It’s Go Time

Well, more like “It’s Go Day”, but close enough. Today is launch day. In just under four hours, as I write this, WoW Classic will launch.

I am, and this is an understatement, thrilled.

For over a decade, now, I have eagerly awaited the launch of each new expansion, only to pair with it the fact that everything I once knew no longer meant anything. It’s draining. Exhausting. To know all the nuances about your class and spec and just things in the game in general to knowing basically nothing? It’s annoying. But new content brings with it new challenges and new information, so it’s generally a decent trade-off.

Today, however, I sit here, eager to jump into a world that I know oh-so-well.

My encyclopedic knowledge of Blackrock Depths matters. (See my YouTube channel for detailed video guides of BRD and, eventually, more!)

My knowing various old farming spots in Swamp of Sorrows and Dustwallow Marsh and Felwood actually means something.

Understanding what’s required to get the key to Upper Blackrock Spire is important again!

Knowing the best place to raise your weapon skills is finally useful once more!

The content may not be new, but my knowledge is right up there, my friends. I’m thrilled these nuggets of information are going to be put to use once again. And the adventures? The adventures will be brand-new, and I can’t wait to embark upon them and see what the original World of Warcraft has in store for me.

That said, I have some tips!

Tips for WoW Classic Launch

  • You may want to log in as your alts first and get them to a city to get them rested XP while you play on your main! My paladin and mage will be parking their butts in Stormwind while I play on Kurn. (That said, if your nearest capital city is far, look for an inn at the first real zone. No point in running to Goldshire if you can run to Stormwind, but Dolanaar is a better bet than Darnassus)
  • You may be on a different “layer” than someone else. To be on the same layer, someone can invite the other person. The party leader’s “layer” becomes the layer for both people at that point. (I think guild members will also all be on the same layer as each other, could be wrong.)
  • Remember that flight points are few and far between. When you need to head to the Eastvale Logging Company in Elwynn, you may as well run a couple more minutes to grab the flight point out at Lakeshire as well. You may even want to grab the Darkshire FP in Duskwood while you’re over there, though you may end up dying if you’re too low-level.
  • Night elves who want to level in Westfall, search for videos on how to skip from the Wetlands to Dun Morogh (where you can then take the tram). If you don’t do this, you may just want to wait until you’re in your early-to-mid 20s to make your way by boat over to Menethil Harbour because there are a lot of crocolisks who are eager to kill you otherwise.
  • Vendor all your greys, don’t destroy them.
  • Anything that is coloured white (apart from crappy armor/weapons) can be useful to someone. Bear that in mind when killing animals and getting various meats and such.
  • Don’t forget to train fishing, cooking and first aid, as well as your primary professions.
  • Don’t forget to train your abilities and place your talent points! Talent calculator here: https://classic.wowhead.com/talent-calc
  • Most of all, HAVE FUN! :)

 

Happy WoW Classic launch, everyone. I’ll see you in Azeroth.

Raiding as a Holy Paladin in Classic

Yesterday’s post was about dungeon healing as a holy paladin in Classic. Today, we talk about raiding.

The major difference here is that you are not the sole person healing and responsible for everyone’s health. You have like, 10+ other healers with you for a 40-man raid, and probably at least 4 other people with you for a 20-man raid.

More, you are almost certainly not the only paladin!

As such, the big change here is one of coordination, as well as a subtle shift of responsibility.

Blessing Organization

PallyPower was the gold standard for blessings, back in the day. This allowed you to easily bless everyone appropriately, in coordination with other paladins in the raid, and also kept timers for those buffs. But PallyPower is: a) defunct, b) not going to work anyway because you didn’t have to target people directly to cast on them.

As such, barring any new plugins (please do let me know if any exist!), you’ll have to go old-school on this.

The low-tech way is to write down which class gets which of your buffs. Then buff yourself first and then buff your way down the list of druids, hunters, mages, priests, rogues, warlocks and warriors, as paladins have already been buffed when you buffed yourself. By buffing yourself first, you have a visible timer. When your buff is running out, that’s a great time to rebuff everyone.

The higher-tech way is to use your raid frames to show you the buffs. Whether you use the in-game frames or something like Grid, you can probably figure out how to get them to display. For myself, I’m thinking of giving a yellow border to people who have my buff, but that’ll be something I’ll explore in the future, assuming an addon doesn’t come out before then.

As to who should buff what in a raid situation: make sure if anyone has an improved buff or otherwise talented blessing that they’re casting that one. You have someone who has improved wisdom? Great, they cast that across the raid. Someone with improved might? Same. Someone with kings? Perfect, they cast that on everyone. Let the people with unimproved talents cast Salvation. I definitely suggest you have a paladin channel for pallies to organize themselves here.

What about Blessing of Light?

In a raid situation, most of your paladins are probably going to be healing. That’s sort of what paladins do in raids in this era we’re revisiting. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a prot pally as an off-tank, it doesn’t mean you can’t have a ret pally doing some damage, but, by and large, pallies are used to heal. So if you have a lot of pallies healing, yes, by all means, throw Blessing of Light on the raid, if you’ve got Salvation, Kings, Might and Wisdom covered. Whoever’s blessing Salvation can be the one to throw Light on the tanks at the very least.

Healing Organization

A good rule of thumb is one healer per group and 2-3 healers for the main tank and, if you can spare it, a couple tanks for the off-tank. This depends on the fight, of course. We always liked to have a variety of healers on the main tank — so a priest, a druid and a paladin. You had the priest with the nice, sweet Greater Heals, the druid with Rejuvenation and Regrowth spam, while the paladin would cast Flash of Light pretty much non-stop. Repeat this setup as possible for any off-tanks.

Additionally, there are lots of things to dispel in raids, so it’s a good idea to organize whole cleanses what group. Paladins can dispel all but curses with one click, so even if you have DPS paladins, assign them to a group to dispel so that the priests in the raid can keep healing. Try not to make the MT’s priest do too much dispelling. It’s a lot easier for a paladin to dispel and resume Flash of Light spam.

Speaking of dispelling, mages and druids are the only ones who can remove curses, so yes, even mages are going to need to decurse. Assign each mage or druid a group to decurse and have a backup plan for the main tank’s group in case someone eats it unexpectedly and then your main tank has two curses, a magic effect and a poison on them. ;)

Mana Management

Classic brings with it the concept of multiple potions and such while in combat. That means you can drink a mana potion every two minutes while in combat. But did you know that there are other things that can grant you mana?

  • Dark Rune: This non-bind-on-pickup item drops in Scholomance and is super useful for gaining a bit of mana while your potions are on cooldown. It shares a cooldown with healthstones, but not potions. Also, since there are no soulwells, you probably won’t even have a healthstone, so this shouldn’t be an issue.
  • Demonic Rune: This is a BOP item that drops off of virtually any demon, so it’s much easier to acquire than a Dark Rune, even though it’s BOP. While it basically does the same thing as a Dark Rune, the main difference is that a Demonic Rune can crit when it takes your health away. As such, always be aware of your health when you take it. A badly-timed use of a Demonic Rune that crits can absolutely kill you. That said, it’s shadow damage, so you might want to make sure you have Shadow Resist Aura up.

 

Of course, there are also other raid consumables. We’re talking Flask of Distilled Wisdom, Mageblood Potion and Nightfin Soup. These are pretty much the basics for a holy paladin. Also, load up on those Major Mana Potions.

There’s also downranking, but I’ll talk more about that in another post. Essentially, it’s the concept of using less-than-max-rank spells on purpose for the purpose of saving mana, particularly in periods of low raid damage. I’ll need to play around with things once I get to a decent level, but in some situations it’s perfectly okay to use, say, Rank 4 of Holy Light for only 190 mana instead of Rank 9 of Holy Light for 660 mana if you just need a small heal of 400-500 health, rather than 1600-2000 health. This really depends on your gear, though. At base levels, Rank 4 of Holy Light is equivalent to (and slightly more expensive than) max-rank Flash of Light. But if you have a lot of +healing… You can see where I’m going with this. In some cases, based on gear, you can do a lot of effective healing with lower ranks of spells.

The Five-Second Rule

Your mana doesn’t regen in combat (outside of any buffs that grant mp5, like Blessing of Wisdom) unless you haven’t spent mana for a full five seconds. One reason a lower Holy Light rank would be more useful than a max-rank Flash of Light is you can more easily interrupt a 2.5s cast than a 1.5s cast. So if your heal is no longer needed, you can hit escape or just move to prevent the cast from going through. This can enable you to hit the five seconds required to allow in-combat mana regeneration. Even a tick or two is helpful on some fights or if you’re a bit undergeared.

Aura Management

If you have at least three paladins, you want a resist aura, plus improved Devotion Aura, plus Concentration Aura and then you’re pretty much good. If you don’t need a resist aura, or there’s a large pack of mobs the tanks need to hold on to, toss up Ret aura.

Seal Management

Pick a seal to judge. Always judge that seal in the raid. You may want to double-up on wisdom and light to ensure that these are always being cast.

