15% buff is apparently active in ICC.

I think my thought process here is “seriously?! Already?! What?!”

I feel like I just got used to the 10% buff. 15% seems totally overboard.

I suppose we’ll be able to go kill heroic Sindragosa pretty easily this week, then. And probably Putricide, if we have time.

And then… LK on heroic?

No idea.

In other news, I’m trying to figure out what the hell is causing my tank to die from 44k melee attacks from heroic Sindragosa. I’m thinking parry haste hits, although I’m not sure why the tank is taking 44k hits instead of the regular 35-38k hits.

Raid Lockout Changes

Well, Blizzard finally listened to me. I don’t know if I’ve posted it somewhere in this blog, but I have never liked that, in Wrath, 10s and 25s have different lockouts. Do you know how much healing that is for someone? For TOC, check it out:

Trial of the Crusader (10), Trial of the Grand Crusader (10), Trial of the Crusader (25) and Trial of the Grand Crusader (25). That is a chance to go through the same instance four times, killing (or trying) to kill each boss up to 4 times each, in 2 different configurations.


So today’s MMO-Champion news about lockouts is amazing to hear, for me. No longer will I need to “worry” about not doing a 10-man on my paladin. The pally is for 25s. Period. No longer will I have to listen to morons talk about “but we have to do 10 in order to gear for 25!!!”. Honestly, anyone who thought they needed to do Naxx 10 before they did Naxx 25 is a moron. Anyone who thought they needed to do Ulduar 10 before Ulduar 25 is an idiot.

The progression route has been, as far as I can tell, pretty nicely balanced:

10s: Heroics – 10m T7 – 10m T8 – 10m T9/badge loot – 10m heroic T9 – 10m T10

25s: Heroics – 25m-T7 – 25m T8 – 25m T9 – 25m heroic T9 – 25m T10

But even then, even without 25m T9/heroic T9 gear, you can augment your gear to 10m T10 or 25m (through VOA) and get into 25m T10 content.

What a lot of people NEVER realized in this expansion is that you were able to go from heroic gear to 10s OR 25s. They were both at the same point of difficulty. The “gear reset” given us by Emblems of Triumph and T9 gear coming from Emblems and Emblems of Frost and T10 gear coming from those means simply that guilds don’t have to gear people up in T8, then T9, then T10.

Back in BC, I had a rogue in my guild who we brought in for T5 content. He was primarily geared in T4. He wasn’t able to compete (or really hold his own) in T6. So we brought him in for T5 and a couple easier T6 fights and he ragequit the guild one night because he didn’t win loot off Supremus, losing to a more regular raider, even though it was a bigger upgrade for him.

My own brother couldn’t come in to T6 fights because he didn’t have the gear. We brought him to a couple SSCs and a couple TKs just because we flat-out needed the body and we knew he could do the damage required despite being in T4, but he couldn’t have done a lot in T6 fights in T4 gear.

The Emblems have changed that. Now, you CAN take someone in T9 232 gear to T10 251 fights. They won’t be your best players until they get some more Emblems of Frost, but they aren’t COMPLETELY outclassed. Plus, they have a bunch of 245 off-set gear from Emblems, if you’re at all lucky or maybe a couple tier pieces from 25m Koralon.

So what the hell does any of this have to do with raid lockouts?

Everything, actually. They are going to design the 10 and 25 entry raids with the assumption that you are wearing quest rewards, heroic gear and crafted gear.

And since both raids will drop identical gear (25s just dropping more of it, more emblems and more gold, apparently), they don’t need to worry about people falling behind the gear curve or being ahead of the gear curve or any of that crap, at least when switching from 10 to 25 or 25 to 10.

10s should no longer be “the EZ mode” raids. They SHOULD be just as (perhaps if not more) challenging as the 25s. Where the 25s are more difficult is the herding of cats and organization required to have the people necessary to down something with more health in the same amount of time, for instance.

The trouble though, is that lots of people don’t want to deal with the herding of the cats. A lot of people will say “screw that”, because loot is their primary motivator and they’ll do 10s.

