Your Thoughts: Paladins and Utility Spells

Due to a discussion I am having elsewhere, I would like to know what you all think is appropriate use of a paladin’s utility spells, regardless of spec, over the course of a 4 hour raid night which is in Ruby Sanctum (25m regular) and ICC 25 (mostly heroic, some regular modes).

Please answer the following questions.

1) Should all paladins use Lay on Hands at some point in that 4-hour block?

2) Should all paladins know how to Cleanse? Should every paladin be expected to Cleanse? What encounters should they/shouldn’t they be expected to Cleanse on? What spec do you expect paladins who Cleanse to be?

3) Should all paladins use Hand of Salvation at some point in that 4-hour block? On whom? What spec should these casting paladins be? In what situations should it be cast?

4) Should all paladins use Hand of Sacrifice at some point in that 4-hour raid? On whom? What spec should they be? What situations?

5) Should all paladins use BOP (Hand of Protection) at some point in that raid? On whom? What spec should they be? In what situations would it be useful?

I await your answers and then will tell you on Tuesday why I’m asking. :)

Fun stuff from Live!

Believe it or not, a post about fun stuff that’s happened recently on the live servers!

First up, the other night, we were doing Sindragosa and people were crowding me while I was about to be encased in ice. The result?

To their credit, they kept me up when I got out. I definitely bubbled as soon as I could, too, but I honestly laughed my ass off when I saw that. 459 health. Woo.

The other thing I wanted to talk about happened on Wednesday evening.

I was walking home from Real-Life stuff and called up my brother, asking him if he wanted to do the weekly raid quest with our buddy Majik later on. The weekly was Sartharion. He was like “sure, what toon?”

And then it hit me. We could try a 10-man zerg.

Majik could tank it, I reasoned, but wait. My brother wanted to go on his paladin, not his hunter. So my brother could tank it, right?

And Majik only has a tank and a healer, so that left him to be the healer. It was decided I’d bring my hunter.

All without us letting Majik know “hey, you’re solo-healing a Sarth10 3d zerg on your still-relatively-new-to-80 priest”, it was completely decided. ;)

After I got home and Majik logged on and such, we informed him that he would be healing a zerg.

I don’t know what prospect made me laugh harder; my brother’s nub tank solo-tanking or Majik’s nub priest solo-healing it. I laughed a LOT, though.

Did I mention that my brother hadn’t ever actually DONE the Sartharion fight? At all? On any toon whatsoever? No? Well, he hadn’t. And I don’t know when the last time Majik did it, although he did do it a few times back in Apotheosis’ early Wrath days. Pretty sure he never healed it, though. And the last time I DPSed it was certainly months ago.

So after discussing this on Vent, we all logged in and I went about setting up the party. Bear in mind that I had never successfully done a zerg before. I had been in ONE zerg run where I was the freaking healer (on my PALADIN), and it didn’t work out.

So I call for 7m DPS for a Sarth10 3d zerg. I said we’d do five zerg attempts and if that wasn’t enough, whatever, we’d kill the drakes and just do the weekly normally. I added that the drake would be an open roll, but if you were DPS and didn’t do at LEAST 5k DPS on Sarth during the kill, you wouldn’t get a roll.

Everyone who whispered me ASSURED me they could do more than 5k DPS. I was like, okay, great. I didn’t check any gear score crap, I didn’t ask for achievements. I made sure I had drums and fish feasts and stuff for others, flasks for Majik and myself and special food for myself (yum 40 agi!). We all got summoned there, courtesy of Majik and my brother.

Our composition was okay. Two death knights, two moonkins, two marks hunters (myself included), a shadow priest, an elemental shaman, a holy priest (Majik) and a prot pally (my brother). I would have liked a feral druid or fury warrior for the crit, but it seemed to work out okay.

We passed the first test: we didn’t accidentally pull any of the drakes while clearing trash. YAY!

I assigned the other hunter to do the initial misdirect on my brother while I’d save mine for Tenebron.

I dropped a feast. I instructed everyone to eat.

I asked for heroism to be hit at about five seconds in, just to make sure my brother had aggro.

We went for it.

One of the moonkin died to the first flame wall.

My brother died to a Flame Breath, Shadow Breath and melee hit from Tenebron.

A wipe ensued.


After the first attempt, someone whispers me asking if one of the DKs is a friend of mine. I’m like, no…

“We’re carrying him, you know.”

I look at Recount.

3k DPS. Less total damage done than my brother, the tank.

So I call him out on it. “Any reason you did less damage than the tank? Have you ever been here before?”

“got hit by fire” was his response (or something along those lines), which obviously answered my “have you ever been here before” question.

I dropped a fish and assured the whispering person that if the DK screwed up that badly again, I’d kick him.

The DK hadn’t eaten the fish.

“Eat the fish,” I told him.



10 seconds later, right as I was about to tell him to eat the damn fish or he’d be replaced, he runs over and eats the fish.

Hero’s ready, they tell my brother to mount up and run in. I was like “yeah, sure”.

Bet you $10 you don’t know what I forgot to make sure the other hunter knew.

Give up?

