Classic Countdown – Tier 0 Loot Drops

Tier 0 armour sets, also known as Dungeon Set 1, are sprinkled all around the high-level dungeons. They are not the best pre-raid loot, certainly not for healers or tanks, but will do fine as all-around sets. Additionally, they’re required to turn in for the Tier 0.5 armour sets, also known as Dungeon Set 2, when those quests come out. Here’s where everything drops, according to my memory and backed up by Wowhead.

All Chests from General Drakkisath in UBRS

All Pants from Baron Rivendare in Strat UD

All Helms from Darkmaster Gandling in Scholomance

All Belts & Bracers are BOE and zone-wide drops (in various dungeons)

All Gloves are BOE

Druid – Wildheart:

  • Shoulders: Gizrul the Slavener in LBRS
  • Gloves: The Unforgiven in Strat UD/Live
  • Boots: Mother Smolderweb in LBRS

Hunter – Beaststalker:

  • Shoulders: Wyrmthalak in LBRS
  • Gloves: Warmaster Voone in LBRS
  • Boots: Nerub’enkan in Strat UD

Mage – Magister’s:

  • Shoulders: Ras Frostwhisper in Scholo
  • Gloves: The Butcher in Scholo
  • Boots: Postmaster in Strat, eventually Hearthsinger Forresten

Paladin – Lightforge:

  • Shoulders: The Beast in UBRS
  • Gloves: Emperor in BRD (eventually changed)
  • Boots: Balnazzar in Strat Live

Priest – Devout:

  • Shoulders: Solokar Flamewreath in UBRS
  • Gloves: The Archivist in Strat Live
  • Boots: Malekki the Pallid in Strat UD

Rogue – Shadowcraft:

  • Shoulders: Cannonmaster Willey in Strat Live
  • Gloves: Shadow Hunter Vosh’gajin in LBRS
  • Boots: Rattlegore in Scholo

Warlock – Dreadmist:

  • Shoulders: Jandice Barov in Scholo
  • Gloves: Lorekeeper Polkelt in Scholo
  • Boots: Baroness Anastari in Strat UD

Warrior – Valor:

  • Shoulders: Rend in UBRS
  • Gloves: Ramstein the Gorger in Strat UD
  • Boots: Kirtonos the Herald in Scholo

I, for one, cannot wait to run through these dungeons again and have them be challenging, where the gear actually means something.

Short post today, but more coming soon. Tell me, what are you excited about for Classic?

Classic Countdown – Holy Paladins & UBRS

This is the last in a series of posts (for now) which focuses on things of interest to you in dungeons starting around level 50. Once Dire Maul is released, I’ll tackle DM East, West and North (plus Tribute Runs!), too.

Overall, intellect is your best stat for a paladin healer, followed by crit. Why? At Rank 5, Illumination gives you a 100% chance to regain the mana cost for a spell if it crits. Crit is great for a holy paladin’s output, but it’s also great for your mana regen. +healing and mp5 are decent stats too, but intellect also increases your healing done and gives you chance to critically strike with your spells and crit gives you mana back, so that’s generally the direction we should go. (That said, there’s nothing wrong with a ton of +healing if you’re not running out of mana, and you should always endeavour to have SOME +healing.)

Some (all?) of these mail recommendations may not drop for an Alliance group, so please be aware of that possibility. I’ll update these posts when I’ve been able to confirm this.

Listen, I freaking love my Lightforge Armor, but it’s not for healing. It just isn’t. It never will be. Believe it or not, some of the pieces don’t have any intellect! But pick it up anyway. First, it looks awesome, particularly when paired with the Stormpike Battle Tabard. Second, the Tier 0.5 armor, Soulforge Armor, is not as tragic. All the pieces have intellect and +damage/healing on them. When Phase Five comes out, in order to get the Tier 0.5 armor, you need to do a ton of things, including exchanging your T0 pieces for the Tier 0.5 pieces. Make sure you grab all your Lightforge so you’re able to exchange it for Soulforge.

All righty, let’s see what Rend, the Beast and General Drakkisath have for us in UBRS, as we follow in Leeroy Jenkins’ footsteps!

Classic Loot for a Holy Paladin in Upper Blackrock Spire (UBRS)

Oh, by the way, you need a key. The key is a ring, the Seal of Ascension. The ring is forged through a long and annoying quest chain. I’ll definitely outline that At Some Point In The Future. ;)

General Drakkisath drops all of the Tier 0 chests. It took me over 60 kills over the course of Vanilla, Burning Crusade and Wrath in order to get my Beaststalker’s Tunic. My paladin was much more fortunate and got it after like, maybe a dozen runs. I had never even seen it drop on my hunter. 60+ kills. Do not take someone’s tier chestpiece from them. I beg of you.

Helm: There are a few helms of note that drop in UBRS, mostly off Rend’s dragon, Gyth. Of particular interest is the Tribal War Feathers helm, requiring level 55. While leather, it’s exclusively +healing and has a good amount of intellect. The Spellweaver’s Turban, requiring level 60 and dropping from Drakkisath, is cloth and has +hit, so ignore that, despite the slightly higher +damage/healing. Also off Gyth, also requiring level 55, is Gyth’s Skull of randomness. As always, look for of Intellect, of the Eagle, of the Owl, of Healing or of Concentration. Or, for tanking aspirations, anything with more stam, strength or defense.

Neck: The only neck of note drops from General Drakkisath himself, the Tooth of Gnarr, requiring level 58.

Shoulders: First up, the Lightforge Spaulders, requiring level 55, are your tier 0 shoulders. Get them. They drop off The Beast. They actually do have intellect, but are not the best healing shoulders. Hilariously, Leeroy Jenkins wanting the Devout Mantle is actually legit, it’s a pretty great choice! But that’s the priest tier 0 shoulder piece, so let the priests get it first. That piece drops from Solakar Flamewreath in the Rookery.

Chest: As mentioned, General Drakkisath drops all the tier 0 chests. Yours is the Lightforge Breastplate. Any of the caster robes would also work, but the Magister’s Robes would be the best in terms of pure +intellect. Again, let the mages have their tier piece. Chests all require level 58.

Cloak: The Frostweaver Cape drops from The Beast and requires level 58. It’s the only cloak worth mentioning.

Bracers: Nothing of note, though some tier 0 bracers are zone-wide drops and there are some green bracers that could be interesting if they’re of Intellect, of the Eagle, of the Owl, of Healing or of Concentration.

Belt: Lots of tier 0 belts drop here as zone-wide drops, possibly including the shaman’s Cord of Elements. The Crystallized Girdle drops from Solakar Flamewreath and requires level 56. It’s leather and moonkin gear to be sure, but has a nice amount of intellect and some +dmg/healing.

Gloves: Not too much in the way of gloves.

Legs: Nothing fun in terms of legs, either, although the Warmaster Legguards, requiring level 58, drop from Rend, and are useful if you want to tank. +2% to dodge is great.

Feet: More cloth! The Faith Healter’s Boots require level 58 and drop from Rend.

Main Hand: While not as great as other options in other dungeons, the best option for a paladin healer in UBRS is the Mastersmith’s Hammer, requiring level 55. It drops from Goraluk Anvilcrack, who is upstairs from the Rookery. Take the first left, not the second.

