Note to self…

The time between about 5am and 7:30am on a Saturday morning is NOT the time for you to attempt to do any kind of random runs whatsoever.

4 (!) attempts at lowbie runs as a healer, 1 attempt at a random heroic as a DPS.

Results, 0 dungeons completed.

1) An SM Armory run where the tank was AFK to begin with for 8 minutes, then ran in, pulled the whole hallway, did NOT hit Consecration, got stunned and as I hit Dispel Magic for the stun, promptly let my face get eaten. Then the died, because I was dead. And they left group. So I did, too.

2) An SM Armory run, in progress, where I zone in and promptly see “healz hurry!” and see that a warrior, who is out of range on my Grid, is at half health. I run into the courtyard and aggro three mobs, because they hadn’t cleared the courtyard, nor informed me of such. Had I not been disc, I would have died instantly. Instead, I drag them to the group on the other side of the courtyard and down two hallways. The warrior promptly laughs at me and says “ur a girl thot ud b smarter then pullin stuff”.

… I respond with “I’m sorry, would you like me to leave?”


Uhuh. I believe you.

Two pulls later, the warlock soulstones the tank. Trying to be somewhat helpful, I mention that if they’re going to SS anyone, they ought to SS the healer.

“but hes runnin in and almost dyin”

“Actually, he’s not, because I’m healing him. And I’m getting aggro from mobs, because he’s not hitting them all and I wear cloth, so it really should be a healer who gets a soulstone.” Note that I’m not ACTUALLY asking for a soulstone. I’m just trying to point out the flaw in the logic.

“lol i where cloth too!!”

I just sigh to myself and we keep going. We get to a hallway and the tank just groups up the melee and starts hitting them, etc. Does he even TOUCH the caster? No. So I sigh again and shield the tank, and then myself, and the caster starts throwing fireballs at me.

“Aggro,” I say.

The tank does nothing.

“I have aggro from that caster,” I say.



Then the tank laughs at me and goes to get it. “lol y did u pull it???” he says.

“I didn’t pull it, you didn’t hit it. Can you please be sure to hit all the mobs in the area?”

“lol i did” comes the reply. “lol ud think the healer wuld b smarter then a grade 3er.”

I’m about to go “PARDON?” when he does this:

“<— thats me!”

… my tank was in Grade 3?

So I let them pull the entire hallway down from us and then I left. Because I’m not going to be insulted by an idiot in Grade 3, who needs to l2tank anyways. My parting words were:

“Yep. I’m smarter than someone in Grade 3. I’m smart enough to leave.”

3) A Razorfen Downs group, my first time in the instance ever, where the tank and a warlock were both ghosts and trying to FIND the instance, for about 7 minutes. The rogue then PUTS ME ON FOLLOW and afks. Seriously. He just stands there, following me. And none of us can kick him because the 15 minutes aren’t up. The tank leaves, I leave. Very weird.

4) Back to SM Armory. At least I’ve hit 35 by virtue of the last several attempted runs. “big pullz btw” says the paladin tank and charges down the hall. It was an exact duplicate of the first attempt at a random run I’d had, except this time, I didn’t touch the tank and let him die. Then the mage tries to “tank” and frost novas everything and blinks away and is like “priest run!!!”

“I don’t think so,” I said. “I think I’ll leave, instead.”

And so I left, so tired of all the idiocy.

5) I got on my hunter to do my daily random.

Heroic Halls of Reflection. I dread that loading screen as much as I do the Oculus, I swear. We do the first waves just fine. Second set of waves was okay. We’re on the second boss. And then I have aggro. WTF? Oh. THE TANK IS DEAD. Why is the tank dead? BECAUSE HE STOOD IN THE WELL OF CORRUPTION and had something like 8 stacks of it on him. Way to be, Mr. Tank. Way to be.

We wipe. I leave the group.


I hereby propose “WoW Role School”. This should be an in-game set of instances designed to help teach tanks, healers and DPS how to play their roles. I’m not talking about micromanaging which spells and abilities are used (except things like Frost Presence, Righteous Fury, Defensive Stance, Bear form) but showing people what their role truly is in a group setting.

You get, say, five of them as you level up through to 60 or so. Here’s an example of what a protection paladin would go through.

1) Level 15 (when you can queue for the LFG tool): Depending on your class/spec, you are shown how to heal, DPS or tank by virtue of a 15 minute mock dungeon run with tips. The instance would start up and you’d be given a quest. For example:

“You appear to be putting your talent points into the Protection tree, young paladin. Would you like to learn how to hold the attention of hostile creatures while your group kills them and you are healed?

– Yes, I would like to learn to tank

– No, I would prefer to learn to heal

– No, I would prefer to learn to do damage”

And then the quest would be accepted. “Hold the attention of 5 separate creatures from your fellow party members.” And they would be NPCs, NOT the morons you get in LFG, so you’d get the group focus firing, etc. Would teach about Righteous Defense.

2) Level 25 – same deal, now teaches the use of Righteous Fury, Hand of Reckoning and Consecration, for example

3) Level 35 – more elaborate pulls, LOS, casters, runners

4) Level 45 – BoSanc, some other class skills, etc

5) Level 55 – Mock up of Strat UD, need to clear down to and kill Anub’Rekhan.

And then, if you queued up for another role, you’d have to do it over again from that role’s perspective, for whatever level range you’re at.

