Madrana the Actress

Yesterday, one of my guild members linked me to a video (Nub Tales 5.2) which was quite a clever video about how the 30% ICC buff essentially hands people their achievements, loot and titles. It was amusing.

Unfortunately, the image of Madrana as a Kingslayer, which I posted on this very blog in the wee hours on March 29th, was included in the video as the epitome of someone who’s been freely handed their title. (Around the 37-second mark.)

“Kingslayer titles? We’re practically giving them away!” (free tities!)

And then there is my image of my paladin as a Kingslayer.

(Yes, it says free tities and not titles in the video.)

Apart from the fact that everything on this blog is my copyrighted material, making the inclusion of my image in the video without my permission ethically wrong, if not legally wrong, I don’t particularly mind the implication that I got handed my title. I know how hard I worked on that fight. I know how much effort I put in. What I do mind is the implication that the 24 other people, most of whom I don’t speak to any longer or even really ever liked (healers being an exception), did not work their asses off to get Arthas down. My then-guild’s name is obscured (I did the obscuring), though my tabard is still clearly visible and, initially, my character’s name was visible until the creator threw up an annotation to cover Madrana.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but it’s a pretty unique name in WoW, so it’s pretty obvious that it’s me and it would be extremely obvious to anyone I’ve raided with that it’s me. With more than 60,000 views on the video, you perhaps begin to understand my annoyance.

So, for the record, so that anyone viewing it knows that my guild at the time was not just handed their titles…

We got him down with the 5% buff on Sunday, March 28th. Our kill was the 105th attempt on him, the result of 104 wipes over eight raid nights, spread out over four weeks. It took more than 20 hours of working on the fight. It took everyone’s efforts over that  time to troubleshoot everything from healing to dealing with Soul Reaper to dealing with Harvest Soul, not to mention learning how to collape for Valks then running out of Defile or vice-versa.

The Lich King is a difficult fight when you’re learning it. It’s a difficult fight in terms of mechanics even with the ICC buff. The buff only helps to cover mistakes to do with healing and DPS output. It doesn’t move you out of Defile, it doesn’t help you interrupt the spirit in Frostmourne or cleanse Terenas. It doesn’t prevent you from falling off the edge or getting blown back by an orb. The coordination required for the Lich King fight is beyond anything else in this expansion, with the possible exception of heroic Sindragosa and definitely heroic Lich King.

After some discussion with the video’s creator, he’s agreed to link to this blog post from the video page on YouTube, rather than remove the image and re-render the video, which I initially requested. While my image was used without my permission in the creation of the video, I have granted permission for it to be used so long as a link to this post exists on the video page.

So welcome to those from YouTube. Thanks for stopping in and I hope you’ll stick around if you enjoy posts about WoW, particularly holy paladin stuff and healing. I appreciate you taking the time to read this post.

Kurn's Q&A #26

Tuesday! A day off from raiding, a day to center myself and get caught up on a bunch of things, including weekly search terms that seem interesting.

1) what is raidwalled

“Raidwalled” is when a paladin with the talent Divine Sacrifice and Divine Guardian casts Divine Sacrifice, which activates Divine Guardian. This name comes from the warrior cooldown called Shield Wall, although Divine Guardian will not mitigate anywhere near as much damage as Shield Wall. However, it does affect the entire raid, whereas Shield Wall only affects the warrior.

2) bop remove cleave armor debuff ruby sanctum

That’s an awesome question. Next time I do RS, I’ll BOP an inactive tank for a second before freedoming them to see if that works.

3) do elixir mastery proc on potions

It astounds me that, more than three years since alchemy specializations were introduced, people still don’t get it.

No, Elixir Mastery alchemists proc on elixirs and flasks. Potion Mastery alchemists proc on potions. Transmute Mastery alchemists proc on transmutes.

4) drape of the violet tower holy paladin


Okay, I may have exaggerated. But you have other options.

Fluttering Sapphiron Drape (10m Ony)
Flowing Sapphiron Drape (25m Ony)

And if you got lucky, Ahune dropped Shroud of Winter’s Chill for you and you didn’t get rid of it.

Honestly, I’d rank the cloaks thusly, from best to worst for a holy paladin:

25m Ony then Ahune then 10m Ony then Drape of the Violet Tower.


5) stormbringer gloves

I admit, I had no idea what the hell these were. The 251 Stormbringer Gloves are nice 251-level gloves. I would recommend the badge gloves over them, though, for a holy paladin. The Gauntlets of Overexposure are better — more int, more haste. They’re also available for 60 Emblems of Frost. Ultimately, I like the Unclean Surgical Gloves and the heroic Unclean Surgical Gloves better.

