Cataclysm Classic Holy Paladin Meta Gems

It is 4:28am. I have work in… not too many hours. But I came across a video on YouTube while I couldn’t sleep and they were talking about how holy paladins should use the burning meta gem in Cata Classic.

And I was like… that’s not right, is it?

So what did I do?

First, I scoured THIS VERY BLOG to see what I have to say about Cataclysm meta gems. Know what I found? One post. One. That’s it. And it doesn’t even mention the Burning Shadowspirit meta?

So I got out of bed and went to check what gems were in Madrana’s old helms — both original Madrana and baby paladin Madrana. Ember Shadowspirit Diamonds were in basically all of my old holy helms (different ones for tanking and the odd ret helm).

And I’m like how did I not mention a whole other meta gem? I was very, very confused.

Until I saw a comment at Wowhead. The Burning meta used to say 3% Increased Critical Damage until 4.3, whereupon it changed to 3% Increased Critical Effect.

Judging from Wowhead, Cata is going with 3% Increased Critical Effect for Classic. (And, it seems, the second iteration of Holy Radiance, but that’s for another post.)

So, questions:

1) Was I really unaware of this change at 4.3???

2) If I wasn’t unaware, why did I keep using the Ember?

3) Why have I been researching this and writing this for 20m in the middle of the night when I have work the next day?

I think I’ll do a bit more research this week and come up with a good video/post about Cata and holy pallies. In the meantime, yes, use the Burning Shadowspirit Diamond as your meta. And here’s what I still believe is a pretty decent max-level spec for a PVE holy paladin.

Okay, back to bed. The birds are chirping and the sun is coming up. I am not going to be a happy camper at work…

Follower Dungeon Thoughts

Folks, I am still gobsmacked at this whole “follower dungeon” thing. Gobsmacked.

Naturally, as I haven’t been playing regularly in a while (I was last tinkering in Season of Discovery with my brother and his eldest son), I had no idea that there even were follower dungeons.

I ended up running Uldaman: Legacy of Tyr as Kurn, just to check it out and I was impressed with the NPCs. I pulled, MDing to the tank… and everything was fine. I tried pulling without MDing to the tank. And still, everything was fine. I tried pulling aggro off the tank and I couldn’t. I tried pulling multiple groups to see if either the tank or the healer would get taxed. Nope.

Mind reeling, I then decided I had to do this as a healer on Madrana.

You should watch it. It’s pretty funny. I also confuse this big shiny yellow spinny effect on the ground for something a mage does. No, no, it’s something a trinket of mine does…

Anyway, the NPC tank was fucking amazing. Like, no shit, my hand to God, amazing. Tanks of the world (or, perhaps more accurately, wannabe tanks of the world) should take a page out of Captain Garrick’s book. She is GREAT. The one nitpick I had (I healed Neltharus) was that at one point, the tank was at the top of some steps, the hunter (Austin — I hate him, but the other characters are fine) was at the bottom, and I was in the middle, having a bit of trouble with line of sight for a minute. But aside from that, this tank was great. This tank cast Lay on Hands on the shammy. I would have 100% let that shammy die while I cast LOH on the mage (which I did) because a shammy can rez.

So now, I’m like… how did the tank know to LOH the shammy? Is there a piece of code in there that says that a real human behind a paladin healer would have saved the character who couldn’t self-rez and that’s why the LOH went to the shaman?

(PS: I have a battle-rez, now? What?! I mean, it’s on my bars, so I must have known about it at some point, BUT WHAT?!?!)

So yeah, I’m really interested in understanding how the NPCs are programmed. These are not the dumbasses who were in the proving grounds. These are much more sophisticated. Slow to pull (but considerate of the healer!!!) and the DPS is somewhat weak (but they’re normals), but still. They sort of play their classes well? (Austin has pulled extra mobs on me at least once, so he’s on my shit-list.)

What comes next, I wonder? Heroics? Mythics? LFR bots to come in when there aren’t enough tanks or healers?

