More Baby Paladin Adventures!

At this point, the “baby” paladin isn’t all that little. Well. He’s still a dwarf, so he’s little in that sense, but he’s, er, level 70.

I told you. I must have a screw loose!

Of note, at level 64, I soloed Banthar, Bach’lor and Gutripper as ret.

At 65, right after Gutripper’s quest dinged me, I soloed Tusker.


Bach’lor was actually rough due to the knockbacks, but I kited a bit, stunned a bit, used WoG, Flash of Light, Lay on Hands… Win. Tusker was a bit rough too, but I got through that in three tries rather than the SEVEN Bach’lor required.

If I ever see Mana Tombs or Auchenai Crypts again, I will cry and/or scream. I had never been so happy in my LIFE to see Sethekk Halls after a certain point. Hell, I was even HAPPY to get Escape from Durnholde. The first two times, anyways.

As soon as I hit 68, I started selecting Utgarde Keep specifically in the dungeon finder. There was no WAY I was going back to Auchindoun!

And before you knew it, I was 69.

That is where the suck began.

I had so many awesome tanks in the 60s, in BC content. (Lots of crappy ones, too, but mostly the DPS were crappy versus the tanks.) And as soon as I set foot in Utgarde Keep, I started getting idiots. I’ve run UK about 14 times now. I have had two good tanks from pugs. I’ve run it three times with the pally tank alt of a guild rogue, Tikari, which is great, but the realization slowly dawned on me: if I want a good tank, I’m going to have to do it myself.

Trouble was, my ret gear consisted largely of the heirloom Shadowcraft (leather) stuff. Farm heroics for Justice Points? Me? Hah! Why would I do that when I had a bonus 20% XP anyways and would never, ever inflict my fail retness on others?

I had the heirloom valor helm and the heirloom agi cloak, so if I was going to tank, I needed the tanking cloak ($$$), the tanking heirloom chest and tanking heirloom shoulders. I could deal with the helm, even if it’s mostly geared for DPS. At least it’s stam and strength and it’s plate.

Thus began the grind.

I can’t tell you how many heroics I’ve run in the last two days. Probably about 13 or so. I capped out Madrana’s VP via dungeons and then two more because healers had Call to Arms (3 Golemblood Potions and an Obsidian Hatchling for my troubles) and then did several on Kurn. At least four, since I got three Chaos Orbs and lost out on one.

That is more level 85 heroic dungeons in 48 hours than I’ve done since December.

And along the way, some notable groups:

– An all-guild group consisting of four people who were incredibly racist and vulgar, all of whom I reported after the run. They tried to recruit me, since I was healing on Madrana. Despite their douchebagginess, they were spectacular players and heroic SFK went quickly and smoothly.

– By contrast, a heroic SFK I got today had a “tank” who had less health than I did. Now, I know, I’m in some heroic raid gear, but I should almost never have more health than the tank. Really. After he got me to blow Lay on Hands AND Hand of Sacrifice on him IN THE SAME PULL, I looked at his gear, saw it was almost all the ret PVP gear, none of it gemmed or enchanted and he was using a spellpower sword. Vote-kicking him felt good.

Having said that, I think he might have been better than a fail DK tank I had in UK on the baby pally, though. Imagine, if you will, a level 71 worgen death knight “tank” who is:

* dual wielding
* not using Death and Decay or, apparently, spreading any diseases, meaning that any time I dropped even a HOLY SHOCK on him, the other 3-4 mobs would charge me and kill me
* using Rune of Lichbane on his two weapons and only using Death Strike and Heart Strike
* apparently unable to use Dark Command or Death Grip

Vote-kicking him felt less good than the fail pally “tank” from H SFK because this guy wasn’t even 80 ot 85 yet. 71. He clearly didn’t know his class that well, but my feeling bad for him evaporated the third time we wiped because mobs killed me and he didn’t know how to taunt.

– Oh, and there was that dipstick of a druid tank in heroic Lost City. He berated everyone (except me) in the group repeatedly for being “fucking retarded” and “total fail, epic fail!”. They weren’t that bad, they just weren’t putting out much more than 7-8k damage each.

This caused the tank to yell at the ret pally so much that when the tank DEMANDED the ret pally leave… he did. I feel bad for the ret, even if he only did 5k DPS on the first boss.

We had a trash wipe on our way to the third boss and the tank just LOST it on the DK (who had replaced the paladin) and I’d had enough at that point. I initiated a vote kick and the reason I gave? “Jackass.”

It passed in about 2 seconds.

We got a very nice (albeit less geared and less skilled) DK tank to replace the abusive druid tank and finished up the instance without any issues.

– On Kurn, there was a fail H Deadmines run that actually was finished successfully, but in the middle of the nightmares, my bow broke. That’s how bad the run was and how often I died. I actually tried to rez people with Mass Rez and it was still on cooldown. Squishy tank who didn’t know the instance very well and undergeared healer. Like, my resto shaman who is just barely qualified for heroics has about 15k more mana than the resto shaman who was healing us.

– Also on Kurn, a group where the shaman healer didn’t know he could (and should!) keep Flame Shock up on Ozruk in Stonecore. So he kept getting stunned (and I did, too, at the start). I don’t know WHY, but Serpent Sting doesn’t count as damage or whatever and it’s been that way for quite some time. Luckily, I always keep some Sulfuron Slammers on me, which breaks the paralysis.

So yeah, lots of “interesting” runs.

But mission accomplished! The heirloom Might chest and shoulders are mine!

And I’ve tanked!

I actually tanked with just the chest, the tanking heirloom cloak and the valor helm (and my ring, of course) twice and then once I got the shoulders, I couldn’t resist going again.

