Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Tankadin Specs and the Build Mine

Kuroshiro over at the Build Mine (http://thebuildmine.blogspot.com/) has mined the Armory for spec information on all the various classes. What I am going to look at in this blog is his data on the cookie cutter Tankadin build 0/49/12.

According to the data, mined from over 2 million toons, just 2.32% of Paladins are this spec. Every other spec in the top 10 was Holy. No surprise there.

The top variation on 0/49/12 is shared by over a third of Paladins who spec this way. Its pretty much your standard “Main tank” build with all the mitigation and threat goodies the tree has to offer. The only talents not taken in this build are the more PVP focused Stoicism, Improved Hammer of Justice, Improved Concentration Aura, and Guardians Favor.

The other talent eschewed by this build is Improved Devotion Aura. At Tier 1, Protection Paladins have to choose between Improved Devo and Redoubt. Redoubt, being the prerequisite for the highly use Shield Specialization wins out, despite that fact that for as you continue to gear your Paladin, Redoubt becomes more and more useless. The extra block % it provides disappears off of the combat table as you gear for more Dodge, and Parry. Redoubt also can not be counted on for Uncrusablity because it is a proc, and can not be controlled by the player. So the conclusion here is that Protection Paladins are begrudgingly paying 8 points for their needed Shield Specialization talent.

The points in Retribution for this build are also very straightforward. Benediction is taken for the reduced mana cost on the Seal, Judge, Seal rotation, but that is more of a side benefit. The real goal is to get to Teir 2 to take Improved Judgement, which is a nice boost to aggro, and Deflection, which is severely needed mitigation for Paladins.

This spec is held by over 36% of Paladins with 0/49/12. In reality it is shared by over 80% of all Paladins with this spec. It is only the final two points where any disagreement arises.

The first top variant to this build really surprises. Improved Holy Shield is dropped and Guardians Favor taken in its place. Now, don’t misunderstand. Guardian’s Favor is a fantastic talent. It is a cool down reduction on one of our taunt like abilities (Blessing of Protection). It is a talent I have in every one of my builds. But it doesn’t outweigh the benefits of Improved Holy Shield. It gives you more charges, making it superior to a Warrior’s Shield Block and more damage which equates directly to more threat.

I am going to postulate that the players with this build are either unaware of the new talent, or just have not redone their spec since the patch that introduced Improved Holy Shield. They may be no longer active players. If the patch that added Improved Holy Shield had included the “free respec”, I conjecture that the majority of these players would show up with no spec at all.

The third major variation of this spec again goes after Guardian’s Favor, but this time the points are shifted from Precision. This makes good sense to me. Precision is a great talent. It increases your chance to hit by 1/2/3%. Every time you miss, you lose out on some aggro from your Seal not hitting as well. But the Protection tree is bloated and you have to make some tough choices.

The reason why Precision can be a reasonable place to take points from is that it is passive. You never actually see it working or see a direct benefit. All you see if whether you hit or missed. The game doesn’t calculate a miss, and then see if Precision would make that miss a hit and then show in your screen “PRECISION”. All you see if hit or miss. You don’t know if it was Precision or just dumb luck.

The final major variation is also along these same lines. Instead of taking points from Precision, points are taken from Spell Warding. Now Paladins have very few ways to deal with spell damage and a straight 4% reduction is nothing to dismiss, but once again, it’s passive. You never see it working, or see how much damage it saved you. It’s easy to forget that its not even there.

Not a single Paladin has points in Weapon Expertise. This is a 35+ point talent and not a single Tank spec Paladin sees the value of it over other, often lower teir options.

I know the Protection tree just got a nice buff with Improved Holy Shield, but as you can see we had to take points out of other useful skills to get it.

The tree needs to be streamlined and a more attractive option given in place of Weapon Expertise.

Helping hands

So last night began the initiative our guild leader calls "Guild Improvement Week". The basic idea being that the better geared people help the lesser geared people get better gear and work with them to improve their play.

Fantastic idea in theory, not so much in practice.

Now maybe last night was an abberation, but there were 2 total people asking for help. Most of the people we have identified in the guild as needing help were not online.

One of the people asking for help was Robella, a gnome Rogue. He wanted help finishing up a questline in Shadowmoon Valley called the Cipher of Damnation. This is a quest line that Honors has not finished yet. When I was leveling and just after I hit 70, I concentrated on quests and quest lines that led to the better tanking rewards I would need for Kara. This line was not one of them, and I haven't made the time to go back and finish yet.

We got a group together and flew out to Shadowmoon to start the event. As we engage the boss, our Elemental Shaman (Wichita) healer gets jumped by a Blood Elf Rogue from . Cynosure is the most advanced Horde guild on our server. Peachy.

So we call in for backup, and most of MewMewPewPewAndABubble shows up. They watch our backs and will kill the boss and get Robella a nice new offhand.

Next up wanting help was Schmedlap the hunter. He needed to run Steamvaults for rep, so I volenteered to go as a Tank or a Healer, whichever he needed. We grabbed Calexis, a fantastic priest. Unfortunately, there were two guild 5v5 teams trying to get their points, so we couldn't do the run. Maybe tonight, we'll get it done.

I have no problem helping someone out. I don't even mind running an instance where I've gotten everything I could possibly want out of it, and I like to think of myself as a helpful guy.

However, I think the idea that we need to pick people, armory them, and figure out what specific upgrades they need to go get is asking a bit too much. I want to help people not handhold them. At some point, the motavation needs to come from the player. The player has to say to the themselves that they want to improve, and figure out how to improve their character.

I don't want to drag a bunch of people into an endgame they really have shown no desire to see.

When the idea of set teams for Kara was floated, it was quickly shot down. While the idea of set teams for Battlegrounds has been pushed.

We do up to 3 nights of PVP a week (Arena + 2 battlegrounds). We do 2 nights of Kara at best. Most people will only see Kara 1 night a week due to scheduling. The idea of making a more flexible schedule for Kara has also been shot down.

This isn't my guild, and those decisions are well within the leaderships right to make.

Maybe people think 2 months to get 4 bosses down in Kara is a fine progression. Maybe I'm not representive of how most of the guild feels.

I hope that's not the case. I hope other people are also wanting to continue to progress through the endgame as well. I hope I'm not pushing people, railroading them into something they don't want to do.

I want to join with a group of likeminded individuals, who want to join together and combine our skills to experience the full range of content the game has to offer. We haven't seen half of Kara, nor any of the cool stuff beyond it. I'm not looking to compete for server firsts or any of that nonsense. Leave that to people like Different Strokes and Bloodsky. I'm not looking to run Kara 5 nights a week.

I don't want to leave Heroes; I've made a lot of friends within the guild. There aren't a whole lot of options for me even if I decided to leave. There aren't a whole lot of guilds who accept Protection spec Paladins.

I just know that I'm getting frustrated by the situation, and I'm not sure what to do about it.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Anonther one gets his key

Sunday night I returned to the Black Morass to help a guild Shaman, Azywnn get keyed.

It's always interesting coming back to Black Morass. My very first blog post was about how this instance was kicking my little dwarven behind. Now, it's pretty easy.

Also along for the ride were Baconstrip (Resto Druid), Darolynn (Shadow Priest), Jagdelf (Hunter).

The run went very well, except that I forgot where to stand a couple of times and ended up having adds run right by me. Jag was right on the ball and we got to Wave 12 with the shield at 100%.

I don't know what the deal was with Temporus, but I had his debuff get really high. Thing is, if I understand the dynamics of the fight, in my uncrushable gear, he shouldn't be able to land the debuff on me. This time it was Bacon who had my back. He was able to heal me right on through it. Cool.

We finished up the instance and got Azywnn his key.

Afterwords I was all set to run an alt Scarlet Monestary with some guildies but something came up in real life that needed, nay, demanded my immediate attention so I called it a night.

It doesn't look like we are going to be running much from a guild perspective this week, so I'm not sure what I'm going to be doing. Guild groups don't tend to form well when they aren't setup a head of time.

Feeling crabby on Saturday night

Saturday night was our return once again to Karazhan. At first it looked like the run might have to be called off because of a lack of healers. At start time we had only a Hybrid Druid, and an Elemental Shaman willing to respec to resto for the night. We might have also had a Shadow Priest.

We waited around and eventually a couple of more people logged in. My favorite Tree (Baconstrip), and our Holy Paladin (Sevenn) logged on and things were looking up. But now we had 13 people, which meant that 3 would have to sit. We had 3 mages on, so one of them was likely to have to sit.

In the end we sat 3 people who had been on the previous run a Hunter (Schmedlap), a mage (Krawl), and a Warrior (Jenet).

The people who had to sit were understandably upset, especially since they'd been there since start time. Schmed was stuck in Deadwin with his Hearth down. I didn't envy Lakini's (Raid Leader) position.

This left us with just 1 undead CC and 1 tank. So we decided Maiden was our better option for the night.

Now I have never tanked Maiden before, but I've heard she is very annoying for a Paladin to tank because she silences every .5 seconds.

We start clearing the trash to her. After we killed some of the Opera trash to get to her hallway, I went through like I always do. Unfortunately, there was a pat there, that usually isn't. So I start fighting, and then run around the corner. This of course breaks line of sight for my healers. I die. Oops. Of course, we have no other tank to pick them up. The group does as best they can with Earth Elementals and stun locks, but in the end I caused a wipe. I guess I got to equip the dunce hat.

We regrouped, and kept clearing the hall. We got all our assignments doled out and waited for everyone to get in position. But someone pulled as we were all getting to our positions. Now, I'm not going to LA mention any names KINI, but needless to say, I got to pass the dunce hat to someone else.

With everyone in position, I knock back a Elixir of Major Fortitude, woof down a Spicy Crawdad, and wash it all down with some Rumsey Rum Black Label.

I'm sure the guild is thinking, great, we are fighting Maiden and Honor's is getting a drunk. Hey, I'm a dwarf, cut me some slack. Like I've always said "I don't drink anymore, of course, I don't drink any less either".

So we engage. Honestly, I couldn't tell you what happened. I spent the entire fight watching my cooldowns. I had to spam whatever key I needed for that skill and the only way I knew if it went off was to watch it go on cooldown. If I had had to move Maiden at all that fight, I'm not sure I could have done it.

But she goes down. Of course, no gloves. We decide to call it a night as we lacked CC for Moroes. Also, I think Lakini just wanted to get out of there.

I still had a little of time left, so we put together a Shattered Halls run. Remembering that the first boss from Shattered Halls has a drop Lakini needs, we invited him to sub in for the first boss. Of course, he doesn't drop what Lakini is looking for.

The instance went pretty well. I don't think we had a wipe, although we came close on the last boss (Battle Rez for the win!). Kargath refused to give up my Figurine of the Colossus, but I managed to hit revered with Honor Hold.

I am now keyed for each and every Heroic. Also I picked up the recipe for the Dawnstone Crab.

Figurine - Dawnstone Crab
Binds when picked up
Requires Level 70
Equip: Increases defense rating by 32.
Use: Increases dodge rating by 125 for 20 sec.

More defense than my Dabiri's Enigma and a yummy, yummy Dodge clicky, on a 2 minute cooldown. This replaced my Dabiri's Enigma in all my sets.

Storming on Friday

Busy weekend all around. Let's start with Friday night. This was our guild's Eye of the Storm night.

Now at first, I wasn't going to go to Eye of the Storm. Our guild leader has been asking only people who can go the full time to come to PVP nights. I knew I couldn't stay the entire 3 hours, so I had resigned myself to an evening of grindin', minin' and questin'. After the first game, I see we have less than half a full group on, so I ask for invite.

So what is it like as a Protection spec Paladin in Battlegrounds? How much can I contribute?

Quite a bit actually.

I am very good at escorting flag carriers. Blessing of Freedom and healing really help get the flag home.

In addition, I'm a very good choice to defend a point. As a Paladin, I'm very hard to take down quickly, especially if I have Divine Shield available and they don't bring any Priests.

Finally, I contribute simply by the fact I have a heal button. Healing in PVP is rough. There are always multiple people who need heals and the damage coming in is incredible. I've had many of teammate go from 80% life to 0% in the 2.5 seconds it takes for me to cast a big heal. With my paltry +healing (around 600), my fast heal (Flash of Light) just won't get the job done, so I end up using Holy Light almost exclusively.

I try to be strategic in placing my heals. My priority to heal the squisher healers, then the least squishy DPS I can, but most of the time I'm presented with so many targets that need healing, I just try to heal the one who is lowest on life, hoping we can keep our numbers up and win the fight. When you start getting down on numbers in a BG fight its over. 7 Horde versus you is going to be a quick trip to the Spirit Healer.

