Friday, August 31, 2007

Single Digits

Ah Karazhan. I love the place. My favorite nights of the week are the nights I know I'm logging to lead a band of friends and Heroes into the gaping maw of the legions in Kara who want nothing more than to turn our intrepid band into worm food.

Our daring crew last night consisted of Me (Prot Paladin), Aleks (Prot Warrior), Baconstrip (Resto Druid), Calexis (Holy Priest), Rhubarb (Holy Paladin), Wichita (Elemental Shaman), Regolos (Afflication Warlock), Condramous (Stormwind Portal Mage), Jagdelf (Beast Mastery Hunter), Origami (Feral Druid).

First we meet up with the Maiden of Virtue. I know this will sound strange after my gear rant, but what I really wanted to see her drop was Gloves of the Treemender for Bacon, or even a Shard of the Virtuous for Calexis. But she was giving up neither. Instead, she drops Iron Gauntlets of the Maiden. My gloves! These are even better than my Tier 4 gloves which drop off of Curator.

I was so excited, yet at the same time kind of bummed for Bacon. I know what its like to want a drop and not get it time after time after time.

Next up we skipped Illhoof and Aran and proceeded to Chess. Sylvara, one of our guild Rogues had asked to sub in for Chess. Since I had already done the event and I wanted Aleks to get any tank drop that may come from Chess, I left the raid and Sylvara in my place. Apparently Chess drops some ZOMG shoulders he wants. I was only too happy to oblige. The group one shots the event. Some Feral boots drop for Origami, but nothing for Sylvara or Aleks. Bummer.

We continue to work on trash and do the final pulls leading up to Prince. Did I ever mention how much I love having a Warrior with me. I got to over 16k hit points with all the buffs I had including Commanding Shout (thank you Aleks!)

We fought Prince 3 or 4 times. Our best attempt was 7% when I died. I keep getting burst down. If the Healers have to move, I'm toast. Then the final attempt, I got burst down just as their heals were about to land. I think we've really got a good shot at bringing him down soon.

I had a blast last night and I hope the rest of the raid did as well.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Inversely Proporational

Friday night saw Heroes back in Karazhan to continue our run from Tuesday night.

This time around it was
Me (Prot Paladin)
Zadorr (Feral Druid)
Wichita (Shaman, spec'ed Resto for the run)
Lakini (Dreamstate Druid)
Baconstrip (Resto Druid)
Agamemgnome (Combat Sword Rogue)
Sylvara (Multilate Rogue)
Condramous (Arcane Mage)
Regolos (Afflication Lock)
Jagdelf (Beast Mastery Hunter)

Right from the start we can tell this is going to be a very different run from the other night. We wiped on the very first pull. We had some new people in the raid, and I forgot to explain the mobs to them well enough.

We managed to clear up to Illhoof room, wiping at least twice along the way. We get to Illhoof and layout our strategy. There were two major problems. One, I couldn't seem to get aggro on the little imps. They were going after our Warlock who was loading up Illhoof with Seed of Corruption.

The larger issue seemed to be the Chains. We knew we'd have to switch over DPS to them when someone got sacrificed. What we were unprepared for was how fast the Chains would take someone down. Often the Chains would kill someone before our healer's could get a heal off. We tried both Druid and Shaman healing but both had trouble keeping the Sacrifice alive. Even when we would get a couple of heals on them, the Chains stayed up too long and people died.

We never got him close to dead.

So we decided to skip Illhoof and Aran and move to Chess. I love Chess. Its a fun event and almost zero chance of wiping, so you can kind of relax on it. We beat Medivh in one try.

Our time was getting short so we decided to take a shot at Prince. I didn't explain Enfebble real well and we lost some DPS. Despite getting ideal Infernal drops, we wiped. Our 2nd attempt we got horrible Infernal drops and I got burst down in Phase 2 while our healers repositioned to avoid Infernals.

We got him to about 56% if memory serves.

I felt it was a really good week.

Heroes is getting really close to having two teams, and I anticipate we will field two team within a couple of weeks. We may even be ready to take some initial forays into Gruul's before Zul'Aman comes out. I'm really proud of my guild and my raidmates. Things are coming along very well.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Horsing Around in DM

Last night I got to do something I very much enjoy: Help a friend. My buddy Baconstrip wanted to get the epic mount for his warlock alt, Jeyne.

Bacon is one of the nicest and most selfless people you will ever meet. He is always going out of his way to help people, and I really enjoyed the chace to do something for him.

Our group was me (Lvl 70 Prot Paladin), Regolos (Lvl 70 Afflication Warlock), DarkDescent Lvl 70 Afflication Lock), Wichita (Lvl 70 Elemental Shaman), and Jeyne (Bacon's Lvl 60 Lock alt).

The final step of the Dreadsteed Quest takes place in Dire Maul West, which ironically was the instance I had to run on the 3rd step of my Charger Mount quest. In fact, we had to down the boss that releases the Equine Spirit that is part of that quest. Seeing that spirit walking around the instance again brought back some good memories.

We cleared to Immothar and killed him. Apparently, he's the twin brother of the summonable Boss in Heroic Mana Tombs.

Then Regolos starts the event. He releases an imp who puts down a Bell, a Wheel, and a Candle. Then waves of mobs start coming out. This must have been really intense when the level cap was 60, and the only tanks were Warriors with no Thunderclap in Defensive. We, however, had a Paladin tank. I was able to gather up most of the mobs and keep them on me. The only problem I had was holding back on my threat cycle because I was worried about Mana.

I never did the event when the level cap was 60, so it was interesting to see. Bacon got the Dreadsteed for his alt.

After we were done, we threw together a short Shattered Halls run. Bacon and a couple of others in the guild need rep. Our group for this run was me (Prot Paladin), Bacon (Resto Druid), Sylvara (Multilate Rogue), Origami (Feral Druid), and Regolos (Afflication Lock).

I tried to push the limits of the group by pulling as quickly as I could. I must say there are times when I hate my blue rage bar. It seemed like the biggest limitation was my mana. I wasn't getting hit hard enough to need enough heals to keep my mana up and I had to drink between fights. I guess if that's the worse thing I can complain about, it was a good run.

Kargath was kind enough to give up a Figurine of the Collosus. This is a really good trinket for AoE situations. When activated, I get healed for 120 everytime I block for next 20 seconds, and I can use it every two minutes.

For bosses, I need a Defense trinket (Dawnstone Crab) and I love my Darkmoon Card Vengence for the stamina and the threat. Collosus is potentially better than Vengence depending on how often I block. If I can get more than 5 blocks, then I would get more health from Collosus than Vengence. 5 blocks in 20 seconds requires a 4.0 enemy attack speed assuming all attacks are blocked.

I was really happy to get it to drop.

There was a Shadow Labs group forming as I logged off, but it was already midnight and I needed to get some sleep.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Gear Rant

Warning! Rant incoming!

I hate drops. I hate them. My entire progress as a tank is dependent on a stupid roll when the mob drops.

10 times I killed Attumen. 5 times I've killed Moroes. 6 times I've killed Maiden. Twice I've killed Curator. No Bracers. No Gloves. No Belt. No Pants.

I'm stuck on 11.9k hps.

I think every boss should give you a token. When you hit exalted you should be able to buy any drop from a boss whose token you have..

There's nothing I can do. I get one shot a week to improve my gear. I've gotten every Pre-Kara upgrade I can get without changing to Engineering or Blacksmithing.

I know this sounds loot focused, but how the h-e double toothpicks am I supposed to tank the last half of Kara or Gruul's when I can't get the upgrades from the first half of Kara.

