Shocking.

Two posts in a single day. Good Lord, I know. What’s the world coming to?

It was a productive day. Went out and got my hunter the T9.10 shoulders with 30 Emblems to go with the T9.10 pants I got off Koralon a while back. Serpent Sting critting is hot.

Then went through Ulduar 10 with a pug and did FL, RZ, IG, XT, KO and AU, all for the first time on the hunter. So very, very, very weird to DPS those fights and that trash instead of healing them. Too bad we broke up before Hodir due to mass AFKs/DCs/etc.

Let’s see, what else… Did VOA 25 – no hunter loot. Did Ony 25 – no hunter loot, but I did win the head! So I got the Sparkling Onyxia Tooth Pendant to replace Pendant of the Outcast Hero. Pretty groovy, eh?

I’m at 264 hit rating and have replaced… I think it was 4 or 5 +16 hit gems. I’m cheap at the moment, so I only replaced them with +16 agi, but eventually, I’ll upgrade the T9 at least with +20 agility.

I managed to pull 5k DPS at some point today, albeit on trash. The Explosive Shot nerf has smacked me upside the head, so I’m only pulling about 4-4.5k DPS instead of like, 4.8-5.6k DPS (depending on available buffs, etc). I guess that makes sense, because hi, I’m in shit gear. ;)

Still, Explosive Shot dots are still critting, under ideal circumstances, over 5.5k. I tried Marks after the ES nerf and felt the pain of it and the fact that I don’t have remotely close to the amount of Armor Penetration I’d need to make a Marks spec work nicely. So even post-nerf, Survival’s working well for me. Or at least better than Marks. I find that I’m really accustomed to Survival, too. It felt weird to not be refreshing SS because I was using Chimera to refresh it.

Anyways, enough rambling. Productive day today. Maybe a ToC 10 on the pally tomorrow before the raid. (Incidentally, Tuesday raids have been dropped and all other raid days are now until 2am instead of 3am! Ecstasy! Maybe now I won’t be a freaking zombie!)

… wow?

Holy crap, holy paladin tier bonuses that DON’T SUCK?!

  • 2 piece bonus – While your Divine Illumination talent is active, your healing spells are increased by 35%.

Oh my God. That is… fucking amazing. I’ve always viewed set bonuses that include talents as being something to encourage the class/spec to actually use that ability. I OFTEN forget to use Divine Illumination. Like, frequently. In reality, I should be using it on cooldown. Now this 2-piece T10 bonus is going to not only force me to remember to use Divine Illumination more often, BUT will greatly offset the fact that healing is halved when Divine Plea is up. This is a brilliant move. To date, we’ve had to use Avenging Wrath (which interferes with bubbling) to help mitigate that loss, or pop +spellpower trinkets and basically pray that we don’t have to cancel DP.

Especially considering the bonus WAS reducing Divine Favor’s CD by 60 seconds, this is a major improvement. I approve.

In fact, I consider this bonus to be just as strong as the 4-piece T9 bonus, albeit in a different way. T9’s 4-piece will encourage people to use Flash of Light and Sacred Shield more to get that FoL hot ticking away at double its regular strength. I mean, I can’t wait to get my 4-piece bonus, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be working hard to get the T10 2-piece ASAP, so I have a choice in fights. Do I aim for more healing via SS/FoL or do I aim for less panic about the tank dying? It’ll depend on the fight.

  • 4 piece bonus – Your Holy Shock spell causes the next Holy Light you cast within 10 sec to have 0.3 sec reduced cast time.

More encouragement to use Holy Shock? Another oh-shit use for it? Hm. My Holy Lights, raid buffed, are already coming in at about 1.2 seconds. I have 673 haste and then usually swift retribution aura and wrath of air and, of course, judgements of the pure. This bonus is probably not as amazing as the 2pc, but nothing to sneeze at, either. It’s not like you don’t WANT your tier, and this bonus will serve as halfway decent incentive to upgrade from T9’s 2-piece bonus, which is utter crap, unless you’re the only paladin in a 10-man raiding guild.

I’m really happy with the bonuses, for once. Can’t wait to see what the models will look like, although I’m going to predict something purple. I could really go for yellow, but I’m guessing pink/purple instead. After all, I got my wish for good set bonuses. Can’t have everything! ;)

In other news, about to go do Ulduar 10 with my hunter!!! I can’t remember the last time I was *excited* to do Ulduar…

Eesh.

