My Chimaeron Job, Spec & Glyphs

I mentioned the other day that I have myself on group healing for Chimaeron. A commenter, ambient, asked this:

You haven’t group healed on your paladin in ages…is there a reason you put the druid and priest on tank duties and gave both the paladins group assignments?

I put the resto druid and one of my disc priests on the two tanks because we’d tried resto druids on groups on our first night on Chimaeron and it didn’t work out amazingly. I like to have one disc on a tank on any given fight because she prefers tank healing while the other prefers raid healing.

So why give the paladins group assignments?

Walks, the other holy paladin in Apotheosis, loves group healing. I stick him on the raid and tell him to beacon a tank and while he’ll need some help to keep the tank up, he’s excellent at using Light of Dawn and Holy Radiance to their maximum effects to keep up raid healing. He’s also just a great healer in general and a very strong player. So I gave him the melee group (group 2). While he wasn’t going to use Light of Dawn on them, he was comfortable with healing a group.

I, on the other hand, was not, but, by golly, if Walks could do it, so could I! Or so I reasoned.

I went in to our second night of Chimaeron attempts (where we killed him) with a really sub-par spec for the encounter. I have two specs. My “primary” is one I don’t use often, actually, and is the one I use to switch up things. My “secondary” is a very safe tank healing spec where I don’t presume that all my Holy Power will go to Light of Dawn and where I have Eternal Glory and all that jazz.

My spec last week that I used for Chimaeron didn’t have Eternal Glory. Which is pretty fail. We won anyways, but I knew I could do better.

So this week, this was my spec: 31/5/5

A Tower of Radiance-less, Aura Mastery-less spec with Blessed Life, of all things, that still had Last Word, Eternal Glory and a bit of extra judgement range, since I knew I’d be standing with a ranged group. My glyphs were Holy Shock, Seal of Insight and Word of Glory, plus Divinity, Divine Protection and Salvation. I made a macro to bind my Divine Protection use to Holy Radiance, which I used on every Feud, so that I wouldn’t be a complete idiot and FORGET to use Divine Protection, as I am prone to doing. It happens when you see EVERYONE IN THE RAID at one health, you know?

With Word of Glory, Holy Shock, Infusion of Light procs for faster Holy Lights/Divine Lights and Daybreak procs, it’s really not too hard for a paladin to group heal. Your attention CANNOT waver, though. No blindly clicking your heal button on a single target while you look around the screen at various timers or indicators, nothing like that — at least, not for me. As soon as my attention would slip, people would die. (I did apologize to my party beforehand.)

So I was a lot more prepared last night, thanks to my screwy spec. I kept Light of Dawn over Aura Mastery because my plan was to have some Holy Power saved up to blast a Light of Dawn now and again on Feuds, but hey, that didn’t work out. At least I remembered my Holy Radiance!

Anyways, I did want to share that. And I do want to talk more about the state of paladin healing, but I’m not ready to tackle it yet. Part of that post will expand on the answer I’m about to give for the second of ambient’s questions:

Why is it that you hate PotI? Did you mean to say that you love it? Cos I can’t see what the downside of it is.

I hate passive healing. I loathe it. Can’t stand it. I think every single heal that I cast should be something I meant to cast. I resent that Protector of the Innocent automatically heals me and I hate that it transfers through the beacon. I am a huge fan of pre-emptive healing and reactionary healing, but passive healing? Not something I dig. I feel strongly that my heals should be measured, careful, decisions, not “oh here, here’s a free heal for you AND your beacon target!!!”.

And I’ll get into that some more when I eventually tackle a post about some different ways of paladin healing in Cataclysm. :)

Atramedes Dead – What a Relief!

Last night, on our Infamous Last Attempt, which is a tradition that has persisted for us since the old Fated Heroes days, if I’m not mistaken, we got Atramedes down on 25.

What a relief. I cannot express to you all how absolutely relieved and gratified I felt and how proud I felt of my raid group. I slept like a freaking baby after this kill, for the first time in a couple of weeks, it feels like.

It’s funny, because I looked at the logs and there were only 26 wipes on this guy over the course of three nights. 26 wipes? That’s nothing. My first XT kill in Ulduar was the result of 8 hours of wiping, my first Mimiron kill was easily 80+ wipes. Heroic Sindragosa only died three times for me and I wiped on her probably in excess of 200 times total, with two separate guilds.

So 26 wipes? Why do I feel SO relieved? SO gratified? SO proud?

Because this is my crew and we didn’t give up. We went in expecting to flatten Atramedes, pretty much. At least I did. I didn’t think he would give us as much trouble as he did. I soon grew to loathe the encounter, not understanding what the hell was going on and sifting through the logs, which is something I normally love to do, was painfully slow.

So thanks to everyone’s comments on my last post, I refined our strat. Those videos linked by Neara and Palaria were very helpful, and everyone’s information really helped solidify and confirm a lot of what I was understanding.

Ultimately, I have to credit Beruthiel (again!) for her sharing that they use 1 gong during Ground (Searing Flames), 1 gong at the start of the air phase to reset everyone’s sound and 1 gong during air phase to re-target.

That was basically the key. It prevented us from losing people (most of the time) once they were targetted during the early parts of the air phase, because everyone had 0 sound at the start. Beautiful.

We ran out of gongs once and took that as “hitting enrage”, which was great. Just needed for more people to stay alive and kick some ass. And, despite the early use of our last gong (meaning the whole raid at Searing Flames at the end, but some of us LIVED!!!), we actually managed to finish him off.

Being part of a team is a very different feeling from leading the team. 26 wipes? I wouldn’t have batted an eyelash at that back in Ulduar, back in ICC heroics. But it’s a very different feeling when you see the group you’ve assembled battle back against the mechanics and improve in the fights and come out victorious.

I’m so pleased. :)

And thank you, all of you who commented to share your Atramedes strats and tips. You definitely count as part of the team for this one. :)

Here’s my addition to the communal knowledge on this fight:

– To see how many discs people are eating, go to your World of Logs dashboard for the attempt (or all the attempts) and scroll all the way down to the Spells List. Find “Sonar Pulse”. There should be two listed, one with a brown S and spell ID “92417” and one with a purple S. Click on the brown S with the 92417 spell ID. Damage done is useless. Click on the Power Gain tab. There you have all the people who got hit with discs, thereby gaining 5 sound on each hit.

