Beta Screenshots

Okay folks, I have almost 700 screenshots from beta up at my gallery:

http://kurn.apotheosis-now.com/cataclysm/

They’ve been reorganized:

Madrana – This gallery is my paladin questing or being in instances or screenshotting cast times/mana costs/talent trees and the like.

Kurnmogh – same as for Madrana, just on my hunter.

The other stuff is mostly random and is very little actual content, just a few profession things, a couple random screenshots taken on my shaman.

Planned for today (Wednesday, August 4th):

A look at instances, specifically those “OH MY GOD WHAT THE HELL” moments that you will doubtlessly encounter in your journeys through Throne of the Tides, Blackrock Caverns and The Stonecore.

Obviously, this look at the first three dungeons available to us will be from my perspective of a holy paladin, but I hope for the post to be useful to all players. Understanding various mechanics is pretty key.

The one thing everything shares in common is what I consider to be the basic rule of World of Warcraft:

IF THE FLOOR CHANGES COLOUR, GTFO.

Just as a brief example, I was in The Stonecore on Tuesday and noticed something swirling at my feet. I stopped casting and strafed the hell out of there before a puddle of lava appeared.

You can see the gallery shot of that here.

Anyways, that’s what’s coming up.

Also, I know, I know, I’ve been lax at talking about “current content”. I will definitely get a new Holy How-To up in the next week or so, once the beta-mania has calmed down. My goal is to get Madrana to 83 ASAP (I’m already a quarter of the way through 82) so I can play with Healing Hands and report back on that.  Then I’ll feel more able to talk about Wrath content and such.

In the meantime, if you have questions concerning holy paladins or perhaps instance questions, drop a comment and I’ll try to respond to them either in the comment or in my upcoming post. :)

Welcome to everyone from World of Raids, by the way! Hope you’ll stick around. :)

Kurn's Cataclysmic Adventures 2

I spent a lot less time in beta today than I did on Friday night into the wee (and then large) hours of Saturday.

After dealing with that pesky “real-life” thing, I came back to beta and decided to try out that whole “guild” thing. ;)

Apotheosis was born on Lost Isles (US/PVE) this afternoon, with much thanks to four (no longer nine) random people who were kind enough to sign my charter.

I’m not actively recruiting random people, but I did tweet about it. Before I knew it, the awesomesauce Kody from WorldOfRaids (aka, the super awesome person from Curse who extended me a beta invite) was whispering me.

Thus, Kody and I embarked upon a journey, the likes of which have probably never quite been seen before and may never be seen again. At least, I kind of hope this journey won’t be seen again.

Guilds are totally broken in beta. Which is okay. It’s beta. It’s supposed to be broken. I get it.

But, among the issues:

– Guild masters have no permissions, thus their ability to do things (officer chat, invite, etc) is severely limited.

– Promotions (and probably demotions) aren’t saved.

– New ranks don’t work properly.

I’ve got a low-level Worgen as GM of Apotheosis at the moment and this is the result of a bug that meant Kurn couldn’t speak or read guild chat.

The only way to promote Kurn and Madrana was to make each of them GM in turn and then hand it back, since this action, by default, places a GM who gives GM to someone else in the spot right below the GM in the guild ranks.

Kody was extremely patient with me as I hopped over around all three toons and gave him GM and asked him to ginvite me and give me GM back and such.

On the plus side, Apotheosis has Fast Track! I’m not randomly inviting the world at large, but if you read this little old blog and have an Alliance toon on Lost Isles, let me know, either in-game at Kurnmogh or Madrana (or Kurnbank) or via twitter, and I’d be happy to extend you an invite.

Okay, so that was the guild excitement. On to instances…

Continue reading “Kurn's Cataclysmic Adventures 2”

Kurn's Cataclysmic Adventures 1

So. Beta.

Over the last several hours, I did not complete a single instance. I did advance significantly in terms of quests and subzones in Vashj’ir, mind you, and I also dinged Kurn 81. It took me less time to ding Kurn 81 than it did for me to get a third of the way to 81 on Madrana.

I also spent a crapton of time uploading and organizing 200+ screenshots from Beta, which are available here:

http://kurn.apotheosis-now.com/cataclysm/

And I even made a couple little videos, which I’ve uploaded to YouTube. Spoilers below!

