Cataclysm Information and More Thinking

I’m not typically an alarmist. I’m not typically someone who looks at something and goes “OMG I HATE THIS CHANGE”. I don’t love change in general, mind you, but typically, I don’t overreact. I take a LOT of changes very much in stride. (Obviously, I think the “new” Judgements of the Pure that was in the talent tree was craptastic, but I don’t feel like I was overreacting. I do cling to my precious haste. I will admit that right away.)

One of the big adjustments I have to make in this game, on a personal level, is accepting the fact that this is not MY game and that I am subject to the whims and desires of the developers. This is probably why I really like doing Stupid Crap(tm) on my hunter, to push those boundaries. Anyways.

Here’s what we know about holy paladins in Cataclysm:

Not a whole lot. This post is not, by the way, going to be a comprehensive “ALL PALLY CHANGES HERE!!!” post or anything, so don’t get cranky if I leave stuff out, please. There’s just way too much stuff that’s up in the air.

We do know that we’re getting a new spell, Healing Hands, which is an instant-cast spell that heals all friendly targets within 10 yards for 10 seconds.

There’s also that Guardian of Ancient Kings thing we’re supposed to get at 85:

Guardian of Ancient Kings (level 85): Summons a temporary guardian that looks like a winged creature of light armed with a sword. The visual is similar to that of the Resurrection spell used by the paladin in Warcraft III. The guardian has a different effect depending on the talent spec of the paladin. For Holy paladins, the guardian heals the most wounded ally in the area. For Protection paladins, the guardian absorbs some incoming damage. For Retribution paladins, it damages an enemy, similar to the death knight Gargoyle or the Nibelung staff. 3-minute cooldown. 30-second duration (this might vary depending on which guardian appears).

We also know that the beta talent trees are very, very much a work in progress for paladins in particular. “I’m going to regret saying this, but the paladin trees are the most changed in the game. There are only a few of the current beta talents that survived the, um, cleansing.”

So we’ll take a step back and not think about that particular tragedy.

We know they’re tossing Judgement of Wisdom and rolling Judgement of Justice in with Judgement of Light.

I hear rumours about Divine Intervention getting removed, but as I’m not in beta, I know very little. I also know that they haven’t heard from me yet about various changes. I am an extremely vocal person (hi, you do read this blog regularly enough to know that, right? ;)) and I will fight to keep certain things in the game like DI, because it’s a staple paladin ability. Even if it was mostly useless in this expansion, it’s a great spell.

We also now know about a secondary resource system called Holy Power. That means that, like Death Knights, who have runic power and runes, paladins will have mana and Holy Power.

All of the paladin specializations will make use of a new resource called Holy Power. Holy Power accumulates from using Crusader Strike, Holy Shock, and some other talents. Holy Power can be consumed to augment a variety of abilities, including:

* An instant mana-free heal: Word of Glory
* A buff to increase holy damage done: Inquisition
* A massive physical melee attack for Retribution paladins: Templar’s Verdict
* Holy Shield’s duration is now extended by Holy Power
* Divine Storm’s damage is now increased by Holy Power”

So, this means that Holy Power will allow us to use a new mana-free heal called Word of Glory and we get Holy Power by using Holy Shock and potentially some other abilities.

“We also introduced several new heals for Holy Paladins including Healing Hands (an AoE heal-over-time that is applied to all players standing near the paladin), Light of Dawn (a cone heal with a 30-yard range), as well as a new heal called Divine Light, which is similar to a priest’s Greater Heal, and the new instant heal mentioned above, Word of Glory.”

So Healing Hands, Word of Glory, Divine Light (the uber Holy Light) and Light of Dawn.

(Wait, isn’t Light of Dawn your title when you defeat LK on heroic? Oh, right, that’s the Light of Dawn. My bad.)

That’s in addition to changes to Sacred Shield (supposed to last 30m?) and Beacon of Light (only mirrors Holy Shocks and Holy Lights), plus Flash of Light and Holy Light, plus judging.

Suffice it to say that the game will be changing in ways we probably can’t even anticipate at this point. The Vanilla to Burning Crusade change wasn’t too bad; deeper talent trees, some shuffles, some changes, but it was basically the same game for a lot of people, which got refined over time. BC to Wrath changed a lot of things radically, but having 3.0 drop in the middle of October gave us a month to play around with things before Wrath came out. It’s changed a lot since it’s dropped, too.

With the changes to talents alone, never mind new spells, gear changes, all that jazz, the game is going to change faster than it ever has before. In what I presume will be the 4.0 patch, everyone will not only get a free respec (or two, with dual spec) but your basic understanding of the class will change. All the stuff I’ve talked about in my Holy How-Tos will probably be rendered useless. We are going to have to relearn our classes, relearn what races can even be what classes (gnome priests? human hunters? dwarven shaman?) and relearn the geography of the Old World.

