Cataclysm Classic Holy Paladin Meta Gems

It is 4:28am. I have work in… not too many hours. But I came across a video on YouTube while I couldn’t sleep and they were talking about how holy paladins should use the burning meta gem in Cata Classic.

And I was like… that’s not right, is it?

So what did I do?

First, I scoured THIS VERY BLOG to see what I have to say about Cataclysm meta gems. Know what I found? One post. One. That’s it. And it doesn’t even mention the Burning Shadowspirit meta?

So I got out of bed and went to check what gems were in Madrana’s old helms — both original Madrana and baby paladin Madrana. Ember Shadowspirit Diamonds were in basically all of my old holy helms (different ones for tanking and the odd ret helm).

And I’m like how did I not mention a whole other meta gem? I was very, very confused.

Until I saw a comment at Wowhead. The Burning meta used to say 3% Increased Critical Damage until 4.3, whereupon it changed to 3% Increased Critical Effect.

Judging from Wowhead, Cata is going with 3% Increased Critical Effect for Classic. (And, it seems, the second iteration of Holy Radiance, but that’s for another post.)

So, questions:

1) Was I really unaware of this change at 4.3???

2) If I wasn’t unaware, why did I keep using the Ember?

3) Why have I been researching this and writing this for 20m in the middle of the night when I have work the next day?

I think I’ll do a bit more research this week and come up with a good video/post about Cata and holy pallies. In the meantime, yes, use the Burning Shadowspirit Diamond as your meta. And here’s what I still believe is a pretty decent max-level spec for a PVE holy paladin.

Okay, back to bed. The birds are chirping and the sun is coming up. I am not going to be a happy camper at work…

Follower Dungeon Thoughts

Folks, I am still gobsmacked at this whole “follower dungeon” thing. Gobsmacked.

Naturally, as I haven’t been playing regularly in a while (I was last tinkering in Season of Discovery with my brother and his eldest son), I had no idea that there even were follower dungeons.

I ended up running Uldaman: Legacy of Tyr as Kurn, just to check it out and I was impressed with the NPCs. I pulled, MDing to the tank… and everything was fine. I tried pulling without MDing to the tank. And still, everything was fine. I tried pulling aggro off the tank and I couldn’t. I tried pulling multiple groups to see if either the tank or the healer would get taxed. Nope.

Mind reeling, I then decided I had to do this as a healer on Madrana.

You should watch it. It’s pretty funny. I also confuse this big shiny yellow spinny effect on the ground for something a mage does. No, no, it’s something a trinket of mine does…

Anyway, the NPC tank was fucking amazing. Like, no shit, my hand to God, amazing. Tanks of the world (or, perhaps more accurately, wannabe tanks of the world) should take a page out of Captain Garrick’s book. She is GREAT. The one nitpick I had (I healed Neltharus) was that at one point, the tank was at the top of some steps, the hunter (Austin — I hate him, but the other characters are fine) was at the bottom, and I was in the middle, having a bit of trouble with line of sight for a minute. But aside from that, this tank was great. This tank cast Lay on Hands on the shammy. I would have 100% let that shammy die while I cast LOH on the mage (which I did) because a shammy can rez.

So now, I’m like… how did the tank know to LOH the shammy? Is there a piece of code in there that says that a real human behind a paladin healer would have saved the character who couldn’t self-rez and that’s why the LOH went to the shaman?

(PS: I have a battle-rez, now? What?! I mean, it’s on my bars, so I must have known about it at some point, BUT WHAT?!?!)

So yeah, I’m really interested in understanding how the NPCs are programmed. These are not the dumbasses who were in the proving grounds. These are much more sophisticated. Slow to pull (but considerate of the healer!!!) and the DPS is somewhat weak (but they’re normals), but still. They sort of play their classes well? (Austin has pulled extra mobs on me at least once, so he’s on my shit-list.)

What comes next, I wonder? Heroics? Mythics? LFR bots to come in when there aren’t enough tanks or healers?

Part of me kept thinking about these “fun” dungeon runs some of us had together in Burning Crusade. It was like a bunch of night owls. Me on Madrana, with Tia (warlock), Fodder (DPS warrior) and Cennathas (rogue). And sometimes Fodder would actually tank if we, you know, couldn’t find a tank at 2am. And Cenn would always be the one tasked with finding a rando DPS. So we’d all be on Vent or something except for the rando and I’d be stressing about mana and Tia would get lost in the instance and the rando must have always been like “who the fuck are these people and what are they even DOING???” It was vaguely stressful for me as a healer, but it was usually a good time.

And like… that wouldn’t necessarily have happened if we had had the ability to do follower dungeons.

Hell, if the gang of us had been able to find a tank back in the day, like the Vanilla days, we may never have done a 39m Baron run without a tank. It was me on Kurn, with my cat, Whisper, tanking, Crypt healing the crap out of Whisper, and Tia, Tan and Maj doing insane caster DPS while I pulled. (This was prior to MD, btw.)

Now, obviously, doing a dungeon without a tank is, in a word, stupid. But that’s sort of what we liked about it. We liked challenging ourselves to use all the abilities at our disposal. We liked learning things. We especially liked forcing Majik to drop enchanting and pick up engineering and power-levelling it all night so he could drop repair bots and try to rez Crypt with jumper cables, when Crypt’s darkmoon card wouldn’t proc (which was, you know, often).

I wonder if we would have still had the fun adventures we did if this technology had been available to us. My gut says no, because necessity is the mother of invention. And if we hadn’t needed to find ways around not having a tank, would we have? Probably not.

So while I do love this follower dungeon thing as it is, where you can do normal-level dungeons with 3 of your friends and a bot or by yourself with 4 bots or anything in between, I hope it doesn’t go further than this.

I do think it’s sort of a band-aid to the whole lack of tanks situation.

The way to get more tanks is to open them up to more specs and to make it more rewarding to be a tank (and I’m not talking a goodie bag out of LFG) and to require more hybrid role encounters in raids. In a 25-man raid, we needed like, 2.5 tanks in Cataclysm. Usually 2. Occasionally 1. Sometimes 4. (Heroic Halfus, anyone? God, kitties who could be bears were amazing.)

So yeah, still gobsmacked. Still very curious as to the how. And now curious about the why and the how far this will go.

What are your thoughts?