Continue reading “Kurn's Cataclysmic Adventures 1”

Kurn's Q&A 22

Good evening, or perhaps good morning! Had a lovely Tuesday, including dinner with the family at my parents’ house, then got to login and play with the new chat features a little bit. Again, as stated before, please don’t be offended if I choose not to include you in my Real ID network. I feel that the tools they give us are still rather clunky and not remotely refined enough for my tastes to consider sharing with people I don’t already know in real life.

Having said that, BOY HOWDY, do we have a bunch of interesting terms this week! You’d think someone had been BORED TO DEATH at work or something! As such, starting this week, I’ll have an anonymous form for questions you’d like to ask me for this Q&A-style post. Look for it on Wednesday or Thursday.

In the meantime…

I clearly made a mistake last week when I said:

“I like seeing myself in search terms. It’s cute.”

1)

kurnmogh, why is majik the best tank?
kurnmogh, how did majik redefine the mage class and why was he so good?
kurnmogh sucks and majik rules
why is kurnmogh just not as good as majik at wow?

And my personal favourites:

how come kurn can only play any given class in world of warcraft just about half as well as majik?
how has kurnmogh played and lived in the shadow of majik for so long?

Let’s tackle these burning questions individually.

1a) Majik is the best tank because he is a stupidly good player. It’s like he’s an idiot savant.

1b) Majik was key in redefining the mage class because he was frost and he was competitive DPS through ’till Hyjal. His approach to playing his mage was one that involved using Billy, the water elemental, to his full extent, making sure to be hit-capped and generally not dying to stupid things. However, it should be noted that, while still drunk from the traditional pony keg booze after Maulgar, Majik did blink into Gruul, causing a wipe. He was so good because, as previously noted, Majik is an idiot savant when it comes to the World of Warcraft. It also helped that he was a meter whore throughout the ENTIRETY of Burning Crusade and this drove him to swap to an Arcane/Frost rotation which meant that he was constantly Arcane Explosioning on Hyjal waves. Like a tool. Sure, his numbers were huge, but I do believe he started dying more frequently at this point, which had a negative effect on his overall DPS.

1c) We’ll pair the next two together, as they’re essentially the same. It’s true, dear readers, I am not as good as Majik is at WoW. I just don’t have the instincts that he does when it comes to, well, basically anything. Majik is ten times better at this game than I am and doesn’t have this habit of forgetting to do things like pop class-specific cooldowns the way I do. (Nature’s Swiftness? What’s that?)

1d) My favourite questions! Hooray!

– Majik has four level 80s and is working on his fifth. The classes are: mage, druid, shaman and death knight. Kurn has six level 80s and they are: hunter, paladin, shaman, mage, druid, priest. As you can see, there’s some overlap. Majik’s hunter is in his 40s, Majik’s highest paladin toon still would get beat down by Hogger and Kurn hates death knights in general, so the comparison is really versus each other when it comes to a mage, a druid and a shaman.

– Given that Majik raided full-time on his mage for years, that’s not a fair comparison. This leaves us with two alts, the druids and the shaman. I fully agree I can only play the druid and shaman half as well as Majik can. Why? This is largely because I have spent all my time really focused on the paladin and the hunter.

– Thus, while I fully admit I can’t play a mage, druid or shaman as well as Majik, due in part to my not being an idiot savant, if he wants to try to level up his hunter or paladin to get a good comparison going, he is welcome to do so.

– As to living in his shadow, I’ve got to say that it was cold there in his shadow, to never have sunlight on my face. I was content to let him shine, that’s my way. I always walked a step behind. So he was the one with all the glory, while I was the one with all the strength. I wonder if he knows that I’m really his hero or everything he wishes he could be? Clearly, I am the wind beneath his wings.

Now that I’ve learned from my lesson regarding search terms, let’s move on!