Got the shammy to 80 at long, long last, so now I have:

Kurnmogh (80 hunter on Proudmoore)

Madrana (80 paladin on Bronzebeard)

Katarrah (80 shaman on Bronzebeard)

Plus I still have my 74 mage on Proudmoore.

In the less-than-24 hours that Katarrah has been 80, she’s healed (!) Vault of Archavon 25 and 10, DPSed Azjol-Nerub and ToC (both heroic)… I’ve gotten a TON of nice gear, stuff I made on Kurn that I sent over with Katarrah when she transferred to BB. I also got a couple nice drops here and there and, overall, am kind of excited I have another 80 on the server.

In other news, server first Northrend Beasts, faction server first (server second) on Lord Jaraxxus and server/faction second on Faction Champions.

Woot.

Win?

The first person up for the legendary mace asked to sit because of connection issues.

Fragment #2 is mine.

Yay? haha.

ETA: Make that Fragments #2 and #3.

Gutted.

I am absolutely gutted by some of the paladin changes coming up for 3.2. Like, just ruined.

  • Divine Intellect: This talent now gives 2/4/6/8/10% increased intellect instead of 3/6/9/12/15%.
  • Illumination: This talent now returns 30% of the mana cost of the spell instead of 60%.

30%?! THIRTY PERCENT?! Are you KIDDING me?! I was playing a paladin when Illumination was at 100%. I was there when they nerfed it to 50% and then reconsidered and buffed it back to 60%. I am STILL bitter about THAT nerf and that was two years ago! And now they’re halving THAT number?!

YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME.

Honestly, I know a lot of people complain about stuff like this, but this is proof that no one at Blizzard plays a holy paladin in Ulduar. If they did, this wouldn’t happen.

I feel like we, the players, are being punished because Blizzard itemized us TOO WELL in tier 7, which is why we’re looking at T8 and going “hah, as IF,” and all kinds of plate Mp5 gear is getting DEed. The answer, Blizzard, is NOT to nerf the living shit out of the class. The answer is to ITEMIZE BETTER for T9. Give up T8 as not remotely worth our time and have Tier 9 be *awesome* for us so we WILL give up Tier 7.

5% less intellect, half the mana regen I normally get… do you REALLY think that’s the way to get me to let go of my T7 4-piece bonus? NO. 5% off the cost of Holy Light? I’m going to cling to that even MORE tightly now.

Oh my God, the sheer rage and disappointment is just… wow.

… in good news, Yogg to 5% last night.

But OH MY GOD, Illumination to 30%?!?!?!

Must breathe and later compose a forum post to post on the cesspool that is any official Blizzard forum, in the hopes that this madness can be stopped.

Bet you $10 that they revert it to 45% or so and everyone takes it as a victory, too. Everyone except me, that is. Fuckers.

Woot. (Ulduar Reset 6, Night 2)

Went in, did Hodir (1-shot), Thorim (3-shot — with a new tanking tunnel situation) and Freya (1-shot) and then worked on General Vezax.

Got him DOWN.

Most hilarious part of the raid: someone asked if I’d gotten a GM to hack my account and add more mana to my mana pool. Why? I had 30989 mana while raid buffed with:

Flask of Distilled Wisdom, Blessing of Kings, Improved Mark of the Wild and Arcane Intellect.

Then I switched my gear around: T8 chest, 4-pc T7.5, Greaves of the Rockmender, plus my Figurine – Sapphire Owl (with 2×16 int) and… the pièce de resistance… the Pendant of the Violet Eye. That’s right. From my very first Aran kill. Of course, I’m also a JC, so I have 3×27 int gems in various spots in my gear and I’m an alchemist so instead of 65 int from the flask, I get about 98 intellect, with help from Mixology AND Divine Intellect.

Hawt.

So that’s two new bosses in two nights. Things are going well, progression-wise. Yogg-Saron next. It’ll be nice to get Sara to shut the hell up. She’s more annoying than Jaina was.

In other news, some old friends from Apotheosis have made alts on my new server and so I’m transferring my shammy over before she’s hit 77. She’s, uh, still 70. /sigh

But she brings with her a ton of Northern Spices, some gems, a frozen orb, some odds and ends, and 1400g. Not that my pally really needs more money, but it’ll go towards getting the shammy epic flying and cold-weather flying at 77.

