Lord Victor Nefarius and Lady Katrana Prestor

I’ve been playing WoW for a long time. More than five years, now. One of my earlier memories is getting the Rallying Cry of the Dragonslayer. I remember being VERY confused about it when I got it and that’s when I started researching stuff.

And that was my introduction to Lord Victor Nefarius (better known as Nefarian) and Lady Katrana Prestor (better known as Onyxia). Brother and sister, both children of Deathwing, Nefarian was the end-boss of Blackwing Lair in vanilla WoW and Onyxia was the only boss in what is appropriately named “Onyxia’s Lair”, a raid instance in Dustwallow Marsh. Ony was a 40-man raid and then retuned during Wrath of the Lich King to be a 10 or 25-man raid. Personally, I loved the Ony raid. I only killed her twice on Kurn at level 60, once in a pug run by some of the better players on the server and once with a bunch of my guildmates at the time, although we had a lot of outside help.

I never did kill a Blackwing Lair boss at level 60, so I was nowhere near getting to kill Nefarian.

So why all the background?

In Blackwing Descent, the end boss is Nefarian. And he has resurrected Onyxia. And we did our first 17 or so pulls last night.

For all of Phase 1 of the Nefarian encounter, you’re dealing with Ony and then Nefarian lands partway through and you are fighting BOTH of them. Hilarity and awesomeness!

They get a buff called Children of Deathwing, hilariously enough, if they’re within 60 yards of each other. Also hilarious and awesome!

I’m not a huge lore person, but because I KNOW these characters, and especially because I unmasked Lady Katrana Prestor to be, in fact, Onyxia, at the end of the exceedingly long attunement quest chain to be attuned to Onyxia’s Lair, back in the day, it means more to me than some random dragon.

The Valiona and Theralion fight in Bastion of Twilight means very little to me, despite the fact that you actually fight Valiona in Grim Batol. There’s no history for me.

But Nefarian? I spent a long time in vanilla WoW wondering if we’d ever get to set foot in BWL as a guild. (We did not.) I spent time inspecting those awesome T2-geared hunters and paladins (Judgement is still the coolest set of all time, despite the fact it’s all healing gear now. Whatever happened to the strength, spirit and agility that was on that set?).

I’ve killed Level 60 Nefarian a couple of times since 4.0 dropped, while Football (our gnome warrior we used to get to pull the Beast in UBRS, who would then get punted, hence the nickname) was farming up mats for his Thunderfury, but I never killed him at the appropriate level.

Apotheosis got Nefarian to 47% last night.

That’s with:

– one no-show
– one very late cancellation by a tank
– one late “oh crap, I’m going to be late” notification
– three officers missing

So we ran with two offspec tanks (an Unholy-turned-Blood DK and a Retribution-turned-Protection pally). Didn’t have a feral druid in the raid. Didn’t have a frost DK in the raid. We were missing some pretty important buffs: 3% damage, increased melee speed and increased bleed damage (until I realized the bleed damage thing and got Toga to pull out his hyena).

And we still got Nefarian to 47%.

Not only that, but I’m dogsitting at my parents’ house for a week while they’re away and I have had nothing but computer issues. My laptop refuses to stay connected to the wireless network here, while my dad’s desktop refuses to run Mumble. So I was on Mumble on my laptop and on WoW on the desktop and kept dropping off Mumble but then also got dropped out of the game a couple of times. /facepalm. So I eventually said screw it and just plugged my laptop directly into the modem (using the one ethernet cord my father apparently has in the entire house) and played from my laptop, as I normally do.

So even with my ridiculous technical issues and despite our DK DCing a couple of times, we did great. 47%!

There was this one attempt where we’re in P2 and I’m on my pillar and I look and neither our elemental shaman nor the DPS DK who were interrupting were still alive.

I then realized that it was up to me and the Blood DK to interrupt Blast Nova. And while my Rebuke was on cooldown, I would be healing the crap out of the people on my platform, along with one of our disc priests. Believe it or not, we got through that attempt without me or the DK screwing up and/or missing. And I don’t mean “oh no, my attack didn’t hit”, since even with just one point in Enlightened Judgements, I’m melee hit-capped for a raid boss (… is Rebuke a spell-hit roll or a melee-hit roll?) and the Chromatic Prototypes we’re interrupting are level 85, but with zero communication between us, the DK and I managed to keep that sucker locked down, in a proper rotation. It was pretty awesome. :D

Well, it’s awesome in retrospect. In the moment, I was like “Oh God, he’s dead… she’s dead… OH GOD I HAVE TO INTERRUPT. ShitshitshitshitREBUKE.”

Still, makes for a good story. ;)

So Nef to 47%. And we can clear out 5/6 BWD in about 2 hours, with any luck.

I think our priority this week is a repeat Cho’gall kill, a quick run to Conclave for a repeat there (?) and definitely some more Nef work.

At some point, in the not-so-distant future, I will finally kill Nefarian at the appropriate level.

This makes me giddy. :)

Have you pulled Nefarian? Killed him? What are your impressions on the fight?

Conclave Falls, Al'Akir Fails

So Apotheosis walked into Throne of the Four Winds last night and got Conclave down on 25m on our second attempt of the night.


