Ulduar: Reset 2, Night 3

(or, “And I thought I hated his Sons…”)

Remember all my optimism with regards to Hodir? Throw it out the window.

First, we went to Emalon in the Vault of Archavon. Can I just say… how dumb is it that a Tier 7 boss and a Tier 8 boss are in the same instance that you can get saved to? What if you go to Vault of Archavon to kill Archavon? Then you’re saved to an instance where Emalon is up, but still can’t go to any other raids apart from your own. This hasn’t happened to me — I elected to stay the hell out of the Vault of Archavon unless it was going to be with my guild, because I didn’t want to get saved.

So we did Emalon. Sadly, it took three attempts.

Emalon down.
Emalon down.

Two PVP pieces and two pieces of T8 dropped, I believe. Shadow priest gloves and hunter gloves. The shadow priest gloves may have been disenchanted (? Or vendored if you can’t DE them.).

Then, we headed to Ulduar, whereapon we fought Hodir for close to four hours. And did not down the bastard.

Most of my guild did, however, get Heroic: Staying Buffed All Winter.

heroic-stayingbuffed

I was the first person to get it, though, completely by chance. And it lagged my casting and the MT died. Whoops. :)

The first major issue was that people were being dumb about the falling snow. There are these blue circles that show up. You don’t stand in them because icicles/snow fall there and you take, oh, 14,000 frost damage if you don’t resist any of it.

The second major issue is that we had four pallies healing, one druid, two priests and a resto shammy. We actually swapped out our backup tank for another paladin healer. This is one of the most difficult fights I’ve encountered as a paladin so far in 3.0.  Well, that’s not entirely accurate. It is a difficult fight to heal well as a holy paladin.

Why?

There are several reasons.

1) In order to avoid the Biting Cold debuff (think Keristrasza at the end of The Nexus, only worse — you have to keep moving/jumping to get rid of one debuff at a time, and this one deals damage), you have to move. Pretty darn constantly. Cast twice, move, cast twice, move. Cast on the move with Holy Shock and Infusion of Light procs as often as possible.

2) Stay the hell out of the circles. The icicle circles of doom are constantly appearing all around the room. You MUST avoid them. Not that my guild really did, but that’s why we didn’t kill Hodir tonight. :P

3) Flash Freeze. When the BIG circles appear during Hodir’s Flash Freeze cast, wait for the snow to drop, then go stand on top of the snow, lest you get frozen. And while frozen, you take increasing stacks of Biting Cold damage! Hooray! So you’re constantly watching for those circles and then booking it to their edges so you can get on the snowdrift for safety.

4) Haste buffs. There are these circles of light that come down that boost your haste to AWESOME amounts. Like, perpetual heroism speed, as long as you stand in them. They look like the Lunar Festival spotlight things. So obviously, while you’re chasing your tank, you want to stop in these every so often. Run, move, run, move. Ideally, from one circle of light to another. But that’s rarely possible.

5) Toasty Fires. The best thing since Divine Plea. These fires, created by the mage NPCs, allow you to just STAND next to them without letting Biting Cold touch you. They’ll be extinguished if icicles fall on them or a Flash Freeze happens, but will protect you from the damage of all three of those effects until extinguished and you’re in range. Beautiful for a healer or any other casters who can’t effectively cast while running all the damn time. So when you see one, you try to run to it while praying your tank doesn’t die because you can’t cast while running!

That said, I had a blast healing it tonight. I didn’t top healing, nor should I ever do so, really, but I did cast Blessing dammit Hand of Sacrifice on the tank 1-2 times an attempt. I’d bubble the first and beacon myself for the second and heal the tank/myself for that whole time. I felt useful! I was dodging icicles, only got caught in Flash Freeze twice, both times because I was like, five meters yards too far away to get to the snowdrifts in time. (Well, I also got caught in it on attempts where the RL had already called for a wipe, but those don’t count.)

It wasn’t just spamming the tank with Holy Light. It was keeping beacon on me, sacred shield on the tank, using Holy Shock and any Infusion Procs on the run for either myself or the raid members. It was looking for a smart place to stand to cast Holy Light. It was judging on the run. It was wondering when a good time to use Divine Plea was.

A very challenging fight to heal *well*, to be honest, and I really did enjoy that challenge.

Doesn’t mean I wouldn’t like for him to be dead, mind you, but I’m sure that once my guildies get the hang of NOT standing under icicles, we’ll be fine. It took a while for most people to check off “Show Projected Textures” in their video settings to be able to see the blue circles of death on the ground, and I’m not entirely convinced that everyone even DID. But experience is a good teacher and we’ll go back in there on Saturday and kick some ass.