2) unbound plague ticks damage

Here’s a parse of a mage in the raid having Unbound Plague for 10 seconds before passing it off:

[23:34:40.353] Mage afflicted by Unbound Plague from Professor Putricide
[23:34:41.515] Professor Putricide Unbound Plague Mage Absorb (999)
[23:34:42.459] Professor Putricide Unbound Plague Mage Absorb (1249)
[23:34:43.463] Professor Putricide Unbound Plague Mage Absorb (1561)
[23:34:44.410] Professor Putricide Unbound Plague Mage 1410 (A: 541)
[23:34:45.424] Professor Putricide Unbound Plague Mage 2439
[23:34:46.359] Professor Putricide Unbound Plague Mage 3049
[23:34:47.507] Professor Putricide Unbound Plague Mage 3811
[23:34:48.433] Professor Putricide Unbound Plague Mage 4764
[23:34:49.354] Professor Putricide Unbound Plague Mage 5955
[23:34:50.399] Professor Putricide Unbound Plague Mage 7444

Here’s me in the same raid for 11 ticks:

[23:37:09.981] Professor Putricide Unbound Plague Madrana 681  (A: 289)
[23:37:11.135] Professor Putricide Unbound Plague Madrana 1212
[23:37:11.978] Professor Putricide Unbound Plague Madrana 1254 (A: 261)
[23:37:13.153] Professor Putricide Unbound Plague Madrana 1895
[23:37:13.965] Professor Putricide Unbound Plague Madrana 2368
[23:37:15.331] Professor Putricide Unbound Plague Madrana 2960
[23:37:15.877] Professor Putricide Unbound Plague Madrana 3701
[23:37:17.203] Professor Putricide Unbound Plague Madrana 4626
[23:37:17.827] Professor Putricide Unbound Plague Madrana 5782
[23:37:19.300] Professor Putricide Unbound Plague Madrana 7227
[23:37:19.964] Professor Putricide Unbound Plague Madrana Absorb (9034)

So you can get an idea of the damage: it starts out very low and ramps up hugely. The damage it does isn’t too bad, but if someone with Plague Sickness gets it, that damage is increased by 250%.

3) any new way to cheat unbound plague

Well, I don’t condone cheating. Are you talking about better plague visibility now that AVR and AVRE have been broken? If so, you may want to look into using HudMap:

http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-addons/details/hudmap.aspx

4) dbm mark vengeful shade

Okay, here’s the problem with Vengeful Shades; they’re not able to be targetted. That means you can’t click on them to mark them, you can’t hit V and see their health bars. You just have to watch for them when they spawn and run the hell away.

5) does feign death work on frozen orbs on toravon

Yes.

6) elixir mastery will double flasks?

Okay, let’s explain this again.

As an alchemist, you get this fun thing called “Mixology” which doubles all elixir and flask *durations* and increases their effects slightly.

In order to have the *possibility* to proc extra flasks, you must be an elixir-specced alchemist, that is an Elixir Master. This will not proc all the time. This will not double your haul. This happens approximately at a 10% rate from what I’ve noticed. So for every ten flasks you make, you will roughly get one extra.

7) how many people go into frostmourne on 25 lk

On normal, this is one at a time, approximately once a minute throughout the final phase when he casts Harvest Soul on someone. On heroic, EVERYONE goes into Frostmourne.

8) lightning-infused leggings worth it

I recently crafted mine, replacing the heroic Legplates of Failing Light. After looking at the Ruby Sanctum loot tables at MMO-Champion there are NO new legs being added. That means that there are no legs higher than ilvl 264 with haste on them. So yes. Definitely worth it for any holy paladin.

9) server transfer raid lockout

It all gets cleared. I had done my daily random heroic before I transferred my paladin. Then I transferred and ran another — none were barred from me, and I also got 2 extra Emblems of Frost by virtue of doing another “first” random.

10) shadow trap lich king

Don’t stand in them. It’s not rocket science, folks.

Kurn's Q&A #19

Welcome, welcome, one and all, to Kurn’s Q&A! This is the time of the week when I look at my website stats from the previous week and see how I can better help those search for information by expounding on 10 search terms that led people to my site. I love Tuesdays.

1) “katrana prestor”

Ahhhhh, Lady Katrana Prestor, also known as Lady Onyxia! Katrana Prestor used to be an NPC in Stormwind Keep. There was Bolvar Fordragon, Anduin Wrynn and Katrana Prestor in the throne room in the keep.