For any veteran player, this would be easy. You could EASILY do these mock-up runs in the span of 10 minutes at most. But the people who aren’t familiar with the game/class/etc, would be required to learn some of the very basics of their class/role.

So why am I bitching about this? Haven’t there always been fail people in groups? Yes. There have been. But the level of ineptitude I have seen recently, this morning even, demonstrates two things to me.

a) It is SUPER easy for people to find groups via the dungeon finder, meaning more people are using it and more people are doing level-appropriate dungeons as they level toons.

b) More than ever before, Blizzard is forcing us to play with others in a group situation where we must rely on these total strangers (usually from other servers within our battlegroups) to perform their roles adequately.

I’m not asking for people to be the best tanks, healers or DPS in the entire world, really. I’m asking for tanks to make sure they hit the mobs so that healers don’t get aggro when casting a shield. I’m asking for healers who know enough to WAIT to cast that shield/heal when the tank is doing anything like a gauntlet or just a big group. I’m asking for DPS who don’t put the healer ON FOLLOW and then AFK!

Is it our choice to use, or not use, the Dungeon Finder tool? Yes. But I believe that since Blizzard has encouraged us to use it in a multitude of ways, from Emblems of Frost and extra Emblems of Triumph to extra experience and Satchels of Helpful Goods, then they’ve got a responsibility to ensure that the tool is populated by people who won’t make you want to throw your computer out the window and cancel your damn subscription.

Just sayin’.

Kurn's Q&A #10

Strangely enough, I get a kick out of random search terms that lead here, so here’s the 10th post where I take a look at who’s been searching for stuff and my attempt to better answer the questions these people probably had.

1) paladin divinity jol

Yeah, basically, it doesn’t work the way you think it works. For whatever reason, it works on the judging paladin (and perhaps anyone else who has Divinity) but not on, say, a hunter. I know, weird, eh? Still, here are the results of the experiment I did.

2) “stained shadowcraft tunic” “enhancement shaman”

No, no, go get the Champion’s Deathdealer Breastplate. I know it’s mail, but even before 40, you’ll be able to equip it. It’ll be leather, effectively, ’till you ding 40 and then it’ll become mail. Same deal for your shoulders, get the Prized Beastmaster’s Mantle. Apart from anything else, intellect is a good stat to have — not only will it extend your mana pool, but also if you’re properly specced in the 50s or thereabouts, you’ll be getting Mental Quickness, adding to your attack power from your intellect.

3) anyway to keep focus frame through valithria

Not that I’ve seen. >< I use a macro to focus her:

/focus Valithria Dreamwalker

4) blood prince council+holy priest+bad

Nah, not bad. What we’ll typically do is 1-2 holy paladins, 1 disc priest, 1 resto druid, 1-2 resto shammies and a holy priest. The holy priest does very well in topping people off, saving people from their own idiocy. We have the shammies helping on tanks if we’ve just got the one holy pally, so the priest gets his Circle of Hax on and his Empowered Renew blasting through the raid. Works pretty well.

Of course, if you’re thinking their numbers suck, look at their assignments. Are they assigned to the raid with 3 resto druids? Then yes, they will appear “bad”. But unless you’re losing a bunch of people due to lack of heals (and not their own stupidity), your holy priest is probably doing fine.

5) can you remove mutated plague with divine protection

Okay, first of all, Divine Protection is the paladin equivalent of Shield Wall. So no, Divine Protection is not going to wipe Mutated Plague off the tank.

Mutated Plague is the debuff that Professor Putricide stacks on the tanks in Phase 3 of his encounter. Typically, on 25-man, we have Tank 1 take 2 stacks, then Tank 2 takes 2, then Tank 3 takes 2, then T1 takes 1, T2 takes 1, T3 takes 1, and so on until the good Professor is dead.

What WOULD drop Mutated Plague off is Divine Shield. But you DO NOT want to do this (and I suspect that’s why you asked if DP would wipe it off) because if MP drops off any target for any reason, it’ll heal the boss for a certain amount per stack that was on the tank. That includes tank death, that includes bubbling.

So please do feel free to use Divine Protection in P3 of Professor Putricide. :)

6) cataclysm “level 85″+”experience needed”

Okay, there’s like no information out for Cataclysm yet. I don’t think the Friends and Family Closed Alpha is even out yet. However, considering the level cap is moving up only five levels, I would have to presume that those are going to be some pretty epic levels and that you’ll have to get an obscene amount of experience to get to 85. That doesn’t mean that SOME crazy space goats won’t ding in like, four days, though, RIGHT OSEPHALA? ;)

7) divine illumination cooldown add on

I cannot pimp this enough: OmniCC is the best cooldown timer ever. It displays cooldowns by minute and then, at 60 seconds it displays by second until it’s up. This is one of the addons I cannot live without.

8) divine intervention macro

From my Holy How-To #3:

Here’s my “hey, I cast Divine Intervention on someone” macro. Note that you must be targetting the person you want to DI.

/cast Divine Intervention

/script SendChatMessage(“DI: The generous pally’s version of Bubble/Hearth.”, “WHISPER”, nil, UnitName(“target”));

/6 Divine Intervention cast on %t.

What that does is cast DI, then sends a whisper to your target saying: DI: The generous pally’s version of Bubble/Hearth. This can obviously be changed, that’s just my sense of humour. ;)

Then it announces to the healing channel (#6) that I cast DI on my target.

