Updates and Plans

Hello, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to another Tuesday here at Kurn’s Corner!

On the schedule for today:

– Q&A post (as per usual)

– More opinions on new holy paladin Cataclysm information (Holy Power, some new cone heal called Light of the Divine or Divinity of the Light or something appropriately paladinesque, the actual name of which escapes me at the moment)

– Responding to comments!

– Possibly going through some parses.

– More running through old-world Azeroth for a future blog post, which, due to technical difficulties this last weekend, may not be up until next week, sadly.

So those are my plans.

My updates are considerably more exciting, at least to me.

Bloodsurge, Kel’Thuzad’s Blade of Agony is mine! Finally, I have a main hand without hit again! I’d been using Rigormortis because it was still an improvement over Misery’s End. More intellect, more spellpower, a wee bit more haste (like, 1). It was nice to have, particularly as the hunter officer in my last guild refused to let me take it for main-spec, since it had hit on it, so even though I was like “but it’s for main-spec!” she was like “you’re paying off-spec for it”.

But finally, a weapon with no hit, that has the exact same stats as Royal Scepter of Terenas II. Hilariously enough, both of those items dropped. Since we do EPGP, I rolled Need on both within the mod to assure myself I’d probably get one of them. The loot master was smart because he recognized that if he awarded the sword first, I’d get it (there was virtually no competition for it) and then the mace would be up for grabs and I could not win it because my EPGP priority wouldn’t be high enough after winning the sword. So the sword went to me (and yes, I DO feel like a bad-ass for being able to heal with a SWORD!!) and the mace went to the elemental shaman.

I also picked up the heroic Frostbinder’s Shredded Cape, which I gemmed and enchanted on the spot, meaning that the stupid Flowing Sapphiron Drape is going to go sit in my bank until it rots away into nothingness.

As such, my chardev profile has been updated:

http://www.chardev.org/?profile=426504

Raid buffed, without the sword, I had 45,424 mana. Granted, the sword is only another 4 intellect, so that’s 60ish mana (not including talents) but good gravy. Forty-five thousand?! That is totally sweet.

I generally don’t get excited about gear. There are exceptions — I love a new weapon, and I love when I replace an OLD piece of gear. I’ve had the Onyxia cloak since early October. Nine months. Very happy to have replaced it. :)

In raid news, there continues to be problems with heroic Sindragosa, but we’re making some progress, at least. I’m not terribly worried, as long as we can get some people (casters!) to freaking stop casting with Unchained Magic.

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.

Teaching a New Paladin

One of the things I like most about my blog is that I have the opportunity to inform people of my playstyle and commonly-accepted best practices for the holy paladin. And I don’t have to sit down with them and go “okay, so you need to do X, Y and Z and then don’t forget about A and B and C”. I don’t have to look at their parses, don’t have to talk to them on vent, don’t even have to look at their armories unless I feel like it.

It’s nice. It’s a little distant and I get to remain sane, but I still get to help out people who genuinely seem to want to learn.

Discouraged by all the failadins out there, my current GM (for whom my adoration clearly knows no bounds) has decided to level up a paladin for the express purposes of going holy.  She recognizes we can really use another holy paladin for certain fights (heroic Sindragosa, heroic Lich King, heroic Halion) and has decided to roll a paladin, level it to 80 and heal for the guild on this new paladin. She’s continuing to recruit, mind you (WTB holy paladin! And a disc priest, actually. Email me at kurn [at] apotheosis-now [dot] com for details if you’re interested.), but she’s working at the paladin.

It’s not like she doesn’t know how to heal; she’s a brilliant resto shaman. (Fadorable, I’d love to see you both in a heal-off in equal gear!) I think that she’s actually the best class to make an easy switch to a holy paladin — she’s already used to not being able to cast and run (beyond the one instant — Riptide for her, Holy Shock for us) and the gear is similar in many ways. I think she’ll make an awesome holy paladin if we don’t find a second by the time she’s raid-ready.