One thing I really need to work on in BGs is developing a sense for how the fight is going and bugging out is we are losing. It's better to leave 1 or 2 Alliance being finished off by 7 Horde than to wait for those 7 Horde to gang gank me.

I'm within about 1000 honor of getting my upgraded PVP trinket. It has a much shorter cooldown (2 minutes as compared to 5 minutes) and it has resilience! I should also have the Arena points to get a new piece of Armor on Tuesday, however I may be holding those points for a bit, but more on that later.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Searching for Shoulders

Wouldn't it be just my luck, but last night, not one but two Botanica groups were trying to form. One for normal mode, and one for Heroic.

I have two major upgrades I can work on by running Botanica, and either mode would work just fine.

The Heroic group was short a healer, and the non Heroic was short 1 to 2 people. So while the gruops figured themselves out, I went and ran an AV. I actually got a couple of heals and was able to tank a Warmaster. Unfortunately, I ran out of mana. This usually doesn't to me. The only conclusion I can draw is that I'm begining to over gear for trash. This means equiping more INT, and Spell Damage in my Trash set.

After my AV was over the person doing the Normal group was not online, so I joined the Heroic group.

We were still short a Healer. The group started out as Me (Prot Paladin), Zadorr (Feral Druid), Darolynn (Shadow Priest), and Faceeraser (Fire Mage). I chuckled to myself. A group with a Paladin, Druid and Preist, and what we needed was a healer.

So I asked Ferg, a Priest who I had run Old Hillsbrad with back when I was working on getting keyed for Kara, to come heal. He did a great job, but he never got below 50% mana.

Heroic Botanica is one of the easier Heroics I've done. I don't know if it was just because of Face's Crowd Control or what, but it was much much easier than Heroic Mechanar.

Unfortuneately, Ferg has to leave after the first boss. So we decided to see if we could 4 man some of the trash pulls with me healing, and Zadorr tanking. With Darolynn buffering my healing with her Vampric Touch and helping my mana regen with Vampric Embrace, I was able to keep Zadorr up for the trash. We decided to grab DarkDescent (Destro Lock). We'd figure we'd wait until we wiped so we could rez at the summoning stone.

It didn't happen. Then unfortuneately, Darolynn had to go. Luckily for us, Sevenn (Holy Paladin) was online and agreed to help us out. I went back to tanking and Zadorr went all MewMew.

We cleared the rest of the instance with little problems. Except for the 3rd Boss, The Tender. We decided to skip him at first. We went back to try him after we finished the instance. We almost got him on our first try. But our second try was worse and we called it. The guy is really tough. He drops aggro constantly and can't be taunted, then runs into the party and does his AoE fire thing.

We called it a night. Of course, ole Laj refuses to give up my Righteous Shoulders. There are like 4 options I have for shoulder upgrades, but Righteous is the best of the lot.

I did get some Sha'tar rep and 4 badges so it wasn't a complete loss. Also managed to snag a Large Prismatic Shard. I'm need about 16k more rep for Exalted. That's about 8 full clears of Botanica. Ouch. It'll probably take at least that many runs to get my shoulders though. I'm going to wind up knowing Botanica as well as I got to know Steamvaults trying to get my cape.

Loaded Question

So Wichita of ShamRadio (check it out it's cool), posed the question:

What can we do as a guild to do better in Kara?

Our issue last night was pretty straightforward. Gear.

We had several new, or undergeared people in the raid.

People have varying levels of playtime, knowledge of game mechanics (could be called skill). This lead to variations (sometimes large and pronounced) in the relative power of their toons in the game world. Said another way, some toons do more DPS than other toons.

As you move into more and more challenging content, these differences become more pronounced.

There seems to be a problem with the way we are forming groups now. Some weeks the groups have wild success, other weeks the groups barely get their foot in the door. Some people have had "good luck" with groups and seen many of the bosses in Kara. Others have had "bad luck" and have never been past Attumen.

Players still have varying levels of playtime they want to put into the game. The gap between players may lessen somewhat, but the better geared players are better geared for a reason, they've generally put more time into their toons. They won't suddenly stop putting time into their toons. They will continue to better themselves through the content accessible to them, until such time as they realize they all the upgrades for them are beyond their reach.

At this point, we risk that they will either move to a further progressed guild, run an alt, or quit the game.

We know that our groups can handle 1, maybe 2 undergeared players.

We have a pool of players over here who we know are well geared and other pool over there of players less well geared. Do we call the raid off if we don't have 8-9 of well geared players on?

Again, this starts to seperate the guild into cliques and leads to a fractured guild. Then you start to throw class makeup into the mix. We have, for example, 2 active Paladins as far as I know. Me and Sevenn. If we both go in one group, that leaves 0 Paladins for the other.

I think the biggest thing we can do is work to improve the pool of well geared, knowledgable players. This will mean running instances where there isn't a single thing for you in it, and helping those of your class become more knowledgable.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Rough Night

I really have to choose my words carefully today, as I'm pretty down from my experiences in Karazhan last night.

From the signups it looked like we would have about 4 tanks online so I was fully prepared to sit out. It also looked like we would be short on healers, so I wasn't even sure if the run would go.

When Raid time rolled around, we had exactly 10 people, only 2 tanks (myself and a Warrior) and 2 healers. We ended up asking one of our Shadow Priests to heal for bosses. We had no melee DPS, and the raid had 3 Priests in it.

We barely killed Attumen. I've never come so close to wiping on him as I did last night. I figured after getting my Bracers of the Green Fortress made, that the Vambraces of Courage would drop, but they didn't.

I was not the Raid Leader for the night, and I probably stepped on the Raid Leaders toes a couple of times. I'm so used to running raids now, that I kind of slip into that mode without thinking about it.

The Raid Leader decided to try Maiden next. We cleared to her with little problem. As the only Paladin in the Raid, I switched to my Healing set so I could cleanse and heal. Our Warrior was going to be the tank.

We never got her down below 40%. A couple of wipes, the tank lost aggro to a healer or DPSer.

On two attempts, I couldn't heal her through the repentance. If the tank wasn't near full when repentance hit, the few seconds it took for Blessing of Sacrifice to knock me out of the Repentance would really knock the tank down. I spammed away at my big heals, but I couldn't keep the Main Tank up.

I have 871+healing in my healing gear, which is below Kara standards. I really haven't worked on my healing gear like I've worked on my Tanking gear. Plus, I was able to keep the tank up last time I did it. I figured I'd be able to keep the tank up again. I couldn't.

I'm realzing too that I would have asked the Main Tank to pass on the Maiden Gloves if they dropped and I would have been really upset if she didn't. The reason I would have asked is that the Maiden Gloves are better than my Teir 4 gloves, but not better than Warrior Tier 4. So she would replace them within two boss fights. I wouldn't replace the Maiden Gloves until Kael'thalas. I 'm really getting annoyed with the whole drop system. My progress as a tank is utterly stunted because that 1 in 6 chance of a tanking drop never happens, or if even if it does, I might not win the roll. Ugh.

I guess I'm just really disappointed. We went from one shotting all the bosses up to Curator to barely getting Attumen down and wiping on Maiden. This was our 7th Attumen kill. Unless I can get a spot in the Saturday group, and it has more success, it will be a while before I see Curator again.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A Green Fortress

Last night PVPed in my Pants did our arenas. We seemed to fight the same teams two or three times. It was pretty apparent when we were fighting a better team, a worse team, or a team about our level. We went about .500 for the night. Not too bad.

My one big concern about Arenas is that I'm going out of mana. Arena matches are lasting longer as more and more players get more Stamina and Resilience, and as Protection spec'ed Paladin my mana pool just isn't cutting it. My druid team mates, Baconstrip and Lakini are really helpful with Innervates. Even though I have 0 spirit on my gear, I can get about half a mana bar from their innervates. I've taken to trying to find a player or a pet and using Seal of Wisdom to gain some mana. Most of the time it doesn't work. I either have to stop and heal, or the player runs away from me.

I think Arms warriors really need a review. They wear plate, they have the best PVP debuff in the game, and they can stun as good as any rogue I've seen. We fought a team two or three times that had one of these Mace spec Arms Warriors. He made my life very difficult because every time I tried to heal, I'd get stunned. Are Mace stuns somehow not affected by diminishing returns? Of course, even if they are, even a .5 second stun is enough to stop a heal. Not good.

My favorite match of the night was fighting a two Paladin team. I nearly had time to get out of combat to rez our Balance Druid, Lakini, but the match ended before I could finish the spell.

After Arenas were over, I wasn't sure what I was going to do. I tried to work out a Heroic for Sevenn. He's the guild blacksmith who went in with me to buy the Bracers of the Green Fortress bracer recipie. We couldn't manage a Heroic so he turned in some Badges for a Nether and I gave him the mats, which I've had in my bank forever it seems and now I have shiny new bracers. I'm still not geared enough to switch out a defense trinket for a stamina trinket, but I'm getting closer. The bracers push my hit points to just shy of 11k while still being uncrushable.

Not long after he logged off, I got an invite for Heroic Mech. Now it was late, and I probably should have gone to bed. But it's a Tempest Keep Heroic. Badges. Sha'tar rep. Everything I need right now. So off I went.

It was me (Prot Paladin), an Elemental Shaman (Wichita) and 3 druids: Baconstrip (Resto), Origami (Feral), and Lakini (Balance). We had a definate lack of crowd control and it showed. There are some mobs in Mechanar that are really tough on Heroic. First, the drillers have this move called Pound which stuns the tank and they proceed to destroy your healers. Then you have the Destroyers. They have a self buff called Charged Fist, which makes them do quite a bit of damage. We were able to interrupt once or twice, but they'd get it off and take me down.

In my Heroic gear, I am wearing two Kara Epics, have over 11k unbuffed, and right at 13k buffed last night, and over 14k armor (buffed). I've got to believe that I am in the ball park of gear necessary to do these Heroics. We wiped so many times. We manage to down the first boss, plus the two mini bosses that give the key to open the Cache of the Legion. Wichita was looking for a special Totem that drops from there, but alas, cloth healing shoulders. At least the mini bosses give Badges. Although my main Badge reward is a helm, and I just got an epic helm from Kara. I'm a little over 10% towards Exalted and my Crest of the Sha'tar.

And the first boss dropped: Plasma Rat's Hyper-Scythe. Its a Polearm and one of the best pre-Kara Retribution Paladin/Arms Warrior weapons out there. I've actually got quite a little bit of Ret gear without even trying to. It is kind of ironic that I have so much trouble with Tank drops but the Ret gear just seems to keep coming to me. Probably because I KNOW every time a tank drop doesn't drop but its gravy when I get Ret drop. I should probably see what kind of stats I'd have in my Ret suit, should the need every arise for melee dps on a night when I'm not tanking.

It would be a nice too if I ever wanted to take a break from tanking, and do something different. Respec's are pretty cheap, especially with daily quests.

But for now, I'm one of, if not the best geared tank in my guild. So keep bringing on the big uglies, and I'll keep them locked down.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Win A-B, Easy as 1-2-3

So last night, Heroes Inc had our guild PVP night in Arathi Basin. This Battleground holds the most interest for me, not so much because I like it better than the others, but that the developers decided the PVP healer rewards take a ton of Arathi Basin Marks. Under my current Master Plan To Take Over The PVP Universe(tm), I need 100 AB Marks.

This was the first night since we all hit 70, that we've been able to field a full AB team of 15 Heroes. We had a blast. AB is so different with a guild group than with a PUG. We felt like we were dictating to the Horde and not the other way around. It was especially nice as a Healer. In a PUG, if I throw a heal, it's like the Horde go "Wow, they actually have someone who is healing, KILL HIM!!" And my PuG mates just keep on killing, yelling for heals, while ignoring the Horde who is killing me.

Now in a Guild group, I get heals from the other healers and the DPS is always helping me out. Of course it doesn't always work that way. During one battle at the Farm, I asked over vent for one of the Priests to heal me.

Honorshammer: Hey Tanzi, can I get a quick heal?
Tanzi immediately turns into a Spirit Healer looking thing.
Honorshammer: I guess that's a no.

Usually I end up defending. It's a role I feel like I'm really good at. The Horde know it will be tough to take a node when I'm on it. I don't really pose much of a threat of killing them, but I can keep them from capping long enough for my buddies to come and destory them. It can get a bit tedious, if the Horde decide to leave my node alone, but I find I like the job better. I know where I'm supposed to be and I'm always there when the action does start.

We won every single game we played, and my AB Mark count was helped considerably.

But the night was not without missteps. The first happening as we were setting up for our first game. We were discussing who should do what Blessing, when one of the Paladins in my guild tells me he only has Might and Wisdom, because he's Holy.


