Thursday, September 27, 2007
When I finally did make it on, I headed out to do my dailies. Since I've been helping my buddy all this week, I kind of knew that raiding would be out for me. I flew back to Evergrove and ran into Bacon. I offered to help him with his Dailies but he declined.
I was flying back to Shattrath when I get a message from Jagdelf, a hunter from my old guild, Heroes Inc. He wanted to know if I would do some 5v5 with them.
I agreed, donned my PVP gear and headed into the Arena. This was the first time I've zoned into a PVP zone since I left Heroes. I guess without Ferth and the guys, PVP has just lost its appeal to me. I'm a Raider, what can I say?
This was also the first time I've tried healing in my new PVE centric spec. I respec'ed almost immediately after leaving Heroes, taking every single point out of the Holy tree, and no PVP talents from Prot. No Spiritual Focus, no Improved Concentration Aura. But I can still take a beating.
My strategy involved me being "out front". I have the Mask of Penance and the Season 2 Gladiator Shoulders. I look very much like a healer. Our true healer, Holy for today Rhubarb, would hang back and I would get most of the focus fire. By the time they got me down to where I had to bubble, we usually had at least one of their people out of the match.
We did fairly well, went 6-4, so I'll be looking at about 300 or so Arena points. It was pretty fun. The best moments are watching someone about to die go to fully health with a nice crit heal. You can just imagine the other teams vent.
"Hunter is going down."
")(&*(^&)^ He got healed to full. Where's the healer?"
"Its that stupid dwarf that won't die"
I'm approaching 1500g, still a long long long way from my epic flyer, but it will come.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
So let's take a look at what our inquisitive new friend may want to know from Honorshammer's Seal of Wisdom.
Hi, First and foremost, thank you for the Honor's Code Leveling Guide for a Paladin. It helps. I am a true noob. Have been playing for a few months now. I have a Human pally 43 with ret spec.
Everytime I get an invite ( not many times), they want to know if I can heal? It seems thats what everyone is looking for. I am very happy with my character so far. Only until very recently, I have soloed all my grinding and questing. Of course, the higher I go the more difficult this gets.
My questions is , "Is this the right level to respec to may be Holy tree?". I truly enjoy healing peeps. It takes the pressure from the fighting all the mobs and you feel good when you Lay hands on a tank that's about to die.
I just don't know, for my level, do I have the right gear? do I have the right weapon? What helps my mana? Should I buy mana potions at AH? The other day I was in a group and someones said. Geeze nrikki you need better armor!. It made me feel bad. I really enjoyed your guide. Don't know if you can help here but I am reaching out. Have a great day!
Check out is the sentence I bolded. This is the most important part of this email. So let's establish right from the get go that nrikki enjoys the healer role. As I tank, I think that is fantastic. We need someone to keep our sorry behinds alive while some big ugly chews on our face.
Well nrikki is in luck. Before picking up the Shield I spent about 3 months as a Holy Paladin. The healing gig was not for me, but it is for him.
Is there a "right" level to go Holy. I'm sure there are many people who can tell you their stories of how they went Holy from 10-70, and that's wonderful for them, but I don't feel it's the best course of action.
nrikki is level 43. There are a couple of things working against you at level 43 if you want to spec Holy.
First and foremost is the gear. A Holy Paladin is looking for Intellect, Mana per 5, Spell Crit, and +healing on their gear. Those stats don't start appearing on Plate armor until the mid 50s, and even then not in abundance.
Also Holy Paladins keep a set of high spell damage gear for when they need to solo, grind and quest. Again, you won't find much of that type of plate in the 40s.
As a hybrid, you need to get used to the idea of multiple equipment sets. You will have one set of equipment that you wear for soloing, grinding and questing. This will be your Ret set for now (Strength, Stamina, etc.) You'll collect another set of equipment (your healing set) you wear for groups. There is a mod called ItemRack which is great for switching between multiple sets of equipment.
The other issue is your talents. Holy Guildance is not available until level 44. You won't have the full effect (5/5) until level 49.
For these reasons and others, I am going to recommend you wait until level 50 to respec to Holy.
At 50 you can get the full effect of Holy Guidance which should help get you through until you can build up some healing and spell damage gear.
What you should start doing immediately is picking up as much Healing gear as you can get your hands on. Don't worry if it's Cloth, or Leather or Mail, just look for the stats you need (Intellect, Mana Per 5, Spell Crit, and plus Healing). Also start picking up gear with spell damage (Damage and Healing increased by xx). Again any type of armor will do. This will become your new soloing set once you spec Holy. Since you will likely have some Cloth and Leather in this set a little extra stamina is nice on this gear as well.
Lastly, start doing PVP. You can pick up some nice Neck, Back, and Rings with PVP. (Caretaker's Cape, or Advisor's Ring are examples)
Start looking for someone on your realm who can craft a Whitesoul Helm. As a miner the mats should be fairly easy to come by (20 thorium bars, 4 Enchanted Thorium Bars, 6 Truesilver Bars, 6 Gold Bars, and 2 Azerothian Diamonds). You can't wear it until Level 55, but already have it in your bank so can use it the moment you ding 55.
The comment about your gear was understandable. Your gear is excellent for a Level 43 Retribution Paladin (you could use a better ring and a new weapon. The spirit on "of the Wolf" items tends to be a poor choice for Paladins of all specs. I'd go buy an Executioner's Cleaver off your local Auction House).
However, your gear is lousy for a Holy Paladin, and that's what people are commenting on. This goes back to the multiple sets of gear comment.
When you get into groups between now and 50, bring some Mana Pots, Mageblood Potions, Arcane Elixir, and Nightfin Soup.
You will find Holy to be a great tree since you like the role of healer. It's powerful in both PVE and PVP and you will never have trouble finding a group.