I forgot to make sure the other hunter knew you couldn’t misdirect a target who is mounted.

Try 2 begins with the hunter pulling aggro, since he didn’t see that his MD failed, and Sartharion hitting the ENTIRE RAID with flame breath. Which we mostly survived, except a moonkin.


Try 3: No mounting! Body & Soul shield instead. :) It was actually going really well until Tenebron hit my brother for 25k, which was a 14k overkill.

Still, that was a cooldown issue. My brother was just reaching for Divine Protection when, WHAMMO. Dead.

Okay. No big. Even the fail DK is doing almost 4k DPS.

Did I mention that we wiped with 24,000 health left on Sarth? No? Well, we did. We could actually DO this!

Try 4: It was going AWESOME until, I kid you not, my brother takes a 30k Shadow Breath followed by a 26k melee hit. Way to not use Guardian Spirit, Majmaj!

Try 5: I announced it was our last attempt at a zerg and if we didn’t get it, we’d just do it normally for the weekly. After all, it was around 8:20 and I had a raid at 9.

It went beautifully. Sure, my brother and Majik both died, but so did Sartharion!

The fail DK did not break 4k DPS, so he didn’t get to roll on the drake. I ended up giving it to the non-fail moonkin (the one who had not died to the flame wall earlier) who actually did the second-most DPS on the kill. I was pretty pleased to see her get the drake. I was even more pleased that the thought of ninjaing the drake didn’t even occur to me until much later. I hate raid leaders who ninja loot.

What really amuses me, though, is that my hunter now has a raid title that my paladin does not. Sure, Madrana’s a Twilight Vanquisher from back before Ulduar opened, but she never did get of the Nightfall. I mean, it’s a 10-man title. Of course Madrana doesn’t have it! It seems fitting that Kurn’s got at least one title that Madrana “should” have gotten and didn’t. :)

Probably the best part is that it’ll be a lasting memory of this one day I decided to haul my brother and our friend, undergeared though they may be for this sort of thing, to Sarth, to do a crazy, crazy zerg. We probably shouldn’t have been able to do it, but we totally did. And I will forever remember that I did it with two people with whom I have a TON of fun while playing this game.

Even if they threaten to bankrupt me weekly and are jackasses. They are now Jackasses of the Nightfall!

Pug Tales of Fail

So I was on my priest earlier today, with my brother on his paladin who was ret, and a friend of ours was on his warrior, tanking. We did the random heroic and it was The Nexus.

In our party was Sellursoul, a warlock from Caelestrasz.

Within the first 30 seconds of the run, I knew it was going to be unpleasant. Sellursoul soulstoned… him or herself.

I said nothing.

We get to the first boss, the Horde Commander. Not only is the warlock standing right up there with the melee, not only that, but the warlock then gets feared (as one does by that guy)… into four mobs on the far side.

I see him in trouble. I wisely elect to let him die rather than pull aggro.

He dies.

He pauses.


Pops up again.

Dies. Again.

All while the actual boss fight is still in progress.

He then releases. And apparently cannot find the entrance, because after the boss and the four adds died (someone else got feared — lesson; tell our tanking friend to pull him back), he was STILL a ghost.

I rezzed him. We moved on.

He is not particularly horribly geared. 5/5 T9 232. I have no idea what warlock specs are supposed to look like, but he seems to be destro and has fire-type glyphs. Haste and hit and crit all seem low to me, but again, I’m not a warlock.

He did precisely 799 dps to the caster boss for less total damage to her than the tank.


Moving on.

I make a bet with my brother and our tank that dipshit, as I was referring to him, would pull adds jumping off the platform to the ground.

Neither took the bet, and it’s good for them, because I was right.

It was at about this point that I finally let the warlock have it in party.

“Your imp pulled those adds,” I said. “How do you have that gear and not know how to leave your pet behind on stay or dismiss it?”

No response.

“And you soulstoned YOURSELF instead of the healer. And used it right after you died, whereupon you died immediately AGAIN.”

No response.

“Do you know how to play this game at all?”

No response.

I tried to vote-kick and was informed by the lovely in-game mechanism that I have to wait another 15 minutes for a kick.


We’d already BEEN in a group with this moron for 15 minutes. And now we couldn’t kick him for another 15?

We do Anomolous. Whereupon the warlock doesn’t touch the adds, and continues casting at the boss when shielded.

We do Ormorok and does the warlock dismiss his pet or set him on stay? No. Thank goodness pets despawn on that jump since they get too far away from their owners. I chewed him out about that, too.

And then he pulls the last Ancient as we leave that section.


Finally, we get to Keristrasza. He proceeds to die with 12, count them, TWELVE stacks of the debuff on him, despite my awesomeness in mass dispelling Frost Nova.

I /sighed at him and left the dungeon at the end. I didn’t even rez him. I gave him ample opportunity to show he has a CLUE about his class and the game (in fact, that had been his third run through heroic Nexus, according to the armory) and he failed every single time.

So when game developers tell us that people are “too good” at this game, I say bullshit. There is an ever-widening divide between “good players” and “bad players” and even if I don’t have the foggiest idea how to play a warlock or a rogue or a DK or a warrior, I bet you 10,000 gold that I wouldn’t wipe my party with my mistakes and I probably wouldn’t die like a moron three times in the Nexus, either.