I questioned him. This would be like a Warrior saying he didn't have Defensive Stance or a Druid not having Mark of the Wild. The only Blessings that require talent points to have are Sanctuary and Kings. I could understand saying he didn't have Kings, although most Holy Paladins do put some points in the Protection Tree for it. But he should have had Light, and Salvation (not that you'd use that in PVP). Why wouldn't you train every spell available from your trainer. It would be like the PuG Paladin I ran BRD with on Dark Iron who said he didn't train Holy Light (our main healing spell) because he was Retribution. Seems kind of silly to me. Well that must have come across in my tone or something, because he got pretty miffed.

Of course what he MEANT was that he had the IMPROVED versions of Might and Wisdom and should have been the one to give those buffs.

GG, me.

Worse part is I didn't find out that I had upset him until the day after the Battleground. Apprently, he didn't recognize the voice over vent and went off on one of my mages.


So I magage to upset a fellow Hero. Not good. I would offer to resign my position, but Heroes doesn't have any positions for me to resign. We don't have officers and the like. I feel terrible. I wish there was something I could do to fix the situation, but I'm not sure what that would be.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Tankadin Gear Wish List

Justicar Faceguard --> Crystalforge Faceguard --> Tankatronic Goggles --> Lightbringer Faceguard --> Faceplate of the Impenetrable

Barbed Choker of Discipline --> (Brooch of Deftness) --> Frayed Tether of the Drowned == The Darkener's Grasp --> Pendant of Titans

Mantle of Abrahmis --> Justicar Shoulderguards --> Crystalforge Shoulderguards == Pauldrons of Stone Resolve --> Pauldrons of Abyssal Fury --> Lightbringer Shoulderguards

Devilshark Cape --> Phoenix-Wing Cloak --> Slikk's Cloak of Placation --> Pepe's Shroud of Pacification

Panzar'Thar Breastplate == Justicar Chestguard --> Crystalforge Chestguard --> Chestguard of the Stoic Guardian --> Lightbringer Chestguard (

Bracers of the Green Fortress) --> Vambraces of Courage == Wristguards of Determination --> Bracers of the Ancient Phalanx --> The Seeker's Wristguards

Iron Gauntlets of the Maiden == Crystalforge Handguards --> Gauntlets of Enforcement --> Lightbringer Handguards

Crimson Girdle of the Indomitable --> Girdle of the Protector --> (Belt of the Guardian) --> Girdle of Mighty Resolve

Timewarden's Leggings --> Wrynn Dynasty Greaves == Crystalforge Legguards --> Lightbringer Legguards == Praetorian's Legguards == Unwavering Legguards

Boots of Elusion --> Battlescar Boots --> Boots of the Protector --> Sabatons of the Righteous Defender --> Tide-stomper's Greaves

Shermanar Great Ring --> Seventh Ring of the Tirisfalen --> Signet of the Last Defender == Violet Signet of the Great Protector --> Band of Eternity == Ring of Sundered Souls == Band of the Abyssal Lord

Continuum Blade == Gavel of Unearthed Secrets --> Gladiator's Gavel --> Fang of the Leviathan == Merciless Gladiator's Gavel == Amani Punisher --> Hammer of Judgement --> Tempest of Chaos

Shield of Impenetrable Darkness --> Merciless Gladiator's Shield Wall --> Aldori Legacy Defender == Bulwark of the Amani Empire --> Kazrogal's Hardened Heart --> Bulwark of Azzinoth

Libram of Repentance --> Libram of Divine Purpose --> Tome of the Lightbringer

MT trinkets (in no real order): Moroes' Lucky Pocket Watch, Darkmoon Card: Vengeance, Scarab of Displacement, Battlemaster's Audacity, Shadowmoon Insignia, Gnomish Poultryizer, Goblin Rocket Launcher Darkmoon Card: Madness

So That's What Orgrimmar looks like

Last night Heroes tried something a little bit different. World PVP. We gathered up and attacked the Orc capital of Orgrimmar. It was really exciting being in a group over 20+ Heroes, riding through the Barrens, and charging into the very gates of the main Horde city.

Initially we met with little resistance, catching people unfortunate enough to still be flagged. We came in the western entrance and made our way down to where the mage and portal trainers were. We were apparently close to where the Horde ques for Battlegrounds because they started coming out to fight us. There was so much going on, I could barely see it all.

Eventually we were out numbered and wiped out. Several people spirit rezed but good ole Honorshammer pulled out the Bubble Hearth card.

After that, we paid a visit to Tarren Mill and killed some Horde there, and progressed up to Undercity. We went through the sewers and came up in the outer ring. We killed more Horde here and moved into the inner ring. I had alot of problems here with line of sight block my ability to heal. We eventually were wiped out again when outnumbered by the Horde.

It was a really fun night and very different than anything else I've done in WoW.

Earlier in the day, I had purchased the recipie for Bracers of the Green Fortress. I gave it to a guild blacksmith last night. As soon as he gets a nether, I'll have my new Bracers. Of course, this means that Attumen will drop the Vambraces of Courage on Wednesday for my group.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

All Dressed Up, but Nowhere to Go

Our run in Kara last night had to be aborted because one of our players lost power and got dc'ed.

I was totally excited to be trying a new boss for the first time. We only made one attempt at Curator. We got him to 80%, even though we didn't have any significant AR in the raid. We really need to identify and gear up our Bolt Tanks so we can do better against him.

I wanted to reschedule the attempt to another night, but there wasn't a night that worked well with everyone. Its really disappointing, but I have my bad nights as well. Some people were reluctant to add a 3rd night to raiding. I understand that, but to me, it really isn't a 3rd night. It more akin to a baseball game that got rained out and completed the next day or so. But I understand some people not seeing it the way I do.

I am worried that we will burn out the healers. Our healers, like most of the people in my guild are more than just guildmates to me. I consider them friends. I don't them to burn out on the game because I enjoy running with them. DPS and Tanks sit out raids, but our Healers have to go to nearly every single one of them.

People sometimes ask me "What's the rush?" with Kara. I guess I don't feel like I'm rushing. I want to see new bosses, experience the fights, see the content that I'm paying for and that Blizzard put their time and resources into. I've done AB, AV, WSG, and Eye a thousand times. I know the areas pretty well. I've never even seen what Mt. Hyjal looks like.

There is so much of the game I haven't even seen yet. Bosses, Zones. I want to cross swords with these great characters I loved so much in Warcraft. Kael'thalas, Lady Vash, Archimonde, even Illidain himself.

People didn't stop leveling when hit level 68. I don't see why they would want to stop leveling now. Sure you don't get xp anymore or a bigger number in your level, but you are doing the same thing. Progressing your character.

Maybe I'm a bit more hardcore than I have cared to admit to myself. I don't see myself as hardcore, but I guess its a matter of degrees. I of of myself as rich and I don't look rich compared to Donald Trump, but to someone who makes minimum wage, I probably look wealthy.

In the same way, I don't see myself as hardcore compared to the hardcore raiders who raid 4 times a week and enforce specs and whatnot. But to someone who just wants to run Kara once a week, I probably look hardcore.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Spending Arena Points as a Paladin

10-5-2007: My conclusion below is suspended. A rumored change in Patch 2.3 would give 1/3 of all straight +healing as spell damage. I must reevaluate this thread.

As a Paladin you get to choose from 3 sets for PVP rewards.

  • Ornamented (+healing)
  • Lamellar (+spell damage and healing)
  • Scaled (Str, Stam, Crit)

I'm going to ignored Scaled for the time being.

The 2 piece set bonus on each set is +35 resilence.
The 4 piece set bonus is reduced cooldown on Hammer of Justice.

One idea is to mix two pieces from one set with 3 pieces from the other. This gives you an extra 35 resilience because you get both sets 2 pieces bonus.

What do you give up for that 35 Resilience.

Lets examine an example set of Ornamented Shoulders, Legs, and Gloves with Lamellar Helm and Chest.

The difference over a 5/5 Ornamented Set is:
+39 Resilience
+65 Spell Damage
+14 Spell Crit
-12 Int
-47 Healing

Well you gain more than just the set bonus. You actually gain 39 resilience because the two Lamellar pieces have 4 more than the Ornamented Pieces (1 more on the head, 3 more on the chest). You also gain 65 spell damage and 14 Spell Crit.

So what's the price? What do you lose over going 5/5 Ornamented?

47 +healing and 12 intellect. I would argue the spell crit helps make up for some of the lost +healing.

In my mind the trade is well worth it.

So far Arena points, I recommend
Merciless Gladiator's Ornamented Gloves
Merciless Gladiators Ornamented Spaulders
Merciless Gladiators Ornamented Legplates
Merciless Gladiator's Lamellar Helm
Merciless Gladiator's Lamellar Chestpiece

Whos Afraid of the ...

This is my 50th! post. Wow.

(This post brought to you by the word, RWAR! RWAR, filling Fuzzy Bears with rage since 1807)

Tuesday night and Heroes Inc gears up to attack Kara. I was 99.9% sure I wasn't going last night but it turned out we had enough for two groups again.

My illustrious band of Heroes was:
Me (Prot Paladin)
Zadorr (RWAR!! Feral Druid tank with a metric ton of hitpoints)
Baconstrip (This guy makes me a tree hugger, Resto Druid)
Witchita (Elemental Shaman respec'ed to Resto for the night)
Tanzi (Hybrid Priest)
Faceeraser (Flame on! Fire Mage)
Brambles (What's your hurry! Arcane Mage)
Jagdelf (giving Hunter's everywhere a good name)
Sylvara (He slices, she dices, and makes thousands of jullienne fries)
Darolynn (Dark Lord of the Shadow, awesome shadow priest)

Attumen? Sit down!

For Moroes, we got a Shadow Priest, Holy Paladin, Prot Warrior, and Ret Paladin. We shackled the Ret Paladin, burned down the Shadow Priest, trapped the Holy Paladin, and burned her down once the Shadow Priest was gone, and basically ignored the Prot Warrior.

We still only had one Blessing of Protection. So when someone got Garrote we had them move towards the tanks. Our shaman used his chain heal which hit the Garroted person while Tanzi (Priest) cycled HoTs. Our Shadow Priest handled shackle duty. My cooldown was backup in time for me to save Bacon (Rest Druid). We also caught a lucky break in that I got Garroted (Stoneform For the Win!, go go dwarves!)

We had some discussion in the raid as to whether we wanted to go for Maiden next or Opera. The raid was split about 50-50, so Zadorr and I decided to do Maiden.

Now I was the only Paladin in the raid. But I'm a main tank right? RAWR! Me tank! Me no heal! RWAR!

No siree! It was time to strap on the healbot gear, and get my little cleanse finger ready.

You see a dead boss is better than me slavishly insisting I tank every mob in the place, plus I hate the way I have to spam all my buttons just to get my skills off during the silence.

We actually managed to get into position without aggroing her. I was a bit slow in the trigger finger and lost our hunter. (I'm really sorry, Jag!!) I was however, really good at keeping Zadaorr with Blessing of Sacrifice so I could heal him through the Repentance. I had to bang a mana pot at the end, but hey, that's why you bring them.

Now it was on to Opera. Our victim err..show for the night was Big Bad Wolf. Yes, I got a screen shot, your line really is "O what phat lewtz you have".

I don't know why but Big Bad Wolf seems to enjoy turning my healers into Little Red Riding Hood. We lost two healers fairly quickly. Never underestimate the power of BattleRez. We also lost Zadorr who had gone all MewMew for the fight.

Once again our Shaman (Wichita) was johnny on the spot with Tremor totems and we spent almost no time Fear'ed.

And we did manage to get him down. I had started to complain a bit about the lack of Plate drops in Kara. 6th week killing Attumen and only (non healing) one plate drop to be seen. But them The Wolf gives up:

Of course now I've probably messed up my loot Karma and it'll be another month before I see a drop, but this is cool. Some wasted Strength, and a tiny bit less armor than my Felsteel, but gobs of stamina. Going to have to drop about 200g to get it gemmed and enchanted.

We might try Curator tonight, but I'm not sure if we will have enough for two groups. Group 1 gets first dibs on any new people as they didn't get as many bosses down. I'd really like to see them have more success tonight, even if that means my group doesn't go. I'm both nervous and excited about trying Curator.

That Boy has got Talents

Zen over at Zen Tanking (http://zentanking.blogspot.com/), has a fantastic blog. His latest post is about alternatives to the cookie cutter 0/49/12 spec that most Tankadins run.

I don't run a 0/49/12 spec. My spec is a bit different 8/41/12.(http://www.wowhead.com/?talent=qVhZVMtIxcdMMqzVbx).

