Friday, December 26, 2008
Thursday, December 25, 2008
I was sitting here trying to think of what Christmas message I'd like to send out to my readership this year. The very fact I can talk about having a readership is still a very humbling thought to me, and I wanted to send out a message to let you know that I appreciate you making me a part of your day.
I loved the Peanuts post I did last year, but I really can't repeat it. So here is my Christmas post for this year.
For God So Loved YOU that He gave His one and only Son, that when you believe in Him, you shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
Have a very Merry and Safe Christmas!
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Once again, I've been inspired by World of Matticus. Sydera was talking about how many of us find ourselves without time or access to World of Warcraft this time of year. You may be stuck on a long car trip or flight to Grandma's house. She went on to talk about some recommended reading to get you through your time away.
As I was commenting on the topic, I felt like I should flesh it out and make it into my own topic. And seeing as I didn't really have a topic for today, this works rather well.
First up on the Honorshammer Suggested Reading List is The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. The first two books in the series have recently been made into films. Narnia is a magical land filled with mythical creatures and talking animals.
The first book in the series, The Lion, The Witch, and Wardrobe introduces four children that discover Narnia. These children are prophesied to end the evil times and the never ending winter that has fallen over the land. The adventures that follow lead them through Narnia and an eventual confrontation with the Ice Queen herself. All the books in the series are excellent. I would recommend reading them in the order they were released which isn't technically chronological. The third book in the series, The Magician's Nephew is actually a prequel.
I first read these books as a youngster, but I have recently reread them as an adult and I found myself enjoying them even more. They are great reads and are very entertaining.
My next recommendation is also a series, and one of the best fiction series I've read recently. It's called the Left Behind series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. It's set in the modern day, and follows an airline pilot, a reporter, and pastor as the world is turned upside down by the sudden disappearance of hundreds of thousand of people. As the main characters begin to unravel the mystery of what has happened, they become enemies of the state.
I started the Left Behind series after about half the books had been released, and read the first ones in paperback. I became so engrossed in the series that the final book that had been released, I bought in hard back (hard back was out, but the paper back version wasn't). Then I waited an agonizing couple of months for the next book to be released and was down at the bookstore the very night it was released to buy it.
I thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed the Left Behind series. It will make a car trip go by much faster.
Finally, since I'm on the subject of recommended books, I'd thought I'd mention Mere Christianity, also by C.S. Lewis. I rank Mere Christianity has the best book I have ever read outside of the Bible. In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis outlines a basic case for deism and Christianity. He aims at avoiding controversies to explain fundamental teachings of Christianity, both for those who know it well and for those who may not.
If you are looking for some good reading material during your AFK days, give these a look.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Zul'Drak was a pretty fun zone to level through. The zone almost feels like two zones in one. You have the Argent Crusade half, and then the Troll half, which has a completely different look and feel to it. The Argent Crusade half is dark, gloomy, and filled with Undead. The Troll side is snowy and brighter and filled with, well....Trolls.
One of the first things the good guy Trolls do is ask for guidance from their gods. If these guys look a little familiar to you, it's because theses were the Animal Bosses in Zul'Aman. I guess now they are the good guys in the fight against the Ice Trolls.
Most of the time you are working for Har'koa, one of the new Animal gods. He's the same model as the Spirit Beast that every Hunter seems to want to tame. Big congrats to Araxe in Mal Katai who recently napped the Spirit Beast for his very own. I look forward to seeing it in raids (once I start raiding).
The storyline in the zone concludes with a fight with the Prophet of Akali. This is supposed to be a Group Quest recommending 3 people. After a couple of minutes of unsuccessfully trying to find a group, I figured I would see if I could solo it.
When trying to solo Elites, I usually keep a close eye on my percentage health, and the mobs percentage health. If I fall more than 10% behind, I know that I likely won't be able to pull it off.
When I started out, this particular fight wasn't looking good for me. Then out of nowhere, Har'koa shows up, and starts helping fight the Prophet as well as drop a Tranquility from time to time. With Har'koa's help, I was able to defeat the Prophet. With that done, I had also completed the quest achievement and exploration achievement for Zul'Drak, and I can officially say I'm done with the zone.
The problem was I didn't have a breadcrumb quest leading me to the next zone. I was at a bit of a loss for what to do, but I did have a breadcrumb quest to go to K3 in the Storm Peaks, so that's where I'll head next.
But before I could dash off to the Storm Peaks, I saw someone asking in General for a tank and healer for Gundrak. I had not run Gundrak yet, so I offered to run with the group. I used my standard PuG protocol of "Thank The Healer". After he boss fight, I would whisper the healer to tell him he was doing a good job, and that I appreciated him. He was a little nervous about the first boss fight, but we didn't have any problems. Apparently, he had been running with crittable tanks, so it was a nice change to run with an uncrittable one. We both put each other on our friends list. Good healers are hard to come by these days.
What was odd was that I lead the group in DPS. This is a position I'm not used to. We used minimal CC. Basically the Rogue used his Sap on some of the caster Trolls so we could burn down the melees. We didn't wipe once, and honestly, I don't remember anyone even dying, or having many close calls.
Honorshammer looks completely different now than he has in a long time. He's almost completely in Lich King gear at this point save for his Tier 6 chest, one ring and his trinkets. I'm wearing the Wyrmrest Accord tabbard as that is the first one I'll use the new Championing system to rep up with.
It doesn't look like I'm going to make my self imposed deadline of hitting level 80 by Christmas. I'm only 20% of the level away, but playtime is going to be virtually non-existent between now and the first of the year. We've got a ton of real life stuff going on with the Holidays and traveling hither and yon.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Over the weekend I attacked my little issue with not being Crit capped.
First off, I took the boat from Stormwind to Borean Tundra. Since I had not been to Borean on Honorshammer, I didn’t have any flight points over there. My goal was Coldarra and the small quest hub at the Transitus Shield. I banged out all the quests I could there and opened up a new daily, called Drake Hunt.
And this is where my quasi-role playing side pops up on one shoulder to argue with my Tank side showing up on the other.
The quest involves you capturing a Drake and taking it back to the camp where it is summarily executed to further the ‘research’ of the Reds. These Drake have committed no crime save the color of their skin. Because they are Blues and not Reds, they are being rounded up and executed. This is wholly different from killing the Blues actively attacking Wyrmrest Temple. I’m not sure a Paladin, especially my Paladin, would be comfortable with this mission. The quest giver is Raelorasz, a Red Dragon. He seems to sense the conflict and attempts to salve your conscious by telling you the deaths of these baby Dragons are really Maygos’ fault and not yours. Oh wait, let’s call them Drakes since slaughtering defenseless Drakes sounds better than slaughtering defenseless baby Dragons. Yet, it is not Malygos talon that fires the tranquilizing harpoon into their soft scales, it is your own.
But then there is another side, my Tankadin side that knows that it’s just a game, and doggonit, I need Wrymrest Accord rep. This daily is faster and easier than the one in Dragonblight and I need to do both anyway to get my Wyrmrest Accord rep up as fast as I can.
With the normal quests in Coldarra done and knocking out the daily I completed my goal of Honored with the Wyrmrest Accord. That meant I could go buy the Cloak of Peaceful Resolutions. I'd love to buy the Chest they have as well, but that requires Revered and I JUST hit Honored.
The next step was to find the friendly (and soon to be wealthy) blacksmith. I was in luck in that a Blacksmith friend was online. He helped me out and I replaced every single bit of my Burning Crusade epics except for my Tier 6 Chest, and my Exalted Hyjal Tanking Ring. I also dug my Scarab of Displacement out of the depths of my bank. This is a big reason why I really hate getting rid of gear and have a bank full of old tanking gear, especially trinkets.
A quick trip to Shattrah for Shoulder enchants, and a little jaunt down to the Caverns of Time for a head enchant and I had accomplished what I set out to do. I was uncrittable at 542 Defense. I was also over 20k armor. My health, however, was not where I wanted it, sitting at 19.2k.
I still need to enchant my Bracers and Cloak, and put a gem in my Eternal Belt Buckle, but I doubt even with all of those enchants done, I’ll hit the 20k unbuffed health I want to see.
I’m not sure that there is a terrible lot more I can really do about it at this point. Each upgrade has to be weighed carefully to make sure I stay above 540. But the bottom line is I’m there, Uncrittable and ready (with a good healer) to take on Heroics.
Matticus had a post about this interesting survey he found on Psyblog. I decided to take a few moments and see how I measured up.
So what did the twisted bits say about Honorshammer?
Your Top Character Strength : Fairness, equity, and justice
Treating all people fairly is one of your abiding principles.
You do not let your personal feelings bias your decisions about other people. You give everyone a chance.
Your Second Character Strength : Capacity to love and be loved
You value close relations with others, in particular those in which sharing and caring are reciprocated. The people to whom you feel most close are the same people who feel most close to you.
Your Third Character Strength : Spirituality, sense of purpose, and faith
You have strong and coherent beliefs about the higher purpose and meaning of the universe. You know where you fit in the larger scheme. Your beliefs shape your actions and are a source of comfort to you.
Your Fourth Character Strength : Citizenship, teamwork, and loyalty
You excel as a member of a group. You are a loyal and dedicated teammate, you always do your share, and you work hard for the success of your group.