I wish you the best of luck. Email me again and let me know how it works out.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Every one of my previous attempts would end with me eating a burst and dying. This always happened during Phase 2, and usually during the enraged part of Phase 2 (from 40% to 30%).
The log would look something like this:
05:46'55.671 Prince Malchezaar gains 2 extra attacks through Thrash
05:46'55.687 Prince Malchezaar's Melee hits Honorshammer for 4292 (257 blocked) 05:46'55.921 Prince Malchezaar's Melee hits Honorshammer for 3868 (257 blocked) 05:46'55.937 Prince Malchezaar's Melee hits Honorshammer for 4474 (257 blocked) 05:46'55.939 Honorshammer dies
There was nothing I nor my healers could do about that.
We went back last night.
I bought a Flask of Fortification off the AH. Once Phase 2 started, I used my Dawnstone Crab everytime the cooldown was up.
I went from facing him with 13.7k hp to 16.8k hit points.
It still took several tries, but I never once died to burst.
We wiped once to a healer moving to avoid an infernal and getting enfebbled and killed with a Shadow Nova.
We wiped again when one of the Locks passed me on aggor and I got enfebbled.
We wiped again at 14% when the group got hemmed in my infernal and then had one land right on top of the them.
But we got him down. Of course he drops the Warrior, Priest, Druid token, a DPS ring, and some bow.
We made several attempts at Nightbane. I had Raydz Main Tank so he could handle the fears, but I don't think we ever got him under 60%. If I'm going to main tank him, I'm going to have to figure out a way to handle his fear. We don't have many (any?) Dwarf or Draenai Priests in Mal Katai to give me Fear Ward.
Friday, September 21, 2007
Raid Tank Set
Uncrushable, 12k Health, 13.7k Armor, 498 Defense, 243 spell damage, 4.3k mana
Eternium Greathelm, Strength of the Untamed, Spaulders of the Righteous, Devilshark Cape, Jadeskull Breastplate, Bracers of the Green Frotress, Iron Gauntlets of the Maiden, Sha'tari Vindicator's Waistguard, Timewarden's Leggings, Boots of Elusion, Violet Signet of the Great Protector, Andormu's Tear, Dawnstone Crab, Darkmoon Card: Vengence, Crystalforged Sword, Crest of Sha'tar, Libram of Repentance
Heroic Tank Set
12.7k Health, 13.7k Armor, 490 Defense, 200 spell damage, 4k mana
Eternium Greathelm, Strength of the Untamed, Spaulders of the Righteous, Devilshark Cape, Jadeskull Breastplate, Bracers of the Green Frotress, Iron Gauntlets of the Maiden, Girdle of the Immovable, Timewarden's Leggings, Boots of Elusion, Violet Signet of the Great Protector, Eternium Band of the Sentry, Dawnstone Crab, Darkmoon Card: Vengence, Crystalforged Sword, Crest of Sha'tar, Libram of Repentance
Offtank (Shadow Tank) Set
10k Health, 13k Armor, 490 Defense, 300 spell damage, 6k mana
Helm of the Righteous, Strength of the Untamed, Spauders of the Righteous, Devilshark Cape, Breastplate of the Righteous, Bracers of the Green Fortress, Justicar Handguards, Girdle of the Immovable, Legplates of the Righteous, Boots of Elusion, Voilet Signet of the Great Protector, Andormu's Tear, Dawnstone Crab, Darkmoon Card: Vengence, Crystalforged Sword, Crest of Sha'tar, Libram of Eternal Rest
5 man set
10k Health, 12k Armor, 485 Defense, 400 spell damage, 5k mana
Mask of Penance, A'dals Recovery Necklace, Merciless Gladiator's Ornamented Spaulders, Red Riding Cloak, Breastplate of the Righteous, Veteran's Ornamented Bracers, Merciless Gladiator's Ornamented Gloves, Lightwarden's Girdle, Timewarden's Leggings, Boots of Valiance, Cenarion Ring of Casting, Ring of the Silver Hand, Oshu'gun Relic, Lowercity Prayerbook
9.3k health, 8.4k mana, 196 Resilence, 747 +healing
Mask of Penance, A'dals Recovery Necklace, Merciless Gladiator's Ornamented Spaulders, Mithril Bark Cloak, Breastplate of the Righteous, Veteran's Ornamented Bracers, Merciless Gladiator's Ornamented Gloves, Lightwarden's Girdle, Timewarden's Leggings, Boots of Valiance, Cenarion Ring of Casting, Ring of the Silver Hand, Runed Fungalcap, Medalion of the Alliance, Hammer of the Penetent, Crystal Pulse Shield, Libram of the Lightbringer
While I was waiting FallenAngel asked me to help him with a group quest in Western Plaguelands. Mowbray was also able to help out. I did a little mining and was able to snag a Large Opal and some Thorium to make Hummer a Simple Opal Ring. +12 agility which is nice, but he can't equip it until level 47.
Nothing much was happening in the guild, so I was preparing to go to Shattrath and start working on Dailies. I've decided my new goal is to save up enough gold to get my epic flyer. Currently I'm at 1200g.
As I was preparing to head off, I got a tell from a Mage named Synefeld in the guild <>. They were putting together a Heroic Hellfire Ramparts run and needed a tank. He had been the PuG mage in one of my Shattered Halls runs. He had been impressed with my tanking and wanted to see if I would go.
Our group was me (Prot Paladin), Litterbox (Holy Paladin), a Rogue, Synefeld (Mage), and a Warlock from the guild <>.
We start clearing the trash. The Rogue attacks the wrong target and gets one shotted. Welcome to Heroics. I had heard that this Heroic was particulary difficult. Many mobs in the opening stretch spam disarm on the tank. This would be a serious problem for a Warrior tank as many of their abilities don't function without a weapon. Disarm to them is akin to mana burn for a Paladin. Druids win again here as they are not affected by either Disarm or Mana burn.
