An interesting idea.

If you’ve never raided with me, but you read my blog, you already know that I’m long-winded as all get out.

If you’ve both raided with me and read my blog, you know that I’m not just long-winded as all get out, but that I am very detail-oriented and I use that to go through the logs and pick apart where a raid went wrong.

My RL friend the resto druid told my former raid leader that she thinks I might actually enjoy going through parses more than playing the game itself. Sometimes, I think she has a point. ;)

I had an EPIC-length post that I sent to my RL friend the resto druid and my former raid leader in regards to the Failadin who apped to that guild a couple of months ago. You know, the one who only cast Sacred Shield when he was MCed by Lady Deathwhisper.

I actually sent that post to the other GOOD holy paladin in the guild and he was like “… you should do this for a living.” He also could not believe how bad the pally app was, but anyways. ;)

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve sent out a couple of these analyses to the raid leaders and the GM of my current guild, in the hopes of pointing out some issues that they may or may not be aware of, but that I know need to be addressed in order to progress in various encounters. Because they’re SO LONG and SO DETAILED, I’m sure their eyes tend to glaze over. ;)

So my GM snagged me on Vent last night and we had a long chat about going over parses and stuff and we may have found a constructive outlet for my ramblings and my attention to detail and stuff.

It also involves a Cliff’s Notes version of the raid analyses. ;)

Also, in talking to her last night, about all kinds of guild ideal stuff, I realized that, if all goes well with the planning of Apotheosis 2.0, I’m really going to miss my current guild. I know that I’m new, that I’ve only been there for three weeks and that the honeymoon period is still going on, but I honestly really like how things are done and the attitudes of people, for the most part. (I think the biggest issue I might have with the guild is that, as a raiding group, the raiders have an occasional tendency to talk themselves out of being able to do something — they can sometimes think they’re going to fail, so they do. I have thoughts about that, too, because it’s the first time I’ve really encountered that sort of thing. Most guilds I’ve been in have either been too cocky or too stupid to realize they “can’t” get something done. ;))

I feel good that Apotheosis will come back and kick ass in Cataclysm. I really do. But if it doesn’t, I think I have a really good alternative open to me. And hey, if it means I don’t have to be GM? SWEET. ;D

Kurn's Q&A 24

Oof, all this Real ID crap, plus a nap, means a later-than-usual Q&A post. I’ve decided to rely solely on my search terms for this stuff going forward, by the way. I decided I didn’t need a way for people to anonymously harass me. If you have a question, let me know via email or twitter. :)

1) how many people recemended on ruby sanctum

… 10 or 25? Haha, no, seriously, here’s the breakdown:

10: 2 tanks, 2-3 healers, 5-6 DPS. I strongly recommend three healers unless you SUPER outgear the content.

25: 3 tanks (one can be DPS or heals for Halion himself, but you need three for Baltharus), 6-7 healers, 15-16 DPS.

2) divine sacrifice macro it cutting my fps

No. Your Divine Sacrifice macro is not cutting your FPS. If anything, the spell effects of Divine Sacrifice are cutting your FPS. Turn down your graphic settings, either Particle Density or some of the other effects.

3) does the beacon accept its own heals

I’m confused. If you mean “will heals that land on the beacon directly copy through Beacon of Light, effectively hitting them twice?”, then no. Only Flash of Light, Holy Light, Holy Shock and Lay on Hands heals to OTHER targets will be copied to your beacon target.

If, on the other hand, you mean “can I beacon myself and benefit from heals I cast on other people?” then the answer is yes.

4) halion shadow resistance

You don’t need Shadow Resistance gear, but an aura or Prayer of Shadow Protection is highly recommended.

5) holy light vs flash of light 3.3

I’ve always done my best to acknowledge that there is another interesting way to play a holy paladin, that being the Flash of Light style. However, I don’t like that style. I don’t think I’ve hidden my dislike of it, but I also try not to be all “you’re a moron” if you do like that style. The reason I don’t like it is because it’s less flexible. You are basically forced to keep casting Flash of Light because you don’t have the mana pool to sustain casting Holy Light more regularly than “every once in a while”.

Whereas Holy Light style paladins CAN cast Flash of Light if the occasion calls for it and CAN cast Holy Light ’till the cows come home if we need to.

That’s why I prefer a Holy Light style and always will.

