A Brief Look at Healers and Tanks as Guild Resources

(followed by a brief personal story)

Once upon a time, back before we had discovered Northrend, before we had stepped through The Dark Portal, I was in a guild that was heavy on DPS, short on healers and even shorter on tanks.

The guildies and I always tried to run dungeons together and it wasn’t easy because we didn’t have a tank or we didn’t have a healer. Frequently, we didn’t have both. This is, in part, what led me to create my paladin. I knew I wouldn’t get her up to 60 in time to help with our immediate tank/healer shortages, but I knew that a paladin could supposedly be a damage-dealer, a healer or a tank and was really interested in seeing how both being a tank and a healer worked. After all, I already had my DPS class in Kurn.

When a level 55 prot warrior applied to our guild, we snatched him up, despite the fact he was all of 13. He was the first “real” tank we had, although the guild master was busy levelling his own prot warrior. Sure, we had a warrior who had tank gear, but he was fury and never respecced. Not that we really understood what that meant, but anyways.

Everyone constantly fought over the warrior. Just like everyone fought over a priest who apped a couple of months later. We were slowly getting more healers and tanks who were being constantly bombarded to go do runs. Honestly, it’s a wonder we didn’t wear them out.

But that’s what they were there for, right? The warrior and the priest were guild resources. They were part of the guild, they had chosen their specs and their roles. So we should feel free to at least ask if they want to do X, Y and Z runs, right?

I’ve been a healer, either as an alt or as a primary raiding character, for almost four years. In those four years, I have spent a lot of time trying to balance my desire to heal (or not) versus the requests from the people with whom I play.

What I have learned, as a healer:

1) I am my own person and I am not merely a community resource who is obliged to go on thirty runs a day with various guild members.

2) The guild has a need for me in its primary focus (be it instancing, raiding, what-have-you) so that should be my first priority when doing things “for the guild”. This is all that I feel I am morally and ethically obliged to do. If I have joined a guild which is focused on 10-man raiding, then I should save my timers for the guild, raid 10s with them as I can (which should be most of the time) and not feel obliged to do a half-pug 25-man with them. Similarly, if I have joined a guild focused on 25-man raiding, I should not feel obliged to run 10-man raids at all.

3) I should feel free to take a day off, with notice, if I’m feeling burnt out. One day off does wonders for recharging your batteries.

4) Similarly, I should do something that isn’t typically expected of me every so often. If I’m in a 25-man guild, by golly, I should do a 10-man once in a while, if the opportunity crops up and it’s something I might be interested in doing. One day of doing something different with guildies does a lot for getting to know them and letting them get to know you.

I’ve actually been meaning to post about this subject for a while, now. In my previous guild, the one with my RL friend the resto druid, I was basically expected to do 10s. I hate 10s. LORD, do I hate 10s. But back when ICC launched, I was expected to do them. So I did. I got my extra Emblems of Frost, I got some achievements (Storming the Citadel, Boned, I’m on a Boat, I’ve Gone and Made a Mess) and I got abuse from the MT in 10s the same way I got abuse from him in the 25s. So I basically stopped going after about three weeks, maybe four. Healing with my RL friend in a smaller setting just wasn’t enough to offset the dickishness of the MT.

I got myself a Rotface and Festergut kill on 10 one week when the hunter officer was hard up for a healer. She’s an excellent player and a really nice person, so I helped out. But that was it. Here I am, with Glory of the Icecrown Raider (25) and only 6/12 in ICC 10.

So last week, when my new GM asked me if I’d do her a favour and I discovered that the favour had to do with helping out with an ICC 10 “power group”, I was a little hesitant. On the one hand, OH GOOD LORD, not 10s!!! But on the other hand, a “power group” with good players, most of whom I actively like, none of whom I actively dislike (I honestly don’t hate anyone in the guild)… Four hours. Just four hours to help these people get their 10-man achievements for their 10-man drakes.

I agreed to do it.

What was nice about the GM is that she initially wanted to help me get my 10-man achievements as well. I was like “no, no, absolutely not, ignore what I have or what I don’t have. I have the 25-man drake, I don’t need a 10-man.” I really was there just to help out these folks.

So what did we get done?

Heroic Marrowgar, Full House, I’m on a Boat (I actually, amusingly, already had this), heroic Saurfang, heroic Dreamwalker (on the successful attempt, I dropped my stacks not once, but TWICE!), heroic Sindragosa (oh God, I hate that fight!) and heroic Blood Prince Council.

Perhaps not quite as productive as it was expected to be, but heroic Sindragosa alone is a pretty nice accomplishment.

Marrowgar dropped Corrupted Silverplate Leggings. No one wanted them so I snagged them. I already had Lightning-Infused Leggings, which are virtually identical. But I’ve swapped to the CSL because of two reasons.

1) I like wearing plate. I like mail too, but plate is my preference, given equivalent stats. Another 1000 armor is good! I have a 60.77% physical damage reduction versus 59.72% in the mail legs. Maybe that percent damage reduction only comes in handy on some fights like Saurfang or Blood Prince Council and maybe it’s negligible, but it makes me feel good to know that I’m wearing pants that were actually designed for me to wear.

2) And they MATCH! They actually match my armor! Yes, I am occasionally girly about my toons.

So, what is the point of this post?