However, I find myself TOTALLY thrilled at the prospect of teaching my GM the ins and outs of holy paladining. Like, THRILLED. I don’t know why, but I am eagerly anticipating it. To the point where I’ve informed her I will be her pocket tank for her heroics when she hits 80. Maybe it’s because I know she’s already an awesome healer and I think she’ll pick up on the nuances quickly. Maybe it’s because I know that I can mold her into another me. Maybe it’s because I HAVE missed some of this hands-on stuff. I used to be the poor schmoe who would talk to the raiders about X, Y and Z issues, for the most part.

I think it’ll be fun to run around as a relatively geared tank. A huge bonus of this guild is that you get offspec gear for free, so I’ve been saving my Emblems of Frost and already have my 264 helm and shoulders for prot. Looking at chest and gloves next and then probably Pillars of Might and maybe the crafted boots too. So really, given my leetness as a tank (ahahahaha) and the fact that I’ll be pretty geared, I’m fairly certain I’ll be able to tank and watch for her to keep up Sacred Shield, Beacon, etc, and offer tips and tricks and still not die, even if things go south.

In other news, the character profile linked up in the sidebar has been updated since I got my 277 T10 helm. 990 haste unbuffed? Why yes, thank you, that’ll do nicely. ;)

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).

Kurn's Q&A 24

Oof, all this Real ID crap, plus a nap, means a later-than-usual Q&A post. I’ve decided to rely solely on my search terms for this stuff going forward, by the way. I decided I didn’t need a way for people to anonymously harass me. If you have a question, let me know via email or twitter. :)

1) how many people recemended on ruby sanctum

… 10 or 25? Haha, no, seriously, here’s the breakdown:

10: 2 tanks, 2-3 healers, 5-6 DPS. I strongly recommend three healers unless you SUPER outgear the content.

25: 3 tanks (one can be DPS or heals for Halion himself, but you need three for Baltharus), 6-7 healers, 15-16 DPS.

2) divine sacrifice macro it cutting my fps

No. Your Divine Sacrifice macro is not cutting your FPS. If anything, the spell effects of Divine Sacrifice are cutting your FPS. Turn down your graphic settings, either Particle Density or some of the other effects.

3) does the beacon accept its own heals

I’m confused. If you mean “will heals that land on the beacon directly copy through Beacon of Light, effectively hitting them twice?”, then no. Only Flash of Light, Holy Light, Holy Shock and Lay on Hands heals to OTHER targets will be copied to your beacon target.

If, on the other hand, you mean “can I beacon myself and benefit from heals I cast on other people?” then the answer is yes.

4) halion shadow resistance

You don’t need Shadow Resistance gear, but an aura or Prayer of Shadow Protection is highly recommended.

5) holy light vs flash of light 3.3

I’ve always done my best to acknowledge that there is another interesting way to play a holy paladin, that being the Flash of Light style. However, I don’t like that style. I don’t think I’ve hidden my dislike of it, but I also try not to be all “you’re a moron” if you do like that style. The reason I don’t like it is because it’s less flexible. You are basically forced to keep casting Flash of Light because you don’t have the mana pool to sustain casting Holy Light more regularly than “every once in a while”.

Whereas Holy Light style paladins CAN cast Flash of Light if the occasion calls for it and CAN cast Holy Light ’till the cows come home if we need to.

That’s why I prefer a Holy Light style and always will.

6) meta achievement requires “neck-deep in vile” 3.3.5 25

YES. It does require it on 25-man. Absolutely confirmed. (Click for a larger version of this screenshot of a GM ticket.)

7) ruby sanctum 3 healers

The reason I strongly recommend three healers is because the shadow aura in the twilight realm just flat-out sucks. Get a raid healer and a tank healer in the twilight realm and any decent healer outside and you should be fine.

8) anyway for you to block a real id person from seeing your potential friends

Afraid not.

9) saviana ragefire “no hunter”

… got a rogue with Anesthetic Poison? Otherwise, you’re going to need awesome heals on the group.

10) toravon frost or physical damage

Both. There is a lot of frost damage in terms of Frostbite stacks on the tanks and Whiteout every so often, but his hits are physical.

"It works for me!"

Codi was talking about how she’s basically been accused of being an elitist in terms of stuff she says on her blog and how, because she’s so advanced, people have used that as a caveat when it comes to taking her advice.

This got me thinking about my own paladinesque standards.

What do I know?

Well, I know what works for me, and what HAS worked for me, in all tiers of content in this expansion, through regular modes and hard modes.

