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?


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:


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.


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.


Cassandri over at Hots & Dots wrote up a sweet guide to BRD – Prison if you, like many old-school players, know there has to be more to the prison than killing the interogator lady.

As an aside, I’m about 90% sure that the tank and healer combo she refers to in the post consists of my brother (prot pally) and me (disc priest), since we’re on the same battlegroup which makes it possible. Which is just uber coolness in and of itself. My brother was adorably pleased at even the possibility that someone thought he was a rockin’ tank in BRD. What tipped me off was the bit about how they patiently explained how not to aggro the entire damn bar.

Yeah, if that’s not me, I want to meet that person, who was likely the person in charge of attuning their ENTIRE GUILD to MC and Onyxia. The way I was. Curse you, Jailbreak!

(You know, it’s odd. I hated Reginald Windsor. With a passion. But I rescued his stupid ass over 25 times for various groups. Including twice for my friend Majik for reasons that have to do with him being a failure. ;) And now that I can’t rescue him, I find I miss him and the entire Onyxia storyline. Call me crazy, but I always looked forward to Dragonkin Menace, the Burning Steppes quest that started the whole quest chain.)

Kurn's Q&A #12

I really relish my Tuesdays off. I get to watch Lost and the newly-returned V and get to do WoW stuff that *I* want to do. Which includes writing on the ol’ blog. :)

1) best way to heal heroic falric with a shammy

Well, I don’t know if it’s the best way, but this is how I do it.

The real problem with Falric is the Defiling Horror for two reasons. The first is because it’s a horror effect, so Tremor Totem does nothing. The second is because everyone takes 16k damage. So what I do is endeavour to keep everyone topped up as close to max as possible before he casts the horror.

To recover from it, I cast Riptide on the tank and, using my hasted Healing Waves from Tidal Waves, I heal myself and a caster. Then I’ll Chain Heal off the Riptided tank, which will hopefully hit the tank and 2 melee. Then I’ll RT/HW anyone else who still needs health. Total time, with my crappy haste (400 haste + Wrath of Air) is about 8-9 seconds. I usually have enough time to get everyone to full, or close to it.

Apart from that, try to stay close together and bunched up for Chain Heal to get the maximum use possible from it.

2) choker of filthy diamonds or soulcleave pendant

Choker of Filthy Diamonds has more haste and mp5. Soulcleave Pendant has more crit. I definitely prefer the Choker for a holy paladin or possibly a resto shammy and likely a resto druid, since the nerf to Gift of the Earthmother, leaving the crit to priests. Maybe? I’m not sure how crit is for a holy priest these days, but I know crit is still awesome for a disc priest.

However, the Choker is off Rotface and the Pendant is off Saurfang. Really depends how far you’re getting into 10-man ICC, I think.

3) divine plea timer

Okay, I’m assuming you want a timer to tell you when Divine Plea is back up. For this, and any other cooldowns, I use OmniCC. It was my first-ever addon, as I recall. And it’s the one addon I cannot play without.

If you were looking for a timer to tell you how much of the 15 seconds your Divine Plea is still up for and such, I recommend Power Auras Classic to monitor if the buff is active on you or not.

4) hos divine shield holy macro wow

I haven’t actually tested this out, but this ought to work:

/cast Divine Shield
/cast [@target] Hand of Sacrifice
/raid Hand of Sacrifice is up!
/in 10 /raid Hand of Sacrifice is done!

That’s four lines and should work with two button clicks or presses. I highly recommend that your shield come FIRST in the macro, lest you be ruined in the face by whatever insane damage is hitting your target. Also, your @target could be @focus as well or even this:


5) paladin group buffs how to

Oof. Okay. The first thing to know here is what buffs other classes give that are equivalent.

Warriors: Battle Shout is equivalent to unimproved Blessing of Might. Improved Blessing of Might (2/2) requires the warrior to have 5/5 Commanding Presence to be equivalent. That’s in the third tier of the Fury tree. This is not part of a typical warrior build, as I understand it.

Shamans: Mana Spring Totem is equivalent to unimproved Blessing of Wisdom. Improved Blessing of Wisdom (2/2) requires the shaman to have 3/3 Restorative Totems which is the fourth tier of the Restoration tree. However, it leads to Mana Tide Totem which virtually all restoration shammies take.