Divine Intervention Management

Don’t have all the pallies in your raid cast DI on the same wipe. With an hour-long cooldown, it’s best to spread out Divine Intervention. Decide who uses it in a rotation and make sure you’re clear on it before each pull. If you die before you can cast DI, call it out for the next person. This isn’t a huge deal, but if you’re deep inside Molten Core, you definitely do not want to have to run back, so DIing someone (preferably a priest or another paladin), is a good time-saver. Just don’t use all of them on the same wipe!

Questions? Bueller?

Well, that does it for this guide on how to raid as a holy paladin in Classic! Am I missing anything? Do you have any specific questions? Let me know in the comments below!

Dungeon Healing as a Holy Paladin in Classic

Folks, it’s been a long, long, long time since I healed in Vanilla. Healing has changed so much, and so often, that it’s hard for me to really remember what it was like. I didn’t get a chance to play on beta, outside of the stress tests, so please take my advice here with a grain of salt for now.

I healed dungeons from Scarlet Monastery onwards in Vanilla. Heck, I levelled holy. (Don’t do this, you will regret it when it takes you 12 minutes to kill a Kurzen Medicine Man in northern Stranglethorn Vale.)

For the lower level dungeons, it’s as you might expect – heal the tank and yourself primarily, cleanse people and try not to let them die (but not at the expense of you and the tank), don’t stand in bad.

Once you hit about level 50, it gets interesting, though. The dungeons you’ll be running are also run by level 60s, so things get a bit more challenging — your tanks get hit harder, dots tick for more damage, all that sort of thing.

This is a reasonable level 50 dungeon-healing build:

https://classic.wowhead.com/talent-calc/paladin/05503022521351–052

This is a reasonable level 60 dungeon-healing build:

https://classic.wowhead.com/talent-calc/paladin/05503020521351-5002-552

Both of these builds try to increase your utility by giving you improved Blessing of Might, plus Improved Devotion Aura, plus Guardian’s Favor and decreased Judgment cooldown.

Healing “Rotation”

Fun fact, there’s no healing rotation. You have three, count ’em, three healing spells. You have Flash of Light, which is fast, doesn’t cost much mana and subsequently doesn’t heal for much and you have Holy Light, which is a bit longer to cast, costs more mana but heals for more. Oh, and then every thirty seconds you have Holy Shock.

Now, this doesn’t touch on downranking, which is a more complex subject, but basically, those are your three castable heals. That’s it. No Beacon of Light, no Holy Radiance, no Light of Dawn. That. is. it.

Someone is missing a bit of health? Flash of Light.

Someone is missing a LOT of health? Holy Light.

Someone is ABOUT TO DIE and can’t wait for Flash of Light to cast? Holy Shock, then Flash of Light, then Holy Light. (Or Lay on Hands — see below.)

The Oh Shit Button

Divine Favor is a talent and it is glorious. It forces your next Flash of Light, Holy Light or Holy Shock to be a crit. And, IIRC, it’s not on the global cooldown, so you can macro it to something like:

/cast Divine Favor
/cast Holy Shock

You need a target in there somewhere, but it should instantly cast Holy Shock and force a crit. If you have any on-use trinkets that would be helpful that are also off the global cooldown, you can use them here, too, to chain a nice big instant heal.

Note that Divine Favor does NOT force Lay on Hands to crit.

Seals and Judging

Of course, you also have Seal of Light and Seal of Wisdom and you can judge them both. How does judging work? Well, you put up a seal (like Light) and then you judge, then the seal is no longer up. So you would need to recast Seal of Light in order to judge it again. Read the tooltips on the seals to know what the judged effect is. So attacking someone with Seal of Light up gives me, the paladin, 94 health when it procs. When I judge it, anyone attacking the mob who has it on them has a change to get 61 health when it procs. If you’re close enough to attack the mob yourself, your melee hits refresh the duration of the judgment. I’m definitely fuzzy on this — not sure if it’s you or anyone in your group, but I’ll come back to this. I was more someone who stood 30y back and mostly judged from there.

So Seal of Light is nice to judge on a boss because then everyone is attacking the boss and everyone is getting health back. However, Seal of Wisdom is also nice to judge if you have a bunch of mana users (and if you, yourself, are running out of mana). You can judge Wisdom, then put up Seal of Wisdom on yourself again, then attack the mob and get a crapton of mana back as both the seal and judgment will proc.

Blessings

Contrary to popular belief, Blessing of Kings is not the best buff. It’s Blessing of Salvation. That alone can allow you to live through a not great tank or allows a monstrous DPS to control their threat. Here’s how you should buff people.

Tank: Kings, if you’re specced into it, if only for the boost in stats and stam. If not (as you may not be, given my recommended builds above), give them Blessing of Might or, if they’re squishy, Blessing of Light. This only increases a paladin’s healing done to the target, so if you’re ret or prot in a dungeon and have a priest healing you, don’t buff this. (If you’re in some spec that allows you Blessing of Sanctuary, go for it on the tank.)

Yourself: As a holy paladin, you should give yourself Blessing of Wisdom. You naturally cause less threat than any other healer. If your tank is Not Good with the aggro, give yourself Salvation. However, you have a bubble. You should not need to Salv yourself.

All DPS: Give them Salvation. They may complain. Give them Salvation anyway.

Exception: Hunters! You may instead want to give hunters Blessing of Kings if you have it, or Blessing of Wisdom. Hunters can feign death every 30 seconds to completely eliminate any threat, so they can be in charge of managing their threat on their own. And no, do not give them Blessing of Might, no matter how much they think they want it. It is only good for melee attack power and hunters use ranged attack power. So if they don’t want Salv and you don’t have Kings, give them Wisdom. They do use mana, after all!

How Blessings Work

I think it’s at 60 you get all the Greater Blessings which last 15 minutes. Don’t be cheap. Use the Greater Blessings that use Symbols of Kings. Period. Do it. Not only do you not want to rebuff everyone every five minutes but no one else wants you to pause to rebuff and then drink every five minutes.

Finally, as they worked in more recent expansions, you are buffing an entire CLASS when you use a Greater Blessing. So if you have 3 warriors and one is tanking, buff them all Salv and then hit the warrior tank with the simple Blessing of Light or Blessing of Might. Got three mages in the group? Peachy, throw Greater Blessing of Salvation at them all and be done with one cast.

Utility Blessings

Okay, so, blessings are crazy in Vanilla/Classic. First, and I don’t think I’m wrong about this (but I could be), Blessing of Protection, Blessing of Freedom, etc, ALL OVERWRITE your actual Greater Blessing of whatever. One blessing per paladin per person! So if you have to cast BOP on an overzealous melee, don’t forget to hit them with Salvation again.

That said, so many of these blessings are useful. Do not hesitate to cast Blessing of Protection on someone with a bleed. If it’s a melee, once the bleed drops off, hit them with their normal blessing so they can continue attacking. If a clothie is being attacked, keep BOP on them and re-bless them after, as they don’t do physical damage and aren’t prevented from casting while BOPped.

Blessing of Freedom is great to avoid slows. Don’t hesitate to use it on your tank if they need to get to a mob casting Frostbolt at them.

Blessing of Sacrifice is not as good as it is currently, but hey, it’s some damage mitigation.

Auras

Which aura to use? You have A LOT. You have the elemental resist auras, Frost, Fire, Shadow (though no arcane!), so if you’re expecting damage of any of those schools (Baron Rivendare’s Shadow Aura, Alexei Barov’s Shadow Aura, Lord Incendius’ fire attacks), use that resist aura.

Concentration Aura: if you and/or your casters are being interrupted a lot by damage, use this to prevent you from ever being interrupted. (Pretty sure you start at base 70% chance not to be interrupted in casting when damaged?)

Retribution Aura: mostly used while soloing to inflict more damage on anything hitting you.

Devotion Aura: The go-to standard. Who doesn’t want more armor?

Cleansing

Guess what? You have an overpowered ability. Well, to be fair, you have several. However, one of the best utilities you have is your Cleanse ability. At level 8, you get Purify, allowing you to dispell a disease and a poison. At 42, you get Cleanse which adds a magic effect to that. So with one click, you can remove a poison AND a disease AND a magic effect from someone. And there’s no cooldown. This is incredibly important. The only thing you can’t get rid of is curses. (Bring a mage, bring a druid.)

Cleansing is one of the most important things to do in the game, period. Get all the bad crap off your healing target and then heal them, for the most part.

Lay on Hands

Oh, that’s right, you do have Lay on Hands… except it literally is a 40 minute cooldown (when talented for it! 60 minutes otherwise!) and it literally uses all of your mana, so make sure to have a Major Mana Potion ready and judge wisdom and put up Seal of Wisdom and go hit the boss after you use it.

Turn Undead

You’re a paladin. A champion of the light. As such, you can Turn Undead. Note that this later became Turn Evil and included demons, but this is just for undead and not the Forsaken, either! This can be an effective form of crowd control. That said, just like a warlock’s fear, your dude can go running off pretty far in 20 seconds and may come back… with friends. Still, this is super handy on, say, the two adds in Scholo on Alexei Barov.