Cataclysm will really be the biggest game-changer of them all.

So all I can really say here is speculation, until I get my hands on beta. All I can really say here is that, from my nearly five years of playing this game, maybe this is a good idea, maybe that’s a bad idea. I like to think that I have a solid understanding of how the devs want us to play the game and I like to think I have enough experience to give out a first impression that might be accurate.

Having said that, here are my thoughts on some of the new things we learned from the Twitter Dev Event and some of the stuff we knew about heals beforehand.

Holy Power: Well. Okay? A secondary resource is going to be interesting. I’m assuming, from the Twitter Dev Event that you will be able to stack to 3 Holy Power. Ghostcrawler has said this will be a second bar and it was implied it would be below the mana bar. That’s cool. I’m going to be more interested in knowing what is going to rely on Holy Power and how we can generate it besides Crusader Strike and Holy Shock.

Word of Glory: It sounds cool. Instant heals are a good thing regardless of the class that you play. Instant heals are ones that mean you can use them while moving. Paladins and shaman feel chained to the ground in many circumstances, so another instant heal sounds good. Maybe I won’t have to blow my Divine Favor at a pull to ensure I get a crit Holy Shock that procs the instant Flash of Light. I like the idea that we might be able to “save up” our holy power and let this Word of Glory loose when adequately charged. This is all based on the assumption that Word of Glory gets stronger based on our Holy Power we have stored.

Light of Dawn: This could be interesting. Another freaking “light” in the name, though… Still, not the worst-named spell ever. I would love to see a screenshot of someone with “the Light of Dawn” title displayed casting Light of Dawn. Things I want to know about this spell include duration, cast time (I imagine it’s a channel, probably 6 seconds) and cooldown (I imagine a 3-5 minute cooldown). Oh, and mana cost. I imagine this is going to cost a chunk.

Divine Light: The Uber Holy Light. This will be the heal to cast when your tank is going to die in 3+ seconds. I’m looking forward to it, to be honest. I expect it to be a reasonable cost, a long-ass cast and it better be a deeper-sounding Holy Light cast. ;)

Flash of Light: I’m so sad that this is going to get expensive. This will be the “oh shit, tank needs SOME form of healing ASAP!” spell. Crit Holy Shock + FoL + Word of Glory combo?

Healing Hands: “an AoE heal-over-time that is applied to all players standing near the paladin”. So that’s interesting. It’s a button to hit when lots of people are around us and it stays on them for the ten seconds even if we move or they move?

Without a lot of context, particularly without a talent tree that is even mostly in place, we don’t have a lot to say. What we can say is that, from our experience in this game, various things sound neat or lacklustre. We can say that, in the game environment as we know it, certain things might work nicely or not so nicely. I mean, who wouldn’t want Healing Hands on Twin Valks in TOC/TOGC? Who wouldn’t want Light of Dawn on Infest on LK?

To me, the core of understanding new talents and abilities is taking past experiences and thinking about how those apply to the old content you’ve done. That way, when you recognize familiar elements in a new fight, you can think about using the new abilities in a way that would have been able to help you in the old fight.

For example, the priests are getting Leap of Faith (also known as Life Grip) which will pull a person to you.

In current content, where would you use this?

Off the top of my head, I can think of three times to use this in a raid situation:

1) Pulling someone with a spore from melee into a ranged group on Festergut (assuming you have a priest at range).

2) Yanking someone to the center area on Blood Queen Lana’thel when they have Pact of the Darkfallen and aren’t moving.

3) Hauling someone’s lagging ass out of Defile on Lich King.

I’m going to be giving a lot of thought to how to play a paladin in Cataclysm with Cataclysm trees and mechanics, as the information comes out, and will definitely be sharing my thoughts here as both the information and my thoughts become available. ;)

Like I said, I’m not in the beta yet, so I can’t tell how different it’s going to be, but it WILL be different. How it’s going to be different will be the make-it-or-break-it for me. I have six level 80s. I may not play the paladin in Cataclysm. I may not even play the hunter. We’ll have to see how it goes.

Updates and Plans

Hello, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to another Tuesday here at Kurn’s Corner!

On the schedule for today:

– Q&A post (as per usual)

– More opinions on new holy paladin Cataclysm information (Holy Power, some new cone heal called Light of the Divine or Divinity of the Light or something appropriately paladinesque, the actual name of which escapes me at the moment)

– Responding to comments!

– Possibly going through some parses.

– More running through old-world Azeroth for a future blog post, which, due to technical difficulties this last weekend, may not be up until next week, sadly.

So those are my plans.

My updates are considerably more exciting, at least to me.

