Holy How-To #3 – Addons and Macros and Keybinds, Oh My!

Welcome to my Holy How-To for PVE Paladins. This is the third of what I hope to be a great many posts aimed at helping holy paladins succeed at PVE content. I will focus primarily on max-level talent specs, glyphs, enchants, gems and the like, including tools, tips and tricks that I use, but I hope to touch on levelling content and advice as well.

Today’s post/novel is about the various addons, macros and keybinds that will aid you in your quest to become an uber-leet holy PVE paladin. They’re not, of course, strictly necessary in order to heal. You can heal just fine using the Blizzard default UI. However, and let’s be fair here, sometimes the default UI doesn’t show us what we need to see or maybe sometimes it’s sort of clunky. So today, I’ll discuss not only the addons, macros and keybinds that I personally use (and have used), but will offer up some other popular and useful addons or macros. (Edited to add Power Auras Classic!)

Continue reading “Holy How-To #3 – Addons and Macros and Keybinds, Oh My!”

Something amusing.

So last night was not a good night for me healing on Sindragosa. First of all, the healing lead and my RL friend the resto druid, was unable to make the raid due to RL issues. She and I were actually on the phone for the first 45-60 minutes of Sindragosa attempts — on my first night on the fight, ever.

But even after I got off the phone with her, I was a little rattled. It really wasn’t going to be a good raid for me and I knew it, but since we had people offspec healing as it was, I figured the experience would be good for me, etc.

Today, the sort of “senior” paladin in the guild, a ret pally, PMs me on the guild forums with his concerns about my healing last night. He, unlike the MT/raid leader, the range leader and the guy who was doing healing last night, was unaware of the situation regarding the resto druid. So not only is he unaware that I basically wasn’t paying attention for the first hour, but he’s like “why aren’t you using divine plea? Why aren’t you casting holy light?”

I laughed my ass off. Why am I not using Divine Plea? How about “because I have full mana”? And he was like “On try 6, over a 7 minute fight, you only used Holy Light 14 times!”

… no, actually, I cast 33 Holy Lights. 19 of them crit. 14 of them didn’t.

I don’t really mind being called out on my performance, especially because I know I sucked it up last night, but if you’re going to call me out based on the PARSE, you had better know how to read the damn parse properly.

Admittedly, it was probably one of my weakest nights in terms of raiding in a long while. I had never done the fight before, despite reading strats and watching videos, and it’s just a BAD pally-healing fight, period. All that running around does not a good numbers fight make. At least the people in charge of the raid knew what was going on with my RL friend and knew that I’d been in contact with her.

Anyways, I’m just amused that the ret pally focused on two of the stupidest things to focus on in a parse, and was wrong about the stats he gave me on one of them. Ah, people. :)

Tank healing vs. Single-target healing

So, you all remember my rant about how the new WoW.com holy paladin columnist insists that paladins are tank healers, right? Where I was saying that no, we’re single-target healers and that tank healing is a subset of single-target healing?

Great post here at Divine Plea that tells us that we’re single-target healers.

Last night, my guild worked on Sindragosa. It was a challenging fight for a variety of reasons (my RL friend couldn’t make it due to RL issues, so we were without the healing lead and our best healer) and it was specifically challenging for me because I got beaned by Blistering Cold a few times, but having prepared myself for the fight, I had already decided to Beacon whichever tank was tanking so I could help out on the raid if needed. Why? Because although I don’t enjoy raid healing very much, it’s the best use of my beacon in the situation. Everyone is taking constant AOE frost damage, people are randomly taking melee or caster debuff damage, so there’s a LOT of raid damage going on. And, due to the placement of the tank vs. the melee, there’s not a lot of opportunity for Glyph of Holy Light to see much action.

So I did a fair amount of raid healing with my beacon on the tank. I really do much prefer to beacon the OT and heal the MT, or vice-versa, just because that way, it leaves me able to really focus on my one target, and I LIKE that. I don’t think paladin healing is boring like that. Some people do and really relish the idea of beaconing their tank and raid healing the way I did on Sindragosa last night and that’s cool. There are certainly a lot of fights where my preferred use of Beacon is how we do it in my guild and there are a few fights where we switch it up a bit.