Like Codi, I’ve got a fair bit of gear and a fair bit of progression under my belt.

I’m pretty sure that most of my sort of requirements for a holy paladin are good ones. They’re requirements that would show someone’s done reading and research about the class, that show that people understand the basic tenet of “more mana is always better than more spellpower” and such.

Given the ICC buff, though, a lot of people are getting by with terrible specs and horribly-chosen gear.

But if it works for them and their raid group, does anyone really have the “right” to say that they’re being an idiot?

On Tuesday night, I ran a pug Ruby Sanctum 10 with Maj and my brother. There was a failish paladin in the group.

Here is her armory. Click on it and it’ll open in a new window, then come back here and we’ll go through why I think she’s pretty fail.

http://www.chardev.org/?profile=428926

1) Helm: Right helm. Wrong meta. Wrong gem. IMHO: Insightful and Nightmare Tear. I won’t even talk about the arcanum, since that’s too nitpicky at this point.

2) Neck: Great necklace. Good gem.

3) Shoulders: Right shoulders. Wrong gem.

4) Cloak: Why any holy paladin wastes Emblems of Frost on this piece of crap, I don’t know. Good gem and enchant, at least.

5) Chest: Well, there are better options. But the tier chest isn’t terrible. Again with the hybrid gems, though. WTB 20 ints!

6) Bracers: Great bracers. Would prefer 16 int enchant and a 20 int gem.

7) Gloves: Great gloves. Need 2×20 int gems, though. Fine enchant.

8) Belt: Wrong belt. Should have the Belt of the Lonely Noble or the Lich Killer’s Lanyard, both of which are identical to each other, and both have haste. Also tries to hit the socket bonus here with a Dazzling Eye of Zul. Socket bonuses are evil and are there to confuse you!

9) Pants: Great pants, good enchant, needs more int gems.

10) Boots: No haste on boots. … and a 20 AP/10 crit gem. w. t. f.

11) Ring 1: A caster ring, with hit and no haste… and a Dazzling Forest Emerald. REALLY?

12) Ring 2: Exalted ICC ring, nicely gemmed.

13) Trinket 1: Love that Talisman.

14) Trinket 2: Why, dear God, why the Purified Lunar Dust?

15) Weapon: Lockjaw is a solid weapon in ICC 10. Not enchanted with anything, though…

16) Shield: Great, perfect.

17) Libram: Dear sweet fancy Moses, why a gladiator libram?

18) Talents:

a) 60 in Holy: 2/2 Blessed Hands, 3/3 Imp Concentration Aura, 3/3 Sacred Cleansing. Eesh.

b) 11 in Prot: All solid pickups, including Divine Sacrifice, but no Divine Guardian makes me want to cry.

19) Glyphs: Seal of Light and Holy Shock instead of Seal of Wisdom and Beacon of Light. OH THE HUMANITY.

But how was her performance? The paladin outhealed me on bosses; 3 attempts at Ragefire, 9 on Baltharus, 1 on Zarithrian and 2 on Halion. Granted, my shaman is terribly geared, still sitting in T9. I think anyone with any amount of gear could outheal me at this point.

She had good overall uptime on Beacon of Light (89.7%) and Sacred Shield (81.3%), but dropped to 69.1% uptime on Judgements of the Pure.

Here’s what boggles me, though — she used Divine Plea 15 times and only offset it with the Talisman once and Avenging Wrath once. She didn’t use Divine Illumination AT ALL.

To me, all the things I’ve pointed out as being wrong, the gems, enchants, uptimes, offsets for DP… these are basics. BASICS. These are things that make my head want to explode. Never, not in a million years, would I want this paladin to raid alongside me in ICC. Ever.

And yet, despite the issues I can clearly see in the logs and on her armory, she did an overall good job. I mean, we beat the trash, we beat the minibosses and today, at least 8 of us are going back into RS10 to down Halion. She’s not necessarily one of them, unfortunately, because she hasn’t responded to my calendar invite or in-game mail, but Thursday was successful, in my opinion.

So my question is… do I have a right to question what works for some people? I’m sitting here saying “do X, Y and Z” because those are the “best practices”. Those are the things that I’ve learned work best, mathematically, practically, etc.