We had a couple of bad pulls. One that was humorous was the Mage saying in Party Chat, "Oh yeah! I'm good." The words weren't out of his mouth good when he pulled a pat and wiped us.
We got to the first boss. We CC his two adds and then burned him down. We continued moving on.
The roughest trash pack was 4 Warlock type casters surrounding a hard hitting melee. We would CC 3 of Warlocks leaving one Warlock and the melee. The uncontrolled Warlock would hang back by his buddies so I couldn't Consecrate, and he would Shadow Bolt the party.
I should have pulled with Avenger's Shield, but this was a PuG without vent or marks. As the tank, I should have taken over, marked the targets and set up the pulls. If I ever find myself in Heroic Ramparts again (unlikely), I will do just that.
We finally make it to the 2nd boss, Omar the Unscarred. His deal is that he summons Fel Hunters throughout the fight, who, you guessed Mana Drain! I would pick up most of the Fel Hounds with my Consecration, but some got through.
We had him down to 5% with just me, and the Rogue left standing. This qualified as an "Oh Crap" moment. Paladin's have very few tools for these moments. Healthstone and Super Health Pot were on cooldown. If I bubble and heal, he'll go for the Rogue and it'll be lights out. I activated the Dawnstone Crab. I get hit anyway, and I'm at about 1000 life, while the boss sits at 4%. Next hit will probably kill me and we'll wipe. Rogue is averaging 400 dps, he only needs about 10 more seconds to finisht he boss, so I Lay On Hands, instant 13k heal, lol. That gave the Rogue the time he needed to finish off the boss.
Finally we take on the last boss. He starts flying around, and then he fights and then his dragon. I'm not sure what triggers the dragon landing. On our successful attempt, we had the rider almost dead when the dragon landed, so I could leave the rider and go straight for the dragon. I ran Fire Resist aura to help with the damage. Instead of being lootable, he leaves behind a chest, and NO BADGE! BOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!
All that time and effort and two badges is all I have to show for it. G ma fricking G. I don't think I'll be going back to Heroic Ramparts anytime soon. I'd be better off doing Slave Pens or Botanica, more Badges for the time put in.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Mal Katai sends 10 brave adventures into the depths of Kara. It was me (Prot Paladin), Raydz (Prot Warrior), Helios (Resto Shaman), Serachoix (Holy Paladin), Maxpayne playing his Priest alt, Faceeraser (Fire Mage), Stdbaker (BM Hunter), Bladedancer (Rogue), Haust (Boomkin), and Snowson (Feral Druid).
We cleared Attumen and Moroes. Moroes dropped his Pocket watch. While its a nice trinket, it's not very high on my list so I didn't roll against Raydz when he expressed an interest in it. Moroes also dropped some Paladin healing boots which I picked up since the Holy Paladin already had them.
After Moroes, Max had to go so we grabbed a PuG Shaman named Bigwood. Double Totem fun!
We cleared our way to Maiden and I switched into my Healing gear. We had someone DC during the fight and couldn't 9 man her. We wiped at 15%. We rezzed up and got back into position, and killed her the second time with no issue.
Next up was Opera, and doing the Skeletal Usher pulls without a shackle. There are 2 pulls of 2 and a single pull of 1 that you need to complete. The trick to these mobs is that around 50% life they ice tomb their tank. This can be eaten by a grounding totem or even resisted. When they Ice Tomb, it's an aggro reduction on tank. It's not a full aggro wipe, but it might as well be. Even if you ground or resist the Ice Tomb, the aggro reduction still happens.
The plan was to put Raydz and Snowson on each mob and I would try to build threat on both. I was not able to get 2nd aggro on either and we wiped. Next attempt, I opened with an Avengers Shield, which hit both mobs. I laid down a Consecrate and sealed up Vengence. I'd get a stack working on one mob, then switch to the other. The one thing I didn't do that I should have was pop the Wings. We were able to defeat the mobs the 2nd time by keeping them going from tank to tank.
We went on to Opera and got Romeo and Juliet. We actually killed Juliet too quickly and were within seconds of her getting rezzed when Romeo went down. That was a bit too close. Romeo dropped the Eternium Greathelm, which I already had, so it went to Raydz*.
*Senior moment: Raydz did not in fact get the Greathelm, it went to Seraphcroix for his "tanking" set.
On to the Curator we went. I still hate his trash, probably always will. I was given the choice of role on this fight, and I chose to Main Tank it. The DPS really did a great job during the Evocations. I got a Judgement of Vengence for 2500 or so. The token was won by Snowson.
It was a good night. I was actually asked to lead the Raid which I was totally comfortable with from my time with Heroes. After the run, I received several complements on the run from people so I think I gave a good accounting of myself for the new guild.
I'm really looking forward to when we do Gruul's but I'm not sure when that's going to be.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
I managed to get with Snowson, one of Mal Katai's Feral Druids. He knows the recipe for making Ironshield potions. These are great to pop during a bosses enrage to reduce the damage I'm taking.
We rescheduled the Kara run for tonight. I'm really looking forward to getting back in there and tanking some stuff. Hopefully I'll be able to get a couple of upgrades tonight as well.
It looks like I really gave up a sweet gig that I had in Heroes. There is usually only one Main Tank in a guild, and I had that spot for Heroes. I gave it up in hopes of doing some 25 man content. I know that in 25 mans we will need a Warrior main tank. There are just some fights where you have to have things like Shield Wall, Last Stand, Spell Reflect, and Intercept. There are other tanking roles besides the Main Tank in these and other encounters, where a Tankadin has an advantage over other tanks.
Offtanking, or what I feel should properly be called Shadow Tanking is a challenge for most tanking classes. Shadow Tanking is the situation where you need to have 2nd threat on a mob. The Moroes encounter is a good example of this. Moroes will gouge the main tank from time to time and attack the 2nd target on his threat list. You want this to be another tank.