Another example is Rotface. What we had done for our first few kills (and then refined it a bit, but now that I’m the only holy paladin in the guild, we may revert) is have me beacon the MT and heal the crap out of the people with the infection. I HAVE to drop huge heals on them because of the healing debuff on them, and those all get transferred to the tank, so it works nicely. Of course, there will be another healer on the MT specifically, but it works out okay.

Anyways, I just wanted to point out that post at Divine Plea, which I stumbled across due to Miss Medicina’s post.

Uh, wow.

So the other holy paladin didn’t show up tonight. Didn’t post or anything.

My RL friend/healing lead pointed out a bit later that he’s no longer in the guild. With no gquit notation in the guild log, it looks like he ninja transferred.

Not that I’ll miss HIM particularly much… but I need a pally buddy. :(

Various things…

First of all, ZOMG MY BATTERED HILT SOLD FOR 12,195g. I am now comfortably above 15k again (18,050g in my bank toon’s guild bank at the moment) and can breathe a sigh of relief.

Second of all, I went through my google reader feeds and added a bunch of people to the blogroll, so definitely check out those reads! :)

Thank God the hilt sold. I have spent about 13k in the last month. Eesh.

Quick update.

First of all, I AM working on my third Holy How-To post. It’s long. There are many screenshots and links. But I am definitely working on it!

Secondly, I’ve seen some serious fail lately. The latest morons:

– An 80 fury warrior, specced with Titan’s Grip… using one 2H weapon. And nothing else in his other hand. Sadly, I’ve forgotten his name.

Holymeatbag, an 80 holy paladin, specced 68/3/0 and STILL managed to miss out maxing out Holy Power (3/5) and Holy Guidance (1/5). I may be a little squishy yet, but dude wasn’t keeping Beacon on anyone or shielding me or anything of the sort in Heroic TOC. As such, I died on Paletress. And if I hadn’t used my abundance of cooldowns (my trinket for extra dodge, a healthstone, a healing potion, Survival Instincts, Lifeblood, Frenzied Regeneration and Barkskin!), I would have died again after the wipe. I got H TOC again as a random later in the evening and was healed just fine by the resto shammy. Highly recommend you all ignore this guy.

In positive news, for once, my guild got 25-man Blood Queen Lana’thel on Monday night. HIGHLY recommend that the RL get and use the following mod:

BloodQueen at WoWInterface

We also one-shotted Valithria and, although I dropped my stacks once, it was only once! I got a lot better at making sure I got a stack just before the portal phase ended.

In news with my druid/my brother’s hunter/our friend’s DK…

My druid has 2/5 T9 resto but still has better feral gear, haha. My brother’s hunter is practically as well-geared as Kurn is, which depresses me to no end. He’s got 4/5 T9 (232), the Crusader’s Dragonscale Breastplate and Bracers (thanks to me), the True-aim Rifle out of H TOC, the staff from regular FoS, a Darkmoon Card: Greatness (90 agi, obviously) that I made for him, the 245 ilvl badge ring… Seriously. It makes me sad. Especially because tomorrow, he’ll be giving me a primordial saronite and I’ll craft him Rock-Steady Treads. :(

Our DK buddy has 1/5 T9 (shoulders!) and a 245 sigil, which he was very happy to get, haha. His gear is still pretty low, but he’s at 540 defense and 22k health unbuffed. With some consumables and the random dungeon buff, he gets about 30-31k buffed. His dodge and parry are still pretty low, but I imagine that’ll improve as he gets his other tier pieces.

I’m getting a lot of practice on the druid, both healing and tanking. My Swipe is actually holding aggro and my mana pool and regen are sustaining me fairly well, to the point where I rarely need to drink and can even keep innervating my brother’s hunter.