Bloodsurge, Kel’Thuzad’s Blade of Agony is mine! Finally, I have a main hand without hit again! I’d been using Rigormortis because it was still an improvement over Misery’s End. More intellect, more spellpower, a wee bit more haste (like, 1). It was nice to have, particularly as the hunter officer in my last guild refused to let me take it for main-spec, since it had hit on it, so even though I was like “but it’s for main-spec!” she was like “you’re paying off-spec for it”.

But finally, a weapon with no hit, that has the exact same stats as Royal Scepter of Terenas II. Hilariously enough, both of those items dropped. Since we do EPGP, I rolled Need on both within the mod to assure myself I’d probably get one of them. The loot master was smart because he recognized that if he awarded the sword first, I’d get it (there was virtually no competition for it) and then the mace would be up for grabs and I could not win it because my EPGP priority wouldn’t be high enough after winning the sword. So the sword went to me (and yes, I DO feel like a bad-ass for being able to heal with a SWORD!!) and the mace went to the elemental shaman.

I also picked up the heroic Frostbinder’s Shredded Cape, which I gemmed and enchanted on the spot, meaning that the stupid Flowing Sapphiron Drape is going to go sit in my bank until it rots away into nothingness.

As such, my chardev profile has been updated:

Raid buffed, without the sword, I had 45,424 mana. Granted, the sword is only another 4 intellect, so that’s 60ish mana (not including talents) but good gravy. Forty-five thousand?! That is totally sweet.

I generally don’t get excited about gear. There are exceptions — I love a new weapon, and I love when I replace an OLD piece of gear. I’ve had the Onyxia cloak since early October. Nine months. Very happy to have replaced it. :)

In raid news, there continues to be problems with heroic Sindragosa, but we’re making some progress, at least. I’m not terribly worried, as long as we can get some people (casters!) to freaking stop casting with Unchained Magic.

Initial Thoughts: Cataclysm Holy Paladin Talents

My first thoughts:

– Thank God I don’t have to waste 5 talent points for Spiritual Focus anymore. Yay for only needing 2! Less bloat, hooray!

– Yay Divinity in Holy!

– Judgements of the Pure is going to be available to any paladin and HOLD THE PHONE. HOLD THE PHONE. That reads NINE percent haste. Not 15. NINE. Check that, 9 percent. And so the nerfage begins.

– … Divine Light is the name of our big-ass heal? Seriously? Could you really not think of a better name?

– Beacon is only good for Holy Light and Holy Shock redirects. Okay. So basically, I’m going to use it the same way as I use it now; on a tank who is also being healed by someone else.

– WTF, Inspired Judgement heals my beacon for the amount of damage the judgement caused? Really? Is this a “fun” talent?

– At least Illumination returns to the less-bloaty. I still want that 30% bumped back up to 100%, Blizzard. I have not forgotten the Great Illumination Nerf of Burning Crusade.

– Again, Improved Concentration Aura looks fairly lackluster, assuming they don’t change the pushback mechanics again.

– Aura Mastery stays the same. Still want this back to 10 seconds. :P

– Great. I have to spend a talent point to ensure my Cleanse remains as awesome as it is. Thanks.

– Selfless Healer is… blah? I’m saying this with no experience in terms of healing in Cataclysm, obviously, but why not switch this to 3% crit and it buffs you with 3% haste each time you heal someone else? Or something? THAT would be fun.

– Oh, there’s Divine Illumination, sitting at the bottom of my tree. It’s almost like it’s Burning Crusade again! And… WAIT ONE SECOND HERE. 30% extra crit? What?! WHERE IS MY MANA SAVING TALENT, YOU BASTARDS?!

As if that’s not bad enough, we cannot get Divine Sacrifice in Prot.

I suspect most holy PVE paladins will have something like this.

Or this.

Or maybe even this.

But the ret support tree for us is dead and we can’t even grab Divine Sacrifice in prot.

Totally underwhelmed. I don’t even know if I want to play the paladin in Cataclysm. Then again, I looked at the hunter tree. I don’t know if I want to play a hunter, either.

Thoughts While Running Through Kalimdor

I’m determined to at least get through the fires on my hunter, if not my other toons. I am POOR on this server, funding my own alts, plus my brother’s and Majik’s.

So I’m running through Kalimdor. I play on a laptop (always have, actually) and not since the days of pre-60, before I discovered such things as frame rates and lag and such, have I played with full graphic details and such. Sure, on the rare occasion at my parents’ or at an internet cafe, such things have been possible, but it’s been a long, long, long time.

So while running down through Feralas, I turned up my draw distance, turned on the full-screen glow effect and such.

The difference between that and my regular all-low settings is astounding and reminds me of why I fell in love with the visuals in this game.

Running through the old world brings back so many memories! And I never know if THAT was the last time I’d be in Feathermoon or if THAT was the last time I’d visit Cenarion Hold.