Here’s a comparison.

6) +casting +”beacon of light” +threat

I’m pretty sure that you do get some measure of threat merely by casting Beacon of Light. The Lich King looked at me last night after I cast Beacon of Light on an OT. It’s likely not much, probably the equivalent of a face pull, and would probably need to be done right when the boss becomes active (in the case of the Lich King, for example) in order to cause any significant threat.

Does the mirrored heal from Beacon of Light cause threat? I honestly don’t know. I’ll see if I can figure that one out.

7) any way to parse halion log

I use World of Logs, but the last I saw, it wasn’t able to parse both the shadow realm and the physical realm, since you’re only logging for your active realm.

I love WoL dearly and have no doubt they’re working on this issue.

8) halion beacon of light

What I like to do is beacon the tank here and raid heal, including myself. However, I never, ever hesitate to directly heal the tank, even if beacon is on them. I do this on most single-tank portions of fights. Will the beacon go through the realms? I do not think so.

9) holy paladin multiple beacon

You can have an unlimited number of beacons on a single target. The only limitation is how many holy paladins you have around.

10) is the weekly on the same lockout as the regular raids

Yes. That means if your weekly is Lord Jaraxxus and you go into TOC10 to kill him, you will be saved to TOC10. Same if it’s XT-002 Deconstructor and you go in to Ulduar 25, you are then saved to Ulduar 25.

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:

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.

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).

Difficult raid.

Last night was a difficult raid. One of our raid leaders couldn’t make it, another couple of officers couldn’t, which somehow left me as not only the sole holy paladin, but the only paladin, period. With the bug about Drums of Forgotten Kings (you can’t gain this buff if you have any existing paladin buff!), we ended up going with Battle Shout and Mana Spring totem, as well as kings.

As the lone paladin, I was also the only one judging and I had to decide if light or wisdom was going to be more beneficial to the group. We tried Dreamwalker (so my judging is very temporary anyways, literally judging to get my buff up and that’s it) and Sindragosa and heroic Putricide (and regular Putricide) and regular Lich King. I elected to judge light in all of those situations, for better or for worse.

Anyways, we had a rough raid but I helped the guild get Portal Jockey (25), which I got two months previously, to the day. We tried a bit of All You Can Eat (25), which is pretty much my most unfavourite achievement ever and I think people got the timing of it down for the tanks to be able to switch okay, but we had people iceblocking others and such.

Then we tried Heroic Putricide. Honestly, not as good as last Thursday, but not bad. Everyone’s getting a lot better with the plague, but people weren’t running away from the gas cloud, people weren’t stacking up for oozes. So we killed him normal mode and then moved up to Lich King.

I don’t know if it was just that it was the end of the raid or what, but we didn’t get him down. Raging Spirits killed three people in the first transition on the first attempt (including me!), Infest got others… We lost our priest on that first attempt and he didn’t come back, so we tried five-healing with me, two resto shammies and two resto druids. Infest is painful in general. :(

So it was a rough night but the thing about it is that I still enjoyed myself and we still accomplished something and practiced for other stuff. No LK down? Meh, we got Portal Jockey instead. No heroic Putricide down? Meh, we got some good practice with the Unbound Plague. No All You Can Eat? Meh, we practiced that and made some progress.

Not sure what I’ll be able to get done around Ye Olde Corner today, since I have some RL stuff to attend to, but we’ll see. Should get a Q&A up later tonight, at any rate. :)

Raiding and progression.

It’s kind of a weird situation I’m in, I keep realizing. My guild is working on heroic modes, right? They were 7/12 when I joined and then we got Dreamwalker that week. (All they were missing was a kick-ass holy paladin, obviously!) Then we did some work on Lady Deathwhisper the second week. Didn’t get her down, but worked on refining the strategy.

The third week, last week, we went out and downed Lady Deathwhisper. And Halion (on regular), too. Then we worked on some heroic Sindragosa. I swear to God, it’s my least-favourite fight in the instance, but I know it pretty damn well at this point. ;)

So this week, we got LDW down again and one-shotted heroic Saurfang for the first time. (The first four marks were all on healers, if you can imagine.) We also got Princes down that night and then went on to Halion.

Last night, though, we were short a healer. We’re seriously in need of a priest and another pally would be great. But one of our priests had his wisdom teeth out or something, so he wasn’t going to be on.

We did BQL, Festergut and Rotface all on heroic with five healers.

And then decided to play with heroic Putricide, which the guild’s never seen before.

I actually really love the heroic Putricide encounter. Malleable Goo sucks ass, don’t get me wrong, but I LOVE the heroic Putricide encounter because I happen to be GOOD at dealing with the stupid Unbound Plague.