Your Fifth Character Strength : Curiosity and interest in the world
You are curious about everything. You are always asking questions, and you find all subjects and topics fascinating. You like exploration and discovery.
I'd say it's fairly accurate. I guess my fifth character strength (curiosity) showed itself off in taking the survey to begin with.
I would have hoped that Spirituality was listed closer to #1, but that's about it.
It was interesting that some questions I knew the answer to almost immediately and without thinking, but others took a moment of reflection.
Friday, December 19, 2008
It would be nice if I didn't need to use my Trinket slots for Defense as those options are fairly limited.
It looks like Wrymrest rep is what I'll need to work on first, as well as finding a friendly, and soon to be wealthy, Blacksmith.
As for Wyrmrest, I've done all their quests in Dragonblight, but I need to be sure to get over to Wyrmrest Temple every day I log in to do their daily over there.
It looks like there is another quest hub in Coldarra in Borean Tundra that has some quests that give Rep with them. I haven't done a single Borean Tundra quest on Honors, so I'll get over there and see what I can do.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
I put together a group for Drak'tharon Keep. And by put together a group, I mean I grabbed Ferth and a guy from Mal Katai and Ferth filled the group Dlow and my good buddy, Bacon from Heroes.
I had been wanting to do Drak'tharon Keep because you have to go into the dungeon to finish off the Drakuru quest line. I realized this is primarily why I always ended up raiding. The storylines eventually lead you into the raid zones and to continue following them, you have to raid.
Drak'Tharon, like most of the instances I've seen in Wrath was short instance. The entire group was a little over leveled for the instance which probably contributed to the ease with with we dispatched with the mobs therein.
The second boss was a Lich type, but was in a protective bubble. You have to kill all these adds and slowly whittle away at the bubble. Once the bubble is down, you engage the boss.
The boss didn't pose much trouble.
The third boss was probably the most fun encounter in the dungeon. The bosses name is Tharon'ja The Prophet, and he (she?) looks like a giant skeletal Wind Serpent.
This boss has an interesting mechanic in that periodically during the fight he turns you (and your entire party) into a Skeleton. Your normal abilities are replaced with a the Skeletons abilities: a spammable strike, a party self heal, a shield wall type thing, and a taunt.
I think the idea is for you to pop your Bone Armor (shield wall type thing), then taunt to get the Prophet to attack you. Then after you take some hits, another party member activates their Bone Armor and taunts while you use your party self heal. While you wait for your turn in the rotation, you DPS with the spammable strike. We didn't really need to figure out a proper rotation, or even prompt one another to taunt. I don't know if this was because some of the others had done the fight before or The Prophet just doesn't hit hard enough for it to matter if you get your rotation right. It is cool that Blizzard gives you a chance to step into a 'tank' type role regardless of your class.
Once the Prophet was defeated, I summoned Drak'uru, who promptly calls down no one than the Lich King himself. The Lich King congratulates Drakuru and orders him to go into Zul'Drak, where you eventually end up doing quests for him again. Completing both chains gives you an achievement, the Guru of Drakuru. Of course, I did the chains backwards, so I got the achievement in Drak'Tharon where most people will get it up in the Zul'Drak.
I wonder what Drak and Tharon means in Troll. You've got Drak'Tharon which is the dungeon and Tharon'ja who was the Prophet (final boss) and Drak'uru who was the troll you work for in Grizzly Hills and then again in Zul'Drak.
It was super cool to see Bacon again and we even talked a little NFL while we were steam rolling through Drak'tharon Keep. It's really cool to have such good friends in the two best guilds on the server, Mal Katai and Heroes Inc.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
I continued to explore and quest through Grizzly Hills. First on my agenda was my big meeting with Loken. It wasn't the big reveal I had been hoping for, but the guy seems to be in awful hurry. Bad guys never have patience.He'd probably kill the Overseer of Dun Algor for falling so far behind, especially after I blew up their power core, but I saved him the trouble.
Not too bad for a zone I had planned on skipping. Grizzly was a lot of fun, but now with the majority of quests knocked out, it's back to Zul'drak.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Here I am talking about gear again. The irony of this gear plan is that I'm more confident in the ranking of the Retribution gear than I am in the ranking of the Tank gear. There are so many theories and approaches for ranking tank gear. I have my approach, and other's have their own approach. If you feel I've really missed the boat on a piece of gear and where it's ranked let me know.
I'm sharing my gear plan with you in the hopes that it will help you in gearing up your Tankadin or Retribution Paladin. You will not see a single piece of spellpower gear on this list. I will not be building a Healing set this time around.
I started to put wowhead links on everything but ran out of steam. I've left a couple of items on here that aren't upgrades for me anymore because I wanted you to have a more complete list, however, depending on where you are gearwise, there may be items that are upgrades for you that I didn't include on the list.
Obsidian Sanctum 25
- Dragonstorm Breastplate – Obsidian Sanctum 25 - Sartharion #2 Chest (Tank)
- Valorous Redemption Handguards – Obsidian Sanctum 25 -Sartharion -#3 Hands Tank
- Dragon Brood legguards – Obsidian Sanctum 25 – Sartharion - #6 Leg Tank
- Obsidian Greathelm – Obsidian Sanctum25 – Sartharion (2 Drakes up Bonus Loot) - #2 Ret Head
Eye of Eternity 25
- Nexus War Champion Beads – Quest Reward – Eye of Eternity 25 #1 Neck (Tank)
- Legplates of Sovereignty – Eye of Eternity 25 – Alexstrasza’s Gift (Malygos) - #2 Leg Tank
- Favor of the Dragon Queen – Eye of Eternity 25 - #1 Ret Neck
- Melancholy Sabatons – Eye of Eternity 25 - #3 Ret Boots
- Valorous Redemption Faceguard – Naxx25 – Kel’Thuzad #1 Head (Tank)
- Boundless Ambition – Naxx25 – Kel’Thuzad #2 Neck (Tank)
- Wall of Terror – Naxx25 – Kel’Thuzad - #1 Shield
- Betrayer of Humanity – Naxx25 – Kel’Thuzad - #1 Ret Weapon
- Last Laugh – Naxx25 – Kel’Thuzad - #1 Tank Weapon
- Valorous Redemption Helm – Naxx25 – Kel’Thuzad - #3 Ret Head
- Cloak of the Deadly Foe – Naxx25 – Kel’Thuzad - #1 Ret Cloak
- Platehelm of the Great Wyrm – Naxx25 – Sapphiron #2 Head (Tank)
- Gatekeeper – Naxx25 – Sapphiron - #2 Ring Tank, #14 Ret Ring
- Icy Blasy Amulet – Naxx25 – Sapphiron - #6 Ret Neck
- Breastplate of Frozen Pain – Naxx25 – Sapphiron - #2 Ret Chest
The Four Horsemen
- Broken Promise – Naxx25 – The Four Horsemen - #2 Tank Weapon
- Callous-Hearted Gauntlets – Naxx25 – Faerlina - #2 Hands Tank
- Bracers of the Tyrant – Naxx25 – Faerlina - #4 Bracers Ret
- Fire-Scorched Greathelm – Naxx25 – Faerlina - #4 Ret Head (NO META!)
