Classic Countdown – Professions!

Thanks to Kristen for a few questions about Classic WoW! Today, we’re tackling tips about Professions. Curious about Classic? Tweet me with your questions: @kurnmogh

1) Jewelcrafting and Inscription and Archaeology don’t exist

That’s right. There are no gems that increase any stats. There are no glyphs. There’s no milling, no prospecting. There’s no digging. This means that herbalism only funnels into Alchemy and that mining funnels into Blacksmithing and Engineering and that there’s only three secondary professions, not four.

But Kurn, didn’t the Darkmoon Faire exist? What about Darkmoon trinkets?

Yes. The Faire existed, but, sidenote, there were no quests to skill up your professions! And yes, there were Darkmoon trinkets. However, they were not crafted. Each and every card that made up a deck was a drop. The Aces were drops from dungeon bosses. The Ace of Portals, for example, was a drop from Darkmaster Gandling. The 2-8 of each deck were random world drops. What’s a random world drop? It can drop off of anything, anywhere. While I’m sure there was a level cap on this (probably mobs 50+), that’s still a lot of randomness to collect a deck. It was hard. And then you had to wait for the Faire to arrive to turn it in. And guess what? One month, the Faire would arrive in Goldshire, and the next, it was in Mulgore. Yeah, good luck going to hand stuff in at your opposing faction’s starting zone.

And the trinkets weren’t even that good!

Arguably the best trinket from the decks was the reward for the Portals Deck, which was Darkmoon Card: Twisting Nether. You will note that there are absolutely no stats on this trinket. The only thing it does is give you a 10% chance to rez.

That said, Darkmoon Card: Blue Dragon, from the Beasts Deck, is good for a healer. The Darkmoon Card: Maelstrom, a reward from the Elementals Deck, is good for melee DPS. Darkmoon Card: Heroism, a reward from the Warlords Deck, is meh. A tank might use it, particularly while undergeared, or a DPS might want it for grinding mobs to lessen downtime. Honestly, underwhelming. But they all are. Truthfully, trinkets in Vanilla were awful.

Anyway, TL;DR: no Archaeology, no Jewelcrafting and no Inscription and, as such, no digging, no gems, no glyphs and no good Darkmoon trinkets.

2) Fishing, Cooking and First Aid are all useful

Let’s look at First Aid. Not only does bandaging restore a fair amount of health at higher levels (2000 health back over 8 seconds), but it’s really useful to heal yourself when you’re about to die. Players over the last few years don’t think of their own health, don’t use their personal cooldowns, don’t use health potions, don’t use healthstones. As someone who has raided as a holy paladin more often than not, especially back in Vanilla when AOE healing was rare, please, I implore you, train your First Aid and carry bandages with you everywhere you go.

Tip: It is okay to stop DPSing to bandage yourself. I promise.

So the first time my guild killed Lucifron, the first boss in Molten Core, I was dead. Why was I dead? Well, it couldn’t be avoided. Lucifron had this nasty ability called Impending Doom, which caused 2000 shadow damage after ten seconds. So anyone with a dispel magic would have to dispel the entire raid (no mass dispel!) and hope they got everyone before the dot exploded.

There I am, with my potions on cooldown, my bandages on cooldown and my healthstone gone (they were single-use back then!). And I get hit with Impending Doom. And I have less than 2000 health. And I know I’m going to die. But everything was on cooldown. So it wasn’t my fault. And it wasn’t the healers’ fault, either, because they were busy healing and dispelling. So I died. The goal is to stay alive as long as possible, through any means necessary. That includes bandages. RESPECT THE BANDAGEZ.

Fishing and Cooking, as I’ve mentioned previously, go hand-in-hand and can be incredibly useful for late-game buffs. That means raiders are going to fork over their hard-earned gold for your fish or various foods.

Additionally, fishing is basically required in order to summon Gahz’ranka in Zul’Gurub! (Who, BTW, drops the Tome of Polymorph Turtle. Back in the day, you had sheep and that was it, unless you got lucky off Gahz’ranka, which is why people to this day still call it “sheeping” something rather than “polymorph”. Then Polymorph: Pig appeared as a trained skill, IIRC.)

Oh, one of the few appearance-changing items in the game at the time, Savory Deviate Delight, can always be relied upon to be bought by people who want to turn into a ninja or a pirate. The recipe is simple, one Deviate Fish, and Mild Spices from a trade vendor. The Recipe: Savory Deviate Delight drops from mobs in the Barrens, so it’s well-worth taking the time to visit there. (And, you know, immediately leave General chat for the duration. Ugh. Barrens chat.)