Hopefully.

In other news, they seem to have fixed the Blessing of Wisdom/Improved Mana Spring totem stacking bug. When Improved Mana Spring is down, I can’t buff BoW or GBoW. Time to train the shammies out of dropping it. You would think that they’d make Improved BoW be 92 mp5 instead of 91, like how Improved BoMight is one AP more than a warrior’s Battle Shout, because they kept overwriting each other, wasting rage and reagents. Well now, they’re wasting mana and reagents. Not a lot better.

Oh, and the armory is seriously messed up. It’s currently displaying your stats JUST from gear. No talent-based stats (increased crit, spellpower, etc) are showing up. I panicked when I saw my own pally’s armory profile earlier today and saw 1905 spellpower and 22.9% crit across the board. I was like “OMG I HAVE BEEN HACKED”, even though I have an authenticator and all my gear was present and accounted for. So were my talents, though. But then I thought there’d been a server reset and talents were being reset again, because that was the only explanation for me dropping over 200 spellpower and 11% Holy crit in the same gear.

And no. It’s just the Armory being dumb.

Anyways, I’ve rambled enough for now.

Ulduar: Reset 2, Night 2

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

Why?

We spent four. hours. on. Auriaya.

I hate her.

We downed her. But I still hate her.

heroic-antechamber

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

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

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

T7 Helm & Sarth Chest:

Spellpower: 2168

Haste: 520

Crit: 29.07%

Mana: 23,249

Ulduar Helm & Heroes’ Chest:

Spellpower: 2159 (-9)

Haste: 560 (+40)

Crit: 28.89% (-.18%)

Mana: 23,414

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ulduar: Reset 2, Night 1.

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

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

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

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

Deconstructor Trash
Deconstructor Trash

Ouch. And I wear plate, too!

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

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

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

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

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

Of course, the helm itself… not so yummy.

Ancient Iron Heaume
Ancient Iron Heaume

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

Valorous Redemption Helm
Valorous Redemption Helm

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

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

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

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

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

Should be a fun week!

Ugh, so tired.

Tired, going to bed soon, but I wanted to gripe a little bit. It’s not a big deal, but just voicing my feelings and opinions will make me feel better.

Tonight, well, technically last night. Monday night. Anyways, we did Malygos. And the Elevated Lair Pauldrons dropped.

I have the T7.25 helm, shoulders, gloves and pants. I have the T7.1 (heroes) chest piece. I have, in case you can’t do the math, my four piece set bonus and I have equipped the best breastplate for me at this point in time.

Malygos loot is item level 226, as is Kel’Thuzad loot and some drops (2 drakes+) from Sartharion.

In Ulduar, it is important to wear all your highest item level gear for the Flame Leviathan fight. Even if it’s not your spec, even if it’s cloth and you can wear plate, item level stuff is important as it adds to your vehicle’s damage done and health.

Without knowing until after the raid that 3.1 was being deployed today, the 14th, I considered bidding on the shoulders. But they suck. No haste. No gem slots. And to keep my 4-piece bonus, I’d have to go back to wearing my heroes’ chest, which is really crappy compared to the chest off Sartharion.

But I was considering bidding on the shoulders for the Flame Leviathan fight. Ultimately, I didn’t want to waste my DKP (I’m already in the negatives) when I don’t have best-in-slot gear in all my slots. I could use a cloak upgrade, a trinket, a ring and, oh yeah, a MAIN HAND WEAPON. So I decided I’d pass on the shoulders.

And then got informed by the raid leader that if I didn’t have 226 level shoulders already, I should take them.

Take them? For one fight? Because God knows I will never wear them apart from that one fight. And you’re going to charge me 12.5 DKP for them, bringing me down to -45.5 DKP? When I have four upgrades from Naxx and Sarth I could actually use? When we’re not sure the patch is coming out this week?

As it happens, the patch is being deployed today and T7 DKP will be wiped and we’ll start earning T8 DKP. And we’re not going back to Naxxramas or Sarth or Maly, either. It’ll be all Ulduar. So I got a piece of loot, dipped even deeper into the negatives than I was, but all that will be wiped.

But I’m still a little cheesed off. What if I’d had to bid against someone for a main hand healing weapon off KT? Or the cloak off Sarth+2? What if I’d had to bid and then I’d lost because of this truly useless piece of gear?

I think the raid leaders should, for the most part, trust us to make wise gear choices. I understand a raid leader trying to ensure a smoother raid in new content, believe me, but I was a little cheesed off that a mage was trying to tell me what to do with my DKP with regards to my gear. 20mp5? REALLY? Ugh. I feel dirty even looking at them.