Ultimately, trying to help smart, motivated people close the gap between “good” and “bad” is why I write about holy paladins and other various things. It’s really up to the community to teach people how to play this game, because Blizzard is under the mistaken impression that EVERYONE CAN PLAY. Everyone CANNOT. It is increasingly rare to find DPS in a random who can’t out DPS a semi-geared (ie: 232s and a couple 245s) tank. It is increasingly rare to find a healer who knows how to play even the basics of their class. It is increasingly rare to find a tank who can hold aggro and understands the basics of threat.

I resent Blizzard’s conclusion that the players are all good. They’re not. Most of them, most of the eleven million people who play this game are not just “not good” but actively “bad”. And now I have to wait thirty minutes through potential wipes thanks to morons before I can kick someone?

Next time, I’m just dropping group. I know that the kick delay is now based on our behaviour, but a 30 minute delay (the default, I’m guessing?) is literally more time than the whole instance takes if all goes well. I am not going to sit there in a run where someone is going to die despite my best attempts to keep them alive, or risk our group’s health because they were too dumb to control their pet.

That’s bullshit. Blizzard is way, WAY out of touch with how the majority of eleven million people play and they’re punishing those of us who DO know how to play by making us sit there for 30 minutes babysitting these morons who, five years into the game, don’t understand something as basic as a soulstone or pet pulls or move when you have a stacking debuff.

And now, much as I’d like to continue to bitch, I need to grab food before my raid.

Wrapping up the Week that Was

I actually have a lot of stuff to talk about that I find interesting, fascinating, what-have-you. Let’s break it down into guild raiding and making money/pugging, shall we? We shall!

Guild Raiding

This week was awesome for raiding because of one simple reason. My RL friend the resto druid came back on Wednesday. We agreed I’d do healing for this reset so she could get her healing legs back under her and learn how we do stuff on heroic and what the changes are for heroic modes.

Then, armed with the 15% buff, we proceeded to ruin Lower Spire (we still have a lot of trouble on Deathwhisper on heroic, but to be fair, a lot of people were still learning that fight). The most notable moment was that, while mind controlled on Deathwhisper, I chucked a Hammer of Wrath at my RL friend and killed her and proceeded to get teased about it for the rest of the night.


RL friend: “omg mad you killed me! :(”

Priest: “rofl! judas!”

Holy Paladin: “omf maf!” (yes, we were still in combat, can you tell?)

RL friend to other RL friends: “[my real name] just killed me! totally smacked me down!”

After the fight:

Holy Paladin: “mad nice hammer of wrath on [RL friend] there earlier btw!”

OT: “nice welcome back to your friend!”

It was amusing.

Anyways! We got Saurfang down in 5 Marks of the Fallen Champion which was SO nice. Way to go, DPS boost! Looking at the WoL for that fight, only one DPS was under 10k DPS (sitting at 9k) and everyone else is between 10k and 14k. Comparing this with my own DPS in ICC with the 15% buff, which hit 8k on Festergut, it’s kind of mind-blowing how much of a difference the gear really does make. I don’t really notice a lot of difference in my healing as I go through ICC every week, even when I get an upgrade. It must be nice to see the DPS increase as a DPS class, though.

Anyways, Wednesday was heroic Lower Spire and heroic Dreamwalker. Boy, did we mess that up. Previously, we’d waited for heroism until about 82%, but we recognized that was WAY too late, last week. In that we hit heroism and like, 10 seconds later, the boss was healed to full. So, last week, we decided we’d stop taking portals and call for hero at 75%.

WAY too early. We were healing for nearly two minutes after hero expired.

We’re thinking one more round of portals after 75% ought to be a nice inbetween.

It would also be useful if I had noticed that I’d been put into combat while swapping my Glyph of Seal of Wisdom for a Glyph of Seal of Light. But I didn’t notice, since I was also doing healing assignments at the time. I went in with my spellpower set and Seal of Light up and didn’t realize until after the raid, when I went to switch the glyphs back, that I’d never made the switch in the first place. /facepalm

Thursday saw us without our regular resto shammy and without our regular disc priest, so we were a little light on healing and that meant no heroic Sindragosa attempts. Shucks. :P (I really loathe that fight with everything I am.) We got Blood Prince Council (almost got it on normal before we realized it wasn’t on heroic!) and BQL pretty easily. Actually, both kills, while one-shots, were messy as hell. I feel like my RL friend the resto druid might have reason to think the healers suck. :P Shadow Prison killed a LOT of people. I think part of the issue there was that I kept the regular holy priest as holy to help with raid healing rather than as disc to help with raid mitigation. Lessons for next week, I guess.

Rotface was messy, too. Hell, all of Thursday was messy. One wipe and a kill on Rotface. 3 wipes and a kill on Festergut. Must remember to assign SIDES to the healers because after 2 wipes, I realized both resto druids (assigned to healing the raid, primarily the ranged) were both on the same side. /facepalm

Then, because we lacked the healing for Sindragosa, we played with heroic Putricide. We got him to 40% after a handful of attempts and were getting the hang of the Unbound Plague, too. Still, we’re planning to hit him up after Sindragosa, I think. We just have a lot more time poured into Sindragosa and, with the buff, ought to be able to get deeper into P3.