3) Herbalism and Alchemy

Much like today, herbs and potions/elixirs/flasks are always going to be in demand so long as people are running challenging content. Whether that’s level 55+ dungeons like Scholomance or a 45-man Baron run in Stratholme or stepping foot inside Zul’Gurub or Molten Core or tiptoeing down to Onyxia, alchemy’s products will always be in demand, from the major mana and even health potions to the flasks.

As such, herbs will also always be in demand. Some good ones to stock up on include Ghost Mushrooms, Golden Sansam, Dreamfoil, Mountain Silversage, and, of course, Black Lotus, as every flask recipe in the game requires one and they’re super rare. Oh, and Icecap is definitely useful, too.

Tip: Tauren get a natural +15 boost to herbalism.

Herbalism and Alchemy obviously go very well together, so I’d recommend picking up both if you grab one.

One major difference between Ye Olde Days and now is flasks require Alchemy Labs to create them. Right now, on retail WoW, you can create all your flasks or potions or elixirs or transmutes anywhere. In town, on a mountain top, inside a dungeon, anywhere. In Vanilla WoW, there were exactly two alchemy labs, special areas where you could create flasks. Do you know where they were? Well, one was inside Blackwing Lair and the other, more reasonable one, was inside Scholomance. And I’m not talking two rooms in, either. Both are placed well-inside these instances. As such, your flasks not only take materials to make, but also time and effort to get to Scholomance (more reasonably than BWL) and to clear down to the alchemy lab. Flasks are expensive, requiring the very rare Black Lotus herb, other herbs, plus the time and energy to craft them. Alchemists would likely do well to make sure they have materials for a flask any time they go to Scholomance. Of course, it would be helpful to have a flask recipe, right? Right.

So where do you get flask recipes? Not from a trainer, oh no. They’re drops. The caster flask recipe,  Recipe: Flask of Supreme Power, drops off Ras Frostwhisper, in Scholomance. As such, if you’re an alchemist, even if you don’t know the recipe for a single flask, kill Ras and you might get that recipe. So make sure you go in loaded with Dreamfoil, some Mountain Silversage and, of course, Black Lotuses and Crystal Vials, even if you don’t know any flasks, because you might luck out with Ras.

Recipe: Flask of Distilled Wisdom, typically the healer flask, drops from Balnazzar in Strat Live. (Fun fact: I was using these in Wrath because there was literally nothing better for healing for a holy paladin.)

Recipe: Flask of the Titans, typically the tank flask, drops from General Drakkisath in UBRS.

There, uh, is not a lot for physical DPS folks in the way of flasks. Sorry.

Recipe: Flask of Petrification, which I don’t think I’ve ever seen used, drops from the green dragons, perhaps specifically Taerar.

Recipe: Flask of Chromatic Resistance, which may be handy in BWL (???), drops in UBRS from Rend’s dragon, Gyth.

Tip: For money-making, focus on Flask of Supreme Power, Flask of Distilled Wisdom and Flask of the Titans and try to always have mats for at least Supreme Power when you visit Scholomance.

4) Tailoring & Enchanting

Tailoring and Enchanting are a good pair of professions for a cloth-wearer. Enchanting will always be in demand and, as a tailor, you can disenchant stuff you create for dust, shards, etc. However, it’s important to note that, back in the day, there were no enchanting vellums. That means you had to actually find an enchanter and ask them to perform the enchant for you, usually with your mats, and then you definitely wanted to tip them gold, depending on how difficult the enchant was to farm up. Crusader? Tip a lot. Fiery? Less so.

The flip side here, for enchanters, is that it’s hard to level up enchanting because you can’t just enchant vellums to sell! Still, it’s always going to be in demand once you get to max, or close to max, level. However, just like now, the most valuable enchants are generally the ones that take effort — or rep — so be prepared.

As to tailoring, some of the neat patterns you can get as a tailor give you an item that is BOP, so you can’t sell it, so it’s worthwhile for you to be a cloth-wearer as a tailor because then you can equip those items. For example, the Pattern: Robe of the Archmage is able to be looted by anyone and sold, but the ROBE ITSELF is BOP, so only a mage would want to create it, because it’s class-locked to a mage. (Fun fact: the alcove to the right on your way up to Mother Smolderweb is where the mobs that can drop this are.) Meanwhile, Balnazzar in Strat Live drops the Pattern: Truefaith Vestments, and Truefaith Vestments? BOP. And class-locked to priests. Meanwhile, Darkmaster Gandling in Scholomance drops the Pattern: Robe of the Void, which gives the BOP Robe of the Void, class-locked to warlocks.