At level 50, you could start an immense quest chain that begins in Burning Steppes called Dragonkin Menace. It would take you through Burning Steppes, over through Blackrock Depths, to Lakeshire, to Stormwind, back to Morgan’s Vigil, all over the damn place. Eventually, you would rescue Marshall Reginald Windsor, whom everyone from pre-BC probably loathes as much as I do, and meet up with him at the Stormwind gates.

There would be this truly awesome event that would take place — you’d escort Windsor up to the keep and accuse Lady Katrana Prestor of being Onyxia in disguise and she’d transform RIGHT FREAKING THERE and get the guards in the keep to turn into their draconic forms. Bolvar would LAY THE SMACK DOWN, but not before Windsor is mortally wounded. (I used to /cheer.)

Here’s the script.

Onyxia would vanish, presumably to go to her lair, and you would be tasked with restoring a medallion. You’d have to go to freaking Winterspring, to the top of a damn mountain, to talk to a blue dragon (Haleh, who appears in high/blood elf from) who’ll tell you to go to Upper Blackrock Spire and kill General Drakkisath and get the Blood of the Black Dragon Champion. (This eventually became party loot, but for a LONG time, there were only 1-3 of these that dropped at a time.)

Then you go back to Haleh and she would give you your Drakefire Amulet, which you had to have with you to enter Onyxia’s Lair.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the story of Lady Katrana Prestor as she was in the game before they removed the Onyxia attunement questline. More info here on Lady Katrana Prestor from WoWWiki.

Edit: Best video EVER. The Craft of War: Blind.

2) does divine shield drop lady deathwhispers

Drop Lady Deathwhisper’s what?

Curse of Torpor: Probably
Frostbolt: Yeah.
Mind Control: Well, you can’t pop it if you’re MCed, I don’t think, but if she makes the mistake of popping it for you, you will probably get released from the mind control.

3) dxe bossmods malleable goo putricide hard

Yeah, my DXE only shows me the location of one, not all three, Malleable Goos. Sorry. :(

4) elixir master not proccing 2010

I’m an elixir master. It procs. My proc rate usually sucks, but it procs enough to let me know I haven’t lost the ability to proc entirely.

5) fastest way to get emblem of triumph one night

Queue up as a healer or a tank and do dungeons all night long. Or, do Naxxramas.

6) hard mode professor putricide 25m strat

Funny you should mention that. I just wrote up a post detailing how my guild does heroic Putricide on 25m.

7) holidays grace for dps or healer

I understand your confusion in this day and age of spellpower instead of damage/healing and healing. Holiday’s Grace has mp5 which means it’s for healers. DPS have enough tricks up their sleeves to regen mana, whereas healers have a couple things, typically with long cooldowns, such as Mana Tide Totem, Shadowfiend and Innervate. mp5 is the only thing that will aid in mana regen for healers, so you’ll find it on lots of healer gear.

Rule of thumb: +hit = DPS caster, +mp5 = healer

That doesn’t mean all healers want a lot of mp5 or all casters want a lot of hit, mind you.

8) how to respond when someone asks for raid achievements

If you have them, link them. If not, you may be out of luck if you’re not really geared. You can always say “this is my alt, I know the fight from my main” if that’s the case, or just tell them you know the fight and just haven’t done it on that toon, even if you’ve never done it. The key here, of course, is doing research so you’re not That Tool that everyone else is carrying.

9) why cant i que for icc

First of all, it’s “queue”. Second of all, ICC is not a dungeon. You cannot queue for a raid group. You can sit in the raid browser for it, but I’m assuming that this is what you cannot do.

If you cannot select ICC as a raid to sit in the raid browser for, this means that Blizzard’s estimation of your gear is such that you won’t be able to adequately perform with that gear in ICC. Go get some gear.

10) on a holy palatin, what foods, enhants, and gems to improve mana regeration

… please, please don’t have been a native English speaker.

The more mana you have, the more mana you’ll regenerate. Divine Plea is based on our maximum mana, as are Replenishment and Mana Tide Totem. For mana regen food, you can either go with 40 crit strike food or 20 mp5 food. For everything else, it’s intellect. Make sure you’re also using the Insightful Earthsiege Diamond.