9) divine shield mystic buffet

Nope. It goes riiiiiiiight through Divine Shield. :(

10) grid show random dungeon tank

Ah, you’re using Grid and you want it to show you the roles of the people in your party, right? To my knowledge, there’s no way to show that in Grid as of yet. Your standard Blizzard UI party frames will show you the roles, though. Or, you can do what I do and that’s click on every possible person in your party who’s a pally, druid, death knight or warrior and pray that the one with the highest health is your tank…

Bonus question: how to tank as a paladin at lvl 20

20 is when it becomes easy. Make sure you have Righteous Fury on (which I believe still goes away after you die, so don’t forget to put it back on!) and judge your single targets. If you have more than 2-3 mobs, drop Consecration. Congratulations. You are now a leet threat machine!

Kurn's Dungeon Basics

I’m levelling a priest. (I know, shoot me.) I’m levelling with my brother, who’s levelling a paladin. I’m disc, he’s prot. We’re primarily doing it through the random dungeon finder.

As such, I feel compelled to write up a quick guide to some very basic concepts of running dungeons, particularly at low levels.

1) Understanding Threat.

Threat, also known as aggro, is a good thing to have if you’re the tank and a bad thing to have if you’re anyone else.

What IS threat? What IS aggro?

It’s the attention you get from enemy mobs that makes them want to rip your face off and then stomp on it for good measure. As such, it’s highly recommended that the person in a 5-man group that tries to gain threat from enemy mobs be the “tank”.

A “tank” is named such because they are supposed to be large, intimidating and heavily-armored. Like, you know, a tank. In the World of Warcraft, you have four classes who can perform this role. They are: warriors, druids, paladins and death knights. For the purposes of this guide, I won’t discuss the death knights. I assume (perhaps mistakenly!) that if people can get to level 55 in this game, they have a basic idea of the tank/healer/DPS/aggro dynamic.

Warriors typically drop their talent points into their protection tree if they’re planning to tank and will probably wear a shield. You’ll want to see a druid shift to bear form to tank. A paladin will also be putting points into their protection tree if they want to tank, also putting on a shield.

Your tank is basically a distraction. They’re the ones who are supposed to use their various abilities to make themselves appear to be the largest threat those mobs are facing at any given moment. They wear heavy armor and have abilities that are very dangerous-seeming, plus have special talents and abilities to prevent all that insane damage from splatting them into next Tuesday. In reality, it’s the DPS (damage dealers) who are the largest threat, because they’re the ones dealing all the damage. Meanwhile, the healer is healing the tank so the tank can continue to generate threat. In an ideal situation, only the tank is taking damage so that the healer can heal through the encounter with ease, while the DPS attack the mob or mobs and deal a lot of damage.

So, are we clear on this? Tank grabs mob’s attention -> DPS deals damage on mob while mob is focusing on tank -> Healer heals tank and DPS/themselves if needed.

The trouble with this situation is that, for the game to be a challenge, threat is EASY to produce through damage and a little more difficult to produce for a tank. The tanks need to smack the mobs around a little bit in order to generate enough aggro from them to ensure that the damage dealers can do their jobs and go to town.

Here’s the catch: If the tank runs around near the mobs but DOES NOT hit them, this is called a “facepull”. That means that the tank has gained the attention of the mobs by physically approaching them, but the tank has not used any abilities to generate threat.

If a facepull occurs, ANYTHING the party does to EITHER the tank OR the mobs will result in that individual “pulling aggro”, which means becoming the most hated person by those mobs.


Anything. So long as it’s to the tank or to one of the mobs. Or to each other, if you’re already in combat by virtue of being close enough to the action.

So if I’m the healer of the group and the tank runs up to a mob and just STANDS there, getting beat on, if I heal him, I start looking threatening and the mob will go “HOLY CRAP, look at THAT person!!!” and come charging at me, with the intention of ripping my face off and stomping on it.

Similarly, if I’m a DPS and I start hitting the mob before the tank has had adequate time to generate aggro on it, the mob will go “Who the hell just hit me in the face?!” and then, you guessed it, it will then come charging at me, with the intention of repaying the favour.

Thus, to prevent your face getting smashed in, wait for the tank to establish aggro. This should only take a few seconds, but may take longer if more than one mob has been pulled.

“So what do I do if I pull aggro, even though I’m sure I won’t because I’m reading this awesome guide by you, Kurn!”

Glad you asked! Rather than run away from the mob and trying to hide in a bush, somewhere, you should run TOWARDS the tank. Yes, even if it means running through the mob who is trying to give you a mouthful of Chiclets. This means that the tank will be in range of the mob to hit them and pull them OFF of you. (Hunters, feign death. Rogues, vanish. Night elves can also Shadowmeld temporarily and priests can Fade, but don’t expect miracles.)

Some tanks are better at holding aggro on groups of mobs than others. In particular, paladins dropping Consecrate are amazing at it, although druids can abuse Swipe and that’s also pretty good. Death Knights are moderately better than warriors, but are still unable to generate the same kind of constant area-of-effect (AOE) aggro that paladins and druids do very easily. Warriors, well, they have a few tricks up their sleeves and a good warrior won’t have a problem with holding aggro on several mobs, but do be sure to give them a few seconds before you start in on things.

Related to this concept is the gauntlet mechanic.

There aren’t too many gauntlets in the game and I think the first one we really encounter in dungeons is in Shattered Halls, a level 70 instance in Hellfire Peninsula, but there are a couple of spots in level 80 dungeons/heroics where this mechanic comes into play.

What is a gauntlet?