And then came time to play with Al’Akir.

Not so sweet.

There are at least a couple of people in my guild who LOVE the Al’Akir fight. There are more than a few people who loathe it. Frankly, and I say this with respect, I don’t care whether they love it or hate it. We WILL be doing Al’Akir at some point. We want to clear the available content on regular and heroic modes in 25-man.

As for myself, I admit that I’m not a fan. I think the whole instance is ridiculous. Why on earth would anyone go get “randomly enchanted” loot (of the Undertow, Feverflare, etc) over the known loot tables in Bastion of Twilight and Blackwing Descent? It’s not about loot for me, but with a 9-hour raid schedule, we have to be very careful about where we go and what we do and how that will benefit the majority of people. Will one belt or ring that is just a shade better than one otherwise available really be The Difference between downing heroic modes and wiping? Eh. If everyone got BiS belts/rings off Conclave, that’d be one thing, but not everyone has BiS gear off Conclave or even off Al’Akir. Add that to no tier tokens and the promise of more randomly enchanted stuff when you do the heroic version of the instance… Meh.

However, since we had extended Bastion and cleared it on Tuesday and then did 5/6 Blackwing Descent, we figured we’d do Conclave and play with Al’Akir on Thursday. You know, knock Conclave out (bringing us to 10/12, by the way) and get an idea of the mechanics on Al’Akir.

Wind Burst pwned me until I started watching the timers.

Squall pwned me whenever I had to worry about it and my Wind Burst positioning.

We got to 60% and made it to P2 several times, but I gotta say, it was not all that much fun. Still, it was better than I expected and we were just playing around and such.

Not my favourite fight. Not my favourite instance. Not my cup of tea.

And yet, I think we’ll probably be in this tier of content until May or so (judging by Wrath’s time frame on tiers).  Wrath came out in mid-November and Ulduar came out in mid-April. So if Cataclysm came out in early December, we’ll probably be looking at 4.1 and the associated T12 raid content somewhere in May.

In just about seven resets, we’ve done 10/12 regular. That gives us roughly 11 resets (or ~33 raids, not counting this coming Sunday) to clear through things. That’s about 100 hours of raiding.

That’s a lot of time for Al’Akir, Nefarian and then the heroic modes, particularly since the heroic modes are really based on the regulars, most of which we already know. I feel that the more experience/knowledge/familiarity we have in the regulars, the easier the heroics will be.

I’d like to really make sure we focus on Bastion and BWD heroic modes, including Sinestra, so those are where my personal priorities are. I think we’ll try to fit Conclave in the schedule since we really didn’t have any issues with it and, worst-case scenario, we get more Maelstrom Crystals for the raiders. But I don’t anticipate a lot of time on Al’Akir in the near future.

Gonna be some fun times ahead, let me say!

Proud GM Ramblings

All right, this is the part of the blog where I transform from a source of holy paladin information into a proud GM and proceed to spend the next 1700 words talking about my guild and being a GM.

We got Cho’gall 25 on Tuesday night.

Let me say that again: WE GOT CHO’GALL 25 ON TUESDAY NIGHT. And then promptly went 5/6 in BWD. Oh, and we did Baradin Hold before Cho’gall. Seven bosses in a single night. Our best raid night ever.

Two years ago, we were struggling to recruit and were literally two weeks away from ultimately calling it. At the time, we thought it was forever. I resigned myself to never leading these people again, maybe never even playing with some people ever again. I transferred toons every which way — Kurn to Proudmoore, Madrana to Bronzebeard. The guild was done, but we didn’t disband. I checked in now and again (very rarely, but occasionally!) and saw familiar faces and old friends and always felt so damn sad. I had let these people down. I’d let my own cockiness and arrogance get in the way of being able to field a strong 25-man group, night in and night out. Not that I was deliberately an ass to people, but I didn’t recruit to replace people I’d lost between BC and WotLK and I let some nasty people be overly vocal and that led to more people leaving. People that we just couldn’t replace because we hadn’t progressed enough to get noticed, basically. I’ve felt that my arrogance and overconfidence was the ultimate reason for our downfall. I probably take too much on myself, but it’s how I felt.

We killed Sartharion — +0. (Although we were 5% away from a +1 kill!) We never killed Thaddius, so we never got to look at Sapphiron or Kel’Thuzad. We never got the key to 25-man Eye of Eternity, so we didn’t get to try Malygos.

Wrath of the Lich King was unkind, to understate it, to Apotheosis and I have basically held my breath since restarting this funny old guild of ours. Until Tuesday night.

I overrecruited, determined not to cancel raids, determined to have a solid group of people to be raiders.

We have had 19 25-man raids and have not cancelled a single one. We rescheduled due to the Superbowl, true, but never cancelled. This meant that when one of our warlocks who typically works graveyard ended up oversleeping, we fielded a 24-man raid until he woke up and joined us. We got through it.

We’ve dealt with the loss of two of our four original tanks on the roster, we’ve lost some cherished old-time members and some newer members to that pesky thing called “real life” and honestly, some people just didn’t end up making the cut. Ultimately, we haven’t had the smoothest six resets ever. Our raiding roster has gone from 39 to 27 and back up to 33.

