On a rainy Tuesday afternoon…

Okay, the Q&A is on indefinite hiatus until such time that people start actually using the Internet again. Over two weeks, only 81 keywords brought people here and the vast majority of them are things I’ve already covered (heroic Putricide, Ruby Sanctum, Toravon…).

So on the agenda for today, uploading more beta screenshots, primarily. Maybe another post about beta. And also responding to comments and such.

I leave you with some videos I’ve made over the last few days, all from the beta.

First: the most annoying quest so far in Beta: Save the Wee Animals.

Next: Baron Geddon makes an appearance in Hyjal.

An overview of some paladin heals, in case you missed it:

How to corpse run back to Blackrock Caverns:

Pally Healing in Cataclysm, Firsthand

Okay, time for a post that talks not only about stuff I’ve done, but allows me to explain a few things about Cataclysm holy paladin healing in a way that might actually be useful to others entering beta and perhaps even useful in 4.0 itself.

I’ve made reference in a lot of past Holy How-To Guides about “paladin instincts”.

While they are very important to hone and to make use of in Wrath content, you can basically throw the book out the window when it comes to Cataclysm dungeons. Seriously, get used to the idea that we will, in all likelihood, completely change how we heal. Entirely.

I made a huge mistake Friday night/Saturday when I first got into beta. I remembered what Blizzard said about Holy Light being our go-to spell. Combined with the low cost at level 80 (263 mana without the Libram of Renewal, 150 mana with), despite its 3s cast time, I was making use of it often, not even paying attention to various numbers floating over people’s heads.

In my defense, I don’t usually play with scrolling combat text (Blizzard’s or anyone else’s, really) on my paladin. I’ve got Mik’s Scrolling Battle Text that’ll show me mana returns and damage I’ve done (judgement hits/misses, the occasional Holy Wrath or Hammer of Wrath) but that’s it. So I have to chalk it up to sleep deprivation and relying on old paladin habits when I tell you that I was very wrong to continue using Holy Light.

Without Speed of Light active and Judgements of the Pure, it’s foolish to cast Holy Light when you need to heal someone. The heal just isn’t going to land in time and, even if it does, it’s not going to heal for very much. Thus, it requires multiple casts. I have 1026 haste and, especially once you ding (so the haste needed per percent changes drastically), that’s STILL not enough for Holy Light to be a heal you want to use all that regularly, because you just plain do not have the throughput needed.

Of course, it’s exceptionally cheap. Even after swapping the Libram of Renewal out for the Libram of Veracity and now, the Libram of Blinding Light (yes, I really AM using Holy Shock enough that this makes sense! I still do not recommend you pick it up unless you have Emblems of Frost to waste, because who knows what Cataclysm librams will be like?) and gaining a level (which seems to have upgraded my spells in cost and potency?), it’s still cheap. And yet, there is an undeniable truth here:

Using Holy Light is bad.

What’s more, using Flash of Light is bad, since it’s terribly expensive. And so’s using Divine Light. Geez, what are we supposed to USE? If Holy Light is too long a cast and not powerful enough to even rival something like Holy Shock or Flash of Light, but HS has a cooldown and FoL is stupidly expensive, what do we do?

I’ve been using a lot of Divine Light. It’s the one that feels most like current Holy Light does — about the same output, about the same cast time, even about the same mana cost. It’s expensive, so I’m using Divine Plea more than I indicated I was earlier.

I’m not having a LOT of mana problems, but if the group isn’t using CC much (or at all), someone’s going to die because I just can’t keep up with the incoming damage. Taking 20 stacks of Lacerate from certain naga in Throne of the Tides is almost certainly going to mean a death; either the tank will die or, if I can get a BOP off, followed by a Hand of Freedom (to wipe off the BOP — only one Hand can be active on a target, per paladin), a DPS may die.

There’s a lot of incoming damage and I don’t imagine it’ll be THAT much easier on any healer to keep up. For me, that’s both mana-wise and GCD-wise. I’m really looking forward to Healing Hands, although that’s going to be an expensive spell with a cooldown, too. Hopefully, it’ll heal more than Light of Dawn, though. Don’t get me wrong, Light of Dawn is the coolest new spell we have thus far, but it’s healing people for like, 4k.