This is the first time I’ve tanked on a paladin since 4.0 dropped.

I’m still not great, I’ve never been a GREAT paladin tank. I’ve been at least adequate most of the time, though.

I gotta say, it’s a little horrifying to realize you don’t REALLY know what the hell buttons you’re supposed to be pushing. Apart from anything else, I FORGET to Word of Glory myself to keep Holy Shield up and I keep hitting Shield of the Righteous when I only have one charge of Holy Power. I know, I know… fail!

So the baby pally is almost 71 and is tanking ’till 80ish. At that point, time to race change to human and then we’ll see how the tanking situation is. The Wrath content tanks are awful from just about every run I’ve done and I KNOW that content as a tank (thanks to tanking on Madrana in heroics back in the day and thanks to tanking on my druid, also back in the day), so it’s just easier to adjust to the new pally tanking methods and going to town on Wrath instances.

I just hope no one looks at my trinkets. They’re level 60ish blue healing trinkets…

Day 14 – This Upsets You

This post is part of Saga’s 20 Days of WoW Blogging Challenge!

All righty, here’s my last planned post for today, thanks for reading “Contentpalooza 2011”! ;)

Day 14 – This Upsets You

Oh, Lordy. This is almost too much to consider. A better question would be “this doesn’t upset you”. ;)

Actually, truth be told, in-game, not a lot flat-out upsets me. I know, I know. You’re shocked. What it is that really upsets me is the people. I’ll get into that in a minute, but here’s some in-game stuff that upsets me.

Loot and randomness. Being able to kill Gandling in Scholomance 27 times and see the Beaststalker’s Cap twice (and losing the roll once), or being able to kill General Drakkisath SIXTY TIMES before seeing a Beaststalker Tunic is ridiculous. Even in Wrath, this held true. 24 kills of heroic Saurfang and 0, count that, 0 drops of the Heroic Belt of the Blood Nova. (Not that I’d wear it now, being that it’s mail, but anyways.) 13 Halion kills, 0 drops of the Foreshadow Steps.

And this continues today. 8 Cho’gall kills (that’s, you know, 2 full months) and 0 drops of Shackles of the End of Days. And I’m doing this on 25, so I’m getting 5 drops off Cho’gall each time (plus 3 tier tokens). That is 40 possible drops and we have had 0 bracers drop.

I’m not asking for things to drop every single time you kill a boss. Not even every 5 times. I’m not even asking for non-useless gear not to drop (ie: healing plate with no paladins in the group). I’m just asking for better odds than 2/27, 1/60, 0/13 and 0/8.

Kurn’s UpsetMeter: 5/10 (Moderate)

Raid Lockout Screwups. As detailed in my last post, this new raid lock system screwed us up last night, made us lose an hour or more of our raid time and has made us change our plans for the week. This isn’t limited to the new system, though, there were several “aw crap” moments with the old lock system as well. Still, at this point, I’d much prefer the old one. (For me. I know the new one makes a lot more sense for a lot of people, particularly those who aren’t guilded or those not doing their raiding in a guild setting.)

Kurn’s UpsetMeter: 7/10 (High)

Everything else, game-wise, I can generally take. Getting stunlocked by a rogue or three, fine. Login errors? Fine, computers aren’t perfect.

The rest of the things that piss me off are things people do. True, some of them are made possible by game mechanics, but ultimately, it’s people in this game who piss me off.

Racist/Homophobic/Prejudicial Language. Fastest way to piss me off is to throw a bunch of disparaging epithets into a sentence. People are people, dammit, and I don’t care what colour their skin is, who they love, who they worship (if they do) or any of that crap. They’re people. Even bad players are people. The fact that Trade Chat is typically filled with these various slurs means I spend a lot of time reporting spam on various people and, in the case of some really bad ones, I’ll open a ticket and explain precisely why the person’s language is upsetting.

Kurn’s UpsetMeter: 8/10 (High)

Not doing your job in a group. This goes for 5-mans, raids, everything. It drives me nuts to join a pug and realize that, out of the five people in the group, myself and maybe one other person are doing their role-related jobs adequately. It also drives me nuts if someone just cannot master a mechanic in raid content. I am not the fastest learner. I have a learning curve and, given my crappy-ass computer, it can be steep. But I learn, I adapt OR, in the case of Teron Gorefiend, I SIT MYSELF. My computer at the time didn’t allow me to be quick enough to get all my constructs — I’d lag on the transition and no matter how fast I hit my buttons, I’d only get a couple of my constructs trapped. This was okay if I wasn’t the first person targetted, but if I WAS, it was a wipe. So I sat myself out of the fight as often as possible. The very first Gorefiend kill we had, I was in on my hunter. I would feign death prior to his casts that would give you the debuff and so I was never targetted by his stupid ability. And I did pretty darn well in terms of DPS, too! But I did what I could to adapt to all the various mechanics and that was the one thing in all of Burning Crusade I just couldn’t adapt to.

It’s not a hard game, when you look at it. Don’t stand in bad stuff. DPS this when you’re supposed to, DPS this other thing when you’re supposed to. Heal who’s taking damage. Keep bad guys away from your raid.

That SO many people fail at these basics — I’m not even talking about things like interrupts or DPS classes dispelling things or any of that — makes me sooooo angry.

Don’t even get me started on people who fail at CCing or tanks who taunt to pull.