This is the general order that I, personally, recommend for pally buffs:

Death Knights (DPS): Blessing of Might, Blessing of Kings
Death Knights (tank): Blessing of Kings, Blessing of Might
Druids (bear): Blessing of Kings, Blessing of Might
Druids (kitty): Blessing of Might, Blessing of Kings
Druids (moonkin): Blessing of Kings, Blessing of Wisdom
Druids (trees): Blessing of Kings, Blessing of Wisdom
Hunters (survival/marks): Blessing of Kings, Blessing of Might, Blessing of Wisdom
Hunters (BM): Blessing of Might, Blessing of Kings, Blessing of Wisdom
Mages: Blessing of Kings, Blessing of Wisdom
Paladins (prot): Blessing of Sanctuary, Blessing of Kings, Blessing of Might, Blessing of Wisdom
Paladins (ret): Blessing of Might, Blessing of Kings, Blessing of Wisdom
Paladins (holy): Blessing of Kings, Blessing of Wisdom
Priests: Blessing of Kings, Blessing of Wisdom
Rogues: Blessing of Might, Blessing of Kings
Shaman (enhancement): Blessing of Might, Blessing of Kings, Blessing of Wisdom
Shaman (elemental/resto): Blessing of Kings, Blessing of Wisdom
Warlocks: Blessing of Kings, Blessing of Wisdom
Warriors: Blessings of Kings, Blessing of Might

Of course, if you have a warrior in the group, it’s likely more beneficial to have them pop Battle Shout and you do kings than it is for no kings and your might, even if it’s improved. Same deal for wisdom and mana spring.

Alternately, you can buff everyone with Drums of Forgotten Kings and then give physical DPS might and healers and casters wisdom.

6) dk tanking halls of reflection

Note: I am not a death knight, nor am I a great tank. However, if you’re going to do the LOS method on Falric and Marwyn, just drop Death and Decay and hide around the corner. For any casters or the riflemen, Death Grip is great. For the chase scene, D&D is still awesome to use and you’ll want to Death Grip or Strangulate the Witch Doctors to bring them close if they’re a little far out. Blow your cooldowns when you can, saving Army of the Nub Dead for the second spawn of adds at the fourth wall on the chase scene.

7) list of cuts a purple gem can be cut to

Here’s a list of epic, level 80 purple gems. And here’s the list of rare-quality ones.

8) melee dps toravon guide

Hit boss. Don’t touch Frozen Orbs unless there are basically no ranged. Collect loot.

9) shammy tanking gear 3.3

Okay. You can equip a shield. This does not make you a tank. There is no mail gear out there at level 80 that has any kind of defense on it and very little leather, due to the druid changes. You would basically have to stack resilience. The major problem with shaman tanking, apart from the fact that you’re squishy as all get-out, is that a key to tanking is avoidance, like dodging, blocking and parrying. Your parry talent, Spirit Weapons, also reduces threat. Bad combo.

I don’t advise shaman tanking unless you’re doing it for fun with friends OR your tank on Lady Malande on the Illidari Council in Black Temple DROPS and your resident enhancement shaman thinks quickly, throws on a shield, pops Shamanistic Rage causing your raid leader to shout out over vent “ALL HEALS TO DUPER, ALL HEALS TO DUPER!”, which never had been heard before and never would be heard again. Ever. ;)

10) soul shriek aggro reset

Nope, there’s no aggro reset associated with Soul Shriek, as far as I can tell. It IS, however, a silence. Make sure someone is assigned to cleanse this magic effect off your tanks!

Note to self…

The time between about 5am and 7:30am on a Saturday morning is NOT the time for you to attempt to do any kind of random runs whatsoever.

4 (!) attempts at lowbie runs as a healer, 1 attempt at a random heroic as a DPS.

Results, 0 dungeons completed.

1) An SM Armory run where the tank was AFK to begin with for 8 minutes, then ran in, pulled the whole hallway, did NOT hit Consecration, got stunned and as I hit Dispel Magic for the stun, promptly let my face get eaten. Then the died, because I was dead. And they left group. So I did, too.

2) An SM Armory run, in progress, where I zone in and promptly see “healz hurry!” and see that a warrior, who is out of range on my Grid, is at half health. I run into the courtyard and aggro three mobs, because they hadn’t cleared the courtyard, nor informed me of such. Had I not been disc, I would have died instantly. Instead, I drag them to the group on the other side of the courtyard and down two hallways. The warrior promptly laughs at me and says “ur a girl thot ud b smarter then pullin stuff”.