I’m sorry, have you SEEN the health pools? The sheer amounts of stamina everywhere? Without buffs, I’m at about 35k health in my holy gear. 4k to a maximum of 4 people (since it doesn’t hit you as well) every 30 seconds is less than a drop in the bucket. It’s sort of like a molecule of water in a small lake. Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration. Let’s say a large pond.

I also have to admit that without my pretty little clcbpt addon (that shows timers for my Beacon, my Judgement, my Sacred Shield and my Flash of Light hot), I’m sucking at keeping my Judgement up. That means I’m sucking at keeping Judgements of the Pure up. In my defense, though, there’s very rarely TIME when I can go “oh look, I have a free global — judge!”. It’s very much “OH GOD TANK IS GOING TO DIE OH THANK YOU SWEET JESUS OH NO WHAT IS THAT IDIOT DPS—” followed by a lot of muscle-memory healing.

Which is another thing that’s screwing me up. Thumb-clicking on the party frame does nothing — it does not cast Holy Shock on someone. :P Granted, when I raided on live tonight (Monday), I kept hitting my ` key to cast Light of Dawn and kept hitting G for Word of Glory, so maybe just practice makes perfect, eh?

Kurn, you’re rambling. How the hell am I supposed to heal in Cataclysm, or at least the beta?

Right. Sorry.

My advice:

– Use Divine Light. Make use of Holy Shock a LOT. Watch for your stacks of Holy Power, make use of Word of Glory.

– Use your Beacon. I still beacon the tank but this really might not be efficient. Maybe I should be beaconing myself. I still worry about leaving the tank alone for more than one GCD without beacon on them, though.

– When Infusion of Light procs, you currently don’t get a Holy Light haste. It does reduce the cast time of Flash of Light by 1.5 seconds, like it does on live.  And you’re almost always critting on Holy Shock. On this Throne of the Tides run that I actually finished, I had a 76% crit chance on Holy Shock, judging from the parse. Anyways, I was constantly using the instant FoL + 3-stack Holy Power Word of Glory. WoG not as often as I should have, but if I was moving, I was using it, usually on the tank, so that I could get more Holy Power charges.

– Glyph for Holy Shock. No, really.

– Use your cooldowns. Seriously. BOP, Hand of Sacrifice, Hand of Salvation. USE THEM. Use Divine Shield, Divine Sacrifice and Divine Protection. Use every spell at your disposal.

That’s basically the advice I have for you guys and what I plan on doing myself; very little Holy Light casting, lots of Divine Light casting, LOTS of Holy Shocking.

Here’s the parse, such as it is. Remember that some spells aren’t found because they don’t exist on live yet and Seals of Insight has the same spell ID as Seal of Light (so I might try glyphing for it and see if that still works!) and obviously, there’s no boss/trash/etc breakdowns because, well, none of this is live, yet. Most of the spells are available at cata.wowhead.com, though.

Also, Protien only took so much damage because of a debuff from the last boss. At the end, he had something like 132 stacks of this crap on him and was healing himself through it while DPSing the last boss. Hilarious.

Anyways, off to go try to get Madrana to level 82. I want 83 badly so I can test Healing Hands.

I’m questing as ret, by the way. I amuse myself with my own lameness at melee DPS.

Kurn's Cataclysmic Adventures 2

I spent a lot less time in beta today than I did on Friday night into the wee (and then large) hours of Saturday.

After dealing with that pesky “real-life” thing, I came back to beta and decided to try out that whole “guild” thing. ;)

Apotheosis was born on Lost Isles (US/PVE) this afternoon, with much thanks to four (no longer nine) random people who were kind enough to sign my charter.

I’m not actively recruiting random people, but I did tweet about it. Before I knew it, the awesomesauce Kody from WorldOfRaids (aka, the super awesome person from Curse who extended me a beta invite) was whispering me.

