Post of Miscellaneous Stuff

1) I’m behind on comments. I am bad. I will respond soon. :) Er, that might be Soon ™. Actually, probably tomorrow.

2) I have the makings of a post in my head about healers and tanks and obligations to guilds. More of an observatory post, looking back on the changing roles of healers and tanks within a guild over the years. I hope to post this sometime this week.

3) Getting to be around time for another Holy How-To post. I still find myself reluctant to do anything about healing meters and parses and stuff. Anything anyone is particularly curious about? Wondering about? Need to know about? Would LIKE to know about?

4) My new guild has done a few pulls on heroic Sindragosa 25 (before I showed up) and plans on playing with her tonight, so I’ve tossed in probably a dime’s worth of information in on the discussion. Tips and tricks for helping me NOT sound like a know-it-all tool would be welcome. ;) I seem to have three settings:

a) No comment. I just literally don’t say anything. I have trouble with this.

b) “If you have any questions, let me know!” which I say a lot in general (see #3 above!) but then that means not saying anything. With which I have trouble, as noted.

c) “UR DOIN IT WRONG”. (See basically every post I’ve ever written.)

Tips and tricks for helping me steer clear of “C” would be lovely. Not that I think they’re doing anything wrong or whatever, but I AM prone to opening my big mouth and would like to pre-emptively shut it, just in case.

5) Oh, yeah, PATCH DAY TOMORROW, in all likelihood, as per MMO-Champion. Dammit, I better get used to Sindragosa without AVR, pronto.

6) The guild got another holy pally app today who doesn’t totally suck on paper but lacks a shoulder enchant and a bracer enchant. He uses the 245 holy libram, not the Libram of Renewal. He’s glyphed for Seal of Light (yet gemmed straight intellect with one exception) and picked up 4/5 Toughness instead of 3/3 Imp Righteous Fury (right, armor’s going to be useful at all, there, buddy) while building down to Divine Guardian. He’s not quite off the mark enough to be “UR DOIN IT WRONG” but enough off the mark to concern me, so I wrote a quick review for my GM who was then basically like “<3” and asked him questions about his choices in his app thread. I can’t WAIT to see how he justifies ANYTHING!

7) Blog maintenance. At some point this week, I’m going to upgrade to v3.0 of WordPress. No IDEA how this will affect some of my plugins, if at all, so maybe Thursday is when I’ll tackle that. Pray for an easy upgrade.

And with that, back to working on my RL friend the resto druid’s website. Yes, folks, my life is really that thrilling.


I don’t have a raid tonight.

I have been raiding 4-5 nights a week for 16 months. For the last 10 months or so, the nights were typically Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, with a Tuesday on the schedule for at least two months in there.

It’s Sunday and I don’t have a raid.

It always takes time to adjust to a new raiding schedule and I REALLY like the idea that I don’t raid on Sundays in case I have a family dinner (like I do tonight) or in case I go up to the cottage (like I’ll be doing next week or the week after) but I have this weird feeling that I’m going to forget that I don’t have a raid on Sundays several times over the next few weeks.

What actually might take me a little bit longer to adjust to is eating dinner around 7pm like a normal person does, so that I’m eating pre-raid. 10 months of raids at 11pm means I’d have dinner around 8-9 or even at 10. Starting at 9pm means I should be completely done cooking/eating/cleaning by 8:30 at the very latest.

I think I’ve already adjusted to the four-hour length instead of a three-hour length, because the raids on Wednesday and Thursday really flew by. Probably because I LIKE these people. One of the reasons I was really attracted to the Hyjal guild was that they had four raids a week, Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, from 8:30pm-11pm. Same raid days, smaller little nuggets of raidy goodness and MUCH earlier, which was a huge difference from my previous guild.

But, as a former raid leader, I know how much a raid can benefit from throwing themselves at a particular fight for a couple of hours, even if they don’t get it down. The practice (and the log data!) is invaluable. So, the four-hour duration (and therefore, the same amount of raiding as what I was doing, only compressed into three days, not four) appeals to me, given that I knew we’d be pushing progression. Not that the other guild wouldn’t be able to do so, but I KNOW that a lot of times, raids just plain aren’t as efficient as you want them to be and a 2.5 hour long raid is difficult to spend time throwing yourself at the encounter if you want to get anything else done.

Wow. I don’t raid tonight. Well, at least this means I’ll get to enjoy Father’s Day/Mom’s Birthday dinner without feeling rushed or being late. :)

Musings and Ramblings

I just spent about an hour working on my guide to getting the Key to the City, but I just couldn’t get the narration right. Most of the time, I just have a basic idea of what I want to say and say it, but I kept screwing up my narration. Perhaps 3am is not the best time to try to record myself describing a key run.

It’s now four in the morning and I find myself thinking about the nature of guilds. This is likely unsurprising, given my recent transition to my new server and guild, but it’s not just stemming from that.

Rohan, over at Blessing of Kings, always has neat stuff to say, but the other day, he posted about Group Content and Group Creation. Go read his post, then come back. I’ll wait.

Rohan talks about how there are two types of group content: transient and extended.

As I was reading the post, it dawned on me; I pretty much loathe tranient group content. I participate in it just about daily and sometimes more than once and I think the Random Dungeon Finder is amazing for a lot of reasons. But I hate the non-permanence of it.

It used to be that, back in the day, you would search high and low for a group to run a dungeon with you. Or, you’d get together with guildies and find another person or two and go tackle a dungeon together.