Ulduar, Reset 5, Nights 2-3.

Maybe I should just do a weekly wrap-up or something…

Then again, I’m having to check wowwebstats to figure out what we DID on nights two and three. The ol’ brain just ain’t what she used to be.

Oh, okay, so Iron Council, Kologarn, Auriaya, Thorim, Hodir and Freya. Righto.

heroic-molgeim

Did six tries on the ol’ Iron Council with Runemaster Molgeim last instead of Stormcaller Brundir last. True, all our tanks were dead, along with oh, 75% of the raid (at least), but we got it on the sixth one! It’ll be less sloppy next time. Me and my priest buddy were on the Steelbreaker tank and he did a great job keeping her up while I cleansed Fusion Punch. Good teamwork. :D

Kologarn was pretty easy, though it was the first time E (the priest) had ever done it. It only took us two attempts, which isn’t too shabby.

Auriaya was a one-shot. They’ve nerfed the living crap out of her and that makes me a sad panda. That said, the priests in my guild love me and keep giving me fear ward. <3

So all that was Wednesday, in the span of about 75 minutes, maybe 85.

And thus commenced the wipes on Thorim.

Thorim. On whom we’d had a perfect kill last week, with 0 deaths. (Or, at least, everyone was up at the end.) Thorim. On whom we had 11 wipes on Wednesday and STILL didn’t kill him.

And then, on Thursday, we had another 5 attempts before we killed him on the sixth.

I would not NEARLY be so frustrated if it weren’t for the fact that I kept losing my damn tank in the tunnel. I solo-heal the tunnel and have done so since our first week of attempts on Thorim. Granted, I hate being the tunnel bitch, but our holy priest can’t handle it, either by himself or with a resto druid helping. ><

But I didn’t understand WTF was going wrong. It just seemed like the tank, a DK, was taking obscene amounts of damage.

The DK is generally blood DPS. But he was speccing Frost as his dual spec in order to OT for us. Last week and the week before, anyways. This week, he was blood. 45/5/21.

http://www.wowhead.com/?talent#j0EGqc0Iof0rosZ0xZ0xhhxck:pGi

I’m not a death knight. My DK is level 58 and sits in Stormwind as a glorified bank alt. So I REALLY don’t know what’s available to DKs. But it seems to me that a deep frost build has SO many more things to help mitigate damage than the blood spec he’s got.

I mean, Vampiric Blood and Bloodworms are nice, but they’re no Frigid Dreadplate, Improved Frost Presence or Unbreakable Armor. And Vampiric Blood and Bloodworms are procs or abilities to use, instead of a static 3% less chance to be hit, instead of a flat 2% reduction in damage.

I’m not sure that’s the case, though. I’ve been playing with a spreadsheet to compare the numbers. I wish I were kidding. It LOOKS like, on the mini-bosses in the tunnel, at least, that while tanking as Frost, the DK took anywhere from 40%-60% of the damage he took while tanking at Blood.

Runic Colossus (frost vs. blood):

54k vs. 157k

67k vs. 104k

61k vs. 89k

102k vs. 92k

And the Ancient Rune Giant (frost vs. blood):

30k vs. 95k

115k vs. 157k

100k vs. 174k

Anything could really explain those numbers — who was in the group? Did I get Hand of Sacrifice on him? Was Sacred Shield up? Etc. The sociologist in me is smacking myself for drawing conclusions on such a small sample. So I’m gonna finish comparing some numbers and hopefully they will support me as I petition my RL to make the DK go back to Frost tanking in the damn tunnel.

Right, so Thorim eventually died. :)

On to Hodir! It went well, just a couple of attempts. And he dropped two T8 chests, as he is prone to doing. So I got my Conqueror’s Aegis Tunic. I need to juggle my gear severely. I picked it up because I was using my Heroes’ chest, with Valorous shoulders, gloves and legs to get my pretty, pretty 4pc set bonus, while still using my Ancient Iron Heaume. Now, I’m thinking I’ll swap the Heaume out for my T7.5 helm, put on my T8.5 chest and maybe even go back to the Poignant Sabatons so as not to lose *too* much haste. But the 8.5 chest is just SO much stronger than the 7.10 chest.