Divine Intervention

Known as “DI”, Divine Intervention is one of my favourite spells. It kills you instantly. But you don’t take durability damage. It requires a target, so target someone who can resurrect (priest, other paladin, druid, engineer with jumper cables) and cast it if you’re about to wipe. It removes the other person from combat (so make sure they’re in a good place and won’t pull when they click it off!) when it kills you, so they don’t die and can rez the group. However, druids have a 30m cooldown on their rez and it’s an in-combat resurrection, so they should be your last choice. Always try to DI a priest. This will rarely be an opportunity for you in a dungeon, though.

TL;DR:

  • There is no healing rotation. Flash of Light for small heals, Holy Light for big heals, Holy Shock when moving as it’s your only instant, Divine Favor for forced crits, Lay on Hands once every 40 minutes.
  • Buff wisely and use Salvation for everyone except you and the tank.
  • Judge Light to heal and Judge Wisdom to regen mana. Feel free to run into melee with either of those seals up to gain health and mana yourself as well.
  • Don’t forget to cleanse.
  • You can CC for about 20 seconds with Turn Undead.
  • Use auras as needed and go Devotion Aura if none of the others are required.
  • DI a priest or paladin before a druid. Engineers with jumper cables are also valid options!

 

All righty, I’ll end things on this note, but will come back to talk about raiding. Any questions? Did I miss something? Let me know in the comments below!

Classic Countdown – Tier 0 Loot Drops

Tier 0 armour sets, also known as Dungeon Set 1, are sprinkled all around the high-level dungeons. They are not the best pre-raid loot, certainly not for healers or tanks, but will do fine as all-around sets. Additionally, they’re required to turn in for the Tier 0.5 armour sets, also known as Dungeon Set 2, when those quests come out. Here’s where everything drops, according to my memory and backed up by Wowhead.

All Chests from General Drakkisath in UBRS

All Pants from Baron Rivendare in Strat UD

All Helms from Darkmaster Gandling in Scholomance

All Belts & Bracers are BOE and zone-wide drops (in various dungeons)

All Gloves are BOE

Druid – Wildheart:

  • Shoulders: Gizrul the Slavener in LBRS
  • Gloves: The Unforgiven in Strat UD/Live
  • Boots: Mother Smolderweb in LBRS

Hunter – Beaststalker:

  • Shoulders: Wyrmthalak in LBRS
  • Gloves: Warmaster Voone in LBRS
  • Boots: Nerub’enkan in Strat UD

Mage – Magister’s:

  • Shoulders: Ras Frostwhisper in Scholo
  • Gloves: The Butcher in Scholo
  • Boots: Postmaster in Strat, eventually Hearthsinger Forresten

Paladin – Lightforge:

  • Shoulders: The Beast in UBRS
  • Gloves: Emperor in BRD (eventually changed)
  • Boots: Balnazzar in Strat Live

Priest – Devout:

  • Shoulders: Solokar Flamewreath in UBRS
  • Gloves: The Archivist in Strat Live
  • Boots: Malekki the Pallid in Strat UD

Rogue – Shadowcraft:

  • Shoulders: Cannonmaster Willey in Strat Live
  • Gloves: Shadow Hunter Vosh’gajin in LBRS
  • Boots: Rattlegore in Scholo

Warlock – Dreadmist:

  • Shoulders: Jandice Barov in Scholo
  • Gloves: Lorekeeper Polkelt in Scholo
  • Boots: Baroness Anastari in Strat UD

Warrior – Valor:

  • Shoulders: Rend in UBRS
  • Gloves: Ramstein the Gorger in Strat UD
  • Boots: Kirtonos the Herald in Scholo

I, for one, cannot wait to run through these dungeons again and have them be challenging, where the gear actually means something.

Short post today, but more coming soon. Tell me, what are you excited about for Classic?

Classic Countdown – Raiding in Classic

Friends, raiding in Classic has very little in common with raiding in the present day. There are a lot of differences, so I thought I’d highlight some here. This isn’t a comprehensive list, but I hope it’s helpful anyway.

No cauldrons or feasts.

That’s right. No way to provide buffs for many people. Looks like the current cauldrons require 12 flasks, 3 expulsom and a hydrocore at Rank 3. This, in turn, will grant you a cauldron that lasts for 10 minutes and you can pick up 30 flasks from it. Similarly, I think the feasts these days allow 35 uses. None of this exists in Classic. This is one of the reasons why raiding back in the day was so punishing. Farming up 41 herbs for a single flask (30 of one, 10 of another, 1 Black Lotus, typically) was difficult! And what about food buffs? Bring your own. And, even more, specific elixir buffs? It wasn’t until 2.0, I think, that they limited things to one flask or two elixirs (guardian and battle). You want your mind blown? Check out Taladril’s Complete Consumables List. If something is the same stat (ie: Agility Scroll and Agility Elixir) they usually don’t stack, but there are a ridiculous number of things that do stack. Truly insane. Now imagine that 40 people have to do all of this raid prep to maximize chances for killing things.

That’s right – 40 people.

Most of the raids in Vanilla were 40-man raids. That’s Onyxia, Molten Core, Blackwing Lair, AQ40 (as opposed to AQ20) and Naxxramas. 20-man raids were Zul’Gurub and AQ20 and didn’t come out until later on, but the game launched with Onyxia and Molten Core, both designed for 40 players. That’s 10-12ish healers, 2-5 tanks/off-tanks and 21-28 DPS, depending on your raid makeup. For example, some fights required off-tanks, like Garr (unless you had warlocks to banish mobs) and Majordomo Executus (unless you could sheep most of the adds). Then you have Onyxia which literally required one tank. Back in the day, we were happy to have like, 35 people and we went 8/10 in MC. Very, very poor group makeups, mind you, but we did all right for ourselves, considering we didn’t know anything. Once, we even downed Gehennas with 27 people.

One Difficulty.

That’s it. No looking for raid. No flex. No regular. No heroic. No mythic. Just one flippin’ difficulty. No difference in loot quality, either. None of this heroic or titanforged nonsense. It was one difficulty and if you were stuck on a boss, BY GOLLY YOU KEPT WORKING ON THAT BOSS. While this relates to Burning Crusade, the same goes for Classic — one of my friends was stuck for more than two months on M’uru, the second-to-last boss in Sunwell Plateau. Actual months. They killed the Eredar Twins on May 20, 2008 and M’uru on July 22. That was 4-5 nights a week for 4 hours at a time. And the same thing goes for Vanilla WoW — there are bosses that you might not be able to get through without more gear, without more people. That’s just how it was. Personally, I enjoyed it and any time Blizzard pulled the goalposts a bit closer to us in future content, I got annoyed.

Raid lockouts.

So, like, really, I don’t know much about how lockouts work now. But back in the day, certain raids reset weekly on Tuesdays (Molten Core, BWL, AQ40, Naxxramas), some reset every five days (Onyxia), some every three days (ZG and AQ20). If you went into an instance and any bosses were down, I believe you were asked if you wanted to save yourself. That said, you were saved as soon as a boss died while you were in the group, so after a kill in a fresh raid, you were saved. And since there’s just the one difficulty, that’s it. If you’re sitting there saved at 8/10 bosses killed in MC, you can’t go into a new MC instance and kill Lucifron and Magmadar. They’re already dead in yours. Gotta wait until next week!

Attunements.

Listen, Jailbreak may be one of the most miserable quests in the entire game, but attuning yourself to instances is not something I disagree with. I hate that we can just ding max level these days and have a specific item level and then we can do something. Attunement to the Core is an easy one — pick up the quest at level 55 outside of BRD, then do all of BRD through the Seven and then, before you go into the Emperor’s section, hang a right and get the piece of rock across the bridge, near the raid instance entrance. Blackwing Lair was pretty easy, you just had to kill Drakkisath in UBRS and touch the orb behind him while you had the quest. I think you had to pay to get into Naxxramas, unless you were exalted (?) with the Argent Dawn. While ZG had no attunement, AQ20 and AQ40 had that whole opening of the AQ gates thing. Now’s your chance to become a Scarab Lord! Aside from that, the kicker was Onyxia. Alliance folks can start in on it at level 50 in Burning Steppes with the Dragonkin Menace quest and it will require A Lot Of Work. (But at least in the patch version we’re getting, anyone on the quest will get the Blood of the Black Dragon Champion to drop off Drakkisath. It used to be individual loot.)

Debuff Limits.

At launch, you could only use 8 debuffs on a target before other debuffs would start to fall off. So you have Sunder Armor, Faerie Fire, Curse of Elements, and anything else that improves other people’s damage and then maybe you could allow a dot to be cast. Warlocks were not brought to raids for their dots. They were brought for their imp buffs, their healthstones, soulstones and banishes. That said, 16 debuffs was the limit in 2005, so that’s what we’re returning to. Still, most dots (Serpent Sting, for example) are probably not going to be used in raid environments.