Part of me kept thinking about these “fun” dungeon runs some of us had together in Burning Crusade. It was like a bunch of night owls. Me on Madrana, with Tia (warlock), Fodder (DPS warrior) and Cennathas (rogue). And sometimes Fodder would actually tank if we, you know, couldn’t find a tank at 2am. And Cenn would always be the one tasked with finding a rando DPS. So we’d all be on Vent or something except for the rando and I’d be stressing about mana and Tia would get lost in the instance and the rando must have always been like “who the fuck are these people and what are they even DOING???” It was vaguely stressful for me as a healer, but it was usually a good time.

And like… that wouldn’t necessarily have happened if we had had the ability to do follower dungeons.

Hell, if the gang of us had been able to find a tank back in the day, like the Vanilla days, we may never have done a 39m Baron run without a tank. It was me on Kurn, with my cat, Whisper, tanking, Crypt healing the crap out of Whisper, and Tia, Tan and Maj doing insane caster DPS while I pulled. (This was prior to MD, btw.)

Now, obviously, doing a dungeon without a tank is, in a word, stupid. But that’s sort of what we liked about it. We liked challenging ourselves to use all the abilities at our disposal. We liked learning things. We especially liked forcing Majik to drop enchanting and pick up engineering and power-levelling it all night so he could drop repair bots and try to rez Crypt with jumper cables, when Crypt’s darkmoon card wouldn’t proc (which was, you know, often).

I wonder if we would have still had the fun adventures we did if this technology had been available to us. My gut says no, because necessity is the mother of invention. And if we hadn’t needed to find ways around not having a tank, would we have? Probably not.

So while I do love this follower dungeon thing as it is, where you can do normal-level dungeons with 3 of your friends and a bot or by yourself with 4 bots or anything in between, I hope it doesn’t go further than this.

I do think it’s sort of a band-aid to the whole lack of tanks situation.

The way to get more tanks is to open them up to more specs and to make it more rewarding to be a tank (and I’m not talking a goodie bag out of LFG) and to require more hybrid role encounters in raids. In a 25-man raid, we needed like, 2.5 tanks in Cataclysm. Usually 2. Occasionally 1. Sometimes 4. (Heroic Halfus, anyone? God, kitties who could be bears were amazing.)

So yeah, still gobsmacked. Still very curious as to the how. And now curious about the why and the how far this will go.

What are your thoughts?

Hilarity at 4am

So I was hopping on and off my various alts, trying to get them all a few extra profession points courtesy of the Darkmoon Faire, and I was like… I kind of want to heal on the paladin. So I spent a good amount of time setting up Plexus and Clique and, at 4am, decided to go heal a random dungeon. This, I might add, without ever having done any of the Dragonflight dungeons before.

So how did it go?

Well, it was not my finest hour, as I outright panicked throughout it, basically. Why? Check it out for yourself.

After sleep and such, I figured out the issue was PlexusClickSets and Clique had to have been interfering with each other. I disabled Click Sets and walked into Stocks and back out and all my settings worked properly. But I tell you, this was an intense 20 minutes or so of, first, figuring out what the hell was happening, and then what buttons are bound to what keys and then, finally, how do I keep people alive??? Only a couple (3?) deaths overall, no full wipes. Just a lot of me flailing. Enjoy!

Dragonflight: Plans & Thoughts

Howdy, folks! November is always a busy month for me. I’ve spent some time attempting to write 50,000 words of a novel for National Novel Writing Month, as per usual. (Let us not discuss how close or far I am from that goal.) I’ve also spent time running Wrath Classic dungeons with my brother, Fog, and have recorded a bunch of them. (The first is my breakdown of holy paladin talents in Wrath, but the rest are all videos of me running dungeons, mostly with Fog.)

So, I made the decision to buy Dragonflight, because… dragons, hello! Not even to just be a dracthyr evoker (we all know I love my hunter and paladin too much to seriously look at another class), but to see if WoW can keep me in “present times”. I had purchased Shadowlands and promptly hated everything about it. I hadn’t even finished the starter quest on Kurn, that’s how much I hated it. Apart from anything else, the level squish — which I understand on a logical level — really pissed me off. Why? Because, excuse you, Blizzard, Kurnmogh of Eldre’Thalas had been level 60 since sometime in 2005, thank you very kindly. The thought of levelling to 60 again was just absolute crap. It’s such a psychological blow. Even though I completely understand that levelling to 130 (from level 1!) is stupid. I really do get that. Logically, I know a level squish had to happen. But for someone who spent THIRTY DAYS IN-GAME trying to get Kurn to 60 (and yes, that’s how long it took me the first time around), it really sucked to think about grinding out those 10 levels from 50-60 again. Like a LOT.