But so what if someone isn’t living up to their potential? Should it really make a difference in a pug? Should I care that the pally is specced abysmally? Should I care that she’s having to waste globals to refresh SS and BoL? Not if she’s keeping people up. And that’s what she did, by and large.

Let’s see what happens to her stats if I go fixing her gems, glyphs, stats, etc.

Pre-Kurn edits:

33.15% crit

2980 +healing

203 mp5 while casting

1886 intellect

32404 mana

Post-Kurn edits:

33.73% crit

2873 +healing

174 mp5 while casting

2041 intellect

34729 mana

So she gains half a percent of crit, loses 107 +healing, gains 155 intellect (2325 mana) and loses 29 mp5 while casting. She also gains a proc from her meta that is awesome, the chance to proc 4% of her maximum mana back whenever she judges, a raid-saving CD in Divine Guardian, a longer and stronger Sacred Shield and a longer Beacon of Light.

To me, it’s obvious that my tweaks make her toon that much more efficient, that much stronger.

But it is absolutely necessary for success in her current content, which is ICC 10? She has one, count ’em, one regular 10-man Putricide kill.

Without knowing more about her and her raid group, all I can say is that whatever she’s doing is, more or less, working for her. She’s pushing through content with her guild (2 Fester/Rot kills to date, 1 PP kill, so that’s progression) and she wasn’t the cause of wipes on my pug.

A lot of what I say here comes from my own experience. You know, doing Saurfang 25 normal back pre-ICC buff wasn’t easy. It wasn’t particularly HARD for us, because we were decked out in 245/258 gear and picking up 251/264 upgrades, but it wasn’t easy to heal. Nowadays, there’s a LOT more room for error with a 25% buff. And by “a lot” I mean A LOT. People don’t need to be properly min/maxed for the content anymore, because the buff means that you can get away with damn near anything on regular.

But when I was doing it without the buff, I NEEDED these optimizations to my gear and playstyle. I constantly need that stuff on what my guild currently considers progression. I can’t imagine going a night without my meta gem. On Thursday night, through Baltharus, Ragefire, Zarithrian, Halion, Council, BQL and Dreamwalker, I gained 53400 mana back just from my meta gem. I gained 258k mana back from Seal of Wisdom. This stuff is still absolutely necessary — for me.

But is it so very necessary for other players? Or are all these things just tips to min/max when min/maxing might not even be needed for a player these days?

Don’t get me wrong, I will still bellow from the highest mountaintop that a good holy pally should do X, Y and Z and will continue to try to instill good practices on the malleable minds of not-optimized paladins.

But how necessary is it?

Kurn's Q&A 23

Delayed a bit due to fatigue and epic Ruby Sanctum hilarity, here’s my Q&A for the week. I’ll probably wind up doing that form this week sometime or something.

First of all, thanks to all those who “retaliated” against Majik with the following search terms. You totally made my day, hahaha. :)

– why is kurnmogh such an amazing player?
– madrana is the best holy paladin ever
– kurn yeah but can majik heal?
– kurn majik may be able to tank but he still dies without heals
– kurn majik is just a dk they’re all noobs
– sometimes i close my eyes and wonder how i can be awesome like kurnmogh

And, my favourite, and thus, Question #1 this week:

1) kurn who the hell is majik?

My history with Majik dates back YEARS at this point. Honestly, truly, years. Majik was a frost mage who joined our guild back in something like mid-June of 2006.

My first-ever experience with this guy was during the Scourge Invasion of Patch 1.11. He basically said that he could solo all the non-elites guarding one of the Necrotic Shards or whatever.

I was like “yeah, RIGHT.”

He laughed, hit up Ice Barrier, mounted up, GATHERED THEM ALL UP, hit Frost Nova, blinked away and hit Blizzard until they all died.

Solo.

I didn’t do anything. Neither did our regular priest, Crypt (who had been in Majik’s prior guild, where Majik had been the GM) and neither did our warlock, Tia. We just stared at this nutcase in absolute shock and amazement.

A LEGEND WAS BORN. hahaha.

Majik quickly became one of our raid leaders in Zul’Gurub (and later instances as well) and eventually became an officer and he, along with Crypt, Tia, myself and a mage named Tandrace (whom we affectionately called Steve) all ended up doing the Tier 0.5 questline together. And thus started a beautiful friendship.