– You can see how much sound people gained individually throughout the encounter by going to their specific character and going to “Buffs Gained”.  You can then click through to the abilities, and see people’s overall damage take and, through Power Gain, see how much sound people generally took from these abilities.

Hope my two cents is useful to people out there struggling with this fight!

(PS: Still recruiting a resto shaman, a resto druid and a moonkin!)

Atramedes – Your Take

Okay, so my guild has spent a few hours playing with Atramedes over the course of two nights.

It’s pretty clear to me that a LOT of the mechanics don’t work the way they’re described on various strat sites. For example, you take more damage from Modulation based on your sound at the time, I believe.

I’d love to hear what you’ve discovered about Atramedes through your own attempts. I’d also love to hear how people deal with the air phase and gong usage in particular.


1) What mechanics work differently than you thought they would, based on pre-raid reading or watching of videos? How are they different?

2) How do you deal with the air phase?

3) Have gongs ever respawned and been usable to you during the fight? (I’m getting conflicting reports of this.)

4) Do you find overall raid damage difficult to deal with or is it due to avoidable damage not being avoided?

Looking forward to your comments!

Also, I find it really sad that I was SO looking forward to this fight and now I’ve grown to genuinely not enjoy it in the least. :(

Updates, Kills, Nerfs and Stress!

What I like about blogging is that your blog is always there when you want to write. I’ve actually wanted to write a lot in the last week, but I rarely have the time these days. Being a GM means a LOT of your free time (and some of your non-free time!) goes to guild stuff.

It’s not even in-game stuff, it’s out of game stuff. Planning. Reading parses. Dropping notes to people. Figuring out promotions. Oh, and then what to do about Cauldrons? And how can we incent the raiders to give us Lavascale Catfish?!

I have a break in my day today that allows me to post here because a lot of the stuff that’s been consuming me over the last week has been dealt with. Our first batch of promotions went out this morning to those with whom we’re happy concerning performance and if they’ve been to all 9 of our raids thus far. Welcome to Raider rank, kids. :)

Aside from that, I’m pretty pleased with our raids thus far. Every week, we’ve killed everything we killed the week before AND a new one.

Week 1: Argaloth, Magmaw, Omnotron, Halfus, V&T
Week 2: The above plus Maloriak
Week 3: The above plus Chimaeron

And we also got Atramedes to 28% on Sunday. But I’m getting ahead of myself.


We did it with the following group of healers:

2 holy paladins, 2 disc priests, 1 holy priest, 1 resto shaman and 1 resto druid

The individual assignments:
Group 1 – minus the two tanks: resto shaman
Group 2 – melee: holy paladin (not me)
Group 3 – casters on left side of the room: holy paladin (me)
Group 4 – most of the healers: holy priest
Group 5 – mostly ranged on the right side of the room: disc priest
MT – resto druid
OT (double-attack tank) – disc priest

First of all, let me just state for the record that prior to Chimaeron, the last time I healed a GROUP in a 25-man raid was almost certainly on Naj’entus in Black Temple. You know. Back in 2008.

Second of all, huge props to one of our discs for digging up this little nugget of awesomeness from the PlusHeal Chimaeron 10m thread:

Way we did this was to add Low Health debuff to Center Icon on Grid and the other debuff (Caustic Slime) to Border indicator (set the aura to a yellow colour).

That made things SO much easier, at least for me.

So the groups were more or less taken care of. The tanks were more or less taken care of.

How to deal with Feud and the multiple Caustic Slimes the entire raid had to absorb?

Well, I looked at our lineup and I coordinated everyone’s cooldowns/abilities. Like, every single one. I assumed the following:

– Feuds would happen an average of 1m apart with the occasional one 30s after the last and the occasional one 90s after the last
– We would have no more than 5 Feuds

This was sparked by Beruthiel and Vixsin‘s comments on this post of mine (so many awesome suggestions there!!! Thank you, everyone!):

Vixsin: Surviving Feud is all about coordinating raid CDs and having all your non-healers use their group healing spells. Ret and Prot pallies should be hitting HR. Elemental and Enhance Shaman should be dropping Healing Rain. Feral druids should use Tranq. Personal CDs also make a huge difference, along with a raid leader who screams “click the lightwell!!”

Beru: during feuds have them work out a Tranq/ToL cycle. They should not utilize both CDs for the same feud. For example: Feud 1: Druid 1 Tranq, Druid 2 ToL, Beru ToL; Feud 2: Beru Tranq, Druid 1 ToL, Druid 2 heal; Feud 3: Druid 3 Tranq – the other two ToL when it’s up and if it’s needed.

I also seriously considered making two healers be a “Slime Team”, as per Vixsin’s suggestion:

For quick and easy topping, handle “Low Health” like you did Penetrating Cold–assign healers to specific groups. (Priests on ranged, R-Sham on melee).

It was definitely still in my mind as a possibility if what I came up with just flat-out didn’t work. But… it did. And here’s how we did it.

First off:

1) ALL Paladins should hit Holy Radiance when we’re clumped up.
2) ALL Shaman should get Healing Rain down on the clump spot ASAP.
3) ALL Resto Druids should get an Efflorescence up on the clump spot ASAP.
4) ALL Holy Priests should get a Sanctuary on the clump spot ASAP.

Then we did this:

Feud 1:

– 1x Power Word: Barrier
– 1x Lightwell
– 1x ToL and LB/WG spam, using Regrowth w/ OOC procs and keeping Swiftmend on CD for Efflorescence
– 1x Mana Tide Totem (and again on cooldown anytime we’re clumped up)

Feud 2:

– 1x Divine Guardian
– 1x Barkskin/Tranquility (resto druid)

Feud 3:

– 1x Power Word: Barrier (other disc)
– 1x Divine Hymn (shadow priest with PI and Lifeblood for maximum ticks)

Feud 4:

– 1x Divine Guardian (other pally tank)
– 1x Barkskin/Tranquility (feral DPS druid)
– 1x Lightwell (should be back up)

Feud 5:

– 1x Power Word: Barrier (first disc)
– 1x ToL and LB/WG spam, using Regrowth w/ OOC procs and keeping Swiftmend on CD for Efflorescence (same resto)
– All kinds of personal cooldowns, including Healthstones

I know what you’re all thinking. “Wow, Kurn, that’s some serious overkill and overplanning!”

