Adventures as a Baby Paladin

I must have a screw loose or something.

Five years after I rolled my first paladin, and decided to make her holy, I rolled another one. Primarily, this is to help out those lovely people I talked about who are in Choice of Skywall. If they can’t have Madrana (and they can’t, because she’s with Apotheosis until death do they part), then why not attempt to clone myself? After all, it’s entry-level raid content that I know how to do, it’s just a matter of getting the toon to 85. Right?

After an initial burst to 22, I got to 24 in a week. Then to 26 in a week. And now, as I write this, I’ve gone from 26 to 43.

Even if Choice doesn’t need another paladin healer (they probably will, though, unless one of you fine people applies today!), it’s good blog fodder. Everything I knew about levelling a paladin is completely out of date.

– You don’t get Cleanse until 34! And even then, you need to hit at LEAST 39 in order to spec all the way down into Sacred Cleansing to allow your cleanses to cleanse magic. Crazy!

– With Holy Shock, Holy Light, Word of Glory and Flash of Light, healing is seriously boring. Two instants, one quick cast, one long cast. None of them hit particularly hard. (Except for Lay on Hands.) I keep reaching for my shift key, since Shift-Right-Click is my Clique bind for Divine Light. What’s that? No Divine Light? Nope. Not ’till 62.

– No Divine Shield! Seriously. Not until 48 do we get our much-adored bubble. I’ve been BOPping myself when I get in trouble or the tank is just that bad.

– I dinged 39 and was able to spec into Beacon of Light (I went for BoL before Sacred Cleansing) and was thoroughly amused that for the rest of that run, I kept catching BoL and refreshing it with about 15 seconds before it fell off. I have it showing up on Grid, of course, but I don’t have a duration there. My duration is usually shown to me by CLCBPT, at least on Madrana, but I hadn’t enabled it for the baby pally yet. Still, it appears that I’m able to time things pretty well even without my timers. I was very amused.

– Speaking of Beacon, wow, totally forgot how kind of lame it is when you can’t heal your Beacon target to get holy power. That’s right, no Tower of Radiance yet.

– No Hand of Sacrifice. Until level 80. Are you freaking kidding me?! LEVEL 80?! I use HoSac all the damn time at 85. And did so while levelling to 85. I can’t believe they couldn’t give me that at like, level 38 or something. Level 38 was lame. No talent point, no abilities to train. Nothing. Just “You have reached Level 38!” Well, thanks. What good is that to me?

– Glyphs. I’m limited to 3 glyphs ’till I hit 50, then I get another one of each. So strange to not have Glyph of Seal of Insight in use, but, in all honesty, I don’t really need it. I feel pretty overpowered.

The other thing I’m noticing is people don’t know the damn instances. Pretty much at all. We’re talking people don’t know where the deeds are in Scholo or even that Jandice and Rattlegore exist. People who have no idea what the pylons are in Dire Maul West. It just… makes me want to cry. I’ve been running these instances for five years. I know them all very, very well. Except Mara and Ulda. I get lost there. But hell, I’m not asking people to run BRD blindfolded or anything. Scholomance is relatively straightforward. How are people getting LOST there?

I would understand getting lost in Blackrock Spire too, but Scholo? Eh.

I’m very tempted to spec prot and queue specifically for the dungeons I know, over and over again, just to give people a good dungeon run. As it stands, the last Dire Maul West and Scholomance runs I did, I acted as the guide. “Stand here. Wait. Kill that. Go. Run. Over here!”

That said, I know very little about prot right now and, while it would be a great time to learn, I don’t have a pocket healer. Meanwhile, my brother’s warrior is 44, so I’m going to get him to tank for me, I think.

I tried questing a lot and knocked out a bunch of levels doing the Cape of Stranglethorn (I love all the Booty Bay/Bloodsail Bucs quests!) but ultimately, even though I like doing things on my own and at my own pace, I feel like it’s just faster to whip through the instances right now. Praise be to any god you believe in, I only got Gnomer twice. Woot! :D

So, yeah. Weird to not have bubble, HoSac or Tower of Radiance. Weirder still to be the only one who knows the instances in so many cases. I need to do those videos I was talking about ages ago, but I’ll hold off ’till my new computer shows up.