… I respond with “I’m sorry, would you like me to leave?”


Uhuh. I believe you.

Two pulls later, the warlock soulstones the tank. Trying to be somewhat helpful, I mention that if they’re going to SS anyone, they ought to SS the healer.

“but hes runnin in and almost dyin”

“Actually, he’s not, because I’m healing him. And I’m getting aggro from mobs, because he’s not hitting them all and I wear cloth, so it really should be a healer who gets a soulstone.” Note that I’m not ACTUALLY asking for a soulstone. I’m just trying to point out the flaw in the logic.

“lol i where cloth too!!”

I just sigh to myself and we keep going. We get to a hallway and the tank just groups up the melee and starts hitting them, etc. Does he even TOUCH the caster? No. So I sigh again and shield the tank, and then myself, and the caster starts throwing fireballs at me.

“Aggro,” I say.

The tank does nothing.

“I have aggro from that caster,” I say.



Then the tank laughs at me and goes to get it. “lol y did u pull it???” he says.

“I didn’t pull it, you didn’t hit it. Can you please be sure to hit all the mobs in the area?”

“lol i did” comes the reply. “lol ud think the healer wuld b smarter then a grade 3er.”

I’m about to go “PARDON?” when he does this:

“<— thats me!”

… my tank was in Grade 3?

So I let them pull the entire hallway down from us and then I left. Because I’m not going to be insulted by an idiot in Grade 3, who needs to l2tank anyways. My parting words were:

“Yep. I’m smarter than someone in Grade 3. I’m smart enough to leave.”

3) A Razorfen Downs group, my first time in the instance ever, where the tank and a warlock were both ghosts and trying to FIND the instance, for about 7 minutes. The rogue then PUTS ME ON FOLLOW and afks. Seriously. He just stands there, following me. And none of us can kick him because the 15 minutes aren’t up. The tank leaves, I leave. Very weird.

4) Back to SM Armory. At least I’ve hit 35 by virtue of the last several attempted runs. “big pullz btw” says the paladin tank and charges down the hall. It was an exact duplicate of the first attempt at a random run I’d had, except this time, I didn’t touch the tank and let him die. Then the mage tries to “tank” and frost novas everything and blinks away and is like “priest run!!!”

“I don’t think so,” I said. “I think I’ll leave, instead.”

And so I left, so tired of all the idiocy.

5) I got on my hunter to do my daily random.

Heroic Halls of Reflection. I dread that loading screen as much as I do the Oculus, I swear. We do the first waves just fine. Second set of waves was okay. We’re on the second boss. And then I have aggro. WTF? Oh. THE TANK IS DEAD. Why is the tank dead? BECAUSE HE STOOD IN THE WELL OF CORRUPTION and had something like 8 stacks of it on him. Way to be, Mr. Tank. Way to be.

We wipe. I leave the group.


I hereby propose “WoW Role School”. This should be an in-game set of instances designed to help teach tanks, healers and DPS how to play their roles. I’m not talking about micromanaging which spells and abilities are used (except things like Frost Presence, Righteous Fury, Defensive Stance, Bear form) but showing people what their role truly is in a group setting.

You get, say, five of them as you level up through to 60 or so. Here’s an example of what a protection paladin would go through.

1) Level 15 (when you can queue for the LFG tool): Depending on your class/spec, you are shown how to heal, DPS or tank by virtue of a 15 minute mock dungeon run with tips. The instance would start up and you’d be given a quest. For example:

“You appear to be putting your talent points into the Protection tree, young paladin. Would you like to learn how to hold the attention of hostile creatures while your group kills them and you are healed?

– Yes, I would like to learn to tank

– No, I would prefer to learn to heal

– No, I would prefer to learn to do damage”

And then the quest would be accepted. “Hold the attention of 5 separate creatures from your fellow party members.” And they would be NPCs, NOT the morons you get in LFG, so you’d get the group focus firing, etc. Would teach about Righteous Defense.

2) Level 25 – same deal, now teaches the use of Righteous Fury, Hand of Reckoning and Consecration, for example

3) Level 35 – more elaborate pulls, LOS, casters, runners

4) Level 45 – BoSanc, some other class skills, etc

5) Level 55 – Mock up of Strat UD, need to clear down to and kill Anub’Rekhan.