These people were always on your server; there was no cross-realm queue. These people were people you could add to your friends list and ask them if they wanted to tank/heal/DPS for you some other time. These people were potential recruits for your guild, too.

I remember doing a Molten Core attunement run once, back in the day. I was level 60 on my hunter and I was taking a tank and two DPS with me through to the part of BRD where you get the quest item. I’d done the run half a dozen times before and knew my way through BRD. All we needed was a healer.

After spamming Trade and LFG for a few minutes, a druid whispered me, saying he’d go.

The run was a success. We had one ugly moment with Ambassador Flamelash, but the druid healer gave us all some fire resist potions he had (!) and the second time was the charm. So impressed was this druid with the overall efficiency (and yes, leadership) of the run that he asked me if we were recruiting druids.

He was already guilded so I insisted he take his time to determine if he wanted to app to us, since I didn’t want to ninja him from another guild. A couple of days later, he applied and was accepted.

That he turned out to be someone who would chase greener pastures, leaving our guild not once, but TWICE, is more or less irrelevent. He was some pug who we picked up and was a valuable addition to the guild when he was with us.

That kind of experience is all but dead and gone now, with the Random Dungeon Finder. And I hate it. I hate that I don’t recognize people in my pugs on any server. I hate that I’m doing my daily content (for frost badges) with people I don’t know and may never see again (which isn’t a horrible thing in many cases, but still!). I don’t like that I’m doing weekly raid content (VOA/weeklies) without my guild. Of course, I COULD just do it with my guild, at least on my pally, but my hunter doesn’t have a real guild. Neither does my shaman, my druid, my mage or my priest. For those toons, it’s great to be able to pug the content.

I remember the days where you used to have to get someone to vouch for you before you’d be invited to any raid pugs. I couldn’t stand the warrior officer back in our old, old, pre-BC guild, but he knew damn near every serious raider on the server and forged those relationships so that he could get into pugs — and he’d sometimes have spots for others, which everyone jumped at.

This whole expansion has really been the rise of the pug raid group. Everyone can pug anything. This bothers me. Maybe I’m being a snob, maybe I’m being unreasonable and stubborn, but I really feel like raiding, the high-end raids, should be the domain of, you know, raiding guilds. I think that there was something special about belonging to a guild in the original game. I remember when we, as a guild, first set foot in Molten Core, four years ago. We basically just went in and farmed trash a bit. We got Arcanist Bindings, our first piece of T1 gear ever, which went to our resident Arcane mage, Jaymie.

It was this epic experience, though. Getting the Molten Giants down, the Lava Surgers, Firelords, Lava Annihilators, the Ancient Core Hounds (LOOT YOUR HOUNDS!!!)… There was a very real, noticeable progression with our group. We went from 20-some people farming trash to a group of about 30-35 people killing bosses. Lucifron’s first death was freaking amazing. Magmadar relied on us hunters to use Tranq shot and not miss. And, by golly, I MADE SURE my hunters didn’t miss! Downing him was a freaking miracle made possible by me and my trusty sidekick, Toga.

We were eventually able to kill through Golemagg. Killing him spawned Majordomo and we succeeded in spawning Domo a couple of times, even if we never did attempt him.

But knowing that we COULD attempt him was an AMAZING feeling! After attunement, scheduling issues, recruitment problems, balance issues, it was just SO EPIC, such an amazing feeling, to step into Molten Core and know we could down eight of the bosses. We were the little guild that could!

Where’s that epic feeling? It’s gone. Or at least, it hasn’t happened for me in this expansion. It happened in BC — seeing my guild progress from Kara through to killing Vashj and Illidan, now THAT was amazing.

Tier 7 content, barring Sarth and drakes or something like 6m Maly, was too easy to elicit any kind of pride. The proof is that my little raid group went in and cleared the Spider Wing and Plague Wing and got Razuvious down on our first night. Never mind that we never did kill Thaddius and such before the guild broke up; that’s wasn’t because Thaddius was hard. That was because we had no DPS showing up anymore, which is something else entirely.

The end of Apotheosis is where my extended content group and I parted ways. I’ve been looking for a new home, a new extended content group, since then, so that these downings actually mean something to me. I can count on one hand the encounters that really meant something to me since the end of Apotheosis:

1) Sartharion + 3 drakes: This was my big chance with my Bronzebeard guild to really show that I knew my stuff and wasn’t a noob. They’d already done Sarth3D a few times, but it was definitely not on farm. The first time I downed Sarth3D was pretty amazing.

2) Yogg-Saron: In the raid with me was my buddy Euphie and in a chat channel with us was Osephala. Two of my Apotheosis folks were with me, and Euphie and I were healing together for Yogg. Plus I did the healing assignments for Yogg and even made the useless priest be useful by getting him to take the portals. So there! Having Kal and Fad and Saku around was also basically awesome. I seem to surround myself with amazing healers. <3

3) Algalon: Killed this guy with my last guild, with my RL friend the resto druid. The “Astral Walker” title is the only title she and I share that we have earned together at the same time, so it is totally precious to me.

4) The Lich King: My healing strat based on my RL friend’s initial strat. It was super important for me to get him down because I wanted my RL friend to know the guild wasn’t stunted without her, that we could totally use having her back, but that she could feel free to focus on her RL stuff and not worry about the guild.

Plus, you know, being resurrected by Terenas Menethil is AWESOME.

I spent six months on Bronzebeard. Ten months with my last guild. And neither of them felt like extended content groups. Not the way my old Fated Heroes did. Not the way Apotheosis did.

I’ve been searching for a new home for over a year and I’m on to what is technically my fourth guild in this expansion.