Compare the Heroes’ Redemption Tunic and the Conqueror’s Aegis Tunic.

I mean, 17 int, 60 crit, 30 spellpower, but 60 less haste, just at base. Which hurts, which is why I’m wearing the Poignant Sabatons again. But with the yellow gem socket, that means I can drop a 16 int gem in there, which is another 8 int compared to the Luminous Monarch Topaz I’ve got sitting in my Heroes’ chest. So 17+8 = 25 more int than the Heroes’ chest, with 60 crit, 30 spellpower. Uh, yeah. That’s an upgrade. Except it almost isn’t.

Sigh, I have got to learn to do my math before picking things up.

T8 chest, T7 4-pc with Poignant Sabatons:
1304 int
2178 spellpower
30.14 crit
470 haste

T7.1 chest, Heaume and Poignant Sabatons:
1289 int
2154 spellpower
28.99 crit
596 haste

T7.1 chest, Heaume and  Greaves of the Rockmender
1309 int
2151 spellpower
29.5 crit
541 haste

I’m pretty much better off with the Heroes’ chest, the Heaume and the new boots too, aren’t I? Less spellpower and crit, but more haste and int, which will lead to more throughput.

Still, I had to get the chestpiece at some point, and because it’s purchasable with Emblems of Conquest, there was very little competition for it when it dropped. It was me and another holy paladin. I don’t mind paying DKP since I go to virtually every single raid. I can save my emblems for stuff that there IS competition for. Still, I feel a bit bad that I snagged that when my current combination was working pretty well.

Note to self:

Pallymar’s Ulduar BiS Post

and

CharDev.org

are to be checked out before the raids so you know what you’re aiming for. I was a lot more organized for Naxx, Sarth and Maly, to be honest.

Anyways. Speaking of Emblems of Conquest…

50-conquest

Woot. Got that as we killed one of Freya’s adds.

Then we decided screw it, we’d just clear to Mimiron to get started on attempts right away on Monday and then we went to Emalon, whereupon I got the T7.5 prot gloves, I think. Something, anyways. Free of charge, due to it being the previous tier. I really should grab E and go tank something with him healing me. Just to practice a little.

Anyways, no raid this Saturday because of the long weekend in Canada (Happy Victoria Day!) and we head back in to Ulduar tomorrow night for some FUN TIMES with Mimiron. Hah, I can’t wait for E to see how often we can die in one night.

Relatedly, I will be seriously annoyed if we kill Mimiron and Pandora’s Plea drops and I can’t get it because I don’t have the DKP for it. I have been drooling over that trinket since 3.1 was on the PTRs.

Ulduar, Reset 3, Night 4 & Reset 4, Night 1.

I REALLY have to make the effort to update this after every raid night, because they really do start to blur together…

We got Freya on Monday. She wasn’t too bad, once people realized they couldn’t kill all of one kind of a mob all at once. They did that the first attempt and blew the raid to smithereens.

Then we worked on Mimiron.

Trash to him isn’t great, but the tram is fun. The worst part of Monday night was, just before our last attempt, the numbskull of a tank decided to pull the bombs just outside of Mimiron’s room INTO THE GROUP who had ALREADY gotten past them. Blowing us up. And then he laughed about it. SIGH. I told the RL that if that guy pulled that shit again, I’d leave the raid. So I hear on vent “enough screwing around” etc. And then I wrote back to the RL “no, not just tonight. I will leave the raid if he does that shit EVER AGAIN.”

“Oh.”

I understand having fun, but purposely wiping the raid is the lamest of the lame.

Anyways, Mimiron to phase 3, nearly phase 4, on the first night of attempts. Not too shabby.

Of course, last night was Tuesday, so it was back to Flame Leviathan and everyone else.

Last week, they killed Ignis after I had to leave the raid, so when we did him last night, I got two achievements:

heroic-hotpocket

heroic-siege

That’s always nice. :)

We did FL, IG, RZ, XT, Iron Council, Kologarn, Auriaya and Hodir. 8 bosses. No wonder I was so exhausted I nearly fell asleep while trying to write this up last night.

When Hodir died, the priest lead wasn’t in the raid. Which is good. Why? A Fragment of Val’anyr dropped.