Thus, Kody and I embarked upon a journey, the likes of which have probably never quite been seen before and may never be seen again. At least, I kind of hope this journey won’t be seen again.

Guilds are totally broken in beta. Which is okay. It’s beta. It’s supposed to be broken. I get it.

But, among the issues:

– Guild masters have no permissions, thus their ability to do things (officer chat, invite, etc) is severely limited.

– Promotions (and probably demotions) aren’t saved.

– New ranks don’t work properly.

I’ve got a low-level Worgen as GM of Apotheosis at the moment and this is the result of a bug that meant Kurn couldn’t speak or read guild chat.

The only way to promote Kurn and Madrana was to make each of them GM in turn and then hand it back, since this action, by default, places a GM who gives GM to someone else in the spot right below the GM in the guild ranks.

Kody was extremely patient with me as I hopped over around all three toons and gave him GM and asked him to ginvite me and give me GM back and such.

On the plus side, Apotheosis has Fast Track! I’m not randomly inviting the world at large, but if you read this little old blog and have an Alliance toon on Lost Isles, let me know, either in-game at Kurnmogh or Madrana (or Kurnbank) or via twitter, and I’d be happy to extend you an invite.

Okay, so that was the guild excitement. On to instances…

Continue reading “Kurn's Cataclysmic Adventures 2”

Kurn's Cataclysmic Adventures 1

So. Beta.

Over the last several hours, I did not complete a single instance. I did advance significantly in terms of quests and subzones in Vashj’ir, mind you, and I also dinged Kurn 81. It took me less time to ding Kurn 81 than it did for me to get a third of the way to 81 on Madrana.

I also spent a crapton of time uploading and organizing 200+ screenshots from Beta, which are available here:


And I even made a couple little videos, which I’ve uploaded to YouTube. Spoilers below!

Continue reading “Kurn's Cataclysmic Adventures 1”


Thanks to the amazing people at Curse (and to Rilgon at Stabilized Effort Scope for recommending me), I have been given a beta key.

Maybe this will prevent me from long-winded diatribes about fail holy paladins for a few days. ;D

Now to get my paladin in tip-top beta shape by copying her over with 13k gold.

Expect a LOT of Cataclysm talk and photos, primarily for the holy paladins among us, but I also will be playing around a bit with my hunter and some of my other toons.

For spoilerish stuff (ie: not the actual talents/skills/etc), I’ll definitely use a “More…” tag, so you can read it if you want, but if you don’t want to spoil yourself, you won’t be spoiled accidentally.

Build 12644, Holy Build(s).

So just a slight change in the Holy tree that I can see. They tossed out Improved Lay on Hands. To which I say, “You bastards.”

However. The talent replacing Improved Lay on Hands allows us to play with other builds.

Last Word (2/2) is now sitting in the second tier of Holy.

Here’s the question I have: how often are we actually going to use Word of Glory?

Word of Glory, if you don’t recall, is an instant, mana-free heal that will utilize the new secondary resource system of Holy Power. Presumably, it increases in potency depending on if we have 1, 2 or 3 charges of Holy Power.

How do we gain Holy Power? Crusader Strike (which is now baseline) will give you a charge. Holy Shock will also give you a charge. And so will healing your beaconed target, if you have any points in Tower of Radiance (33%/66%/100% chance to grant you a charge of Holy Power). Question: Will healing your beacon with Holy Shock grant you two charges?

So it looks to me like we’ll have ample methods of gaining Holy Power. I don’t imagine we’ll be using Word of Glory more than every 10 seconds or so, depending on how gaining Holy Power goes.

The question that comes to mind now is, do we even want Last Word?

Here’s a build with no Last Word:


It picks up all the PVE talents in Holy, maxes them all out. That means .3 seconds off Holy Light and Divine Light (Clarity of Purpose) and the full three points in Tower of Radiance.

It picks up all the healing talents in the Retribution tree on the first two tiers that we’d want: Rule of Law (15% extra crit to Holy Shock and Word of Glory), Crusade (30% extra healing to Holy Shock), Conviction (3% extra healing after critting, stacks 3 times) and maxes all of them out, too.