Will this be the guild that becomes my new extended content group? Or will this just be another stepping stone for me before we try to bring back Apotheosis? Will this guild be the one that actually prevents me from becoming a GM again with Apotheosis 2.0? Or will this be just another bunch of scattered memories?

I’m not sure, yet. But I do know that there’s one more boss kill that needs to be added to the above list.

5) Valithria Dreamwalker’s rescue — my second “first time”: I’d been in the guild not even 36 hours and we rescued heroic Dreamwalker for the first time for them. THAT meant something to me. It meant more to me than doing it the first time I’d done it. It meant more to me than any other heroic boss downing. (Sindragosa and Putricide come close, admittedly.)

So maybe I’ve found a new extended content group that will last me at least until Cataclysm comes out, and perhaps beyond, depending on what my Apotheosis people want to do.

But I do know that it’s taken me way too long to find a group like these people, a group that even gives me a glimmer of hope of being something beyond a transient-feeling extended group. It’s not to say that I haven’t found some amazing people along the way (basically, all my healers from Bronzebeard save, uh, the other paladins, one of the shammies and one of the priests) but it’s been way too long since I’ve been a part of a group that I actually felt meant something. I’m trying to keep from getting my hopes up too much; SOMETHING has to be wrong with this group, right? Oh, wait, I know! What’s “wrong” with them is that they actually read this thing. ;)

But seriously, the idea that I haven’t felt like I’ve been in an extended group is an interesting one. Is this why I’ve not liked this expansion? Too much transient content and not enough extended? It’s all been transient since the end of Apotheosis, it feels like, even when I was guilded.

I think it’s this transience that makes me long for the days of BC raids. I hated the dungeons, thought BC was pretty lame on the whole, but my God, did I love our raids.

Okay, two hours after starting this post, I think I’m done rambling and pondering for the night, or perhaps more accurately, the morning.

How do you feel about your guild? This expansion? What is your most epic feeling from this game, and did it come from an experience you had with your guild?

The Second Raid

The second raid was infinitely better than the first. And the first wasn’t bad or anything.

We got Saurfang down after a few attempts. We stomped on heroic Rotface and heroic Festergut, killed regular Putricide (getting most people their Nausea, Heartburn… achievement), then stomped on the Blood Princes and BQL.

Then we looked at heroic Dreamwalker.

My new guild had never killed heroic Dreamwalker before.

We did it on our second try.

And that is a part of why I joined the guild. People were saying to me all night long in whispers how awesome it was that I was there, how much they enjoyed having me there, how I was just what they needed… And I think that’s got to be true. We downed Saurfang for the second time for them, Dreamwalker healed to full for the first… and I played significant roles in those fights.

I totally noobed it up on Festergut, though. Fellow healers, please take this as a warning and DO NOT DO WHAT I DID.

I use Clique and Grid. I have Clique binds for most of my spells. Flash of Light is left-click (shift-left click is to target), Holy Light is right-click, Sacred Shield is shift-right-click, Cleanse is middle-click, Beacon of Light is shift-middle-click, Holy Shock is thumb-click and Lay on Hands (a relatively new bind from about three weeks ago) is shift-thumb-click.

Tonight, before Saurfang, I was looking at my bindings and trying to figure out where I could put Hand of Protection for easier access during Saurfang instead of shift-left-click and then clicking on my Hand of Protection button.

So I figured Ctrl-Thumb-Click.

Who here sees where this is going?

I try out the binding a couple of times. I don’t like it. I DO like the thumb-click part of it, but the Ctrl is just a little far out of the way for me.

So I open up Clique. I decide to edit that bind.

And I promptly bind it to Shift-Thumb-Click.

Uh, Kurn? Didn’t you say that Shift-Thumb-Click was Lay on Hands?

Why yes. Yes I did.



So NORMALLY, when you try to bind something in Clique to an existing combination, it yells at you. But that’s apparently on the main screen only when you’re clicking the combination in your spellbook.

If you edit the bind directly, you can overwrite any prior combination. Without the yelling.

Oh, God, Kurn. What did you do?

Well, Saurfang went great with me BOPping someone on each attempt with ease.

Festergut, well, there we are, one tank with 9 stacks of the debuff, the other with 7 stacks, probably with Fester at under 20% health and I see the active tank (7 stacks) is about to die and so I do what any good paladin would have done; I went for my Lay on Hands bind, which has been, for the last few weeks, Shift-Thumb-Click. Which I UNKNOWINGLY bound to Hand of Protection.

Tank is BOPped, other tank gets aggro and blows up the raid because he hit 10 stacks.

I was completely oblivious as to why the tank got a 10th stack of his debuff. The GM said something in healer chat along the lines of “ha, ha, who bopped the tank?” and the ret pally was like “Not me!” and then I paused, remembering that I HAD messed with my Clique bindings and I HAD tried to cast LOH on the tank and hey, why wasn’t that on cooldown? Why WAS Hand of Protection on cooldown?

I checked my Clique binds and found the problem and switched Shift-Thumb-Click back to Lay on Hands and then let them know what had happened.

Apparently, I made the MT laugh, so, uh, way to go me?

I told him that it could have been worse, I could have DIed him the way I did one of our tanks on Bloodboil back in the day and he replied to say that a DI would have been the only thing that would have been funnier than a BOP.