Off-hand: The Tome of the Lost, requiring level 58, is okay. It drops from General Drakkisath. If your shield-wearing tanks don’t want Draconian Deflector and it drops from Drakkisath, you should snag it for tanking purposes.

Rings: Ooh, Band of Rumination, requiring level 58 and dropping from Rend, is really nice. Some mp5 plus crit!

Trinkets: Though there are absolutely zero stats on it, the Draconic Infused Emblem, which requires level 58 and drops from Drakkisath, is amazing. +190 healing for 15 seconds every 75 seconds. You will have competition. Doesn’t matter. This is definitely something you will want as a holy paladin. The other trinket here, Briarwood Reed, drops from Jed Runewatcher, a rare spawn in the same general area as Goraluk Anvilcrack. This is a little more of a grey area. It’s passive +29 dmg/healing, but it’s not pure +healing. Still, if you have crappy trinkets, this is valuable for you. Certainly, until Dire Maul and the Royal Seals of Eldre’Thalas come out, it’s very good for you.

That’s it for UBRS!

Thanks for reading! I’ll have more holy paladin guide stuff in the next few weeks, but hopefully these blog posts have been helpful. Next time, I’ll have more general Classic tips and tricks.

Classic Countdown – Holy Paladins & Scholomance

This series of posts focuses on things of interest to you in dungeons starting around level 50. Intellect is your best stat for a paladin healer, followed by crit. Why? At Rank 5, Illumination gives you a 100% chance to regain the mana cost for a spell if it crits. Crit is great for a holy paladin’s output, but it’s also great for your mana regen. +healing and mp5 are decent stats too, but intellect also increases your healing done and gives you chance to critically strike with your spells and crit gives you mana back, so that’s generally the direction we should go. (That said, there’s nothing wrong with a ton of +healing if you’re not running out of mana.)

It’s also possible that some of these mail recommendations may not drop for an Alliance group, so please be aware of that possibility. I’ll update these posts when I’ve been able to confirm this.

My paladin’s life-long transmog is Lightforge Armor, but it’s actually really super terribly bad for healing. Some of the pieces don’t even have intellect! You should collect it, though, because the Tier 0.5 armor, Soulforge Armor, is not as tragic. All the pieces have intellect and +damage/healing on them. When Phase Five comes out, in order to get the Tier 0.5 armor, you need to do a ton of things, including exchanging your T0 pieces for the Tier 0.5 pieces. Make sure you grab all your Lightforge so you’re able to exchange it for Soulforge.

Let’s take on the Barovs and Gandling!

Classic Loot for a Holy Paladin in Scholomance

I’m going to be mentioning the pieces of the Deathbone Guardian set in this post, if you have any tanking aspirations. Please let any plate-wearing tank take these before you do if you’re healing the instance.

Darkmaster Gandling drops all of the Tier 0 helms. Back in the day, I killed Gandling 26 times on my hunter before I got my helm and I only saw the Beaststalker’s Cap twice in that entire time. My brother never got his Wildheart Cowl.

Helm: The Lightforge Helm requires level 57 and drops from Gandling. Do not, and I cannot express this enough, take any other class helm over any class that needs it. That said, the Magister’s Crown has a beefy 30 intellect. But don’t be a jerk. Let the mages have their helm.

Neck: Nothing particularly useful here.

Shoulders: While I’m not sure if this mail piece will drop from Jandice Barov for an Alliance group, the Royal Cap Spaulders are level 57 and have intellect and +healing. The cloth Burial Shawl, requiring level 56, is a zone-wide drop and have more intellect and some +dmg/healing and would be a decent piece. Certainly, better than the mage and warlock shoulders that also drop here. Oh, and if you have any tanking aspirations and your tank either doesn’t wear plate or doesn’t need them, grab the Stoneform Shoulders, requiring level 56, from Kirtonos the Herald. Again, let’s not be a jerk.

Chest: Really nothing of note for a holy paladin here. That said, the Deathbone Chestplate is a great tanking chest, particularly for a paladin with the mp5. Of course, if your tank needs it, let them have it. Yes, even if it’s a warrior. +17 defense is HUGE. If you have any desire to tank and your tank doesn’t need it, snag this chestpiece, which requires level 56 and is a zone-wide drop.

Cloak: Nah, nothing here.

Bracers: The Lightforge Bracers are a zone-wide drop here. Aaaaand there’s no intellect on them, so don’t use them to heal. Best would be the Loomguard Armbraces, if they drop for an Alliance group. They require level 56 and drop from Kirtonos the Herald. Otherwise, look at the Necropile Cuffs, but let clothies have dibs on these bracers that require level 56 and are a zone-wide drop.

Belt: In terms of belts, the Detention Strap is a mail belt requiring level 57 that drops from Darkmaster Gandling, but may not drop for Alliance groups. You can consider the Clutch of Andros, requiring level 56 from Kirtonos the Herald, but it has spell hit on it. Do not steal this from clothies. For real. There’s also the Wildheart Belt, requiring level 53, which is a zone-wide drop, but dibs to the druids. Finally, for you wanna-be tankadins out there, the Deathbone Girdle (a zone-wide drop) is godly. Again, dibs to the plate tanks. Do not be a jerk!

Gloves: The only gloves that should interest you here are the Magister’s Gloves but, all together now, let the mages have their gloves! Two sweet tanking gloves drop here, too: Boneclenched Gauntlets, requiring level 57 and dropping from Ras Frostwhisper, and the Deathbone Gauntlets, requiring level 56 and are a zone-wide drop. Let your plate-wearing tanks get either before you!

Legs: The best legs in Scholomance for you are the Ghoul Skin Leggings, a zone-wide drop made of leather that require level 56. They’re straight-up +healing, so a moonkin shouldn’t want them. If they drop, the mail Maelstrom Leggings off Ras Frostwhisper are decent, requiring level 57. Tanking pants include the Deathbone Leggings, a zone-wide drop, requiring level 56, and the Wraithplate Leggings, which has no +defense, but adds a full percent of parry.

Feet: The Death Knight Sabatons, requiring level 54, drop from Marduk Blackpool. They’re actually plate and have intellect on them, what craziness is this!? This NPC is in the Viewing Room with Vectus. And, of course, for the tanks among you, the Deathbone Sabatons drop in the zone and they require level 56. A nice +10 defense rating here! Make sure your plate-wearing tank passes on these before you snag them.

Main Hand: Well, pallies can’t use staves or daggers, so there’s nothing of interest for us here.

Off-hand: The Rattlecage Buckler, which requires level 57 and drops from Rattlegore, is a pretty decent intellect shield. The Spellbound Tome, requiring level 57 as well, dropping from Ras Frostwhisper, is a good OH, too, but clothies might want that instead.

Rings: Don Mauricio’s Band of Domination is great for a holy paladin and requires level 58. It drops from Gandling. The Dimly Opalescent Ring is a zone-wide drop and requires level 56. It’s got random enchantments, so look for of Intellect, of the Eagle, of the Owl, of Healing or of Concentration.

Relic: Assuming we have relics in this patch, and I think we do, the Libram of Divinity is basically the only one you need until you get to AQ or Naxxramas. It’s a zone-wide drop in Scholomance and requires level 60.

Trinkets: Absolutely nothing.

