Thursday, October 29, 2009

Healing Questionairre

This little gem has been floating around the blogsphere the last few days, so I thought I'd chip in with my meager knowledge and opinions. Here's to Jessabelle at Miss Medicina for starting this chain of events. Who knows - maybe Monger will pick it up and add his Priestiness to it.

  • What is the name, class, and spec of your primary healer? Amathalanea, Paladin. Holy, Prot, Ret.
  • What is your primary group healing environment? (i.e. raids, pvp, 5 mans) Almost always raiding, fairly evenly split between 10 mans and 25 mans.
  • What is your favorite healing spell for your class and why? Flash of Light. It hits moderately hard, is hasted down to the GCD, and gets a 100% bonus from +healing. Mix in the synergy with Sacred Shield, and you've got a decent baseline heal going.
  • What healing spell do you use least for your class and why? The smart-alek answer would be Lay on Hands, simply because of the long CD - though I do use it when running flags in WSG. Of the base set of heals, I'd say Holy Light. With the changes to mana regen, HL seems to just punch holes in my mana bar for a lot of overhealing. This isn't to say it can't be used, but the days of mindlessly spamming HL are long gone. Using HL requires a mix of JoW melee to keep things even.
  • What do you feel is the biggest strength of your healing class and why? Unless something happens way outside my control, the tank and I are going to live. Paladins can deliver a high throughput indefinitely with FoL spam, and can really punch up the massive healing when we have to. Using a combination of Cooldowns and smart output, Paladins can really pour out the big heals for an extened period of time.
  • What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your healing class and why? Lack of a true AoE heal, even if it isn't a smart one. Dpeneding on the damage coming out, it will take me 5 GCD to hit an entire party - or slightly longer if HL bombs are required. Unfortunately the HL splash is largely wasted in many fights, and you get a lot of overhealing.
  • In a 25 man raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best healing assignment for you? Double healing tanks. BoL on one, watch the other - and keep an eye on the raid. I can't stand healers that get tunnel vision. Having an assignment is fine and dandy, but I do a lot of PvP healing or 10/5 mans. In those instances you can't just focus on one person. Also when a player dies while a healer is standing right next to them not doing anything...that's unacceptable.
  • What healing class do you enjoy healing with most and why? I've only ever really healed with a shaman and a paladin - though I did play with a druid for a while. I'm really in love with my paladin, and even though I have several 80 alts, and many lowbies, I just enjoy the versitility of the paladin.
  • What healing class do you enjoy healing with least and why? I guess I'd say my shaman, but that's only because I'm kind of bored with him - not because I think shamans are bad healers.
  • What is your worst habit as a healer? Trying to be Superman. If I'm paired with healers I don't know I have a tendency to start picking up their healing 'slack' if I percieve any. I don't care about the healing meters, but I alwasy hate seeing someone die when I have an instant or some other save available.
  • What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while healing? I hate to copy an answer, but it really is that person who calls for healing, or lets me know they've died. My UI is geared for maximum input of information. Between DBM, Grid, and my headus up healing - I can see pretty much everything going on.
  • Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with other healers for PvE healing? Sure. I wouldn't necessarially want to do 25 ToGC with just Paladins, but I wouldn't want to do it with just Priests either. Each class has strengths and weaknesses - it's just a matter of your personal playstyle. I have 2 lifesaveing CDs for my targets (HoP and LoH), plus various other hands, cleanses, and some really big heals. Plus I bring JoW or JoL to the table, and some sizeable buffs.
  • What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a healer? Everyone alive and I have some mana left? It's a win. While I'll check effective healing vs overhealing, I raid with a Disc Priest. Our healing styles are very complementary, so it's just knowing that I pumped out what I could and I wasn't carried. Analyzing a raid with World of Logs helps as well. I don't really relay on recount, except to make sure that nothing dumb happened. I'm more inclied to use the Grim Reaper feature than the meter feature.
  • What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your healing class? That we're Overpowered because of our high throughput. Yes, I can pump out 15k heals for a long time, but I'm not doing much more than that. We're not great mobile healers, but I can still heal Hodir without getting 2 stacks of the debuff on me.
  • What do you feel is the most difficult thing for new healers of your class to learn? You can't just spam one button. Finding the balance between FoL and HL, using HS and SS to boost FoL heals, and working with your other pallies, not against them.
  • If someone were to try to evaluate your performance as a healer via recount, what sort of patterns would they see (i.e. lots of overhealing, low healing output, etc)? High overhealing from JoL procs, a high crit rate, and a high focus (in a 25) as I'm usually on just a pair or three targets.
  • Haste or Crit and why? Int. It gives me Crit, mp5 via DP/Replen, SP, and mana. Between Crit and Haste I'll take Crit for the mana return and big heals. My FoL is already nearing the soft haste cap, so it's not as crucuil to get any more haste.
  • What healing class do you feel you understand least? Resto Druids or Priests. I understand their basic spells, but that's like me saying I understand the basic curses of a Warlock. I know what they use, but not the best rotations or ideal matchups (synergizing Pennance with FH for example).
  • What add-ons or macros do you use, if any, to aid you in healing? Grid (without clique) for my raid frames, though I can do what I need with just the stock UI. I have some pally mod for tracking SS and BoL, but I use that more for tanking as I have Grid setup to show the same info. My macros are just my "OH NOVOS" buttons linking my crit CD with HS/FoL, and Divine Shield/Divine Sacrifice in one macro.
  • Do you strive primarily for balance between your healing stats, or do you stack some much higher than others, and why? Int > Crit > SP > Haste > Mp5. Even though Illumination was nerfed, Int still has the biggest bang for the buck.

The Monger Metal Update

I think I must be in a guild full of writers. Fully 25%* of our total members are now active WoW bloggers. There might be more, but they're keeping quiet for now.

To learn about priestly things, but only the healing parts (Monger doesn't do shadow) - head over to - there's also a healthy dose of metal review - as Monger is a pretty big headbanger.

Monger is quite possibly the best priest I've every grouped with. One of the best things about him is his total willingness to try anything. He was a guy who was two manning Scholo - back before BWL was even available. He's also saved my tanking bacon more than once.

*Our guild only has 12 members, so it's not like we're fielding a team to compete with the Times.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I must be playing another game

I think I am playing a different game than some of my fellow Paladins. While it doesn't seem to take much to get the Paladin community up in arms, this latest round of 'nerfs' seems to have really pushed the community over the edge. Personally, I don't know what form the changes will hold when 3.3 goes live - but right now let's really look at Lay on Hands and Sacred Shield.