I hate change in general. I really do. Bring back Aimed Shot with its 3s cast time and make it so it doesn’t break Shadowmeld until the shot is cast! Bring back 100% mana regen Illumination!

Overall, I can deal with the mechanical changes to the game. It took me several patches to understand that everything is always in flux, but I get that and I’m okay with that.

Changing the game world, though, that’s something else entirely.

On the one hand, I’m excited because Cataclysm will bring us back to the old world, where I arguably had the best times of my WoW career (barring BC raids). On the other hand, they’re screwing with my zones. There’s going to be a flight point in Dolanaar. That breaks my brain a bit.

The Barrens will be split into two.

Desolace will no longer be desolate.

Things will be flooded.

I know I’ll adjust to it, as time goes by. But a big part of me just wants to hold on to old-school Azeroth and never let it go.

Happy Canada Day / Cataclysm Stuff / Ruby Sanctum

Happy Canada Day, folks! I’m headed to Ottawa for the day to see the Queen. No, not Céline Dion or Sarah McLachlan, as some of my new guildies guessed. The actual Queen Elizabeth II.

I’m pretty excited, actually. She’s in Ottawa for Canada Day, which is very cool. I’ve been in Washington DC on July 4th at least twice and now I finally get to be in my own nation’s capital on the day celebrating our independence as a nation. True, I’m missing the fireworks, but THE QUEEN, people!

Ahem. Yes, I’m a monarchist. Well, it’s better than being a separatist, right? Right. The point of that was to say that I’m out of town for the day, but normal operations here at Kurn’s Corner will resume later tonight or tomorrow. :)

Also, there’s a lot of Cataclysm Beta stuff being talked about because invites are going out and the NDA has been lifted. I am not currently in the beta (but you can believe I’m going to be double-checking every freaking day). I would LOVE to hear from you guys regarding paladin changes in Cataclysm if you ARE in the Beta. I’d love to hear about talents, glyphs, new spells and the like. I mean, you’re going to get my perspective about Cataclysm anyways, so you may as well make sure that I’m actually up to date about such things. ;)

Please don’t hesitate to email me with your bits of Cataclysm news at:

kurn [at] apotheosis-now [dot] com

Finally, the guild is heading in to Ruby Sanctum tonight. We got Heroic Lady Deathwhisper as a guild first last night and repeated a Saurfang heroic kill, which is never easy when you only have the one holy paladin in the raid. I’ve discovered that at 4m30s or so, I’m spending more time looking at my dwindling mana bar and Divine Plea cooldown and the boss’ health than I am on if my beacon is still up.

Anyways, 9/12, just in time for the GM’s birthday today and into Ruby Sanctum tonight for something new and exciting! I’ll have a post up about RS strats, mostly cobbled together from my mini-boss experience on Tuesday on the shaman, combined with what I learn tonight about Halion.

Have a fantastic Canada Day, people. I’ll see you later. :)

A Revelation

I saw my RL friend the resto druid today. And over the five hours we talked (yes, I am, in fact, long-winded in person as well as in text) we spent precisely one hour talking about WoW.

And in that one hour, dear readers, she pointed out something to me that has completely changed my perspective on a few things.

It’s times like these that I’m really glad I’ve blogged all this stuff, because you can see in my blogs how I have become increasingly unhappy and more distressed at guild crap.

I really started getting CRANKY right about mid-April. It’s then that I was in the middle of my temporary position of healing lead, plus dealing with Priest Who Thinks So Far Outside The Box He Can’t Even See It Anymore, plus raiding too much and too late for my tastes.

My RL friend the resto druid has been concerned about me and my attitude about raiding, both as a friend and as a healing lead. So when we met up today, we had a discussion that completely opened my eyes about a few things.

1) Prior to, say, December/January, I didn’t have a real problem with how people were treated in our raids. I was personally called out a number of times for standing in fire or poison (I do raid at like, 9fps and adjust to those things fairly quickly, but it takes some dying first) and insulted directly. Like “are you retarded?” and such like. I think I was actually asked, by the MT, if I was blind, at one point.

The way it goes in the guild is: you take it. You shut the hell up, bite your tongue and you take it. It’s just business. Don’t take it personally.

This does not excuse or forgive the MT’s behaviour. But you just take it. Period.

And yet, I didn’t have the same recoil and reaction as I did the other week when the MT basically insulted all the healers by lumping us all together with the Failadin. (I’ve since learned that two other people have complained to my RL friend the resto druid about that comment, so it really wasn’t just me.)

The question is, why did I not react as severely to personal insults in September/October as I did to something that could have meant this particular Failadin instead of all healers?

2) I spent two months as healing lead, raiding in a guild I had only joined in order to raid with my RL friend the resto druid… without my RL friend the resto druid. Without her there, raiding became a real obligation and duty to me. Every night I went to a raid, I told myself that I had to go for her, so that she could focus on her RL issues and not let the guild stuff distract her.