Noth the Plague Bringer
- Gauntlets of the Disobediant – Naxx25 - Noth - #1 Hands Tank
- Shoulderguards of Opportunity – Naxx25 – Noth the Plaguebringer - #5 Ret Shoulders
- Valorous Redemption Breastplate – Naxx25 – Gluth #1 Chest (Tank)
- Armageddon – Naxx25 – Gluth - #6 Ret Weapon
- Valorous Redemption Chestpiece – Naxx25 – Gluth - #3 Ret Chest
- Fleshless Girdle – Naxx25 – Patchwerk - #4 Belt Tank
- Hero’s Surrender – Naxx25 – Patchwerk - #2 Shield
- Valorous Redemption Shoulderguards – Naxx25 – Loetheb #1 Shoulder (Tank)
- Valorous Redemption Shoulderplates – Naxx25 – Loetheb - #1 Ret Shoulders
- Greaves of Turbulence – Naxx25 - Loatheb - #3 Leg Tank
Gothik The Harvester
- Burdened Shoulderplates – Naxx25 – Gothik the Harvester #2 Shoulder (Tank)
- Helm of Vital Protection – Naxx25 – Gothik the Harvester #3 Head (Tank)
- Bracers of Unrelenting Attacks – Naxx25 – Gothik - #1 Bracers Ret
- Pauldrons of Unnatural Death – Naxx (25) – Anub’Rekhan #3 Shoulder (Tank)
- Inexorable Sabatons – Naxx25 – Anub’Rekhan - #1 Feet Tank
- Sabatons of Sudden Reprisal – Naxx25 – Anub’Rekhan - #4 Ret Boots
- Chestguard of the Exhausted – Naxx25 – Grobbulus #3 Chest (Tank)
- Girdle of Chivalry – Naxx25 – Grobbulus - #1 Ret Belt
- Sabatons of Endurance – Naxx25 – Thaddius - #3 Feet Tank
- Valorous Redemption Legguards –Naxx25 – Thaddius - #1 Leg Tank
- Riveted Abomination Leggins – Naxx 25 – Thaddius - #3 Ret Legs
- Valorous Redemption Legplates – Naxx25 – Thaddius - #4 Ret Legs
- Ablative Chitin Girdle – Naxx25 –Maexxena- #1 Belt Tank
- The Jawbone – Naxx25 – Maexxna - #5 Ret Weapon
- Bindings of Hapless Prey – Naxx25 - Maexxna - #1 Wrist Tank
- Undiminished Battleplate – Naxx25 – Maexxna - #1 Ret Chest
- Bracers of the Unholy Knight – Naxx25 - Instructor Ravuvious- #2 Wrist Tank
- Girdle of Razuvious – Naxx25 – Instructor Ravuvious - #2 Ret Belt
- Legplates of Double Strikes – Naxx25 – Instructor Ravuvious - #5 Ret Legs
Heigan The Unclean
- Crypt Fiends Bite – Naxx25 – Heigan The Unclean - #13 Ret Weapon
- Iron-Spring Jumpers – Naxx25 – Heigan the Unclean - #1 Ret Boots
- Heritage – Naxx25 – Can drop from Faerlina/ Patchwerk/ Noth/ Razuvious/ Anub’Rekhan #4 Neck (Tank)
- Cloak of the Shadowed Sun – Naxx25 – Grob/Goth/Heigan/Maexxna #1 Back (Tank)
- Sand-Worn Band – Naxx25 – Patch/Anub/Rav/Faerlina/Noth - #1 Ring Tank
- Ruthlessness – Naxx25 – Faerlina/Raz/Noth/Anub/Patch - #2 Ret Ring
- Strong Handed Ring – Naxx25 – Patch/Anub/Noth/Faerlina/Raz - #5 Ret Ring
- Fool’s Trial – Naxx25 – Noth/Patch/Raz/Anub/Faerlina - #2 Ret Neck
- Aged Winter Cloak – Naxx25 – Heigan/Gothik/Grobb/Maex - #3 Ret Cloak
- Shadow of the Ghoul – Naxx25 – Trash #2 Back (Tank)
- Inevitable Defeat – Naxx25 – Trash - #3 Ret Weapon
- Shoulderguards of the Unduanted – Naxx25 – Trash - #2 Ret Shoulders
Eye of Eternity 10
- Drakescale Collar - Quest Reward – Eye of Eternity 10 - #3 Neck (Tank)
- Barricade of Eternity – Eye of Eternity10/25 – Alexstrasza’s Gift - #3 Shields
- Black Ice – Eye of Eternity 10/25 – Alexstrasza’s Gift - #4 Ret Weapon
- Wyrmrest Necklace of Power – Eye of Eternity 10 - #15 Ret Neck
- Chain of the Ancient Wyrm – Eye of Eternity 10 - #16 Ret Neck
- Surge Needle Ring – Alexstrasza’s Gift – Eye of Eternity 10/25 - #1 Ret Ring
- Pendant of the Dragonsworn – Judgement at the Eye of Eternity – Eye of Eternity 10 - #3 Ret Neck
Obsidian Sanctum 10
- Gale-Proof Cloak – Sartharion – Obsidian Sanctum #3 Back (Tank)
- Heroes Redemption Handguards – Obsidian Sanctum 10 – Sartharion - #4 Hands Tank
- Signet of the Accord – The Obsidian Sanctum10/25 – Sartharion - #5 Ring Tank
- Belabored Legplates – Obsidian Sanctum 10 – Sartharion with Two Drakes - #1 Ret Legs
- Titan’s Outlook – Obsidian Sanctum 10/25 – Sartharion - #9 Ret Head (NO META!)
- Greatring of Collision – Obsidian Sanctum 10 Bonus Loot - #3 Ret Ring
- Heroes' Redemption Faceguard – Naxx10 – Kel’Thuzad #4 Head (Tank)
- Death’s Bite – Naxx10 – Kel’Thuzad - #2 Ret Weapon
- Heroes Redemption Helm – Naxx10 – Kel’Thuzad - #5 Ret Head
- Gem of Imprisoned Vassals – Naxx10/25 – Kel’Thuzad - #5 Ret Neck
- Massive Skeletal Ribcage – Naxx10/25 – Sapphiron - #5 Chest (Tank)
- Circle of Death – Naxx10/25 – Sapphiron - #4 Ret Ring
- Helm of the Unsubmissive – Naxx10/25 – Sapphirion - #6 Ret Head
- Cloak of Mastery – Naxx10/25 – Sapphiron - #2 Ret Cloak
The Four Horsemen
- Thane's Tainted Greathelm – Naxx10/Naxx25 – The Four Horsemen #5 Head (Tank)
- Medallion of the Disgraced – Naxx10/Naxx25 Trash drop #4 Neck (Tank)
- Minion’s Bracers – Naxx10/25 – Trash - #4 Wrist Tank
Heigan the Unclean
- Amulet of Autopsy – Naxx10/Naxx25 – Heigan the Unclean #5 Neck (Tank)
- Demise – Naxx10/25 – Heigan The Unclean - #9 Ret Weapon
- Shoulderplates of Bloodshed – Naxx10/25 – Hiegan the Unclean - #4 Ret Shoulders
- Heroes Redemption Shoulderguards - Naxx10 – Loetheb #4 Shoulder (Tank)
- Heroes Redemption Shoulderplates – Naxx10 – Loetheb - #3 Ret Shoulders
- Abomination Shoulderblades – Naxx 10 and 25 – Patchwerk #5 Shoulder (Tank)
- Cloak of Armed Strife – Naxx10/Naxx25 – Maexxna #6 Back (Tank) – still get this after you have #5
- Wraith Spear – Naxx10/25 – Maexxna - #12 Ret Weapon
- Heroes Redemption Breastplate – Naxx10 – Gluth - #4 Chest (Tank)
- Claymore of Ancient Power – Naxx10 – Gluth - #10 Ret Weapon
- Heroes Redemption Chestpiece – Naxx10 – Gluth - #5 Ret Chest
- Plague-Impervious Boots – Naxx10/25 – Noth - #4 Feet Tank
- Chestplate of the Risen Soldier – Naxx10/25 – Noth the Plaguebringer - #9 Ret Chest
- Gauntlets of the Master – Naxx10/25 – Faerlina - #6 Hands Tank
- Bracers of Lost Sentiments – Naxx10/25 – Faerlina - #3 Bracers Ret
- Deflection Band – Naxx10/25 – Deflection Band – Anub’Rekhan - #8 Ring Tank
- Collar of Dissolution – Naxx10/25 – Anub’Rekhan - #4 Ret Neck
- Ravaging Sabatons – Naxx10/25 – Anub’Rekhan - #7 Ret Boots
- Legplates of Inescapable Death – Naxx10/25 – Loetheb - #5 Leg Tank
- Heroes Redemption Legguards – Naxx10 – Thaddius - #4 Leg Tank
- Heroes Redemption Legplates – Naxx10 – Thaddius - #7 Ret Legs
- The Skull of Ruin – Naxx10/25 – Grobbulus - #4 Shields
- Sealing Ring of Grobbulus – Naxx10/25 - Grobbulus – #8 Ret Ring
- Leggings of Innumerable Barbs – Naxx10/25 – Grobbulus - #9 Ret Legs
- Waistguard of the Tutor – Naxx10/25 – Instructor Ravuvious - #2 Belt Tank
- Cloak of Darkening – Naxx10/25 – Instructor Ravious - #8 Ret Cloak
- Slayer of the Lifeless – Naxx10/25 – Gothik - #3 Tank Weapon
- Girdle of the Ascended Phantom – Naxx10/25 – Gothik the Harvester - #3 Ret Belt
Halls of Lightning
- Iron Dwarf Smith Pauldrons – Halls of Lightning (H) – General Bjarngrim #8 Shoulder (Tank)
- Colossal Skull-Clad Cleaver – Halls of Lightning (H) – Loken - #11 Ret Weapon
- Planetary Helm – Halls of Lightning (H) – Loken - #7 Ret Head (NO META!)
- The General’s Steel Girdle – Halls of Lightning (H) – General Bjarngrim - #7 Ret Belt
- Shroud of Reverberation – Halls of Lightning (H) – Volkhan - #12 Ret Cloak
- Ley-Guardian’s Leggaurds – The Oculus (H) - Eregos #9 - Leg Tank
- Cloustriders Waraxe – The Oculus (H) – Varos Cloudstrider - #5 Tank Weapon
- Band of Torture – The Oculus (H) – Darkos the Interrogator - #9 Ring Tank
- Legplates of the Oculus Guardian – The Oculus (H) – Varous Cloudstrider - #6 Ret Legs
- Ancient Aligned Girdle – Azjob-Nerub (H) - Anub’arak - #6 Belt Tank
- Golden Limb Bands – Krik’thir the Gatewatcher – Azjol-Nerub (H) - #10 Bracers Ret
- Chitin Shell Greathelm – Azjol-Nerub (H) – Anub’arak - #13 Ret Head
- Skadi’s Iron Belt – Utgarde Pinnacle (H) – Skadi the Ruthless - #5 Belt Tank (BV!)
