Ding! My baby paladin is now 80. (Actually, 81, but anyways…)
Regardless of whether or not I end up transferring my baby paladin to Skywall, to help out the fine people of Choice, I’m really glad I started a new paladin.
I know, you think I have a screw loose, but it’s given me some FANTASTIC perspective.
I tanked my way from 68-80, which was alternately amazing and failtastic. Getting Oculus about 9 times in two days, completing it only three times and having my drake bug out on me no less than seven times was pretty bad. By “bug out”, I mean that, at different times, I could not dismount or, shockingly, I could not use my abilities on the drake AND I couldn’t dismount.
The only thing that worked — and even then, it wasn’t guaranteed — was logging off and logging back in.
Only I would log back in and I wouldn’t be in The Oculus. Nope. Nor would I be in the location I was in when I accepted the LFG queue. No, all of that would make sense!
I would end up in the Sentinel Hill graveyard in Westfall. Alive.
Each and every time this happened, that’s where I would end up.
I maintain that Sentinel Hill is the black hole of Azeroth.
At any rate…
So I hit 80 in The Oculus, wherein my drake bugged out TWICE, and then finished up the group. I wasn’t going to abandon these poor people without a tank in Oculus. That’s just mean.
After the run, I race-changed from dwarf (as adorable as male dwarves are) and went human female, as I usually prefer to be, regardless of the class. There are a few reasons for it — Diplomacy, The Human Spirit, Every Man for Himself — but also because I don’t think I could get used to being that short as a dwarf in a raid situation…
Anyhow! Then I started scrambling for gear so that I could queue up as a healer for Cataclysm instances.
Problem 1) Heirlooms listed 1-80 do not work at 80 any longer. They might have, once upon a time, but that no longer works.
Problem 2) I had essentially nothing in a few spots and spent some cash here and there. My shoulders, sadly, are now the Ornate Saronite Pauldrons.
The ilvl requirement for Blackrock Caverns and Throne of the Tides is 226. I laughed. That’s 25-man Ulduar-level stuff! It’s kind of neat to see how much gear has changed so much. I did Ulduar two years ago and 226 ilvl stuff is now what your average should be in order to get into the entry level dungeons for Cataclysm.
I suppose it’s because it was just so easy to gear up to T10 at the end of Wrath but they also wanted to let those who maybe hadn’t done anything since Ulduar come in and get right into things.
I managed to get that ilvl up to 230 and finally, I could queue up. That was ALSO very strange to me. That I had to try to gear up for these starter dungeons? I walked straight into BRC, TotT, Stonecore and Vortex Pinnacle on Madrana without being challenged by the LFG tool. I guess being in mostly 277 gear will do that. Even Kurn, who was in mostly 251 gear, had zero issues queueing.
Things are blurring together for me. I dinged 80 and picked up the Patina-Coated Breastplate and the Bands of Fading Light. It seemed very weird to pick up those items to head towards Blackrock Caverns or Throne of the Tides instead of Naxxramas, let me tell you. I feel as though I’m skipping current content by skipping out on the WotLK raids, although I know I’m not. It just seems so strange to not raid those instances at 80. The disconnect between my “normal” pally and my “baby” pally is messing with my head.
I finally was ready to queue up for the entry-level Cataclysm dungeons and I looked, in horror, at my mana bar.
I had about 30,000 mana.
Do you know the last time I saw the number “30,000” next to my mana bar on Madrana? I was raid-buffed in Ulduar as we worked on Vezax. My raid thought that I had bribed a GM to give me extra mana.
So I queued up and was teleported to BRC and realized I was pulled in to a group that had lost their healer.
I took the portal that was up and found myself at the forge area.
The mage, who was the group leader, was an offensive jackass, whose first words are not “Hi, guys” or anything, but rather “dk i hope you know this fight cuz the last 3 tanks didnt.”
“I know all the fights,” he responds.
“we’ll see,” says the mage.
I’m like “wtf did I just walk into here?”
The DK pulls the boss, since the trash is done, and he, himself, stands on the grated outer ring. And the boss is, you know, nowhere near the center flame area.
After about 10 seconds of this, the mage says “lol might as well give up he will never die”
And I got pissed, because all of this could have been prevented if only the mage had said “please don’t forget to move the boss in and out of the fire in the middle so he gets the debuff.”
