Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Random application questions

I love filling out applications for guilds. Here's some stock responses to some fairly general questions I've seen on guild applications. My guess is the formatting on this will be broken, so please work with me while I adjust it.

Some standard Q&A

Why did you choose this class? I wanted a class that I could use to fill any role; DPS, Healing, or Tanking. All too often a group or raid fails because of a lack of tanks or healers (DPS seems easier to find), and I wanted a character that could fill both roles. I also enjoy beating faces in from time to time, and while Ret DPS wasn’t amazing when I first rolled this character, it has become a solid contributor in its current state.

• Why did you choose it above all others? When looking at hybrid classes, specifically those that could tank or heal, I had two choices: Druid or Paladin. While I love the versatility that you get from a druid, I also love the looks of my characters. I didn’t want to be confined to looking like every other bear/cat/tree out there. There’s also something about staring at a big bear butt for hours on end as a tank.

I feel that the Paladin gives me the largest number of options as a player, without sacrificing the look and feel of my character. I was also slightly tired of Night Elves, and I wanted the reputation gains from being a human.

• What spec is your character, and why did you choose this spec? What do you feel are its strengths/weaknesses in a raid environment? I currently raid with several different specs, depending on the fight and my role for that fight. Here are my most common builds. I can really talk builds all day, so this is a condensed list.

o 51/0/20 Holy:
I choose this build for the increased crit chance, as well as 2/2 in POJ for the increased movement speed. Many of my roles involve chasing tanks, single healing Yogg’s illusion phase, and of course dodging fire. Until the Illumination nerf (again) in 3.2, Crit is still the number one stat for Holy Paladins – and this spec has that in spades. I glyph for Holy Light (splash healing), Flash of Light crit (more crit = more mana return), and 5% spell cost reduction with Glyph of Seal of Wisdom.
Strengths: High crit rating and increased longevity through Illumination returns.
Weaknesses: Less raid utility due to missing Divine Sacrifice.

o 51/20/0 Holy:
I choose this build for the increased healing throughput (5% increased healing from talents) and the raid mitigation from improved Devotion Aura and Divine Sacrifice. This build is especially useful if there is not tree druid in the raid (rare, but still) since imp Devo Aura also adds increased healing. I glyph the same in this build as my 51/0/20, with the exception of swapping Glyph of Seal of Light out with Glyph of Seal of Wisdom (5% heal increase or 5% mana spell cost reduction). I will occasionally switch out the Glyph of Holy Shock for the Glyph of Holy Light for fights where splash healing is not as important (MT healing on IC Hard Mode for example).
Strengths: High throughput and raid utility with Divine Sacrifice
Weaknesses: Lower crit equates to less mana return. Reduced movement speed due to lack of PoJ

Note: Either of these healing specs is flexible enough to pick up imp concentration aura or imp Wisdom, depending on the needs of the raid.

o 0/53/18:
This is my standard threat build for tanking, the 0/53/18. I chose this build because it provides the increased movement speed from PoJ, increased damage from Crusade, and has points in Divine Sacrifice for fights where absorbing raid damage is helpful (Mimiron phase 2, frozen blows) and it gives my Sacred Shield a little more absorption, thereby increasing my overall effective health. After 3.2 this build will change slightly, probably losing PoJ speed for 2/2 in Conviction, which will give me the AP reduction of Demo Shout. At that time I will probably put Tuskaar’s Vitality on my boots in place of 22 Stamina. I glyph with Hammer of the Righteous for extra AoE threat, Divine Plea for 3% reduced damage, and Seal of Conviction to reach the expertise cap.
Strengths: This is an overall threat build, and I’m not entirely finished playing with it. It has the flexibility to cover all the tanking needs, and still give a high threat output. I believe this will be even more true in 3.2 raids (The Coliseum). Overall the most rounded tank spec.
Weaknesses: With only 1/2 in Spiritual Attunement, there are occasionally some mana issues, but this build is flexible enough that you can spec back into it. If your raid does not have a ret paladin, points can be moved from Benediction to Imp Might and Heart of the Crusader for additional raid utility.

o 0/20/51:
This is a standard raid utility Ret build that incorporates Divine Sacrifice for raid damage reduction, reduced HoJ time for ‘slightly’ faster interrupts, and has all the raid buffing except for 3% haste from Sanctified Retribution.
Strengths: Raid utility and high DPS
Weaknesses: With the loss of 3% speed, you can switch to in a 0/17/53 build if the raid doesn’t already have that buff.
What is your characters hit cap, why is hit cap important? What stats are you looking for on your gear? If you are a healer disregard the hit portion and just focus on the stat question.

• Holy: Until 3.2, stats of choice are Int > Crit > Haste (until 648 soft cap) > Spell power > mp5. Intellect gives the greatest mana returns from Divine Plea, replenishment, and provides additional spell power and crit. Extra crit means extra large heals and more mana return via Illumination. After 3.2 my guess is my stat requirements will be Int > Haste > Spell power > mp5 > Crit, but I won’t know until it goes live. I think this because it will be more important to land a heal quickly when you need it – as opposed to our current state of just bombing heals until the fight ends.

Prot: Prot requires a hit cap of 8% or 264 to avoid specials missing. This cap directly affects threat, and your ability to taunt loose mobs. An expertise rating of 23 (human racial while using swords/maces, 26 otherwise) is required to remove dodges from the table as well. Parries are still possible, however with the removal of crushing blows there is a much reduced worry about being parry gibbed. Stats are Def > Hit > Expertise (until capped for all 3) followed by Stamina > Strength.

Ret: 264 hit cap to avoid specials missing. If you can reach the expertise cap in the process that is all the better, as it means you attack a boss from the front if necessary. Do not stack expertise just for the sake of stacking it however. Key stats are Str > Agil > AP > Crit. Str is always > AP, as it receives the 10% multiplier from BoK.
Detail how you play your character. DPS should list their standard rotations, Healers their general healing style/method, and Tanks their method of threat gain and survivability in bad spots.
• Holy: 3.2 will see a drastic change in Holy play styles, but until then the standard method of healing is to place Sacred Shield on the MT, Beacon of Light on an off tank, and then bomb heals on the MT until the fight is over. Some fights do require you to be more selective in your healing however. Holy Shock/Flash of Light for quick surges, Holy Light bombs for everything else. Fights like “I love the smell of Saronite” require Flash heals only, but that is a very specific fight.

Prot: 9/6/9 is the standard Protection Paladin rotation. It involves using your longer CDs to set up your short (high threat) abilities. The beauty of this rotation is that like the tango, if you tango up, you just tango on. Instead of regurgitating it here, the write-up can be found on this site.

For threat gains, I generally open up with an Avenger’s Shield, then follow up with an exorcism on either the focused target, or a target missed by the shiled on the initial pull. I start my 9/6/9 rotation with a consecrate, followed by a HotR, Holy Shield, SoR, Judgement, HotR, Consecrate – repeat until it’s necessary to change mobs. If I feel threat is an issue, I will thread exorcisms and avenger’s shields in on the ‘9’ portion of the rotation.

For survival situations I have Lay on Hands, Divine Protection (50% damage reduction) and if I glyph for it, I can have 20% reduction if I use Salvation on myself. Obviously this would require a fight where threat is not an issue.

Ret: Ret DPS uses a priority instead of a strict rotation. Crusader Strike, Judgement, Divine Storm, Consecrate, Exocism. Once the initial rotation is done, you simply hit whatever ability is up next, while keeping that priority in mind. This will not change much in 3.2, other than hitting Crusader Strike more often. Time will show if it is worth switching between Seals during a fight for maximum DPS.

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