Speaking of Sindragosa… AVR is basically cheating. Look at this.

That’s our layout. So when you get a mark on your head and you’re going to get the frost tomb on you, you run to the corresponding mark and stand on the little orange circle in the center of it. Pretty simple. The big circles (which, my guildies hastened to mention, look like parts of the female anatomy. :P) are for frost tomb positioning in P3.

Another look at the mark positions, from above.

So yeah, that’s hax. And I’m not really sure how I feel about it. I mean, being able to paint on the game world is really nice and isn’t it really just something we’ve done with in-game tools thus far? Warlock teleporters? Flares? Elune Stones? What’s the difference between this and those?

The difference, in my mind, is that this is not something that comes with the game. This is an addon that someone developed with this purpose in mind. It’s not something the developers of the game foresaw (I don’t think). I would NOT be surprised if AVR is blocked somehow.

Boss mods work with the game. It makes emotes more noticeable. It times abilities for you so you’re not sitting there with a stopwatch the way you did for Core Hound respawns in Molten Core. All the information boss mods give you are available through the game itself. But this doohickey works separately from the game. It allows players to start dictating information to other players that are strategy-based, not encounter-mechanic-based. Does that make sense?

It’s the difference between telling someone to run left and telling someone to run to that particular spot on the ground that is NOT visible in-game without use of the mod.

I think that’s where I have problems with it as a raider. As a raid leader, GOOD LORD, where was this two years ago!? haha. :) Seriously, though, I like to think that I have a fairly firm grasp on what the developers of the game want us to do. I don’t think they want us to skip three of the four trash packs on the way up towards the tunnel in the Pit of Saron. They definitely don’t want us to try to do the Lich King encounter in Heroic Halls of Reflection from behind. I’m kind of hoping they don’t want us to ignore Light Vortex entirely and heal through it by stacking in the doorway of heroic Twin Valks.

I don’t think this mod is in the spirit of the game that the developers had in mind. That said, I’ll use it ’till it gets banned or my guild no longer requires it. But I’ll feel dirty about it! ;)

Tonight, we’re looking at Sindragosa and I guess maybe Putricide if we get Sindragosa down or if we have unexpected healing absences.

Making Money/Pugging

I’ve been bad. I’ve spent so much money in the last couple of weeks and a lot of it is due to just plain laziness on my part. On Saturday, I was at 4800g on my bank toon, with probably another 800g spread out on different toons.

Considering I had 15k a couple weeks ago, this was unacceptable. I decided to spend yesterday making money.

First up, I took 6 Cardinal Rubies and cut them for the AH. I made a ton of Runescrolls of Fortitude. I hauled out some of the BOE Christmas pets that I hadn’t used and had been waiting to sell. Then I did some dailies at the Argent Tournament on Kurn. Finally became a Champion of Stormwind (I stopped doing anything AT-related with just one more day left for the Champion of Stormwind achievement!), did a bunch of the dailies and got The Bread Winner which totally got me by surprise!

I bought a Teldrassil Sproutling since I realized I had more than 40 Champion’s Seals and there were no others on the AH, so I bought that and put THAT on the AH for 300g.

I traded in some Triumphs for more gems and cut those, too. I also did my random heroic on all but one toon. (On my druid, I got Oculus, to which I said no thanks. Later, I got to try to heal a fail H HoR run, which fell apart… then I got tapped to tank it on my third attempt at the random heroic — which went well!) I did my cooking daily on both Madrana and Kurn, fishing daily on them both as well. I also got my weekly (Marrowgar) done on Kurn because I pugged an ICC 25 and we went through Lower Spire (couldn’t down Festergut because people were dumb) and, as you may have seen by now, I got my bow!

Once just about everything had sold, I had 6600g or thereabouts. Not too bad! From 4800-6600? Excellent.

And then I saw someone in trade talking about a GDKP TOC25 run that would be happening in the next 20 minutes or so.

What is a GDKP run?

I’d heard of these, but never participated before. Basically, every item is up for bids, with a minimum. Bids are made publicly in raid chat. At the end of the run, the proceeds are split among the raiders who lasted ’till the end.

Kurn may be kickin’ it in some sweet 264 gear, including the new bow, but a lot of the gear is still sub-par. Like trinkets. Like my melee weapon. Plus, I didn’t actually HAVE the TOC 25 achievement, which makes me look like a moron when trying to get into pugs. (I’d previously gone as far as Anub and then there was total raid failure.)

So. I indicated my interest to the person organizing it. I got a whisper back saying to ask for an invite at 12:15am (my time). So I repaired my stuff, sent myself 5000g of that 6600g, just in case something AWESOME dropped, and headed to TOC.

I decided that there were three items I was actually interested in, plus maybe I would try to snag a Trophy of the Crusade so I could get another piece of 245 T9. (Already had 245 gloves from Koralon.)