>< Still annoyed! In my last guild, I was teased for standing in fire for months by my RL friend the resto druid and another RL friend of hers. And now, I’m going to be known as “the pally who bopped the tank”. /facepalm

By the way, I’m still in search of a good Clique-bind for BOP! :P

Anyways, getting Saurfang and Dreamwalker down was awesome. I also managed to snag heroic Unclean Surgical Gloves and heroic Crypt Keeper’s Bracers, which is kind of hilarious, given that it’s my second raid with them. EPGP is an odd beast and I’m going to have to read up on it again, but it’s got this nifty mod that makes things super easy.

In other guild-related things, my new GM and I are hitting it off beautifully. There’s a mutual admiration society going on and we just totally get along. I did not transfer with the intention to make good friends; I just wanted to escape the douchebags, but she’s definitely someone who has the potential to be one of those awesome people I still keep in touch with even if I’m not playing. The weird thing is that she already knows a stupid amount about me — she knows my real first name, she knows about this blog… It’s like, in the span of a couple of days, the woman already knows a ton about me.  I feel a little bit naked, if that makes sense. I mean, I go through a fair amount of effort to construct and maintain my various WoW personas, all of which have the “true” me at the center of them, mind you. But, for example, if I’m on my hunter, chances are, I’m going to be quieter. Just let me be there, in the back, shooting things. It’s what I like to do.

If I’m on my paladin, I’m not so quiet. I’ve spent a LOT of time as some kind of stupid leader in this game, including YEARS of that stuff on the paladin. Kurn-while-on-the-paladin is a lot more outspoken, a lot more critical (HOW CAN YOU NOT HAVE HASTE OMG FAIL) and can get frustrated really easily.

My GM has somehow managed to dissemble these personas, more or less, because I’m basically my actual self in talking to her. That doesn’t happen too often, at least without my expecting it. This just kind of happened.

There’s an opportunity, which will remain more or less cryptic, for a mutual exchange of information, a mutual way to get to know each other better. Part of me wants to participate. Part of me does not. The part of me that wants to is all like “HELL YEAH!!!!” and the part of me that doesn’t isn’t remotely as enthusiastic in trying to talk me out of the idea. It’s more like “Dude, whatever, give it a couple of weeks. You’ve been in the guild for like, 36 hours.”

It would involve stripping off yet another layer of my carefully constructed personas. “Kurn” and “Madrana”, if you will, are very public personas of mine. It’s still me in there, but there are things about me that none of my readers, no matter how dear to me, will ever know. Things that my long-time raiding companions never knew and probably will never know. You know, real life stuff.

All of this feeds into my interest in identity theory, online personas, the use of the Internet for anonymity… And really, you know, that’s it. That’s what’s bugging me about this. If this exchange of information happens, I’ve lost any real sense of anonymity I still have. Okay. Now that I know why it’s something I’m hesitating about, it’s time to figure out if that even matters.

Actually, it’s well past time for sleep. I’ll figure that bit out in the morning or, perhaps more accurately, the afternoon. ;)

Apologies for the sidetrip into the land of sociological musings. I hope the Festergut story made the entry worth reading. ;)

The First Raid

You know, thinking about it, this blog has documented the fall of Apotheosis, my time on Bronzebeard, my time in my last guild and now will document my time on Skywall.

The idea that, five years from now, I could look at this entry and go “oh my God, my first raid on Skywall!” gives me a moment’s pause. Should I record everything for posterity? Probably not. Should I gloss over things in the hopes that I’ll have a shiny entry to remember my first raid by? Probably not.

As always, it seems, the right amount of detail is somewhere in the middle.

Continue reading “The First Raid”

Brief Update

1) Paladin is on Skywall, guilded. All mods seem to be working (YAY DXE, YAY DBM, YAY GRID & CLIQUE & DOMINOES!) with very little effort (sigh, CLCBPT, you fail. SexyMap, you too.) and I’ve already made money with my bank alt. ;)

2) I was guilded for maybe 30 minutes when my new GM found the blog. Hi! ;)

She apparently is more like me than I thought since we both have the ability to stalk online. ;D

I felt just a wee bit embarassed about the mush I’ve previously posted, but it’s all good. And it was a harmless reminder that anyone can actually find and read this.

(I’d hope if any of my former guildies find this, they’ll see how much trouble I took to not name names. You won’t find me naming names in my new guild, either.)

3) Reckoning hates me. I queued up for the daily heroic (I think it reset, since I got 2 frosts on my last server and then 2 frosts on the new one) and it gave me… Heroic Halls of Reflection. Thanks, RNG. Love you too.  I arrived after what had been a wipe where both the tank and healer had left. The tank who arrived with me promptly left. Five minutes later, we have a tank. It was not super smooth (DPS need to stop pulling aggro and standing in front of cleaving mobs) but we got through relatively unscathed. I haven’t healed it as a pally in a long time — I miss my chain heals, dammit. ;)

Anyways. I need to grab some food before the raid, which is in, you know, 40m. Which is new. And early. Working on LDW HM apparently, and I’m hoping all my DXE settings really DID carry over so I don’t look like a moron eating ghosts.

Stupid Vengeful Shades. WHY must they be so vengeful?

Oh! And thanks to everyone who listened to me bitch about my last guild and how I was unhappy and for wishing me well on my new server. <3 It’s meant a lot. :)

Decision time.

Both the guilds on Hyjal and Skywall wanted to trial me. Both GMs kept in touch with me very closely late last week, over the weekend and into the early part of this week.

I got to listen to the Skywall guild’s Monday raid for about 45 minutes, before I was interrupted by my building’s fire alarm… False alarm that still ended with the fire department banging on my door to make sure there’s no fire in my apartment. ><

I got to chat on Vent with the GM, healing lead and some random guildies from the Hyjal guild last week, which was fun.

