Kurn's Q&A 20

Apologies, my brother suckered me into rolling a low-level (Horde!) toon. But I insisted the server be The Venture Co. because xmolder is over there and it’s RPPVP so the joke’s on my brother. ;) So this post is later than I intended, but it should be followed up quickly with my Strat Live post.

Anyways, time for Kurn’s Q&A! Going through my website stats from last week, the vast majority of people showed up here looking for help with heroic Putricide. I hope my guide helped!

So, barring Putricide (and freaking Toravon) searches, here are ten search terms that amused me or intrigued me.

1) dont want avr broken

You and several thousand others, I’m afraid. It’s still going to break and that means that you and I will both have to keep our eyes out for Unbound Plague without it. We’ll have to run to our Sindragosa spots and either memorize what symbol goes where or refer to a cheat sheet. You know, one that’s been written out on paper. With a pen or pencil. Or something. Shocking, I know.

2) holy paladin wearing mail

Uh, yes. Do it. There’s nothing wrong with it. Resto shaman mail is better itemized than holy paladin plate is, most of the time. Cloth and leather are even okay… as long as there’s no spirit on it.

3) can u reset the keepers in ulduar

To my knowledge, no. Then again, it’s been a long time since I was last in Ulduar. That said, though, I’m pretty sure that once you talk to a Keeper in Ulduar (after rescuing them), you can’t tell them to take a hike. I think they might be, you know, mortally offended.

4) fol spec holy pally for hardmodes?

You know, I’m kind of torn. There’s no question that my personal preference is for Holy Light. I am, and always have been, a Holy Light paladin. It’s hard for me to judge whether or not my response to this question is coloured by my obvious bias towards HL. I will say this: You need a HL paladin, period. There is just so much insane damage that you need someone spamming those huge heals. Now, should there be another paladin in there… you know, maybe. There could be room for it. I guess a lot depends on your raid makeup. Would I rather bring ANY kind of paladin if we have to rely on ghetto kings (Drums of Forgotten Kings)? YES. Would I rather bring a FoL style holy paladin in over a second HL style paladin? Probably not. But, as I said, I’m biased.

5) i am a fail tank

Just by googling that, you are not, because it implies you’re willing to learn. Key points: Don’t be crittable; hold aggro; have a real tanking spec. Thank you!

6) is divinity or healing light better for ret pally

I’d make sure to get Guardian’s Favor and then drop any points you have left into Divinity.

7) mage role toravon ice watcher

DPS Toravon. Kill Frozen Orbs. Rinse, repeat. Don’t forget to put up Frost Ward to help mitigate damage and, in the case of Arcane mages, proc Incanter’s Absorption.

8) shieldwall against soulreaper

In general, a tank should not need to hit Shield Wall when Soul Reaper comes along, because, ideally, the OT has taunted the Lich King off of the MT once Soul Reaper is going to hit the MT. If you ever find yourself still tanking the Lich King AND Soul Reaper is going to go off, hit Shield Wall and Last Stand, both. :P

9) what to do with extra emblems of triumph

There are a lot of things you can do with extra Emblems of Triumph.

a) Trade them in for Emblems of Heroism and buy epic gems for 20 (red, blue, yellow) or 10 (orange, green pirple) emblems each.
b) Trade them in for Emblems of Heroism and buy Frozen Orbs, which you can then trade for things like Frost Lotuses or various Eternals.
c) Trade them in for various Emblems of whatever to get things like Crusader Orbs, Runed Orbs and the like.

10) how the fuck do you get into halls of reflection when you die

Heh. Fly towards Icecrown Citadel. See the battering ram? Go over to the wall on the right. Fly up. See the Argent Crusade banner? Follow the rampart to the entryway on the left and you’ll see a summoning stone and three doors. Halls of Reflection is the middle one, the left one is Forge of Souls and the right one is Pit of Saron.

More PUG failure! Hooray!

I may just take a break from using the random dungeon tool for a few days. The stupid makes my head hurt.

Today, my hunter got Drak’Tharon Keep. And the name of my warrior tank was hilarious.

Apotheosis. My old guild’s name. Awesome, right? Wrong. Our healer is a druid and had just switched to his (or her) resto spec and had no mana… and also had other gear on. What does Mr. Slandering My Guild’s Name do? He chain pulls the whole hallway and half of the first room. The ENTIRE TIME, in party chat, the druid is going “WAIT” and “NEED TO SWAP GEAR” and stuff.

