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:

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):

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:

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.


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.


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!)


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.


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.


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.


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?