Honestly, this is a really pretty-looking tree. No half-filled talents (which is awkward due to the 2 and 3 point talents versus 5 point talents, but still requiring five talents to advance to the next tier) and, do my eyes deceive me? No useless talents…

But if Last Word is actually useful in PVE, maybe we want to go back to something like this:

32/0/9 (with Last Word)

This steals a point from Clarity of Purpose and a point from Tower of Radiance and puts those points into Last Word. It leaves the healing talents in Retribution intact. Conviction is just too good.

But if we’re talenting into something that buffs Word of Glory (Last Word), does it make sense to gimp our Holy Power generation? Maybe not.

32/0/9 (Last Word, Tower of Radiance)

This will only lower your Holy Light and Divine Light cast times by .1 seconds instead of .2 or .3. I’m a huge fan of haste and anything that makes you cast anything faster, so this hurts to even consider, but I can only imagine that you’ll want to maximize your Holy Power Generation.

So, my dear readers, here’s my question to you if you’re in beta:

With Tower of Radiance (3/3), do you gain 2 charges of Holy Power if you use Holy Shock to heal your beacon target?

I think that if you do, you’ll want to maintain 3/3 Tower of Radiance and if not, you can probably drop to 2/3 Tower and get 2/3 Clarity of Purpose.

Anyone have an answer for us?

Or a beta invite for moi? ;)

ETA: I am now in Beta. Holy Power seems to be generated from:

– Crusader Strike

– Holy Shock

– Healing your beacon target with 3/3 Tower of Radiance (100% chance)

And yes, Holy Shocking your beacon target DOES grant you two charges of Holy Power.

Beta Talents, Take 2

There was a new beta build released last night, so you get a new post about it from me today.

Upon selecting the holy tree to place your talents, according to this latest beta build, you get:

– Holy Shock
– Meditation (Allows 50% of your mana regeneration to continue while casting.)
– Healing Bonus (Increases the effectiveness of your healing spells by 10%.)
– Spiritual Focus (Reduces the pushback suffered from damaging attacks while casting Flash of Light, Holy Light and Divine Light by 70%.)

The first thing to do when faced with the talents is to read everything in holy and everything in the first two tiers of prot and ret. There’s a lot of reading. Here are some of my thoughts.

Holy Tree

Tier 1

Sanctified Light (2) : Accessible to prot and ret, this talent is attractive for increasing Judgement crit chance, but is also good for us for 12% increased chance to crit on Holy Shock and Word of Glory — which is that Holy Power instant heal I discussed yesterday. More crit is almost certainly a good thing.

Divinity (3): Check it out, two less talent points to gain 1% extra healing (3 points/6% instead of the current 5 points/5%). Nice.

Judgements of the Pure (3): Since this is also accessible to prots and rets, I suppose that I can live with losing my 6% haste. I don’t want a ret pally smashing me in the face 15% faster, do you? I would prefer this to be a deep holy talent back to 15%, of course, but the last beta build had this on Tier 2 and now they’ve made it more accessible to everyone by putting it in Tier 1. So I can say goodbye to my 15%.

Tier 2

Clarity of Purpose (3): After years of seeing “0.5” seconds off various casts, Clarity of Purpose seems awkward. .3 seconds off Holy Light and Divine Light? I’m concerned too, because Light’s Grace is nowhere to be found. Anyways, still a talent that seems like we should be taking it.

Improved Lay on Hands (2): Hasn’t changed, still a great raid-saver.

Healing Light (3): 12% bonus healing to FoL, HL, Divine Light, Word of Glory and Holy Shock. Yes, please. I like that this is actually 22% more effective than our prot and ret cousins, due to the Healing Bonus you get just for being holy.

Tier 3

Now we get into areas that the other pallies can’t touch. This is our domain entirely.

Illumination (3): Non-bloated Illumination stays. Three points that are probably well-worth the mana return. Again, bumping this back to 100% or even 60% would be my personal preference. Alas!

Divine Favor (1): Despite the Divine Illumination icon, this is our old, dear friend. No-brainer here, even if it weren’t linked to other talents down the line.

