Dear DPS…

Dear DPS,

I know we’re in levelling content and that you’re anxious to get your bonus XP from the random dungeon and move on to another one. I get that.

I further recognize that, as it’s levelling content, people’s gear basically sucks and so DPS can be low.

But these two facts do not combine well. If you want to get out of the dungeon faster, please do not pull. Let your tank pull. Please do not CC mobs when your tank is trying to move them or execute a line of sight pull. Please do not stun mobs randomly for extra DPS (ret pallies, I’m talking to YOU about Holy Wrath) because it’s really freaking annoying. (Similarly, anyone with a knockback, if you use it, I will kill you.)

The fact that I have to go around chasing things that didn’t follow me because you CCed it or stunned it does not make for a faster run. The fact that I have to blow Challenging Roar because you ran into a group of mobs and dropped Consecrate ALSO does not make for a faster run.

To continue, Mana Spring Totem is secondary in terms of priorities when your healer is a priest and your ret pally doesn’t know where his Cleanse button is. Drop Cleansing Totem, please, shammies. Pallies, LEARN TO CLEANSE. Every paladin who doesn’t cleanse magic, disease or poisons when their healer is unable to cleanse one of those and there’s no totem, is IMHO, a FAIL. And you make me embarassed to raid as a paladin.

But perhaps you’re just unaware as to who can cleanse what. SO LET’S CLEAR THAT UP, SHALL WE?

1) Paladins can dispell: Diseases, Magic Effects and Poisons with one button – CLEANSE.

2) Druids can dispell: Curses and Poisons with three buttons – Remove Poison, Abolish Poison, Remove Curse.

3) Priests can dispell: Magic Effects (both offensively and defensively) and Diseases with three buttons – Dispell Magic, Mass Dispell and Abolish Disease.

4) Shaman can dispell: Curses, Poisons and Diseases (and can purge Magic offensively using Purge) with 1 button – Cleanse Spirit. Plus the Cleansing Totem removes Poisons and Diseases on a pulse. (Note that all shaman have Cleansing Totem and all shaman can remove poisons and diseases, but only resto shammies can remove curses.)

Do the math. If I’m a paladin tank with a priest healer and 3 non-cleansing DPS classes and I get poisoned, I WILL CLEANSE MYSELF. Get Decursive. Learn to cleanse when needed, people.

Please do not boast to me about your DPS numbers. I do not care. As long as the boss dies or the mobs die, and I can get the hell out of your group, that’s all that matters.

Having said that, the next time I have to tank Jedoga Shadowseeker and my DPS fails to kill the volunteer not once but TWICE, thereby buffing her damage 200%, I will be very, very cranky. Let’s just say I’m happy that I have Barkskin.

First volunteer: Barkskin, Survival Instincts.

Second volunteer: Enrage, Frenzied Regeneration, Lifeblood (go go herbalism) and Barkskin when it came back up.

And to the ridiculously mouthy, braggy ret paladin from my Old Kingdom group, who, it must be said, buffed us with Greater Blessing of Kings… I am SO glad I put your dumb self on ignore. If you want to tank, GO AHEAD AND FREAKING TANK. Do NOT just attack at will. Also, Divine Storm at the START of your rotation, before some of the mobs have even become aware that I, the tank, exist? BAD CALL, BUDDY. Finally, learn to use Every Man For Himself and your bubble to get out of fears before you pull another Faceless One, kk?

No love,

Your Tank

This post brought to you in part by frustration, annoyance and by the fact that I just tanked Old Kingdom on my druid for the very first time.

RankWatching a PuG VOA 25 raid

Oh, the stupid. It hurts.

First up, a shadow priest. CLEARLY the shadow priest is usually holy or disc. Why do I say that?

At least, I HOPE he or she was usually holy or disc.

Then, a shammy:

And yet, they did great damage. There are three separate Lightning Bolts for them in my parse. I’m very confused.

Meanwhile, Huntard alert! Huntard alert!

REALLY? Arcane Shot at ALL and rank one at that? Y’know how much that hit for, according to my worldoflogs parse? 41. 41 damage. And he’s survival. Arcane Shot shares a cooldown with Explosive Shot. Why on EARTH would you EVER use Arcane?!