It still sucks. And so, perhaps out of nothing beyond spite (and perhaps a little greed), I have Kurn at 60, Madrana at 60 and five other alts at 60 (including a dracthyr evoker). My army of alts and I are ready to jump into Dragonflight tonight (in about three hours, as I write this), and I am ready to make ALL THE GOLD. I have skinning/LW on Kurn, JC/alch on Madrana, Herb/Inscription on the dracthyr, Herb/Mining on my shaman, Mining/Tailoring on my mage, Alch/Enchanting on the priest and, hilariously, Blacksmithing/Engineering on my warlock. In my defense, the warlock was a boosted character from like… Mists (?) whom I decided to add BS/Eng to because those were the professions I lacked. I still find it hilarious that I have a warlock with those professions, so I decided to keep them on that toon.

Levelling during this elemental invasion event has been fascinating. I didn’t tend to join groups. Rather, as healers (priest and shaman, specifically), I greatly enjoyed just dropping heals like Healing Rain, Chain Heal, Circle of Healing, etc, on the people doing damage. It was so much more fun, IMHO, than running around dropping Blizzard or Rain of Fire. Also, what the hell, soul shards are the worst. hahaha. I eventually figured out how they work, but it made me wish for the old days of soul shard bags instead of them as a secondary resource. And does life tap no longer exist for destro warlocks??? I actually ran out of mana sometimes. Too much Rain of Fire, I guess. Anyway. That was a painful, like, 18 (?) levels. Though I do have to say, even with the nerfs (and yes, they are nerfs!) to the heirlooms, I gained like 5 levels chewing through 1.5 levels worth of rested. That was disgusting and I loved it.

Madrana got boosted to 60 so I didn’t do a lot of invasion stuff with her, although I did enough to get most of the 252 gear. I also got to try out this fancy new talent tree. First, yay talent trees!!!! Second, oh god, talent trees!!! hahahaha! I had some fun reading through things. I think I have a workable talent tree at the moment. The biggest problem for me was not being able to generate enough holy power to cast Light of Dawn, because I wasn’t grouping with folks. I did enjoy that Consecrate finally heals people if talented for it, though. I’ve been wanting that since… Wrath? Cata? Maybe even BC, because I remember not being able to heal through Heroic Magister’s Terrace in TIER FIVE GEAR because I couldn’t heal more than one person at a time. That was a brutal effing dungeon for a paladin. Priest? No issues. But a paladin? At least 1 dead person, guaranteed.

Having said that, healing someone with beacon (in this case, it was me) should be enough to gain a fair amount of holy power. I also specced into Veneration, which means that my Flash of Light, Holy Light and Judgement crits reset the cooldown on Hammer of Wrath and allow it to be used regardless of the health of the mob, and Hammer of Wrath generates 1 Holy Power. I see what they’re trying to do (bearing in mind I’ve missed all of Shadowlands), in that they want paladins in melee. And, quite frankly, fuck that noise. I like standing way the hell in the back. If people like standing in melee, go ahead. I’ll just stand over here.

Also, the holy paladin mastery changed?!? It’s now “Increases healing done by up to X%, based on the proximity of your target.” Obviously, this means if you’re tank healing, you want to be in melee. Again, no thank you. I haven’t done any testing on this, but it’ll be interesting to investigate going forward. In the meantime, I’ve done some running around with the paladin during the invasions and I’m feeling okay with most of my toolkit.

Right, so my plans for Dragonflight include making a ridiculous amount of gold, particularly with Inscription, but also with the profession equipment. Between Leatherworking and Blacksmithing, I have 16 different profession thingies I can make. Then I have Engineering for another 7, JC for another 4 and Inscription for another 3. So I think I’ve got them all covered.