Kurn’s UpsetMeter: 9/10 (Very High)

– Failing Like Faily McFailerson. What makes me angrier than the above is when I fail at something. I am not perfect, I get caught by Blistering Cold on Sindragosa sometimes, I eat Fireball Barrage on Halfus sometimes. I make mistakes. What upsets me is when I CONSTANTLY fail at something. Take, for example, our Al’Akir work from the other week. Had no idea that you could delay the Wind Burst by taking Electrocute so that when the Wind Burst/Squall Line combo coincides at the MT’s location, it’s NOT freaking impossible. I ate Squall Line a zillion times that night before I wrote that post after the raid. And if it hadn’t been for Selyndia pointing out that Electrocute delays the Wind Burst, it never would have clicked and I would have ended up sitting myself on that fight.

What makes it different from Gorefiend? Gorefiend was a technical problem. My computer wasn’t phasing me quickly enough to allow me to complete the mechanics required for the fight. It sucked, but at least I knew I had done my best. With Al’Akir, it wasn’t a technical thing. I just could not figure out how to be right up in front for Wind Burst and simultaneously halfway out on the platform to eat the gap for Squall Line. It was so frustrating that I felt like a total failure. It upsets me greatly to fail constantly at the same mechanic without issues stemming from my computer. :P

Kurn’s UpsetMeter: 9.5/10 (Very High)

Not being prepared. This relates to the above. Back in BC, there we stood, crafting last minute Shadow Resist gear for Mother Shahraz. And a rogue tells me she doesn’t have her Medallion of Karabor, that comes from the attunement quest. There’s more to the story (scroll down a long ways to get to the BC/Mother bit) but basically, I gave all the mats I was holding to one of the officers, made him raid leader and said to the raid that I was going afk for a few.

Right there in the middle of the raid.

I got up and punched the living crap out of my couch. I yelled into a pillow. I was SO angry that, even after all of that, I removed the rogue from the raid and instructed her to go back to Shattrath.

After months (MONTHS!!!) of posts and checking in with people about their attunement needs, their resist needs, we are finally at the fight we have been preparing for and this one dumbshit rogue is like “uh, I didn’t do the heroics” and had confused the attunement questline with the Champion of the Naaru questline. Despite the fact that I had taken two hours (TWO HOURS) one day to detail the ENTIRE questline on our forums and constantly reminded people to finish that up and let us know if they needed Al’ar or Rage or whatever.

I lost it. Dar calls it “the night Kurn drank the RED haterade”. I don’t think I’d ever lost my shit to that extent because of something someone did in-game before and I know I haven’t lost it to that extent since. I was SO angry.

Kurn’s UpsetMeter: 14.72/10 (RED HATERADE TIME)

There are other things — I hate when people leave my guild, I hate missing progression fights, I hate losing valuable members of the guild due to circumstances that are unavoidable. But I think the above really sums up what really upsets me when I play this game.

Earlier Today: People That You Admire
Tomorrow: Your desktop background (on your computer) and why you chose it

Apotheosis vs. Raid "ID" Lockouts

Welcome to the second of three posts today, part of what I’m jokingly calling “Contentpalooza 2011”. In this post, I’ll talk about how Apotheosis broke our raid IDs last night and what happened to fix it.

Picture it: Azeroth, 2011. A band of 28 people wanted to raid and wanted to kill things. On the agenda, normal Maloriak (after spending about 3-4 hours on him on heroic on Sunday and Tuesday), normal Atramedes, attempts at heroic Chimaeron and then normal Nefarian.

I had 8 healers signed up, much to my joy, which meant I had more options for H Chim. But I also knew that we didn’t need 8 healers for the first two fights.

Being a healer, I decided to sit myself out of those first two fights. I hadn’t sat myself out of anything except Baradin Hold for at least a couple of weeks. This had the happy coincidence (honest, I didn’t plan it out this way!) of allowing me to watch just about the whole NHL playoff game between my beloved Montreal Canadiens and our hated rivals, the Boston Bruins. (The Habs, or the Canadiens, beat Boston 2-0 just as my guild was finishing off Atramedes.)

So with Maloriak and Atramedes dead, I made some swaps. I swapped out three DPS for two healers and another DPS. The healers were myself, our resto druid and the DPS I brought in was a rogue.

We zoned in together and clicked “accept” when warned that if we downed any bosses, we would be saved to this version of the instance where Magmaw, Omnotron, Maloriak and Atramedes were dead. We ran around the right side of the area in Blackwing Descent and got to Atramedes’ area and helped with the trash clearing to Chimaeron.

So there we stood at Chimaeron. I switched to my Chim healing spec and was talking on Mumble and such and our tank officer, Dayden, who had been raid leader to this point, made me the raid leader. While inside this instance, I switched the difficulty from 25 Player to 25 Player Heroic.

The druid, the rogue and myself found ourselves back at the start of the instance — on heroic.

The other 22 people were still in the normal mode of the instance, with an error message of sorts.

This is about the time when we started trying every variation of Dayden or myself as raid leader with 25/25H difficulty combinations we could think of. Bottom line, Dayden and myself could not exist in the same heroic instance together.

The officers were pissed. The raiders were getting cranky. I, of course, opened a ticket. I have probably opened about six thousand, eight hundred and seventy-three tickets in the five years that I’ve played this game. :P It’s what I do. Don’t judge me.

We headed to BoT and right before pulling trash, a GM wants to talk to me! Yaaaaaay, I got to stand in the back and do nothing to do with Halfus trash because I was trying to explain to the GM what the eff the problem was.

At that point, he wanted me to give him all the raid IDs and names of people. The trouble is, there no longer ARE raid ID numbers visible to us. It just tells you what bosses you’ve killed and which are available. And if someone from that group of 22 linked their raid ID, we were told we were eligible to join that raid.

So they get me to get Dayden to log off his toon so they can log on as him and look at the raid info available.

My guildies are nuts. Below, all instances of “Daydyn” are actually the GM, logged on to his toon. The rest are raiders who were in Bastion of Twilight at the time.