Decursing/Dispelling.

Mages and druids could decurse. There were a lot of curses going out there in Vanilla raids. As such, even at the expense of their DPS, mages were expected to decurse the crap out of the raid. Druids too, even at the expense of their healing. Same with magic effects and priests and paladins. There are a few fights where this is basically all some people are doing for several minutes.

Crowd Control.

Similarly, some fights in Classic raids rely entirely on certain people to a) stay alive, b) keep their assigned add under control. On the Garr fight, as I mentioned previously, warlocks were great because they could banish his 8 adds. But, you know, only if you had 8 warlocks. And no one had 8 warlocks. Generally, you’d have 3-4 warlocks and have warriors off-tank the rest. In this fight, the more of his adds died, the strong Garr got. So you’d banish as many as possible (with a voidwalker on them in case the banish broke early) and kill the ones being off-tanked and then turn full DPS on the boss. But throughout the whole fight, warlocks were watching their banished add carefully. Aggro was different then and healing aggro, particularly from squishy priests, was tremendously efficient at getting the attention of mobs.

Threat.

And speaking of aggro… Hoo boy. One of the reasons that warriors were the “best” tanks in Vanilla is because of their Sunder Armor ability. Sunder not only weakened the armor on the mob, it also generated a ridiculous amount of threat. A mistimed big heal from a priest could result in the priest instantly getting aggro and literally getting one-shot. Got a heal-over-time running, like Rejuvenation, across a couple of people when adds spawn? Dead druid. Paladins didn’t have to worry quite as much, due to wearing plate armor and not having hots, but also because they naturally generate less threat. Finally, Paladins have one of the best raid buffs ever: Greater Blessing of Salvation. Salv is the priority for everyone except the tanks. Then comes Kings, then either Wisdom or Might. (And others, but that’s another blog post.) Kings or Sanctuary, if available, should be the priority buff for tanks. Wait for a minimum of two Sunder Armor applications (also known as “two sunders”) before starting to DPS. Oh, PS: there’s no misdirection or tricks of the trade.

No Mage Tables, no Soulwells.

Yep, that’s right. Line up in front of a mage, who has likely spent an hour before raid conjuring All The Water And Food. And yeah, that’s right, it’s either food or water. You can’t have both in the same conjured item, though you can eat and drink one after the other without interrupting the first. And the warlock’s healthstones? That’s right, each is individually conjured and each costs a Soul Shard. And they’re single-use. As such, healthstones were generally reserved for the tanks. Best to take a healing potion or, yes, bandage if you need health and a healer can’t get to you in a fight.

No limit on potion use.

Well, there was one limit — one per two minutes. But that was it. You could drink more than one potion while in combat. So taking a healing potion didn’t mean you couldn’t use another potion later. However, there weren’t any potions that added X amount of strength or agility or intellect (now known as DPS potions, basically) back then. Still, you can use multiple potions on multiple fights.

Only Druids could battle rez.

Yep, only druids had a battle rez ability, Rebirth. And it required a reagent. And had a 30-minute cooldown. Oh, and to make matters worse? Druids did not have a regular resurrection spell. What’s that? What about soulstones? Sure, you can use them — but the person has to have the soulstone on them before they die. If they don’t have a soulstone on them when they die, you can’t use it the way you can now, by casting it on them.

Paladins had Divine Intervention.

Seriously, one of my favourite spells ever, this instantly kills the paladin and pulls the person on whom you cast it out of combat. They can’t do anything, but they will not be in combat and, once it’s safe, can start rezzing people. This is a form of wipe protection. Some of the run-backs were particularly long, so aim to DI a priest or another paladin if a wipe is called. (Don’t DI a druid unless they are literally the only other person who is even capable of resurrecting someone left.)

Don’t release immediately!

On the topic of dying in a raid, don’t release your spirit unless you’re absolutely certain everyone is dying. Why? Well, for one, you can’t zone back in until combat has ended. Secondly, if, by some miracle, people get the boss down and you’ve already released, you will probably not be eligible for loot. Now, I know they’re keeping the tradeable thing in Classic (which master looters who have previously made mistakes in raids REALLY APPRECIATE just sayin’), but you may not be viewed as being eligible if you released early. That said, if you’re near the start of the instance and it is a wipe, just run back. It’s faster than being the 39th person resurrected.

Whew.

Okay, that was long! I hope it was helpful, though. Any questions about raiding in Classic/Vanilla? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter!

Classic Countdown – Professions!

Thanks to Kristen for a few questions about Classic WoW! Today, we’re tackling tips about Professions. Curious about Classic? Tweet me with your questions: @kurnmogh

1) Jewelcrafting and Inscription and Archaeology don’t exist

That’s right. There are no gems that increase any stats. There are no glyphs. There’s no milling, no prospecting. There’s no digging. This means that herbalism only funnels into Alchemy and that mining funnels into Blacksmithing and Engineering and that there’s only three secondary professions, not four.

But Kurn, didn’t the Darkmoon Faire exist? What about Darkmoon trinkets?

Yes. The Faire existed, but, sidenote, there were no quests to skill up your professions! And yes, there were Darkmoon trinkets. However, they were not crafted. Each and every card that made up a deck was a drop. The Aces were drops from dungeon bosses. The Ace of Portals, for example, was a drop from Darkmaster Gandling. The 2-8 of each deck were random world drops. What’s a random world drop? It can drop off of anything, anywhere. While I’m sure there was a level cap on this (probably mobs 50+), that’s still a lot of randomness to collect a deck. It was hard. And then you had to wait for the Faire to arrive to turn it in. And guess what? One month, the Faire would arrive in Goldshire, and the next, it was in Mulgore. Yeah, good luck going to hand stuff in at your opposing faction’s starting zone.

And the trinkets weren’t even that good!

Arguably the best trinket from the decks was the reward for the Portals Deck, which was Darkmoon Card: Twisting Nether. You will note that there are absolutely no stats on this trinket. The only thing it does is give you a 10% chance to rez.

That said, Darkmoon Card: Blue Dragon, from the Beasts Deck, is good for a healer. The Darkmoon Card: Maelstrom, a reward from the Elementals Deck, is good for melee DPS. Darkmoon Card: Heroism, a reward from the Warlords Deck, is meh. A tank might use it, particularly while undergeared, or a DPS might want it for grinding mobs to lessen downtime. Honestly, underwhelming. But they all are. Truthfully, trinkets in Vanilla were awful.

Anyway, TL;DR: no Archaeology, no Jewelcrafting and no Inscription and, as such, no digging, no gems, no glyphs and no good Darkmoon trinkets.

2) Fishing, Cooking and First Aid are all useful

Let’s look at First Aid. Not only does bandaging restore a fair amount of health at higher levels (2000 health back over 8 seconds), but it’s really useful to heal yourself when you’re about to die. Players over the last few years don’t think of their own health, don’t use their personal cooldowns, don’t use health potions, don’t use healthstones. As someone who has raided as a holy paladin more often than not, especially back in Vanilla when AOE healing was rare, please, I implore you, train your First Aid and carry bandages with you everywhere you go.

Tip: It is okay to stop DPSing to bandage yourself. I promise.

So the first time my guild killed Lucifron, the first boss in Molten Core, I was dead. Why was I dead? Well, it couldn’t be avoided. Lucifron had this nasty ability called Impending Doom, which caused 2000 shadow damage after ten seconds. So anyone with a dispel magic would have to dispel the entire raid (no mass dispel!) and hope they got everyone before the dot exploded.

There I am, with my potions on cooldown, my bandages on cooldown and my healthstone gone (they were single-use back then!). And I get hit with Impending Doom. And I have less than 2000 health. And I know I’m going to die. But everything was on cooldown. So it wasn’t my fault. And it wasn’t the healers’ fault, either, because they were busy healing and dispelling. So I died. The goal is to stay alive as long as possible, through any means necessary. That includes bandages. RESPECT THE BANDAGEZ.

Fishing and Cooking, as I’ve mentioned previously, go hand-in-hand and can be incredibly useful for late-game buffs. That means raiders are going to fork over their hard-earned gold for your fish or various foods.

Additionally, fishing is basically required in order to summon Gahz’ranka in Zul’Gurub! (Who, BTW, drops the Tome of Polymorph Turtle. Back in the day, you had sheep and that was it, unless you got lucky off Gahz’ranka, which is why people to this day still call it “sheeping” something rather than “polymorph”. Then Polymorph: Pig appeared as a trained skill, IIRC.)

Oh, one of the few appearance-changing items in the game at the time, Savory Deviate Delight, can always be relied upon to be bought by people who want to turn into a ninja or a pirate. The recipe is simple, one Deviate Fish, and Mild Spices from a trade vendor. The Recipe: Savory Deviate Delight drops from mobs in the Barrens, so it’s well-worth taking the time to visit there. (And, you know, immediately leave General chat for the duration. Ugh. Barrens chat.)