Back to the priest that I REALLY HOPE is holy or disc:

Rank 1s. $10 says they never trained up for their shadow spec. I actually know this person, having done a run at some point with one of their alts. I know that this is a long-time 80. That this is only being caught NOW terrifies me.

And back to the shammy.

… wha? For real? That’s worse than my shammy using Rank 4 for 2+ months. :P

No joke, my worldoflogs parse says this huntard used Ranks 1-4 of Aspect of the Hawk and then settled on Aspect of the Dragonhawk. Rank 2. Why on EARTH would anyone do that? The icon isn’t even the same!

Anyways, so I went on my mage and I kind of sucked, but I beat the other mage. The other mage, however, won T9 ilvl 245 pants from Koralon. :P And I DEFINITELY beat the “shadow” priest.

My mage: 674,133 damage, 5130.7 dps #12

Other mage: 632,687, 4923.1 dps #14

“Shadow” priest: 254,378, 2021.2 dps #18

I feel naked.

Since I have felt, how to put it… silly hauling out my Water Elemental (his name is Clyde) in raid situations (VOA), I decided to get dual spec on my mage. Primary spec is frost and is more of a heroic spec so that if I get a fail tank who can’t hold aggro, at least I have my Ice Barrier and Cold Snap.

My secondary spec is arcane and I’m trying to get the hang of it before I go embarass myself in a raid, so I just did a boss and a half (we wiped on Hadronox when the fail tank pulled everything at once) of Azjol-Nerub before the healer (and the rest of the group) bailed. I cannot express how naked I felt without my Ice Barrier and how lonely I was without Clyde. :(

Still in the LFG tool though, to get my two Emblems of Frost and to continue acclimating to arcane. I have NEVER been arcane before. I went fire for like, two and a half levels in my early-to-mid-60s and hated it. Long cast times, no real defense and no Ice Barrier!

I may have a love affair with Ice Barrier. But Mana Shield just isn’t the same. :(

Having said all that, Kurn and Madrana both did XT today for the weekly raid. Hilariously, Kurn had no issues getting in. At some point, I’d done an Ulduar 10 pug and we’d done Must Deconstruct Faster (the speed kill) so all I did was “Hunter, 5k+ DPS, 5k GS [Must Deconstruct Faster (10 player)]” and got an invite. Heh.

The shammy and the mage, especially the mage, will definitely be more challenging when it comes to getting spots in the weekly raid, that’s for sure.

Kurn's Q&A Time

So I’ve been poking through my web server stats and have noticed a bunch of interesting questions coming to me as the referral through search engines that brought people here. I thought I’d take a few of them and answer them, since many include keywords that I’ve talked about, but haven’t necessarily actually answered.

#1) “aspect of the wild stack with gift of the wild”

Nope, sorry. Aspect of the Wild and Nature Resistance Totem do not stack with each other, nor with Gift or Mark of the Wild. Paladin auras for Frost, Fire and Shadow Resistance also don’t stack with Shadow Protection from priests, totems from shammies or Gift or Mark of the Wild. I know, I know. It’s sad, isn’t it?

#2) “resetting cross realm instances”

Seriously, I don’t know how. Anyone out there know?

#3) “first gear from emblems of triumph mage”

Honestly, it depends on your gear. I went for the shoulders first because I knew I was scrubby and the ilvl 232 shoulders (T9 from badges) at least give me the appearance of some kind of legitimacy.

#4) “best way to dps as a hunter while moving alot patch 3.3”

Of course, hunter DPS will always be better while standing still, so we can get our autoshots and steady shots off. The best way, IMHO, to DPS in a fight with lots of movement is to time your instants. Like, step, shoot, step, shoot, if you can. Or, just get to your destination ASAP. Use Kill Command for your pet while you’re moving and consider Rapid Fire once you’re at your destination, unless you have a specific burn phase you want to use it on.

#5) “holy paladin improved judgements”


#6) “how long does it take to run icecrown citadel”

That depends. The first four bosses, in a non-PUG, should take about 60-90 minutes, if you’re familiar with the fights, either on 10 or 25. Festergut, Rotface and Putricide are a good deal more challenging than the first four fights. My current guild has not yet gotten Putricide with 5 attempts used this current reset and I do not believe anyone on my server or my past two servers have gotten him yet on 25-man. He is apparently doable (though not easy) on 10-man. It took my guild about 80-90 minutes of attempts to get Rotface down and about an hour to get Festergut down, though half the raid had 10-man experience.