It makes me want to scream sometimes.

/rant over

Where's my cookie?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Advice for Non Holy Paladins

A consistent post on both the MainTankadin Forums and the WoW Paladin Forums are Protection and Retribution Paladins posting about how their guild, sometimes rather forcibly, asks them to spec Holy, or won't let them Tank, or DPS.

What I never realized was that non Marksman Hunters can face these same issues, too. In a recent post BRK answered an email from a Hunter whose guild was trying to force him to respect out of his chosen Beast Mastery spec and into Marksman.

The next time I see one of those posts, I'm going to reply with this:

Here, in part, is BRK answer (quoted with permission):

"My friend, there is one bit of advice you need to heed. One small tidbit of information that shall put your mind at ease. One itsy bitsy teenie weenie morsel of truth that shall set you free:

People are stupid. Unfortunately, too often in our lives we have to deal with People. Friends are cool. Acquaintances are nice. People are dumb. People are ignorant. People are loud-mouthed schnooks. People need to take a long quaff from a great big tall frosty glass of Shut The H3ll Up juice.

You have three choices when dealing with People: let them control you, get away from them, or shut them up.

Thus, your future in your guild is on one of three paths: Path Weasel ... Path Sanity ... Path Facepalm" - BRK

(This next bit is a paraphrase of BRK, taking the Hunter specific parts and making them Paladin)

Path Weasel - Respec Holy and go play in kara. If you want to be in Death and Taxes or any other legendary raiding guild you'll have to play by their rules, too.

Path Sanity - Drop guild and go somewhere where you'll be appreciated. Very few guilds will turn down a Paldin with decent gear, spec, experience, and the knowledge of how to play the class properly.

Path Facepalm - Challenge the People and their smugness.

Prot: "You let me run Kara through the first boss as Prot, and if I can't hold aggro and stay alive, then I'll hearth to my Paladin trainer and respec on the spot. But if I CAN, you gotta say in guild-chat, 'I am a worthless raider and a NooB for I tried to make someone respec when I clearly don't have a clue about Paladin mechanics.' "

Ret: You let me run Kara through the first boss as Ret, and if I can't get #1 or #2 on the damage meter, then I'll hearth to my Paladin trainer and respec on the the spot. But if I CAN, you gotta say in guild-chat, 'I am a worthless raider and a NooB for I tried to make someone respec when I clearly don't have a clue about Paladin mechanics.' "

If you go Path Sanity be sure to read Lore's excellent "How to Score a Raid Spot".

Now Prot may have it a little bit tougher with Path Facepalm than a Ret or a DPS class would. DPS classes can pretty much control their own destiny, and they've got an objective number everyone can see as their measure. Tanking is a cooperative thing, and honestly, a DPSer or Healer can sabotage you pretty easily. The Healer could be "late" on a heal and you'll die, and some DPS can pull aggro no matter what you do. They might even click off Salvation after the pull.

I've been fortunate enough to have never been put in this spot. Those that have, have my sympathy.

I have been invited to more advanced guilds on my server with the caveat of a respec. I have no interest in leaving my guild, but what I tell them is "I'll reroll before I respec".

Impressive.....Most Impressive

I had the honor of accompaning 9 of my guildmates into Karazhan last night.

3 Hours. 5 Bosses.

Everyone is getting to the point where they know the pulls, they know what to do, and they do it.

Our group last night was
Me (Prot Paladin)
Zadorr (Feral Druid)
Wichita (Elemental Shaman)
Lakini (Balance/Resto Druid)
Baconstrip (Resto Druid)
Sylvara (Multilate Rogue)
Schmedlap and Nemesis (Marksman Hunter, Winterspring Cat)
Calexis (Holy/Disc Priest)
Rhubarb (Holy Paladin)
Condramous (Fire/Arcane Mage)

Everyone did an outstanding job. We did not have a single wipe. Dare I say it was "easy"?

Schmedlap joined the Teir 4 club. In fact, Curator dropped the EXACT same loot as our first kill.

We had quite 3 trash epics drop: Boots of Elusion, the Feral Boots, and a Nature Damage ring. Great, I thought I had problems holding threat off Wichita before. Actually, Wichita is a really good player who manages his aggro extremly well, while at the same time doing incredible DPS. I had him at 900+ dps for most of the night. That is simply incredible.

I've started using WoW Web Stats to get information on the runs. When you start the run, you type /combatlog. This saves your combat log to a text file. Then I upload the file to WoW Web Stats and they parse it out. I can see how the DPS is doing, how many Crushing Blows I'm taking and where my threat is coming from.

One thing I noticed from using it, is that I'm missing very often. My miss rate is around 20-25%. That's a good chunk of aggro I'm not getting. Protection Paladins have a talent called Precision which increases our chance to hit by 3%. I had ignored the talent before. It was passive, so you never actually saw it working, but now with WoW Web Stats, I could spec into and see if there is a difference.

The problem is where to find those 3 points. I've tried to spec for PVE and PVP, and with a bloated Prot tree, I'm spread pretty thin.

One option I have is respecing throughout the week. Spec Holy for Arenas, Prot for Raids. The only problem being that this could get expensive. It's 50g for each respec, plus the cost of the Talent spells like Avenger's Shield, Blessing of Sanctuary, Blessing of Kings, Holy Shock, and Divine Favor.

Also it would mean completely redoing my UI and keybindings.

I know Warriors face this same delimina (Arms for PVP, Prot for PVE), and I know some Warriors spec back and forth on a weekly basis.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

No Longer Functional

Sunday night and my Guild, Heroes Inc, was headed back into Kara. Our mission was to kill Maiden and proceed to make further attempts on the Curator.

Our group was
Me (Prot Paladin)
Zadorr (Feral Druid)
Baconstrip (Resto Druid)
Sameth (Holy Priest)
Calexis (Holy/Disc Priest)
Condramous (Arcane/Fire Mage)
Schmedlap (MM Hunter)
Regolos (Affliction Lock)
Ferth (Fury/Arms Warrior)
Wichita (Elemental Shaman)

I switched out to healing gear for Maiden while Zadorr tanked her. With 2 dedicated healers, and 2 dedicated dispellers, the fight went very well. The Priests group heals really helped after Maiden did her Holy Chain Lightning thing.

She dropped the Shard of the Virtuous which Bacon won.

Then it was on to Curator.

I hate Curator's trash. I hate it. The anomalies absorb all my Holy Damage attacks, and the Mana Feeders drain all my mana out. I usually "tank" the Mana Feeders. It's better that I'm OOM, rather than a healer or Mana based DPS.

So we get all of Curator's trash down, and we are setting up for the fight. I brought everything I could think of. Spicy Crawdads (expensive food), Elxir of Major Fortitude, Adept's Elixir, IronShield Potions, and of course a stack of Super Healing Pots and Super Mana Pots.

We had me on the Curator with Zadorr to the "Bolt" tank and also helping on the adds. We had everyone spread out. When a Flare spawned, Ferth would call out who had the aggro. The other people in the Raid were to move away from that person to help cut down on the damage we were taking.

Again the Priest's AoE Heals really helped with the fight. I concentrated on making sure I kept up Holy Shield. I was not going to get Crushed. I actually forgot to get Wisdom up for the first evocation, so immediately I started to worry about Healer mana.

We got through the 2nd Evocation and things were looking good. Everyone was still alive and the adds were under control.

We hit the enrage, and I banged an Ironshield Potion.

"The Curator.....is no longer.....functional..."

And down the big guy goes! The drops the Mage/Hunter token and its won by Condramous. He also dropped a nice DPS ring which went to Schmedlap (I think).