Soon…

Soon, I shall have a post with two video guides in it.

1) Strat Live, minus Cannonmaster Willy

2) How to get the Key to the City from Strat UD without having it to begin with (ie: from Strat Live)

Freaking video files are huge. WTB larger hard drive, PST.

Hell, a non-fail computer would be nice. ;)

Kurn's Guide to Lower Blackrock Spire

Okay, after much hemming and hawing and many false starts and far too long spent in the editing stage, I think I’ve pieced together an okay two-part guide to Lower Blackrock Spire. It’s done the way we used to do LBRS back in the day and is still a really efficient way to clear out the instance. Included are Warmaster Voone, Shadow Hunter Vosh’gajin, Mother Smolderweb, Urok Doomhowl, Halycon, Gizrul the Slavener, Overlord Wyrmthalak, High Lord Omokk and how to obtain and complete the quests Bijou’s Belongings, Urok Doomhowl and how to get you started on the Seal of Ascension questline. Note that there are other quests in here, including the one for the Worg Pup and Mother’s Milk, neither of which are covered here.

Apologies for how dark the videos seem on YouTube. On my computer, they’re both much, much brighter, so I’m not really sure how to deal with that. I would try re-rendering them and re-uploading them, but I know if I don’t post these now-ish, it’ll be another couple of weeks before I bother trying again.

So, here we go. :)

Kurn's Etiquette for Forming a PUG Raid

I had what was pretty much the oddest experience I’ve ever had when it comes to being invited to pug a raid the other day. This is what has caused me to write this post.

[Complete Stranger]: u do icc 10 this week

Uh. Is that supposed to be a question or a statement? I thought about ignoring him. I thought about taking his head off about randomly whispering someone he doesn’t know that he sees has a high gearscore and a Kingslayer title.

And I decided to be nice.

Me: No interest in doing it. GL to you.

I figured that ought to be enough and continued the two other conversations I was having. Fifteen seconds later:

[Complete Stranger]: what if i pay u very high amount of gold

I sighed and quickly responded.

Me: I said I have no interest in doing so, thank you.

Ten seconds later…

[Complete Stranger]: ur cranky how rude

Okay, NOW you’re starting to get on my nerves, you illiterate, impolite child. You want to get in it with me? FINE.

Me: I said no thank you instead of telling you to take a hike. I think I was quite polite, actually. You’re the rude one, persisting in your request and just randomly asking me if I’ve done an instance. I don’t even know you.

There, that ought to take care of him, I thought. Alas, foolish me.

[Complete Stranger]: Why no interest. dont u need gear

/FACEPALM. Need gear? From regular 10-man? Are you KIDDING ME? I haven’t “needed” gear from regular 10-man ICC since, well, ever. It’s one of the positives of raiding 25-man. Determined to shut the kid up, I responded thusly:

Me: Apart from the fact that I strongly dislike 10-man raid configuration, I do not need gear. [Heroic: The Plagueworks (25 player)] [Heroic: The Crimson Hall (25 player)] [Fall of the Lich King (25 player)]

I was pretty sure I wouldn’t hear from him again, having been properly chastised, so I returned to my other conversations. About 30 seconds later…

[Complete Stranger]: ur not nice

/SIGH. Okay, kid. One last try at being polite before I rip you to pieces.

Me: Beg to differ, but you’re entitled to your opinion. Good luck to you.

[Complete Stranger]: Not very nice sir

I got snippy.

Me: Ma’am, actually.

Immediately thereafter:

[Complete Stranger]: Im sorry now i feel bad!!!!!

This is where my head exploded.

It’s OKAY to harass a GUY to do an instance he has no desire to do, but as soon as I say I’m a woman, NOW he feels bad? NOW he apologizes for being annoying?

ARGH.

Okay. Deep breath, Kurn. This all happened last Friday. It’s days ago.

All right, I’m better.

This little episode has illustrated the complete lack of manners people have in this game. Of course, in a game where Trade chat regularly degenerates into ethnic slurs and questioning of people’s sexual orientations, perhaps expecting any kind of manners from the population is a stretch.

