More Baby Paladin Adventures!

At this point, the “baby” paladin isn’t all that little. Well. He’s still a dwarf, so he’s little in that sense, but he’s, er, level 70.

I told you. I must have a screw loose!

Of note, at level 64, I soloed Banthar, Bach’lor and Gutripper as ret.

At 65, right after Gutripper’s quest dinged me, I soloed Tusker.


Bach’lor was actually rough due to the knockbacks, but I kited a bit, stunned a bit, used WoG, Flash of Light, Lay on Hands… Win. Tusker was a bit rough too, but I got through that in three tries rather than the SEVEN Bach’lor required.

If I ever see Mana Tombs or Auchenai Crypts again, I will cry and/or scream. I had never been so happy in my LIFE to see Sethekk Halls after a certain point. Hell, I was even HAPPY to get Escape from Durnholde. The first two times, anyways.

As soon as I hit 68, I started selecting Utgarde Keep specifically in the dungeon finder. There was no WAY I was going back to Auchindoun!

And before you knew it, I was 69.

That is where the suck began.

I had so many awesome tanks in the 60s, in BC content. (Lots of crappy ones, too, but mostly the DPS were crappy versus the tanks.) And as soon as I set foot in Utgarde Keep, I started getting idiots. I’ve run UK about 14 times now. I have had two good tanks from pugs. I’ve run it three times with the pally tank alt of a guild rogue, Tikari, which is great, but the realization slowly dawned on me: if I want a good tank, I’m going to have to do it myself.

Trouble was, my ret gear consisted largely of the heirloom Shadowcraft (leather) stuff. Farm heroics for Justice Points? Me? Hah! Why would I do that when I had a bonus 20% XP anyways and would never, ever inflict my fail retness on others?

I had the heirloom valor helm and the heirloom agi cloak, so if I was going to tank, I needed the tanking cloak ($$$), the tanking heirloom chest and tanking heirloom shoulders. I could deal with the helm, even if it’s mostly geared for DPS. At least it’s stam and strength and it’s plate.

Thus began the grind.

I can’t tell you how many heroics I’ve run in the last two days. Probably about 13 or so. I capped out Madrana’s VP via dungeons and then two more because healers had Call to Arms (3 Golemblood Potions and an Obsidian Hatchling for my troubles) and then did several on Kurn. At least four, since I got three Chaos Orbs and lost out on one.

That is more level 85 heroic dungeons in 48 hours than I’ve done since December.

And along the way, some notable groups:

– An all-guild group consisting of four people who were incredibly racist and vulgar, all of whom I reported after the run. They tried to recruit me, since I was healing on Madrana. Despite their douchebagginess, they were spectacular players and heroic SFK went quickly and smoothly.

– By contrast, a heroic SFK I got today had a “tank” who had less health than I did. Now, I know, I’m in some heroic raid gear, but I should almost never have more health than the tank. Really. After he got me to blow Lay on Hands AND Hand of Sacrifice on him IN THE SAME PULL, I looked at his gear, saw it was almost all the ret PVP gear, none of it gemmed or enchanted and he was using a spellpower sword. Vote-kicking him felt good.

Having said that, I think he might have been better than a fail DK tank I had in UK on the baby pally, though. Imagine, if you will, a level 71 worgen death knight “tank” who is:

* dual wielding
* not using Death and Decay or, apparently, spreading any diseases, meaning that any time I dropped even a HOLY SHOCK on him, the other 3-4 mobs would charge me and kill me
* using Rune of Lichbane on his two weapons and only using Death Strike and Heart Strike
* apparently unable to use Dark Command or Death Grip

Vote-kicking him felt less good than the fail pally “tank” from H SFK because this guy wasn’t even 80 ot 85 yet. 71. He clearly didn’t know his class that well, but my feeling bad for him evaporated the third time we wiped because mobs killed me and he didn’t know how to taunt.

– Oh, and there was that dipstick of a druid tank in heroic Lost City. He berated everyone (except me) in the group repeatedly for being “fucking retarded” and “total fail, epic fail!”. They weren’t that bad, they just weren’t putting out much more than 7-8k damage each.

This caused the tank to yell at the ret pally so much that when the tank DEMANDED the ret pally leave… he did. I feel bad for the ret, even if he only did 5k DPS on the first boss.

We had a trash wipe on our way to the third boss and the tank just LOST it on the DK (who had replaced the paladin) and I’d had enough at that point. I initiated a vote kick and the reason I gave? “Jackass.”

It passed in about 2 seconds.

We got a very nice (albeit less geared and less skilled) DK tank to replace the abusive druid tank and finished up the instance without any issues.

