Holy How-to #5 – To Beacon or not to Beacon

Welcome to my Holy How-To for PVE Paladins. This is the fifth 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, I’ll discuss our 51-point talent, Beacon of Light. Sadly, the spell is also referred to as “bacon”, usually prompting people to discuss the deliciousness of said food item. Anyways. Beacon is a simple spell that is either completely overpowered or entirely useless. It depends on how you use it and the configuration of the encounters in which you use it. Oddly, even over 18 months since its introduction, this spell still causes confusion among raid leaders, healing leads, other healers and even holy paladins themselves. So I thought I’d try to shed some light (ha, ha!) on this subject.

Continue reading “Holy How-to #5 – To Beacon or not to Beacon”

Heroic: Storming the Citadel

Wow, Lady Deathwhisper sucks. Wiped on her for five and a half hours this week, but she’s down and that gave most of us in the raid the Heroic: Storming the Citadel achievement.

Went up, did Airship on heroic. Easymode.

And then we faced Deathbringer Saurfang. Without a third holy paladin.

Never, ever, ever underestimate how difficult this encounter is without a third holy paladin for the extra two marks you’re bound to get.

Pop quiz, hotshots! I would love to know how you would have allocated the resources for a kill. Assume that one holy paladin can handle two Marks of the Fallen Champion and that any other healer can handle just one.

Here’s what the comp looked like:

2x Holy Paladin, 2x Priests (both can be holy or disc), 1x Resto Shaman, 1x Resto Druid

Take that composition, assume six Marks of the Fallen Champion and come up with a viable healing strategy without knowing anything else about the abilities of the healers involved.

I’ll post how I (almost!) did it later on. We probably would have won, had it not been for a hunter’s disconnection (and the RL’s subsequent “accidental” turning off of the 10% buff!).

It’s completely different to 3 holy paladins in the raid, though. Like, holy crap, man, SO much harder.

So there's this priest, see…

There’s a priest applying to my guild at the moment. He’s currently part-time, due to school stuff, but he seems to be knowledgeable and enthusiastic and stuff.

Yes. There is an upcoming “but”.

But… he’s weird. Okay, that doesn’t help describe the situation. He’s full of ideas, he’s really enthusiastic, he’s really gung-ho, he loves to talk about healing. I really should like him a lot.

I don’t. In fact, I’m sort of having to just hold my tongue and not shoot him down at every opportunity.

The issues began about 10 days or so ago when we pulled him in for heroic Festergut attempts. He had been saying, in healer chat, before he got swapped in, that the key is to watch the goo from Putricide’s balcony or whatever. Dude comes in, gets smacked by Goo like, 12 times and also misses getting all his Innoculated stacks.

ALSO, when he came in, he automatically assumed he was going disc, so he’d done his spec change from holy already and we tried the first attempt with two discs, instead of the 2 holies and 1 disc I wanted. Then, I was like “okay, that’s not working” in healer chat, got distracted by a raid leader chat conversation and come back to healer chat to discover that he told the disc priest already in the raid that he could go holy.

I was like, wtf, dude. Let me handle requests. We had actually brought him in to be holy. So I had them both switch back.

I don’t think he’s trying to “take over” or anything, and he seems perfectly pleasant. I think that my concerns stem from the fact that he seems to overthink EVERYTHING. I thought I was bad, but no, no, this guy overthinks absolutely everything in the entire game.

What prompted this post was my irritation regarding his thoughts on our heroic Lady Deathwhisper encounter.

We’ve wiped to her for five hours this week. No joke. The big issue is people getting smacked in the face by Vengeful Shades, meaning they trigger Vengeful Blast which does a huge 20y AOE thing, basically killing people.

The raid leader and the MT commented about this on the forums and the raid leader broke down how many people got hits/misses/absorbed hits from the Shades. As it turns out, even a miss or an absorbed hit will trigged Vengeful Blast.