And guess who’s second in the guild for the crafting? That’s right. Me.

fragment1

So, hooray for that, I guess. Now that I have one, they basically HAVE to keep giving them to me if the priest isn’t in the raid. ;)

Tonight, Thorim (where I will doubtlessly be running through the tunnels, because I don’t SUCK), Freya (which isn’t a very difficult fight, to be honest) and Mimiron.

It’s nice to get through to new content on the second raid night of a reset, to be honest. In Apotheosis, as much as I loved my guild (and I really did), there were weeks where we wouldn’t get as far as we had in previous weeks. I really don’t understand where we would lose all this speed. Our raids were always glacially slow except in Hyjal when, you know, we couldn’t be slow. And then eventually we mastered BT trash and powered through that stuff, too.

Ugh, I’m seriously beginning to wonder if I’m cut out for this cog-in-the-machine thing. I like it, but it has its own frustrations. At least I KNOW the frustrations that come from being a leader… Whatever else I do, I have GOT to stop daydreaming about the BC days and wishing we could put THAT team, more or less, into Wrath content. It’s hard, because I KNOW we could do better on some things than my current guild. We just didn’t have the people, ultimately.

And it still makes me sad. :(

Ulduar: Reset 2, Night 2

I was ready to just faceplant after my raid ended at 12:30am.

Why?

We spent four. hours. on. Auriaya.

I hate her.

We downed her. But I still hate her.

heroic-antechamber

So there’s my achievement for Iron Council, Kologarn and Auriaya.

I suspect we’re headed to Thorim and Hodir on Thursday. Like I said before, I’m quite looking forward to Hodir, just because we have some experience there from the PTRs. Should go much more smoothly than Auriaya.

As to gear, I wound up pimping out my Heroes’ Redemption chestpiece with +27 intellect (I love JC cuts) and 250 mana to chest. By doing so, and equipping my new Ancient Iron Heaume, swapping out my chest from Sarth and my Valorous T7 helm, here’s how my stats changed:

T7 Helm & Sarth Chest:

Spellpower: 2168

Haste: 520

Crit: 29.07%

Mana: 23,249

Ulduar Helm & Heroes’ Chest:

Spellpower: 2159 (-9)

Haste: 560 (+40)

Crit: 28.89% (-.18%)

Mana: 23,414

So with just a smidgen less crit and spellpower, a ton more haste and 165 extra mana, I decided to equip the new helm and my crappy chestpiece in an attempt to keep my T7 bonus, plus use the helm. I feel dirty, using my 10-man chest instead of my sweet chest off Sarth, but hey, the set bonus is the important thing, right? And I’m losing a very minimal amount of spellpower and crit and gaining a bit more mana and a chunk of haste.

Speaking of haste, annoyingly, somewhere along the way, I got my math wrong (like THAT’S a shocker…) so I updated a previous post to remove mentions of getting haste-capped. With Wrath of Air, Swift Retribution and Judgements of the Pure, I can get to 1.03 seconds on the GCD (and FoL).

Elitist Jerks says: Its important to note that all haste effects (Wrath of Air, Sanc Ret, JotP, and Gear) stack multiplicatively. So with all of them you only need 20.6% haste from gear to get haste soft capped (50%, for 1sec GCDs)

560 haste is good for 17.08% haste. 1% haste = 32.79 haste rating. 32.79 * 20.6 = 675.47400 haste rating to get to 20.6% haste and be down to 1 second GCDs with Wrath of Air, Swift Retribution and Judgements of the Pure. For some reason, I thought 520 was the cap, so we’ll attribute that to lack of sleep and examine my haste now. 560 haste + 40 haste from a food buff = 600 haste or 18.2982617% haste. So I’d ideally like to get another 76 haste on gear somewhere.

The thing is, I don’t want to gem for haste. I’ll enchant for it on my cloak, obviously, since there’s nothing else I should get to cloak, but I don’t want to gem for it, giving up valuable intellect. Intellect gives me mana, more mana back from Replenishment, Divine Plea and Mana Tide totem, spell crit and spellpower through talents. Haste… gives me haste.

I guess it’s time to go hunting through wowhead and MMO-Champion and maybe maxdps.com to look at loot lists and see where I can viably acquire another 76-116 haste without ruining my other stats. My rings are kind of really sad, so I would expect an upgrade or two there would be helpful.