I lose Reckoning, Precision, and 1 handed spec, and in its place I pickup Divine Intellect, 3/5 Spiritual Focus and Guardian's Favor, and Improved Concentration Aura.

The nice thing about giving up Precision, and 1 handed spec is they are passive. You never see them working or know exactly what they did for you. Its not like the game calculates a miss by 3% and then puts "PRECISION" on your screen instead of miss to let you know Precision was what made you hit and not just dumb luck.

I do miss reckoning, but only when I solo. As a tank, I want abilities I can control and count on. Procs like Reckoning and Redoubt are gravy. I always work under the assumption they won't be there.

The goal of this build is to be a great tank. My Resto Druid nicknamed me Cinder as in cinder block, and I main tank for our Kara runs. We are just about to begin attempts on Curator.

But the goal is not to be only a great tank but also be able to heal for my Arena Team.

Readers of my blog have probably seen that my guild, Heroes Inc, is a rather odd guild in that we don't concentrate on one area of the game. We raid 1-2 nights a week, and PVP (Arena, BG) 1-2 nights a week depending on what weekend it is.

This spec allows me to contribute in both efforts. Would I be a better PVP healer as a 41+ Holy Paladin sure. Do we lose matches, or Battlegrounds because I go out of mana or can't cast fast enough. Probably. But a Holy Paladin won't be able to stand in front of Attumen, much less Curator in his build.

It also helps that I've gotten some decent Holy gear from doing PVP. I have two pieces of Season 2 Arena gear and 1 piece of the Battleground epic set.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Deeper In, Deeper Still

For some crazy reason I always think about the song "How Bizarre" by OMC (http://music.yahoo.com/track/1263029) when I think about Karazhan. Part of the chorus goes "How bizarre, how bizzare, how bizzare" and I always think like "Karazhan, Karazhan, Karazhan".

So anyway, Sunday night we returned to Karazhan. The group composition changed a bit from Friday.

Fridays group was Prot Paladin (me!), Feral Druid (Zadorr), Hybrid Holy/Disc Priest (Tanzi), Resto Druid (Baconstrip), Hybrid Balance Resto Druid (Lakini), Fire Mage (Faceeraser), Afflication Warlock (Regolas), Beast Mastery Hunter (Skat), Marksman Hunter (Schmedlap), Combat Rogue (Agamegnome).

Sundays group was Prot Paladin (me!), Feral Druid (Zadorr), Hybrid Holy/Disc Preist (Tanzi), Holy Paladin (Sevenn), Hybrid Balance Resto Druid (Lakini), Arcane Mage (Brambles), Elemental Shaman (Wichita), Feral Druid (Origami), Marksman Hunter (Schmed), and Combat Rogue (Lou).

We started with Moroes. Friday we faces Ret Paladin, Prot Warrior, Shadow Priest and Holy Paladin. Sunday we got Holy Priest, Ret Paladin, Mortal Strike Warrior, and Prot Warrior. We chained shackled the Ret Paladin, and did our best to CC the Mortal Strike Warrior. The Hunter had some problems getting him under control. We used the Holy Paladin to fear (Turn Undead) and stun (Hammer of Justice) to help keep the adds under control. We also caught a lucky break in that I got Garroted twice! This meant I could Stoneform the first one and flash Divine Shield for the second one. Basically when a Prot Paladin flashes Divine Shield aka the bubble, he hits Divine Shield to drop the debuff, and right clicks the buff to remove it. You spend a couple of seconds in the bubble but as soon as you clear it the mob comes back to you.

Moroes goes down in our first attempt. For several people in the raid, this was the first time they'd ever taken Moroes down.

Next we moved onto Maiden. I volenteered to heal and cleanse for this fight. Maiden does a silence every 2 seconds and while I'm sure I *COULD* tank her, its very annoying. YOu have to sit there and spam your buttons constantly. I figured I could help out more healing and having the Feral Druid main tank. It would give us one less melee dps than if I tried to tank. We wiped a couple of times getting into position. Our first wipe was due to the Hunter pet aggroing Maiden. We asked him to put the pet away. I love hunters. In fact, my highest level alt is a hunter. But part of being a hunter is controlling your pet. We wiped again when one of the mages got to close to her getting into position. Finally, we are all ready and set to go. Some people didn't come infront of their pillar enough so I couldn't cleanse them from Holy Fire. Wow, does that thing hurt. It kills people quick. I'm way way out of practice for cleansing. It's been a long long time since Chromagnus. Plus I had Decursive back them. Just spam away on the Decursive button and all was well. At least someone was running a Boss Mod that told me who got Holy Fire'd. Between line of sight issues and me being slow on the trigger, we wiped again.

We collected ourselves and got back into position and this time we got her down. Yeah!

Next it was on to Opera. I was hoping for Romeo and Juliet, even Wizard of Oz would have been okay, but alas, no, we got Big Bad Wolf. Hmm, no fear ward, no warrior. Well this will be fun.

And it was. You see we have this amazing Shaman in our group. The guy is the best I've ever seen. He can time his tremor totem right with the fear and BAM! just like that your back in the action. I spent most of the fight tossing my shield at the Wolf trying to get some aggro while he chased Little Red Riding Hood.

You could really tell when a class that is used to kiting gets it versus one that isn't. Our poor Holy Paladin got eaten twice.

One of the funny things about Big Bad Wolf is that you have to talk to Grandmother to start the encounter. Your lines are pretty normal. Oh what big ears you have! Oh what big eyes you have! But then your line is Oh what phat lewtz you have. I read that over vent and half the guys didn't believe me. I'll screen shot it next time. Then the Wolf shouts stuff like "I'm gonna own you!" Funny stuff and a pretty cool encounter.

Yes, we got him down.

We had some thought about going after Curator, but it was late and a Sunday night so we called it.

It was really nice to have some success in Kara again, even if the drops are not being kind to me. No tanky drops all night. 5 weeks in Kara and the Belt, Bracers and Gloves haven't dropped at all, whether I've been in the group or not.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Decisions, Decisions

I ran a couple of WSG rounds with my guild last night. It took a couple of games to get a full group together but it was fun. We won some and we lost some. The great thing about Guild PVP night is that you look up at the end of the night and you've got all this honor and marks and you don't even feel like you hard to work at it, because you had so much fun. I can see why people don't like doing solo BGs. My only regret was that I couldn't go longer.

I made a couple of decisions. First off, I went ahead and bought a PVP Mechostrider. He's cool and as a bonus it's effected by Crusader Aura just like my Charger. Opponents don't know what I am quite as quickly. I mean nothing says Paladin quite like riding in on the Charger.

The other thing I've decided is that I'm going to stick with my hunter. Out of all the alts I considered my reason for dismissing him was the weakest. I can always get groups with the guild and he's not an "endgame" character. He's a blast to play and I can run with my friend. Also, hunters level fast which will help make up for the playing time difference between me and my friend.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Deja vu

Last night, Heroes Inc once more braved the challenges of Kara. But once again, we could get no further than attempts on Moroes. One of the issues we had this time was that I was the only Paladin, so that gave us only one "Get out of garrote free" card, and that was on a 3 minute cooldown.

Our resto druid (Bacon) is an incredible healer, but asking him to heal a main tank, and keep up HoTs through the garrote was asking too much. I've only beaten Moroes two times, and I think both of those times we've had two Paladins, and one Shadow Priest. Even with only one Paladin and no Shadow Priest we got him down to 5 percent before our healer mana gave out and we wiped.

I'm sure everyone is frustrated and upset we aren't getting him down. I've looked over the strat and my own gear, but I don't see a whole lot of room for improvement. The good news is that I'm nowhere near as upset this week as I was last week. I guess I see going from wiping on him at 60 percent to wiping on him at 5 percent as progress, even if others don't.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Oh Alting we will go

I've always had a thing for alts. I love them, but I've always had a hard time getting one really going. They always seem to kind of peter out around level 15-20. Its just hard for me to find a class I like as much as a Paladin.

I've played every class except Warlock to at least that range. I just can't bring myself to play a Warlock, the whole play with demons thing just freaks me out. /shudder

One thing I've learned, I don't like cloth classes. I hate feeling so squishy. Leather is not much better, with the notable exception of Druids.

My problem righ tnow, is a really good friend rolled on AoS. He's got a mage around level 34. I'd love to run with him at that level, but I can't seem to focus on one alt long enough to catch up to him.

So lets toss out all the cloth classes.

That leaves 6.

My Shaman felt too much like my Paladin. Melee, melee, Shock, instead of melee, melee, Judge. My rogue was very hard to keep alive. I keep dying with him. I probably shouldn't make another Paladin.

That leaves Warrior, Hunter, and Druid.

We've gotten a ton of Hunters in Heroes right now. I've gotten a Hunter to 50 hordeside, so I know the class pretty well. They seem to have to prove themselves on a DPS front almost as much as Paladins have to prove themselves on a Tanking front.

Warrior would be really nice. The ideal tank, I'd never have to worry about groups. Problem being around level 20, it really started to feel forced. I don't know if I just don't enjoy the class, or I'm just not into leveling again.

Then there's my druid. He's got a lot of the versatility I love so much in Honors and shapeshifting looks like it'd be a blast, but it'd be multiple gear sets again and the constant "You should be a healer" mindset I have had to fight so hard on my Paladin.

Of course, I could just run my buddy through stuff and help him get to 70, but that's going to take a while. I doubt I've got the playtime to keep up with him and keep Honors going. Of course, I'm getting close to the point where all the "upgrades" for Honors will only be available on Raid nights, so it would be nice to have an alt.

I had hoped that blogging this would help me collect my thoughts and help me reach a decision, much like my "Destination Unknown" post did. So such luck this time.

Arena Night

Oh yes, it's Arena night
And the feeling's right
Oh yes, it's Arena night
Oh what a night (oh what a night)
This is your night tonight, everything' s gonna be alright
Cause it's Arena night, o what a night.

My apologies to Kool and the Gang for butchering their song there. As you can tell from the tone of my post, Arena went much better last night. I think all of the practicing and theorycrafting and losing we have been going through has finally started to pay off.

Our communication, especially between me and our Resto Druid (Bacon) was much improved. The other teams could lock me down from time to time, but either Bacon or even our Boomkin (Lakini) would get a heal on me and I'd be good.

Arena master is really helping with target selection. Although, I think surprise may be one of our advantages. It seemed after we beat a team, we had a tougher time if we played them again.

We even beat a two Paladin team which had been a real bane to us in the past. Our rating is still sub 1500. That's okay. We are still getting points. I'm several weeks from being able to purchase my next upgrade. I'm really torn between the new Shield that's coming in 2.2 or my PVP Chest piece.

After Arenas, some Heroes from my guild decided to do some Arathi Basin. I was reminded quickly why I hate PuG battlegrounds so much. Pretty much Alliance was 5 capped both games. The only upside there being a quick mark.

Under my current PVP gear acquisition strategy, I need 100 AB Marks, but only 10 AV. Did some Horde person make up these requirements. My epic Cape takes 20, and the Epic Healer Belt and Epic Healer Neck take 40 each.

Which brings me to my conundrum concerning my mount. In a BG, with my spec (8/41/12), mana is at a real premium. I generally run out each fight and have to regen between fights. I hate having to use that precious mana for my mount.

I guess the easiest solution would be to buy a Ram. They only cost 100g. But I've always wanted a Mechnostrider. It would take 146 runecloth turn ins to get me Exalted with the Gnomes, or I could by the PVP Mechnostrider for 30 AB, 30 WSG, and 30 AV tokens. As hard as AB tokens are to come by, I'd hate to have to spend them. However, right now, I'm working towards my upgraded PVP trinket which requires 0 Marks. I could use AB to get the Honor for my trinket while getting Marks as well. Plus, at some point, Heroes will do an organized AB weekend. Those simply rock.

Organized PVP with my guild is amazingly fun. Sure we lose some, but we win some too.

I've got so much to do with Honors. He needs rep from various factions, more drops, PVP gear. I'm having a blast with the game right now.

And I managed to payback the guildy who loaned me the money to buy the Solid Star Recipe. Big thank you for the loan. This is the second time I had to borrow money from someone in Heroes. Last time it was to get my Charger. I always try to pay people back as quickly as I can. You never know when you might need a favor again, and I want people to know they can count on me.

It looks like I've got a decent shot at a tank spot in Kara tonight after my group couldn't go on Sunday.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Change of Plans

So last night was supposed to be Arena night for Honors. Unfortunately, real life intervened for one of our players and we had to postpone.