One healer took 5 total hits over 5 hours of wipes. I took 23. That shammy, who took 3 on Wednesday and 2 on Thursday, and I are the only healers who took LESS on the second night than we did on the first night. (My breakdown was 15-8.) So I wrote to all the other healers, asking them to please be aware, blah, blah, blah.

Priest app writes back with this post that goes on to say that he’s got a new holy spec just for this fight, that’s got Soul Warding and Body & Soul and I’m thinking, what are you DOING, man? I want him to be holy. I don’t want him to bubble spam people. Hell, we had two discs in the raid anyways on Thursday to help shield people to keep them alive through our Vengeful Shade failure. And now this app, who had 8 hits of his OWN, is saying “hey, let me watch for that stuff, I’ll shield them and they’ll get the speed boost” when he can’t even look out for Shades that are hitting him?

How to crush his suggestion without crushing his ego/enthusiasm? Hm.

I think part of what annoys me is he just goes out there and Does Stuff instead of talking it over with his healing lead, who would be me, in this case. No “do you think it would be beneficial”, no “hey, I was thinking”… it’s just “I’ve also devised a specific holy spec meant purely for just this fight.”

I don’t mind thinking outside the box, I really don’t. But the consistent thinking outside the box without even considering what’s INSIDE the box kind of makes me want to throttle the guy.

How does he not even CONSIDER the issue of Weakened Soul? Two discs AND him bubbling the raid? Not gonna work, man. Sigh.


Heroic Sindragosa is ugly.

How ugly?

Check this out.

[00:08:11.512] Other Holy Pally Beacon of Light MT +0 (O: 21191)
[00:08:11.526] Sindragosa Frost Breath MT 48509 (A: 510)
[00:08:11.781] Madrana Flash of Light MT +998
[00:08:12.041] Sindragosa hits MT 19535 (O: 11934)
[00:08:12.680] MT dies

Two hits in .529 seconds killed my main tank. who has somewhere around 63k health when raid buffed.


All kinds of other guild crap going on. I move ever closer to gquitting. It would be more of a ragequit, though. And I like to think I’m above that. I’ll get into it or whatever later.

Priest is 59 and a half, healing through Hellfire Ramparts for the second time. Penance is almost within my grasp!


I find it extremely sad that a level 56 discipline priest can consistently top healing in Alterac Valley.

Like, seriously sad. I dinged 57 in the middle of the Drek fight as we destroyed Tower Point, so I was 56 for the vast majority of that BG.

Why do people NOT heal in battlegrounds? Every BG I ever find myself doing (and sadly, it’s much more frequent than “never”) I end up near the top of the list, if not at the top. At stupid levels, too. On alts. Not even just on Madrana, but on my PRIEST?

Hell, this is me at 54 topping Alliance healing done.

What is WRONG with people?

Of course, I’ve known for a long, long time that people don’t heal in BGs. But the absurdity of it all came crashing down on me this weekend while levelling through some AVs. I just don’t get it.

Yeah, I'm a noob.

I’ve been levelling a priest more or less “with” my brother who’s levelling a paladin. I heal him. He tanks. It works nicely, even though he’s about 4-5 levels ahead of me.

Anyways, I’m 49 now. At 48, I was overjoyed to get Prayer of Fortitude, if just for the simplicity of buffing my WHOLE GROUP at once.

I previously levelled my brother’s priest from about level 47 until 70, back in BC. So it’s not like I haven’t done what I’m doing now. I healed Sunken Temple then, I’ve healed it now. I basically know what I’m doing.

However, it turns out that, in some instances, battlegrounds are AMAZING experience. As such, I have reluctantly been queuing for WSG and AB.

Know what I’ve done for the past two days? I’ve buffed each group with Prayer of Fortitude. Individually. Because the last time I got Prayer of Fortitude, that was how it worked.

Never mind that I have a mage, who buffs the whole group at once with Arcane Brilliance. Never mind that I have a druid, who buffs the whole group at once with Gift of the Wild. Apparently, I am incapable of reconciling Prayer of Fortitude with the words “raid-wide buff”.