That Drak’Tharon Keep run ended for me when we wiped TWICE on King Dred. Well, I only died once because FD was on cooldown, but after the second time, AND Mr. Needs A Name Change didn’t run back for his healer, I left. Screw that nonsense. And then, despite the fact it truly saddened me, I put Apotheosis on ignore.

You bastard. Using my guild’s name and being a dickweed? That is NOT the Apotheosis way. :P I left the group, requeued, and… wound up back in DTK. No problems. Got a couple people their Better off Dred achievement, too.

Madrana’s Azjol-Nerub run went fine, thankfully. I didn’t feel like tanking so I queued as just a healer. It’s nice to not have to tank.

The shammy was less fortunate than my paladin. I got Trial of the Champion. Which, you know, should be fine, right? Again, we would be wrong.

While standing in front of the Horde champions, I realize that the paladin tank has buffed us.

That’s right. Buffed us. All of us. With SANCTUARY. The group makeup is pally tank, DPS DK, mage, hunter and me on my shammy, healing.

So naturally, I ask for kings.

(The tank also had Crusader Aura up ’till I asked for a change in aura.) But basically, I was agog. The tank actually believed that Sanctuary was the same thing as kings, but you got less damage taken.

Strictly speaking, he’s wrong. But for a tank, a paladin tank at that, he’s more or less correct. You lose 10% agility as opposed to Kings when you use Sanc, but you gain an obscene amount of mana from the blocks, dodges and parries, plus you get your 10% stam for your health pool and you get 10% strength for your threat.

Does not mean that a resto shaman has any use for any of that. How many attacks will I block, dodge and parry, if I even get attacked at all?

The one who did cry was the hunter. I should have spat out “you don’t get 10% agility when you have Sanc, buddy”, but the paladin relented and gave me kings. Doesn’t mean the MAGE and the HUNTER didn’t still have Sanc, but whatever. And for that cry comment, I will admit, I let the hunter die on the Black Knight. And almost didn’t rez him before leaving the group. I also elected to use Wrath of Air totem just to spite the pally tank, even though it was just me and the mage who would benefit.

Oh, and more proof that the pally tank was fail:

STOP USING SEAL OF WISDOM, YOU MORONS. Seals of Wisdom and Light are basically for the holy paladins of the world. Seal of Command is primarily ret, occasionally prot. Seal of Vengeance is prot. STOP BEING NIMRODS and using Seal of Wisdom even when your mana bar is FULL.

Finally, I spent a mana bar’s worth of casts at the heroic target dummy in IF to determine what the hell I should use as an Arcane mage — Flamestrike or Blizzard. My Rotation was: Flamestrike 9, Flamestrike 8, Blizzard. I did this five times, emptying my mana bar almost entirely. This is, of course, an extremely small sample size, but I think that under the controlled conditions, it’s a relatively accurate comparison.

56,054 damage from Blizzard versus 48,057 damage from Flamestrike and its dot. This leads me to believe that Ignite and the various fire-related crit talents are a HUGE component of Flamestrike damage, since I have no Frost talents to improve Blizzard at all. So I do believe that the resto shammy believed me to be a FFB (Frostfire Bolt) specced mage when, neener neener, I am Arcane or Frost, depending on which of my two specs is active. So THERE.

Random Dungeon Storytime!

So last night, after my raid (in which I did awesomely in terms of numbers since I was the only holy paladin in the raid), I did the random heroic on 3.5 toons.

On the paladin, I got Utgarde Pinnacle. Nothing seriously good or bad happened except that an enhancement shammy got flattened by Skadi or whatever his name is and, *while* I’m casting the rez, he’s all “rez plz”.

So I’m like “I was, you know, casting the rez.”


And the tank, a gnome DK, was like “U MAD? LOL”

The tank, who was subpar to begin with, got put on ignore after the run. :P

Then poor Kurn got Oculus. >< Not only did I get Oculus, which I desperately was not in the mood for, but the holy paladin healer was a dumbass who clearly does not know how to read chat.

As I do in every random run where there’s one paladin, I hit my Drums of Forgotten Kings macro.

I don’t know. Maybe I should figure out how to actually link the item in the macro. Why? Because after waiting about 15-20 seconds for an acknowledgement or the pally to actually start buffing, neither of which happened, I buffed kings.