That left the night open. There was a group forming for Mechanar, so I threw my hat into the ring. I asked if anyone would mine if we did Botanica instead. We had a Priest in the group who wanted a drop, and frankly, I wanted another shot at my shoulders.

The group was Me (Prot Paladin), Brambles (Arcane Mage), Wichita (Elemental Shaman), Ferth (Fury Warrior), and Calexis (Discipline Priest).

There is a word for what this group had, and that word is sick DPS. Heroes is basically overgeared for all Normal mode instances and it showed. We basically plowed through the place, even AoEing some pulls. We even got a double pull at one point and came through. The only boss who was remotely challenging was the 3rd boss (The Tender). For our first wipe, I ran out of range of my healer. GG, me. Next wipe was caused by the Boss going after our DPS. I couldn't get him back for anything. Later we learned that when he does his sacrifice, he resets his aggro table. Finally we got him down no problem.

None of the drops that people were looking for showed up. No healing gear for Cale, no shield for Ferth, and no Shoulders for me. I wound up taking a PVP cloak and a resistance cloak, but almost all the drops were going to be vendored.

The run took me to revered with Sha'tar. Nothing major from them at this level, but I'm that much closer to the Chest of the Sha'tar at Exalted, and I'm keyed for Heroics. The only Heroic key I'm missing now is Honor Hold.

So my goals now are:

1. Finish paying off the guildy who loaned me 700g to buy the Solid Star of Elune recipie
2. Get Badges. I need at least 49 more
3. Get Sha'tar rep. I need Exalted
4. Upgrade my Bracers, and Shoulders
5. Start working toward my epic flyer

It's amazing how running Heroic TK can solve all 4.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Vengence is mine

"So what now, Jack Sparrow? Are we to be two immortals locked in an epic battle until Judgment Day and trumpets sound?" - Captain Barbosa

The plan couldn't have been simpler.

Step 1: Take the boat to Theramore
Step 2: Fly to Rachet
Step 3: Ride through the Barrens to Mulgore
Step 4: Talk to the guy at the Faire, get my Darkmoon Card: Vengence, hearth out.


Only one small problem, I play on a PVP server. Everything is going dandy until I get to the Faire. There is only one level 70 Horde there, a Tauren Shaman riding a Raptor. He was standing close to the NPC I had to talk to to turn in my quest. I calmly walked by him, and started to talk to the NPC.

I hear a dismount. Great.


Okay, it's basically just me and him around, so I figured......

After a few moments, I see Earth Shield go up and watch an instant heal to full life. Great, he's resto.

What insued was one of the longest PVP battles you may have ever seen. Resto Shaman versus Protection Paladin.

Now I've been fighting Shaman's for a long time, so I know some tricks to help me. Heal after the Frost Shock, because Earth Shock is on cooldown.

I made an interesting discovery, with Improved Concentration Aura, you can eat a EarthShock and still get a heal off before the Shock cooldown is up.

Very shortly both combatants were out of mana. Well that's what Seal of Wisdom and Judgement of Wisdom, and Mana Tide Totem and Water Shield are for.

I was wearing my solo gear. In that gear I have about 8.7k life, 6k mana and about 400 spell damage. I can only guess he was in some sort of healing gear because his Healing Wave was taking him to nearly full.

So we would whack each other down to around 50% then we'd heal up and start the process again.
So finally it dawns on me to switch to Seal of Vengence and get a d.o.t working on him. Finally I'm able to get him down to about 30%. I hit him with a Judgement of Vengence, and then Consecrate. He was getting low so I see him winding up his big heal. I nail him with Hammer of Justice, then Hammer of Wrath lights up. I let it fly, then quickly Seal Righteousness and Judge.


(I have a mod that plays that whenever I get a Killing Blow in PVP, I don't hear it very often).

And then, he Anks (self Rez). The dude blew a 60 minute (40 minutes with talents) cooldown for me. I was touched.

At this point, I had two options. Blow my own cooldown, Lay On Hands, and fight him again, or try to fight him with little life and no mana.

I'm a Protection spec'ed Paladin, I take not dying to an artform.

So here we go, Seal Wisdom, Judge Wisdom and let's go. Unfortuneatly, by now (15 minutes at least after he attacked me), more Horde have shown up, including a Shadow Priest. The Priest managed to keep me feared (why I didn't have my PVP trinket equiped I can't tell you), and they burn me down.

So I rez, and make sure my Bubble is not on cooldown. I rez as close to the NPC as I can. The Shaman attacks me again! Dude, do you really want to go through this again? I don't.

So I bubble, calmly talk to the NPC and get my DarkMoon Card: Vengence. With the card now in hand, I turn to fight the Shaman. This time he gets a mage to counterspell me, and down I go to the Mage & Shaman.

I rez for a final time and the Shaman is no where to be seen.

So I decide I need to make a grand exit. I take the elevator up to Thunder Bluff and aggro as many guards as I can. Everyone in the place starts attacking me. Around 40% life, I hit the Bubble.....and Hearth!

That was a pretty cool night. I wish I had gotten more done, but I got my sweet 51 stamina trinket, and gave a good accounting of my class.

I wonder if that Shaman will post on the Realm forums?

Monday, July 9, 2007

Crash and Burn

For the first time Heroes was to attempt two nights of Kara. As the time for the runs drew near, the server was acting very strange. Horrendous lag, people dc'ing out of nowhere. At one point, we thought we would have to call the runs.
There were a bunch of people from the first night who didn't make it the second night, so we had to origanize the groups. We had the added complication of people having Raid IDs from Friday night, so we had to keep people with the same Raid ID together.
We put everyone together in one big raid while we got everything sorted out. We were running behind because of the server issues so half the people were already at Kara. I guess they got anxious and zoned in while we were all in the big raid. All the new people got Group 1s Raid ID, so Group 2, my group, was sidelined.
Even with that, we still would have needed a PuG druid even to have a second group.

So for everything I've put into my character and I see two bosses in Kara for the entire week, only getting one down. Group 1 gets 4 bosses down, two being Guild firsts.
I'm really disappointed with how this week went. This is supposed to be a game, something I do for fun. This weekend was not fun. This weekend was stress, disappointment and aggravation.
I can only hope that next week goes better.

Can't Crush This!

Saturday night, I tried really hard to get a group for Heroics. I just needed two badges to get my Libram of Repentance.

It was really hard to get a group together as most people were doing other things. My buddy Bacon was on, but I really didn't want to ask him. He gets so many people asking/begging him to heal their runs, that I kind of wanted to give him a break.

I finally had to go to a former guildy (Mareck) to heal for a Heroic Slave Pens run. It was Me (Prot Paladin), Wichita (Elemental Shaman), Brambles (Arcane Mage), Mareck (Holy Paladin) and Zadorr (Feral Druid). We did every well. Slave Pens is much nicer with a little CC. I switched out to healer gear for the last boss as its easier to do with two healers especially if your main healer is a Paladin. Of course, he didn't drop the belt I wanted, but that wasn't a big concern. I got my badges.

I went to Shattrath and purchased my Libram of Repentance. I fired up the TankPoints calculator and started swapping pieces of gear in and out. Finally I arrived at a set of gear that gave me 10.5k hitpoints and 102.5% combined avoidance/mitigation (block, parry, dodge, miss) taking my Crushing Blow pecentage to 0.


That's what I am. A major, major goal complete. I was really excited. I felt like a truly capable tank. All the effort and time I had put in paid off and I was ready to stand before any boss in Kara.

I'm also getting really close to being able to pay back the guildy who lent me the gold to buy the Solid Star of Elune recipie on the Auction House. The Solid Stars have been in a bit of a freefall as of late. When I bought the recipie, Solid Stars were going for 80g, now they are down below 50g. Perhaps the recipie isn't as rare as I thought.

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

Heroes made its next forray into Kara this weekend. We have well over 20 people keyed so we attempted to form two group. I was asked to lead group 2. It was a real honor to get to lead a group of my fellow Heroes into Kara.
Our Guild Leader is an awesome Fury Warrior named Ferth and he lead group 1 with me taking group 2. We divided up the available players online and headed into our respective instances.

My group was Honorshammer (Prot Paladin), Zadorr (Feral Druid), Faceeraser (Fire Mage), Tanzi (Holy Priest), Agamegnome (Combat Rogue), Elysium (Resto Druid), Origami (Feral Druid), Skatmando (Marksman Hunter), Rorst (Holy Paladin), Domemore (PuG Warlock).

We started clearing Attumen's trash without much issue. We were ready to pull Midnight with plenty of time.

And somehow, I messed up the pickup again when they merged. I consecrated as soon as they despawned and exorcismed when they were targetable, but my Feral Druid offtank still pulled aggro. I don't see how he could have gotten so much aggro so quickly. I'm going to have to work on my pickup. I think after I drop the consecrate, I should back up and prepare an Avenger's Shield, then Exorcism, then Judgement of Righteousness. That ought to tick off ole Attumen pretty good.

It took longer to down Attumen than it had previously. We chalked it up to the Offtank not being able to switch out to cat form halfway through and that I did much less DPS when something wasn't beating on me.
We were only a couple of minutes behind Group 1 and they had gotten a decent head start, so we were feeling pretty good about ourselves at this point.
Onto Moroes.
We started clearing the trash to Moroes and did pretty well. We only wiped once when we pulled a two Stewards while were clearing one of the tables.

Then we began to make attempts on Moroes. The add group we had was Holy Paladin, Shadow Priest, Mortal Strike Warrior, Protection Warrior. We used the same strategy we had used on our previous successful attempts. We shackled the Mortal Strike Warrior and trapped the Protection Warrior, but each attempt we made mistakes. Having one of our 3 healers pretty much on full time shackle duty hurt our healing, and having a hunter on full time trapping duty hurt our DPS. On two of the attempts our Holy Paladin misclicked and put Blessing of Protection on me instead of on the person who needed it. I ended up yelling at him over vent, and felt pretty bad about it later. He seemed to take it okay.

Moroes needs a fairly well coordinated group to defeat and we just didn't have it. We tried it with various arrangements, putting more and more pressure on the offtank to hold two or even three and stay #2 on threat on Moroes. It just didn't work.

We had far too much melee to think about Maiden. So when Moroes trash respawned we decided to reclear and try once again. It was on this second clear of Moroes trash that the Boots of Elusion dropped. My first Kara epic!

We tried Moroes twice more before calling it a night. Adding to the frustration was watching our first group one-shot Attumen, Maiden and Moroes. I was really disappointed that I wasn't in on our first Maiden kill. I guess it was unrealistic to think I'd be maintank everytime we killed a new boss, but after doing that for Attumen and Moroes, I guess I got that in my head.

Looking back on it now, I somehow ended up with a group of new recruits to Heroes while the lions share of the group I had been with previously was now in Group 1. The upside was most of the people in my group had fun (with the exception of me, Face and Zadorr).

After the runs were over I got with Ferth in a private channel and basically bitched, moaned, and complained for a good 30 minutes. Ferth, to his credit, let me vent at him without too much reaction.
This was the first time we had ever tried to go with two groups so I think its only expected we made some mistakes in putting the groups together. Its easier to see that now than after a two hours of wipes on Moroes I guess.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Fish Food

After a night of getting my head handed to me by real people in Arenas, I figured I needed to have the AI work me over in Heroics. So we got a group together.
There was much discussion about which Heroic to do, and who was keyed for what. We eventually decided on Slave Pens.
This was my 3rd trip to the Slave Pens, and I had nearly the same group as my last trip.
Me (Prot Paladin)
Baconstrip (Resto Druid)
Wichita (Elemental Shaman)
Zadorr (Feral Druid)
Origami (Feral Druid)

Two big differences from my last group. One, we had a mage in place of Zadorr, and two, Wichita, our Elemental Shaman had spec'ed Resto for that run.

The lack of CC or a second healer showed up often as we made our run. I could multitank 2 or 3 mobs but with only healer, we couldn't get through the damage. Plus many of the mobs in there have abilities akin to Sunder Armor, which only makes me take more damage.

We wiped multiple times on trash, and once on each boss except for the first, but we got through it. Here again, I was surprised. I had recently gotten a couple of gear upgrades and pushed my hitpoints up to 10.5k unbuffed. I had figured it would make it easier for me to tank, but it didn't seem to help all that much.
After the first wipe on the last boss it finally dawns on us. Zadorr (Feral) should tank, and I should be the 2nd healer. I think the group may have been hesitant to suggest the approach, because I've been so vehement in my refusal to heal in order to pursue the path of tanking.
I have feared that if I start to heal, I'll be forced into that role full time.
I healed my way through the old endgame, and I didn't like it. I don't want to go back to that again. But I think I'm well established enough now that I could have healed with Bacon for this run.
I did heal through the last boss, and we got him down with Zadorr tanking. Of course, after my good run of loot luck the past couple of nights, I didn't see the belt I wanted off him. I did however, come away with three more badges. I need just two to get my libram.
Many of our guild tanks that I've talked to, really prefer to do other things (DPS) when they can, so they like me tanking. I'd much prefer to tank than dps or heal, I guess I'm just weird like that.
I've heard it said that tanking is work, healing is work and DPS is fun. To me, tanking is a blast and I really enjoy doing it. I can see the strain of being a healer has put on Bacon. He can't log in for more than two minutes without being asked/begged to heal a run. It's kind of a vicious cycle. You don't have enough healers so you overwork the ones you do. They quit or reroll, so you have less healers and the cycle begins again.