Of course, beyond the sweet armor you can craft yourself, tailors also make… bags. Bags are going to be at a premium. 16-slot bags are typically the best bags you’ll use in Classic. Finding a Traveler’s Backpack is basically like hitting the jackpot. Meanwhile, one of the best bags is the Mooncloth Bag. It’s identical, except it’s crafted and it will likely be expensive (which is good for you, as the tailor!). Why? It requires:

  • Mooncloth. The recipe itself is hard enough to get, as it’s a limited-item available from a vendor in Winterspring. Making Mooncloth requires two Felcloth and it’s on a 4-day cooldown.
  • Pattern: Mooncloth Bag. As to where this comes from, Wowhead is saying Lethon, who’s one of the green dragons, but it also used to drop off of random, high-level mobs. Keep an eye out for it and snatch it up immediately if you see it.

Until you get that, you can at least try to get the Runecloth Bag recipe, which may be sold from Qia in Winterspring (same one for Mooncloth), which is a 14-slot bag, which really isn’t bad comparatively. Easier to make and it’ll be in super-high demand.

Tip: Make friends with a skinner because each bag requires 2 Rugged Leather.

5) Skinning and Leatherworking

And speaking of skinning and leather, let’s look at Skinning and Leatherworking, my favourite professions, period. I started out with these professions in Vanilla and didn’t change for eons. It was towards the end of Vanilla that I swapped to mining for a while (Thorium Ore and Arcane Crystals sold quite well!) before, yes, dropping mining and going back to skinning. Skinning is really the only way to get “enough” leather to supply your Leatherworking. The other bonus here is that you don’t have to wait for a node to respawn. Skin what you kill.

Tip: Don’t loot everything at once. Loot one corpse, then skin it. Repeat for as many dead bodies are around you. Otherwise, people can skin your kills.

Also, there are Leatherworking Specialties that will mean you can’t craft certain items while you can craft others. You were, at least until Burning Crusade, stuck with your specialty, so choose wisely! That said, unlike the Tailoring patterns I mentioned previously, these items are not BOP, so even if you pick the “wrong” specialty, you can sell stuff and purchase what would benefit you more. The specialties are as follows:

  • Elemental Leatherworking: Meant for rogues (and feral druids)
  • Tribal Leatherworking: Essentially meant for moonkins/resto druids (there’s a decent couple of melee pieces in here, too)
  • Dragonscale Leatherworking: Gear for hunters and shammies

I don’t have a comprehensive list of all the items yet, but that should change at launch, or closer to it. Still, those are decent guidelines.

It’s important to note that, outside of the specialty gear, a leatherworker creates both leather and mail gear, while a tailor is just cloth gear and a blacksmith is just plate. Leatherworkers can sell to rogues, druids of any kind, hunters and shaman (12 total specs – 13 if you count holy paladins in search of spellpower mail!). As such, especially if you can get a couple of rare recipes, it’s definitely worthwhile to be a Skinner/Leatherworker. I made a lot of money off the Black Dragonscale Leggings, personally. That said, don’t be a paladin and skinner, because a paladin can’t wield a dagger like Finkle’s Skinner. (They can, however, wield the Zulian Slicer, but ZG won’t be out for a while yet.)

Additionally, a skinner is really important for a guild. Why?

  • Pristine Hide of the Beast can drop from skinning the Beast in UBRS and is a valuable reagent for some great gear.
  • Scale of Onyxia: A key ingredient for the Onyxia Scale Cloak, required to defeat Nefarian, the last boss of Blackwing Lair.
  • Core Leather: Skinned from Core Hounds in Molten Core, Core Leather is necessary for several fire-resistance recipes and more. For the love of all that’s holy, LOOT YOUR HOUNDS SO YOUR GUILD SKINNER CAN SKIN THEM. Ahem. Thank you.

Tips: Don’t skin as a paladin and pick a leatherworking specialty that will ideally benefit you.