6) meta achievement requires “neck-deep in vile” 3.3.5 25

YES. It does require it on 25-man. Absolutely confirmed. (Click for a larger version of this screenshot of a GM ticket.)

7) ruby sanctum 3 healers

The reason I strongly recommend three healers is because the shadow aura in the twilight realm just flat-out sucks. Get a raid healer and a tank healer in the twilight realm and any decent healer outside and you should be fine.

8) anyway for you to block a real id person from seeing your potential friends

Afraid not.

9) saviana ragefire “no hunter”

… got a rogue with Anesthetic Poison? Otherwise, you’re going to need awesome heals on the group.

10) toravon frost or physical damage

Both. There is a lot of frost damage in terms of Frostbite stacks on the tanks and Whiteout every so often, but his hits are physical.

Real ID and the Official WoW Forums

Today, it was announced by Blizzard that forum posts to the official World of Warcraft forums would be tagged with your Real ID. It was later clarified that this is not something that will be retroactive, so if this creeps you out, you do not need to go purge the current forum system of all your posts.

When I read this post, my first thought was “Well, there go the forums.”

For those of you who don’t know (which is likely a great many of you), I have worked for quite a few years in the Internet industry. Specifically, I was a content producer for a top-ten website as well as maintaining the most active chatting community on that web property for a period of approximately three out of the four years I worked there, at the height of the boom in the “dot com” industry. (For the record, it took me a year to build up the community and then my community was the most active chat for the next three years until I got laid off with hundreds of other people because they were too stupid to monetize us.)

I haven’t worked too much in that area of the industry recently for a variety of reasons, including the “dot com” crash and a return to university to get my degree. Still, I maintain a variety of different forum and chat-based communities across the web and have successfully grown self-sustaining communities in both mediums from scratch. I love online communities and I love creating them. I daresay I’ve created a nice little community here on my blog as well and I really enjoy the back and forth I have with my commenters.

So as a seasoned professional in the area of online communities, my first thought wasn’t to myself and Blizzard’s privacy creep as it infringes on me. It was “Oh Lord, Blizzard has just completely ruined their own forum community and the forums will now be a desolate wasteland.”

Let us go through my thought process on the matter:

– Blizzard has provided us with access to their many, many forums for many years. They existed when I started playing over four years ago, but I’m unsure if they were available at launch or not. Regardless, a minimum of 4+ years is a long time to have a community tool such as the forums easily accessible to every customer. Changing how the forums work after so long is bound to anger some customers, regardless of what the change is.

– People get acclimated to the forums, particularly when they become a very official method of communicating with Blizzard (Blue), once Ghostwalker (Greg Street) starts posting in his official capacity on a regular basis and solicits your feedback and opinions with regards to class development and design. People also flock to the forums for a variety of other reasons: looking for a guild, recruiting for a guild, advertising guild progression, advertising crafting services on your realm forum, looking for technical support, looking for customer support, even posting to ask on which characters you’ve done the 00x quests. The forums become a valuable method of communication as soon as both sides start using the forums as a tool to communicate what they feel is important information, regardless of what that information is. As soon as people feel it’s important, the medium in which that information is available becomes valuable.

– As with all online communities, trolls and other unwelcome entities have had their fun. In fact, a lot of people disregard the official forums as completely useless, disgusting, troll-filled message boards rather than the potentially useful tool that they are. How about the Guild Relations forum? The Customer and Technical Support forums? The Guild Recruitment forum? Your realm forum? Sure, there are trolls and otherwise unhelpful individuals in each of those places, but, by and large, the good information in each of those forums is enough to outweigh the undesirables.

“So,” I concluded, “Blizzard wants to get rid of the trolls.” I feel that this upcoming system will certainly help to combat the troll problem. Without low-level alts to hide behind, without the veil of anonymity, people are bound to be less moronic. In fact, I believe that it will stop around 75% of trollish behaviour on the forums since people will be accountable for their actions as they will no longer be able to jump from alt to alt to alt as a persona. (Note that I have no data on how much crap Blizzard actually locks and deletes versus how much gets posted, etc. This is a ballpark figure based on my previous experience in online communities and the more than four years I’ve spent in the World of Warcraft community.)

So the next question I asked myself was “What will forcing people to post using their ‘real ID’ actually do?” Well, first of all, I strongly believe that a portion of the people upset over this would be upset over any change, as I mentioned before. Already, there’s a portion of the community that won’t take this “slap in the face” lying down.