This is entirely different from Offtanking or what I feel should properly be called 2nd Tanking. This comes into play where you have multiple mobs that need to be tanked. The Romeo and Juliet encounter is a good example of this. You need one tank on Romeo and another tank on Juliet.
All tank classes are disadvantaged when Shadow Tanking because their threat resource (rage for Warriors/Druids, mana for Paladins) is not replenished as quickly as when they are main tanking. Rage tanks lose the rage they'd get from being hit, and Paladin's lose the mana they'd get from being healed. Only Druids have all their tanking tools available to them in a Shadow Tank position. Paladins lose threat from Holy Shield, Warriors lose threat from Revenge.
What I'm starting to do is create an Shadow Tank gear set. This one focuses on intellect, and spell damage. I still have 490 defense, but I leave myself crushable. This set of gear gives me more threat resource (mana) and allows me to create more threat per point of resource (spell damage). I leave myself crushable because by definition I shouldn't be taking very many hits and having one of those crush shouldn't be a big threat to my survivability. Taking a crush means I'll need more healing, which in turn will provide more threat resource (mana).
Doing an excellent job Shadow Tanking will prove I pass the first test of a tank, Threat. I could have 100% mitigation and it wouldn't matter one iota if the Boss wasn't hitting me.
I hope to get to do some Main Tanking as well. Maybe I can alternate Bosses with the Warrior tank.
Since nothing much was happening on Honorshammer, I switched over to my Hunter, Honorshummer and got him to level 43 questing in STV.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Bloodsky is the best guild on the server for PVE progression, but I can't get on early enough to make their start times. I've tried for a solid week and my real life just won't permit it.
So rather than being dragged through farming runs, I decided to leave the guild and try to find one that fits my schedule a little better. I still want a guild doing 25 mans.
Face and Sevenn wasted little time in getting me an invite to Mal Katai. Mal has two teams working on Karazhan and has done High King Maulgar in Gruul's Lair.
I did a bit of farming on the Etherel's south of Area 52 for Consortium rep, when Face asked if I'd like to do a Heroic. I agreed. It was me (Prot Paladin), Face (Mage, spec'ed Arcane), Splinterdc (Warlock), Mowbray (Holy Paladin), and Threehands (PuG Rogue).
We decided to do Mechanar. Mech is not my favorite instance. There are two mobs in there I simply detest. The first is the big robots called Tempest Forge Destroyers. They do the Charged Fist self buff which destroys me. Luckily between the Rogue and Face almost all of the Charged Fist buffs got interrupted so he never got it off. The one time he did, I used Hammer of Justice to stun him so the buff would wear off.
The other mobs that are a pain are the little bomb throwing demons. They always come in packs, and those bombs hurt. Luckily for us we had a Warlock and could use those bombs against the other mobs.
We had some trouble with bad pulls. A couple of the guys were short on time, so I tried to skip as much as possible. This turned out to be a bad idea, as we would invariably pull the skipped mobs leading to a wipe.
We got the first mini boss down and proceeded to take on the first "real" boss of the instance. We tried him out in the open, we tried him on the stairs, but nothing was working. Finally we decided I would tank him on the floor near the stairs and the range and healers would be on the stairs.
I think the key to our successful attempt was that the Rogue and I kept getting the same charge. The boss gives each person in the party a charge, positive or negative. Stand by the same charge, and your damage goes up. Stand by the opposite charge and you actually do damage to each other. The Rogue was staying next to me regardless of what charge he had, which made the fight more difficult than it should have been. We had run out of time after the first boss and the guys needed to go.
After the run, I did a bit more farming and managed to hit Revered with Consortium. No to get back into Karazhan and buy the +healing meta gem pattern.
I really wanted this first run with the new guild to be flawless, but it wasn't. No one said anything to me or about me as the run finished up so I'm not sure how they felt about my skill.
Tanking is so visible that I think players sometimes judge the tank by the runs success. I have 12k hit points unbuffed and 14k armor. Those should be adequate for the dungeon we were doing. As a DPS, I could always look back on a run and say 'Well, we didn't get very far, but I was doing 500 dps, so I know I did my part'. Tanking is not like that. Tanking is more like being a goalie. People only remember when you wipe or when you lose aggro.
Monday, September 17, 2007
Of course, I died again after turning in the quest. The Horde outside must have wondered what I was doing, but they didn't wonder too long as they killed me over and over again.
The next step of the quest took me to Netherstorm, so I hearthed out of Deadwin Pass and made my way to Netherstorm.
I was really happy to get my ring. I've also been working on my gold situation, and I'm up over 1200g for the first time, although I do need to buy some Primal Mana to get my Teir 4 Gloves enchanted.
On the guild front, I decided to app to Mal Katai, Face and Sevenn's guild. One of their officer's wants to run a Heroic with me to see if I know what I'm doing. He also wants to see what kind of "hybrid" I am. Am I not sure exactly what he means.
When I'm tanking, I'm not much of a hybrid. I'm a tank. I've devoted all my gear, talents and skills into becoming a tank. I gladly throw on the healing gear for Maiden or Aran, but you are not going to see that in a Heroic.
I feel pretty confident I can handle whatever they are going to throw at me. I'd prefer it be either Slave Pens or Botanica, because I know those two instances the best.
The officer who replied to my app mentioned they were going through some "tough times". I'm not sure what he meant by that. They've opened recruitment which tells me they may be having an attendance problem.
Bloodsky is doing a Gruul's/Mag on Saturday. Assuming I'm still in Bloodsky this weekend, I really hope I get a shot at doing that, but I have no idea what my Saturday will be like, or if they will take me. One option I have open to me is to stay in Bloodsky and go on these "farming" runs to Kara, Gruul and Mag. I could get "geared" up and see if they would start taking me to the bigger 25 mans. I still have the issue of not being able to get on at 7:30pm. So it may all be moot.