So I’m witnessing all this in chat, and whisper the GM to apologize for my “idiot” guildies who are harrassing him…

Naturally, I felt a compulsion to apologize.

He then asked us what we wanted to do — were we going to continue in BoT or BWD?

You’d think that would be the end of it, right?

Hilarious, no? Quite an interesting exchange. And throughout all this, the poor GM is sitting there on Dayden’s toon, being /cheered at, /hugged, /licked, etc:


So after something like an hour, total, of messing with ID stuff and trying to get it resolved, we finally got to pull heroic Halfus. Now, we were doing this without Fog, one of our main spec tanks. The first few pulls were pretty bleak, but we swapped a couple of things around and somehow managed to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, then we went on to clear regular V&T and… yeah. The night was salvaged and we had an interesting time with a couple of GMs, but GOOD GOD, what kind of buggy shit is that lockout crap? I miss the old lockout system when something like this happens. I’ve never pugged a ton of stuff in terms of raids, so the flexible lockout thing is just irritating to be. I don’t need flexibility, dangit! ;)

Anyways. That was the raid night and we’ll see if we’re all propely saved or whatever for Sunday’s H Chimaeron/etc attempts. (H Chim probably for a bit, then normal Chim, Nef, over to BoT for Council and Cho. I think.)

Why Bribery Won't Help — Much

Today, Blizzard announced that they would essentially be bribing tanks and healers to queue up for random, heroic dungeons in the 4.1 patch, by rewarding the least-represented role with special rewards, which may include rare mounts and rare non-combat pets.

(I won’t even talk about how one of those rare mounts is the Baron’s mount out of Stratholme. That’s someone else’s QQ fodder, but I can imagine people are going to be pissed if they’ve done 500 runs over the years and not gotten one, but some random tank gets it for running heroic Vortex Pinnacle.)

Tanks and, to a lesser extent, healers, are the least-represented roles when queuing up for a random heroic dungeon at 85. You can tell because DPS has the longest queue (30+ minutes for me on my hunter, typically), healers have a much shorter queue (about 8 minutes) and tanks have a damn near instant queue.

In a dungeon group, you have 20% of the group that heals, 20% of the group that tanks and 60% of the group that’s DPS, right? 1 and 1 and 3 makes 5.

In a 10-man raid group, you generally have 30% of the group that heals, 20% of the group that tanks and 50% of the group that does damage. (This can also be 20/20/60, so your mileage may vary.)

So far, that all seems pretty logical, right? The dungeon group percentages mostly match up to the raid group percentages.

Then we have 25-man raids. In a 25-man raid group, you drop from 20% of the group being comprised of tanks to, in most situations, 2 people tanking. That’s 8%. On some occasions, you get 3 tanks, that’s 12%. It is a lot less than the 20% in your standard random groups. You also generally go up from 20% healers to around 25% healers (6 or 7, up from 5, one per group.).

My hypothesis: Tanks are in high demand in dungeon situations because there are not enough tanks needed in raid situations.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not asking for 5 tanks, 5 healers and 15 DPS for every encounter. Or even ANY encounter. But my theory is that there are more healers than tanks and more DPS than healers because there are more spots required of DPS and healers than there are of tanks. Yes, having death knights be able to tank since last expansion has added to the number of possible tanks. Yes, more raid groups (thanks to the legitimacy of 10-man raiding in Cataclysm) will mean more geared and skilled tanks who are available.

However, what will bribing tanks (and, to a lesser extent, healers) into solo-queuing do to the random dungeon finder system?

Fox Van Allen tweeted: “you’ll wind up seeing a lot more bad, unready tanks,” although he rather likes the idea apart from that.

I tend to agree — tanks are going to be awful. This isn’t going to convince the good/experienced/geared tanks to go out and start pugging. Since they don’t need much out of heroics (once they farm ZG and ZA with mostly guild groups, at any rate), the only added incentive is this “Call to Arms” reward. Why do your daily random (or seven weekly randoms) with not one but four puggers if you can easily do it with at least a partial guild group?

I don’t think the experienced, good tanks will do this very often.

What I think this will do more of is convince that idiot ret paladin to choose prot as his dual spec and fail miserably. Or convince the moonkin that he doesn’t need ALL feral gear to use in a bear spec; after all, who’s going to actually take the time to inspect the bear?

I did a lot of daily dungeons runs in Wrath on a lot of different toons. I did them on my pally as a tank and a healer, I did them on my druid as a tank and a healer, I did them on my mage and hunter as a DPS and I did them on my priest and shaman as a healer.

Oh, the failure I saw, the lack of knowledge I witnessed, the common sense that I realized was not remotely common at all. I KNOW I’ve blogged about these experiences on this very blog before.

Oh, look. April 9th, 2010, “Yet another fail ‘tank'”.

April 6th, 2010, “OMG.”

There are more, but I digress yet again.

I have no reason to believe that Cataclysm random heroics are any different from Wrath random heroics except that they’re longer and more difficult to begin with than the Wrath ones were. Thus, based on my WotLK dungeon finder experiences, I do not foresee a lot of experienced tanks solo-queuing to get these rewards; I see a lot of DPS posing as tanks who solo-queue for the rewards, without any kind of real understanding of how the encounters work.

That’s going to translate into more groups being formed, yes — but will they be more successful? I’m sure some will be, but I would imagine that the success rate will drop, overall, at least after the initial ZA/ZG farm fest.