My big worry has to do with how Blizzard will incent us to do 25s instead of 10s without making 10s obsolete. With the same loot and the same lockout, I’m not sure they’ll be able to. I know that I won’t go do 10s instead of 25s, because I LIKE 25s better… but if I don’t have a group who wants to do 25s, what the hell am I going to do?

Sunday Night Shocker

It’s 9:43pm and my 25-man ICC raid is in 1 hour and 17 minutes and I don’t want to go.

Okay, so I lied. It’s not a shocker that I don’t want to raid. I don’t think I’ve actually wanted to raid in a couple of months.

But, I will be raiding.


The one thing I’m actually looking forward to is how we’re going to use AVR for our heroic Sindragosa encounter.

What’s AVR? It’s a new mod that we were asked to install for tonight, back on Thursday, and today, MMO-Champion posted about it.

So here, go to MMO-Champion.

I’m a little worried about how it’ll impact my frame rate, but I’m hoping it’ll be worth any extra lag to make sure people know where to run for ice tombs both in air phases and in phase 3. I can’t wait to see how it works on Putricide with Malleable Goo. If it’s as good as it seems to be, judging by videos, I might actually be able to get some healing done on that encounter instead of just stacking on the tank to make sure that I don’t get beaned with it.

In other news, no Q&A this past week, I know. There just weren’t many search terms that I don’t appropriately address on this blog already. We’ll see if this Tuesday brings with it anything spiffy.

Level 64 and hating it.

You know, for as much as I adored raiding in BC, I loathed the dungeons. Hated them. There is not a single instance in Burning Crusade that I genuinely LOVED.

I hated heroics with a passion. If I was asked in guild to heal a heroic, I would laugh, as would most others who knew me.

After healing my way on my disc priest through Ramparts, Blood Furnace, Slave Pens and Underbog, it dawned on me; I have absolutely no desire to level through Auchindoun instances. None. I don’t want to go back and level through Hellfire or Zangarmarsh or Terokkar to get quests. God forbid I even consider Blade’s Edge or Netherstorm!

In the entirety of Burning Crusade, there was one zone I loved and that was Nagrand. I don’t even like all the stupid quests there, but it’s beautiful and peaceful and I know it like the back of my hand.

Combine my distaste for BC content with the UTTER FAILURE that is RAMPANT on this stupid battlegroup and you have a cranky Kurn. Seriously, tanks who don’t know how to hold threat on TWO targets at once, who don’t know what gear to wear (pally “tanks”, specced prot, wearing all holy stuff), tanks who don’t know what abilities to use (Devastate never occurred to one warrior “tank” I had) and tanks who don’t know the first thing about pulling.

There I am, in Slave Pens, about to pull the first boss. Everyone, EVERYONE knows that you wait for him to pat up the ramp and then range pull, right?


The DK “tank” I had pulled him while he was visiting with the mobs at the bottom of the ramp. So we got the whole group.

Only through exquisite, leet healz did we live. I used Pain Suppression, Prayer of Healing, Inner Focus, took a mana potion… and you know who was killing the totems when it was clear NO ONE ELSE WAS? That’s right. I was.

After the fight, I was like “Why on earth would you pull the entire group?”

“mistake,” came the reply from the tank, followed by “gotta go”.

I left the group immediately and said to myself, aloud, “Fuck this.”

So I respecced my priest shadow (no, I haven’t dropped a grand on dual spec yet) and have decided to quest through most of Nagrand until I’m at about level 68, and then SEEYA OUTLANDS, hello Northrend!

The trouble here is I hate being shadow. :P I don’t really know the rotation or whatever, but it feels like I have no abilities! Shadow Word: Pain and Devouring Plague go up, then Mind Blast, then Mind Flay and finish off if need be with Shadow Word: Death? Too easy, too boring, too dull. Shadowfiend at 66 and POM at 70 and that’s about all I’m looking forward to. ETA: Okay, interesting what they’ve done with Vampiric Touch and Vampiric Embrace. SW:P, DP, VT, MB, MF?