Looks like Heroes is going to be moving again soon. I'm not sure how close to two groups they are but it would be great to see those guys doing well again. They have some really good players in that guild. I'm confident that if Heroes ever decided to be a "raiding" guild, they would do very well.
I really hope I get this guild nonsense sorted out soon. Right now, I don't truly feel a part of any guild community, and that has taken some of the fun out of the game for me right now.
Friday, September 14, 2007
For Raids, I've listed all the bosses, and bolded the ones I've killed, and listed the ones I've attempted but not killed in italics.
MT next to a boss/instance means I have Main Tanked it, OT means offtanked. If I've done both, I only show MT. Nalorakk and Void Reaver are kind of weird in that the Main Tank on them switches several times during the fight.
Wrath of the Lich King
Utgarde Keep (D)
The Burning Crusade
Serpent Shrine Cavern
Tempest Keep: The Eye
The Arcatraz (MT)
The Botanica (Heroic) (MT)
Opening The Dark Portal (Heroic) (MT)
Shattered Halls (Heroic) (MT)
Shadow Labyrinth (MT)
The Mechanar (Heroic) (MT)
The Steamvault (Heroic) (MT)
Sethekk Halls (Heroic) (MT)
Escape from Durnholde Keep (MT)
Auchenai Crypts (Heroic) (MT)
Mana Tombs (Heroic) (MT)
The Underbog (Heroic) (MT)
Slave Pens (Heroic) (MT)
The Blood Furnace (Heroic) (MT)
Hellfire Ramparts (Heroic) (MT)
World of Warcraft
Ruins of Ahn'Qiraj
Ayamiss the Hunter /
Upper Blackrock Spire (MT)
Dire Maul (MT)
Temple of Atal'Hakkar
The Scarlet Monestary
Apparently there were some players in the area from another guild and they managed to foul up our attempt. One of the suspects came to the Guild Forums to plead his innocence but some in the guild were not buying it.
After that we flew to Shadowmoon Valley, and took on DoomWalker. Stonegard, the guild's well geared Tankadin was in the raid, and it was awesome to be running with him. It was great to see that he was given an role in tanking for the fight. I know its not my class, it's just my gear/being new.
We were able to get Doomwalker down. I didn't pay much attention to the loots. I can't bid on anything yet and even then I don't have much DKP.
After Doomwalker, a couple of people were asking about a Shattered Halls reputation run. I volunteered to tank. It was me (Prot Paladin), a Rogue, and a Shaman. We picked up a PuG Rogue and a PuG Mage named Synefeld.
Not to brag, but I destroyed the place, AoE tanking nearly everything. The shaman did a great job keeping me up. The only time we used CC was on the Sharpshooters because I didn't want to get scattershot with 4 mobs on me. I can AoE tank, my Shaman healer....not so much.
First boss would not drop my D3 gloves. I guess if there's going to be one piece of D3 that eludes me, the gloves aren't a horrible loss.
The Mage was quite impressed with my tanking. It's always nice to get a positive complement on my tanking.
I headed off to do my dailies, but first I decided to give the Shartuul event a try. I read up and studied the event as much as I could. There is only so much you can learn from reading a strat. At some point, you gotta put in the wipes to learn the fight.
I made it through the first boss okay, and got to the 2nd stage. I was doing fine in the second stage until the large demons started to spawn and then I died.
Not long after McHammerfield, one of the guilds Holy Paladins invited me to go to Karazhan. I get there and I was told I was going to be offtanking. Pitfighter, a Fury Warrior respec'ed to Prot would be Main Tank. Okay, no problem. They still don't know me, trust me yet, but this is Kara. I KNOW I can handle this. How are they supposed to get to trust me/know me if they never try me? However, at this point, I still don't feel comfortable asserting myself. I need to show I can do the job asked of me first, then ask for more responsibility later.
We start off with Nightbane. This fight is an excellent place for a Paladin offtank. There are adds (skeletons) that spawn during the air phase that I can pick up and AoE tank.
First air phase I try to pick up the the adds with Holy Wrath. However, I had never done the fight, so I didn't realize they spawn RIGHT ON TOP OF YOU! They started hitting me and it took forever to get the spell off. By the time it does go off I've lost them and it's general chaos. We recover and continue to beat on the big dragon.
The next air phase, I know what's going on. I lay down a Consecrate and activate Holy Shield. This time I pick up almost all the adds and they go down rather quick. The final air phase goes well also.
I killed a new boss, yet some how it didn't have the same sense of accomplishment it normally does. Odd.
He didn't drop anything I was looking for, so we moved on to Curator. I was chasing flares and taking Hurtful Bolts. The first attempt our DPS was low and the Holy Paladin disconnects. We wipe. Then the Holy Priest ports to Stormwind and becomes a shadow priest. These guys seem to change specs like people change socks. With our new Shadow Priest, and McHammerfeld connected we were able to get him down.
He drops the Rogue, Paladin, Shaman token. No Rogues or Shaman in the raid. The Holy Paladin already has his Tier 4 gloves, so now I am a proud member of the Tier 4 club. I still like my Maiden guantlets better, but for offtank, high threat moments, these will do very nicely.
Next up was Shade of Aran. This was another fight that I had never done. Shade is untankable. He almost never melees, and targets his spells randomly, so I volunteered to don my healing gear for the fight. I chose my PVP healing gear whch has a bit less +heal but more stamina. McHammerfeld was kind enough to put a raid icon Star over his head. He told me, stand on the star and you'll be safe. So that's exactly what I did. I threw heals out on the raid and stood whereever he was standing.
We one shot Aran. He doesn't drop his ring, but I didn't care. Another new boss down, but only for me, not for the guild. Hmm.
We moved on and cleared Chess before calling it a night. I'm not sure if they will finish it tonight (when I'm out of town) or tomorrow night (when I will be back).
It was a pretty cool night. I wish they had let me do some actual main tanking so I could show them I can handle it, but I'll have to be patient. I know they let Paladin's tank even in 25 mans, so I'll get my shot at some point.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
So what are my options?