3) Herbalism and Alchemy

Much like today, herbs and potions/elixirs/flasks are always going to be in demand so long as people are running challenging content. Whether that’s level 55+ dungeons like Scholomance or a 45-man Baron run in Stratholme or stepping foot inside Zul’Gurub or Molten Core or tiptoeing down to Onyxia, alchemy’s products will always be in demand, from the major mana and even health potions to the flasks.

As such, herbs will also always be in demand. Some good ones to stock up on include Ghost Mushrooms, Golden Sansam, Dreamfoil, Mountain Silversage, and, of course, Black Lotus, as every flask recipe in the game requires one and they’re super rare. Oh, and Icecap is definitely useful, too.

Tip: Tauren get a natural +15 boost to herbalism.

Herbalism and Alchemy obviously go very well together, so I’d recommend picking up both if you grab one.

One major difference between Ye Olde Days and now is flasks require Alchemy Labs to create them. Right now, on retail WoW, you can create all your flasks or potions or elixirs or transmutes anywhere. In town, on a mountain top, inside a dungeon, anywhere. In Vanilla WoW, there were exactly two alchemy labs, special areas where you could create flasks. Do you know where they were? Well, one was inside Blackwing Lair and the other, more reasonable one, was inside Scholomance. And I’m not talking two rooms in, either. Both are placed well-inside these instances. As such, your flasks not only take materials to make, but also time and effort to get to Scholomance (more reasonably than BWL) and to clear down to the alchemy lab. Flasks are expensive, requiring the very rare Black Lotus herb, other herbs, plus the time and energy to craft them. Alchemists would likely do well to make sure they have materials for a flask any time they go to Scholomance. Of course, it would be helpful to have a flask recipe, right? Right.

So where do you get flask recipes? Not from a trainer, oh no. They’re drops. The caster flask recipe,  Recipe: Flask of Supreme Power, drops off Ras Frostwhisper, in Scholomance. As such, if you’re an alchemist, even if you don’t know the recipe for a single flask, kill Ras and you might get that recipe. So make sure you go in loaded with Dreamfoil, some Mountain Silversage and, of course, Black Lotuses and Crystal Vials, even if you don’t know any flasks, because you might luck out with Ras.

Recipe: Flask of Distilled Wisdom, typically the healer flask, drops from Balnazzar in Strat Live. (Fun fact: I was using these in Wrath because there was literally nothing better for healing for a holy paladin.)

Recipe: Flask of the Titans, typically the tank flask, drops from General Drakkisath in UBRS.

There, uh, is not a lot for physical DPS folks in the way of flasks. Sorry.

Recipe: Flask of Petrification, which I don’t think I’ve ever seen used, drops from the green dragons, perhaps specifically Taerar.

Recipe: Flask of Chromatic Resistance, which may be handy in BWL (???), drops in UBRS from Rend’s dragon, Gyth.

Tip: For money-making, focus on Flask of Supreme Power, Flask of Distilled Wisdom and Flask of the Titans and try to always have mats for at least Supreme Power when you visit Scholomance.

4) Tailoring & Enchanting

Tailoring and Enchanting are a good pair of professions for a cloth-wearer. Enchanting will always be in demand and, as a tailor, you can disenchant stuff you create for dust, shards, etc. However, it’s important to note that, back in the day, there were no enchanting vellums. That means you had to actually find an enchanter and ask them to perform the enchant for you, usually with your mats, and then you definitely wanted to tip them gold, depending on how difficult the enchant was to farm up. Crusader? Tip a lot. Fiery? Less so.

The flip side here, for enchanters, is that it’s hard to level up enchanting because you can’t just enchant vellums to sell! Still, it’s always going to be in demand once you get to max, or close to max, level. However, just like now, the most valuable enchants are generally the ones that take effort — or rep — so be prepared.

As to tailoring, some of the neat patterns you can get as a tailor give you an item that is BOP, so you can’t sell it, so it’s worthwhile for you to be a cloth-wearer as a tailor because then you can equip those items. For example, the Pattern: Robe of the Archmage is able to be looted by anyone and sold, but the ROBE ITSELF is BOP, so only a mage would want to create it, because it’s class-locked to a mage. (Fun fact: the alcove to the right on your way up to Mother Smolderweb is where the mobs that can drop this are.) Meanwhile, Balnazzar in Strat Live drops the Pattern: Truefaith Vestments, and Truefaith Vestments? BOP. And class-locked to priests. Meanwhile, Darkmaster Gandling in Scholomance drops the Pattern: Robe of the Void, which gives the BOP Robe of the Void, class-locked to warlocks.

Of course, beyond the sweet armor you can craft yourself, tailors also make… bags. Bags are going to be at a premium. 16-slot bags are typically the best bags you’ll use in Classic. Finding a Traveler’s Backpack is basically like hitting the jackpot. Meanwhile, one of the best bags is the Mooncloth Bag. It’s identical, except it’s crafted and it will likely be expensive (which is good for you, as the tailor!). Why? It requires:

  • Mooncloth. The recipe itself is hard enough to get, as it’s a limited-item available from a vendor in Winterspring. Making Mooncloth requires two Felcloth and it’s on a 4-day cooldown.
  • Pattern: Mooncloth Bag. As to where this comes from, Wowhead is saying Lethon, who’s one of the green dragons, but it also used to drop off of random, high-level mobs. Keep an eye out for it and snatch it up immediately if you see it.

Until you get that, you can at least try to get the Runecloth Bag recipe, which may be sold from Qia in Winterspring (same one for Mooncloth), which is a 14-slot bag, which really isn’t bad comparatively. Easier to make and it’ll be in super-high demand.

Tip: Make friends with a skinner because each bag requires 2 Rugged Leather.

5) Skinning and Leatherworking

And speaking of skinning and leather, let’s look at Skinning and Leatherworking, my favourite professions, period. I started out with these professions in Vanilla and didn’t change for eons. It was towards the end of Vanilla that I swapped to mining for a while (Thorium Ore and Arcane Crystals sold quite well!) before, yes, dropping mining and going back to skinning. Skinning is really the only way to get “enough” leather to supply your Leatherworking. The other bonus here is that you don’t have to wait for a node to respawn. Skin what you kill.

Tip: Don’t loot everything at once. Loot one corpse, then skin it. Repeat for as many dead bodies are around you. Otherwise, people can skin your kills.

Also, there are Leatherworking Specialties that will mean you can’t craft certain items while you can craft others. You were, at least until Burning Crusade, stuck with your specialty, so choose wisely! That said, unlike the Tailoring patterns I mentioned previously, these items are not BOP, so even if you pick the “wrong” specialty, you can sell stuff and purchase what would benefit you more. The specialties are as follows:

  • Elemental Leatherworking: Meant for rogues (and feral druids)
  • Tribal Leatherworking: Essentially meant for moonkins/resto druids (there’s a decent couple of melee pieces in here, too)
  • Dragonscale Leatherworking: Gear for hunters and shammies

I don’t have a comprehensive list of all the items yet, but that should change at launch, or closer to it. Still, those are decent guidelines.

It’s important to note that, outside of the specialty gear, a leatherworker creates both leather and mail gear, while a tailor is just cloth gear and a blacksmith is just plate. Leatherworkers can sell to rogues, druids of any kind, hunters and shaman (12 total specs – 13 if you count holy paladins in search of spellpower mail!). As such, especially if you can get a couple of rare recipes, it’s definitely worthwhile to be a Skinner/Leatherworker. I made a lot of money off the Black Dragonscale Leggings, personally. That said, don’t be a paladin and skinner, because a paladin can’t wield a dagger like Finkle’s Skinner. (They can, however, wield the Zulian Slicer, but ZG won’t be out for a while yet.)

Additionally, a skinner is really important for a guild. Why?

  • Pristine Hide of the Beast can drop from skinning the Beast in UBRS and is a valuable reagent for some great gear.
  • Scale of Onyxia: A key ingredient for the Onyxia Scale Cloak, required to defeat Nefarian, the last boss of Blackwing Lair.
  • Core Leather: Skinned from Core Hounds in Molten Core, Core Leather is necessary for several fire-resistance recipes and more. For the love of all that’s holy, LOOT YOUR HOUNDS SO YOUR GUILD SKINNER CAN SKIN THEM. Ahem. Thank you.

Tips: Don’t skin as a paladin and pick a leatherworking specialty that will ideally benefit you.

6) Mining and Blacksmithing

I’ll talk about Engineering later, just know that mining is useful for just those two professions. That said, miners not only collect ore, but smelt them into bars. Smelting is no longer part of the profession in retail — raw ore is used by Blacksmiths and Engineers — but it was a big part of the profession in Vanilla. A great way to make some money is to buy cheap ore and sell expensive bars. Or, combine bars to make a different kind of bar. A Bronze bar, for example. You don’t mine bronze, you have to take a Copper bar and a Tin bar and smelt them together to get the Bronze bar. Additionally, mining Thorium Veins in the later stages of the game meant you could get Arcane Crystals. These, in turn, are used in a transmute with a Thorium Bar to create the very-popular Arcanite Bar. Some of the best weapons and armor in the entire game require many of these, including Sulfuras, Hand of Ragnaros. The precursor, Sulfuron Hammer, requires 50 Arcanite Bars, for example.