But he didn’t. Instead, he was like “I hope you know the fight” and the poor tank is then forced to be on the defensive.
So, while healing, I manage to type out “(tank’s name), please move him in and out of the central fire to debuff him.”
Instantly, the DK drags the boss into the central fire.
And proceeds to stand there.
And wipe us.
So I release and run and NO ONE ELSE IS. “Run back, please,” I say.
Two people (the tank and a DPS) release, one person goes offline and the obnoxious mage says “no i’m waiting for the tank to drop group because i’m not fucking running with him”
I tried to vote-kick the mage, but couldn’t initiate any more party kicks (I guess that means they vote-kicked people out before?). And when he still wouldn’t release after the rest of us got back to the instance, I dropped group.
LFG tool: 1, Kurn: 0.
My next queue took me to a partly-finished Throne of the Tides where the group was at Erunak. The paladin tank was all KINDS of vile, spouting profanity (which I don’t generally have an issue with) and teaming it up with perjorative terms against a variety of minorities, gay people in particular.
He pulled the boss and then, partway through the fight, dropped group. >.>
Not that I was upset to be rid of him or anything, but wow. What a champ.
The mage then remarked, “what a fuckin homo”.
I was about halfway through typing something along the lines of how equating “gay” and the like with “stupid” is not cool, but the rogue in the group beat me to it.
“yea,” responded the mage.
“Did you know that over 800 species on the planet can be gay, but only one can be homophobic?”
I LAUGHED. “Well-said. I’m with you, man.”
That effectively shut up the mage and the rogue and I chatted a bit in whispers about why homophobes are annoying mouth-breathers. Good times.
Finally, we get a new tank, a druid. And the group is suddenly awesome.
We had zero issues with Erunak or the last dude and then requeued for BRC specifically. Easy full clear, then randomed up again and got BRC again, whereupon I got a tanking shield and a healing shield. Then another requeue and we ran a full TotT run.
The fifth member of the group changed a bit — it was a DK, then it was a DPS warrior, then it was an enhancement shaman — but the druid, the rogue, myself and even that mage made a pretty good team, despite the earlier ugliness.
I went on one more BRC run later on, whereupon the tank pulled one of the fire elementals around Karsh and accidentally pulled Karsh, too. I was like “greaaaaaat, that’s going to be a wipe,” BUT NO.
The tank was superb. Not only did he make sure to get the boss debuffed, but he picked up the other add when it approached us and marked it with a skull. He used Divine Guardian, used all of his own cooldowns. I used Aura Mastery and HoSac (OH GOD, I have missed that spell!) and everything was fine. HORRIBLE pull. FANTASTIC execution.
The one major complaint I have about my experiences getting to 81 through the dungeon finder tool is this:
No one seems to know how the hell to interrupt.
Every conceivable BAD spell that could be cast DID get cast, without interruption, almost without exception.
I was that exception and Rebuke has a 10s cooldown.
Shadow Strikes on the Evolved Twilight guys in BRC? All me. Never could reach Corla to interrupt that Dark Command and, as a result, got feared and my worshipper evolved at one point, but anyways.
And that’s even asking them to do so. Like, “Hey guys, it’d be really useful if you could interrupt that Healing Wave on that mob, or Bore on this mob or Shadow Strike…”
Still. Level 81. Getting there!
My ilvl is now 270, which is HILARIOUS, considering it’s all greens and some blues and my beautiful Vibrant Alchemist Stone. I keep looking at the ilvl and going “so that’s midway between ICC25 and ICC H25…” and wondering if I could heal heroic Dreamwalker. ;)
I’ve also been digging like a fool on Kurn (for the baby pally, for the Ring of the Boy Emperor and potentially Tyrande’s Favorite Doll. I’ll reforge the mastery to spirit on the ring and the doll will be useful while I wait to make/turn in a Tsunami deck.) and I am sad to report I got the More Skills to Pay the Bills achievement the other day. 525 in all four secondaries. I kind of hate myself.
There are guild updates, too. I need to boast about our heroic Magmaw kill and such, but we’ll see if we can nail heroic Atramedes tonight, too and then I’ll put it all in a single post.