And then, if you queued up for another role, you’d have to do it over again from that role’s perspective, for whatever level range you’re at.

For any veteran player, this would be easy. You could EASILY do these mock-up runs in the span of 10 minutes at most. But the people who aren’t familiar with the game/class/etc, would be required to learn some of the very basics of their class/role.

So why am I bitching about this? Haven’t there always been fail people in groups? Yes. There have been. But the level of ineptitude I have seen recently, this morning even, demonstrates two things to me.

a) It is SUPER easy for people to find groups via the dungeon finder, meaning more people are using it and more people are doing level-appropriate dungeons as they level toons.

b) More than ever before, Blizzard is forcing us to play with others in a group situation where we must rely on these total strangers (usually from other servers within our battlegroups) to perform their roles adequately.

I’m not asking for people to be the best tanks, healers or DPS in the entire world, really. I’m asking for tanks to make sure they hit the mobs so that healers don’t get aggro when casting a shield. I’m asking for healers who know enough to WAIT to cast that shield/heal when the tank is doing anything like a gauntlet or just a big group. I’m asking for DPS who don’t put the healer ON FOLLOW and then AFK!

Is it our choice to use, or not use, the Dungeon Finder tool? Yes. But I believe that since Blizzard has encouraged us to use it in a multitude of ways, from Emblems of Frost and extra Emblems of Triumph to extra experience and Satchels of Helpful Goods, then they’ve got a responsibility to ensure that the tool is populated by people who won’t make you want to throw your computer out the window and cancel your damn subscription.

Just sayin’.

Kurn's Dungeon Basics

I’m levelling a priest. (I know, shoot me.) I’m levelling with my brother, who’s levelling a paladin. I’m disc, he’s prot. We’re primarily doing it through the random dungeon finder.

As such, I feel compelled to write up a quick guide to some very basic concepts of running dungeons, particularly at low levels.

1) Understanding Threat.

Threat, also known as aggro, is a good thing to have if you’re the tank and a bad thing to have if you’re anyone else.

What IS threat? What IS aggro?

It’s the attention you get from enemy mobs that makes them want to rip your face off and then stomp on it for good measure. As such, it’s highly recommended that the person in a 5-man group that tries to gain threat from enemy mobs be the “tank”.

A “tank” is named such because they are supposed to be large, intimidating and heavily-armored. Like, you know, a tank. In the World of Warcraft, you have four classes who can perform this role. They are: warriors, druids, paladins and death knights. For the purposes of this guide, I won’t discuss the death knights. I assume (perhaps mistakenly!) that if people can get to level 55 in this game, they have a basic idea of the tank/healer/DPS/aggro dynamic.

Warriors typically drop their talent points into their protection tree if they’re planning to tank and will probably wear a shield. You’ll want to see a druid shift to bear form to tank. A paladin will also be putting points into their protection tree if they want to tank, also putting on a shield.

Your tank is basically a distraction. They’re the ones who are supposed to use their various abilities to make themselves appear to be the largest threat those mobs are facing at any given moment. They wear heavy armor and have abilities that are very dangerous-seeming, plus have special talents and abilities to prevent all that insane damage from splatting them into next Tuesday. In reality, it’s the DPS (damage dealers) who are the largest threat, because they’re the ones dealing all the damage. Meanwhile, the healer is healing the tank so the tank can continue to generate threat. In an ideal situation, only the tank is taking damage so that the healer can heal through the encounter with ease, while the DPS attack the mob or mobs and deal a lot of damage.

So, are we clear on this? Tank grabs mob’s attention -> DPS deals damage on mob while mob is focusing on tank -> Healer heals tank and DPS/themselves if needed.

The trouble with this situation is that, for the game to be a challenge, threat is EASY to produce through damage and a little more difficult to produce for a tank. The tanks need to smack the mobs around a little bit in order to generate enough aggro from them to ensure that the damage dealers can do their jobs and go to town.

Here’s the catch: If the tank runs around near the mobs but DOES NOT hit them, this is called a “facepull”. That means that the tank has gained the attention of the mobs by physically approaching them, but the tank has not used any abilities to generate threat.

If a facepull occurs, ANYTHING the party does to EITHER the tank OR the mobs will result in that individual “pulling aggro”, which means becoming the most hated person by those mobs.