Next time…

And that’s Scholomance for you! If you’re having trouble with Alexei Barov, you can fear one of the adds with Turn Undead, though that will only give you 15 seconds (and the cooldown is 30 seconds). Hopefully you’re done with one of the adds by the time it comes back! Also, Shadow Resistance Aura will be very useful here, or if you’ve got a lot of casters in the group, go with Concentration Aura.

Next up: we follow in the footsteps of Leeroy Jenkins and enter the Rookery and down The Beast and General Drakkisath in search of Lightforge pieces in Upper Blackrock Spire!

Classic Countdown – Holy Paladins & Stratholme (Undead)

All of these posts focus on things of interest to you in dungeons starting around level 50. Intellect is your best stat for a paladin healer, followed by crit. Why? At Rank 5, Illumination gives you a 100% chance to regain the mana cost for a spell if it crits. So crit, for a holy paladin, is not only good for your output, but it’s great for your mana regen. +healing and mp5 are decent stats too, but intellect also increases your healing done and gives you chance to critically strike with your spells and crit gives you mana back, so that’s generally the direction we should go. (That said, there’s nothing wrong with a ton of +healing if you’re not running out of mana.)

It’s also possible that some of these mail recommendations may not drop for an Alliance group, so please be aware of that possibility. I’ll update these posts when I’ve been able to confirm this.

My paladin’s life-long transmog is Lightforge Armor, but it’s actually really tragically bad for healing. Some of the pieces don’t have intellect! You should collect it, though, because the Tier 0.5 armor, Soulforge Armor, is not terrible. All the pieces have intellect and +damage/healing on them. When Phase Five comes out, in order to get the Tier 0.5 armor, you need to do a ton of things, including exchanging your T0 pieces for the Tier 0.5 pieces. So make sure you grab all your Lightforge so you’re able to exchange it for Soulforge.

Ready to face the Baron? Let’s do it. (Even better if you can do it in 45 minutes!)

Classic Loot for a Holy Paladin in Stratholme (Undead)

As I mentioned in my last post, Stratholme Live and Undead are the same instance and you can get from one to the other and, in fact, unless you have the Key to the City (Strat UD key) or a rogue or someone else who can open doors, that’s the only way you can get in. The Key to the City drops from Magistrate Barthilas towards the end of Strat UD. This is likely a green item you can roll on.

Helm: While it should go to clothies first, the Crimson Felt Hat is the only helm of note in Strat UD. It’s cloth and requires level 54 and drops off Magistrate Barthilas.

Neck: Animated Chain Necklace, requiring level 57, drops off Ramstein the Gorger.

Shoulders: Two pieces of cloth of interest here, one of which, the Shroud of the Nathrezim, I mentioned in my last post, because it’s a zone-wide drop. Of particular interest is it gives you 1% to crit on spells. Another interesting piece, though should go to cloth DPSers first, is the Thuzadin Mantle, requiring level 58 and dropping from Baron Rivendare.

Chest: Two interesting drops from the Baron: Robes of the Exalted, cloth and requiring level 58. This chestpiece is +healing, which means no other cloth-wearing person in your group should want it if you’re healing. However, there’s also Tunic of the Crescent Moon to consider. Sure, it’s less +healing (and is made for moonkins), but it’s got way more intellect and it has +crit. Which one you go for is really going to be dependent on what else you’re wearing at the time. Need more mana regen? Go for the tunic. Need more raw +healing? Go for the robes. Also, let moonkins have first dibs on the tunic.

Cloak: Only one drop of note here and that’s Royal Tribunal Cloak. It requires level 54 and drops from the Magistrate.

Bracers: The only thing of remote interest is Magistrate’s Cuffs, requiring level 54 and made of leather. No intellect, but 4 mana per 5 seconds. Truly sub-par.

Belt: There’s one belt that doesn’t totally suck and it’s from Nerub’enkan: Thuzadin Sash. Of course, it’s cloth and should go to DPSers first, but 12 intellect on a belt is nothing to sneeze at. Requires level 56.

Gloves: The Wildheart Gloves are a zone drop requiring level 54, but are underwhelming and belong to druids. Better gloves exist elsewhere. Shadowy Laced Handwraps require level 55 and are cloth, dropping from Baroness Anastari, but again, dibs to the cloth-wearers. They are not phenomenal, though 15 int is nice.

Legs: Baron Rivendare drops all of the class legs. We’re talking Lightforge, Beaststalker, Valor, everything. So, obviously, get your Lightforge Legplates from him, requiring level 56. However, these are not great for healing. (They’ll do in a pinch.) Instead, the best legs for healing that are available here are the Chitinous Plate Legguards, off of Nerub’enkan, requiring level 56 as well. 20 int, 5mp5, these were made for holy paladins.

Feet: The Lightforge Boots, requiring level 54, are a zone drop. However, they suck for healing. Verdant Footpads, which should go to a druid before you, do have some straight-up +healing, but nothing else of value. On the other side of things (+int, but no +healing), the Devout Sandals and Dreadmist Sandals drop from Baroness Anastari and Maleki the Pallid respectively, but, of course, should go to priests and warlocks before you.

Main Hand: Ramstein the Gorger drops the Felstone Reaver, which has a random enchantment. Pretty useless but you could get lucky and get of Intellect, of the Eagle, of the Owl, of Healing or of Concentration, all of which would be, at the very least, interesting, depending on what you already have. I should note that there’s a level 58 2H mace called Hammer of the Grand Crusader, which is a zone-wide drop. This is definitely made for paladins but is worse than a 1H/shield or off-hand combo for sure.

Off-hand: Nothing.

Rings: The Baron drops a nice level 56 ring: Seal of Rivendare.

Trinkets: Nothing here.

Next time…

That’s it for Strat UD! Don’t forget the Chitinous Plate Legguards and your Lightforge Legplates and Lightforge Boots.

Next up: The Barov family, Darkmaster Gandling and tier 0 helms as we tackle Scholomance!

Classic Countdown – Holy Paladins & Stratholme (Live)

All of these posts will focus on things you start picking up in dungeons starting around level 50. Intellect is your best stat for a paladin healer, followed by crit. Why? At Rank 5, Illumination gives you a 100% chance to regain the mana cost for a spell if it crits. So crit, for a holy paladin, is not only good for your output, but it’s great for your mana regen. +healing and mp5 are decent stats too, but intellect also increases your healing done and gives you chance to critically strike with your spells and crit gives you mana back, so that’s generally the direction we should go. (That said, there’s nothing wrong with a ton of +healing if you’re not running out of mana.)

Also, it’s possible that some of these mail recommendations may not drop for an Alliance group, so please be aware of that possibility. I’ll update these posts when I’ve been able to confirm this.

My paladin’s life-long transmog is Lightforge Armor, but it’s actually terrible for healing. Some of the pieces don’t have intellect! You should collect it, though, because the Tier 0.5 armor, Soulforge Armor, is not terrible. All the pieces have intellect and +damage/healing on them. When Phase Five comes out, in order to get the Tier 0.5 armor, you need to do a ton of things, including exchanging your T0 pieces for the Tier 0.5 pieces. So make sure you grab all your Lightforge so you’re able to exchange it for Soulforge.

Okay, let’s enter the City of Stratholme.