I would pay $25 in real money to Blizzard if it meant that I would be able to start a toon at 68.

I would pay another $25 in real money to have an unlimited ignore list. :P

Off to Nesingwary.

Holy How-to #5 – To Beacon or not to Beacon

Welcome to my Holy How-To for PVE Paladins. This is the fifth 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, I’ll discuss our 51-point talent, Beacon of Light. Sadly, the spell is also referred to as “bacon”, usually prompting people to discuss the deliciousness of said food item. Anyways. Beacon is a simple spell that is either completely overpowered or entirely useless. It depends on how you use it and the configuration of the encounters in which you use it. Oddly, even over 18 months since its introduction, this spell still causes confusion among raid leaders, healing leads, other healers and even holy paladins themselves. So I thought I’d try to shed some light (ha, ha!) on this subject.

Continue reading “Holy How-to #5 – To Beacon or not to Beacon”


I’m more than a little glad as to how I set up comments, in that the poster has to have an approved comment before comments get posted without being moderated first.


SO MUCH SPAM. In the last two or three weeks, I’m getting 5+ spam comments a day on a variety of posts. Sure, that’s nothing for most people, probably, but it’s driving me batty. At least it’s all being captured in the moderation queue and much of it is automatically marked spam by some of the options I’ve got here in WordPress, but good grief. All kinds of spam, gold sellers, levelling guides, all that stuff.

Pro tip: Do not tell me that my blog is a thing of beauty when the post you commented on was essentially me bitching about stuff.

Seriously, the latest:

“I usually don’t post in Blogs but your blog forced me to, amazing work.. beautiful …”

Naturally, all these commenters have URLs linked to their names to promote their skeevy websites, which is an additional tip-off. :P

Fellow bloggers, how do you deal with spam?

So burnt!

Thank God we have tomorrow off, thank God, thank God, thank God.

On the heels of a huge playoff game loss by the Montreal Canadiens, I had a raid tonight. I had a splitting headache.

In 3h37m (37m more than usual) we did:

– heroic Saurfang without the ever-elusive third holy paladin

– heroic BP Council and BQL

– heroic Dreamwalker

– heroic Rotface and Festergut

– regular Putricide

– regular Sindragosa

– regular Lich King

I am so freaking tired, my head is still pounding and I just wanna go to sleep. So I will. But good LORD, what a long night that was. It felt like we’d raided for something like 8 hours, I kid you not.

Burnt, burnt, burnt.

Heroic: Storming the Citadel

Wow, Lady Deathwhisper sucks. Wiped on her for five and a half hours this week, but she’s down and that gave most of us in the raid the Heroic: Storming the Citadel achievement.

Went up, did Airship on heroic. Easymode.

And then we faced Deathbringer Saurfang. Without a third holy paladin.

Never, ever, ever underestimate how difficult this encounter is without a third holy paladin for the extra two marks you’re bound to get.

Pop quiz, hotshots! I would love to know how you would have allocated the resources for a kill. Assume that one holy paladin can handle two Marks of the Fallen Champion and that any other healer can handle just one.

Here’s what the comp looked like:

2x Holy Paladin, 2x Priests (both can be holy or disc), 1x Resto Shaman, 1x Resto Druid

Take that composition, assume six Marks of the Fallen Champion and come up with a viable healing strategy without knowing anything else about the abilities of the healers involved.

I’ll post how I (almost!) did it later on. We probably would have won, had it not been for a hunter’s disconnection (and the RL’s subsequent “accidental” turning off of the 10% buff!).

It’s completely different to 3 holy paladins in the raid, though. Like, holy crap, man, SO much harder.

So there's this priest, see…

There’s a priest applying to my guild at the moment. He’s currently part-time, due to school stuff, but he seems to be knowledgeable and enthusiastic and stuff.

Yes. There is an upcoming “but”.

But… he’s weird. Okay, that doesn’t help describe the situation. He’s full of ideas, he’s really enthusiastic, he’s really gung-ho, he loves to talk about healing. I really should like him a lot.