Then, to compound matters (all this after NOT succeeding on 6m Malygos), the port they put up outside was to freaking Ironforge. Thanks, guys.

So I hearthed, after thanking them sarcastically on Vent, and the mage raid leader was like “anyone who took the port to IF, there will be a port to Dalaran there in just a minute” and I was all “Already hearthed, thanks.”

And THEN, the thing that cracks me up, is that the mage raid leader then has the TEMERITY to ask me to go heal Sarth 10 with 3 drakes up.

Hi, you made me wipe 13 times for a total of over 120 gold in repairs tonight, not to mention 13 food buffs and over 130 symbols of kings. Thankfully, I used a flask. Then you told me how to spend my DKP and forced me to take a piece of crap pair of shoulders. Then your port brought me to frigging Ironforge, so I blew my hearth ANYWAYS. And then you have the nerve to ask me to go do something draining and, no doubt stressful, like Sarth 3D on 10-man?

Even if I HADN’T had studying to do for finals, even if I HADN’T had a killer headache, there was no chance in hell I would have healed for him.

Not that he’s a bad guy. I quite like him, actually. But wow, was I feeling bitchy last night. Not sure I’m entirely in the right, either, but I don’t think I’m entirely in the wrong.

Ulduar this week, raids on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Monday. Looking forward to it.

Heh.

I should be writing or levelling the shammy or something remotely productive.

Instead, I specced ret, grabbed my crappy ret gear out of the bank and am currently on the bird to Light’s Hope so I can go in, clear Strat Live and then go through and clear Strat Undead. The first to complete the Strat achievement, the second for a shot at the mount. And all the while, collecting scourgestones and rep for the Argent Dawn.

I like Fridays.

Late-night, last-minute, unexpected run.

I logged on after the hockey game ended tonight, just to see what was up with my new guild. I guess I should stop saying “new guild”, considering I’ve been there for over a month now, but anyways.

Earlier in the day, I’d been playing with my prot set because I’m thinking that’ll be my dual spec. I’d even gone so far as to respec prot to get a good idea of all my stats. 24k health unbuffed, 22k armor, 20% dodge, 17% parry and 17% block. With 542 defense. Not too shabby for a holy paladin. I’d blown some Emblems of Valor on some upgrades (boots, necklace) and picked up some offspec gear in Naxx (shield, pants) so I was toying around with it all, and really, I’m kind of impressed.

So I logged on and I was like “haha, I’m still prot, that’s funny” and was just going about my business, pricing gems to cut and all… when a shadow priest in my guild is like “come heal 8 man Naxx?”

I laughed and responded I’d had very little sleep and was tired, but maybe next reset.

Long story short, 15 minutes of begging by a mage, the shadow priest… I ended up running to the Cathedral in SW and respeccing back to holy. Not only was it going to be 8-man Naxx, oh no. It was going to be … Undying.

Continue reading “Late-night, last-minute, unexpected run.”

/facepalm

Back in the day, when my hunter was my main raiding character, I would always be REALLY picky about other hunters. How they played, how their spec was, etc. And I was pretty noobish myself back then, but I could trap spam (feign + retrap = win!) and I knew not to pull something to my trap with Serpent Sting and I knew how not to make my pet wipe the raid… Hell, my pet would pull Baron Geddon and Shazzrah, purposely!

Having spent the last two years raiding with a holy paladin, I’m still more or less picky about hunters, but I’m even pickier about paladins — holy paladins.

A RL friend asked me to go to H. VH on my hunter tonight, with her on her shadow priest. So I went, and our tank was a RL friend of hers. The other DPS was another shadow priest from my friend’s guild. All that we were missing was a healer.

Enter: The PUG Pally.

As soon as the guy zoned in, I inspected his talents.

51/5/15. Cookie-cutter, right?

WRONG.

http://www.wowhead.com/?talent=sxA0gGzGVzMxotaZVf0x

Go on, click the link. It’ll open in a new window.

Let’s go over the problems with his spec, shall we? First, the holy tree.

Spiritual Focus: Good.

Divine Intellect and Healing Light: Good and Good.

Illumination and Improved Lay on Hands: Good and Good.

Improved Concentration Aura and Improved Blessing of Wisdom: Mehhhhhhh and Good.

Divine Favor, Sanctified Light and Blessed Hands: Good, Good and … wait a second, wtf. Blessed Hands? Really? I have a bad feeling about this.

Holy Power: Good.