Classic Loot for a Holy Paladin in Stratholme (Live)

Like LBRS and UBRS, Stratholme Live (or Scarlet Strat, Red Strat, etc) and Stratholme Undead are technically the same instance. Unlike them, you can get from one to the other and, in fact, unless you have the Key to the City (Strat UD key) or a rogue or someone else who can open doors, that’s the only way you can get in. You get the Key to the City by killing Magistrate Barthilas towards the end of the dungeon. This is likely a green item you can roll on.

Okay, okay, enough, back to Strat Live and gear for a holy paladin!

Helm: The Postmaster’s Band, requiring level 56, is part of a 5-piece outfit that is meant for cloth DPS folks. So pass on it unless they don’t want it. I should note I’m not sure how the Postmaster spawns in Phase 1. I know that in Phase 5, it was much easier to do so (or so legend had it). I’m not certain if this guide at Wowhead is how to do it in Phase 1. I’ll update this when I can confirm. A piece you’ll have less competition for is the leather Helm of the New Moon, from Cannon Master Willey, which requires level 56, but doesn’t require the whole summoning of the Postmaster and isn’t cloth. (Take that, Matticus!)

Neck: Nothing of note in Strat Live.

Shoulders: Shroud of the Nathrezim, while cloth, is a great piece for this slot. It requires level 58 and is a zone-wide drop, so it can drop in Live or Undead. Part of why it’s so great is that it gives you a full percent more crit on spells. You may have cloth-wearing competition for this, though, and the nice thing to do is to let the clothies have it. Possibly as good is the Mantle of the Scarlet Crusade, also cloth, requiring level 56 and dropping off Cannon Master Willey. It’s got straight-up 20 +healing, which is good, because no caster should be interested in that.

Chest: The Postmaster’s Tunic is part of that cloth DPS set I talked about that, of course, drops from The Postmaster and requires level 56. Nothing else of value in Live, really. But wait ’till you see what Baron Rivendare has in Undead!

Cloak: Archivist Cape of the something or another, drops from Archivist Galford in Live and requires level 56. This is not the most amazing cape, but it’s interesting because of the 4mp5 (4 mana per 5 seconds) on it. If you see an Archivist Cape of Intellect, of the Eagle, of the Owl or of Healing (or even of Concentration), snag it!

Bracers: Nothing of note.

Belt: Rainbow Girdle drops from Hearthsinger Forresten, a rare spawn in Strat Live. I only mention it because it’s plate with some intellect. There are better belts, but you won’t have competition on this one. If it drops for the Alliance, the Barrage Girdle, from Cannon Master Willey, which requires level 56, would be better for you. You could also get lucky with a Foresight Girdle of an interesting kind — if it drops for the Alliance off the Archivist. (Also requiring level 56.)

Gloves: Ugh, just the Devout Gloves here worth mentioning. It’s a priest’s tier set, so dibs go to priests. They require level 54 and drop from the Archivist. Another possibility is the Wildheart Gloves, also requiring level 54, and dibs to the druids. Don’t be a jerk. Better gloves exist elsewhere.

Legs: The Postmaster’s Trousers, dropping from The Postmaster, are cloth and require level 56. Now I swear that I’ve seen this next item drop: Woollies of the Prancing Minstrel. They drop off of Hearthsinger Forresten, that rare spawn, and require level 53. But they’re mail. So even though I know I’ve seen them drop, I’m not sure when. Was it after the 2.0 patch? Maybe? Why was I still running Strat Live after the 2.0 patch? Anyway. There are better legs in Undead, but snag either of these if you can.

Feet: The Postmaster’s Treads, which obviously drop from The Postmaster and, yes, are cloth. They require level 56. Magister’s Boots claim to be a “boss drop” but I’m pretty sure they used to drop off the Postmaster and then they moved them to Hearthsinger Forresten. Mages get dibs! They require level 54.

Main Hand: Nada, though I should note that there’s a level 58 2H mace called Hammer of the Grand Crusader, which is a zone-wide drop. Still, you’ll get more bang for your buck with a 1H and shield or off-hand combination.

Off-hand: Ugh, just the Tome of Knowledge, which is kind of lame, requiring level 56 and dropping from the Archivist.

Rings: Seriously, just The Postmaster’s Seal, which requires level 56 and, of course, drops from The Postmaster. If you don’t have at least 3 pieces of this set already, there’s no point in grabbing this, really. The 4-piece gives you +12 dmg/healing and the 5-piece bonus gives you +10 int and +5% run speed (?), so not really worth collecting for the bonuses, but if you’re already wearing three or four pieces, go for this ring to add another set bonus.

Trinkets: Nothing of note and do everyone in Azeroth a favour and disenchant the Piccolo of the Flaming Fire if it drops.

Next time…

All right, that’s it for the live side of Strat. Don’t forget to pull all the way back so you can kill runners before they go get another bunch of mobs!

Next time — Strat Undead, with all tier pants from Baron Rivendare and more sweet loot.

Classic Countdown – Holy Paladins & LBRS

All of these posts will focus on things you start picking up in dungeons starting around level 50. Suffice it to say, intellect is your best stat for a paladin healer, followed by crit. Why? At Rank 5, Illumination gives you a 100% chance to regain the mana cost for a spell if it crits. So crit, for a holy paladin, is not only good for your output, but it’s great for your mana regen. +healing and mp5 are decent stats too, but intellect also increases your healing done and gives you chance to critically strike with your spells and crit gives you mana back, so that’s generally the direction we should go.

Also, it’s possible that some of these mail recommendations may not drop for an Alliance group, so please be aware of that possibility. I’ll update these posts when I’ve been able to confirm this.

While I love the armor, Lightforge Armor is actually really awful for healing. Some of the pieces don’t even have intellect on them! However, it’s worth it to collect it, because the Tier 0.5 armor, Soulforge Armor, is not terrible. (It’s not fantastic, but it’s not awful. The 4-piece set bonus is pretty great and all the pieces have intellect and +damage/healing on them.) Later on, come Phase Five, in order to get the Tier 0.5 armor, you need to do a ton of things, including exchanging your T0 pieces for the Tier 0.5 pieces. So make sure you grab all your Lightforge so you’re able to exchange it for Soulforge.

Into the spire we go, folks!

Classic Loot for a Holy Paladin in Lower Blackrock Spire (LBRS)

It’s important to note that LBRS and UBRS are technically the same dungeon at this point in time, but you can’t get to UBRS without the Seal of Ascension. That ring is the end result of, what else, a long quest chain that starts with the drop of the Unadorned Seal of Ascension. You’ll need to get the three gems that drop from three bosses in LBRS (War Master Voone, Highlord Omokk and Overlord Wyrmthalak) and then talk to Vaelan within LBRS and then you’ll need to get Emberstrife, a dragon in Dustwallow Marsh, to forge it for you. Then you turn it in and you’ll get the ring. (More or less.)

Helm: Literally nothing in LBRS.

Neck: Nothing.

Shoulders: Wildheart Spaulders, the druid tier 0 shoulders, requiring level 55. They drop off Gizrul the Slavener, which is the big dog that comes running down the hallway after you kill Halycon. Another option is Sunderseer Mantle, requiring level 56 and dropping from Crystal Fang, the rare spider. (Not Mother Smolderweb.) Bear in mind that you should let any druids have the Wildheart Spaulders and any clothies get the Sunderseer Mantle, otherwise you’re just being a jerk.

Chest: Plate of the Shaman King, requiring level 55, drops from Highlord Omokk. It’s plate, with nice intellect and some damage/healing, so this should be all yours.

