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?
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.
203 mp5 while casting
174 mp5 while casting
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?