But I remember a time in this same game where people weren’t quite this rude. I suspect a lot of it stems from the sense of entitlement Blizzard has bestowed upon the players these days, but I digress.

You’re trying to form a pug raid? Fine. Here’s how to do it.

1) Grab your in-game friends. Make sure you all know how to play your selected roles.

2) Make sure you have at least some of the tanks or healers required before you go seeking them out. There’s nothing worse than seeing “LF5M, 2 tanks, 3 healers!” in Trade. You know what that says to tanks and healers out there? That no one in your little group of friends cares enough about shouldering some of the responsibility in a raid to run on a tank or a healer.

3) Once your raid group has formed and you’re trying to add new people to it, type this in:

/lfr

Skip down to Browse and select the instance and size you want to do. Examine the people in the queue for that particular raid.

Whisper them, one at a time, until you’ve filled your raid with what you need or have gone through the entire list. And by “whisper them” I don’t mean “icc 10” and a ninja-invite.

I mean something like this:

“Hi, would you be interested in tanking/healing/DPSing in [name of instance here]?”

To say “heal icc 10?” is just lazy and not something that’s going to get me to want to heal your sorry butt. You’re dealing with OTHER PEOPLE here. You should really do your best to impress them with your grasp of the language your server speaks.

4) Once you’ve gone through all the people in the queue, go back to set your own group in the queue. Select which instance and size you want to do on the first screen of the raid finder interface. Put a note in the comment section advertising what you’re seeking. For example:

“Need 1 tank, 2 DPS and 1 healer!”

Set your comment. Enter the queue.

5) Ask around in Trade or LookingForGroup — don’t spam. The last thing anyone in Trade wants to see is you spamming the same line of text 10 times.

“LF3M ICC10, need 1 tank, 2 DPS, PST!”

That suffices. Once every couple of minutes at most. You want to be short and direct in your advertisement for your raid.

6) Ask your current raid members if they have any friends who want to come.

7) Check your friends list or guild to see if anyone’s logged on since you last checked.

8) Continue the above tactics (also checking the raid queue frequently) to pull in more people until your raid is full or you decide to cancel your run.

Note that at NO TIME is it considered “okay” to see someone randomly run by you in a major city and act like you are entitled to their time and services.

If you are absolutely desperate for just one more person, it might be considered all right to gently inquire as to the potential availability of a random stranger.

How do you gently inquire? Like so:

“Hi there, I’m sorry to bother you, but I’m putting together a raid for [instance, size] and I was wondering if you’d like to join us as a [tank/healer/DPS]. If not, no problem, I just thought I’d ask.”

If they say “sure” or another few words agreeing to the run, please be sure to thank them and then toss the invite.

If they say “no” or anything else stating that they’re not interested, here’s how to respond:

“All right, thanks anyways and have a good day!”

If they do NOT respond, do NOT keep whispering them.

Every person that you antagonize or annoy or piss off is someone that will potentially never run with you, ever. They may put you on ignore. They may remember your name from that day you annoyed the crap out of them. It’s a social game, people. You have to play well with others to do anything in terms of raid content and to succeed at high-levels of PVP. Everywhere you look, there are PEOPLE and, sadly, we can’t ignore them all. (WTB larger ignore list, PST!!!)

TL;DR Version:

– Don’t piss people off
– Don’t randomly demand time or services from someone you don’t know
– Don’t act upset if any random people don’t want to join your run — they owe you nothing

This public service announcement has been brought to you in part by the Kingslayer title, which Kurn has now hidden on her paladin, opting to display Hand of A’dal instead.

Why Ranks Matter

The bottom line is, ladies and gentlemen, that ranks matter. No, not guild member ranks or PVP title ranks or arena rankings. Not guild progression rankings, not server progression rankings or anything like that.

I’m talking about spell ranks, ability ranks and talent ranks.

While levelling, I can understand that you don’t train every ability to its top level every opportunity you get. I will probably still think you’re a moron for not training, but I can at least understand that stuff happens and you ding unexpectedly or you forget to train.

As soon as you hit 80, though, I expect you to train all of your spells available in your spec. Both your specs, if you have dual spec.

Why?