Humbling Night

Last night was Arena night for me and my 5v5 team, PVPed in My Pants. Our illustrious team members include:

Me (Prot Paladin)
Lakini (Boomkin Druid)
Ferth (Fury Warrior)
Baconstrip (Resto Druid)
Lou (Assassination Rogue)

You know the old saying, "You win some, you lose some." Well last night it was "You lose some, you lose some more." By the end of the night we were all pretty frustrated.

The main culprit of the night seemed to be Paladins. Don't you just hate those guys? ;-)

Specifically one spell Paladins can cast, Blessing of Protection.

Blessing of Protection Rank 3
6% of base Mana 30 yd range
Instant cast
5/4/3 min cooldown (depending on talents)
A targeted party member is protected from all physical attacks for 10 sec, but during that time they cannot melee attack or use physical abilities. Players may only have one Blessing on them per Paladin at any one time. Once protected, the target cannot be made invulnerable by Divine Shield, Divine Protection or Blessing of Protection again for 60 sec.

See that part there about being protected from all physical attacks? (of course you did, I bolded it). That shuts down about 2/3rds of our damage and allows a near dead opponent to be healed up to full. This is incredibly frustrating.

Well gee, Honors, you guys have a Paladin, why don't you use this incredible spell for your team? Well, I do. I usually use it on Lakini (Boomkin) or Bacon (Resto), but it doesn't seem to help as much. Most of the teams we face have some nice magical damage, and BoP does exactly squat against it.

What teams seem to like to do to me is have all 5 guys wailing on me (or at least that what it feels like) at the outset. The can only see me and Ferth (Fury Warrior). That forces me to use my bubble, or perhaps even kill me if I'm not quick on buttons or they get me in a counterspell school lockout scenario. (Yes, if you lock our Holy School, we can't bubble while locked.)

Some teams had a Priest, and it seemed their express purpose was to dispell my Divine Shield.
I guess we were frustrated as well because we are all starting to get some decent Arena gear, and we'd figured that would make it easier to win. But it didn't, I guess skill and spec play a role as well.

And now comes news that our Moonkin is giving serious contemplation to going Resto. I'm not sure what that would mean for the team.

On another PVP note, I'm actually starting to do BGs solo again, and I haven't done that since I was going after my Unstoppable Force, back when you needed Exalted with Stormpike and a pile of gold to get it. I'm also working on badges to buy my Battlestrider. I've always wanted one, and I'm just a couple of Warsong tokens away from getting it, not that I have any bag space for it, lol.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Leveling a Paladin in World of Warcraft

10/15/2010 - Patch 4.0.1 has hit the Live servers. This guide is now outdated. I will not have time to continue to update it.

Updated 11/17/2009 -
Rewrote parts of the first Path of th Cleric section (Holy) from 40 to 50. Also corrected an issue with the duration of blessings. Both changes prompted from excellent feedback in the comments.

Choosing the Paladin as your class shows remarkable good taste and high intelligence. As a level 80 Paladin, I'd thought I'd share some thoughts on leveling a Paladin character.

Honors, you are a rare combination of brains and good looks, what race should I make my Paladin?

Well, I'm glad you asked. Roll Horde, you're a Blood Elf. Next Question! Oh, wait, you're Alliance, excellent choice, my lad. Of the 3 Alliance races, I would say Draenei. The Draenei starting area is really cool, and tons of fun. It's also the best put together of any of the Alliance starting zones making questing and leveling much easier and frankly more fun. I'd even consider taking your Human or Dwarf over to Azuremyst Isle via the Stormwind Harbor. There is a boat in Stormwind Harbor that takes you to Darkshore, and a boat in Darkshore that takes you directly to Azuremyst Isle.

Draenei get Shadow Resistance and a free scaling Heal over Time work well with Paladins. This is especially good for healing Paladins as the Heal Over Time also gets better as you get better gear.

Humans are very nice aesthetically, and the rep bonus they get is very nice. Also Every Man For Himself is handy as Paladins lack any kind of Fear break, and Mace and Sword Specialization cover pretty much every weapon a Paladin is likely to use. Yes, we can use Axes, but I have used mostly Maces and Swords.

If I had it to do all over again, I would have probably rolled Human. Maybe its because I'm a dwarf, I don't know, I just like how Human Paladins look.

For Dwarves, Stoneform is really nice, and I dig the expertise from Mace Specialization. Find Treasure will actually help you complete a quest or two (as the quest items show up on your tracking), but some of the other dwarf racial bonuses don’t seem to help a Paladin much (can you say Gun Specialization, yes, I thought you could).

In the end, race isn't going to make or break your character.

An honest hard working guy like yourself, do you have anything to say about Professions?

Good question.

Gather. Gather. Gather. Mine/Skin or Mine/Herb (annoying but doable). Once you get to level 50 or 60 and have some cash, you can start thinking about a Production profession. Any of the productions profession will serve you well. Blacksmithing (extra sockets), Jewelcrafting (make your own gems, and get better JC only gems), Alchemy (everybody needs pots, and your Flasks are more powerful), and Enchanting (and they need enchants, plus you can enchant your Rings). Engineering is nice while leveling as it gives a low level Paladin some ranged attacks, but seems pretty lackluster at max level. But if I had to do it all over again, I'd be a double gatherer all the way to 80 and beyond (Personally, I’m Jewelcrafting and Mining. Practice what I preach? No, not so much.)

Honors, my Paladin is an alt or a reroll. Should I use Heirloom items and which ones are best?

Great question. Heirloom items are pieces of gear that can be purchased via the Emblem system by Level 80 characters and sent to lower level characters, even a level 1. The stats on the item change every time you level up.

You should absolutely use Heirloom items if you can spare the Emblems/Stone Keeper Shards on your Level 80 toon.

You want to buy the Heirloom Polished Spaulders of Valor. There is also going to be a Chestpiece that will be available in a Patch 3.2. Both the Shoulders and Chest provide a stacking 10% bonus to experience from killing creatures and from quests. It can really help speed up your leveling.

After that I would buy a Bloodied Arcanite Reaper. Your weapon is probably one of the most important pieces of gear to keep current. By having an Heirloom, it will automatically stay up with your current level.

If you are leveling on a PVP server, I strongly recommend buying an Inherited Insignia of the Horde/Alliance. It is a key part of PVPing in the open world.

Levels 1-10

Zones: You are going to be in your starting area for your race. Do all your quests.

Talents: None available at this point

Combat: Seal of Righteousness, then Judge. Judge Righteousness every time the cooldown is up. Keep your Seal, Blessing, and Aura up at all times. Your Aura will be Devotion at first, but switch to Retribution when you get it. Your Blessing can stay Might throughout this level range. Purify any poison that gets put on you.

Gearing: Look for gear with Strength, Stamina, and a little Intellect wouldn't hurt. If you find a piece or two with Spell Damage, that's bonus, but those pieces are fairly rare. You'll mostly be wearing quest rewards.

Levels 10-20

Zones: You'll move from your race's starting area into a secondary area (Westfall, Loch Modan, Bloodmyst Isles, or Ghostlands). Do the quest from your trainer to learn your resurrection spell. Continue to quest through your starting area. I actually recommend staying in these secondary areas as long as you can on a PVP server. Having an extra level or two is nice when you start venturing into the contested zones which come in the next range.

Talents: Honors, you are wise beyond expectations, but I have these talent points now. What should I do with them?

Well, I'm glad you asked, me lad. I'm going to suggest you put your points in Retribution. First 5 in Benediction and then 2 into Improved Judgement and 3 into Heart of the Crusader. Putting your first 5 points in Protection for Divine Strength is also a great idea, but you want to get Seal of Command as soon as you hit 20, so I advise you stick with Ret.

Combat: Combat sequence is essentially the same. Consecrate if you are fighting more than 2 mobs, but watch your mana. Consecrate is a hungry little beast. Divine Protection (which is sort of like a Shield Wall) and heal if you get into trouble. Stun and heal works well too. You may want to buff with Blessing of Wisdom instead of Might if you run into mana issues.

Gearing: Continue looking for Strength, Stamina, and Intellect. A little Agility on your gear would be nice as well. In this range you'll run DeadMines which has a couple of decent blue drops (Cookie's mace). Hordeside, you'll be running Ragefire Chasm and Wailing Caverns. Not much of note there, except that your level 20 Paladin quests requires a run through Ragefire. You will likely find it difficult to find groups for many low level instances, just keep on trucking.

At level 15, your Glyphs open up. You will have one Major Glyph and one Minor Glyph to start out with. These can be filled with Glyphs found on your local Auction House and can be expensive for someone in this level range.

My recommendation is you put Glyph of Judgement in your Major Glyph spot and Glyph of Blessing of Might in your minor glyph spot. Judgement is a straight up DPS increase on your most used ability and Blessing of Might means you will have to renew your Blessing less often.

Levels 20-30

[After Patch 3.2 Ding 20. Go to Stormwind, walk out with your horse. Sure beats walking! ]

Zones: So you've got your Verigan's Fist (see gearing), you've got your Seal of Command (see talents), now high tail it to Duskwood and start working on the Undead in that zone. For Blood Knights, it's either Ashenvale or Tarren Mill. I always go Ashenvale/StoneTalon/Thousand Needles on my Horde characters. I hate the quests to kill humans that you get in Tarren Mill.

Stockades, Shadowfang Keep, BlackFathom Deeps, and Razorfen Kraul are all options in this range.

Talents: You've just dinged level 20, what are you going to do next?! Congratulations, you're going to Seal of Command! The next two points go into Pursuit of Justice, which you will fill out at level 22. This is actually one of the most important leveling talents because you do a ton of running around while you level. Now you dip into Protection for Divine Strength, and put 2 points in Conviction.

Combat: Combat is the same as before, except that your Seal of choice is Command. Throw an Exorcism in whenever it’s off cooldown, and Judgement of Justice on any humanoids that like to run at low health. Drop a Hammer of Justice just before you Consecrate as your enemy (mob or player) is sort stuck there eating tick after tick of Consecrate, and there is nothing they can do about it. Bwhahahahaha!

You may want to change out your Glyph of Blessing of Might for a Glyph of Sense Undead. This is a damage increase when fighting undead. Remember to have your Sense Undead on if you are going to use this Glyph.

By level 20, you've gotten all the baseline tools you need to heal, dps or tank an instance. I highly, highly recommend you try out each "job" several times in this range and the next. It will help you decide what path you which to follow later in your Paladin playing days. At this level range, you don't need points in Holy to heal okay, or points in Protection to tank okay. The dungeons are designed to be done by offspecs.

Gearing: Alliance Paladins should stop whatever they are doing and get back to the trainer and pickup the level 20 Paladin quest. Start the quest and make it your top priority to finish it. This quest will yield you your Verigan's Fist (or Blood Tempered Ramsuer for Blood Knights).

Blood Knights don't have quite the sense of urgency to finishing their quest as the reward they get from completing main Ghostlands Quest (Warblade of the Sin'dorei) is comparable to the Blood Tempereed Ramsuer. Verigan's is quite overpowered for its level. I used mine well into my 30s. Most steps are labeled as group quests, but all can be done solo save for the Deadmines and Shadowfang Keep steps. Deadmines is one of the few low level instances where you can still find groups, but Shadowfang may pose a bit of a challenge. If you are an alt with a high level main consider trading runs, or possibly paying for a run by a high level toon.

Or you could find a high level Paladin who might be willing to aid you with these quests. I've helped quite a few Paladins get their Fist in my playing days, but back when I was leveling, I teamed up with another Paladin. We were both about level 24 and able to duo the Shadowfang Keep part of the quest. Save your long cooldowns like Lay on Hands for when you reach the courtyard. Once you get your Fist,I recommend putting a Firey enchant on it. You will have this weapon for a while and Firey is a good bang for buck type of enchant.

Since you have Divine Strength, Strength is better point for point than Attack Power.