Then you have the people who have reason (regardless of what the reason is) to be reluctant to share their real name with eleven million other players and anyone who happens to surf along. (“Anyone” being someone who ran some kind of search on you, like a prospective employer, a potential significant other, your cousin in Nebraska, the kid you used to babysit, anyone.) Given the uproar on this already, I would have to wager that approximately 20-25% of Blizzard’s overall customer base is actively unhappy with this upcoming change. Again, this is a ballpark figure, based on my never having seen such a strong, negative reaction to anything Blizzard has done before. The original thread, posted by Nethaera at about noon, eastern time, has grown to 607 pages of 20 responses on each page in ten hours.

Conservatively estimating things, that’s about 900 responses from unique individuals an hour, the vast majority of them disagreeing with this upcoming change. And that’s just on the North American forums. I’ve never seen such an outcry in my four-plus years in this game. No nerf has ever generated this much response.

Therefore, my conclusion is that if the change goes forward, about 25% or so of people (conservatively estimating) who did use the official forums in some capacity, including trolling, will stop doing so. There’s even an MVP poster, Snowfox, who will no longer post if this goes through.

25% less traffic means 25% less posts to make sure aren’t obscene, profane or threatening. 25% less traffic means less bandwidth/server costs. 25% less traffic means less manpower hours to supervise the posts. 25% less traffic turns into money saved for Blizzard.

Forums and other community-based tools are notoriously hard to monetize. Go on, click on the link above to the WoW forum thread about this to see how Blizzard is currently trying to monetize their forums. I’m currently looking at two banner ads. One is for swagdog, offering your guild tabard on a t-shirt. The other is for Warcraft figures.

Because the forums are so heavily trafficked, I imagine that Blizzard does make a bit of money from the display of advertisements on each forum page, just by virtue of the law of averages. But it’s my professional opinion and experience that lead me to believe that this kind of advertising is NOT enough to sustain the infrastructure and manpower the forums require and so the cost of the forums is likely subsidized by other avenues of income, including our monthly fee.

Because I do not believe the forums to be entirely self-sustaining, I believe that Blizzard is attempting to do two things here that are designed to cut costs:

a) Lower traffic on the forums to lower infrastructure-related costs

b) Lower the amount of trolling on the official forums by making people accountable for their posts by virtue of using a single identifying tag (the real ID) which lowers the amount of human supervision the forums need.

I further believe that they are doing this under the guise of hopping on the social networking bandwagon. They may be thinking that since Facebook is mostly real-life names and identities and it’s so popular, why not tap into that willingness to share and connect? Targeted advertising could be next, based on the assumed gender your real ID indicates. Advertising that can be directed to specific segments of the population can bring in a lot of money versus ads that are directed at a general population. The bottom line is, Activision Blizzard is a business and they want money. They are clearly looking at new avenues to procure money or, at the very least, save it.

So to recap, it is my professional opinion that the change forcing us to use Real ID when posting on the official forums will cut official forum use substantially, meaning less money spent on the forum infrastructure and supervision, with the bonus that trolling will drop even more than legitimate traffic.

Now for my personal opinion.

Blizzard, you’ve lost your mind. Personally, as someone who doesn’t use the Real ID in-game friend system except for three people (one of whom I’m related to, one of whom I’ve known IRL for 27 years and one of whom I’ve spent hours with IRL and many years playing with), this is ridiculous.

From the Real ID FAQ:

“Who should I add to my Real ID friends list?
Real ID is a system designed to be used with people you know and trust in real life — friends, co-workers and family”

Versus the announcement today:

“The first and most significant change is that in the near future, anyone posting or replying to a post on official Blizzard forums will be doing so using their Real ID — that is, their real-life first and last name”

So, hold up. You want me to share my real name with people who already know it, who are people I know in real life… okay. That’s my choice, I got it.

But then you want me to use the same information on a public forum which is accessible to anyone on the Internet?

Uh, no.

I’ve used the official forums a moderate amount over the years. I used to post guild progression updates, I’d post in people’s “looking for a new guild” posts with information about my guild, I’d post recruitment threads, I’d post on the forums to say hey, I’m a Leatherworker and can make this stuff…

No one needs to know that [my real name] is a holy paladin looking for a new guild.

No one needs to know that [my real name] is a Leatherworker on some realm with a couple of interesting patterns.