I don’t. In fact, I’m sort of having to just hold my tongue and not shoot him down at every opportunity.

The issues began about 10 days or so ago when we pulled him in for heroic Festergut attempts. He had been saying, in healer chat, before he got swapped in, that the key is to watch the goo from Putricide’s balcony or whatever. Dude comes in, gets smacked by Goo like, 12 times and also misses getting all his Innoculated stacks.

ALSO, when he came in, he automatically assumed he was going disc, so he’d done his spec change from holy already and we tried the first attempt with two discs, instead of the 2 holies and 1 disc I wanted. Then, I was like “okay, that’s not working” in healer chat, got distracted by a raid leader chat conversation and come back to healer chat to discover that he told the disc priest already in the raid that he could go holy.

I was like, wtf, dude. Let me handle requests. We had actually brought him in to be holy. So I had them both switch back.

I don’t think he’s trying to “take over” or anything, and he seems perfectly pleasant. I think that my concerns stem from the fact that he seems to overthink EVERYTHING. I thought I was bad, but no, no, this guy overthinks absolutely everything in the entire game.

What prompted this post was my irritation regarding his thoughts on our heroic Lady Deathwhisper encounter.

We’ve wiped to her for five hours this week. No joke. The big issue is people getting smacked in the face by Vengeful Shades, meaning they trigger Vengeful Blast which does a huge 20y AOE thing, basically killing people.

The raid leader and the MT commented about this on the forums and the raid leader broke down how many people got hits/misses/absorbed hits from the Shades. As it turns out, even a miss or an absorbed hit will trigged Vengeful Blast.

One healer took 5 total hits over 5 hours of wipes. I took 23. That shammy, who took 3 on Wednesday and 2 on Thursday, and I are the only healers who took LESS on the second night than we did on the first night. (My breakdown was 15-8.) So I wrote to all the other healers, asking them to please be aware, blah, blah, blah.

Priest app writes back with this post that goes on to say that he’s got a new holy spec just for this fight, that’s got Soul Warding and Body & Soul and I’m thinking, what are you DOING, man? I want him to be holy. I don’t want him to bubble spam people. Hell, we had two discs in the raid anyways on Thursday to help shield people to keep them alive through our Vengeful Shade failure. And now this app, who had 8 hits of his OWN, is saying “hey, let me watch for that stuff, I’ll shield them and they’ll get the speed boost” when he can’t even look out for Shades that are hitting him?

How to crush his suggestion without crushing his ego/enthusiasm? Hm.

I think part of what annoys me is he just goes out there and Does Stuff instead of talking it over with his healing lead, who would be me, in this case. No “do you think it would be beneficial”, no “hey, I was thinking”… it’s just “I’ve also devised a specific holy spec meant purely for just this fight.”

I don’t mind thinking outside the box, I really don’t. But the consistent thinking outside the box without even considering what’s INSIDE the box kind of makes me want to throttle the guy.

How does he not even CONSIDER the issue of Weakened Soul? Two discs AND him bubbling the raid? Not gonna work, man. Sigh.


Stupid paladins. Why did I roll a paladin? Why did rolling a paladin mean that I get lame skills and lamer talents? SIGH.

The Paladin Preview is out. Here’s the MMO-Champion direct link.

Let us examine it, bit by bit, shall we? WE SHALL! I haven’t read anyone else’s thoughts on things, this is just my initial impression. Can’t wait to see what others have to say.

New Spells:

Blinding Shield (level 81): Causes damage and blinds all nearby targets. This effect might end up only damaging those facing the paladin’s shield, in a manner similar to Eadric the Pure’s ability Radiance in Trial of the Champion. The Holy tree will have a talent to increase the damage and critical strike chance, while the Protection tree will have a talent to make this spell instant cast. 2-second base cast time. Requires a shield.