Tip: Be friends with an alchemist and tip them well for using their transmute cooldown. It’s a 2-day cooldown.

As to Blacksmithing, full disclosure, I never had a Blacksmith back in the day. However, you do have a choice between Armorsmith and Weaponsmith, which is then further broken down into Axesmith, Hammersmith and Swordsmith. You’re not going to be making money off these recipes, largely, because the materials are end-game items from Molten Core in many cases. You should select what you think will be most useful to your guild. In most cases, this will be Armorsmith.

7) Engineering

This is another profession I have little experience with. But, true story, one night, we all convinced our buddy Majik to drop… I think it was enchanting (?) in favour of Engineering. Specifically, goblin engineering. And we helped him to level it, helping him buy mats and all that. Why? Field Repair Bot 74A. This is partly because a group of us could never find a tank and so we’d 5-man stuff with three clothies, my cat tanking, and a priest. We all died. A lot. Anyway, we made him become an engineer for the repair bot/vendor bot. And the jumper cables were fun, too.

Anyway, my point is, Engineers are useful. You can be either a Gnomish Engineer or a Goblin Engineer. Like Leatherworking, you’re stuck with the specialty, so again, choose wisely.

Which to choose? Well, Goblins get the jumper cables, so if you’re a hunter or a rogue or a night elf who can avoid dying in a wipe, that’s useful. You can try to rez a healer. Goblins also tend to have more, uh, explosives. Gnomes have more utility items.

Goblins also get Dimensional Ripper – Everlook, while Gnomes get Ultrasafe Transporter: Gadgetzan.

Tip: Gnomes get a +15 Engineering racial bonus.

Engineers can also craft scopes for increased stats on ranged weapons as well as ammunition (yes, guns and bows and crossbows all need ammo!). Their Thorium Shells can be turned in for Thorium Headed Arrows. Man, even just writing this makes me feel like I should make my hunter an engineer, but I genuinely love skinning dragons and crafting armor… Anyway, probably a good choice for a hunter.

Next Time…

Whew. That was a lot of information. I hope it was useful! As for myself, I’m planning on Skinning/LW for my hunter, Herbalism/Alchemy for my paladin and Tailoring/Enchanting for my mage. My brother is, I believe, aiming for Mining/Blacksmithing on his warrior, Engineering/Leatherworking on his rogue (he’ll get the ore from his warrior, the leather from me) and Tailoring/Enchanting on his mage.

Next time, we’ll have some more general bits of advice, this time about various zones. Stay tuned!

Classic Countdown – Holy Paladins & UBRS

This is the last in a series of posts (for now) which focuses on things of interest to you in dungeons starting around level 50. Once Dire Maul is released, I’ll tackle DM East, West and North (plus Tribute Runs!), too.

Overall, intellect is your best stat for a paladin healer, followed by crit. Why? At Rank 5, Illumination gives you a 100% chance to regain the mana cost for a spell if it crits. Crit is great for a holy paladin’s output, but it’s also great for your mana regen. +healing and mp5 are decent stats too, but intellect also increases your healing done and gives you chance to critically strike with your spells and crit gives you mana back, so that’s generally the direction we should go. (That said, there’s nothing wrong with a ton of +healing if you’re not running out of mana, and you should always endeavour to have SOME +healing.)

Some (all?) of these mail recommendations may not drop for an Alliance group, so please be aware of that possibility. I’ll update these posts when I’ve been able to confirm this.

Listen, I freaking love my Lightforge Armor, but it’s not for healing. It just isn’t. It never will be. Believe it or not, some of the pieces don’t have any intellect! But pick it up anyway. First, it looks awesome, particularly when paired with the Stormpike Battle Tabard. Second, the Tier 0.5 armor, Soulforge Armor, is not as tragic. All the pieces have intellect and +damage/healing on them. When Phase Five comes out, in order to get the Tier 0.5 armor, you need to do a ton of things, including exchanging your T0 pieces for the Tier 0.5 pieces. Make sure you grab all your Lightforge so you’re able to exchange it for Soulforge.

All righty, let’s see what Rend, the Beast and General Drakkisath have for us in UBRS, as we follow in Leeroy Jenkins’ footsteps!

Classic Loot for a Holy Paladin in Upper Blackrock Spire (UBRS)

Oh, by the way, you need a key. The key is a ring, the Seal of Ascension. The ring is forged through a long and annoying quest chain. I’ll definitely outline that At Some Point In The Future. ;)

General Drakkisath drops all of the Tier 0 chests. It took me over 60 kills over the course of Vanilla, Burning Crusade and Wrath in order to get my Beaststalker’s Tunic. My paladin was much more fortunate and got it after like, maybe a dozen runs. I had never even seen it drop on my hunter. 60+ kills. Do not take someone’s tier chestpiece from them. I beg of you.

Helm: There are a few helms of note that drop in UBRS, mostly off Rend’s dragon, Gyth. Of particular interest is the Tribal War Feathers helm, requiring level 55. While leather, it’s exclusively +healing and has a good amount of intellect. The Spellweaver’s Turban, requiring level 60 and dropping from Drakkisath, is cloth and has +hit, so ignore that, despite the slightly higher +damage/healing. Also off Gyth, also requiring level 55, is Gyth’s Skull of randomness. As always, look for of Intellect, of the Eagle, of the Owl, of Healing or of Concentration. Or, for tanking aspirations, anything with more stam, strength or defense.

Neck: The only neck of note drops from General Drakkisath himself, the Tooth of Gnarr, requiring level 58.

Shoulders: First up, the Lightforge Spaulders, requiring level 55, are your tier 0 shoulders. Get them. They drop off The Beast. They actually do have intellect, but are not the best healing shoulders. Hilariously, Leeroy Jenkins wanting the Devout Mantle is actually legit, it’s a pretty great choice! But that’s the priest tier 0 shoulder piece, so let the priests get it first. That piece drops from Solakar Flamewreath in the Rookery.

Chest: As mentioned, General Drakkisath drops all the tier 0 chests. Yours is the Lightforge Breastplate. Any of the caster robes would also work, but the Magister’s Robes would be the best in terms of pure +intellect. Again, let the mages have their tier piece. Chests all require level 58.

Cloak: The Frostweaver Cape drops from The Beast and requires level 58. It’s the only cloak worth mentioning.

Bracers: Nothing of note, though some tier 0 bracers are zone-wide drops and there are some green bracers that could be interesting if they’re of Intellect, of the Eagle, of the Owl, of Healing or of Concentration.

Belt: Lots of tier 0 belts drop here as zone-wide drops, possibly including the shaman’s Cord of Elements. The Crystallized Girdle drops from Solakar Flamewreath and requires level 56. It’s leather and moonkin gear to be sure, but has a nice amount of intellect and some +dmg/healing.

Gloves: Not too much in the way of gloves.

Legs: Nothing fun in terms of legs, either, although the Warmaster Legguards, requiring level 58, drop from Rend, and are useful if you want to tank. +2% to dodge is great.

Feet: More cloth! The Faith Healter’s Boots require level 58 and drop from Rend.

Main Hand: While not as great as other options in other dungeons, the best option for a paladin healer in UBRS is the Mastersmith’s Hammer, requiring level 55. It drops from Goraluk Anvilcrack, who is upstairs from the Rookery. Take the first left, not the second.

Off-hand: The Tome of the Lost, requiring level 58, is okay. It drops from General Drakkisath. If your shield-wearing tanks don’t want Draconian Deflector and it drops from Drakkisath, you should snag it for tanking purposes.

Rings: Ooh, Band of Rumination, requiring level 58 and dropping from Rend, is really nice. Some mp5 plus crit!

Trinkets: Though there are absolutely zero stats on it, the Draconic Infused Emblem, which requires level 58 and drops from Drakkisath, is amazing. +190 healing for 15 seconds every 75 seconds. You will have competition. Doesn’t matter. This is definitely something you will want as a holy paladin. The other trinket here, Briarwood Reed, drops from Jed Runewatcher, a rare spawn in the same general area as Goraluk Anvilcrack. This is a little more of a grey area. It’s passive +29 dmg/healing, but it’s not pure +healing. Still, if you have crappy trinkets, this is valuable for you. Certainly, until Dire Maul and the Royal Seals of Eldre’Thalas come out, it’s very good for you.

That’s it for UBRS!

Thanks for reading! I’ll have more holy paladin guide stuff in the next few weeks, but hopefully these blog posts have been helpful. Next time, I’ll have more general Classic tips and tricks.