In other news, heroic Festergut down. 8/12 hard modes. I think I hate that fight a lot, now.

We tried heroic Sindragosa three times tonight, all attempts being epic, total, absolute failures. People didn’t realize that Frost Bombs one-shot you. They forgot about the AOE damage from Backlash. It was just sad, really.

OMG. BRD – Prison just popped for me! I LOVE BRD!

Updates ahoy!

So, a variety of updates tonight/this morning.

1) Saurfang heroic down (one-shotted!), bringing our totals to 7/12 hardmodes down. Remaining are Deathwhisper, Festergut, Putricide, Sindragosa and Lich King.

Pro tip: 3 holy paladins on Marks of the Fallen Champion on heroic Saurfang = win.

2) I still hate heroic Dreamwalker, despite the fact we one-shot the encounter on our second week of attempts on her (we got her on the 4th last reset). I didn’t miss a portal this time (until the last one; I should have gone in, but I stayed out) but I got an orb like, 6 seconds before we dropped out, sadly, so my buff fell off. And then I got an orb ninjaed from me! I TOLD them all to wait for people inside, but noooo. ;)

3) The healing lead-type situation has gotten moderately better. My RL friend the resto druid SHOULD, with any luck at all, be back next week. Her RL issues have lessened (though work picked up, but should be settling down again soon) so I’m totally ready to give her the healers back. In the meantime, I’ve been doing healing since she’s been gone, basically, which is something like a month (full-time) and a few raids before that.

The caster officer/raid leader (shadow priest who goes disc for us on occasion) and I have a good rapport, really, so we’ve talked a LOT about healing and healers. He’s been my main contact with the officers, playing messenger boy between me and the tanks. Until this week.

The guild has a funny structure. Apparently those who are “officers” don’t have access to officer chat. Their “officer” discussions take place in a custom chat channel.

This channel is one that the raid leader asked me to join this week. Hooray. I’ve been in there since Sunday and it’s a little intimidating to be in there with the MT/guild leader who yells at people, the former GM who plays casually these days and others. At least the hunter/physical DPS officer is there. She’s pretty awesome and is basically my only real “friend” in the guild besides my friend the druid.

I have to say that the disconnect between the MT’s MT personality and his officer-chat personality is staggering. He can be yelling at people in raid and then discussing a new restaurant he wants to check out at the same time in the “officer” channel.

Anyways, the situation that had me questioning people’s opinions of me has been pretty much settled. I’m the stand-in healing lead, period. And they (mostly!) listen to me. I can see this being a good thing if my RL friend needs a night off. “Kurn,” she could say (or, you know, use my real name), “can you do healing tonight? I need to get to bed early.” It would be nice to do it occasionally. Just not all the time.

4) The problems I’m encountering now while leading the healers through heroic encounters (FML, I hate these things!) is that the healers have very little sense of cohesion, no team identity. And no wonder. With one exception, I’m the most senior of the current, active healers and I just joined in September.

We’re apping two holy paladins at the moment, two resto druids, three priests (all disc/holy dual specs) and basically two resto shammies. I’m struggling to find room for them all in the raids, particularly as I’m only being given six spots in the vast majority of encounters. Granted, that should be plenty, but I wish I could keep my disc priest AND a holy priest AND two resto shammies AND two holy paladins AND a resto druid all at once. But I can’t. So the shammies get swapped around a lot. The priests have a very minimal rotation, largely because the one who’s primarily holy is just THAT GOOD and I like the disc very much, he’s been with us longest of all the priests. I’m swapping the two holy paladins around whenever I can. I had T in with us for Marrowgar (H), Deathwhisper (R), Airship (H), then brought in L for Saurfang (H) and kept all of us intact through Princes. Then I swapped out T and kept L for BQL. Then brought T back in for Dreamwalker.

Whew. So personnel and cohesion is a bit of a challenge these days. Anyone have any fun team-building exercises that are doable on a forum? I really just want the healers to get to know each other better so we can learn to rely on each other more.