I was thinking about why I like my druid, earlier tonight. I mean, it’s a tree and it’s a bear. I fit the two most sought-after roles in the game and I’m not horrible at them. I think the utility is really what I enjoy about the toon. I can tank and heal on Madrana too, of course, but I think I really enjoy bear tanking as compared to pally tanking. I think I prefer pally healing to druid healing, but there’s a certain elegance to druid healing that’s lacking on the paladin. I can brute force heal darn near anything on my pally. But I actually have to make decisions on my druid while healing that will have repercussions over the next few seconds, as the health builds up slowly.

That’s completely opposed to pally healing, where I strive to keep everyone topped off at all times, rather than letting Wild Growth heal most people up, because I don’t have much in the way of “set-it-and-forget-it” heals on the pally. I guess that druid healing challenges me a bit more than paladin healing in terms of healing intelligently. Pally healing is characterized for me by long periods of casting the same spell, followed by frantic button mashing to get buffs up, then more of the same.

Anyways. I do still have lots to say about pally stuff, so stay tuned for Holy How-To number 3. :)

… and one day, ICC raid strats. :P

Kurn's Q&A #7

Okay, another week’s worth of search terms to comb through! Some interesting variety this week, although Valithria Dreamwalker, Toravon the Ice Watcher and Rotface and Mutated Infection/Cleansing still top most of the results.

1) “emerald vigor” power word: shield

I do believe that yes, you should cast PW:S (if you’re disc and are the designated priest to cast it on the dragon) while you have stacks of Emerald Vigor on you.

Emerald Vigor, as you can see, increases healing done by 10%. Then, to keep up Renewed Hope and Borrowed Time, you should cast a shield. While the shield won’t be absorbed by damage on the dragon (pretty sure she doesn’t take damage) While the damage Dreamwalker takes throughout the encounter is minimal compared to what you’ll have to heal (173k in a 25m parse that I saw), your crit is increased by virtue of the Weakened Soul debuff on her. So for no other reason than that, you should cast PW:S. If you have a second as you’re running around to find another portal, cast PW:S on your tanks and some of the DPS if there’s no other disc priest doing so. I would imagine that the absorption would be huge with a bunch of stacks of Emerald Vigor, but since EV doesn’t HAVE a combat log entry, I’m not sure. If you’re a holy priest, avoid using PW:S if there’s a disc priest around, particularly if the disc priest is going into portals.

2) can you use di and divine protection

I actually tried something like this about four years ago. I tried bubbling and then casting Divine Intervention on another paladin. I died, despite Divine Shield. So no, DI will kill you, no matter what.

… although, I am now curious to see if a pally with Guardian Spirit on them would live through a DI. I am doubtful.

3) combine meta gems

Nope, can’t do it. Meta sockets are only found in your helm. So unless you grow another head (and helm spot on your character sheet), you cannot combine two (or more) meta gems. Sorry!

4) configure grid toravon frostbite

Easy as pie.

Right click on your Grid icon. Status. Auras. Add New Debuff. Type in Frostbite and hit Enter. Colour doesn’t matter, priority of 90 is okay. Make sure Frostbite has a tick next to Enable.

Then right click on your Grid icon again. Frame. Center Icon. Debuff: Frostbite should have a tick next to it. Then you’ll see Frostbite in the center of your Grid square on any targets who have it, and you’ll see a number if there’s 2 or more stacks, as well.

More on configuring Grid can be found over this way, which was a little site I set up for my healers in the guild I was in on Bronzebeard.

5) does hand of protection remove mark of the champion

Nothing, not even death, will remove Mark of the Champion. Hand of Protection will, however, stop all incoming Mark of the Champion damage on the target for 10 seconds. But then it’ll start up again. It’s handy if you need to hit Divine Plea and don’t have an offset available.

6) does leader of the pack stack with abominable might

Yes. Leader of the Pack adds 5% chance to crit for melee and ranged. Abominable Might gives 10% attack power. Thus, they stack. The things that don’t stack are the buffs that give the same type of buff.

So LotP does not stack with Rampage, because both give the same 5% crit.

Similarly, Abominable Might, Unleashed Rage and Trueshot Aura do not stack with each other, because all three are giving 10% attack power.