A gauntlet is a section of an instance where mobs never stop spawning, so the way to get through it is to have the tank barrel down the hall or whatever it is, run all the way to the end, hold aggro on all of them and then AOE everything down.

Notable gauntlets in WOTLK dungeons:

– the trash for Skadi in Utgarde Pinnacle
– the trash towards the Scourgelord in Pit of Saron (the tunnel)

I don’t think this is technically a gauntlet, but you can treat the trash between the first and second bosses in Halls of Lightning (Slags) as such.

The trouble with a gauntlet is that the tank is running through, so they are NOT building threat. That means that a healer should NOT cast a heal, DPS should NOT damage mobs and NO ONE should be ahead of the tank. (Pre-shielding a tank with Power Word: Shield or Sacred Shield or Earth Shield is fine, though. But no hots!)

Ideally, the tank will have either Retribution Aura (from any paladin in the group) or Thorns (from any druid in the group) on them to better build aggro as they’re being beaten on, but those aren’t always available, so, in general, you’re looking at a whole hallway of facepulling. When the tank gets into position, they’ll start generating aggro and then the healer can start healing and the DPS can start damage. It is IMPERATIVE that, unless the tank is literally about to die, a healer not heal the tank. Let them get low. Under 50% is when I begin to worry. The panic sets in at about 30%. But do your best to not cast before they get to that point, or else six mobs are going to peel off the tank and splat you into the wall.

I should also note that if you want to be conservative (and there’s nothing wrong with that), you can agree to stop about midway through the gauntlet, AOE things down there and then move to the end and AOE things down there as well. This is a particularly good plan if the healer is new to the role, the tank is new to the role, if they’re unsure about the instance or if either is undergeared for the content.

Cooldowns like Pain Suppression, Guardian Spirit, Hand of Sacrifice and Lay on Hands are things that healers can cast on the tank as well, right at the end, to help stabilize the tank before they start healing. Tanks can also use their own cooldowns, like Divine Protection, Shield Wall, Last Stand, Enraged Regeneration, Barkskin, Survival Instincts, Frenzied Regeneration, Icebound Fortitude, Anti-magic Shell, Anti-magic Zone and the like.

2) Casters and How to Move Them.

Ever been standing there, halfway down a hallway in Scarlet Monastery or something and had a caster just shooting at you the whole time? But if the group gets too close to that caster, they might pull another group or another patrol? Of course you have. Everyone has.

Ever wonder what to do about it? Wonder no longer.

Long story short: Line of Sight (LOS) around a nearby obstacle or pull as far back as you can so they come to you at least a little bit.

These are the basics that people in my recent low-level pugs have emphatically not mastered. I don’t think most of them are even aware of these concepts. Thus, a post.

(As an aside, I was on my priest and shielded a bear who insisted on collecting the entire room Interrogator Vishas is in and was chided by a rogue or a shaman for doing so because it would prevent rage generation. Hah, WoWWiki says that: “As of Patch 3.1, [Power Word: Shield] will still allow warriors and druids to generate rage from damage absorbed.” Yay me for not being fail! And yes, I will be careful not to shield my brother too much when he gets Spiritual Attunement.)

Whew. Okay, Holy How-To #4 coming this week, I swear. Stupid healing meters…

Of egos, numbers and priorities.

This totally ties in to my upcoming Holy How-To #4: Healing Meters, but I didn’t want to complicate what will be an informative post with my own personal stuff.

My question is this: how can a guild that is practically five years old be run by people who rely on healing meters to determine who the “best healer” is?

My RL friend the resto druid is taking a break from the game due to various RL issues that have cropped up. Which sucks. I mean, obviously I support her decision and I think it’s the best decision for her, given her RL circumstances and all. Apart from anything else, not having to raid from 11pm-2am four nights a week will benefit her in that she’ll get a decent amount of sleep.

The trouble here is that she’s the healing lead. And we’re 11/12, working on getting Sindragosa on farm (most emphatically not on farm!) and getting Lich King down on 25-man, so we can unlock hard modes, etc.

When she went away on business for a couple of days, she posted on the forums that I’d do healing assignments while she was away. (She and I had talked about this, so it wasn’t a surprise, it was fine.)

So naturally, while she’s away from the game, I figured that the whole healing lead thing would fall to me. Just about everyone else who has seniority is gone or not raiding anymore; the other holy paladin ninja-transferred, the disc priest who is awesome stopped raiding a couple of months ago… Honestly, there’s two healers who have been in the guild longer than I have been at this point, and one’s attendence sucks and the other is happier to be on standby.

So I’m thinking to myself that I should write to the officers that I get along with and let them know that I’m happy to help out in the short-term while they find a new healing lead until my RL friend comes back to the game. But that it’s strictly for the short-term, I don’t want any kind of promotion, I don’t want the job, etc.

So I do. I talk a bit about how I’m willing to help for the betterment of the raid and because the resto druid is my RL friend and I want to do what I can to lessen her stress/guilt for not raiding, etc. This is all on Thursday night.

Later on Friday, the caster officer PMs me back on the boards and is like “can we talk in-game about something real quick?”

So I log on and we chat and he’s like “I apologize in advance, but do you remember me asking you if [resto druid] was going to log on, Wednesday?”

“Yeah, you asked right before she did log on.”

“Yeah, well the reason I asked was because [MT/de-facto GM] had actually asked me to do healing if she wasn’t around.”