I’m super looking forward to more complexity regarding professions (note to self: remember this when you’re pissed off that you don’t have enough profession knowledge at some point), and am so glad that it’s going to be more interesting than going broke trying to eke out the last five points of your profession. (Having just done that in Wrath, I can’t say I was looking forward to it.)

So, what are you looking forward to in Dragonflight? Anyone healing with a dracthyr? Anyone also looking to corner markets? Tell me what you’re up to!

[Wrath Classic] Oh the failure…

Well, folks, even those of us who have done this expansion before will make mistakes. Here’s the biggest one I’ve made so far in Wrath…

I use Grid and Clique. Actually, that’s now Plexus and Clique. With Clique, you can define various spells to be cast with various mouse clicks and various modifiers on whatever frames you like. So I don’t have it enabled for my player frames (my frame, my target, etc), but I do have it for the Grid/Plexus layout. Using this combination has made me so much of a better healer, I can’t even really express it.

So when I was playing in Classic (and an itty bitty bit in BC), I had my binds all set up. Right click for Holy Light, left click for Flash of Light, Ctrl-4 (thumb button) for Lay on Hands, various other spells bound to other keys.

I noticed, twice, during my dungeon runs, that my various bindings did not all work. “Oh, I thought, I must have misremembered what the bind was.” You can even see me looking at the binds in this video (at about 12:20). Can anyone see what the issue is? Just watch it for a bit. Take a good look. I’ll wait.

Any thoughts? Here, let me paste a close up of my bindings here.

Anyone see it? I didn’t. It took me days to figure it out.

The problem, my dear readers, is that I had not updated my bindings. Flash of Light worked fine. Holy Light did too. Holy Shock and Lay on Hands, all good. And Cleanse and Beacon, too!

But Blessing of Sacrifice, Blessing of Protection and Blessing of Freedom? No. They weren’t working.

I confirmed it in a run with my brother (that’s right, I roped Fog into playing and tanking for me!) when I hit Blessing of Sacrifice (Ctrl-Right Button) and it just didn’t work. And then we were outside the instance testing and testing our frames and threat plates and all kinds of stuff and I’m like “WHY IN THE HELL IS HAND OF SACRIFICE NOT WORKING?!?!” as I slammed the keybind over and over and over again.

And I paused.

And I looked at the binding again.

The issue is that I had bound Blessing of Sacrifice and Blessing of Protection and Blessing of Freedom. I had not bound Hand of Sacrifice, Protection and Freedom. BLESSING. Of course all of these worked in Vanilla and BC! They were still BLESSINGS then! Wrath’s pre-patch changed them to Hands! And I knew that had happened. I even talked to my brother about them the other night.

AND YET I MISSED THIS. So yeah, your friendly neighbourhood holy paladin has been running around for a few weeks with no Hands bound because she is, on occasion, a dingbat.

Check your keybinds/clique binds, folks.

(PS: Videos with Fog coming as soon as we actually have a run that’s halfway decent to share.)

[Wrath Classic] How I Made 4500+ Gold in 5 Days

Hi folks!

First of all, I’ve been busy in WoW. Primarily, I’ve been making money, which is the main point of this post. However, I’ve also healed The Nexus and Utgarde Keep on Madrana and both Madrana and Kurn are level 71. This is possibly the slowest I have ever levelled barring the original Vanilla… Anyway, if you’d like to see my adventures, I’m recording and posting at least the first healing run of all the dungeons I’m doing on Madrana. Here’s The Nexus and here’s Utgarde Keep. They’re unedited, just raw runs complete with my muttering about tanks and complaining about mana. Check it out and please do subscribe to my YouTube channel if you’re interested in more Wrath videos!

GOLD, GOLD, GOLD!!!

Okay, on to making money! I walked into Wrath Classic with about 1500g. Certainly not a lot of money — Madrana doesn’t even have epic flying. I also knew I wasn’t going to be able to participate in the absolute wildness that is Darkmoon Cards at the start of the expansion. I don’t have a scribe and didn’t have the money to make one, plus I like my current professions. So I knew Inscription and cards weren’t going to be an option for me, but I did know that anyone who was lucky enough to create any of the Nobles cards was going to get super rich. The Nobles cards turn into one of four Greatness trinkets and these are, without a doubt, incredibly powerful to start off in this expansion.