1 attempt, 0 deaths. Our previous best attempt was around 30%. Everyone was pretty amazed.

I had no plan for post Curator. I thought we would make a couple of attempts and maybe get him down. But seeing as we had plenty of time, we went to check out the rest of the instance. We found the hidden door where Illhoof awaits, and took a peek at Shade of Aran.

I hate the library trash even more than Curator trash. This trash is immune to spell damage. All my threat is Holy damage to which they are immune. Go go Druid tank!

Along the way we cleared to a friendly Consortium vendor. He had a new receipie for me Powerful Earthstorm Diamond. +18 stam. Oh yeah. Now if I only had a Meta gem slot in my Helm, lol.

Regolos was going to lead us to chess, but we had a hard time finding it and we were up against time. So I called the Raid.

A couple of people wanted to stay and see if we could find chess, so I stayed too. Eventually we found it. We grabbed Sylvara and Lakini who had logged on during our run.

We wiped twice on Chess. Well, you can't really "wipe" on Chess per se. The game just resets when you lose. We tried a third a final time. All our pieces were dead except our King. Great, we're done, we all think. Then inexplicably, the Horde King saunters over to our King. They begin an epic tet a tet. All of us are calling out the percentage health that their King and our King are at. Lakini is at the helm of our King and the only left in the game at this point.

And Lakini puts the Horde King down. We all start cheering over vent. It was awesome. And wouldn't you know it, there sat a King's Defender in the Chest. It's great for the magic immune trash and on fights where I don't have to worry about aggro like Curator. You can switch weapons in combat, so I can start with the Defender and then switch to my Crystalforged Sword when I need to ramp up the aggro.

Sunday night was the most fun I've had in a long time. It made all the farming, and grinding worth it.

The only bummer is that we have to start all over again this week. I hope our group can get back to Curator and down him again.

Our next victim? Terestian Illhoof.

Basin and Pens

Saturday night was Guild PVP night for Heroes Inc. We got a nearly full group and did a night of Arathi Basin matches. I try to volunteer for guard duty as often as I can. This is partially because I like it; I know where I'm supposed to be and what I'm supposed to be doing, and partially because I'm good at it. It's going to take the Horde a couple of minutes to get me killed, and long before that the cavalry will have come running.

When I'm not defending I'm running with the flex group and doing my best to keep the other healers and the dpsers alive.

We won about half the matches we went into. We were very inconsistent. We'd beat an organized group and then lose to a PUG.

After Arathi Basin, I was asked if I'd like to tank a Heroic. My shiny new shield didn't have any nicks in it yet so I thought I'd break it in a bit before Sunday's Kara run.

My group was me (Prot Paladin), Lakini (Balance/Resto Druid), Origami (Feral Druid), Wichita (OP'ed Elemental Shaman), and Sylvara (Multilate Rogue).

Slave Pens was the very first Heroic I tanked. I've come a long way. My Paladin needs very little CC in there. I was able to double tank the Greater Bogstroks that used to require CC'ing one. Then, I was able to the double tank the Defenders. These mobs come in a pack of two, hit very hard, see through stealth and are immune to CC.

I think we had one wipe when a caster type mob aggroed to Lakini. The awesome thing about running with 3 other hybrids was we could slip into other roles for a short time. Lakini goes down, but Wich can heal if the mob is close to death. I die? Origami goes Bear and picks up the mob.

We one shot each boss. with me tanking Quaggmarian. He was so impressed with my efforts in the dungeon that he dropped the Girdle of the Immovable. I was very excited and rushed off to gem it up, only to find out that when I equipped it, it raised by stamina by 24 but took me back to the Crushable range. I still need the Shield Block Rating I get my Sha'tari Vindicators Waistguard to stay Uncrushable, so it sits in the bank. The 4 badges from the run took me to 24. That's halfway to the Faceguard of Determination.

Monday, August 20, 2007

One Track Mind

This was quite a weekend. It started out on Friday night. I was bound and determined to get Exalted with Sha'tar. Very few people were on Friday night so I tried to PuG it.

I got a group for Normal Botanica that was Me, a Warrior, two Druids (one healing, one DPS), and I think a Hunter.

The instance starts out pretty well, I can tell the group is well geared. I mistakenly pull two groups and we get 5 mobs. I'm a Tankadin, no problem. I hold all 5 and down they go.

Then we get to the Hunter mobs with the birds. These mobs if not crowd controlled will issue a kill command on a random target. All the birds attack that target. Well, they called out our Warrior, so I BoP. It helps, but he clicks it off so he can DPS and dies. Then the Healer Druid dies, but we get the mobs down, and I rez everyone up.

The Druid proceeds to yell at me for not holding aggro and the Warrior for not tanking. I try to explain the mobs behavior but the Druid didn't believe me.

I remind him about holding the 5 pull earlier. He's convinced a good Warrior or Feral Druid could do the same. I honestly don't know, but I doubt he's ever seen it.

So we move on the 1st boss. He summons adds when he gets low. The adds got on me and destroyed me. We wipe. I realized later that I had a debuff on me that makes me take more damage.

Well, Mr. Druid had seen enough. I'm sure he's never ever wiped with a Warrior or Druid tank. Hearthstone away.

What stunned me was the the Warrior. He was supporting me and my arguments the whole night. He never once taunted off of me, but would taunt off someone else and pull the mob back to me. He was amazing. The Druid (a fellow Hybrid after all) was the one who was all over my case.

It's guys like that Druid that make me want to PuG constantly and show the entire server what I can do, and give up and level up my Warrior to 70, all at the same time.

So Warrior gets a Holy Paladin from his guild. I recognize his name, StunPilot, because he's always spamming trade chat to cut gems.

These guys start pulling whether I'm ready or not. Being in a PuG, I was little slow and hesitant.

I didn't complain, I didn't say a word. I picked up the mobs, banged Mana pots, drank as fast as I could.

We cleared the whole place with very little problem. I learned a lot that night. They pushed me beyond what I thought I could do and made me better. I really appreciate it now, though I didn't at the time.

After the run I was about 800 rep short. I manage to get a couple of Heroes to come help me. Calexis (Holy Priest), Wichita (Elemental Shaman), Jenet (Arms Warrior), and Krawl (Fire Mage).

We did the instance again, but only up to the first boss. It was enough rep to get me Exalted and I rushed off to buy my Crest of the Sha'tar.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Winging It

So my Raid Team concept has been accepted. While I'm putting the Raid Team together, I am continuing to lead Heroes raids this week. This is so we don't have to go a week with no raids while I get organized.

Last night I led Heroes back into Karazhan. We had like 15 people show up for the Raid so I had to make the call on who went and who didn't. It really made me wish I had put in the preset teams this week instead of next, so everyone would have known prior to logging in if they were going or not. Some people could only make this run, and not Sunday's, so I gave them priority on spots.

We wound up with 2 Paladins (Me-Prot, Rhubarb-Holy), 3 Druids (Baconstrip-Resto, Lakini-Balance/Resto, and Origami-Feral), a Hunter (Jagdelf), a Mage (Condramous), a Fury/Arms Warrior (Ferth), Wichita (Elemetnal Shaman), and Sylvara (Multilate Rogue).

We killed Attumen with little problem. Most of us know this fight pretty good. We started clearing to Moroes. The group of adds was MS Warrior, Ret Paladin, Holy Priest, and Prot Warrior. We asked Ferth to switch over to his wife's Priest (Sameth), so we could have a shackle. If we hadn't had both the MS Warrior and the Ret Paladin, I would have felt better about trying it with just one CC (Jag's trap). We had two Paladin's, and two Dwarves so Garrotte didn't pose a problem.