6) Mining and Blacksmithing

I’ll talk about Engineering later, just know that mining is useful for just those two professions. That said, miners not only collect ore, but smelt them into bars. Smelting is no longer part of the profession in retail — raw ore is used by Blacksmiths and Engineers — but it was a big part of the profession in Vanilla. A great way to make some money is to buy cheap ore and sell expensive bars. Or, combine bars to make a different kind of bar. A Bronze bar, for example. You don’t mine bronze, you have to take a Copper bar and a Tin bar and smelt them together to get the Bronze bar. Additionally, mining Thorium Veins in the later stages of the game meant you could get Arcane Crystals. These, in turn, are used in a transmute with a Thorium Bar to create the very-popular Arcanite Bar. Some of the best weapons and armor in the entire game require many of these, including Sulfuras, Hand of Ragnaros. The precursor, Sulfuron Hammer, requires 50 Arcanite Bars, for example.

Tip: Be friends with an alchemist and tip them well for using their transmute cooldown. It’s a 2-day cooldown.

As to Blacksmithing, full disclosure, I never had a Blacksmith back in the day. However, you do have a choice between Armorsmith and Weaponsmith, which is then further broken down into Axesmith, Hammersmith and Swordsmith. You’re not going to be making money off these recipes, largely, because the materials are end-game items from Molten Core in many cases. You should select what you think will be most useful to your guild. In most cases, this will be Armorsmith.

7) Engineering

This is another profession I have little experience with. But, true story, one night, we all convinced our buddy Majik to drop… I think it was enchanting (?) in favour of Engineering. Specifically, goblin engineering. And we helped him to level it, helping him buy mats and all that. Why? Field Repair Bot 74A. This is partly because a group of us could never find a tank and so we’d 5-man stuff with three clothies, my cat tanking, and a priest. We all died. A lot. Anyway, we made him become an engineer for the repair bot/vendor bot. And the jumper cables were fun, too.

Anyway, my point is, Engineers are useful. You can be either a Gnomish Engineer or a Goblin Engineer. Like Leatherworking, you’re stuck with the specialty, so again, choose wisely.

Which to choose? Well, Goblins get the jumper cables, so if you’re a hunter or a rogue or a night elf who can avoid dying in a wipe, that’s useful. You can try to rez a healer. Goblins also tend to have more, uh, explosives. Gnomes have more utility items.

Goblins also get Dimensional Ripper – Everlook, while Gnomes get Ultrasafe Transporter: Gadgetzan.

Tip: Gnomes get a +15 Engineering racial bonus.

Engineers can also craft scopes for increased stats on ranged weapons as well as ammunition (yes, guns and bows and crossbows all need ammo!). Their Thorium Shells can be turned in for Thorium Headed Arrows. Man, even just writing this makes me feel like I should make my hunter an engineer, but I genuinely love skinning dragons and crafting armor… Anyway, probably a good choice for a hunter.

Next Time…

Whew. That was a lot of information. I hope it was useful! As for myself, I’m planning on Skinning/LW for my hunter, Herbalism/Alchemy for my paladin and Tailoring/Enchanting for my mage. My brother is, I believe, aiming for Mining/Blacksmithing on his warrior, Engineering/Leatherworking on his rogue (he’ll get the ore from his warrior, the leather from me) and Tailoring/Enchanting on his mage.

Next time, we’ll have some more general bits of advice, this time about various zones. Stay tuned!

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!

Classic Countdown!

One month to go until WoW Classic launches, folks! My brother and I are pretty darn psyched about this and have already spent hours discussing what we’re going to do.

As we enter the final month, I wanted to share some possibly useful advice for starting out in Classic. Now, please do bear in mind that I’m not in the Classic beta, nor was I around at the launch of WoW back in 2004. As such, my advice may not be applicable to what eventually happens a month from now, but I’m going to give it a shot.

Vendor All The (Grey/Soulbound) Things

As you level, you’ll invariably get a bunch of greys. Vendor all of them. Don’t not pick them up. Don’t destroy them. Vendor them. Every copper matters in the early days. Additionally, if you’re not an enchanter, vendor your old gear when you replace it (unless it’s gear that would work for another spec). If you are an enchanter, obviously disenchant that stuff!

Hot tip: If all your choices for a quest reward are all things you won’t use (or can’t use), then pick the one that vendors for the most. If you don’t have an add-on that’ll tell you what something sells for, a loose guide is: plate sells for more than mail, mail more than leather, leather more than cloth. Helms and chests are generally worth more than shoulders and legs, which, in turn, are generally worth more than boots and gloves, which are usually more than belts and bracers. Of course, a cloth helm might be worth less than plate shoulders, so definitely try to get an add-on.