Highlights include, but are not limited to:

– “That was *spectacular*.” (Heard frequently, usually after a particularly hilarious and/or brutal wipe.)
– “Guys, guys, he’s trying to be sneaky, but I see him and oh God, he’s got a really big sword!” and other assorted quotes from the 11 minute vent lag spike in Dire Maul.
– “Tia, Tia, Tia.” (Chiding our warlock for not soulstoning us, even though she tried and there was no room in her bags and I traded her for her to trade me something and then SOMEONE got us into COMBAT and … yeah. No soulstone.)
– “Not the face, NOT THE FACE!” (Also heard frequently.)
– “I have a plan.” (The plan was for the five of us, with no tank, to jump down on to Venoxis’ platform and “take him from behind with the element of surprise!”. At level 60. We got Venoxis to 98% and considered that a victory.)
– “Hey Maj, pick up engineering.” (He did, spent easily 500g on it, and that was a LOT pre-BC, and got to 300 engineering overnight.)
– “Who’s up for a Venoxis run? C’mon guys, 20 minutes, you get rep, bijous, chance at loot!” (This was frighteningly commonplace, since we only ran ZG officially one day a week. Why did Majik want to do Venoxis? Just one reason: Fang of Venoxis. Along with his Tome of the Ice Lord, the Fang of Venoxis would make him super leet. My hand to God, until he got a better 1H elsewhere, he was using Hypnotic Blade, which drops off Arcanist Doan in Scarlet Monastery. Not even kidding. At all. We actually WENT BACK to SM to pick it up for him.)
– Many hours over Vent spent complaining about the idiocy of any moronic mage taking Arcane Fortitude. (It was Very Bad at the time.)
– Doing a Strat 45 run in 39 minutes with the following group:
* Kurnmogh + Whisper (Whisper, my cat, tanked. I was Marks, FYI.)
* Tandrace, Fire Mage
* Majik, Frost Mage
* Crypt, Holy Priest
* Tia, Destruction Warlock

Yeah. Again. No tank. At all. We actually did the 45 minute run in 39 minutes with no tank. We also did a Dire Maul North Tribute run more than once without a tank (I still feel bad for Tharivol) and did almost everything for our Tier 0.5 quests without a tank, only bringing one in for the special boss in Scholomance and then being in a regular 10-man group for the UBRS boss, nicknamed “Lord Whatshisnuts”. (By Tia.)

And that? THAT is just pre-BC!

In Burning Crusade, we’d disbanded our previous guild, gone our separate ways for the most part, but brought Apotheosis to life on June 1, 2007. Majik was the guy who bought the charter and was a core officer throughout BC, even though the jerk decided to, you know, GO TRAVELLING THROUGH EUROPE at the height of our Karazhan farming, where I was swapping people in and out on every. single. boss. I may not have forgiven him for leaving me with the raid leading duties then. ;)

He was our mage tank on Krosh (and, as freaking usual, I was his healer), he would always put down a Brewfest Pony Keg after Maulgar was down. He did, in fact, Blink into Gruul once while explaining the fight. He once got bounced/feared OUT of Magtheridon’s room during the encounter and basically /danced at us.

He wasn’t there for a Vashj kill of ours, which is probably my biggest regret. Of everyone in the guild who deserved Hand of A’dal, Majik was at the top. But he’d been taking some time off, dealing with school (?) or work (?) and though we TRIED, we couldn’t get Vashj down on this one night that Maj was there. He missed out on the first Kael’thas kill as well, but was the jackass responsible for our setting foot in Hyjal.

Picture it. Sunday, April 27th, 2008. My dad’s birthday had been a couple days earlier and the birthday dinner was that Sunday. I wasn’t there for the officer meeting, I was going to be very late for the raid…

I log on.

I get an invite to the raid group.

They’re in Mount Freaking Hyjal.

22-manning Winterchill waves.

They summon me IN THE MIDDLE OF WAVES and I promptly crash because my computer sucks so bad.

We spend an hour or so working on Rage Winterchill and get him down, Apotheosis-style. With only 24 people.

Thanks to Majik, who decided to go screw around in Hyjal since we were short people, we were able to start working on T6 content while trying to get Vashj and Kael.