- Red Sword of Courage – Utgarde Pinnancle (H) – King Ymiron - #4 Tank Weapon
- Gold Amulet of Kings – Utgarde Pinnacle (H) – King Ymirmon - #10 Ret Neck
- Echoing Stompers – Utgarde Pinnance (H) – Svala Sorrowgrave - #11 Ret Boots
- Unsmashable Heavy Band – Utgarde Keep (H) - Ingvar the Plunderer - #7 Ring Tank (BV!)
- Infantry Assulat Blade – Utgarde Keep (H) – Pricne Keleseth - #6 Tank Weapon
- Staggering Legplates – Utgarde Keep (H) – Ingvar - #2 Ret Legs
- Cloak of the Enemy – The Nexus (H) – Commander Kolurg #7 Back (Tank)
- Arcane-Shielded Helm – The Nexus (H) – Grand Magus Telestra #7 Head (Tank
- Tattereed Castle Drape – Utgarde Keep (H) – Trash #5 Back (Tank)
- Bulwark of the Noble Protector – The Nexus (H) – Keristrasza - #8 Shield
- Band of Frozen Thorns – The Nexus (H) – Ormorok The Tree Shaper - #15 Ret Ring
- Flame Bathed Steel Girdle – The Nexus (H) – Keristraza - #4 Ret Belt
- Rift Striders – The Nexus (H) – Anomalus - #12 Ret Boots
The Old Kingdom
- Shadowseeker's Pendant – The Old Kingdom (H) – Jedoga Shadowseeker #11 Neck (Tank)
- Grave of Ancient Evil – The Old Kingdom (H) – Herald Volazj #6 Feet Tank
- Bracers of the Herald – The Old Kingdom (H) – Herald Volazj - #5 Wrist Tank
- Nerubian Shield Ring – The Old Kingdom (H) – Elder Nadox - #10 Ring Tank
- Edge of Oblivion – The Old Kingdom (H) – Jedoga Shadowseeker - #19 Ret Weapon
- Bonegrinder Breastplate – The Old Kingdom (H) – Prince Taldram - #10 Ret Chest
The Culling of Stratholme
- Pendant of the Nathrezim – The Culling of Stratholme (H) – Malganis #10 Neck (Tank
- Royal Crest of Lordaeron – The Culling of Stratholme (H) – Malganis - #7 Shield
- Legplates of the Infinite Drakonid – Culling of Stratholme (H) – Chrono-Lord Epcoh - #8 Leg Tank
- Bindings of Dark Will – The Culling Strathholme (H) – Slaramm the Fleshcrafter - #6 Wrist Tank
- Mobius Band – Culling of Stratholme (H) – Chrono Lord Epoch - #13 Ret Ring
- Legplates of Steel Implants – The Culling of Stratholme (H) – Meathook - #11 Ret Legs
Halls of Stone
- Sun-Emblazoned Chestplate – Halls of Stone (H) – Sjonnir The Ironshaper - #8 Chest Tank
- Refined Ore Gloves – Halls of Stone (H) – Trash - #8 Hands Tank
- Woeful Band – Halls of Stone (H) – Maiden of Grief - #20 Ring Tank
- Sword of Justice – Halls of Stone (H) – Tribunal - #18 Ret Weapon
- Hammer of Grief – Halls of Stone (H) – Maiden of Grief - #20 Ret Weapon
- The Prospector’s Prize – Halls of Stone (H) – Kystallus - #26 Ret Ring
- Bands of the Stoneforge – Halls of Stone (H) – Sjonnir The Ironshaper - #9 Bracers Ret
- Pauldrons of the Colossus – Gundrak (H) – Drakkari Elemental #7 Shoulder (Tank)
- Ground Tremor Helm – Gundrak (H) – Moorabi #8 Head (Tank)
- Burning Skull Pendant – Gundrak (H) trash #9 Neck (Tank)
- Horned Tipped Gauntlets – Gundrak (H) – Gal’drah - #5 Hands Tank
- Hemorrhaging Circle – Gundrak (H) – Gal’darah - #10 Ret Ring
- Snake Den Spaulders – Gundrak (H) – Slad’ran - #13 Ret Shoulders
- Cloak of Bloodied Waters – Gundrak (H) – Trash - #5 Ret Cloak
- Engraved Chestplate of Eck – Gundrak (H) – Eck the Ferocious - #6 Ret Chest
- Ziggurat Imprinted Chestguard – Drak’Thoran Keep – The Prophet Tharon’ja #6 Chest (Tank)
- Mojo Masked Crusher – Drak’Thoran Keep (H) – The Prophet Tharon’ja - #19 Ret Weapon
- Terrace Defense Boots – Drak’Thoran Keep (H) – Trollgore - #5 Feet Tank
- Waistguard of the Risen Knight – Drak’Tharon Keep (H) – Trash - #7 Belt Tank
- Keystone Great Ring – Drak’Thoran Keep (H) – The Prophet Tharon’ja - #6 Ring Tank
- Breastplate of Undeath – Drak’Tharon Keep (H) - #4 Ret Chest (scores high because of insane amount of AGI)
The Voilet Hold
- Gauntlets of the Water Revenant – The Violet Hold (H) – Ichoron - #9 Hands Tank
- Bolstered Legplates – The Violet Hold (H) – Cyanigosa - #7 Leg Tank
- Saliva Corroded Pike – The Violet Hold (H) – Moragg - #16 Ret Weapon
- Necklace of Arcane Spheres – Violet Hold (H) – Xevozz - #12 Ret Neck
- Cast Iron Shackles – The Voilet Hold (H) – Azure Sorceror - #6 Bracers Ret
- The Obliterator Greaves – The Violet Hold (H) – Zuramat the Obliterator - #8 Ret Boots
- Cloak fo the Gushing Wound – The Violet Hold (H) – Erekem - #10 Ret Cloak
25 man Badge Gear
- Kyzoc’s Ground Stompers – 40 Emblems of Valor - #2 Feet Tank
- Platinum Mesh Cloak – 25 Emblems of Valor #4 Cloak (Tank)
- Signet of the Impregnable Fortress – 25 Emblems of Valor - #4 Ring Tank
- Bracers of Dalaran’s Parapets – 60 Emblems of Valor - #3 Wrist Tank
- Ring of Invincibility – 25 Emblems of Valor - #6 Ret Ring
- Wristbands of the Sentinel Huntress – 60 Emblems of Valor - #2 Bracers Ret
- Bladed Steelboots – 40 Emblems of Valor - #2 Ret Boots
- Hammerhead Sharkskin Cloak – 25 Emblems of Valor - #4 Ret Cloak
10 man Badge Gear
- Chained Military Gorget – 25 Emblems of Heroism #8 Neck (Tank)
- Waistguard of Living Iron – 40 Emblems of Heroism - #3 Belt Tank
- Crygil’s Discarded Plate Panel – 35 Emblems of Heroism - #5 Shield
- Pendant of the Outcast Hero – 25 Emblems of Heroism - #7 Ret Neck
- Verdungo’s Barbarian Cord – 40 Emblems of Heroism - #6 Ret Belt
The Culling of Stratholme
- Crusader's Square Pauldrons – Culling of Stratholme – Trash #9 Shoulder (Tank)
- Flowing Cloak of Command – The Culling of Stratholme – Salramm the Fleshcrafter #9 Back (Tank)
- Slaughterhouse Sabatons – The Culling of Strathome (N) – Meathook - #7 Feet Tank
- Leeka’s Shield – The Culling of Stratholme (N) – Malganis - #9 Shield
- Dreadlord’s Blade – The Culling of Stratholme – Dark Runed Chest - #22 Ret Weapon
- Necklace of the Chrono-lord – Culling of Stratholme (N/H) – Chrono-Lord Epoch - #17 Ret Neck
- Spiked Metal Cilice – Culling of Stratholme – Salramm the Fleshcrafter - #5 Ret Belt
- Helm of the Ley-Guardian – The Oculus (N/H) – Eregos #11 Head (Tank)
- Staunch Signet – The Oculus - Dungeon Quest – “The Struggle Persists” from Raelorasz in Coldarra - #15 Tank Ring
- Band of Motivation – Dungeon Quest Reward “The Struggle Persists” – The Oculus - #27 Ret Ring
- Girdle of Obscuring – The Oculus (N) – Mage-Lord Urom - #8 Belt Tank
- Dragonflight Great-Ring – The Oculus (N) – Eregos - #17 Tank Ring