What we have done, however, is improve. Each week, we keep killing things we killed the previous week and it keeps getting cleaner. I’ve started dropping healers on a couple of fights now that I trust people not to stand in the bad and, last Thursday, we shaved a full minute off our fastest Valiona & Theralion kill.

We had a ninja pull on Tuesday on Magmaw (I think it was a hunter who pulled by mistake, but that’s fine) and you know what? We did just fine. Clean kill, one-shot. Not a problem. Granted, not something I desperately want to relive, but it was fine.

This is in contrast to some of our raids back in Burning Crusade. We could go in and clear 5/6 SSC, getting everyone but Vashj down in one raid night, but the next week, we’d spend half the night wiping to Leotheras the Blind or Karathress. Occasionally, Tidewalker or Lurker.

We eventually got better at consistently clearing content, but the progress we’ve made in our six resets is far beyond what we experienced in Burning Crusade’s Apotheosis.

It’s sort of expected and standard and such, at least for me, to always repeat kills with a lot less effort than the original kill. After spending months in ICC working on regular modes, then heroic modes, I’m very used to wiping a lot and then mastering the fight and it’s on farm.

I’ve never really had that in Apotheosis until now.

Also, while not everyone adores each other, we’re not total dicks! There’s none of that idle chatter full of profanity and perjorative slurs that tend to accompany progressed raid guilds. We do swear (I do a lot!), but there’s no talk of “raping” that boss, or how “gay” something is. There is a lot of mocking of me (and Majik!) but the chatter is fun, harmless stuff. It’s not full of barely-concealed self-loathing or veiled (or not-so-veiled!) references to violence against women.

Of course, none of that is permitted as per our guild policies, but it’s really a striking difference to me. Most raid guilds I was in during Wrath had no such policies (Choice of Skywall is the exception — and they’re recruiting holy paladins! Go apply now!) and it was tiring to log on and hear 20-something year olds talk continually about how “gayly” they were just “raped” by someone. :P

The members are quality people. Good players. Some are still struggling a bit and adjusting, but they’re getting there and everyone on the roster is there for a reason.

And what’s amazing is that we really are turning into a team, where it doesn’t matter that people weren’t there two years ago. We only had ten “old-timers” in on our Cho’gall kill. I’m no longer thinking of people as groups of people I know from other guilds or other servers, but really, truly thinking of them as my guildies. There’s a contingent of four people with whom I raided on Bronzebeard and they brought another shadow priest and another DK along. And for a bit, I thought of them as “the Bronzebeard people”. All six of them were there on Tuesday for the kill and not once did I think of them as anything apart from “my guildies”.

So Tuesday night, I could breathe again. The guild that I had painstakingly reassembled had finally really come into itself. We killed our first end boss of the expansion. Together. On 25-man.

The tension and stress mostly melted away as soon as we got the kill. The guild has momentum. Doesn’t mean I can slack off, but it means that the guild has achieved stuff and I am no longer holding the guild together through sheer willpower. ;) It means that people are invested now. We sweated through Twilight Ascendant Council. We worked on Cho’gall. We nearly cried on Atramedes, I swear. We have in-jokes. We have shared experiences that bind us together.

Five years from now, even if I’m not playing anymore, I will always remember that we always wanted to kill Majik with the Atramedes trash. I’ll always remember priests levitating off the elevator… into Nefarian’s lava. I’ll always remember how Shadowcry fell off the edge of Halfus’ platform or how Dayden and Fog got thrown into the same lava when blown back by adds on V&T trash. I’ll always remember how I was laughing so hard, I could hardly breathe, much less heal through trash, while my guildies mocked my fail computer and likened it to an abacus. I’ll remember how one of our shadow priests was mangled by Magmaw, that one time.

I’ll remember the perseverence the guild showed when we had an abysmal time on Council the week before we killed them, on that rescheduled raid night. We came roaring back the next night and went 5/6 in BWD and then killed Halfus for fun.

I’ll remember the strength of character the raiders continually show me when I swap them out and they step out without a complaint.

We sat eight people on the Cho’gall kill. Tia, Raisa, Andy, Hestiah, Onemanshort, Hulrok, Fidjet and Traellus. It wasn’t easy to sit most of them — although in some cases, lack of gear was the determining factor, which made it a little easier. But I won’t forget that not a one of them raged about it. Not a one of them said anything more than “man, wish I were there with you guys!” and even then, just once, if that. They all recognized that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one. They congratulated us.

All 33 people who signed up and showed up tonight are team players.

And if it weren’t for that attitude that is apparently shared by us all, we wouldn’t be sitting at 9/12, with Conclave on the schedule for Thursday, ready to pop us up to 10/12.

If it weren’t for people being there for us, willing to push through things, willing to wipe and learn and get better and willing to sit or swap in or whatever the raid needs, we’d still be failing to Valiona & Theralion or Atramedes.

But we aren’t still failing to those fights… because our people are awesome.

