanks at the very least.

Healing Organization

A good rule of thumb is one healer per group and 2-3 healers for the main tank and, if you can spare it, a couple tanks for the off-tank. This depends on the fight, of course. We always liked to have a variety of healers on the main tank — so a priest, a druid and a paladin. You had the priest with the nice, sweet Greater Heals, the druid with Rejuvenation and Regrowth spam, while the paladin would cast Flash of Light pretty much non-stop. Repeat this setup as possible for any off-tanks.

Additionally, there are lots of things to dispel in raids, so it’s a good idea to organize whole cleanses what group. Paladins can dispel all but curses with one click, so even if you have DPS paladins, assign them to a group to dispel so that the priests in the raid can keep healing. Try not to make the MT’s priest do too much dispelling. It’s a lot easier for a paladin to dispel and resume Flash of Light spam.

Speaking of dispelling, mages and druids are the only ones who can remove curses, so yes, even mages are going to need to decurse. Assign each mage or druid a group to decurse and have a backup plan for the main tank’s group in case someone eats it unexpectedly and then your main tank has two curses, a magic effect and a poison on them. ;)

Mana Management

Classic brings with it the concept of multiple potions and such while in combat. That means you can drink a mana potion every two minutes while in combat. But did you know that there are other things that can grant you mana?

  • Dark Rune: This non-bind-on-pickup item drops in Scholomance and is super useful for gaining a bit of mana while your potions are on cooldown. It shares a cooldown with healthstones, but not potions. Also, since there are no soulwells, you probably won’t even have a healthstone, so this shouldn’t be an issue.
  • Demonic Rune: This is a BOP item that drops off of virtually any demon, so it’s much easier to acquire than a Dark Rune, even though it’s BOP. While it basically does the same thing as a Dark Rune, the main difference is that a Demonic Rune can crit when it takes your health away. As such, always be aware of your health when you take it. A badly-timed use of a Demonic Rune that crits can absolutely kill you. That said, it’s shadow damage, so you might want to make sure you have Shadow Resist Aura up.

 

Of course, there are also other raid consumables. We’re talking Flask of Distilled Wisdom, Mageblood Potion and Nightfin Soup. These are pretty much the basics for a holy paladin. Also, load up on those Major Mana Potions.

There’s also downranking, but I’ll talk more about that in another post. Essentially, it’s the concept of using less-than-max-rank spells on purpose for the purpose of saving mana, particularly in periods of low raid damage. I’ll need to play around with things once I get to a decent level, but in some situations it’s perfectly okay to use, say, Rank 4 of Holy Light for only 190 mana instead of Rank 9 of Holy Light for 660 mana if you just need a small heal of 400-500 health, rather than 1600-2000 health. This really depends on your gear, though. At base levels, Rank 4 of Holy Light is equivalent to (and slightly more expensive than) max-rank Flash of Light. But if you have a lot of +healing… You can see where I’m going with this. In some cases, based on gear, you can do a lot of effective healing with lower ranks of spells.

The Five-Second Rule

Your mana doesn’t regen in combat (outside of any buffs that grant mp5, like Blessing of Wisdom) unless you haven’t spent mana for a full five seconds. One reason a lower Holy Light rank would be more useful than a max-rank Flash of Light is you can more easily interrupt a 2.5s cast than a 1.5s cast. So if your heal is no longer needed, you can hit escape or just move to prevent the cast from going through. This can enable you to hit the five seconds required to allow in-combat mana regeneration. Even a tick or two is helpful on some fights or if you’re a bit undergeared.

Aura Management

If you have at least three paladins, you want a resist aura, plus improved Devotion Aura, plus Concentration Aura and then you’re pretty much good. If you don’t need a resist aura, or there’s a large pack of mobs the tanks need to hold on to, toss up Ret aura.

Seal Management

Pick a seal to judge. Always judge that seal in the raid. You may want to double-up on wisdom and light to ensure that these are always being cast.

Divine Intervention Management

Don’t have all the pallies in your raid cast DI on the same wipe. With an hour-long cooldown, it’s best to spread out Divine Intervention. Decide who uses it in a rotation and make sure you’re clear on it before each pull. If you die before you can cast DI, call it out for the next person. This isn’t a huge deal, but if you’re deep inside Molten Core, you definitely do not want to have to run back, so DIing someone (preferably a priest or another paladin), is a good time-saver. Just don’t use all of them on the same wipe!

Questions? Bueller?

Well, that does it for this guide on how to raid as a holy paladin in Classic! Am I missing anything? Do you have any specific questions? Let me know in the comments below!

Dungeon Healing as a Holy Paladin in Classic

Folks, it’s been a long, long, long time since I healed in Vanilla. Healing has changed so much, and so often, that it’s hard for me to really remember what it was like. I didn’t get a chance to play on beta, outside of the stress tests, so please take my advice here with a grain of salt for now.