Assuming they will let me stay in Bloodsky after my Initiate period is over, it will only as a Social member. I can still get raid spots, but I won't have priority. They generally run Kara about once a week and still do Gruul's and Mag's. So I might be able to get invites to some of those runs. Some of their people are pretty tired of running Karazhan. Of course if I can't make their start times, it doesn't matter what they run.
I could go guild shopping, and try to find a 25 man guild on Altar of Storms that Raids 25 mans, needs a tank, and has a schedule that meshes with my real life a bit better.
I could play any of my alts. Rabbitslayer (warrior), Honorshummer (Hunter). Last night I made Honorsclaw (Druid). My friend who plays Aoesrus has made a Paladin (Aggrosrus) and I got my druid up to around his level (11).
I could stop playing. The new Madden looks interesting and Star Craft 2 will be out "soon".
The other option is going back to Heroes. However, I still want to do 25 man Raids. I just don't know if they will ever get there, so I can't go back unless I'm okay with never doing 25 mans. If I go back still wanting to do 25 mans, then I will leave them again at some point, and it wouldn't be right to go back knowing I'm going to leave again at some point in the future.
Heroes isn't a "Raiding" guild, and they don't want to be. But when you try to please both sides (PVP/PVE) you may end up pleasing no one. Guilds at the end game tend to dedicate themselves to either PVE or PVP. The gear and spec of the players in the guild reflects that focus. The players spend nights where there is not a guild event working on that side of the game (running Heroics if PVE, running Battlegrounds if PVP). With trying to do both, you won't PVE enough for the PVE crowd and you won't PVP enough for the PVP crowd. In addition to really have success on both fronts, the guild would have to be much larger than Heroes wants to be. On any given night, you'd need 35-40 active 70s on, which would mean a guild roster of over 100 active 70s. I don't think Heroes wants to be that large of a guild. A guild that large loses much of the closeness and comradery that makes Heroes such a special place.
I guess we will see how tonight goes.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
So I opted to jump on Honorshummer for a little bit and just get away from it all. Eventually I logged onto to Honorshammer. The Guild was doing Void Reaver and Alar. I flew to Shadowmoon Valley to work on a quest there called Ashtongue Corruptors. This is the Black Temple Attunement chain. After getting all 4 fragments, you have to go talk to someone in the Warden's Cage.
I'll be honest I've read that name a dozen times and it never clicked until I did the quest last night.
After you talk to the guy, he sends you to kill one of Illidan's Satyrs. The guy had two imps with him. I put on Fire Resist aura and went to town, downing him with no problem.
I go back and turn in the quest, and he sends me to talk to Akama, the Akama. (Okay, so if you don't know Akama was major character in Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne). So I go and talk to Akama and who should be in the cell behind him? None other than Maiev Shadowsong! Illidan's Warden. The Warden's Cage! Of course, it all made sense. How could I have been so dense. Maiev was actually a playable Hero in Warcraft 3. I preferred Humans to Night Elves but she was fun to play around with.
I was actually giving serious thought to playing Warcraft 3 again. That game was alot of fun. I always got destroyed in multiplayer though. At least you knew you could finish that game.
Now some people say you can't "win" WoW, but you certainly can finish it. I guess that's an adjustment for me. WoW was my first MMORPG. With all the other games I've played, you played the game until you 'beat it'. For me 'beating' WoW would mean killing every boss up to and including Illidan. I'd love to do that, but with WoW (and maybe other MMORPGs as well), access to those last few levels (if we can call them that) is controlled by a small segment of the player base, namely the guilds (and the guild leaders) that have progressed to that level. You play by their rules on their time frame or you don't get to play the level (or said anther way do the content).
There are exactly zero guilds on Altar of Storms in Black Temple, which means literally it's impossible for me to finish the game without changing servers. Even at that, I don't have the gear to be anywhere close to useful on that level.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Then I find out there was a change of plans. Instead of diving into SSC, we are going to Doom Lord Kazzak. We get 40 of us and fly out to fight him. See, Kazzak is an outdoor boss, not in an instance. So we fly out and set up and start to fight him.
My main goal for the night was to basically not screw up. I threw a couple of heals on the Main Tank and the fight was over before it started.
Next up, we flew out to Shadowmoon Valley to take on DoomWalker, another outdoor Raid Boss. We all had to get in groups and spread out. I was a bit surprised at first that I wasn't on the taunt rotation to take him when he did his overrun, but after some thought I can see what the Raid Leader was thinking. I'm brand new to the guild, and they had not done the fight before. Plus, this was a 40 man raid, not a 25 man.
At this point in the evening, I'm thinking, "What have you gotten yourself into Honors?" A couple of 40 man fights where the most I could help was throw a couple of heals before I went out of mana.
After the two World Bosses were down, the Raid Leader paired the raid down to 25 to take on Lady Vashj. This was a progression fight, so they were taking the best geared players they had. That does not describe Honorshammer.
I spent a little while farming Demon Hunter Supplicants in the Ruins of Korabor to try to make some cash, when a couple of other guys who weren't going to Lady Vashj were trying to get a Heroic Slave Pens run going.
I volunteered to tank. We are short a healer and a DPS, so they go looking in LFG. They find none other than Sweatzy and Schmedlap! Man, seeing them was like a sight for sore eyes.
We are moving through the instance pretty well. I think I showed I was competent to the Bloodsky Priest (CJRocks), and Rogue (Phauxx). We are about 5 pulls from Quag when the Guild Leader whispers me and asks if I want to tank an add on Magtheridon.
This put me in something of a pickle. I didn't feel it was right to abandon the group. When you join an instance run you are making a commitment to the other 4 guys to finish the run, but I really wanted to tank for Magtheridon, and show the full 25 man what I was capable of, but it just didn't seem right. So I stayed with my group and declined the invite.