#7) “which icc dungeon has the vendor”

It’s actually inside the raid instance. Basically, go up the front steps to Icecrown Citadel, past the battering ram. That’s the raid entrance. Any two people (as long as they’re both over level 10) can make a raid, and you don’t need a clear raid to get in, either. So party up with someone, make it a raid and then zone in. Your tier vendors are scattered throughout the first room. And there’s a portal to Dalaran over on your right, too. (Note the Argent Crusade repairman for those not exalted with the Ashen Verdict — cheaper repairs if you’re exalted with the crusade!)

#8) “how we get t8 paladin”

Okay, I chuckled. Run Ulduar. Or kill Emalon.

As a reference, here’s where the tier is located in Wrath content and how to get it, apart from getting it in VOA:

Tier 7 – Naxxramas, Obsidian Sanctum (gloves)
Tier 8 – Ulduar
Tier 9 – Three ways: a) Emblems of Triumph for the ilvl 232 version. b) Trial of the Crusader for a Trophy of the Crusade, which can be combined with Emblems of Triumph for the ilvl 245 version. c) Trial of the Grand Crusader, killing Anub on heroic, for a class-restricted token/token/token that can be exchanged for the ilvl 258 version.
Tier 10 – All tier must be bought with Emblems of Frost for the ilvl 251 version. Once you have this version, a class-restricted token (same classes as T6, T7, T8, T9), which drops from end-bosses of wings, so like Saurfang and Putricide, can be combined with that item for the ilvl 264 version. This DESTROYS the ilvl 251 version, including enchants, so when you upgrade, bear that in mind. Once you have the ilvl 264 version and heroic modes open up (after killing Arthas) you will be able to access other tokens that, combined with the ilvl 264 version, will give you ilvl 277 versions.

#9) “how to get aggro as dk damn fast on boss”

Well, I’m not a death knight, but make sure you’re in Frost Presence (you’d be surprised how many DK tanks don’t use it) and ensure that you drop Death and Decay. Then I think you go about applying your diseases. I could be wrong about the diseases, but D&D is a high-threat move on a 30 second cooldown that lasts for 10 seconds. You should be able to establish aggro pretty quickly in the first 10 seconds.

#10) “eye of the beast in icecrown citadel”

I presume you mean Eyes of the Beast, meaning using your pet to look around and such. Standing outside of the Plagueworks the other night, waiting for the hunters to pull Stinky or Precious, I was whispering to my RL friend (and healing lead) about how long the hunters were taking and I laughed, remembering that I used to be THAT HUNTER who had to do the dreaded pet pull for Baron Geddon and Shazzrah in Molten Core. So I was like “pet pull!” and my friend replied that that’s what one of the hunters was doing. :) I was like “YES! Way to go hunter! Kickin’ it old school!!”

And for what it’s worth, the TankSpot video on how to kill Stinky and Precious:

#11) “reset dungeon with clique”

OOH, a question I can totally answer! As long as it’s not about resetting cross-realm dungeons… If you use Clique and have bound something to your right-click, you may find that you are unable to, you know, right click on people’s portraits to trade them, inspect them, etc, or even your own character portrait in order to leave group or reset an instance. Open Clique. Go to Frames. Untick anything you don’t habitually click on in order to heal someone. For example, I NEVER heal through portraits and always heal through Grid, so I untick any frames that don’t have “Grid” in the title. That means that your mouse bindings are only active when clicking on the frames you use to heal with.

#12) “new voa 3.3 patch”

Not sure when, but it should match up with the new arena season. There will be a new boss, Toravon the Ice Watcher, to fight that will drop ilvl 251 Tier 10 (on 10-man) and ilvl 264 Tier 10 (on 25-man), as well as PVP pieces and 2 Emblems of Frost on both 10 and 25-man.

#13) “onyxia how many tanks healers”

10-man, you only really need two of each if you’re adequately geared. Otherwise, 2 tanks and 3 healers. For 25-man, 2 tanks (if the tanks don’t suck) and 5-6 healers. If the tanks suck or you’re unsure about them, get 3 tanks. You shouldn’t need more than six healers at the very most.