On our kill, we had 13.3% overhealing. So not a lot of overkill. And while it was a lot of planning, I think it was just the right amount of planning. So far as I can tell, everyone did what they were supposed to do when they were supposed to do it on all 8 of our attempts. We never had more than 5 feuds.

What is something that really surprised me is this:

182823 raid DPS
85376 raid HPS (effective, not raw)
98423 raid HPS (raw)

The average DPS and HPS on a kill, according to World of Logs:
228673 DPS
88908 HPS

I’m pretty sure the average HPS is raw, because otherwise I don’t know how we won, basically. I’m chalking it up to our outstanding healing, which allowed us to overcome the issue of having substantially lower DPS than the average.

That’s the sort of thing that makes a healing lead proud of her team. :)

For reference, here’s what my Grid looked like throughout the vast majority of the fight.

Chimaeron is not for the faint of heart! You can clearly see that five people have the Low Health debuff and that they also have Caustic Slime on them (yellow border). My groups go from 1 on top to 5 at the bottom so there I am in the second position in Group 3 benefitting from Protector of the Innocent. Lord, I hate that talent. Having said that, it was usuallyNOT enough to keep me alive. I had to watch my health carefully, lest I die. And for that fight, I was definitely specced 3/3 PotI. (I’m normally 2/3.)

And speaking of talents. And being a paladin. And such.

There are nerfs a-plenty in the new PTR patch, including a likely live hotfix to our passive Walk in the Light, which now supposedly only adds 10% to our healing spells instead of 15%. I am so tied up in my paladin that I don’t think I have any choice but to continue as my paladin, even if I’m unhappy about a variety of changes. I’m hoping 4.1 will show us more love than 4.0.6 is, thus far.

With regards to stress, I find myself remembering why being the GM sucks. It’s not just the work, although there is that. It’s not just the constant stream of whispers and PMs, although sometimes that does get tiresome. It’s the loneliness. I’m surrounded by great officers and we do a lot of things by vote/committee/etc. I’m not a dictator, I’m not a monarch. I’m the representative of the officers that takes what’s said behind closed doors and announces it. I’m the one who pushes the officers to discuss things. Basically, I’m a facilitator.

But I’m still the guild master. And even though it doesn’t mean a whole lot as compared to my brother or Majik or any of our other officers, I’m still “the face” of the guild.

People act differently around me. I have to wonder how to act around various people. Can I shoot the breeze with a guildie about stuff that’s going on or is that best left within /o? Am I allowed to make mistakes like a moron or is that going to reflect horribly on my ability to lead? It’s as though I’m always putting on a public face that’s there “for the betterment of the guild and the raid group” and I don’t get to relax in-game at all. As such, I haven’t been in-game a lot over the last few days. I’ve been working hard to get all these promotions and attendance things taken care of and help plan out our progression route (right now, Atramedes, Council, Cho’gall, Nefarian and Throne somewhere in there), so it’s not like I’m sitting here doing nothing. Oh, and I’m recruiting, too. (Resto shaman, resto druid, balance druid! Apply now!)

But it’s still lonely.

Toga, one of our officers, was the original GM of Apotheosis when we formed. We signed the charter that Majik bought, decided upon officers and the officers basically voted unanimously (there were like, 10 of us at the time) to make Toga the GM.

I’m pretty sure Toga has never forgiven us for that. ;) I thought that as the primary raid leader back in BC, I got a lot of whispers and messages. I thought wrong. When I became the GM when Toga stepped down midway through SSC due to RL stuff, I was flooded, inundated. And I realized that I was the go-to person people would come to about stuff that would impact their raiding.

“Kurn, I can’t go to the raid on Tuesday, I’m sorry.”
“That’s okay, thanks for letting me–”
“My mom’s… well, this is hard to say, but…”

And the person would launch into an extremely personal story that I didn’t need to hear. I mean, you can’t make the raid. Okay. Thanks for the heads up. I don’t need to know more.

But I knew the people coming to me with these things needed to tell me. There’s something about telling someone you kind of know over the Internet some personal things, so you can vent about how you’re feeling without any RL repercussions.

This is when I realized that I needed to start sharing my WoW stuff with my RL friends. One of them is extremely kind to listen to me babble. She knows the names of many of my guildies, past and present. She doesn’t play at all and has no interest, but when I told her I got the Kingslayer title, back in the day, she was thrilled for me!

I also talk to my RL Friend the Resto Druid, because it’s always nice to have an objective opinion from someone who knows the game and how guilds work, first-hand.

So it’s lonely in-game sometimes, but, thanks to some of my awesome friends, I get to vent to them about the in-game frustrations I have and no one in Apotheosis needs to be witness to that. Which is probably a good thing.

Anyways, invites in less than 6 hours. I need to comb through the Atramedes log from Sunday and figure out why it looks like I failed so badly the parse doesn’t seem to be picking up various things and counting others as double damage and the like. I’ve been very pleased with WoL in T11 content, but DAMN, Atramedes is messy as hell.

Sorry for the long-winded update, but not writing for a week totally meant this was going to happen sooner or later. ;)

Exit Maloriak, Enter Chimaeron

Tuesday’s raid ended with us wiping at 1% on Maloriak, mostly due to two disconnects (one by a healer, one by a DPS) and a lack of Remedy dispels.

On our second attempt on Thursday, we kicked that guy’s ass.

And then, it was time to face Chimaeron.

It’s sort of like the worst parts of heroic Anub’arak, plus the insanity of healing the ENTIRE raid to full like with Gluth, in Naxx.

I tend to sort of “adopt” a fight, each instance or tier, that I just *KNOW*. I mean, I know all the fights, but there’s usually one that sticks out for me that I know every single detail about. It was Sindragosa in ICC, it was Anub’arak in TOGC (that damn tank who insisted on solo-tanking those adds… MAN, that still pisses me off!), it was probably Hodir in Ulduar, it was… maybe Heigan? Or Loatheb in T7.

I have a feeling that Chimaeron will be That Fight for me in T11, or at least in Blackwing Descent.

After the first wipe, I asked my healers how they felt.