I know the ranks really aren’t that accurate, but WoWprogress says that we’re US 979 for Cho’gall 25, which is something like 2000 ranks better than we ever saw in BC. We’re technically realm third in 25s, but one of the 25-man guilds has split into two teams of 10s, so we’re really the #2 25-man guild on the server. Our rank may say 10th, or 3rd, or whatever, depending what you look at, but we’re keeping up. (Hell, GuildOx says we’re #1 in 25-man progress… go figure!) And even if we weren’t, what matters is that we keep pushing. We pushed progression on Tuesday by not resetting Bastion. We’ll push progression on Thursday when we take on Conclave and play with Al’Akir.

We’re pushing, we’re progressing.

We got Cho’gall 25 down on Tuesday night. I know it’s one of three end-bosses in entry-level raid content and that, a year from now, most no one will care.

But I care now. And I’ll care then.

Because this is my guild, made up of people I’ve known for years, raided with during Wrath or gotten to know because of this blog. This is the guild that I have painstakingly assembled, piece by piece, bit by bit, all in the hopes that things wouldn’t backfire hideously on me.

The first test has been passed: Cho’gall 25 down, Bastion of Twilight 25 cleared.

This might actually end up working after all.

Light of Dawn Nerf/Unnerf: Update & Thoughts

The Update:

So on Friday, they nerfed us.

On Saturday, they unnerfed us.

Bashiok said:

The hotfix note correctly describes what an attempt to fix a bug ended up changing, which was not actually the original intent. We’re reverting the hotfix until we can fix the bug without causing Light of Dawn to no longer trigger Beacon.

(Source: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/2065788305?page=15#282)

So the question is, what was the bug?

Forum poster Trexokor had this to say:

If you cast Light of Dawn in the direction of friendly healable targets not in your group, there seems to be no target cap.

This appeared to have been fixed during the Light of Dawn nerf period.  Once again, there is no outside-raid target cap.

This may not seem like a big deal, but it worked in situations such as Tol Barad, where you had a couple raids working side by side.  By using Light of Dawn on a large group of players, anyone outside your raid would get healed by it, well above and beyond 6 targets.

(Source: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/2065788305?page=17#339)

I’ve witnessed this odd behaviour before, so this seems a likely bug they were trying to iron out. However, the unintended repercussion of ironing out that bug was that LoD no longer transferred through Beacon of Light.

My Thoughts:

I’m not happy with where paladin healing is. I’m not talking about a numbers thing, because with the reversion of the new bug, paladins can easily top meters. I put very little care or faith into meters.

I thought maybe with the nerf, we’d see some redesigning of the holy paladin tree a bit, or at least our abilities, but it doesn’t look as though that’s going to happen.

Talents I would love for our tree to be rid of or changed.

– Protector of the Innocent
– Beacon of Light in its current form
– Light of Dawn in its current form

I’d throw out PotI entirely. I’d make BoL only transfer our direct heals (Holy Shock, Word of Glory, Flash of Light, Holy Light, Divine Light) that are cast on people who are not the Beacon. Light of Dawn would get unnerfed back up by that 40% they nerfed it down to before, but would also be off Holy Power and back on to mana, with a 12s cooldown. The cost would be equivalent to Divine Light’s cost.

I haven’t given the changes terribly much thought, but those changes emphasize healing deliberately, not passively, and reward players for smart use of LoD, rather than some of the mindless “FLASHLIGHT TIME OH YEAH!!!!” we’re seeing.

The lack of faith I have in Blizzard and the paladin healing model is pretty astounding at this point. I don’t imagine we’ll be properly balanced before T12/T13 and I find myself unhappy at the prospect of spending the next year wondering what nonsense Blizzard will spout next and what foolishness they’ll enact on the class based on that nonsense.

LoD Nerf Reverted?

Honestly, I think I have whiplash.

I got home last night around midnight to read that Light of Dawn healing no longer transferred via Beacon of Light.

Insert long blog post complaining about this.

And now, Ophelie says it’s working for her.

It wasn’t working for me. But about 45 minutes later, lo and behold, it was. I just tested it out with Walks.


There’s been absolutely no contact from Blizzard to holy paladins in the last 24 hours. Just a flip of a switch to turn off LoD through Beacon transfers and another one to switch it back on.

I think there’s one thing we can glean from all of this: Holy Paladins are in a bad spot at the moment. We are broken on several levels — too effective at healing in some cases, not effective enough in others and the use of Light of Dawn, the very existence of Holy Power and the whackadoodle uses of Beacon of Light are only serving to muddle things.

I can’t wait to see what Blizzard has to say about this weekend’s changes.

(Don’t miss out on my follow-up post, located here at Kurn’s Corner!)

Holy Light of Dawn Nerf, Batman!

I was having a pretty good Friday. Thursday night, Apotheosis killed the Twilight Ascendant Council, so I was feeling pretty good going into Friday. In the afternoon, a friend called me up and we made plans to get dinner and a movie. While at dinner, I discover that my best friend gave birth to her second child earlier in the day. It was a great Friday.

I got home and see this:

Beacon of Light no longer triggers from Light of Dawn.

(Source: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/2259389)

(Please note that this change was reverted. You can read more about it here at Kurn’s Corner: Post 1, Post 2.)

For those holy paladins who made frequent use of this mechanic, this is a crippling blow to their healing numbers and their overall style of healing that has had a few months to develop.

Kurn, slow down. What the hell are you talking about?

Right, sorry. Let me talk about the style a little bit before I explain how this change deserves the term “crippling blow”.