A great way to see what does/doesn’t stack is at MMO-Champion’s Raid Composition Tool. I’m not altogether sure if that’s up to date, but when all the buffs were being changed to stack/not stack/etc, that was a really valuable tool for me.

7) emerald vigor combat log

Drives me crazy, too, that there’s no combat log entry. Go post on the official forums about it!

8) how come i cant hold aggro on a job as a druid tank?

Having done some tanking this week at 80 on the druid, I often felt like I do on my paladin when I tank and forget to turn on Righteous Fury. Everyone was pulling off of me, including my snot-nosed brother. ;)

I realized that the reason why is because my Swipe‘s threat is increased by attack power. And my attack power was, quite simply, crap, since I had just dinged 80. There’s no way my little swipe could out-threat a warrior’s whirlwind if he’s in ICC 25 gear. Or even TOC gear, haha. So I was patient and got a bunch of badges, upgraded some gear and now I can hold aggro better. But it’s still not perfect, because I’m still undergeared.

Something that helps, too, is Glyph of Maul, so on smaller groups, I’ll try to weave in some Mauls in between the swipes.

9) what coloured gems go into a yellow socket

First of all, 10 points of awesomeness to you, anonymous visitor, for spelling coloured with a U. :) I hail you, my fellow member of the Commonwealth.

Secondly, gems work just like the colour wheel does.

Blue gems + Red gems = Purple gems, meaning Purple can fit in both red and blue sockets and work towards activating the socket bonus, AND counts as both a red AND a blue for meta gem requirements.

Blue gems + Yellow gems = Green gems, meaning Green can fit in both yellow and blue sockets and work towards activating the socket bonus, AND counts as both a yellow AND a blue for meta gem requirements.

Yellow gems + Red gems = Orange gems, meaning Orange can fit in both red and yellow sockets and work towards activating the socket bonus, AND counts as both a red AND a yellow for meta gem requirements.

So, what will fit into a yellow socket and work towards the socket bonus? Yellow gems, orange gems and green gems. :)

10) valithria dreamwalker with grid

Sorry, she doesn’t show up on Grid. :( Here’s what I tend to do.

Special bonus #11: wyvern sting halls of reflection

Okay, a) I love you for wanting to crowd control. b) I love you more for wanting to crowd control in Halls of Reflection.

Sadly, I do believe that undead mobs are immune to Wyvern Sting. :( That said, undead can be frozen with Freezing Arrow or Freezing Trap. Go forth, my fellow hunter, and CC! :)

I don't know why I'm still surprised…

… at the utter insanity of pugs.

I mean, I don’t even have words to express my dismay at the ridiculousness of some people.

In the last, oh, two days, the following things have happened:

– I was tanking a Heroic Violet Hold on my druid and the healer left after the first boss. WHAT THE HELL IS THAT ABOUT?! Oddly, we managed to get to the second boss without a healer (holy crap, do I love being able to heal myself after combat), but then we wiped. But… SERIOUSLY. If you are a healer or a tank and you leave your group in an instance with timed portions, like Violet Hold or Halls of Reflection, YOU HAVE SIGNED A DEATH WARRANT FOR YOUR WHOLE GROUP.

– Speaking of Halls of Reflection, I was healing on my druid, with my brother on his hunter, and we queued for regular HoR, to finish off the quest chain. We did the first boss. The tank leaves. Just… leaves. No one had died, there hadn’t been a wipe, I was keeping everyone alive and it was going smoothly! And he just LEFT.

Thinking quickly, I instruct the ret paladin to cast DI on the DPS warrior, tell my brother to feign and I shadowmeld.

Does the paladin cast DI? No. Does he even know what a DI is? My guess is no. So the three of us died (because the Phantom Mage’s Flamestrike broke my shadowmeld). The warrior and paladin left the group after the wipe, leaving my brother and I agog at the stupidity.