The items were:

Lupine Longstaff – compared to the Orca-Hunter’s Harpoon, it had more agi, more armor penetration, less crit (ugh, for haste!) and less hit, which is nice, because I’ve got a stupid amount of hit. Drops off Twins.

Archon Glaive – clearly better than the Lupine Longstaff; no haste but crit, still more armor pen. Drops off Anub’arak.

Obviously, I was in the market for a new melee weapon.

The other item I was looking at bidding on was, no surprise here, Death’s Verdict. I decided that, if it dropped, I’d go as high as 2000g on it. It drops off the Twins as well, so it was going to be exciting to see the loot off those bosses.

At 12:15, I whispered the guy in charge, got my invite and after about 20 minutes of fiddling with the groups and everything, we were finally ready to go.

I was not prepared for the amount of money that was spent on even the first boss. 500g was the minimum but the Trophy went for 1500g. I resigned myself to not buying a trophy. :P

Satrina’s Impeding Scarab dropped off the Faction Champs. I have that trinket on Madrana for her tanking set. I got it for 2 DKP with my guild. Someone in the run paid 3000g for it.

I was suddenly sure that 2000g would not be enough for Death’s Verdict, if it dropped.

The Twins died easily (I deterrenced Light Vortex! Go me for remembering how to play my class!) and though there was no Death’s Verdict, there was the Lupine Longstaff.

I figured I’d bid 500g, since it had dropped and there was no guarantee that the glaive would drop off Anub.

No one bid against me. Grats me! It’s not often I get to upgrade a bow AND a staff in the same day.

Anub’arak died and the Reign of the Unliving dropped, which set someone back 3400g. No glaive, so I was very satisfied with my purchase of the Lupine Longstaff.

Throughout the run, there were updates posted in raid of how much had been spent on each boss and the last update included the 1500g spent for the “goodie bag”, which consisted of the skins, the patterns, the Crusader Orbs and the Abyss Crystals (4) from the run. The updates added up the total pot and the breakdown per person. Here’s the final breakdown.

So, I paid 500g and got 1196g for a total of 696g in profit, not to mention the gold from the bosses.

All told, I finished the day with 7700g in my bank, with a few hundred spread out over various toons. I got a new bow, I got a new staff, Frost Emblems, Ashen Verdict rep, a bunch of new achievements and had a lot of fun.

It’s never a bad day when you make about 3000g and get new gear. :)

Kurn's Guide on How to Behave as a DPS in Dungeons

Kurn’s Guide on How to Behave as a DPS in Dungeons

You’ll note that I don’t specify “random” or “heroic” or “raid” dungeons. That’s because I believe that my guide is good for any level DPS class in any size of dungeon, be it 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 or 40. It was inspired, of course, by the fact that I’ve done more 5-man regulars and heroics in the last week since 3.3 came out than I have in the previous five months, but there are some good basics here of which all DPSers should be aware.

Why am I writing this? Because I’ve run tons of dungeons in my WoW career as all three roles (healing, tanking, damage) and every time I’m on one of my toons, there’s always at least one moron who doesn’t know how to appropriately behave in a group. Always. And those are the GOOD groups.

So, from someone who raids primarily as a holy paladin, who runs anything she can with her hunter, who will reluctantly tank as her paladin, who pugs raid content on her resto shammy, who plays a mage in the 70s and has a dual-specced resto/feral (tank) druid in the 70s as well, here’s my guide for DPS classes.

1) Don’t pull aggro. Okay, sure. It’s going to happen sometimes. You’re going to zone out and forget to watch Omen and accidentally pull aggro. Minimize the amount of times this happens or your tank is going to get very cranky. If it DOES happen, try to recover. Mages iceblock, hunters feign, rogues vanish, priests fade, warlocks soulshatter, pallies bubble, BOP or hand of salvation… any night elf can shadowmeld… If you can’t drop aggro (death knights, warriors, primarily), run to the tank or just stop attacking and blow any cooldowns you have to survive. DKs, icebound fortitude, warriors can slap on a shield, go defensive and shield wall. Both your tank and your healer will appreciate your quick thinking.

And if you don’t have Omen, log out of WoW and download it. NOW.

2) Don’t stand in stuff. Essentially, this game boils down to the following:

Does the boss put something on the floor?
— If yes, don’t stand in it.
— If no, watch out for the adds or other environmental factors and move when needed.
Note that the presence of crap on the floor does not mean there will be no adds.

3) Blow defensive cooldowns. In AOE-type situations, do whatever you can to lessen the healing required on you. For example, a hunter can blow Deterrence to prevent damage on anything from Loken’s Lightning Nova to, well, anything. And speaking of Lightning Nova, you know that’s nature damage, right? Flip on Aspect of the Wild to help boost the group’s resistance to it.