Well, I have avoided 10s for a long time, in general. But when my GM approached me to see if I’d be willing to fill in for a healer, I decided to do something unusual for me and help out. Most of the “helping” I do in-game is along the lines of answering questions, like that Mor’Ladim is in Raven Hill or that, yes, you still need to hit Unfriendly with the Timbermaw before you can run through their tunnel without aggroing. I didn’t feel a lot of pressure to agree to do so and I figured it would be a good way to get to know some of the guildies better and it would help them all towards getting their drakes.

Did I have a good time? It was okay. I didn’t particularly enjoy having my pathetic magic betray me on what is technically an off-night, but we got the dragon down in the end. What makes it worth it is that, on Tuesday, when most of these people get their drakes, after finishing off a couple more achievements, I’ll know that I’ll have been a part of that.

As someone who is vigilant in making sure I don’t overextend myself, I feel like I did a good job of balancing my guild obligations (25-man raiding), my personal desires to play (not a whole lot this weekend) and being an accessible guild resource. As a bonus, I don’t feel frustrated or burnt out.

End result: it was a good experience, but I don’t know that I’ll do it again and, what’s more, I’m not going to be expected to do so. Win-win situation for me for sure.

Kurn's Q&A 25

It’s Tuesday and that means it’s time for Kurn’s Q&A! I really do enjoy my days off of raiding. It lets me get all kinds of stuff, WoW, not-WoW, RL, etc, done!

1) does sacred shield use gcd

Yes, it does. That’s why it’s very important not to refresh your Judgements of the Pure, your Sacred Shield and your Beacon of Light all at the same time. That’s three GCDs (3-4.5 seconds) of not healing.

2) “drape of the violet tower” vs. “heartsick mender’s cape”

I’ll be talking about the 251 version of the Heartsick Mender’s Cape here, just because it’s more accessible than the 264.

Heartsick Mender’s Cape, on paper, a little worse than the Drape of the Violet Tower. On paper, it loses 8 intellect, 8 stamina, 3 mp5, 8 armor, 12 spellpower and a whopping 52 crit.

The Heartsick Mender’s Cape, however, has 45 haste.

Even though it’s a lower item level and is missing out on 8 int and some crit and spellpower, the 45 haste makes this godly compared to the Drape of the Violet Tower.

The Drape has one other thing going for it — accessibility. 50 Emblems of Frost and it’s yours. Too bad it’s not a great choice. Heartsick Mender’s Cape is a little deeper into ICC10 than many pugs go, unfortunately, but it’s still way better than the Drape.

3) baltharus the warborn armor debuff

Wrong boss. It’s General Zarithrian that has the armor debuff and that, my dear readers, is called Cleave Armor.

4) heroic putricide is fun

I really do enjoy it. Malleable Goo can still kiss my ass, but I really like the plague.

5) holy paladin which gem for lockjaw

Brilliant King’s Amber or Brilliant Dragon’s Eye if you’re a JC. Unless you’re running Flash of Light style, in which case a Runed Cardinal Ruby or Runed Dragon’s Eye.

6) holy vs. disc heroic putricide

I like disc. Not only do you keep the 3% damage reduction buff up by casting shields (Renewed Hope is hax!) but you also have the ability to mitigate a CRAPTON of damage in P3. And believe me, you NEED to mitigate a crapton of damage in P3.

7) lay on hands glitch 13 min cooldown

The only way you have a 13 minute cooldown on Lay on Hands is if you have 1/2 Improved Lay on Hands in the holy tree as well as the minor Glyph of Lay on Hands. It’s not a glitch, you’re missing a talent point in that talent.

8) marking vengeful shades targets

Nope, sorry. They are not targettable. Period.

9) putricide heroic army of the dead

I am normally not a fan of “army of the nub” as I call it, but it’s GREAT on Putricide on the second transition phase to help improve DPS and to help eat up the Ooze Explosions.

10) sanctum guardian xerestrasza despawns?

Yes, she despawns after a soft reset of the instance (30+ minutes with no one in there).

Failadins ahoy!

I cannot believe how many paladins out there on wowlemmings, or even those applying to my guild, are using this piece of crap libram:

Libram of Veracity

This libram is good for ONE encounter in ICC. One. That is the Valithria Dreamwalker encounter. For that, it’s downright awesome. I still haven’t spent any emblems on it, but I should probably get around to it. (I still have Libram of the Resolute for my Valithria set.)

I have to really insist that any Holy Light style holy paladin use Libram of Renewal. It doesn’t matter that its item level is 200. Let me say that again in words that some paladins who may be less theorycraft-oriented may better understand:

Your Gearscore doesn’t matter.

You remember back last month? When I was all like “What I Look For in a Holy Pally App“? Remember how I was complaining about things like the head and shoulder enchant choices and there was all this debate about mp5 vs crit?

Yeah.

I WISH that was all I had to complain about. There’s this one app who is wearing, I kid you not, three frost resistance pieces, gemmed straight up intellect with a Nightmare’s Tear, using the Libram of Veracity, specced 51/2/18, misses out on Imp LOH, Imp BoW (for 3/3 Imp Conc Aura), misses out on Imp BOM for Imp Judgements, is glyphed for Seal of Light and Flash of Light and yeah, did I mention the FROST RESISTANCE GEAR? It’s gemmed with +20 or +34 intellect, too. It’s like… hi. You fail in so many ways that it might be fun to pick you apart if looking at your armory didn’t make me want to claw my eyes out.