– I was tanking a Heroic Halls of Lightning, in the middle of the first boss, when I realize that the priest is almost oom. It was shortly after the first boss went down that I saw the priest was in shadowform. Not a big deal, right? Well, my group consisted of me, two rogues and a hunter. So the priest was ostensibly the healer. Now, I’m not geared. I know I’m not geared. My swipe can’t out-threat a geared DK’s D&D or a geared warrior’s Whirlwind. And I’m a little squishy, to be honest. I don’t have a crapton of health, my dodge rating is kind of low and my armor is only awesome because I bought Glyph of Indomitability. So I was like “uh. Why are you in shadowform?”

“healing is boring, ima dps and heal at the same time”

… so I left. True, he kept us up during the first boss and he COULD have been leet enough to pull it off and keep us all alive, but I really, REALLY didn’t want to find out.

– So I went and queued for a random heroic again, this time with my brother on his hunter and my RL friend on her priest. We got Heroic Violet Hold. First portal opens up.

Warie, of Kil’jaeden, I reason, is either a victim of the stupid dual spec bug, which will not update spell/ability ranks on your inactive spec when you train, or he has not trained. I usually have RankWatch active ever since someone whispered me saying that my shaman was using Chain Heal 4 instead of 6. At which point I realized I had been doing so for about two months. I was ashamed but I was seriously grateful for RankWatch’s notification. So I keep RW on, most of the time. (My 5 channel is a channel for RL friends to chat in, so my RL friend the priest and my brother and I were all in it and chatting.)

I mean, really, train. 19g per spell on a druid is not cheap, let me tell you. But if you’re not trained and using max-rank abilities (there are some exceptions, but I don’t believe DKs have any of them), then you’re being a moron. Or a dick.

So the guy just got his epic flight. Good for him. I’m not sure how he made his money, but certainly it would have been easier for him to grind mobs (if he did that at all) or instances if he was using max rank spells, no? My RL friend wisely puts him on ignore. Apart from anything else, this guy’s English hurts my eyes. “i no”. Gah.

This is what damage looked like after two portals. My brother, who dinged 80 a week ago, is right up there with a fairly geared shadow priest. And I’m almost putting out another 50% of the damage done by the idiot DK. And I’m a scrubby TANK.

So what does my RL friend do? She does exactly what I left the HHoL group for; she swaps to shadow spec to help out on DPS while still healing me, because we were going to be behind on portals. It was actually close for a couple of pulls there. But at least she was doing it because the fail DK wasn’t doing any real damage. My brother was putting out 1k DPS when he was 75. This guy is using abilities from level 67 (Obliterate 2, D&D 2).

– Then today, I got Oculus as my daily random on Madrana. As a tank. Of course. :P I had, bar none, the weirdest person in my group. Ever. His name was Xamot and he was from Sen’jin. How weird? Allow me to pull out the screenshots.

So I left. I put them both on ignore, too. It’s a shame, because I was going to talk about how I’m invested in my character, in my skills, how I’ve practiced to hone those skills and THAT is why I don’t like vehicle fights. Vehicle fights just rob you of your class abilities, they render all knowledge about your class useless, they just mean that you need to know what your vehicle can do and how you should do so most efficiently.

– Then, I saw a VOA going on. Since I’d missed my guild running it on Wednesday, I thought hey, I’ll go. They’re looking for a holy paladin, after all. Now, I do have the GearScore addon. I use it on Kurn and my other toons, but not on Madrana. Madrana raids with the guild, does one daily every day and that’s about it. I don’t care about GS in general, so I don’t care what Madrana’s GS is. So I don’t have it enabled on her.

And I get no response. Nothing. At all. I’m like… seriously? So I think a minute and decide to link the Toravon 25 achievement and then figure that my Plagueworks achievement ought to be enough.

I cannot believe that someone wouldn’t invite me to VOA on my PALADIN, who likely has a better gearscore than 90% of the server, until I linked the Toravon achievement and the Plagueworks achievement. It’s just mind-boggling to me.

– Then, the universe clearly decided to make it up to me, as my mage failed to complete Heroic Halls of Reflection yet again.