It was that important to me that she not need to worry about the guild and the healers. I continued raiding and doing healing despite not wanting to, because I felt bound by loyalty to my friend.

So the answer to the question in the first point up there is this:

The guild has changed. We have had some WICKED turnover. We have lost a ret paladin, a holy paladin, a disc priest, a resto druid, a kitty druid, two hunters, a resto shaman, two mages, a DK tank, an enhancement shaman, two different moonkin, a DPS warrior and a rogue, I think. That’s just the people I can think of off the top of my head. They were all core raiders and all of them have quit the guild or the game.

We pulled in a core bunch of raiders from a failing guild to shore up our numbers and suddenly, raids weren’t cancelled anymore. Sweet deal.

At about this point in time, we had a change. The MT gave up raid leading duties to the current raid leader (a shadow priest), promoting him and the hunter (now DPS lead) to officer.

The new RL is, in my mind, a jackass. But he’s an excellent player. Still, he spends too much time theorycrafting versus seeing what’s actually executable with our raiders. This makes him inflexible and makes me want to beat him in the face with a hockey stick.

But I digress.

The new RL also brought Vent into raids.

Given the new social dynamic brought by the core raiders from that other guild, added to the fact we have now spent time on Vent together listening to each other’s voices… the guild has gotten more social.

Add to that the fact that I was in a position of authority, which was EXACTLY like the position of authority I’ve ALWAYS had in all my other guilds, which were ALL much more social and friendly and such…

And you have the makings of Kurn going batshit insane without realizing what the hell is going on.

Without my realizing it, the guild changed, became more social, became much more like my old guilds. And with me slipping into my old role of healing lead, I began to treat my healers… well, not better, but as if they were MY healers in MY guild, not just my FELLOW healers and guildmates. That’s to say, I took care of them. Not that my RL friend the resto druid doesn’t take care of us, but I slipped into the job and did what I’d always done — reviews of the healers, detailed examinations of the logs, personal attention to the healers…

I was forging relationships (even if they’re just working relationships) with the healers. And trying to forge them with the raid leader, the DPS lead (hunter) and… even the big, bad MT.

And I didn’t even realize what I was doing. It’s just who I am. It’s just what I do.

So talking to my RL friend the resto druid today brought all of this up.

She pointed out that I am taking everything as a personal affront to me these days. Everything. In a raid, out of a raid, in trade chat, in an instance. And she’s right. I am SUPER CRANKY KURN these days.


Because the guild is getting to me. Nine months ago, I treated it like a job. Log in. Raid. Log out.

Ever since my stint as healing lead, I have been forging relationships with some people and taking shit personally. It’s not that job anymore. Now, it’s this horrible situation I’m in where I am literally betwixt and between. All my instincts are telling me to be personable, to continue building these bonds with people but every time I do, I get crankier.

The reason is that the guild is in a state of transition from a very business-oriented guild to a guild like most others, that is somewhat social, but the guild master (the MT) is a complete dick to people in raids.

He’s ALWAYS been a dick to people in raids.

But I take it personally now because I’ve adjusted to the new, more social reality of the guild. Hell, I probably helped contribute to the new, more social reality of the guild by bonding with the healers.

The GM/MT has not. He will not. He never will. He will ALWAYS be The Bad Cop, which was his role four years ago, two years ago, nine months ago and two weeks ago. And will be his role tomorrow and Monday when we pull heroic LK on 25 for the first time.

This realization has completely shifted my perspective.

I realize that one of two things has to happen.

1) I have to go back to thinking of it as a job. Log in. Raid. Log out. Done.

2) I have to leave for a guild that’s more social and friendly and respectful.

I’m going to spend the next three or four days deciding whether or not I can do option 1. I have a feeling that I can’t.

But if I can’t, if I do have to leave… at least I really understand WHY that is. This is a different guild than it was nine months ago. It will never get to the social level I need if it’s going to be a social guild, and it may never return to the very business-like atmosphere it once had. But it may be possible for me to readjust my thinking and go back to how I used to treat my membership in the guild.

My mind is still kind of blown by all of this.

My RL friend the resto druid pretty much rocks, everyone. Because when I realized I had to make one of those two choices, she reminded me that if I have to leave the guild to be happy, that that’s what I have to do. She reminded me that it’s not like I’m leaving her in the lurch, that I shouldn’t feel bound to the guild because of her and that I’ve done so much for her already that she really doesn’t want me to stay if I’m not enjoying myself. She also said it would suck to have to look for another paladin, based on Failadin’s very short trial, but that I really do have her blessing if I’m gonna go.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I’ve been friends with her since we were six.