(Edit: He actually has Rot-Resistant Breastplate, Belt of the Lonely Noble and Recovered Reliquary Boots… but still only has 491 haste. Gah. Oh, and he’s withdrawn his app.)

What I think is going on is all these people have rolled paladin alts because they reason that finding a guild as a healer is going to be easier than as a DPS.

So they go out and try to gear themselves.

And they’re doing it Wrong ™.

They reason “hey, this is a holy libram! It’s ilvl 245! It’s available for 25 Emblems of Triumph! This must be awesome!”

And it’s not.

They reason “hey, people won’t take me on their runs if my GS is too low so I should get anything over ilvl 200 that I possibly can, even if the stats are awful!”

And they’re wrong.

They figure that anything with spellpower on it, particularly if it’s plate, MUST be good for them, regardless of all the other stats and how all the stats work together.

And they’re still wrong.

I was so frustrated by seeing all this failure that I was going to do a Holy How-To on how to appropriately gear a holy paladin who’s just hit 80, but then I remembered that Codi at Moar HPS had already done a post like that this last week!

<3 Codi

Most of the pieces have goodly amounts of haste on them. Listen to her, folks. She’s smart.

I guess what really boggles me the most about all this is that the most recent app I described says, and I’m not kidding, “I look in forums, healing sites, pally sites” when asked how he researches his class.

What <insert long string of expletives here> sites recommend ANY of the crap he’s wearing!? Or his spec? Or his glyphs?

This is really what spurs me into writing stuff on the blog. If there are bad holy paladin sites out there, I need to put my crap out there to counteract all that awful influence. :P

Kurn's Q&A 22

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

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

In the meantime…

I clearly made a mistake last week when I said:

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

1)

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

And my personal favourites:

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

Let’s tackle these burning questions individually.

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

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

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

1d) My favourite questions! Hooray!

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

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

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

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

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

2) unbound plague ticks damage

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

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

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

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

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

3) any new way to cheat unbound plague

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

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

4) dbm mark vengeful shade

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

5) does feign death work on frozen orbs on toravon

Yes.

6) elixir mastery will double flasks?

Okay, let’s explain this again.

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

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

7) how many people go into frostmourne on 25 lk

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

8) lightning-infused leggings worth it

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

9) server transfer raid lockout

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

10) shadow trap lich king

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

Kurn's Q&A #21

It’s Tuesday! My traditional day off from raiding and the day I’ve set aside to examine my search terms from the last week. Apologies for the lack of wowhead tooltips on most of this stuff; I just can’t reach the site at the moment. Here we go, Q&A number 21.

1) bloodsurge heroic gearscore

Listen here, pal. If you’re lucky enough to get Bloodsurge, Kel’Thuzad’s Blade of Agony and your first thought about it has to do with GEARSCORE, then there is no more hope for the people playing this game and you make me want to quit the game entirely. You jackass.

2) holy pally haste gemming

No.

Just… no.

Get to 676 haste, yes, but don’t do it via gems. Even if you drop down to 251 shoulders from some “awesome” 264 shoulders with no haste. Even if you use 232/245/258 pants because they have haste and your tier don’t. Just don’t gem for haste.

3) fol paladin armory

Excellent request, let’s go take a look at a top guild and a couple of their paladins.

Scrubbles, of Premonition (the top US guild), is clearly a spellpower paladin:

http://www.wowarmory.com/character-sheet.xml?r=Sen’jin&cn=Scrubbles

Over 4,000 spellpower unbuffed, 677 haste, a fair amount of crit. This guy is doing it right.

What’s that? He’s not gemmed full spellpower?

No, he’s not. He needed some gems to get to 676+ haste and managed to use the Reckless gems to help him snag socket bonuses.

But Kurn, you just said not to gem for haste!!

I know, but this guy definitely knows what he’s doing. He already had a lot of haste and has only used a few hybrid spellpower/haste gems to get to the magic number. You’ll note he’s got a couple of other gems that match the socket bonuses (they’re mostly +spellpower) and he’ll use Royal Dreadstones (sp/mp5) and I see a Luminous Ametrine (sp/int) to make sure he’s not much over the haste minimum. This is someone who has looked at their gear and looked at what they feel they need more of while still prioritizing spellpower. He has spellpower on every gem and then adds in a couple of different stats based on what he feels he needs and he does that in such a way that he snags the spellpower from the socket bonuses. That’s what makes him smart — he’s not just dropping in a haste gem here or there. The fact that he’s at 677 haste indicates that some very careful thought into exactly how to gem.

Don’t follow his lead unless you’re building a very specific set of gear like Scrubbles has.

Zaroua, also from Premonition, has a different method to maximizing their FoL gear.

http://www.wowarmory.com/character-sheet.xml?r=Sen’jin&cn=Zaroua

They’re, uh, in 4pc T9.

Which, frankly, is awesome if you’re healing people who have Sacred Shield on them. It LOOKS to me, and I could definitely be wrong, that Scrubbles is the main tank healer and that Zaroua is relied upon for tank healing the way a druid would be — with hots and quick, fast heals. 3600+ spellpower, not quite at the haste cap, even with 40 haste food, but an interesting playstyle.

I really did love the T9 4pc. It made me REALLY sad to swap out my chest and legs for better pieces.