But seriously, go apply to Choice of Skywall if you’re a holy paladin who’s looking for a new home, so I don’t have to. ;D

Helping out some friends…

When I was getting Apotheosis together, one of the things I kept hearing over and over was “you are passionate about your guild, you can tell from your posts about it!”

I’m definitely invested in and passionate about Apotheosis. What good GM wouldn’t be invested in and passionate about their guild?

Before I restarted Apotheosis and after I spent 10 months being abused by a jackass of a GM/RL/MT… I joined Choice of Skywall.

It was exactly what I needed at the time. I knew I didn’t want to be done raiding before the expansion came out, so I joined them in June of last year. It was strictly a temporary thing — I made it clear in my application that I was only there until 4.0 dropped or slightly after. Definitely gone by the time Cataclysm launched.

These people embraced me. They knew I was a player who was more advanced (I was 11/12 25-man in heroic ICC and I had my drake) than they were but I was careful not to be too bossy (well, mostly!) and I LOVED being just a cog in the machine and doing what they needed me to do.

I don’t normally talk too specifically about people on my blog, but the GM of Choice, Fugara, is far and away the best GM I could have ever had. She’s the reason why I joined Choice over this other guild on Hyjal. I cannot say enough good things about Fug. Go read my Day 13 post about people I admire for more about why Fug is awesome.

Choice is made up of more than just Fug, though. Beez, whom you may have seen posting comments here, now and again, is a great tank and was just promoted to tank officer. He’s solid, knows his stuff and is a nice guy, to boot. I had good times healing him both in-game and in the Cataclysm beta. :)

Geng… is one kick-ass arcane mage. Of all the DPS in Choice, Geng is one I miss a lot! His exceptional play, his hilarious stories and him accidentally keying into Vent while bitching at someone who was sitting on his car (or, alternately, had done something bad regarding something to do with the March of Dimes) has to be heard to be believed. You just sit there and pray Geng never gets that pissed off at you. ;) He’s a great guy and a great player. He ALWAYS had my back when I had the Unbound Plague on heroic Putricide. The downside? He’s a gnome. But he’s awesome. I love Geng and I miss him bunches.

The warlocks were pretty awesome, all of them. Sanevink’s a good player, he’s polite, nice. Daemyn’s a competitive one and she’s fun to be around. Jorik, who is now playing a DK named Forek, was similarly polite and nice and we’ve chatted some since I’ve left. Good people, all of them.

Thornstar is a great moonkin who’ll pitch in to heal if needed. Hell, he pitched in to tank sometimes, too. Great team player, great guy.

Shamownia… with his deep voice and usually inappropriate comments, I would get a case of the giggles pretty frequently. He made raids fun. Excellent player as well.

Mylana was a rogue and he now plays his holy paladin for the guild. Mylana’s a great player with a lot of attention to detail and he has sucked it up and switched to his paladin for the guild, without being asked to or anything. Very nice guy, very good player and hopefully following in the grand tradition of, well, me and Walks.

Speaking of healers, Fugara is, of course, an excellent healer, but the others who are still there from when I was include Yggdrasil (officer/healing lead, whose dulcet tones can relax you oh so well!) who is a kick-ass resto druid and Vvtra who’s a great resto shaman as well.

Yeah, four healers are still there from when I was. Turnover sucks, but it happens. That is a solid core and they need more healers. I’m trying to level another paladin to try to help out on my offnights, but they need help NOW.

They’re 11/12 25-man (just need Al’Akir) and have done 12/12 on 10, so they know the fight, they just need the reliable people, especially healers!

These people embraced me when I was bitter, jaded and pretty close to quitting the game for a time. They made me feel wanted and useful, they forgave my BOPping Bonsey the bear instead of LOHing him on heroic Festergut during my very first raid with them and they’re just a really good bunch of people who could use a couple of solid healers. (But also some DPS.)