I really believe that the key to alleviating the dreaded DPS queue problem is to make tanks more needed at the higher levels of content. More demand for tanks should lead to more tanks being rolled, no? That said, I don’t have a good idea as to how to make tanks more needed without requiring 5 tanks on all 25-man raid encounters. I just don’t think this is the way to go about fixing the queue problem. I am actually afraid to see those DPSers in “tank” specs who will probably spec 41 points in their tanking tree and still miss out on six crucial points…

Time will tell, I suppose!

Al'Akir – 36, Apotheosis – 0

(No, no clever April Fool’s trick or gag.)

In February, on a night I desperately wanted to sit myself out due to a migraine (but ultimately couldn’t, due to lack of healers that night), we went in, killed Conclave for the first time and then pulled Al’Akir 16 times. All wipes. Some were comical in nature. Most were frustrating.

On March 31st, we went back to Throne, killed Conclave for the second time and then pulled Al’Akir 20 times. All wipes. Some were comical in nature. Most were frustrating.

Yeah, I see the trend, too.

We got him down to 27% on our best attempt. The trouble is that our best attempt was, oh, before the midpoint of our raid.

Picture it, if you will.

I’ve spread everyone out on the platform. 7 groups of 3 people and 1 group of 4. This is due to the lightning that bounces around.

So there’s me and Majik and Dayden standing there and Dayden runs in and pulls.

Time and time again, the damn Squall Line hits us riiiiiiiiiight when Wind Burst just comes off of cooldown. It’s so ridiculously dumb when the following combination happens:

– There is ice on the back of the platform.
– The gap is in the middle of the Squall Line.
– Wind Burst is casting OMG NOW, so you HAVE to move forward.
– The resulting Wind Burst throws you to the back of the platform, where the ice is and even when you USE Blessing (goddammit) Hand of Freedom, you can’t get there in time, not even with Holy Radiance/Speed of Light.

That EXACT scenario happened to me at least three times and possibly a fourth over 20 wipes. I also ate a few Squalls and Wind Bursts while trying desperately to avoid the other mechanic.

So, being relatively new to the fight, we tried moving me to a place that would require less combinations like that. I was feeling like ass. Was it really always just me getting screwed over by this Wind Burst/Squall Line combo? Or was it really bad luck? Or what? I mean, Dayden and Majik were having trouble, too.

So I switched myself with Walks, because there’s a point where you just have to start throwing things at the wall to see if they’ll stick.

Walks got blown off the platform!

Sorry, buddy, you know I think you’re awesome, but I about cheered. This terrible combination is NOT just my fault. That was a pretty huge weight off my shoulders and I stopped feeling like I was a horrible failure, even though I am not the best on mobility fights. At least I wasn’t a liability to the raid. That combo was giving everyone problems.

So I shifted everyone one pattern over to the right, as we faced him. Just to see what would happen. Football joked in officer chat that “hey, wouldn’t it be funny if it was in the same place and it’s all dependant on where the MT is standing?” and then a raider said the same comment two minutes later in raid chat.

So what happened? That’s right. The same damn thing. The spawning of everything happens in direct relation to where the main tank is and is PURPOSELY DESIGNED, as far as I can tell, to ENSURE that the MT will have to juggle Wind Burst and Squall Line within a second or two of each other.

(Five minutes with the joker who designed this. Five minutes and a sturdy hockey stick.)

So we went back to our usual positions and we had Fog, the OT, grab aggro first. Once the squalls had spawned, Dayden taunted and THAT seemed to change how things were spawning. And, for some reason, we had the two Squall Lines intersect without one of them despawning.

On our last attempt of the night, we tried that again, Fog pulling first, then Dayden taunting off, and while a lot of people had to re-adjust to the way things were spawning for them, which was completely different than how it had spawned for the entire night, we saw that the colliding Squall Lines was a fluke of Lady RNG, since it didn’t happen again.

So Al’Akir lives to torment us another day. From what I can tell in a bunch of videos I’ve watched since the raid ended, the tank (the one who pulled) and others with him just deke the Squall Line BEFORE the Wind Burst comes up. I think it’s just something we’ll likely have to deal with (someone will need to deal with it at any rate) and then burn the crap out of him so that we get through P1 really fast.

On the bright side, we’re probably just going to kill Nef on Sunday real quick (haha, hopefully, anyways) and then come back to Throne and… wait, that’s not a bright side. Ah, well!

It was educational, if nothing else. :)

(Okay, not five minutes. Three minutes? How’s that? Three minutes and a wiffle bat!)

Peaks and Valleys

This game is full of ups and downs. One minute, you’re on top of the world, the next, you’re nothing but food for Deathwing.

Apotheosis has had an interesting week, to say the least. While I don’t want to be constantly talking about my guild, I do want to share what’s happening in my WoW life. I hope that what I’m sharing has some resonance with others, despite the specific circumstances we’ve experienced.

The Peaks:

– We took a fury warrior app, turned him into a prot warrior app, threw him into the fire and he did remarkably well.

– Despite not having two of our main-spec tanks on Sunday and only six healers available to us, we still cleared Bastion of Twilight that night.

– Even though he gave us fits at the end of the raid on Tuesday and all of Thursday, we killed Nefarian again. It’s always tricky to introduce new players to a fight that isn’t quite on farm. It’s somewhat embarassing to wipe as often as we did, though, after previously 4-shotting him.

– Due to the generous donations of various guildies, including the ever-awesome Toga, we got the Better Leveling Through Chemistry achievement and, therefore, access to the Recipe: Big Cauldron of Battle. (I never want to make flasks again, I swear to God. I probably made about 700 of those flasks over the last 2-3 weeks.) This is going to allow us to provide the vast majority of raiders with flasks every raid night, although we’re looking into ideas as to how to make it sustainable. For this first week, we’re not requiring anything of anyone, since we have a ton of flasks in the bank due to pushing for the achievement, but making it sustainable would be lovely. (Would love to hear your suggestions, too!)