Holy Shock: Good… wait, wait. WAIT. No Light’s Grace? NO points in there? NONE? Oh, dear Lord.

Infusion of Light and Holy Guidance: Good and Good. (Really, though? No Light’s Grace??)

Divine Illumination: Good. And yet no Enlightened Judgements? Oh, this just gets better and better.

Judgements of the Pure: Great talent. But how often is this noob going to actually judge when he has to be within 10 yards of the mob?

Beacon of Light: Good.

Next, the prot tree.

Blessing of Kings, Improved Blessing of Kings: Have 0 issues with this, honestly. Perhaps the best part of the whole spec.

And then the ret tree…

Benediction: Good. (Thank God he didn’t pick up Deflection, which I was almost expecting.)

Improved Judgements and Heart of the Crusader: I prefer to stick 2 points into Improved Blessing of Might, but there are arguments for improved judgements. Not having Enlightened Judgements just kind of RUINS any arguments this noob could possibly have made for picking it up, though.

Conviction: Half the reason one goes into ret anyways, good talent.

So some seriously questionable talent point choices by this guy, who was wearing a leather chest with 72 spirit on it enchanted with 8mp5…

Well, the run actually went okay, except for the PUG Pally telling me in /party “hunter move” instead of actually healing me. I’d moved out of the fire before you hit enter, buddy, thanks for the lack of the heal and leaving me down 10k health when everyone else in the party was topped up just fine.

So what WAS this dude doing instead of healing me?

Consecrating. Consecration hit mobs 121 times for damage.

He Holy Shocked mobs twice.

Meleed 9 times.

Judged — and this is what got me — JUDGEMENT OF VENGEANCE twice. I don’t know what’s more insulting, that he only judged twice in the whole instance or that it was Judgement of Vengeance. Hi, yeah, that’s a TANKING *seal*. Why the hell aren’t you judging light? Why the hell aren’t you judging? I mean, you have Judgements of the Pure AND Improved Judgements… oh, that’s right! You don’t have Enlightened Judgements for the 30 yards of extra range! Dumbass.

Oh, and he used Holy Shock to heal twice. TWICE. All instance.

When you have a 2.5 second holy light cast and you’re not judging for your haste buff from Judgements of the Pure, and you have Infusion of Light, why on EARTH are you not holy shocking for all you’re worth in the hopes of proccing an instant Flash of Light or 1.5 second Holy Light?

Did I mention that despite being specced for Improved Concentration Aura, he didn’t use it? He used Devotion Aura. And wasn’t even specced for Improved Devotion Aura. In an instance where there’s a ton of magic damage. /facepalm.

And yet, this dumbass has Heroic: Twilight Duo, Heroic: Fall of Naxxramas and Heroic: The Spellweaver’s Downfall.

I don’t know if I’m more offended by his shitty spec and playstyle or that he’s managed to get so far in progression. But I’m definitely offended on behalf of good players and good pallies everywhere!

Weird runs…

I was online tonight because I couldn’t sleep due to a headache. So I decided to get on WoW and play with my holy pally’s UI.

After futzing with it for a bit, I wanted to try it out in a raid scenario or something and there in Trade, someone was looking for a healer for Normal Vault of Archavon. So I said I’d go.

I get into the group and I look at the classes. There’s a druid… who is in moonkin form. There’s another paladin, who only has 6k mana. There’s a warlock. Three hunters. A rogue. A death knight. And then they bring in another druid, so I figure, hey, it’s a resto druid. Sweet.

Uh, no. The druid is feral and is MTing.

… so I’m the only healer?

Apparently, I am.

Piece of cake, didn’t lose anyone.

Anonymous WWS here, to protect the stupid:

http://wowwebstats.com/23rhuez5aagak

I’m “Gemini”. The moonkin (“Dew”) tossed out a few heals, and didn’t DPS hardly at all, but really, I healed the living crap out of that place.

/flex

Wootage.

So about three weeks ago, when I joined my new guild, I was put on standby while they worked on Sarth3D. When they got him down, I realized I had the timer free, so I pugged later that week and wound up with the Chestplate of the Great Aspects. But my four-piece set bonus would break if I equipped it, since I had T7(.1) gloves, chest and T7(.25) shoulders and pants.

So it’s been sitting in my bank.

Went to Naxx tonight, despite being exhausted from not sleeping a lot lately, and KT drops not one, but TWO pally/priest/warlock helm tokens. I was the only one who wanted it for main spec. I WIN!

So now I have my sweet T7 4-piece bonus AND the best chest in the game for me. I’m so excited that, despite the exhaustion, I’m playing my shammy on Proudmoore in celebration.