So if you’re not happy with your guild situation, please, please, please check out Choice of Skywall. They’re an Alliance guild who raid from 9pm-12am ET on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. They’re 11/12 on 25 and do loot via EPGP. They have amazing leadership and a fantastic GM.

Give them a shot. Tell them Kurn (or Madrana, I suppose!) sent you. :)

Kurn's 4.1 Thoughts

This is going to be short and sweet.

– 20s CD on Word of Glory does not apply to holy paladins, since as soon as we spec holy, the CD is removed.

– Aura Mastery no longer works on Crusader Aura. Didn’t they try to do this several patches in a row, now?

– Illuminated Healing shields now last 15 seconds, up from 8, and our mastery is now 1.5% per mastery, up from 1.25%. Hot tip: In pretty much all dungeon and normal raid situations, our mastery still sucks. There’s a possibility that it doesn’t suck quite so much in heroic raids, but so far, haste is still better than crit, which is probably just slightly above mastery, if only for the Infusion of Light procs, once you can comfortably keep Conviction up.

Yeah, that’s about it. I guess we should be grateful we didn’t get nerfed out the wazoo, but it certainly does make for a boring patch.

ETA: Ooh, Rebecca at MMO Melting Pot linked to me, so, in brief:

4pc bonus: Not sure if it’ll be worth it to lose all the haste and such and pick up so much mastery for 540 Spirit whenever you use Holy Shock. I’m picking up the set pieces but don’t know that I’ll ever actually use them.

10% less cost to Divine Light/Flash of Light: Squidularity mentioned this in the comments below. Divine Light now costs 7026 mana and Flash of Light now costs 6323. This was apparently a hotfix?

(Want to learn more about 4.1 in general? Go listen to the latest episode of Blessing of Frost, a World of Warcraft podcast hosted by myself and my good buddy Majik.)


Ladies and gentlemen, I write to you today with a Very Important Message.

It’s Omnotron.

Not Omnitron.

Not Omnomnomitron. (Although the first time I saw it, it was funny. The subsequent 2981 times, not so much.)

Omnotron Defense System.

Go check your in-game achievements if you doubt me. Or, here, check it out:

Heroic: Omnotron Defense System

Also, as a follow-up, it’s Nefarian, not Nefarion.

Thank you and have a good day.

This public service message has been brought to you by the fact that I don’t want to keep digging through 4.1 patch stuff ahead of recording the new Blessing of Frost tonight.

Catching Up

Oddly, I have posted almost every day so far this month and I have said remarkably little about what’s going on for me.

I’ve been dogsitting. For 10 days now. Gah. My parents should have landed and my brother should be picking them up at the airport by now, so I get to go home tomorrow after Easter dinner. YAY!

The backlight on my laptop died. The screen works, but it looks like you’re reading stuff from behind six pairs of sunglasses. So I went out and bought an external screen, which is what I was planning to do already, since my shiny new computer will be arriving in a week or so. I also bought external speakers and a new desk lamp — and then today, I bought a new desk chair that’s being delivered on Wednesday.

In-game, I finally, finally got Shackles of the End of Days off Cho’gall on our 9th kill of him.

Yes, I also got Superior. The plate healing bracers never dropped for me in regular Grim Batol or heroic GB or heroic Deadmines. Painful.

This week… well. I guess we’ll see what next week brings with it, but this week was pretty underwhelming in terms of attendance. So much so that we cancelled Thursday (along with Sunday, for Easter), leaving us with one, count ’em, one raid night, on Tuesday.

Boy, did we take advantage of that.

Off it was to Bastion to kill heroic Halfus. Done!

Off to Blackwing Descent to clear it, with pulls on heroic Chimaeron for a little bit. Done!

In three hours, we killed 7 bosses, including a one-shot of Nefarian, which was pretty effing sweet.

For some, seven bosses might not be impressive. For us, that’s pretty significant. At least it shows us we can do that sort of thing every week if we really want to.