I healed dungeons from Scarlet Monastery onwards in Vanilla. Heck, I levelled holy. (Don’t do this, you will regret it when it takes you 12 minutes to kill a Kurzen Medicine Man in northern Stranglethorn Vale.)

For the lower level dungeons, it’s as you might expect – heal the tank and yourself primarily, cleanse people and try not to let them die (but not at the expense of you and the tank), don’t stand in bad.

Once you hit about level 50, it gets interesting, though. The dungeons you’ll be running are also run by level 60s, so things get a bit more challenging — your tanks get hit harder, dots tick for more damage, all that sort of thing.

This is a reasonable level 50 dungeon-healing build:

https://classic.wowhead.com/talent-calc/paladin/05503022521351–052

This is a reasonable level 60 dungeon-healing build:

https://classic.wowhead.com/talent-calc/paladin/05503020521351-5002-552

Both of these builds try to increase your utility by giving you improved Blessing of Might, plus Improved Devotion Aura, plus Guardian’s Favor and decreased Judgment cooldown.

Healing “Rotation”

Fun fact, there’s no healing rotation. You have three, count ’em, three healing spells. You have Flash of Light, which is fast, doesn’t cost much mana and subsequently doesn’t heal for much and you have Holy Light, which is a bit longer to cast, costs more mana but heals for more. Oh, and then every thirty seconds you have Holy Shock.

Now, this doesn’t touch on downranking, which is a more complex subject, but basically, those are your three castable heals. That’s it. No Beacon of Light, no Holy Radiance, no Light of Dawn. That. is. it.

Someone is missing a bit of health? Flash of Light.

Someone is missing a LOT of health? Holy Light.

Someone is ABOUT TO DIE and can’t wait for Flash of Light to cast? Holy Shock, then Flash of Light, then Holy Light. (Or Lay on Hands — see below.)

The Oh Shit Button

Divine Favor is a talent and it is glorious. It forces your next Flash of Light, Holy Light or Holy Shock to be a crit. And, IIRC, it’s not on the global cooldown, so you can macro it to something like:

/cast Divine Favor
/cast Holy Shock

You need a target in there somewhere, but it should instantly cast Holy Shock and force a crit. If you have any on-use trinkets that would be helpful that are also off the global cooldown, you can use them here, too, to chain a nice big instant heal.

Note that Divine Favor does NOT force Lay on Hands to crit.

Seals and Judging

Of course, you also have Seal of Light and Seal of Wisdom and you can judge them both. How does judging work? Well, you put up a seal (like Light) and then you judge, then the seal is no longer up. So you would need to recast Seal of Light in order to judge it again. Read the tooltips on the seals to know what the judged effect is. So attacking someone with Seal of Light up gives me, the paladin, 94 health when it procs. When I judge it, anyone attacking the mob who has it on them has a change to get 61 health when it procs. If you’re close enough to attack the mob yourself, your melee hits refresh the duration of the judgment. I’m definitely fuzzy on this — not sure if it’s you or anyone in your group, but I’ll come back to this. I was more someone who stood 30y back and mostly judged from there.

So Seal of Light is nice to judge on a boss because then everyone is attacking the boss and everyone is getting health back. However, Seal of Wisdom is also nice to judge if you have a bunch of mana users (and if you, yourself, are running out of mana). You can judge Wisdom, then put up Seal of Wisdom on yourself again, then attack the mob and get a crapton of mana back as both the seal and judgment will proc.

Blessings

Contrary to popular belief, Blessing of Kings is not the best buff. It’s Blessing of Salvation. That alone can allow you to live through a not great tank or allows a monstrous DPS to control their threat. Here’s how you should buff people.

Tank: Kings, if you’re specced into it, if only for the boost in stats and stam. If not (as you may not be, given my recommended builds above), give them Blessing of Might or, if they’re squishy, Blessing of Light. This only increases a paladin’s healing done to the target, so if you’re ret or prot in a dungeon and have a priest healing you, don’t buff this. (If you’re in some spec that allows you Blessing of Sanctuary, go for it on the tank.)

Yourself: As a holy paladin, you should give yourself Blessing of Wisdom. You naturally cause less threat than any other healer. If your tank is Not Good with the aggro, give yourself Salvation. However, you have a bubble. You should not need to Salv yourself.

All DPS: Give them Salvation. They may complain. Give them Salvation anyway.

Exception: Hunters! You may instead want to give hunters Blessing of Kings if you have it, or Blessing of Wisdom. Hunters can feign death every 30 seconds to completely eliminate any threat, so they can be in charge of managing their threat on their own. And no, do not give them Blessing of Might, no matter how much they think they want it. It is only good for melee attack power and hunters use ranged attack power. So if they don’t want Salv and you don’t have Kings, give them Wisdom. They do use mana, after all!