- Bracers of Reverence – Dungeon Quest – “A Wing and a Prayer” starts with “The Struggle Persists” from Raelorasz in Coldarra – The Oculus - #8 Wrist Tank
- Wrymclaw Battleaxe – The Oculus – Eregos - #24 Ret Weapon
- Wing Commander’s Breastplate – The Oculus (N/H) – Varos Cloudstrider - #8 Ret Chest
- Amulet of Deflected Blows -Utgarde Pinnacle – Skadi the Ruthless #12 Neck (Tank)
- Reanimated Armor – Utgarde Pinnacle (N) – Gortok Palehoof #9 Chest Tank
- Svala’s Bloodied Shackles – Utgarde Pinnacle – Svala Sorrwgrave - #7 Wrist Tank
- Faceguard of Punishment – Dungeon Quest – Utgarde Pinnacle – “Vengeance Be Mine” - #14 Ret Head
- Ancient Royal Legguards – King Ymiron – Utgarde Pinacle (N) - #15 Ret Legs
- Berserker’s Sabatons’ – Utgarde Pinnacle – Trash - #13 Ret Boot
The Violet Hold
- Screeching Cape – The Voilet Hold – Erekem - #11 Back (Tank)
- Void Sentry Legplates – The Violet Hold (N) - #13 Leg Tank
- Riot Shield – The Violet Hold (N) – Xevozz - #10 Shield
- Shoulderplates of the Beholder – Violet Hold – Moragg - #11 Ret Shoulders
- Kurzel’s Warband – Drak’Tharon Keep – Dungeon Quest – “Search and Rescue” - #16 Tank Ring
- Kurzel’s Rage – Dungeon Quest – “Search and Rescue” – Drak’Thoran Keep - #22 Ret Ring
- Enticing Sabatons – Dungeon Quest Reward – Cleansing Drak’Tharon – Drak’Tharon Keep - #21 Ret Boots
Halls of Lightning
- Eternally Folded Blade – Halls of Lightning – Volkhan - #7 Tank Weapon
- Mantle of Volkhan – Dungeon Quest “Diametrically Opposed” – Halls of Lightning - #10 Ret Shoulders
- Bjarngrim Family Signet – Halls of Lightning – General Bjarngrim - #20 Ret Ring
- Pauldrons of the Lightning Revenant – Halls of Lightning – Ionar - #7 Ret Shoulders
Halls of Stone
- Amulet of Wills - Halls of Stone - Sjonnir the Ironshaper #13 Neck (Tank)
- Palladium Ring – Halls of Stone – Trash - #34 Ret Ring
- Embrace of Sorrow – Halls of Stone (N) - #7 Ret Cloak
- Signet of Arachnathid Command – Azjol-Nerub (N) – Anub’arak – #18 Tank Ring
The Old Kingdom
- Jedoga’s Greatring – The Old Kingdom (N) – Jedoga Shadowseeker - #37 Ret Ring
- Volazj’s Sabatons – The Old Kingdom (N) - #18 Ret Boots
- Solid Platinum Band – Gundrak - Dungeon Quest – “For Prosterity” starts with “Just Checking” from Chronicler To’kini in Zul’drak - #14 Tank Ring
- Ring of Foul Mojo – Quest Reward “For Posterity” – Gundrak - #25 Ret Ring
- Trollkickers – Dungeon Quest Reward – “One Of A Kind” – Gundrak - #14 Ret Boots
- Gal’darah’s Signet – Gundrak (N) – Gal’darah - #13 Ring Tank
- Amulet of the Stampede – Gundrak (N) – Gal’drah - #22 Ret Neck
- Cloak of Peaceful Resolutions – Wyrmrest Accord – Honored #8 Back (Tank)
- Legplates of Bloody Reprisal – Wyrmrest Accord - Exalted - #12 Ret Legs
- Sabatons of Draconic Vigor – Wyrmrest Accord – Revered - #10 Feet Tank
- Breastplate of the Solemn Council – Wyrmrest Accord – Revered -#7 Chest Tank
- Toxin-Tempered Sabatons – Knights of the Ebon Blade – Honored - #8 Feet Tank
- Runeblade of Demonstrable Power – Knights of the Ebon Blade – Revered - #15 Ret Weapon
- Death-Inured Sabatons – Knights of the Ebon Blade – Exalted - #5 Ret Boots
- Fireproven Gauntlets – Kirin Tor – Exalted - #7 Hands Tank
- Special Issue Legplates – Argent Crusade – Honored - #11 Leg Tank
- Argent Skeleton Crusher – Argent Crusade – Revered - #16 Ret Weapon
- Whale-Stick Harpoon – Kalu’ak Revered - #23 Ret Weapon
- Shield of the Lion-Hearted – Alliance Vangarud – Revered - #12 Shield
- Spaulders of the Giant Lords – Sons of Hodir – Revered - #8 Ret Shoulders
- Bloodbane’s Resolve – Quest Reward – “The Fate of Bloodbane” – Icecrown - #10 Back (Tank)
- Frog Toe Band – Quest Reward – Icecrown - #35 Ret Ring
- Signet of the Bridenbrad – Quest Reward – “Light Within The Darkness” – Icecrown - #16 Ret Ring
- Severed Noose of Westwind – Quest Reward – “The Admiral Revealed” – Icecrown - #13 Ret Neck
- Plated Legs of the Unholy – Quest Rewards “Rider of the Unholy” – Icecrown - #13 Ret Legs
- Icewalker’s Spikes – Quest Reward – Icecrown - #15 Ret Boots
- Darkspeaker’s Iron Walkers – Quest Reward “Mind Tricks” – Icecrown - #20 Ret Boots
- Signet of the Avenging Heart – Quest Reward “Returned Sevenfold” – Sholazar Basin - #29 Ret Ring
- Boots of Dominance – Quest Reward – Sholazar Basin - #17 Ret Boots
- Signet of Baron Sliver – Quest Reward “Free Your Mind” – Icecrown - #21 Ret Ring
- Betrayer's Choker – Quest Reward – “Betrayal” – Zul’drak #15 Neck (Tank)
- Band of the Bloodletter – Quest Reward “The Frozen Earth” – Zul’Drak - #30 Ret Ring
- De-Raged Waraxe – Zul’Drak - Quest Reward – “The Champion of Anguish” - #26 Ret Weapon
- Hammer of Quiet Mourning – Zul’Drak - Quest Reward – “Wanted: Ragemane’s Flipper” - #8 Tank weapon
- Boots of the Altar – Quest Reward - Pure Evil – Zul’drak - #19 Ret Boots
- Iron Colossus Legplates – Quest Reward – The Iron Colossus – The Storm Peaks - #12 Leg Tank
- Dirkee’s Superstructure – Quest Reward – “Dirkee” – The Storm Peaks - #25 Ret weapon
- Jagged Ice Band – Quest Reward – Storm Peaks - #24 Ret Ring
- Jawbreakers – Quest Reward – Storm Peaks - #16 Ret Boots
- Coldblooded Legpaltes – Quest Reward – The Storm Peaks - #16 Ret Legs
- Thane’s Reaper Signet – Quest Reward – Grizzly Hills - #38 Ret Ring
- Ring of Indignant Rage – Quest Borean Tundra - #36 Ret Ring
- Chain of the Tolling Bell – Quest “Call To Arms” – Borean Tundra - #21 Ret Neck
- Armored Titanium Goggles – Enginnering crafted (requires Engineering) #6 Head (Tank
- Charged Titanium Specs – BoP Engineering - #10 Ret Head
- Tempered Titansteel Helm – Blacksmithing crafted BoE #10 Head (Tank)
- Tempered Titansteel Treads – BoE Blacksmithing - #9 Feet Tank
- Daunting Legguards – BoE Blacksmithing - #10 Leg Tank
- Titansteel Shield Wall – BoE Blacksmithing - #6 Shield
- Saronite Bulwark – BoE Blacksmithing - #11 Shield
- Saronite Defender – BoE Blacksmithing - #13 Shield
- Titansteel Destoryer – BoE Blacksmithing - #7 Ret Weapon
- Legplates of Conquest – BoE Blacksmithing - #17 Ret Legs
- Spiked Titansteel Helm – BoE Blacksmithing - #1 Ret Head
- Helm of Command – BoE Blacksmithing - #12 Ret Head (NO META!)