4) aspect of the wild putricide heroic

Sure, go ahead, although it’s probably more beneficial for raid DPS for a shaman to drop a Nature Resistance totem. (See that, Rilgon? I thought about RAID DPS FIRST. ;D)

5) can i fish for the turtle mount while in a raid group

Yes, no issue here. You cannot do your fishing daily while in a raid group, though.

6) how do paladin buffs work

Wow. Been a long time since I’ve had to explain HOW pally buffs work.

Okay, you have up to four paladin buffs. Each lasts for 10 minutes (regular blessing) or 30 minutes (greater blessing).

Blessing of Sanctuary (only available with the proper talent in the protection tree): Only really useful for the prot pallies themselves, unless you’re lacking a discipline priest to proc Renewed Hope from shielding people.

Blessing of Kings (baseline, all paladins have this): 10% stat increase. What’s not to love?

Blessing of Wisdom (baseline, all paladins have this, holy paladins have up to 2 points to improve this): Gives you mana every five seconds.

Blessing of Might (baseline, all paladins have this, with the choice of up to 2 points to improve this): Gives you extra attack power.

You can cast any blessing on any person and not have it affect anyone else. But if you start casting Greater Blessings, they will buff everyone *of that class* in the raid. So say you’re the only paladin in the raid and your DK tank wants kings and your DK DPS wants might. You give out the greater blessing (probably kings) to death knights and then you give a simple blessing of might to the DPS, overwriting their kings from you.

You can only have one blessing up per person per paladin.

For a priority list, check out #5 in this previous Q&A.

7) hunter pets absorb putricide damage

Yes, they do absorb damage from Unstable Ooze Adhesive’s explosion. And they take a ton less due to their passive avoidance. They will naturally take 90% less damage from AOE spells, which is awesome for this particular fight.

8) lich king heroic 25 tactics shambling

My advice is to tranq shot these bastards so they don’t kill your Shambling Horror tank. :P

9) saurfang divine guardian kurn

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

You would think that I would pop Divine Shield and Divine Sacrifice (triggering Divine Guardian) a lot on Saurfang, but the truth is that I don’t.

What I do is this:

– If a CASTER gets Boiling Blood pre-first mark, I BOP (hand of protection) them. This prevents Saurfang from gaining a bit of Blood Power and pushes back the first Mark of the Fallen Champion.
– If I get Boiling Blood pre-first mark, I DS/DS out of it, which has the happy result in lessening the damage others are taking as well, so that he gains even LESS Blood Power, pushing back the first Mark of the Fallen Champion even more.
– If I get Boiling Blood at all AFTER the first mark, I’ll probably take the GCDs to hit my macro. I will only do this if I’m only healing one mark and if Saurfang has just cast Mark of the Fallen Champion, which means the damage he’s putting out is relatively low. He hits harder, even with Mark of the Fallen Champion when he has more Blood Power, so when he casts a mark, he’s back to 0 Blood Power. This is the “safe time” (and I use that term very carefully) to use a global for something that isn’t spamming Holy Light.

10) turtle hunter dreamwalker beacon

You can do this, yes. If you beacon Dreamwalker and park a Tenacity pet with 2/2 Blood of the Rhino right next to Dreamwalker, you can spam heal the pet and the Glyph of Holy Light splashes will be bigger. However, this effectively removes the pet from combat and thus really sucks for a hunter. Tenacity pets are not good raiding pets, they’re not going to have the buffs a Ferocity pet is going to have, which means that hunter is going to hate you for suggesting that:

a) they don’t bring their wolf to the raid,
b) they just park the damn pet right there by the dragon

While it WILL output more healing, if you’re having issues where you need that much more healing, chances are you need your DPS to be at their best and hunters are NOT at their best without a wolf giving them Ferocious Howl and access to Call of the Wild.

I strongly recommend beaconing the dragon and healing *yourself* while you park yourself next to the dragon. She’s got a large hitbox so you can be pretty far out before Glyph of Holy Light splashes no longer reach her.

Holy How-To #6

Welcome to my Holy How-To for PVE Paladins. This is the sixth of what I hope to be a great many posts aimed at helping holy paladins succeed at PVE content. I will focus primarily on max-level talent specs, glyphs, enchants, gems and the like, including tools, tips and tricks that I use, but I hope to touch on levelling content and advice as well.

Today, we’re going to talk about haste and why, exactly, it is your number two stat if you’re a Holy Light paladin and why ALL paladins need as close to a 1.0 second global cooldown as possible. I was originally going to talk about healing meters and parses and the like, but once again, I had a couple of conversations (hi Saunder!) that abruptly changed my mind about this Holy How-To’s topic. So today, folks, Haste and Why to Stack It.
Continue reading “Holy How-To #6”

What I Look for in a Holy Pally App

I’ve been basically begging my guild to recruit a third holy paladin for months. A third holy paladin would have been great when the main holy paladin (who had been there when I arrived) ninja-transferred in the middle of the night after killing LK on 10-man for the first time and getting his Kingslayer title. A third holy paladin would have been awesome even last week, when I, and the current other holy paladin, both had our birthday celebrations. A third holy paladin would be great at any time for heroic Saurfang.

We had two holy paladin apps but one didn’t like the idea of sharing raid time at all, so he came up with some lame excuse and transferred. The other one stuck it out, is a member of the guild in good standing and is someone I know I can rely on to do what he’s told in a healing situation. Unfortunately, he’s also going to be unavailable for close to a month, starting, oh, nowish.