I guess we could have had Ferth offtank the Ret Paladin and trapped the MS Warrior, but we got Sameth and were able to one shot Moroes.

The most disappointing thing up to this point in the Raid was that most of the drops were not needed by people. Ferth seemed to be having more fun, cutting up and socializing more than he had been when leading. I was glad to see him having fun again.

Most of the group wanted to do Opera next, so that's what we did.

For Opera, we got Big Bad Wolf, again. Part of me was happy. BBW is about the easiest Opera event you can get, but at the same time, we've gotten it 3 times in a row. I've never gotten Romeo and Juliette down, and never once gotten Wizard of Oz.

We one shot the Wolf, even though he managed to kill a couple of our team. He casts his Little Red Riding Hood so fast, we barely had time to react before Bacon died.

There was some discussion on what to do next. Some people wanted to take a shot at Curator, and others wanted Maiden. We were running very short on time. The only way we could have gotten to Curator in time would have been to do outside and hope that no Horde were there. I decided we would do Maiden.

With two Paladins, Maiden should have been a simple fight. But it wasn't. I blame myself for both wipes. On the first, I missed a cool down on Blessing on Sacrifice and wasn't able to heal Origami through the repentance.

On the 2nd wipe my heal landed 0.006 seconds too late to save Origami and prevent a wipe. So the Sunday group will do Maiden, then take a crack or two at Curator. I really hope we put him down.

I'm still not sure everyone really understands it despite what I feel are my best efforts to explain it. I think once people start seeing the implications of my system, I may get some negative feedback. My hope is that people will come to me or go to our Guild Master before they do something like gquit. But those are problems for another day.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

So Close

Last night I did another Heroic Botanica run with Heroes Inc. The group consisted of Me (Prot Paladin), Wichita (Elemental Shaman), Origami (Feral Druid), Jadgelf and Klemme (BM Hunter with Scorpid), and Calexis (Holy Priest).

The pulls started out very well with me double tanking the elves and single tanking the mechanical.

Then we got to the three pulls with two casters and healer. The plan was to burn the healer while trapping one of the casters. I feel for Hunters who have to trap casters. You have to get aggro (not easy with a Tankadin), and then line of site the caster into your trap.

I would trap to hold back on my aggro generation to help him get aggro, but then I'd lose my mobs to the healers. It finally dawned on us to give Jag Blessing of Kings instead of Salvation.

Origami aslo got into the Crowd Control action on the 4 mob pulls. He has an Arena Healer lock down sequence that involves him starting in Cat, then going Bear, and then back to Cat. I don't know the details, but man, his mob didn't get one cast off. I'm glad he's on my Arena team, I'd hate to be on the receiving end of that.

He's also a really smart Druid who knows when to shift out and heal himself to save Healer mana. He did this on more than one occasion.

For the first boss I tried the strategy of running past the boss to take the last group of 3 trash mobs. Unfortunately, I didn't really explain well what I was doing and ended up getting killed. After the wipe we only had one left so we finished that one up.

Jag, Origami, and Wich do some sick, sick DPS. The first boss was downed before she summoned the adds. The 2nd boss got to transform into a tree one time. We skipped the 3rd boss as he's not melee DPS friendly and still hard even on Normal, much less Heroic.

Laj was little problem. His adds didn't last very long and Jag's Scorpid was chewing on his plant behind the whole time.

I got the positioning down for Warp Splinter. If you tank him next to the tree, he can't get line of site on your party for the Arcane Volley. Jag and Wich were chopping down the adds with nice speed.

I love running with a group of skilled, knowledgeable players like this one. Makes my tanking easier and the game much more fun. I don't care what class or spec these guys are, I'd run with him anytime.

I finished up the night about 2k rep short of Exalted with Sha'tar. That means that the Crest will have to wait and that tonight's Kara run will be done with the Ogril'la Aegis instead.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

More Rep Grind

There really wasn't much going on last night in Heroes. Two of our healers were doing Arenas last night, leaving very few healers for instance groups.

I did my dailies, then jumped on Rabbitslayer (my Warrior alt) for a bit. He's level 30 now. My plan for Rabbit is to get him to the mid 60s before the next expansion pack. That way I can decide if I'll level my Warrior or my Paladin to 80. That decision will be made by Blizzard more than me. Will they have come through on their promise to make Paladins truly competitive tanks with Warriors and Druids? I truly hope they do and I believe they will. But I'm making sure I have an insurance poilicy if they don't.

Paladins are about where Druids were before they got buffed. Sure, you might use them on Jindo, but basically it was a Warrior's world. Now with Paladins, sure you might use one on Morogrim or Al'ar for add tanking, but its still a Warrior's world.

Can you imagine what someone who is as passionate about tanking as I am could do with a Warrior's toolset?

I did manage to actually run something last night. After failing to get a group for Heroic Mech, we ended up running regular, mostly because I was running out of time, but I knew I could run that fast and Heroic would take a while. We were also trying to get Rhubarb some more gear. There are some nice drops in there (a mace, a ring, D3 helm) for him.

It was me (Prot Paladin), Wichita (Elemental Shaman), Rhubarb (Holy Paladin), a PuG Mage and a Luxzor (Holy/Disc Priest).

We absolutely destroyed the place. We are simply overgeared for Normals. Its like running a level 60 dungeon when you are level 67, there's just no way you are going to wipe.

I got a bit more Sha'tar rep, but no drops again for Rhubarb. I really feel for the guy. He's trying to help out with our healer crunch but the instances just won't be kind for him.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

PeeVeePee

Last night was a PVP night for Honors. It started with a game of WSG with Heroes. WSG can be a tough battleground for even the best group. The biggest problem I have with it, is that its more like Baseball than the other battleground.

In Football or Basketball, you've got a clock. Barring an overtime situation, the game is going to end within some fairly regular time frame. Baseball does not have a clock. It has innings which are only progressed by getting outs.

In the same way, WSG is only progressed by capturing flags. The other battlegrounds have points you hold or that your opponent holds. These essentially become a clock. Every second of the game, one team or the other is gaining points towards the total they need. The game is going to end within some fairly regular time frame. WSG can go super quick or take forever.

I'm a healer in Battlegrounds, but I also make a very good flag holder. I have more hit points in my tank gear than just about anyone save a Prot Warrior or a Bear Form druid, and even then its a matter of gear.

We won the only match I was in. Honor, Marks, and fun with friends.

Then I had to duck out to get my games in with my Arena team, MewMewPewPewAndABubble.

The team has grown to 8 people and its main purpose is just to get people some points for the week.

We started out really well with Me (Prot Paladin), Rhubarb (Holy Paladin), Origami (Feral Druid), Jagdelf (BM Hunter), and Wichita (Elemental Shaman).

After 5 games we switched out Origami for Zadorr (another Feral Druid). We were really well at that point and feeling pretty good about ourselves. Feral Druids are just amazing for locking down enemy Healers, especially Paladins.

After the next 5 Jag had to go so we put in DarkDescent, a Warlock.

We wound up doing 15 games and I believe our record was around 6-9.

I know Rhubarb and DarkDescent are still in something of "gear up" phase, and I think Dark may have been having an off night, kind of like I did when I tried to run Heroic Mana Tombs.

We do present some very good focus fire targets to the opposing team. Shamans, Hunters, Druids, and Warlocks can all be good focus fire targets. Rhubarb and I can heal through the damage sometimes, and that usually helps.