Sacred Shield

A level 80 ability that lasts for 6/9/12 sec, procs after damage is taken, and can only proc once every six seconds. It's key feature now is the additon of a HoT whenever a Flash of Light is cast on the target. This HoT is applied, even if the shield itself hasn't procced yet. The spell was changed in 3.1, removing the ability to cast multiple shileds on the party/raid - but it is still usefull.

Now, in its current itteration, an untalented Sacred Shield will last for 30 seconds, abosorbing 500 + .75SP points of damage - up to once every six seconds - if the target is taking damage. In most tanking or PvP situations, the target is always taking damage, so the shield is regularly consumed. This provides a moderate ammount of absorbtion, and can help with sustained damage. It doesn't really help with spike, as you must be damaged first to activate the shield.

Now I'm not the math genuis that Womb's GF is, but I ran some base numbers and came up with the following numbers.

Unbuffed I have 861 Spellpower when tanking. This means that my Sacred Shield (since I have 2/2 in DG) will absorb 1.2(500 + .75(861)) - or 1374 damage every six seconds. Now in a full raid environment where I'm running with Blessing of Sanctuary, Imp SoE totem, maybe even some Str food - my SP might go up to 200 points at most.

To put it into perspective, in our ToGC(10) last night against Anub'arak my SS absorbed a total of 24,299 points of damage. Compare this to the 21,819 I got from LotP, 34,167 from LoH, and 220,883 from JoL....and Sacred Shield just doesn't seem to be that big a deal. Now granted this fight lasted about 4:30, and Anub is buried part of the time.

So let's look at some other fights.

Twin Valks ToGC(10) - 13,616 (2:37)
Jarraxas ToC(10) - 9,895 (2:08)

Now let's suppose I was a healing Paladin - and I was rocking something closer to say, 2500 SP. In my 51/20/0 spec, my SS would now absorb 1.2(500+.75(2500)) or 2850 every six seconds - roughly double what I'm pulling down as Prot, even though I have three times the spell power. This is of course what made the 4pc T8 so hot in my book, as it lowered the proc time to 4 sec (from 6).

Why Paladins are in arms

On the latest PTR they stated that they are changing SS so it procs once every 30 sec - unless you spec deep into the Holy tree, down to Infusion of Light - just one step away from the 51 point talent. Prot pallies are upset because it's a chunk of mitigation gone. Ret pallies are upset because it's PvP survivability gone.

Wombcrusher - our resident retadin - is packing a whopping 1,298 SP, making his SS in PvP absorb...wait for it...1,768 damage in PvP. Ooohhhh. Don't forget it can be purged and spellstolen folks.

Why the change is happening

Now GC didn't call me to confirm, but I'm willing to bet a fair ammount of anything that this change is aimed specifically at two people. The first, you love to hate them, the HealProtadin! That's right - the folks who still spec deep into the prot tree to Arena and PvP. These folks are still packing a ton of SP, and their shields - while not game breaking - can tip the balance.

The second group of folks is one I'm guilty of supporting myself - though I think they are a far secondary concern - and that's the Arcane Mage. Using Incanter's Absorbtion in heavy raid damage fights, can boost my Arcane Mage's SP by 15% of the amount absorbed - for 10 sec (with a six second proc on the SS). That's no small boost, especially on Anub P3 where raid damage is high, the tank is getting overhealed anyway, and you need as much DPS as possible.


I don't know if this change will go live or not - and it doesn't really matter. If it does I'll keep tossing SS up on our mage, and I'll just replace it with every other Judgement to keep it proccing. For Holy, nothing will change, and Ret will lose just a little more in the PvP setting. I don't think the change is game breaking by any stretch of the imagination - and I'm sure there's those who can come up with more interesting uses than I have.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The lost art of CC - and what it really means

So this post is in part response to a post over at 2FPS regarding this post from the developer Twitter session.

Q: Crowd control is all but dead in raids. Is that something you plan on bringing back?
A: Like say… with the Faction Champions encounter in ToC? ;]

Now many folks around the blogsphere might disagree with that comment, and in part - I suppose - they may be right. I think they are forgetting the fundamental concept of CC though.

Quite simply CC is keeping person A from accomplishing B by doing C. Weather this is through chain sheeping, off-tanking, kiting, or interrupting - it's all CC. Now you can argue the semantics of this all you want - but the long and the short of it stays the same. Keep the Bad Person from doing the Bad Touch on the Good Guys.

Vanilla WoW

Vanilla WoW had quite a few encounters designed around CC - especially boss fights in MC. From off tanking adds, to keeping Domo's minions controlled, there was plenty of CC to go around. BWL had its fair share as well, with the kiting of elves, tanking of goblins, and stunning of draconids. I'm not quite sure how much CC was in in Naxx or AQ40, but I do remember using a lot of sheep in ZG (and maybe AQ20).

Even the five mans had their fair share of CC opportunities, especially when you consider that UBRS was a 15 man raid, and Scholo/Strat were 10 man runs. The instances were huge, and time consuming - and good CC could save the day and prevent lengthy run backs. Pulls were carefully calculated - and a missed sap could spell disaster.

The Burning Crusade

Enter BC - the king of CC intensive expansions. Every dungeon, from Ramparts to The Arcatraz, had a slew of CC heavy encounters. Paladin tanking rose to unprecedented heights as they were able to ignore CC requirements due to their impressive AoE tanking abilities. Entering Shadow Labs or the Shattered Halls without the necessary CC was a sure recipe for disaster - to say nothing of heroic instances.

Heroic dungeons were instances to be feared. You didn't enter them without a crack team, and I'm fairly certain I cleared Kara before I finally mastered every instance on heroic mode. Magister's Terrace was the prime example of thise, and cries of "LF Mage H MGT" were all too common on my server. Shamans were completely shunned for their lack of any CC (LOL @ Earthbind Totem), and warlocks were suddenly scrambling to rediscover their seduce macros.

Raids were no different, from using traps and shackles on the way to Attunemen, controlling Morose's friends, or keeping the random Opera encounter under control - groups were tested to keep the adds out of the hair of the healers and DPS. Mages became tanks in Gruul's lair, and more CC was needed than you can shake a stick at in SSC and TKE. Missing a single CC on Keal'Thas trash would generally wipe the raid, and LOS pulls were the order of the day.

This trend continued all the way through the Sunwell, where trash became so tough that you had to stack Bloodlust just to get through it.

And then, it happened. Kil'jaeden was defeated, order was restored, and Maiev's desire for revenge was finally sated.

Then we heard the call to fight the Lich King.