So I had a plan that included mining and jewelcrafting. My plan was to get to Dalaran and start in on getting my Jewelcrafting tokens on day one, basically. The majority of the “good” cuts of gems require 3 JC tokens, which are basically rewards from the daily JC quests in Dal.

Problem: Dalaran requires you to do a quest at level 74 to gain access to the city. I was wholly unamused that I had forgotten this.

So what I did was I looked up when mages get the Dal portal. It’s level 74 (which makes sense, given the quest requirements). I spent a while watching mages ding 71, 72, 73… but by the time I went to bed on Monday, either no mage on my server was 74 or no one was responding to my whispers. (I tried two mages who were 74 and no dice.) So the next morning I logged on before work and whispered a couple more mages with something like “Hey! So sorry to bother you. Do you have the Dal port yet? If so, I’ll tip you 150g to port me there!” And so that’s exactly what happened.

Using Professions to make Gold

Jewelcrafting Dailies FTW

So, once in Dalaran, I made it my hearth, then turned in the first JC quest and then did the daily. On Day 2, I had 2 JC tokens. Sweet.

Mining… and Engineering!

Meanwhile, I was mining like crazy on Kurn. Very little questing, a TON of mining. As such, I found myself with a ton of Cobalt Ore and Eternal/Crystallized Earth. What do 4 Cobalt Bars and 1 Crystallized Earth get you? For an engineer, like Kurn, it gets you 1 Overcharged Capacitor. That’s the objective of a low-level quest in Borean Tundra and five Overcharged Capacitors are the objective of a Storm Peaks quest. Basically, people need Overcharged Capacitors. I had, to be frank, completely forgotten about this. Entirely. When I saw people asking for it in Borean’s General Chat channel, it clicked. “OH MY GOD, I CAN PROVIDE THIS.”

Folks, I have probably sold approximately 80-90 Overcharged Capacitors in the last 5-6 days. Prices have ranged from 27g apiece to close to 80g apiece, depending on the market’s fluctuations. At the peak, I was selling approximately 1-2 Overcharged Capacitors every minute. It was literally unlimited money. As I write this, I have sold five in the last ten minutes, and that’s slow for me. People are also happy to undercut me, so it’s important to check every few minutes while you’re selling to make sure no one has undercut you. It’s gotten so profitable that I’ve just started buying Cobalt Ore outright. I spent 258g or so on 60 ore. I smelted it into bars (it’s 1:1, unlike Saronite and Titanium which are 2:1) and, thanks to my mining, I have a ton of crystallized earth and it’s cheap on the AH, too. So if I then make 15 Overcharged Capacitors and list them at about 27g, that’s about 450g in sales, then that’s about 247 in profit, minus the AH cut of 5%, so about 227g in profit. I spend 258g and get it all back and a 227g profit. Really not bad at all.

However! The market is volatile! SO volatile! I was sometimes selling for almost 80 a pop, now around 26-30g each. So, it’s important to diversify your portfolio.

This is where jewelcrafting comes in.

Back to Jewelcrafting!

On Day 3, Madrana learned her first “good” cut — Delicate Scarlet Ruby. Why 16 agility? Why not Bold and go with 16 strength? Strength gems are good for DPS warriors, DPS DKs and ret paladins, while agility gems are good for hunters, enhancement shamans, rogues and feral (DPS) druids. It seemed to me that I would hit a wider bunch of players with agility — including Kurn. Why not learn gem cuts that will benefit my other toon, right? Plus, Bold is a more obvious choice. There was at least one other JC on the server who was selling Bold, but I didn’t see anyone selling Delicates. I still believe, even a few days on, that there are only 4-5 of us on the server. I only just picked up my second good cut today from the vendor and I went with the Glinting Monarch Topaz. Why? Well, see above. All those agi folks also need hit, particularly at this time of the expansion when hit is rare to find enough of on gear, especially for melee folks who are dual-wielding (rogues, enhancement shaman). Plus, again, that particular gem can benefit Kurn. So now I can cut 16 agi and 8 agi/8 hit and I may be one of the only people on the server who can do both, catering specifically to the agi classes.