So I’ve spent some time over the last couple of days perusing wowlemmings looking for holy paladins who can meet our raid times, who are fairly geared and, here’s the kicker, know what the hell they’re doing in terms of gearing, enchanting, gemming, speccing and glyphing.

You would think that they would, for the most part, know what they’re doing. Particularly if they’re looking for a progressed guild, right? Well, they don’t. No kidding. They do not. Thus, here is what I look for (and therefore, what I don’t look for) when looking at a holy paladin’s armory. (Please note that this is what I look for when taking my current guild situation into account. That means typical raid makeup, encounters we’re working on and the like. Posting it here is basically showing you what my own rules of thumb/preferences are in general and there are, of course, a variety of circumstances that could change these preferences.)

1) Overall gear. Is the gear strictly out of heroics or from the Emblem of Frost vendor? If so, chances are slim that the rest of the stats will impress me. What I am looking for in particular:

2pc T10, even if it’s 251. Ideally, the helm and the shoulders, as these are our strongest pieces at 251/264/277 levels of gear.

Talisman of Resurgence as one trinket and then a variety of others. Why Talisman? Well, it’s easy to get, stacks our best stat and has an on-use that helps to offset Divine Plea. Of course, FoL pallies would probably prefer two +spellpower trinkets, but for Holy Light pallies, I want to see Talisman. For the other, I would prefer Meteorite Crystal or heroic Solace of the Defeated, but will also be okay with regular Solace, Pandora’s Plea or even DMC: Greatness (Intellect). What would not wow me, but would still be better than a spellpower trinket for a Holy Light paladin, is Tears of the Vanquished.

– Something other than the badge shield. Even the 226 shield from Kel’Thuzad. I do not want to see Zom’s Crackling Bulwark or the Protective Barricade of the Light.

– At least the honored version of the Ashen Verdict ring. Sorry, you cannot step into an 11/12 HM guild if you’re not that familiar with the instance.

2) Gems. I want to see all +20 intellect and a Nightmare Tear or all +23 spellpower. If you’re all +intellect, I also want to see an Insightful Earthsiege Diamond as your meta and if you’re +spellpower, it’s that OR an Ember Skyflare. Pretty much no exceptions. If you have anything else as your meta, I’m moving on to the next paladin on the list.

3) Enchants. Helm is spellpower/mp5 for HL and spellpower/crit for FoL, shoulder is spellpower/mp5 with exalted Hodir or inscription for HL, spellpower/crit for FoL, chest is powerful stats, bracers is +16 intellect (HL) or +30 spellpower (FoL), gloves are +28 spellpower, belt has the extra buckle, legs are spellpower/stamina (if you use the spirit one, I swear to God, you need to be smacked), boots are either Greater Vitality or Tuskarr’s, weapon is either +63 spellpower (FoL but acceptable for HL) or+30 int (HL), shield is +25 int. Period. Again, there is VERY little room for argument.

4) Libram. This probably should be under overall gear, but it’s SO important that I felt it deserved its own little category. If you are a holy paladin and use Holy Light more often than not and you are NOT wearing the Libram of Renewal, you fail. Hardcore. Screw gearscore, this is ten thousand times more important than upping your ridiculously stupid gearscore by 50 points. I don’t even want to know that you exist if you don’t use this libram. If you are a holy paladin and use FoL more often than not and you are NOT wearing one of the Gladiator Librams that increases your FoL spellpower, then you ALSO fail and I definitely don’t want to ever meet you.

5) Haste rating. I’m going to try to be calm here, but I might lose it… If you don’t have 676 haste, GO OUT AND GET MORE FREAKING HASTE. Gah. What is wrong with people in ICC content, who have downed the Lich King who have like, 400 haste? You’re being idiots! EVERY holy paladin needs 676 at minimum and if you don’t have the spell haste buffs in your raid, you need MORE. You also need more if you cast Holy Light more. Do you get me? HASTE IS AWESOME. I have 936 haste and eat 40 haste food, for 976 haste PLUS Wrath of Air PLUS Swift Retribution Aura PLUS Judgements of the Pure. It is GOOD.

Ahem. Yes. Haste needs to be over 600 before I’ll take any holy paladin remotely seriously.

6) Spec. Holy Light paladins should have a prot subspec and FoL paladins should use a ret subspec. I don’t want to see you speccing into ret and Conviction if you’re gemmed all intellect and basically vice-versa. Don’t spec and gear half-assedly. Pick Holy Light or Flash of Light and spec/gear/gem accordingly. I also don’t want to see any crazy, cockamamie 68 points in holy. You go 51 or 52 or 54 points into holy and 5 or 17 or 20 into prot or 2 or 15 or 20 in ret. You definitely want your talents to be something like:

51/5/15 – FoL

51/20/0 – HL

51/0/20 – FoL

54/17/0 – HL

52/17/2 – HL

Check out this previous post of mine to help determine what talents you absolutely need to take and which are situational and debatable.

7) Glyphs. If you’re a Holy Light paladin, it’s Glyph of Seal of Wisdom, Glyph of Holy Light and Glyph of Beacon of Light. If you’re a FoL paladin, Glyph of Seal of Light, Glyph of Flash of Light, Glyph of Holy Light. If you use Beacon a ton, you might want to swap out Glyph of Holy Light. There’s a little wiggle room here, but not too much.