Me: Okay, how’s it feeling for everyone? hahaha
Disc priest: FML
Me: Apart from panic inducing?
Resto druid: I need a pancake
Disc priest: All I use is GHeal
Disc priest: And I’m sad

15 attempts, we got from “oh god FML” to getting the boss to 40%. Not easy. The worst part is when he casts Massacre and there goes the Bile-o-Tron. I just don’t know if we have the healing, to be honest. Not a knock against my healers, but maybe we need more time before worrying about him? I don’t know. Maybe we’re getting to the point where the class really is making a difference. Maybe resto druids just aren’t cut out for this fight, maybe I should stack priests. I’m not even sure. It’s going to be fun to do research on that fight over the next few days.

Sunday, it’s back to Bastion to knock out Halfus and Valiona & Theralion again, with any luck. And maybe even pull Council, if we’re lucky? I should probably put up info on that fight before Sunday. (read: I should actually look at the fight myself before Sunday.)

I’m seriously proud of the Maloriak improvement between Tuesday and Thursday. There was some outstanding work by everyone on that fight. And some kick-ass healing on Chimaeron, don’t get me wrong. Just not quite enough.

In other news, we’re definitely looking for a resto shaman — one who will drop their Mana Tide when assigned, unlike the one we currently have. ;D — so please do app if you’re around 338 ilvl equipped in your resto gear, have a desire to push content and be challenged and don’t mind a holy paladin as your healing lead. Oh, and can make our raids! We’re swapping people around and are pretty good at it, so you might not be in for every single fight ever, but you should be in fairly often, depending on your level of play, of course.

Apply today, shammies!

(Fad, Fug, I miss you both desperately!)

Healer Evaluations

(Note: This is probably one of the weirdest posts I’ve ever made. I sound like I have multiple personalities.)

Early this week, I started in on healer evaluations. I really wanted to take a look at what my healers were doing and give them some feedback and some direction. I felt I’d been a little too busy leading raids to really chat with my healers during raid time, so I decided to evaluate all of them based on the week’s raids. I was grumbling about doing so on Twitter and a LOT of people were curious about what these evaluations entailed, and could they see an anonymous one?

Rather than compromise any of my actual healers’ privacy, I decided to evaluate myself so that I can post my own evaluation here. I didn’t learn a whole lot while combing through the parses, but I thought I’d share with you a taste of what my healers got from me. I had to basically pretend that I was addressing a healer who wasn’t me. *I* knew various justifications and reasons for various things, but I had to pretend that “my healing lead” had no idea, and then write from that perspective. Thus, I’m writing as Kurn to Madrana. I feel very weird doing so!

Apotheosis’ logs are free for people to view, since I think it’s important for prospective apps to see logs for good and bad nights. Here are our logs. I’m reviewing January 4th, January 6th and January 9th (Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday).

Okay, here we go.

Hey Madrana! :) Here’s a quick evaluation based on our first three raids. You’re being evaluated on attendence, respecting assignments/healing appropriately and not dying to dumb shit. That’s the technical term, yes. ;) There’s also a bonus category of “being awesome”. There’s also a section for “things to improve” at the bottom.

1) Attendence: 5/5

Perfect attendence. You were on-time, prepared and were available for the full duration of the raid.

2) Respecting Assignments/Healing Appropriately: 4.5/5

Magmaw: Healing was primarily distributed over both tanks during the five attempts. The only time tanks died was on a called wipe or when the DPS weren’t able to adequately chain Magmaw, thereby extending the Mangle and killing the tank. You were on tanks, so this is fine and entirely what was expected. 91.7% uptime on Beacon of Light on all Magmaw attempts, 86.2% JOTP uptime, which could use a little work. Good use of regen abilities and trinkets in order to regain mana during the DPS burn phases. Good use of Aura Mastery to help combat the Ignition. Didn’t make any use of Hand of Sacrifice (range issues?) or Hand of Protection for a DPS (not watching them at all?).

Omnotron (Tuesday): Very strong healing on your assigned tank, who received almost 50% of your total healing over all 10 attempts. Beacon uptime was strong, but again, JOTP uptime could be better. Good use of Aura Mastery to combat Magmatron’s flames, good use of Hand of Sacrifice to mitigate damage on various raid members. Good use of Hand of Salvation on over-eager DPS!

Omnotron kill: Strong healing on your assigned tank again, good stuff. While Beacon of Light doesn’t show up as a buff cast (likely cast pre-combat), this means that when it fell off, you neglected to refresh it. Since most of your heals were directly to the tank you were beaconing, you lost out on a LOT of holy power.

Halfus: Excellent work on the tanks, helping out on Fog while focusing on Dayden. On the kill, your uptimes for Beacon and JOTP were both in the 80% range, so that needs work. Good use of CDs such as BOP, Divine Plea, Divine Protection, Aura Mastery, Hand of Sacrifice, Divine Favor. The only thing that could have improved here is if you hadn’t died in the first minute.

Valiona & Theralion: Great focus on Dayden here, although why Toga got 8.7% of your total healing is an interesting question… On the kill, he received 12.2% of your healing. Again, Beacon isn’t showing up for half the fight, but I know there was an issue with it on this fight for some reason. That said, great JOTP uptime (over 96%), good to see a HoSac use, a BOP, a Divine Shield, Divine Favor… Good job here.

3) Not Dying to Stupid Shit: 3.5/5

Magmaw: On the early fights (possibly called wipes), you got hit with a couple of Parasitic Infections. Just wanted to make sure you were aware of that. You ALSO got beaned with Massive Crash three times. I know it’s hard to heal the tank if he’s being Mangled without risking this, but maybe throw HoSac on him and run back out? Or use Divine Protection or Divine Shield here when you run in on a Mangle. Over all the attempts, you took a fair amount of damage from Pillar of Flame: 460705, with 112096 coming on the kill. Definitely need to work on that.

Omnotron: You did an all right job in avoiding Poison Bombs, coming in at the middle of the pack with 2 hits over all the learning attempts on Tuesday. Could be better, but not horrible considering the lack of experience we all have with the fight. You got hit 0 times on the kill, which is great to see.

Halfus: Fireball Barrage. We all died to it more than once and there was no way we could dodge it some of the time that it was in use, but you died to it on the kill and had to use your soulstone to pop back up. Knowing that you have a crappy integrated graphics card, you’ll just have to watch more carefully for the effect, as faint as it might be for you. It would be great if there were a projected texture for it, but there isn’t. Boss mods will come in handy when they’re fully up to date to help you know when you’re standing in it, but until then, you really need to watch your feet on this fight.