Maj was solid in T6 content and we couldn’t have gotten through Hyjal and BT without him.

God, I haven’t even mentioned that he spearheaded the charge against Zul’Aman in our guild. He had an awesome team and they cleared ZA.

These days, Maj is playing a DK and levelling his priest with my brother and me and, as per usual, I’m healing his ass, more often than not. ;)

So… Majik has been a key part of my WoW experience, I don’t just mean “that guy from pre-BC”. I mean someone who has been there with me through Vanilla, BC and now Wrath. I mean someone who has always brought a positive attitude to a raid. I mean someone who has sat there, for hours, helping out mages or other DPS with their spec or gems or enchants. I mean someone who basically weaseled out of being the GM of Apotheosis by virtue of breaking his word to me. (Our GM, Toga, stepped down and Majik and I decided we’d both throw our names in the hat and so I said I’d consider doing it and then Majik was the first to say “GRATS!!!” and I was like “You bastard.”) This guy has one of the best senses of humour ever and I still crack up to the point where I can’t breathe when he gets on a roll. You should have seen him bitching me out IRL, in an Internet cafe here in Montreal, telling me that “Conjured Glacier Water” doesn’t just appear out of thin air. That he has to go to the goddamn Glacier himself, that he has to chip ice into a container and warm THAT and then bring it out when some bitchy “WATER PLZ” person like MY ignorant, needy ass starts griping.

No kidding, I nearly fell out of my chair. In public. Couldn’t breathe, couldn’t see for the tears rolling down my cheeks. It was hilarious.

We tease each other to death, insult each other constantly, but it’s all an act. We know that we can rely on each other, we trust the other knows their class and the encounter. We know we can defy all odds together. And it’s that kind of exuberance, enthusiasm and optimism that Majik brings to every single raid encounter. He’s the “YEAH LET’S DO THIS EVEN THOUGH WE DON’T HAVE A CHANCE!!!!!” person to my “Are you out of your goddamn mind?” attitude.

I like this game, a lot. I’ve played it for a long time. You know how people say it’s the other people they’ve met that keep them playing? Majik is probably the key person for me. I won’t even TRY to reform Apotheosis without him on board. I wouldn’t even consider it.

So. That’s who Majik is. (And no, we’re not dating or anything and no, there’s no interest. Trust us. I only bring it up because someone in Apotheosis once thought we were married to each other and I thought I’d head THAT off at the past.)

2) bol dont beacon my tank macro

While mechanically, this is pretty easy:

#showtooltip
/cast @target Beacon of Light
/ra Beacon of Light on %t, don’t beacon my tank!

(or something like that – I’m not a macro god!)

I’m curious as to why you’d want a macro like that. Just call out who you’re beaconing or get your healing lead to assign beacons, etc. Also, sometimes two beacons is actually useful. Best example of this is a third tank on, say, Marrowgar. One pally each on two tanks and then both beacons on the third tank. Or both beacons on the mobile tank on Blood Prince Council. Or both beacons on the kite tank on Rotface.

3) can i do dungeons with my friends with real id

No, right now the functionality is restricted to chatting. However, I believe that Blizzard is planning to remove the battlegroup restrictions for Cataclysm, so even if you and your buddy are on two different battlegroups (say, Reckoning and Bloodlust), you should be able to both queue for heroic Oculus or something stupid that no one else wants to do, and be put into a group together. It might even be more intuitive than that. We’ll have to see. :)

4) dealing with infest heroic lich king

Probably the best way (on 25m) is two disc priests. Split up the raid, spam PW:S on your targets. Done. Hopefully. Remember that since it hits SO much harder on heroic that you probably won’t even need to downrank it to ensure Rapture procs.

5) did heroic modes in icc drop only heroic mark

Heroic end-wing bosses in ICC (Saurfang, Putricide, Blood Queen Lana’thel and Sindragosa) all drop ONE heroic token each. And for some reason, it’s almost always Vanquisher. :P Short of heroic Lich King, these four are the only way to get a heroic token. The end-wing bosses will also drop TWO regular marks on heroic.

6) do yellow gems count for spell hit

Yes, Rigid King’s Amber counts for both physical hit and spell hit. Both types of hit (and haste) were combined in Wrath of the Lich King.