Anything. So long as it’s to the tank or to one of the mobs. Or to each other, if you’re already in combat by virtue of being close enough to the action.

So if I’m the healer of the group and the tank runs up to a mob and just STANDS there, getting beat on, if I heal him, I start looking threatening and the mob will go “HOLY CRAP, look at THAT person!!!” and come charging at me, with the intention of ripping my face off and stomping on it.

Similarly, if I’m a DPS and I start hitting the mob before the tank has had adequate time to generate aggro on it, the mob will go “Who the hell just hit me in the face?!” and then, you guessed it, it will then come charging at me, with the intention of repaying the favour.

Thus, to prevent your face getting smashed in, wait for the tank to establish aggro. This should only take a few seconds, but may take longer if more than one mob has been pulled.

“So what do I do if I pull aggro, even though I’m sure I won’t because I’m reading this awesome guide by you, Kurn!”

Glad you asked! Rather than run away from the mob and trying to hide in a bush, somewhere, you should run TOWARDS the tank. Yes, even if it means running through the mob who is trying to give you a mouthful of Chiclets. This means that the tank will be in range of the mob to hit them and pull them OFF of you. (Hunters, feign death. Rogues, vanish. Night elves can also Shadowmeld temporarily and priests can Fade, but don’t expect miracles.)

Some tanks are better at holding aggro on groups of mobs than others. In particular, paladins dropping Consecrate are amazing at it, although druids can abuse Swipe and that’s also pretty good. Death Knights are moderately better than warriors, but are still unable to generate the same kind of constant area-of-effect (AOE) aggro that paladins and druids do very easily. Warriors, well, they have a few tricks up their sleeves and a good warrior won’t have a problem with holding aggro on several mobs, but do be sure to give them a few seconds before you start in on things.

Related to this concept is the gauntlet mechanic.

There aren’t too many gauntlets in the game and I think the first one we really encounter in dungeons is in Shattered Halls, a level 70 instance in Hellfire Peninsula, but there are a couple of spots in level 80 dungeons/heroics where this mechanic comes into play.

What is a gauntlet?

A gauntlet is a section of an instance where mobs never stop spawning, so the way to get through it is to have the tank barrel down the hall or whatever it is, run all the way to the end, hold aggro on all of them and then AOE everything down.

Notable gauntlets in WOTLK dungeons:

– the trash for Skadi in Utgarde Pinnacle
– the trash towards the Scourgelord in Pit of Saron (the tunnel)

I don’t think this is technically a gauntlet, but you can treat the trash between the first and second bosses in Halls of Lightning (Slags) as such.

The trouble with a gauntlet is that the tank is running through, so they are NOT building threat. That means that a healer should NOT cast a heal, DPS should NOT damage mobs and NO ONE should be ahead of the tank. (Pre-shielding a tank with Power Word: Shield or Sacred Shield or Earth Shield is fine, though. But no hots!)

Ideally, the tank will have either Retribution Aura (from any paladin in the group) or Thorns (from any druid in the group) on them to better build aggro as they’re being beaten on, but those aren’t always available, so, in general, you’re looking at a whole hallway of facepulling. When the tank gets into position, they’ll start generating aggro and then the healer can start healing and the DPS can start damage. It is IMPERATIVE that, unless the tank is literally about to die, a healer not heal the tank. Let them get low. Under 50% is when I begin to worry. The panic sets in at about 30%. But do your best to not cast before they get to that point, or else six mobs are going to peel off the tank and splat you into the wall.

I should also note that if you want to be conservative (and there’s nothing wrong with that), you can agree to stop about midway through the gauntlet, AOE things down there and then move to the end and AOE things down there as well. This is a particularly good plan if the healer is new to the role, the tank is new to the role, if they’re unsure about the instance or if either is undergeared for the content.

Cooldowns like Pain Suppression, Guardian Spirit, Hand of Sacrifice and Lay on Hands are things that healers can cast on the tank as well, right at the end, to help stabilize the tank before they start healing. Tanks can also use their own cooldowns, like Divine Protection, Shield Wall, Last Stand, Enraged Regeneration, Barkskin, Survival Instincts, Frenzied Regeneration, Icebound Fortitude, Anti-magic Shell, Anti-magic Zone and the like.