Valiona & Theralion: You spent 6.6 seconds in the Twilight Realm, most likely on called-for wipes, as you were dying, since your time there was so low. Good job dodging the mechanics of the fight. Your friendly fire from Engulfing Magic was middle of the pack, but could be better, particularly since unless Holy Radiance is active, you don’t have anything ticking to cause damage. On the kill, you had Engulfing Magic and caused 0 friendly fire, which is great. Looks like you bubbled EM off, which is probably a good plan. Good positioning to avoid damage from Devouring Flames, too.

Overall, apart from the Fireball Barrage and Pillar of Flame (admit it, you’re a closet pyromaniac and this is how you indulge yourself safely, right?), you did a great job in dodging most of the environmental issues we saw in last week’s fights.

4) Being Awesome: 4/5

– While you were WOEFULLY unprepared to raid lead for Omnotron on Tuesday, you got your shit together and had everything prepped for people to read for Thursday. Good work on Magmaw, Halfus and the double dragons, though.
– Listening to your healers for feedback for healing assignments is great — use them as a resource for information!
– You did a lot of work towards ensuring everyone was ready to raid and had made the same efforts to prepare themselves. It did not go unnoticed!

Total: 17/20

Pleased overall, although you definitely want to watch for some of the environmental stuff.

Specific Things to Improve:
– Pillar of Flame, Fireball Barrage. Basically, anything to do with fire, since you were fine with the shadow damage and poison/electricity stuff on other fights.
– Beacon uptime was good except on that Omnotron fight. I know you told me that you had refreshed it on Valiona and the logs confirm it, despite the low uptime, oddly enough.
– JOTP – gotta make sure that is up over 90% each fight.

Thank you for being a great addition to the healing team. I’m really looking forward to working with you through this content!

So there you go, that’s what most healers got a version of. It took me around an hour to 90 minutes for each, depending on the various issues I saw with the healers. Not something I want to do every week, but definitely something to do once a month or so.

Dead Double Dragons

Sunday, we walked into Bastion of Twilight, spent a good 30 minutes on trash from Halfus’ room down to Valiona and Theralion and then spend about two hours working on these two.

Honestly? Not that hard of an encounter. A lot of little things to coordinate, though — stacking, collapsing, cleansing, then moving around as a group at ranged… Not casting was causing some issues, though. I wonder if it’s a bug that you’re popping Engulfing Magic based on hots and dots that are up and ticking?

Anyways, success was ours and we called the raid at 11:30 after downing them.

This week, we’ll probably go do BH if we have it, then Magmaw, Omnotron and work on Maloriak for a bit, possibly Atramedes/Chimaeron and then spend Sunday in Bastion. Not sure, but we’ll see how the week goes.

Note to self: Do the stupid intro quests for Twilight Highlands on the paladin so you can take the port, dumbass.

In other news, we are down to 8 healers, at most, due to the fact that two healers who were going to be potentially raiding with us decided to remove their names from the raiding roster. That’s fine, we’re doing okay with 6-8 on any given raid night, but I would feel more comfortable with a 9th healer around. So we’re opening up recruitment for one healer, preferably a restoration shaman. EXCELLENT resto druids or holy paladins will be considered, but we’re really looking for another shaman, since we only have one. No priests as we already have three. :)

Bear in mind that we do a lot of swapping around and everyone (even me, on occasion) will sit now and again, so you have to be okay with being on standby.

Apotheosis recruitment stuff can be found at our guild website:

Tonight: finishing healer evaluations, if World of Logs stops throwing my 503 too busy errors and recording Episode Six of Blessing of Frost.

Four Bosses, Two Nights, Raid Roster stuff

I know that my blog has become a bastion of information for holy paladins, but I’m not just a holy paladin. I’m a guild master, a raid leader, a healing lead and a raider. (WTB a hat with four labels on it so I can be appropriately labelled regardless of what I’m dealing with at the moment.)

I’d like to write about my guild’s first two 25-man raids today, but as a warning, if you’re PART of my guild, please don’t prod me for details about various things and don’t fret if I’ve already sent you a note about something. I consider the issue closed, but I do want to relate various things and I don’t want people getting freaked out because they think I’m still annoyed.



I had a TON of last-minute people to check on before I let them in the raid. Most had been ready for over a day, at least, but there were a lot of last-minute enchants missing, so we got all that sorted and then I dealt with invites (a topic for another day!) and we got started.

The plan was Baradin Hold, if we had Tol Barad, then Magmaw, Omnotron and Halfus, if we did very well. This was very ambitious and basically it was what we planned as a best-case scenario, given that we had little experience with Omnotron and Halfus even on 10-man.

As it turns out, we didn’t have TB, so it was off to Magmaw. One of the best comments throughout the encounter was from a shadow priest who had, not five hours previously, been bitching about my requiring a runspeed boost (unless you rely entirely on Inner Will), either via meta gem, boot enchant or talent.

After about the third or fourth attempt, the shadow priest says, in raid: “Okay, I now see what you meant about the runspeed enchant.” Yes! Justification! haha! I was very amused.

On another note, I find it really hilarious to watch people who have obviously become very attached to their boss mods. They just stood there in the Pillar of Flame. Not to say I didn’t get hit now and again, but it really took a few attempts for everyone to really watch for the swirling orange crap on the ground and to move away from it. Gotta love “old school” raiding, with no mods that are really working the way they did in ICC.

It really didn’t take us too long and we got him down. Then we swapped some people out and headed to Omnotron, which solidly kicked our asses for 9 of our 10 attempts. SO many issues with shields, interrupts, poison bombs… We got them down to 37% as an evening’s best, though.

After the raid, we fixed an EPGP issue which should allow mains to not be in the raid group if they’re on standby for EP awards. I have to say that Dar and Toga are totally kicking ass at being the Lootmasters for the guild. Not only do I NOT have to deal with loot, but they’re doing a great job at fixing things if they need fixing. I really don’t have to worry about it at all, which is a HUGE relief.

Anyways, we had some great discussion on the forums on Wednesday and Thursday to try to identify some of the issues. I LOVE that my guild enjoys discussing stuff on the forums!

So Thursday, the plan was:

Baradin Hold, if we had it, Omnotron, then Halfus and maybe Valiona & Theralion? Again, a best-case scenario.

So I populated the forums with info on V&T before the raid. I had set up a basic raid lineup during the day, complete with swapouts…

… and we had two no-shows.