I had my official Vent interview on Tuesday with the Skywall guild.

So, after the interview, I came away feeling like the GM of the Skywall guild is like a clone of me from BC-era. Combine that with no real issues regarding their healing… Well, it was with actual regret that I turned down the Hyjal guild.

I wrote to my RL friend the resto druid when I made my decision, as it was kind of late, and I know that she just wants me to enjoy this silly little game we play. So I told her what was going on, updating her that I’d be transferring on Wednesday afternoon.

Then I wrote to the GM of the Hyjal guild and expressed my apologies but that I had to do what I felt would be best for me and that was trying out the Skywall guild. He was very understanding, wished me the best and asked me to keep them in mind if things don’t work out.

Then I wrote to the GM of the Skywall guild who was pretty freaking excited about my acceptance of the trial.

So why did I choose Skywall?

Well, it’s not for progression. They are 7/12 HM, with no Dreamwalker, LDW, PP, Sindragosa or LK, obviously. The Hyjal guild is 8/12 HM, having snagged Dreamwalker.

It’s not for consumables. The Hyjal guild, which has previously gold-capped their guild bank, offers all the consumables you could want and a generous repair budget every night. The Skywall guild offers cheap consumables of your choice (10g/flask, up to 12 a week, which is how many hours they raid) and a repair budget only on progression nights.

What IS it for?

The people. A GM who reminds me of me, more than a little bit, in that she and her officers try to mold people who are having trouble instead of just tossing them out with last week’s newspaper.

The healers. A GM who can solo-heal 4 marks on Saurfang. A resto druid healing lead who is apparently exceptional. A versatile priest who happily does anything requested of him.

The lack of a holy paladin. I know, this sounds weird, because I was DYING for a third holy paladin in my other guild, but the Hyjal guild has a couple of holy pallies. The Skywall guild has NONE. Going in to a guild and being someone they can rely on to keep their tanks up means a lot. They’re really just lacking the strong direct heals a paladin brings, that’s the only reason they don’t have Dreamwalker down and so the idea of being able to help them out on it is really appealing. I WANT a strong healing team and I want to be a part of that team. It’s not really about recognition so much as it is about knowing that Kurn … or Madrana, really… is there and will do what she can do keep her targets alive. In my current guild, I’m interchangeable, from a leadership standpoint, except when it comes to my RL friend. I really want the Skywall people to know that I know my shit and I do my job and I want to be that solid rock for them.

Because I LIKE them.

I don’t even know most of them. But I like them.

And I WANT to keep them alive. Which makes all the difference in the world.

(They are, of course, still recruiting for a holy paladin, because they recognize that they’re going to run into trouble with 0-1 holy paladin.)

So I need to farm a bunch of stuff, buy some cheapish raw gems now and then transfer over with some cash, lots of gems and get to making some money!

Tomorrow, I’ll initiate the transfer, then post on my guild forums and thank them for the opportunity to raid with them for the last ten months.

And then, to Skywall.

Kurn's Q&A #21

It’s Tuesday! My traditional day off from raiding and the day I’ve set aside to examine my search terms from the last week. Apologies for the lack of wowhead tooltips on most of this stuff; I just can’t reach the site at the moment. Here we go, Q&A number 21.

1) bloodsurge heroic gearscore

Listen here, pal. If you’re lucky enough to get Bloodsurge, Kel’Thuzad’s Blade of Agony and your first thought about it has to do with GEARSCORE, then there is no more hope for the people playing this game and you make me want to quit the game entirely. You jackass.

2) holy pally haste gemming


Just… no.

Get to 676 haste, yes, but don’t do it via gems. Even if you drop down to 251 shoulders from some “awesome” 264 shoulders with no haste. Even if you use 232/245/258 pants because they have haste and your tier don’t. Just don’t gem for haste.

3) fol paladin armory

Excellent request, let’s go take a look at a top guild and a couple of their paladins.

Scrubbles, of Premonition (the top US guild), is clearly a spellpower paladin:’jin&cn=Scrubbles

Over 4,000 spellpower unbuffed, 677 haste, a fair amount of crit. This guy is doing it right.

What’s that? He’s not gemmed full spellpower?

No, he’s not. He needed some gems to get to 676+ haste and managed to use the Reckless gems to help him snag socket bonuses.

But Kurn, you just said not to gem for haste!!

I know, but this guy definitely knows what he’s doing. He already had a lot of haste and has only used a few hybrid spellpower/haste gems to get to the magic number. You’ll note he’s got a couple of other gems that match the socket bonuses (they’re mostly +spellpower) and he’ll use Royal Dreadstones (sp/mp5) and I see a Luminous Ametrine (sp/int) to make sure he’s not much over the haste minimum. This is someone who has looked at their gear and looked at what they feel they need more of while still prioritizing spellpower. He has spellpower on every gem and then adds in a couple of different stats based on what he feels he needs and he does that in such a way that he snags the spellpower from the socket bonuses. That’s what makes him smart — he’s not just dropping in a haste gem here or there. The fact that he’s at 677 haste indicates that some very careful thought into exactly how to gem.

Don’t follow his lead unless you’re building a very specific set of gear like Scrubbles has.

Zaroua, also from Premonition, has a different method to maximizing their FoL gear.’jin&cn=Zaroua

They’re, uh, in 4pc T9.