They’re going for 12.5k on the AH on my server. So I don’t know if I should sell it or give it to Kurn or give it to Madrana or give it to my brother. My mage, shammy and druid do not need such an epic weapon. I should probably sell it, give it to Kurn or to my brother. Madrana will get a better weapon eventually. Kurn likely will not. My brother likely will not. But I could definitely use 10k+ gold to help offset the cost of outfitting my brother and I in non-sucky gear. Decisions, decisions!

Some thoughts on leadership and raiding.

I haven’t been a raid leader since February.

I haven’t been a guild leader since March.

I haven’t been a healing lead (or an officer) since September.

Since March or so of 2006, I’ve always been a raid leader. Since May of 2007, I’ve always been a healing lead. I was the GM of Apotheosis from January of 2008 until March of 2009. (Actually, I’m still GM, but the guild is in a social phase at the moment and I basically never log in.)

Since I started trying to raid, which brings us back to 2006, the frustrations have often, on many, many nights, outweighed the rewards. By and large, the problem has always been the same: attendence. Not enough people. Not enough bodies. Not enough DPS. Not enough healers. Not enough tanks.

I’ve always taken my position as a leader, any kind of leader, seriously. I feel that a leader has to be not only good at their own job (healing, tanking, DPSing) but also able to tend to the administrative issues that arise.

Example: You have nine healers online. That’s probably 3 healers more than you need for the content you’re currently doing. How do you decide who sits? Is it fair to the others if you never sit out? Does your raid group need *you* specifically to heal the content you’re doing or do they just need you to do healing assignments? What kind of gear do people need? How strong are the healers available?

When I was healing lead of the guild I was in on Bronzebeard, we had the above-mentioned problem a lot. Most guilds do NOT have too many healers online and not enough DPS online, more often than not. Kind of ridiculous, no? I could chalk it up to the fact that I treated my healers with respect and dignity and joked around with them and gave them healing jobs that they could do, rather than impossible tasks. I liked to instill a sense of success in them, I liked to push them. I did call them out on things when needed, too, of course, which wasn’t fun.

But I offered gold to people to beat a certain shammy on dispells on Yogg-Saron. I offered them gold if a lack of healing was directly responsible for the death of our gnomish raid leader — on Archavon only. I think I balanced it out nicely and I think I earned their respect by virtue of knowing how their classes worked (I did SO much reading for that!!) and being good at my own job. I mean, if I popped Divine Plea on Thorim after the tunnel, the tanks DIED, back when we were getting it on farm. I was the go-to healer for the tanks. If I was dead or if I was oom, well, the tanks would die. And I don’t say that to give myself props or anything, I’m just actually stating the fact. It’s sort of like now, in my current guild, if my RL friend the resto druid dies, we are SCREWED.

Wednesday night, in my current guild, we didn’t have some key players online. The main tank/primary raid leader didn’t show up for some reason. The other holy pally couldn’t make it. I was late due to RL plans with a friend. The list went on. We still had 27 people online and we still cleared through Saurfang and then went and did XT for the weekly, but we called the raid early because we just didn’t have the raid comp/experience for the more challenging content.

Thursday night, most everyone was there. I think we had 28 people online, maybe 29. All of our tanks were there. So we clear over to Festergut.

And here is why I’m thinking about leadership… The MT/RL linked to us the Flu Shot Shortage (25) achievement. But it was abundantly clear that he didn’t know how to do it. Why?

The instructions were that if you got the spore on you, to run to the back wall, wait for it to go off, then rejoin the raid group.

What does this do? It means that no one in the actual raid gets any stacks of Inoculated. Which means that when Pungent Blight goes off… well, let’s look at the combat log for that, shall we?

[23:25:29.906] Festergut Pungent Blight Madrana 27549 (O: 1417, A: 7057)
[23:25:30.390] Madrana dies

So let’s see, that’s 27.5k health I have, with 7k worth of absorbs (I love you, disc priests) and 1.5k of overkill. 36k shadow damage.

It killed 19 people. Instantly. One-shotted.