I should also mention Corpsemaker, which is a two handed axe that drops from Overlord Ramtusk in Razorfen Kraul. It is a really nice weapon, arguably better than either quest reward, but it's a drop. There is no guarantee that it will drop for you, and it's in an instance that is somewhat out of the way for Alliance toons. I see far more groups for RFK on my Horde toons than I do with my Alliance ones.

Levles 30-40

[Before Patch 3.2 Ding 30. Go to Stormwind, walk out with Mount. Sure beats walking!]

Zones: Start yourself with the quests in eastern Thousand Needles around the Mirage Raceway, then move in Stranglethorn Vale. On a PVP server, you are pretty much permaPVP flagged from here on out.

Now that you can transfer from PVE to PVP, you may think about leveling on a PVE server then transferring to a PVP server. However, I would caution against it. You learn many tricks leveling up on a PVP server that you will need even at max level like how to rez to avoid getting corpse camped, and how to be on guard at all times. You can also make friends while you are leveling up, that you may still group with at max level.

Yes, you will get ganked in Stranglethron. You'll get ganked in nearly any zone you level in on a PVP server. It happens. If you have a high level main, park them in the zone and get a little revenge. Also try to travel in groups. That will help against equal level characters. The level 80s who just want to one shot you, well nothing much to be done about it. If that's how they want to spend their playtime, that's their option. I've never found it very fun, myself.

The new Quest Hub of Mudsprocket in Dustwallow Marsh is an excellent way to make your way through this range. Ganking still happens but it seems like there is less of it because the area is not well known (at least not yet). In addition, it is new content. I'm leveling a new character (not a Paladin) just so I can experience the new stories and quests.

In this range you should spend some time in the Scarlet Monastery. There is a mail set that drops in there. Don't go out of your way to collect the whole set, you'll level out of it quickly enough, but if you find a piece or two, pick it up. Herod has his shoulders and there is a nice Axe that drops from him that I finally replaced my Verigan's Fist with. (Note, my Fist still rests proudly in my bank. If we ever get player housing, its going right over the mantle) Remind any warrior that wants Herod's axe that they can get an even better one from their Warrior only quest.

Talents: You want to go ahead and finish out Conviction, then pick up Crusade. Next up is Two handed Weapon Specialization and Sanctified Retribution.

Combat: Combat remains pretty much the same. Since you picked up Crusade, try to fight mobs that it has an extra bonus against (Humans, Demons, Undead, and Elementals).

Gearing: Continue to look for gear with Stamina, Intellect, and Strength. For weapons, you want the highest possible top end damage. DPS is nice but look for the damage range and find the one with the biggest top end number. If you think you might like to go sword and board in next level range look for some pieces with defense.

At Level 30, your second major Glyph slot will open up. My recommendation here is Glyph of Exorcism. It’s another straight damage increase.

Level 40-50

You're halfway there. Awesome.

[Patch 3.2 Back to Stormwind. Trade in your old and busted Pony for your new HOTNESS, The Charger. Back in the day, you had to do this very long and involved quest chain, at Level 60 no less, to get this beautiful ride, but now it's as simple as a training it. Kids don't know how good they have it these days. Why I had to walk 2 miles in the snow, uphill both ways to get my Charger!]

You can wear plate now, but mail will be okay for a couple of levels. Start picking up Plate where you can.

Zones: You will be in Stranglethorn Vale, Hinterlands, Tanaris, and Feralas.

Getting groups will continue to be a challenge, but there are some great instances in this range.

Run Razorfen Downs. I know it’s a little out of the way for Alliance players, but it’s got some really nice drops. You can pickup a Carapace of Tuten'kash and an Ice Metal Barbute.

In Marauadon, there is a very nice Paladin Shield off the goblin boss. He also drops a nice sword (Inventors Focal Sword), especially if you are Holy. Landslide drops a mace called The Fist of Stone which is great for grinding, and tanking. It has a chance on hit that returns mana and procs fairly often. There is a quest out in Desolace that takes you into the pre-instance part of Maraudon that nets you a pretty nice trinket called Mark of the Chosen. I know it only says a 2% chance, but I found it was up very often.

In Zul'Farrak, Antu'zul drops Sang'thraze the Deflector (very, very rare drop), and Chief Ukorz Sandscalp drops Big Pad Pauldrons.

You will also have a chance to do Uldaman in this range which was one of my favorite instances leveling up, especially for Dwarves!

Decision Time?

At Level 40, the option to Dual Spec opens up to you. Since Paladins have access to all three roles, you have to choose two because you can only have two specs. I actually recommend that you don’t take dual spec until you mid 60s, or possibly even mid 70s. Hopefully, you’ve got a feel for all three paths before you decide which two you will go with.

The Path of the Crusader (Retribution) is generally considered the best and fastest leveler, but the Path of the Templar (Protection) is very strong as well. I don’t recommend leveling as Path of the Cleric (Holy) but it can work and some people do enjoy the playstyle.

Most people will pick Crusader as one spec and then either Templar or Cleric for their second. This gives them the option to Tank/DPS or Heal/DPS. Some are even crazy enough to try a Tank/Heal combination and never have trouble finding a group that could use them.

So let's talk about your choices, lad.

Path of the Crusader

This is an extension of what you've been doing. Your main role focus is on damage and taking down mobs while adding great utility to a group through your Auras, Blessings, and other buffs.

Talents: You can stick with Ret and 2 hander. Pickup Vengeance, Sanctity of Battle, Judgement of the Wise and Art of War.

Combat: This can be very fast. You will generally kill most mobs in 3 to 4 moves. Try to fight caster mobs when you can, as their low armor allows you to tear through them quickly. Keep an eye on your Buffs. As soon as you see Art of War proc, go ahead and drop an instant Exorcism. Only if you are a little low on hit points use Flash of Light. With Judgment of the Wise, you should be Judging Light instead of Wisdom and finishing fights at 75% health and mana or better.

Gearing: Keep looking for slow two handers with high top end damage. There is a nice one that drops in Uldaman, and the Auction House will sometimes have an Executioner's Cleaver. Nice weapon. Firey remains a good choice for a cheap enchants. Continue looking for Strength, Attack Power, Critical Strike Rating, and Stamina on your gear.

Path of the Templar

This is a full on switch from Retribution to Protection. This is the path of the Tank, the one who sacrifices himself and his gear to save his friends.

Talents: Respec!! Your talents change to Divine Strength, Anticipation, Improved Righteous Fury, Toughness, Improved Devotion Aura, Blessing of Sanctuary, 3 points in Reckoning, Sacred Duty and 1 handed weapon specialization. Then from 40 to 50, we finish grab Holy Shield, 1 point in Spiritual Attunement, Ardent Defender, Redoubt, 2 in Combat Expertise and Avenger's Shield.

Combat: For combat, you want to look to AoE grind. Make sure you have Blessing of Sanctuary on, Retribution Aura on, and Righteous Fury on (for the 6% damage reduction). Pull at least two or three mobs (preferable melee types if you can). Fire your Avenger's Shield at the caster types to silence them and get them to come to melee range.

Seal Righteousness and Judge Light. Judge every time the cooldown is up. Reckoning will proc often as well giving you 2x the Judgement of Light procs and 2x the Seal of Righteousness procs. Blessing of Sanctuary will keep your mana up. Consecrate on cooldown if you can spare the mana. Start slow with only 2 or 3 of your same level. When you get comfortable you can work your way up to larger and larger packs. Every time you get an add its like "oh, yeah!". If you get into trouble, use your Panic buttons: Divine Protection, Divine Shield, Lay On Hands, Ardent Defender, Health Potions, etc.

Your dps is proportional with the number of mobs hitting you. Basically if you are only fighting one mob, you aren't doing much DPS, but 3 or 4, now you are talking. Watch out for slow hitters too, you want mobs that hit fairly often. Big mobs like Giants tend to hit hard and slow, Cats tend to hit fast and weak. You want to fight fast and weak moreso than hard and slow. Your tanking will be better than it was before, so get out there and lay down the aggro.

Gearing: Look for gear with Strength, Stamina, Defense, Block Value, Parry, Block, and Dodge, and a high dps 1 handed weapon. Speed is really not all that important, solid white dps is. Something like Hanzo's Sword or the Doomforge Straightedge is recommended. The Heirloom Battleworn Thrash Blade is an excellent choice as well if you have a Level 80 who can buy it.Also, I strongly recommend you put a Shield Spike on your main shield as soon as you can. Mithril Shield spikes are fairly cheap. A Shield Spike can be very helpful with threat in this range and it gets you into the mindset of Block = Threat which will serve you well especially with Holy Shield. I will mention this final path here, but in my opinion it's in the next range that this path becomes more workable.

Path of the Cleric

This is the path of the Priest in Plate, the Healer, and the clue that holds every group together. He champions his friends, not by taking the blows, but by curing them, enabling his allies to defeat foes that they never could without his blessing. This Path is not as strong soloing as Ret or even Protection, but it is a very strong in groups.

I’m first going to talk about talents you want if you are really going to try to solo as Holy, then I’ll mention talents to take if Holy is a second dual spec.

Talents (Solo): If you are going to solo as a Crusader (Retribution), but instance as a Cleric (Holy), you will look at talents differently. Soloing as Holy starts with Seals of the Pure, then picks up Divine Intellect, 4/5 Spiritual Focus, Improved Blessing of Wisdom, Healing Light, Sanctified Light, Aura Mastery, Illumination, Divine Favor, and start working on Improved Concentration Aura. As soon as you hit 40, you want Holy Shock. From 40 to 50, you want to finish Improved Concentration, Holy Power, and start working on Holy Guidance.

Talents (Grouping): If your Cleric is only for grouping, start with Spiritual Focus. Then pickup Divine Intellect, Illumination, 2 points only in Healing Light, Improved Blessing of Wisdom, Divine Favor, Sanctified Light, Aura Mastery, Holy Power, and Holy Shock. From 40 to 50, you will want Light’s Grace, Improved Lay On Hands, and Holy Guidance.

Combat: Use Blessing of Wisdom for your blessing. Open the pull with a Holy Shock and nail them with Judgement of Wisdom. Get into melee range and start whacking away. Use a sword and board for melee types and bust out your two-hander for the clothies. Your lifeline is no longer the green one, but the blue. As long as you have mana, you are nigh unkillable.

Gearing: You want to look for gear with Intellect, Stamina, Spell Power, and Mana per 5 seconds, Spell Crit Rating. This is why I say that this path doesn’t really open up to you just yet. This gear basically doesn’t exist in this range if you insist on plate. If you are willing to go with Mail, Leather or even Cloth then you can find those stats, but you will not be as durable when out soloing and getting beat on by mobs. You also have the option of using the Heirloom items like Polished Lightforge Spaulders, Discerning Eye of the Beast, Repurposed Lava Dredger (ah good memories!) and Devout Aurastone Hammer.

Level 50-58

You’re in the home stretch now, but this can also be a rough stretch. Hang in there because Outland is just around the corner.

All Paths:

Zones: Western Plaguelands, Eastern Plaguelands, Un’goro, Winterspring, Silithus. I strongly recommend you spend some time at Sorrow Hill in Western Plaguelands during the early part of this range. Black Rock Mountain (BRD, LBRS, UBRS), Scholomance, and Strathholme open up to you in this range. There are some good drops for all paths from these instances. Earthslag Shoulders, Spiderfang Carapace, Foreman's Head Protector, Entrenching Boots all come from BRD. Plate of the Shaman King drops in LBRS.

Combat: Combat for all Paths stays pretty much the same as in previous ranges. You pickup some new ranks of what should by now be familiar tools. You start to pickup your Greater Blessings in this range. These are 30 minutes rather than 15 minutes. They require a relatively cheap reagent called Symbol of Kings. They stack to 100. Always have 1-2 stacks on you at all times.

Gear: Look for BoE pieces of Lightforge armor and the Aegis of Stormwind on the AH.

At Level 50, your second minor Glyph will open up. Crusaders (Ret) should look at Glyph of Blessing of Might. Clerics (Holy) will be looking at Glyph of Blessing of Wisdom. Templars (Protection) will want Glyph of Lay On Hands.


Talents: Respec! Sorry. Divine Strength was a big help in getting here, but we once again need all our points in Ret in order to pick up Crusader Strike. An instant attack on a short cooldown is more damage than the extra strength from Divine Strength. We'll pick up Divine Strength again, but not until we get to the top of the Ret tree.

Pickup all the talents you previously had (expect for Divine Strength). Then with the points from Divine Strength, pick up Repentance, and Fanaticsim, then put your level 50 talent point into Crusader Strike. Then you pickup Sheath of Light, Vindication, and Righteous Vengeance.