I could have decided to go for a meta gem recipe, which are 5 tokens each. Those will be around all expansion, after all. But my alchemy isn’t levelled up, so I’d have to rely on the AH to get the diamonds and such. Besides, there are already people selling Insightfuls and Chaotics, so I decided to hold off on those. I could have decided to go for a ring or necklace recipe (4 tokens apiece), but these won’t last the whole expansion. The gear, while useful now, will be crap in six months. Right now, people are tipping outrageously, but you’ve given up four tokens to rely on combines, because all of these recipes require Dragon’s Eye gems. These are only obtained by purchasing them from the vendor with, you guessed it, JC tokens. So you take your first four tokens and buy a recipe. Great. Then for four days, unless you want to pony up 500-700 gold for each Dragon’s Eye (at least on my server), you’re stuck only doing combines for people who may or may not tip, while you spend your daily token on a Dragon’s Eye. Not to mention the other mats you’d need to purchase, etc. And for what? Level 200 gear that will be completely outdated come Ulduar.

So I decided to go with stable cuts that will be good all expansion long, until epic gems come out. Your mileage may vary, check your server’s prices, and remember, it’s volatile as crap right now! What might go for 100g tonight might go for 20g tomorrow! Keep an eye on a market before you jump in and know it may shift dramatically without warning.

All right, so I’m making money from jewelcrafting and from engineering… what about mining?

Back to Mining!

Mining, you ask? Just mine ore and sell it or convert it to Overcharged Capacitors or send to the JC for prospecting, right?

Wrong. At 450 mining, you get Smelt Titansteel! It’s a 20h cooldown with really simple mats — 2 titanium bars (4 ore), 1 Crystallized Fire, 1 Crystallized Earth and 1 Crystallized Shadow. Titansteel bars go for ~550-700g apiece on my server right now. And if you don’t have the mats, you can sell your cooldown for up to 300-350g! (I’ve seen very desperate people looking for a smelt tipping that much.) I’ve sold two bars, one for 670ish and one for 600 even, plus made a 200g tip. Totally worth it right now.

I got to 450 mining by virtue of doing laps in Sholazar Basin… at level 70. Yep. Cannot recommend it on any other toon than a hunter or a rogue. Feign Death (or vanish) is basically required and I’ve still died a ton of times. Also, don’t be dumb like me. Buy a vellum on the AH for Enchant Gloves: Advanced Mining. I passed not one, not two, but three Titanium nodes in Sholazar when I was at 446 mining. You can’t mine it ’till 450, so imagine my displeasure when I saw three nodes that I could have mined if only I had that enchant on my gloves! At this point, I’m also sending Saronite Ore to Madrana to prospect if the cost of a stack is under 50g or so. If I can sell at stack for 75+, it goes to the AH. I’m not smelting it yet, but I’ll be looking at those prices too. If you can get two ore for cheaper than 1 bar, you can make a nice little profit for your time spent smelting.

What about Alchemy?

Finally, why haven’t I touched alchemy? Well, I don’t have an herbalist anymore… but also, no one is raiding right now. So I have a bit of time to start in on that. Flasks, of course, will be popular, as well as potions like Potion of Speed, Indestructible Potion and such, plus things like Mighty Frost Protection Potion, for fights like Sapphiron in Naxxramas.

Miscellaneous

Additionally, I have a level 1 toon in Stormwind. With the advent of guild banks, tons of people are always looking for people to sign their guild charters for their own personal guild banks. So run a level 1 toon from Elwynn to Stormwind or wherever to Orgrimmar and if you see someone advertising for guild sigs, go for it. I get 5-10g per signature. Now these guilds get formed rather quickly, so after a day or so, I’ll log in on that toon and if I’m still guilded I’ll /gquit and sign another charter. If I’m not guilded, the guild probably formed and I got kicked (which is fine). So I’m then free to sign. I’ve made at least 50g doing this. Every little bit helps!

What about you?

How are you making money in this expansion so far? Are you remembering old tips and tricks? Are you just questing? Tell me how you’re going to earn your 1k for Cold Weather Flying!