Basically the start of the fight is an intense war of healing to see if we can keep the focus fire target up. While Rhubarb and I are spamming heals, the other dps has to get us a numbers advantage by destroying their dps, while the Feral Druid locks up their Healer. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.

I'm still not exactly sure what I'm going to do with my points. Basically do I buy another piece of Armor, or stockpile the points for a weapon or even start stockpiling for Season 3?

Monday, August 13, 2007

The Wall

Sunday night, Heroes ventured into Kara picking up where we left off on Wednesday. It was really cool because all of Moroes trash has despawned so we walked right up to Maiden's hall way.


There's a pat that walks through that hallway. I made sure they were gone before bringing everyone in and getting ready. Somehow the stationary mobs pulled along with the pat. Wipe.


I think next time I will pull them into the other room. We cleared to Maiden with little other problems.

We decided to have our Feral Druid tank her, and he did an awesome job. It was nice to see him able to tank some after being DPS on the previous runs. His Feral tank gear is quite good. He actually gimped his DPS most of the night staying in "Bear" gear so he could pick up anything I lost.


Our first attempt at Maiden did not go well. She kept Holy Fire on the Healers and it was lights out. We did a better job with healing the healers the 2nd time around. Wichita's Grounding Totem ate Holy Fires like they were candy. She dropped some cloth bracers and the Healing Totem, both of which we already had. Void Crystals all around!

After Maiden we cleared the room with Karena's Log. Finally managed to pull the room without killing the tank.

Next up was Opera. We got Big Bad Wolf. Of all the opera events, this one is the easiest to me. This time however, I got turned into Little Red Riding Hood. The only thing I can think happened is that I must have lost aggro right before he threw the debuff.

The Wolf dropped the epic healing cloak (gratz Bacon) and the epic Healing Libram, which I took as the only class capable of equiping it. Joy!

With our goals accomplished for the night, we needed to decide what to do. We still had some time left, so we decided to clear up to Curator.

I absolutely hate Curator's trash. Those little mana leeches just destroy my ability to do....well anything.

We finally got Curator's room cleared and discussed the fight. We don't have an Arcane Resist Bolt Eater geared up so we tried it as best we could.

First attempt we got him down to 60% or so. Not bad. Flares were a problem. Origami had to run all over the place to pick them up, and they were killing our healers.

Our second attempt we wiped at 33%. 33%!! Wow. I know we can get this guy, and get someone their Teir 4 gloves.

By now it was getting late and we had already run over our time.

Curator's a really strange fight for the tank in that everything is kind of going on around you. The fight is much more about the Flares than the Curator himself.

It looks like the mantle of Raid Leader is being passed to me. Here's hoping I can lead us to progression without becoming the very thing many of us have tried to get away from.

Rep Grind

Saturday night, I got online after watching my Panthers put in quite a good effort in a Preseason game agaist the New York football Giants.

There was a group forming for Heroic Botanica. This got me excited because the one major upgrade I have left is the Crest of Sha'tar. This requires Exalted rep with the Sha'tar. The group was me (Prot Paladin), Bacon (Resto Druid), Wichita (Shaman), Krawl (Fire Mage), and Origami (Feral Druid).

After my disaster the night before, I was a little nervous going in. We started clearing the trash leading up to the first boss. We were fighting the last trash mob before the boss, and he just starts casually walking over towards us, and then aggros. We wiped. We got him on the next attempt.

We did pretty well on the 2nd boss. We stayed put and downed the adds while the boss did his healing thing. We skipped the 3rd boss.

Laj went down pretty easy, and wouldn't you know it, he dropped the Spaulders of the Righteous again. Sharded!

Finally, we got Warp Splinter down.

So for the night, I got a bunch of rep, 4 badges and had a good time. That's what a call a good night. I'm still like 8k rep away from Exalted.

Tomb Raider

I got on late Friday night and got an invite to run Heroic Mana Tombs. I've run this once before and we did okay. Some of the pulls at the end of the instance were a little tough, and the first boss is a challenge.

Friday night my group was me (Prot Paladin), Baconstrip (Resto Druid), Sylvara (Rogue), Witchita (Shaman), and Lakini (Druid).

Right from the start of the run we could tell something wasn't quite right. I was losing aggro left and right, getting poor Bacon one shotted in most cases. I made all kinds of mistakes. Blessing of Salvation on myself, and not putting up Righteous Fury being my two most aggregis.

We manage to get the first boss down with both Lakini and Bacon healing me. We got far enough to get Wichita's quest done, but we called it after that.

I chalked it up to just being an off night for me. I was tired and probably just should have gone to bed.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Northrend & Raiding

At Blizzcon, Blizzard announced the next expansion Wrath of the Lich King. Now no one knows when it will be released but I have to say I took the news with mixed feelings.

I'm not sure I'm ready for another expansion just yet. There's still alot of tBC I haven't explored. Plus, I see Arthas as just another 25 man Raid Boss that I'll never see.

My big concern is that Blizzard will hold off on any more adjustments to Paladin tanking until the expansion. There is still a rigid hierarchy of tanks. We can get the job done now, so we are miles ahead of where we were pre BC. I'm very fortunate to be in a guild that accepts Paladin tanks.

Speaking of my guilds (segway for the win), it looks like my Raid Team concept has got some legs. This is a fundamental change to the way my guild has approached raiding. Essentially, I'm being put into an XO type position in the guild, kind of a VP of PVE Raiding. The offical decision won't be made until Monday, but /magic8ball says All Signs Point to Yes.

So I've been giving a lot of thought to how I'm actually going to pull this off. I think I've got many of the issues settled in my head.

I'm still noodling on a couple things.

Healers. How do I get and retain Healers. No healers, no raid. We've already had a Moonkin go nearly full time healing just to have healers for our Kara runs.

They're job is really tough and they have a very hard time when not in a group. I want to make my Team's healers feel really appreciated, and try to prevent them from "burning out".

Fun. That's why we play the game right? Downing a boss is fun, but alot of the stuff you have to do to down that boss is not. We are looking at taking a bit more serious approach to raiding. How do we do that and not lose the fun.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Blasting the Labs

I got on a bit late last night after watching the Mythbusters Baseball special. It's one of the few shows my wife and I both enjoy.

After I logged on, I did my dailies. I hit Revered with Ogril'la and bought the Ogril'la Aegis. Once I get it gemmed and enchanted it will be better than my Aegis of the Sunbird, but just barely. I also like the fact that it's a different model. My Aegis of the Sunbird looks exactly like a Crystal Pulse Shield, which is a fairly common Healing Sheild.

Afer finishing that up, I was asked to help Rhubarb in Shadow Labs. Rhubarb is a Holy Paladin, and I'll do anything to help a Healer.

The group was me (Prot Paladin), Rhubarb (Holy Paladin), Wichita (Elemental Shaman), Calexis (PewPew Smite Priest), and Origami (Feral Druid).

Origami opened the night with "I wonder why I never tank for your groups. Oh yeah."

I learned a couple of things on this run. First, never, never tell Wichita to "go all out". At one point he was pushing 1100 TPS.

"General Calrissian, Our Crusiers can't repel firepower of that magntitude"

We cleared the instance with very little problem. Heroes is really overgeared for Normal mode 5 mans anymore. Of course the drop that Rhubarb was looking for didn't drop. He did pickup some Shaman healing mail off of Murmur and got some more Lower City rep. Eventually he'll be able to get his Lower City Prayer Book.