#14) “how to dps a kited boss”

Very, very slowly. ;) Just kidding. It depends on who’s doing the kiting. Is it a hunter? We have a taunt, so we can keep aggro almost indefinitely — as long as we don’t run out of room to run. Is it a shammy? Watch their threat and pray they’re using Frost Shock. Is it a mage? You will probably eventually surpass the mage’s threat. Possibly with a warlock as well, unless they have time to cast Searing Pain.

Or, if you just mean a traditional tank having to move around a lot, use a lot of instant abilities and get to your destination ASAP.

#15) “guide to halls of reflection heroic as healer”

I’ve tanked it more than I’ve healed it, to be honest. But here are some tips specific to healers, to go hand-in-hand with Kurn’s Guide on How to Successfully Clear Heroic Halls of Reflection Without Being Lame and Cheap.

a) If you’re a PALADIN: Beacon and shield the tank, keep them up and keep the FoL hots ticking. DO NOT worry about the poisons too much and ask a shammy, if you have one in the group, to keep Cleansing Totem down. Once the tank establishes aggro, feel free to hit Holy Wrath and stun all the adds. Make liberal use of any racials to get you out of CC, like Every Man For Himself. Save your bubble for the first boss if you can, if you have Divine Sacrifice. Bubble, DivSac just before a fear. For Marwyn, do not cleanse the magic effect (Shared Suffering) unless people are mostly topped off. Heal first, THEN cleanse. For the waves at the end, turn evil on an abomination if you have a spare global. Use Divine Plea on the run. Still use Holy Wrath when you can. Use Bubble/DivSac if you have it just after the second wave spawns on the last wall.

b) If you’re a PRIEST: Stick close to your tank and be prepared to shackle a ranged (Phantom Mage or Tortured Rifleman). Make liberal use of Guardian Spirit or Pain Suppression. Prayer of Mending is beautiful here, as well. Obviously, you can’t cleanse poisons, so also ask a shammy to drop Cleansing Totem if you have a shammy in your group. Make sure to use your Shadowfiend early on in waves in case you need it again on a boss. Fear Ward YOURSELF for the fears because you’re not going to have as much health as everyone else. Always heal yourself first after a fear on the first boss. For Marwyn, like pallies, do not cleanse the magic effect (Shared Suffering) unless people are mostly topped off. Heal first, THEN cleanse. For the waves at the end, shackle an Abomination if you can, but it’s not the end of the world if you can’t. Expect EVERYONE to have aggro at the last wall and toss out renews, PoM, a PoH if you can, CoH if you’re holy.

c) If you’re a SHAMAN: Drop Cleansing Totem. Chain Heal. Win. ;) Seriously, though, Cleansing Totem is your best friend. Falric’s fears aren’t mitigated by Tremor Totem (they’re a horror effect, I believe), so don’t worry about that. ES the tank, obviously, and make sure you hit riptide and then CH that target for the boost to CH from RT, which will hopefully chain through most of your group. Nature’s Swiftness/Healing Wave at your discretion, usually on yourself or a squishy DPS after a fear. Make sure you decurse Cursed Arrow or any stacks from Well of Corruption. Heroism/Bloodlust is best used when the SECOND group of adds spawn on the last wall on the chase fight, as is your Earth Elemental. Cleanse Curse of Doom as needed and basically do what you can to stay alive. Pop your self-rez if you die and drop mana tide immediately. You cannot be out of commission for long.

d) If you’re a DRUID: Use Abolish Poison if you have no shaman in your group to get rid of those pesky poisons. Keep a Rejuv on yourself and the tank at all times and save Swiftmend for yourself or the tank if you get in trouble. Wild Growth on cooldown during Falric will go a long way towards mitigating the fear damage. Decurse Cursed Arrow and stacks from Well of Corruption. Do not hesitate to use Nature’s Swiftness/Healing Touch on yourself or your tank at any point in time. You can likely do the boss fights with 2 DPS and you can always battle rez someone, so your priorities consist of you and the tank. For the chase fight, keep your hots rolling, WG on cooldown, because everyone is going to get aggro and will take at least some damage.

That’s it for now. Hope you found the search terms as amusing as I did! :)

I am victorious!