8) Achievements. If you’re a Hand of A’dal, you get extra points in my book. If you did any of the “big” fights before T9 became super easy to get (ie: Sarth 3D, various Ulduar hard modes, Algalon, etc), you get extra points. “Extra points” means I’ll be willing to listen to you defend some of your more bizarre choices in gear/enchants/etc. It is not a carte blanche to be a total moron when it comes to your character’s spec and equipment.

So there you go, what I look for on each paladin’s armory before I go posting the typical “hey, want to raid with us?” post.

As an aside, yes, as of May 14th, I am still pushing to get another holy paladin in. If anyone reading has a geared holy paladin and you’re looking for a new guild, here’s some info on us:

– mature PVE/PST server

– guild has been together for 4+ years, downed Algalon in Ulduar, TOC, TOGC (4/5), ICC25 12/12 and ICC25 HM 11/12

– raids are 8pm-11pm PST on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays

– you *must* run Grid/Clique or Grid/mouseover macros (not my requirement, but I’m okay with it) as well as DXE as a boss mod and AVR for Sindragosa and oRA2 and Omen

– definitely prefer a holy paladin who is HL-specced/geared at the moment, with the possibility of being able to play with FoL spec/gear in the future

Bear in mind that we don’t typically use Vent (or, at least, it’s not required).

We’re 11/12 HM and doing achievements NOW for Glory of the Icecrown Raider, so do not think we are your ticket to a mount. We are currently your ticket to hardmode loot as we push to down LK on heroic.

If you can make close to 100% attendence and feel you’re the type of paladin we’re looking for, email me for more details:

kurn [at] apotheosis-now [dot] com

(Note that that’s my personal address and not affiliated with the guild I’m currently a part of.)

You can also tweet me at kurnmogh on Twitter and we’ll chat. :)

Kurn's Q&A #16

Ah, Tuesdays. Relaxing day with no raid. It feels sooooo good to chill.

And I kind of deserve the day off, even if it’s nothing special and we always have Tuesdays off. We downed heroic 25-man Sindragosa on Monday, bringing us to 11/12 HM in ICC 25. Gah. I’m so worn out. Of course, our second holy paladin is apparently going to be MIA for a MONTH starting after Thursday, so I am not going to get a lot of recovery time. I told the raid leader that we needed not just one more paladin, but two, because I NEED a night off sometimes without the potential guilt that a raid can’t happen. Neither of us were there last Thursday, since we, strangely enough, both had our birthday on Friday, so in three hours they only got heroic Rotface, heroic Festergut and a few attempts at heroic Putricide before downing him on regular.

Anyways, guilt and obligation are not a factor tonight, so I ordered pizza and will be watching some TV shortly. While I wait, it’s time for Search Terms I Wish To Expound On!

1) unbound plague melee

Probably the most important thing you need to do if you, as melee, get Unbound Plague is to run the hell out of melee until you and people in melee no longer have it. The worst case scenario is that everyone, including your tank, keeps passing Unbound Plague around, increasing your debuff stacks and then you all die.

Check with your raid leader, but that thing spreads FAST, so my advice is to get out ASAP.

2) “divine sacrifice” putricide hm

Dear sweet God, if you have it as a holy or ret pally, bubble and hit Divine Sacrifice in P3. Right about when the third stack of Mutated Plague starts hitting the tanks is a REAL good time for the whole raid to take 20% less damage, assuming you have Divine Guardian, or a good time for your group to take 30% less damage. (Do not hit Divine Shield and Divine Sacrifice if you are a protection paladin who has stacks of Mutated Plague, because you will heal Putricide.)

3) 2 beacons on 1 tank

Yep, no problems here. They do stack. Bear in mind that there is lag between the casted heal on a person and the person with beacon, so watch your tank anyways.

4) anti magic zone viable for sindragosa hardmode?

This is a great question. I don’t actually know. I will state, with confidence, that nothing but LOS is wiping off stacks of Mystic Buffet. But AMZ may be useful for P3 on heroic Sindragosa, perhaps allowing people to drop Instability stacks in the raid for a short time.

5) can fury of frostmourne be bubbled through?

Excellent question. I’ll try that this reset. I think one of our shammies Reincarnated on Monday’s LK kill after FoF, so…

6) do you have to interupt npc in frost tomb lich king

I love that I’m answering this without actually ever getting sucked into Frostmourne.

– If you’re a DPS, you need to kill the bad NPC and that includes interrupting his cast.
– If you’re a healer, you need to heal the good NPC and that includes dispelling the magic effect on him.
– If you’re a healer who cannot dispel magic, you must heal your good NPC and then interrupt the bad NPC’s cast. Shammies would, in this case, use Wind Shear. Druids will need to bear form and bash.

So unless you’re a priest or a paladin, you need to interrupt the bad NPC’s cast. If you’re a priest or a paladin, you just need to dispel magic or cleanse the debuff on your good NPC.

7) haste pally 3.3.3 holy

If you’re someone stacking spellpower and mostly casting Flash of Light, get to 676 haste and then stop worrying about it, given Wrath of Air Totem, Improved Moonkin Aura/Swift Retribution Aura and Judgements of the Pure.