– On Kurn, there was a fail H Deadmines run that actually was finished successfully, but in the middle of the nightmares, my bow broke. That’s how bad the run was and how often I died. I actually tried to rez people with Mass Rez and it was still on cooldown. Squishy tank who didn’t know the instance very well and undergeared healer. Like, my resto shaman who is just barely qualified for heroics has about 15k more mana than the resto shaman who was healing us.

– Also on Kurn, a group where the shaman healer didn’t know he could (and should!) keep Flame Shock up on Ozruk in Stonecore. So he kept getting stunned (and I did, too, at the start). I don’t know WHY, but Serpent Sting doesn’t count as damage or whatever and it’s been that way for quite some time. Luckily, I always keep some Sulfuron Slammers on me, which breaks the paralysis.

So yeah, lots of “interesting” runs.

But mission accomplished! The heirloom Might chest and shoulders are mine!

And I’ve tanked!

I actually tanked with just the chest, the tanking heirloom cloak and the valor helm (and my ring, of course) twice and then once I got the shoulders, I couldn’t resist going again.

This is the first time I’ve tanked on a paladin since 4.0 dropped.

I’m still not great, I’ve never been a GREAT paladin tank. I’ve been at least adequate most of the time, though.

I gotta say, it’s a little horrifying to realize you don’t REALLY know what the hell buttons you’re supposed to be pushing. Apart from anything else, I FORGET to Word of Glory myself to keep Holy Shield up and I keep hitting Shield of the Righteous when I only have one charge of Holy Power. I know, I know… fail!

So the baby pally is almost 71 and is tanking ’till 80ish. At that point, time to race change to human and then we’ll see how the tanking situation is. The Wrath content tanks are awful from just about every run I’ve done and I KNOW that content as a tank (thanks to tanking on Madrana in heroics back in the day and thanks to tanking on my druid, also back in the day), so it’s just easier to adjust to the new pally tanking methods and going to town on Wrath instances.

I just hope no one looks at my trinkets. They’re level 60ish blue healing trinkets…

9 Replies to “More Baby Paladin Adventures!”

  1. If you were just going to race change to human, why did you start him as a dwarf?

  2. Haha! Sounds like a lot of fun! I know i still hit shield of the Righteous with 1 holy power every now and then. The cooldown on WoG kinda blows….oh well! Keep on trucking! Wait till you tank a Cata dungeon good times!

  3. Try to put your CS button in the same spot on both specs, and your Shield of the righteous where TV goes, and Hammer of the Righteous where Divine Storm goes… It’s a similar rotation between the two so you can lean on muscle memory to help you train it faster. You can even go AoE grind some stuff in WotLK to practice an aoe rotation; there’s a camp of Scarlets in Dragonblight (73ish) where you can take like 20 at a time with proper cooldown use.

    Also, I find power auras indispensable for getting the feel of how long cooldowns last, etc. You can even make a holy power bar with ’em. Mine blinks at 3.

  4. I am completely in awe of the effort you’re making with the baby paladin! You’ve unwittingly given me a massive kick up the behind – I should pull my socks (or their armored equivalent) up and get on with it.
    I am hoping to heal from 59-78 on my baby pally with some quests scattered on top now and again, but if the tanks are too awful and the queues are too long I just might finish up my tanking heirloom set and do it myself now!

  5. Dayden – A few reasons.

    1) I really love the male dwarf casting animation. And emotes. I really like to play male dwarves.

    2) I knew that the real struggle would be in getting started. If I was going to start out with this crazy idea of mine, I knew that I needed something fun and new as I went through the pain of levelling up a new paladin. I almost made it a human female (the human male casts make me want to cry) but the thought of looking at another Madrana for another 85 levels was not pleasant, nor was the idea of extra attention from people, especially as I was going to be pugging a LOT. A female toon just begs for more attention than a male toon does. I didn’t want any disincentive to level the pally, so I went male dwarf to amuse myself and to fly under the radar.

    I mean, as it stands, I just need to /cheer and I giggle at “FANTASTIC” and “BRILLIANT”. I’m easily amused, it appears.

    3) The reason I want to be human is simply for the extra rep gain in Cataclysm content — and maybe for Every Man. So levelling as a dwarf ’till 80 probably gives me my best chance at succeeding in my goal to level, since I enjoy the male dwarf combo so much. Once I get to 80, it would be stupid to quit, so I can deal with a copy of Madrana (or, as Daey would say, Saerani!), since “cloning” myself as Madrana was essentially the point of this whole thing in the first place. Once 80, I should also be close enough to my goal to deal with any sexism being a female toon might entail.