At 2:52am, I dropped my 450 mining.

And I picked up skinning.

At 9:11am, I hit 450 skinning.

Despite the gold ads on the site, this is the guide I used. Comprehensive, good use of map images. I’m very happy with it. Of course, it helped to know three things:

1) I had +10 skinning from Finkle’s Skinner.

2) I had +5 skinning from Enchant Gloves – Gatherer.

3) Once you hit 415 skinning, you can skin any mob in the game, since that’s what allows you to skin level 83s. Anything beyond that is just for the 40 crit strike rating you get for maxing it out.

So when I hit 350, I headed to Northrend, knowing I could skin anything in Borean. By 390, I went, as the guide suggested, to Sholazar. And then I did the math. When I hit 400, I went to Storm Peaks and started killing dragons and rhinos. Good times!

I even went on a run to Heroic Violet Hold (dragons! Skinning of dragons! Unfortunately, there was a lame druid who was skinning for all he was worth and I missed several opportunities.) in an effort to keep skilling up.

Amusing conversation from that run:

Every time I get into a group with a paladin, which is often, I spam that macro. MOST of the time I get it off in time for the paladin to notice before he or she starts buffing. I try to save on people’s symbols of kings. :P

Anyways. 450 skinning. So THERE, Fad. Toldja! ;D

Kurn and Professions

When I started playing, I started with my hunter, Kurn, who picked up Skinning and Leatherworking.

This combination worked beautifully for me for over a year.

And then I realized I needed more money than skinning was providing for me.

So, on the advice of a then-guildie, I switched to mining, for thorium ore and arcane crystal goodness.

That lasted a couple of months. Then just before BC came out, literally just a couple of days, I went back to skinning. I reasoned that I needed to fund my LWing somehow and my brother was a LW, too.

Once both my brother and I hit 375 LW in BC, I dropped herbalism on the pally for JC and dropped skinning on the hunter for… mining.

And that’s how it’s been since May of 2007 or something like that.

Then, I levelled a shaman, whose professions are mining and herbalism, to supply my paladin with ore and herbs for her JC/alchemy.

For some reason, my toons are all basically on the same server. So I have 2 herbalists (druid and shammy) and 2 miners (shammy and hunter). But I have no skinner.

Since druids are hax at herbing with flight form, I didn’t want to drop that on the druid. So that left herbing on the shammy or mining on either the shammy or the hunter.

Dropping either on the shammy would result in the shammy no longer being THE farm toon for my paladin.

So after some thinking about it, I did it. I dropped mining, AGAIN, and picked up skinning, AGAIN.

330 skinning. I’m pushing for 450 before I sleep.


PUGs, Azjol-Nerub and Free Loot

I had what was possibly the strangest PUG experience I’ve had to date when I was on my hunter today. I queued up for the random and went mining in Icecrown as I waited.

So finally, after about 13 minutes, up comes my random, which is already in progress. No big, I figure, at least it’ll be a faster two Emblems of Frost than normal, right?

I port in and the first thing I see is the party leader saying “OH NOES WE LOST 1100 DPS” and someone else saying “QQ”.

Whatever, I figure they wiped on the second boss or something.

So I hit Aspect of the Cheetah and run on down.

Problem 1: There’s Hadronox trash.

So I’m like “Dudes, there’s trash here at the second boss.”


… okay, so do they– wait a minute. The ground is shuddering. In fact, I recognize that animation. That’s Anub’arak’s spike animation. Not only have these guys not waited for me and pulled the last boss, but I’m subjected to his mechanics and there’s TRASH between me and the group.

What the flipping hell is going on here?

My group informs me I should stay above for my free badges. Not being entirely convinced, by a group of people who appear to have deliberately bugged the second boss, that I WILL receive badges, etc, if I don’t participate in the fight, I consider my options.

After about 10 seconds or so, I pop an Invisibility Potion that I still had on me and run past the trash, jump down the hole and am at least put into combat by being on the staircase leading down to Anub’arak’s area. And there are still spikes trying to impale me. :P

The fight ends, I get 1 Emblem of Triumph, 2 Emblems of Frost and the gold I normally do. I, like all the others, hit greed on the Orb and disenchant on the epic and the blue.

15 seconds later, I am the proud new owner of a Frozen Orb, an Abyss Crystal and a Dream Shard.