Not five minutes later Phauxx gets an invite to Mag and jets. He is in the negative on DKP and really needs some. I guess I'll learn eventually what a motivator that is. Anyway, we get another Rogue, a guy from Dominion, and finish the instance. We only had two wipes and both on the same trash pull. I kept getting Feared and then the mobs would go destroy the party. I really missed my Tremor Totem throwing Shaman on that pull.
I got 3 more badges which brings me up to 33 total. Another 17 and I'll have enough for a Faceguard of Determination, however; I'm really thinking about saving them up and seeing what comes in the next patch when Blizzard is adding more Badge rewards.
Monday, September 10, 2007
What a crazy couple of days its been. My last post was all about how I was coming to grips with my own casualness and accepting that I'd never see the endgame. The very next day, I receive an invite from a guild named Bloodsky. A 25 man raiding guild working their way through Serpent Shrine Cavern. They were actually looking for a Protection spec'ed Paladin.
I don't know if I can communicate how rare it is for a 25 man raiding guild to actively recruiting a Protection Paladin. Apparently, they have had one, and had good success with him. However, for real life reasons he can't raid as much, so they are looking for another Prot Paladin.
I filled out an application on their website. I was 99.9% certain that they would turn me down. A Karazhan geared tank is fairly useless in SSC. However, it turned out that my current gear was not that big an issue. When looking at my gear, they saw someone who really put some time and gold into his gear with expensive crafted gear like Bracers of Green Fortress, expensive gems like Solid Stars of Elune, and exalted rep rewards like Crest of the Sha'tar. I had done everything I could at my level of progression to have the best gear I could. They saw that and it factored favorably to them.
So then came the hard part, telling my current guild, Heroes Inc. We did our final 5 man together in Shattered Halls. Me (Prot Paladin), Origami (Feral Druid), Lakini (Boomkin), Robella (Rogue), and Wichita (Elemental Shaman).
I've been in Heroes for nearly a year and in that time, I've developed friendships with many of its members.
I started out with them in Upper BlackRock Spire, learning how to use my Shield and my Taunt. Then we went through the Dark Portal and tamed the harsh lands of the Hellfire Peninsula. We traveled the lush hills Nagrand, explored the muck of Zangarmarsh, became kings and queens of Ogres in Blade's Edge and fought on the very front lines of the war in Shadowmoon Valley and Netherstorm.
We stormed Hellfire Citadel, and cut our way throuh the Serpent Shrine. We conquered in Auchioudoun and flew to the heights to best the Blood Elves of Tempest Keep.
I had a blast, and made a lot of friends along the way.
Ferth and Sameth. You won't find a better guild leader around than Ferth. He has a vision of what he wants his guild to be and does a great job keeping things together despite the multiple agendas people always have.
Baconstrip. You won't find a better Tree Druid anywhere. He does his thing and does it well. I hope everything turns out good with his Mom.
Wichita. Gracious. If there's a better Elemental Shaman around, I haven't seen it. This guys puts out sick sick DPS, and with the way he can slap down a Tremor Totem at the right time, it's like having Fear Ward all the time.
Oakensledge. I've never considered myself a mentor, but I guess in some ways I was to him. I can't wait to see him destorying whatever crosses his path as a Critadin.
Zadorr. This guy could be my wingman anytime. He always helped me setup pulls in Kara and tank those stupid spell damage immune mobs in the Libary.
Origami, my Kitty Druid. I think few people embarce the concept of a Druid like he does. Every fight is a whirl of shifting, claws and jaws.
Krawl. If I could give an award for Most Improved Player in my time leading Raids in Heroes, it would go to this guy. Every week, his gear got a little better from both drops from Kara and stuff he'd get crafted, and his DPS would get higher and higher.
Jagdelf. Simply an amazing Hunter. He was my own little BRK, and I don't think I could pay a higher complement to anyone.
Schmed. I had kind of an odd relationship with him. At first, I thought he was pretty bad. His CC on Moroes seemed unreliable. He was Marksman which I understood to be a lower DPS spec than Beast Mastery. But as I ran with him more, I noticed he was doing better and his CC got better too.
The Spirestone crew of Regolos, Dlow, Sweatyz, and Condramous. I can't think of Regolos without the phrase "dulcid tones" coming to mind.
Lakini. The guy who puts the Boom in Boomkin. I'm still convinced Wrath has some sort of undocumented taunt component.
Lou. First thing we ever did together was a group quest near Auchindoun. Excellent PVP rogue. He could stealth objectives just about anywhere.
DarkDescent or DoubleD as I'd call him. Once he settles into his spec he's going to be scary.
Beilin who taught me how to work with Warriors.
Brambles/Rhubarb. I always envy people who have the time to have multiple 70s. He went from dishing out the pain to healing it up.
Calexis. Another incredible healer.
Darolyn. I love shadow priests.
Sylvara. Once he got his connection woes fixed, you find out he really puts out some good DPS.
I know I will miss all my old friends in Heroes Inc. Good luck to you all.
Thursday, September 6, 2007
Over the summer, I got pretty caught up into WoW and Honorshammer. There was the whole keying craziness, then the gearing up to "Kara ready" obsession. Next up, it was hitting 11k hitpoints, then 12k hitpoints. Then it became a search for every last gear upgrade until I could say I honestly had the best gear I could get pre-Kara.
Finally, there was the push to Kara and tanking every boss in there.
Attumen? Tanked, even once tanking both Midnight and Attumen at the same time.
Opera? Big Bad Wolf, Romeo, and Tinman Tanked.
Illhoof? Tanked, but not defeated.
Aran? Haven't tried him.
Netherspite? Haven't tried him.
Chess? No tank needed there.
Prince? Tanked, but not defeated.
I have loved every minute of it. Tanking is a blast and we have such a great group of people in Heroes Inc.