Level Professions As You Go

There is little worse than being max level and having to go back to, say, Hillsbrad Foothills to mine Silver Ore. Seriously, it’s a pain to go back and pick herbs or skin leather or mine ore of a level that’s way lower than yours. I have done this at least four times on Kurn when I’ve dropped skinning for mining, then dropped mining for skinning, then picked mining back up and then, yes, picked skinning back up. (I’m done with that nonsense, I swear.)

This also includes fishing! You should have one toon who fishes. This isn’t as hard as it used to be Way Back In The Day, because fishing schools exist in the patch we’re getting. There should be bodies of water around the levelling areas, so take 10-15 minutes to fish for a bit and level that as you wait for an herb or a mining node to respawn.

It also includes cooking. Do not underestimate the importance of food buffs when you get to level 55-60.

And, of course, it includes first aid! Killing mobs that are designated as “humanoid” will generally drop cloth, so make sure you keep on top of your first aid. It’s no fun to have to go around killing Defias Bandits to collect linen. When you’ve maxed out bandages of a certain cloth, you can go ahead and start selling that cloth on the auction house.

Fun fact: Cooking and fishing go hand-in-hand together and both professions are great ways to make more money.

Level Those Weapon Skills!

Weapon skills are a Thing. Sorry. They are. You should note that if you’re a night elf hunter, you’ll start with a bow, while a dwarf will start with a gun. Both should endeavour to pick up the opposite (as well as a crossbow) with cheap ammo to level up the skills in case you get a new weapon to drop. Less important are the melee weapons, but not wholly insignificant! Wing Clip requires you to, you know, actually land the attack to wing clip something. And that needs a weapon skill. I don’t like to let my primary weapon skills in other weapons drop more than 15-20 points from my max possible.

Train Your Spells & Use Your Talent Points!

Oh God, please, please, please train your spells. And please train new ranks of your spells. Please. Is it cheap? No. That’s why you need to vendor things and pick up fishing and cooking and level your professions.

As to talents, in almost all cases, you want to go straight for your 31 point talent as soon as possible so that you’ve got Trueshot Aura, Holy Shock, Swiftmend, Shield Slam, Ice Barrier, whatever it is, as soon as possible. Take the time to play with the talent calculators at Wowhead! Marksmanship hunters, this is what I’m aiming for, for my first 31 points:

https://classic.wowhead.com/talent-calc/hunter/-05251030513051

Holy paladins, this is what I’d recommend if you’re levelling holy (which, btw, I do not particularly recommend unless you’re chain-running dungeons):

https://classic.wowhead.com/talent-calc/paladin/05503020521251

There’s some wiggle room there, as the two points in Lasting Judgment are optional. Feel free to put them into Consecration and something else if you like.

Remember, it costs money to respec! That’s why I don’t really recommend going holy unless you’re doing dungeons because it takes F O R E V E R to kill things. Trust me. I did it. It was dumb. It took me 12 minutes apiece to kill the Kurzen Medicine Men in Stranglethorn Vale.

I’m planning on going holy at about level 50 or thereabouts. My talent tree will look something like this:

https://classic.wowhead.com/talent-calc/paladin/05503020521251

What’s your advice?

Any thoughts to share? Any plans you’ve got on how to tackle Classic? Let me know in the comments below!

Coming up next time, all kinds of holy paladin stuff. :)

Things I’m Looking Forward to in WoW Classic

So my last post talked a bit about things that were, well, not particularly amazing from back in the old Vanilla days, which I anticipate will be there in Classic. Obviously, regardless of those things, I’m very much looking forward to Classic, so I thought I’d talk about some things that I’m really eager to relive and experience again in Classic. Again, I’m not actually in the Classic Beta, so if I’m mistaken about anything here, please do comment and let me know.

Talent Points & Old Talent Trees

I know that a lot of the old-school talent trees were bloated. There were a ton of talents where you weren’t being “creative” or “thinking outside the box”, if you didn’t take them. You were just bad. It’s true that there wasn’t a lot of room for error.

This was a fairly standard Marksmanship Hunter build, where you grabbed Improved Aspect of the Hawk from BM, got all the way down into Clever Traps in Survival and put the rest into Marksmanship. That said, this doesn’t have Scatter Shot, doesn’t have Improved Arcane Shot or Improved Serpent Sting and you can take a point out of Entrapment to pick up, say, Scatter Shot.