I put the “QQ” person on ignore, as well as the group leader. I honestly don’t ever want to run into these people ever again.

But I will admit, that was a hilariously small amount of effort for my daily random.

Random Dungeon Tank Failure

I had two bad tanking experiences today while running my typical four random dungeons on my four 80s. And no, one of them was not while I was tanking, thank you very much. ;)

The first one was while I was on my hunter. Apart from the appallingly open racist comments from the group at large (three were from one guild and all of them were being racist and otherwise emitting perjoratives), the tank couldn’t hold aggro worth a damn. I mean, I really wonder if the dude was in Defensive Stance. Every class apart from warriors allows you to plainly see if the tank in question has their threat ability on — Frost Presence, Righteous Fury, bear form — but not warriors. Anyways, even after misdirecting mobs to him AND assisting him for DPS targets, I still ended up climbing the aggro list extremely quickly.

Of course, we blew through heroic UK without any real issues, so that’s not a huge failure. Clearly a mediocre tank, though, and I put him and his guildies on ignore so I wouldn’t get stuck with them on this toon again.

Moral of the story: l2threat.

The second tank failure was actually a very good tank, in that he used cooldowns and held aggro. Except that he was a total failure at keeping an eye out for me, his healer (on my shammy). He was basically running off through heroic Forge of Souls without me, not paying attention to either my mana pool (which only dipped low once, but not even a PAUSE before running into the first boss encounter). At one point, I stopped to drink and he ran off and some mob has AOE damage so one of the rogues died before I got there. So I healed, the mobs died, I tried to rez the rogue.

Tank runs off into a room and it takes me forever to get there and I blow my cooldowns. “You realize I was out of range because I was rezzing the rogue, right?”

Rogue who died: “I ran back it’s okay.”

Tank: “y did the rogue die in 1st place?”

Me: “Because you ran off without waiting for me to drink.”

No response, obviously.

Then on the first boss, they didn’t kill the corrupt soul thingy. Which, okay, no big deal. They all needed on the bag he dropped, so I did, too, although I typically greed on that stuff.

Thus far, just another dumbass tank who doesn’t care about anything, right? Nothing to worry about too much if I keep up with him. Well, on the last boss, when they practically killed the tank through the mirror effect thing, I got concerned. I was already hating the tank and the group, but clearly, they didn’t understand the mechanics of this fight if the tank was almost killed by the mirror.

The rogue who’d already died on trash died on the last boss because of the mirror, a little later on.

And so did I, when I got the mirror afterwards.

I think my PRECISE words were:

“Wow, l2 stop dps.”

Not another word after that. I didn’t pop my reincarnation until after the boss died, then started rezzing the rogue.

Whereas I would normally greed on the Frozen Orb, I needed, after they all did. And I hit disenchant for something (and won the shard). And lo and behold, the Needle-Encrusted Scorpion dropped. One of the rogues had it already and automatically passed, but the three others, INCLUDING THE PALADIN TANK, hit Need.

“Well, screw that,” I said to myself, and hit Need. I have an enhancement set and spec and this entire group, all belonging to the same guild, had made the run extremely unpleasant for me.

So when I won it, I grinned to myself and left the group. Turns out I also got the orb, meaning I won everything off that boss. Why can’t my paladin have my shammy’s rolls?

Anyways, I promptly scrolled up in my chat log and put the idiot tank on ignore so as to never group with him again.

Moral of the story: Tanks should keep an eye on their healer’s mana AND their physical proximity to them.

I honestly wonder what the hell I posted about before the random dungeon/LFG feature came out…


The mind boggles. I just tanked Heroic Halls of Reflection, not using the wussy LOS strat, with a total pug. My healer was a priest who still had blues.

And we didn’t wipe. No one died. Everyone worked together as a team.

Granted, we then did the wussy ledge strat for the escape bit, but considering how well they’d done on Falric and Marwyn, I didn’t complain too much. They deserved an easy run.

Good to see some people still know how to use their class abilities.

Also, I got BB King on my hunter! Coming soon, a video of the event, because I frapsed it. :)

Another 80 and some musings.

Well, the mage is 80 and it’s led me to some thinking about my alts and how I play this game.