More stuff tomorrow here on the blog, including responses to my judgement post comments (must do math and research!), an update on potential guilds to go to and a nugget or two of information about Cataclysm, without spoiling too much. But I got to play Alpha for a little while at my friend’s place today. Woot!

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.

Kurn's Q&A #15

So I sat down to do this on Tuesday and realized I had a lot of other stuff to attend to, not the least of which was the Montreal Canadiens/Pittsburgh Penguins hockey game. GO HABS GO.


Anyways, here are 10 keywords that sent people to my site over the last few weeks that weren’t terribly well addressed in my blog. (You wouldn’t believe how many people google things like Toravon, still!)

1) shared lockouts kurn wow

Hah, cool, someone out there wants to know what I think of the shared lockouts in Cataclysm. I already addressed this, but as a recap:

– I LOVE the fact that 10s and 25s will be on the same lockout. LOVE it. No more overextending myself or feeling guilty for NOT overextending myself!
– I am apprehensive about the gear being the same regardless of raid size.
– I am downright terrified that any other incentive to run 25s will just not be enough and that people will flock to 10s just because they are less of a logistical nightmare.
– I will probably quit playing, period, if I can’t run 25s.

2) leet holy paladin healing techniques

Okay, that one made me laugh. First, I recommend my Holy How-To posts. Second, I recommend just overall awareness of your class abilities and researching fights to figure out in which fights they might be useful and, more importantly, at which points WITHIN the fights those abilities might be useful. Third, make sure you keep your buffs/debuffs up. A good holy paladin puts Sacred Shield on their tank and keeps the hot running. A GREAT holy paladin makes sure everything is always refreshed, including their judgement debuff if there’s no one else sharing that judgement, which means judging every 20 seconds. Of course, doing it when you can spare the GCD is the key, or else your targets are going to go splat.

3) best way to down dreamwalker

Well, technically, you don’t want to kill her. You want to heal her. ;) The key to the fight is not dropping your stacks of Emerald Vigor or, on heroic, Twisted Nightmares. Keep taking each portal, stack those stacks up and spam the living crap out of the boss.

4) “vengeful shade” addon

Don’t know of one. If you do, please, for the love of all that’s holy, tell me. Stupid Vengeful Shades. Why do they have to be so damn vengeful?!

5) /cancelaura power word shield threat tanks

This one confuses me. If you’re doing /cancelaura, it means you have the aura on you. So if you’re doing “/cancelaura power word: shield”, you’re getting rid of your shield.

There is only one time where I can foresee this being something you would ever WANT to do and that’s if you’re a protection paladin with points in Spiritual Attunement and your healer is a disc priest and you’re not getting mana back from being healed through damage being taken.

None of that has to do with threat, exactly, except that if you’re a prot pally, your threat depends on your mana in that it’s costly to keep throwing down Consecration.

If you have a disc priest shielding you in a dungeon (which is the only place it should matter — you should be taking enough damage to get mana back from shields in raid content) then just ask them not to shield you unless it’s an emergency, because you get mana back from being healed, not shielded.

All other tanks have no excuse to ever not want Power Word: Shield on them. It doesn’t affect rage mechanics, people. It used to. But not for a long time, now. Patch 3.0.2, to be precise.

6) 2 druids 3 mark of fallen champion

Ouch. I mean really, OUCH. I guess I would have to recommend bringing three healers for this, leaving one healer (a druid) on the raid until the last instant before the third mark comes out. Better still, bring a paladin and 2 other healers and that way, one of the druids can be on the raid full time.

7) best food for discipline priest

Since Borrowed Time and a moonkin aura/swift ret aura plus a Wrath of Air totem make the haste “cap” for disc priests really easy to hit, so they get a 1s GCD, the best food is either +46 spellpower (available in a Fish Feast or a variety of other foods) or +40 crit. +40 crit is over a full percent of crit, so it shouldn’t be looked down upon, particularly if you’re actually healing single targets as part of a tank healing team, because you DO want to proc Divine Aegis as often as you can. If, on the other hand, your primary responsibility in the raid is to cast Power Word: Shield, you’ll want +46 spellpower, since every bit of spellpower strengthens your shields, due to Borrowed Time.

8) best in slot pants for holy pally

I totally don’t even want to TALK about our stupid pants.

Actually, I take that back. I do want to talk about them. At great length. While ranting.

Our options for pants are HORRIBLE. Our T10 251/264 pants are awful. Even the 277s are pretty crappy. Seriously, here’s the comparison:;51168;51271

Holy Light spamming paladins (which is the vast majority of us) should be looking for the following stats, in order:

Intellect, Haste, MP5, Crit, Spellpower

There is 0, check that, 0 haste on any of those pants. There is a mediocre amount of MP5 on any of them but the 277s. There is a huge amount of crit on these pants that I desperately wish could be converted to haste. And a truly ridiculous amount of spellpower! What gives?! This is our TIER?!