Wrath of the Lich King

Here the story of CC changes. Every tank had an AoE threat generating ability, as well as an AoE taunt. Death Knights could pull with a Death and Decay dropped right on their mobs, druids had 360 degree swipe, and even the warrior's Thunder Clap was buffed (though still not unlimited!). The need for CC was tossed out the window, and level 70s straight from Outlands could compete in the instances.

Volley and Fan of Knives were so powerful that hunters and rogues passed mages in AoE DPS. Gear fell from the heavens, and crafted epics were the standard for all entry into Naxxarammas. Naxx continued the AoE extravaganza, with few mobs that were controllable beyond a shackle - or maybe an ice trap. This trend would carry on into the Eye of Eternity (just a boss), the Obsidion Sanctum, and the Vault of Archavon. High DPS was stressed, and no CC was to be found.

Unlike BC, Heroic dungeons were mocked for thier simplicity. CC was again ignored in favor of AoE tanking everything - substituiting high DPS and strong healing for any type of strategy or tactic. Speed runs were seen much sooner than in BC, and high DPS was given a stronger value than party utility.

Ulduar introduced some CC back into the raiding light, with several dangerous packs in the instance. While overgeared groups can blow through them now, at their release they were admirable foes that had to be carefully controlled. XT's trash was at one time considered tougher than XT himself. Vezacks trash broke more than one raid group's spirit, and can still be devestating to overgeared groups if not handled correctly. Even some off the boss fights requried CC - though it was generally in the form of an off tank.

When the Trial of the Crusader came out, there was a cheer (at least in our camp) at the announcement of zero trash. Five bosses, no trash, easy peasy right? Well, maybe not. While most bosses are some variant of a tank and spank, the Faction Champions fight is the pinnacle of CC fights in my opion.

Now don't get me wrong - I hate PvP in my PvE as much as the next guy - but this fight has it all. The need for snap healing, quick thinking, and rapid adjustments to a situation. With PvP style cleansing and diminishing returns, you can no longer simply sit on a target to remove them from the fight. Instead you have to coordinate different types of CC, make decisions on when it's smarter to CC or to DPS, and use a set of skills that may have been extremely rusty in many raiders.

Weather you're the prot warrior locking down a healer, a warlock chain fearing different mobs, or a hunter who is kiting out melee DPS - all of these are forms of CC that take a whole different level of awareness than simply chain sheeping or trapping a target.

What the 'opposition' says

Many will claim that these fights, from FC to Ulduar trash, do not constitute real CC. They lament the need for CC in heroics and five mans, and clamor to bring back the dungeons of old.

To them I say - you have missed the point.

This is not your father's Warcraft

While I'm sure that this phrase will be lost on many, the point of it is that Wrath is not Vanilla WoW, or BC. These games, while sharing the same parent title of World of Warcraft, are different games entirely. Someone who left the game in 1.1 would be hard pressed to recognize the classes for what they are today. Mechanics have changed, skills have changed, and player abilities have changed.

Epics are available for everyone, and the days of grinding Baron Strat for your Tier 0 legs are gone. For better or worse (and this decision is entirely up to you), the game has changed - and I think for the better.

Once you embrace the change to the definition of Crowd Control, and accept that your abillity to occupy a single target indefinately is no longer needed, I think you'll get along much better in WoW. Look for the CC challenges that you can find on your own. Explore ranged tanking, or rogue tanking - find your challenges within the game.

Because sheeping something for an entire fight is just a pain in the arse.

Monday, October 26, 2009

What's in a UI?

First - um - oops? It seems there is some key combination that auto posts my blog - hence the no word post with a title of "what"....

Poll a hundred different players, and I bet you'll come up with at least 50 unique UIs, and 100 different layouts. Sure - there may be the occasional player running around with a stock UI, but mods are so commonplace today that I find it hard to imagine you'll find two.

Over the years my UI has changed many times - from a complete overload of information, to a minimalist approach. Since I regularly switch from tanking to healing - with the occasional bout of DPS dropped in, I need a UI that is flexible. As a raid leader I need as much information as possible about what's going on, and as a complete data nerd....well - that's recount for you.

What I run

My UI is still getting tweaked, but I run some fairly standard mods - and then some that are slightly different. I still have too much redundant information going on, but I've been playing with IceHUD and PowerAuras to show me what I need.

  • Recount - standard for most DPS (although the Wombcrusher doesn't run one), I use mine mostly for the Grim Reaper function. I need to see why folks are dying, and what we can do to fix it.
  • Grid - I've used several different raid frame layouts, but Grid is the one that I keep coming back to. It lets me customize my information (like a green aura around the box of someone who has BoL on them), and keeps it nice and compact. It also works well with all three of my specs.
  • Omen - Having in game threat metering is nice, but this allows me to quickly slap a Hand of Salvation on someone (including myself) as needed.
  • Carbonite - I don't generally enable this while raiding - but for PvP and questing, it's the way to go.
  • Pally Power - There was a suggestion for a different mod last week that I'm going to try out, but PallyPower has been tried and true for a long time now.
  • Class Timer - shows me every Sacred Shield, BoL, and SS HoT on the raid. I use it more to track my own SS and BoL - but it also lets me find the person who keeps overwriting my SS instead of putting it on another tank. This addon also drops a big icon in the middle of your screen as it falls off - so you know to refresh it. This is next on my list to play with for showing DP timers.
  • Bartender - Great for setting up custom bars and buttons.
  • BindPad - probably the single greatest addon for keybindings. It remembers your key binds to spells, not button locations - so you can keep things off your bars and still have them cast (not shown in the UI).
  • Rating Buster - great for finding out if that upgrade is really and upgrade.
  • Talented - I just got this one and it's working out very well. It lets me save my talent trees, so when I'm resepccing for the 4th time that day I can quickly assign the template I want. It will import talent trees from Wowhead, the armory, or anyone you inspect. It takes a second to inspect someone, but it's worth it (not shown in the UI).
  • LightHeaded - downloads all the quest information from WoWHead. I turn this off for raiding, but it's invaluable when questing - especially since we faction swapped and I still don't know where anything is.
  • DBM - I honestly can't remember if I'm running BigWigs or DBM these days. It's a coin toss as to which one is "better" every week - so I just stick with one and roll with it.
  • BigBrother - this lets me check for buffs, who broke CC, who used MD/ToT, flasks, etc. It's really helpfull when I drop it in our PUG 25s and they can see everyone in Parabola is flasked and well fed, and 1/2 their guild isn't.
  • MK SCBT - My damage out is on the left of my HUD, damage in (parries/blocks/heals) is on the left, with special abillities showing at the top.
What you need

Obviously I run a lot of addons you don't really need. Here though is my list of addons from required to nice to have.