Relief totally flooded my body. Honest to God, I was like “haha, that’s fine!” and I was all relieved and fine. I’ve been in the guild for seven months, which is a drop in the bucket compared to most people, including the caster officer (who used to heal in pre-BC and BC).

But then he said that apparently, some people actually complained that I was doing healing assignments. Complained? What the hell? It’s not like I was doing a bad job or anything. With little to no communication from Mr. MT/officers, I did healing assignments for 10/12, with only 2 wipes. One WAS my bad, but the other was due to disconnections on BQL. I’m sitting there, scratching my head as to why on earth people would complain; I was polite in my requests, I was encouraging of the healers, I allocated resources pretty darn well considering I don’t know the capability of half of these people (there are five healers who have been there less than 5-6 weeks)…

So it blew my mind when the caster officer said why they complained.

“apparently some ppl complained about you doing them because they feel like you’re not the best healer or something”

And it dawns on me. The MT felt that these complaints were justified because I don’t top healing meters.

It’s got absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I can’t manage the healers, nothing to do with the fact that I can’t allocate resources, nothing to do with the fact that I’m polite and courteous. It’s not even that I suck at healing; it’s because I stick to my assignments and do what’s best for the raid, rather than inflate my numbers.

Our last holy paladin, the one who had arrived when the guild was working on Sunwell, was a numbers whore. That’s all he cared about, that and caring about looking as if he was awesome because he knew the details of the game and mechanics — even though he didn’t. (Seriously, he tried to tell me that if MY beacon was up on a tank, that HIS heals would also be mirrored to MY beacon. Which is absolutely false and untrue.)

As a result of his priorities (his numbers instead of the raid), he would often heal off assignment, judge light (instead of wisdom, when there was always a ret pally in the raid, who could more reliably keep a judgement up) and was directly responsible for several wipes in recent memory. Basically, my RL friend was RELIEVED he ninja-transferred so that she didn’t have to deal with his stupid ass for never listening to her. You know how hard it is to type, in healing chat, while running around and healing, the words “[holy pally name] put your beacon on your assigned beacon target and heal your tank please”. She did that frequently and also whispered him a ton to get him to do it.

If I WANTED to, I could give myself the assignments that have me ridiculously high on the meters and I could judge light. But what’s the point in topping meters if people are DYING? What’s the point in wiping the raid all night in order to show off?

I’m sorry, but if we’re on Sindragosa, with a harsh frost aura ticking constantly, there is no WAY I’m going to beat a raid healer AND keep the MT alive. Not a chance. So what’s the more important thing? Healing the MT and keeping him alive so Sindragosa doesn’t turn and one-shot the rest of the raid.

This conversation has been bugging me since Friday and I just realized why. It’s not even that the MT is ignorant enough about healing that he relies on healing meters (haha, does that mean he thinks disc priests are completely worthless?), but it’s that the healers are the ones who complained. My fellow healers, the ones who are supposed to have a deeper understanding of the game and mechanics and healing assignments and the roles of various healers… THEY are the ones who complained to the MT.

So not only is the MT, who is also acting guild leader, ignorant of how healing works in this game, but so are at least some of the healers in the guild.

I could understand it if I weren’t one of the more senior healers in the guild at the moment, if I were this new recruit who, via nepotism, got the healing assignment job just because my RL friend knows me IRL.

I could understand it if I were actually terrible at allocating healer resources.

I could understand it if, instead of going 10/12 the other night, we had gone 6/12 because healing for Putricide had gone to hell or something.

But… I’m not “new”. I’ve been there longer than most anyone else. And I’m not bad at assigning healing. And my assignments proved to be done properly and well as we ruined 10 bosses in 3 hours the other night.

And yet, I don’t top healing, thus I suck?

I am agog at the ignorance that is clearly rampant in my guild. Truly, I am. I don’t understand how any healer who prioritizes the betterment of the raid could give a rat’s ass about the meters.

I’ve been wondering if I’ll leave the guild if my RL friend doesn’t come back soon. If she doesn’t, I think I just plain have to leave. It’s not that I’m hurt by the idea of the complaints, but I’m pissed off that people who should know better just don’t. After this realization that at least SOME of the healers are dumber than I thought they were, I find that I don’t care anymore. This guild is in trouble if it’s recruiting ignorant players and listening to them.

You want to point out where I suck? That’s great. Pull out logs, show me standing in fire or eating Blistering Cold or getting beaned by Malleable Goo. Guess what? I don’t eat BC. I don’t get beaned by MG. Fire and I have an uneasy relationship, this is true, but I have better environmental awareness than most of the healers. Which is SAD.

It’s like, all of a sudden, the small healer community that I THOUGHT was getting better in quality, that I THOUGHT was worth my respect and courtesy, doesn’t matter to me at all, because it’s been infected by Stupid™ and that Stupid™ is also present in the ranks of the officers.

In short, without my RL friend there, it’s clear that there’s nothing left for me. I’m going to kill LK, see how my RL friend is doing and then make my decision as to what to do.

I strongly suspect that I’ll be heading back to good old Eldre’Thalas earlier than expected.

Ruffled feathers, perhaps?

So, I got email notification earlier last night that I had a new comment on the blog, on the post that details my primary issues with, Mr. Chase Christan and Mr. Adam Holisky, particularly with respect to the holy paladin position there.

I then got another email notification about another comment, on the same post. Curious, considering the post was written nearly a month ago.

Both comments were, shall we say, not particularly flattering. ;)

It would appear that I ruffled some feathers, somewhere and our rogueadin’s fans have decided to come by and speak their piece.