Classic Countdown – Holy Paladins & Scholomance

This series of posts focuses on things of interest to you in dungeons starting around level 50. Intellect is your best stat for a paladin healer, followed by crit. Why? At Rank 5, Illumination gives you a 100% chance to regain the mana cost for a spell if it crits. Crit is great for a holy paladin’s output, but it’s also great for your mana regen. +healing and mp5 are decent stats too, but intellect also increases your healing done and gives you chance to critically strike with your spells and crit gives you mana back, so that’s generally the direction we should go. (That said, there’s nothing wrong with a ton of +healing if you’re not running out of mana.)

It’s also possible that some of these mail recommendations may not drop for an Alliance group, so please be aware of that possibility. I’ll update these posts when I’ve been able to confirm this.

My paladin’s life-long transmog is Lightforge Armor, but it’s actually really super terribly bad for healing. Some of the pieces don’t even have intellect! You should collect it, though, because the Tier 0.5 armor, Soulforge Armor, is not as tragic. All the pieces have intellect and +damage/healing on them. When Phase Five comes out, in order to get the Tier 0.5 armor, you need to do a ton of things, including exchanging your T0 pieces for the Tier 0.5 pieces. Make sure you grab all your Lightforge so you’re able to exchange it for Soulforge.

Let’s take on the Barovs and Gandling!

Classic Loot for a Holy Paladin in Scholomance

I’m going to be mentioning the pieces of the Deathbone Guardian set in this post, if you have any tanking aspirations. Please let any plate-wearing tank take these before you do if you’re healing the instance.

Darkmaster Gandling drops all of the Tier 0 helms. Back in the day, I killed Gandling 26 times on my hunter before I got my helm and I only saw the Beaststalker’s Cap twice in that entire time. My brother never got his Wildheart Cowl.

Helm: The Lightforge Helm requires level 57 and drops from Gandling. Do not, and I cannot express this enough, take any other class helm over any class that needs it. That said, the Magister’s Crown has a beefy 30 intellect. But don’t be a jerk. Let the mages have their helm.

Neck: Nothing particularly useful here.

Shoulders: While I’m not sure if this mail piece will drop from Jandice Barov for an Alliance group, the Royal Cap Spaulders are level 57 and have intellect and +healing. The cloth Burial Shawl, requiring level 56, is a zone-wide drop and have more intellect and some +dmg/healing and would be a decent piece. Certainly, better than the mage and warlock shoulders that also drop here. Oh, and if you have any tanking aspirations and your tank either doesn’t wear plate or doesn’t need them, grab the Stoneform Shoulders, requiring level 56, from Kirtonos the Herald. Again, let’s not be a jerk.

Chest: Really nothing of note for a holy paladin here. That said, the Deathbone Chestplate is a great tanking chest, particularly for a paladin with the mp5. Of course, if your tank needs it, let them have it. Yes, even if it’s a warrior. +17 defense is HUGE. If you have any desire to tank and your tank doesn’t need it, snag this chestpiece, which requires level 56 and is a zone-wide drop.

Cloak: Nah, nothing here.

Bracers: The Lightforge Bracers are a zone-wide drop here. Aaaaand there’s no intellect on them, so don’t use them to heal. Best would be the Loomguard Armbraces, if they drop for an Alliance group. They require level 56 and drop from Kirtonos the Herald. Otherwise, look at the Necropile Cuffs, but let clothies have dibs on these bracers that require level 56 and are a zone-wide drop.

Belt: In terms of belts, the Detention Strap is a mail belt requiring level 57 that drops from Darkmaster Gandling, but may not drop for Alliance groups. You can consider the Clutch of Andros, requiring level 56 from Kirtonos the Herald, but it has spell hit on it. Do not steal this from clothies. For real. There’s also the Wildheart Belt, requiring level 53, which is a zone-wide drop, but dibs to the druids. Finally, for you wanna-be tankadins out there, the Deathbone Girdle (a zone-wide drop) is godly. Again, dibs to the plate tanks. Do not be a jerk!

Gloves: The only gloves that should interest you here are the Magister’s Gloves but, all together now, let the mages have their gloves! Two sweet tanking gloves drop here, too: Boneclenched Gauntlets, requiring level 57 and dropping from Ras Frostwhisper, and the Deathbone Gauntlets, requiring level 56 and are a zone-wide drop. Let your plate-wearing tanks get either before you!

Legs: The best legs in Scholomance for you are the Ghoul Skin Leggings, a zone-wide drop made of leather that require level 56. They’re straight-up +healing, so a moonkin shouldn’t want them. If they drop, the mail Maelstrom Leggings off Ras Frostwhisper are decent, requiring level 57. Tanking pants include the Deathbone Leggings, a zone-wide drop, requiring level 56, and the Wraithplate Leggings, which has no +defense, but adds a full percent of parry.

Feet: The Death Knight Sabatons, requiring level 54, drop from Marduk Blackpool. They’re actually plate and have intellect on them, what craziness is this!? This NPC is in the Viewing Room with Vectus. And, of course, for the tanks among you, the Deathbone Sabatons drop in the zone and they require level 56. A nice +10 defense rating here! Make sure your plate-wearing tank passes on these before you snag them.

Main Hand: Well, pallies can’t use staves or daggers, so there’s nothing of interest for us here.

Off-hand: The Rattlecage Buckler, which requires level 57 and drops from Rattlegore, is a pretty decent intellect shield. The Spellbound Tome, requiring level 57 as well, dropping from Ras Frostwhisper, is a good OH, too, but clothies might want that instead.

Rings: Don Mauricio’s Band of Domination is great for a holy paladin and requires level 58. It drops from Gandling. The Dimly Opalescent Ring is a zone-wide drop and requires level 56. It’s got random enchantments, so look for of Intellect, of the Eagle, of the Owl, of Healing or of Concentration.

Relic: Assuming we have relics in this patch, and I think we do, the Libram of Divinity is basically the only one you need until you get to AQ or Naxxramas. It’s a zone-wide drop in Scholomance and requires level 60.

Trinkets: Absolutely nothing.

Next time…

And that’s Scholomance for you! If you’re having trouble with Alexei Barov, you can fear one of the adds with Turn Undead, though that will only give you 15 seconds (and the cooldown is 30 seconds). Hopefully you’re done with one of the adds by the time it comes back! Also, Shadow Resistance Aura will be very useful here, or if you’ve got a lot of casters in the group, go with Concentration Aura.

Next up: we follow in the footsteps of Leeroy Jenkins and enter the Rookery and down The Beast and General Drakkisath in search of Lightforge pieces in Upper Blackrock Spire!

Classic Countdown – Holy Paladins & Stratholme (Undead)

All of these posts focus on things of interest to you in dungeons starting around level 50. Intellect is your best stat for a paladin healer, followed by crit. Why? At Rank 5, Illumination gives you a 100% chance to regain the mana cost for a spell if it crits. So crit, for a holy paladin, is not only good for your output, but it’s great for your mana regen. +healing and mp5 are decent stats too, but intellect also increases your healing done and gives you chance to critically strike with your spells and crit gives you mana back, so that’s generally the direction we should go. (That said, there’s nothing wrong with a ton of +healing if you’re not running out of mana.)

It’s also possible that some of these mail recommendations may not drop for an Alliance group, so please be aware of that possibility. I’ll update these posts when I’ve been able to confirm this.

My paladin’s life-long transmog is Lightforge Armor, but it’s actually really tragically bad for healing. Some of the pieces don’t have intellect! You should collect it, though, because the Tier 0.5 armor, Soulforge Armor, is not terrible. All the pieces have intellect and +damage/healing on them. When Phase Five comes out, in order to get the Tier 0.5 armor, you need to do a ton of things, including exchanging your T0 pieces for the Tier 0.5 pieces. So make sure you grab all your Lightforge so you’re able to exchange it for Soulforge.

Ready to face the Baron? Let’s do it. (Even better if you can do it in 45 minutes!)

Classic Loot for a Holy Paladin in Stratholme (Undead)

As I mentioned in my last post, Stratholme Live and Undead are the same instance and you can get from one to the other and, in fact, unless you have the Key to the City (Strat UD key) or a rogue or someone else who can open doors, that’s the only way you can get in. The Key to the City drops from Magistrate Barthilas towards the end of Strat UD. This is likely a green item you can roll on.

Helm: While it should go to clothies first, the Crimson Felt Hat is the only helm of note in Strat UD. It’s cloth and requires level 54 and drops off Magistrate Barthilas.

Neck: Animated Chain Necklace, requiring level 57, drops off Ramstein the Gorger.

Shoulders: Two pieces of cloth of interest here, one of which, the Shroud of the Nathrezim, I mentioned in my last post, because it’s a zone-wide drop. Of particular interest is it gives you 1% to crit on spells. Another interesting piece, though should go to cloth DPSers first, is the Thuzadin Mantle, requiring level 58 and dropping from Baron Rivendare.