My first toon, forever my “main”, even if I don’t raid with it, was Kurnmogh and I love my hunter all day long. Kurn and I have been through it all together. But sometime in there, I rolled a bank alt toon, which ended up being a human female paladin, named Madrana. Levelling Madrana (as holy!), back in the day, was a welcome reprieve from farming Essence of Air out in Silithus, which is basically what I’d do on Kurn when I wasn’t raiding or couldn’t get a guild group to go to Strat UD (my favourite instance) or UBRS (for my bloody T0 chestpiece!).

Madrana got to be a pretty awesome healer, pre-BC, even if most of her heals were Flash of Light and I didn’t understand half the mechanics of a pally.

Burning Crusade launched and my brother rolled a human warrior on a PVP server, where some of his RL friends played on Horde side. His goal: to level up and kick their asses. I know, my brother is a dork. So he calls me up when he’s level six or so and is like “I NEED A HEALER COME HEAL ME!”

Having already levelled a healer to 60, there was no way I was going to do it again (haha, I was so sure back then…) so he encouraged me to roll up a DPS class. And so my mage was born. I hit 30 and then discovered the utter chaos of Southshore on a PVP server. So I left Darkspear and brought the mage “home” to Eldre’Thalas — and my brother brought his warrior over.

At some point during this time, I also rolled a shammy, who would eventually be Katarah, but she started life as Shockra. I know, horrible name, eh?

I got the hunter, pally and mage up to 70 in BC but ignored the shammy.

In Wrath, I got the hunter, pally, shammy up to 80 and then got the priest going. And I’m getting a druid up there, too. :P

I think that, for the most part, playing my alts (not necessarily levelling them, but playing them) is my break from my raiding “job”. I raid 12 hours or so a week on Madrana and I heal, so it’s work. I like to get Kurn into whatever raids I can because I like to take pride in my hunter and I like to see how I’m doing compared to people playing their toons full time.

I got the shammy up because I wanted to understand healing better, from a shammy perspective. I’m not quite sure that I do, but I definitely know that I can’t DPS worth a damn on the shammy. ;)

And then I started playing the mage, for fun. And with the advent of 3.3 and the dungeon finder, I was having a BLAST going through instances on my mage. True, there was usually a wait, but I loved learning these stupid instances again from the perspective of a pure caster. I’ve sheeped things! I’ve provided food! I’ve buffed intellect! Good times.

Now that there are the four 80s (whose recent achievements are on the right over there… the order is Madrana, Kurn, the shammy and the mage), with a fifth to level by Cataclysm (stupid druid), I have plans.

Madrana is saving her Emblems of Frost for tier gear, first and foremost. Kurn, meanwhile, is upgrading via Emblem of Frost gear from the vendor, not going for tier armor yet, because hey, I don’t have access to the marks that drop in ICC.

Kurn is also my leatherworker, so after enough rep runs and such, I should be honored with Ashen Verdict and be able to buy patterns for various boots — boots that I’ll use on Kurn, the shammy AND Madrana, probably, because the crafted plate boots just aren’t as good as the crafted caster mail boots.

So how to fund the purchase of Primordial Saronite and such? Simple. The shammy and the mage will be using their Emblems of Frost for Primordial Saronite and finish gearing themselves up with Emblems of Triumph.

Both of them should get 19 Emblems of Frost a week, assuming no ICC runs, until the new VOA boss comes out (Tuesday?) at which point they’ll get 21 a week, one would presume. It’ll be slow, but at least I won’t have to spend 3000g on a single Primordial Saronite. I don’t know how many the shammy has, atm, but I’m pretty sure I’m into the 40s, so I’ll have enough to purchase the patterns as soon as Kurn hits honored.

So that’s the plan.

Also, I’m 18/0/53 on the mage. I’ve glyphed for Frostbolt, so it no longer slows (!) but causes 5% more damage, and I have Focus Magic and Torment the Weak (which I really didn’t understand, but TOTALLY do now — everything is a damn slow! Go go TTW!!). The mage’s achievements are hilarious, because I’m a brand-new 80, so everything I do is an achievement. Got a dungeon/raid emblem, achievement. Didn’t use the defense crystals in VH, achievement. Etc, etc. It cracks me up.

Happy new year, everyone. Looks to be an exciting year in terms of WoW. :D