One was our feral druid tank who, I later discovered, merely overslept. I totally did that myself back in my RL Friend the Resto Druid’s guild, so I was understanding when she let me know what the issue was. One was a resto druid who just didn’t show and I have no news yet as to where she was.

Neither HORRIBLY impacted the raid makeups, but it threw a wrench in my plans for healing setups. I’m a conservative healer and raid leader — I’ll go with more healers and then drop one if we’re having trouble with enrages. So I planned for seven but only took six — since that’s how many were online.

Tol Barad was ours, so we headed out to Baradin Hold and handily one-shotted Argaloth in plenty of time for the enrage. To Blackwing Descent!

My tank lead is pretty awesome. He had planned for the feral druid and the warrior tank to do BH, then he’d swap one out for himself for Omnotron, and then we’d go with three tanks on Halfus, if we got there. As it was, he and the warrior ended up doing both BH and working on Omnotron and it was him and the warrior who had been working on Omnotron on Tuesday, so I really liked the consistency we saw there.

Five attempts in, Omnotron Defense System goes down! Granted, it all went to hell at the end due to Arcane Annihilator since interrupters were dead, but we did it. A kill is a kill!

So we did loot, did a kill shot and then it was off to Bastion of Twilight to take a peek at Halfus.

The trash RUINED us, haha. Hilarity ensued. But we got through it and got Chelley’s Staff of Dark Mending, which went to Num, who you may know as “that guy who does the Blessing of Frost intro”.

Finally, we were at Halfus. The combination we had was the Slate Dragon, the Nether Scion and the Time Warden.

After a few wipes, including a VERY late break (11:26pm, instead of 10:30), where Dar and Toga did some EPGP stuff (the settings had reset or something), we decided on this strategy:

1) Release Time Warden and Nether Scion.

2) Kill Time Warden.

3) Kill Nether Scrion.

4) Pop Slate Dragon, kill it.

5) Kill Halfus.

We were using 3 tanks and having them tank the mobs basically on top of Halfus for splash damage, since with two drakes up, he was taking 100% more damage, and that seemed to work well. We got him to something like under 15% and hit enrage. The stun from the Slate Dragon meant that we got free DPS time, though, so we lived more than two minutes past enrage!

This was on our very first try of that strategy, which our tank officer suggested. So we tried to do the same thing again, with five minutes or so left in the raid. It was our last attempt of the night, which we always dub the “INFAMOUS LAST ATTEMPT”. That’s something that dates back to Burning Crusade raids where we always seemed to down things just in the nick of time, right before the end of the raid. I love that it’s still in use.

So we pull. We blow hero. Cooldowns are being used, we’re doing everything just fine. And then, disaster. The tank tanking the Nether Scion basically just DROPPED.


[23:59:48.623] Nether Scion hits Warrior Tank 34188  (A: 13897)
[23:59:50.110] Nether Scion hits Warrior Tank 63193
[23:59:51.620] Nether Scion hits Warrior Tank 68529
[23:59:53.040] Nether Scion hits Warrior Tank 36629 (O: 14474)

That is more than 220k damage in four and a half seconds.

So the warrior tank goes down. Our tank officer taunts the Nether Scion and is dual-tanking both drakes.

We get the feral DPS druid to pop up the warrior tank (yay for Glyph of Rebirth!), who taunts his target back and… I die because I’m watching all this other crap and not watching out for the fireball barrage.

Just before I died, one of the DPS said, over Mumble, “don’t stand in the fire!”

To which one of the healers replied “we can’t dodge it”. That’s about when I died and right about the time when the DPS was starting to argue that because we’d freed the Time Warden, yes, we could dodge it. I could not believe my ears. Were these two people actually debating the behaviour of a mechanic IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ENCOUNTER?

Yes. Yes, they were.

“Guys!” I shouted, “Focus!” That appeared to shut them up.

Oh, look. The in-game interface is prompting me to use soulstone. Why yes, that sounds like an AWESOME idea, so I do believe I will. So I pop up and proceed to spend the next 5 minutes totally freaking out about mana.

At about this point, our fury warrior steals aggro off the Time Warden and drops. I’m thinking he caught up to our tank officer when he was busy with the Nether Scion.

So I’m up, the warrior tank is up and we have a dead fury warrior and no more battle rezzes.

Then, a rogue dies to the fireball barrage.

But you know what? It went beautifully after that. The next death was my brother, one of the tanks, once Halfus hit his berserk.

But due to the stuns from the Slate Dragon, we were able to last another minute and a half, almost, and we got him down!

Once again, the Infamous Last Attempt brings with it success!

We did the screenshot, then handed out loot and thus ended our second 25-man raid night.

I spent the next hour or so doing administrative crap — writing to those who had not shown up, writing to the healer and DPS who had started their discussion as to the fight mechanics IN MID-BATTLE… and then I also did a quick check on a healer of mine who wasn’t ready for January 4th, but assured me she’d be ready for the 11th.

Well, after looking at her gear and rep and professions, I knew she wasn’t going to be ready for the 11th, so I gave her ’till the 18th (as I’m doing with a couple of other people) and let her know to let me know if she’d changed her mind about raiding.

She came back to me and let me know she was sorry, but various circumstances, mostly to do with work and such, were going to make it very difficult for her to get ready for raiding. So she stepped down from our starting roster and may (or may not) re-apply as a raider down the line.

So that leaves me with 8 current healers and another with a deadline of January 18th. The 8 current healers includes the healer who just didn’t show on Thursday. So if the 9th healer isn’t ready by the 18th and the healer who didn’t show ends up not being able to raid, I’m down to 7. By contrast, if they both turn out to raid regularly, I’m at 9. I’m fairly certain I’m going to open up recruitment for another healer (probably a resto shaman), but we’re not at that point yet.

Anyways. This is where my brain goes at 6:30am, when I should have been asleep ages ago.

So far, a good raid week. We have another raid tonight (Sunday) and are probably going to poke at Valiona and Theralion and then either Maloriak, Chimaeron or Atramedes in Blackwing Descent. It’s been a hell of a busy week to be sure, but ultimately, it’s been a very successful and fun week as well. Here’s to many, many more awesome raid nights with these people.

Sunday afternoon, I have my first office hours since early Wrath. Should be interesting to see if anyone drops in…

What to Wear? Kurn's T11/359 Loot List

Well, here we go with another loot list post. Why? Because I find myself in 25-man raids with bosses dying and loot dropping and I have absolutely no idea what I WANT.