Cloak: Nothing.

Bracers: Brazecore Armguards, requiring level 55, drop from War Master Voone. They’re mail with 11 intellect and 3mp5 (3 mana restored per 5 seconds), so these are totally reasonable for you. As mentioned, these may not drop for Alliance groups. A potentially better alternative are the leather Bleak Howler Armguards, requiring level 56 and dropping from Gizrul the Slavener. They’re straight-up +healing, so if you’re healing the instance, these should be yours.

Belt: Devout Belt, the cloth belt that’s part of a priest’s tier 0 set, is a zone-wide drop within Blackrock Spire. Priests should have dibs, but if they pass, go for it. Additionally, the shaman’s tier 0 belt, Cord of Elements, is also a zone-wide drop and may be something that drops for an Alliance group.

Gloves: Fallbrush Handgrips, requiring level 56, are leather +healing gloves that drop from Crystal Fang, that rare spider. Gilded Gauntlets, requiring level 55, are mail intellect + 4mp5 gloves that drop from Mother Smolderweb. As mentioned previously, these may not drop for Alliance groups.

Legs: Highlord Omokk drops two different items that might be useful for holy paladins. Skyshroud Leggings and Tressermane Leggings, both requiring level 55. They’re definitely for cloth casters and moonkins, though. Still, if no clothie or moonkin wants them, snag them. Gizrul the Slavener drops Wolfshear Leggings, which are cloth, yes, but straight-up +healing.

Feet: Alas, the only thing really worth it for a holy paladin would be the Wildheart Boots, dropping from Mother Smolderweb. Let a druid get them before you do. They’re really not amazing.

Main Hand: Nothing here.

Off-hand: There’s a nice shield, the Rhombeard Protector, that requires level 56 and drops from Gizrul the Slavener. There’s also an off-hand, the Globe of D’sak, that requires level 54 and drops from the rare spawn Spirestone Lord Magus, who is, by the way, an ogre, who is in Highlord Omokk’s room, if he spawns.

Rings: The best one of the bunch is Rosewind Circle, requiring level 55, which drops from the optional, summonable boss, Urok Doomhowl. See how to summon Urok Doomhowl here. The Magus Ring, requiring level 54, is decent, and drops off the rare spawn Spirestone Lord Magus.

Trinkets: Nothing of interest for a holy paladin.

Next time…

Well, that’s all that’s worth looting for a holy paladin in Lower Blackrock Spire. Upper Blackrock Spire has some nice drops, but we’ll tackle that in the future. Do you think I missed anything here? Let me know in the comments.

Next time — Stratholme (Live)!

Classic Countdown – Holy Paladins & BRD

During Vanilla, I spent a lot of time raiding on my hunter, it’s true. But I also spent a lot of time doing stuff on Madrana. It was these experiences in Zul’Gurub, AQ20 and Molten Core that helped me to make the decision that I would heal full-time as a paladin in raids, starting in Burning Crusade.

These posts will focus on things you start picking up in dungeons around level 50. Suffice it to say, intellect is your best stat for a paladin healer, followed by crit. Why? At Rank 5, Illumination gives you a 100% chance to regain the mana cost for a spell if it crits. So crit, for a holy paladin, is not only good for your output, but it’s great for your mana regen. +healing and mp5 are decent stats too, but intellect also increases your healing done and gives you chance to critically strike with your spells and crit gives you mana back, so that’s generally the direction we should go.

Also, it’s possible that some of these mail recommendations may not drop for an Alliance group, so please be aware of that possibility. I’ll update these posts when I’ve been able to confirm this.

Additionally, while I love the armor, Lightforge Armor is actually terrible for healing. Some of the pieces don’t even have intellect on them! However, it’s worth it to collect it, because the Tier 0.5 armor, Soulforge Armor, is not terrible. (It’s not fantastic, but it’s not awful. The 4-piece set bonus is pretty great.) Later on, come Phase Five, in order to get the Tier 0.5 armor, you need to do a ton of things, including exchanging your T0 pieces for the Tier 0.5 pieces. So make sure you grab all your Lightforge so you’re able to exchange it for Soulforge.

All right, all of that said, let’s get on with it!

Classic Loot for a Holy Paladin in Blackrock Depths

I freaking love this dungeon. There’s so much to do here. How about a bar run? Or Jailbreak? Let’s get attuned to Molten Core. Feel like an Emperor run? And so much more. That said, let’s focus on what’s of interest for a holy paladin here. There’s a lot of stuff. You are going to spend a lot of time here doing All The Things, though, so don’t worry if you don’t get everything you’re seeking in a couple of runs. I should note that, at least back in Vanilla, there was very little need to wear all plate. There was no bonus to doing so. As such, shaman-type mail and even some leather or cloth pieces are recommended. However, I’m not saying that just because you can wear all armour types that you should get dibs on everything listed here. Don’t be a jerk, please be considerate of the people in your group.

Helm: Foreman’s Head Protector, requires level 50. This helm drops off of Fineous Darkvire who you need to kill in order to get the key for BRD. That said, if there’s no cloth-wearer in your group, don’t be afraid to snag the Chief Architect’s Monocle! Sure, it’s cloth, but it’s 27 intellect, which is superior to the Foreman’s Head Protector. This is probably best for a priest, mage or warlock, but if none of them need it or there’s no cloth-wearer, go for it. Also, a note, if you intend to do any tanking and you see Golem Skull Helm drop from Phalanx, grab it if your tank is a plate-wearer who doesn’t want it, or if your tank isn’t a plate-wearer.

Neck: Absolutely nothing of use for a holy paladin.

Shoulders: Frankly, I don’t like most of the options here, just because there are better ones out there, but the Earthslag Shoulders drop from Lord Roccor and require just level 47. The mail Lead Surveyor’s Mantle is clearly shaman gear, but since the Alliance doesn’t have shaman, you can call dibs on this item, if they drop for Alliance groups. The shoulders require level 50 and drop from Fineous Darkvire.

Chest: Spiderfang Carapace, requires level 49. This chest drops off Hedrum the Creeper in the Ring of the Law event, which has random different mobs, so this isn’t always a guaranteed boss you’ll kill.

Cloak: Spritecaster Cape, requires level 47, drops from High Interrogator Gerstahn or the Houndmaster (currently uncertain — probably the Houndmaster, though). This is legitimately the only cloak of note in here for a holy paladin, unless you get a Nightshade Cloak of Intellect, of the Eagle, of the Owl, of Healing or of Concentration.

Bracers: Lord Incendius drops a variety of randomly-enchanted bracers of different armor types. As with the Nightshade Cloak, if you can snag of Intellect, of the Eagle, of the Owl, of Healing or of Concentration, those would be decent.

Belt: Chillsteel Girdle, requires level 52. This mail belt drops off of Warder Stilgiss, who’s in the Vault room. Again, this may not drop for Alliance groups!

Gloves: Hands of the Exalted Herald, requires level 54. They’re cloth gloves, but have intellect and +33 healing. Can’t really say no to that. They drop off Moira on an Emperor run. Additionally, your Lightforge Gauntlets drop off the Emperor. Get them, if only because why not? But they’re not something you should be using to heal with. When Phase Five of WoW Classic rolls out, these will no longer drop off the Emperor, mostly because that’s a serious PITA for some gloves that are not amazing. When Phase Five rolls out, they will drop off of Timmy the Cruel on the live-side of Stratholme. Also, I’m not sure how Classic is handling this, but the tier 0 gloves, belts and bracers were all Bind on Equip after a certain point.