There are some big changes afoot in Heroes Inc. We are seriously considering changing the way we do raiding. It would be the ultimate situation for me. Stay with a group of friends and continue raiding and progressing. We'll see how it goes.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Casual Guilds

Over on Maintankadin, Cames gave this take on more "casual" guilds:

"One of the issues that a lot of casual oriented guilds have is a lack of theorycraft. There may be little to no understanding of crit-ability and crush-ability. There is theorycraft for all sub-types (Tanks, Healers, Melee DPS, Caster DPS, Hunters (who are not exactly casters or melee) and at least one person will have to be into looking at this stuff to progress. This will lead to spec and gear optimization - not forcing people to change - to get higher raid DPS, Threat Generation, Damage Mitigation, and Healing Per Second.

You guys can certainly run Kara without doing this. BUT at some point (Curator is probably the spot), you will get stuck and people MAY get frustrated. If your guild is still gearing up into epics, you MAY wish to even do the animal bosses. The loot is not great, but they are pretty easy. Moroes requires a lot of coordination. Maiden is pretty simple nowadays, but will probably take some work on your point. After that it is Opera - then Curator. Oz is chaotic, and requires coordination. R/J is pretty straightforward - but needs some timing. Big Bad Wolf (Run Away Little Girl) is REALLY easy but takes a bit of getting used to. Curator is really the breakpoint for new guilds."

I think this is a very good explanation of what is going on with the guild. Now I am pretty strong into Tank Theorycraft. You have to be to have a chance as Prot Paladin. But the other areas, I don't have a clue about.

So do we have "at least one person" in our guild looking into the theorycraft of each of the areas? Are the others in the guild willing to take the coaching needed?

I'd bet we DO have at least one Healer, Melee DPSer, Caster, DPSer, and Hunter very much into Theorycraft. Can we identify them?

Hunter - Jagdelf
Caster DPS - Wichita
Melee DPS - Ferth, Origami
Healer - Ferth, maybe Bacon?
Tank - Me, Beilin

This sounds very similar to Ferth's Role Captains idea. I bet he's on the right track with that.

Unannounced Visitors

Heroes Inc braved the trials of Karazhan again last evening.

Our intrepid group of Heroes consisted of
Me (Prot Paladin)
Beilin (Prot Warrior)
Lakini (Balance/Resto Druid)
Sameth (Discipline Priest)
Darolynn (Shadow Priest)
Zadorr (Feral Druid)
Regolos (Afflication Lock)
Condramous (Mage)
Schmedlap (Marksman Hunter)
Ferth (Fury Warrior)

We got to Attumen. The plan was that I would take Midnight, and then Beilin would pick up Attumen. Whoever got aggro, would take them when they formed up.

So I go in and start wailing on the horse. Eventually Attumen spawn. Apparently, he got caught in my Consencration, and immediately ate a Holy Shield charge. This happened so fast that I'm not sure he had even fully rendered when it did.

Beilin went to wailing on him. But he stayed on me, and stayed on me.

"Let Beilin pick up Attumen" our Raid Leader said over vent.
"I didn't touch him" I responded back
"I can't pull him off you" Beilin added.

I had kept up my threat cycle the whole time, on Midnight. Consecrate, Holy Shield, Seal Righteousness, Judge Righteousness.

When they formed up, I shut down my aggro and let Beilin get them. My heart was racing from tanking both of the mobs, and I was glad to hand over the tanking duties to Beilin.

He went down, and everyone was pretty happy.

We moved onto Moroes. We only had two healers and got a nightmare group of adds. Ret Paladin, Mortal Strike Warrior, Shadow Priest, Holy Paladin.

We had to reset him about 3 times. We just couldn't keep the adds under control. We subbed out the Fury Warrior for a Resto Druid, and put the Priests on Shackle duty on the MS Warrior and Ret Paladin, while I tanked Moroes and Holy Paladin and the Shadow Priest was tanked by the Feral Druid.

Two shackles worked beautifully, and we got Moroes down with only 1 or 2 deaths.

Of course still no tanky drops. I'm sure they will drop eventually.

I've heard of people tanking both Midnight and Attumen. I never thought I'd actually do it.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Why a Tankadin

From Mahale on the MainTankadin Boards:

"someone asked 'why would you want to be a pally tank why not just role warrior and tank like your suppose to' to which I answered.

As a pally tank I can do other things and I have more "tricks". Honestly its like choosing between Superman/Wolverine/Batman.

Superman=warrior because they are damn near invulnerable can do crazy damage and everyone loves them.

Druid=Wolverine because again damn near invulnerable and can do crazy damage plus heal themselves (feral rage and hots and what not). They tank through sheer ferocity.

Paladins though shouldn't be able to tank. They shouldn't be able to do the things they do as the cards are so stacked against them. Yet they strap on the body armor night after night stock up their utility belt full of blessings, ranged taunts, throwing stars (shields as the case may be), and go out there and do the same job that Wolverine and Supes do but with an amazingly harder time to do it.

Plus Paladin tanks have to plan out a lot more in terms of their gear to reach uncrushable much like Batman has a plan for everything. "


Now I've always thought of Tankadins more like Captain America because of the Shield Toss, but Batman works to.

PewPew MewMew And a Bubble

I was asked to switch Arena teams from PVPed in my Pants to Mew Mew Pew Pew and a Bubble.

This team consists of 2 Druids, 1 Mage, 1 Hunter, 1 Warlock, 1 Shaman & 2 Paladins (one Prot, one Holy). The Mage and the Holy Paladin are played by the same player.

We wanted to do our games last night but thanks to an Authentication Server issue, half the team couldn't log in. I leveled up my Warrior alt, Rabbitslayer while we waited. He's 27 now.

Eventually the issue cleared up and we got to get our games in.

The team we went with last night was 2 druids (Origami and Zadorr) 2 Paladins (Me and Rhubarb) and a Shaman (Wichita).

The first challenge we pose to opposing teams is identifying the healer. Unfortunately this challenge is somewhat solved by the fact that I have Season 2 Shoulders and I basically glow in the dark.

However this is actually a good thing, because they target me instead of the Holy Paladin.

Actually more often than not, the Shaman is the focus fire target. But with both me and Rhubarb healing him, its hard for opposing DPS to take him down, and mean while Orgiami and Zadorr are really putting a hurt on their healers/squishy DPS.

After 7 games we subbed in Jagdelf (BM Hunter) for Zadorr. Jagdelf does some nice dps and he adds a pet to the mix. That's leaves us with just one stealther, Origami.

The night went very well, we went 8-4 overall and got our rating over 1500. One of our losses was to a team from Dominion. I think that was simply a gear thing. At least one of the other losses was just a by product of us not playing together much. We had then down where there were 3 of us left (2 druids, and a Shaman) and all they had left was a Lock and a Paladin. But the Lock was basically able to DoT up all 3 of us, and we lost. I think as we work on communication and start getting more Arena gear, we will do even better.

I should have enough points next week to get the Merciless Gladiator chest, but I'm really debating if I should buy it or start hording points for the Merciless Gladiator Gavel. Now, the Gavel would be more for tanking than for PVP, but its one of the highest spell damage weapons that I can equip in the game. The others are in zones that I won't see for quite some time (SSC/TK).

It was a fun night.

Monday, August 6, 2007

King of the Valley

Sunday night I was all excited, not about WoW but about the start of the NFL Preseason. I went to turn on the game promptly at 8pm. Only one, small, detail I had overlooked. The game was on NFL Network. Because my cable company and the NFL are in something of a battle over how much of my money they need to exchange, I don't have NFL Network. No game for me.

So back through the Dark Portal.

There were a couple of people from the guild who neeed to do the 5 man quests to get "attuned" to Ogril'la so they can start doing daily quests. I grouped up with them. It was Me (Prot Paladin), Darolynn (Shadow Priest, but healing), Regolos (Afflication Lock), Schmedlap (MM Hunter), and a new mage who had just transfered over from Regolos' old guild.