None. Zero. Nada. You don't "NEED" any addons to play sucessfully, the addons just make your life a whole lot easier. Blizzard has many warnings built in now, their own threat meter, and custom timers.


  • Some type of boss mod - Blizzard's default is ok, but not perfect.
  • Raid frames - even if it's just pulling out the standard Blizzard ones (which works much better than it did in Vanilla).
  • Omen/threat meter - This is for seeing what everyone's threat is - not just if you're going to lose it in the next second.
  • Death meter - great for figuring out why someone died.
Nice to have

  • Buff checker
  • Keybinds
  • Inventory management
  • Quest assistance

In short, you need to have a UI that is comfortable for you - and that gives you the information you need, when you need it. The biggest drawback to a custom UI? Big patches will break it into a thousand little pieces.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Dangerously Delicious

Fear not - this isn't a post about some boring fishing daily - instead it's a post about a great game on The Price is Right......Plinko.

It's also a complaint to Red Robin. I went there for lunch and on the menu of Deliciousness I saw neither Amathalanea, nor the Wombcrusher listed. For those that don't know, Amathalanea is the name I chose when I switched to being a delicious blood elf, and Wombcrusher is the Paladin who taught me all I know about Paladining - except for Prot. That guy doesn't know balls about tanking. His net experience with tanking anything consists of a few pulls in Karazhan pre-usher nerf. He'd blow his wings and run in praying for heals while he blew everything had to get agro. It was effective though, and let us single tank the rest of the instance.

Anyway - on to the point of this post.

This weekend was the AV holiday, and I needed a few new pieces of Furious gear to go with my season or two behind set. Hey, I'm a PvE machine - get off my back. Anyway, there we are - two diminutive female Belfadins - racing for Stonehearth Bunker. A quick run through, and we've now increased our chances of winning by at least 2%.

Here's the fun part.

Even though we're not identical any more (damn having five different sets of gear!), Womb and I both were running identical Ret specs, with Engineering. This is where Plinko comes in.

Take a standard tower - IB, TP, etc - add two retadins Divine Storming for greatness, a pair of wings, and......Nitro Boosts. That's right. For a few terrifying seconds we'd bounce around the inside of the tower spinning in circles and SoC cleaving for justice. A few rounds of that, and the Allies generally just give up on our tower and head for softer ground.

I'd heal, but I'm much too busy being delicious.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Boss design and buffing

Since the early days of MC, high end progression guilds have been pushing the limit on what buffs they can bring to any given raid encounter. From world buffs to rare foods - the amount of preparation that would go into a single raid night (for those that were serious) was enormous. When I was tanking Broodlord in BWL I had to pull all the stops just to break into the 10k+ range - and we were not even close to being ready for Patchwerk.

Whipper root tubers, boar's lungs, flasks, potions, and elixirs - add all this to the Ony and ZG buffs - and you were maybe ready to push the cutting edge content. Heck, we needed most of this to push year old content.

In the early days of BC, none of this had really changed. You would still run a full elixir/flask rotation, and - and this is really the most important - you'd have to stack your groups. Spriests were placed as needed, shamans were stuck in appropriate groups to max out Bloodlust and totems. Certain classes were excluded/brought simply based on synergy of buffs.

This had a greater impact than just what was required farming wise, or group wise, to raid. It set the requirements that bosses be designed assuming you had all these buffs. This is one of the reasons why the elixir/flask system changed in BC, and why we started seeing a homogoniztion of buffs going into Wrath. By limiting the effective stacking of buffs, bosses could be tuned down slightly - with the hopes that we wouldn't need 5 shaman in every raid.

Enter the Lich King

When Wrath hit, raid compostion became decididly easier to configure. Buffs were shared across multiple classes, replenishment was given to three different classes (now 5), and we were left with very few class specific buffs. Designers could realistically expect that any 10 man group would have a spell hit debuff, some type of AP buff, replenishment, etc. Ghostcrawler has said more than once that they expect every raid (not every 5 man) to have the replenishment buff available. I think this may actually be one of the small reasons behind buffing Frost mage DPS - as who plays frost in a raid?

Up until 3.2, the only buffs that were class exclusive (that really mattered) were Blessing of Kings, Mark of the Wild, Prayer of Fortitude, and Bloodlust. Some sort of cross class buff (i.e. Fel Hunter gave Int and Spirit) were available for every other major buff. In 3.2, Blizzard added in consumables that gave a slightly less powerful version of this buff - meaning you are no longer required to have a druid just for MotW. Granted these buffs aren't 'as' strong - but they are a baseline.

What this means for raiders

For the hardcore, this won't matter one single bit, but for the casual raider who thought this was a boon - it's really not.

Blizzard can now design every single boss with the following assumptions.

  • Your tanks will be flasked with stoneblood since only one flask is required.
  • Everyone will have +8% to stats from Drums of the Forgotten Kings
  • +37 stats, 750 armor, and +54 to all resistances from Drums of the Wild
  • +165 Sta from Runescroll of Fortitude
  • +80 AP, +46 SP, +40 Sta from Fish Feast
  • Replenishment
  • Mojo/Wyrm/Wrath flasks for your DPS
All of these buffs are relitively easy to farm, and fairly cheap (besides the possible exception of the flasks) to buy. Unless your 10 man team runs Shamans only for healing (doable, but not something I'd want to try), you will probably use fewer of the consumables. It also means that your single Paladin can use Wis/Might on the raid, as the 2% loss from BoK is less than an 8% BoK + BoM/BoW.

As of this writing, the only buffs which is now limited to a single class (raid wide buff that is) is Bloodlust/Heroism. Rumor has it that another class may be getting this buff - but it's unconfirmed right now.

So why bother?

This begs the question, why bother with putting the buffs in the game? If Blizzard makes the buffs relitively baseline, then what is the point of even making them available at all? Every boss will hit just a touch harder, since they assume that the above buffs will be on the tank (approx. 1561 HP from buffs alone, not counting baseline stam), and that the DPS and healers will have the increased throughput.

Now obviously the hardcore guilds will have the buffed versions of these spells, and they'll be sure to have Bloodlust - but they'll also be going after the hard mode bosses. These baselines will be included in all boss designs from the start. Fortunately, they are all supplemental buffs (outsided of flasks and well fed), designed to help with situations where a specific class is not available.

In short, it will make the content more accessable, but it means that there will be an added onus of responsibility on the casual raider to ensure that these consumable buffs are available in their raid.

I hesitate to guess what Cataclysm will hold in store for us in the way of raid buffs and personal comsumables. Following the line of homoginization, we may very well see the world change to a buff free zone - where each class merely brings their DPS/Tank/Heal abilities.