In Cataclysm (and since the 4.0 patch), holy paladins have had two real methods of healing.

Method 1: Beacon a target (likely a tank) and heal the beacon directly, making use of Tower of Radiance to build up holy power in order to use spells like Word of Glory and Light of Dawn.

Method 1 is close to old-school healing and paladins still do really well when it comes to single-target healing. The major difference between this style and Wrath-style healing is that we are generally beaconing the target we are directly healing. Since 4.0, Beacon of Light has only transferred 50% of our heals (including overheals) to our beaconed target, so it’s not as though we can heal one target and beacon another and not have to worry about the beaconed target any longer. No more “set it and forget it” healing when we have a second target to heal, especially if it’s a tank. In current content, I’m pretty sure I can’t keep two tanks up all by myself. And that’s okay. I can still mostly keep one tank up on my own.

Method 1 is my preferred style. I’ve spent my whole WoW career focused on healing single targets and tanks. This is what feels comfortable to me. It’s also fairly clear that Blizzard intends for us to do things this way because of the very existence of the Tower of Radiance talent.

Method 2: Beacon a target (likely a tank) and heal the raid, making use of Holy Shock and likely Blessed Life procs and possibly using Crusader Strike (or, on occasion, directly healing the beacon if you’re even specced into Tower of Radiance, which you may not be!) to get Holy Power in order to cast Light of Dawn (preferably glyphed) to heal the living crap out of the beacon target, while doing some moderate raid healing.

In this way, you are still doing a great deal of healing to the beacon target, but the heals tend to spike; low heals here and there, then a big spike when you get 3 holy power for a Light of Dawn.

Here’s an example of some heals my fellow holy paladin cast during one of our recent raids, with some annotations to show where the beacon heals are coming from and where the holy power is coming from.

[22:42:26.717] Holy Paladin Divine Light Fury Warrior +30777
[22:42:26.993] Holy Paladin Protector of the Innocent Holy Paladin +*826* (O: 5877)
[22:42:27.412] Holy Paladin Beacon of Light DK Tank +0 (O: 18147) — from the DL
[22:42:27.756] Holy Paladin Beacon of Light DK Tank +0 (O: 3952) — from the PotI

[22:42:28.535] Holy Paladin Holy Shock Kitty +*4418* (O: 10545)
[22:42:29.067] Holy Paladin Protector of the Innocent Holy Paladin +4162 (O: 198)
[22:42:29.367] Holy Paladin Beacon of Light DK Tank +0 (O: 7793) — from the HS (1 HP)
[22:42:29.736] Holy Paladin Beacon of Light DK Tank +0 (O: 2571) — from the PotI

[22:42:30.686] Holy Paladin Enlightened Judgements Holy Paladin +*0* (O: 4414) — judgement
[22:42:31.519] Holy Paladin Beacon of Light DK Tank +0 (O: 2602) — from EJ

[22:42:32.532] Holy Paladin gains 1 from Holy Paladin’s Blessed Life — 1 HP

[22:42:35.419] Holy Paladin Holy Light Hunter +12396
[22:42:35.847] Holy Paladin Protector of the Innocent Holy Paladin +5310
[22:42:36.054] Holy Paladin Beacon of Light DK Tank +6198 — from HL
[22:42:36.537] Holy Paladin Beacon of Light DK Tank +2505 — from PotI

[22:42:36.537] Holy Paladin Holy Shock Hunter 2 +10011 — 1 HP
[22:42:37.116] Holy Paladin Protector of the Innocent Holy Paladin +4987
[22:42:37.591] Holy Paladin Beacon of Light DK Tank +2420 (O: 2586) — from HS
[22:42:37.926] Holy Paladin Beacon of Light DK Tank +0 (O: 2352) — from PotI

[22:42:39.400] Holy Paladin Light of Dawn Enhancement Shaman +0 (O: 8401)
[22:42:39.400] Holy Paladin Light of Dawn Ret Paladin +7402 (O: 955)
[22:42:39.400] Holy Paladin Light of Dawn Fury Warrior +0 (O: 8596)
[22:42:39.400] Holy Paladin Light of Dawn DK Tank +*12149*
[22:42:39.400] Holy Paladin Light of Dawn Rogue +8935 (O: 928)
[22:42:39.400] Holy Paladin Light of Dawn Frost DK +8300
[22:42:39.813] Holy Paladin Protector of the Innocent Holy Paladin +0 (O: 5272)
[22:42:40.250] Holy Paladin Beacon of Light DK Tank +4200 — from LoD
[22:42:40.250] Holy Paladin Beacon of Light DK Tank +4178 — from LoD
[22:42:40.250] Holy Paladin Beacon of Light DK Tank +4055 — from LoD
[22:42:40.250] Holy Paladin Beacon of Light DK Tank +4109 — from LoD
[22:42:40.250] Holy Paladin Beacon of Light DK Tank +4150 — from LoD
[22:42:40.688] Holy Paladin Beacon of Light DK Tank +2487 — from PotI

Over ~13 seconds, the paladin did a lot of healing to the raid and did about 86k in healing to the beacon target, a DK tank.