Assume we do not have access to any 277 legs.;sl=7;ty=3:4;minle=251;cr=23:103:21;crs=1:1:3;crv=0:0:0

There are precisely 8 options item level 251 or over that we can consider. There’s 10, but you can’t be Horde AND Alliance, so you lose out on the mail and plate legs out of TOGC due to being on one faction or another.

Right now, I’ve got ilvl 258 Legplates of Failing Light. 116 intellect, 92 haste, 3 sockets. Pretty hot, right? Right. So hot that only two other items even come close to them.

The crafted Lightning-Infused Leggings offer 123 intellect (+7 from the Failing Light pants), 100 haste (+8 haste) and three sockets as well. The trouble is, you need to find a leatherworker who’s revered with the Ashen Verdict for these mail pants and then the mats include 8 Primordial Saronite. If you have nothing left to spend emblems of frost on, this is really easy to get, particularly if you’re raiding, but if you’re saving your emblems, the saronite alone can cost upwards of 1000g each.

Is 7 intellect and 8 haste really worth 8k+ gold?


The plate version? Even worse. The Puresteel Legplates also cost 8 saronite and aren’t even a haste upgrade from the Legplates of Failing Light as both items have 92 haste. 8k+ gold for 7 intellect, basically? No thanks!

The other real option is the heroic Corrupted Silverplate Leggings. 123 intellect (+7), 99 haste (+7) and three sockets. It’s an upgrade and it’s one that doesn’t cost eight thousand plus gold. The trouble here is that it requires killing heroic Marrowgar. On 10-man. Which means I’m never going to get these.

There’s another option, also a 10-man heroic drop, this time off Putricide. The Rippling Flesh Kilt gives the same amount of intellect (123) and 96 haste. Basically, if you’re running 10-man heroic ICC, the Marrowgar pants are easier to get by virtue of being an easier fight, but if you get Putricide down, go for these pants if you haven’t gotten the Corrupted Silverplate Leggings on heroic.

If you don’t have ilvl 258 pants like I do, the 251 versions of the Corrupted Silverplate Leggings and Rippling Flesh Kilt are nice enough, but if you’re really looking seriously at those, consider getting the mail legs crafted. They’re just a better upgrade overall.

I’m eventually going to have to bite the bullet and get either my ilvl 277 pants or the heroic Leggings of Dying Candles, both of which will actually only be a net gain of +3 intellect for me and hope that all my other 277 gear’s haste will compensate for the worst tier pants I’ve seen since T4. I value the Leggings of Dying Candles over the tier due to the extra socket and the increased MP5 versus the tier, by the way.


9) boa libram for holy light

There is no Bind on Account (heirloom) libram, period. The best libram for Holy Light using paladins is the ilvl 200 Libram of Renewal, available for 15 emblems of heroism.

10) chestplate of septic stitches how should i gem

Honestly? It’s not a great breastplate. Let’s look at it.

There’s no haste. Three sockets is great for 3x+20 intellect, but… eh. The Lightsworn Tunic or, better yet, the Chestguard of Siphoned Elements off of Blood Queen Lana’thel in ICC 10 is a much better choice.

That said, if you’re asking how to gem it, you probably already have it. The answer is almost always “all intellect”, unless you’re a paladin who stacks spellpower and casts mostly Flash of Light. If that’s the case, that is a GREAT chest for a FoL spammer. Gem it with all +23 spellpower if you’re a FoL machine or if it’s for your Dreamwalker set. :)

Heroic Putricide

We did our first heroic Putricide pulls last week, I think it was. And we got him down tonight. I think we spent 22ish attempts on him this week, maybe 25 or 26 total.

Honestly? Not a big deal.

Granted, our kill was messy. I was absolutely the LAST healer standing and that is ONLY because I actually used a healthstone. And I should have used Lay on Hands but, as it turns out, I didn’t need to.


I thought heroic Sindragosa had a lot of stuff to be aware of — positioning, instability stacks, who has unchained magic, the Icy Grip cooldown…

It feels like heroic Sindragosa pales in comparison to heroic Putricide. What’s really dumb is that there are not a lot of changes on heroic Putricide, except for the addition of Unbound Plague and some changes for the transitions.

I guess that, ultimately, we knew the Putricide fight on normal well enough (and we should know it that well!) to really be aware of the regular mechanics and deal with them being thrown at us differently and adjust to a new mechanic.

We don’t have that kind of familiarity with Sindragosa. We’d only done 3, maybe 4 kills of her before we killed the Lich King and started in on the heroics.

Having said that, I don’t know if I would have been able to do heroic Putricide without AVRE for the Unbound Plague graphics. It shows who has the plague, what the range is on the plague before it passes to you and shows a cooldown ticking down for how long you’ve had the plague for. And if YOU have the plague, anyone without the debuff from the plague gets a little white circle on them, so you know you can pass to them.