Further, I am, in case you didn’t know, a woman. I have had enough bad experiences in online communities over the years just because I am female that when I first made a toon in WoW, I made my hunter male. While the numbers between men and women in WoW are getting more balanced, this is still an environment that is inherently extremely hostile to women. Just about every insult used frequently in-game by others is hostile to women because it equates women with being weak and apparently some of the ultimate insults in the game have to do with men being equated to women or just being less of a “man”.

Seriously, think about that for a minute. I apologize if this is a trigger for anyone, but think about this: why do people use “rape” as casually as they do in this game? “Aw yeah, I’m gonna rape that guy!” It’s because, to them, “rape” is synonymous with exerting power and control over another person. It is encouraged in this game to exert power and control over others and I don’t have a problem with that. What I do have a problem with is that people use the term “rape” so casually, to indicate they are powerful beings in this world, when the fact of the matter is that one in six women (and one in thirty-three men) will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. I have been fortunate enough to not be that one-in-six, but I certainly know my fair share of people who haven’t been that lucky.

Due to the fact that is is disturbingly common for women to be assaulted in such a way, how can using the word “rape” in-game not be hostile to women? Even if the intent is clear that someone doesn’t want to actually sexually assault another person’s character, it trivializes what is a horrifying event for anyone who is subject to it. It also emasculates the intended target, since most victims of rape and sexual assault are women.

On a related note, how can calling someone “gay” or a “fag” not be hostile to members of the GLBT community? For that matter, how is that not hostile to women as well? If someone is calling someone else “gay” as a derogatory insult, it can only be because they are not as “manly” or “strong” as a heterosexual man is perceived. And, in our binary society, if you are not a man, you must then be… a woman! So to call someone “gay” or a “fag” is not only equating homosexuality with weakness, but the implication is also that weakness is equated to being a woman.

So given the prevailing attitudes in this overall World of Warcraft community, is it any wonder that many women don’t want to be known as women to the general public? Don’t want to give people even the slightest opening into being able to look them up and stalk them?

I have an EXTREMELY common name. It’s so common that I was stopped in Germany a few years ago because suspected terrorists are using passports and other identification papers using that same name and they wanted to make sure that I was really me and not actually a suspected terrorist. And I STILL don’t want people in-game to know my real name, in general. I certainly can’t blame anyone, regardless of the popularity of their names, for not wanting to give out that information.

Giving out my real name should always be my choice. There’s a reason I post as Kurn and not my real name. Kurn is my public WoW identity. Kurn is not now, nor has ever been, linked to my real name in any capacity except where I have chosen to share my name. Kurn is SO FAR AWAY from my professional online presence that I’m sure no one even suspects that I play WoW. (Well, I hope, anyways.)

And I LIKE it that way.

That’s why, if this change goes through, I will no longer be posting on the official World of Warcraft forums. There are too many people out there who are REALLY good at e-stalking to even risk it. Doubt me? Poor Bashiok, a blue poster, made the mistake of posting his real name on the official forums and now a ton of people have looked him up, determined he’s 28 and lives at home with his mother and older brother, possibly a sister as well, and found his Facebook (now 100% closed if you’re not friends with him) and found a contact number for him. Even if that’s not Bashiok, what about the poor guy who shares his name? Do you really think there aren’t people who are going to call that number at 4am just to be dicks? If you don’t believe that’s a distinct possibility, then please, tell me what game environment have YOU been playing in? Check out Trade, sometime.

Then, there’s the whole “gainful employment” thing. On some versions of my curriculum vitae that I send out, I mention the whole officer/GM thing. On some, I don’t. I fully expect some potential employers to think it’s a good thing and some to think I’m a nutcase if they come across that information. I’m careful about which prospective employers I share that information with.

And now, some links:

Miss Medicina has a cautionary tale for you all, as well.

Ciderhelm at TankSpot is against this, too.

So is Lume.


Larisa’s thoughts at Pink Pigtail Inn: 1 and 2

Nattie’s comment at MetaFilter is long and detailed and TOTALLY worth every moment of the read. (Thanks for the link, Mattias.)

Lissanna of Restokin is also against this and will not post her extremely popular and useful druid guides to the new forums. (Thanks for posting, Lissanna!)

The last thing I’ll say in this post is: please think about how this affects other people before you pronounce this to be “okay” or “fine”. Please think about the various uses people have for the official forums, including technical and customer support before you call people with valid concerns “paranoid”.