7) gearscore is 4626. what should my dps be?

Your gearscore doesn’t matter. IF your gear is properly enchanted and gemmed, IF you’re specced and glyphed properly, IF your chosen pieces of gear are appropriate to your class and spec… IF all of those things are okay, then you should be doing DPS at least equivalent to what your gearscore is. I noticed that when I hit 5k GS on Kurn (properly enchanted/etc/etc/etc) that that was when I could pull 5k DPS under good conditions.

Don’t worry about gearscore. Worry about what’s appropriate for your class and spec. Gearscore can be thrown off by a dozen different factors and, *at its very best* only serves as a marker for potential. That’s it. It’s what you do with gear that’s appropriate that matters.

Read about this “tank” with a very high gearscore, which meant nothing.

8) harvest soul lich king mass dispel

I’m pretty sure you cannot dispel, mass or otherwise, Harvest Soul.

9) terenas menethil clique

I don’t think that’ll work. What I’ve been doing is actually targetting him and hitting my 3 button (Holy Light) and 4 button (Cleanse). You could try making him a focus and clique-casting on your focus frame, though.

Edit — Whoops, my bad. I was primarily thinking about how he doesn’t show up on Grid. I have my Clique set up so that my Grid frames (and my focus frame) are the ONLY active frames, period, that my Clique works with, since I have bound stuff to right-click. If you right-click on your own unit frame to leave a party, or right-click to do any number of things on your target frame, and your Clique is enabled for those frames and you have something bound to right-click, you can’t bring up the context menu.

So having said that, if your Clique is enabled on your target frame, absolutely, go to town.

I forgot until just now that I had my focus frame Clique-enabled. Guess who’s gonna focus Terenas next time she’s inside Frostmourne? That’s right, this lady.

10) world of logs triggered shadow trap?

Well, apart from seeing who took damage from it, you don’t really know who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. There’s no trigger for it listed in the logs that I can see. Sorry! :( Maybe one day, the Shadow Traps will be as vocal about who triggered them as Yogg-Saron’s clouds are now. ;)

Hilarity and Halion

So, as it’s Tuesday, I met a friend for a late breakfast, we went to see a movie (Iron Man 2, which was definitely worth the $6.75), we wandered and chatted and then I came home to discover that, as per usual, Blizzard and I don’t agree on things and Ruby Sanctum is open.

I was asked to go heal for my new guild when I logged on to do my transmutes, but I’d just walked in and was supposed to do a few Ahunes with my brother and Majik over on Proudmoore.

Maj, my brother and I actually ended up doing the weekly (twice on two toons each) and then when I told them that Ruby Sanctum was up… that’s all they wanted to do.

I’ll get into details on the fight in a post tomorrow or something, but can I just say that it was a HILARIOUS raid, even though we didn’t down Halion?

Maj was on his DK, tanking. My brother (whom we call Fog or Foggy) was pressed into service on his rarely-used hunter because his paladin, while able to solo-tank Anub’Rekhan, would have been smushed into itty bitty little bite-sized morsels of dragon food if he had tried tanking in Ruby Sanctum. I… was on my resto shaman. My poor, neglected, rusty old resto shaman.

We pugged seven people: another resto shammy and a holy paladin (a poorly specced, not optimally geared paladin which, to be honest, made me want to cry a bit) to make three healers. We had another paladin tank (who tended to forget about Righteous Fury), a shadow priest, a mage, a warlock and a fury warrior. So five DPS, 3 healers, 2 tanks. Might have been a little conservative on our parts, but hey, we strongly suspected it might not be a faceroll kind of instance.

We went to the right first, killing trash and getting the hang of the first miniboss, Saviana Ragefire.

We wiped a few times on her, since people weren’t watching the BIG FLASHING ARROW THINGS when they had the Conflag debuff. We learned very quickly that conflag is BAD and you want to make sure those people gtfo of the raid and away from each other.

I think it was on our fourth try on Saviana Ragefire that the warrior, mage, shadow priest, warlock and paladin tank all died. And we kept going. That’s right. Three healers, the tank and one DPS — my brother.

HILARIOUS.