I’ll try not to rely on my primary argument, which is “BECAUSE IF YOU DON’T, YOU’RE AN IDIOT!” as that is not remotely helpful. It is, however, the ultimate message I would like to impart on people, so if you don’t want to read another 1500 words explaining why you’re an idiot if you don’t, you can stop here. ;)

As soon as you hit 80, you can’t instantly queue for heroics using your crappy greens or outdated blues. I would imagine that most fresh 80s these days, at least those who are alts, buy a couple BOE ilvl 200s or get some crafted gear or, if they’re lucky, have a main who is rich that buys them pretty BOE things from raid instances. Once they’ve done that and manage to trick the system into thinking they’re deserving, they queue up for their random heroics to get badges to try to start collecting tier 9 ilvl 232 gear. (This is why I miss revered rep as the requirement for heroic keys. Oh, Burning Crusade, when a human’s Diplomacy was the most OP racial ever.)

It’s not that it’s a horrible thing to go to heroics quickly, particularly if you know what you’re doing. The thing that you need to be aware of, though, is if you’re a drag on your group.

What do I mean by that?

I mean if you pull 1k DPS at 80, you’re a drag on your group. You obviously haven’t done any research on your class and don’t know your DPS rotation or priority system.

If you’re a tank who can’t hold aggro against people in T9, which is a lot of the people running heroics these days, you’re being a drag on your group. I’m not saying to expect to hold aggro against people in 277 ICC gear, but you know, don’t be that moron whose AOE threat moves doesn’t do anything.

If you’re a healer and you can’t keep the tank AND the DPS AND yourself up through regular damage (not like DPS standing in the fire), you’re a drag on the group.

Part of not being that tool that everyone hates because they are dragging you through the instance, is doing your job, whatever that job is.

That means training all ranks of all your spells. No, really. It does. Doesn’t matter if you’re a prot or ret paladin — if your healer asks you for wisdom, you need to have the max rank available for them, even if it’s not improved.

If you’re a hunter and you’re using Aimed Shot Rank 6 instead of Rank 9, you’re not doing your job because that is a crapton less damage, depending on how often you use Aimed Shot.

Even if you’re not a team player (why are you even playing this game if you have no interest in being a team player?), there are reasons to make sure your spells are up to date. The most compelling for the non-team player is this:

Your damage/healing output suffers when you’re not fully trained. If you’re not a team player, chances are you care about your damage or your healing. If you use mana, did you know that lower spell ranks cost the same as the highest rank? That means that you’re doing less damage or healing for the same cost the regular rank would cost. Wouldn’t you rather spend your 500 mana doing 1000 damage or healing rather than 500 mana on 250 damage or healing? I know that I sure would. You’re basically throwing away mana on something much less useful than it could be. So quit it. Train your spell/ability/talent ranks!

If the idea of letting down the team (group) because you’re not fully trained doesn’t actually bother you, or if you’re not too fussed over your DPS or HPS, then the above arguments just don’t make sense. Fine. I get that. What I don’t get is you inflicting your dumbass self on people who actually care to play their characters properly. Are you really that much of a douchebag?

There are three types of people in the random heroics these days.

a) People who are just there for their two Emblems of Frost, period. These people are generally very well geared and are probably raiding ICC content.

b) People who are farming Emblems of Triumph. These people are generally decently geared but still need a few Emblems in order to get their 4-piece bonus or something along those lines.

c) People who just hit 80 and are starting the grind towards 232 T9. These people are generally horribly geared and don’t know the instances because they didn’t bother running them on regular the first time around. (Halls of Lightning, Halls of Stone, Utgarde Pinnacle, Oculus, Trial of the Champion, Forge of Souls, Pit of Saron, Halls of Reflection, just to name a few.)

All of the people above are interested in completing an instance quickly and efficiently (although quickly and efficiently differ based on whether you just want your Emblems of Frost or you’re farming Triumph). No one wants to wipe. No one wants some moron to screw things up and cause a wipe. No one wants to be stuck with these people for any longer than they have to be. The overriding mindset is get in, kill the minimum amount of bosses for the run to work for you, get out.

So imagine if you’re not running the instance with one tank, one healer and three DPS. Imagine instead that you’re running with half a tank or half a healer or the equivalent of 1.5 DPS.