This is how it broke down, via timestamps:

22:42:27: 22099 — Big chunk from a DL beacon
22:42:29: 10364 — small
22:42:31: 2602 — smaller
22:42:36: 8703 — small
22:42:37: 7358 — small
22:42:40: 12149 (direct LoD heal) + 23179 — huge

So while it was “only” about 86k to the tank, he healed a lot of raid members, too.

Meanwhile, this is what my ~13 seconds looked like:

[22:42:28.083] Madrana Holy Light Prot Pally +*3433* (O: 14287)
[22:42:28.524] Madrana Protector of the Innocent Madrana +*0* (O: 6877)
[22:42:29.367] Madrana Beacon of Light Prot Pally +0 (O: 3438)

[22:42:30.688] Madrana Holy Shock Prot Pally +0 (O: 8780) — 1 HP
[22:42:31.021] Madrana Protector of the Innocent Madrana +0 (O: 4163)
[22:42:31.717] Madrana Beacon of Light Prot Pally +0 (O: 2082)

[22:42:34.200] Madrana Divine Light Prot Pally +2801 (O: 26806) — 1 HP
[22:42:34.200] Madrana Holy Shock Prot Pally +0 (O: 8787) — 1 HP
[22:42:34.643] Madrana Protector of the Innocent Madrana +*7077*
[22:42:35.419] Madrana Beacon of Light Prot Pally +3538

[22:42:36.902] Madrana Light of Dawn Madrana +7240
[22:42:37.116] Madrana Light of Dawn Resto Shaman +8038
[22:42:37.116] Madrana Light of Dawn Fire Mage +6838
[22:42:37.116] Madrana Light of Dawn Shadow Priest +7013
[22:42:37.116] Madrana Light of Dawn Moonkin +*10750*
[22:42:37.591] Madrana Protector of the Innocent Madrana +*6355*
[22:42:37.591] Madrana Beacon of Light Prot Pally +3620
[22:42:37.926] Madrana Beacon of Light Prot Pally +3705
[22:42:37.926] Madrana Beacon of Light Prot Pally +3625
[22:42:37.926] Madrana Beacon of Light Prot Pally +3717
[22:42:37.926] Madrana Beacon of Light Prot Pally +5697
[22:42:38.238] Madrana Beacon of Light Prot Pally +0 (O: 3177)

[22:42:40.250] Madrana Divine Light Prot Pally +21437 (O: 9401)
[22:42:40.688] Madrana Protector of the Innocent Madrana +0 (O: 4278)
[22:42:41.510] Madrana Beacon of Light Prot Pally +0 (O: 2139)

130470 healing to my beacon target in ~13 seconds, broken down this way:

22:42:29: 21158 — big
22:42:31: 10862 — small
22:42:35: 41932 — huge
22:42:38: 23541 — big
22:42:41: 32977 — huge

So while my heals on my beacon target, a paladin tank, were generally bigger and more regular than my fellow holy paladin’s heals, I also didn’t really do a lot of raid healing. In fact, I’m sure that if you add it all up, he did more healing than I did in that span, especially because a lot of my heals overhealed my tank.

You can see that these are two distinct styles with different focuses. There are different specs for them, different glyphs and it changes how you generate holy power.

So, what does this Light of Dawn/Beacon of Light change mean?

It means that Method 2, which is beaconing a target like a tank and going to town on the raid, becomes a lot less viable. Light of Dawn was that guaranteed big, instant heal. 20k, easily, as long as people were in front of you and you had three stacks of holy power. You really need that extra oomph to help steady out your beacon target. If you could time it well so that just as soon as your target needs that hit, you had that 3 charges of holy power and were properly placed to maximize the number of people Light of Dawn would hit, you were golden. My fellow holy paladin is AWESOME at this and that’s why I put him on the raid and assign him a beacon target and I balance the healing on that target knowing how good he is at getting that LoD to go off at the right time.

With this change, I COULD continue to have him on the raid, but would have to compensate for the lack of big heals from LoD. It would probably be easiest to stick him on a tank full time, which I don’t think he’d like very much. (We’ll talk about it, buddy!)

So can paladins still raid heal?

Eh. Kind of? There’s no excuse not to pick up Tower of Radiance and Eternal Glory now, since our use of Word of Glory should skyrocket since we’re not going to be using our holy power on Light of Dawn very much anymore.

If your paladin is good at using Holy Radiance and is willing to make sure they’re raid-healing using Word of Glory (which will still transfer to the beacon) and direct heals, there’s no reason they can’t raid heal, but I can’t help but think that all priests are better at it than paladins are, with Prayer of Healing, plus Circle of Healing and Sanctuary. Druids can use Wild Growth more frequently now and get extra healing via their mastery by layering Rejuvenation on top of Wild Growth, not to mention, they have Efflorescence. And then shaman are still able to use Healing Rain and Chain Heal… it’s going to be a tough job to raid heal going forward without relying on Light of Dawn for those little spikes on the raid and the cumulative effect on the tanks.

I would be more inclined to put holy paladins on the tanks, but a good player should be able to still raid heal. It’ll just be more difficult.

Any ideas for how to fix paladins, if, indeed, you think they’re broken?