In the first night of attempts, and not even a full night, mind you, but we’re talking less than two hours, my new guild almost pushed phase 3.

Of course, it’s going to be HILARIOUS to see their reaction to the insane, incomprehensible amounts of raid damage once we hit ~2 stacks on each tank in P3, ahahahaha. I’m really looking forward to the reactions on Vent or in raid chat, because it’s going to be freaking hilarious. The one warning I gave the healers was something along the lines of “if we make it to P3, don’t worry about me. I’m going to Beacon myself and heal the active tank. Just worry about yourselves and the raid.”

We didn’t make it to P3, but I feel as though in less than two hours of work on him, we did as well adjusting to the mechanics as my previous guild did in about six or seven hours.

I really feel good about the raid group. We did a lot of plague swapping without calling it out and had a few (of our 9? 10?) attempts where the plague swapping was, honestly, PERFECT. We were killing Putricide in my last guild (with AVRE still in use!) and not getting plague swaps that clean.

Speaking of, HudMap on this encounter is freaking phenomenal. I kept messing with my settings and accidentally turned the entire thing OFF at one point, but it does a great job of showing you who has the plague and how long they’ve had it for, which is the difficult part of the encounter. According to the Curse page, it’ll show you who you can’t give it to, too (or rather, shouldn’t, due to Plague Sickness), but I didn’t even see that. I didn’t really need it, given my experience with the encounter, but it might be handy in general.

Anyways. I feel like heroic Putricide is within our grasp. We called the raid a little early last night and left him up for Monday, along with Dreamwalker, Sindragosa and LK. If I were running the raid, I’d spend 2.5 hours on Putricide, then roll through heroic Dreamwalker, regular Sindragosa and LK. Even if we don’t get Putricide on heroic this week, I have a good feeling about next reset.

I think the coolest thing about this is that even though I’m not the one getting achievements like Heroic: Storming the Citadel or Heroic: The Plagueworks… it still feels like progression to me. Even though it’s not new to me, even though I’ve wiped for countless hours on all of these encounters before and then stood in screenshots over their bodies. This is awesome forward momentum. This is progression for the guild. I WANT to get these people their heroic kills, I WANT to get these people their drakes. I want to wipe on heroic LK with these people. I want to wipe on heroic Halion with these people.

I think the end of Wrath of the Lich King will be a great time for me and it is SO NICE to feel that way and look forward to raids instead of dreading them.

"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.

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?

Happy Canada Day / Cataclysm Stuff / Ruby Sanctum

Happy Canada Day, folks! I’m headed to Ottawa for the day to see the Queen. No, not Céline Dion or Sarah McLachlan, as some of my new guildies guessed. The actual Queen Elizabeth II.

I’m pretty excited, actually. She’s in Ottawa for Canada Day, which is very cool. I’ve been in Washington DC on July 4th at least twice and now I finally get to be in my own nation’s capital on the day celebrating our independence as a nation. True, I’m missing the fireworks, but THE QUEEN, people!

Ahem. Yes, I’m a monarchist. Well, it’s better than being a separatist, right? Right. The point of that was to say that I’m out of town for the day, but normal operations here at Kurn’s Corner will resume later tonight or tomorrow. :)

Also, there’s a lot of Cataclysm Beta stuff being talked about because invites are going out and the NDA has been lifted. I am not currently in the beta (but you can believe I’m going to be double-checking every freaking day). I would LOVE to hear from you guys regarding paladin changes in Cataclysm if you ARE in the Beta. I’d love to hear about talents, glyphs, new spells and the like. I mean, you’re going to get my perspective about Cataclysm anyways, so you may as well make sure that I’m actually up to date about such things. ;)

Please don’t hesitate to email me with your bits of Cataclysm news at:

kurn [at] apotheosis-now [dot] com

Finally, the guild is heading in to Ruby Sanctum tonight. We got Heroic Lady Deathwhisper as a guild first last night and repeated a Saurfang heroic kill, which is never easy when you only have the one holy paladin in the raid. I’ve discovered that at 4m30s or so, I’m spending more time looking at my dwindling mana bar and Divine Plea cooldown and the boss’ health than I am on if my beacon is still up.

Anyways, 9/12, just in time for the GM’s birthday today and into Ruby Sanctum tonight for something new and exciting! I’ll have a post up about RS strats, mostly cobbled together from my mini-boss experience on Tuesday on the shaman, combined with what I learn tonight about Halion.

Have a fantastic Canada Day, people. I’ll see you later. :)

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.


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.


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:

/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. ;)