So we’ll see where we end up in terms of attendance next week. If it’s still super craptastic, we’ll have to open up some more recruitment spots. As it is, I eventually heard from my AWOL moonkin and we’ll have to replace him due to RL stuff, I think. Pretty sad, because he was a great player for us.

I haven’t done much this week in WoW, to be honest. I think it’s a good thing we cancelled Thursday — I think some of us could really use the break. I haven’t missed a raid since we started raiding on January 4th, for example, so it’ll be nice to log in on Tuesday (assuming the servers are up, if it’s patch day!) and really WANT to raid and kick some ass.

Anyhow, that’s it for now. Must pass out. :)

Day 20 – Last Day Playing WoW

This post is part of Saga’s 20 Days of WoW Blogging Challenge!

See, I’ve always seen my last day of playing WoW as something I wouldn’t know was happening at the time. I envision myself not being guilded, not logging on much and then, one day, not logging on at all until I realize… hey. I’ve stopped playing WoW.

As such, this is a bit of a difficult challenge. If I were to consciously stop playing WoW, what would I do on my last day?

Let us assume that, in order to stop playing WoW, certain requirements have to be met.

1) For one reason or another, I am no longer in Apotheosis. Whether that would mean that the guild has fallen apart or that I’ve just moved on is irrelevant. There’s very little chance of me choosing to stop playing if I’m still in Apotheosis and we’re still an active guild.

2) Majik and Fog must also have stopped playing. I had a lot of fun on alts with these two bozos during Wrath, so I imagine I’d still play, even occasionally, if they were still playing, too.

3) My friends on Proudmoore must have stopped playing, or have stopped playing during times when I can conceivably play with them.

4) Choice must no longer exist, since I’m fairly sure that if anything goes wrong with my guild and we fall apart, I’ll high-tail it to Choice, if they’ll have me.

So with all of those conditions met, there wouldn’t be a lot TO do in the game for me. No running dungeons with friends, no raiding, nothing of the kind.

I think what I would do is load up Kurn with all my money (which, at the moment, is a fairly modest amount) and go to Darnassus and Teldrassil and give out 1000g to a variety of lowbies, until all my money is gone.

The lowbies would have to be unguilded, not wearing any heirlooms or anything of the kind. They would have to be actual new players to the game.

Once done with that, I’d probably go try to kite Spellmaw to Everlook in my T0.5 gear for the fun of it and then hop on to Madrana to log her out in her T0 gear in Stormwind.

Then back on to Kurn to log out, in the T0.5 gear, just outside the entrance to Strat Undead. Strat UD was my favourite classic instance and probably the second high-level instance I ran. I know every nook and cranny of that instance, every mob, every pull. I did the 45-minute run three times, although the first one didn’t count because either my cat, Whisper, or Tia’s imp, Volloz, got the killing blow on the Baron. The second time was at about the 43-minute mark and essentially had our buddy Football “tanking” by virtue of hamstringing the mobs that were trying to kill Tia and Tandrace. The third time, my cat tanked it and we did it with Crypt, Tia, Tan, Majik and myself. And we did it in 39 minutes.

I loved running that place and it seems fitting that Kurn would log out in the hallway leading to the instance entrance, in T0.5 gear that was acquired thanks to one of the more challenging questlines in the game, part of which took place there.

I still think it’s a lot more likely that my interest in the game will wane over time and that I won’t know it’s my last day when it IS my last day, but if I made the choice to stop playing, that’s pretty much what I’d do.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, brings us to the end of the 20-Day Challenge! Thanks so much to Saga for writing it up and challenging us all to do it. I had a lot of fun. :)

Yesterday: In Your Bags/Bank
Tomorrow: Possibly nothing at all!

Day 19 – In Your Bags/Bank

This post is part of Saga’s 20 Days of WoW Blogging Challenge!

Oh, God. If there’s one thing more cluttered than my UI, it’s my bags and my bank. Click on the images for much larger versions.

First up is Kurn’s bags and bank.

And now Madrana’s.

Feel free to ask me any questions about any item you see, haha. Most of the things in my banks have long, storied histories. The stuff in my bags is stuff I want that’s easily accessible, mostly. In the case of Madrana’s bags, this includes my laughable ret gear and my laughable tank gear.