I’m not a numbers person. I don’t look at the healing meters and go “ZOMG I R GUD” if I happen to top them. (Which rarely happens because I’m focused on my tank.) If I did my job, I’m satisfied and my job will mostly consist of healing a tank. I like that job and I feel I’m still able to do it.

However, removing this more dynamic style of healing is going to suck. Why even bother to cast Light of Dawn now? The healing it provides is pretty low at 6-8k a person. With 130k or so raid-buffed, even 10k hits aren’t all that huge. Part of the fun of being a paladin in early Cataclysm was the ability to help out on the raid while healing the tank or helping out on the tank while healing the raid. It seems as though we will be able to do one or the other, but not both — and we’re heavily slanted towards single-target healing with our current spells.

What I would do:

– Restore Holy Light’s Holy Power generation via Tower of Radiance: More holy power to use leads to more LoD use, even if it doesn’t benefit the beacon any longer.
– Restore Light of Dawn’s power back up to its level before it got nerfed in terms of strength (either 40 or 60%, I can’t keep all these numbers straight): A stronger LoD means we won’t NEED to cast it as often to still help out on the raid.
– Lower the cooldown (and possibly slightly lower the mana cost) of Holy Radiance: If Holy Radiance is used more often, we won’t need to keep trying to use up holy power in order to help out on the raid.
– Give us a mastery that actually doesn’t suck.
– Chuck Beacon of Light and Light of Dawn and completely redesign the Holy tree in a way that makes us WANT to spend points in it: No details on this because I don’t even know what I’d like to see. I do know that when I look at resto druid trees and holy priest trees, I get jealous, because I can see where it’s an actual choice to pull points from their main trees and put them in disc/shadow or feral/balance. I resent having to spend 31 points in the holy paladin tree and would go another 5 points deep in ret if I could (without losing my 5 in prot). I feel like I should want to drop as many points in holy as possible and really have to make a tough choice to drop talents into prot or ret.

That’s all my opinion, mind you.

But wait! Kurn, what’s this about a Conviction nerf?! Two nerfs in one day?

Sadly, this is true. Holy Radiance crits no longer trigger Conviction. This will lead to less uptime on Conviction, which leads to lower healing overall. Granted, even in 346-level gear, I had about 80% uptime on Conviction. Nowadays, I have about 90% uptime on it and I don’t abuse Holy Radiance on cooldown, so I don’t expect to see too much of a difference in my overall numbers due to this.

Crappy day to be a holy paladin?

So what else is new?

The funniest thing about all this is that when Holy Light was changed to no longer grant holy power through Tower of Radiance, Nethaera was like:

It is intended that Protector of the Innocent and Light of Dawn transfer healing through Beacon of Light. Furthermore, we didn’t feel that changing either of those would have fixed the problem.

(Source: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/1532043235?page=70#1386)

Yeah. You guys got some ‘splainin’ to do.

In which I remember I have a blog…

Right! I have a blog! ;)

Hi folks.

It’s a busy time to be a guild master, especially one that’s heading up what is essentially a new guild. Lots of new personalities lead to a new guild atmosphere. Not everyone adores each other, but I like to think everyone respects one another. Still, being on top of things to help diffuse misunderstandings is something I’m having to do now and again. Everyone responds to things differently and some jokes do not go over well.

Plus, there’s Blessing of Frost (new episode, #9, is out — iTunes stuff still pending due to the move, but you can download it right from the website) to deal with and, well, that whole “raiding” thing.

We took 13 whacks at the Twilight Ascendant Council on Monday night. Monday isn’t a normal raid night for us, but Sunday was the Superbowl, so we went on Monday. Wasn’t an optimal group comp, but it was okay. We had 25 people! ;)

Of course, the disconnection monster ruined us. Our tank officer kept getting knocked offline, then half the Canadians (myself and my brother Fog included) got thrown off… We had several people with super-high latency and so we called it an hour early, rather than reclear trash for 40 minutes of potentially sub-par attempts at Council.

Honestly, it was demoralizing and probably not just for me. You could just tell people’s hearts weren’t in it and that they were frustrated.

So we called it and I told people to be ready for this week, to be ready to focus, to take on these new encounters, because we were going to spend a lot of time on them. Meaning Council and Cho’gall.

Our plan was to go into Blackwing Descent on Tuesday and go 4 of 6 or thereabouts and hope for 5/6 and then start fresh in Bastion on Thursday. By 11pm, we were 5/6 in BWD.


I think my precise words in officer chat were:

“Uhhhhh. So… now what? haha!”

We’d talked about extending our Bastion lockout so that we could spend even more time on Council and hopefully Cho’gall, but we elected not to do so and went in to go splat Halfus.

By 11:55pm, we were done with Halfus and done with our first-ever six-boss raid night.

We one-shotted Magmaw, had a quirk with Omnotron, then three-shotted Chimaeron (disconnects are BAD!), then one-shotted Atramedes for the very first time. We’d killed him in two attempts a couple of times, but it felt good to get Atramedes down that quickly. Then a quick one-shot on Maloriak and we were off to Bastion.

We one-shotted Halfus, too, despite a bad wipe on his trash.

If we can always bounce back from a sub-par raid night with a superb effort like we saw tonight, I will never be concerned about a sub-par raid night again.