The comments are automatically moderated; all comments are by default, even by a registered user, until I approve the author at least once. I haven’t made them viewable yet. And I’m not going to display those comments in that set of comments, for two reasons:

1) Approving the comments will allow the two posters the freedom to post anything anywhere on my blog.

2) My rebuttal of those comments will be right here. In this post. And I’d like anyone who ends up reading those comments to read this post. I think that’s only fair, considering it’s my website and, therefore, my rules.

What I’ll do is post the text of the comments here (and even the screenshots to show that I’m not hiding anything) and address them. Point by point.

Continue reading “Ruffled feathers, perhaps?”

Kurn's Q&A #9

Search term time! Honestly, these amuse me a great deal.

1) holy paladin apotheosis

There are, doubtlessly, many other holy paladins in other guilds named Apotheosis. In fact, my holy paladin isn’t even in Apotheosis at the moment. But it’s still my guild and bunches of my peeps are still there. <3 I find it amusing that someone actually searched for “holy paladin apotheosis”. If they were searching for me, you’d think “kurn” would be easier to remember than “apotheosis”.

2) single abstract noun

Tam of Righteous Orbs and Miss Medicina of Miss Medicina have started up two blogging communities/guildies. Tam’s got Single Abstract Noun on Argent Dawn (EU – Horde) and MM has Single Abstract Noun on Argent Dawn (US – Alliance). I’ve got a toon on the US one (obviously) named Kurnmogh. I haven’t had a chance to hang out much, but hopefully I’ll be able to hang out a bit this week.

3) “blood queen” “defensive stance”

I don’t recommend actually DPSing in Defensive Stance, but right before her fears, this isn’t a horrible idea.  My melee officer (gnome warrior/football extraordinaire) used to swap to Defensive Stance on Archimonde to lessen damage from various things.

4) 3.3 pally prot specs

My spec is weird. It’s primarily for heroic dungeons and I use Seal of Command for the extra AOE threat. I don’t really have mana issues, so I only have 1/2 in Spiritual Attunement and I have run speed to boots, so I skip out on Pursuit of Justice. (Also because I used to tease my gnome warrior that his pally was specced for “running faster” and even though it’s a viable talent now, it still feels wrong!)

Here’s what Rohan at Blessing of Kings suggests. And here’s the appropriate thread at MainTankadin.

5) 4 piece bonus tier 8 or 9 holy paladin

The only tier bonus you should be going for, in terms of PVE, at the moment is the 2pc T10 bonus, which is this.

If you can’t access T10, stick to 4pc T9 or break up your T9 if you find better non-set pieces. That said, I think the 4pc T9 bonus is much stronger than the 4pc T8.

6) darkmoon card greatness druid tank

I think there are probably (probably!) better tanking trinkets out there.  What I’ve got these days are these two: The Black Heart (mmmm, stam and a proccing armor buff? Awesome!) and Glyph of Indomitability because of the extra armor (which means I’m less squishy) and an awesome on-use for those “holy CRAP!” moments. Also of note, Essence of Gossamer, which will, no doubt, be ninjaed from you by a hunter if it drops. Right, Maj? ;D (Did I mention I got the drop the other day? ’cause I did.)

7) dbm divine plea macro

I don’t use this, since I use OmniCC for my ability timers (and clcbpt for my paladin-specific buff timers like Sacred Shield, etc), but I imagine it’s:

/cast Divine Plea
/dbm timer 60 Divine Plea is now available!

Of course, you can add this in:

/cast Divine Illumination
/cast Divine Plea
/dbm timer 60 Divine Plea is now available!

Or even:

/use Talisman of Resurgence
/cast Divine Plea
/dbm timer 60 Divine Plea is now available!

8) does blessing of protection remove buffet on sindragosa

Okay, first of all, much love to an obviously old-school pally who still calls it Blessing of Protection instead of Hand of Protection. Second of all, sadly, no. Mystic Buffet is a non-dispellable magic effect that will only drop off if you’re out of line of sight of Sindragosa. Even Divine Shield doesn’t drop it.

[23:35:23.675] Madrana casts Divine Shield
[23:35:25.826] Madrana afflicted by Mystic Buffet (4) from Sindragosa
[23:35:31.989] Madrana afflicted by Mystic Buffet (5) from Sindragosa
[23:35:35.719] Madrana’s Divine Shield fades

BOP will only stop physical damage, but not damage from any school of magic.

9) does prayer of fortitue stack with runescroll of fortitude

Nope. Runescroll of Fortitude, Drums of Forgotten Kings and Drums of the Wild were all introduced so that 10-man raids wouldn’t be overly gimped by not having a priest, paladin or druid in them. The Runescroll is equivalent to level 80, unimproved Fortitude. Drums of the Wild is equivalent to level 80, untalented Gift of the Wild. And because there are no longer any talents to get Blessing of Kings, the drums are just slightly less effective, granting 8% to all stats instead of 10%.

No joke, with two paladins in the raids of late, my guild has been relying on the kings drums.  I buff kings on warriors, rogues, DKs and wisdom on everyone else. The ret pally does might on everyone except for kings on priests, mages and warlocks. Then I hit the drums so that anyone without 10% kings gets at least 8% kings. So everyone has either good kings and good might or good wisdom or so-so kings and good wisdom/good might.

10) spell effect name for needle encrusted scorpion proc

That would be Fatal Flaws. Looks just like a hunter’s Rapid Killing.