Infusion of Light (2): A change! Holy Shock crits reduce Holy Light’s cast time by .75/1.5 seconds. So let’s see if I’ve got this straight. 2.5 second base cast time for Holy Light. -.3 seconds = 2.2 seconds. = 1.5 seconds = .7 second cast time on Holy Light after a Holy Shock crit, before Judgements of the Pure and before haste gear/raid buffs?

Anyone else think they screwed up and meant to put Flash of Light in there? That seems way too good, although I’d miss my instant FoL.

Enlightened Judgements (2): No-brainer, let’s get that extra range.

Tier 4

Beacon of Light (1): I’m sure this isn’t the right Beacon of Light spell. It says “each heal” and isn’t limited to certain heals. I expect this to be changed.

Speed of Light (3): Har, har, cute name. :P 30% spell haste for FoL, HL, DL, lower cooldown on Healing Hands and an increase in movement speed when we cast Healing Hands. I don’t see a downside.

Sacred Cleansing (1): Gotta grab this to ensure you can dispel Magic!

Tier 5

Aura Mastery (1): Again, worth getting even if it didn’t lead to anything else.

Denounce (2): PVP talent, it looks like. A free, instant Exorcism anytime you get a Holy crit.

Improved Concentration Aura (3): Same as today. Again, a little boring if not for use in PVP.

Tier 6

Tower of Radiance (3): Aha, another way to generate Holy Power and a reason to cast directly on your beacon target! I don’t know what the percentages are, but I would assume 33/66/100%?

Blessed Life (2): 5/10% chance for attacks to cause half damage. PVP talent in Cataclysm as it is in WotLK.

Tier 7

Light of Dawn (1): 21% of base mana, instant cast, 30 second cooldown, Send a wave of healing energy before you, healing all friendly targets up to 30 yards away for 1.

Well, assuming it’s for more than “1”, yowza. This might actually be a worthy 31-point talent.

I went to my RL friend the resto druid’s today, but she hadn’t patched in a couple of builds, so I didn’t get to mess around with beta. Maybe this weekend, though. In her words, though, just by the description, Light of Dawn is “OMG SO OP AND SO UNFAIR!” hahaha.

Okay, so let’s look at prot and ret and talents that may help us out there.

Protection Tree

Tier 1

Toughness, nah. Seals of the Pure? Meh. Improved Hammer of Justice, ick.

Tier 2

Judgements of the Just, not really for holy.

But wait!

Protector of the Innocent (3): +6% healing to those the Aura covered and -3% damage to you, personally. Maybe not a bad idea. That extra healing probably doesn’t stack with what was Tree of Life aura, although they don’t seem to have a persistent healing increase aura anymore. However, the resto druids don’t look anywhere near finished — Swiftmend is what they get when they spec resto and it’s still a talent in the tree.

Not a bad idea here, though. If there’s no prot pally or ret pally taking this, this isn’t bad.

Guardian’s Favor (2): If I’m speccing for Protector of the Innocent, I am definitely grabbing Guardian’s Favor. I love this ability.

Retribution Tree

Tier 1

Eye for an Eye, not for holy.

Rule of Law (3): Ooooh. Now this is interesting. 5/10/15% increased critical strike chance on Holy Light and Crusader Strike. Huh. Definitely something a holy paladin wants.

Crusade (3): Increases the damage and healing of Crusader Strike, Hammer of the Righteous, Templar’s Verdict and Holy Shock by 10/20/30%. Interesting. Probably want to grab this since it looks like Holy Shock will be a key part of our toolbox.

Tier 2

Improved Judgement, probably not for holy.

Conviction (3): Gives you a 1/2/3% bonus to damage and healing for 30 seconds after causing a critical effect from a weapon swing, spell or ability, stacks up to 3 times. Sooooo… just by critting, you want to give me 9% extra healing? Uh. Okay!

Pursuit of Justice (2): Run speed is always good, but you can just enchant your boots. Dealer’s choice here, really.