The pally, IMMEDIATELY thereafter, started buffing everyone… with 10m kings.

My buffs. Granted, it’s Oculus. And we spend half our time on stupid dragons. But really? Overwriting my 8% kings that has a 30m duration with a 10% kings with 10m? Instead of giving me and the DK and the two feral druids might? Instead of giving him or herself wisdom? And you’ll note there’s Crusader Aura, too. Guess what aura was up THE ENTIRE RUN? That’s right. Crusader Aura.

The paladin met my ignore list right after the run.

Then the shammy healed… Utgarde Pinnacle. Yet again, my tank was a gnome death knight. Apart from no one initially picking up the harpoons, and the mage AND warlock pets pulling unwanted mobs on TWO separate occasions (I let the mage die because of it), it went fairly smoothly.

At this point, I was exhausted and wanted, desperately, to go to bed. But just one more random on my mage for the Emblems of Frost, right? Couldn’t be too bad, right?


I get Halls of Lightning. Eh, better than Halls of Stone, I reason. So I buff everyone, put down a table, put Focus Magic on the resto shammy and we’re off.

We do the first pull and the tank runs down to the second pull and I start casting Blizzard.

“don’t forget to flamestrike and then downrank flamestrike” the resto shammy whispers to me.

“I don’t really use Flamestrike,” I reply.

“you should” he says.

Now hold the phone, here. I’m 57/3/11. That’s an Arcane build. Near as I can figure, along with WoWWiki, talents which improve Flamestrike’s damage are:

Ignite, which I don’t have

Critical Mass, which I don’t have

Fire Power, which I don’t have

Pyromaniac, which I don’t have

So is there any reason for me to cast not one, but two ranks of Flamestrike with 0 fire talents benefitting it when I can just cast Blizzard? Blizzard has, near as I can figure, three talents in the Frost tree that directly benefit it, and only two of them benefit its damage. Improved Blizzard doesn’t increase damage, but adds a chill to it. Piercing Ice would give me 6% more damage to Blizzard and Arctic Winds (which I can’t seem to link to from the talent name, for some reason, but is at http://www.wowhead.com/?spell=31678 ) would give me 5% more damage to Blizzard.

Ignite gives me 40% more damage if I crit, I’d get 6% more chance to crit from Critical Mass, I’d do 10% more damage from Fire Power and 3% more chance to crit from Pyromaniac. So shouldn’t I just cast Blizzard? I miss out on 11% damage from Frost talents vs. 10% damage from Fire talents, but I miss out on Ignite and the extra crit chance to help proc Ignite if I cast Flamestrike.

Basically, is it just me, or did the resto shammy think I was a FFB mage?

Since I hadn’t (and still haven’t fully) done my research, I just stopped responding, but he kept it up. I told him that I was just playing to have fun, get my badges. “but thats why your last” he said. I checked my recount. I was, indeed, doing less damage than the rest of the DPS. But really, this is my 4th 80, who has been 80 for less than a month. Do I really care?

“Dude,” I responded, “this is my 4th 80. I really, REALLY don’t care.”

Shortly thereafter, we had a death in the group. One of the DPS died on a pack pre-first boss. Well, we then accidentally (?) pulled the CHARGED boss. So we had a pack of trash, PLUS the boss and his adds.

Other DPS dies.

I start focusing the adds, being that I’m the only DPS still alive. The resto shammy is typing, all in caps “RUN BACK RUN BACK” and the DPS are basically just lying there. “after the boss dies” they said. Apparently, they didn’t understand that it was POSSIBLE that the boss WOULD NOT DIE if they didn’t run back.

So it takes something like five minutes. And the resto shammy wants us to WIPE so that the dead DPS don’t “get a free badge”. So he actually RUNS AWAY from me and the tank and doesn’t heal the tank for the last 40-some seconds of the fight. Well, over the course of the five minutes, I used 2 mana gems, an evocation and a mana potion and we finally got the boss down, no thanks to the resto shammy.

So he’s all like “i’m not rezzing you” to the dead people and I just snapped at him.

“Dude, you’re just a dick,” I said.

“says the fail mage,” he replies.

“Fuck you, buddy,” I said, then left the group, putting him on ignore. I don’t normally give people the opportunity to report me for even something as minor as profanity, but my patience was at an end.