Which, frankly, is awesome if you’re healing people who have Sacred Shield on them. It LOOKS to me, and I could definitely be wrong, that Scrubbles is the main tank healer and that Zaroua is relied upon for tank healing the way a druid would be — with hots and quick, fast heals. 3600+ spellpower, not quite at the haste cap, even with 40 haste food, but an interesting playstyle.

I really did love the T9 4pc. It made me REALLY sad to swap out my chest and legs for better pieces.

4) aspect of the wild putricide heroic

Sure, go ahead, although it’s probably more beneficial for raid DPS for a shaman to drop a Nature Resistance totem. (See that, Rilgon? I thought about RAID DPS FIRST. ;D)

5) can i fish for the turtle mount while in a raid group

Yes, no issue here. You cannot do your fishing daily while in a raid group, though.

6) how do paladin buffs work

Wow. Been a long time since I’ve had to explain HOW pally buffs work.

Okay, you have up to four paladin buffs. Each lasts for 10 minutes (regular blessing) or 30 minutes (greater blessing).

Blessing of Sanctuary (only available with the proper talent in the protection tree): Only really useful for the prot pallies themselves, unless you’re lacking a discipline priest to proc Renewed Hope from shielding people.

Blessing of Kings (baseline, all paladins have this): 10% stat increase. What’s not to love?

Blessing of Wisdom (baseline, all paladins have this, holy paladins have up to 2 points to improve this): Gives you mana every five seconds.

Blessing of Might (baseline, all paladins have this, with the choice of up to 2 points to improve this): Gives you extra attack power.

You can cast any blessing on any person and not have it affect anyone else. But if you start casting Greater Blessings, they will buff everyone *of that class* in the raid. So say you’re the only paladin in the raid and your DK tank wants kings and your DK DPS wants might. You give out the greater blessing (probably kings) to death knights and then you give a simple blessing of might to the DPS, overwriting their kings from you.

You can only have one blessing up per person per paladin.

For a priority list, check out #5 in this previous Q&A.

7) hunter pets absorb putricide damage

Yes, they do absorb damage from Unstable Ooze Adhesive’s explosion. And they take a ton less due to their passive avoidance. They will naturally take 90% less damage from AOE spells, which is awesome for this particular fight.

8) lich king heroic 25 tactics shambling

My advice is to tranq shot these bastards so they don’t kill your Shambling Horror tank. :P

9) saurfang divine guardian kurn

I like seeing myself in search terms. It’s cute.

You would think that I would pop Divine Shield and Divine Sacrifice (triggering Divine Guardian) a lot on Saurfang, but the truth is that I don’t.

What I do is this:

– If a CASTER gets Boiling Blood pre-first mark, I BOP (hand of protection) them. This prevents Saurfang from gaining a bit of Blood Power and pushes back the first Mark of the Fallen Champion.
– If I get Boiling Blood pre-first mark, I DS/DS out of it, which has the happy result in lessening the damage others are taking as well, so that he gains even LESS Blood Power, pushing back the first Mark of the Fallen Champion even more.
– If I get Boiling Blood at all AFTER the first mark, I’ll probably take the GCDs to hit my macro. I will only do this if I’m only healing one mark and if Saurfang has just cast Mark of the Fallen Champion, which means the damage he’s putting out is relatively low. He hits harder, even with Mark of the Fallen Champion when he has more Blood Power, so when he casts a mark, he’s back to 0 Blood Power. This is the “safe time” (and I use that term very carefully) to use a global for something that isn’t spamming Holy Light.

10) turtle hunter dreamwalker beacon

You can do this, yes. If you beacon Dreamwalker and park a Tenacity pet with 2/2 Blood of the Rhino right next to Dreamwalker, you can spam heal the pet and the Glyph of Holy Light splashes will be bigger. However, this effectively removes the pet from combat and thus really sucks for a hunter. Tenacity pets are not good raiding pets, they’re not going to have the buffs a Ferocity pet is going to have, which means that hunter is going to hate you for suggesting that:

a) they don’t bring their wolf to the raid,
b) they just park the damn pet right there by the dragon

While it WILL output more healing, if you’re having issues where you need that much more healing, chances are you need your DPS to be at their best and hunters are NOT at their best without a wolf giving them Ferocious Howl and access to Call of the Wild.

I strongly recommend beaconing the dragon and healing *yourself* while you park yourself next to the dragon. She’s got a large hitbox so you can be pretty far out before Glyph of Holy Light splashes no longer reach her.

LK & Frostmourne, Guild Apps

15 or so heroic pulls last night.

I still rule because I have not yet been hit by a Shadow Trap at all. That’s right. I am awesome.

More pain by enraged Shambling Horrors:

[01:09:51.954] Shambling Horror hits OT 60173  (O: 26676, B: 4080)

Average melee hit on the MT: 43,748.2


We made it to the first transition phase twice, I think. Idiot!Priest kept dying to Shadow Traps and kept screwing up dispels and neglected to shield as much as he should have been. Good times. :P

We didn’t last long on the transition phases because either the OT would die while me and the other tank healer were running for the edge OR because he would then get beaned in the face by an enraged Shambling Horror. Or two.

Anyways, two and a half hours on heroic LK led to no real progress, just a lot of practice on Shadow Traps, I guess. It’s not like it’s a hard mechanic. Move away from the skull marked in the raid?

So then, because it was Monday and Tuesday’s the reset, we switched to normal mode.

For the first time EVER, and that is EVER, I got Harvest Soul on me!!! I was like “HOLY CRAP, it’s ME!” and I couldn’t heal myself. >< And I’m like, chanting to myself, “don’t let me die, don’t let me die…” No pain suppression or any CDs on me, but they kept me up!!