5) As previously mentioned, I’ve been doing arenas with my brother (survival hunter) and our buddy Majik (unholy DK).

a) Teams with names like “u ju we ez bake oven” should be taken to the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC. I’m not Jewish, none of my family members were directly affected by the Holocaust, but the very fact that people think this is an acceptable arena team name makes me sick to my stomach and makes me wish that I stuck to things like Space Quest. Freaking MMOs. I hate people. And yes, I report each and every offensive arena team name I see. :P

b) Speaking of hating people, I hate warlocks. Fear, fear, fear, fear, curse of tongues, unstable affliction, shadowfury, felhunter and/or succubus, fear, fear, fear, fear, dead. Know what I need resilience to do? Reduce the amount of time I spend running around like a moron being feared.

c) Oh, let us not forget freaking druids. Cyclone, regrowth, cyclone, lifebloom, cyclone, lifebloom, cyclone, rejuvenation, travel form, lifebloom blooms, druid is at full health and full mana again. And then continues to cyclone me. UGH. (R, you have never cycloned me. Thus, you are immune to my hate.)

d) And then there are priests. Euphie, Kaleri, you know I love you, but bloody hell, do I hate priests. If there is a sound out there that I hate more than any in all of World of Warcraft (yes, even over Jaina’s whining tones in Hyjal!), it is the sound of Mana Burn. It strikes fear and dread into my poor heart. Psychic Scream is no fun, either.

e) Surprisingly, we nearly got to 1300 rating pretty easily. We even had 9 wins in a row at one point. But we fell short and have since tanked our 3v3 rating back down to 1226 or so. It seems like every game we win gives us 3-7 points and every game we lose drops us 10-20. Pray tell, how the hell are we supposed to beat a team with a holy paladin, a disc priest and an arms warrior? It would seem logical to take out the warrior, but without pressure on a healer, there’s no way to outdamage two healers healing him. So you go for the squishy? Sure. But then I’m stuck kiting the stupid warrior around while the paladin bubbles, heals to full, judges my team’s DPS to get mana back and keeps the damn priest alive.

What about the resto druid and double rogue team? How to beat THAT?

f) And don’t get me started on how seriously OP an elemental shaman is in an arena. Good GOD, does Lava Burst hurt!!!

6) Class previews? Cataclysm beta has to be incoming. Having said THAT, of course everyone else’s preview is this week and the paladins have to wait ’till next. Of course. I’m expecting changes drastic enough to make me want to switch raiding toons. I will say this, though — I love the idea of “healing wave” and “heal” as the middle spells for shammies and priests. It’s exactly what *I* want for a paladin. So I’m envisioning Flash of Light, Holy Light and Greater Holy Light. Or something like that. They really can’t slap “divine” on too many more spell names or abilities for paladins, can they? Maybe FoL, Divine Light (medium spell) and Holy Light (for the big one)? I guess we’ll see.

The shammy and priest changes seem interesting. Not sure how to feel about Healing Rain, but HEY EUPHIE! Guess what spell you’re going to use on ME all the damn time?! THAT’S RIGHT, LEAP OF FAITH, BABY. AHAHAHA!

I used to tell my raiders, back in the day “Look. I can’t move you out of the fire on Archimonde. I really wish I could. But I can’t. So please move out of the fire. Please.”

But in Cataclysm, you will be able to.


Power Word: Barrier seems nifty, too.

I’m nervous as hell about the hunter changes, by the way. My inner huntard is cringing, waiting for the nerfbat smackdown. AND, BY GOLLY, I WILL MISS MY MANA BAR.

I should end this post. My ideas are starting to degrade into OMGCAPS-like flickers of thought.

So that’s what’s new with me.

Kurn's Q&A #13

It’s that time again! Lost and V watched, here are some quick questions I’ve picked up from my search terms in my web stats along with my own answers.

1) is there a way to make a mcro that tells you how much you healed someone for

The short answer is probably. Just get yourself a combat text addon like Mik’s Scrolling Battle Text or use the default scrolling combat text that Bizzard provides.