– We hit Level 20, so we have access to the new heirloom helms and we get 30 flasks per Big Cauldron of Battle versus 20. (My 44 mage alt has the helm, the shoulders, the cloak, the chest, the staff, the trinket and the ring. She has +40% experience from killing monsters or completing quests. How ridiculous is that?!)

– We got a new holy/disc priest app who interviewed very well and so we extended a trial position to her. She transferred over on Sunday evening and will be in the lineup tonight!

– We got our balance druid back after he had to be away for about three weeks due to visa issues.

– We got another healing priest app that we have an interview with tomorrow.

It was a pretty good week for the guild, given all those peaks, right? Some stabilization of the roster, clearing content, getting gear for people, getting shards for the bank and people’s enchants, pushing the guild level and getting that cauldron… Really, on all fronts, that was a pretty decent week. But then… Then you have the valleys.

The Valleys:

– While we did 5/6 BWD in about 90 minutes, Nefarian took us the next 4 hours of raiding to get down. After 4-shotting him on the previous Sunday. That sucked. Off nights happen, but ugh.

– No progression. The plan was to play with heroic Halfus on Thursday. That was assuming that Nefarian would be dead on Tuesday. When he wasn’t dead on Tuesday, we still figured we’d easily get 90ish minutes on heroic Halfus on Thursday. Except we didn’t, because we spent the vast majority of Thursday night on Nefarian.

– Sunday, without two main-spec tanks (our tank officer is on vacation for a week and my brother was out celebrating at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade), was not the optimum moment to go back to heroic Halfus attempts, so we did it on normal and it went fine. Valiona and Theralion were one-shotted as well, but oh God, the messiness. /facepalm I don’t know what it is about this fight, but people just do not do it well. It’s so bad that last night, I dreamt that we wiped on them 8 times and that a specific warlock was eating some ability every single attempt and they were completely unaware until I was like “Yo, what is UP with you eating (ability) and dying on every single fight?!” and the response was “Oh. Is that what’s killing me? Huh.” (My guildies are not like this, but there are people who do struggle with the fight.) Council and Cho’gall were similarly rough, but we persevered and got through, despite only having 6 healers and our new prot warrior who’s never tanked those fights before, never mind killed those bosses with us.

– There was an incident between two raiders between Council wipes that required Darista and I to tell them to cut it out. The incident led to the officers and I debating what to do with one of the individuals involved, who had previously been warned about their behaviour. As the GM, I wrote to the individual and explained to them that they’d been previously warned and that the officers were now going to take action, although we didn’t know what that would be and were currently deliberating. Rather than wait for our decision, the individual declared their intention to leave the guild yesterday. They did so later in the day. As a result, we are a weaker raid group, without question.

This is the first incident of a raiding member of Apotheosis /gquitting and searching for a new home due to circumstances within the guild. We’ve had a couple gquit due to their own personal availability issues that they had not informed us about previously, which is fine. We’ve had a few people just stop playing the game, too, so losing a member isn’t new. But losing a member due to conflict is just not cool.

In general, if you leave my guild, you are dead to me. I don’t take kindly to people moving on to greener pastures, nor do I tolerate impulsive /gquits that stem from anger or misunderstandings. This was neither of those; this was the individual in question choosing to take their fate into their own hands. Rather than wait even 24 hours for the officers to discuss the issue, the individual took the decision out of our hands and into their own.

While I’m not happy with how things went down, I wouldn’t do things differently. Warnings only go so far before action must be taken. Threatened action must have that follow through, lest no one take said threatened action seriously in the future. Similarly, the individual must have thought they were doing the right thing for them, and I can’t fault them for doing what they felt needed to be done, despite the fact my team is weaker for it. But it still sucks.

– Relatedly, someone who was almost certainly from my guild then chose to troll the aforementioned individual’s new “hey, I’m available!” recruitment post. This is probably the most disheartening part of it all, so I hope they’re reading this. This troll is a coward, a jackass and someone I don’t want in my guild. They made me act like an adult and intervene in the individual’s recruitment thread to indicate that the troll’s comments were not my feelings about the individual, because it was the right thing to do, both personally and professionally. News flash: having to act like an adult when I’m already pissed off and already struggling to be civil in general is one of my least favourite things to do, so on a personal level, I’m seriously angry. To this troll I ask, why not let sleeping dogs lie? You didn’t like the person and you were rid of them. Congratulations, you won. It could have, and should have, ended there with a quiet celebration on your part.

But then you had to post in their recruitment thread like a gloating 12-year-old? Seriously? You’re an ass if you feel you have to get in the last word just as someone’s left the guild and try to prevent them from getting guilded elsewhere because you happen to not like them. Get the hell out of my guild immediately. You are not the type of person I want in my guild. That’s not how we roll. We try to treat people with respect, dammit, and if I ever find out who you are, I’m gkicking you for being such a stain on our guild’s reputation and culture.

It’s seriously disappointing to discover that someone who is apparently so insecure about their own sense of self-worth that they need to troll a former member’s new thread is almost certainly in my guild. I honestly feel dirty.

– Right. Back to the valleys… Our tank officer is still out of town until Saturday so he won’t be around until Sunday’s raid, which means we may not get a chance to do any progression until then, unless things go very smoothly in BWD, which would open up some time for Conclave and Al’Akir on Thursday.

– One of my healers is in the hospital at the moment (should be back home maybe as early as Thursday?), another is halfway out the door (for life-is-busy reasons. He’ll continue to make most raids just in case until April, but not tonight.) so various circumstances mean I have 5-6 healers for tonight. Good times?