I don’t have a problem with raid leaders trying out new things. God knows that I’ve killed my entire raid group a ton of times, including our early attempts at Maulgar. But at least I had an IDEA of how to do things and we worked around that idea to customize it for our raid group. Or, in the case of those early Maulgar attempts, we decided to push 25-man raiding back a bit until we had more people who were geared out of Kara.

They quickly refined things last night so that the first three people with the spores would run to the back wall, and that they’d run out for the second (or third) spore as well, so as not to get three stacks of Inoculated. Someone had actually read the strat and communicated it to their role leader, who had then communicated it to the MT/RL.

First set of spores, three people run out. Second set of spores, people are hanging out. Third set of spores, people who had previously had spores run out. Pungent Blight hits. A couple people die. It’s all good.

Fourth set of spores, I get a spore. I hesitate, because they hadn’t mentioned what to do with the second rotation of spores. Don’t we normally get him down before the second Pungent Blight? I don’t have a freaking clue.

So I ran to the back of the room, treating it as though it was like the first rotation. At the very worst, I reasoned, I had moved unnecessarily. I had my mouse hovering over LOH if needed, so my tank would be covered. The spore pops, I get an Inoculated buff, run my ass back to the group.

Second spores pop up. People stand around, which is fine.

Third spore pops and I can’t believe Festergut isn’t dead yet, so I haul my ass back to the back of the room to ENSURE I don’t get a third stack of Inoculated.

The spore pops, I run back in, Pungent Blight hits, most people live through it and Festergut drops shortly thereafter.

No achievement.

Instantly, I panicked that I was the one who had screwed it up. I didn’t have the firmest of the firm grasps on the mechanics of the encounter. But I did make sure I didn’t have 3 stacks at any point in time, so even though I’d been unsure about things, it couldn’t have been me, right?

I checked the logs after the raid. A ret pally had stayed in and gotten 3 stacks at the end. Way to go.

But is it really the ret paladin’s fault? I wondered. There had been no indication from the MT/RL that we were going to do this achievement until about a minute before we pulled Festergut. Nothing on the forums, no mention during previous raids to read up on the achievement.

Isn’t part of being a leader preparing your charges for out-of-the-ordinary things? Back in BC, when we prepared for the Mother Shahraz fight, I completely broke myself trying to make sure everyone had their BT necks and 290 Shadow Resist gear in order to reach the 365 SR (level 70) cap with Prayer of Shadow Protection up. By “I broke myself”, I mean to say that I posted regularly to our forums to ensure that people knew when we were doing Al’ar and Rage Winterchill kills for the quest. I ensured that we always had just enough Hearts of Darkness for the crafting of gear. I bought Primal Shadows from guildies to encourage them to sell them to the guild bank so we could provide some to the guildies who didn’t have time to farm for their resist gear.

As we stood there, in front of Mother, furiously crafting last minute gear, a fail rogue tells me she doesn’t have her BT neck because she hasn’t done the heroics necessary for it. (She was thinking Champion of the Naaru. I know. I don’t even have words.) She then insisted it was fine, just give her an extra Heart of Darkness for the bracers (which we weren’t crafting).

Trouble is, we had no extras. If we went ahead and crafted her guild-sanctioned gear (cloak, boots, belt, legs) then we wouldn’t have enough for her bracers, so it would be a waste of 7 Hearts of Darkness. I ordered her back to Shattrath and out of the raid for the Mother fight. :P

But that… that was being a leader. Following up on people, checking on people, then throwing someone out of the instance because she hadn’t done what she was supposed to do. Preparing the group, to the best of my abilities, though? That was being a leader.

Time and again, since Apotheosis quit raiding, I have been ASTOUNDED at the lack of preparation and leadership through progressive content in Ulduar, TOC, TOGC and ICC. Astounded. Could I do better? HELL YES.  With my eyes closed, in some cases.

But I don’t want to.

I have no desire to drag 24 other people, kicking and screaming, through progression content. Not 24 other people in my Bronzebeard guild and DEFINITELY not 24 other people in my current guild.