One thing I leared was that if you yell in Barrier Hills it can be seen in Shattrath. See, right before I engage the boss, I yell "Hey Bossname, IT'S HAMMER TIME!!" People seem to find it somewhat amusing.

We blasted through the quests and had a good time. Reg got a kick out of the party scene at the end, and of course, I once again partook of some nice Ogre Brew.

Unfortuneately we ran a little long and we were right in the middle of the chain when time rolled around for guild PVP night. There was no a lot of interest so the guild leader called the event and started to put together some AV groups.

I joined for a couple of AVs. At one point we had 10 people all able to get into the same AV. With Calexis (Holy Priest), and Baconstrip (Druid) supporting me, I put on my tank gear and headed into the snowy wastes. This particular AV had an unguilded Feral Druid doing a great job tanking the elites. So I offtanked, and kept up Judgement of Light to help buffer the healers a bit.

I tried to help him by picking up a Warmaster (or two) as they came out. Then we got to Drek. The druid got jumped by a Tauren Warrior playing D (the Horde actually play D?), so I picked up Drek. And I held him, and I held him. The Druid eventually got back and taunted off me, but as soon as the taunt debuff wore off, Drek was right back on me. I guess the Druid saw the futility of trying to pull aggro off me so he went all MewMew. All the better because it meant Drek would go down even faster.

I tanked Drek all the way to the end of an AV win for the Alliance, and another Boss fell to the Tankadin. Someone said over vent "Check out all the Honor we just got." To which I replied "Who cares? I just maintanked Drek into the ground, I would have taken 0 Honor for that!"

I was really excited.

PuGing TK

Saturday night there were only 4 other 70s on, when I logged on. I had already knocked out my dailies and was hoping to get a group for a Tempest Keep instance to keep working on Sha'tar rep. Nothing doing in the guild, I decided to brave the world of the PUG (Pick Up Group).

This PuG wound up being me (Prot Paladin), 2 mages, a Holy Paladin and a Rogue (Hearthbraker). The Rogue was actually the one who sold me the pattern for Bracers of the Green Fortress, so I had at least had dealings with him before.

We had some disagreement about what to pull first and how much of the first room to clear. Now as the tank, I figured I'd kind of set the pace for the run, but my pace was a bit slow for this group. I tend to take things a bit slow. I check for Patrols, and try to make sure every pull will go well. The other players got a little careless and twice pulled multiple groups. Now with a guild group, I just would have told them over vent that I could handle it and move on. But someone typed in "RUN!" before I could type anything and I was left alone with a pack of angry mobs.

This happened twice before one of the mages left the group. We replaced him with a Warlock. Then my buddy Rogue started having connection issues. The group replaced him with a Druid. I felt bad for the guy, but I didn't have leader and there was little I could do. Thinking back on it now, I could have asserted myself and told them I would leave the group, if they didn't invite him back, but they said they'd get him in the next run, so I let it go.

The druid showed us a new strat for dealing with the first boss and his adds. It required me to stand in a very specific spot to keep the bombs from pathing up to the party. It took a couple of attempts for me to find the "sweet spot" and get the boss down.

We had a couple more wipes to people being sloppy and getting patrols to aggro at bad times. We did manage to down all the bosses. The group thought I did well and was glad to complete the instance.

Plant Extract

Friday night, I got into a group running Botanica. I've been working on Sha'tar rep to try to get to Exalted, and I'm still a long long ways away.

The group was Me (Prot Paladin), Beilin (Prot Warrior), Ferth (Fury Warrior), Schmedlap (MM Hunter), and Mathman (Holy Priest from another guild, and a friend of Beilin's)

This group was a bit low on DPS. Beilin and I are built to be damage sponges, not damage dealers. First boss went down pretty easy. Two Intimidating Shouts and a trap took care of the adds. Beilin got some nice DPS boots. 2nd was a little more difficult, but we put Schmed on adds and we able to DPS him down. Ferth was hoping the Aegis of the Sunbrid would drop. I already had it and Beilin has the Crest of the Sha'tar (/jealous), so he would have been the only one to want it.

We skipping the 3rd boss after a couple of unsuccessful attempts. He's just really unfriendly to melee dps.

Then we get to Laj, the current bane of my WoW existence. Beilin showed us a new strategy to minimize the number of adds you deal with. It took a little longer but we got him down in one try. He finally dropped my Shoulders (Spaulders of the Righteous).

/cheer
/dance

That gives me 4/5 Righteous Armor. I only need the gloves from the first boss of Shattered Halls to complete the set.

While I'm really excited about getting the Shoulders, it is kind of bitter sweet in a way. The only upgrades left for me a 50 badge helm and the Sha'tar Exalted Shield. Every other upgrade is in Kara or beyond.

Friday, August 3, 2007

A Righteous Night

I really should help people more. Last night, I was asked to go to Steam Vaults to help Calexis get keyed for Heroics. Calexis is a Priest and a pretty cool player.

Now I've been to Steam Vaults so often the mobs all yell out HONORS! when I zone in (think Cheers....NORM!). But this is the week to help those who need it, and I'm willing to help out.

So the group was Me (Prot Paladin), Calexis (Priest), Schmedlap (Hunter), Robella (Rogue), and Agamegnome (Rogue).

The run went pretty well. We wiped a couple of time when I would pull a pack and get a pat as well. We had some problems with the Naga that fear, but Calexis was spot on with dispell and it wasn't a big problem.

We managed to one shot all the bosses. Most of the drops were vendored since we didn't have anyone to DE. Then Kalithres (end boss) drops the Righteous Breastplate. This the Paladin Dungeon Set 3 Breastplate. I have the Helm and Legs as well. *Curse you Laj, and Nethercurse*

I was happy to get a drop and add it to my 5 man/threat set. The Rogues were quite impressed with my threat and didn't need to throttle back or feint during the run.

We also lost two Heroes last night. Sevenn and Face moved on to a raiding guild. I'm sure they will do great in their new guild. Wichita over at ShamRadio summed up my feelings pretty well, I'm not going to basically post the same thing he wrote in his blog here. He said it better than I could have, anyway.

I never ceased to be amazed that people actually read my blog. I'm glad people are finding it entertaining. Feel free to email me with any questions, or topics you like to see covered. The email is to the left. The link doesn't work for some unknown reason.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Comment Moderation

Sorry to my regular readers but I've had to enable comment moderation. Apparently, some uber slick person decided to leave a comment on my blog that was little more than an advertisement for whatever network marketing gig he was running. I've sense deleted his comment and enabled moderation. Feel free to leave comments, it'll just take a couple of hours before I can see them and let them on the blog.

Scene of the Crime

Last night I decided to take a break from Outland and run run my alt Warrior, Rabbitslayer. He's level 25 now and doing okay. Either I am totally clueless on how to play a Warrior, or Warriors die alot in solo PVE. Well, at least my Warrior does.

He has gotten some new skills which are really cool. Cleave, which helps when I've got two mobs on me. Intimidating Shout. I've never had a character who could fear. That's kind of cool.

But my personal favorite is Execute. Basically, Execute is a like the mob only have 80% of his hit points. He gets down to 20% and BAM! Execute! Loot. Fun was had.

One story about last night. I was questing in the Stone Talon Mountains with a level 22 Warlock. He gets jumped by a level 20 something Troll Hunter with a Bear pet. Who uses a Bear in solo PVE?