2) Casters and How to Move Them.

Ever been standing there, halfway down a hallway in Scarlet Monastery or something and had a caster just shooting at you the whole time? But if the group gets too close to that caster, they might pull another group or another patrol? Of course you have. Everyone has.

Ever wonder what to do about it? Wonder no longer.

Long story short: Line of Sight (LOS) around a nearby obstacle or pull as far back as you can so they come to you at least a little bit.

These are the basics that people in my recent low-level pugs have emphatically not mastered. I don’t think most of them are even aware of these concepts. Thus, a post.

(As an aside, I was on my priest and shielded a bear who insisted on collecting the entire room Interrogator Vishas is in and was chided by a rogue or a shaman for doing so because it would prevent rage generation. Hah, WoWWiki says that: “As of Patch 3.1, [Power Word: Shield] will still allow warriors and druids to generate rage from damage absorbed.” Yay me for not being fail! And yes, I will be careful not to shield my brother too much when he gets Spiritual Attunement.)

Whew. Okay, Holy How-To #4 coming this week, I swear. Stupid healing meters…

Kurn's Q&A #8

All righty, let’s take a look at some of the search terms that brought people here that I know I haven’t adequately answered, shall we?

1) argent dawn howto 999

I’m going to guess you want to become 999/1000 exalted with the Argent Dawn? The best way to do this is to run Scholomance, Strat Live and Strat UD over and over again. And equip your Argent Dawn Commission or your Seal of the Dawn or your Rune of the Dawn. Scourgestone turn-ins are huge. Also take advantage of the quests at Light’s Hope Chapel. Here’s a great list of ways to gain rep with the Argent Dawn over at WoWWiki.

2) divinity seal of light

I would imagine, although I haven’t verified this, that yes, the 5% extra healing from Seal of Light stacks with the 5% extra healing due to Divinity. I’m pretty sure it works, but I haven’t re-glyphed/respecced to figure out if that’s working.

Wrong, wrong, wrong, I was wrong!

I normally run with Seal of Wisdom on along with Glyph of Seal of Wisdom, so I don’t usually have the opportunity to see what my extra healing is like with Glyph of Seal of Light — except on Dreamwalker. But, uh, that fight is hilarious when it comes to comparing numbers. My Lay on Hands crit for 131k at one point, so that’s not the best time to make comparisons.

3) does 10 man onyxia give frost badges

Nope. The only instances to drop frost badges (technically Emblems of Frost) are ICC25 (2 badges per boss, 1 badge for the miniboss), ICC10 (same as ICC25) and VOA 10/25 where ONLY Toravon drops 2 Frost Badges each. Onyxia, in both raid sizes, will only drop two Emblems of Triumph.

4) does shadowmeld clear debuff on sindragosa

Okay, let’s talk about what debuffs you mean. If it’s Chilled to the Bone or Instability, the very act of not doing anything for a little while will clear the debuff. If you’re talking Mystic Buffet, then no — the only thing that will clear that debuff is getting out of Sindragosa’s line of sight. I would imagine, though my paladin is a human so I can’t test it out, that if you’re not out of line of sight of her, you’ll still take a stack when she casts it.

5) how do i dps in dungeons assist warrior

These days, lots of tanks just go into a dungeon, pull the whole group and use their AOE abilities to hold aggro. Hell, I do this. I rarely switch targets when tanking on both my paladin and my druid and this, my friends, makes me a fail tank. I SHOULD be switching targets and trying to get more aggro on each target individually. But I don’t because, nine times out of ten, it’s just not needed.

Because so many tanks do this, it’s generally safe to target your tank and assist them (the F key, by default) and focus on THAT target for DPS. Please always do watch your threat meter, though. Pulling aggro is your fault, even if your tank sucks. Moderating your damage output is entirely within your control, even if that means you just plain stop attacking or you wait five seconds for your tank to secure aggro.

6) holy paladin requirements for icecrown citadel

Ooh, good question! I guess it depends on if you’re doing 10 or 25-man, but here’s what I would recommend.

– 4pc T9 (ilvl 232, minimum)

– 232 weapon/shield at minimum

– 245 or better helm/belt/bracers/boots (Onyxia, crafting, BOEs)

– 226/232/245 + rings/neck

In terms of stats, for a Holy Light paladin, I would strongly recommend somewhere around 2350-2500 spellpower, 28k mana unbuffed and at least 650 haste.