If you’re a holy paladin who stacks intellect and mostly casts Holy Light, don’t stop stacking haste! Ever! :) Stat priority goes:

Intellect > Haste > MP5 > Crit > Spellpower

8) nagrand level range

I believe 64 is when you can start picking up quests in Nagrand and you can easily spend four levels there if you do ALL of the quests, including some group quests like Durn the Hungerer, the forge camps, etc. And Corki. But I prefer leaving him to die. I hate that bastard.

9) prot pally why not divinity

This is an interesting question. After all, Divinity improves the healing you take by up to 5%, right?

The issue here is one of what is a better allocation of those five talents.

A semi-typical spec for a raiding prot paladin would look something like this:

http://www.wowhead.com/talent#sZVhxA0uMusIufdxfbzbc

With a spec that’s 0/53/18, could you take five points out of ret and sneak them into Divinity? Sure. But you’d be losing out on more damage done out of something like Crusade and Seal of Command or utility out of Pursuit of Justice. It’s not really worth it when you have Improved Devotion Aura which you should usually have on if only for the armor bonus, which also adds 6% extra healing. If you are suffering so much that you feel you really need the 5% extra healing from Divinity, your healers are slacking.

As a tank, you have two main jobs.

a) Hold threat. You hold threat by doing damage and using high-threat abilities.
b) Stay alive. You stay alive by virtue of the gear you’re wearing and various cooldowns like Divine Protection, Ardent Defender and other forms of avoidance (dodge/parry) and mitigation (block).

Your first responsibility is to pull everything on to you and hold them there. Your survivability, while most certainly something that should concern you, is not your most pressing concern. If you’re specced and geared properly for the content you’re attempting, your healer(s) should be able to keep you up. Blow cooldowns if you have to, but you should not need the extra 5% healing. Consider those to be points incenting holy paladins to start dropping points in Protection.

10) toc toc different lockouts?

Yep. There are FOUR lockouts for Trial of the Crusader.

a) Trial of the Crusader, 10 man (regular)
b) Trial of the Grand Crusader, 10 man (heroic)
c) Trial of the Crusader, 25 man (regular)
d) Trial of the Grand Crusader, 25 man (heroic)

Thankfully, Blizzard recognized that that is WAY too much time spent on the same bosses in what is the same blasted instance and changed hard modes for ICC back to being something you can trigger or select within the same instance of the raid.

Kurn's Q&A #15

So I sat down to do this on Tuesday and realized I had a lot of other stuff to attend to, not the least of which was the Montreal Canadiens/Pittsburgh Penguins hockey game. GO HABS GO.

Ahem.

Anyways, here are 10 keywords that sent people to my site over the last few weeks that weren’t terribly well addressed in my blog. (You wouldn’t believe how many people google things like Toravon, still!)

1) shared lockouts kurn wow

Hah, cool, someone out there wants to know what I think of the shared lockouts in Cataclysm. I already addressed this, but as a recap:

– I LOVE the fact that 10s and 25s will be on the same lockout. LOVE it. No more overextending myself or feeling guilty for NOT overextending myself!
– I am apprehensive about the gear being the same regardless of raid size.
– I am downright terrified that any other incentive to run 25s will just not be enough and that people will flock to 10s just because they are less of a logistical nightmare.
– I will probably quit playing, period, if I can’t run 25s.

2) leet holy paladin healing techniques

Okay, that one made me laugh. First, I recommend my Holy How-To posts. Second, I recommend just overall awareness of your class abilities and researching fights to figure out in which fights they might be useful and, more importantly, at which points WITHIN the fights those abilities might be useful. Third, make sure you keep your buffs/debuffs up. A good holy paladin puts Sacred Shield on their tank and keeps the hot running. A GREAT holy paladin makes sure everything is always refreshed, including their judgement debuff if there’s no one else sharing that judgement, which means judging every 20 seconds. Of course, doing it when you can spare the GCD is the key, or else your targets are going to go splat.

3) best way to down dreamwalker

Well, technically, you don’t want to kill her. You want to heal her. ;) The key to the fight is not dropping your stacks of Emerald Vigor or, on heroic, Twisted Nightmares. Keep taking each portal, stack those stacks up and spam the living crap out of the boss.

4) “vengeful shade” addon

Don’t know of one. If you do, please, for the love of all that’s holy, tell me. Stupid Vengeful Shades. Why do they have to be so damn vengeful?!

5) /cancelaura power word shield threat tanks

This one confuses me. If you’re doing /cancelaura, it means you have the aura on you. So if you’re doing “/cancelaura power word: shield”, you’re getting rid of your shield.

There is only one time where I can foresee this being something you would ever WANT to do and that’s if you’re a protection paladin with points in Spiritual Attunement and your healer is a disc priest and you’re not getting mana back from being healed through damage being taken.

None of that has to do with threat, exactly, except that if you’re a prot pally, your threat depends on your mana in that it’s costly to keep throwing down Consecration.

If you have a disc priest shielding you in a dungeon (which is the only place it should matter — you should be taking enough damage to get mana back from shields in raid content) then just ask them not to shield you unless it’s an emergency, because you get mana back from being healed, not shielded.

All other tanks have no excuse to ever not want Power Word: Shield on them. It doesn’t affect rage mechanics, people. It used to. But not for a long time, now. Patch 3.0.2, to be precise.

6) 2 druids 3 mark of fallen champion

Ouch. I mean really, OUCH. I guess I would have to recommend bringing three healers for this, leaving one healer (a druid) on the raid until the last instant before the third mark comes out. Better still, bring a paladin and 2 other healers and that way, one of the druids can be on the raid full time.