- Vengeance Bindings – BoE Blacksmithing - #5 Bracers Ret
- Spiked Titansteel Treads – BoE Blacksmithing - #9 Ret Boots
- Titanium Earthguard Chain – BoE crafted by Jewelcrafting #7 Neck (Tank)
- Titanium Earthguard Ring – BoE Jewelcrafting - #3 Ring Tank
- Ring of Earthen Might – BoE Jewelcrafting - #12 Ring Tank, #19 Ret Ring
- Ring of Scarlet Shadows – BoE Jewelcrafting - #7 Ret Ring
- Savage Titanium Ring – BoE Jewelcrafting - #31 Ret Ring
- Jade Ring of Slaying – BoE Jewelcrafting - #32 Ret Ring
- Shadowmight Ring – BoE Jewlecrafting - #33 Ret Ring
- Bloodstone Band – BoE Jewelcrafting - #28 Ret Ring
- Titanium Impact Band – BoE Jewelcrafting - #12 Ret Ring
- Titanium Impact Choker – BoE Jewelcrafting - #9 Ret Neck
- Jade Dagger Pendant – BoE Jewelcrafting - #20 Ret Neck
- Cloak of Tormented Skies – BoE Crafted by Leatherworking #12 Back (Tank)
- Durable Nerubhide Cape – BoE Crafted by Leatherworking (No Defense)
- Ice Striker’s Cloak – BoE Leatherworking - #13 Ret Cloak
- Wapach's Spaulders of Solidarity – World Drop BoE epic – Lucky or Rich #6 Shoulder (Tank)
- Torta's Oversized Choker – World Drop BoE #14 Neck (Tank)
- Blade-Binding Bulwark – World Drop #14 Tank Shield
- Signet of Edward the Odd – BoE World Drop - #23 Ret Ring
- Stained Glass Shard Ring – Word Drop BoE - #17 Ret Ring
- Draconic Choker of Ferocity – World Drop BoE - #19 Ret Neck
- Band of the Kirin Tor – 8500 gold - #9 Ret Ring
- Deadly Gladiator’s Band of Victory – PVP - #11 Ret Ring
- Deadly Gladiators Graves of Triumph – PVP - #6 Ret Boots
- Deadly Gladiator Sacled Chestpiece – PVP - #7 Ret Chest
- Deadly Gladiator Pendant of Triumph – PVP - #14 Ret Neck
- Deadly Gladiator Bracers of Triumph – PVP - #7 Bracers Ret
- Deadly Gladiator’s Girdle of Triumph – PVP - #8 Ret Belt
- Deadly Gladiator’s Scaled Legs – PVP - #8 Ret Legs
- Deadly Gladiator’s Cloak of Victory – PVP - #6 Ret Cloak
- Deadly Gladiator Bonegrinder – PVP - #8 Ret Weapon
- Deadly Gladiator’s Scaled Shoulders – PVP - #6 Ret Shoulders
- Deadly Gladiator Scaled Helm – PVP - #8 Ret Head
- Deadly Gladiator’s Pendant of Victory – PVP - #8 Ret Neck
- Deadly Gladiator Cloak of Triumph – PVP - #11 Ret Cloak
- Hateful Gladiator Bonegrinder – PVP - #14 Ret Weapon
- Hateful Gladiator Scaled Helm – PVP - #11 Ret Head
- Hateful Gladiator Pendant of Victory – PVP - #11 Ret Neck
- Hateful Gladiator’s Scaled Shoulders – PVP - #9 Ret Shoulders
- Hateful Gladiator’s Scaled Legguards – PVP - #10 Ret Legs
- Hateful Gladiator’s Scaled Chestpiece – PVP - #11 Ret Chest
- Hateful Gladiator’s Cloak of Vicotry – PVP - #9 Ret Cloak
- Hateful Gladiator Pendant of Triumph – PVP - #18 Ret Neck
- Hateful Gladiator Band of Triumph – PVP - #18 Ret Ring
- Hateful Gladiator’s Bracers of Triumph – PVP - #8 Bracers Ret
- Hateful Gladiator’s Greaves of Triumph – PVP - #10 Ret Boots
- Hateful Gladiator Cloak of Triumph - #14 Ret Cloak
- Savage Gladiator Bonegrinder – PVP - #21 Ret Weapon
- Savage Gladiator’s Scaled Shoulders – PVP - #12 Ret Shoulders
- Savage Gladiator’s Scaled Legguards – PVP - #14 Ret Legs
- Savage Gladiator’s Scaled Helm – PVP - #15 Ret Head
Those luminaries over at Maintankadin have done it again. I found this thread discussing diminishing returns and how to figure out when defense is superior to dodge. I suggest you read the entire thread but let me try to give you the cliff notes version of the conclusions.
First of all, Defense is always better if you haven’t reached the Block Cap, the old Uncrushable of 102.4%. Defense is the most efficient way to reach the Block Cap.
Once you have hit the Block Cap, to get the best avoidance, and taking into account diminishing returns, you should keep your dodge rating roughly equal to your defense rating.
We can also conclude from this that after Block Cap, Defense gemming is generally going to be a poor choice.
This is something you considered AFTER you are uncrittable. Remember your first goal must be the Crit Cap.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Honorshammer is still questing in Grizzly Hills.
It wasn't very long before I hit 77. This nessesatiated a quick trip back to Dalaran (much to the dismay of my poor computer). I plopped down my 1000 gold and got ready to fire up the engines in the ole gyrocopter again. It was so nice to be able to fly again. The freedom and speed was really nice to have again.
While I was in Dalaran, I met up with Leejenkins who had crafted me a Saronite Bulwark. This was something of a bittersweet moment for me. I don't know what it is, but there is something about tanks and their shields. To a tank, the Shield is the most defining piece of equipment you own. When you saw someone early in Burning Crusade with an Aldori Legacy Defender and a Sun Eater, you knew that guy was tank. Before Sunwell was released, you knew the guys with the Bulwark of Azzinoth were 'The Tanks'.
So for a while now, Honors has been defined by the large beating heart of a demon on his back. Now, Kaz'Rogal's Hardened Heart has found a pernament place in my bank alongside the Aldori Legacy Defender, the Shield of Impenetrable Darkness, The Unstoppable Force, and the Draconic Deflector.
Well, I knew I was going to have to replace my Burning Crusade gear at some point. Thus far, I've replaced one of my rings, my neck, and now my Shield. The Shield is the most visible piece to be replaced so far. I know I'll replace the rest in due time.
Hitting 77 almost meant I could finally equip the Amulet of Wills that I picked up in the Halls of Stone. I didn't realize it had a 'Requires Level 77" on it until I tried to equip it.
I spent most of last night continuing to quest in Grizzly Hills, following quest lines that I had started on Tuesday.
Actually, now that I've done more quests in Grizzly Hills, I'm really glad I went back. Not only have I seen more of the background on the trolls of Zul'drak, but I've also seen more background on the Giants War and the workings of the Iron Dwarves. I keep getting more hints about Loken. I've discovered the Iron Dwarf fortresses of Thor Modan and Dun Algor.
Is it just me or does Dun Algor bare a remarkable resemblence to Dun Baldar (the Alliance base in Alterac Valley). I logged off last night just as I was about to do a quest where I would need to impersonate one of the Overseer's at Dun Algor and talk to Loken himself. I'm looking forward to that.
My talent spec right now is something of a mess and I'm sure I'll be respecing again soon. I had meant to use 75-80 to fill out Blessing of Kings but when I went to assign the talent point from leveling up I saw I wouldn't have enough to fill it out. So I stuck the point in Reckoning instead.
Even using Seal of Vengeance, Reckoning swings can give you a chance to proc Judgement of Wisdom on your target. After playing with it last night, I've been very underwhelmed. I know it's only one point, but Reckoning hardly ever seems to proc now. It's definately a talent I'll be specing out of soon.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Sorry for the lack of updates this week, my WoW time has been somewhat limited. It’s a little bit frustrating because I’m sitting like half a bubble from 77, and I can’t wait to fire up the engines in the ole Gyrocopter again!
I got a reminder that I play on a PVP server Tuesday as the Horde were out and feeling quite scrappy. One Death Knight really had it in for me. He must have attacked me 6 different times. I think I killed him about 4 times and he killed me about 2. Looking back, I didn’t use my cooldowns well when he got me, or I might have been able to pull those out. I’m dang hard to kill that last 20% if you don’t have some sort of burst attack like Execute or Hammer or Wrath.
The basic strategy I’ve developed for Death Knights to start with Turn Evil on their pet if they have it out. I’ll get my Seal up if it wasn’t already and get a couple of hits on him while I keep cleansing off any debuffs, most likely diseases, that he puts on me. Since I took Improved Hammer of Justice, I stun them and throw a quick heal. Divine Plea is really key to these fights because between heals and cleansing and Turn Evil, I can really burn the mana.
Once you get them down, they turn into a Ghoul. Now the fun really starts. As soon as you see him turn into a Ghoul, use Turn Evil on him. Wait for it to wear off and he’ll come running back to you. Wind up another Turn Evil. He’ll do some sort of interrupt, but it’s short, so you can just wind up the Turn Evil again. You can basically keep him feared with Turn Evil until the Ghoul wears off and he dies nice and proper like.
One of the other projects I’ve been working on in my ‘WoW’ time has been researching parts for a new computer build. Ever since I got into the Wrath zones, I’ve been experiencing low framerates and sometimes the scene will only partially render. It’s frustrating, but understandable for how old my computer is.
During the Spring to Summer of 2004 I did a great deal of research and built a computer. I'm proud to say it has lasted me much longer than I anticipated. Now, I’m sort of repeating that process, and researching parts for a new build. Basically, I’m just going to do a ‘core’ upgrade and replace my CPU/Motherboard/RAM and Video Card.
Right now, I’m looking at a Pentium Dual Core E5200 and a Radeon 4670 Video Card, or I could save a little money and get a AMD 5050e with the same Video Card. I'm leaning towards the Pentium because it will give me a little more power down the road.
The last little project I’ve been tackling is making a gear list. I’ve gone through and highlighted all the gear I will need and where I get it from. I’ll be posting on the blog soon, so perhaps it can help you as well.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
On the advice of some of my commenters, I decided to go back and do quests in Grizzly Hills that set up some of the story for Zul’Drak.
But first, I wanted to finish a quest to bring some items to a guy near a wrecked Steam Tank. The items would take up precious bag space. Of course, I turn those items in, and get another quest item to use. So I had to finish this little chain before I could go to Grizzly Hills.
This particular chain had quite a payoff and you end up riding on a Storm Giant, and getting to go toe to toe with the giant Level 80 elite that had been patting around the main road in Zul’Drak while I had been questing.
My giant’s aggro radius was somewhat large, and he had a knock back attack. I still had Track Undead on, and at one point it looked like a scene out of Aliens with 100s of little red dots converging on me and my rather large buddy. I was able to dispatch them all fairly easily with my Giant.