Then again, it will be WoW 2.0 - we could be in for a world of change.

Friday, October 16, 2009

A new read

I've mentioned him a few times - but the guy who basically taught me how to Paladin has started writing his own blog. I don't think he's going to get technical with it - but he is some kind of English/Writing major - so it's good stuff.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Let's talk buffs

Everyone loves our buffs, and everyone seems to have a better understanding of what buff they need than we do. Never mind that we've been passing these things out for years. Sure, it's a lot nicer now that Blessing of Sanctuary is out (what a nightmare that was). Even as a non-paladin I remember that hassle. I'd either be begging for it when I was a Fury warrior - or dealing with rogues/hunters that swore they didn't need it and wanted might instead.


Anyway, our basic buffs are Kings (+10% to all stats), Sanctuary (+10% Str/Stam), Wisdom (92 mp5) and Might (550 AP). Around level 60 or so we get the ability to cast Greater Blessing of xyz which now lasts for 30 minutes instead of 10. Here's a salute to all the Paladins who had 5/10 min buffs to deal with in MC - what a debacle that was to watch. It's also important to note that Greater Blessings have a reagent cost of one Symbol of Kings (thank God there's no symbol for each blessing...) which have a monster cost of 24s (before faction rep cost reduction) for a stack of 20. This means to buff a 5 man, with five differnt classes in it, will set you back a whopping 6s per 30 min.

Adds up over time though, might have to kill one or two extra mobs for their greys after the raid tonight. /sarcasm

Now, any raiding Paladin worth his plate (any Paladin really) will have PallyPower installed. This mod is older than MC, and has kept more than on Paladin sane over the years. Quite simply, it lets you set the buffs (including special 10 min buffs for individuals) for every Paladin in the raid who is using it. You can also assign auras, so at least you know who was 'supposed' to be running Devo. Most importantly - it tells you the time remaining on every single buff you have out.

That's right. Every. Single. Buff

You can now spot buff that hunter who died with a 10 min buff to tide him over until everyone gets a new 30 min buff. The only drawback is it won't let you buff in combat - so you still have to manually hit the guy who just got battle rezzed.

As you may have guessed, there's a story that goes with this.

In one of my many PUG Heroic Daily runs, we had a small situation where the healadin face pulled and died, the hunter pulled agro and died, and I stood there in my PvP ret spec healing the rogue and tankadin. We pull through it, rez the dead, and keep rolling. Note that as soon as both the healer and hunter were up, I dropped quick 10 min buffs on them (and the stupid pet).

We move along, kill the nexus mana portal type guy, and are on our way to the tree-shaper when the hunter starts complaining about his buff. "New buff pl0x" (oh yes, he did) "Why ghetto buff" "Need new buff" "Might on pet".

After gently explaining to him that he had 3 min left on his buff, and he wasn't getting a new 30 min buff because he wasted his last one by dying - he started getting really irate. First he called me lazy, even though it's obviously more 'work' to keep up 10 min buffs. Then he called me cheap, until I pointed out he wasn't using Mammoth Cutters "Those are too expensive for heroics" was his response. Well, so is my 2.4s Symbol of Kings. Two if I buff your mangy pet.

My biggest beef? The rogue didn't care. He had a 10 min rebuff, and just kept on keeping on. Once the hunter started getting really pissed I started listing off the lack of buffs he gave me. "You're survival - so I get no TSA, no Ferocius Inspiration - nothing. You give me nothing hunter, and you don't even out DPS me. I give you 550 AP, 3% crit, 3% haste - you're just using me" etc. The other four were apparantly in vent together where this guy was calling me everything under the sun, while I happily face-rolled my way to deliciousness.

The moral

I don't really know that I have one. I don know that nothing will make me slower or less likely to buff than someone demanding their buff seconds after zoning in or being rezzed. Same is true in BGs - they guy who stands there going "Kings. Kings. Kings" over and over is about as likely to get buffs from me as I am to get a table from a mage by standing there and yelling for it.

Ask nicely. Ask once.

And Pallies - keep your buffs up. Even if they are 10 minute ones.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

10 is the number

Just say no to mergers.

Then did they create the guild Parabola, saying 'Bless this, O Blizzard, that with it we mayst conquer thine enemies and complete thine achievments while gathering thine epics.
And the horde did rejoice and did feast upon the lambs and toads and Night Elves and gnomes and dwarves and did cower in our wake...
Now did Mongrr say, 'First though signest the guild charter.
Then thou must add members to ten.
Ten shall be the number of the members, and the member numbers shall be ten.
Eleven shalt thou not count, neither shalt the count be nine, excepting that we then proceedeth to ten.
Twenty-Fie is right out.
Once the number ten, being the number of the members, be reached, then lobbest thou the guild Parabola in the direction of thine foe, who, being naughty and hoarding of great epics, shall snuff it."

OMG lrn2spl

I wanted to write about something delicious today, but I have to get some pictures to make it work. Instead I'm going to take a brief moment to beat other Paladins (and pretty much anyone else) about the head. Preferably with something large and heavy.

Here's my question and/or beef. When did spelling and writing go out of style? I'm no literary genius, hell I didn't even graduate college. I've got a fist full of technical certificates and a Certificate of Attendance from Joe's Tire College. I lean heavily on tools like spell-checker, and consult those that are English majors when I need to publish something technical. I do however take pride in not abusing the English language too often in my day to day writing.

Now you may be wondering where this tirade is coming from, or what incident finally pushed me over the edge. It wasn't a guild application (though those are likely culprits) as Parabola isn't recruiting, and we don't take applications. Unless Jesus Christ himself shows up (and he better be riding a raptor), our guild is stable and doesn't need any more idiots. We have one Canadian already (and he reeks of maple syrup).

I'm sorry to say that this current ranting was sparked by nothing more than a comment/answer left on the site

I'm sure it all started off innocently. Someone had a typo, and overnight Beacon of Light became Bacon of Light. Really? One letter? I can understand using abbreviations, especially when you're writing content aimed at a specific group of people. I would expect that any Paladin player reading this blog knows what JoL/JoW is, the difference between SoV and SoC, and what the recent changes to DS/DG mean for us. I expect that they know that BoL and SS should be on your tank at all times.

But BACON? I love bacon - with my pancakes (or a BLT - mmm). Do the folks that write this giggle when they do it? Tee-hee - I said Bacon of Light. AHAHAHA. Is that one extra keystroke saving them from a terminal case of carpal tunnel syndrome? "Leetspeak" has gotten out of control. If we keep dropping letters from our vocabulary we're going to eventually just type the letter A and have to decipher it.