    Basically, it’s been exceedingly refreshing to level as a male dwarf without all the sexism that I normally encounter while on Madrana and I can easily amuse myself with a couple of emotes, too. ;)

    slice – It’s craaaaaazy, let me tell you. I’ve had some fun, though. The dinging slows WAY down in Wrath content, though.

    And yes, the CD on WoG is like “wtf do you MEAN, not ready yet??? Oh, stupid prot…” I’m not sure I’ll tank into Cata content, but if I feel decent at it through Wrath content, I might!

    Celendus – The main issue with what you suggest (as it’s quite logical!) is that my primary spec is holy. I am TERRIBLE at ret. I don’t like it, I don’t feel comfortable with it… I mean it’s better than it’s ever been, IMHO, but I am awful. So using the same keys for similar-type abilities (single target vs. multi-target) is a great plan for anyone who’s good at ret, but for me, I still feel like I’m flailing blindly at times. :)

    Hitting SotR with just one holy power isn’t a factor of my going “shoot, how much HP do I have?”, it’s more of a “crap, I didn’t mean to hit that yet” moment while Judgement, AS and CS/HotR are on CD. I do have OmniCC going so I can see the cooldowns easily. It’s just me out of my element. Hopefully, it’ll get better as I tank more in Wrath content. :)

    Great advice for people who have the ret muscle memory, though! :)

    Aralosseien – It was ridiculous how quickly the levels flew by and I think my big incentive for getting out of BC content was… GETTING THE EFF OUT OF BC CONTENT. Lordy, I hate those dungeons. That’s why I took the side-trip to Nagrand and decided to do the Nesingwary quests. :)

    Healing is really pretty fun in the lower levels once you get Divine Light (at 62, I believe) since if anything goes wrong, at least your Divine Light can probably heal someone from nearly nothing to full in the 2.5 seconds it’ll take you to cast it. You get Light of Dawn at 69 with your 31st talent point, so that’s also fun to try to incorporate.

    I’m glad my apparent lack of sanity has given someone some kind of inspiration or motivation to level a pally. It’s very easy to forget, when you’re raiding, that there’s a whole subsection of people who are levelling paladin alts and are trying to find reasons to keep going.

    I have a whole post in my head about how ridiculous some of the talent placement is, too. While at 85, the trees aren’t a problem and they’re also fine at 80, while levelling, it just doesn’t make SENSE to pick up some of these talents along the way. What is the point of taking Paragon of Virtue, really, in your 60s, if you don’t even GET Avenging Wrath until 72?

    Majik – this coming from the guy who says “Idiot.” in guild chat when I dinged 70 and the achievement announcement went out. ;)

  6. And I stand by it! Plus you being in my instance benefits me. Don’t you go thinking I say it for your benefit. ;-)

  7. GL on the northrend grind, I find thats what kills me with alts, you hit 70 and suddenly you go from 2 levels an hour to taking 2+ hours to level :/ Keep at it!

    Dungeon groups like those you listed are what caused me to go back and start tanking again, nothing like waiting in half hour queues to get in a group halfway through that’s already bickering and breaks up before the next pull /sigh. Again, keep at it, it takes a bit of practice to get that tanking sense, but once you have it and you have you’re abilities down it’s all gravy!

    I don’t know what kind of addons you run, but one that I find indespesable as ret AND prot (and on many of my alts) is called Tell Me When. It’s much like power auras except it displays the buff wherever you want the frame on-screen with a timer if you want it. Immensely configurable, I keep a few buff timers right underneath my character like inquisition as ret and a warning as prot if I let holy shield fall off. I also use IceHUD to move my holy power right underneath my character so I never have to look away from the action to tell how much I have (same for health and mana, which is what it was originally designed for).

    Alternately, if you’re having problems with ret, try CLCret, which is simply a scrolling image of what ability you shoud hit next for maximum dps. It’s a good way to train yourself the rotation (most people drop the addon after they get it down) and it’s another good way of keeping inquisition up. Hope these help! GL!

  8. So far *touch wood* nothing has gone badly wrong. I haven’t hit Lay on Hands once! But more oh-crap buttons are always welcome and I do need to get used to them for later. It’s been a good idea for me to level holy and run instances often – each ability got worked in naturally so I definitely have less flailing moments of panic than I’m used to! Running ret for questing would have just confused me ^^

    Talent-wise, I agree. You can reach Light of Dawn without it so I’ll do that for now but it’s irksome that I’ll probably have to respec while I level. It would be nice for the talent tree to fill up logically and remain the same right through to 85, with tweaks becoming necessary for end-game content.

    The motivation comes from seeing someone working a few levels higher and enjoying it/doing well. So uh, keep doing that?? :D

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