Once I finished the quest, and turned it in, I directed my attention to Grizzly Hills. It didn’t take too long to figure out I really should have done this zone first. One of the early quests I got was to free Drakuru from some mercenaries who had captured him. Drakuru was of course the main enemy you fight at the end of a long quest chain in Zul’Drak, so I could tell I was kind of doing things backwards.
The quest to free Drakuru took me all over the zone. I eventually reached the quest hub near the Blue Sky Logging Camp.
Grizzly Hills some what confuses me. You come out of Dragonblight where the Horde and Alliance forces just jointly attacked the Wrathgate. They were basically working together. Then you come to Grizzly Hills and the Alliance and Horde at basically at war over the Logging Camp. Make up your mind. Are these two forces working together as was shown at the Wrathgate or near to war again as they seem to be in Grizzly Hills. I found it very incongruous.
The quests are Blue Sky Logging Camp are series of dailies. One daily has you rescue wounded soldiers, while another has you attack Horde units or players in the area. At first, this quest somewhat perplexed me. The only Horde units I saw were Wounded Skirmishers. I don’t believe a Paladin would attack a wounded solider. It would be tantamount to an execution, and not an honorable action. Yet, I saw no other Horde units around.
I decided this would just have to be a quest that remained undone. I was about to abandon it, when I stumbled across some Conquest Hold Skirmishers. Not only were they NOT wounded, but they were engaged with Alliance soldiers. This is what being a Paladin is all about. I rode in and saved the Alliance soldiers (and completed the quest to boot!).
I proceeded deeper into the zone. Now my original plan had been to just do the quests about Drakuru and not bother with the rest of the zone. But then, I came across the Westfall Regiment, headed up by none other Gryan Stoutmantle. Gryan Stoutmantle, if you don’t recall, is the major questgiver in Westfall, an Alliance zone in the 11-22 range. He even asks you what became of the quest reward he gave you for completing the major questline of the zone. I loved it.
As a bonus, you see that he brought Old Blancy with him. Old Blancy is a horse and one of your first quests in Westfall is to fetch grain for her from a farm that has been taken over by the Defias Gang. The Old Blancy gave Honors his first bag (a four slotter!!). It was really cool to see these guys again. I quickly decided to do all the quests they had for me.
As I was questing, I came across more Runed Stone Giants. Apparently, this is where they were headed after leaving Howling Fjord.
I ended the nigh only a few bubbles from 77. Soon I’ll be able to de-ice my wings and get flying again.
Monday, December 8, 2008
(WARNING: Halls of Stone spoilers!)
Friday night I got invited to run Halls of Stone with a group from Heroes Inc. The group was myself (Protection Paladin), a second Protection Paladin (who was healing the run), a Shadow/Holy Priest, a Warlock and a Mage.
The Priest helped out with healing in some of the more intense parts of the dungeon, but for the most part the Protection Paladin was able to keep me up.
The only one of us who had previously been inside Halls of Stone was the Warlock and it had been a while. He didn’t remember much of the mechanics of the boss fights, so we were literally flying blind. We never wiped, and I’m not even sure we had a single death.
I don’t know if this says more about my tanking or their healing or the difficulty of Normal mode instances.
Halls of Stone was incredibly fun, and may be my new favorite instance. The artwork and layout are very nicely done, but the story and lore in the dungeon are even more incredible.
The instance is in the shape of a 'T'. First off, we went over and attacked the giant rock elemental looking boss first. He was almost an exact copy of Gruul as far as fight mechanics go.
Then we went into a different hall and found a boss mob that looked just like Maiden of Virtue from Karazhan. The Boss in the Halls of Stone was similar, and even did Repentance on the party. Fortunately, she didn’t have Maiden’s annoying silence to deal with.
You finally get to meet up with Brann Bronzebeard, the brother of Magini Bronzebeard, King of Ironforge and Muradin Bronzebeard, who accompanied Arthas to Northrend.
Brann Bronzebeard was thought to be dead in An’Quiraq, and his camp is a quest hub in Silithus, a level 60 zone that is usually skipped now in favor of Hellfire Peninsula. Now I never got very far in even AQ20, so maybe you find Brann in AQ40, I don’t know.
You escort Brann through the instance and trigger an event where you have to protect Brann while he accesses the Titan’s computer.
As a Dwarf, this was especially important to me. I thoroughly enjoyed Uldaman and hints that it gave to the creation of the Dwarves, as well as the follow up quest at Ulduum. Many of the answers to those lingering questions were finally revealed in this event.
In case you missed some of the story while finding off the Titans defenses, or looting the chest, here’s what was revealed.
The Titans created the Earthen to shape the deep parts of Azeroth. You learn this at the end of the instance where you first encounter the Earthen, Uldaman. Then Azeroth was invaded (‘infected’) by the Old Gods, who the Titans refer to as parasites. The Old Gods infected the Earthen (and other ‘seed’ races) with something called the ‘Curse of Flesh’.
The Titans came back to remove the Old Gods but determined that if they killed the Old Gods, it would destroy Azeroth. So they neutralized them and buried them deep inside Azeroth itself. The Forge of Wills inside the Halls of Stones and ‘other systems’ were used to create new Earthen.
Protectors were appointed. These were the Dragon Aspects (Alexstraza, Nozdormu, Ysera, Neltharion aka Deathwing, and Malygos), and the Earth and Stone Giants. For an unrevealed reason the Earth and Stone Giants went to war. Loken, whose image we saw in Howling Fjord, ended the war by neutralizing the Earth and Stone Giants. Loken put several races into statis at this point: The Earthen, the Giants, and the Vrykul!
Eventually the statis wore off, and the Earthen, Giants, and Vrykul woke up. But by that point, the ‘Curse of Flesh’ had taken hold. They were no longer made of Iron and Stone but of flesh. The fleshy Earthen would become known as Dwarves. The Vrykul would eventually give rise to the Humans.
Brann then instructs you to meet him by the front door. He opens it and you find the the final boss of the instance, Sjonnir the Ironshaper, who appears to be Vrykul made of Iron. In his death speech, he seems to hint at a larger battle with Loken, no, Sentinel Loken as the computer called him.
Sjonnir revealed Loken is trying to retake The Forge. But what Forge? It can’t be the Forge of Wills, because Sjonnir is guarding that, so technically Loken already has it. We also know from the quests at the Explorer’s Camp, and near Fort Wildervar, that Loken is sending Runed Stone Giants to attack the defenses of the Pantheon (Titan Ruling Council). He must be sending the Giants to attack the defenses of the Forge he wants!
I have a feeling we haven’t heard the last of Loken.
Sjonnir dropped an Amulet of Wills. I see it as an upgrade to my Betrayer's Choker, but the complete lack of defense is a killer. The other Protection Paladin said he had no interest in it, so I went ahead and grabbed it.
Friday, December 5, 2008
Rook – Kaylaan’s Spaulders
Badger – Mantle of Abrahmis (no they weren’t Badge gear, but they were from Kara where most people farmed their badges)
Justin – Justicar Shoulderguards
Crystal – Crystalforge Shoulderguards
Sixpack – Lightbringer Shoulderguards
Sunny – Pauldrons of Perseverance
Valorous Redemption Shoulderguards – Naxx25 – Loetheb
Burdened Shoulderplates – Naxx25 – Gothik the Harvester
Pauldrons of Unnatural Death – Naxx (25) – Anub’Rekhan
Only Do 10 mans-----------------------------------------------
Heroes Redemption Shoulderguards - Naxx10 - Loetheb
Abomination Shoulderblades – Naxx 10 and 25 - Patchwerk
Wapach's Spaulders of Solidarity – World Drop BoE epic – Lucky or Rich
Pauldrons of the Colossus – Gundrak (H) – Drakkari Elemental
Iron Dwarf Smith Pauldrons – Hall of Lightning (H) – General Bjarngrim
Crusader's Square Pauldrons – Culling of Stratholme - Trash
Sixpack / Honorshammer ------------------------------------------------------
Pauldrons of Reconnaissance – Dungeon Quest – “Halls of Stone” – Halls of Stone
Tempered Saronite Shoulders – BoE Crafting Blacksmith
Tundra Pauldrons – Dungeon Quest – “Have They No Shame?” – The Nexus
Crystal / Justin ---------------------------------------------------------------
Bone-Polished Iceplate Shoulders – Quest – “Hour of the Worg” – Grizzly Hills
Cobalt Shoulders – BoE Crafting Blacksmithing
(This post will contain major spoilers about quest lines in Zul’drak)
Last night, just before I logged off, I dinged Level 76 in Zul’drak. It’s been pointed out to me that I should have done Grizzly Hills prior to doing Zul’drak, but I didn’t. I’ll probably end up doing Grizzly Hills on the Hunter when I bring him up. I can take him Borean Tundra to Dragonblight to Grizzly Hills and only repeat the Dragonblight quests which would be pretty cool. Zul’drak is growing on me a bit. There are only a few areas that are really dark, and I’ve moved out of those.
I’ve now spent an entire level as Protection and the biggest difference I see versus Retribution is our resource renewal system is clearly inferior. You can tell you are meant to need Spiritual Attunement to keep your rotations going. Ret is much more self sustaining with Judgements of the Wise, although even as Ret I found myself needing Judgment of Wisdom. In both cases, I’m stopping to drink more often than I’d like. But thinking back, I’ve always had to drink while soloing, so I’m not sure why that expectation has suddenly changed.