We have the first half of Kara on Farm. Thoughts turn to what's next. Gruul's Lair beckons.
I want to do every instance in the game, I really do, but I have to realize that I am never going to see Black Temple, or Mount Hyjal. I'll be lucky to see SSC before the next expansion.
Could I leave Heroes and apply to a 25 man guild and start working my way through the end game. Perhaps. But I was looking over some of those guilds. Even assuming I could find one crazy enough to try a Paladin tank, it seems as if Raiding on that level is going to require a dedication of time and energy that I just can't give.
That level of dedication belongs to my wife and my daughter now. I was actually mad at her at first for inviting friends over on Saturday night. I had a raid scheduled on Saturday night, how could she? I guess that's when it kind of started to dawn on me that maybe I've gotten a little over my head with Raiding.
So this week, I've kind of been taking a bit of a break from WoW. I didn't even log in last night, and I don't plan on logging in tonight. Last night, I spent watching TV with my wife. Tonight, we will curl up on the couch and watch some football.
I want to continue to progress, to get to new bosses and new content, but I have to come to grips with my own "casualness". I don't know how much of Burning Crusade I'll finish before Lich King is out. Even if we don't do 25 mans, Zul'Aman is coming, so there will still be new stuff to do, new encounters to learn, new bosses to tank.
So I guess this week, I am taking the opportunity to kind of take a deep breath, and relax a little bit. You know maybe Regolos has got it right. I know he dedicates two nights a week to his Wife. That's an awesome idea.
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
"Farm status" is a term used by players in reference to instance dungeons and bosses, in particular endgame raid content. An instance is said to be "on farm status" if the guild or raid group is capable of completing the content easily and repeatedly, thus farming loot for the benefit of its members.
The group was Me (Prot Paladin), Origami (Feral Druid), Ferth (MS Warrior), Sameth (Holy Priest), Dlow (Holy Paladin), Sweatyz (Holy Paladin), Lakini (Balance Druid), Regolos (Afflication Lock), Jagdelf and Leeroy (BM Hunter and Raptor), Darolyn (Shadow Priest).
We blew through all the bosses leading up to and including Curator. For Opera we got Romeo and Juliet (or whatever Blizzard calls them so they won't be sued). This is the last Opera event that I had not defeated, and in my humble opinion, its the hardest of the 3. Our group lacked any Rogues this night. This was concerning because Juliet has a heal that she will cast on herself or Romeo that needs to be interrupted, similar to the Bat Boss in ZG. Ferth, our resident MS Warrior, was johnny on the spot with the interrupts. I think she got off one heal. The event got a little tense at the end. Similar to the Tiger Boss in ZG, you have to kill Romeo and Juliet within 10 seconds of each other or the one that is up will rez the one who has died. Origami was calling out percentages on Juliet and I was calling out the percentages on Romeo. We had no Mages, so it was Consecrates, Hurricanes, Whirlwinds, and Dots galore. They both died within a few seconds of each other. There was much rejoicing on vent.
Curator dropped the Warrior, Druid, Priest token. The winner was Origami. Gratz.
No Plate to be seen. I guess after persuading Maiden to give up my Gloves I shouldn't be surprised.
We left Attumen standing for the Saturday group. I don't know what Bosses other than the Chess event we will get down this week, and my schedule will preclude me from any more Kara runs. I really hope the guys can get some new bosses down in my absence. I love being there for Guild firsts, but we need a new boss down soon.
You can also check out my post "Tankadin in 25 mans". This is a compelation of posts from the MainTankadin boards, most of them by Psiven. It includes specific examples how boss fights where using a Paladin can be advantageous and where Paladin Tank strengths really shine.
Check them out, and show it to your Guild.
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
I did manage to run Heroic Mechanar on Saturday night. Its amazing how much harder an instance that is over say Heroic Botanica. There are a couple of mobs in there that are really tough. The 4 demon grenader pulls, and the Tempest Forge Destroyers. The Destroyers cast a self buff called Charged Fist. I had a Rogue and a MS Warrior with me. They got "most" of them interrupted. If they didn't it was lights out for ole Honorshammer.
We got to Pathelon and managed to get him down. The party started dying to adds. My healer (Holy Priest with Angel form) died when Pathelon was at about 5-6%. It was just me and him. I poped Lay On Hands, drank a Mana Pot and activated my Dawnstone Crab (dodge trinket), and went to town on him. (How much Aggro do you get by healing yourself for 15k?)
I managed to down him with 534 hit points left. The group was very impressed.
He dropped the Defender's Tanzanite, which I put promptly into my Iron Gauntlets of the Maiden. He also dropped Sun Eater. Now that's a very nice tank sword, however based on the fact that I already had gotten King's Defender from Chess and that I never use anything but my Crystalforged Sword, I passed on the Sun Eater to the Mortal Strike Warrior (and our Guild Leader). He does some offtanking in Kara and I figured it would be better in his hands where it actually might get used. I already have King's Defender for walking around Shattrath to piss off the warriors.
As of today, I have enough points to get my true weapon, The Merciless Gladiator's Gavel. This thing is amazing. Can you say 225 spell damage on my weapon alone? I thought you could. Then add a sweet 40 spell damage enchant. Aggro thy name is Honorshammer.
However, I'm waiting. Season 3 is coming eventually. As I'm having zero threat problems right now, my DPS is only Kara geared, I figured I can wait to see if they drop the price on the Season 2 Mace when Season 3 comes out.
But Honors, you know with Season 3 they will release some amazing Season 3 mace that will make you happy in all the right places. Yes, I know this to be true, however; our friends at Blizzard have said that one will need a 1900 rating in order to wield the Season 3 weapons. I love my team and my guild, but I don't see a 1900 rating in my future. So I will wait a bit, and hold onto the points, while I start saving for my Chest.
I just wanted to say a thank you to all the people who actually read my blog. It never ceases to amaze me that people would actually take the time to read what I write here.