What the hell are they doing? Giving me a freaking damage spell, complete with HOLY TALENTS that increase damage and crit chance? Sounds great for prot. Does not sound great for Holy. Unless you’re PVPing. In which case, hey. Nice. Grats to those of you who give a damn about PVP. But what about the PVE holy paladins? “Ooh, I get to have another damaging spell when I want to quest or farm or something!!!!” …really?

So level 81 – nothing of interest for me happens. Good to know. NEXT.

Healing Hands (level 83): Healing Hands is a new healing spell. The paladin radiates heals from him or herself, almost like a Healing Stream Totem. It has a short range, but a long enough duration that the paladin can cast other heals while Healing Hands remains active. 15-second cooldown. 6-second duration.

Uh. Please, please correct me if I’m wrong, but does this suck or what? How much does this heal for? Lasts six seconds — does it pulse every second? Every two seconds? Every three seconds? With a 15-second cooldown (like the vanilla/BC Holy Shock) will it be used regularly and frequently or will it be relegated to OH CRAP AOE! moments?

I do like that it’s an AOE thing. I do not like that it’s based on our position. I do not like that it’s likened to healing stream totem. My character is not a totem, thank you very much.

It really seems to me like they’ve taken a common suggestion over the years (make Consecration into something that damages enemies/heals friendly units) and just made it a new ability that doesn’t have the issue of causing damage to enemy units. And added a longer cooldown. But really, isn’t this just some healing version of Consecration? Think about it — we’re at the middle of it. It’s something we pop and we can get back to doing our regularly-scheduled healing. It’s short-range, so people need to be near us. Yep, I think that’s about the same as Consecration. Obviously, we’ll see how this works out ($10 says they patch it out in beta!) but I’m not thrilled. It’s weird that I’m not thrilled, because I really would have liked a decent AOE heal. If this ends up being decent, I will happily eat my words.

I’d also like to object to the name. If Blizzard doesn’t think that HAND of Reckoning doesn’t already confuse people when you have spells like Hand of Protection, Hand of Salvation and Hand of Freedom, then I guess I can understand why this thing is called Healing Hands. Why not something like Waves of Light? Or Light Flow? Or Wind of Light? Or, hey, how about Stream of Light? I actually like that.

Anyways. NEXT.

Guardian of Ancient Kings (level 85): Summons a temporary guardian that looks like a winged creature of light armed with a sword. The visual is similar to that of the Resurrection spell used by the paladin in Warcraft III. The guardian has a different effect depending on the talent spec of the paladin. For Holy paladins, the guardian heals the most wounded ally in the area. For Protection paladins, the guardian absorbs some incoming damage. For Retribution paladins, it damages an enemy, similar to the death knight Gargoyle or the Nibelung staff. 3-minute cooldown. 30-second duration (this might vary depending on which guardian appears).

So, hang on a second. We’re going to get a base ability that, depending on our spec, does different things? I actually might be able to get on board with that. Except that I think the holy one is lame. Seriously, we already have this in the game. It’s called Ancestral Awakening and it’s a resto shaman talent. And again, it’s single-target: “heals the most wounded ally in the area”. And what’s the area? Is it something I can target like Blizzard or Volley? Or is it something that just appears and heals anyone within 40y or so?

Blah to new skills.

Changes to stuff:

– Crusader Strike at Level 1. We already have an instant attack. It’s called Judgement. But okay. Another button to push. Hooray.

– Cleanse isn’t actually changing, so I guess I’m glad about that, unlike shammies, who must be pissed to lose things like Cleansing Totem.

– BOM/BOW… Well. They’ve streamlined it. I think that’s a positive. But will either be improved? Will both be improved? Will there be an imp BOM talent? An imp BOW talent? Will these affect which BOM is on someone? Also, possibly more importantly, are we going to be stuck with the fist icon? I like my icon for Blessing of Wisdom. :P

– Holy Shock available to all paladins. Wow. I am… not impressed. Holy Shock has been THE holy ability for years. And now it’s just available for everyone? So rets are going to be able to toss a Holy Shock in arenas while on the run? Prots will be able to cast it on themselves or others? That’s MY SPELL, Blizzard. MINE. What the hell are you doing, giving it away all willy-nilly?