There were a couple of really fun quest lines as I went from 75 to 76. I think I had the most fun with Champion of Anguish series. This is the Northrend equivalent to the Ring of Blood quest in Nagrand. This was the first time since I hit Northrend that I’ve actually tanked anything.
Tanking is a blast, and getting to taste it again was like water to a thirsty man. I love following the stories as I solo, but I do enjoy tanking. I was also rusty as I could be. People who have played with me for any length of time know that one of the NPC moves that really gets under my skin is the random charge. It annoys me because Blizzard seems to give the move to nearly EVERY MOB IN THE GAME!
Well wouldn’t you know it, but the 2nd or 3rd boss in the Champion of Anguish line does the random charge, too. I was a little slow to taunt it back, but we didn’t lose anyone. The group we had was 3 Paladins (2 Rets, me as Prot), a Hunter and Death Knight. One of the Rets offered to heal the event and had little trouble keeping me up. In fact, at one point I switched from Devotion Aura to Ret Aura just to try to take a little damage and keep my mana up. I can see why every Holy Paladin wanted to invest into Ret back in Beta when Sheath of Light was lower in the tree; it is a very nice tool for healing.
I thought about taking the Icier Barbed Spear, but ultimately decided on the De-Raged Waraxe. De-Raged has Strength, is slower and has a higher top end damage. I see the IBS2 as more of a Hunter weapon with all that agility.
I’m going to try to pay more attention to keeping my Retribution gear up to snuff this time around for when Blizzard implements Dual Specs. That way I can be Tank spec and then Ret when I need to solo or PVP.
The other questline that I really enjoyed was the entire Drakuru quest line. You work as a double agent for the Knights of the Ebon Blade, a group of Deathknights similar to the Argent Crusade. You are tasked with doing quests for the Scourge so as to gain the trust of their leader, Overlord Drakuru. Fortunately, you don’t have to do anything too bad. The only group you are tasked with attacking is a group of trolls.
What was annoying (to me) was that nearly every quest had you take control of a scourge which became a ‘pet’ for you. The problem was that in SpartanUI my ‘pet’ bar wouldn’t show up. So to do these quests, I had to log out and turn off Spartan, and then log back in.
I also think Blizzard dropped the ball on the final climatic battle with Drakuru. This is a mechanic problem as the lore and the quest itself are solid. In the final quest, you talk to Drakuru and he teleports you to the roof for the final showdown. The problem comes in if (like your humble author) someone else is doing the final battle when you get up there. You see Drakuru doesn’t despawn when someone has engaged him. I can understand this from the point of view that other people need to turn in quests to him, but it would have been nice if Blizzard gave you some way to know you really shouldn’t start the event right now.
See if you port up there and someone else if already doing the event, Drakuru is not attackable by you, and if the person doing the event fails, he despawns, meaning you are stuck on the roof with no way down.
Eventually, I was able to port up and find no one else trying to do the event. I aggroed Drakuru and began the combat which involves enslaving yet another scrouge ‘pet’ to use against him.
After you defeat him, he doesn’t die. No, Arthas himself shows up and finishes the deal for you. The Lich King then addresses you directly talking about the next time you meet him. He continues to make reference to turning you into his servant. I don’t think so. The next time we meet, Arthas, I’ll be putting my sword through your dark heart!
This quest, like Ragemane’s Flipper had been on my ‘to-do’ list because the end reward contains a very good Tanking neck (as well as a very nice ‘Ret’ neck, choose wisely). I picked up The Betrayer’s Choker and used it to replace my Pendant of the Titans. I’m going to drop an Enduring Dark Jade in it. Perhaps, I'll get lucky and get a Perfect cut.
I have started running into more Horde interference as I get deeper and deeper into the game. There was a particularly bad run in with a Horde Ret Paladin. I held him off pretty good but eventually I ran out of mana before he did. Actually, this guy was a very good PVPer. I don’t think it was just a Ret versus Prot thing, but more that he was just a better PVPer than I am.
After he killed me for the second time, I decided to try to find somewhere else to quest.
My next goal is 77 and Cold Weather Flying. Hopefully I’ll soon be high enough to start running with my friends who have leveled faster than me. I’m getting into the range where I really need to start carefully evaluating the quest rewards (especially the blue ones) to see if they upgrade my old gear. It’s also time to start buying some Frostweave Bags to open up some more bag space, and as loathe as I am to do it, it’s time to start vendoring some of my older gear.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Rook – Mark of the Ravenguard
Badger – Necklace of the Juggernaut
Justin – Barbed Choker of Discipline
Crystal – Frayed Tether of the Drowned
Sixpack – Pendant of the Titans
Sunny – Collar of the Pit Lord
And now to the list:
Nexus War Champion Beads – Quest Reward – Eye of Eternity 25 – Only 1 quest item drops per kill like Onyxia’s/Magtheridon's Head or Kael’s Verdant Sphere
Boundless Ambition – Naxx25 – Kel’Thuzad
Only do 10 mans ---------------------------------------------------------------
Drakescale Collar - Quest Reward – Eye of Eternity 10 – Only 1 quest item drops per kill like Onyxia’s/Magtheridon's Head or Kael’s Verdant Sphere
Heritage – Naxx25 – Can drop from Faerlina/Patchwerk/Noth/Razuvious/Anub’Rekhan
Medallion of the Disgraced – Naxx10/Naxx25 Trash drop
Amulet of Autopsy – Naxx10/Naxx25 – Heigan the Unclean
Titanium Earthguard Chain – BoE crafted by Jewelcrafting – This is your ‘failsafe’ option. Everything above relies on a drop.
Chained Military Gorget – 25 Emblems of Heroism
Burning Skull Pendant – Gundrak (H) trash
Pendant of the Nathrezim – The Culling of Stratholme (H) – Malganis
Shadowseeker's Pendant – The Old Kingdom (H) – Jedoga Shadowseeker
Amulet of Deflected Blows – Utgarde Pinnacle – Skadi the Ruthless
Amulet of Wills - Halls of Stone - Sjonnir the Ironshaper
Torta's Oversized Choker – World Drop BoE
Betrayer's Choker – Quest Reward – “Betrayal” – Zul’drak
Reinforced Titanium Neckguard – Quest Reward – “The Admiral Revealed” – Icecrown
Blood-Infused Pendant – Quest Reward – “A Hero’s Burden” – Sholazar Basin
Chain of the Sovereign – Quest Reward – “Free Your Mind” – Icecrown
Woven Steel Necklace – Alliance Quest Reward – “Disarmament” – Utgarde Keep – Quest also rewards a nice Retribution neck (With all the quest rewards on this list I took the Ret piece)
Sixpack / Honorshammer ------------------------------------------------------------
Tiled-Stone Pendant – Horde Quest Reward – “Disarmament” – Utgarde Keep – Quest also rewards a nice Retribution neck
Crystal / Justin / Bager / Rook
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Since this is the first in the series, I’d love feedback about the format, and what could be done to make this more helpful. I'd also be interested to see if people generally agree with my rankings or they feel some of these pieces are out of whack from where they should be ranked.
Let’s start at the top with your headpiece.
First, let’s review our intrepid travelers and see what they were wearing when they boarded the boat to Northrend.
Rook – Felsteel Helm
Badger – Faceguard of Determination
Justin – Justicar Helm
Crystal – Crystalforge Helm
Sixpack – Lightbringer Helm
Sunny – Helm of Uther’s Resolve
The list is ordered best to worst, top to bottom, meaning the best items are at the top of the page and they get progressively worse as you go down the page. As you look down the list, you can find each of our team member’s names. Anything listed above their names would be an upgrade for them. Anything below would not. Keep in mind that even though something might not be an overall upgrade for you, you may need to wear a ‘lesser’ item to get to the Crit Cap of 540 defense at level 80.
Valorous Redemption Faceguard – Naxx25 – Kel’Thuzad
Platehelm of the Great Wyrm – Naxx25 - Sapphiron
Helm of Vital Protection – Naxx25 – Gothik the Harvester
Armored Titanium Goggles – Enginnering crafted (requires Engineering)
Arcane-Shielded Helm – The Nexus (H) – Grand Magus Telestra
Ground Tremor Helm – Gundrak (H) - Moorabi
Tempered Titansteel Helm – Blacksmithing crafted BoE - This is your 'failsafe' option unless you are an engineer. Everything above relies on a drop.
Helm of the Ley-Guardian – The Oculus (N/H) - Eregos
Sixpack / Honorshammer ----------------------------------------------------
The Crusader's Resolution – Quest Reward – “The Crusader’s Pinacle” - Icecrown
Greathelm of the Titan Protectorate – Quest Reward – “Reclamation” – Sholazar Basin (This is where you would start finding upgrades if you were wearing the Tankatronics)
Crown of Hyldnir – Quest Reward - Taking on All Challengers – The Storm Peaks
Tempered Saronite Helm – Blacksmithing crafted BoE
Greathelm of the Unyielding Bull – World Drop BoE
Helmet of the Dedicated – Quest Reward – “You Need a Gryphon” – IceCrown
Bronzed Dome Protector – Quest Reward – “Dreadsaber Mastery: Ready to Pounce” – Sholazar Basin
Rook and Badger-------------------------------------------------------------