LF DPS H OK - Have Tank and Heals - fine, anyone who's been playing for a while can figure out that this person is Looking For DPS for Heroic Old Kingdom, and that they have a tank and healer already.

LF DPS H OK - hv tnk/hlz - what the deuce is that?

It's gotten so bad my own mother sends texts that say "Hp ur doin wel - luv mom".

It makes a guy want to stab something.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Dangerously Delicious

Fear not - this isn't a post about some boring fishing daily - instead it's a post about a great game on The Price is Right......Plinko.

It's also a complaint to Red Robin. I went there for lunch and on the menu of Deliciousness I saw neither Amathalanea, nor the Wombcrusher listed. For those that don't know, Amathalanea is the name I chose when I switched to being a delicious blood elf, and Wombcrusher is the Paladin who taught me all I know about Paladining - except for Prot. That guy doesn't know balls about tanking. His net experience with tanking anything consists of a few pulls in Karazhan pre-usher nerf. He'd blow his wings and run in praying for heals while he blew everything had to get agro. It was effective though, and let us single tank the rest of the instance.

Anyway - on to the point of this post.

This weekend was the AV holiday, and I needed a few new pieces of Furious gear to go with my season or two behind set. Hey, I'm a PvE machine - get off my back. Anyway, there we are - two diminutive female Belfadins - racing for Stonehearth Bunker. A quick run through, and we've now increased our chances of winning by at least 2%.

Here's the fun part.

Even though we're not identical any more (damn having five different sets of gear!), Womb and I both were running identical Ret specs, with Engineering. This is where Plinko comes in.

Take a standard tower - IB, TP, etc - add two retadins Divine Storming for greatness, a pair of wings, and......Nitro Boosts. That's right. For a few terrifying seconds we'd bounce around the inside of the tower spinning in circles and SoC cleaving for justice. A few rounds of that, and the Allies generally just give up on our tower and head for softer ground.

I'd heal, but I'm much too busy being delicious.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The glory of being OP - and what it really means

I'm pretty religious about doing my dailies - at least three of them. Cooking, Fishing, Daily Heroic. Those three are all I need to keep me moving along, and mostly I do them just because we need fish feasts - and I have five sets of Triumph gear to buy.

While I usually do this trinity first thing in the morning, I wound up waiting until after our raid for the H Daily - and got to run it with my guild. All I can say is, it's a great dose of PUG Be Gone.

Don't get me wrong, pugging the H Daily is often fun - and I've met some interesting players doing it. I enjoy the challenge of healing a tank with 22k HP through H OK, or doing more DPS than the 3 DPSers combined in H HoL.

This was not the case in last night's H Nexus run. 12:23 - that's how long the entire run took, from buff to hearth. Trash died before I could get five stacks of SoV out. Bosses literally handed over thier loot. I think it took 24 seconds to kill the tree shaper guy. It was just....wrong. I actually felt dirty, like I was somehow abusing the instance. I suppose this is what happens when 245 gear meets 180/200 content.

And it's going to get worse.

With Blizzard setting Triumph badges as the default badge drop, we're going to be continuously farming Naxx and Heroics for the new badge drops. Epic Gems, resist patterns, etc - all will probably be bought with Trimph badges. Not to mention that I am going to need all that Furious gear to stay one level behind in PvP gear.

It definately occured to me that this is a double edged sword. When 10 minute Heroic zergs are possible - who would want anything short of a horribly overgeared group? The question has been all over the blogsphere lately about how the game has changed for the worse as the base level for expected gear has risen to the T8+ level for simple Heroics or Naxx 10.

When we were starting Heroics a year ago 1.5k was awesome DPS. I remember when someone broke 3k on Patchwerk. Last night we had three DPS over 6k, and our retadin broke 11k AP at one point. I was tanking Naxx-10 with 25k HP - now I sleep through it with 45k. Is this really necessary?

I'm excited that the new badges will give everyone a chance to gear up to the current level. It gives me a larger pool to draw from for PuG 25m runs, and it means maybe my alts will have some halfway decent gear going into Cataclysm.

Here's the kicker though - BIS IC gear won't be required to level from 80 to 85. Much like when the T6 geared folks hit Northrend, we'll have an easier time of things and probably be able to muscle through content quickly - but our freshly dinged 80s will still be able to walk the shattered lands and do quite well for themselves.

Bad players will still be bad - regardless of thier gear, we just can't look at gear and make an instant decision about a player any more. In Vanilla if you saw someone in T3 you knew they were amazing - or at least were in an amazing guild and had lots of DKP.

And that's the thing folks miss.

Sure - anyone can be carried through heroic content for an achievment/title/mount. We've done it often enough on Yogg+1 and the rest of Ulduar. Last night we blew through ToC 10 with a DK that was doing 100 DPS more than the tank, and less on some fights. We took 4 PUGs through H ToC 10 and still finished with 30+ attempts.

Some of them got gear that if you looked at them you'd say "wow, they must be good", when in reality they might have spent all night looking at the floor. What most oldtimers forget is that was still very possible in Vanilla. While Naxx and AQ-40 took 35 or so good players, with a raid of 40 it was much easier to hide poor performance. Now it's slightly harder to hide, but its easier for the other 9/24 to muscle you through.

I love the new content difficulty. I love that there are insanely difficult achievments we can work towards, and at the same time we're still seeing the end game in a close knit guild. No longer am I required to hook up with 39/24 other players just to see the final battles. Sure, my epics might not be as powerful - but I'm having fun, and I feel like I'm getting my money's worth.

And that's what it's really about.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Divine Sacrifice Nerf/Buff/Fix

So while I usually shy away from posting about patch notes - especially PTR patch notes - I saw this earlier and wanted to talk about it.

  • Protection

    • Divine Guardian: This talent no longer increases the amount of damage transferred to the paladin from Divine Sacrifice. Instead it causes all raid and party members to take 10/20% reduced damage while Divine Sacrifice is active.
    • Divine Sacrifice: Redesigned. The effect of Divine Sacrifice is now party-only and the maximum damage which can be transferred is now limited to 40% of the paladin’s health multiplied by the number of party members. In addition, the damage transferred to the paladin is now reduced by 50% before being applied to the paladin. Finally, the bug which allowed Divine Sacrifice to sometimes persist despite reaching its maximum damage has been fixed. Divine Sacrifice will now cancel as soon as its maximum damage value is exceeded in all cases.

So let's put this into English and talk about the ramifications.

As it stands now, Divine Guardian will absorb an additional 10% when Divine Sacrifice is triggered, raid wide. The change is a straight up buff (though a sideways nerf), as it is now a 20% damage reduction instead of 10% more damage absorbed.