Iceblock, Divine Shield (heck, Divine Shield/Divine Sacrifice is awesome, too, if you’re specced for it!), Survival Instincts (if you’re kitty DPS), Dispersion… well, you know your classes better than I do. You get the drift. You may not get heals, because healing is a sort of triage event. You heal the tanks and healers first, then the DPS. Always remember:

– If the tank dies, it’s (usually) the healer’s fault
– If the healer dies, it’s (usually) the tank’s fault
– If the DPS dies, it’s their own damn fault

4) Be familiar with the fight. Numbers 2 and 3 are very much related to this one. If you’ve done the fight on another character, playing another role, you might not be entirely sure how to DPS the fight. So even if you’ve been through an instance 20 times as a tank or a healer, try to give the instance a once-over at WoWWiki or WoWHead and make sure you know how your class abilities and talents lend themselves to the situations you will be facing. Which leads us to our next point.

5) Be familiar with your role. Let me say that again: be familiar with your role. I don’t care if you have 200 days /played on your druid if you’ve only ever tanked and have no idea of how to DPS or how to heal beyond healing yourself after soloing an elite quest.

There are WAY too many people out there who are tanking and healing these days in 5-mans, who have absolutely no idea how to do so. But there are also those people out there who don’t know how to DPS.

Some tips:

a) AOE = Area of Effect. Typically only useful with 3+ mobs, who have less health than normal mobs. Don’t Blizzard or Volley a single mob.

b) Misdirection/Tricks of the Trade. Use them. On every pull, if possible. I have a macro on my hunter that is, admittedly, extremely simplistic, but it works. It goes like this:

/target [tank name]
/cast Misdirection

And before every instance starts, I edit the macro to insert the actual tank’s name. Then I put it on my bars and hit it prior to every pull and then it assists the tank so I know which target the tank was looking at, which is usually the mob I’ll open up on.

I’m sure rogues can edit the macro to work for Tricks of the Trade.

c) Relatedly, assisting the tank (or at least following the kill order — Skull is usually first, followed by X, I’ve noticed) will help you to get mobs down faster and will mean less deaths for you, because you know where the tank is going to focus his or her threat. In this day and age of AOE tanking, not all tanks are created equal and warriors, for example, don’t have a 360 degree aggro ability (like Swipe, Consecration or Death & Decay), so it becomes even more important to follow your tank’s instructions. (A good tank will make it clear what needs to die first, either via raid symbols, text instructions or whatever. If you’re not sure, ask. If there’s no time to ask, watch Omen and keep watching where your tank is focusing his or her threat.)

d) Learn what you need to do to achieve an adequate performance. That means, for example, having Serpent Sting up if you’re a Marksmanship hunter and you’re using Chimera Shot. Or having Black Arrow ticking on a mob for Lock and Load procs if you’re a Survival hunter. Or having Scorch up if you’re a Fire mage. Or knowing what poisons to use on your weapons as a rogue. Or knowing which seal and judgement to use as a paladin. How about making sure Flame Shock is up for that guaranteed Lava Burst crit as an ele shammy? Or that you make sure to cast Lightning Bolt or Chain Lightning when you hit five stacks of Maelstrom as an enhancement shammy? Where do you find this stuff out? All KINDS of places. Blogs are generally a *great* resource, and you can find some amazingly high-quality blogs here:

WoW Blog List – Twisted Nether Wiki

So research your class mechanics. What “works just fine” while soloing is not going to cut it in groups.

6) Don’t be a loot whore. In this new era of Need before Greed/Disenchant, absolutely roll Need on what you *need*. But if you don’t *need* it, then ask your group if you can take it for offspec or whatever. If someone hits Need for main spec and it’s NOT your main spec, then pass.

Example: You are a ret paladin. Yet you would like to build up both holy and prot sets, because you’re a hybrid and you recognize that it’s your duty as a hybrid to make use of your ability to fill more than one role. Good for you.

DO roll Need on: Large 2H weapons with lots of strength, plate armor with strength and hit and crit (but not defense or spellpower)

Roll GREED on: Any 1H tanking weapon/shield or spellpower weapon/shield you can equip, any plate spellpower or defense gear.

In other words, do NOT roll need on a tanking axe, spellpower plate shoulders and a two-handed mace in the same run, or people are going to vote you off the island. And they’ll be right to do so.

7) Buff the group. How many DPS priests have you been in a group with who didn’t buff Prayer of Fortitude and Divine Spirit? Or DPS druids who didn’t buff Gift of the Wild? Or mages who don’t buff Arcane Brilliance? My guess is amazingly few. So why do DPS paladins think it’s okay not to buff the group at all? Or to just buff 10m versions of their buffs? Listen, guys, from one paladin to another, IT IS NOT OKAY. If you can buff a group, you’re going to need to do so unless someone has an improved buff. So buy some reagents — Symbols of Kings for paladins, Devout Candles for priests, Wild Spineleaf for druids, Arcane Powder for mages — and make sure you don’t run out. Further, ALL PALADINS should install PallyPower to coordinate buffs, period. You will thank me later, trust me, and so will your groups.

If you’re a Leatherworker and have access to Drums of Forgotten Kings, then the only time you shouldn’t use the kings drum is if there’s two (or more) pallies in the group. If you’re grouped with just one, tell your paladin, up front, before they waste any symbols, that they can do might/wisdom and you’ll do kings. If you have no paladins, go ahead and buff the group with kings anyways. No druid in your group? No problem if you have Drums of the Wild, but don’t cast it if you ARE with a druid, since it’s the equivalent to the non-improved ranks of Gift of the Wild.