By not training your ranks, you are doing everyone in the group a huge disservice. Does it matter if there’s someone there who can pick up your slack? No, because even if there is, there’s not guarantee that there will always be.

I’ve been thrown into a group where myself (the healer) and the tank were the only ones who should have been in a heroic. The three DPS (and I use that term loosely) were all clearly new to 80, didn’t know their abilities, their capabilities and were still wearing things like heirloom shoulders and chests and weapons.

There is a difference between doing a boss fight as it was intended (most likely in in ilvl 187/200 gear) and doing a boss fight with two well-geared players and three people who didn’t even care enough to finish training before queuing up for heroics. What do I mean by that? I mean that I don’t care if you’re appropriately geared for a heroic (with 187/200 gear) so long as you are doing your best. If I have a hunter in my group with a 3000 gearscore, or whatever is considered laughably low-end at this point, I don’t care as long as they know how to damage the mobs and knows how to control their pet and would actually know where their Freezing Trap and Wyvern Sting buttons are for emergency CC. I don’t care if their Explosive Shot hits for next to nothing as long as they’re trying to do their best.

Part of doing your best is training.

Of course, sometimes, training is not enough.

I run RankWatch on most of my toons. It was a very popular addon a few months ago when it was discovered that your abilities on your action bars did not update in your inactive spec when you trained. I discovered this by doing Instructor Razuvious the very first week of weekly raids on my restoration shaman, who I had levelled as enhancement. I’d been healing on her for 3 months or so, random dungeons, VOAs, the odd Sarth or Onyxia…

I got a whisper from someone running RankWatch, telling me that, among other lesser-used spells, my Chain Heal was three ranks out of date.

Chain Heal 4. Chain Heal 7. For 835 mana each time I cast it, CH4 was healing people for 600-700 (plus spellpower and bonuses) instead of 1055-1205.

For three months.

I felt like an idiot and whispered the person back, thanking them. I took some time to verify my ranks (on all my toons) and then got the addon and started running it myself.

While RankWatch was welcomed in the early days of random dungeons (perhaps because the people running dungeons actually had standards then?) it’s as if I’ve just insulted someone’s mother if RankWatch goes off now.

Part of it might be my settings. I have it set to go off in /say so that if it’s a healer, for example, who triggers it, the tank might realize “hey, the healer needs a second to get their ranks in order”. (This is rarely the case, but I maintain it’s faster and more efficient in a group than the whisper-spam which people, in my experience, take less well than a simple /say announce.)

“Turn that shit off,” people will say, “it’s annoying.”

I generally reply with something along the lines of “What’s really annoying is that you’re using Rank 1 Devastate at level 80.”

“lol,” is the typical response I receive.

Good to know my tank is taking his or her job as seriously as I take mine.

The good news is that I’m seeing less and less dual-spec related mistaken ranks. The bad news is that I’m seeing more and more people who just haven’t bothered to train.

Blizzard is forcing us together because there’s currently no form of cap on the amount of Emblems of Frost we can earn a week, something I’m relieved to know they’re changing in Cataclysm. As long as game mechanics strongly encourage me to group with people I don’t know or care about once a day, I’m going to insist on certain things: a tank in a tank spec with tank gear; a healer in a healing spec with healing gear; DPS in a DPS spec with DPS gear. I’m also going to be that annoying person throwing out RankWatch warnings if you’re using out of date ranks of abilities and if you’re NOT trained and REFUSE to train, I’m going to try to vote kick you and will leave the group if I can’t kick you yet. Even if you’ve already pulled and I’m the healer.

What brought this on? I was running RankWatch silently in an Alterac Valley in the 61-70 bracket this weekend on my level 66 priest. I had to unload the mod because of all the spam I was receiving, notifying me that others had failed to train or failed to use their max-rank abilities. And the Alliance was just confused as to why we were losing. I resisted the urge to call people out for not training, but of course you’re not going to do as much damage as a 64 shaman who is trained, even if you’re 68 if YOU haven’t trained.

Thankfully, I don’t see it all too often in dungeons, but I still see it enough to think it’s important to explain some of the my justified hatred towards people who deliberately don’t use max ranks.