And finally, please note that I’ll be monitoring my comments on this post carefully. If you disagree with me, I don’t have a problem with that. But disagree with me respectfully, intelligently and back up your arguments with proof. Troll comments will be deleted.


A few things on the agenda today:

1) Write a post about the RealID/forum fiasco, including my professional opinion as someone who built communities for a living and still dabbles in it.

2) A new Q&A post.

3) A new poll.

But first, guild news!

I was promoted to a Raider last night in my new guild. I kind of figured I’d get promoted once my trial period was over, but it’s still nice to have the trial done with. :)

I’m going over the parses from last night’s heroic Sindragosa attempts and I can’t, for the life of me, figure out why this one tank was basically allowed to die. Probably my weakness (apart from my crappy video card) in this game is that I overanalyze things. It worked out nicely when I was a GM or healing lead, but I’m not altogether sure how my analyses of raids goes over with my current guild leadership. I’ve sent a couple out in my trial period, so at least they didn’t gkick me for being overly long-winded and detailed, but at the same time, I wonder if I should even open my mouth about things.

I think my problem is that I KNOW how to read the logs. And I read them frequently and I see things in there that maybe the RLs aren’t aware of. I should trust that they do, but all my instincts are screaming at me to let them know what I’ve found, so I think I WILL send a writeup to them about some attempts from last night. I’ll make sure it’s framed in a “I dug all this info up, please do with it what you will” way and hope they don’t regret promoting me to Raider. ;)

How do you deal with pointing things out to raid leaders and such?

Kurn's Guide to Ruby Sanctum

Welcome to my guide to Ruby Sanctum, the raid instance released in Patch 3.3.5 of World of Warcraft.

This guide will cover the basic abilities that Halion and the minibosses within the instance will use on the normal versions of the encounter. It will also give you some ideas on how to deal with these abilities during these fights. It will also talk a bit about trash and how to get through it relatively unscathed.

Continue reading “Kurn's Guide to Ruby Sanctum”

Thoughts While Running Through Kalimdor

I’m determined to at least get through the fires on my hunter, if not my other toons. I am POOR on this server, funding my own alts, plus my brother’s and Majik’s.

So I’m running through Kalimdor. I play on a laptop (always have, actually) and not since the days of pre-60, before I discovered such things as frame rates and lag and such, have I played with full graphic details and such. Sure, on the rare occasion at my parents’ or at an internet cafe, such things have been possible, but it’s been a long, long, long time.

So while running down through Feralas, I turned up my draw distance, turned on the full-screen glow effect and such.

The difference between that and my regular all-low settings is astounding and reminds me of why I fell in love with the visuals in this game.

Running through the old world brings back so many memories! And I never know if THAT was the last time I’d be in Feathermoon or if THAT was the last time I’d visit Cenarion Hold.

I hate change in general. I really do. Bring back Aimed Shot with its 3s cast time and make it so it doesn’t break Shadowmeld until the shot is cast! Bring back 100% mana regen Illumination!

Overall, I can deal with the mechanical changes to the game. It took me several patches to understand that everything is always in flux, but I get that and I’m okay with that.

Changing the game world, though, that’s something else entirely.

On the one hand, I’m excited because Cataclysm will bring us back to the old world, where I arguably had the best times of my WoW career (barring BC raids). On the other hand, they’re screwing with my zones. There’s going to be a flight point in Dolanaar. That breaks my brain a bit.

The Barrens will be split into two.

Desolace will no longer be desolate.

Things will be flooded.

I know I’ll adjust to it, as time goes by. But a big part of me just wants to hold on to old-school Azeroth and never let it go.

Amusing screenshots.

After parsing my Ruby Sanctum 10 run the other night, I about fell over laughing at the rankings. The hunter is my brother. I’m the resto shaman who starts with a K. Our buddy Maj is the frost DK.

Hilariously amusing to be one of the first parses up. My brother was ranked world 10th in DPS on Baltharus and Zarithrian!

Today, the continuation, where we actually go out and kill Halion. With a little luck. :)

"It works for me!"

Codi was talking about how she’s basically been accused of being an elitist in terms of stuff she says on her blog and how, because she’s so advanced, people have used that as a caveat when it comes to taking her advice.

This got me thinking about my own paladinesque standards.

What do I know?

Well, I know what works for me, and what HAS worked for me, in all tiers of content in this expansion, through regular modes and hard modes.

Like Codi, I’ve got a fair bit of gear and a fair bit of progression under my belt.