In all fairness, perhaps I am a fail mage. Perhaps I SHOULD be using two ranks of Flamestrike or whatever on AOE. I honestly don’t know. But that guy was my definition of a jackass. Everything he said set me on edge, his suggestion to WIPE on the first boss was ridiculous and clearly he’s a nimrod if he wants to NOT heal his tank so that he can better facilitate his stupid wipe idea. I also think he’s a bad healer for letting two of his DPS die, but hey, if the DPS dies, it’s their own damn fault, usually.

So I left the group, ignored him and logged off and went to bed. :P

And now I’m doing research to figure out what my AOE spell should be. Clearly, Arcane Explosion is a deathwish, since I wear cloth. :P

And this post from Critical QQ says I should use Blizzard. Granted, the post is 9 months old.  Eh, I’ll figure it out.

So those were yesterday’s randoms. I hope today’s will be less interesting.

RankWatching a PuG VOA 25 raid

Oh, the stupid. It hurts.

First up, a shadow priest. CLEARLY the shadow priest is usually holy or disc. Why do I say that?

At least, I HOPE he or she was usually holy or disc.

Then, a shammy:

And yet, they did great damage. There are three separate Lightning Bolts for them in my parse. I’m very confused.

Meanwhile, Huntard alert! Huntard alert!

REALLY? Arcane Shot at ALL and rank one at that? Y’know how much that hit for, according to my worldoflogs parse? 41. 41 damage. And he’s survival. Arcane Shot shares a cooldown with Explosive Shot. Why on EARTH would you EVER use Arcane?!


Back to the priest that I REALLY HOPE is holy or disc:

Rank 1s. $10 says they never trained up for their shadow spec. I actually know this person, having done a run at some point with one of their alts. I know that this is a long-time 80. That this is only being caught NOW terrifies me.

And back to the shammy.

… wha? For real? That’s worse than my shammy using Rank 4 for 2+ months. :P

No joke, my worldoflogs parse says this huntard used Ranks 1-4 of Aspect of the Hawk and then settled on Aspect of the Dragonhawk. Rank 2. Why on EARTH would anyone do that? The icon isn’t even the same!

Anyways, so I went on my mage and I kind of sucked, but I beat the other mage. The other mage, however, won T9 ilvl 245 pants from Koralon. :P And I DEFINITELY beat the “shadow” priest.

My mage: 674,133 damage, 5130.7 dps #12

Other mage: 632,687, 4923.1 dps #14

“Shadow” priest: 254,378, 2021.2 dps #18

I feel naked.

Since I have felt, how to put it… silly hauling out my Water Elemental (his name is Clyde) in raid situations (VOA), I decided to get dual spec on my mage. Primary spec is frost and is more of a heroic spec so that if I get a fail tank who can’t hold aggro, at least I have my Ice Barrier and Cold Snap.

My secondary spec is arcane and I’m trying to get the hang of it before I go embarass myself in a raid, so I just did a boss and a half (we wiped on Hadronox when the fail tank pulled everything at once) of Azjol-Nerub before the healer (and the rest of the group) bailed. I cannot express how naked I felt without my Ice Barrier and how lonely I was without Clyde. :(

Still in the LFG tool though, to get my two Emblems of Frost and to continue acclimating to arcane. I have NEVER been arcane before. I went fire for like, two and a half levels in my early-to-mid-60s and hated it. Long cast times, no real defense and no Ice Barrier!

I may have a love affair with Ice Barrier. But Mana Shield just isn’t the same. :(

Having said all that, Kurn and Madrana both did XT today for the weekly raid. Hilariously, Kurn had no issues getting in. At some point, I’d done an Ulduar 10 pug and we’d done Must Deconstruct Faster (the speed kill) so all I did was “Hunter, 5k+ DPS, 5k GS [Must Deconstruct Faster (10 player)]” and got an invite. Heh.

The shammy and the mage, especially the mage, will definitely be more challenging when it comes to getting spots in the weekly raid, that’s for sure.

Another 80 and some musings.

Well, the mage is 80 and it’s led me to some thinking about my alts and how I play this game.

My first toon, forever my “main”, even if I don’t raid with it, was Kurnmogh and I love my hunter all day long. Kurn and I have been through it all together. But sometime in there, I rolled a bank alt toon, which ended up being a human female paladin, named Madrana. Levelling Madrana (as holy!), back in the day, was a welcome reprieve from farming Essence of Air out in Silithus, which is basically what I’d do on Kurn when I wasn’t raiding or couldn’t get a guild group to go to Strat UD (my favourite instance) or UBRS (for my bloody T0 chestpiece!).