Key trinket pickups before you go: Talisman of Resurgence from Triumph badges, either Pandora’s Plea from Mimiron in Ulduar or Darkmoon Card: Greatness (90 int) or the Tears of the Vanquished from regular 5-man TOC.

7) how to make grid beacon of light 60 yard range

I’m presuming here that you want to have Grid show someone within Beacon of Light range, right? I’ve been trying to play with range fading on my Grid (pro tip: doing so RIGHT BEFORE your guild pulls Sindragosa is NOT the right time to do so!). I’ll post here when I’ve played with it adequately. Ideally, I’d like to have those in 40yd range of me to appear with full opacity, those at 60yd range to be about 75% opacity and those any further to be about 50% opacity. Or something along those lines.

8) is there a macro addon which accounts for global cooldown

If you mean, is there a way I can do something so that I can have two abilities on the GCD in the same macro and just hit that macro once…. no. There is the “/in” function but it doesn’t work for something on the GCD. I’ve always used it for announces.

9) wow icc disc vs holy

There are several fights that will use both disc priests and holy priests very well throughout ICC. It really depends on the rest of your group makeup. If you have a holy paladin or two, you’ll want to be holy. If you have no holy pallies, you’ll want to be disc and focus on single-target healing and raid-wide mitigation. The instance has several fights that play to the strengths of both types of priests. :)

10) wow paladin how to behave in dungeons

Lesson the first: BUFF PEOPLE. A general guide to who wants what buff:

– might: rogues, DPS death knights, ret paladins, feral (kitty) druids

– kings: everyone else

Why? Because might, even unimproved might, is 550 AP. In order for kings to give that much attack power, DKs and ret pallies need to have over 2250 strength in order for the 10% bonus on that to be 225 extra agi/strength, which is 550 AP for them. Rogues and kitty druids only get 1AP per agi, so they’d need 5500 agility in order for kings to be better than even unimproved might.

What about hunters and enhancement shammies? Both gain additional attack power from intellect, through Careful Aim and Mental Quickness. Plus, the extra agility will give them both more crit as well. Survival hunters also gain an extra 10% of their stamina as attack power. On my hunter, unbuffed, I have:

2183 agility

605 intellect

1352 stamina

So kings will afford me 413 more attack power. But also another 2.6% crit just from the extra agility. And because, as survival, my crits proc Replenishment and various other abilities, crits are good. :)

DPS warriors can put up Battle Shout (equivalent to might) so kings them and they can buff with Battle Shout. You should also kings prot warriors, obviously.

What else? As a paladin, be aware of who can cleanse what. If you’re in, say, Old Kingdom, as any role, and your healer is a tree, guess what? You need to cleanse diseases and magic effects. If you’re somewhere with a priest? You get to cleanse poisons. A shammy? You need to cleanse magic. If you’re not doing that stuff, you fail as a paladin. When I tank as a pally, I cleanse. When I heal as a pally, I cleanse. You need to get Decursive or something to help you be aware of what to cleanse and when.

Also, auras. If you’re on Garfrost? Use Frost Aura. If you’re fighting Koralon? Fire Aura.

And judge! Judgement of Light takes priority over Judgement of Wisdom, because everyone in your party has health, but not everyone will have mana.

Man, that last one could have been a whole post on its own, eh? Heh. :)

I had it coming.

It’s been a weird few days of heroics and randoms and such, but after a couple randoms/regular dungeons today, I hit 80 on my druid and my brother hit 78.

After I hit 80, I trained (GOOD GOD, 19g a spell?!) and organized some of my gear, bought some new relics to replace the pieces of crap I had. The 2 Emblems of Triumph per daily random is really very nice. I had 50 badges to spend and spent 40 of them on my new relics.

So then, I thought I should probably run something, get some quick badges to help get my gear up to par. Naturally, I would be laughed out of the instance if I tried to tank with my awesome 23k health or whatever, so I figured I’d heal. After all, as long as I was in tree form and no one died, they wouldn’t really think to inspect me, right? Right.

But which instance? I looked at the ones that were already unlocked for me and when I saw Halls of Lightning, I elected to not choose a random instance.

So I picked The Nexus. I needed a new mace anyways, plus it’s five badges, so hey, what could go wrong?