Yesterday: Your Favourite Outfit
Tomorrow: If this was your last day playing WoW, what would you do?

Day 18 – Your Favourite Outfit

This post is part of Saga’s 20 Days of WoW Blogging Challenge!

I have two favourite outfits.

The first is the Beastmaster Armor set. I worked so hard for that stupid Tier 0.5 quest chain and it took me forever, FOREVER, to get the Beaststalker’s Chest, which was the last piece I needed for the quest chain. I don’t even particularly like the look (although the shoulders are pretty iconic) but that 8/8 just means so much to me.

And the other is the Lightforge Armor set. Though I never really used most of it to heal, I wore it whenever I wasn’t actively healing. Just putting on the shoulders made me feel like a “real” paladin. And it goes so well with the Stormpike tabard!

Yesterday: Your Favourite Spot
Tomorrow: In your bags/bank

Day 17 – Your Favourite Spot

This post is part of Saga’s 20 Days of WoW Blogging Challenge!

I am actually having a lot of trouble coming up with a favourite spot, either in or out of game.

I think it’s made more difficult because so much has changed in WoW. New zones, revamped old zones…

Well, let’s look at what “favourite” means to me.

A favourite spot has to be quiet, familiar, pleasant to look at and relaxing, I think.

I think maybe Nagrand is that to me. I spent a lot of time in Nagrand in Burning Crusade. I farmed a lot, both at Elemental Plateau and over by the Clefthoofs, I fished a lot (again, Elemental Plateau and elsewhere) and really, just enjoyed the zone a great deal. Except for Corki. But it’s the one Outlands zone I actually make an effort to go through when I level. It’s just such a beautiful place and it’s so quiet if you’re just questing or farming.

I don’t really have a favourite spot IRL, to be honest. There are plenty of places where I like to go, but too many to pick a favourite. And many of those places are dependent on the time of year and the company I’m in! :)

Yesterday: Things You Miss
Tomorrow: Your Favourite Outfit

Day 16 – Things You Miss

This post is part of Saga’s 20 Days of WoW Blogging Challenge!

Well, this is a bit of a list, really.

– Hunters using mana. No, really. I miss my mana bar. I’m getting used to the throttling of our damage provided by focus, but I miss my mana bar.

– Divine Plea on a 1m cooldown.

– 100% Beacon healing.

– Sacred Shield. I REALLY miss Sacred Shield. A lot.

– I miss wanting tier gear. I just picked up my T11 shoulders because they dropped and because they’re marginally better than the Chimaeron ones in terms of base stats (crit vs. mastery). That might be the only piece of tier I pick up.

– I miss the old lockout system! If you zoned in to an instance that was already partially cleared, you were saved. If you were in a fresh instance where you killed a boss, you were saved. EASY. I know, many people enjoy the flexibility, but we ran into more lockout issues tonight. Total bullshit.

– Auberdine. I spent a lot of WoW time in Auberdine while levelling Kurn. And a friend of mine from one of my stats classes was farming furbolgs for Timbermaw rep and he made his hearth the inn in Auberdine, way, way back in the day, before BC came out. I was at his place once and he showed me his toon (level 60 warlock) and showed me why Auberdine was his hearth — one flight point from Darnassus (AH/bank/etc) and one or two flight points away from Felwood, where he’d spend most of his time.

– I miss the occasional true tank-and-spank fight. Don’t get me wrong, I love a lot of the newer mechanics we see… but sometimes, a tank’n’spank is just what I crave. :)

– I miss Valithria Dreamwalker! Well, not her. And not flying. But I miss the fact that it was a “heal this boss to full” fight as opposed to yet another “kill this before it kills you” fight.

– Most of all, I miss the knowledge that I had accumulated over 2 or so years. I’m stuck relearning everything, all the mechanics, all the player abilities and such, so that I can do my job of leading raids better. I just wish I could know it all NOW, you know?

Yesterday: Your Desktop Background
Tomorrow: Your favourite spot (in game or outside it)