And that’s it for the last week’s worth of searches that led people here.

If you have a question, feel free to leave a comment or shoot me an email at kurn [at] apotheosis-now [dot] com. :)

Of raiding, healing and gear.

So my RL friend, the resto druid who’s the healing lead in the guild, is going out of town for a couple of days. She’s actually leaving her house in 45 minutes to head out, so rather than get 2 hours of sleep after our raid, she skipped tonight’s raid and slept.

She asked me if I could do the healing assignments for tonight and Monday night.

We were on Lich King. Seemed pretty simple — I was going to assign healing for the same fight and adjust as needed, right? Right.

I show up to the raid early, have organized myself with NOTES about LK healing… and then I’m told we’re resetting ICC.

I think my private reaction was “What the hell are they ON?! They can’t reset the instance in the middle of the week!”

Apparently, however, they can. I have no idea how this was accomplished. On Monday, we worked on Arthas. On Wednesday, when we returned, there was no prompt to save us to ICC — and I know I didn’t extend my own ID — and yet, there was no trash. The Lich King was up.

So Wednesday and Thursday, we worked on LK.

Tonight, our RL announces we’re ending the lockout extension and then we all get a fresh ICC.

The ONLY thing I can figure is that because we didn’t kill anything new (ie: Arthas) we didn’t get saved to the new ID, so we were able to drop the extension and zone in to a new ICC instance. Because the people in the raid were the same — it’s not like the RL was like “okay, go in without me” or anything.

So that confused me.

Then he announced that we were going to kill 10 bosses tonight and that we’d do Sindragosa and LK Monday. So focus.

Now, I had previously prepared for LICH KING HEALING. We have new healers in the guild, with whom I’m not familiar, and I’m not even up to date on all the existing fights. (I have zero idea as to what happens on Blood Prince Council, for example. I just heal.)

I did healing through all 10 bosses, though, with just one miscommunication on Dreamwalker (leading to a wipe) and a wipe on Blood Queen due to three disconnects.

Lord, I don’t miss it. But the healers did pretty well, even the new pally app (whose spec when he apped gave me reason to be afraid, but he seems okay on the surface).

So yeah, we blew through 10 bosses with 2 wipes in 3 hours.

And because apparently no other paladins, priests or warlocks at the Member level wanted their Marks of Sanctification… I wound up getting two. At the very least, I can use them for a +spellpower set on Dreamwalker until we get heroic tokens, and it might even get me to use some of my 329 Emblems of Frost. I’m reluctant to say goodbye to some of my 258 TOGC gear, but maybe I’ll have to. We’ll see. I’m currently elbow-deep in stats and Rawr and have a headache. :P

Hilariously enough, our “favourite” rogueadin spent Emblems of Frost to examine how crappy our four-piece bonus is. And, shocker, I don’t disagree with him; it sucks. I do think that the 277 pieces will outstrip some of my gear, though, so I’ll want to ensure I’ve got SOME pieces that will be upgradable. Probably, anyways. Even if it’s just as an intermediary step between clearing regular ICC and then moving forward to get the ACTUAL heroic gear I want.

I’m also working on my fourth Holy How-To post, talking about healing meters and HPS and how much I hate numbers and, more importantly, WHY I hate numbers. That should be up this week sometime. And there are GRAPHICS!!!! I’m excited. Are you excited?! Haha! :)

Cataclysm, Stats, blah, blah, blah.

Serious question, here.

What the hell is the big deal about consolidating the amount of junk found on armor these days? People seem to be freaking the hell out over all the stat changes that Cataclysm will bring us.

It’s one thing to freak out about LOSING YOUR MANA BAR (I’m a hunter at heart; this totally freaks me out) but it’s quite another to freak out about attack power being derived entirely from agility or strength and spellpower from intellect.

Things aren’t really changing all that much, people. Hell, for hunters (apart from the mana bar to focus bar change), things are going back to how they were in Vanilla! 2AP for 1 AGI? YES, PLEASE. (I am still freaked out by the focus bar and even this 2AP per 1 AGI thing isn’t un-freaking me out.)

I don’t know about you, but this “armor penetration” thing always confused the crap out of me. I knew it was good and I knew that if you hit a certain level of it without procs that Marksmanship was totally overpowered, but since I don’t raid primarily as a hunter, I haven’t paid much attention to it. I gem agility and I’m survival, end of story.

I do hope, however, that hunter mail will not have Expertise on it. It would be like, I don’t know, being a death knight tank who has a piece of gear with shield block on it, you know? ;D

Speaking of tanking, I’m not freaking out about it, but I’m not sure I like the complete removal of Defense Rating. Has it always been a serious pain to become crit immune for various tanking classes? Yes. But that was part of the challenge! I remember getting gear lists from my two main tanks in BC as we headed into Serpentshrine Cavern and I sat there for two hours doing the math to gear them/gem them/enchant them properly to ensure they were crit immune AND resist capped for Frost or Nature, depending on which phase of Hydross they were tanking. And I did the same for them when they tanked the flames on the Illidan fight.

It was freaking HARD, but not impossible, to get to 490 defense plus 295 resistance. It took juggling of gear, gems and enchants. I always told my tanks to never, ever throw anything away from their previous tiers of gear so that they could be used in a resist set. Blizzard always has a couple of resistance fights, so it never makes sense to throw away something that can be retooled into a resistance item.