Legs: Senior Designer’s Pantaloons, require level 50 and are cloth +healing pants with some intellect on them. They drop off Fineous Darkvire. Another option would be Leggings of Frenzied Magic, from Gorosh the Dervish in the Ring of the Law event.

Boots: Entrenching Boots, require level 50. These drop off of Grizzle in the Ring of the Law event. Yes, there’s agility on them, but 10 int and +7 damage/healing. Another option, requiring level 52, are the Firemoss Boots, which are basically resto druid boots since they’re leather and +healing, but if you’re healing and these are an upgrade, go for it. They drop from Hurley Blackbreath in the bar.

Main Hand: The Hammer of Grace, no, there’s no intellect on it, but it’s one of the best pre-60 healing maces in the game with a beefy +31 healing done. It’s one of the possible rewards from the event of The Seven.

Off-hand: Thaurissan’s Royal Scepter is a nice reward for an Emperor run, as it has some intellect and a pure +22 healing on it.

Ring: Bloodclot Band, requires level 52. Great healing ring, drops off Gorosh the Dervish in, you guessed it, the Ring of the Law event.

Trinkets: Second Wind requires level 54 and drops from Golem Lord Argelmach. Yes, it has an absurdly long cooldown of 15 minutes, but it also has a passive +22 healing, which is solid. Another option you have is Burst of Knowledge, which requires level 53 and drops from Ambassador Flamelash. This is more of a caster DPS trinket. However, the mana savings (albeit with an insanely long cooldown) is useful, as is +12 damage/healing. Also, if you’re doing any tanking at all and you see Force of Will drop AND your tank doesn’t want it, grab it.

Next time…

There you have it, pretty much anything I’d consider equipping as a holy paladin that comes from Blackrock Depths. Any surprises here? Any questions? Let me know!

Next time — Lower Blackrock Spire!

Keys: Keepsakes from Another Era

When I started playing World of Warcraft, I had no idea what I was doing. I strongly suspect that a lot of people were, or even are, in the same boat. Over time, I educated myself about the game and what I, personally, needed to do in order to advance myself in the game. As I started playing in Vanilla, that meant getting attuned to Molten Core, Onyxia’s Lair and Blackwing Lair.

Along the way, I picked up a bunch of keys. The quests involved in forging the Scholomance key were great experience and fun, if a bit lengthy and, at the time, pricey. Back in those days, keys actually took up precious bag space and it was not at all uncommon for people to not actually own the key to an instance like Scholomance or the undead entrance for Stratholme. Even more common was the single person in the group (a group you had probably painstakingly assembled over the course of over an hour) who had the key had almost certainly left the key in their bank.

The keyring was excellent. No longer would we forget keys in the bank!

I always liked my keys. I even had the key to Searing Gorge on more than one character! The one key that eluded me was Gnomeregan and I picked that up shortly after 3.0 dropped so that I would get the Keymaster achievement when I got the key to Violet Hold in Wrath. I was so, so sad when they removed a bunch of the keys for Cataclysm, like the Scarlet Key and the Key to the City.

It must seem foolish to speak so fondly of an old, antiquated system, to many readers who are newer to the game or who remember all the keys we needed to do heroics in Burning Crusade. But key quests and attunements were bonding experiences.

I can hear the scoffing from newer players. I suspect the older players either think I’m certifiably insane or they’re nodding their heads in agreement.

One of the all-time longest attunements that people regularly did (no disrespect to AQ gong ringers!) was the Onyxia attunement in the original WoW. I’m not sure how bad it was for the Horde, mind you, but for the Alliance, it consisted of something like 16 quests. And we’re not talking easy quests, either. A lot of them had to do with group content and instances.

In particular, the sticking point for a LOT of people was this one quest called “Jailbreak!”. In it, we are tasked to go to Blackrock Depths and free Marshal Reginald Windsor from the prison there. Sounds easy enough, right? Wrong. Not only did you have to form a group of people willing to help you out with this task, but you had to be at the right part of the quest chain to benefit from the pain that was freeing Marshal Windsor. You also needed to have the prison key from the boss in that section of the instance. (Possibly a rogue would also work, but as I was a hunter at the time, I needed the key.)

Then, you had to be really good or really lucky to free Windsor without pre-clearing all the trash along the route Marshal Windsor wants to take, once he’s freed. And guess what? He wanted to exact revenge on several people in the prison (and free someone else) before he would save his own skin.

Not only that, but he would trudge so slowly through the instance that you just wanted to kick him in the ass to speed things up. At one point in time, although this might have been fixed, later on, if you went too far ahead of Windsor, he’d despawn.

So we had to:

– form a group of like-minded individuals (either willing to do Jailbreak! or on it themselves)
– get to the instance
– know what you needed to do once you were there and likely clear both rings in the prison section — possibly killing the prison boss as well
– then free Windsor and wait for him to catch up to you every few seconds

Finally, at long last, Marshal Windsor would run for the entrance of Blackrock Depths.

But were you done?

Hell no.

THEN, you had to go back to Stormwind and WAIT for Windsor to show up. (Sometime AFTER I’d done the attunement, they brought in “Squire Rowe”, who stands by the gates of Stormwind. You talk to him and that essentially triggers Windsor’s arrival.) Then you walk with him through Stormwind (again, he used to despawn if you went too quickly) where he would confront Lady Katrana Prestor and accuse her of being Onyxia and then Bolvar Fordragon (SOB, I miss that guy!) would open a can of whup ass on the guards — who were all disguised dragonkin in service of Lady Katrana Prestor.

That was a cool part actually, but then we return right to more suck. We then had to go to Upper Blackrock Spire (never you mind that this required a whole other epic quest chain itself AND ten people!) and kill General Drakkisath for the Blood of the Black Dragon Champion. They eventually changed it so it was lootable by anyone with the quest, but for YEARS, it was a green item that only one or two people could loot (more than one could drop). That meant multiple UBRS runs.

Once you got that taken care of, you would receive the Drakefire Amulet — a fire resistance necklace that you needed in your bags in order to enter Onyxia’s Lair.

Epic-sounding, right? No doubt this is why they started out with such things. It quickly loses its appeal, however, when you’re on your third or fourth toon who you decide to attune.

Speaking as someone who was an officer in a Vanilla guild, attuning people was a pain in my ass.

Hell, attuning people to Black Temple in Burning Crusade (even after the attunement was lifted, just so that we could get the Medallion of Karabor for the shadow resistance!) was a pain in the ass.

As much as it was all a pain in the ass, though, it was what you had to do to get into 40-man raid content back then. So people did it. There was a never-ending swarm of people who applied to guilds and needed their attunements done. I can’t tell you how many times I ran Jailbreak or ran people through BRD to get attuned to Molten Core.

But there was something about that shared suffering that bonded people together. No, I’m serious!

To this day, I will always remember getting attuned to Molten Core. I was in BRD for six hours that night. We had a paladin (!) tanking, a paladin (!) healing, another hunter and a mage. It was me and the healing paladin who were there from Fated Heroes. The tank and the other hunter (who was survival! That was SO rare then!) were from another guild and we picked up a mage to help because we were doing what was called an “emp run” — that’s to say we were going to clear the last boss.