So I decided to go researching and write up the results of my research for you fine people. Please bear in mind that this is all my opinion and is skewed towards what I prefer on my gear. This is not a definitive best-in-slot guide!

Secondary stats I want to prioritize, in a rough preference from most-preferred to least:
Spirit: God help me, I never thought I’d want spirit as much as I do now, but, dangit, I need more spirit.
Haste: Things are just so damn slow, it feels like I’m healing through molasses.
Crit: Given very little overheal these days, crit’s a fine stat. I’ll equip it, but I don’t like to seek it out.
Mastery: While World of Logs more or less handles our mastery nowadays, I don’t think we’ll see too much from our mastery until our gear naturally has more on it, so I won’t turn down mastery gear, but I’ll probably reforge it to add spirit or haste, if I can.

Things to keep in mind:
– Our 4pc T11 bonus is pretty awesome. It’s Radiant: Grants 1620 Spirit while Holy Radiance is active.
– Our T11 gloves and legs can drop from Pit Lord Argaloth in Baradin Hold OR can be purchased via Valor Points (2200 for legs, 1650 for gloves)
– Our T11 chest can be purchased via Valor Points (2200)
– Our T11 shoulders and helm require tokens that drop from Cho’gall at the end of Bastion of Twilight and Nefarian at the end of Blackwing Descent

Once again, I’ll be relying heavily on Vile Pickle’s Best in Slot guide to help me with my decisions, as their stats are, by default, weighed fairly close to what I’m looking for.

So, the first thing I did was head to Vile Pickle and remove Hard Mode and 10-man from the list, since I’m not doing hard modes and I’m only doing 25-man raids. (Even though the loot’s the same.) This has the unintended consequence of removing heroic 5-man options from the list, but since this is a look at 359 gear, this shouldn’t pose too much of an issue.

Helm: Well, I’m not an engineer, so that leaves me with Glaciated Helm, which has some AWESOME stats. Look at that, 178 haste, 30 spirit socket bonus… really nice. It drops from the Twilight Ascendant Council, the third boss in Bastion of Twilight.

The alternative here is our tier helm, the Reinforced Sapphirium Headguard. But the helm requires that pesky token that drops off Nefarian. Hm. Third boss in Bastion of Twilight or sixth boss in Blackwing Descent… Yeah, I’ll probably aim for the Glaciated Helm and try to pick up the token off Nefarian when we get there, depending on how the rest of my gear looks.

Also, note that the non-set helm has haste versus the tier helm’s crit.

Neck: Wyrmbreaker’s Amulet, from Halfus Wyrmbreaker in Bastion of Twilight, has 127 spirit and crit, vs. Valiona’s Medallion (from Valiona and Theralion in Bastion of Twilight) which has 127 haste and 127 mastery. I think I’ll be aiming for Wyrmbreaker’s because, as I was saying earlier, I need more spirit. But also, think of all the casters who will want the Medallion. Resto and Ele shaman, Balance and Resto druids, mages, warlocks, all kinds of priests… yeah. I’m going to stick to spirit where at least I don’t have to fight with mages and warlocks.

Shoulders: Burden of Mortality from Chimaeron in Blackwing Descent versus our tier shoulders from that token from Cho’gall. Both pieces are roughly equivalent, but the Burden of Mortality won’t add to a really nice 4pc bonus. Since the off-set isn’t absolutely outstanding, I may just wait for the tier shoulders.

Cloak: This is actually what forced me to get on the whole loot list thing, because I found myself with enough Valor Points to buy a cloak.

Heavenly Breeze is the cloak you can buy with 1250 Valor Points. Yay spirit! But… mastery. Blah.

Drape of the Twins, on the other hand, drops from Valiona and Theralion, the second encounter in Bastion of Twilight, and has spirit AND haste. This is definitely my preferred cloak and since we’ve downed Halfus, this is just about accessible to me. So I’m definitely going to save my Valor Points for something else and aim for this. If the weeks go by and this never drops for me or I just never have the priority with our EPGP system, I’ll pick up the Heavenly Breeze.

Chest: Another slot which is prompting me to do my research.

You see, on Magmaw 10, I got the Breastplate of Avenging Flame. It’s perfectly itemized, in my mind. Spirit, haste, two sockets… Beautiful piece.

Compare it with our T11 chest and you’ll see there’s 30 more spirit on the tier, along with 188 more Mastery, whereas the non-set piece has 218 more haste.

The choice, to me, is clear: if I’m going for a four-piece bonus, I’m not going to get the chest. I’m going to keep my Breastplate of Avenging Flame. No way am I giving up 218 haste for 188 mastery and 30 more spirit.

Bracers: Oh God, please let there be decent bracers… And they’re not awesome, but they’re not terrible. And they drop from Cho’gall. Awesome. So I have to clear Bastion of Twilight to get a chance at the Shackles of the End of Days? Peachy.

Whoever was in charge of designing plate bracers REALLY fell down on the job and needs to be fired. And then we need more bracers available. Also, wands, because my poor guildies are suffering through Deadmines over and over again. But I digress.

Gloves: Maloriak, one of the possible third bosses of Blackwing Descent, drops the Flash Freeze Gauntlets which are very pretty and worth picking up unless you already have your tier gloves through Valor Points or from Argaloth. You’ll probably want both of them, to be honest, for different gear sets, with the 4pc T11 bonus on fights where you’re using a ton of Holy Radiance, just to help offset the cost. The Flash Freeze Gauntlets are beautifully itemized and our gloves… well, maybe less so. Again, I think it’ll take some time for data on our mastery to really let us know at what level, if any, our mastery will be important.

The World Keeper’s Gauntlets are a great rep reward from being exalted with the Earthen Ring, but the Flash Freeze are, IMHO, better itemized and the tier gloves add to the tier bonuses, leaving this pair of gloves out.

Belt: Are you exalted with Ramkahen yet? Get to it, if you’re not. The Sun King’s Girdle is the best ilvl 359 belt you can get, IMHO. It’s also the easiest one to acquire, unless you can buy or craft a Light Elementium Belt but the Sun King’s Girdle has better stats than the crafted one and has a socket.