If you’ve got Inscription and can do Runescroll of Fortitude, do so if there’s no priest.

Of course, the drums and the Runescroll are able to be bought at the Auction House, so if you plan on going after the Pug pet, you probably want to bring any of your own reagents plus both drums and a stack of Runescrolls to make sure you have all the buffs you want and to help ensure that the group goes smoothly.

8) Know how to crowd control. I know, I know. These days, crowd control is extremely rare. Gone are the days where hunters had to skillfully trap spam things using Feign Death because you couldn’t drop a trap in combat. Gone are the days where you have to crowd control at all, in most cases. (Never thought I’d say this, but I miss that back-right corner in UBRS. You know the one I’m talking about!) But that doesn’t mean that you can ignore your traps, your wyvern sting, your sap, your blind, your chains of ice, your sheep, your hex, your shackle, your fear, your succubus’ seduce, your banish, your cyclone, your entangling roots, your repentence, your turn evil or any that I might have missed. Just because you don’t HAVE to CC doesn’t mean you shouldn’t know how just in case things go to hell.

Example: I was running Heroic Halls of Reflection the other day on my hunter. And a DPS DK died on one of the waves. So on the wave before the boss, I kept a mob trapped while the DPS druid battle-rezzed the DPS DK. He was healed and buffed and we were able to burn the last mob down just as the boss activated. Did I need to know how to trap for that? Eh, that’s debatable. Did it help the group out? I think so.

Another example: I was running, again, Heroic Halls of Reflection on my paladin and I was healing. It was a pug group, wasn’t terribly strong and somehow, we’d made it to the “OMFG RUN IT’S ARTHAS” fight. We wiped at least twice because there was no focus fire, there was no crowd control and there was just too much damage going out for me to heal. So I selected a Witch Doctor (those casters can be brutal) and used Turn Evil on it. It ran around for a while and by the time the fear wore off, he was pretty angry with me, so he came running towards the group to be in range of casting at me, which was close enough for him to get silenced and then brought closer to us to get killed before the wall broke and we ran for our lives.

Still another example: I was running Gundrak with my mage the other day and the healer was about to die to a snake because he refused to move. Bam, sheeped him! (Actually, I turtled him, but whatever.)

Just about everyone in the game has *some kind* of crowd control, be it temporary (a warrior’s Intimidating Shout) or longer-lasting (a mage’s Polymorph can basically keep something under control indefinitely). Know how to use those abilities and, more importantly, know *when* to use them.

9) Run back. If you die and your healer has also died, guess what, buddy? You’re running back. If there’s been a wipe, I have been known to force the group to wait for the idiot rogue to run back as well. If you died but your healer didn’t, be patient, they’ll rez you when they have mana.

So basically, don’t pull aggro, know how to do your job, don’t expect heals if the tank or healer are in danger and buff the group with your class buffs.

Having said that, I know that DPS classes are the most popular and that it can be tough for you guys to find a group. But I have seen so many BAD DPSers these days that I feel compelled to say something to all you hunters who know how to trap, you mages who keep your sheep sheeped, those of you who don’t stand in fire or poison… thank you. You’re the types of players I always want to end up with when I’m tanking or healing. And for you new DPSers, welcome to group dynamics. Please don’t make me regret having a hunter or a paladin by being a noob when you’re in a group. I hope this guide has been helpful for you.

LFG, ICC and other assorted acronyms.

As I write this, I’m waiting for a random Lich King Dungeon for my mage, who is now 75, thank you very kindly, and I’m amazed by how long it takes to form a group.

Compared to, of course, level 80 instances that I DPS on my hunter.

Or any level instance when I queue as a healer or as a tank.

Hell, queueing up as a healer AND a tank means you’re never going to ever, ever wait. It’s hilarious. I’ve done the random heroic every day (from Wednesday on) on my paladin, queued as both a healer and a tank and so far, I have tanked: Nexus, Forge of Souls, Azjol-Nerub and Trial of the Champion. I have healed nothing.

Ooh, VH for my mage!

…Interlude for discussion of VH-related fail…

… the DK tank just wiped us on the first boss. Granted, it was the kite boss. But, the DK tank hasn’t dropped death and decay once and he had no presence up WHATSOEVER, much less FROST presence, until wave 5.

By the end of the second boss, the DK tank seems to have learned to drop D&D, has been in Frost Presence and has hauled ass to portals in a reasonable manner.

And yet, by the end of the instance, it appears that the DK tank did not learn from his mistakes. At all.

Happily, the healer was also from Proudmoore, so we queued up for a random dungeon together, with her in her tank spec (she’s a druid) and got the same ele shammy as in VH, plus a priest and a ret pally. We ran DTK randomly and VH (not randomly). How is it possible to reset a dungeon from within the cross-realm LFG interface? We couldn’t seem to reset DTK.

Anyways, it’s nice — my mage made a friend. And is 3 bars from 76!

Right, so, where was I? Oh, yeah, queueing up as a tank AND a healer.