That night, I got attuned to the core, got my Shadowforged Key, did an Emp run (which is where the T0 paladin gloves used to drop until they moved them to an easier-to-kill boss), knocked out a ton of quests… it was epic. The only thing we didn’t do was Jailbreak, because no one had gotten to that point in their quests.

And it was FANTASTIC. It was great!

I don’t remember the name of the puggers, but I do remember we were, collectively, awesome.

To this day, I will always remember running with Majik to get his Jailbreak done. We had to do it TWICE. We went in, did it (it took about 45m-1h back then) and then realized that since Majik had died during a pull, he had failed the quest. So we had to reset the instance AND DO IT AGAIN.

To this day, I will always remember getting Toga and a couple of his cousins attuned to Molten Core. We pugged a healer who then joined the guild. (Granted, he guild-hopped on us TWICE in as many expansions, but it was still a great attunement run.)

My own Jailbreak run had my brother on his druid, a dwarf (!) priest from our guild, another hunter from our guild and … someone else. We didn’t know to pre-clear first. We had to blow my brother’s half-hour cooldown Rebirth (battle rez) on the priest at some point and my brother even blew Tranquility at some point. Totally epic!

I will always remember that I essentially soloed a 5-man portion of the Black Temple attunement. I killed a bunch of adds and was well on my way to killing some elite quest mob all by myself, because my guild (love them!) essentially all said they were “too busy” to help me out. So I did this part of Shadowmoon Valley all on my own until some wonderful shaman from another guild whispered me with “invite!” and I invited him and he HEALED ME and we both got credit for that mob.

Going through steps of attunements was a GREAT bonding experience.

Keys were a way that you could show people you cared about your character and its progression — particularly the more difficult keys. Attunements were a way that you could show people you cared about your character AND that you could get through the difficult challenges most of these involved. It also usually proved that you could work as a member of a team and what is raiding if not working together as a team?

So as we anxiously await Firelands and 4.2, let’s take a moment to remember the countless hours spent on getting keys. Let’s take a moment to remember that, once upon a time, we couldn’t just stroll into a raid instance without being attuned, having an amulet, doing a huge number of quests or even paying gold.

Attunements are already a thing of the past, but I’ve held on to my keys all of these years. I’ve been proud of having them, all of them, and so, as I download 4.2, I will take a moment to think about all these entry barriers I successfully navigated and the crazy shenanigans that usually went along with those runs.

Goodbye, my dear keys. I don’t regret a single moment I spent getting any of you.

(Pictured, from left to right, top to bottom:
Prison Cell Key – BRD, Key to Searing Gorge – Quest, Relic Coffer Key – needed for a portion of BRD, Jump-a-Tron 4000 key – Nagrand quest, Boulderfirst Key – Nagrand quest, Coilskar Chest Key – Shadowmoon Valley quest, The Violet Hold Key – Quest, Zuluhed’s Key – Shadowmoon Valley quest, Flamewrought Key – Heroic Honor Hold key, Key of Time – Heroic Caverns of Time key, The Master’s Key – Karazhan key, Reservoir Key – Heroic Coilfang Reservoir key, Auchenai key – Heroic Auchindoun key, Warpforged Key – Heroic Tempest Keep instances key, Gordok Shackle Key – Nagrand quest, Rusty Prison key – fished up in Dalaran.)

Heroic Chimaeron x2 and other fun stuff.

So we’ve been working on knocking out some of these initial heroic modes.

We got Heroic Chimaeron on Thursday, April 28th.

We did that during patch week, with people dropping offline like FLIES, man. So I was thrilled to get him down after just a couple of nights of work. 35 wipes all-told, then a kill on try 36. Woot!

Since, on the night that we killed him, we had 16 wipes before the kill, I was not expecting an easy second kill. Particularly given the comp we had.

This Tuesday’s signups were absolutely abysmal. We had 20 confirmed, 3 who hadn’t accepted or declined, 2 declined and then something like 7 “tentatives”.

I got a hold of the three who didn’t sign up for Tuesday and confirmed they would all be there. I got a confirmation from a tentative and decided NOT to cancel the raid ahead of time. It was a risk — I knew I might have to call the raid or split into two groups of 10 and I seriously hate both of those ideas.

Lo and behold, we had 26 on at start.

We went to BH, knocked that out and headed to BWD. I hadn’t done any raid rosters and I didn’t even make a raid PLAN because of all the different variables in who was going to be there. So we did Magmaw and ODS and swapped out a healer who was lagging and disconnecting (who had been DPSing for us on those bosses) for Fog, to come in as ret. So we did normal Atramedes and did it pretty damn cleanly. Two deaths total and we finally got to use heroism at the END of the fight instead of the start. Atramedes is my guild’s worst fight, I think, but we’re seeing improvement.

So then we’re looking at heroic Chimaeron. I had swapped the healer who was lagging crazily, remember, so we had 7 healers instead of the 8 that we got it with last week. However, last week, one of the healers was one of the people dropping offline frequently, so we basically did it with 7.5 healers as it was.

I figured “what the hell” and decided we’d give it a shot with the 7 healers.

We lost one of the tanks very early, but popped him back up ASAP. Then we lost a rogue and basically just ignored that. I figured that if we had any battle rezzes left towards the end (remember, we have a maximum of three on 25-man) we could pop him back up.

Then, with, oh, five seconds to go before Massacre, I have three people in my group with Low Health. Including me. I’d given the healers specific instructions, since we didn’t have a dedicated “floater” healer, to watch for 2 or more Low Health people in any given group as we approach a Massacre and to start from the right (or bottom) of the frames to help out that group’s healer.

I’m the bottom-most person in my group with Low Health, so I start healing the shadow priest — get her out of danger. Then I heal the disc priest in my group, who’s a tank healer and is more important than I am for the moment. And through it all, I’m praying someone, ANYONE, sees that I have Low Health. I probably should have ASKED for a heal over Mumble, but I didn’t.

Dead me!

(Part of me thinks my healers thought it would be funny to let me die like that, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t pre-planned. Mostly sure.) (I think.)

So I blow a battle rez on me by asking for a Raise Ally and am basically tapped out of mana for the next while, but everything ends up being fine but unfortunately, the shadow priest in my group died because I was running back to my spot and didn’t even see she had low health. ><

Two battle rezzes down, did I want to blow our last one NOW? I held off.

We got to the fourth feud and after that Massacre, I got our feral druid to pop up the shadow priest. We pushed, got another Massacre/Feud, which was very poorly timed and we got to P2 when most people were at about half-health. Eesh.

And then, Chimaeron/Mocking Shadows killed a total of six people before falling over.

I was sort of like “what the eff just happened?”. We one-shotted Heroic Chimaeron with one less healer than we generally have for this fight and had a minimum of issues.

“Well, I’ll take it!” I muttered to myself.

So by 10:23pm, after one hour and 23 mintues, we had done BH, Magmaw, ODS, Atramedes and H. Chimaeron.

We took our break and reconvened afterwards and decided to go play with Heroic Maloriak for the rest of the night.