I’m pretty sure that most of my sort of requirements for a holy paladin are good ones. They’re requirements that would show someone’s done reading and research about the class, that show that people understand the basic tenet of “more mana is always better than more spellpower” and such.

Given the ICC buff, though, a lot of people are getting by with terrible specs and horribly-chosen gear.

But if it works for them and their raid group, does anyone really have the “right” to say that they’re being an idiot?

On Tuesday night, I ran a pug Ruby Sanctum 10 with Maj and my brother. There was a failish paladin in the group.

Here is her armory. Click on it and it’ll open in a new window, then come back here and we’ll go through why I think she’s pretty fail.

1) Helm: Right helm. Wrong meta. Wrong gem. IMHO: Insightful and Nightmare Tear. I won’t even talk about the arcanum, since that’s too nitpicky at this point.

2) Neck: Great necklace. Good gem.

3) Shoulders: Right shoulders. Wrong gem.

4) Cloak: Why any holy paladin wastes Emblems of Frost on this piece of crap, I don’t know. Good gem and enchant, at least.

5) Chest: Well, there are better options. But the tier chest isn’t terrible. Again with the hybrid gems, though. WTB 20 ints!

6) Bracers: Great bracers. Would prefer 16 int enchant and a 20 int gem.

7) Gloves: Great gloves. Need 2×20 int gems, though. Fine enchant.

8) Belt: Wrong belt. Should have the Belt of the Lonely Noble or the Lich Killer’s Lanyard, both of which are identical to each other, and both have haste. Also tries to hit the socket bonus here with a Dazzling Eye of Zul. Socket bonuses are evil and are there to confuse you!

9) Pants: Great pants, good enchant, needs more int gems.

10) Boots: No haste on boots. … and a 20 AP/10 crit gem. w. t. f.

11) Ring 1: A caster ring, with hit and no haste… and a Dazzling Forest Emerald. REALLY?

12) Ring 2: Exalted ICC ring, nicely gemmed.

13) Trinket 1: Love that Talisman.

14) Trinket 2: Why, dear God, why the Purified Lunar Dust?

15) Weapon: Lockjaw is a solid weapon in ICC 10. Not enchanted with anything, though…

16) Shield: Great, perfect.

17) Libram: Dear sweet fancy Moses, why a gladiator libram?

18) Talents:

a) 60 in Holy: 2/2 Blessed Hands, 3/3 Imp Concentration Aura, 3/3 Sacred Cleansing. Eesh.

b) 11 in Prot: All solid pickups, including Divine Sacrifice, but no Divine Guardian makes me want to cry.

19) Glyphs: Seal of Light and Holy Shock instead of Seal of Wisdom and Beacon of Light. OH THE HUMANITY.

But how was her performance? The paladin outhealed me on bosses; 3 attempts at Ragefire, 9 on Baltharus, 1 on Zarithrian and 2 on Halion. Granted, my shaman is terribly geared, still sitting in T9. I think anyone with any amount of gear could outheal me at this point.

She had good overall uptime on Beacon of Light (89.7%) and Sacred Shield (81.3%), but dropped to 69.1% uptime on Judgements of the Pure.

Here’s what boggles me, though — she used Divine Plea 15 times and only offset it with the Talisman once and Avenging Wrath once. She didn’t use Divine Illumination AT ALL.

To me, all the things I’ve pointed out as being wrong, the gems, enchants, uptimes, offsets for DP… these are basics. BASICS. These are things that make my head want to explode. Never, not in a million years, would I want this paladin to raid alongside me in ICC. Ever.

And yet, despite the issues I can clearly see in the logs and on her armory, she did an overall good job. I mean, we beat the trash, we beat the minibosses and today, at least 8 of us are going back into RS10 to down Halion. She’s not necessarily one of them, unfortunately, because she hasn’t responded to my calendar invite or in-game mail, but Thursday was successful, in my opinion.

So my question is… do I have a right to question what works for some people? I’m sitting here saying “do X, Y and Z” because those are the “best practices”. Those are the things that I’ve learned work best, mathematically, practically, etc.

But so what if someone isn’t living up to their potential? Should it really make a difference in a pug? Should I care that the pally is specced abysmally? Should I care that she’s having to waste globals to refresh SS and BoL? Not if she’s keeping people up. And that’s what she did, by and large.