Meanwhile, this is a terrible Marksmanship Hunter build. Why? Well, you’re not saving mana by skipping Efficiency, your damage is gimped because you don’t get Lethal Shots, Mortal Shots, Aimed Shot, Ranged Weapon Specialization or Monster Slaying. You’re wasting points in Parry and Improved Wing Clip and Deterrence — which was quite different back then — and there’s no reason for Thick Hide in BM when you could pick up more useful MM stuff elsewhere.

That’s not to say that there aren’t times when you might want to use an “unconventional” spec. If I were going to run the 45 minute Baron run for the Tier 0.5 quest chain all over again, without anyone but my pet tanking, I’d probably go for a build like this. (I did not, in fact, change my spec or even my pet at all when doing so, and he did surprisingly well, but this is largely because I had an amazing priest healing. <3 Cryptkikr.)

So I don’t necessarily miss the bloat of the old trees, but I miss having the ability to tweak a spec for a given situation. I also miss getting talent points every level! That was one of the main perks of dinging!

All The Abilities

The last several expansions all seem to blur together in my head, so forgive me if I’m mistaken, but I think it was in Mists where certain long-time core abilities became locked to specific specs. Exorcism for paladins is something that I miss regularly. Not having it available to me as a holy paladin was just wrong, in my mind. Of course, it was a damage spell and I suppose a holy paladin isn’t “supposed” to be a damage-dealer, but Exorcism being used on undead only didn’t really make it OP. It was situational. Same with Turn Undead (later, Turn Evil). And I didn’t like the lack of Cleanse for prot or ret pallies, either. (And I still hate the cooldown.) So I am really looking forward to my paladin having all of these core abilities again in Classic. What core ability are you looking forward to regaining?

No AOE Looting & Single Tags

But Kurn, you must be saying, why on earth don’t you like AOE looting?

It’s simple — I’m a skinner. There is nothing worse than rounding up a bunch of mobs, AOEing them down and then looting ONE, which loots them all, and then having some jackass come along and start skinning your mobs. It can still happen without AOE looting, but it’s much more difficult to do. It’s also just as annoying when someone takes one shot at your mob or mobs and then WALKS AWAY without looting, so you’re unable to skin the mob, so I’m very much looking forward to going back to single-tagging mobs. Like, no, sorry, that mob is mine, kindly GTFO.

Knowing What the Hell I’m Doing

When I think about some of the more complex raid encounters I’ve done in my life, like, oh, Heroic Blackhorn 25 or Heroic Sindragosa on 25, Firefighter 25, Heroic Putricide 25… then it truly boggles my mind that it used to take me hours to finish a Scholomance run. I used to come home from class on Tuesday nights and run a Scholo run with guildies that would take HOURS because we’d wipe so often. And yes, part of it was that we were clearly just bad in some senses, but other parts certainly had to be that we just didn’t know what we had to do.

I feel like I understand all the mechanics so much better now. Like, I’m PRETTY sure that Alexei Barov wouldn’t decimate my Scholo group if we were halfway geared, because I understand that he has a damage aura and has a curse that reduces healing, so you’d want a mage or a druid to decurse afflicted people and go tank the guy in the corner.

So even aside from my familiarity with the instances and bosses and such, I feel like I understand things a lot better and I am SO looking forward to taking this knowledge back into Classic with me.

Reliving My Youth

Okay, obviously, part of my excitement for Classic is the idea of reliving my (sort of) youth. I’m in my 40s now, but I started playing this game in my 20s, and I had SO MUCH FUN playing with various people. I mean, hell, I went to Majik’s wedding. Just last month, I went to another wedding — Huntertoga and Kamilla from my old guild got married and Majik and his wife and me and Darista and her BF all went to the wedding. Daey and Tiandrina were invited too, but couldn’t make it, unfortunately. But playing with these people (and more) made the game a lot of fun. While I might not play with them in the coming Classic version of WoW (who knows if they’ll play or not), I know I’ll have fun remembering doing a Dire Maul West run as I remember Dar’s panic over her first run there. I know that I’ll remember telling Toga how to kite General Drakkisath in UBRS. I’ll remember how my brother feral tanked our Jailbreak run and shifted OUT of bear form to cast Rebirth on our priest who died. (Oh lord, it pains me to think of how many Jailbreak runs I’ve done in total.) So even if my old comrades aren’t with me, I’ll remember them and the times we had. :)

What About You?

Let me know in the comments below what you’re most looking forward to in Classic, most dreading about old-school WoW, and if you’re even planning to play Classic!

WoW Classic & Rose-Coloured Glasses

Hi, folks! How the heck are you? How’ve you been in the last, oh, two and a half years?