We’re doing a LOT better with the dark phases! Not so good with the green phases. I’m going to have to go digging through the logs, but I’m pretty pleased to see us living through red phases, blue phases and dark phases compared to our work on him in mid-April. Basically, if we got a red phase first, we were screwed, because the sludges were still up for about 15ish seconds. Last night, they were mostly still up when we transitioned but only for a couple seconds, enough time to finish them off and get into position for the Scorching Blast. Amazing what a couple of weeks’ worth of gear will do, eh?

So it’s Heroic Maloriak on the menu for the next raid night and some more work next week, if need be.

Then… Magmaw? Atramedes? Should be interesting, at any rate.

I’m really pleased with the group and the progress we’re making, though. The repeat kills are HUGE and totally make my night when we manage a relatively easy repeat kill. That was something we were really bad at doing back in Burning Crusade. One week, we did 5/6 SSC in a single night and never did that again, I don’t think.

“Fun” stuff includes the targetting reticule bug. Being a paladin in raids, I don’t really have this issue.

Except last night, I did.

We’re there before Magmaw and I drop a feast.

Except my Raid Buff Status didn’t give out a raid warning.

“That’s weird,” I thought. And then I realized I couldn’t click my feast.

“Anyone see the feast?” I asked.

“What feast?”
“No…”
“There’s a feast?”
“I missed the feast?”

And the like.

“RETICULES!” my holy priest cried.

“Holy shit,” I responded. “Is THIS what you’re dealing with?!”

“YES!” came the replies.

“Wow. That is shitty.”

So here’s a screenshot of what LOOKS like two feasts, but the one on the right is NOT clickable and is ONLY visible to me. (Mostly to prove to my guild that no, I was not hallucinating.)

And in lowbie paladin adventures…

My lowbie paladin has caught up to my lowbie mage. Both are level 52.

I don’t know if I’m horrified or really pleased about this.

I do know that the XP is just insane with all the heirlooms and the guild XP bonus. It’s absolutely out of this world. I was level 50 for 45 minutes, I think it was.

Me, Fog, Maj and Entropia (another guildie) ran a bunch of dungeons today. Zul’Farrak, a ton of BRD (detention block) and a few Sunken Temples.

I have to say that I’m glad they redid ST so it doesn’t suck so bad, but I’m sad they covered up the hole in the center of that room. :(

BRD is glorious and delightful as always. I can’t wait to do the REST of the instance and not just the detention block. (Majik hates it, but he’ll tank for me anyways.)

I’m almost looking forward to Outlands stuff, though. I’m eagerly awaiting LBRS and UBRS runs, too. I think the Outlands anticipation is just because I’ll be THAT much closer to WotLK stuff, which I can practically do blindfolded after two years of running those dungeons.

My lowbie pally is a dwarf, but as soon as I hit 80, I’m going to race change to a human for the rep bonuses to the reps I’m actually going to need.

I feel like I’m on my shaman as a dwarf, anyways, especially with the heirloom shaman shoulders.

SPEAKING of which, wtf. I have Plate Specialization at 50, but there’s no heirloom plate healer helm? Ugh. I’m just going to stick with the mail, I guess, and be a scrub for quite some time, yet. Bonus experience trumps any and all stats.

So that’s what I’ve been up to. How about you fine folks?

The New Adventures of Old Azeroth

I don’t know how he does it, but my brother is responsible for the fact that I have so many alts. And on Thursday, I rolled another.

My mage is hanging out on Skywall with Choice because they’re awesome. Similarly, my druid is over on another server with my RL Friend the Resto Druid. My hunter, paladin, shaman and priest are all on Eldre’Thalas, guilded in Apotheosis.

My brother, Majik and our friend Tia were all in their early 20s on some alts earlier this week. Fog’s levelling a warrior, Tia’s levelling a pally and Majik is also levelling a pally tank, as he mentioned on the first episode of Blessing of Frost, our brand-new WoW podcast.

They were all at about the same level and were encouraging me to roll something and “GTF” to my 20s so we could all instance together.

I thought about it. A lot. I didn’t want to be a rogue. A death knight moved me out of their level range, obviously. I also didn’t want to be a DK. ;) I didn’t want to be a warlock, either. I then thought about my mage. I really like my mage. I haven’t gotten to play her much at all during Wrath, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like her.

So I decided I’d level another mage on ET.

But what race? There’s human, the old standby. And gnome, but, uh, no thanks. Then there’s the new combinations of dwarf and night elf. Dwarf was very tempting, since I love the male dwarf casting animations and I love their emotes… but I just race changed my shaman to a male dwarf. Which left night elf? Ugh. I HATE the night elf casting animations. Like, so much. I hate when I have to rez my pet or hearth on Kurn. Makes me cringe.

So I stuck with human. I know. I’m boring. But I’ve found that when in doubt, 10% extra rep is never a bad thing. I’d also get to go through the human quests again (probably the quests I’m most familiar with) and really get a good idea of how things have changed.

So my new mage was born and was promptly given the Tattered Dreadmist Mantle, the Tattered Dreadmist Robe, the Discerning Eye of the Beast and, best of all, the Dread Pirate Ring. Hello, 25% extra experience. How are you this fine day?

Well, I rolled her on Thursday and when I went to bed on Friday, she was 28.

I’ve done:

– the vast majority of Elwynn (LOVE the Hogger change! ADORE flight points everywhere!)

– just about all of Westfall (OMG, Hope! Loved the return of Gryan!)

– all of Redridge (and while it was a little long, it was FAR less tedious than the old quests. And yay for the bridge!!)

– 1 Stocks run, 1 Deadmines run, 2 Blackfathom Deeps runs, 1 SFK run and a few minutes of a Gnomer run — I really dig most of the changes (BFD seems mostly unchanged to me, but I never did run that place much) and the Deadmines was fun because I’ve done the heroic version on beta and it was nice to see it at level. SFK seemed okay. A little faster than previously.

So the mage is having fun.

On Tuesday night, I was exploring the new world a bit on Kurn and went to Strat Undead.

So different! I mean, most things are the same — I recognized a lot of my same, old pulls and even Stonespine is there! — but the chapel’s being rebuilt and Aurius, our friend the paladin to whom you give the Medallion of Faith, is no longer there.

You also no longer need a key.

The bosses are the same, for the most part. Just lower level. And while they don’t seem to drop T0 gear any longer, there are some familiar drops, such as the Chitinous Plate Legguards. There’s also no more 45m run/debuff given to you when you open the gate to the gauntlet. RIP, 45m Baron run.

I also think there are fewer aboms to kill outside of the Slaughterhouse.

Anyways, I hadn’t spoiled myself or done any research about Strat. Spoilers ahead!

The Baron’s gone. In his place is Lord Aurius Rivendare. Without a doubt, this is that same paladin who would come to our aid after giving him the Medallion of Faith. I didn’t even realize it until after I killed him. I suspect I’ll have to quest around EPL to find out what happened to the Baron and why Aurius is now the Lord of Stratholme.

The good news in all this is that I got Rivendare’s Charger.

The funny thing is that I haven’t even tried for it. Sure, I’ve probably killed Baron about 150 times, all told. Probably more, really, when you count Madrana’s kills. I’ve never even seen it drop. I’m certainly not someone who went farming for it daily or even weekly and probably not even monthly. I just lucked out. :)

Thus far: Baron Rivendare – 200+, Kurn – 0. But Aurius Rivendare – 0, Kurn – 1. Heh. I like that record. :)