Before, say your raid of 10 was taking 20,000 points of damage each during the duration of Divine Sacrifice (200,000 total). A fully talented Divine Guardian would absorb 40% of that - up to 150% of the Paladin's health (ignore the bug that we'll cover in a second). Fully raid buffed I am pushing about 48k or so - for the math here we'll call it 50k. This means I would absorb up to 75k of that - so each person would take about 12.5k - not bad.

Of course this was bugged where if you cast your bubble on yourself it wouldn't cap, as you never actually took any damage.

What it does in 3.3

So with these proposed changes, DS absorbtion is being halved for players not in the Paladin's party (nerf) which let's be honest - is still pretty good. The 40% was just insanely OP (especially with the bug), and allowed raids to stack a few Paladins and just laugh at raid damage. This was especially true for Anub where by reducing the ammount of damage done to the raid, you reduced teh ammount of healing he recieved. Talk about your double dipping.

So, DS now only affects the Paladin's party (nerf) - but it absorb's 30% of the damage taken still - which is already reduced by 20% thanks to DG. On top of this, assuming the Paladin is in a full party, you'll be able to absorb 200% of your health (buff) AND the damage coming in is reduced by 50%.

Show me the math!

So, same scenario as above - 20k per raid member, Paladin has 50k HP.

Non Paladin Party - each member will take 16k in damage while DS is up (with 2/2 in DG). This is up from the 12.5k they were taking pre 3.3 changes (which will probably change again by the time I post this). Sucks for that squishy mage who isn't in your group.

Paladin Party - First, each member will take 16k due to 2/2 DG. That will be further reduced by an additional 30% to 11.2k (buff from 12.5k). Now, that is a total of 4.6k x 5 (because the Paladin is getting hit as well) hitting the Paladin for a total of 23k additional damage. Not unmanageable, and nowhere near the 100k that he could absorb.

HOWEVER - we're missing a step. That 23k is actually only 11.5k thanks to the changes in DS. Now we're talking about a measely melee strike from Algalon. Hardly worth worrying about.

This can be further mitigated by using Divine Protection - cutting that damage down to 5.75k and causing the Paladin to not lose agro (we're assuming a tank here due to the 50k HP). This also means that your Holy and Ret paladins can use this ability when Divine Shield is still down - because of the double 50% reduction you'll get from using Divine Protection.

Your 50k HP tank can now absorb 100k damage, but given the damage reduction, it's closer to 250k (given the 2/2 DG talents).

So it's a nerf to total raid damage absorbed - but it's a straight up buff to party damage absorbed. The real question will be is the damage going to be considered physical or magical, and will Hand of Protection stop it. This will open up a lot of possibilites in 5 mans, but tells me we're going to see some insane raid AoE in 3.3.

Amazing video

I stumbled across this video while checking out Hots and Dots site - and it actually made Ulduar seem epic. It's a 3 part video, but I don't think part 3 has been released yet. It's basically just some raid video with a lot of the voice files in it - but it's still pretty cool.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Choosing a tank

Depending on your personal preference, you may place the heaviest burden of a group on your tank or healer. While it's true that they carry a huge load, and I've even seen a single tank/healer combo kill Hiegen, the DPS has to be up to par as well.

Unfortunately it seems that the hardest two roles to fill are tanks and healers, and guilds are making tough choices about who to go with. Here's my pros/cons of each type of tank - and why I'd take one over the other. If you're just rolling a tank, think about your play style before picking.


The #1 tank of choice in Vanilla (most druids and paladins were relgated to healing duties), the warrior has come a long way in five years. This is your standard plate wearing, shield smashing, in your face tank. The warrior depends on plate, his shield, and a good balance of mitigation stats to keep him standing. The warrior took a hit in early BC due to the DPS output of feral tanks, and the ease of AoE farming from Paladins - but they were still the kings of raiding. This was especially true for Illidan where only the warrior could put up the necessary defences to avoid the shear - every time.

Pros: Best closer. Between Intervene, Charge, and Intercept - no other tank can close the gap as quickly as a warrior. Using Bezerker Rage they are also the best suited to tanking bosses that fear a lot. This was especially true when a mob would drop agro when you were feared. They have the only spell reflect of the tanks, and have access to a wide range of interrupts and stuns.

Cons: Little to no self healing/cleansing. Suscepptible to snares, and shouts only last a few minutes. Heroic Strike spam has been blamed for more than one case of carpal tunnel. Run the risk of rage starvation if they over gear an instance.

Death Knight

Foregoing a shield, the DK wades in with a two-hander - or dual wielding if they gear correctly. Using a mix of magic and disease, the DK can quickly establish AoE agro. Many DKs have gained a bad reputation as being unable to tank, simply because they thought they could just throw on any old gear and talent as they chose. DK tanks are plentiful, good ones are rare. Most of the great DK tanks were tank re-rolls who already knew the role.

Pros: Even with the nerfs, DKs have more absorbtion and mitigation tricks than a rogue with dirty deeds. DKs have ranged silence/interrupts, pets, and many group buffs. Unlike warriors, DKs can bring thier enemies to them - and there's nothing like seeing an Abomination fly across KT's room.

Cons: DKs are still fairly new (compared to the other tanks), and so are still being regularly tweaked and modified. With no shield they are heavily dependant on dodge/parry, and can quickly fall behind in their TPS if they make poor runic power/rune choices.


Druids forego any type of weapon, and instead parry with their faces (yes, I know they can't really parry). Stacking dodge and stamina, druids were the only tank in BC that couldn't avoid being crushed - they were expected to just eat the strike. Bears us a rage system similar to a warrior, and have many of the same debuffs as their rage sharing bretherin.

Pros: Mastering a druid tank is probably the easiest of all three tanks - at least from a gearing and playstyle (tank only) standpoint. They are defense capped by default (due to talents) so only need to focus on stamina and agility/dodge. The mini game of staying defense capped while juggling mitigation and hit is removed. Druids can also provide a lot of utility via buffs, battle rezzing (tough if you're the solo tank), and innervates.

Cons: No matter what you do, you'll never look different than you did at level 10 when you first get bear form. You'll spend all your time staring at the same shaggy butt, and occasionally switch to caster for some reason. Be prepared to be mocked by those that don't know any better, and be ready to defend your rolls against rogues.


Bearers of the Light (yes, even the Blood Elves), Paladins use a mixture of magical and physical damage to generate damage and threat. Fortunately after BC it was no longer necssary to use caster weapons to up your threat/dps, and Paladin's now share the same stat needs as warriors (and to some extent DKs, though we can use block).