So those are the two roles for my druid, right? So I’ve taken to doing this before I queue:

– check spec.

– put on opposite-spec gear.

– queue for whatever I want.

– get called in to tank or heal and, once zoned, only have to change EITHER spec OR gear to match the role I’m in.

Basically, I’m sitting there in tank spec with healing gear on, but my queues generally go like this:

Tank, tank, tank, tank, healer, tank, tank, healer, tank, tank, tank, tank… tank.

There ARE no tanks out there for lower level instances and so very few at higher levels.

In other news, thanks to some gratuitous trash-farming, Kurn has the Ashen Band of Vengeance while, due to a guild ICC25 and a pug ICC10, Madrana has the Ashen Band of Wisdom. Kurn has yet to kill a single boss in ICC (though not for lack of trying on Deathwhisper 25), whereas Madrana has killed them all twice already, once on 25 and once on 10.

My thoughts on ICC:

– Trash is icky unless you know what you’re doing.

– The first four bosses are basically a review of Black Temple with a hint of SSC and just a sprinkle of Hyjal.

– Marrowgar might be a little overtuned in 10s, but seemed like a pushover in 25. I worked HARD in that 10-man pug, which was mostly some guild’s run. They’re not amazingly geared, but they’re good enough that they shouldn’t have had to struggle as much as they did. This fight steals from SSC’s Leotheras the Blind (whirlwind), Hyjal’s Archimonde (the fire, although it doesn’t chase you) and BT’s Naj’entus.

– Deathwhisper is a little overtuned in 25m, I think. The big Death and Decays are fine, the deformed fanatics/adherents are fine, the resistance to various forms of damage based on mob type, all fine. The MC + the Curse of Torpor need to go or at least  be nerfed on 25 or else your cleansers/CCers HAVE to be on their game. 10m is a freaking pushover in comparison. This fight steals from the Shade of Akama fight, in that you deal primarily with adds until the boss comes out.

– Gunship Battle is HILARIOUS. I love it. The guild one-shotted it, I believe, and the 10-man only took four attempts or so. Got it by the skin of our teeth, mind you. But we got it anyways. :)

– Deathbringer Saurfang. 3 tries on 25m. 2 tries on 10. And I even got this on 10m:


That’s I’ve Gone and Made a Mess, which was originally a reference to our good ol’ buddy Moroes in Karazhan, because Saurfang originally Garrotted, the way Moroes did.

– The best item in the ENTIRE GAME, hands-down, drops off 25m Deathwhisper: Zod’s Repeating Longbow. I haven’t seen it, but it’s in the drop table at wowhead and OMG. Reference to Superman II? WIN. “Kneel, son of Jor’El! Kneel before Zod!” God, I love that movie. If Kurn can get this bow, ever, I may never replace it. Okay, so I probably would in Cataclysm, eventually, but it would sit in my bank right next to my Rhok’delar.

Other achievements I’ve recently gotten include the BEST-NAMED ONE EVER.


That’s “We’re Not Retreating; We’re Advancing in a Different Direction.” I got that with my RL friend, the resto druid and three of “our” guildies, although I was on my hunter which not everyone knows about. I laughed my ass off when I got it.

I’ve also been getting a lot of rep while doing the new dungeons. Madrana got these:


And Kurn got:


Both Kurn and Madrana have gotten:


Which brings us back to LFG and the dungeon tool.

There I was. Level 71. Tanking, on my druid, in Azjol-Nerub. (As if I don’t deal with Anub’arak enough as it is!) I’m in with a 74 rogue and a 76 DK, as well as a 73 mage and a 72 priest.

I can’t keep aggro off the 76. And have trouble with the 74 at times. And because I’m always taunting off of them, it’s tough to get aggro back from the healer. So I basically stopped worrying about them and worried about the healer. Because, as we all know, if the tank dies, it’s the healer’s fault, if the healer dies, it’s the tank’s fault and if the DPS dies, it’s their own damn fault, right? :D

So the DK is all like “wow tank how come you cant hold aggro?” And I mention that he’s never on my target, so yeah, he’s going to pull aggro. And then I say:

Me: “I’m trying to taunt off the priest and so my taunts aren’t up for you.”

Him: “thats what im doin waht ddid u think i was doin to boss” (I think this was referencing keeping on my target.)

Me: “Watch your Omen. If you don’t have it, get it. Better, run an instance that’s suitable for your level.”

DK: “funny mate funny”

Me: “True, I can’t keep aggro from a level 76. I’m not supposed to.”

DK: “still ur a tank”

Healer: “a tanks job is to keep aggro off the healer, a dps job is to keep aggro off himself now lets stop arguing”

DK, to me: “u cant ever hold agro off all us so stop telling me what to do”

Me: “You really don’t understand the mechanics of this game…”

DK: “what fuck u talkin about now”

DK: “what u think im doin”

Of course, this was all happening during the trash and boss fight for the second boss in Azjol-Nerub. So as soon as we were done:


I’m going to write three how-tos, I believe. How to Behave as a Tank/Healer/DPS in random dungeons.

The overriding rule to them all is, of course, don’t be a fucktard dick.