[01:39:25.719] The Lich King casts Harvest Soul on Madrana
[01:39:25.760] Madrana afflicted by Harvest Soul from The Lich King
[01:39:26.042] Resto Druid Rejuvenation Madrana +0 (O: 4149)
[01:39:26.657] The Lich King Harvest Soul Madrana 10185 (R: 4500)
[01:39:27.301] Resto Druid Echoes of Light Madrana +*10185* (O: 3056)
[01:39:27.710] The Lich King Harvest Soul Madrana 11640 (R: 3000)
[01:39:28.521] Idiot!Priest Glyph of Power Word: Shield Madrana +2455
[01:39:28.662] The Lich King Harvest Soul Madrana 81 (A: 11559, R: 3000)
[01:39:28.911] Raid Leader Flash Heal Madrana +*9266* (O: 2568)
[01:39:29.060] Resto Druid Regrowth Madrana +0 (O: 8410)
[01:39:29.060] Resto Shammy Chain Heal Madrana +*0* (O: 11325)
[01:39:29.060] Resto Druid Rejuvenation Madrana +0 (O: 4149)
[01:39:29.302] Raid Leader Penance Madrana +0 (O: 5691)
[01:39:29.821] Raid Leader Penance Madrana +0 (O: 5663)
[01:39:29.961] The Lich King Harvest Soul Madrana 8090 (A: 3550, R: 3000)
[01:39:30.082] Resto Druid Nourish Madrana +8090 (O: 1527)
[01:39:30.456] Resto Shammy Lesser Healing Wave Madrana +*0* (O: 12418)
[01:39:30.716] Raid Leader Penance Madrana +0 (O: 6073)
[01:39:30.716] The Lich King Harvest Soul Madrana 11640 (R: 3000)
[01:39:31.336] Resto Druid Nourish Madrana +9201
[01:39:31.657] Resto Shammy Ancestral Awakening Madrana +2439 (O: 2487)
[01:39:31.815] Madrana’s Harvest Soul fades

And then… I got to heal Terenas Menethil. Awesome.

The instant I zoned in, I was like “what the… who… shoot, okay, I guess I don’t heal that spirit thing and… OMG, TERENAS!” So I started healing him. And that was awesome. So super cool. And then I was like “oh crap, I have to dispell him, don’t I?” and lo and behold, a little debuff icon showed up on Terenas’ name plate and I’m like “CLEANSE, BITCH! YEAH!”

hahaha. I was really stupidly excited to finally get pulled into Frostmourne.

For those curious about the experience:

Terenas Menethil yells: You have come to bring Arthas to justice? To see the Lich King destroyed?
Terenas Menethil yells: First, you must escape Frostmourne’s hold, or be damned as I am; trapped within this cursed blade for all eternity.
Terenas Menethil yells:  Aid me in destroying these tortured souls! Together we will loosen Frostmourne’s hold and weakedn the Lich King from within!

And here’s the one screenshot I thought to take. (Click for a larger version.)

So that was fairly epic. :)

In other news, I’ve dropped in two apps, one each to the guild on Skywall and the one on Hyjal.

I’d get more perks on Hyjal (and shorter raids, instead of longer ones) but I’m still leaning towards Skywall. Both guilds seem pretty cool, but I think that knowledgeable healers are lacking in the Hyjal guild.

There are two holy pallies in that guild, though one is going prot. The other is an app.

I’m looking at the app on the armory:

MH: Heroic Trauma.

Trinket 1: Purified Lunar Dust

Helm: Heroic Faceplate of the Forgotten

Adequate haste (751). Uses Fish Feasts and Flasks of the Frost Wyrm.

Appears to blow Avenging Wrath AND Divine Illumination at the same time as Divine Plea, which means he’s not losing any healing when popping Divine Plea, but it’s making him have only two offsets (he also has the Talisman of Resurgence) instead of three.

And sometimes, he pops all those things all at once!

Judges, but honestly, not much more than once a minute, even with only one other pally in the raid. Actually, that’s maybe not even quite once a minute.

All of which causes me to go “BLAH”.

Compare and constrast that to the resto shammy GM who healed four marks on heroic Saurfang and you have an idea as to why I’m leaning towards Skywall.

Anyways. Coming up today: Kurn’s Q&A #21, a new poll, possibly a new video or two (Strat Live key run/Cannonmaster Willy run) and probably more pondering out loud about which guild I should choose if they both want to trial me.

Heroic Lich King.

Ow, ow, ow, ow. Seeing my tanks get hit for for 65k is not fun. Well, okay, it’s moderately amusing because it’s like, HOLY CRAP, 65k! But anyways.

We pulled Lich King on heroic 25m for the first time last night. And will spend another nearly-three hours on it tonight, I would imagine.

The first thing you all should know about LK heroic 25m is this.

That’s right. 103,151,168 health. Remember the days when Ragnaros had the most health of any mob in the game and it was “just” 1,099,230? So heroic LK on 25 has ONE HUNDRED TIMES the health that Rag did.

Just to put that into perspective for you.

Once I recovered from that shock, it was time to learn a new strategy for Phase 1.

On heroic, Shadow Traps will target a player and take a few seconds to spawn. Anyone on the shadow trap when it spawns (and 10y around them) will take about 20k damage and, if they’re still in the vicinity and alive, will then be blown backwards off the ledge, basically, and die. The Shadow Traps do not go away immediately after they spawn, either. (They do vanish if someone trips one.)

So what we did was split the raid into three groups.