14 minutes after zoning in, I’d lost just one person (a DPS warrior who was standing next to the first mini-boss on a whirlwind) and we were on Keri.

And she dropped it. That’s right. On my very first trip to The Nexus, she dropped the War Mace of Unrequited Love. This is unheard of. Madrana ran The Nexus about 9 times before it dropped — easily. Katarah ran it a bunch, too. So for it to drop for me on the very first run?

I totally had it coming. Keristrasza OWED me that much.

Now, if only all of my druid’s drops would be that easy…

Maybe ignorance IS bliss / Divine Plea offsets

I admit it. I remain almost entirely ignorant when it comes to the Blood Prince Council fight. And yet…

Basically, I heal the living crap out of my target while having a beacon on another tanking person and stay away from anything I see that is obviously bad.

And I get an achievement for my ignorance and I beat out the other holy pally on the meters, even though he used Judgement of Light, haha!

Speaking of numbers, I really have to remind myself, frequently, that meters suck. It’s kind of hard not to put faith in them, though, when you’re doing well. ;D Honestly, it just means that people weren’t healing my target and sniping my heals. I know that. But it looks so pretty! I mean, look at this from an attempt on Blood Queen Lana’thel!

Truthfully, I have to say that the two-piece Tier 10 bonus for holy paladins has changed my entire playstyle.

It is this:

While your Divine Illumination talent is active, your heals are 35% stronger.

I have a keybound macro to take advantage of that. Shift-S pops Divine Illumination and then Divine Plea. So I’m at 85% of my ability instead of 50%. This almost certainly means a tank will not die when I pop Divine Plea. Not only that, but everything is super cheap to cast! AND I’m regenerating mana?! Hi, two-piece, I love you. Marry me.

I generally pop it when I realize my mana is at about 60-65%, will probably refresh Beacon and Sacred Shield and continue spamming merrily along. Then when Divine Plea is up again, I’m usually down to about 35-40% of my mana. So I pop Divine Plea with the Talisman of Resurgence to offset it. So instead of healing for 12-13k, I’m healing for around 10k. Totally worth it.

Then, next time Divine Plea comes up, I still have Avenging Wrath if I really can’t wait another minute for Divine Illumination to be up again. Instead of 12-13k, I’m healing for about 8k. Less worth it, but it’s better than not having any mana, particularly in a situation where I can’t melee to regen or can’t even spare the globals to judge in the hopes of a Seal of Wisdom proc.

Thinking about it, I should probably pop DivIll/Divine Plea around 70% mana to ensure that I CAN wait a little between DP coming off cooldown and using my trinket and then waiting for Divine Illumination to come back up after DP comes back up after using the trinket with it.

Anyways. Healing meters are bad and I feel like a bad player for not really caring enough to know the details of the Blood Prince Council fight and I should adjust my Divine Plea usage just a wee bit.

Oh, and in brief other news, Maj, my brother and I pretty much ruin Old Kingdom, Drak’Tharon and Violet Hold. No kidding, my brother does leet hunter DPS after a quick respec. And Maj got a couple of upgrades today to render him uncrittable by a boss 3 levels higher than him. And my tree got nothing except experience, which is fine. I’m level 76 now. And totally out of rested! WOE IS ME, people. WOE.

… I need to stop posting stuff at 6-7am.


So my good ol’ buddy from Eldre’Thalas, Majikmarine (who was my mage officer, the original founding member of Apotheosis, who has always been my partner in raid-leading crime), reactivated his WoW account and transferred his level 73 death knight over to Proudmoore so that he could level up with my brother’s hunter (72) and my druid (75).

He specced some form of tank (haha, I know so little about DKs, I’d have to armory him to look it up) and so we queued up with him as a tank, me as a tree and my brother as leet DPS.

We OWN Ahn’Kahet. It is our itty bitty little bitch.

I showed Maj the pulls for the most efficient clear the first time and when we queued up and got it again, we tore through it.

All the while, we were on Vent.

It was really a lot of fun and I hope to make it a regular, daily happening, for at least the month that Maj’s account is active. The queues are close to instant, the instances take no more than a half hour at the most, Maj is learning to tank on the DK, I’m getting the hang of healing a tank who isn’t quite crit-immune, but is DEFINITELY not uber squishy…  I have people with whom I can bitch about idiot ret pallies and idiot DKs!! Ecstasy! :D