Gearing: Same stats as before (Crit, stamina, Attack Power, Strength and Agility). Green "Of the Beast" may be on the AH. Since you dropped Divine Strength, 1 Strength is worth 2 Attack Power, so a piece with 20 Strength is the same as 40 Attack Power.


Talents: Finish Combat Expertise and pickup Touched By the Light and Guarded by the Light. Then pick up Judgements of the Just.

Combat: Combat favors battling multiple mobs. When Redoubt procs (and with multiple beasties hitting on you it will be up often) activate Holy Shield.

Gearing: The AH may yield up "Of The Knight" "Of The Champion" and "Of The Crusade" in addition to the Imperial Armor set. This set is usually levelup fodder for Blacksmiths and you can get it cheap. Also, if you can get a group for Scholo there is a set of armor called Deathbone that is the first piece of true Prot Pally gear you’ll likely find.

There are BoE pieces of Valor on the AH. If you intend on rolling on BoP Valor pieces that drop in the 58-60 dungeons, inform the Warrior in the party prior to the run. He may not feel exactly comfortable with the idea. Force of Will is a fantastic trinket that drops in BRD.

There is a long quest chain in EPL that yields a nice chest piece (Ornate Adamantite Breastplate) and provides a very nice bit of lore for a major questline/plotline in Wrath of the Lich King. The chain starts from Tirion Fordring in the western part of Eastern Plaguelands.


Talents (Solo): In this range, we are going to finish up Holy Guidance. Then pick up Judgments of the Pure, and Divine Illunimation.

Talents (Group): If Holy is your secondary spec, then you’ll be picking up Judgments of the Pure and Divine Illumination, and Infusion of Light.

Gearing: spell power, spell crit, some mana per 5, intellect and stamina. You actually start seeing a bit of gear in this range that has those on plate. Green "Of the Physician", "Of the Elder", "Of the Invoker", and "Of Healing" gear may show up on your auction house. Don't be afraid of wearing Shaman spellpower Mail or Druid spellpower Leather, or even Priest cloth at this stage.

In a group, if you have a good tank, you shouldn't be getting hit. As always, be considerate of those classes as they are more limited in the gear they can wear.

Level 58-70

Zones: Hellfire Peninsula, Zangarmarsh, Terrorkar Forest, Blade’s Edge Mountains, Shadowmoon Valley, Netherstorm

All Paths:

[Prior to Patch 3.2 - Ding 61! Back to Stormwind. Trade in your old and busted Pony for your new HOTNESS, The Charger. Back in the day, you had to do this very long and involved quest chain to get this beautiful ride, but now it's as simple as a training it.]

[After Patch 3.2] - Ding 60, and you can fly, you can fly, you can fly! Head over to your factions main town in Hellfire Peninsula and lay down a good chunk of gold to get your flyer. It will make questing much easier and faster. Plus, it's a nice get away vehicle on a PVP server.


Talents: For talents, pickup Sanctified Wrath and get that point into Divine Storm. Then it's back to Protection to pickup Divine Strength. Then back to Ret for Improved Blessing of Might. Then start working on Seals of the Pure which will take you to 73.

Combat: At 70, you'll get Avenger's Wrath. It's a nice damage boost on a long cooldown. Use it when you need a nice burst. In your mid 60s you will also get a new spell, Seal of Vengenace if you are Alliance and Seal of Corruption for Horde. Afer 3.2, Vengeance should become your new default Seal, although you may still want to use Command in PVP. Prior to 3.2, you will want to use Seal of Blood/Seal of the Marytr.

Gearing: Melee Crit and AP, Strength, Stamina. You will find drops and quest rewards more in abundance here than in any other range. PVP gear also has a specific Ret set. If you see Scaled in the name, it's meant for Ret (Crusader's Scaled Chestpiece). Once you ding 70, you can buy a blue set from the various Faction vendors that will help you out as you move to Northrend.


Talents: Now you get Shield of the Templar. Then pickup Hammer of Righteousness. Put 5 points in Deflection and 1 (and only one) point in Improved Judgement. 2 in Heart of the Crusader will take you to Level 70.

Combat: Combat doesn't change a whole bunch. Your new spell, Seal of Vengence (Alliance) Seal of Corruption (Horde) will replace Seal of Righteousness for soloing. Hammer of the Righteous everytime it's off cooldown. You will get a 'Vengeance stack' on all 3/4 mobs it hits. Vengeance puts a Damage over Time debuff on your target that stacks up to 5 times. The more stacks, the more it ticks for. Once it’s up to 5 stacks, you’ll start doing extra damage from your swings. Continue to work on your tanking skills, as the opportunity presents itself.

Gearing: Tank quest rewards remain fairly rare. Continue to look for Strength, and Stamina. "Of the Soldier" and "Of the Knight" greens are good choices. There is a quest in Nagrand to kill one of the big elites there that yeilds a pretty nice 1 handed weapon, the Crystaline Kopesh.


Talents: Here’s where the Solo as Holy and the Group as Holy really start to diverge. For soloing you are picking up talents to help your damage, while grouping works on healing and utility.

Talents (Solo): Start here with Enlightened Judgments, and Infusion of Light. That will take you until Level 62. Then head over to Ret and grab Benediction, and Heart of the Crusader.

Talents (Group):
First up here is Enlightened Judgments which will open up Beacon of Light. Now you head over to Protection and grab Divinity. Your next move is to get Stoicism and Guardian’s Favor. Those are really marginal talents, but you need to get deeper in Protection. This will technically take you to Level 71.

Combat: Combat remains pretty much the same. You have Avengers Wrath for some additional damage. Use the range from Enlightened Judgements and think of yourself as a sort of Mage in Plate. Get really well practiced at healing your groups. You will have no trouble finding groups and will even get random tells to heal whatever instance you may want to see.

Gearing: Don't bother with spirit, the 5-second casting rule makes it completely useless for paladins (we don't have a spirit talent like priests do). You best stat to stack is Intellect. It gives you more regen through replenishment and gives you more crit to trigger Illumination. Also focus on stacking spell power and Spell Crit with some mana/5.

Level 70-80

Zones: Howling Fjord, Borean Tundra, The DragonBlight, Zul'Drak, Grizzly Hills, Sholazar Basin, The Storm Peaks, Icecrown Glacier.

You will hit 80 long before you complete all the zones. Start in either Borean Tundra or Howling Fjord. Once you complete one zone you can move into Dragonblight. Dragonblight has some really good quest chains and gets you started on your Wyrmrest Accord Reputation. Also, if you Howling Fjord, do yourself a favor and at least do the quests in Coldarra in Borean Tundra. That will yeild yet more Wyrmrest Accord Reputation and give you the flight points for Nexus and later on Oculus and Eye of Eternity.

You can start the Argent Tournament as early as 78, and it has some nice gear rewards. Put some time in Storm Peaks so you get acquainted with Sons of Hodir.

All Paths:

You get two new spells in the 70 to 80 range, Divine Plea and Shield of Righteousness.

Divine Plea is good for all 3 paths. All 3 need mana to fuel what they do, and Divine Plea is a great way to fill up the tank.

Shield of Righteousness will mainly be used by Protection Paladins on the Templar's Path, though Holy Paladins may use it as well while soloing. Ret Paladins have little use for the skill. This is basically a Shield Slam for Paladins and works well with high strength, crit and block value.

Your third minor opens up at 70, and your third major opens up at 80.

For Crusaders (Ret), Glyph of Seal of Command, Glyph of Exorcism, and Glyph of Judgement are your majors with Glyph of Blessing of Might, Glyph of Sense Undead and Glyph of Blessing of Kings as your minors.

For Templar's (Protection) your major Glyphs are going to be Glyph of Divine Plea, Glyph of Righteous Defense and Glyph of Judgment. For minors, we’ll use Glyph of Sense Undead, Glyph of Lay on Hands and Glyph of Blessing of Kings.

For Clerics (Holy) it’s Glyph of Holy Light, Glyph of Seal of Light, and Glyph of Beacon of Light in the major slots. Your minor slots will be filled with Glyph of Lay On Hands, Glyph of the Wise, and Glyph of Blessing of Kings.


Talents: Put 5 into Divinity in the Protection tree, and put your last two points into Divine Purpose.

Combat: By now you know the drill. Hit, and hit hard. Most of your enenmies will die in 2 or 3 attacks. Keep an eye on your health and make good decisions on how to use your Art of War procs.

Gearing: There's a decent set of BoE Blacksmith gear you can get made, but for the most part quest rewards will do you fine. There's a group quest in Zul'Drak called the Ampitheatre of Anquish that yeilds up one of the better 2 handers you'll see before 80.


Talents: Finish off Heart of the Crusader. You need to open up the next tier in the Ret tree. 2/2 Improved Judgment won’t help you. You literally can’t use an 8 second Judgment cooldown due to your 1.5 second Global Cooldown. Even though it’s only marginally useful put 1 point in Benediction. Pick up Vindication in anticipation of Patch 3.2, and 3 points into Conviction. Finish off your build with 3 points in Crusade.

Combat: You'll get into a nice rotation with Hammer of Righteous, Judgment, and Shield of the Righteous. Use Holy Shield only sparingly. Consecrate is still a hungery little spell. Watch your Divine Plea timer as you are nearing the end of combat. Try to get into combat again before Divine Plea falls off.

Gearing: There's a nice Blacksmith BoE Set called the Cobalt Set that you can get made, and later on a Saronite Set, and finally a Titansteel Set. They get progressively more expensive. Saronite and Titansteel even include a Shield. There's a group quest in Zul'Drak called Ragemane's Flipper that yeilds up pretty much the only Tank weapon you will see before 80.


Talents (Solo): Now we pick up Improved Judgments. Unlike our Templar (Protection) brothers, we don’t have any Global Cooldown conflicts so we fill it out. Next up is 5 points in Conviction, and finish up with 3 in Crusade.

Talents (Group): You will now put one point in Divine Sacrifice. You need to put more points in Protection to get further in the tree. Nothing is partically exciting, but take 4 points in Toughness. You heal in Plate, but Toughness makes it easier to take Mail, Leather or even Cloth and still get good survivability. Then you grab 2 in Divine Guardian, and Improved Devotion Aura.

Combat: Weave Shield of Righteousness between your other attacks, but continue doing what you've been doing to get to this point.

Gear: Quest rewards are adequate for the most part. There's an Ornamented Saronite set and an Ornamented Titansteel set you can get as you progressed towards 80.

Get ready for that final DING!!

Let me be the first to congratulate you. You are now a Level 80 Paladin.

Rise, Sir Knight. Go forth and conquer Heroics, Raids, and PVP!

Thank you for reading this guide. I hope you find the Paladin class as enjoyable and exciting as I have. I actually have 3 Paladins I maintain to keep this guide going. One is my main at max level. The other is around the mid 40s and the last one is in his 20s.

Updated 8/1/2009 - Removed Dignified Headmaster's Charge from the Cleric's path as it is a staff and well, we can't use them.

Updated 7/25/2009 - Fixed an error in talent point allocation for the Templar Path in the Level 50-58 range.

Updated 7/15/2009 - Made updates to the guide which should bring it up to 3.2.

Updated 1/21/2009 - Now that I'm level 80 I've started working on the 70-80 section of the guide.

Updated 11/12/2008: Yeah!! Finally updated to 3.0.3! Let me know if you see anything that is inaccurate or really bad advice especially when I start talking about Holy.

Updated 10/31/2008: Continued being Patch 3.0 edits. Ret and Prot are pretty much done, just to need to finish up Holy. The Guide does stop at Level 70. I will continue to update it for level 80 as soon as I get there, lol.

Updated 10/20/2008: Continued being Patch 3.0 edits. As I got into the 40-50 range, I start to break the Paladin down into different paths. I've got the Crusader (Ret) path updated, but not the Holy or Protection. Please be patient, this should all be updated this week.

Updated 10/15/2008: Continued being Patch 3.0 edits.

Updated 10/13/2008: Clarified Verigan's Fist in the 20-30 Range

Updated 5/3/2008: Changed Sanctified Crusader to Sanctified Seals

Updated 4/18/2008: Expanded on Combat in the 20-30 level range to emphasize using Hammer of Justice (stun) with Judgement of Command

Updated 4/8/2008: Changed Path of the Steadfast Aura after an alert read pointed out a typo (was Sanctity, should have been Retribution)

Update 1/15: Added an alternative low level Seal rotation from Krasagrado of Warsong

Update 1/2/2008: Added some comments about the importance of a Shield Spike for Protection Builds.

Update 12/14/2007: Blizzard has made some major improvements to leveling with Patch 2.3. I have some modifications to my guide to reflect those changes, but they are very minor.