Legs: Man, oh man, the Legguards of the Emerald Brood, which drop off of Halfus Wyrmbreaker, are great! Two sockets, spirit, haste… and they’re not our set legs. I think that you ought to either pick these legs or the chest from Magmaw to be your non-set piece, whichever you end up seeing drop first. Our tier legs cost 2200 Valor Points or can drop off Argaloth. They’re not bad, but I really think the haste over the crit make the non-set pants better.

Ideally, I’d wear the non-set chest, gloves and legs, with just the helm and shoulders equipped for the 5% extra crit on Holy Light and, on fights when I’m running out of mana or need to pop Holy Radiance on cooldown, no question, I’d equip the set legs and gloves. I think, anyways.

Boots: Eh, you know, Life Force Chargers, which drop from the Omnotron Defense System, leave me cold. 169 spirit is great, but 149 mastery? Feh. The Eternal Pathfinders have no spirit, but have haste and crit, and are available from the vendors for 1650 Valor Points. I’m seriously considering picking these up as soon as I can. (Me? Bitter about never getting the non-existant Forehadow Steps from Halion? Never.)

Rings: Eesh, there’s a bunch of choices. Here are my top three.

1) Security Measure Alpha from Omnotron. I got this the other night and am pretty pleased with it.

2) Ring of the Boy Emperor from Archaeology is identical to the Signet of the Fifth Circle from Cho’gall and neither are a bad choice.

3) Band of Secret Names is bought with 1250 Valor Points.

Obviously, your choices may vary. Your rings are a great place to either boost a stat you might be lacking or to even out your stats if you’re going for a “less stacked, more balanced” approach to your gear.

Trinkets: A lot of choices here, too.

Before we get into stuff, it should be noted that the Mandala of Stirring Patterns from exalted Tol Barad rep is changing from 321 Spirit and a proc for mastery to a proc for intellect in 4.0.6, according to the patch notes.

Here are my top three choices:

1) Fall of Mortality off of Cho’gall. This is amazing. 321 intellect and a passive equip chance for 1926 Spirit for 15 seconds, which appears to be on a 45s internal cooldown. This is pretty amazing.

2) Darkmoon Card: Tsunami from the Darkmoon Faire. I’m told that although it’s “a chance” to stack the buff, it’s a very short internal cooldown and so keeping the stacks up is pretty easy. This can be likened to Solace of the Defeated from Jaraxxus in Trial of the Crusader.

3) Core of Ripeness is purchased with 1650 Valor Points and is basically an upgraded version of the Figurine – Dream Owl that’s available to Jewelcrafters.

Why not the Jar of Ancient Remedies? It doesn’t have any stats on it. Sure, it grants up to 515 spirit and has an on-use effect, but there’s no passive stats on it at all. I don’t think I’m quite so hard up for spirit that I need 515 spirit at the cost of 321 intellect in one of my trinket slots. Your mileage may vary depending on your regen and bear in mind this is my preference and only my preference!

Weapon: Our weapon choices are limited until we get to Cho’gall or Nefarian or Al’akir, basically. Unless we want to take on the final boss of an instance, we’re stuck hoping for this: Maldo’s Sword Cane. It drops off Blackwing Descent trash.

Or, we could bite the bullet and get the Vicious Gladiator’s Gavel for 2450 Conquest Points, without any arena or battleground rating required.

I shall pass on the latter, pray for the former and settle in for a good long wait for Twilight’s Hammer off of Cho’gall.

Shields: Another bunch of piss-poor selections, to be honest. The Elementium Stormshield is the best, IMHO, at the 359 level, edging out Kingdom’s Heart due to the haste on it, versus the crit from KH. KH drops off Atramedes in Blackwing Descent, by the way.

Relic: We have two major choices here — haste (Relic of Norgannon) or spirit (Relic of Eonar). Both are available for 700 Valor Points.

So there you go, all the gear I’m looking at getting for a 359 gear set.

4.0.6 PTR Changes

Boubouille over at MMO-Champion has listed a bunch of changes for the new PTR, which is testing out 4.0.6.

The changes that directly affect holy paladins are few (as in, 1) but it’s a buff, at least, not a nerf.

* Divine Plea now gives you 12% of your total mana over 9 sec, up from 10% of your total mana over 15 sec.

* Light of Dawn base healing has been reduced by 40%, from 1008 – 1124 to 605 – 675.

* Tower of Radiance no longer affects Holy Light.

The change to Divine Plea is a good one, probably meant to encourage us to remember that it doesn’t completely suck. The increase in mana gained is nice enough, but packing it into 9 seconds is the real buff. That’s only 9 seconds with 50% reduced healing done. This can mean a great reduction in the use of /cancelaura macros AND a reduction in cooldowns being blown in order to counter Divine Plea’s healing reduction. 9 seconds isn’t very long; there are several moments where you can easily take 9 seconds to do less healing if you need the mana back. If you feel that you can’t do that, for example in the early phases of Halfus, that’s when you blow your cooldowns, since the fight after the first couple of minutes gets easier.

Also, the actual patch notes are out. Here’s a link to them at MMO-Champion.

Of particular interest to us:

Glyph of Divine Plea now adds 6% mana, for a total of 18% over 9 seconds.

So that’s 18% mana over 9 seconds, glyphed, instead of 15% mana over 15 seconds.

That’s a positive change and I’m pleased to see it on the PTR.

*** Edit *** For crying out loud, three separate updates with paladin stuff? Really?

There was another push of updates last night while I was raiding.

General Paladin Stuff:

* Inquisition is no longer dispellable.
* Rebuke can now be trained by all paladins at level 54. Existing characters will need to visit their trainer, even if they had talented Rebuke before.

We rarely use Inquisition, but there are some cases where we probably should (Halfus post-enrage when you’re spamming the crap out of Exorcism?). But Rebuke? That’s the new-with-Cataclysm retribution talent that is an interrupt. Baseline now? That’s EXCELLENT news. I know pally tanks are OVER THE MOON about this. I’m pleased to have the utility, myself.

Denounce now has a spell overlay.

I don’t spec for Denounce, although I’m thinking of having a second spec with it for burn phases on Magmaw, for instance. A spell overlay (“power aura”) for it could come in handy.

With regards to the other listed changes, no worries, we are NOT being nerfed again. The Light of Dawn nerf is simply the official change for what they’ve already implemented. Same with Tower of Radiance.

So it’s a pretty boring PTR for us PTR that’s not too game-changing for holies, but it’s definitely a positive PTR for paladins as a whole, particularly with the decision to make Rebuke baseline.