Due to this graphic enhancement, I pulled off the most awesome move EVER on an unsuccessful attempt.

The hunter officer had Unbound Plague. She was actually moving towards me to pass it to me. And then she got Volatile Ooze Adhesive on her. Not only did this mean she couldn’t move, but it meant that ALL THE MELEE were charging over to her to prevent her death from the ooze.

But then, I realized, all the melee would get Unbound Plague.

I took five steps forward, grabbed the plague and backed up so that no melee would get the plague from me.

The hunter didn’t die, no one in melee got the plague and I passed it off to my RL friend the resto druid before I hit 10 seconds.

So, 10/12 HM ICC25 and I pulled off possibly the sweetest move I’ve pulled … basically in this whole expansion. I cannot think of a finer moment and it’s too bad that it didn’t lead to a boss kill.

And the Cataclysm alpha is out, to boot. We live in interesting times.

Raid Lockout Changes

Well, Blizzard finally listened to me. I don’t know if I’ve posted it somewhere in this blog, but I have never liked that, in Wrath, 10s and 25s have different lockouts. Do you know how much healing that is for someone? For TOC, check it out:

Trial of the Crusader (10), Trial of the Grand Crusader (10), Trial of the Crusader (25) and Trial of the Grand Crusader (25). That is a chance to go through the same instance four times, killing (or trying) to kill each boss up to 4 times each, in 2 different configurations.


So today’s MMO-Champion news about lockouts is amazing to hear, for me. No longer will I need to “worry” about not doing a 10-man on my paladin. The pally is for 25s. Period. No longer will I have to listen to morons talk about “but we have to do 10 in order to gear for 25!!!”. Honestly, anyone who thought they needed to do Naxx 10 before they did Naxx 25 is a moron. Anyone who thought they needed to do Ulduar 10 before Ulduar 25 is an idiot.

The progression route has been, as far as I can tell, pretty nicely balanced:

10s: Heroics – 10m T7 – 10m T8 – 10m T9/badge loot – 10m heroic T9 – 10m T10

25s: Heroics – 25m-T7 – 25m T8 – 25m T9 – 25m heroic T9 – 25m T10

But even then, even without 25m T9/heroic T9 gear, you can augment your gear to 10m T10 or 25m (through VOA) and get into 25m T10 content.

What a lot of people NEVER realized in this expansion is that you were able to go from heroic gear to 10s OR 25s. They were both at the same point of difficulty. The “gear reset” given us by Emblems of Triumph and T9 gear coming from Emblems and Emblems of Frost and T10 gear coming from those means simply that guilds don’t have to gear people up in T8, then T9, then T10.

Back in BC, I had a rogue in my guild who we brought in for T5 content. He was primarily geared in T4. He wasn’t able to compete (or really hold his own) in T6. So we brought him in for T5 and a couple easier T6 fights and he ragequit the guild one night because he didn’t win loot off Supremus, losing to a more regular raider, even though it was a bigger upgrade for him.

My own brother couldn’t come in to T6 fights because he didn’t have the gear. We brought him to a couple SSCs and a couple TKs just because we flat-out needed the body and we knew he could do the damage required despite being in T4, but he couldn’t have done a lot in T6 fights in T4 gear.

The Emblems have changed that. Now, you CAN take someone in T9 232 gear to T10 251 fights. They won’t be your best players until they get some more Emblems of Frost, but they aren’t COMPLETELY outclassed. Plus, they have a bunch of 245 off-set gear from Emblems, if you’re at all lucky or maybe a couple tier pieces from 25m Koralon.

So what the hell does any of this have to do with raid lockouts?

Everything, actually. They are going to design the 10 and 25 entry raids with the assumption that you are wearing quest rewards, heroic gear and crafted gear.

And since both raids will drop identical gear (25s just dropping more of it, more emblems and more gold, apparently), they don’t need to worry about people falling behind the gear curve or being ahead of the gear curve or any of that crap, at least when switching from 10 to 25 or 25 to 10.

10s should no longer be “the EZ mode” raids. They SHOULD be just as (perhaps if not more) challenging as the 25s. Where the 25s are more difficult is the herding of cats and organization required to have the people necessary to down something with more health in the same amount of time, for instance.

The trouble though, is that lots of people don’t want to deal with the herding of the cats. A lot of people will say “screw that”, because loot is their primary motivator and they’ll do 10s.

My big worry has to do with how Blizzard will incent us to do 25s instead of 10s without making 10s obsolete. With the same loot and the same lockout, I’m not sure they’ll be able to. I know that I won’t go do 10s instead of 25s, because I LIKE 25s better… but if I don’t have a group who wants to do 25s, what the hell am I going to do?