7) best food for discipline priest

Since Borrowed Time and a moonkin aura/swift ret aura plus a Wrath of Air totem make the haste “cap” for disc priests really easy to hit, so they get a 1s GCD, the best food is either +46 spellpower (available in a Fish Feast or a variety of other foods) or +40 crit. +40 crit is over a full percent of crit, so it shouldn’t be looked down upon, particularly if you’re actually healing single targets as part of a tank healing team, because you DO want to proc Divine Aegis as often as you can. If, on the other hand, your primary responsibility in the raid is to cast Power Word: Shield, you’ll want +46 spellpower, since every bit of spellpower strengthens your shields, due to Borrowed Time.

8) best in slot pants for holy pally

I totally don’t even want to TALK about our stupid pants.

Actually, I take that back. I do want to talk about them. At great length. While ranting.

Our options for pants are HORRIBLE. Our T10 251/264 pants are awful. Even the 277s are pretty crappy. Seriously, here’s the comparison:

http://www.wowhead.com/compare?items=50866;51168;51271

Holy Light spamming paladins (which is the vast majority of us) should be looking for the following stats, in order:

Intellect, Haste, MP5, Crit, Spellpower

There is 0, check that, 0 haste on any of those pants. There is a mediocre amount of MP5 on any of them but the 277s. There is a huge amount of crit on these pants that I desperately wish could be converted to haste. And a truly ridiculous amount of spellpower! What gives?! This is our TIER?!

Assume we do not have access to any 277 legs.

http://www.wowhead.com/items=4?filter=qu=4;sl=7;ty=3:4;minle=251;cr=23:103:21;crs=1:1:3;crv=0:0:0

There are precisely 8 options item level 251 or over that we can consider. There’s 10, but you can’t be Horde AND Alliance, so you lose out on the mail and plate legs out of TOGC due to being on one faction or another.

Right now, I’ve got ilvl 258 Legplates of Failing Light. 116 intellect, 92 haste, 3 sockets. Pretty hot, right? Right. So hot that only two other items even come close to them.

The crafted Lightning-Infused Leggings offer 123 intellect (+7 from the Failing Light pants), 100 haste (+8 haste) and three sockets as well. The trouble is, you need to find a leatherworker who’s revered with the Ashen Verdict for these mail pants and then the mats include 8 Primordial Saronite. If you have nothing left to spend emblems of frost on, this is really easy to get, particularly if you’re raiding, but if you’re saving your emblems, the saronite alone can cost upwards of 1000g each.

Is 7 intellect and 8 haste really worth 8k+ gold?

Ehhhhhhhhhhhh.

The plate version? Even worse. The Puresteel Legplates also cost 8 saronite and aren’t even a haste upgrade from the Legplates of Failing Light as both items have 92 haste. 8k+ gold for 7 intellect, basically? No thanks!

The other real option is the heroic Corrupted Silverplate Leggings. 123 intellect (+7), 99 haste (+7) and three sockets. It’s an upgrade and it’s one that doesn’t cost eight thousand plus gold. The trouble here is that it requires killing heroic Marrowgar. On 10-man. Which means I’m never going to get these.

There’s another option, also a 10-man heroic drop, this time off Putricide. The Rippling Flesh Kilt gives the same amount of intellect (123) and 96 haste. Basically, if you’re running 10-man heroic ICC, the Marrowgar pants are easier to get by virtue of being an easier fight, but if you get Putricide down, go for these pants if you haven’t gotten the Corrupted Silverplate Leggings on heroic.

If you don’t have ilvl 258 pants like I do, the 251 versions of the Corrupted Silverplate Leggings and Rippling Flesh Kilt are nice enough, but if you’re really looking seriously at those, consider getting the mail legs crafted. They’re just a better upgrade overall.

I’m eventually going to have to bite the bullet and get either my ilvl 277 pants or the heroic Leggings of Dying Candles, both of which will actually only be a net gain of +3 intellect for me and hope that all my other 277 gear’s haste will compensate for the worst tier pants I’ve seen since T4. I value the Leggings of Dying Candles over the tier due to the extra socket and the increased MP5 versus the tier, by the way.

Whew.

9) boa libram for holy light

There is no Bind on Account (heirloom) libram, period. The best libram for Holy Light using paladins is the ilvl 200 Libram of Renewal, available for 15 emblems of heroism.

10) chestplate of septic stitches how should i gem

Honestly? It’s not a great breastplate. Let’s look at it.

There’s no haste. Three sockets is great for 3x+20 intellect, but… eh. The Lightsworn Tunic or, better yet, the Chestguard of Siphoned Elements off of Blood Queen Lana’thel in ICC 10 is a much better choice.

That said, if you’re asking how to gem it, you probably already have it. The answer is almost always “all intellect”, unless you’re a paladin who stacks spellpower and casts mostly Flash of Light. If that’s the case, that is a GREAT chest for a FoL spammer. Gem it with all +23 spellpower if you’re a FoL machine or if it’s for your Dreamwalker set. :)

Wrapping up the Week that Was

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

Guild Raiding

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

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

Reactions:

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

Priest: “rofl! judas!”

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

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

After the fight:

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

OT: “nice welcome back to your friend!”

It was amusing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Another look at the mark positions, from above.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Making Money/Pugging

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What is a GDKP run?

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

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

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

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

The items were:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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