Pros: High armor, stamina, and the ability to use shields gives Paladins excellent mitigation and survivability. Coupled with blessings, hands, and the ability to AoE taunt off another player without targeting the mob - Paladins excell in AoE fight situations. Paladins also have excellent snap agro through the use of Avenger's Shield and Shield of the Righteous. Being able to cleanse and use Hand of Freedom on themselves, Paladin tanks are rarely slowed or snared. Thanks to Sanctuary mana is rarely an issue. Right now Paladins have the most OP emergency talent with Ardent Defender - which is the equivalant of having a permenant in combat rez available - without actually dying. Bubble hearth - nuff said.

Cons: No closer of any kind, and limited interrupts. HoJ can be talented down to 30sec, thanks to Holy paladins speccing prot for PvP. With no stat stick (gun) available, it can be tougher to reach the necessary caps for defense and hit, but the bonuses from the libram can make up for this.

So which one is the best?

Like most things in WoW, this depends entirely on who's sitting behind the keyboard. While some tanks had advantages due to cool downs or other mitigators, every tank is capable of tanking every encounter in the game. Most guilds stuck with thier same tank going into Wrath, regardless of class. 25th November/Ensidia didn't ask Kungen to re-roll, and neither should any one else.

As long as the tank is uncrittable with 540 defense (400 and the talents for druids), and has 262 hit rating (slightly less for Draeni), your tank should be ready to go at the appropriate level of content. In my opinion anyone who picks a tank based on class (raid leader/GM) either doesn't underastand the mechanics of tanking - or has other considerations (loot distribution, etc). The biggest decision you have to make when choosing a tank class is deciding on your play style. Oh, and if you want to look at a fuzzy butt all day. A tank's view is pretty limited as it is. I reccomend choosing something delicious.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Monday Morning Musings

So much to talk about this week - even if the upcoming 3.3 changes are non-existent for Paladins (seriously, thank goodness for that). Paladins may not be perfect right now, and I think SoC is bugged still, but we're in a good place.

First though, I want to give a big welcome back to my Troll. He was gone for a while, but made a guest appearance last week. His spelling and grammar haven't improved much, but hey - he's my Troll and I'm going to love him just the same. Even if he isn't a Rhodes Scholar.

SoC may be broken

I may be the only one seeing this (well, our residnt retadin as well) - but it looks like SoC is proccing off Divine Storm once, just like SoL and SoW. Now the tooltip specifically states that it should only proc on strikes that are intended to hit one target - leaving DS and HotR out of the list. However SoL and SoW have ALWAYS proccd off the first target hit by DS - which makes me wonder if SoC will proc as well. We have a week off from raiding - so I may go out and test this theory.

If this is true, it brings up the possibility of running a build with SoC and Reckoning for trash/farming. It certainly opens up the tedious nature of seal twisting - though I imagine Blizzard will nerf this soon.

For retadins, putting up 5 stacks of SoV (yes - I know it's Corruption for Horde - but having two SoC's here gets confusing) should take about 15 seconds, plus or minus a bit depending. Once that's done, they have 15 seconds in which they can switch to SoC, get off their CD based attacks, back to SoV to refresh the stack, and then repeat. I don't recall off the top of my head if the seals themselves are on the GCD, which would make this a much easier rotation to maintain.

If the seals are on the GCD, this rotation becomes much tighter, but can still be maintained. You will see a severe drop in DPS if SoV falls off though (much like a rogue losing poison stacks), so it's better to err on the side of caution and switch back to SoV early. DP must also be used religiously, as spending 14% of your base mana every few seconds can get quite costly.

Yeah yeah - back to prot - is it worth it?

Without any hard numbers to back this up - I still have to say that SoC isn't worth speccing into. In order to make it viable you'd have to spec into reckoning, plus you run into the same issue as ret - you don't want the stacks to fall off your targets. First, that's a loss of DPS from the DoT - second, it's a loss of 33% increased damage from all sources - Ret aura, Holy Shield, etc.

It's also my experience that when solo AoE grinding, it's the use of SoL and SoW that makes it so effective. Self healing/mana regen means never having to stop. Twisting SoC with SoV, and SoL/SoW as needed just makes the whole thing more complicated. Yes, with theorycrafting you could probably show a slight increase in damage, and the folks at have done some math showing the TPS increases as marginal - in exchange for giving up some survival talents.

I don't know about you, but survival wins every time for me. I'll eek out as much TPS as I can, simply because the more TPS I have means the more DPS the raid can push - and the faster they can push it. I am pretty sure that my DPSers have hair triggers. I swear I've seen fireballs and arrows hitting the boss mere instants after my shield does.

It's ok though - that's why GC gave us Sacrifice....

Later this week - haste vs. Int - and when you make the switch.

Friday, October 2, 2009

A kick in the junk

So as a capper to what should have been an awesome week of celebration and cheer (Tribute to Insanity, Algalon, etc), we instead got a giant plate of suck handed to us. Someone got the account info of one of our shaman, and proceeded to clean out our guild bank.

I suppose it wasn't enough for them to sell all of Marc's stuff, but they had to delete all his badge/PvP gear as well. I mean really - the 40k in gold, stacks of gems/flasks/etc that they got from our bank (plus the other banks from his alts on other servers that were hit) wasn't enough? I sincercly hope there is a special place in hell for these guys.

Now - I understand that account security is the responsibility of the player, not Blizzard - but I can't let Blizzard off the hook entirely here. Somehow, even with the restrictions set to x stacks and y gold per day - this guy was able to strip out the entire gbank in under 20 minutes. GG.

Fortunately we have a week off from raiding while one of our guildies is sentenced to life in prison (marrige) so there's a chance we could have a portion returned by the time we get back to regular raiding. Until then, we're going to be dragging a naked Cow through content to get him something that resembles gear.


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Algalon down - a monkey off our back

What an awesome end to a great raid week. First a successful alliance/PUG with one of the other Horde guilds to take down Ony 25 (lol - she's still cute) - followed by an amazing kill of Algalon. I don't know what was better - that Mongrr called it as being a 4th attempt kill - or that we finally knocked him off. I don't care that we did it in a ton of 245 gear either.

I also picked up the Stam/Parry trinket off Yogg. Mmmm.

To Bones - the best PuG I ever had

Dear Bones,

Where have you gone to? You sir, have been hands down the single best pickup group member I've had the pleasure of raiding with. You had consumables, reagents, and winter flying. You didn't quibble when we kicked some idiot from the group, and you didn't stand in fire. You offered to heal if needed, and didn't fill chat with damage meters or useless chatter.

Simply put, you did your job, and didn't let anyone down.

Well done sir, well done.

P.S. - we miss you in our other PUGs...come back.