So, having looked at all of those talents, here’s what I predict the optimum PVE Holy Paladin build will look like, depending on the % chance to generate Holy Power from Tower of Radiance:

32/0/9 – This drops .2 seconds from your Holy Light and Divine Light instead of .3 seconds and also only goes 2/3 for Tower of Radiance in favor of getting all the healing skills in ret. Conviction is just stupidly good if there’s no internal cooldown on it. Rule of Law will help to make up for the ever-so-slightly longer HL cast time by adding 15% crit to it and since Holy Shock is clearly going to be very important to us, 30% extra healing from it in Crusade is probably going to be very important.

I imagine a prot support tree would be more support/utility-oriented:

31/10/0 – This would pick up two fillers in prot (Seals of the Pure and Improved Hammer of Justice) just to grab Protector of the Innocent for a raid buff and Guardian’s Favor for utility.

Anyways. My thoughts. What are yours? What build would you go with? Would you choose another entirely?

Beta Beta Bo-Beta…

As I wait in the interminable Bloodlust (Alliance) queue for a dungeon, waiting for someone to need a level 68 healer, I thought I’d drop in my two cents about the upcoming Cataclysm Beta.

I got into the Wrath beta, thanks to my RL friend the resto druid. She had a spare beta key that she gave me and I spent much of my time screenshotting things, getting my hunter to 73, laughing my ass off when Unholy Blight would crash world servers and generally exploring things. I remember when Infusion of Light would cause an instant HOLY LIGHT, not just a Flash of Light. I remember when there was only a 25% penalty to healing when using Divine Plea, not a 50% one.

I really enjoyed my time in Beta. I got to see half-finished mobs in Dragonblight, I got to experience quests before others. You know the quest for Nexus called Quickening? You kill the big ol’ tree things in the zone and get Arcane Splinters. In Beta? They weren’t group loot. There were like, 10 of them available total or something. I wrote feedback, recommending group loot or 25 total so that all five people could get their quest items if all five people were on the quest. Guess what? That’s what happens on live. :D

I also really enjoy just learning the new mechanics before things go live. One thing I hate about expansions is that it’s a near-total knowledge reset. By the end of Burning Crusade, I could have tanked on a warrior at 70, even though my own warrior is only level 16. I had done my research. I could have played just about any spec of any class adequately throughout any encounter from Kara to BT. I might not have topped damage meters or healing meters or been able to hold aggro from our resident fury warrior while I was tanking, but I knew enough about what abilities were available to everyone and when they should use them that I could have done an okay job.

Come Wrath, most of that knowledge was gone.

“Vigilance?” I remember asking, “What the hell is that?”

It typically takes me at least a full year to be relatively acclimated to the game changes an expansion brings. Beta knocks off a bit of that time and lets me learn about my own classes right off the bat so that I have the knowledge that’s most important to me already subsumed by the time live hits. When live hits, it’s about learning about other classes, newer quests and instances I never tried on beta and such.

I’m hoping I get into Cataclysm’s beta early on so that I can learn about some of the big changes — guilds, mastery, archeology and the like — as well as my own classes so that when Cataclysm comes out, I am ready to hit the ground running.

I really do want to restart my dear old Apotheosis (most of the time, anyways!) and the best way for me to do that is to go into 4.0 filled to the brim with knowledge about how things work in Cataclysm.

The thought of going forth into the beta and the next expansion really reminds me, too, that a lot of the content I post here, the informative stuff, is technically time-sensitive. My Holy How-Tos are going to be all but useless come the expansion. Definitely something to bear in mind, going forward. Every patch, every expansion, things will probably change, which is something I haven’t had to deal with since I only REALLY started blogging in earnest after 3.3 hit, despite the fact I started this blog up around 2.4!

Anyways, should I get into the beta, I WILL be posting stuff here. I’ll put it all behind the cut, though, and my blog subjects will be not-too-spoilery. :) This is your notice!

The queue still hasn’t popped. In other news, I got Portal Jockey and I’m on a Boat last night!

… yeah, that’s about it for now, I guess. This queue is awful. I think I’ll try my hand at some AV.