– Possible duration changes on Divine Shield. When my brother asked about paladin changes the other day, he was like “well, what kind of things would they change?” and I said “I don’t know, but they got rid of Tree of Life, so anything’s possible.” And his reply was “Are they going to change bubble?!” and he was all concerned. “They could do anything,” I told him, “maybe even get rid of it.” He was properly horrified at that thought. And properly horrified about this potential change as well.

What horrifies ME more than anything is this: “Furthermore, the healing environment of Cataclysm is going to be different such that a paladin may not be able to fully heal themselves during the duration of Divine Shield to begin with, so this may not be a problem.” I’m sorry, either I’m going to have 80,000 health or I’m going to heal for 3k per big cast. 12 seconds won’t be enough time spent casting to heal myself???

– Ret rotation. Well, whatever.

– Sacred Shield/improving the Holy Paladin toolbox. Okay, I can handle a 30 minute buff on my main healing target. That’s fine. I’m not sure I LIKE the change, but I can certainly live with it. I feel like I spend raids juggling ability cooldowns as it is. Removing one from the rotation is fine. But I don’t trust them to adequately improve our toolbox. The last time they did, we got Beacon of Light. Which is hax on some fights and stupidly useless on others.

– New, bigger, healing spell. Okay, here we go. FoL, HL and then unknown bigger spell. I’m fine with that. Interesting that our current “bomb” spell is the middle one, though. Also, if this is going to be the same as the other classes, they’re changing FoL from being fast and efficient to being fast, but inefficient. Not sure I like that too much.

– Beacon of Light change. “Beacon of Light will be changed to work with Flash of Light. We like the ability, but want paladins to use it intelligently and not be constantly healing for twice as much.” Screw you, Blizzard. You give us Beacon of Light and it sucks. Then you change it to include overhealing and it’s still halfway useless sometimes, but other times, it is the reason for getting the encounter done (hi, heroic Deathbringer Saurfang, how are you doing?). And now you’re going to change it to… well, as I understand it, only work with Flash of Light? SERIOUSLY? Take the ability away. Just get rid of it. I want a 51-point holy talent that is worth a damn and a talent that is an ability that mirrors only the SMALLEST of our heals? That’s not a talent worth a damn.

– Spirit. Blah, blah, I knew this, but it still sucks. Stupid spirit.

– Prot rotations. Sounds neat. The prot pally tanking method is way too good for both single-target threat and AOE threat.

– Holy Shield, no more charges. So what, this will last 8 seconds with no charges? That sounds boring and predictable. Bind Holy Shield to all your abilities and it’ll be cast when it’s off cooldown.

Mastery thoughts:

– Holy. Critical Healing Effect: When the paladin gets a crit on a heal, it will heal for more. Oh, gee whiz, CAN I have more overhealing? Please?! :P I understand that they’re changing things so that we can go back to healing reactively instead of mindlessly and this will change some of the overhealing issues (as well as mana becoming an issue again) but I don’t know that we really need super crit on our heals. I imagine we’re still going to overheal a ton.

– Prot. Block Amount: We want to keep the kit of the paladin as a tank who blocks a lot. So by contrast, the warrior tank will sometimes get critical blocks, but the paladin will absorb more damage with normal blocks. Sounds reasonable, although odd. Are they trying to make tanks more niche-specific again? You have the prot pallies who are The Blocking Tanks versus the bears who can’t block or parry at all. Sounds to me like, given the choice to AOE tank things, a prot pally now has even more reason to tank, whereas a bear or DK don’t.

– Ret. Holy Damage: Any attack that does Holy damage will have its damage increased. Uh. Okay?

On the one hand, some nerfage. On the other hand, some lame skills. On a third hand, a couple of perhaps interesting changes.

Lots of things will change, of this I’m certain. I’m being overly critical and cranky, I know. We all need to wait to see what beta brings with it. But those are my initial impressions.