Overall, I’ve been doing well. However, an update on my life is not while I’m writing today. No, today, I’m writing because I can’t sleep and because WoW Classic is coming out on August 27, 2019.

Naturally, I am psyched. Anyone who has spent any appreciable amount of time reading this blog or listening to various podcasts of mine will be wholly unsurprised that I am psyched. (Also, my brother is psyched! TOGETHER, WE ARE SO EXCITED.)

That said, since the launch date announcement was made, I’ve been wondering if the 13ish years or so since I first started playing WoW (October of 2005) have perhaps dulled my memory a little.

I know that I have rarely had as much fun in this game as during the Tier 0.5 questline. The thrill of getting my Rhok’delar is still, to this day, a highlight of my WoW career, if you will. Downing Venoxis for the first time on April 1, 2006 (no, for real!) was amazing because it was my first real raid boss down. So I had a lot of fun back in the day. Just the fact that I have frequently said “back in the day” over the course of the last decade or more proves that I have some very, very fond memories of Vanilla WoW.

However, having played Vanilla WoW for more than a year before Burning Crusade came out, I remember a lot of things that, well, sucked. I thought I’d write a bit about them here. Now, it’s important to note that I am not in the Classic Beta, so if you are, please feel free to let me know if I’m dreadfully wrong about something. What I’m talking about is based entirely on my Vanilla experiences and memories, and perhaps some Wowhead Classic info.

Getting to 60

Listen, I don’t care who you are, or how much you love levelling — getting to 60 was a grind in Vanilla. For quite some time, there weren’t enough quests in the world to get you to 60. A common happening was people getting a couple of stacks of mage food and water (yes, separate stacks, if they were mana users!) and hitting up the Eastern Plaguelands for a few hours. Regularly. Now, I know that they did fix this at some point and I would presume that’s prior to the patch we’ll be starting at, but it was still a pain to get to 60. It took me 30 days played — full, actual, real days of my life — to get to 60 on Kurn. It took me less time on Madrana, but I did get a lot of experience by healing my way through dungeons.

Mounts

No mount until you’re 40, no epic mount until you’re 60 and you should expect to spend a fair amount of money on that epic mount unless you’re exalted with your Alterac Valley faction. Or a paladin, in which case get ready for an epic quest chain that culminates in a really difficult fight in Scholomance. Or a warlock, in which case you should expect a truly insane quest chain that ends with craziness in Dire Maul. (Why yes, I HAVE healed both of these encounters on my paladin, thank you for asking.)

Combat Ratings/Stats/Skills

Defense rating. Hit rating. Parry thrashes. Alllllll of these were things you had to be aware of. Now, to be fair, I only ever made sure I was hit-capped when I was fighting Magmadar in Molten Core, because I had learned Tranquilizing Shot from the drop off Lucifron, so it didn’t really make too much of a difference to me until I realized its importance in Burning Crusade. But defense rating mattered if you were a tank. Knowing you could get parry-thrashed was literally something I only learned in Wrath of the Lich King, but has been around since Vanilla. Oh, and who can forget weapon skill?

Hot tip: if you’re level 60, go to the Blasted Lands and beat on the Servants of Allistarj around the Dark Portal for a couple of hours to grind up your weapon skills. They’re basically unkillable unless you kill the thingy they’re bound to, so you can keep beating on them to level up your weapon. Or, better yet, work on your weapon skills as you go, swapping weapons whenever possible to make sure you get them up there. There is little that feels more like you’re wasting all of your time than upping your weapon skills.

Ammo

Dear hunters, Blizzard hates you and, as such, you have to use a dedicated bag slot as a quiver or ammunition pouch and you have to use arrows or bullets. Well, you don’t have to, I don’t think, but you should because most of those quivers/pouches have a ranged hasted bonus. Also, ammo could be expensive! There was rep-based ammo you could buy that did more damage than the typical stuff, but hooooo boy, was it expensive. Also, you could run out of ammo. ALWAYS CHECK YOUR AMMO. (Who me, speak from experience? Never!)

Reagents

Mages had to carry Arcane Powder for Arcane Brilliance. They also had to carry Runes of Teleportion and Runes of Portals. Paladins had to carry Symbols of Kings for all their greater blessings (which only lasted 15 minutes apiece, FYI – compared to the normal ones that lasted 5 minutes!), plus Symbols of Divinity for Divine Intervention. (Okay, real talk, I HAVE MISSED DIVINE INTERVENTION SO MUCH AND I WILL HAPPILY CARRY ANYTHING I HAVE TO IN ORDER TO CAST IT AGAIN.) And so on for druids and Gift of the Wild/rebirth (battle rez) and and priests and fortitude. Basically, if you had a buff, you had a reagent for the longer version of it.