Let’s see what happens to her stats if I go fixing her gems, glyphs, stats, etc.

Pre-Kurn edits:

33.15% crit

2980 +healing

203 mp5 while casting

1886 intellect

32404 mana

Post-Kurn edits:

33.73% crit

2873 +healing

174 mp5 while casting

2041 intellect

34729 mana

So she gains half a percent of crit, loses 107 +healing, gains 155 intellect (2325 mana) and loses 29 mp5 while casting. She also gains a proc from her meta that is awesome, the chance to proc 4% of her maximum mana back whenever she judges, a raid-saving CD in Divine Guardian, a longer and stronger Sacred Shield and a longer Beacon of Light.

To me, it’s obvious that my tweaks make her toon that much more efficient, that much stronger.

But it is absolutely necessary for success in her current content, which is ICC 10? She has one, count ’em, one regular 10-man Putricide kill.

Without knowing more about her and her raid group, all I can say is that whatever she’s doing is, more or less, working for her. She’s pushing through content with her guild (2 Fester/Rot kills to date, 1 PP kill, so that’s progression) and she wasn’t the cause of wipes on my pug.

A lot of what I say here comes from my own experience. You know, doing Saurfang 25 normal back pre-ICC buff wasn’t easy. It wasn’t particularly HARD for us, because we were decked out in 245/258 gear and picking up 251/264 upgrades, but it wasn’t easy to heal. Nowadays, there’s a LOT more room for error with a 25% buff. And by “a lot” I mean A LOT. People don’t need to be properly min/maxed for the content anymore, because the buff means that you can get away with damn near anything on regular.

But when I was doing it without the buff, I NEEDED these optimizations to my gear and playstyle. I constantly need that stuff on what my guild currently considers progression. I can’t imagine going a night without my meta gem. On Thursday night, through Baltharus, Ragefire, Zarithrian, Halion, Council, BQL and Dreamwalker, I gained 53400 mana back just from my meta gem. I gained 258k mana back from Seal of Wisdom. This stuff is still absolutely necessary — for me.

But is it so very necessary for other players? Or are all these things just tips to min/max when min/maxing might not even be needed for a player these days?

Don’t get me wrong, I will still bellow from the highest mountaintop that a good holy pally should do X, Y and Z and will continue to try to instill good practices on the malleable minds of not-optimized paladins.

But how necessary is it?

Happy Canada Day / Cataclysm Stuff / Ruby Sanctum

Happy Canada Day, folks! I’m headed to Ottawa for the day to see the Queen. No, not CĂ©line Dion or Sarah McLachlan, as some of my new guildies guessed. The actual Queen Elizabeth II.

I’m pretty excited, actually. She’s in Ottawa for Canada Day, which is very cool. I’ve been in Washington DC on July 4th at least twice and now I finally get to be in my own nation’s capital on the day celebrating our independence as a nation. True, I’m missing the fireworks, but THE QUEEN, people!

Ahem. Yes, I’m a monarchist. Well, it’s better than being a separatist, right? Right. The point of that was to say that I’m out of town for the day, but normal operations here at Kurn’s Corner will resume later tonight or tomorrow. :)

Also, there’s a lot of Cataclysm Beta stuff being talked about because invites are going out and the NDA has been lifted. I am not currently in the beta (but you can believe I’m going to be double-checking every freaking day). I would LOVE to hear from you guys regarding paladin changes in Cataclysm if you ARE in the Beta. I’d love to hear about talents, glyphs, new spells and the like. I mean, you’re going to get my perspective about Cataclysm anyways, so you may as well make sure that I’m actually up to date about such things. ;)

Please don’t hesitate to email me with your bits of Cataclysm news at:

kurn [at] apotheosis-now [dot] com

Finally, the guild is heading in to Ruby Sanctum tonight. We got Heroic Lady Deathwhisper as a guild first last night and repeated a Saurfang heroic kill, which is never easy when you only have the one holy paladin in the raid. I’ve discovered that at 4m30s or so, I’m spending more time looking at my dwindling mana bar and Divine Plea cooldown and the boss’ health than I am on if my beacon is still up.

Anyways, 9/12, just in time for the GM’s birthday today and into Ruby Sanctum tonight for something new and exciting! I’ll have a post up about RS strats, mostly cobbled together from my mini-boss experience on Tuesday on the shaman, combined with what I learn tonight about Halion.

Have a fantastic Canada Day, people. I’ll see you later. :)