It’s been an interesting week, sort of in the Chinese curse sense of the word (“May you live in interesting times.“), but an interesting week nonetheless. Seriously. This was my inbox yesterday:

Anyways, up next for us is probably either heroic Halfus, Al’Akir or maybe even a peek at heroic Maloriak, if I can convince people to do so tonight. ;)

Finally, Apotheosis is still recruiting a second elemental shaman, a second moonkin and would consider a second restoration druid. None of these are bench positions; we swap people out pretty equally and even I’m sat out now and again. Apply today!

A Ten Man Adventure

So at some point last week, my brother, Fog, decided to try to get a 10-man alt run going.

Due to reasons that consist primarily of “because I’m his big sister” and “I don’t loathe my hunter”, I elected to attend. I spent a lot of time this week gearing Kurn up, from a 331 ilvl to a 346 ilvl. I crafted stuff, went on more runs than I can count… I made sure I was at 8% hit, on the nose. I studied what Marksmanship hunters do, or are supposed to do. I really felt like I knew what I was doing. So I was prepared for the run. I even tamed a freaking Ravager because our proposed group makeup was lacking the physical damage debuff.

Things didn’t go so well.

Two, perhaps three people who said they’d be up for it, didn’t show. They gave warning, at least.

So we filled with a couple.

Bastion of Twilight trash sucks, even on 10-man. I personally wiped the raid once and will take credit for a second time. Hot tip: don’t CC crap on the stairs/at the top of the stairs. They can and will aggro the sides when their CC wears off.

So we settled in for a bunch of Halfus attempts after trash went by (and no BOE epics!).

Slate, Storm and Whelps. Not the best combination ever.

While I was very comfortable on the fight, tanks kept dying. Whether it’s due to their gear or the healer’s gear or the healer assignments, I don’t know. But it was ugly. And then the raid kept dying because of the proto-behemoth, so we spent the last few pulls getting Storm and Whelps out ASAP (yours truly on the whelp opening/misdirection) and working from there.

It was rough and it was pretty sadly very clear that only a few of us had prepared for the fight appropriately. Others weren’t hit capped, didn’t know their class abilities, didn’t know what to do in a new role. You could tell people weren’t glyphed properly and you could tell that there was a huge disparity between some people’s levels of preparation and interest.

It also allowed me to see how the other half lives, for lack of a better term. I avoid 10s like the plague. And yet, here we were on a 10-man run and we’d already had to fill with a couple people due to cancellations. It was that or call the raid. Granted, it was poorly organized — no calendar invites or anything — but the forums had been pretty active with talk about Monday’s run.

So it was a weird night. Some good attempts on Halfus, but many icky ones.

I finished up the night with a pug 10-man Baradin Hold on Kurn.

I topped DPS with almost 19k, didn’t die, took very little Fel Fire damage and then promptly got the Argaloth achievement. That amused me. Granted, I was still flasked and I did drop a feast for the group and then I also used a Tol’Vir potion during heroism.

But I still felt pretty damn good about my overall performance in BH. And in BoT, for that matter.

I guess that’s one reason I don’t like tens, when I think about it; they’re never going to be as “serious” for me as the 25s. The 25s are like a job, they’re like work. And everyone knows that if you’re screwing up, you’ll get swapped out, either now or for next time. Everyone knows that there’s a measure of performance that has to be put out. And if it’s not, well, too bad for you.

You don’t have that luxury in tens and you certainly don’t have that attitude in tens. At least not the one I ran tonight.

I’ll be thrilled to get back to my 25s tomorrow, that’s for sure… but it was an interesting and educational night.

— Edit —

I’m not sure what on earth people took from the above to mean “this is why all 10s are the suck”, but clearly they have. Let me say that the only comparisons I made to other people’s 10s as compared to 25s is the attendance thing and the swap-outs thing.

“It also allowed me to see how the other half lives, for lack of a better term. I avoid 10s like the plague. And yet, here we were on a 10-man run and we’d already had to fill with a couple people due to cancellations. It was that or call the raid.”

This, as I understand it, is an issue in 10s. I did not mean to imply that the poor preparation of the raiders here had anything to do with other people’s actual 10-man runs or that people who raid 10s are not serious ot anything of the kind.

As to this:

“Everyone knows that there’s a measure of performance that has to be put out. And if it’s not, well, too bad for you.

You don’t have that luxury in tens and you certainly don’t have that attitude in tens. At least not the one I ran tonight.”

The “luxury” of which I’m speaking is swapping people in and out when you have a really small roster. If your 10-man team consists of 10 people, period, then you can’t swap people out and the raiders don’t have the concern of being immediately swapped out upon a bad performance.

None of this is saying 10s suck, 25s are better and none of this is saying the 10-man run went badly because it was a 10-man run. I’m well-aware the run didn’t go well because of the lack of preparation/execution by the raiders and that it had nothing to do with it being on 10-man.

Honestly, folks, I know that I’m biased in favour of 25s and that’s where I’m comfortable, but I’m not a complete bitch who disregards the strides and such that 10-mans make. Sheesh.

Conclave Falls, Al'Akir Fails

So Apotheosis walked into Throne of the Four Winds last night and got Conclave down on 25m on our second attempt of the night.


And then came time to play with Al’Akir.

Not so sweet.

There are at least a couple of people in my guild who LOVE the Al’Akir fight. There are more than a few people who loathe it. Frankly, and I say this with respect, I don’t care whether they love it or hate it. We WILL be doing Al’Akir at some point. We want to clear the available content on regular and heroic modes in 25-man.