Spell Ranks

Now, let’s be clear — I always trained up my spell ranks and I made great use of spell down-ranking, particularly as a holy paladin, so to me, this isn’t something that was unpleasant. However, other people not training their spell ranks was a thorn in my side throughout, well, my entire WoW career until they removed ranks entirely.

Keys

Again, I loved the hell out of my keys. I really, truly, absolutely did. What I did not love was the bag space they took. In my research, I see that the keyring was added in Patch 1.11.0, so this should be available in WoW Classic, once you get your first key. This is good because no one wants to wait for someone to fly all the way back to Ironforge to get the key they left in their bank so that they could enter the instance. Which instance? MANY INSTANCES required keys. The back door to Stratholme required a key. Dire Maul North and West required keys. Scholomance required a key. UBRS didn’t only require a key, it required you to FORGE the Unadorned Seal of Ascension with gems from bosses in LBRS and then it became a RING. At least the patch we’re starting out with has a bunch of Unadorned Seals dropping and many gem drops in LBRS.

I should note that Engineers with a Powerful Seaforium Charge or rogues with levelled lockpicking could open most locked doors.

Rep & Cooldowns & Professions

Kurn was a skinner/leatherworker from day one. In the last 13 odd years, I’ve dropped skinning for mining on at least two separate occasions. I always come back to skinning. And it served me well in Vanilla! I was a dragonscale leatherworker (and thus made FREQUENT trips out to Peter Galen in freaking AZSHARA) and could craft the entire Black Dragonscale Mail set. Actually, Kurn can still craft every single dragonscale recipe in the game, thank you very much. And even the Red Dragonscale Breastplate, the recipe for which only dropped off of General Drakkisath in UBRS. But it was a pain to get to 300 skinning and especially hard to get to 300 leatherworking. What was more of a pain was doing the various rep grinds to get those sweet patterns.

  • Timbermaw Hold to Revered to get all kinds of feral Druid leather patterns
  • Thorium Brotherhood to Revered for all kinds of fire resist stuff including Black Dragonscale Boots
  • Cenarion Circle to Exalted to get nature resist stuff and some sweet agility mail

I don’t think I did quite all of that at the time. I probably got to Honored with Timbermaw and definitely got to Honored with Thorium Brotherhood. To be fair, I did not have it bad. I did have a cooldown (Refined Deeprock Salt – every three days!) and not a ton of rep to grind.

However. Did you know that it takes two Felcloth to make one Mooncloth? And that you can only make one Mooncloth every four days? And that the recipe for Mooncloth is only available once you reach Friendly with the Timbermaw?

There are a lot of things that no longer have cooldowns that once did, and the grinds for the reps are a lot harder than they once were. Exalted with Timbermaw can take you a day now, but back then? Back then, it was a months-long undertaking.

Oh, and one other thing — flasks were super rare because you could only make them at an alchemy lab. That meant either Scholomance or Blackwing Lair.

Respecs

This was pre-dual spec. And respeccing cost gold. And it got quite expensive to swap back and forth. It wasn’t uncommon for people to level as one spec and then eventually respec into their “raid spec” that they would use more frequently. For example, when my brother hit 60 on his druid, he went from being a life-long bear to being a resto druid. This is about when he started levelling a rogue…

Meanwhile, I levelled my paladin as holy from day one. It took me forever to kill things, but damn, did I ever know how to heal things. Back in the day, a holy priest as known as the only kind of healer you really wanted in a dungeon with you. I did a Strat UD run at like, 56 or something on Madrana as holy, wearing a bunch of Blue Dragonscale mail (didn’t have the bonuses that came with wearing all plate back then), and the ret pally in our group, who had been a bit wary of me, was like “HOLY CRAP, I HAD NO IDEA PALLIES COULD HEAL SO WELL”. Honestly, the fact that any healer can heal any instance these days is something I’ll miss, because it was legitimately difficult to heal a bunch of things as a paladin back in the day.

And?

There are other pains from Vanilla, I’m certain of it. These are a few. And I don’t even mind a lot of them. But they’re things that came up as “oh mannnnnn” moments as I’ve been thinking about Classic.

What are you looking forward to most about Classic? What are you least looking forward to about it? Are you even going to play Classic?