Chest: Two interesting drops from the Baron: Robes of the Exalted, cloth and requiring level 58. This chestpiece is +healing, which means no other cloth-wearing person in your group should want it if you’re healing. However, there’s also Tunic of the Crescent Moon to consider. Sure, it’s less +healing (and is made for moonkins), but it’s got way more intellect and it has +crit. Which one you go for is really going to be dependent on what else you’re wearing at the time. Need more mana regen? Go for the tunic. Need more raw +healing? Go for the robes. Also, let moonkins have first dibs on the tunic.

Cloak: Only one drop of note here and that’s Royal Tribunal Cloak. It requires level 54 and drops from the Magistrate.

Bracers: The only thing of remote interest is Magistrate’s Cuffs, requiring level 54 and made of leather. No intellect, but 4 mana per 5 seconds. Truly sub-par.

Belt: There’s one belt that doesn’t totally suck and it’s from Nerub’enkan: Thuzadin Sash. Of course, it’s cloth and should go to DPSers first, but 12 intellect on a belt is nothing to sneeze at. Requires level 56.

Gloves: The Wildheart Gloves are a zone drop requiring level 54, but are underwhelming and belong to druids. Better gloves exist elsewhere. Shadowy Laced Handwraps require level 55 and are cloth, dropping from Baroness Anastari, but again, dibs to the cloth-wearers. They are not phenomenal, though 15 int is nice.

Legs: Baron Rivendare drops all of the class legs. We’re talking Lightforge, Beaststalker, Valor, everything. So, obviously, get your Lightforge Legplates from him, requiring level 56. However, these are not great for healing. (They’ll do in a pinch.) Instead, the best legs for healing that are available here are the Chitinous Plate Legguards, off of Nerub’enkan, requiring level 56 as well. 20 int, 5mp5, these were made for holy paladins.

Feet: The Lightforge Boots, requiring level 54, are a zone drop. However, they suck for healing. Verdant Footpads, which should go to a druid before you, do have some straight-up +healing, but nothing else of value. On the other side of things (+int, but no +healing), the Devout Sandals and Dreadmist Sandals drop from Baroness Anastari and Maleki the Pallid respectively, but, of course, should go to priests and warlocks before you.

Main Hand: Ramstein the Gorger drops the Felstone Reaver, which has a random enchantment. Pretty useless but you could get lucky and get of Intellect, of the Eagle, of the Owl, of Healing or of Concentration, all of which would be, at the very least, interesting, depending on what you already have. I should note that there’s a level 58 2H mace called Hammer of the Grand Crusader, which is a zone-wide drop. This is definitely made for paladins but is worse than a 1H/shield or off-hand combo for sure.

Off-hand: Nothing.

Rings: The Baron drops a nice level 56 ring: Seal of Rivendare.

Trinkets: Nothing here.

Next time…

That’s it for Strat UD! Don’t forget the Chitinous Plate Legguards and your Lightforge Legplates and Lightforge Boots.

Next up: The Barov family, Darkmaster Gandling and tier 0 helms as we tackle Scholomance!

Classic Countdown – Holy Paladins & Stratholme (Live)

All of these posts will focus on things you start picking up in dungeons starting around level 50. Intellect is your best stat for a paladin healer, followed by crit. Why? At Rank 5, Illumination gives you a 100% chance to regain the mana cost for a spell if it crits. So crit, for a holy paladin, is not only good for your output, but it’s great for your mana regen. +healing and mp5 are decent stats too, but intellect also increases your healing done and gives you chance to critically strike with your spells and crit gives you mana back, so that’s generally the direction we should go. (That said, there’s nothing wrong with a ton of +healing if you’re not running out of mana.)

Also, it’s possible that some of these mail recommendations may not drop for an Alliance group, so please be aware of that possibility. I’ll update these posts when I’ve been able to confirm this.

My paladin’s life-long transmog is Lightforge Armor, but it’s actually terrible for healing. Some of the pieces don’t have intellect! You should collect it, though, because the Tier 0.5 armor, Soulforge Armor, is not terrible. All the pieces have intellect and +damage/healing on them. When Phase Five comes out, in order to get the Tier 0.5 armor, you need to do a ton of things, including exchanging your T0 pieces for the Tier 0.5 pieces. So make sure you grab all your Lightforge so you’re able to exchange it for Soulforge.

Okay, let’s enter the City of Stratholme.

Classic Loot for a Holy Paladin in Stratholme (Live)

Like LBRS and UBRS, Stratholme Live (or Scarlet Strat, Red Strat, etc) and Stratholme Undead are technically the same instance. Unlike them, you can get from one to the other and, in fact, unless you have the Key to the City (Strat UD key) or a rogue or someone else who can open doors, that’s the only way you can get in. You get the Key to the City by killing Magistrate Barthilas towards the end of the dungeon. This is likely a green item you can roll on.

Okay, okay, enough, back to Strat Live and gear for a holy paladin!

Helm: The Postmaster’s Band, requiring level 56, is part of a 5-piece outfit that is meant for cloth DPS folks. So pass on it unless they don’t want it. I should note I’m not sure how the Postmaster spawns in Phase 1. I know that in Phase 5, it was much easier to do so (or so legend had it). I’m not certain if this guide at Wowhead is how to do it in Phase 1. I’ll update this when I can confirm. A piece you’ll have less competition for is the leather Helm of the New Moon, from Cannon Master Willey, which requires level 56, but doesn’t require the whole summoning of the Postmaster and isn’t cloth. (Take that, Matticus!)

Neck: Nothing of note in Strat Live.

Shoulders: Shroud of the Nathrezim, while cloth, is a great piece for this slot. It requires level 58 and is a zone-wide drop, so it can drop in Live or Undead. Part of why it’s so great is that it gives you a full percent more crit on spells. You may have cloth-wearing competition for this, though, and the nice thing to do is to let the clothies have it. Possibly as good is the Mantle of the Scarlet Crusade, also cloth, requiring level 56 and dropping off Cannon Master Willey. It’s got straight-up 20 +healing, which is good, because no caster should be interested in that.

Chest: The Postmaster’s Tunic is part of that cloth DPS set I talked about that, of course, drops from The Postmaster and requires level 56. Nothing else of value in Live, really. But wait ’till you see what Baron Rivendare has in Undead!

Cloak: Archivist Cape of the something or another, drops from Archivist Galford in Live and requires level 56. This is not the most amazing cape, but it’s interesting because of the 4mp5 (4 mana per 5 seconds) on it. If you see an Archivist Cape of Intellect, of the Eagle, of the Owl or of Healing (or even of Concentration), snag it!

Bracers: Nothing of note.

Belt: Rainbow Girdle drops from Hearthsinger Forresten, a rare spawn in Strat Live. I only mention it because it’s plate with some intellect. There are better belts, but you won’t have competition on this one. If it drops for the Alliance, the Barrage Girdle, from Cannon Master Willey, which requires level 56, would be better for you. You could also get lucky with a Foresight Girdle of an interesting kind — if it drops for the Alliance off the Archivist. (Also requiring level 56.)

Gloves: Ugh, just the Devout Gloves here worth mentioning. It’s a priest’s tier set, so dibs go to priests. They require level 54 and drop from the Archivist. Another possibility is the Wildheart Gloves, also requiring level 54, and dibs to the druids. Don’t be a jerk. Better gloves exist elsewhere.

Legs: The Postmaster’s Trousers, dropping from The Postmaster, are cloth and require level 56. Now I swear that I’ve seen this next item drop: Woollies of the Prancing Minstrel. They drop off of Hearthsinger Forresten, that rare spawn, and require level 53. But they’re mail. So even though I know I’ve seen them drop, I’m not sure when. Was it after the 2.0 patch? Maybe? Why was I still running Strat Live after the 2.0 patch? Anyway. There are better legs in Undead, but snag either of these if you can.

Feet: The Postmaster’s Treads, which obviously drop from The Postmaster and, yes, are cloth. They require level 56. Magister’s Boots claim to be a “boss drop” but I’m pretty sure they used to drop off the Postmaster and then they moved them to Hearthsinger Forresten. Mages get dibs! They require level 54.

Main Hand: Nada, though I should note that there’s a level 58 2H mace called Hammer of the Grand Crusader, which is a zone-wide drop. Still, you’ll get more bang for your buck with a 1H and shield or off-hand combination.

Off-hand: Ugh, just the Tome of Knowledge, which is kind of lame, requiring level 56 and dropping from the Archivist.

Rings: Seriously, just The Postmaster’s Seal, which requires level 56 and, of course, drops from The Postmaster. If you don’t have at least 3 pieces of this set already, there’s no point in grabbing this, really. The 4-piece gives you +12 dmg/healing and the 5-piece bonus gives you +10 int and +5% run speed (?), so not really worth collecting for the bonuses, but if you’re already wearing three or four pieces, go for this ring to add another set bonus.

Trinkets: Nothing of note and do everyone in Azeroth a favour and disenchant the Piccolo of the Flaming Fire if it drops.

Next time…

All right, that’s it for the live side of Strat. Don’t forget to pull all the way back so you can kill runners before they go get another bunch of mobs!

Next time — Strat Undead, with all tier pants from Baron Rivendare and more sweet loot.