How Blessings Work

I think it’s at 60 you get all the Greater Blessings which last 15 minutes. Don’t be cheap. Use the Greater Blessings that use Symbols of Kings. Period. Do it. Not only do you not want to rebuff everyone every five minutes but no one else wants you to pause to rebuff and then drink every five minutes.

Finally, as they worked in more recent expansions, you are buffing an entire CLASS when you use a Greater Blessing. So if you have 3 warriors and one is tanking, buff them all Salv and then hit the warrior tank with the simple Blessing of Light or Blessing of Might. Got three mages in the group? Peachy, throw Greater Blessing of Salvation at them all and be done with one cast.

Utility Blessings

Okay, so, blessings are crazy in Vanilla/Classic. First, and I don’t think I’m wrong about this (but I could be), Blessing of Protection, Blessing of Freedom, etc, ALL OVERWRITE your actual Greater Blessing of whatever. One blessing per paladin per person! So if you have to cast BOP on an overzealous melee, don’t forget to hit them with Salvation again.

That said, so many of these blessings are useful. Do not hesitate to cast Blessing of Protection on someone with a bleed. If it’s a melee, once the bleed drops off, hit them with their normal blessing so they can continue attacking. If a clothie is being attacked, keep BOP on them and re-bless them after, as they don’t do physical damage and aren’t prevented from casting while BOPped.

Blessing of Freedom is great to avoid slows. Don’t hesitate to use it on your tank if they need to get to a mob casting Frostbolt at them.

Blessing of Sacrifice is not as good as it is currently, but hey, it’s some damage mitigation.

Auras

Which aura to use? You have A LOT. You have the elemental resist auras, Frost, Fire, Shadow (though no arcane!), so if you’re expecting damage of any of those schools (Baron Rivendare’s Shadow Aura, Alexei Barov’s Shadow Aura, Lord Incendius’ fire attacks), use that resist aura.

Concentration Aura: if you and/or your casters are being interrupted a lot by damage, use this to prevent you from ever being interrupted. (Pretty sure you start at base 70% chance not to be interrupted in casting when damaged?)

Retribution Aura: mostly used while soloing to inflict more damage on anything hitting you.

Devotion Aura: The go-to standard. Who doesn’t want more armor?

Cleansing

Guess what? You have an overpowered ability. Well, to be fair, you have several. However, one of the best utilities you have is your Cleanse ability. At level 8, you get Purify, allowing you to dispell a disease and a poison. At 42, you get Cleanse which adds a magic effect to that. So with one click, you can remove a poison AND a disease AND a magic effect from someone. And there’s no cooldown. This is incredibly important. The only thing you can’t get rid of is curses. (Bring a mage, bring a druid.)

Cleansing is one of the most important things to do in the game, period. Get all the bad crap off your healing target and then heal them, for the most part.

Lay on Hands

Oh, that’s right, you do have Lay on Hands… except it literally is a 40 minute cooldown (when talented for it! 60 minutes otherwise!) and it literally uses all of your mana, so make sure to have a Major Mana Potion ready and judge wisdom and put up Seal of Wisdom and go hit the boss after you use it.

Turn Undead

You’re a paladin. A champion of the light. As such, you can Turn Undead. Note that this later became Turn Evil and included demons, but this is just for undead and not the Forsaken, either! This can be an effective form of crowd control. That said, just like a warlock’s fear, your dude can go running off pretty far in 20 seconds and may come back… with friends. Still, this is super handy on, say, the two adds in Scholo on Alexei Barov.

Divine Intervention

Known as “DI”, Divine Intervention is one of my favourite spells. It kills you instantly. But you don’t take durability damage. It requires a target, so target someone who can resurrect (priest, other paladin, druid, engineer with jumper cables) and cast it if you’re about to wipe. It removes the other person from combat (so make sure they’re in a good place and won’t pull when they click it off!) when it kills you, so they don’t die and can rez the group. However, druids have a 30m cooldown on their rez and it’s an in-combat resurrection, so they should be your last choice. Always try to DI a priest. This will rarely be an opportunity for you in a dungeon, though.

TL;DR:

  • There is no healing rotation. Flash of Light for small heals, Holy Light for big heals, Holy Shock when moving as it’s your only instant, Divine Favor for forced crits, Lay on Hands once every 40 minutes.
  • Buff wisely and use Salvation for everyone except you and the tank.
  • Judge Light to heal and Judge Wisdom to regen mana. Feel free to run into melee with either of those seals up to gain health and mana yourself as well.
  • Don’t forget to cleanse.
  • You can CC for about 20 seconds with Turn Undead.
  • Use auras as needed and go Devotion Aura if none of the others are required.
  • DI a priest or paladin before a druid. Engineers with jumper cables are also valid options!

 

All righty, I’ll end things on this note, but will come back to talk about raiding. Any questions? Did I miss something? Let me know in the comments below!

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 in the same conjured item, though you can eat and drink one after the other without interrupting the first. 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!