Group 1: Melee and tanks. Melee starts the encounter halfway up the steps to prevent getting initial aggro on Arthas. This group stays in the middle third of the platform.

Group 2: Ranged and healers. We split them up half and half, basically. Group 2 stands to the LEFT of the stairs as you face them. They stay on the left third of the platform.

Group 3: Same as group 2, except on the RIGHT of the stairs as you face them.

As each group gets a Shadow Trap, they strafe 10-15 yards out, staying grouped up. By “out”, I mean “north”, towards where you enter the LK’s area. This can occasionally cause range issues if, say, melee has had four shadow traps in a row and Group 2 has had 0, so the healers need to move ahead to stay in range of the melee, but then the ranged have to go WITH them because otherwise, the group gets broken up by shadow traps. That is bad. You want to stay on top of each other during this phase.

Here’s what an early P1 looked like for us (click for a larger version):

So you can see how we’re laying the Shadow Traps down, right? The dead people are either morons who did not move or casualties of Infest. More on that in a bit.

By the time you get into the transition phase, you SHOULD be relatively close to the ledge. If not, haul ass.

We got to a transition phase once and the OT died to an enraged shambling horror that was leftover and that was a wipe.

Things to note:

– Remember Infest? Remember what Infest was like before PW:S was affected by the zone-wide buff? Remember scrambling to heal the LIVING CRAP out of EVERYONE? Yeah. We’re back to that, now. Infest hits HARD.

– Still have Necrotic Plague going on, too. Good times!

– LK was hitting my tanks HARD. I was popping Divine Plea super early and often. It was basically on cooldown 30 seconds into the fight and every minute thereafter.

Here, have a look at the first few beatings:

[00:22:12.321] The Lich King hits MT 51804
[00:22:17.206] The Lich King hits MT 31706 (A: 4408, B: 8212)
[00:22:25.735] The Lich King hits MT 40055 (B: 4790)
[00:22:27.522] The Lich King hits MT 34616 (A: 7437)
[00:22:41.952] The Lich King hits MT 32598 (A: 6992)
[00:22:45.681] The Lich King hits MT 40040
[00:22:47.564] The Lich King hits MT 41317 (A: 4719)

Or perhaps a death log would be more interesting:

[00:32:03.840] Madrana Holy Light   MT +0 (O: 23014)
[00:32:03.840] RL Friend Resto Druid Rejuvenation MT +0 (O: 4173)

Full health.

[00:32:04.022] The Lich King hits MT 68943 (A: 4503, B: 2395)

I think my precise thought here was “HOLY SHIT.”

[00:32:04.212] Resto Shaman Healing Wave MT +*0* (O: 30521)

This is lag, obviously, this landed before the hit.

[00:32:04.212] Good Resto Shaman Riptide MT +1831
[00:32:04.375] Resto Shaman Earthliving MT +1382
[00:32:04.536] Dumbass Priest Flash Heal MT +8241
[00:32:04.536] RL Friend Resto Druid Lifebloom MT +2655
[00:32:04.536] Drudge Ghoul hits MT Absorb (3040)
[00:32:04.884] RL Friend Resto Druid Wild Growth MT +1414
[00:32:04.884] Resto Shaman Riptide MT +1736
[00:32:04.892] Other Holy Pally Beacon of Light MT +27150
[00:32:05.089] Good Resto Shaman Lesser Healing Wave MT +8725
[00:32:05.487] Madrana Holy Light MT +15411 (O: 8078)

Whew. Back to full.

[00:32:05.500] RL Friend Resto Druid Lifebloom MT +0 (O: 2655)
[00:32:05.657] Resto Shaman Ancestral Awakening MT +0 (O: 11530)
[00:32:05.673] Dumbass Priest Flash Heal MT +*0* (O: 11816)
[00:32:05.673] RL Friend Resto Druid Wild Growth MT +0 (O: 1384)
[00:32:05.861] RL Friend Resto Druid Rejuvenation MT +0 (O: 4173)

Still full.

[00:32:05.861] The Lich King hits MT 74738 (A: 982)


[00:32:06.358] Good Resto Shaman Earthliving MT +1463
[00:32:06.504] RL Friend Resto Druid Lifebloom MT +2643
[00:32:06.504] Other Holy Pally Beacon of Light MT +17768
[00:32:06.515] Good Resto Shaman Riptide MT +5040
[00:32:06.718] RL Friend Resto Druid Wild Growth MT +1352
[00:32:06.952] Madrana Holy Light MT +23603
[00:32:07.123] Good Resto Shaman Riptide MT +1831
[00:32:07.269] Other Holy Pally Beacon of Light MT +7395
[00:32:07.452] RL Friend Resto Druid Lifebloom MT +2643
[00:32:07.606] The Lich King hits MT 65671 (O: 1151, A: 6147)
[00:32:08.141] MT dies

Dead. Thanks for playing! Obviously, the other holy paladin should have had a holy light casting on his last cast there as it might have kept him up. That was a very small overkill.

And if you think it’s okay to have Enraged Shambling Horrors hitting your OT for any amount of time? Wrong.

[00:23:49.929] Shambling Horror hits OT 73255  (O: 80523, A: 11540)

I am probably going to be leaving my guild tomorrow and applying to the Skywall and Hyjal guilds I was talking about, so tonight is almost certainly my last raid with this guild.

I find my feelings about that are more than a little mixed, but I know that I’m not going to be happy pushing through to HLK and wiping with these people for the next X number of months. I’d rather take a couple of steps back in progression to ensure that when I DO kill LK, it’ll be with people who are, you know… not assholes.