Anyway the lock goes down, and I charge, and hamstring. The Hunter uses Aspect of the Cheetah. WTF? I rend, and smack him a couple of times, ignorning the Bear. I don't care if he's growling. Then the Hunter goes Aspect of the Monkey, but its too late. EXECUTE! Honorable Kill.

Like my Hunter, it seems I'll be able to take a more aggressive approach to PVP with a Warrior.

About this time, our resident Affliction Lock, Regolos, was putting together a group for a scenic tour of ZG. I really didn't want to go at first, but a couple of people had never seen the zones or the fights, so I aquiesed.

ZG was one of the instances that I ran during my hardcore "raiding" days back when the level cap was 60. It was where I started to hate my Paladin. I had to spec Holy to get into a guild. Back then, Prot was laughable and Ret while good, wasn't good enough. Much like today only Ret and Prot have switched positions.

I was running a bit short on time, so I could only stay for the Bat boss.

Regolos seemed to be having a grand time. I'm glad he enjoyed it. I'm glad some people in my guild got to see an instance they hadn't been in before. But it wasn't the same as when we ran it as 60s. There was little danger or threat to anything in there. We had 5 people for trash, and 7 for the boss. 7 manning ZG. They didn't "experience" the instance, they saw the models, and the textures, but it wasn't the same.

Some people think I'm rushing the endgame. Maybe I am. Blizzcon is coming up, and rumors of the next expansion abound. Once the new loot is leaked, Raiding will take a nose dive, just like it did when the Burning Crusade quest rewards were leaked. Whatever we haven't done at that point, I won't get to do in all likelyhood. I've heard people say that best instance in the game was Naxxrammas. I never got near the place. Sure, I could go back now, but it wouldn't be the same. I don't want that to happen with Black Temple or Hyjal, but I'm also not willing to go back to healing to do it.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Tankadin Beyond Gruul's Lair

From Psiven of the guild Prodigy on the server Dalvengyr. He's a tankadin who specs back between Prot and Holy as needed by his guild. I'm putting it here for future reference.

His thoughts on Prot Paladins beyond Gruul's Lair:

"Beyond Gruul's, think about it, and have your GM/officers think about it.

Magtheridon: Who better to pull 3-packs of trash with mass deaggro effects? Why swap out a tank at the boss when you need 4-5 to complete the encounter?

Hydross: Can you think of any other situation where you'd really want to bring 4 prot warriors? Why use a feral druid on adds when a paladin takes 10% less spell damage and has access to epic resist gear?

Lurker: Who can frontload threat on Guardians that need to be burned down more efficiently than Avenging Wrath?

Leotheras: Would you rather have tanks chasing him around during whirlwind and slowly backing back into position, or have him run straight back at full speed to a paladin's Avenger's Shield? Does an HP difference matter when he can never crush?

Karathress: Who else can feasibly tank both the hunter and his pet to be killed first?

Tidewalker: Warriors and druids can't consecrate, no matter how hard they try. Alternatively, a paladin will basically never be crushed.

Lady Vashj: You only need 2 full time tanks, but nullifying one of your best healers or ranged DPS to handle Cores probably isn't a good idea. If it's a choice for the 2 tank spots to raid that night, who else can pick up elites from 30yd, get Vashj to shoot them without needing BoF, provide a BoF of their own, and guarantee uncrushability in the face of her extremely fast attacks (dual-wield hitting for about 5k main hand)?

Void Reaver: Who can pack more MT+OT threat than a paladin with infinite mana?

Al'ar: Why not just tank all those pesky adds instead of trying to make them explode?

Solarian: Mages love when consecrate is ticking for 200.

Kael'thas: 5 weapons locked down right away as needed. AoE to taste, add salt before serving."

And now his thoughts on using a Tankadin in Mt. Hyjal and Black Temple

There's no strict reason you can't use a pally MT on:
Every wave of Hyjal trash
Rage Winterchill
Kaz'rogal
Naj'entus
Supremus
Gorefiend
Gurtogg
Illidari Council
Illidan (unless you have 3 prot warriors)

There's a good reason to use a pally tank outside of MTing on:
Anetheron
Azgalor
Supremus
Akama (lawl)
Gurtogg
Illidari Council

It's just a bad idea for a paladin to MT:
Azgalor
Archimonde
Essence of Desire/Anger
Mother Shahraz

Given equal choice with a warrior for the spot, there's a good reason for a paladin to MT:
Most of Hyjal
Gurtogg
Nothing else.

Back In Time

Last night was real trip down memory lane for my Paladin.

I was helping out some guildies who wanted to run Botanica for gear and rep.

The group was Me (Prot Paladin), Jenet (Prot Warrior), Krawl (DPS), Schmedlap (Hunter), and a PuG Shaman. 2 tanks, 3 dps. So I volenteered to put on my PVP gear and try to heal the instance.

Now, I haven't main healed in PVE since BC came out, so I was severly out of practice. We manage to move through the first part of instance. Jenet had just gotten Gromtor's Charge, which is a sweet, sweet tanking axe, and needed to level up her Axe skill. It was such an upgrade over the current sword she was using, I advised her to keep using the axe to skill up. We ended up wiping to a bad pull before the 1st boss. Then wiped again when someone pulled the boss while we were clearing the last trash pulls.

We regroup and went at it again. This time getting the boss to drop. He dropped a Libram of Lightbringer. The point of the run was to get OTHER people gear, not me. Feeling a bit awkward, I looted it.

We move on the second boss. We had all kinds of trouble on him. Much of party was taking damage and without the Holy talents, my mana pool just couldn't keep up. After a couple of attempts, the PuG shaman left and we snagged Calexis, a Holy Priest.

I went on add duty and had no trouble rounding up the adds for Krawl to AoE down. The boss drops, and the loot is Aegis of the Sunbird! I was so happy for Jenet. That is the very shield I've used in all our Kara runs.

Calexis had to go at this point, but Jagdelf was on. He's a Beast Mastery Hunter and a very good player.

I don't know what happened, but the run changed after that point. Everything seemed to be much easier. We one shot the final three bosses.

By the way, I still don't like healing. I didn't mind doing it to help my guildies, but I am not going to make a habit of it. Maybe I really should roll a Warrior, lol. Oh yeah, that stupid plant Laj refused to part with my Righteous Shoulders. I am begining to develop something of a dislike for him.

However, Jenet got an awesome new shield. Schmedlap got revered with Sha'tar for the rep rewards, and his Heroic key. Krawl got a nice new trinket as well.

I spent some time talking with Jenet about gear and enchants. The good news is that she is loaded (already has her epic flyer /jealous), so getting some upgrades won't be hard. I supplied her with a mess of Solid Azure Moonstones to put into her gear.

I think the next time she faces down a Boss in Kara she will do much better. It's kind of ironic that I'm basically helping to gear up another tank, and a Warrior at that. Someone who could very well take my precious raid spot.

But there are real people behind those pixels on my computer screen. The very people I've been called to serve, and to build relationships with. The very people who may turn to me in a time of confusion and need, where I can offer then the One True Hope we have in this world.

I look forward to the day when Jenet and I are standing shoulder to shoulder taking the double Steward pulls leading up to Moroes, or the double Usher pulls leading up to Opera. When we are double tanking Moroes, with him ping ponging between us as we each get gouged. Double tanking Romeo and Juliette, with her Shield Slamming every one of Juliette's heals while my Improved Holy Shield is holding strong against Romeo's Daring.

Me giving her Kings, and Devo aura while she keeps up Thunderclap and Demo Shout on the boss. Rolling off with her for those precious purples and giving her a "gratz" every time she out rolls me.

In short, I look forward to being her teammate, not her rival.