2) does divine intervention heal professor putricide

I have not tested this, but if it is cast on someone who has Mutated Plague, it will probably remove Mutated Plague. So yes, I imagine it would heal Putricide.

3) does divine sacrifice stack

No. This HAS been tested. The second one will overwrite the first one.

4) does libram of renewal stack with glyph of seal of wisdom

Absolutely. 5% off the cost of your healing spells and 113 mana off Holy Light. This is why it’s still our Best in Slot (BiS) libram. And it’s item level 200.

5) hardmode dreamwalker best way to hit red orbs

Ugh, ugh, ugh. I did this on Monday night for the first time. The orbs take a lot longer to respawn in the portal so I basically said “always move counter-clockwise and WATCH for people around you! Don’t ninja someone’s orb, wait the second or two for them to get it WITH YOU.” And this worked remarkably well.

6) healing toravon resto druid

As a druid, chances are, you are going to be healing the raid. On 10-man, try to keep Rejuvenation up on just about everyone. Use Wild Growth on cooldown. Be prepared to use WG right as a Whiteout is coming. On 25-man, I like to keep the active tank hotted, spreading Rejuv and WG throughout the raid as I’m able to. I like to try to keep a 3-stack of Lifebloom on the tank and let it bloom right after Whiteout. If all else fails, right as a Whiteout happens, hit Barkskin and then Tranquility.

7) how to be a tank

The basics are:
– hold aggro (attention from the angry things trying to kill your party)
– stay alive
– don’t be a dick to your healer. :P

Here’s a more detailed guide.

8) how to unlock hard modes icecrown citadel

Very simple: kill Arthas on regular difficulty. Anyone who has killed Arthas on regular difficulty can then form a raid and can turn on heroic difficulty. (Uh, by “Arthas”, I mean “The Lich King”.)

9) soloing first 2 mobs heroic forge

Easy mode as a paladin. Any tank class should be able to do this, really. It’s a little harder as a DPS, but if you happen to be able to CC an undead, you can do this easily as well. In my prot gear, I’d take them both on, Consecrating, use Seal of Light (and judging Light, too) and keep my defensive CDs up like Holy Shield and Sacred Shield. Easy. They don’t hit that hard in basic tanking gear and if you have things like Shield Wall or Frenzied Regeneration, these CDs should help you live through them.

10) soul shriek silence warriors ?

Yes. It does. Please cleanse or dispel Soul Shriek from your warrior tanks. Your raid members will thank you. ;)

And 25m heroic modes continue!

Hope everyone had a good Easter or a good Sunday, whichever applies to you. ;)

For myself, brunch with the family, followed by some horrible 3v3 arenas, followed by a nap, followed by a raid. We had cancelled on Thursday — people were sick, unable to make it, I had something come up… so we cancelled and reconvened tonight.

Heroic Blood Prince Council down.

Heroic Blood Queen Lana’thel down.

Heroic Festergut still wiped the floor with us.

Princes was actually pretty easy. “Don’t move,” is basically the key to the fight, although moving when necessary is also important. ;) Lana’thel was intense. We just clipped enrage, she killed both tanks and then we won. Princes only took two tries and BQL took three.

I don’t understand the issues behind Fester. It’s just all kinds of bad. The malleable goo is beaning people, the tanks are dying, the range are dying and basically, no one is living past two minutes or so. Time to go through the logs and make notes about healers, goo, assignments and the like. Hooray death logs?

And in other news, my brother, on his level 47 (?) paladin is about 8 bunny ears from being the Noble. This involved me running around the damn world with him, while on my mage, to port him from place to place and usually to save his fool ass from mobs trying to rip him apart. Screw Noblegarden; I did it once on Kurn and that was more than enough for me. And my brother is similarly unimpressed with the amount of farming of chocolates he had to do.

Anyways. Logs!

ETA: Oh God, the logs make me want to cry. :( People not casting, ranged not getting any heals, people ignoring Vile Gas entirely… GAH.