For my Apotheosis folks? For them, I would do it. For them, I likely WILL do it in Cataclysm. So long as my support group is there. Who’s that? My BC officers, for the most part. My buddy Majik. Our favourite huntard. Our Football. Our best tank, a pally, who joined us midway through SSC. Each of them were key in our most difficult times of progression.

I don’t have any delusions. Server AND faction transfers have only made it easier for people to jump ship and leave guilds, to the point where it basically doesn’t mean anything anymore to be in a guild. Hopefully, the guild reforms will make it more beneficial for people to stay in-guild in Cataclysm and guild achievements will make people WANT to join guilds.

I don’t envy any guild leaders or raid leaders these days. It has been a crappy expansion in terms of loyalty and attendence. I couldn’t even keep my own guild going at the start of Wrath. But the difference is that I TRIED to do what was right for my people. Too many “leaders” these days just don’t even understand what’s really needed to succeed. And maybe I’m overestimating it, maybe I hold people’s hands for too long and baby them a little too much and maybe that ISN’T necessary. But it’s what works for me and my style of leadership and it worked, mostly, for the people in my guild.

Some days, you couldn’t pay me to lead anything, not for a Battered Hilt or a mountain of gold or even real money.

And then some days, I think back fondly to Apotheosis. I remember the exultation of downing Gruul. I remember the joy at downing Magtheridon. I remember the pure elation from downing Vashj, the cries of happiness at downing Kael as we became Hands of A’dal. I remember the determination and dedication required for downing Archimonde. I remember the enhancement shammy slapping on a shield, popping Shamanistic Rage and TANKING the priest on the Illidari Council after the tank on that mob had gone down. I remember our tanking paladin HEALING and our DPS warrior TANKING on Illidan and how we nailed that fight.

Those are the days I miss. Those are the encounters I remember. Those are the raids I looked forward to and enjoyed being part of. Hand of A’dal means more to me than Twilight Vanquisher, more than Astral Walker. It was a title I got with people I considered my friends.

Genuine compliment or not?

So tonight, my brother hit 80 on his hunter. We did a random heroic (Old Kingdom — which spawned the previous post to the “tanks” of the Bloodlust Battlegroup) and we did regular TOC and I tanked heroic Utgarde Keep…

And then he needed 7 more badges to get the Mirror of Truth. So we queued up again; me as a tank/healer, him as a DPS, obviously.

We got The Nexus and I breathed a sigh of relief, although I was tanking. I know the instance, I know the boss fights, I know how trash works. I had about 29k health, fully buffed (mark, kings, no fort) and off we went.

I swear to God, I thought the DPS warrior was actively taunting off of me. Until I checked his gearscore. 5300 or thereabouts. Mine, as comparison, is about 2800. Still, I was doing okay on single targets. The issue would arise when the warrior’s whirlwind would simply out-threat my swipe.

So we’ve done the mini boss, the caster boss and Anomolous and we’re at trash towards the rock boss, when the warrior says, apropos of nothing:


The holy paladin said:

“lol i agree” “amazing”

I didn’t say anything. Were they being sincere? Or were they being sarcastic dicks? You never know with these people.

So at the end of the run, I say:

“Thanks very much for the group, everyone. Apologies for not holding aggro too well on multiple mobs. :)”

The pally comes back with:

“ur amazing”

And the DK said “psh did great”

The warrior had already left the group by the time the pally had said anything.

So I don’t know. Maybe the warrior was being a sarcastic ass, but it seems like the pally thought I did great for my gear and the DK seemed to not mind too much.

If any of them were at all sincere, I really hope that what they take away from the run is not that I am awesome, but rather, GearScore does not make a player. GearScore shows a player’s potential maximum output and nothing else. Like, nothing I could possibly do could help my Swipe out-threat the warrior. At all. But that’s a gear issue. As it was, I was relatively good with single target threat and I didn’t let things beat on the pally and I was super-quick to growl at things or even use Challenging Roar. I like to think that I pushed at the limits of my gear.

I think it really helped that I’ve tanked the instance on regular and tanked it on both regular and heroic on my pally. Damn me if I didn’t miss Righteous Defense something fierce, though. :P