Ulduar: Reset 2, Night 1.

I daresay we actually learned stuff last week! I only died 27 times tonight! ;)

I was a bit late to the raid, so I missed Flame Leviathan, which is fine by me. I loathe vehicle fights. But I got pulled in for the rest of the night, which meant XT-002 Deconstructor, the Iron Council and Kologarn.

Let us discuss XT-002 Deconstructor TRASH for a moment, because that took us longer than killing the boss did. Last week, the trash was very bugged, so Blizzard removed it. Well, it was back tonight and boy, did we have trouble with it. How do you CC crap that’s mechanical? Everything from kiting, to Chains of Ice…

Of course, until we figured out that we had to CC at least some of the pull for the trash mobs, they had their way with us.

Deconstructor Trash
Deconstructor Trash

Ouch. And I wear plate, too!

Anyways, once that got taken care of, once we got the hang of the trash and STOPPED PULLING the damn boss by mistake… We did that three times. >< First time was one of my fellow holy paladins. Second time was the raid leader’s mirror images. Third time was a resto shammy. Really infuriating to die three times to a boss you weren’t even trying to pull.

The sweet part is that after eight and a half hours of attempts on XT-002 last week, we got him on our second try tonight. And a fragment dropped for our priest lead, bringing his total to, uh, two fragments. We also got Heroic: Nerf Engineering and Heroic: Nerf Gravity Bombs like last reset, which was nice for the new people in the raid. I understand they also got Heroic: Shutout on Flame Leviathan again, too.

Off we went to Iron Council! Just like Saturday, I was on the Steelbreaker tank, healing and mostly responsible for Fusion Punch cleansing. Which, I might add, I did like a damn champ. I think my cleanse key might still be angry with me because I mashed it so hard. :) We only did it three times, downing the council on our third attempt. Once we had Stormcaller Brundir down to about 50%, I popped my Iron Boot Flask for Heroic: But I’m on Your Side, as did about half the raid.

And so the gear juggling begins! Ancient Iron Heaume dropped. Stat for stat, it’s better than the Valorous Redemption Headpiece: Higher ilvl (good for FL), more stam, more int, more armor, more crit, more haste, less mp5. I took it, because I was the only holy paladin in the raid at that point, because it’s a better helm than my T7. But it might just have to sit in the bank for a while, because how can I give up my 4-piece set bonus?

I currently have helm, hands, legs and shoulders from the Valorous Redemption set. I also have my Heroes’ Redemption chestpiece. But I have (and am using) the Chestplate of the Great Aspects. That’s 3 Int, 2 Sta, 57 Armor, 27 Crit, 22 Haste,  38 Spell Power more than the Heroes’ chest. Given that I just gave up some crit in switching around my bracers, do I really want to lose another 16 crit to swap to the new helm and a very poor chest? I’m going to have to mess around with it all a bit, I think. But once I break my T7 up, that helm is gonna be my new one that I wear all the time, that’s for sure. Its stats are so yummy!

Of course, the helm itself… not so yummy.

Ancient Iron Heaume
Ancient Iron Heaume

Then again, it’s not like the Valorous Redemption Headpiece is much better, right?

Valorous Redemption Helm
Valorous Redemption Helm

I’m so glad we can turn off our helms…

Anyways, off to Kologarn we went. That was the longest part of the night, really, just dying to dumb eye beams and AOE damage. That said, I’ve been making use of Grid’s debuffs to easily identify people who are light/gravity bombed, slag potted and stone gripped, so that makes things a little easier. Never mind that I’m rarely on any of those people — I R TEH HEALZOR 4 TANK.

Seriously, I was on slag pot duty on our brief attempts at Ignis on Saturday and didn’t have the debuff view enabled because we went there unexpectedly, but seeing Stone Grip tonight on Kologarn is pretty damn awesome.

Kologarn died and we called the raid, since it was almost 12:30 anyways.

So, not a bad raid night. We skipped Ignis and Razorscale and, in one 4-hour raid, downed 4 of the 5 bosses we’d downed last reset. I expect we’ll go back for Ignis and Razorscale for progression or loot’s sake later on in the reset, but Wednesday, we head for Auriaya again, then probably Thorim, Hodir and Freya.

Should be a fun week!