As for myself, I admit that I’m not a fan. I think the whole instance is ridiculous. Why on earth would anyone go get “randomly enchanted” loot (of the Undertow, Feverflare, etc) over the known loot tables in Bastion of Twilight and Blackwing Descent? It’s not about loot for me, but with a 9-hour raid schedule, we have to be very careful about where we go and what we do and how that will benefit the majority of people. Will one belt or ring that is just a shade better than one otherwise available really be The Difference between downing heroic modes and wiping? Eh. If everyone got BiS belts/rings off Conclave, that’d be one thing, but not everyone has BiS gear off Conclave or even off Al’Akir. Add that to no tier tokens and the promise of more randomly enchanted stuff when you do the heroic version of the instance… Meh.

However, since we had extended Bastion and cleared it on Tuesday and then did 5/6 Blackwing Descent, we figured we’d do Conclave and play with Al’Akir on Thursday. You know, knock Conclave out (bringing us to 10/12, by the way) and get an idea of the mechanics on Al’Akir.

Wind Burst pwned me until I started watching the timers.

Squall pwned me whenever I had to worry about it and my Wind Burst positioning.

We got to 60% and made it to P2 several times, but I gotta say, it was not all that much fun. Still, it was better than I expected and we were just playing around and such.

Not my favourite fight. Not my favourite instance. Not my cup of tea.

And yet, I think we’ll probably be in this tier of content until May or so (judging by Wrath’s time frame on tiers).  Wrath came out in mid-November and Ulduar came out in mid-April. So if Cataclysm came out in early December, we’ll probably be looking at 4.1 and the associated T12 raid content somewhere in May.

In just about seven resets, we’ve done 10/12 regular. That gives us roughly 11 resets (or ~33 raids, not counting this coming Sunday) to clear through things. That’s about 100 hours of raiding.

That’s a lot of time for Al’Akir, Nefarian and then the heroic modes, particularly since the heroic modes are really based on the regulars, most of which we already know. I feel that the more experience/knowledge/familiarity we have in the regulars, the easier the heroics will be.

I’d like to really make sure we focus on Bastion and BWD heroic modes, including Sinestra, so those are where my personal priorities are. I think we’ll try to fit Conclave in the schedule since we really didn’t have any issues with it and, worst-case scenario, we get more Maelstrom Crystals for the raiders. But I don’t anticipate a lot of time on Al’Akir in the near future.

Gonna be some fun times ahead, let me say!

Light of Dawn Nerf/Unnerf: Update & Thoughts

The Update:

So on Friday, they nerfed us.

On Saturday, they unnerfed us.

Bashiok said:

The hotfix note correctly describes what an attempt to fix a bug ended up changing, which was not actually the original intent. We’re reverting the hotfix until we can fix the bug without causing Light of Dawn to no longer trigger Beacon.


So the question is, what was the bug?

Forum poster Trexokor had this to say:

If you cast Light of Dawn in the direction of friendly healable targets not in your group, there seems to be no target cap.

This appeared to have been fixed during the Light of Dawn nerf period.  Once again, there is no outside-raid target cap.

This may not seem like a big deal, but it worked in situations such as Tol Barad, where you had a couple raids working side by side.  By using Light of Dawn on a large group of players, anyone outside your raid would get healed by it, well above and beyond 6 targets.


I’ve witnessed this odd behaviour before, so this seems a likely bug they were trying to iron out. However, the unintended repercussion of ironing out that bug was that LoD no longer transferred through Beacon of Light.

My Thoughts:

I’m not happy with where paladin healing is. I’m not talking about a numbers thing, because with the reversion of the new bug, paladins can easily top meters. I put very little care or faith into meters.

I thought maybe with the nerf, we’d see some redesigning of the holy paladin tree a bit, or at least our abilities, but it doesn’t look as though that’s going to happen.

Talents I would love for our tree to be rid of or changed.

– Protector of the Innocent
– Beacon of Light in its current form
– Light of Dawn in its current form

I’d throw out PotI entirely. I’d make BoL only transfer our direct heals (Holy Shock, Word of Glory, Flash of Light, Holy Light, Divine Light) that are cast on people who are not the Beacon. Light of Dawn would get unnerfed back up by that 40% they nerfed it down to before, but would also be off Holy Power and back on to mana, with a 12s cooldown. The cost would be equivalent to Divine Light’s cost.

I haven’t given the changes terribly much thought, but those changes emphasize healing deliberately, not passively, and reward players for smart use of LoD, rather than some of the mindless “FLASHLIGHT TIME OH YEAH!!!!” we’re seeing.

The lack of faith I have in Blizzard and the paladin healing model is pretty astounding at this point. I don’t imagine we’ll be properly balanced before T12/T13 and I find myself unhappy at the prospect of spending the next year wondering what nonsense Blizzard will spout next and what foolishness they’ll enact on the class based on that nonsense.

LoD Nerf Reverted?

Honestly, I think I have whiplash.

I got home last night around midnight to read that Light of Dawn healing no longer transferred via Beacon of Light.

Insert long blog post complaining about this.

And now, Ophelie says it’s working for her.

It wasn’t working for me. But about 45 minutes later, lo and behold, it was. I just tested it out with Walks.


There’s been absolutely no contact from Blizzard to holy paladins in the last 24 hours. Just a flip of a switch to turn off LoD through Beacon transfers and another one to switch it back on.

I think there’s one thing we can glean from all of this: Holy Paladins are in a bad spot at the moment. We are broken on several levels — too effective at healing in some cases, not effective enough in others and the use of Light of Dawn, the very existence of Holy Power and the whackadoodle uses of Beacon of Light are only serving to muddle things.

I can’t wait to see what Blizzard has to say about this weekend’s changes.

(Don’t miss out on my follow-up post, located here at Kurn’s Corner!)