And it WAS sub-par. Frustrating, some mistakes, some misunderstanding of various mechanics on everyone’s part… Hell, I even had a tank die on me. Totally my fault, too.

But we pulled it together tonight and blew through BWD. I even had the opportunity to sit myself out of Magmaw and Omnotron. To date, I’ve sat out of one, maybe two Baradin Holds, so I’m glad I got to sit out some actual fights. No one is exempt from being sat.

Hilariously, this means I missed one of my SHADOW PRIESTS getting mangled by Magmaw. I sat there, staring at my raid frames in disbelief, clearly seeing the mangle debuff on him. Go, go Dispersion. I have NO idea what the hell happened there, but it was a fairly clean kill anyways.

Also tonight, much mocking of me by the raid. They’re all fired and I imagine the Twilight Realm (where I tend to order my healers to go if they displease me in some way) is getting pretty darn crowded right about now. >.> It was pretty hilarious at points, though. Have you ever tried to do healing assignments while being mocked or teased AND laughing? No? Try it, sometime. ;)

In other raiding news, holy cow, did I get gear.

Over the last week or so:

Wyrmbreaker’s Amulet
Burden of Mortality
Relic of Norgannon
Darkmoon Card: Tsunami
Vibrant Alchemist Stone
Maldo’s Sword Cane
Flash Freeze Gauntlets

Pretty nuts. I’ve updated my chardev profile and the only thing that’s not right is that my JC trinket (Dream Owl) is now replaced by the Vibrant Alchemist Stone.

By the way, it’s pretty awesome. I took a mana potion tonight on Maloriak: 14487 mana back. With 351 intellect (301 + 40 int gem + 10 int socket bonus) and mad amounts of haste AND the 40% extra from mana or health potions… Very pretty.

So Tuesday was an amazing start to our raid week. Valiona & Theralion on Thursday, followed by Council work and hopefully Cho’gall.

Oh, and our tank lead uploaded a bunch of videos of Apotheosis vs. various fights. Sadly, his voice doesn’t come through on fraps for these, so just imagine a dwarven pally tank calling out things. ;) You do get to hear a bit of raid chatter, though, which I always think is fun.

Apotheosis vs. Maloriak (25)
Apotheosis vs. Atramedes (25)
Apotheosis vs. Halfus (25)
Apotheosis vs. Valiona & Theralion (25)

And here’s our channel link: http://www.youtube.com/user/apotheosisonet

More fights to come, more recruitment videos, more fun stuff.

On that note, definitely bedtime for moi.

I do hope to be able to post paladin-related stuff soon. I didn’t feel particularly nerfed on Tuesday, though, if that even means anything, but it’s probably because of all the gear I’ve gotten in the last week.

Responsibilites, Skills… and Me

For those of you who don’t know, I’m a sociology student. I’m close to getting my bachelor’s degree and, with any luck, the upcoming fall semester of 2011 will be my last semester.

As such, I’m trying to figure out what I want to do with my life and I occasionally see a vocational counselor to try to help me narrow down the field.

Perhaps unsurprisingly to some, she was fascinated to hear about my involvement with WoW. I don’t tend to talk about it a lot “in real life”, but when I mentioned that something I loved doing was raid leading, she kind of had to ask what that meant and I had to explain and, yeah, she constantly tries to get me to relate things to WoW.

Once I get over the embarassment of it, it’s kind of neat, because she shows me why I love the game in a whole other way.

My “homework” for my next session is to write up a CV (or resume) of my GM skills. “Pretend,” she said, “that you need to apply to become the leader of another guild.”

“But that would mean my guild had failed miserably!”

She chuckled and told me to pretend I was six months removed from the pretend end of my guild and to try to write up a CV.

Obviously, the reason she’s doing this is to show me, in concrete terms, that the skills I have gained and refined while playing World of Warcraft have relevance in the real world. Which I know, but I rarely see real applications for it. I mean, how often do you have to parse a log in real life? How often do you have to armory people in real life? How often do you have to respec in real life?

My appointment’s in a little over two hours, so I thought I’d share with you guys what I wrote. Note that my Bronzebeard and Proudmoore guilds are not named because I’ve been pretty harsh on those people in this blog in the past.

Continue reading “Responsibilites, Skills… and Me”

Blessing of Frost and Recruitment!

So we just launched blessingoffrost.com, which is our new website for the Blessing of Frost podcast, strangely enough! A weekly (well, most weeks) podcast featuring me and my buddy Majik along with a special guest. Guests so far have included my brother (and one of our tanks) Fog, our tank lead Dayden, Oestrus/Obscene, Darista, Fugara (my former GM from when I was in Choice – holy pallies, do me a solid if you’re looking for a guild and go app there!) and our latest guest is Dahrla, a shadow priest in Apotheosis. So head over there and listen to Episode 8!

In other news, Apotheosis is definitely still seeking a restoration shaman, a restoration druid and a moonkin! Would also consider an elemental shaman. Basically, caster DPS that don’t wear cloth. So check out our guild site and apply now. You can always ask me questions on twitter (@kurnmogh) or via email: kurn [at] apotheosis-now [dot] com.

Paladin stuff forthcoming, eventually, I’m sure. :)