We got it done, too. Took something like 14 minutes, because I KNOW I used Mana Tide twice. After about 10 minutes, I realized three things:

1) I had no mana potions. At all. I actually had to trade my brother, while in combat, for the one Runic Mana Potion he had.

2) My mana regen on the shaman SUCKS.

3) Waiting about three seconds before being able to cast even Lesser Healing Wave sucks a LOT.

But we did it! It was great!

We didn’t invite the puggers to Vent, but rather me and Maj and Fog were all on my Vent together. It was so damn funny to hear Majik yelping when his health would be low or to hear him yelling at the pugs (who couldn’t hear him, obviously) to GTFO of the raid. “Run, run, RUN YOU FUCKERS, RUN!” was just one example of that. We really got into a nice rhythm that probably no one else ever should have to be in for as long as we were, but it worked out really nicely and I re-evaluated my opinion of the failish paladin because at least they knew how to run away from the rest of the raid when they have a HUGE red arrow on their HEAD.

It was somewhere around the 11 minute mark when I realized that my paladin instincts had failed me again. I didn’t have Earthliving Weapon on. Whoopsiedoodle.

But better yet, I believe that it was AFTER the fight that my brother says, on Vent, “Guys? I, uh, I might have possibly done all that without Aspect of the Dragonhawk on.”

Then we went towards Baltharus the Warborn.

This guy kicked our ass all over the Ruby Sanctum. I have no idea how many times we wiped on him. Let me see if I can glean this information from the logs.

Ouch. Seven wipes on him.

We lost the shadow priest after the fourth wipe, who “disconnected”, and replaced him with… another shadow priest. Who was much more good natured, too.

The issue was that our paladin tank wasn’t picking up the clone properly or that the blast wave right before the split was throwing a healer or a tank completely OOR. We had people die to melee hits from the clone, we had people die from being OOR or out of LOS… We also had people too close to each other so that mark thing was splashing to others. Took us 4-5 attempts to figure out it’s a lot like Boiling Blood on Saurfang. I vaguely recall being incredibly thankful that we’d gone for the mage instead of a rogue we’d been considering inviting. Apart from AB and food and stuff, the rogue would have died as frequently as the poor warrior did from AOE on the melee.

After the seventh wipe, I was like “Okay, guys. We’ve been here for a fairly long time, so we’ll give it two more attempts and then call it for the night and maybe try to set something up later this week.”

Apart from anything else, I was POOR and couldn’t afford the repairs. I was sincerely not prepared for a raid on the shammy, hahaha.

Well, we walked in and while we lost the warrior and actually lost the prot pally, we got Baltharus down. AWESOMESAUCE.

We investigated the Ruby Sanctum, as per the quest Krasus at Wyrmrest had us do, turned it in and decided to see what Zarithrian was like.

God bless Tremor Totem.

The sunder debuff on the tanks suck, the fear sucks, the adds suck, but we one-shot the bastard because WE WERE AMAZING. Ahahaha.

And then we decided to take a look at Halion himself.

We only did two attempts on him, but had a good time of it. We blew hero at the start on the second attempt now that we knew to expect crazy fire shit dropping from the sky and actually got into P2 and all zoned into the shadow realm. THE DEATH BEAMS ARE HILARIOUS. Oh my God, I haven’t laughed so hard on a wipe in a REALLY long time.

Anyways, we called it and plan to go back sometime this week to finish it off. With any luck, I’ll have done it on the pally by then.

Man, too much fun. I really miss raiding at all with Majik. And my brother, for that matter. :)

Holy How-To #7 – Your Tools and Cooldowns

Welcome to my Holy How-To for PVE Paladins. This is the seventh 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.

Some time ago, I talked a bit about healing instincts and how my paladin healing instincts consistently screwed me over when playing any other healing class. For example, forgetting about Penance on my disc priest. Don’t get me started on Nature’s Swiftness or Tranquility on my druid, much less Nature’s Swiftness and Tidal Force on my shaman. I’m a good enough healer that I can sort of “fake” my way through content with which I’m already familiar if I’m performing the same role, like healing. But I’m not going to think to use Pain Suppression or any of the other tricks of various healing classes the way I do when I’m on my paladin.

Why is this?

Continue reading “Holy How-To #7 – Your Tools and Cooldowns”

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.