Madrana got to be a pretty awesome healer, pre-BC, even if most of her heals were Flash of Light and I didn’t understand half the mechanics of a pally.

Burning Crusade launched and my brother rolled a human warrior on a PVP server, where some of his RL friends played on Horde side. His goal: to level up and kick their asses. I know, my brother is a dork. So he calls me up when he’s level six or so and is like “I NEED A HEALER COME HEAL ME!”

Having already levelled a healer to 60, there was no way I was going to do it again (haha, I was so sure back then…) so he encouraged me to roll up a DPS class. And so my mage was born. I hit 30 and then discovered the utter chaos of Southshore on a PVP server. So I left Darkspear and brought the mage “home” to Eldre’Thalas — and my brother brought his warrior over.

At some point during this time, I also rolled a shammy, who would eventually be Katarah, but she started life as Shockra. I know, horrible name, eh?

I got the hunter, pally and mage up to 70 in BC but ignored the shammy.

In Wrath, I got the hunter, pally, shammy up to 80 and then got the priest going. And I’m getting a druid up there, too. :P

I think that, for the most part, playing my alts (not necessarily levelling them, but playing them) is my break from my raiding “job”. I raid 12 hours or so a week on Madrana and I heal, so it’s work. I like to get Kurn into whatever raids I can because I like to take pride in my hunter and I like to see how I’m doing compared to people playing their toons full time.

I got the shammy up because I wanted to understand healing better, from a shammy perspective. I’m not quite sure that I do, but I definitely know that I can’t DPS worth a damn on the shammy. ;)

And then I started playing the mage, for fun. And with the advent of 3.3 and the dungeon finder, I was having a BLAST going through instances on my mage. True, there was usually a wait, but I loved learning these stupid instances again from the perspective of a pure caster. I’ve sheeped things! I’ve provided food! I’ve buffed intellect! Good times.

Now that there are the four 80s (whose recent achievements are on the right over there… the order is Madrana, Kurn, the shammy and the mage), with a fifth to level by Cataclysm (stupid druid), I have plans.

Madrana is saving her Emblems of Frost for tier gear, first and foremost. Kurn, meanwhile, is upgrading via Emblem of Frost gear from the vendor, not going for tier armor yet, because hey, I don’t have access to the marks that drop in ICC.

Kurn is also my leatherworker, so after enough rep runs and such, I should be honored with Ashen Verdict and be able to buy patterns for various boots — boots that I’ll use on Kurn, the shammy AND Madrana, probably, because the crafted plate boots just aren’t as good as the crafted caster mail boots.

So how to fund the purchase of Primordial Saronite and such? Simple. The shammy and the mage will be using their Emblems of Frost for Primordial Saronite and finish gearing themselves up with Emblems of Triumph.

Both of them should get 19 Emblems of Frost a week, assuming no ICC runs, until the new VOA boss comes out (Tuesday?) at which point they’ll get 21 a week, one would presume. It’ll be slow, but at least I won’t have to spend 3000g on a single Primordial Saronite. I don’t know how many the shammy has, atm, but I’m pretty sure I’m into the 40s, so I’ll have enough to purchase the patterns as soon as Kurn hits honored.

So that’s the plan.

Also, I’m 18/0/53 on the mage. I’ve glyphed for Frostbolt, so it no longer slows (!) but causes 5% more damage, and I have Focus Magic and Torment the Weak (which I really didn’t understand, but TOTALLY do now — everything is a damn slow! Go go TTW!!). The mage’s achievements are hilarious, because I’m a brand-new 80, so everything I do is an achievement. Got a dungeon/raid emblem, achievement. Didn’t use the defense crystals in VH, achievement. Etc, etc. It cracks me up.

Happy new year, everyone. Looks to be an exciting year in terms of WoW. :D

Definitely not perfect.

So I’m standing there on my mage, frostbolting King Dred, when he does his bellowing roar.

“Man, I wish I had Every Man For Himself on this character,” I muttered to myself.

And then stopped.

And blinked my eyes (not my toon).

I DO have Every Man For Himself! My mage is human! It just wasn’t on my bars. >< Way to go, me. Way to freaking go. EMFH has been out for what, over a year? Goes to show you how often I play my mage.