But then, have we really seen a resistance fight in Wrath of the Lich King? Nothing in Naxx except that Sapphiron became a bit easier with a piece or two of Frost Resistance gear. Didn’t need any for Obsidian Sanctum or Eye of Eternity. Again, only Hodir’s fight really benefitted at all from any kind of resistance in Ulduar, but it was easily doable without. TOC required no kind of resistance gear at all. And thus far, the only fight in ICC that I’ve seen that could really benefit from say, one piece of Frost Resistance gear is Sapphiron. But, uh, no gimmicky fights, really.

I also see some issues. The devs have said:

Defense – Defense is being removed from the game entirely. Tanking classes should expect to become uncrittable versus creatures just by shifting into Defensive Stance, Frost Presence, Bear Form, or by using Righteous Fury.”

So… just by turning on Righteous Fury, I’m going to be crit-immune from bosses? Even while casting? (Which currently opens you up to being crit, even if you have 540 defense, because you cannot parry or block while casting — which means, idiot paladin tanks, you do not ever cast Exorcism while in melee range of the mob. At least for now. :P)

The only way I could see that this could be “properly” done is if you have two kinds of Defensive Stance, Frost Presence, Bear Form and Righteous Fury. One kind would be untalented; these are the base abilities that come with the class. Defensive Stance would reduce your damage taken, damage done and increase your threat. Frost Presence would improve your armor and your stamina and your threat, Bear Form would retain all its goodies and Righteous Fury would still cause additional holy threat.

But if you then added talents deep into the protection trees of warriors and paladins, the feral druid tree and… I guess all three of the DK trees… then you could do this:

Improved Defensive Stance: Adds 10% bonus stamina and reduces the chance to be critically hit by melee attacks by 6%.

Improved Righteous Fury: Adds 10% bonus stamina and reduces the chance to be critically hit by melee attacks by 6%.

Survival of the Fittest: unchanged, basically.

Improved Presence: While in Frost Presence, you receive 10% bonus stamina and your chance to be critically hit by melee attacks is reduced by 6%.

Or something. I just find something wrong with the idea that I could just turn on RF and be able to tank something (albeit poorly) in my holy gear without being crit. I find that it is a disservice to all the people who have ever tanked before, who have struggled to find that last piece that will pop them over the required defense numbers so that they’d be immune to crits by heroic or raid bosses.

Then again, while playing on Argent Dawn last night, I realized that the Defias over in Northshire are neutral and don’t aggro you. Humans who are levelling now for the first time have NO IDEA how painful it was to gather Milly’s Harvest or even CLEAR to Garrick Padfoot, when all those mobs were aggressive.

This, more than basic stat changes, is what truly concerns me about the direction of the game. Are they opening it up to more people, making things more accessible to others? Yes.

But in so doing, they seem to be disrespecting the hours and hours of effort, of blood, sweat and tears, that their old playerbase put in.

It’s not to say I haven’t benefitted from the dumbing-down of WoW, because I have. My hunter didn’t have to wait 6 hours between demon spawns for the Rhok’delar quests. My druid levelled uber-fast, getting a mount at 20, getting an epic mount at 40 and got the Tome of Cold Weather Flying at 68. I’ve had dual spec on my druid and shammy since they were both level 40.

But, I am a sucker for memories. I remember attuning practically all of my old, old guild to Molten Core. I ran Jailbreak for Ony attunements more times than I can possibly count (and still hate Reginald Windsor TO THIS VERY DAY.). I remember succeeding in the 45m Strat Undead run with seconds to spare — and then it bugging out (Baron died, Ysida Harmon lived, but had a grey question mark over her head instead of yellow. Turns out that my pet or our warlock’s pet got the killing blow, causing it to bug.).

Those were all amazing memories. Even the bugged-out Baron kill. Even the 502 times it feels like I ran BRD.

Nothing, absolutely nothing, in WoW has compared to the fun I had pre-BC. Sure, some things came close (downing Vashj, Kael, Archimonde, Illidan, becoming a Hand of A’dal), but while I felt accomplished during most of BC, it never quite felt as epic as my first Lucifron kill or my epic bow quest or, for that matter, dinging Kurn 60.

So to hear that they’re messing with stuff that’s been in the game since I started playing, to hear that NOW, five years plus after releasing the game, NOW they decide to give hunters a non-mana resource system, NOW they decide to remove defense, NOW they decide to stop with the gimmicky resist fights… It disrespects the hours I’ve put into this game. It rewrites history. “Do you remember the epic battles between Tarren Mill and Southshore” will become “Hah, do you remember that thing called an ‘attunement’?!” or “What do you mean, hunters used to DRINK?” or “What the hell are you talking about, defense?”

And honestly, this all makes me sad. I guess it’s inevitable that things will be changing on a grand scale, because they’re basically redoing all of Azeroth… but some things, even some annoying things, shouldn’t change.

… having said all of that, I still don’t have a problem with most of the changes dealing with armor stats. :P

Single Abstract Noun!

So I was reading Tam’s post and was a little sad that Single Abstract Noun was only on a European server.

And then I read Miss Medicina’s post and was all “oooh…”.

I do not need another alt. I really don’t.

But I made a baby priest (named Kurnmogh — who looks exactly like Madrana) on Argent Dawn US (Alliance) and joined Single Abstract Noun.

I’m level five. ><

I probably won’t spend a ton of time there, but maybe now and again. At any rate, it looks to be a fun group of people. Who are healers! Or mostly healers. :D